Pentagon’s war against climate change

by Judith Curry

The military frames those efforts in terms of saving money and reducing its dependence on vulnerable supply lines, not dealing with climate change, but the result is the same.

Several months ago, I read the report National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change, written by the CNA Military Advisory Board consisting retired Generals and Admirals.  From the Foreword:

When it comes to thinking through long-term global challenges, none are more qualified than our most senior military leaders. Not only do they have decades of experience managing risk and responding to conflict on the battlefield, but they are also experts in geopolitical analysis and longrange strategic planning.

Military leaders typically look at challenges with imperfect or conflicting information. Despite not having 100 percent certainty, they weigh the consequences of various courses of action—including the consequences of no action—and make informed decisions based on their experience and risk forbearance.

 The update serves as a bipartisan call to action. It makes a compelling case that climate change is no longer a future threat—it is taking place now. 

From a letter to the reader:

The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe risks for our national security. During our decades of experience in the U.S. military, we have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to political extremism and transnational terrorism in recent years. The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced.

When I read this, I yawned.  They seem highly confident of climate model projections, and more confident than WG2 that human-caused climate change (rather than natural climate variability) is causing these problems.  I expected better, since military leaders are experts at assessing risks and making decisions with imperfect or conflicting information.

It seems that current reality of Pentagon thinking on climate change is more interesting than the CNA Report.  Bloomberg has an intriguing article The Pentagon’s war against climate change.  Excerpts (JC bold):

U.S. conservatives make at least two arguments against action on climate change: We don’t have enough conclusive evidence to prove it is happening, and even if we did, the cost of cutting our carbon emissions would be too high. The U.S. military has been quietly rebutting both those arguments.

Start with the issue of uncertainty. Rather than endlessly debate whether climate change was real and would worsen, the military made a priority of dealing with it starting in 2010. It’s protecting naval bases against flooding, using less water in areas prone to drought and preparing for more power failures. The result is that bases use less electricity and are better able to withstand extreme weather.

We look for indicators, warnings, reasons to take actions that are prudent,” said Dennis McGinn, the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, at a congressional hearing in May. The alternative is “to completely place a bet on one particular certainty happening.”

The Department of Defense has also demonstrated that cutting carbon emissions can be done sensibly. It’s using more alternatives to oil, making its vehicles more efficient and designing lighter-weight equipment. It’s getting more employees to work remotely, more often. It has gotten rid of unnecessary vehicles, and replaced more of those that were left with smaller vehicles or ones run on electricity. And it has issued stricter energy standards for new buildings.

Its efforts matter because they underscore two principles crucial to the debate over climate policy. The first is that old habits can change, quickly, and without compromising performance. If the U.S. military can reduce its carbon footprint without sacrificing its mission of protecting the country, it’s worth asking whether dire warnings about the costs of reducing carbon emissions in the broader economy are overblown. The second lesson is that it’s folly to wait for perfect information on climate change.

Of course, unlike the military, the federal government can’t impose wide-scale changes by decree; it needs to win public support. That starts with convincing voters not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and that the costs of action don’t need to be crushing.

JC reflections

The U.S. military is rejecting optimal decision making (betting on one particularly certainty happening) in favorrobust decision making, and climate informed decision analysis [link], which IMO is the most sensible way to deal with challenges surrounding climate change.  Deal with your most pressing problems, and see if considerations of climate change suggest prudent actions.  The military wisely warns against placing all of your bets on the certainty of one specific thing happening.

The Bloomberg article addresses scaling up to U.S. climate policy more broadly.  The fundamental underlying principle of what the military is doing is to address small local problems of vulnerability to extreme weather events, economic issues, and issues of resources supplies.  This approach is in keeping with the adaptive governance approach, which is fundamentally decentralized.  Success in addressing overall climate policy goals would be the accumulation of many small achievements.   It is not clear what U.S. federal policy can do that would encourage/support adaptive governance (other than perhaps to get out of the way).

And finally, some reflection on the differences between the CNA Report and the military strategies reflected in the Bloomberg article.  The difference between retired, more academic generals versus those with boots on the ground trying to solve real problems?



316 responses to “Pentagon’s war against climate change

  1. Excess certainty on this would be the same as deciding if our next war will be in winter or summer, or in a cold climate or warm, or in a dry climate or wet. One lesson we should learn from history: we should be ready for anything.

    • Danley Wolfe

      “We should be ready for anything.”
      \So does it mean – climb every mountain, chase every fat tail, ’til you fix your dream, no matter what evidence, what cost?

  2. “They seem highly confident of climate model projections, and more confident than WG2 that human-caused climate change (rather than natural climate variability) is causing these problems.”

    In my opinion, if the military is concerned (or whatever) about climate change, it’s because it’s coming from the top… the commender in chief.

    • Oh you mean like NOAA, NASA, EPA, Commerce, State, Fed . . etc. ?

      • The Pentagon may be interested in the new book Bill Streifer will coauthored with a Stanford physicist, “Dr. Fritz J. Hansgirg: Heavy Water and the Secret History of the Atomic Bomb.”

        Bill gave me permission to say the book provides independent evidence of the nuclear energy covered up that Galen Winston discusses in this video:

      • O you mean the data masseuses.

      • Actually from the Office of the President. Who instructs the SecNav, who orders the Pentagon to conduct a study – with the specific instruction that they are to use the 4C – 6C model projections as their start point.

        The Navy has also had Green Fuels shoved down its throat. But when civilian leadership gives an order or assigns objectives, the Navy responds “aye, aye” and does its best to follow those orders.

      • Yes, from the Office of the President on down the chain of command, the unwritten order after 1945 was to hide the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in cores of:

        1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
        2. Ordinary stars like the Sun
        3. Galaxies like the Milky Way

  3. They do have to give it lip service, I was surprised no mention of NGas for vehicles, nor their nuclear powered ships.
    Regardless, I would hope everyone is trying to reduce consumption of scarce resources, like gas an water, and fixing dikes or whatever before the next storm.

  4. The US military is pretty much in every “climate” there is world wide. If they don’t know by now how to adapt to different climates, they will never know. The current push for politically correct “climate change” fights does nothing but spend more money on non-essentials at a time of tight budgets for overpriced green fuel and the like. Instead of developing fuel supplies that will be available anywhere and easily obtained in vast quantities, they are going to green energy for show and to support a high priced market.

    The long term objective of the military is to be capable of projecting a force in support of the national interest and defending the US. Fighting climate change is an unnecessary and expensive distraction.

    • “The climate consequences are mostly coincidental, and those connections overwrought”

      A familiar position

    • Well, in such a safe world the military needs its pastimes. After “tackling” sexism and climate change, there may be no more worlds left to conquer! Unless, of course, China makes stronger energy claims in the south seas, Russia tightens the gas tap, ISIS grabs the petrol bowser, and those Nigerian tribespeople (does that mean Muslims?) start interfering with the pipelines again. (At least Venezuela would rather sell grudgingly to gringos than send their stuff to the other side of the world.)

      No problem, military people. For some reason our Green Betters will allow us some oil and gas – for now. Seems they’re a better class of carbon, though that increasingly handy shale oil is in their crosshairs.

      Okay, so the West may be sleep-walking away from industrial wealth and domestic energy security…but it’s still got those “strongly worded statements”!

  5. Most of what the military is experimenting with is either grid independence (since vulnerable to sabotage) or reduced/ alternative fuel consumption. For example solar at Nellis AFB or nat has fueled SOFC plus storage at Ft. Hood. For example, the Oshkosh Propulse hybrid combat truck system, which weighs 3 tons less, has fewer parts to maintain (no transmission or transfer cases), is 30% more fuel efficient, and can simultaneously provide up to 100KW of forward power rather than having to frag along a separate generator. Afgan lesson learned, simce diesel cost up to $1000/ gallon to transport from Pakistan to forward operating bases. The climate consequences are mostly coincidental, and those connections overwrought.

    • These military guys and gals are smart – thankfully. “The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced.” : (a) That gets POTUS off their backs, (b) it correctly says “projected climate change” not “climate change”, (c) to deal with the problem they are … Using less water in areas prone to drought and preparing for power cuts, IOW nothing they wouldn’t do anyway. The US is still in good hands, and I don’t mean POTUS.

  6. From the main post:
    “Despite not having 100 percent certainty, they weigh the consequences of various courses of action—including the consequences of no action—and make informed decisions based on their experience and risk forbearance. ”

    So, considering they probably don’t possess one science degree among them, and even if one does wouldn’t matter much, and also they have no experience with “climate change” other than the mundane changes we’ve seen all along; then half of their decision making advantage is off the table.

    I’m not seeing how these guys are any better equipped than anyone else at predicting what climate will do. Even climate scientists have failed at the endeavor, so all they can do is take a wild a$$ed guess and play “what if.”

    • jim2,

      Sounds like you would be surprised to learn just how well educated military officers are. Particularly the longer they serve. There are large numbers of serving officers with advanced science degrees.

    • Despite not having 100 percent certainty, they weigh the consequences of various courses of action

      That usually means figuring out how to get from 49 votes to 51 votes in the Senate. All generals have to be confirmed by the Senate each time they get promoted.

  7. Any supposed dangers that climate change presents to our military are also presented to every other country’s military. The whole thing is a wash.

    • The objective is to ensure it isn’t a wash.

      Based on your argument, there was no need to develop NV technology, as both sides were unable to see in the dark – i.e. a wash.

  8. Adaptation, not mitigation, is the more prudent way to go which looks like the predominant approach the military is taking, with the possible exception of electric vehicles – I don’t think we will see those on the battlefield any time soon. It is sensible to become more energy efficient, not because of climate change, but simply to conserve resources. Taking a top down approach at the federal level by artificially inflating the cost of fossil fuels through onerous regulation while artificially reducing the cost of “renewables” like wind and solar through subsidies will only make things worse by increasing costs for EVERYTHING, since everything requires energy to produce and to reach the consumer. Likewise, top down approaches at the local level through renewable portfolio mandates and things like RGGI cause similar harm for similar reasons. From the Energy Research Institute, energy prices for states with renewable portfolio mandates are on average nearly 40% higher than those without – one reason is that renewables cost more while still requiring fossil fuel back-up generation and capacity for when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine, and at the same time puts additional stress on the power grid due to intermittentcy issues. You would think there would be a lesson learned from ethanol, but apparently not yet. All this because of the unproven claim that human burning of fossil fuels contributing 3% to the total volume of atmospheric Co2 levels comprising .04% of the atmosphere is causing, or will soon cause, catastrophic global warming. The level of hubris is, in a word, breathtaking.

  9. The military is set up like a monarchy or communist state. If the top wants to impliment some policy they jusy give the orders. Is that what we want for the country at large?. Is the need so dire that we give up on democracy in this case?

    Jerry Brown has been asking Californians to save water due to the drought. The effort failed resulting in an 8% increase. They have given up. Now there will be a $500.00 dollar fine for those that get caught. There is a myriad of ways you can be in violation. They also want citizens to tell on each other reporting abuses.

    Starting next year California will see it’s gas prices go up with the carbon tax. That law came from Schwarzenegger’s AB32. I guess we will see how state imposed controls will work. I also guess it will be hard to measure result as it will have a miniscule affect on carbon emmisions. I will probably be easier to measure the economic impact.

    • Nonsense.

      The US military is set up to follow civilian (i.e. the Executive Branch) leadership. They can offer suggestions in how civilian directives might get implemented, but at the end of the day they do as they are told.

      There is also the matter of accountability. Unlike a monarchy or communist form of government, members of the military are accountable for their actions, both to those above them in the chain of command and, to a lesser degree, to those below them as well.

  10. The generals and admirals rarely pass up a chance to grow spending levels for something that is trendy. Especially if the get to pay lots of retired officers to consult on it. Even more so if it means handing over R&D dollars to companies that will employee officers after they retire.

  11. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    *EVERY* NATO admiral and general *ALREADY* appreciates that if Europe and North America were carbon-neutral, then we *ALREADY* could tell Russia/Putin’s oiligarchs and mideast oil-rich fanatics where to get off … and these oligarchs and fanatics would not *ALREADY* have trillions of American petro-dollars, with which to by weapons and fund terrorism.

    That’s why a boots-on-the-ground fighting general like James Mattis can plead (on multiple overlapping levels and for multiple overlapping reasons) UNLEASH US FROM THE TETHER OF FUEL.”

    The point being (as Mattis fully appreciates) that carbon-tether is crippling logistically, crippling strategically, crippling economically, and crippling ecologically.

    Carbon-energy’s four-fold crippling effects are obvious to *EVERYONE* — equally to combat generals *AND* young scientists *AND* young voters.

    Ain’t that right, Climate Etc readers?

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    • George Turner

      And the best way to free our military from the carbon noose is to switch back to horse drawn artillery and have our cavalry forces dismount their gas-guzzling vehicles and get back in the saddle.. They’ll gain mobility, and more importantly will be able to forage if their supply lines get cut.

      Also, bicycles.

    • Yes indeed we need to learn from the Nazis who ran out of gas and lost the war. If only they had had the forsight to go solar and wind or god forbid developed jew science nuclear power. Natural gas really saved their …

      At least they we’re right about big tobacco:

      “Hitler frequently pointed out that he had quit smoking in 1919 and fellow fascists Mussoulini and Franco were also non-smokers, unlike Allied enimies Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt.

      As usual your on the right track Fan enjoy the company.
      Fan’s historical lessons learned from Nazis.

      • corrections: were, enemies and “. Not the worst of which … I digress.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Observation  The world’s chief deterrents are carbon-neutral.

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, eh ordvic?

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      • Not the citizens of Grozny.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Fact  No carbon-neutral nation ever shot-down a civilian airliner.

        Or was motivated to do so, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • Sounds good but unfortunately a bit pollyannaish.

      • David Springer

        No carbon neutral nation was ever a superpower capable of projecting force across the globe in mutliple theaters of combat either. It’s dirty job but someone has to do it.

        Thanks for playing fan. There’s a consolation prize waiting as you exit stage left. It’s an autographed printout of me saying “Write that down”.

        Write that down.

      • James the Elder

        A fan of *MORE* discourse | July 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        Fact No carbon-neutral nation ever shot-down a civilian airliner.
        Yep; difficult to down an airliner flying at 35 Angels with a spear.

      • No carbon neutral country ever flew an airplane either.

    • nutso fasst

      Portable thorium generators charging the batteries of stealthy electric vehicles doesn’t sound like a bad proposition. Might even reconsider the 1950s nuclear aircraft designs.

      • David Springer

        Oh yes those DoD guys they’re never interested in advancing the art in military equipment and weapons systems. /sarc


      • “…DoD guys they’re never interested in advancing the art…”

        Their appreciation of the art often seems to correspond with the magnitude of its price tag and the influence of the artist.

    • as usual the bombastic blather from FOMbs conflates and confuses a variety of distinct issues.

      Maximizing the effectiveness of combat units, which means winning battles and wars, is quite different from concerns about fuel sources, economic costs and efficiencies, or “environmental” angst displayed by clowns like FOMT.

      “carbon” … if you must call various fuels by that silly moniker, does NOT have “four-fold crippling effects.”. This is idiot-speak from FOMT.

      Of course General Matthis is correct that improving fuel efficiencies and lengthening the logistics “tether” for any given combat unit is of much benefit, so long as battle effectiveness is not sacrificed.

      But FOMT’s nonsense about “four-fold crippling effects” merely shows his ignorance of every aspect of these topics.

      Strategy is overall greatly benefitted by the enormous combat effectiveness of US military units. Of course there are limits and costs, the current fuel demands are very high and it would be great to reduce them. What we must avoid at-all-costs is the ideological blather of people like FOMT, who do not analyze with any rigor or precision.

      There would be none of the existing issues of logistical, strategic, or economic challenges had not the USA (and close allies) developed the best armored and mechanized units the world has ever seen. Ask Iraqi troops who manned those T-72 tanks if they preferred their more fuel efficient models… oh wait, we can’t ask many of them because so many are d-e-a-d.

      Yes, armored and mechanized forces require a large logistical supply train (as do helicopters and aircraft), and as FOMT’s link states, nearly NINETY percent of fuel consumption is in the non-armored vehicles. Find ways to reduce and limit that without sacrificing combat effectiveness, for sure.

      But don’t allow ideolgy-driven gasbags like FOMT anywhere near military decisions.

    • catweazle666

      Carbon-energy’s four-fold crippling effects are obvious to *EVERYONE*

      No they aren’t, most people aren’t bedwetters.

      Stop making stuff up.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse
      FOMD asserts  “”Carbon-energy’s four-fold crippling effects [it is crippling logistically, crippling strategically, crippling economically, and crippling ecologically] are obvious to *EVERYONE*”

      catweazle666 responds  “No they aren’t, most people aren’t bedwetters.”

      As Obi-Wan Kenobi says Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time!

      Congratulations catweazle666, for creatively introducing terminology that is (as Climate Etc readers are invited to verify) entirely new to the scientific literature!

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  12. George Turner

    If the military really wants to combat climate change, they should be firing volleys of cruise missiles at Chinese coal plants.

    If we rule out such abatement measures, adaptation suggests that we could reduce spending on sweaters and parkas by several percent, or move our major bases a hundred miles poleward.

    • David Springer

      The military isn’t combating climate change. If they stopped using fossil fuel entirely it wouldn’t make detectable difference in how the cookie crumbles with regard to global warming.

      The whole theory behind the US making draconian emission cuts (nothing less will have any measurable effect) the rest of the world will follow our lead like it was a new brand of blue jeans.

      Yeah right. If our military cuts fossil fuel use Russia and China would be forced to follow our lead lest they what, have US progressives wag their finger at them?

      I d i o t s

  13. That both the Pentagon and every major insurance company now recognizes that the climate is now very likely changing outside the bounds of natural variability is a logical result of their decades of intense experience of using science to assess risks. Those who deny this science have received an appropriate moniker.

    • Hog wash. They all just look for excuses to charge more and pay less. “Climate change” is just as good as any other excuse.

    • “…every major insurance company now recognizes that the climate is now very likely changing outside the bounds of natural variability is a logical result of their decades of intense experience of using science to assess risks.”

      What a hoot. It couldn’t be a “logical result” of their recognition that this is windfall for them? Your lack of understanding of how the real world works at times beggars belief.

    • Skeptics usually enjoy seeing the free market at work. Shouldn’t there be skeptical insurance companies undercutting the rates by assuming that 100-year return periods have not changed, or would you fire your actuary for making that assumption these days? It’s a business decision. They have to take it seriously.

      • Insurance isn’t a free market. It’s highly regulated, and most states put all sorts of restrictions on how much insurance companies can charge for certain coverage.

        By invoking future climate change, the insurance folks can lever the government into higher rate structures due to a higher perceived risk. This makes it profitable for them to whine about climate change – while insurance payouts for things like bad weather are going down, per capita.

        So they get a rate increase without increased payouts.


      • Don’t know about that JimD, but I am pretty sure my understanding of the military’s view of climate change is far better than fan’s and Gate’s combined. And raised by a couple orders of magnitude.

        Though to be fair to Gates, fan’s knowledge level is a negative number.

    • The 99% greatly appreciate this pro military pro business attitude. They love the military industrial complex.

    • What I said elsewhere about military officers expertise in climate goes just as well for insurance company actuaries. They don’t have any.

      It’s interesting to see the “pause” forcing warmists to go from appeals to climate authorities who are increasingly embarrassed by their own temp reports to appeals to non-authorities, who are oblivious to them. It’s not unlike shifting the focus from the measured surface temps they have been trumpeting for decades, to deep ocean heat content, that isn’t even measured in most places.

      I’d feel sorry for the poor dears, but it’s just too much fun to watch.

    • “Your lack of understanding of how the real world works at times beggars belief.”

      Yes, the real world consists of things such as non-renewable fossil fuels. PG’s fantasy world is filled with unicorns and ponies and other cornucopian pipe dreams..

      • WEB,

        Real world regarding our military and climate change:

        1) Biofuels are 10 x the cost, require their own logistics tail separate from existing fuels, and even at the very modest levels established as program objectives, are unable to produce enough fuel to meet those objectives.

        In otherwords, if you want to find a 97% consensus figure that is real world, polling the number of folks in uniform who think bio fuel is a viable source for use by the military services night get you to the 3% level.

        2) Decreasing Arctic summer ice pack has the potential for opening up a region of the planet chock full of resources and previously unaccessable. Planning for that falls under the responsibilities of our armed services. That they plan for that is not the same as calling for reduced emissions. In fact every service would argue for an increase in their fuel usage budget if they could.

    • False. “The bounds of natural variability” are not known, nor mentioned by either the Pentagon or any insurance company. If you have evidence to the contrary, please produce it.

    • David Springer

      D u m b a s s

    • catweazle666


    • Then why did State Farm quit the case they started in Wisconsin over climate change?

    • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has a big reinsurance company, and Warren clearly stated that they are seeing no damages from climate change.

    • Interested Bystander

      “That both the Pentagon and every major insurance company now recognizes that the climate is now very likely changing outside the bounds of natural variability is a logical result of their decades of intense experience of using science to assess risks.”

      Warren Buffett disagrees with your assessment of the insurance industry.

    • Gates,

      Just keep tapping those heels and repeating “There’s no place like the Human Carbon Volcano”. Who knows, someone might make a movie about you.

  14. Will J. Richardson

    As several comments have already mentioned, the green initiatives have been promulgated as a result of orders from the top by this administration. What I hear from the troops who do the fighting, and I have many sources, is that these green policies divert substantial sums of money needed for training, retention, maintenance, and material support. Even worse, when deployed in places like Afghanistan, the troops are required expend substantial amounts of their non-combat down time implementing rules and regulations designed to minimize their environmental impact in the war zone. It’s a foolish diversion of defense resources.

  15. It sounds like the military is taking common sense “no regrets” actions.

    Reducing water usage in drought areas, increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, etc. are all things that are good independent of climate change.

    • David L. Hagen

      Especially when we recognize the end of cheap oil, with about 5%/year depletion of existing oil fields and growing difficulty in finding replacement fuels. The military’s stated climate policy is soundly based on reducing the growing risks of politically, geologically, and economically constrained fuel supplies.

      • David Springer

        B I N G O

      • David,

        “David L. Hagen commented on Pentagon’s war against climate change.
        in response to Charlie A:
        It sounds like the military is taking common sense “no regrets” actions. Reducing water usage in drought areas, increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, etc. are all things that are good independent of climate change.
        Especially when we recognize the end of cheap oil, with about 5%/year depletion of existing oil fields and growing difficulty in finding replacement fuels. The military’s stated climate policy is soundly based on reducing the growing risks of politically, geologically, and economically constrained fuel supplies.”

        I guess it would be a sound decision, if we lived on the same imaginary planet on which “5%/year depletion of existing oil fields” is happening.

        Meanwhile, here on Planet Earth, proven petroleum reserves climb, year after year, after year, after year.

        In 1980, proven reserves were around 600 billion barrels. In 1990, reserves were around 997 billion barrels. In 2011, proven reserves stood at 1,452 billion barrels.

        Let’s see, 5%/year depletion, multiplied times 30 years, on your imaginary planet, we ran out of oil and started using imaginary oil, 10 years ago, or what?

        But here on Plante Earth, our proven oil reserves INCREASED 100+% over the course of 30 years.

        Come on over some time–the living’s fine!

      • catweazle666

        with about 5%/year depletion of existing oil fields and growing difficulty in finding replacement fuels.</i.

        More paranoid drivel.

        Shale gas, tar sands and above all else, methane hydrate – which promises more energy than all other fossil fuel resources put together, by at least an order of magnitude.

      • David L. Hagen

        kentclizbe and catweazle666
        Please at least study the issue enough to understand the difference between “5%/year depletion of existing oil fields” and “petroleum reserves”.

        SEC 2010:

        “Proved oil and gas reserves are those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible–from a given date forward, from known reservoirs, and under existing economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations.

        One key term is “reasonable certainty,” which is generally taken as 90% probability. It implies estimates are only for areas with solid data from existing wells and production history from which highly certain and reasonably precise estimates can be made. The term “economically producible…under existing economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations” excludes any projection of future technology improvements, and implies that producing this resource must be economic with current market prices and other economic conditions.

        See International Energy Agency World Oil Production by Type

        See the IEA’s forecast of depletion rate of “currently producing wells”

        Höök, M., Hirsch, R. & Aleklett, K. ”Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production”
        Energy Policy, 2009, Vol. 37, Issue 6: 2262-2272

        Then try to understand how unreliable the IEA’s forecasts have been:
        An Analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012
        “The IEA has lowered the scenario output for 2030 by 42 Mb/d down to 66 Mb/d. That is a change of 40% in 8 years!”

        Methane hydrates indeed have untapped potential but with an Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) of about 30 dropping to 7 – ie about comparable to petroleum which dropped from > 100 to about 10-15.

      • Davy,

        Thanks for your attempt at teaching.

        Unfortunately, maybe you should work more on learning.

        In your depressing world, all you care about is the fact that half the bread on your table has been eaten.

        Normal people, on the other hand, understand that that “diminishing resource” on the table is replenished with the “reserves” that fill our pantry, the store, the warehouses, the bakery, the delivery trucks, and more!

        So you sit there and moan about “existing oil wells” being depleted 5% each year–the rest of us will celebrate the fantastic technology that constantly refills our pantry and the delivery pipeline.

        That’s what “proven reserves” are–the pantry, the warehouse, the pipeline of supply. Those are ever-expanding–every year, for the last 30+ years proven reserves have increased.

        In your depressed imagination, that loaf on the table is all there is. So tighten your belt, and get ready to starve. But leave the rest of us alone–we’ve got work to do, putting more bread on the table. Step aside, Eeyore!

        Here is a small sampling of recent oil and gas discoveries–from just the last TWO WEEKS:

        Jul 17, 2014
        The ConocoPhillips-Karoon Gas Australia partnership has made a natural gas discovery with its latest Browse basin wildcat, Pharos-1, drilled in permit WA-398-P offshore Western Australia.

        Jul 15, 2014 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has made its third major oil discovery in the Jurassic-period Norphlet play in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico with the Rydberg exploration well, drilled 75 miles offshore on Mis…

        Jul 14, 2014
        VNG Norge AS has made an oil discovery in the Bue prospect near Njord field in the Norwegian Sea, while results from an appraisal well adjusted resource estimates for the Pil discovery.

        Jul 7, 2014
        Spain’s Repsol says it discovered oil with its TB14 well drilled on the TSP block offshore Trinidad and Tobago, upgrading the northern portion of Teak B field.

        Jul 7, 2014
        Improved recovery factors for Alberta’s bitumen sands are elevating the province’s reserves estimate to compete with some of the largest in the world.

        Jul 3, 2014
        OMV (Norge) AS, operator of PL 537 in the Barents Sea offshore Norway, estimates that its Hanssen discovery (Sto formation) contains 20-50 million boe, largely oil.

        Jul 2, 2014 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. reported that its Toro-1 exploration well, drilled in permit WA-430-P, has intersected about 150 m of gross natural gas (65 m net) within the Mungaroo formation target

      • David Springer


        Yeah boy. We’re melting oil out of tar sands at far greater cost than conventional oil because there’s just so much more conventional oil being discovered each year.

        Did your mother have any children who weren’t stupid?

      • Dave,

        Really no reason to call names–unless that’s the depth of your reason. If that’s it, go for it!

        Really not sure how to help you come back and live here on Earth. You’ve seen the continuous rise of proven petroleum reserves, 100+% increase over 30 years. Which part of that do you not understand?

        The technology to exploit tar sands has made it worthwhile. So they’re doing it.

        Just because there is a scrap metal industry, melting down cars for the steel and aluminum, doesn’t mean that there is no more iron in the ground.

        Same for oil and tar sands.

        Again, look at the year on year increase of proven oil reserves.

        Now let’s look at worldwide crude oil production:

        In 1980, we produced 59.4 million barrels a day.

        In 2012, we produced 74.6 million barrels a day.

        Not only are we finding more and more oil, but we extract more and more every year.

        Don’t worry! Be happy!

        CO2 is Plant Food!

      • Clearly some here are not knowledgeable about oil and natural gas supplies. The decline from existing fields is indeed about 5% a year, give or take a percentage point (it is hard to track precisely). The decline is higher for horizontal, fractured wells such as the Bakken formation in North Dakota, where the decline is much faster. But at the same time, we continue to find new fields. And we bring on new wells at a rate sufficient to increase overall production. However, this can’t go on forever. It is more likely that world production overall declines in a matter of decades than centuries. I pay particular attention, as I like to invest in E&P companies with new discoveries that put them on the upswing side of this cycle.

      • David L. Hagen

        Re: Bakken depletion is faster.
        Now that is a classic British understatement!
        As in 69%/year for the first year.
        “Tight oil” fields like the Bakken require repeated fracturing etc.
        See the “Red Queen” tight oil problem.
        For perspective see:
        Peak Oil and Energy Independence: Myth and Reality 2013

      • David L. Hagen

        Until you understand the issues, you cannot seek solutions.
        Your list of discoveries is very small compared to the magnitude of the issue. See oil discoveries vs production

        If you are serious on beginning to seek solutions, check out my MSc thesis:
        “Methanol: Its Synthesis, Use as a Fuel, Economics and Hazards.” Univ. Minnesota, December 1976, 180 pp., 608 Ref., NTIS Publication No. NP-21727 (NTIS best seller for 3 years)
        There I detailed the potential for synthetic fuel from sustainable resources to replace petroleum!

      • Dave,

        Congratulations on your research!

        Clearly you have an ulterior motive in this discussion.

        Seek solutions? To what problem?

        I’ve demonstrated to you, with exact numbers of billions of barrels of increased reserves, and with examples of multiple discoveries–just in the last two weeks–that our oil is NOT disappearing.

        Your search for an oil replacement has blinded you to the fact that oil is NOT disappearing. Our supply of oil GROWS each year!

        Surely that’s sort of a bummer, if your focus is on finding a replacement for oil. Sorry, but we don’t need one.

      • Dave,

        What withering logic you wield.

        The last refuge of a broken alarmist–unable to reason–is ad hominem attacks.

        A man is known as much by his enemies as by his friends.

        I’m quite proud to be on the other side as those you quote.

        Since you brought it up, here’s some more details about my efforts to convince those with information about grant fraud to take advantage of the Federal False Claims Act:

        Insiders blowing the whistle are nearly the only way to unravel a complicated scheme.

        Things are cooking, even as we speak. Stay tuned!

        And think positive, ok? Just look at the charts–oil reserves and production: up, up, up!

      • David L. Hagen

        Re: “oil is NOT disappearing. Our supply of oil GROWS each year!”
        Reality check: When you burn oil it “disappears” into CO2 + H2O.
        Oil is a finite resource. When you burn part of it, the balance DECLINES!
        You are confusing narrowly defined current accounting recoverable quantity statements with rate of production, as well as failing to distinguish between different types of “oil”. See Production costs of global conventional and unconventional petroleum
        The real price of imported oil has increased ~500% from ~$20/bbl in 1998 to ~$100/bbl in 2014. Per Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776), that is due to increasing scarcity relative to demand, not increasing abundance.

        Today we must also include the real cost of energy. See Charles Hall, Energy and the Wealth of Nations. See EROI of different fuels and the implications for society Hall et al. 2014. Biomass has only 1/3 the EROI needed to sustain civilization.
        Instead of illogical, unscientific statements, please rise to professional discourse or desist.
        Cc curryja

      • Dave,

        Thanks again for your efforts at teaching. Unfortunately, again, you need to learn before you teach.

        The resource, oil, being consumed comes from our reserves.

        Those reserves are GROWING!
        Every year proven reserves INCREASE.

        Not sure what is so difficult for you to understand. But it’s not that complicated. Oil is probably a limited resource–but the fact is that we just do not know how much oil is waiting to be discovered.

        The vast expanses of ocean floor have yet to even begin to be tapped for their resources. It’s likely that the proven reserves of oil we count today are a tiny fraction of the near-future resources we will discover.

        “The success of the Glomar Challenger was almost immediate. On Leg 1 Site 2 under a water depth of 1067 m (3500 ft), core samples revealed the existence of salt domes. Oil companies received samples after an agreement to publish their analyses. The potential of oil beneath deep ocean salt domes remains an important avenue for commercial development today.”

        When you finish the loaf of bread on your table, there’s still many, many more loaves. They’re at the store, in the warehouse, in grain silos, on the wheat stalk in the field, in seed, and in the fertile productive imagination of our farmers. It’s the beauty of our civilization–we overcome technical obstacles.

        Don’t despair! We are wily problem-solvers. There is much, much more oil yet to be discovered. Relax.

      • David L. Hagen

        Backdating is the key
        While current ‘reserves’ are increasing, the reality is that most of those fields were discovered in the mid ’60s. New field discoveries are far below current production rates. This is best explained by TOTAL geologist Jean Leherrere 2011
        Backdating is the key

      • Dave,

        New petroleum discoveries are non-stop–and will continue. We have explored a tiny fraction of the Earth’s vast mineral riches. The ocean floor (80% of surface?) is wide open for exploration.

        Stop being so negative! Think positive! Man’s ingenuity is the key to a bright future!

        It takes a lot of effort to ignore the non-stop massive new oil field discoveries. Here, I’ll help:

        June 2014: “Repsol said in a statement that the discoveries in two blocs could produce 240 million barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable resources. The Spanish company said it has been exploring the blocs since 2010.”

        2012: “The Bakken shale play is one of the biggest in the US, but is absolutely dwarfed by a shale play in Russia. The Bazhenov is located in Western Siberia, and according to Oswals Clint, Sanford Bernstein’s lead international oil analyst, it “covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined;” an area 80 times bigger than the Bakken.”

        Jan 2010: “State-controlled Rosneft said Thursday the Sevastyanovo field located in the Irkutsk region could hold more than 150 million tons of oil — or 1.1 billion barrels — but declined to provide further details. – See more at:

        2011: “Exillon Energy has discovered oil at the EWS I – 44 well on the south-eastern part of the East EWS I field in Siberia. The well flowed water-free oil naturally to the surface with a flow rate of 768 bbl/day on a 10mm choke.”

        2011: “Chinese geologists have detected ‘super-thick’ oil and gas-rich strata in the South China Sea and also identified 38 offshore oil and gas basins, a media report said Monday. – See more at:

        You can follow the good news too! It’s all available on AlGore’s amazing internet! Just Bing “oil discoveries”

      • David L. Hagen

        “Stop being so negative!”
        Try being commercially realistic. Only commercially competitive products will make a significant difference. e.g.
        Is the United States Sitting on Trillions of Barrels of Oil?

        The EIA estimates that there are about 2.9 trillion barrels of recoverable kerogen deposits worldwide, and nestled tight within the Wind River, Unita, and Wasach Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado is the largest kerogen deposit in the world, with about 1.8 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil. . . .
        To extract 1 million barrels per day — about 5% of U.S. daily consumption — it would require 12 gigawatts of dedicated electricity generation, 46 billion gallons of water per year, and mining and remediation of 500 million tons of rock per year. Just to give those numbers a little perspective, that’s enough power for 9 million homes, a 45-day water supply for all metropolitan New York City, and 50% of all coal produced in the U.S. last year.
        Based on a report in 2005, today’s oil prices would need to be in the $110-per-barrel range before it’s considered economically feasible.

        Shell cancelled its v large project.

        “Think positive! Man’s ingenuity is the key to a bright future!”
        I agree! I am.
        I await your commercially practical solutions to providing 7 million bbl/year every year for the next 40 years.

  16. Curious George

    “Not only do they have decades of experience managing risk and responding to conflict on the battlefield, but they are also experts in geopolitical analysis and long range strategic planning.”

    Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan.

  17. Yes, the same people who loathed the military before are now pointing at it for Global Warming propaganda.

    In other news, Al Gore made a Climate Change video.


  18. If the military is adopting it, it’s wrong.

    Catch 22 was about big organizations in general, but it also applies to the military that was its vehicle.

    Some General Scheisskopf is in charge of this.

  19. To me this document is a political document. You know the meme, ‘if the military take it seriously then, then, it must be true…’ can see no other reason for it than that.

  20. “I would hope everyone is trying to reduce consumption of scarce resources, like gas an water, and fixing dikes or whatever before the next storm.”

    Yes, sure.
    Only today you can’t do anything without mentioning the mantra “climate change”.

    I don’t buy the Bloomberg article. It’s pure hype and p.r. The army does what it has always done best: it wastes money. It’s all just empty talk. They are not saving energy, not saving water, not saving gas, not reducing emissions. They spend other people’s money and have absolutely no motivation to save anything. Empty talk. The reporter has no way of confirming that anything has been done…

    • jacob,

      What the US Army does best is destroy stuff and kill people.

      Paradoxically they also happen to be the best in the world at responding to disasters and building communities and helping people (along with their fellow service branches). So much so that for the last few decades it is the Department of Defense that gets the call when help is needed. Not State. Not FEMA. Not the UN.

  21. At this point you don’t need models or science, just extrapolation of 30-year trends. This may well be what the military are acting on: just what they see,
    not what people tell them is going to happen. It is a bonus that the science can also explain what is seen, but they likely would not have taken action if it was not already so obvious that the climate is changing. As it is, it would be just foolish to ignore the trends.

  22. In the government, you can be right 99.99999% of the time, and the public, and especially congress, will destroy an agency and your reputation / career if you are wrong .00001% of the time. The very first thing a senator or house member will ask is “where was your plan to adapt to climate change?” World stability is tied to agriculture and water. if people can’t eat, there is a increased chance of people rising against their government.

    The DOD is doing their job. They get dial-tone from the White House and they follow the orders of the Commander in Chief.

    • I think you have that bassakwards, Philbert. Government agencies lately are wrong 99% of the time and the money just rolls their way.

      • Jim2,
        Actually it is congress that directs the agencies to be wrong 99% of the time in your statement.

      • Actually, Philbert, the Administration runs the agencies. That’s why it’s called, well, The Administration.

      • Wrong again. The money that “rolls their way” comes from congress and they write the rules for how the agency operates.

      • Philbert – in the socialist government under which we exist, Congress writes broad rules and it’s up the the Administration to figure out how to “implement” them. That’s the was socialist governments work and that’s how faceless bureaucrats come to rule over out lives. That’s how the EPA classified a gas essential to life on Earth as a “dangerous gas.”

        Get a clue, Philbert.

  23. Your average military officer, retired or otherwise, has about as much expertise in climate science as Michael Mann does in waging war. You often hear how the military is more conservative than the populace at large. And that is true, among the enlisted and lower officer ranks.

    However, to reach the rank of general, or to be promoted once you become one, you have to be nominated by the president and approved by the Senate. More to the point, generals in the Army are treated like gods. Which does not do much to restrain sometimes already massive egos. (I have served as both an enlisted man, and as an officer in the Army, and had a lot of exposure to, and the “pleasure” of providing personal legal advice on occasion to, general officers.)

    Combine a dependence on politics for advancement, with a system that inflates your sense of your own brilliance, and it’s amazing they aren’t more progressive than they are. From global warming to abandonment of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” to dropping physical requirements to allow women to serve in combat MOSs, to sexual abuse witch hunts, the military is as attuned (and responsive) to the political zeitgeist as any institution in America. You want to see naked, bare knuckled politics in action? Look at the military procurement and base location processes.

    Particularly at a time when the military is being “down sized,” by people who revile it, the senior officer corps can become a political weather vane, shifting at the slightest breeze.

    “And finally, some reflection on the differences between the CNA Report and the military strategies reflected in the Bloomberg article. The difference between retired, more academic generals versus those with boots on the ground trying to solve real problems?”

    Politically both accept globalclimatewarmingchange as revealed holy writ. The real difference is that active duty officers have to produce actual budgets, and live within them. (If an officer spends more than Congress has made available to him, he can go to jail, unlike politicians who purchase lifetime tenure by doing the same.).

    ” It’s using more alternatives to oil, making its vehicles more efficient and designing lighter-weight equipment.”

    Well, they don’t mention which equipment they are making “lighter-weight,” but the military initially went to war in Iraq with light weight Humvees in Iraq, and many good men died because of it. Armor costs money, and burns fuel when you move it. But if you are the one whose life depends on its efficacy, you would probably prefer it was not designed based on some general’s need to please the Senate on climate change.

    The military serves one of the core legitimate functions of government. Being prepared to fight wars, and actually fighting them, to protect the nation. I am not surprised however, to find that procurement decisions are being made on political grounds. That has always been the case.

    I love the Army, and am proud to have served in the military. But they should stick to what they do best, and leave the politics to Mann, Hansen and Al Gore.

    Has anyone asked to see their cost benefit analyses on the benefits to the “climate,” vs. the cost to the military, of their policies?

    • ==> “Combine a dependence on politics for advancement, with a system that inflates your sense of your own brilliance, and it’s amazing they aren’t more progressive than they are.”

      GaryM always comes up with gems.

      His logic is perfect. The equation is foolproof. The more malevolent, immoral, dishonorable, and depraved you are, the more progressive you are. If you want to judge someone’s progressiveness, just measure their negative attributes. If you want to judge someone’s negative attributes, just measure their progressiveness.

      And of course, it’s only a coincidence, but if you want to measure how malevolent and immoral someone is, just measure how much they disagree with Gary’s personal opinions.

      It’s foolproof.

    • … to sexual abuse witch hunts,…

      And notice how he zeroes in on what’s important. It isn’t the level of sexual abuse that he feels noteworthy. It’s the level of “sexual abuse witch hunts.”

    • nottawa rafter

      With this pronouncement by the top command you can bet the smallest percent of skeptics of any institution on earth is in the US military. I can just see a Lt JG telling the CNO that there are some real uncertainties about CAGW. Makes academia look like a free for all.

      • Google after action review. That methodology implements skepticism in a systematic and productive fashion. It is far more emblematic of skepticism than what you’ll find characterizing the comments at Climate Etc.

        It appears that your assumption was very unskeptical.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Google after action review.”

        totally unrelated to the topic.

        you probably meant murder board.

  24. The military is doing what is necessary to survive in an era of a publicly funded military: keeping a wary eye to the moods and sentiments of the public, lest the public withdraws its support or interest leaving the military to hang out to dry; ala, Viet Nam.

    Every since the decline in extreme wealth which had been concentrated in very few hands, private armies became unaffordable and public funded militaries became essential. Our American Revolution typified the transition from what had been absolute monarchies to Parlimentary supported semi-private funding from Kings and Queens to rag-tag militias supported solely by citizen taxes levied by representative governance.

    With the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald, the public leadership for a continuance of the “containment policy of the Soviet Union” which had governed Allied thinking after WW II, collapsed. USA citizen interests were focused upon domestic Social Issues and had no interest in global strategies, which by the way, requires an intact and supported military.

    It comes as no surprise that our current Military is now visibly articulating climate change adaptive and mitigative strategies as it strives to maintain public support after a war. In our Country’s history, after a prolonged and costly conflict, the public’s support of a military wanes considerably. The military requires strong leadership from the White House to remain viable to fight and win our country’s wars. Obama’s price for his support of the military is greening of the military: Green cash For Green rhetoric. The joint fighter is barely off the ground. There is another flat-top in the offing as there is a swing to the Asian theater for threats and encroachments.

    Above all else, our military needs to maintain air superiority, otherwise everything else is arm-chair strategizing. That superiority is costly so the military is willing to spend a few bucks on an electric tank to run around some US base’s proving ground to satisfy some green agenda cabal, while putting significant resources into intelligence gathering and air superiority so that drones in the sky and soldiers on the ground can operate without too much risk.

    We must remember that the current crop of self-made billionaires supporting the Green Agenda, are products of the Viet Nam era where their catch-phrase was: “Military intelligence is an oxymoron.”

    Maintaining public support is job # 1, everything else follows.

  25. The scam at the Defense Department is even worse than you imagine.
    Obama regime cronies fed crony capitalists “stimulus” payoffs.
    The regime imposed requirements on our military to reduce use of “carbon fuels,” based on the theory that man’s activity is causing climate catastrophes.

    The DOD is forced to buy “algae diesel” from Obama crony companies.

    One such company, Solazyme, crows about this on its website. Apparently, the best it could do in this effort was,

    “In 2010, we delivered over 80,000 liters of algal-derived marine diesel and jet fuel to the U.S. Navy, constituting the world’s largest delivery of 100% microbial-derived, non-ethanol biofuel. Subsequently, we were awarded another contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for production of up to 550,000 additional liters of naval distillate (SoladieselHRF-76® marine fuel).”

    80,000 liters! One can only imagine what DOD paid for that tiny delivery of scam fuel.

    A container ship burns 120 gallons of fuel each mile it travels (or so).

    The enormity of the scam, and its cost, is mind-boggling.

    “Ecofanaticism: SolyndraGate was no isolated case of corrupt government misspending. The U.S. Navy was just forced to buy 450,000 gallons of biofuels from an Obama-connected firm at an outrageous $16 per gallon.”

    $16 per gallon!

    What a deal!

    Could the cronies who got the contract possibly be connected to the Obama regime? What else?

    “a member of Obama’s presidential transition team, T. J. Glauthier, is a ‘strategic advisor’ at Solazyme, the California company that is selling a portion of the biofuel to the Navy. Glauthier worked — shock, shock — on the energy-sector portion of the 2009 stimulus bill.”

  26. –When it comes to thinking through long-term global challenges, none are more qualified than our most senior military leaders.–

    IF there is a real threat, then the Military can best qualified.
    Part of what make military good at dealing with real threats, is they have lots of young people who are very motivitated.
    And with all brainwashing of CAGW which is wide spread, this normally “good asset” has been severely compromised.
    And in general note, military is more vulnerable to “group think”, this can be mitigated with outside experts, but with climate field, one doesn’t have any qualified independent experts for the military to draw upon.

  27. Adam Gallon

    Maybe the Pentagon can declare war against Australia?
    Seems to be the cause of a lot of warming!

  28. JJM Gommers

    The US government/military will have a big surprise the coming year. The issue is an energy crises(imminent) not a climate crises. What,s going on is to handle the energy problem as an climate change issue. The latter is a project under UN authority. Given the geopolitical tension at the moment, east versus west, and the fact the climate change is a marginal phenomenon, the conference in Paris 2015 will end in a deadlock

  29. Visit Norfolk VA and you may figure out why the Navy is hot and bothered.

    • The Navy is hot and bothered in Norfolk?

      • By the same reasoning the Navy must be cool and smug in Juneau.

        As for my part of the world, worn-down, stable old Australia, sea level rise is altogether too sluggish for a good alarm. Disappointing, really, when you consider you could have walked from Melbourne to Tassie a relatively short ten thousand years ago. We’ve had a bit of rise over the last couple of hundred years, but our climate priesthood has to wait for a really good coastal storm to get any photo ops at all.

    • Eli,

      Are you referring to the issues resulting from subsidence and infilling of coastal marsh land?

    • I had to stop at 12m – straw men bayoneted is not a spectator sport.

  30. michael hart

    Does the Pentagon think that global-warming will weigh any less heavily on potential adversaries, if it weighs on anyone at all?

    Military hardware costs a lot of money. What are the national security ramifications of policies that undermine the economy if the biggest strategic competitor (China) does not adopt those policies?

    Wealth is currently the single biggest advantage the US military holds over all threats, real or imagined. Self-impoverisment does not look sensible.

  31. Eastern Europe, Russia and the gas spats; Middle East, Venezuela and Nigeria…

    Meanwhile, the developed West is talking about “tackling” climate change with toy technologies at trillion dollar prices. They are talking about wilfully turning their backs on domestic and local energy resources, especially coal power? And there are bureaucrat soldiers going along with all this?

    Guys, get the kids out of the kitchen. Get ’em out NOW.

  32. All this climate change rhetoric is more about energy security than actual climate change. Why not be honest with the people and say so. Be truthful and say we need to conserve energy for ourselves, our future and the environment. Maybe then we could all agree that it’s a good idea and in the end that will affect the climate if only slightly hopefully and if not the at least we tried.

    But also on the other hand it needs to be universal across the world and not just a few countries here and there which is the biggest dellema. If governments are so convinced that the science on climate change is correct then why haven’t they mandated that all household dwellings have solar panels. I believe the reasons why not is that for one they haven’t convinced the people and two they really don’t believe it themselves.

    Take Australia as an example; we had a carbon tax and now that tax has been repealed because all it has done is to raise the price of everything that uses energy and our net reduction on the temperature of the planet was something like 0.00027 deg Celsius. Our basic electricity charge was around $0.18/kWh back in 2006 but since the GFC and the carbon tax our rates have gone to $0.28/kWh and projected to go much higher. But get this, here is the real kicker. In Australia we have reduced our energy consumption at a residential level by a rather large percentage and now we are being told that the price of electricity has to increase to higher levels because we are using less. So we have to pay more for using less, that doesn’t make sense. But the reason is that the energy retailers have been making less profits so we need to give them more profits. That is nothing less than criminal and has nothing to do with the environment but corporate greed pure and simple.

    Cap and trade which everybody seems to be pushing for is nothing more that a con. It’s about giving money to other countries who seem greener but it’s all a smokescreen for taking wealth from one part of the world and giving it to poorer nations. You cannot help somebody who will not help themselves. This is the solution the UN has come up with to solve problems in Africa, India, China etc. The US believes in military action whilst the UN believes in money to solve political corruption, pursecution and poverty.

    In conclusion people, don’t be conned that climate change has anything to do with protecting the climate, after all this is coming from the UN and they have an agenda. The UN are power hungry failed or retired bureaucrats who try to regain power on the world stage. Their agenda is a one world government to control your lives 100% and climate change is the first step.

    • John +1

      Energy pricing in Australia is a hot potato, mainly because State Governments have artificially kept emergy price increases below commercially viable levels for far too long and something has to give.

  33. Is this the same US military that is getting ready to fight the zombie invasion?

    ‘This is not a joke’: U.S. military creates plans to fight off zombie invasion, other ‘evil magic’

  34. Wow, today’s blog topic has really brought out the Obama haters and Tea Party types — showing what really drives their “science” perspective on GW.

    Over two-thirds of our casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan have come from IEDs, mostly associated with roadside bombs targeted to convoys transporting fuel and water.

    Per the Bloomberg article, the U.S. Military has achieved ~20% reductions in fuel and water use — which save lives of the brave soldiers who protect our freedoms.

    U.S. Marine Corps magazines have frequently had stories on how the use of renewables and energy efficiency improvements in the field make us a better fighting force.

    • k scott denison

      Quick, Stephen, name the top three accomplishments of the Obama administration and what metrics you are using to measure them as a success.

      • k scott denison: I hate to see such low-brow us-vs-them party politics brought into the climate debate, but I must take that bait. A few nice accomplishments of the Obama Admin, in my eyes:
        –Navigated the Libya revolt rather successfully, IMO, while some in congress were itching to get us more involved/entangled;
        –Has done fairly well on Syria and Iraq (for now), again all while some in congress were itching for us to get more entangled (it seems with those folks generally with an overly simplistic view of the nature of the conflict)
        –the success of ACA/ObamaCare remains to be seen, but after 20+ years of people talking about the problems in our expensive healthcare system, the Obama admin actually got through an attempt to improve it. Love it or hate it, good or bad, it was an attempt, and it was something he campaigned on very directly. It was a campaign promise fulfilled, not broken.
        –I could even talk about fiscal improvements. Half of that credit goes to the GOP congress (capping spending) but half goes to the Dems (returning to pre-Bush tax rates for some).

        And we could talk about some failures too, but that is not what you asked.

        FWIW, all this comes from a AGW skeptic.

      • k scott denison

        You mean Libya where our Ambassador and others were assassinated?

        Strike one.

        Oh, Syria where ISIS now controls much of the territory?

        Strike two.

        The ACA, where fewer than 50% of the supposed beneficiaries have signed up and no one has seen the promised $2,500 reduction in premiums? Not to mention “if you like your doctor…”

        Strike three.

        But thanks for playing.

      • If only he’d paid attention to the climate in between rounds of golf instead of dealing with the Middle East.

      • oh, k scott denison, I think you just showed how ill-informed you are…and it’s an example of how some in congress would get the US entangled over and over in more messes. You see, the US is for ISIS in Syria, but against ISIS in Iraq. (It is not quite that simple either, but that is closer to the complex situation it is than what you spouted off.)

        As for your other flame throwing, the over-hyped Benghazi mess doesn’t change how well our strategic and limited revolt-assistance was handled (they own their revolution, not us!), and your ACA comments are just more partisan bloviating. I thought maybe you were up for serious discussion. Obama is not all good nor all bad, and the same goes for the GOP, though people like you require me to struggle to remember that. (you can gladly have the last word on this, I won’t be back to this thread.)

      • CS

        As somone who voted for Obama in 2008 I suggest your summary of his accomplishments is poorly stated.

        You wrote:
        Navigated the Libya revolt rather successfully, in your opinion – Is there a reasonably stable functioning government in Libya today? No- there is not. How can what was do be deemed a sucess? What was the goal?

        Has done fairly well on Syria and Iraq– (for now). The administration did a terrible job of establishing and then ignoring a “red line” on the use of chemical weapons. The administration did a terrible job of (not) providing support on a timely basis to the anti Syrian government groups that are not Islamic fundamentalists. The Obama administration did a terrible job of not forcing the Iraq administration to accept US troops staying under a status of forces agreement and sharing power with the Kurds and Sunis

        –the success of ACA/ObamaCare remains to be seen. Obama bet everything on forcing his new healthcare system through with no support from his opponents. He lost the ability to work with his opponents as a result. Now it turns out that the actual legislation that was passed is poorly written and needs changes and he wonders why his opponents won’t work with him.

        –I could even talk about fiscal improvements- He could have/should have invested in major infrastructure projects in 2009. He wasted time and funds looking for projects that would provide rapid impacts on the economy vs. projects that would provide fundamental improvements. He is ignoring the long term budgetary imbalance.

        He is the 2nd worst president in my lifetime-imho. I write this as an independent and not a republican.

      • k scott denison

        Rob, I am also and independent and will agree with you when you say our current president is right up there with Jimmy Carter in a neck-and-neck race of the most ineffective presidents of my (our) lifetime. After those two, there is a huge gap to “third place”.

        Most effective? Clinton and Reagan… both of whom figured out how to work with the other side to get things done.

      • CS,

        While failing to know (or decide) how to act can sometimes be a good thing, particularly when there is no clear “good” option, claiming it as a success is a bit of a stretch.

        I’ll credit the Administration for choosing to stay relatively uninvolved in Libya, but they tossed most of that in their bumbling of the Benghazi episode.

        I also gave credit for staying pretty much hands off in Sryia – until that conflict spilled over the border into Iraq.

        The President gets no credit for Iraq itself, as he had effectively washed his hands of the situation and managed the added accomplishment of providing Maliki with reason to believe the US was ok with his plans to implement Shia domination of the government. Our President may have managed what I once thought of as an unlikely event – placed himself in the running with Paul Bremer for making the single biggest mistake with regard to Iraq.

      • CS | July 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        oh, k scott denison, I think you just showed how ill-informed you are…and it’s an example of how some in congress would get the US entangled over and over in more messes. You see, the US is for ISIS in Syria, but against ISIS in Iraq. (It is not quite that simple either, but that is closer to the complex situation it is than what you spouted off.)
        Well, didn’t take you long to resort to ad hominems. Oh, and thanks for making my point with your observation on ISIS. Did you say that with a straight face?

        Quick question: is being for ISIS in Syria and against them in Iraq like being for the Nazis in Poland but against them in France? Or is it more like being for the Soviets in Germany but against them in Poland? I can never tell.

      • The whole ISIS thing is fallout from his f’up in Syria.

    • Stephen,

      Well, since you brought up the Obama regime and casualties, why don’t we examine those numbers?

      In no year during the Bush administration did American deaths exceed 100 (most was 99 in 2005) in Afghanistan.

      Under Obama’s “Green” regime, no year has seen LESS than 127 (in 2013) American deaths in Afghanistan.

      The other Obama “Green Military” death figures in Afghanistan are:
      2009: 317
      2010: 499
      2011: 418
      2012: 310

      Did the numbers of deaths skyrocket due to algae-based fuels? Don’t know. But we surely know that they did not go down.

      As for the Marine Corps public relations rags touting the “better fighting force” due to Obama’s policies–what do you think an administration PR organ would say?

      • Kent,

        To be fair, one has to look at tempo of operations when comparing casualty figures.

    • “Per the Bloomberg article, the U.S. Military has achieved ~20% reductions in fuel and water use — which save lives of the brave soldiers who protect our freedoms.”

      Yeah….uhhh…. no. Those figures are DOD wide, not Iraq and Afghanistan. Note the asterisk for reduction in water and energy use. “Energy use and drinking water consume[d] are measured per square foot of building space.”

      Here’s a hint, they’re not referring to quonset huts in Afghanistan as “building space.” There is absolutely no relation between these efforts at political correctness and “sav[ing] lives of the brave soldiers who protect our freedoms.”

      More efficient flush toilets in the Pentagon may be a good idea, but combat life savers they’re not.

  35. k scott denison

    Well I’ll give you this Stephan, you’re not quick.

  36. Mobility is all important to the military. That means having good logistic support. If we can’t move because batteries have to be charged, that is unacceptable. What is needed is a ready supply of charged, plug in battery packs. I doubt that any army has this capability at present. As for air force, I can’t see it ever being dependent on electric power. Jet power is absolutely dependent on liquid fuel, not batteries. I can’t ever see the Pentagon getting that fanciful. Only the navy seems prepared with nuclear powered ships.

    A green military seems to be a long way off.

  37. Stephen,

    As for your assertion that, to paraphrase, “Thanks to Obama’s wonderful Green intiatives our troops require less food and fuel, therefore they are less liable to be victims of an IED attack.”

    That’s total bunk, to put it nicely, and mildly.

    There exists an enormous group of specialists which has been feverishly working to defeat IEDs for the last 10 years–JIEEDO.

    They have seen some success, and their efforts are widely reported–at least the unclassified portions.

    According to JIEEDO, their success has “…been achieved by spending $45 billion on armored vehicles and more than $20 billion on training for troops, acquiring high-tech bomb detectors and surveillance gear and using CSI-style investigation techniques to break up the insurgent networks that make and emplace the bombs.”

    Nothing in their information about Green fuels, or renewables responsible for their success.

    Welcome to reality. It may suck at first, but once you get used to it–it’s a refreshing change from Utopia!

  38. Chuck Nolan

    I don’t know if the brass believe the CAGW meme but the action they took would be more or less acceptable imho.
    They didn’t seek out a supply of carbon credits and spend taxpayer money on pieces of paper that will make Wall Street richer and they didn’t immediately rush out and pay the government more in taxes to save the world. They know the cures being proposed are stupid. They understand if you piss away resources you won’t have the ability to take action against future emergencies, whatever the cause.

  39. I don’t see any evidence from the BV piece that the Pentagon is preparing for overall warmer weather or is concerned about its own activities contributing to same. I do see a combination of 1) sensible attempts to reduce the logistical “tail” of fuel-dependent units, 2) reasonable attempts to develop protable off-grid power sources since military action is often expeditionary, 3) lip service to political agendas coming down from Congress and the White House, and 4) some typical crony capitalist rent-seeking by politically connected purveyors of “biofuel” and the like.

    None of 1-4 is likely to make much of a dent in the military’s overall, total fossil-fuel consumption. And it is completely silly to suppose that the military’s hedges against logistical disruption have anything to say about cost-effective commercial production of goods and services. Lots of things that would be wasteful if done commercially are de rigeur for the military, e.g. input stockpiles, accumulation of excess reserve personnel, planning for unlikely contingencies, etc.

    Finally, Judith gets it wrong when she equates optimization to picking one scenario and making decisions as if that one scenario were certain. Basic decision theory says the exact opposite thing about optimization under uncertainty. So-called “robust” decision making is just a particular strategy for attempting to get closer to the across-states-of-the-world optimum.

  40. “Eisenhower’s scientific advisor James Killian said ‘Repeatedly, I saw Ike angered by the excesses, both in text and advertising, of the aerospace-electronics press, which advocated ever bigger and better weapons to meet an ever bigger and better Soviet threat they had conjured up.”

  41. Valar Morghulis

    I am a retired military officer and an Army civilian. Please don’t give us too much credit. This is all ate up with political correctness. They were in our offices last week installing movement sensors on the lights. I assume they were doing it all over post. I wonder how long it will take to recover the energy to pay for that. A lot of scarce resources are being thrown at this while we hollow out our military and as the last few days have shown the world is anything but “tranquil.”

    • Yes Valar, when Obama get’s through eviscerating our military, it will only be fit for fighting the war against climate change.

  42. Yes Valar, when Obama get’s through eviscerating our military

    What a dumb thing to say We spend more on our military than any other country by a very very wide margin. And if we faced an existential threat we could use our nukes to blow the enemy to kingdom come.

    • Don Monfort

      You are a foolish little dude, joey. I don’t have time for you.

      • Ahem, Don, that’s Obama’s golf partner you’re dissing. He’s got the ear of the man with the football.

      • Little joey is probably one of Obama’s top national security advisers. We probably shouldn’t rile the little clown.

    • nottawa rafter

      John and Nikita were smart enough to know that strategy doesn’t work. Why aren’t you?

    • “And if we faced an existential threat we could use our nukes to blow the enemy to kingdom come.”

      Nukes are supposed to be a last resort, not a first resort.

      • I said that we could use nukes only if we face an “existential” threat (i.e. we faced an invading force that could potentially take over the country)

      • Joseph,

        You do not understand the underlying strategy of US nuclear war fighting. It has very little to do with employment against an invading enemy. Almost nothing in fact.

        The primary purpose of the US nuclear force structure is as a deterrent to nuclear war fighting. It’s most fundamental precept is survivability – the ability to ride out a first strike and still be capable of devestating an opponent so greatly as to eliminate them from pursuing any followup action.

        The reason that prevention of a nuclear capability for North Korea and Iran is so high on the list of concerns is the potential of either not being rational actors. Deterrence may not be as effective when the other guy is irrational.

      • I know what the purpose of the nuclear arsenal is. But if we faced an existential threat, I don’t think we would hesitate to use them.

      • Right, but for them to be effective the enemy needs to be rational, be concentrated, and have distinguishable supply lines.

      • Joseph,

        You say you “know what the purpose of the nuclear arsenal is” and then go on with your existential threat line. Unless you are of the opinion that attack by extraterrestrial aliens is a real possibility, there is no “existential threat” out there that current US nuclear weapons policy has as an objective, other than what I explained above.

  43. It used to be a green general only lost battles and got soldiers killed. Now they’re tearing down global economies. Well, destruction is what they do best.

  44. son of mulder
    • son of mulder

      Good. A precision strike from the military has excised the hockeyschtick posting.l

  45. catweazle666

    Seems to me we’ve been here before.

    “The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climate change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600- 1850) – an era of drought, famine and political unrest in the western world.

  46. “U.S. conservatives make at least two arguments against action on climate change: We don’t have enough conclusive evidence to prove it is happening, and even if we did … ”

    It’s rather amazing that journalists today still get away with effectively saying people deny the climate changes. It’s such a feeble characterization of the debate that it should automatically disqualify reporters from covering it.

  47. I wonder if these are the same idjuts who Replaced the Macinaw ice breaker in the Great Lakes with a lighter duty one, probably on account of the idea that Ice would be a distant memory for our grandchildren, and then it wasn’t up to the task this past winter?

  48. “It’s using more alternatives to oil, making its vehicles more efficient and designing lighter-weight equipment. It’s getting more employees to work remotely, more often. It has gotten rid of unnecessary vehicles, and replaced more of those that were left with smaller vehicles or ones run on electricity.” What about a Hummer driven by an electric motor instead of an Abrams tank i the desert? It has already got a lot of employees to work remotely – drones. Will also soon have pilotless fighter planes. They found in Iraq and Afhganistan that lighter vehicles simply were blown up. Wonder what kind of military you Americans will end up with. Seems to me that national security is more important than fighting CO2 emissions. How many fractions of a degree of F will global temperatures be reduced thanks to US military? 0.0001F or am I exaggerating? Where are the generals of the stature of Patton, Eisenhower and McArthur or an admiral like Halsey who fought real rather than imaginary enemies?

  49. “It’s using more alternatives to oil”
    There are no alternatives… unless it’s biofuel – in that case it’s a pure waste of money, doesn’t reduce emissions, and also burns food.

    So, they are doing politically correct but useless and silly gestures for p.r. purposes, not combating climate change.

    • When money is no object there are plenty of alternatives.

      • Yes, but none of the alternatives reduces emissions, just like bio-fuels don’t.

      • jacobress, “Yes, but none of the alternatives reduces emissions, just like bio-fuels don’t.”

        No, you can use solar, wind or nuclear electric to electrolysis water and CO2 to recombine into hydrocarbons. Insanely expensive, but just one of the Navy’s research efforts.

        Think what you can do with an unlimited budget.

      • Insanely expensive, […]

        At the moment…

        But 30-50 years from now? Who knows? And the way the costs of such technology evolve isn’t set in stone, it depends on what incentives are provided for the appropriate R&D.

      • Turning water into fuel: they are not “doing it”. They are researching it. Researching is fine. It’s a dream. Might come true, but most probably it won’t.
        So, they are not preventing climate change at all – just researching.

        By the way: in Germany they have built experimental plants to turn water and co2 into synthetic gas (fuel), using surplus electricity from solar panels and windmills. That is a way of storing energy. It is still a long way from being practicable in significant quantities.

        Speaking of sea water to fuel plant: a jet plane burns dozens of tons of fuel per hour. It may take such a plant a year to produce that much fuel. It’s not only a matter if it can be done, and at what cost. There is also the question: in what quantities.

      • jacobress, “It’s not only a matter if it can be done, and at what cost. There is also the question: in what quantities.”

        Exactly. With alternate fuels you have the issue of multiple promising technologies. It is easy to pick a loser if you jump the technological gun. Right now catalyst doped graphene could be the “technology” of the future or bacteria modification. There is also plasma furnace fischer trope with nano-particle catalysts, a slight modification of a proven technology that could be “it”. That means research not full scale production with a realistic fuel cost goal in mind. Since the greenies seem to like taxing the hell out of fuels, nearly anything “could” be cheap by comparison.

      • “With alternate fuels you have the issue of multiple promising technologies. ”

        I wouldn’t call them “promising technologies”. I would call them “vague ideas”.

  50. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your courage in dragging leaders of the US Pentagon into this fray.

    They or their Commander-in-Chief can begin by answering a frank, one-page message left unanswered by staff members of the Congressional Space Science & Technology Committee for the past seven months: WHY ? :

  51. “It has gotten rid of unnecessary vehicles”

    Oh! what geniuses! If it weren’t for climate change they’d still operate unnecessary vehicles, just for fun.

  52. “or ones [vehicles that] run on electricity.”
    And when the battery runs dry they just summon a helicopter to bring a replacement battery.

  53. “….and replaced more of those that were left with smaller vehicles ”
    Smaller vehicles… what a wonderful and original idea… so now they use one small vehicle for the crew and another for the gear and ammo, right? (Instead of one big vehicle that carries everything).

  54. Pingback: The Pentagon’s War Against Climate Change | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  55. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    John Peter asks  “Where are the generals of the stature of Patton, Eisenhower and McArthur or an admiral like Halsey who fought real rather than imaginary enemies?”

    More better that America seek generals possessing the foresighted qualities of the Nobel-winning general who *HIRED* Patton, Eisenhower, McArthur, and Halsey: General George C. Marshall, who was himself hired by America’s great wartime *AND* peacetime president: Franklin Roosevelt

    Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.

    It is well to remember too the maxim of General Malin Craig (who was General Marshall’s great predecessor as Chief of Staff):

    “Time is the only thing that may be irrevocably lost.”

    Conclusion  History shows us plainly that willful ignorance and self-serving short-sightedness — so ardently embraced the present era’s market fundamentalists and climate-change denialistsnbsp;— harms the great causes of freedom, security, and prosperity mainly by its irrevocable loss of time.

    This lesson-of-history is obvious to *EVERYONE* — generals *AND* scientists *AND* young people especially — eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Followup  Lt. Col. David Couvillon’s hilarious-yet-true essay is recommended (as an antidote) to all Climate Etc neo-conservatives and market-fundamentalists.

      (8)  The Job of “Governor” Comes With Precisely Zero Training

      (7)  It Includes a Vast Amount of Power

      (6)  When in Doubt: Mustaches

      (5)  People Everywhere Love P**n — Some, Too Much

      (4)  Undisputed Rulers Get Surprisingly Little Overtime

      (3)  Democracy Is Hard When You’re Used to Dictatorship

      (2)  If You Don’t Want to Be Treated Like a Despot, Don’t Dress Like One

      (1)  Sometimes Bureaucracy Is More Dangerous Than Terrorism

      The unholy triad of Big Carbon, Big Ignorance, and Big Terror ain’t easily broken, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Conclusion  Every democratic nation gains substantially — economically, strategically, technologically, ecologically, and sustainably — by transitioning to carbon-neutrality economies as rapidly as feasible.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  56. The use of drones accomplishes some of the reduction, and vulnerability, goals stated in the article. Energy independence in the CONUS is easily achieved if we rid ourselves of the self imposed energy handicaps the POTUS has invoked upon the US.

    Hope 4 change you can believe in!

  57. Tesla could help the military establish charging stations in war zones. :)

  58. To all the bio-fuel “Bashers”: I’m wondering if any effort to even try and explain some of the things bio-fuels have already addressed and additional areas biofuels are trying to address in R&D is even worthwhile to you.

    But, I have some questions first. Do you know about gasoline’s components? Do you know about octane and oxygenates? Do you believe in the consensus health science that lead and additives like MTBE cause significant health issues? Do you know about reformates and alkylates — and their market price (New York Harbor)? Do you know what the current efficiency of a car auto engine is? Do you know about auto compression ratios? Do you know about turbo-charging technology?

    Do you know how turbo-charging (where we a just beginning to see glimpses of this technology being introduced in the market with Volvo and with Ford’s Eco-boost) fits in with the major Auto R&D efforts to dramatically increase engine efficiency (especially getting the same power out of much smaller engines)?

    Are you an “expert” on exactly what the Military is testing on biofuels and why? If so, please enlighten us.

    Or — is all of this stuff just another “conspiracy” and Obama’s cronyism and Liberal Green Agenda efforts to take away our personal freedoms? I think I already know your answer and conclusion.

    • k scott denison

      Stephen, here’s what I know:

      I pay more for a gallon of “gas” because it must contain ethanol.

      It takes more energy to produce that ethanol than I get out of it.

      My gas mileage suffers because of that ethanol.

      The market for E85 fueled vehicles is minuscule because consumers don’t want it.

      Shall I go on?

      Oh, yeah, and I also know that turbocharged engines are great as I drive an Audi A6 with a 3.0T turbocharged engine that delivers 310 HP.

    • I’m not a “bio-fuels basher”, I’m a mandates and subsidies “basher”.,.

      You are trying to say bio-fuels are useful. I don’t know, I’m no expert in bio-fuels,

      What I know is this: if they were useful people would use them without Government mandates and subsidies, imposed for ideological reasons (climate change ideology).

      So, scrap those mandates and subsidies, and let people use what’s best and most useful.

      • Jacobress — Your premise here is that “Industry” will always do the right thing — always put human health above profit bottom line. History clearly shows this isn’t the case.

        If Richard Nixon tried to do today (in creating the EPA), he would be branded a LIBERAL. So would President Reagan on his landmark environmental achievement on ozone depletion and George H.W. Bush on Acid Rain.

    • “Or — is all of this stuff just another “conspiracy” and Obama’s cronyism and Liberal Green Agenda efforts to take away our personal freedoms?”

      Since you asked – here is the answer: It’s an ideologically driven idiocy.

    • Stephen,

      I honestly do not see how any of the points above relate to biofuels.

      I do not consider myself anti – bio fuel. I do believe that the primary biofuel in the US – ethanol – has more to do with the agriculture lobby than anything else. One could make a case on the energy independence issue, but right now that really has no legs. What one cannot do is argue that biofuels are a means to address global warming. And if we were really serious about it, we’d be importing (or grow more) sugar, rather than using corn.

      • Timg56 — The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) was enacted under President George W. Bush and clearly had nothing to do with GW.

        The environmental “roots” of ethanol are based on octane and oxygenate NEEDS of gasoline blending.

        In the current ethanol debate, the “true” issue is something called the blend wall (a blending rate of ~10%).

        ~10% ethanol blending is in most gasoline for octane and oxygenate requirements. Unblended gasoline (about 84 octane) needs an additive boost to a minimum of 87 for good performance in today’s engines. Ethanol (E-100) has octane of 113. This boost used to come from lead, but today only a handful of countries have not banned this (e.g., bad places like North Korea, Afghanistan, Burma).

        Most developed countries now also require an oxygenate in gasoline for cleaner air. Now there are alternatives to ethanol (reformates and alkylates) — but the last time I checked (commodity New York Harbor prices), these alternatives were about $1.50 per gallon higher than ethanol. This primarily explains the big jump in gasoline prices at the pump when you go from regular gas to higher octane levels/blends.

        This also explains why Saudi Arabia is a big importer of U.S. ethanol — as it represents a lower cost option than octane and oxygenates that they could make (e.g., reformates and alkylates).

        The environmental “problem” of just eliminating the RFS is that basically EPA Regs are wrapped up in the RFS. To give Refiners more flexibility, the EPA removed most oxygenate requirements from the Regs.

        Eliminating the RFS would mean the EPA would have to go back and re-write oxygenate requirements (something that not even the Industry wants).

        Now, I know of no “clean air” oxygenate argument where blending rates above 10% have significant health benefits. And this is the issue.

        I’m in the ethanol business (non-corn), and I personally believe that ethanol use above the current blend wall (~10%) should be market driven based on price competitiveness. This is the “model” in Brazil.

      • Stephen,

        Thanks for the informative reply. I think you would find me pretty much in agreement with you. Note I never said anything about repealing RFS. And my reference to use of sugar (cane or beet) rather than corn was in fact a reference to Brazil’s model.

  59. k scott denison — Tell me your “expert” opinion (with some wide spread “expert” opinion references) to the question — OK, let’s just eliminate all use of ethanol, what happens?

    Tell me about octane and oxgenate requirements (or are these requirements a conspiracy?) Tell me about reformates and alkylates and their cost. Thanks.

    • “Tell me about octane and oxgenate requirements”…
      Why is the Government FORCING people to use this or that fuel? (Ethanol mandates) ? Why does it have to force them? Are car producers and users too dumb to know which is the best fuel? Has the Government monopoly on wisdom and knowledge ?

    • The cost of operating my car goes down and the mileage I get goes up. Pretty simple.

  60. k scott denison — Why in the world would Saudi Arabia be one of the largest import markets for U.S. ethanol where the Saudi’s blend ethanol into their gasoline?

    Has Obama somehow figured out how to control the minds of Saudi leaders with his high cost “Green Agenda”?

    • Let the Saudis do what they want, I don’t care. But, why does the US government and the EU government FORCE us, by law, to use dozens of billions of gallons of ethanol ? (The LAWS specify exactly how many billions of gallons have to be blended into the gasoline each year).

      As for you, personally – feel free to copy and imitate whatever you like from Saudi practice, from forbidding women to drive, to chopping the hands of thieves.

    • The cost of operating my car goes down and the mileage per gallon I get goes up. It’s pretty simple Stephan.

      • k scott,

        If I understand Stephen correctly, the primary purpose of ethanol is to boost octane levels.

        That proponents of action to address GW, believers in energy independence or big ag all produce their own claims in support of ethanol production becomes irrelevant once the above is taken into account.

    • Not a clue as to why Saudi Arabia does what it does. Why don’t they let women drive? Should we follow their lead?

  61. Dr. Curry ==> Is this a typo ? => favorrobust as in “The U.S. military is rejecting optimal decision making (betting on one particularly certainty happening) in favorrobust decision making,…”

  62. It seems that these actions are all sensible “The Department of Defense has also demonstrated that cutting carbon emissions can be done sensibly. It’s using more alternatives to oil, making its vehicles more efficient and designing lighter-weight equipment. It’s getting more employees to work remotely, more often. It has gotten rid of unnecessary vehicles, and replaced more of those that were left with smaller vehicles or ones run on electricity. And it has issued stricter energy standards for new buildings.”

    But ONLY IF they are being done in a cost effective/cost efficient way, and not the old “$200 hammer” way. The US Military has to operate on a budget — but it is not any kind of budgeting you or I would recognize as such. If they are spending millions to save thousands…well then that is NOT sensible. Given past performance on this cost efficiency issue, I’m not sure I trust them in this regard without some more details.

    I would be glad to personally drive an all electric car that gets 300 miles to the charge and charges in a hour or so — but not at what it would cost me to buy one (if such a thing is really available).

    • “The Department of Defense has also demonstrated that cutting carbon emissions can be done sensibly.”

      The DOD has done NO cutting of carbon emissions. It’s all hype and empty boasting. Maybe they have done something intended to cut emissions – but between intentions and results there is a gap. They have done actions labeled as “emission cutters”.
      I don’t believe they have cut any emissions, I don’t believe in their claims. No one has checked or verified them.

  63. Kip — In your cost/benefit analysis, what is the cost/benefit of a soldier’s life, or getting a limb blown off from an IED? Per the Bloomberg article, we could say that for every 100 convoys to supply fuel and water that this number has now been reduced to ~80 convoys. Less convoys equals less risk to our soldiers.

    Also, if strike force aircraft sorties can travel longer distances (efficiency), we have a much more strategic weapon.

    • Reply to Stephen Segrest ==> In the military, not everything can be subjected to simple dollars and cents cost efficiencies. But this truth does not effect building design at US military bases, buying electric cars instead of Chevrolet V-8s, using increasing amounts of food-based fuels, etc. These decisions, as outlined the Bloomberg article, are and should be subject to reasonable cost-efficiency oversight. It isn’t sufficient that they meet some energy savings goal — they must do so in a sensible way, not the “$200 hammer” way.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wisest of all: unleash democratic nations from the crippling tether of carbon-dependency, that destroys communities, and drive ill-advised resource wars.

      *EVERYONE* (especially the Pentagon!) nowadays appreciates the *MULTIPLE* merits — medical, economic, strategic, technological, economic, ecological, social, and moral — of carbon-neutral energy economies, eh Climate Etc readers?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  64. Kip — The key here is not to just always “assume” the worst with GotCha examples. From U.S. Marine Corps magazines I get, many of these technologies are being tested at U.S. Base locations to see the applicability of implementing in the field. For example, a lot of building designs are using new materials and technologies to evaluate their use in warzone mobile field units for heating and cooling troops and field hospitals.

    One GotCha that’s been used on this current blog thread is $16 per gallon biofuel. People who quote this GotCha are not experts in what exactly is being tested and why.

    • Stephen Segrest, when a government agency spends outrageous sums of money for anything it is note worthy be it a toilet seat or biofuel. The navy seems to have the top price so far with $424/gallon for a 50/50 mix making the Air Force look thrifty at $59/gallon for biojet.

    • “many of these technologies are being tested”

      You can test all you want. Testing is fine. But don’t boast that you have reduced emissions.

      Testing is fine up to some point: you test what calculations show might. You don’t test what has no theoretical chance of working. You calculate before you test. I’m not sure the DOD follow this trivial guideline….

    • Stephen: It appears your intelligence has prevailed and that you now accept that the military conservation effort has more to do with the architecture of buildings and ships. Good; you did not appear knowledgable in the development of defense systems. I have seen no army or marine requirements document that considers fuel consumption as a factor in survivability. Survivability is a priority but, practically, this leads to improved armor and mobility.
      As an aside, it might be noteworthy, that the US Army/Marine Abrams Tank is propelled by a jet engine. It consumes much fuel and there have been many investigatiions into the use diesel instead, but it remains a jet/turbine. My guess is that the logistics concerns have been outweighed by advantages of the jet engine.

    • Stephen,

      The CBO audited the DoD’s biofuels program and slammed it.

  65. John Vonderlin

    Steven Segrest,
    You said: Do you believe in the consensus health science that lead and additives like MTBE cause significant health issues? The American Cancer Society says: “Although it is not clear what effects MTBE in drinking water might have on health, many states have passed laws limiting or banning the use of MTBE in gasoline.” Could you point me to the research indicating that MTBE poses a significant health risk? Seems like a large gulf between the significant health issues you claim and those that are not clear as the ACS claims.

    • John Vonderlin — the issue of MTBE is like many other environmental issues (especially GW) dealing with uncertainty. For example, the science research with DDT linked its use to cancer in animals (like MTBE).

      The U.S. gasoline industry moved away from MTBE probably more as a result the legal system than regulatory agencies. Juries were siding with plaintiffs on “reasonable” uncertainty with MTBE and cancer. Gasoline refiners just didn’t want a slew of lawsuits against them (where they were losing court cases).

  66. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    As huge loops of hot-air drive across the Arctic, causing sea-ice Area to plummet yet again (entirely contrary to skeptical predictions), perhaps military leaders — and Climate Etc readers too — are appreciating the combined military, economic, strategic, ecological, political, moral, and job-creating virtues that *ANY* nation can experience by committing to a sustainable energy economy.

    `Cuz military leaders aren’t dummies, eh Climate Etc readers?

    And neither are the worldk’s religious leaders, political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, conservationists, mountaineers, outdoors folks, farmers, mathematicians, engineers, young scientists, and young job-seeking voters!

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    • “`Cuz military leaders aren’t dummies, eh…”

      Well, they mostly are. Most of them are. The authors of the report mentioned surely are.

      • Maybe they are not such dummies after all. They know what “sells” what is fashionable, what will bring them money and jobs and promotions. They can ride a wave…
        But, if they believe even a word of what they have written – then they sure are dummies. ( I doubt they do).

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        jacobress asserts [without reason or evidence] “military leaders are mostly dummies”

        Climate Etc readers are invited to judge for *THEMSELVES*!

        Rear Admiral David Titley’s (ret) briefing on climate-change  Interview of July 10, 2014

        Highly recommended to students of climate-change!

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    • Rob Starkey

      The propaganda from Fan continues. Strange that Arctic ice area is not unusually low this year is it???

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey remarks “Strange that Arctic ice area is  is not  definitely is unusually low this year is it???”

        Perhaps military leaders REJECT climate-change denialism for the plain-and-simple reason that again-and-again skeptical predictions of ice-melt recovery have proven just plain wrong

        Conclusion  That’s why the world’s religious leaders, political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, conservationists, mountaineers, outdoors folks, farmers, mathematicians, engineers, young scientists, and young job-seeking voters are UNITED in REJECTING the ideology-driven willful ignorance of climate-change denialism.

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • Rob Starkey

        Fan rejects honesty and continues mindless propaganda.

        Arctic ice is NOT unusually low for the time of year.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Uhhh … Rob Starky … the graph that you provided shows present-month Arctic sea-ice coverage to be three standard deviations below historical norms.

        Denialist comedy? Or just sad.

        The world wonders. Both, most likely.

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      • Rob Starkey

        Fan- You are being untruthful in your propaganda.
        The chart shows 1 STD highlighted. The chart does not show historical norms. It shows what occurred between 1979-2006 and also shows data for each year after ’06.
        2014 is not unusually low. It is in the middle of the data since 2006. So what?
        Try to be honest

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The unfitness of denialsm arises not because it cherry-picks only a handful of years from the past, but because it looks ahead only a handful of years into the future.

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      • Rob Starkey


        And you claim to know what the future will bring, but have been shown repeatedly to be wrong.

        Is the arctic melting at at rate you thought it would be in 2006? (not that I really care about this issue)

        Is there any reliable evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise? No- and it is quite suprising (and disappointing to your system of beliefs) that there has been no increase in the rate of rise since reliable means of measurements became available (1992)

        Do you know that there will be any benefit from CO2 mitigation activities that you support??? Please let us know what and when we would see these

      • nutso fasst

        Very strange that JAXA and NERSC show a leveling of sea ice loss, and DMI shows an increase.

      • Rob Starkey

        Nutso–Give it another week to 10 days and we will validate the Danish info and have a pretty good feel of 2014.

      • FOMbs,

        you are simply lying when you keep asserting that *EVERYONE* believes this or that

        you are on a website in which it is obvious that many here disagree with you

        therefore, an HONEST person would never pretend that *EVERYONE* here agrees with you

    • “huge loops of hot air” ??

      They must be describing the online bloviations of FOMbs

  67. #3: What was the most frustrating thing about being a fighter pilot in the USAF?

    That flying is not the focus of the USAF. It sounds axiomatic but it’s true. Political correctness, appearances, humanitarian missions, and not offending anyone are the focus.

    Political correctness….

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      jacobress praises a simple strategic view “We are always at war, whether declared or not, whether the public is aware of it or not. When that mentality dominates, the correct priorities are made for weapons, aircraft and research, and the correct folks take command because they have to.”

      Conclusion  Denialists require that the world be simple. Yet it’s not.

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      • It doesn’t get much simpler than T = CO2 times Sensitivity.

      • Rob Starkey


        It is not that difficult.

        Evaluate a specific policy suggestion. What will the proposal cost? How will it be paid for? What will the proposal accomplish?

        There are many steps that make sense to prevent of lessen potential harms from adverse weather.

        There are also many methods to waste very limited resources and it seems many of your ideas are examples.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Ragnaar notes “It doesn’t get much simpler than T = CO2 times Sensitivity.”

        Climate Etc readers are invited to verify for themselves, that in their recent survey article Assessing Dangerous Climate Change, Hansen and colleagues argue at-length for nonlinear/multi-timescale CO2-climate sensitivity measures.

        It’s good that you and Hansen (and his many colleagues) agree on the need for post-linear climate-analysis, Ragnaar!

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      • So, Fan, you embrace the idea of a post-modern army ? An Army whose main mission isn’t to defend the country and win wars (if necessary), but to promote greater “social goals”? Goals determined by the political fashion of the day?

      • Armies’ goals determined by the political fashions of the day? Who’d a thunk it?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        jacobress rejects  “[military] goals determined by the political fashion of the day

        Indeed those can be staggeringly wasteful of a nation’s treasure and heroes’ blood

        Everyone knows this, jacobress.

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      • Kim,
        I, of course, agree that armies do a lot of absurd and silly things.
        See, for example, these “climate change” things they claim they are doing.
        We would wish that they did less of those absurd things.
        The idea that “since the army does it (fighting climate change), it’s a good and successful thing” is absurd.

    • Sorry, j, couldn’t resist. I sympathize with your lesser point, but war requires absurdities, and social justice is a recent, useful one.

  68. There have always been the departments of government subjected to partisan (left-wing) ideologues and agendas; EPA, State Department, Department of “Education” which should be renamed “Political Youth Indoctrination Ministry”. Of course under Obama we’ve seen the IRS weaponized as the malevolent EPA unleashed.

    What’s scary of course is the military should have the most bipartisan of agendas, the common defense of U.S. interests. Instead the narrow minded politically correct greenshirt meme is filtered in….”Climate change”.

    During the 30’s despite a massive investment in war materials on the part of the Soviet Stalin also purged and politicized the ranks at every level. It involved tens of thousands of officers and administrators. Despite having massive advantages, better tanks, long range bombers (Germans had none), 3 to1 advantages in troop counts, a better fighter plane and numbers the Soviet saw 300 divisions essentially eliminated due in large part to shear leadership incompetence largely rationalized by ideological preferences. Four million prisoners of war in the first year, millions dead.

    Of course the U.S. isn’t in as extreme a condition but the trend line pattern is the same. The military is becoming a tool of the greenshirt political orthodox at numerous levels. The consequences could be disastrous if the trend-line isn’t reversed. It’s an abomination.

  69. Curious George

    There are three ways to do anything: the right way, the wrong way, and the military way.

    • Tell that to the guy who created FedEx (a Marine) or the head of Bell Labs (a Naval Academy grad). I should dig out past issues of Proceedings. They have / had a continuing series authored by former service members who have gone on to great success in private business.

  70. This blog post by Dr. Curry is important to many Conservatives who (1) believe GW is occurring; (2) really don’t have a clue as to its magnitude or timing.

    We Conservatives dislike proposed policy options of command/control, top/bottom approaches like carbon taxes (regressive) and cap/trade (financial derivative).

    We like bottom/up and decentralized approaches that use a concept of “no regrets”.

  71. One of the lasting lessons I learned from my military serrvice was the saying Judith bolds at the end – “never let perfect get in the way of good enough”

    And sometimes threatening to take the good enough solution will get you the resources to get closer to the perfect.

  72. So Stephen, define “no regrets”. My definition is to build a strong economy using the most abundant, affordable, and reliable energy resources available, which today means fossil fuels, so that we can afford to continue to build infrastructure that will enable us to adapt to an ever changing climate. A no regrets policy to me means to stop wasting billions of tax dollars attempting to make the unworkable work for baseload power generation – and that means wind and solar. Stop providing tax credits to consumers for buying solar panels and electric cars – especially Teslas (why in the world should tax payers subsidize the purchase of an $80,000 or so car – if someone can afford to pay $80k on a car, they don’t need my help to pay for it).

    Saying a “no regrets” policy means putting an end to, or severeley curtailing fossil fuel use based on failed climate model projections is the epitome of foolishness.

    • No regrets is defined as not including costs or benefits of climate change in CBA.

      • Rob(ert), I would say that “no regrets” policies in respect of possible CAGW are those which make sense (i.e., exceed their opportunity cost) whether or not CAGW is occurring/might occur/doesn’t occur.

        Barnes, your post has essentially been my argument for years.

        (Lying flat on a table because of a back problem, propped up to reach the keyboard and peer up at the screen, lots of typos and re-typing, so will keep posts short!)

      • Faustino – sorry about your back problem, but glad you are back to posting as faustino.

        Re cba toboth you and mr. Ellison – oneof the more idiotic points warmests attempt to make. The statement i get from my dear sister is “what if you are wrong” as if the mitigation actions she and other warmists propose have no costs while also showing little to no benifit.

      • Michael,

        Sorry to hear you are laid up.

        No regrets has a definition in environmental economics. It presumes that actions where benefits exceed costs without considering costs and benefits of climate change are ‘no regrets’.

        Opportunity costs compare different actions within a constraint of limited resources. Obviously chasing bang for the buck. Much as Lomberg promotes.

        Although I agree with the sentiments of Barnes – a rant that ignores formal definitions of the term he was misunderstanding, misusing and disparaging just misses the point and promise of no-regrets actions.


      • I have a reply sitting in moderation so will try again a little differently.

        Faustino – sorry about your back and hope you recover quickly.

        Rob – thanks for the explanation on no regrets, although frankly, I have to admit I still do not fully understand what you mean, and after spending a little time googling around, it seems that there are different interpretations. One sensible “no regrets” approach I found had to do with planning better for climate change using adaptive approaches – not mitigation approaches attempting to curb Co2 emmissions.


        “Policy-makers should also move faster and harder on core development priorities, as it has been demonstrated that economic diversification, poverty alleviation, and improvements in healthcare, education and sanitation all have multiple and immediate benefits, while also significantly reducing vulnerability to the impacts of future changes in climate.
        The report concludes that adaptation and development are not opposing priorities that must be weighed up against each other by countries with limited resources. Rather, adaptation and development priorities can be aligned and climate change strengthens the case for pushing faster and harder’ on development priorities and investments, with a greater awareness of long-term risks”.

        This particular article addresses climate change without attributing it to to any specific cause – just assumes that the climate will change as it has for over 4 billion years.

        One problem I have with many of the approaches suggested by CAGW followers is that they cause harm without accomplishing their stated goal. One question I get after expressing my opinion to a CAGW follower is “what if you are wrong” as if what they are suggesting comes with no cost while at the same time showing no benefit. If that is what is meant by no regrets, to me, it makes no sense.

      • ‘No regrets options are by definition GHG emissions reduction options that have negative net costs, because they generate direct or indirect benefits that are large enough to offset the costs of implementing the options. The costs and benefits included in the assessment, in principle, are all internal and external impacts of the options. External costs arise when markets fail to provide a link between those who create the “externality and those affected by it; more generally, when property rights for the relevant resources are not well defined. External costs can relate to environmental side-impacts, and distortions in markets for labour, land, energy resources, and various other areas. By convention, the benefits in an assessment of GHG emissions reduction costs do not include the impacts associated with avoided climate change damages.’

        Not sure what is difficult to understand?

      • Rob Starkey


        The IPCC’s definition of no regrets options is not the same as many others.

        Imo, no regrets options generally do not include most CO2 mitigation activities assince do not provide any measureable benefits. The most productive no regrets alternative is to invest in the construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure to help prevent/reduce potential harms from adverse weather.

      • Right place?

        Stop with the Skippy. What started as a joke between friends – a game of climate wars, a blue horse called Shibboleth and iconic cowboys – morphed into disparagement by mean and petty minded twits. I am heartily bored with it. There is obviously some problem with having a bit a creative fun with words. Without tolerance, forbearance and good will there is no possibility regaining the earlier eSalon aspirations of the site. Unfortunate but there it is.

        As for no regrets and usage.

        ‘One that would generate net social benefits whether or not there is climate change. No-regrets opportunities for greenhouse gas emissions reduction are defined as those options whose benefits such as reduced energy costs and reduced emissions of local/regional pollutants equal or exceed their costs to society, excluding the benefits of avoided climate change.

        The definition is simple – and unless you have a common understanding of terms communication is lost in a morass of self referential nonsense. There is one valid definition – making up your own may be an option but it is still wrong. And there are in fact many no regrets mitigation options.


      • Faustino, congratulations on another fine letter in The
        Australian newspaper, 23/07, re climate change evidence.

      • Rob – thanks again for your reply. I did find and read the ipcc policy you cited and while it may be the standard re “no regrets” according to the ipcc, it is not universally accepted by all – just as much of what the ipcc publishes is not accepted by all. The ipcc is laser focused on co2 mitigation since acording to the ipcc, co2 is the only possible explanation for global warming or climate change in general, so any no regrets policy according to them involves co2 mitigation. I just don’ t see that as a plausible rationale for no regrets. I am not looking to have a food fight with you as I find your commentary to be among the most informative and I appreciate you continuing to post here.

      • Did you not note that it was the FAO and not the IPCC this time?

        You may use any definition you like – it just becomes totally foolish intransigence at some stage – but by all means don’t let me inject some semblance of rationality in the face of your unsupported insistence that they may be someone else using the wrong definition out there.

        By all means let it mean anything you pull out of your arse.

    • Building a strong economy so we can adapt to whatever …
      U know it makes sense!

      Heh, Faustino, hope yr up and about ASAP.

      • Beth – you, kim and several other posters on the “dark side” make the most sense, you and kim getting my vote for the most pithy. Unfortunately, there is a serious lack of sense eminating from the alarmist side.

    • Barnes — I’d say most investments in energy efficiency by Government would be “no regrets”.

      Generally, investment in a national grid would be “no regrets”.

      Figuring out how to change the Electric Utility ratemaking process away from a return on capital investment to one that gives reward for energy efficiency would be “no regrets”.

      • There has been over-investment in Australia’s grid, and the companies or state utilities involved charge under state government arrangements which give them a particular return on their investment, which means that power charges are much higher than they should be with an optimal grid. In some cases excess grid capacity has arisen because state governments have demanded unreasonably (i.e. not cost-effective) levels of reliability. Much of the capacity is used for only a few hours a year on the hottest days. Better to have time-of-day pricing. I regret the existing policies.

      • It’s like road infrastructure. Building roads and bridges is a “no regrets” policy (i.e. always good), right ? No ! Building roads and bridges to nowhere isn’t “no regrets”, it’s a waste of money.
        Same for the grid.

      • If you build a road to nowhere, it becomes somewhere.

      • Stephen – thanks for the reply. I generally agree with your points, especially improving energy efficiency, not because of any impacts on our climate, but because they simply make sense. At the same time, while investing in a national grid may make sense, it should be done with an understanding of costs and benefits to hopefully avoid the problems Faustino pointed out in Australia.

        To me, no regrets means that we don’t so something that causes more harm than the harm caused by problem we are trying to fix. To me, the kind of onerous regulation being imposed by this administration and the EPA will cause great harm while doing little to nothing wrt “fixing” climate change. Making electricity costs “necessarily skyrocket” harms everyone, especially those on tight budgets since raising electricity rates raises the cost of pretty much everything including the cost of food.

        Implementing costly policies in an attempt to curb Co2 emissions with all the uncertainty about the impacts of Co2, or without any consideration of the plausible positive effects of increased levels of Co2 and a warmer climate, are not, IMO, no regrets policies. And I am not suggesting that this is what you are saying at all, just trying to make my point more clear.

      • I’m not certain a national grid would be an improvement over the current system.

        And states are moving to decoupling rates from comsumption, though recently here in Washington a judge ruled against the state regulators when they tried doing this.

        BTW – those “free” CFL or LED bulbs utility companies hand out? They are free only in the sense you don’t pay for the bulb directly. The cost of such programs are recoupable by the utility from rate payers.

    • Did you not note that it was the FAO and not the IPCC this time?

      You may use any definition you like – it just becomes totally foolish intransigence at some stage – but by all means don’t let me inject some semblance of rationality in the face of your unsupported insistence that they may be someone else using the wrong definition out there.

      By all means let it mean anything you like.

  73. Yo HO! Back to the fourmaster. Captain Hornblower, where are you?
    JimB, old Naval Reservist.

    • Well, Jim, wind-power is currently in vogue. Still waiting on wind-powered submarines, though.

      • Might happen.

        I really never thought I’d see women on submarines – unless it was an all female crew – but they are a reality.

  74. Military is not stupid and use all tricks to get reasonable Defense budgets from erratic politicians. Nowadays, politicians in power love the Climatic issue, whether or not they believe in it. So to get fund, they develop the idea and then will get funds. If they have done differently, for example advising that the biggest threat for US is a religious war inside Europe, present administration would even budget a dime for Defense.
    Everything is “political”…!

  75. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Climate Models Working Well
    US Military On-Board With
    Lewandowsky/Oreskes (and Hansen/Pope Francis)

    Well-estimated global surface warming
    in climate projections
    selected for ENSO phase

    Introduction  The question of how climate model projections have tracked the actual evolution of global mean surface air temperature is important in establishing the credibility of their projections.

    Method  We present a more appropriate test of models where only those models with natural variability (represented by El Niño/Southern Oscillation) largely in phase with observations are selected from multi-model ensembles for comparison with observations.

    Results  Climate models have provided good estimates of 15-year trends, including for recent periods and for Pacific spatial trend patterns.

    Conclusion  US military strategists have joined the consensus that climate-change is real, serious, and accelerating; a consensus that includes the world’s religious leaders, political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, conservationists, mountaineers, outdoors folks, farmers, mathematicians, engineers, young scientists, and young job-seeking voters!

    Rationale  US military strategists can scarcely be expected to ignore the strategic, economic, technological, ecological, and sustainable merits of transitioning to carbon-neutrality economies as rapidly as feasible.

    *EVERYONE* hopes and expects that the military will *REJECT* willfully ignorant denialism, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Good on `yah, military strategists!

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    • there is nothing the US military can do in the next 5-10 years to achieve “carbon neutrality”…. NOTHING

      therefore, it is idiotic to saddle our military with such foolish agendas

      It does not add one bit of credibility that some active and retired officers take up this “carbon is evil” refrain — they are merely following the political winds, to the detriment of our military

      their job is to win battles and wars

      not to waste resources and time on hopeless fantasies

      if and when better, more economic technologies exist, then it will be time for the military services to consider adoption

      meanwhile, they need to ignore politicized gasbags like FOMbs and resist all the temptations to be influenced by short-sighted political agents

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Skiphil maintains  “It is idiotic to saddle our military with such foolish agendas [as planning ahead 5-10 years]”

      President Skiphil’s First Three Orders as CinC

        Do not plan ahead

        Purge “unreliable” military leaders

        Trust in the “magic of the market”

      Skiphill, this bizarre far-right/denialist ideology went *TERRIBLY* wrong the last time we tried it.

      Why would *ANY* electorate want to try it again?

      The world wonders.

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      • FOMT,

        You grossly misrepresent my views because you are a deeply dishonest person.

        I said none of the three things you attribute to me. You are both an incompetent reader and a fatuous ideologue.

        I believe in loads of reasonable “planning ahead” — and the military services do so all the time, with my whole-hearted support.

        Any organization must make choices about WHICH projects and priorities deserve priority and funding NOW. That is what I am talking about. IF in 5 or 10 years there are clearer reasons for the military to concern itself more with “climate change” THEN that will be the time for more concern and action.

        I said nothing about purging any military leaders or about relying solely upon some “magic of the market” — stop making stuff up.

        FanOfMoreTartuffery, you are a clown, incapable of rational discourse and a blight on this site. If you ever learn to engage in honest, thoughtful discussion and debate…. well then you will go a long way toward becoming a more decent human being. I won’t hold my breath, but why is this so difficult for you??

        It’s been said here that you purport to be someone with some “higher” education, that you even enjoy some university affiliation….. This is all astonishing, because you are obviously unfit to pass any first-term university course that I have ever heard of, in any subject.

      • Don Monfort

        Skip, not reading the clown’s comments works for me. I can tell from occasionally noticing replies like yours that I am not missing anything interesting or even amusing. The clown’s use of flouncy graphics makes it easy to bypass the disgusting foolishness. Try it for a while. You’ll thank me.

      • Thanks Don, it’s true, the clown should be ignored. He reminds me too much of a couple of similar fools I’ve had to work with in the past — similar kinds of flaws in character, judgment, and intellect.

        But I will try to ignore him, nothing useful ever comes from responding to him, he is an incorrigible hack.

  76. chris moffatt

    “When it comes to thinking through long-term global challenges, none are more qualified than our most senior military leaders. Not only do they have decades of experience managing risk and responding to conflict on the battlefield, but they are also experts in geopolitical analysis and longrange strategic planning. ”

    As evidenced in Irak 2003 – 2011 and Afghanistan 2001 – 2014. We’re in deep trouble folks!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Neo-conservatives ‘conveniently’ forget the revolt of the generals.

      Today’s military strategists are revolting against willfully ignorant, short-sighted, astro-turfed climate-change denialism.

      Good on `yah, science-and-history-respecting military professionals!

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    • Not to burst your bubble, or more accurately the comfortable cocoon you are living in, but the military does not make the decision on when to go to war, or what the objectives are.

      The starry eyed international politics of George W. Bush (coming from his “moderate” Republican advisers), has been followed by the rank indifference of Obama.

      If you want to go to war, your objective should be to defeat the enemy. Not try to undo centuries of cultural isolation and hatred with one election, and then bug out when it doesn’t work. There were two Iraq wars because Colin Powell convinced Bush to stop the first short of victory. There was chaos after the second war was won, because Bush and his adviser’s mistook Iraqi culture for that of Philadelphia in the 1700s.

      Virtually all the international chaos currently showing on televisions around the world, are the direct result of a commander in chief who doesn’t give a damn, and is incompetent to boot.

      The military has its own areas of rank stupidity at times, because it is made up of fallible people. But the strategic stupidity of the last 35 years has been purely political.

      • GaryM,

        In reality there were not a first and second Iraq war. It was effectively one long war, with two periods of intense combat separated by a 10 year low level shooting contest. There rarely a week that went by where US and British aircraft didn’t target Iraqi air defense installations in response to being fired upon or being painted by ADA fire control networks.

        And to be fair, there was a reasonable argument for Iraq being the best, perhaps only, Arab nation capable of moving to a democratic process. That’s not to say the chances of it doing so were gimme. It’s only my opinion, but what crippled any possibility of that having a chance was Bremer’s unilateral decision to disband the Iraq Army. The current Administration provided the coup de grace by effectively ignoring and washing its hands of any responsibility or interest in Iraq, allowing Maliki to proceed with his goal of making Shia’s the dominate political and social group and marginalizing everyone else.

  77. “It [the army] has gotten rid of unnecessary vehicles”

    Getting rid of unnecessary things… what a great, “no regrets” idea! Lets adopt it more widely. For instance: let’s get rid of the Department of Education, or of HUD. Will reduce emissions and save our climate too.

  78. You don’t seem to see that public education has declined in direct correlation to increased central planning over the past 75 years.

    That is obtuse Fanboy but not surprising.

  79. Energy Conservation Moving Up Pentagon’s Agenda
    Mar 17, 2006 12:24 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

    Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] is Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Projection Forces subcommittee. He has been talking about Peak Oil issues for about a year now, and recently discussed a September 2005 Army Corps of Engineers Report entitled “Energy Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Installations” [PDF format] in the House. Part of its conclusions section notes:

    “One thing is certain: it is going to be challenging and comprehensive approaches to energy issues are required. Uncertainty cannot be an excuse for inaction. Integrated resource planning is required and issues must be addressed from both the supply and demand viewpoint. The U.S. cannot drill its way to energy independence nor can we do it all with renewables and efficiency. A secure, reliable, and cost effective energy system must be robust, diverse, and aggressively incorporate renewables, energy efficiency, and intelligent use of fossil fuels.

    The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close…. We must act now to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to transition to other energy sources. Policy changes, leap ahead technology breakthroughs, cultural changes, and significant investment is requisite for this new energy future. Time is essential to enact these changes. The process should begin now.

    Our best options for meeting future energy requirements are energy efficiency and renewable sources. Energy efficiency is the least expensive, most readily available, and environmentally friendly way to stretch our current energy supplies. This ensures that we get the most benefit from every Btu used. It involves optimizing operations and controls to minimize waste and infusing state of the art technology and techniques where appropriate. The potential savings for the Army is about 30 percent of current and future consumption. Energy efficiency measures usually pay for themselves over the life cycle of the application, even when only face value costs are considered

    September 2005 Army Corps of Engineers Report
    Energy Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Installations
    Donald F. Fournier and Eileen
    T. Westervelt September 2005

    Conclusions about Petroleum
    In summary, the outlook for petroleum is not good. This especially applies to conventional oil, which has been the lowest cost resource. Production peaks for non- OPEC conventional oil are at hand; many nations have already past their peak, or are now producing at peak capacity. Polar, deep, and non-conventional will contribute to future resources. Most conventional oil production reserves are in OPEC

    DARPA Wants JP-8 from Algae
    Dec 15, 2008 13:17 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staf

    John Hofmeister (Former head of Shell in North America)

  80. “It involves optimizing operations and controls to minimize waste and infusing state of the art technology and techniques where appropriate.”

    Minimizing waste is always good, same as “state of the art technology”. But: 1. this has nothing to do with climate change, and 2. it’s just talk…
    Fighting waste in the army is a perpetual task, and doomed to fail, always… no matter what they write in beautiful papers… these papers themselves are just waste.

  81. cirby’s comment makes a lot of sense to me, if slightly off-topic:

    “By invoking future climate change, the insurance folks can lever the government into higher rate structures due to a higher perceived risk. This makes it profitable for them to whine about climate change – while insurance payouts for things like bad weather are going down, per capita.”

    A look at the business sponsors of sea level rise conferences reveals a list of reinsurance companies and Holland( the country that makes dykes) .
    I’d like to see more FOLLOW THE MONEY and less ideology here.

    • @ steve

      “I’d like to see more FOLLOW THE MONEY and less ideology here.”

      Unfortunately, I have been following the money and where it leads is to ideology. Specifically, progressive ideology.

      While there is no empirical evidence that the climate is behaving in any way that is unusual compared to how it behaved long before there was any ‘human carbon volcano’, there is an enormous amount of evidence to support the obvious: that CAGW isn not a problem; it is an excuse.

      It is being used to justify an enormous power grab by progressives, world wide, and it is being used to launder enormous sums of taxpayer money and transfer it to progressive organizations and progressive individuals with direct political power or ‘political pull’. Solyndra was typical example, but represents only a minuscule ‘tip of the iceberg’.

      For more detail, but certainly not an exhaustive compilation, take a look at the ‘money trail’ detailed here:

      Of course, multi-billion dollar corporations are not stupid; they either get on the gravy train directly by contributing heavily to progressive individuals and organizations, or, like the insurance industry, leverage the ‘existential threat of global climate change’ into justification for rate increases while the actual climate related damages decline.

      Follow the money, indeed. Too bad about all the time and talent wasted here arguing about the meaning the trend of some subset of junk ‘global temperature records’ when it has no meaning; its only actual use is to justify political action and massive money laundering,

      • True dat. The energy companies are happy to refine the carbon out of fuels, but for a price.

        I just don’t see the same amounts of money on the left. Most of the climatologists just want their travel and summer salaries paid by grants, along with the warm cozy feeling of saving the world.

        I’ll read the web page you suggested, but we probably shouldn’t hijack this thread. Perhaps we could start an “open thread” discussion about who stands to profit.

  82. ” while insurance payouts for things like bad weather are going down,”

    Well, no.
    Insurance payouts are what they are and we cannot predict them or affect them.

    The idea that all this scaremongering about climate change will reduce or affect in any way future payouts is false.
    All that has been done about climate, so far, is just empty talk and an enormous waste of money.
    No emission reduction and no mitigation have been achieved. (That’s even if you believe that emission reduction will have a discernible impact on the climate, which itself is in doubt). (The small emission reduction in the US is thanks to fracking, and not to climate scare mongering or windmills).

    Besides, the insurance companies don’t insure structures built near beaches, they refuse to insure them. Smart guys. It’s the dumb government that insures beachfront houses.

  83. Then why does SwissRE support conferences on sea level rise, if not to inflate the perception of risk and premiums. If “payouts are what they are”, how can they not profit?

    • Why do people do tattoos ?

      Fashion has a strong attraction and sale value.
      SwissRE are smart to ride the fashion wave, it gets them a lot of publicity.
      Besides, there is absolutely no guarantee that everything SwissRE (or any other corporation) does is pure wisdom.
      Moreover, enhancing the seal level rise scare induces more people to buy insurance… the scare doesn’t even have to be soundly based.

      • I would call the behavior opportunistic, and not much different than attempts to manipulate markets using false advertising. N’est pas?

  84. I highly recommend Tony Heller’s presentation at the ICCC on The Emperor’s New Climate”

  85. I attended a workshop on climate change organised by the Australian military last year.

    A UK Navy officer said a large percentage of Coalition/NATO casualties in Iraq/Afghanistan were associated with fuel convoys. Makes sense – a big fuel truck makes a very tempting target, and it’s its own explosive.

    So there’s a push for greater self-sufficiency for field units. For example the US Marines have an active research program into small-scale renewable energy:

    It is very important to recognise how big an engine of technological innovation the Pentagon can be when it decides to do something. It has very deep pockets and can test and deploy technologies at scale. And the military is not a democracy or a market economy. If they say “you are all going to use this technology” everyone does.

    The British Navy speaker there expressed the idea that greater energy self-sufficiency for military units (ranging from Marine platoons to naval task forces) was a strategic capability.

    There was a lot of talk about biofuels and some mention of field-deployable gas-to-liquid conversion, because the one thing that must be run on liquid fuel is aircraft.

    Another big issue for the military analysts was the risk that climate-related disasters might increase in frequency and/or intensity and there would be a greater demand for them to support humanitarian relief missions. One concern expressed was anticipating having to carry out humanitarian missions and still have to be prepared for combat operations.

    The military analysts there also expressed the concern that climate change impacts on storms, droughts and floods might represent a “threat multiplier” exacerbating already-existing tensions.

    The question came up of how they viewed climate “skepticism” and one comment was that was irrelevant to them. They saw climate change as a contingency to be dealt with in their planning even if the scenarios had very low probabilities.

  86. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?