JC interview with oilprice.com

by Judith Curry

As the global warming debate increases in its intensity we find both sides deeply entrenched, hurling accusations and lies at one another in an attempt to gain the upper hand. This divide within the scientific community has left the public wondering who can be trusted to provide them with accurate information and answers. – James Stafford

Earlier this week, I was interviewed by James Stafford of oil price.com:  The Kardashians and Climate Change: Interview with Judith Curry.   Excerpts:

Oilprice.com: You’ve talked a lot about the role of communication and public relations in the climate change debate. Where do scientists fail in this respect?

Judith Curry: Climate science communication hasn’t been very effective in my opinion. The dominant paradigm seems to be that a science knowledge deficit of the public and policy makers exists, which is exacerbated by the Koch-funded climate denial machine. This knowledge deficit then results in the public failing to act with the urgency that is urged by climate scientists.

This strategy hasn’t worked for a lot of reasons. The chief one that concerns me as a scientist is that strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.

Oilprice.com: What is the balance between engagement with the public on this issue and propaganda?

Judith Curry: There are two growing trends in climate science communications – engagement and propaganda. Engagement involves listening and recognizes that communication is a two-way street. It involves collaboration between scientists, the public and policy makers, and recognizes that the public and policy makers don’t want to be told what to do by scientists. The other trend has been propaganda. The failure of the traditional model of climate science communication has resulted in more exaggeration and alarmism, appeals to authority, appeals to fear, appeals to prejudice, demonizing those that disagree, name-calling, oversimplification, etc.

There is a burgeoning field of social science research related to science communications. Hopefully this will spur more engagement and less propaganda.

Oilprice.com: You’ve also talked about the climate change debate creating a new literary genre. How is this ‘Cli-Fi’ phenomenon contributing to the intellectual level of the public debate and where do you see this going?

Judith Curry: I am very intrigued by Cli-Fi as a way to illuminate complex aspects of the climate debate. There are several sub-genres emerging in Cli-Fi – the dominant one seems to be dystopian (e.g. scorched earth). I am personally very interested in novels that involve climate scientists dealing with dilemmas, and also in how different cultures relate to nature and the climate. I think that Cli-Fi is a rich vein to be tapped for fictional writing.

Oilprice.com: How would you describe the current intellectual level of the climate change debate?

Judith Curry: Well, the climate change debate seems to be diversifying, as sociologists, philosophers, engineers and scientists from other fields enter the fray. There is a growing realization that the UNFCCC/IPCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has oversimplified both the problem and its solution. The wicked climate problem is growing increasingly wicked as more and more dimensions come into play. The diversification helps with the confirmation bias and ‘groupthink’ problem.

Hopefully this diversification will lead to greater understanding and policies that are more robust to the deep uncertainties surrounding the climate change problem.

Oilprice.com: You’ve also talked about the “Kardashian Factor” … Can you expand on this?

Judith Curry: The Kardashian Factor relates to a scientist’s impact in social media. There is a growing disconnect between scientists who impact within the ivory tower, as measured by publications and citations, versus those scientists that are tweeting and blogging. While some of the smartest people on the planet are university professors, most of them simply don’t matter in today’s great debates. The use of the term ‘Kardashian Factor’ is designed to marginalize social media impact as shallow popularity.

Social media is changing the world, and academia hasn’t quite figured out what to do about it. On issues relevant to public debate, social media is rivaling published academic research in its impact. Social media is leveling the playing field and democratizing science. The skills required to be successful in social media include good writing/communication skills and the abilities to synthesize, integrate, and provide context. Those who are most successful at social media also have a sense of humor and can connect to broader cultural issues – they also develop a trustworthy persona. These are non-trivial skills, and they are general traits of people that have impact.

Oilprice.com: Does the current debate seem to lack ‘layers’ that get lost in the politics and socio-economics?

Judith Curry: The debate is polarized in a black-white yes-no sort of way, which is a consequence of oversimplifying the problem and its solution. Although you wouldn’t think so by listening to the Obama administration on the topic of climate change, the debate is becoming more complex and nuanced. Drivers for the growing number of layers in the climate debate are the implications of the 21st century hiatus in warming, the growing economic realities of attempting to transition away from fossil fuels, and a growing understanding of the clash of values involved.

Oilprice.com: How does the media take advantage of every major — or even semi-major — weather event to make dire climate forecasts or support one or another polarized side of this debate? Can you give us some recent examples?

Judith Curry: The impact of extreme weather events in raising concern about global warming became apparent following Hurricane Katrina. The psychology of immediate and visible loss is far more salient than hypothetical problems in the next century. Hence extreme weather events have been effectively used in propaganda efforts. This is in spite of the assessment of the IPCC that doesn’t find much evidence linking extreme weather events to global warming, other than heat waves.

Oilprice.com: Where should energy fit into the climate change debate, and how much of a concern to the climate is the energy resources drive? Does anyone really know?

Judith Curry: It has never made sense to me for climate change to be the primary driver for energy policy. Even if we believe the climate models, nothing that we do in terms of emissions reductions will have much of an impact on climate until the late 21st century. Energy poverty is a huge issue in much of the world, and there is no obvious way to reconcile reducing CO2 emissions with eradicating energy poverty. Again, this conundrum is evidence of the wickedness of the climate change problem.

My previous interview with oil price.com can be found at The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness – An Interview with Judith Curry.

299 responses to “JC interview with oilprice.com

  1. The Left is willing to make certain assumptions that no one else will. When you give a few people power over many – such as we now have with the Left being represented by academia and mainstream secular-socialist government and media – it’s not long before the ears of despots are filled with the sort of ringing that leads to raging propaganda and the death of millions. The time has come for both the FDA and the EPA to be declared DOA and be seriously downsized, along with the government-education complex and the federal bureaucracy. It’s tighten, lighten, and brighten time. The preservation of individual liberty demands it.

    The failure of the traditional model of climate science communication has resulted in more exaggeration and alarmism, appeals to authority, appeals to fear, appeals to prejudice, demonizing those that disagree, name-calling, oversimplification… There is a burgeoning field of social science research related to science communications. Hopefully this will spur more engagement and less propaganda. ~Judith Curry

    • Actually this is a huge step forward for science. Stafford’s quote about accusations and lies equates these practices for both alarmists and realists.

      When the side caught lying says “everyone is doing it”, they are on their heels.

      • What are the lies that have been hurled at global warming alarmists?

      • Ummmm, that was my point – excuse my inarticulateness.

        The side caught lying, all day, every day knows they have been busted; so they seek to project their vices unto those exposing them. The fact that they even acknowledge “both sides” is a step forward, while still being half a lie.

    • Good take away from the interview Wagathon. The interview was more about politics than science, was it not?

      • 97% of model executions wrongly predicted greater warming… [15 years from 1998 to 2012,] models exaggerate the influence of greenhouse gases on temperature… The reality is… the IPCC hasn’t achieved much at all. ~John McLean

  2. Whom do I trust? Give me a “J”.
    ===========

  3. ==> “The chief one that concerns me as a scientist is that strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.

    One of the days, Judith, you’re going to provide some evidence for that of’t stated concern of yours.

    Would it kill ya’ to provide some evidence?

    • Judith does not need to provide any evidence.

      Just read the alarmist media and watch the alarmist media.

      People really, really, trust that Alamist Junk, less and less every day.

      • PCT –

        ==> “Just read the alarmist media and watch the alarmist media.”

        ???

        I’m asking for evidence of the theorized cause-and-effect that causes the public to lose trust in scientists. Not sure why your response referred to the media.

        Anyway, w/r/t evidence.

        First, the data on a loss of “trust in scientists” are weak, at best.

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2014/5/21/more-on-public-trust-of-scientists-you-tell-me-what-it-means.html

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2014/4/28/science-and-public-policy-who-distrusts-whom-about-what.html

        Second, to the extent that there has been a loss of trust, I haven’t seen any data that supports Judith’s assertion of causality. She make this claim of causality repeatedly, but to my knowledge has never provided any actual supporting data.

        I would like to look at evidence if you have some to provide?

        (And please, don’t provide me with a link to cross-sectional data to support an assertion that can only be supported with longitudinal data. Other “skeptics” have done that before and it just doesn’t cut the mustard.)

        Anyway, no, she “does not need to provide any evidence.” It is quite apparent that she can repeatedly make the claim without providing evidence. The question is whether she will continue to do so, and if so, why?

      • –I’m asking for evidence of the theorized cause-and-effect that causes the public to lose trust in scientists. Not sure why your response referred to the media.–
        It possible [or likely] that persons being represented as scientists will have public assuming they are not really scientist. Just as actor playing a doctor would not be regarded as an actual doctor.
        Another aspect is public trust in anything the media says:
        http://www.gallup.com/poll/171740/americans-confidence-news-media-remains-low.aspx
        Or the usefulness of a scientist in media can be related to lack of trust in the media, and usefulness of such scientist to bolster trust in media could decline further but it could still have little to do with general public trust in scientists.
        Another way to look at it, is if one thinks real scientists are of the opinion that “climate change” is important issue, and compare this with public’s opinion of what are important national interests, the divergence of this
        could a metric to measure this lack of trust.
        But for this to work as idea, it depends upon whether real scientist are of such an opinion.
        Another way in to look at it is look at topic broadly in terms of what priority
        the public funds science. US:
        http://www.aaas.org/page/historical-trends-federal-rd
        And these ones in particular:

        and:

        Generally though I would say the whole matter depends upon one’s expectation. For instance one think of climate science as newish science
        which should have establish more confidence as the field matures.
        Or one think of it as fad, seems to continue long after it should have died.

    • Please be more precise.

      Are you saying Judith has not provided evidence she is concerned?
      Or that she has not provided evidence of ‘strident advocacy and alarmism’?
      Or that she has not provided evidence this ‘strident advocacy and alarmism’ has an effect on public trust in scientists?

      Or some combination of the three?

    • Walt Allensworth

      Climate science, in general, is perceived by some demographic groups as being morally bankrupt.

      There are a few diamonds in the mudpit… our hostess here being one.

    • My experience is evidence- it was one of the things that galvanized my skepticism while transitioning from believer to thinker on climate change.

      • Same here Sam, and not just with climate science.
        Remember when coffee was good for you before it was bad?
        What about that glass of wine each night?
        Trans fats? and now salt
        Lots of flip-flopping going on over the years from things that were pronounced as almost certain at the time.

        But the money and power in this scam are too great to give up now so no matter what happens with the climate (weather) it’s our fault and austerity is the only answer, even if it has to be administered with a sword.

    • Steven Mosher

      Question 3

      http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/tabs_HP_science_20131209.pdf

      The real question is what type of evidence does Judith have to have to make the argument.

      In short, very little. her personal anecdotal perception would be enough.
      she is a scientist, so I would give her the benefit of the doubt in claims she made about loss of trust. As for the cause, that’s always open to speculation.

      The next question is what type of evidence do you require to be convinced
      here we can assume nothing anyone here could produce would change your mind. That’s because you reasoning is motivated.

      In short, judith doesnt need much evidence to advance an argument.
      When you grow a pair and explain what kind of evidence will make you change your mind, then you can join the debate.

      • => “The real question is what type of evidence does Judith have to have to make the argument.”

        To make an argument about what? An argument about a large-scale social phenomenon, or an argument about here experiences?

        ==> “In short, very little. her personal anecdotal perception would be enough.”

        So Judith’s personal anecdotal experiences trump empirical study. Quite fascinating.

        ==> “she is a scientist, so I would give her the benefit of the doubt ”

        That’s particularly hilarious since Judith was just over at Dan’s arguing that there’s no reason to assume that scientists are any less biased than Joe lunchpail (which I agree with, btw).

        The rest is just your usual tripe/personal attack.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        “So Judith’s personal anecdotal experiences trump empirical study. Quite fascinating.”

        never said that.

        two different issues. what kind of evidence is REQUIRED to make an argument.. I would say little evidence is required.

        what kind of evidence is REQUIRED to get you to change your mind.

        THAT is undetermined. If you want to engage in good faith you start by
        laying out what you accept as evidence that would change your mind.
        We can judge, and fact we get to judge your open mindedness.
        The emprical evidence is that you are not open minded. that is you
        are not skeptical of your beliefs especially your beliefs about what constitutes evidence

    • Steven Mosher

      interesting

      interesting section on trust and distrust.

      http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/pas-2014-main-report.pdf

      at some point some researcher will act the direct question.

      do you distrust adocates

      • v. interesting, thx

      • Steven Mosher

        judith the interesting thing is that the researchers avoid asking the question directly about politics.

      • Steven (Mosher) –

        Heh.

        How many pairs of blinders did you need to put on to look past this?:

        from the very first bullet in the summary regarding:

        “How have attitudes evolved over time? “

        Generic trust in scientists and engineers appears to have increased, regardless of the institutions they work for. Alongside this, the proportion who feel they have no option but to trust those governing science has increased (from 60% to 67%), which suggests this increasing trust may also be an increasingly resigned trust, presenting a challenge for those looking to engage the public in
        decision-making.

        Really, quite spectacular, steven.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        I knew you would stop reading there.

        read the whole study. Judith’s point can be maintained without a look at trends over time. Very easily maintained without any regard to trends.

        Read harder. think deeper.

        Make it your job to make the best argument for her position. THEN attack it.

        For the record I dont think there is enough evidence to convince me.
        I’d like to see direct questions on the issue. But that doesnt mean there is no evidence,

        your job as a critical thinker is to make the other sides best case.

        you consistently prove you dont know how to do it.

        Now look at figure 6.6. Construct the best argument you can for judiths position from that section. Then, once youve done that critique that argument.

      • Didn’t stop there. I’ve been reading more. Just got to this one:

        People especially want to hear directly from scientists. Six-in-ten (58%) think that scientists currently put too little effort into informing the public about their work, while five-in-ten (53%) think that scientists should be rewarded for doing so. Seven-in-ten (68%) would particularly like scientists to talk more about the social and ethical implications of their research.

        Really, quite beautiful.

      • So far, the study’s a gold mine:

        This one’s cute:

        More now think the benefits of science outweigh the harmful effects than 25 years ago (55% agree, versus 45% in 1988).

      • Should Steven read more and comment less?

    • Steven Mosher

      Actually figure 6.6 is interesting

      http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/pas-2014-main-report.pdf

      Trust in scientists to follow the rules as a function of employer

      University 90%
      Charity 88%
      Enviro 79%
      Gov 78%
      Business 60%

      “This suggests more generally that trust in particular
      scientists strongly depends on framing, and possibly the assumptions this
      framing creates about vested interests and personalities – for example trust
      in a scientist will differ if they are introduced as a climate scientist, as a
      scientist who works for a university, or as a university lecturer. ”

      Now Judith’s argument is that when you advocate you create a framing.
      a framing that your science is a function of your interest.

      What one sees in this survey is that trust follows interest.
      Where the interest is merely pedagogic ( I teach students ) the trust is high.
      Where the interest is clearly monetary ( I get paid by a company) the trust is lower.

      When you are an advocate ( say work for an enviro) you fall about 10 points lower than the ivory toward, but your still not at bad as the shill scientists for big companies.

      There is nothing odd about the argument that people would lose trust as a scientist shows more personal interest in the truth of his science being accepted. What would be odd is if what judith said was not true. What would be odd is finding that paid industry science ( the clearest advocates) were trusted more than those in the ivory tower.

      And finally what I think judith is objecting to is advocacy infecting that ivory tower. to the point where it ends up no different than industry

    • The climate change industry counts on TV reporters to promote the AGW propaganda of the Left and ‘reporters’ do just that: shill for the Shamans of global warming like sideshow barkers. That may be why just 20% of Americans rate TV reporters as having “high” or “very high” honesty and ethical standards.

    • http://news.yahoo.com/conservatives-losing-trust-science-study-finds-114401347.html
      This Yahoo! (ie, left-leaning) article “Conservatives Losing Trust in Science, Study Finds” refers to a paper in the journal American Sociological Review.

      “[…]The trouble with assessing the public’s opinion of science over time is that few public opinion polls asked questions about trust in science before the 1980s. One major survey, the General Social Survey, did ask Americans about their trust in the scientific community starting in 1974, however.”
      “[…]But only conservatives showed a change over time. At the beginning of the survey, in the 1970s, conservatives trusted science more than anyone, with about 48 percent evincing a great deal of trust. By 2010, the last year survey data was available, only 35 percent of conservatives said the same.”
      “[…]The finding wasn’t the result of conservatives being less educated than in the old days, he said. In fact, the decline in trust was most obvious among conservatives with a bachelor’s degree or higher.”
      “[…]”It’s almost a contradiction,” [Gordon Gaulet, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina] said. “We use science because it has this objective point of view or credibility to figure out which policy to use … but by doing that it becomes politicized.”
      “Interestingly, public opinion on science in Europe and Japan skews differently than in the United States, Gaulet said. There, skepticism about the scientific community usually comes from the left. The reason may be that the issues on the scientific forefront in Europe (genetically modified food, nuclear power) tend to push liberals’ buttons, while those in the United States (climate change, stem cell research) tend to bother conservatives more. […]”

      • Mike –

        Your excerpt gets the researchers last name wrong. It’s (Gordon) Gauchat.

        You might be interested in reading what he has to say about the study. He talks, among other things, of the growth of the religious right as a factor in the loss of trust among conservatives only. And also, of course, a concurrent drop in trust in governmental institutions.

        Keep in mind, also, that the data are measured over a time period that largely predates the polarization related to global warming – so using that study as a way to confirm assertions about the impact of the climate wars on public trust in scientists is motivated reasoning in its purest form.

    • Steven Mosher

      “By contrast, participants had little to say about the competence of
      scientists. They tended to assume that scientists were competent, and that
      “bad science” was done intentionally and explicitly, for example by rigging
      results, rather than due to a lack of research skills or through drawing the
      wrong conclusions from the data. This could mean that when the intentions
      of scientists are viewed positively, findings are likely to be trusted, even if
      they are based on faulty science. While not explicitly mentioned by
      participants, the discredited MMR-autism link might be seen as an example
      of this.
      The focus on the intentions of scientists also helps to explain why trust in
      scientists working for private companies tends to be lower. Participants
      generally assumed that scientists who worked for government or
      universities were not driven by money, so probably had more worthy
      intentions and were more trustworthy than those working for private
      companies. ”

      And they show a drop in trust for scientists from green orgs.

      • It’s not “bad science” that is the issue, although there will always be some of that. It’s sloppy science that is a problem in global warming studies.

      • With “bad science” defined as intentional deceit of any kind; including omission of data, non-disclosure of all data and code.

        Sloppy science being use of unproven statistics or other mathematical constructions. Use of unproven methods, like tree rings to measure temperature. Using standards of proof that are much too low. Etc.

      • Mike Edwards

        It is interesting to note that the Ipsos MORI study was funded and backed by a department of the UK government. As a result, it is undoubtedly addressing an agenda set by that government department. This agenda may well have dictated the framing of the study – it has in past studies that I have seen.

        As a result, I would be cautious in accepting its findings at face value.

    • Joshua,
      Coal trains are “no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria.”
      James Hansen

      But I am betting you don’t think this is over the top anymore than the 10:10 video.

    • Curious George

      Joshua dear – I hate videos, but this one may help:

    • Joshua,

      i think there’s been a few views in trust on generl indicating a genral waning in the trust of institutions, going back ot the 1970’s.

      Scientists and science haven’t been immune to this, but have remained at the top of the pile as far as public trust is concerned.

      What is most bizarre about this, besides Judith’s continued evidence-free assertions and a purported cause-and-effect, is Judith then looking for solutions in th areas of journalism and poltiics, areas where public trust is abysmally low.

      Following the lead in those fields would very likely achieve the very thing that Judith says she is so concerned about.

      • Steven Mosher

        its not evidence free. I’d say the evidence is weak, But you yourself
        know that your trust in Judith is weakened by her commercial interests.
        Likewise its not hard to see that one could believe that trust would be eroded by other interests ( political) as well.

        simple question: who do you trust more on the science of animal
        extinction.
        1. scientist from a university who makes no political statements.
        2. A scientist who founded an animal rights organiization
        3. A scientist who works for a company that owns pristine land it wants to exploit

        its not that hard to see.

        Now, is there hard evidence about attitudes and causation?
        nope. but then again, there never is.

      • My ‘trust’ in Judith’s science is unaffectedby her commercial interests.

        However my ‘trust’ in her policy advocacy is informed by this, no doubt.

        On your question – my answer the same, but….

        We’re talking about something a bit different to general public ‘trust’ in science. When it comes to individual papers, we can give them a critical appraisal, and take in the broader questions – what question is being asked and why, what isn’t asked, and how does the research fit into the overall feild? I don’t think that this is well captured by ‘trust’.

      • ==> ” But you yourself know that your trust in Judith is weakened by her commercial interests.”

        Actually, I’ve argued with “realists” that assuming that Judith’s science is biased by her commercial interests is unscientific, fallacious, and an example of motivated reasoning (and the kind of bad arguments I’ve criticized from “skeptics”).

      • Michael –

        ==> “i think there’s been a few views in trust on generl indicating a genral waning in the trust of institutions, going back ot the 1970’s.”

        I’m not sure how significant any long-term trend is. To the extent that there are data showing a trend, they seem to also show an association with political orientation – so I’d say that the “in general” and “general waning” are questionable. The waning isn’t in general – but within a particular demographic segment of society.

        And further, the causality is very questionable. Is it due to “activism” or “advocacy?” Possible. I get the logic. But data are lacking.

        There does seem to be data, however, that show that the causality is tied in with cultural cognition.

        Either way – seems to me that people making arguments one way or the other should bring some data to the discussion, particularly if they’re a scientist, particularly if part of their focus is understanding how scientists can be biased by their personal beliefs, and particularly if a major part of their focus is uncertainty.

      • Joshua,

        I’ll see if I can find someof the surveys, but, IIRC, they do show a general decline in public trust, with science affected but much less so than the general trend.

        Again, IIRC, the explanation relates to a reduction in defference to authority that started in the 1960’s.

    • Joshua, read “False Hope” by Michael Mann in Scientific American. Then read the critiques. False Hope is a good example of how propaganda is used to drive climate change hysteria.

    • Joshua, your being completely obtuse due to your ideology prevents any evidence being observed. You have destroyed by thread jacking another Climate Etc. topic. You have nothing to say that is interesting or even clever.

    • Joshua,

      Even 3 and 4 year olds learn to trust those that provide reliable information. See http://freepdfhosting.com/427d055c8a.pdf.

      In the same study of studies, it is shown that those who were once viewed as providing reliable information, who start providing unreliable information, are no longer as trusted. Let’s take that as a given.

      Some things by folks claiming to represent the climate scientific community have proven to be wrong.

      Therefore, there is no need to prove people are less trusting of scientists. There is a proven forcing factor, and it is changing how much people trust scientists.

    • Joshua, soon after climategate, there was this article in the Guardian, about people losing faith in climate science after the climategate emails became public, and about a BBC poll showing this to be the case:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/07/climate-change-science-public-trust

      Here is the headline and subhead:

      “Public loses faith in climate change science after leaked emails scandal

      Surveys show increase in number of people who believe claims are exaggerated”

      From the article:

      “Public perception could have been influenced by the recent scandal of leaked emails between climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia.”

    • Joshua, here is a recent Gallup Poll:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/168620/one-four-solidly-skeptical-global-warming.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Politics

      The paragraph below, from the poll, links increasing skepticism in the US with reduced trust in climate scientists due to climategate, “raising questions about the objectivity of some leading climate science researchers” (see last sentence:

      “The ranks of skeptics expanded between 2008 and 2010 due to the decline in concern about global warming as documented in Gallup’s original trends. In particular, the percentage of Americans believing that global warming is caused by pollution from human activities dropped sharply in 2010. The same pattern has been seen with personal worry about global warming and the perception that the seriousness of the issue is exaggerated in the news. All of these findings are likely linked to the high profile “Climategate” controversy that emerged in late 2009, raising questions about the objectivity of some leading climate science researchers, as well as the legitimacy of some of their findings.”

  4. ==> ” How does the media take advantage of every major — or even semi-major — weather event to make dire climate forecasts or support one or another polarized side of this debate? ”

    Funny.

    Next question to be begged?:

    How does the media use any major scientific finding – or even semi-major – to make dire pronouncements that the moon is about to turn into green cheese?

  5. Even if we believe the climate models, nothing that we do in terms of emissions reductions will have much of an impact on climate until the late 21st century.

    Even if we believe the climate models, nothing that we do in terms of emissions reductions will EVER have much of an impact on climate.

    A fraction of a trace gas does not regulate the temperature of Earth.

    If we do ever reduce CO2, we will destroy some of the life on Earth that does depend on the green things that grow that do make all life on Earth better.

    • popesclimatetheory — You couldn’t be more wrong. And yes, I can back up my statement by referencing a blog entry of Dr. Curry:

      https://judithcurry.com/2012/02/18/climate-fast-attack-plan/

      By seriously addressing black carbon, methane, ground-level ozone, and HFCs — we can add “time on the clock” in which (hopefully) our Scientists can figure out what’s happening.

      • Anyone seriously interested in preventing deaths from black carbon will be huge fracking-supporters of natural gas. The hubris and hypocrisy of global warming alarmists is palpable and that is what Richard Muller, et al., is shining a spotlight on. “Environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking,” Muller said of the greenhouse gas fearmongers, “are making a tragic mistake… [and] concerns are either largely false or can be addressed by appropriate regulation… [S]hale gas is a wonderful gift that has arrived just in time. It can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce a deadly pollution known as PM2.5 that is currently killing over three million people each year, primarily in the developing world.”

      • Wagathon — As I’ve consistently blogged here, I’m in total agreement with Dr. Muller of BEST. This argument has also been made by Jon Huntsman of the GOP (lifting export bans and selling the heck out of LNG to developing economies).

      • Stephen, the USA doesn´t have sufficient gas to have future unrestricted export of natural gas via LNG. The liquification of natural gas requires a lot of energy, and this is an added negative. I realize many in the industry are exasperated because they have great overseas markets and can´t access them.

        But the US government ought to look at the long term impacts, and it shouldn´t allow the fast development of an unsustainable gas market to satisfy the needs of a few. If I felt the natural gas reserves had legs at reasonable prices I wouldn´t be so cautious.

        But my draw is that shale gas will require much higher prices in the future to be producible. And if we start exporting large quantities of gas the export streams will be a heavy drain on the US economy.

      • Fernando — Obviously, if I were a “Wiz” on this stuff I’d be pulling down big bucks in consulting rather than blogging.

        I do share that Jon Huntsman had a big impact on me — to think “outside the current box” but always holding to conservative principles.

        Exporting LNG is not a “stand alone” issue. It would be part (an incentive carrot) of a dynamic trade strategy for economic growth beneficial to the U.S. (creating markets for stuff we are good at with high energy efficiency technology) and developing economies (lifting them out of poverty).

        It would be part of a major quid pro quo — where developing economies get carrots (access to LNG, favored trade status) “IF” they commit to a flexible low carbon economy using U.S. energy efficient technology.

        “IF” this could occur, it would be a major World “Game Changer”.

      • For the record, Fernando’s point makes no economic sense in any analysis frame I’ve ever heard of. If U.S. LNG exports were going to be uneconomic then there would be no need for regulation to pen the gas inside the U.S. as no one would voluntarily export at a loss. The lobbyists for the regulations (people who want to depress gas prices in the U.S. in the interest of commodity chemical manufacturers, mostly) are worried precisely because they foresee that these exports will indeed be profitable.

        Fernando makes a vague suggestion of a wedge between “short-term” and “long-term” profitability of LNG exports, but there is no reason to think that government regulators are better positioned in this market than in any other to beat private investors’ speculation on the long-term gains. Nor is there is any argument made about why these investors wouldn’t internalize and assume all the risk of being wrong. In these circumstances there is no justification for interfering in the free trade of gas and the decentralized decisions of self-interested investors in gas exporting facilities.

        It is never clear to me why the subject of energy causes people to forget everything they know about the limited rationales for regulating private markets.

  6. Judith,

    Excellent interview. Your answer to the first question was exceptional. It really says it all.

  7. Dave VanArsdale

    The “Pain at the Pump” is already overwhelming to Non-Elites.

    • Dave VanArsdale — Are you inferring that Federal GW policies/actions have led to high gasoline prices in the U.S.? Think (and maybe do a little research) about your answer before you respond.

    • Dave — If its not the price of gasoline, it can’t be U.S. electricity because GW regs haven’t been written yet. So what do you mean by the U.S. term “pain at the pump”?

      • Dave VanArsdale

        Stephen,
        Perhaps English is not your first language. If that is the case it would begin to explain your most recent and incoherent post. Your comment which included reference to Bachman showed me that you are more likely a troll. I don’t feed trolls. Buhbye.

      • Dave — I’ll do a Quid Pro Quo. (1) I’ll clean up the typo mistake with the Bachmann post, if you (2) will answer a pretty simple question:

        (1) What I am saying: I wish people like Gore, Mann, and Oppenheimer would just go away — a 25 year sabbatical to the Arctic to study sea ice would be nice. I wish you would join them as their “resident skeptic”.

        (2) Dave, what do you mean by the U.S. term “pain at the pump”?

        Always easy to fall back to the troll claim when you can’t answer.

  8. Again, this conundrum is evidence of the wickedness of the climate change problem.

    Climate change is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years.

    Climate change Alarmism is out of bounds.

    • popesclimatetheory — I agree with you 100% and have blasted obviously politically liberal scientists like Oppenheimer for what he is saying.

      But Alarmism is a two edged sword. 90% of CE bloggers will jump all over the CAGWs, but give Industry’s use of Alarmism a free pass. And, if you demand that I back this statement up — you just are not reading the newspapers very much.

  9. JC, I think you’ll find this funny:

    From the comments on oilprice.com there’s this excerpt from YellowJacketHive: “At least she isn’t parroting the global cooling talking point. She is probably avoiding the rath of her scientific peers.”

    Keep up the good work, and make sure you avoid the wrath of your peers. ;)

  10. Judith Curry: “While some of the smartest people on the planet are university professors, most of them simply don’t matter in today’s great debates.”

    “The chief one that concerns me as a scientist is that strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.”

    I have indeed met university professors who were pretty smart, but I doubt that they comprise a very high percentage of “the smartest people on the planet.” In any event, they do not as a group display much care in the accuracy of their public statements. Sometimes even when they are pressed for clarification the resultant statements give us little basis for confidence.

    Based on such experiences, my opinion is that we laymen would be well advised to lose some of our trust in scientists.

    Trust science, not scientists.

  11. “Although you wouldn’t think so by listening to the Obama administration on the topic of climate change, the debate is becoming more complex and nuanced.”

    If there’s anything that causes me to “lose trust in scientists” it’s when they conflate the scientific and the political discourse. Politicians & activists are tools and that’s what they do. What excuse do scientists have? I see no point in the partisan attack other than to score cheap points with the OilPrice readership. It certainly doesn’t usefully inform the reader in any way. This does not scream credibility, IMHO.

    • rogerknights

      “If there’s anything that causes me to “lose trust in scientists” it’s when they conflate the scientific and the political discourse. ”

      I think JC had the administration’s scientists in mind, like Chu and Holdren.

  12. Need more climate science communication? I’d settle for poor communication of slightly more knowledge acquired. No, not stuff like the hidey heat detected by stupendously superficial obs. (The adolescent branch of the Murdoch Press has just published the new “findings” with a pic of a polar bear looking all confused on his lump of ice.)

    No. Talking about actual knowing. Just a tiny bit of knowing – and forget communication. I don’t care if my scientists are forgetful old guys with perpetual bad-hair days who can’t do retail. Just want them to actually know more actual stuff.

  13. “strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.”

    You can trust curious scientists. They don’t turn up much in the debate.

    JC believes that the problem is very complex but that climate science nevertheless exists, and she is a part of it, and claims the “wicked problem” part of what nevertheless is science as hers.

    I believe it’s cargo cult science.

    When you abandon curiousity, you leave science.

  14. People don’t understand that we are in an ice age now [14.5C Today, i.e., ‘generally a cold time within the Earth’s history’] ~Patrick Moore (Patrick Moore- ICCC9 July 8, 2014)

  15.  
    “CO2 is the Most Important Nutrient for All Life on Earth. Please teach the children this…” ~Patrick Moore (ICCC9 July 8, 2014)

    • Wagathon — I am so happy (actually ecstatic) that you provided the above quote. Now everyone at CE can clearly see your science views as exactly that of the esteemed climate scientist Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):

      • What are you saying, that you hate Michele Bachmann? Gov. Palin too? Perhaps, all strong women?

      • Wagathon — What I am saying I that wish people like Gore, Mann, and Oppenheimer would just go away — a 25 year sabbatical to the Arctic to study sea ice would be nice. I wish you would join them as their “resident skeptic”.

      • Is that being sent to Siberia to drill for Trenberth’s missing heat?

      • Wagathon — You post a lot here at CE. If you’ve got points on economics or science that you want to share with us — TELL US!

        But all this stuff going after “Liberals” that you post — Geez! (and I’m a Republican, albeit a RINO by Tea Party standards).

    • Global warming is a hoax and a scare tactic. If it was about science, it wouldn’t be a Left vs. right issue. Globalt warming is not the problem but fear of it — it is symptom of a failing society. We are witness to the fall of Western civilization.

      The founding fathers got it — they were right about something we’ve lost. There’s much more to the story of human civilization built upon a unified code of moral and spiritual precepts than the names of ancestors long dead like Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Dostoevsky probably said it best: “The West has lost Christ and that is why it is dying; that is the only reason.”

  16. Thanks, Judith.

    Cheers.

  17. Some scientists actually do look to the future–e.g.,

    Nuclear energy will be the most important source of electricity in the future. There is fuel for thousands of years. ~Patrick Moore (ICCC9 July 8, 2014)

  18. Oddly the science – at least at its most basic level – is increasingly clear cut. The maximum residual trend attributable to greenhouse gases is some 0.07 degrees C/decade. It seems more likely that the ‘hiatus’ will persist for 20 to 40 years. The 20th century was at the warmest point of millennial natural variability – reversion to cooler states seems quite likely. Extremes in the 20th century have been well inside the limits of natural variability.

    None of this is at all alarming – except for the last bit. Extremes such as we have never seen inevitably in the future.

    The only thing remotely concerning is the propensity for the system to shift unpredictably. Lucky there are practical and pragmatic responses to emissions, land use changes, etc.

    • When you say “attributable to greenhouse gases” does that include water vapor? And what is the relative effect of water vapor?

  19. Sort of like the Left?

    “A sustainability officer in Long Island described solar panels as a wealth-destroying technology.” ~Patrick Moore (ICCC9 July 8, 2014)

  20. [img src=”http://www.w3schools.com/images/lamp.gif” alt=”Lamp” width=”15″ height=”15″]

    I would like to add jpg’s to comments. The above – with the greater and lessor symbols –
    works on my site but not here. Can someone tell me how they are doing it?

  21. Here’s Greenpeace protesting a Russian oil rig with an oil-powered ship saying we must end “Addition to Oil.” Is this hypocrisy? ~Patrick Moore (ICCC9 July 8, 2014)

  22. Inserting an image? didn’t work for me either…

    • Curious George

      Convert it to a (static) video, post it on YouTube, then link to it. A little indirect, in the best traditions:

      What does a mathematician do when she wants to smoke? She opens a drawer, takes out a box of matches, a pack of cigarettes, closes the drawer, opens the pack of cigarettes, puts one in her mouth, closes the pack of cigarettes, opens the box of matches, takes one match out, closes the box of matches, lights the match, lights the cigarette, and smokes.

      What does a mathematician do when she wants to smoke and cigarettes are on the desk? She opens the drawer, puts the cigarettes in the drawer, and closes the drawer. Now she has reduced the problem to one with a known solution.

      If this does remind you of software libraries, you are not alone.

      • The way to maintain an ancient but useful program with millions of lines is to reduce each new feature added to something that already works, and then use the old code for the new feature.

        That reduces hidden interactions to zero, and they’re the chief cause of unmaintainability. Even if you yourself wrote all that code, you will have forgotten too much to ferret out interactions in a new feathre.

  23. Judith Curry v. oilprice.com, 8/22/14, says, Climate science communication hasn’t been very effective in my opinion. The dominant paradigm seems to be that a science knowledge deficit of the public and policy makers exists, which is exacerbated by the Koch-funded climate denial machine. This knowledge deficit then results in the public failing to act with the urgency that is urged by climate scientists. [¶] This strategy hasn’t worked for a lot of reasons. The chief one that concerns me as a scientist is that strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.

    Many years ago, the University of California held a symposium at Berkeley on teaching science. During a break, small stand-up conflabs accumulated in the foyer. In one, a budding scientist, cocktail in hand, gave an opinion right out of the WWII Army Signal Corps training manual: he opined that one couldn’t teach science if one couldn’t define it. A most highly regarded professor in the group countered rather tangentially, “I can’t define love, but I know it when I see it.” End of the story at Berkeley, except that science proves not nearly so hard to define, provided one can relax his grip on what passes for science in academia.

    The problem with climate science communication is not the communication, but the other end of the stick. The problem is that what Dr. Curry perceives as having a communication problem is not science. The extremes to which academic climate science has gone in defense of what it promotes as science is greater than any extremes of weather in its predictions, failed by Climate Change 1990 to be renamed “projections”. That excess is apparent to the alleged Three Percenters, to industrial scientists, to engineers, and to a respectable, growing handful of laymen scattered amongst those whose ideas ate no more than 140 characters long, some genuine whackos, and the otherwise uneducated. Dr. Curry herself has gravitated to the fringe of the Ninety-Seven Percenters, but still entertains some peculiar notions. An example is the alleged Koch Brothers conspiracy. Note that the David H. Koch Fund sponsored Cosmos, complete with its sometimes peculiar scientific notions (e.g., for openers, AGW).

    That marginally communicative, academic practice is Post Modern Science, and no better example exists than academia’s climate science. Climate Etc. could entertain an extensive thread on the epistemology of Post Modern Science (PMS) vs. Modern Science (MS) (after recognizing the latter’s existence), but we can cut to the bottom line with a few simple observations:

    A PMS model is valid principally according to two (of five) tenets: it must have been published in a professional, peer-reviewed journal, and it must be able to lay claim to support by a consensus in the duly approved community.

    An MS model is valid exclusively according to its predictive power.

    The PMS version suits academics because it translates into Publish or Perish. But the PMS tenets and the single MS principal are orthogonal, that is, neither set of rules predicts the other. Modern Science is practiced most successfully in industry by NOT publishing, and by NOT soliciting consensus; it relies on trade secrets.

    What should be obvious is that PMS models needn’t actually work; MS models must.

    • ‘Communicating ‘ means well to communicate something.
      Communicating climate science means communicating, er, …
      So have the science communicators communicated effectively

      # Positive feedback data?
      # Hot Spot CO2 Signature?
      # Model forecasts of climate sensitivity in sync with CO2?
      # Global warming that’s global?
      # Increased hurricane activity
      # Warmer Winters?
      # Cloud net effect on Earth temps?

      http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/dr-david-evans-the-skeptics-case/

      • Beththeserf, 8/20/14 @ 9:54 pm, says ‘Communicating ‘ means well to communicate something. [¶] Communicating climate science means communicating, er, … “[¶] So have the science communicators communicated effectively [list]

        You started out on the right foot: to communicate something. Not just anything, but something in particular. That particular didn’t make your list. It is the model that man is causing the Earth’s climate to warm on a global scale. It was communicated, and especially to its target audience of what IPCC calls “policymakers”, e.g., Gore and his student President.

        The problem is that the model has failed. All the causes are present, but the main effect, climate sensitivity, the only prediction of the model that can be estimated, has not materialized. What is especially interesting is that the general public with its abysmal scientific literacy is rejecting the model. The public demand that a model work is an amazing intuition mechanized in Modern Science.

        That the climate model need not work is perfectly acceptable to the Post Modern (Climate) Scientists because their model of science has no Cause & Effect, so it has no way to predict, and can have no standard that the models work. Public instinct is trumping the best Post Modern Scientists can muster. AGW, the “something”, has been communicated alright, it’s just being rejected.

    • P.S.: Judith Curry v. oilprice.com, 8/22/14, says, The impact of extreme weather events in raising concern about global warming became apparent following Hurricane Katrina. The psychology of immediate and visible loss is far more salient than hypothetical problems in the next century. Hence extreme weather events have been effectively used in propaganda efforts.

      The propaganda only began at the damage, but it extended all the way back into the storm and forward into the remediation. The extreme damage was due primarily to the capacity of the New Orleans levees, which Congress had refused to fix despite warnings and requests over the years by the Army Corps of Engineers. The damage was exacerbated before the breech by the failure of the Mayor of NO to execute the city’s evacuation plan, and afterward by the Governor of Louisiana denying FEMA relief entry into the state. Katrina was an extreme political event that the media diverted to Dubya, apparently for not literally wading into the mess. But she was a slow moving, category 3 hurricane, an ordinary, mid-range weather event, irrelevant to climate, before or after 2005.

  24. let me give it a shot,
    <img scr=" http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jy4MU-KmIrM/U_diMCDIZgI/AAAAAAAALT8/M6oVDbtGWPk/s1600/co2ref7_2014.png&quot; style="max-width:50%;"

    Don’t know if the image location is compatible but let’s see. If I fubar the site, well I do have a few other things to do until time out is over :(

  25. It certainly makes sense that a professor at an Earth Sciences department endorses the Peak Oil concept.

    Energy poverty in most of the world is due to the vast majority of the countries lacking their own sources of high grade fossil fuel. They are priced out of the market as the one-way road to increased scarcity relentlessly unfolds.

    • Yeah, like Venezuela, sitting on a lake of oil, and facing a shortage of coffins. Maybe it is the economics? Naaah!

      • If you took an Earth Sciences course you would realize that the Orinoco Belt is not a lake but more like a mud pit. Heavy oil is bottom of the barrel stuff.

      • and the official pump price for gas is $0.05 versus $10 gallon for milk. Cheap energy don’t mean much with dumb leadership.

      • So I take it that Cappy thinks that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows *smart* leadership ? oh boy, quite the trick box Cappy got himself into, eh?

      • compared to Venezuela, Saudi Arabia is a mecca :)

      • The large majority of Venezuela´s oil reserves are extra heavy oil located in the Orinoco Oil Belt. The oil is quite similar to the “bitumen” produced in the Alberta and Saskatchewan “Tar Sands”. There´s a slight difference, In Venezuela´s Orinoco Oil Belt the oil sands are buried deeper, the average surface temperature is higher, and the oil sands were deposited on top of a fairly hot basement rock. This allows the oil to flow a bit easier than in Canada, and explains why today they produce the oil without much steam injection.

        However, the oil is essentially the same quality, and once it reaches the surface and gets degassed it´s around 8 degrees API. This type of crude has to be blended or upgraded to get it to market. Blending requires a blending stream, which can cost enormous sums of money. Upgrading requires construction of “upgraders”, which break up heavy oil molecules and hydrogenate them. The hydrogenation process requires hydrogen, which in turn is sourced from natural gas. And all of this costs a ton of money.

        I have directed studies on how to increase Venezuela´s oil production, and I can inform you that 1. Production can be increased, but it will require enormous investments, and a lot of time. 2. The ultimate potential isn´t as high as many have projected. 3. There´s a serious risk that PDVSA´s production practices are ruining the oil fields, and the recovery factor will never reach what they have projected. Because the current developments are located in the best areas, what we see is the potential ruin of the country´s oil production potential.

      • Wow WHT, I see that your comprehension of casual English used in the comment threads here is still top notch.

        It isn’t that it is hard to get that keeps the oil in Venezuela from flowing.


      • TJA | August 25, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        It isn’t that it is hard to get that keeps the oil in Venezuela from flowing.

        TJA, Are you kidding me? It is both more costly and deeper than similar low-grade oil found in NA. Fernando is the expert on this.

        They also teach this at places such as the Earth Sciences dept at Georgia Tech.

    • The path to energy futures is a 50 lane highway.

  26. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith Curry:

    Climate science communication hasn’t been very effective in my opinion. The dominant paradigm seems to be that a science knowledge deficit of the public and policy makers exists, which is exacerbated by the Koch-funded climate denial machine. This knowledge deficit then results in the public failing to act with the urgency that is urged by climate scientists.

    This strategy hasn’t worked for a lot of reasons. The chief one that concerns me as a scientist is that strident advocacy and alarmism is causing the public to lose trust in scientists.

    Actually, in general the public loves advocacy and alarmism. What we don’t like, and what you once again have not mentioned, is being lied to and cheated. The leading lights of the climate alarmist movement (who up until then were extremely popular) stacked the peer review panels, subverted the IPCC using tricks and “kited” citations, and in some cases even committed crimes. They stand convicted by their own words.

    That’s what destroyed the trust, not the alarmism or the failed predictions. The public is not tired of alarmism. As one of many examples, Paul Ehrlich is still revered by the climate alarmists and many others as well. Despite a 100% success record of utterly and often hilariously failed predictions, people still listen to and trust him.

    The trust was lost through the leading climate alarmist scientists being exposed as lying, cheating and stealing to advance their views. As Megan McArdle commented in her discussion of the Peter Gleick affair, After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.

    w.

    • +100
      When you don’t ask nice for my money but just take it to fix a problem that you admit can’t be fixed, well, you then loose my trust. Period.

    • “The leading lights of the climate alarmist movement (who up until then were extremely popular) stacked the peer review panels, subverted the IPCC using tricks and “kited” citations, and in some cases even committed crimes. They stand convicted by their own words.”

      Oh no, not the “evil scientists” conspiracy theory again.

    • Willis –

      ==> “Actually, in general the public loves advocacy and alarmism. What we don’t like, and what you once again have not mentioned, is being lied to and cheated.”

      Interesting. When did you get appointed as spokesperson for the general public? And who appointed you? Anthony?

      ==> “…That’s what destroyed the trust,…The trust was lost ”

      Interesting. You like to research the evidence people use in support of their claim, Willis. You expect that they provide the data they use.

      What data have you used to speak of destroyed and lost trust in the past tense? What evidence do you have to ascertain some change in time in public opinion.

      I’ve asked you this before, Willis, and you failed to provide any evidence then (lamely referring to cross-sectional data). So here’s another change for ya’. Don’t say I never gave you a break.

      • Curious George

        Willis clearly does not speak for you. But he speaks for me. That’s two against one. The usage of “we” is fully justified. Have you ever bothered to watch Prof. Muller’s video?

      • Steven Mosher

        willis isnt making a scientific argument.
        when willis says “we” lost trust, he means “he” lost trust.

        The audience will either identify with the claim or not.

        The argument is not about empirical facts of the general population.
        the argument is a statement of identity.

        Its the same style of arguments being made in ferguson.

      • Oh. Ok. So when Willis talks about what “in general the public” likes, and then moves directly into talking about what ‘we” think, he’s actually talking about what he thinks.

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        Now that the authority has spoken, we can just move on.

    • Hey Willis –

      I thought of you when I read this in that study that Steven linked:

      The traits people consider to be most important for scientists to have are honesty, ethical behaviour and open-mindedness. For engineers, creativity, open-mindedness and honesty are considered the most important traits to possess.

       Generally, scientists and engineers are meeting these expectations. The public see them as creative, interesting and open-minded individuals, and continue to think that they make a positive impact on society.

      You might consider that as evidence for why you should take the time to look at the evidence before acting as spokesperson for the general public.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Willis Eschenbach: That’s what destroyed the trust, not the alarmism or the failed predictions.

      The failed predictions have contributed, as shown by your example of the failed predictions of Paul Ehrlich.

      • you mean the failed predictions of Julian Simon?

        See the unrecoverable decline in crude oil, anthracite coal, phosphate, helium, etc.

        BTW, this is all information that one can obtain from the Earth Sciences curriculum at Georgia Tech.

      • http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/01/13/but-why-did-julian-simon-win-the-paul-ehrlich-bet/

        The failure is one of the imagination. With liquid fuels – it may also be one of regulation.

        But oil seems headed lower as 21st Century speculation unwinds.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2014/06/09/9-reasons-why-oil-prices-may-be-headed-for-a-bust/

        And as I said – the technology for energy is a 50 lane highway to the future.

        No limits is a much better assumption.

      • The long term oil price will be relentlessly higher. This assumes world GDP and population will keep increasing. There may be slight oscillations and blips, but the fundamentals are clear: we are running out of oil.

      • Fenando – true but trivial. The question is how much oil we can produce relative to demand. Obviously, we have learned to produce more here in the US. And that technology is spreading, so there will be even more oil produced.

        On the demand side, natural gas infrastructure is being built out in the US and more and more businesses and governments are switching to it. More mass transit gets built, whether it’s a good idea or not. Of course there are electric cars, but the % electric of total cars won’t amount to much in a very long time. Joule Fuels is making progress with its cyanobacteria which can make gasoline, diesel, and ethanol. If worse comes to worse, we can produce gasoline from coal, but that likely won’t be necessary.

        So, while it’s trivially true that the amount of oil is fixed, that’s just not the whole story. First, we still don’t know how much we have in total. Then, we don’t know how much will be recoverable – that number especially keeps going up. Finally, demand will be lessening.

        So, it’s looking like we will be able to produce enough to make a transition to other energy sources for transportation. That’s really the key requirement.

      • jim2 said:

        And that technology is spreading, so there will be even more oil produced.

        What good does it do for that technology to spread to locations in the world that have little or know known deposits of crude?

        This is called geology and is taught in courses at places such as the Earth Sciences department at Georgia Tech.

        That’s why it is of no use for Japan to possess that technology.
        That’s why it is of no use for Switzerland to possess that technology.
        That’s why it is of no use for Jamaica to possess that technology.
        That’s why it is of no use for Paraguay to possess that technology.
        That’s why it is of no use for Korea to possess that technology.
        etc. etc.

        Today the world is split into the haves and have-nots, and in the future it will be the have-nots fighting it out over the bottom-of-the-barrel remains. And that’s what shale oil amounts to. So you can see that starting now.

        That’s the situation with finite natural resources. You might want to look into it.

      • Jim2, a relentlessly rising oil price won´t be trivial to those who have to pay a real increase equal to 20 %, 40 %, 60 % of today´s prices. When I see oil company reserve statistics I can see the numbers getting grimmer by the day. I suppose you are aware there´s a tendency for oil companies to show “liquids” production figures, and avoid showing the oil as a separate number. They either use “equivalents” in their reports, or they bulk up by adding gas condensates and natural gas liquids. But when we dig into the numbers we can see oil company OIL reserves are dropping. And production is dropping as well.

        We can turn to OPEC and former Soviet Union nations, and the picture is a mixed bag. I have either worked with the data from those countries, worked in country, or have friends who told me what they thought. And the picture is quite mixed. But in general we ARE running out of oil. And I don´t see IPCC projections that we´ll get to 175 million barrels per day as being anything but pure dreams.

      • I agree with Fernando except where he says “we are running out of oil”. That is a tricky argument when dealing with a polemicist such as jim2.

        The fact is that as oil gets scarcer, the costs of extracting the harder-to-get reserves will continue to increase and the net energy retrieved will decrease, guaranteeing that we won’t necessarily completely “run out” of oil. There will always be some oil that remains, and the experienced rhetorical tactician will use that against you.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: you mean the failed predictions of Julian Simon?

        Simon had fewer failed predictions than Ehrlich.

        Could you quote a failed prediction by Simon? He always wrote that new supplies and substitutes for “declining” resources would be found as long as the markets remained free and people continued to work for them. America’s burgeoning oil and gas supplies are a confirmatory example. When Simon and Ehrlich bet head-to-head on commodity prices, Simon won the bet even though he let Ehrlich choose the commodities.

      • Julian Simon was an early-adopter denier. All that you have to know is that fossil fuel resources are finite and non-renewable. Erhlich understood this and still does, if you care to ask him.

      • Whut:

        “There will always be some oil that remains, and the experienced rhetorical tactician will use that against you.”

        somewhere in your curve oil shale will be profitable. So, I don’t see the big scary drop. More like a step function.

        http://useconomy.about.com/od/suppl1/f/Oil-Shale.htm

      • Here are some more failed predictions. Ehrlich and his ilk like to predict all these shortages, then want the government to spend tons of money on their pet projects. Then, in a fairly short time, we find it was all BS from the get-go. In just a mere two years, look what happened to oil reserves. From the article (my emphasis):

        Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States

        Release date: June 10, 2013 Updated: June 13, 2013 Table 5 corrected

        Executive summary

        This report provides an initial assessment of shale oil resources and updates a prior assessment of shale gas resources issued in April 2011. It assesses 137 shale formations in 41 countries outside the United States, expanding on the 69 shale formations within 32 countries considered in the prior report. The earlier assessment, also prepared by Advanced Resources International (ARI), was released as part of a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report titled World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States.1

        There were two reasons for pursuing an updated assessment of shale resources so soon after the prior report. First, geologic research and well drilling results not available for use in the 2011 report allow for a more informed evaluation of the shale formations covered in that report as well as other shale formations that it did not assess. Second, while the 2011 report focused exclusively on natural gas, recent developments in the United States highlight the role of shale formations and other tight plays as sources of crude oil, lease condensates, and a variety of liquids processed from wet natural gas.

        As shown in Table 1, estimates in the updated report taken in conjunction with EIA’s own assessment of resources within the United States indicate technically recoverable resources of 345 billion barrels of world shale oil resources and 7,299 trillion cubic feet of world shale gas resources. The new global shale gas resource estimate is 10 percent higher than the estimate in the 2011 report.
        Table 1. Comparison of the 2011 and 2013 reports ARI report coverage 2011 Report 2013 Report
        Number of countries 32 41
        Number of basins 48 95
        Number of formations 69 137
        Technically recoverable resources, including U.S.
        Shale gas (trillion cubic feet) 6,622 7,299
        Shale / tight oil (billion barrels) 32 345
        Note: The 2011 report did not include shale oil; however, the Annual Energy Outlook 2011 did (for only the U.S.) and is included here for completeness.

        (end quote)
        You can bet these numbers have increased, not fallen, in the last year.

        http://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/

      • Shale oil is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff and an indicator of The End of the Oil Age.

        Ehrlich outlived Simon to see this eventuality occur.

      • Higher demand creates scarcity and scarcity drives prices higher – but the economy doesn’t stop there. Higher prices creates opportunity. The path to energy futures is a 50 lane highway. It is difficult to imagine how this is not obvious or how dumb you need to be not to see it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Julian Simon was an early-adopter denier. All that you have to know is that fossil fuel resources are finite and non-renewable. Erhlich understood this and still does, if you care to ask him.

        As I said, Ehrlich was wrong more often than Simon. And as I said, Ehrlich’s serial errorful scaremongering has cause him to lose respect.

      • Whut:
        “Shale oil is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff and an indicator of The End of the Oil Age.”

        Oil shale or shale oil? Lots of oil out there to get. It only takes omniscient man to do it. Under what circumstances do you believe in omniscient man? When it suits the tiny beliefs on which you have based your life?

      • Oil Shale is a non-starter. That is one of those resources that the jerk Julian Simon likely would have gotten wrong, like everything else he did.

      • Shale oil is almost irrelevant – natural gas on the other hand is a big deal. This is something jerks like webby keep getting wrong.

    • William McClenney

      Willis, if you hadn’t said it, I would have said it and given you the credit (linked to the last time you said it).

      Because you are right. It took very little effort at all to realize that a lot of what passes as “official” or even “unofficial” communication from the climate establishment wasn’t even thin, it was see-thru. At the very least all Climategate did was confirm the conclusions I had already come to.

      Your credibility is something you can intentionally lose to me just once. Label yourself a turd-polisher and there you will stay, so of course I take names.

      This repackaging of climate communication is nothing more than sales. And sales do work! A local diner always has a sign with their “Corned beef hash and eggs” on special for $10.91. Look up at the fixed menu and the normal price is $10.91. Have I seen and heard patrons ordering it because it was the special? Take a guess…. It isn’t exactly a lie because their CBH really is special :-)

      And that’s just basic propaganda, not really any ill-intent there. Putting a finer spit-polish on a lie is much more serious monkey-business. Now we are into ill-intent on the second-floor, aka fraud.

      That I neither forgive or forget. And it doesn’t help if you see the error of your ways and repent. Because that means your ethics are not only flexible but elastic. Attempting to verify post-repent “truths” takes far more effort than to simply believe everything you do not say going forward.

    • Wasn’t Willis Eschenbach the guy responsible in 2009 for the smear attacks on the surface temperature records? Was it not he who cherrypicked the station “Darwin Zero” to launch a now discredited attack at WUWT on those records?

      Who is he to talk about destroying trust?

  27. Very interesting and quite true if judged by the squeals of protest from the usual suspect.

  28. Today in a N.Y. Times OP/ED, Dr. Adam Frank gave a very different perspective on the state of science (“Welcome to the Age of Denial”).

    I just wonder if Dr. Curry had asked Dr. Frank to guest post “his” opinion here at CE, if 90% of the bloggers here would HAVE BEEN OUTRAGED & DEMANDED THAT HE BACK UP HIS STATEMENTS.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/welcome-to-the-age-of-denial.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As&_r=2&

    • Matthew R Marler

      Stephen Segrest: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/welcome-to-the-age-of-denial.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As&_r=2&amp;

      Thank you for the link.

      Once again the phrase “climate deniers”, when no one denies climate, and no one denies that climate changes.

    • Stephen: Dr Frank says:

      “a well-funded effort has skillfully rebranded that ideology as “creation science” and pushed it into classrooms across the country. Though transparently unscientific, denying evolution has become a litmus test for some conservative politicians, even at the highest”

      And:
      “Meanwhile, climate deniers, taking pages from the creationists’ PR playbook, have manufactured doubt about fundamental issues in climate science that were decided scientifically decades ago.”

      Dr Frank creates a “creation science” problem where none exists and then adds an imagined link between that imagined problem to climate “deniers”.

      Why is Dr Frank being so dumb. Perhaps it is the desire for fame or merely recognition by Mann.

    • nottawa rafter

      Stephen do you really think that in 1989 63 % thought climate change was a problem? What percent of that group were still remembering the fear of some scientists in the 1970s that we were headed for an ice age. How many were aware of the Roman or Medieval Warm Periods? The author doesn’t add anything to the debate with his unscientific observations. He engages in the same type of emotive driven thought process he is accusing the other side of using. I’m not impressed. You can bring on a more persuasive case than that. Or can you.

      • nottawa rafter — You miss the point of my post — I’m certainly not advocating Dr. Frank’s “opinion”.

        From earlier threads, bloggers were reacting to Dr. Curry’s “personal opinion”. Here, Dr. Frank gave his “personal opinion”. Should the “standards” be different between the “personal opinions” of Dr. Curry and Dr. Frank?

      • Stephen: Not all opinions are equal. I showed downthread that Frank’s opinion is illogical. It is based on disparent ideas that are figments of his imagination. His opinions are not what we should expect from s science professor and do not deserve academic equivalency to those of Dr Curry.

      • disparate ideas

    • Judy can’t name names without it turning “personal” and nasty. But obvious alarmist propagandists would be the 200+ authors of the recent National Climate Assessment Report.

  29. “Koch-funded climate denial machine. ”

    Ha ha ha ha ha! What next? Dark money, right? Seriously? Is this what the blog is about? Trying to lead people to the “light” through “engagement,” while all the time your mind is closed to anything anybody says on the grounds that it is all funded by those nefarious libertarians , Big KocK!

    Once again, HA ha ha ha ha ha! This is all just one big duplicitous ruse? Or did somebody scare you at the university? after all, what is the opposite of “diversity,” “University!”

    Puhleeze. Enjoy running your little programs and pretending that they are “experiments” enjoy fiddling with the data till it finally confesses that yes Yes YESS! The models are right and the measurements are WRONG!

    It would be pretty funny to see you explain in rigorous detail how this all works, this BIG KOCK.

    What a shame.

    • I tried to look into the “Koch funded climate denial machine” and I had a lot of difficulty finding hard figures. Koch is privately held, and they don´t publish consolidated information. I suspect Murdoch´s media empire is a bigger player. They sure seem quite inclined to drive the US public to love wars and invasions.

    • It is not a coincidence that all elected Republicans don’t believe in AGW. They have a funding source, and if they even suggest that they agree with the scientists, the plug gets pulled on their election campaign in favor of another Republican who is willing to toe the line. Money is a big part of politics in the US, and certain wealthy election-funders are very motivated towards self-interest.

      • Do they not believe on AGW or do they believe that many policies advocated by the wealthy and influential environmentalist lobby, such as keystone and EPA regs, are standing in the way of economic growth? Are they listening to the voters who rate climate dead last as an issue and employment and wages at the top?

      • When interviewed they don’t believe the science. If asked if Man is the main contributor to warming they have a sure ‘no’ as an answer. They are not allowed to say any different from this. There have been exceptions such as Schwarzenegger who was charismatic enough not to need fossil fuel money, but the typical congressman is not going to win with charisma.

      • “The top contributing industry sectors — finance and real estate, lawyers and lobbyists, healthcare, communications, and energy and transportation — provided a combined $1.2 billion in campaign money to federal candidates in 2008.” And:
        “Industry giving to the two major political parties was roughly even across sectors, with Democrats receiving 56 percent of total contributions.”
        finance and real estate: 203 million [dems] and 173 million [R]
        lawyers and lobbyists: 201 million [dems] and 71 million [R]
        energy and transportation: 45 million [dems] and 84 million [R]
        http://www.acrreform.org/research/money-in-politics-who-gives/
        Per capita [in zip codes] New York gives most at $600, followed by:
        Los Angles: $390, DC $376, and Chicago $246
        and US generally: $10

      • Democrats have AGW views across the spectrum, so at least their funding is not distorting their view of the science disproportionately. They don’t have litmus tests on scientific beliefs.

      • Jim D, 8/23/14 @ 5:17 pm says, “Democrats have AGW views across the spectrum, so at least their funding is not distorting their view of the science disproportionately. They don’t have litmus tests on scientific beliefs.” See also Jim D. at 10:42 am.

        So you say billionaire Tom Steyer, climate activist, creator of a super PAC to keep Democrats in control of the Senate, is an ineffectual? Be careful, Jim D. Don’t use your real name.

        Generalizing is always problematic, so let’s be scientific and resort to facts, or perhaps surrogates for facts. US Democrats who call “global climate change ‘a major threat’ comprise 65% of their total, and the corresponding response for US Republicans is 25%. That’s 2.6 to 1. That’s 72%. A mudslide!

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/upshot/on-climate-republicans-and-democrats-are-from-different-continents.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

        Worse than generalizing as an intellectual pursuit is poor problem definition. How do the pollsters select and prepare their sample? Is “global climate change” synonymous with “anthropogenic (global) climate change? Whichever, in what context is it “a major threat”? Compered to the invasion across our southern border? Compared to the great victories being scored by Jihadists? Compared to the Hamas mass suicide, lead lemmings arm-in-arm with the poor Palestinians? Putin channeling Stalin? Critically wounded police shooting their attackers?

        Poll results tend to reveal much more about poll-taker politics than they do about public beliefs. Polls today are dominantly media events, free to out-bias than their owners.

        Sir Francis Bacon, standing on the shoulders of Alhazen (~1000), created Modern Science (MS) out of 2000-year-old Aristotelian Science, when in 1620 Bacon introduced Cause & Effect to make scientific models deductive. Philosopher Karl Raimund Popper created Post Modern Science (PMS), beginning in the ’30s when dialing the clock back, he discarded both Cause & Effect and definitions to rationalize that scientific propositions were inductive (“All Crows Are Black”), that predictive power of science was a fiction (only test for failures, never successes), and that the only way to test validity was through “intersubjectivity”, testing scientific propositions via (1) falsification clauses, (2) peer-review and publication, (3) Type II error testing, (4) consensus forming, and (5) social consequences, in the order discovered by the US Supreme Court in 1993, Daubert v. Merrell Dow.

        Consequently, two schools of science flourish today, and both of them apply litmus tests — not to scientific beliefs, but to scientific knowledge. Beliefs (intersubjectively shared) are exclusive to PMS. The litmus tests of PMS are the five tenets above. PMS lives in non-engineering academia. The litmus test for Modern Science is singular: whether the models have predictive power. MS thrives in technology.

        What do Democrats and Republicans know of this? Of litmus tests? Precious little. No more than IPCC climatologists. You could get whatever answer you might want from a poll by clever design of the questionnaire.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: It is not a coincidence that all elected Republicans don’t believe in AGW

        It is not a coincidence that all of the elected Democrats favor a more rapid readjustment of the energy economy than the 50-100 year transition that you advocated. After you finish critiquing the Republicans, would you like to make the case that the Democrats actually favor what you favor? Do you really advocate the 50-100 year transition that you have written of? Or are you more in tune with the urgency and alarmism of Obama, Pelosi and Reid?

        I am in favor of a 50-100 year transition away from fossil fuels, which it looks to me like we (the US and EU) are well-prepared for, though I also think that the greens in Germany and California are pushing too hard.

  30. Tje science of climate change has been muddied by several factors. In my opinion, the most important of theseis is the 19th century science of Arrhenius compared with the 29th century science of James Chadwick who discovered the neutron – a particle heavy enough to change the heat absorbing powers of gases like CO2 – not just their kinetic energy, but their vibrational energy as well. I am noy sure whether Judith accepts this comparison, or if she does, that it is important.

    If I had the resources, which I don’t as a 92 year old science retiree, I would set up a model to test these discrepancies. Maybe somebody has, but the IPCC is less than transparent of its model supporting activities, but it is only by better modelling that the answer to this wicked problem will be found.

  31. Hi Dr. Curry, Your comments on the cause of the unexpected hiatus is thought provoking. The amount of energy that you describe is phenomenal. Is it possible that some part of this energy could be harnessed for human activity? I suspect this query might be somewhat speculative, but then new ideas usually have some speculative source and comment. Best wishes, and though many comments may be over my head, I enjoy reading them. Regards, Ramesh Sujanani

  32. Climate scientists have lost faith in each other – why would the public not follow? Muller vs Mann et al – someone he won’t read again. Mann vs everyone. I have no trust in scientists – especially peer reviewers and the peer review system. There is no shortage of scientists who have disdain for Spencer and Christy, and the two of them can and have named names in return. The public not only distrust scientists, they distrust the science.

    I haven’t bothered to read Joshua for a long time and it appears he’s as obtuse as ever. If he’s a scientist he’s one I don’t trust. A desire for brevity compels me to end it here but the list of scientists and the public who don’t trust them is very long. Anyone who claims they can’t identify any is a dolt.

    • nottawa rafter

      God help us all if Joshua is a scientist. He just was never put into time out as a child and he has never had an unspoken thought. The only thing I find revolting is his rudeness to Judith. But I was raised in a different time, so it appears to be my problem.

    • Joshua has not slightest clue about any science at all – never claimed to as far as I know. It is all just puerile sophistry and the most trivial pop psychology.

  33. Judith, I hear you suggesting here that there is a set of people and skills which are more effective at reaching the public. To me, that tends to be a scary proposition if these same people are not dedicated to sound messages first. You can use sharp tools to do work, or to cut your fingers.

    I find that building trust the right way involves a track record. When your answers come through, time after time, you will be trusted.

    Also, any broken clock can look smart for a while when the wind blows the right direction. You build a lot more credibility with the savvy public by being right in both halves of the cycle, going down as well as going up.

    • A “key” finding stated in this paper: “This study shows that public trust in science has not declined since the 1970s except among conservatives and those who frequently attend church”.

      As a devout Christian here in the South, I can attest that a “major war” is going on within conservative churches. Incredibly, a week doesn’t pass where I don’t here something very negative about GW, evolution. or how environmentalists are worshiping the false God of “Mother Earth”.

      Since Religion is so important in Southern culture, it shouldn’t really surprise folks to see this “War” break out in the public sector, as happened in Alabama this week.

      When Alabama Power announced they were planning to retire some coal power plants — Politicians reacted by saying: “Coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan”.

      http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/post_14.html

      • Stephen: Why don’t you go to another church. I have never heard that stuff from the pulpit. I also lived in the south and attended Baptist and Methodist churches. I am now Catholic and a former seminary student; creationism and the environment were never discussed in my parish or at the seminary. I am sure that there are hyper strictionist ministers and politicians but I also believe they are not widespread and influential.

        My belief is that you are saying this stuff only for effect and not being totally honest.

      • Stephen: Your link to the Alabama news had one person out of a large gathering invoking the name of God. Very weak. However the group was very upset that the EPA was intent on closing down the coal industry. Their concerns are real. Exaggerated alarmism may yet kill many poor Alabamians.

      • rls — I first heard about the “Green Dragon” at my Church. In doing some simple Google searches, I read that a significant source of funding this effort has come from (gulp!) — Exxon/Mobil.

        And why would Exxon be doing this if religion and GW is (as you say) — no big deal. As national public opinion polls show, it is a very big deal.

        I listen to Moody Bible Radio almost every day — and Janet Parchall features this “Green Dragon” campaign.

      • This has become a rather disgusting trick of the goofball left – make the claim that they are either members of a southern church or the Republican Party, then make absurd claims about what they’ve “witnessed.”
        I’m 49 and have spent my whole life in conservative Christian churches. The only people who’ve ever brought up the topic of Evolution, much less insisted I take a stand on it, are liberals who insist its impossible to go to church and believe in God. Segrests’ approach is so odd because only fools and liberals can be duped by it.
        But, like the “free lunch” argument, you only need 51% and dumb and dishonest get you close.

      • Jeffn — No, its your horrible attitude that is disgusting. Conservatives and Christians like Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, Michael Gerson (Washington Post and President Bush’s administration), the American Conservative magazine, Jon Huntsman (to name a few) are not “Liberal” plants.

        These type folks are trying to show a “path” out of this culture wars mess on GW using principles that are totally in line with Conservatism and Faith.

        This path is to “re-frame” the GW dialogue from that which has been “hi-jacked” by Liberal ideology (e.g., carbon taxes, cap and trade).

        There is an immediate “path” using de-centralized (bottom/up) approaches (Dr. Ramanathan’s 4 pollutants), free trade and high economic growth policies (e.g., exporting LGN and U.S. energy efficiency technology to developing economies — including IGCC coal gasification, I might add).

        Jeffn want to re-fight the Civil War under some closed minded ideology. The above folks are trying to find ways using conservative and Faith principles to resolve the current fussin’ and fightin’.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: Incredibly, a week doesn’t pass where I don’t here something very negative about GW, evolution. or how environmentalists are worshiping the false God of “Mother Earth”.

        I hear stupid stuff from the environmentalists who do worship the false God of “Mother Earth”. There are religious fanatics in just about every faction of the polity. At any given moment they seem to determine policy or determine the words used in the debates disproportionately to their actual numbers, but it is hard to tell. I hear from liberals who claim to believe in evolution but don’t actually accept that a history of random variation and natural selection is of relevance in thinking about human behavior: as with Scopes, the only part of evolution they believe is that it contradicts the Bible.

      • Stephen: Some of your comments here are devoid of reality. Seriously, it’s like I’ve been thrown down the rabbit’s hole. Your advocacy for a middle of the road goal of reducing black carbon, etc is good. However, when you claim to know things about the south, conservatives, church sermons, and the tea party, all of which I know about from experience, there is a problem. It appears you have pieced together a view of the world based on isolated experiences and cherry picked reading.
        When I first went to college outside of Jackson MS I would spend many hours talking with my friends in the dormitory. It was in 1959 when MS was segregated and all of my friends in the dormitory were white. However, I never, not once heard any racially charged word or discussion from those students, except one time, when an obvious country redneck said things that were totally stupid. Would it be appropriate to use that one experience as proof that all the students at that college are racist? I think you are doing this regarding climate in describing the churches and people of the south. Have you considered that perhaps the church-conservative-climate link is not as direct as you think. Do you know what Methodists and Catholics think? Do you think that people of these religions are overwhelmingly conservative and are strict constructionists regarding the bible? And finally, why, if you don’t like what your pastor is preaching, don’t you go to another church?

      • rls — Thank goodness, my pastor doesn’t get into this stuff much. Most comments come from my experiences from group prayer or conversational talking (e.g., Bible study, social interaction).

        Yes, your and my perspectives are very different (and, I’m so very glad you’ve had positive experiences). I guess there are three things that I point to:

        (1) Pew (and others) research polls show that the greatest sector in negative opinions on environmental issues is from conservatives with strong religious views. This is a “fact”. An example is the study that Mosher posted.

        (2) There is a “science culture war” raging in almost every Red State legislature on the public school teaching of evolution and creationism. You’d have to live in a cave not to be aware of this.

        (3) Conservatives of strong faith have started to “push back” and are getting a lot of traction. So many people I could mention, but I’ll focus on Dr. Katherine Hayhoe of Texas A&M (an evangelical Christian & climate scientist).

        Katherine’s message: One should decide on AGW based on the science. But, if you do conclude that AGW is occurring, this opinion is absolutely consistent with Biblical teachings — and your not following the “Green Dragon”.

      • Stephen: Here Is some more to ponder on the church-conservative-climate conjecture. First, Pew reports that only 20% of American are attending church on any given weekend. Second, the most influential evangelical pastors of recent times have been Billy Graham and Rick Warren. Given the small number of people attending, how many do you think are influenced by their pastors? And of those pastors who are influential, how many do you suppose use the models of Billy Graham and Rick Warren, whose messages have nothing to do about creationism or global warming.

        Think about this also: The link between conservatism and religious faith. There are papers that link Relativism to Liberalism. Conversely, perhaps conservatives are guided by a philosophy that moral standards are necessary, a philosophy that is also compatible with most religions – and that this common philosophy is the true link? That politics is not the link?

      • Stephen Segrest,
        I’m responding to this comment of yours:
        “Incredibly, a week doesn’t pass where I don’t here something very negative about GW, evolution. or how environmentalists are worshiping the false God of “Mother Earth”

        I don’t buy it. I’ve been in conservative churches my whole life, the notion that AGW, evolution and environmentalism are hot topics discussed every week is silly. Unless you’re in Sunday school derailing every discussion by bringing up the topic.
        It is certainly true that conservatives and the religious take a view that we should be stewards of the land. It’s also true that we realize today’s environmental movement is more interested in politics than stewardship. What I find disgusting is the false notion that to be truly conservative or religious, we have some duty to “end the partisanship” by jumping onto every green political bandwagon even tho we know it won’t accomplish anything. Nonsense.

  34. Matthew R Marler

    This came to me today from the AAAS: http://membercentral.aaas.org/announcements/communicating-climate-change-aaas-member-ray-weymann

    Notice how Weyman is wrong about the two most common “misperceptions”: Weymann: The two most common current misperceptions are: “Climate has always changed; isn’t the present change just part of a natural cycle?” and “ I hear there has been no warming since 1998 even though CO2 has continued to rise.”

    It is correct that climate has always changed — what follows that is a question that apparently he deigns not to answer, at least not here.

    It is correct that there has been no warming since 1998, at least of the sort that was predicted, and it has led to a search for the “missing heat”, and it has shown that the models were too inaccurate to be considered reliable in the future..

    That is the problem with “communicating science”: Weyman is not communicating the science. He is an example of the limits of science communication (lack of nuance) Prof Curry mentioned in her interview.

  35. Personally, I am adverse to conflict. I want everyone to get along. When I encounter disagreement, I want to bring the parties together and “resolve” their differences. I feel better when there are smiles on everybody’s faces.
    It is strange then when I engage from afar in disputes, like on a blog. I have no trouble in injecting myself into an argument. It seems that anonymity provides me some distance from emotional consequences.
    Now, what does this have to do with climate change communication? Everything. I have a chance to express myself, and, in so doing, I get to think while I am writing. The pace of writing, the distance from conflict, the new and intriguing information of climate and weather provided by others, as well as the time for reflection allows me to draw on all my life experiences and focus upon a subject. Hence, the climate science dialogue on this blog and other written venues, allows me to express a viewpoint as well as to learn.

    What is troublesome, as expressed by Willis Eschenbach, being deliberately lied to either by statements of omission or commission. I am not usually knowledgable enough to know immediately that something is a lie, that awareness usually happens over a period of time through learning from others. However, once I’ve been lied to, such as by Gavin and others, I don’t forget and I don’t trust at all what they say. I’ve been at this effort to learn about climate science since 2008 (hence the 08 in my handle). Being young and impressionable to the field then, I was almost always silent. Didn’t say a word. Just watched and listened. Over the subsequent years, I have developed some understanding and, in conjunction with my previous life and career knowledge and experiences, I have developed a perspective, which, remarkably hasn’t changed very much from when I began. I am skeptical of pronouncements of certainty. Everything else gets thrown into the mix and mulled over. Even the more wacky ideas get turned over in my mind.

    “The dominant paradigm seems to be that a science knowledge deficit of the public and policy makers exists, which is exacerbated by the Koch-funded climate denial machine.”

    I know that I do not have a science knowledge deficient. I may not know what others know. If they learned something, I can also learn it, albeit quite a bit slower. I have also learned, if someone can teach me, then I am more than willing to listen further. The process of climate science communication is a process of growing confidence in what I have been learning has value and more likely than not is correct.

    So, although I detest conflict, and yet I myself engage in arguments, I find what consoles me the most, is a growing understanding of the topic in dispute. This seems to trump all my squeamishness.

    • RiHo, it all depends on the attitude you bring to the exchange. I don’t think that any one will fault your rules of engagement.

    • I feel much the same about the climate blogs. I’m always reading something new and go Google it to learn 1) if it’s true, 2) more about it. This is a knowledge-rich place.

  36. John Vonderlin

    Speaking as the leader of the Generalized-Knowledge-Sponge Party, it is my worthless opinion that my own lack of trust in the proclamations of scientists, and particularly advocacy scientists, is constructed from the incredible number of “truths” springing from scientific research that I have watched be abandoned in the last fifty years. The Dustbin of Discarded Scientific Beliefs is overflowing, and in our growing Information Age ever more of us are becoming aware of this reality.
    This same dynamic seems to be operating in the political and religious belief arena, It would seem the more information you have the less you believe what you’re told. But, that might just be me getting old and cranky.

  37. Judith said in her interview: “The dominant paradigm seems to be that a science knowledge deficit of the public and policy makers exists, which is exacerbated by the Koch-funded climate denial machine.” A couple of posters seems to have misinterpreted that as Judith’s beliefs about the Koch’s, when clearly she is attributing that as part of the failed “dominant paradigm.” Judith’s statement tells us nothing of her view of the Kochs, she is deriding the tactics of those who think such abuse will compensate for their failure to convince the broader world of the validity of their alarmist views of CAGW and their proposed “solutions,” that the problem is with the non-climate scientist world rather than any failings of the scientists and CAGW promoters.

    In passing, given the funding, exposure and government support of the warmists compared to their own, the Koch brothers would have to be far and away the most persuasive idea promoters in history if they were single-handedly out-slugging the warmist community. Which they aren’t, the problem lies with the message, how it’s conveyed and the lack of comprehension of the real world impact of proposed save-the-world policy offerings.

    • Started drafting before RiHo’s post appeared, posted before seeing it (tea-break when my wife came home).

    • nottawa rafter

      This obsession with the Koch brothers by the left is one of the most fascinating social psychological phenomenon of our time. I don’t remember anything similar to it in the last 50 years. You can’t read a periodical without some reference to the name. My reaction after first observing all this hysteria was to wonder if they had all lost their critical thinking skills. But I concluded it is an unintended consequence of the nanny state- they have become too lazy to think for themselves.

    • From the article:

      Climate-change activist Tom Steyer gave the biggest super PAC donation in this month’s reports: $7.5 million to his own group, NextGen Climate.

      Most recently, the former New York City mayor donated $2 million to Women Vote!—the largest contribution the EMILY’s List super PAC has ever received.

      Democratic financier George Soros’s checkbook has been active this summer: The prolific donor gave $500,000 apiece to House Majority PAC and the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund. … Soros’s daughter, Andrea Soros Colombel, gave $250,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes.

      Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer … dished out $750,000 to the conservative super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund … Singer also gave $100,000 to the GOP’s best-known spending juggernaut, American Crossroads. …

      Amber Mostyn … The New York Times Magazine used the story of the Mostyns’ $1 million gift to Priorities USA Action to explain the role and rise of the pro-Obama super PAC. In July, Amber Mostyn gave $250,000 to the Planned Parenthood super PAC, matching the quarter-million she gave the committee in 2013.

      After giving $1 million to American Crossroads in 2012, Jay Bergman, the owner of Illinois-based Petco Petroleum, remained relatively quiet on the outside-money front. But In July, he ponied up to Crossroads again, cutting a $500,000 check to the super PAC. Bergman gives mostly to Republicans. But he casts himself as an “independent,” and he’s contributed to Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, in the past.

      Billionaire Univision owner Haim Saban has already pledged his “full might” to Hillary Clinton if she runs for president in 2016, but he’s keeping busy in the meantime. Saban gave $250,000 to Senate Majority PAC in July.

      Another $250,000 donation came to Senate Majority PAC via Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Unlike most of the donors on this list, Schmidt eschewed super PACs in 2012, but this is his second major contribution of 2014. Back in June, Schmidt gave $100,000 to the super PAC formed to support Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s reelection in Virginia this year.

      ANGELOS: Other Democratic donors may have given more money than the $100,000 Senate Majority PAC got from the Law Offices of Peter Angelos. …

      OTHER PACS: Some of the biggest donations made in July went from one PAC to another. In addition to the donations Steyer’s group made, Senate Majority PAC also contributed $350,000 to the League of Conservation Voters super PAC last month. And two of the biggest donations to House Majority PAC came from the Blue Dog PAC and the New Democrat Coalition PAC, two groups representing moderate or conservative House Democrats. They combined to give $350,000 to House Majority PAC.

      http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/the-boys-of-summer-july-s-biggest-super-pac-donors-20140822

  38. The alarmism is the energy poverty meme or that using more advanced energy will bankrupt the world. The numbers are that GDP is hardly affected by mitigation. It is 3% in this century according to the economic alarmist Lomborg, during which time GDP grows 300-700%, while climate change would have large impacts in poor countries that don’t account for much of the global GDP, so that is where the concern about poverty should be. Even oilprice.com seem to have some promising-looking items on solar energy. Phasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years is possible and makes an enormous impact by stabilizing the CO2 level below 500 ppm.

    • Jim D: The macroeconomic numbers will not lift the fortunes of the poor in Appalachia and Africa, those who still need cheap energy in states that produce coal. What is clear that eliminating coal will hurt more than it helps, even using the predictions of the IPCC.

      • How much will phasing out coal over 50 years hurt? What do you predict for non-fossil energy or clean coal plants in that period? It is not like it is just to be done tomorrow. Fifty years ago was 1964, for comparison. Much of the error is in old-timer thinking which is to assume a static future with today’s technology. Old-timers in particular should realize how much things can change in 50 years.

      • Jim D: Here is what I said, reworded. The costs and benefits of coal v other will vary significantly depending on area. Appalachia is a major coal mining area and it is an area with significant poverty. If coal fired power plants are phased out (at a time when energy demand is increasing) Appalachia will see a phase in of unemployment and poverty. Is there a 100% confidence in that prediction? No, but does the risk outweigh the (also uncertain) benefits?

      • The advantage of a long phase-out is that young people will see mining as a dead-end career and get other skills instead. The phase-out also permits existing miners to work until retirement on smaller mines.

    • If we look at Focus Area 7 of the post 2015 MDG – and the Copenhagen Consensus Analysis – http://watertechbyrie.com/focus-area-7-energy/

      Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy for all

      a) by 2030 ensure universal access to sustainable modern energy services

      RATING: As written this target is POOR, because achieving universal access requires large infrastructure investment over a relatively short period of time which will likely be extremely costly. However, if the tar- get is set more realistically – and the word ‘sustainable’ is qualified – then the rating is PHENOMENAL. Increasing access to modern energy has very large benefits from an economic, health and education perspective. The costs are not trivial, but the benefits are potentially enormous.

      ‘Sustainable’ should not only refer to renewable energy – this would be costly and unrealistic target by 2030. If sustainable were to include a suite of energy options such as nuclear and natural gas, then this justifies the phenomenal rating (Centurelli (2010)).

      b) double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030

      RATING: POOR – the costs to achieve this will be large and the impact on climate change will be very small, especially since total global energy consumption will increase in the future. This target should be reworked as “half the share of carbon based energy in the global energy mix by 2030”. This implies a reduction of fossil fuel based energy from 82% of the current mix to 65% by 2035. This is a 20.7% decrease versus the 8.5% decrease that is currently forecast to 2035. To meet this goal, the preferred renewable options are nuclear and hydro over wind and solar, given the cost profile and poor energy reliability of the latter. However, the former options are not without consequences (such as environmental externalities), which complicate the cost and benefit assessment for the target.

      c) Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, including in buildings, industry, agriculture and transport, by 2030

      RATING: GOOD – though this should be the focus for developed countries (for developing economies the focus should be accessing modern energy in the first place). This could be achieved through the implementation of governmental standards for energy use in the sectors mentioned.

      d) by 2030 increase by x% the share of clean and low- or zero-emission energy technologies, including sustainable biomass and advanced cookstoves

      RATING: UNCERTAIN – however, the increase in advanced cook-stoves component has a rating of GOOD. The evidence suggests that advanced cookstoves can be provided cheaply and have large health benefits in the near term. The rest of the target cannot be subject to economic analysis with the available evidence.

      e) by 2030 phase out fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption

      RATING: PHENOMENAL if done on a coordinated, global scale (though it is more likely to be accomplished by around 2050). If uncoordinated, then rating is FAIR by 2030. While reducing subsidies will generate large efficiency benefits, there will be distributional consequences, particularly for the poor in developing countries. ‘Encouraging wasteful consumption’ is a vague and open term: it will be possible that actors use this phrase to justify limited or no reduction of fossil fuel subsidies. ( IMF, 2013; Cambridge Econometrics, 2013)

      None of this involves taxes or caps – and I would suggest that coal not be excluded if it is in fact cheaper.

      Maximum economic growth is the sin qua non of the creation of a global civilization this century. Les than maximum growth excludes people from the life saving benefits of development.

      • Matthew Marler, yes, the DDPP proposes practical methods for the major emitters to decrease fast enough to meet global emission budget targets such as those from the IPCC. Some of this involves BECCS technologies that can generate energy while also reducing CO2.

      • Adaptation and fast mitigation in ways that make sense – reducing methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, nitrous oxide, CFC’s. Restoring ecosystems and building carbon stores in agricultural soils. Without taxes and caps.

        The obsession with carbon dioxide is a misguided and dangerous aberration.

    • Phasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years is possible and makes an enormous impact by stabilizing the CO2 level below 500 ppm.

      This kind of statement is the worst sort of propaganda. Technically it’s literally true, but between the unstated qualifications, and the tacit assumptions too many of the audience will include, it ends up pretty much a “bait-and-switch”.

      There are many ways in which fossil fuels could be phased out. Rapid, punitively high increases in energy prices, or policies with that effect, are at the center of many current policy proposals, justified by the supposed need to make “renewable”, or “carbon-neutral” energy cost-effective.

      There are many who favor such an approach, because it fits their ideological agenda: socialists who want to shut down the Industrial Revolution, would-be “aristocrats” who want to acquire power through institutionalized control of everybody’s energy, others with motivations even less savory.

      There are other approaches to “[P]hasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years” that would involve working with the Industrial Revolution, avoiding serious impacts to the important goal of cheap energy: continually declining energy prices. From a policy standpoint, the most important first step is to add an explicit caveat to the goal:

      Phasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years while continuing or even accelerating the decrease in energy prices is possible and makes an enormous impact […]

      Rather than raising empty, foolish, and/or ridiculous objections to the science of climate, opponents of higher energy prices should simply insist, and keep insisting, on including that caveat.

      This has two implications: first, it shifts the focus to research and development from immediate tinkering with the cost/benefit of “renewable” energy. The latter usually depends on either artificially increasing the price through “taxes” or other punitive price manipulation, while the former usually has the effect of making the desired approach(es) cheaper through new technology. As well as providing incentives for education aimed at knowledgeable, innovative researchers.

      The second implication is even more important, although perhaps less immediately visible. Most of the existing fossil fuel power technologies could operate quite well off “renewable” fuels, with minor adjustments:

      Coal, for instance, can be easily replaced by bio-waste, such as the non-edible portions of existing crops, mass-harvested seawead, azolla processed to remove much of the nitrogen, etc. While boondoggles involving wood chips from natural forests have emerged due to foolish regulation, a more gradual approach to conversion could well support a growth industry in “renewable” coal replacements, while allowing existing mining operations to use up their resources with little interference.

      Oil can be profitably replaced by the new methods of directly converting CO2 from the atmosphere or upper ocean using tailored cyanobacteria (already past the “proof-of-concept” stage), or other genetically engineered algae. Or it could be created from solar electrolytic hydrogen and CO2 using tailored archaea (methanogens) in a fashion similar to methane (below).

      Natural gas can also be replaced by the product of hydrogen and atmospheric CO2, using methanogens genetically modified from existing populations. A variety of approaches suggest themselves, depending on the assumed cost of separately extracting CO2 from sea water vs. using the energy of the reaction to drag it out as most existing methanogens do.

      Even if that approach can’t be made cost-effective (highly unlikely in my informed opinion), there are existing methods of converting hydrogen and CO2 to hydrocarbons, based on traditional thermal/chemical processes. As the cost of solar energy continues its exponential decline, they will probably become cost-effective unless bio-methods can out-compete them.

      These approaches for fossil fuels offer two enormous benefits. First, they allow for a “full steam ahead” policy for infrastructure for transporting, storing, and using existing fossil fuels. Only the extraction end of the industry would end up needing to be replaced.

      Second, these approaches are all based on extracting CO2 from the existing atmospheric/ocean surface pool. While use of fuel would end up putting it back into the atmosphere, once the industries are mature it would be feasible to divert some fraction of the extracted carbon to sequestration, either before or after burning. Thus, carbon dumped into the system during the early and current phases of the Industrial Revolution, could be extracted and returned to buried status during the latter part of this century.

      By deferring the actual remediation (sequestration) until the appropriate industries are mature, its overall cost to the system could be substantially reduced, while the more urgent goal of cheap, accessible energy for everyone could be met starting today with existing, already mature, technology.

      • If millions are dying in the developing world for a coal free Utopia who are you to say it isn’t “worth it” for the likes of Joshua, Michael or Jim D??

        It’s always the same and they are always wrong.

      • AK, I stated a goal, not a method. There are good ways and bad ways of achieving this goal, but first people need to agree on the goal, and some are not there yet, before designing a method, which likely would first aim at the largest emitters developing plans. For example, a project called the Deep Decarbonzation Pathways Project (DDPP), looks at nation-by-nation solutions, and solutions have to be of that sort since every country has different energy resources and needs.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: For example, a project called the Deep Decarbonzation Pathways Project (DDPP), looks at nation-by-nation solutions, and solutions have to be of that sort since every country has different energy resources and needs.

        Do the people involved in that project support a 50-100 year timeline for abandoning fossil fuels? Do you?

      • @ Jim D | August 23, 2014 at 11:10 am |

        AK, I stated a goal, not a method. There are good ways and bad ways of achieving this goal, but first people need to agree on the goal, and some are not there yet, before designing a method, […]

        Yes, well, I stated a goal as well: a modified goal. The goal you stated is widely used, and properly regarded, as a stalking horse for socialist agendas. The one I stated is modified to be much less useful for that purpose, which might well make it more acceptable for many you say “are not there yet”.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: . Phasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years is possible and makes an enormous impact by stabilizing the CO2 level below 500 ppm.

      Who advocates phasing out fossil fuels in 50-100 years? The message from AAAS (from whom I have quoted on this site 3 times in as many months) is that great efforts and investments are necessary now. California AB32 does not have a 50-100 year timeline. Al Gore and James Hansen did not advocate for a 50-100 year timeline. Pres Obama has not advocated a 50-100 year timeline. The Green Party in Germany has not advocated a 50-100 year timeline. If price projections for coal, oil, natural gas, wind and solar are approximately correct, the market will make a transition in that time frame following what is disparagingly called “business as usual”.

    • Jim D’s repeated claim about Lomborg is false:

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/carbon-cure-cost-more-painful-than-the-illness-says-bjorn-lomborg/story-e6frg6xf-1226884300046?nk=10b391299d8b7f052d9c34b3afe3299a

      Lomborg cites IPCC estimates of a rising cost of lost GDP amounting to 4% by 2030, 6% in 2050, and 11% in 2100 and argues that these estimates are likely very optimistic given their assumptions of perfectly executed climate policy and a single worldwide CO2 emissions price.

      I would ask Jim D to stop misrepresenting Lomborg’s argument.

      • So when he says 2.8% of GDP for climate action costs in his senate testimony, what does he mean?

      • I have no idea what you’re talking about or where Lomborg ever said that. I’ve never heard or read him making that numerical claim. Probably you’re misinterpreting something.

  39. I don’t think the climate science side are having any trouble communicating except to a few hold-outs. The public gets it, and it is going into textbooks and many national energy policies already. The failure is on the part of the “skeptics” who have been woefully inadequate in presenting anything the public can see as an alternative. Sometimes they come up with, and congregate around, new whizz-bang theories about the sun or cosmic rays, but those are just fads that end up damaging the idea that they know what they are talking about. They need to step back and look at the way they are pursuing this. It doesn’t look pretty.

    • I’ll repeat this here – as it is the same tedious Jimbo babble.

      It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      The last two complete regimes of natural variability were a cool one from 1944 and a warm one from 1977 to 1998. The warming from 1944 to 1998 was 0.07 degrees C/decade in the period of most CO2 increase.

      This is the residual after you average out a cool and a warm regime. Halve the warming in 1976 to 1998 and you get the same. Exclude the ENSO dragon-kings in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – and you get the same result.

      There seems a better chance that – instead of the 20th century pattern – the current cool mode will shift to yet cooler conditions in the next shift as the amplified effects of solar cooling kick in. The 0.07 degrees C/decade residual is a maximum. And there is no end to the non-warming in sight. Don’t know about you – but that’s what I have been saying for more than a decade. At this stage I am smug as.

      It is so utterly obvious – so glaringly true that it takes truly heroic cognitive dissonance to deny it. I am pretty sure the public knows it hasn’t warmed since 1998 – only the cognitively dissonant cognoscenti don’t. Jimbo and ilk have not merely lost the debate but lost the plot entirely.

      • Unfortunately, Jimbo is correct on two points. 1) the “settled science” argument has made it into the curriculum of the US school system. The only thing they “get” is a one sided discussion on climate – the type of analysis that you provide here is not allowed in the schools. We now have students being suspended for saying “bless you” in class when someone sneezes and I suspect that soon students will be suspended for not toeing the climate change alarmism line. Only two religions are now allowed any presence in US public schools – Islam and Catastrophic Global Warming.

        The second point where he is correct is that climate alarmism is making its way into US energy policy, more by fiat than by legislation however.

        Where he is wrong is that the public at large does not much care – just a simple perusal of polls shows that the general public is largely unalarmed by claims of catastrophic global warming..

    • Among the most foolish posts out of pool of many foolish posts.

    • Jim D: “I don’t think the climate science side are having any trouble communicating except to a few hold outs”. The Centers for Climate Science Communication at Yale and the University of California might disagree with you; their whole being relies on fixing the communication problem. What problem? Perhaps those Yale and UC folks are looking at this Gallup Poll showing that the percentage of US population that “worry a reat deal” about the environment over time is at an all time low of 31%. http://www.gallup.com/poll/167843/climate-change-not-top-worry.aspx

      • I don’t think the general public will have a high level of worry about climate change until it is literally in their backyard. The people who do or should worry are city planners or water and energy resource managers, or those in agriculture and food production, and these are the ones that matter for how the future pans out.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: The people who do or should worry are city planners or water and energy resource managers, or those in agriculture and food production, and these are the ones that matter for how the future pans out.

        Those people are actively involved whether CO2 produces the climate catastrophes or not: agronomists continuously breed new crop varieties, advocates and designers for new water control projects abound. The climate will oscillate between warm and cold, wet and dry whether CO2 has the hypothesized effects or not. In response to warnings by Energy Secy Chu, California increased its investment in solar farms and wind farms instead of enhanced water control, exactly the wrong thing to have done. (Especially when one adopts the 50-100 year time frame for weening ourselves off of fossil fuels. California has enough fossil fuels to power the state through two replenishments of the installed wind and solar farms.)

      • Jim D: I agree and I think most skeptics would also agree. They are saying that resources should concentrate on reducing climate uncertainty and adapting to future changes.
        On reducing uncertainty, I asked Dr Curry, on this blog a few months ago, if she had full resources and no restraints, what course of action would she take. The reply was 1. improve our observation capability, and 2. conduct research into areas where knowledge is insufficient. She named those areas and I don’t recall them. However I believe she has said at other times that we need more knowledge about cloud/water vapor, the sun, and the ocean/atmosphere interaction.
        On adaptation, I believe it is a constant theme of Rob Ellison.

      • Adaptation and fast mitigation in ways that make sense – reducing methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, nitrous oxide, CFC’s. Restoring ecosystems and building carbon stores in agricultural soils. Without taxes and caps.

        The obsession with carbon dioxide is a misguided and dangerous aberration.

      • A lot of the skeptics have given up too easily on the idea that CO2 can be stabilized at levels below 500 ppm. They need to look into what is being proposed, not from the fossil fuel perspective, but from the innovation perspective. There is a lot of unrealistic economics alarmism floating around. Given how small energy costs are as a fraction of GDP, subsidies would solve price problems, if any occur in the first place. Stabilizing the GHGs effectively removes much of the uncertainty too, and uncertainty is the enemy of growth.

      • A carbon dioxide target is wrong thinking. Carbon dioxide is the smallest part of the emissions equation. The ongoing obsession with this is tedious and misguided.

        What is needed is a multi-gas, conservation and development strategy.

      • It’s climate stabilization. Who doesn’t want a stable climate?

      • Climate stabilisation seems unlikely. But it is the difference between fast mitigation and adaptation – and utter failure of the extreme left to achieve anything of significance.

      • You are calling a program that lasts 50-100 years “fast mitigation”.

      • > What is needed is a multi-gas, conservation and development strategy.

        This strategy might lead us to Jim D’s suggestion, unless it’s prettier fad than those he mentioned.

      • Dumb and dumber it seems. Jimbo is obsessed with carbon dioxide and can’t see beyond to the bigger part of the emissions picture. A bigger part that is more amenable in a shorter timeframe than CO2.

        The latter requires technology innovation rather then caps, taxes and targets that lead to uneconomic costs to global economies.

      • When simple fails, try complex.
        When complex fails, get chaotic.
        When chaotic fails, you’re not Chief.
        Chaos never fails Chief.

        Else pick another problem and
        Invoke the whole picture.

      • Rob Ellison, so when I say 50-100 years to phase out fossil fuels, you seem to want to change the subject to methane and black carbon. Do you see where you went wrong? I thought one area of agreement was that methane and black soot had to go, so we need to now think about CO2 itself, the bear in the room, because that is the one with the long-term effect.

      • Jimbo started the thread with a stupid rant that had nothing to do with 50 to 100 years and accuses me of changing the subject? Even if he had mentioned it in the thread – there is absolutely no reason why I should conform to his monomania. The ‘topic’ is imaginary – it just strikes me as more perfidious nonsense.

        The point about fast mitigation is that there are obvious policy priorities – and actual progress to be potentially made in the real world. Reverting to the CO2 madness just derails the possibility of real and detailed progress.

        I repeat again – the way forward with energy futures is energy innovation on a 50 lane superhighway. It doesn’t involve the speed bumps of taxes, caps or targets.

      • OK, let’s agree to agree about fast mitigation. Is that where you stop doing anything with an unmitigated CO2 effect being several times larger and rapidly canceling out any gain you got from methane and black carbon? Fast mitigation would seem like a waste of time if nothing else was done.

      • ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ IPCC TAR WG1 14.2.2.2

        When you ant to redefine reality as a post-modernist construct – you can’t do better than wee willy.

      • The CO2 effect is not several times larger – when you add population, development and land use effects the impacts are substantially larger than CO2 emissions and these former need to be addressed to make any real progress.

        CO2 can be addressed with conservation and restoration of ecosystems as well as sequestration in agricultural soils restoring fertility.

        Over a few decades it can be addressed with the energy superhighway.

        Anything else leads to continued failure misguided by the perpetual befuddlement and obsessions of the extreme left.

      • Anything But CO2 never gets old, Chief.

        Please, do continue.

      • wee willy on the other hand gets old very quickly.

      • How can you admit that methane has to be reduced, but not CO2 that is increasing the forcing three times as much in the same timeframe?

      • interesting that jpg’s are automatically displayed now

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Who doesn’t want a stable climate?

        Whoever can want a lot of things, but a stable climate is not achievable, unless by stable you mean oscillations as have occurred throughout recorded history, and evidently before that in the reconstructed past.

      • Matthew Marler, a stable climate has a standard deviation of 0.2 C (as suggested based on historic data by Lovejoy for example), and even then we get the LIA. Imagine when the variation is measured in degrees. That is not a stable climate in the sense that you might agree the Ice Age oscillations are an instability, not a mark of stability. A multi-degree global excursion will not be a sign of stability. So when I say people want a stable climate, I mean they don’t want such an excursion, probably even the skeptics. Now we are already committed to over a degree rise, but we can hold it to two or that vicinity rather than letting it go through five or six which is what happens with all the coal reserves being burned, let alone developing the resources further.

      • Add black carbon – http://www.epa.gov/blackcarbon/effects.htmlhttp://www.igbp.net/news/pressreleases/pressreleases/blackcarbonlargercauseofclimatechangethanpreviouslyassessed.5.4910f0f013c20ff8a5f8000152.html

        Add land use – deforestation – carbon loss from agriculture

        Work it our for yourself – and accelerating investments in energy R&D is the most effective way forward and not ‘doing nothing’.

      • An integrated strategy would include both sulphates and ozone precursors.

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/unger_01/

      • Yes, energy R&D for the purpose of emission reduction, not exploitation of more fossil resources, or do what Australia might do now which is to pay coal companies not to produce CO2, if I interpret Abbott’s muddled policy correctly.

      • Economic freedom – they can invest in anything they damn well please.

        ‘Box 1.1: The Swedish experience

        The Swedish Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation programme was established by the
        Swedish Energy Agency and has been operating for more than a decade. The purpose of the programme is to purchase up to 10 million Certified Emission Reductions issued in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2013–2020). Project participants submit proposals to the Swedish Energy Agency and if successful enter into a standard contract. This contract leaves the development and management of the project to the proponent, whilst providing for a fixed price payment on delivery of abatement.’

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-20/coalition-climate-change-direct-action-policy-explained/5067188

        It is all freely available – and not any excuse for ignorant partisan whines.

      • As if Jim D was against economic freedom, a slogan Chief uses in favor of his own favorite handwaving and to whine against partisan whines.

        Oh, and Chief’s appeal to a chaotic reality to implicitly argue for chaotic models, with your IPCC quote above, is duly noted.

      • Australia’s policy then seems to be to pay upfront for people who say they can use the money to reduce emissions, rather than to pay for results of emission reductions in retrospect. Is that the general idea?

      • …and I ask that from the perspective of the question: what could go wrong? Industries competing for money on promises is no good unless there is also some responsibility for delivering on those promises, or penalty for not.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler, a stable climate has a standard deviation of 0.2 C (as suggested based on historic data by Lovejoy for example), and even then we get the LIA. Imagine when the variation is measured in degrees.

        So your definition of “stability” includes another Little Ice Age as a possibility. Does it also include a Holocene Climate optimum, Minoan Warm Period, Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period, and the cold epochs in between?

        . Now we are already committed to over a degree rise, but we can hold it to two or that vicinity rather than letting it go through five or six which is what happens with all the coal reserves being burned, let alone developing the resources further.

        There you make two dubious claims: that we are already committed to an extra degree (I assume you mean C), which probably will not be harmful anyway; and that burning all the fossil fuels would produce an additional 5C rise. The current rate of increase of CO2 resulting from the current rate of increase of fossil fuel use will produce a doubling of the CO2 concentration in 100+ years and perhaps a 2C increase. That provides time for the 50-100 year transition away from fossil fuels that you seem to have advocated.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Industries competing for money on promises is no good unless there is also some responsibility for delivering on those promises, or penalty for not.

        Industries have a degree of responsibility that government bureacracies do not have: when they do not deliver on their promises they are driven out of business by the industries that do deliver on their promises. As shown by such stalwarts as Enron and Sears, this can happen rapidly or less rapidly, but size is no protection against failure to deliver.

      • I have a probably simplistic view of the Australian policy, but it seems like cap and trade with the difference being that the government pays into the system instead of the heavy emitters who are just let off paying anything, unlike cap and trade where they finance the system, and the tax payers don’t.

      • Matthew Marler, the whole of the Holocene including the warm periods and LIA has been within one degree C of global temperature. This puts into perspective what 5-6 C really is which is what it would be with 1000 ppm CO2 levels. Yes, it would take a while (and some stupidity) to get there because it requires burning six times as much fossil fuels as we have already, but continuing to develop new resources in the interim can get us there. By 2100, extrapolation gets us towards 700 ppm which 3 C by the current transient rate and 4 C committed (larger values for land only).

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: I don’t think the climate science side are having any trouble communicating except to a few hold-outs.

      Perhaps, but consider the quotes by Weyman, endorsed by the AAAS that I put up. He is clearly wrong on two important points.

  40. William McClenney

    Look, I’ve spent tons of time researching climate change, and I have finally come to the conclusion that if you are running Service Pack I, like me, the answer may be to install Service Pack II. But do be careful. As ever, it might be worse than you think!

    So I downdated my operating system to SPII, but it still didn’t work all that well. It kept telling me that +6.0 was a larger number than +0.6. I was getting really frustrated until one day a phrend clued me in!

    He asked “Did you install the math. coprocessor before you downdated?” I said “No, I didn’t know it was individually mandated.” He said “Well there’s your problem then! You can’t do matheMANNics without algorEithms!” So I toddled right off and got me one of those coprocessors. And what a difference a complete downdate makes!

    Now I can look at the upper error bar of SRES marker A1F1 on Figure 10.33 of page 821 of AR4, clearly see that sea level could rise a whopping +0.6 meter by 2099 http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html

    and instantaneously compute that this is not only unprecedented at a half precession cycle old interglacial, but +0.6 meters is a whopping order of magnitude more than +6.0 meters http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf

    and almost two orders of magnitude more than +52.0 meters! http://lin.irk.ru/pdf/6696.pdf

    Wow, will you ever feel overbearing when you get your new math. coprocessor! I even ran “I did not have —– relations with that woman!” and “If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance, period.” through it and both equations balanced to within 17 trillion dollars!

    So I highly recommend you bop right down to your nearest fruit stand and snap-up one of these chips!

    Service Pack III with a downgraded matheMANNics coprocessor is rumored to be coming out on September 9. The scuttlebutt is that it has even more exotic algorEithms which can remove even a smidgen of corruption at the IRS!

    But the juiciest morsel I’ve saved for last. The hi-end coprocessors, only sold at fruit stands, might ship with a fully functional “Richard Windsor” back-channel at the recently spun-off All Jizz Network. I got that from a couple of board members of the fruit stand.

    So you might want to wait a few weeks……

    /sarc off

  41. Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

    ‘Koch-funded denial machine’?

    Sorry, Judith, you lost me completely.

  42. I am betting that Judith would have put it in quotes, but the interviewer, being inevitably a liberal, took it literally. I just can’t believe that Judith accepts that crap.

    • The so-called Koch funded denial machine is very wimpy in terms of $$, relative to the green funded alarmist machine

      • Naive.

        How much did it cost to produce the NIPCC ‘report’ compared to the IPCC efforts? – peanuts.

        It’s blatant propaganda, yet people refer to it.

        Good bang-for-buck.

      • William McClenney

        Michael | August 23, 2014 at 9:21 am |

        It appears to me that Judith was highlighting the disparity between sheep and cats. Shepherds, to this very day, are not all that uncommon, yet. Catherds, on the other hand, remain to evolve. Following the money, therefore, stratifies you as to herder or herded.

      • Michael: The IPCC budget for 2014 is about $16 million and the US 2014 Federal Budget for Climate Change is $21,408 billion.

      • Michael: Change that to $21,408 million

    • Where do you get that 21 billion for climate change figure from?

  43. The true cost of various sources of energy.

    Table 1. Estimated Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for New Generation Resources, 2019
    U.S. average levelized costs (2012 $/MWh) for plants entering service in 2019

    Plant type Total system LCOE

    Dispatchable Technologies
    Conventional Coal 95.6
    Integrated Coal-Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) 115.9
    IGCC with CCS 147.4
    Natural Gas-fired
    Conventional Combined Cycle 66.3
    Advanced Combined Cycle 64.4
    Advanced CC with CCS 91.3
    Conventional Combustion Turbine 128.4
    Advanced Combustion Turbine 103.8
    Advanced Nuclear 96.1
    Geothermal 47.9
    Biomass 102.6
    Non-Dispatchable Technologies
    Wind 80.3
    Wind-Offshore 204.1
    Solar PV2 130.0
    Solar Thermal 243.1
    Hydro3 84.5

    • Do you have the link source on this list Jim2?

    • Curious George

      Do you happen to know what makes hydro a non-dispatchable technology?

    • I’m sorry, I forgot to add the link for the LCOE. Here it is:

      http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

    • I can see how one might argue that hydro is dispatchable – at least to a point. It could be adjusted by adding or removing a whole generator I guess.
      From that article:

      A related factor is the capacity value, which depends on both the existing capacity mix and load characteristics in a region. Since load must be balanced on a continuous basis, units whose output can be varied to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or those whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource. The LCOE values for dispatchable and nondispatchable technologies are listed separately in the tables, because caution should be used when comparing them to one another.

  44. Judith Curry: There are two growing trends in climate science communications – engagement and propaganda. Engagement involves listening and recognizes that communication is a two-way street. It involves collaboration between scientists, the public and policy makers, and recognizes that the public and policy makers don’t want to be told what to do by scientists. The other trend has been propaganda. The failure of the traditional model of climate science communication has resulted in more exaggeration and alarmism, appeals to authority, appeals to fear, appeals to prejudice, demonizing those that disagree, name-calling, oversimplification, etc.

    Not a bad paragraph, but I think you missed an opportunity.

    Engagement should involve Enlightenment which means communicating what we know, but also what we don’t know. The Uncertainty Monster must be part of the story told in Engagement. Engagement should not be about telling the public and policy makers what to do, but about fairly, in advisory role, what costs and benefits of various courses of action, including no action.

    Propaganda, on the other hand, is a process where by the political decision has already been decided. The politics is settled, therefore story of the science must be told as if it was settled. Uncertainty is minimized, doubters marginalized and neutralized. Propaganda isn’t about the scientists telling policy makers what to do, but about policy makers telling scientists what they want to hear and what they will fund.

  45. “There is a burgeoning field of social science research related to science communications. Hopefully this will spur more engagement and less propaganda.”

    JC – I expect someone of your experience to be less naive than this. Maybe you have spent too much time on campus.

  46. Hi Prof. Curry…

    I was reading your Interview with Kirk Englehardt just referenced in the tweets, and I noticed something interesting:

    That interview references three essays you wrote in 2009, including An open letter to graduate students and young scientists in fields related to climate research from Dr. Judith Curry regarding hacked CRU emails
    November 27, 2009
    . I noticed the URL was from the Wayback Machine rather than “Climate Progress”, so, curious, I tried the original URL, and got a 404 Not Found at ThinkProgress.

    I did a little searching, and you might be interested to know that while your original letter has been deleted (or something), two references to it remained, both posted by Joe Romm:

    The most popular posts of 2009 (Wayback)

    The most-discussed Climate Progress posts of 2009 (Wayback)

    It says something about the way the climate alarmist community has developed that the letter was deleted. It also says something about their carelessness in leaving the references to your letter as one of their most popular/read posts of the year.

    And now that somebody’s pointed that carelessness out, it will be interesting to see if they make any further changes. (That’s why included the Wayback links, so in the future everybody can compare their changes with the original.)