JC at the National Press Club

by Judith Curry

I have just returned from my engagement at the National Press Club, sponsored by the Marshall Institute Roundtable.

The talk was recorded, it should be available online in a few days.

UPDATE:  video now available [here]

The pdf for my talk is here marshall.   Much of the material from my talk comes from my recent congressional testimony:

Here are excerpts from talk, focusing on overview/integration slides and material that I haven’t previously presented.

————

President Obama said in his state of the Union Address: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” President Obama seems to view climate change as a ‘tame problem’, where we have clearly understand the problem and have identified the appropriate solutions.

I view the climate change problem very differently, as a ‘wicked mess’. A wicked problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A mess is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.

My concern is that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified, and that the interface between climate science and policy has become badly broken.

Slide1

So how did we end up mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem?   The main problem has been putting the policy cart in front of the scientific horse.   The 1992 UNFCCC treaty was signed before the balance of evidence suggested even a discernible human influence on global climate, which was assessed by the IPCC Second Assessment Report in 1995. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was implemented before we had any confidence that most of the warming was caused by humans.

The 4th and 5th IPCC Assessment Reports have provided increasingly confident assessments that humans have caused most of the warming. So was the 1992 Treaty somehow prescient of the science?

Slide1

Well, here is what has happened. Have you heard the story about the drunk searching for his lost keys under a street light, since that is the only place where he can see anything? Well something similar has been happening with climate science. You find what you shine a light on. Motivated by the UNFCCC and IPCC and government funding, climate scientists have focused primarily on greenhouse gases and to a lesser extent other anthropogenic factors. Other factors important for understanding climate variability have been relatively neglected, I have highlighted long-term ocean oscillations and solar indirect effects, since I think that these are potentially very important on decadal to century timescales.

Slide1

Slide1

[See the main presentation for the science part]

This leads us to ask the question: What climate do we want? Do we want to return to the climate of the 1930’s? Or the 1950’s? Or the 1970’s? Or would a warmer climate be more desirable? The answer to this question may vary by region: Canada, Siberia and Northern China might prefer a warmer climate. My point is that there is no simple answer to this question.   Any change or extreme event, be it natural or human caused, can be disruptive.

Slide1

When talking about climate change and how we should respond, much of the debate relates to a conflict of values. Sustainability is the value that is driving the UN climate policies that are trying to mitigate damage by reducing CO2 emissions. These policies are in stark conflict with survivability issues in the developing world, where there are severe challenges to meeting basic needs and where there idea of clean green energy is something other than burning dung inside their dwelling for cooking and heating. While the UN policies also include adaptation, which is targeted at increasing reslience, funds for mitigation are in direct competition with funds for resilience. And finally we have thrivability, which is about people wanting not only to make money and support economic development, but also to strive for greatness and transform the infrastructure for society. The goals of thrivability are also in conflict with sustainability, with its emphasis on austerity and obligations and its costs that conflict with economic development goals.

Slide1

So why am I, a climate scientist, talking about values? Well, I am trying to figure out how climate science can better support decision making on these issues. The path that we have been on, the sustainable one, is vested in the IPCC with its reliance on global climate models, determinations of climate sensitivity to CO2 and rationalizing emissions stabilization targets. In my opinion, we reached the point of diminishing returns from this path about a decade ago. Particularly with regards to global climate models, the hope was that these could be used for projections of regional climate change; this hope has not been realized, and is arguably unrealizable from the current development path for climate models.

There is untapped capability for climate science to have a big impact in the other 3 columns. Consider survivability. Tactical adaptation is a phrase that I’ve coined to describe the use of weather/climate forecasts on timescales of weeks to season to save lives and property from extreme weather and to support cropping and agriculture decisions.

In the resilience and thrivability columns, in addition to tactical adaptation, there is also a need for more sophisticated analyses of the statistics of extreme events and identification of possible worst case scenarios, which require much longer data records.

All of the academic research and most of the government funding goes to science in the sustainability column. Most of the effort in the other columns comes from the private sector, NGOs and development banks. Is this a good use of government funding and the intellectual horsepower of academic scientists? In my opinion, it is NOT.

Slide1

The final points I want to make is related to the different decision-analytic framework associated with each of these columns. In the sustainability column, related to carbon mitigation, we are faced with conditions of deep uncertainty. The precautionary principle has guided policy making, although no regrets and robust decision making are also decision making strategies for conditions of deep uncertainty. The sustainable column frames both the problem and the solution as irreducibly global.

In the other columns, the problems and solutions are local to regional. Some of these problems can be carved out as tame problems, where everyone can agree on both the problem and the solution. Particularly for tactical adaptation, you can make use of probability forecasts on timescales of days to seasons, and ensemble forecast systems can be used for extreme event scenarios. Decadal scenarios can support infrastructure decisions.

My summary point is that framing the problems in different ways supports the identification of more tractable problems and solutions.

Slide1

Thinking about the problems in new ways, and trying to accommodate different values, can lead to solutions that have greater political viability. For example, at the intersection of sustainability and resilience, you can identify robust strategies that have multiple benefits with little downside.

Slide1

The challenges of climate change related to survivability can benefit from thrivability thinking, particularly some strategies suggested by anti-fragility strategies, whereby you learn and grow from adversity. Some of these strategies include economic development, reducing the downside from volatility, developing a range of options, tinkering with small experiments, and developing and testing transformative ideas.

Slide1

In summary I hope I have provoked you into thinking about the climate problem as a very complex one, that can be characterized as a wicked mess.

Slide1

JC note:  For background on sustainability-resilience-thrivability, see my previous posts:

JC reflections

This was a really nice event, and I greatly appreciate the effort that the Marshall Institute put into organizing this.  There were about 80 people in the audience, which included people from the federal government (US Govt Accountability Office, U.S. Treasury Dept, congressional staffers, US Dept of Energy Federal Reserve, U.S. Dept of State), World Bank,  industry, the media, a few from universities, and think tank/advocacy groups.  I definitely intend to follow up on contacts with several of these individuals.

The questions and discussion were quite good, coming from a broad spectrum of perspectives.  Marc Morano has written up a summary that includes some of the discussion [link], although I’m a bit puzzled by the headline.

This whole issue is heating up, with the forthcoming UN meeting in New York.

 

473 responses to “JC at the National Press Club

  1. Realism looking for a place in the physical sciences. Who would have thought ….

  2. Thanks for your clear explanation of the issues/uncertainties… and your courage.

  3. A masterpiece of lucidity and common sense Judith. I laughed out loud at this:

    “Well, here is what has happened. Have you heard the story about the drunk searching for his lost keys under a street light, since that is the only place where he can see anything?”

    Of course in this case the drunk has a clear incentive to believe his keys are under the street light.

    Kudos.

    • The drunks aren’t really looking for their keys. They’re looking for their grants and budgets, and they keep finding them there.

  4. Tres bon!

  5. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry, it may be that your scientific views depart in some respects from the mainstream, but is is *MORE* significant that *VERY* many people (including me) respect your scientific integrity, your scientific commitment, and your scientific openness.

    Conclusion  Diversity of opinion is no threat to science, but science can *NEVER* remain vital without personal integrity, professional commitment, and collegial openness … such as yours.

    Good on `yah, Judith Curry!

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

    • Good on you, Fan!

    • Well done FOMD

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse “Diversity of opinion is no threat to science, but science can *NEVER* remain vital without personal integrity, professional commitment, and collegial openness …”

      That is exactly correct.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Good on `yah, Judith Curry!

      Now and then you make a good comment (or provide and informative link), so I read many of your posts. That was a good comment.

      So I shall come back for more.

    • Contrary to my better judgment I always read FOMD’s posts because his remarks are amusing. Sometimes, however, he makes a very good point and this was one of them. Well done.

    • Fan

      Judith asks a very interesting question that others here pose from time to time and that is what sort of climate do we want?

      That temperatures have climbed fractionally from the end of the LIA (which sporadically occurred and had several endings) should be of no surprise to anyone, except it seems the IPCC and their supporters. Temperatures in the recent past have been higher than today and lower than today suggesting that natural variability remains the overwhelmingly most important factor.

      So can you be categoric and state what 30 year plus period you think we need to emulate in order to get back to the ‘natural’ temperature free of man made interference?

      I think this subject would be an interesting stand alone thread on its own

      tonyb

      • O do not bring return of the Little Ice Age!
        During the coldest times of the LIA, England’s growing season
        was shortened by one or two months compared to the present
        period. Once Merrie England but in Shakespeare’s day …

        ‘That time of year thou mayest in me behold
        When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
        Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
        Bare ruined chorus, where late the sweet birds sang.’

        Little Ice Age – hunger, Influenza, Plague – William Shakespeare
        mentioned the ague eight times in his plays.

      • @ tony

        And while you are asking, since the whole focus of ‘Climate Science’ is on the evils of Anthropogenic CO2 (ACO2) and how it is the ‘knob on the thermostat of the Earth’, you might throw in ‘After the decision is made as to the ‘Goldilocks’ temperature (Dr. Curry’s term) to target (decided upon by who, what body, or collection of bodies, using what criteria, measured by what algorithm, agreed to by what planetary authority?), to what position (allowable planetary ACO2 footprint) should the ‘knob’ be set to achieve said ‘Goldilocks’ planetary temperature and what assurance do we have that once the ‘knob’ has been set that the planetary temperature will pay any attention to the position of the ‘knob’ and dutifully stabilize at the agreed upon ‘Goldilocks’ temperature?’.

        Or that the cure will not kill more people than the disease?

      • Tonyb there’s much more to ask like setting the CO2 knob…
        At what level would you set the sea?
        How much snow would you allow to fall each year?
        How much rain would you provide?
        At what temperature and ph level must the ocean be set?
        So many questions.
        Now what’s the correct CO2 setting to ensure the perfect climate?

        How does anyone accept it in their own head?
        Then to believe that making billionaires out of millionaires by trading carbon credits and giving the government lots more money to piss away is going to save the planet?
        Exactly, how does that work?

    • “Diversity of opinion is no threat to science” Ha ha ha! No FOMD, it is not a “threat” to science, it is the basis of scientific advancement, especially in areas where so much is not known,.

      Eh FOMD?

    • Looks like fanny is chumming.

  6. “These policies are in stark conflict with survivability issues in the developing world, where there are severe challenges to meeting basic needs and where there idea of clean green energy is something other than burning dung inside their dwelling for cooking and heating.”

    How much better off would many in the developing world be right now if we’d taken some of the billions thus far spent on studying Co2 and used it to improve lives?

    • Nor can we forget to ask, what have the billions spent over the last decade on the study of co2 in the atmosphere bought us? How much more do we really know? How much closer are we to a solution? How much closer are we to even defining the problem?

      • I think the 52 – or is it more today? – various attempts to explain the “hiatus” tells us the answer to that!

    • How much better off would many in the developing world be right now if we’d taken some of the billions thus far spent on studying Co2 and used it to improve lives?

      Maybe they wouldn’t hate us, or at least direct their hate to the alarmists who hold the key to their shackles.

    • Best estimate I’ve seen (and it can only be an estimate for obvious reasons) is that half the money which would have been spent on Kyoto if everyone had joined in would have been enough to provide all sub-Saharan Africa with clean drinking water and proper sewage systems.
      Somebody else can do the math on electricity generation.
      Considering that full implementation of Kyoto would supposedly have had the effect of reducing global temperature by about 0.2C by 2080 or delaying the doubling of CO2 concentration by about 5 months would suggest that “improving lives” instead could be be called a no-brainer.
      But then I’m not a scientist looking for a sinecure or a politician looking for a trough!

      • The developing world hasn’t developed because it doesn’t have access to inexpensively extractable fossil fuels.

        I can extract coal from the ground in Wyoming for about 50 cents/MMBTU. It’ll cost me about $3/MMBTU to ship it to a power plant in Africa/China/India.

      • harry, “The developing world hasn’t developed because it doesn’t have access to inexpensively extractable fossil fuels.”

        The developing world hasn’t developed because they don’t think like the developed world, and most likely don’t care to.

      • @ newminster

        “But then I’m not a scientist looking for a sinecure or a politician looking for a trough!”

        Correction: “But then I’m not a scientist looking for a sinecure or a politician looking for power!”

    • Lol. Then go do something for the developing world. Talk is cheap.

      • Isn’t supporting policies that allow developing countries to get access to low cost energy “doing something”?

  7. Your summary causes me to want to hear the entire presentation. Your description of the gulf between those who view climate issues as a simple problem and those who view it as a wicked mess is a concise and accurate way of describing the distance between the opposing camps and why both sides so frequently end up talking past each other. Bravo.

  8. Wonderful, and thank you for the slideshow linked, which I have just watched.

    good on ya, Dr. Curry!

    good on ya, Marshall Institute!

    p.s. Now that FOMT (whose gracious comments I applaud) and I can agree on something, here’s hoping that this will be a civil, thought-filled, engaging, and informative thread!

    • big ooooops, I really did not mean to type “FOMT” rather than “FOMD” — it was muscle memory or habit. I will refer to him by his chosen “FOMD” for at least as long as his new civil demeanor should last… one hopes forever.

      • FOMD is always civil, despite the typically uncivil responses.

      • Fanny maintains a transparent facade of civility.

      • Teleprompter. Loudspeaker on the wall. Your point of view.
        ===========

      • He is rarely civil, Michael. For instance, it is never civil to hector people about what *EVERYONE* here believes when so many manifestly do not agree with him. His typical approach is uncivil, aggressive, and incendiary.

        Michael manifestly does not know what the word “civil” means.

      • Right this time, though. Shake it UP, Grandfather Clock.
        ===============

      • I guess if you find closed mindedness and arrogant condescension doled out in heavy doses as if it were somehow earned, and a steadfast insistence that those who disagree with him suffer from cognitive deficiencies that make “more discourse” futile, civil, then you are right.

        I am happy to increase your quest for knowledge in the area of civility, as would be appreciated by all of the students here, Eh Climate Etc readers?

      • civil- polite but not friendly

        Got it you idjits?

        See- that was not civil.

      • Michael, you are the last person here fit to give any lessons on what is civil or polite. It was reading you hostile nasty slurs toward our hostess which first made me disdain some of the catcalling hecklers here.

        It is a certain level of mutual respect which is lacking: not respect for views one disdains, but respect for the RIGHT of other persons to hold and express their own views. That is what you and FOMD (not to mention some others here on all sides of debates)

        You cannot have read many of FOMD’s remarks here if you could consider them civil and polite. What I object to most is being hectored so frequently about what we ALL should think with those constant refrains of what *EVERYONE* here can see or believe or agree upon. That is totally disrespectful to all who (obviously, expressly) disagree, also simply untrue (since disagreements here are explicit and frequently stated), and verbally aggressive not civil or polite. There are many more instances but that is one kind of example.

        Some definitions from Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia (I don’t think the give-and-take of scientific argument needs courtesy per se, but there is a more minimal level of civility which is helpful if you/we want people to enjoy discussion and come back for more):

        civil:

        polite but not friendly : only as polite as a person needs to be in order to not be rude

        courteous and polite

        courteous:

        polite, respectful, or considerate in manner.

        marked by respect for and consideration of others

        Polite:

        having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people.

        having or showing good manners or respect for other people

        socially correct or proper

        Wikipedia on politeness:

        Negative politeness: Making a request less infringing, such as “If you don’t mind…” or “If it isn’t too much trouble…”; respects a person’s right to act freely. In other words, deference. There is a greater use of indirect speech acts.

        Positive politeness: Seeks to establish a positive relationship between parties; respects a person’s need to be liked and understood. Direct speech acts, swearing and flouting Grice’s maxims can be considered aspects of positive politeness because:
        they show an awareness that the relationship is strong enough to cope with what would normally be considered impolite (in the popular understanding of the term);

        they articulate an awareness of the other person’s values, which fulfills the person’s desire to be accepted.

        courteous:

        Synonyms
        civil, polite, genteel, gracious, mannerly, well-bred

        Antonyms
        discourteous, ill-bred, ill-mannered, impolite, inconsiderate, mannerless, rude, thoughtless, uncivil, ungenteel, ungracious, unmannered, unmannerly

      • Skiphil | September 17, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        “You cannot have read many of FOMD’s remarks here if you could consider them civil and polite”

        It was only 4 words, it wasn’t that taxing to understand was it??

      • Andrew Russell

        As long as FOMD maliciously continues to compare skeptics of CAGW to Holocaust Deniers, “civil demeanor” is a phrase that will not be associated with him.

  9. While Westerners of global warming alarmism are easily tempted by, “the totalitarian temptation,” a term coined by Jean-François Revel to describe pathological Londoners who’ve been drawn to serve the cause of radical Islam, Dr. Gray – the Left’s first official “denier” – remains a cool, calm voice of reason. He is a realist who understands that temperatures around the world will always fluctuate no matter how much CO2 is added to the atmosphere. That is not to say there are no real problems in the world but the Left wants to come to America where life is good and fly off to exotic locations in their private jets to hold meetings on what do about evil America’s CO2. “The globe has many serious environmental problems,” says Dr. Gray. “Most of these problems are regional or local in nature, not global… We should, of course, make all reasonable reductions in greenhouse gases to the extent that we do not pay too high an economic price. We need a prosperous economy to have sufficient resources to further adapt and expand energy production.”

  10. Congrats on a nice-looking talk, well-suited to the audience. The National Press Club is a really good gig too.

  11. Congratulations Dr Curry on yet another achievment in
    opening up communication of cli-sci wicked problems of
    which there are a few.

    The UNFCCC Treaty was a premature delivery in 1992
    and problems ensued from the birth.

  12. Definitely an off the wall headline by Morano. I imagine that is all a few of peanut gallery will read.

    Very solid presentation.

    • Morano is an embarrassment to anybody trying to take science seriously. He’s kind of the Michael Mann of the denier movement.

    • Morano put up quite a picture of Dr. Curry today on the cover of Climate Depot;

      http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/16/climatologist-dr-judith-curry-warns-of-decades-of-global-cooling-the-current-cool-phase-will-continue-until-the-2030s/

      It looks like Dr. Curry is a promo shot for next season of “The Vikings” on the history channel. I’m sure it was a compliment.

    • The headline is no surprise. Morano’s target audiences from what I see are those who are committed warmists and skeptics. He aims to provide support for skeptics (red meat if you’re a warmist) and get under the skin of warmists (speak truth to power if you’re a skeptic). And he seems to do both rather well.

      He does not seem to be trying to convince the unconvinced, or pull the middle-of-the-roaders to one side. And that is fine. Polemicists are welcome in a raucous, open debate. We are after all talking about policies that would fundamentally transform the global energy economy.

      To the extent there is any similarity to Mann, it is because of that – they are both polemicists for their respective “sides.” Beyond that, if I had to buy a piece of “lake front” property sight unseen, from either one of them, it would be from Morano.

      • Morano, flawed speaker and all understands the essential political nature of the actual AGW agenda.

        Dr. Curry obfuscates direct acknowledgement, groups and their political inclinations formally around the “science”.

  13. Great job! You must be pumped! Keep up the good work.

  14. Bruce Cunningham

    As usual you are one of the few voices of education and sanity on this issue. I think that everyone there should have stood up when you walked in the room.

  15. p.s. If you use slide #20 in the future, it has a typo, reads “into the 1930s?”

    (where I assume you mean “2030s”)

  16. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your efforts to restore credibility to climate science.

  17. Good points on the presentation.

    The problem with the current renewable approaches are they aren’t sustainable. Windmills have bearing problems and use rare earths for their magnets. Solar cells are made with IC technology. Both have limited lifetimes.

    Renewable technologies should use common materials. Currently that simply isn’t true.

    Further backup gas generators for 100% of capacity have to be idling to be ready to pick up the slack. High output during periods of low consumption may require the power to be “burned” (shunted through load resisters).

    Good energy policy would be:
    1. Molten salt reactors to burn up existing used fuel supplies.
    2. Redesign wind power to eliminate the large animal killer with the bearing problems.
    3. Improve battery or alternative storage technologies.
    4. Work toward spray on/stick on organic solar cells.
    5. Deploy renewable technologies when they are mature and cost effective.

    • I think there needs to be acknowledgement and recognition that highly concentrated energy is more valuable able than diffuse energy.

    • You have avoided the crux of problems with “renewabubbles”:

      24/7 affordability and reliability for base load

      Why do you do this so persistently ? Answers should contain TWh numbers

      • Renewables are unusable for base load. The only current technology that can make renewables usable is pumped storage (a big lake with pump/generators) and there is about a 40% power loss.

        The current policy backs up renewables with a gas peaking station:
        1. The gas turbines are 4-6 times the average output of the renewable,
        2. The gas turbines are always running,
        3. The gas turbines are open cycled so they can be ramped rapidly.
        4. Open cycle turbines are much less efficient and constant ramping makes it worse.

        It is conceivable a gas turbine backed renewable resource could burn more fossil fuel than a gas turbine station alone.

      • PA,

        Why are “bearing problems” such a pressing issue for wind-power but apparently not at all for turbines??

      • Well, I actually looked around … And a couple of things jump out.
        http://docs.wind-watch.org/Boccard-Capacity-Factor-Of-Wind.pdf
        http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/renewable/wind.php

        The actual capacity factor reported seems be less than the actual production. Not sure if the sites derate from nameplate rating for the site configuration. The other interesting thing is wind mills are down 2% of the time (98% availability). Not clear what is being done that 2% of the time.

        The currently claimed capacities for wind are up to the high end of the 30% range (requiring only 3x) backup. In Texas the backup responsibility is pushed onto the regional power producers. The article has this interesting note:

        “Sometimes wind production can drop suddenly. On February 26, 2008, wind production in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) dropped from over 1700 MW down to 300 MW within a three hour period. Traditional power plant operators, who would normally provide more power on short notice, failed to provide power as promised. ERCOT was able to avoid blackouts by asking large industrial customers to cut back on power use. These demand-response customers get reduced electric rates in exchange for cutting power on short notice.”

        So… more renewables could mean going dark once in a while.

      • Michael, the short answer is, it’s because the reactionary forces are hugely greater.

      • phattie,

        Consider this – one wind turbine fails vs one gas turbine fails; what is the impact on power generation?

      • Michael,

        Impact on power generation: very little
        Impact on power costs: very great

        But, to get some perspective, let’s turn your question around: one wind turbine is built vs one gas turbine is built; what is the impact on power generation?

      • phattie,

        as long as you compare the cost as well!

        re:baseload

        In my little corner of the world we had a nice little powerplant (gas turbine) failure not that long ago. Complete failure. For almost 24 hrs.
        Reliable baseload is a bit of furphy.

        People with solar PV and batteries had a good laugh.

      • Michael,
        There was a train smash in my corner of the world, not so long ago.
        Safe trains are a bit of a furphy.
        Compared to wind turbines, gas turbines are hugely reliable.
        If you disagree, show me the figures.

      • Michael, and you have to consider costs in terms of power actually generated

      • The furphy is baseload – everything is intermittent to some degree.

      • Baseload is normally extremely reliable, unless someone’s screwed up

      • http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/24/us-utilities-smartgrid-epri-idUSTRE74N7O420110524
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid

        It turns out that both the “green power is cost competitive” and the “renewables require expensive backup” camps are wrong.

        The new smart meters, and articles about how renewable sites in the mid-west were burying the cost of connection in grid upgrade programs, bothered me.

        To the power grid – renewables look like generating plants that fail randomly. If you control demand and alter the grid so it is more interconnected and less hierarchical this is less of a problem.

        “A planned modernization of the U.S. national power grid will cost up to $476 billion over the next 20 years”.

        The US is spending almost half a trillion dollars to bury the cost of renewable ties and adapt the power grid to renewables. Very little of the upgrade would have been done without the requirement to support renewables. The amortized cost of Smartgrid has to be added into any estimate of the cost of renewables.

      • Michael | September 17, 2014 at 1:34 am |

        Consider this – one wind turbine fails vs one gas turbine fails; what is the impact on power generation?

        ————————————————————————-

        Very little. Consider this –

        Which happens more often:

        a) Wind blows too slow or too fast to generate power from a wind farm

        b) One gas turbine fails.

      • Curious

        You ask and I provide

        http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Picture-Wind-turbine-blown-wind-Devon/story-19994656-detail/story.html

        This one fell down in strong but not exceptional wind a couple of days before a more severe storm

        I expect most of them woud be seen as local events and would not make it into the nationals.

        However, if you are interested I suggest you google the national newspapers for the day I made my comment, or the day before, as a report in that of a ‘spate’ of falling turbines woud have caused me to make that comment to Mosh

        Tonyb

      • Hi Tony – I think we have changed sub thread, but no matter…

        …IMO the one fall story you provide isn’t a “spate” and I’ve googled using “turbine” “collapse” “spate” “fall” “wind” and various combinations thereof in both Google vanilla and news. I can’t identify the spate of sub maximum stress topplings you referred to and it seems you can’t either….

        My point is, similar to claims about past climate variability (!), providing traceable sources matters. Mosher’s comments comparing gas turbines to wind turbines struck me as off the cuff quoting of half baked, half understood information to win an argument. He hasn’t (yet?) come back with anything to make me think otherwise.

      • Curious

        I have just posted two lInks referencing three turbines falling over in our small part of the country.

        The newspaper report referenced more Around the time I replied to mosh but I have no idea which one it was so far after the event

        I call that a spate but not a surge. The report, and one of the links, said the problem was the poor fixings used. I have no idea how common this is or whether it was just a phase of failures caused by poor practice or poor quality fixings

        Tonyb

      • Curious

        Here was my second link which ended up in a strange place

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/16/jc-at-the-national-press-club/#comment-632070

        TONYB

      • All the old broken down ones will be an object lesson for decades, perhaps centuries.
        ============

    • You are floundering around, mikey. Gas fired turbines are reliable. Like those engines on jumbo jets. Wind turbines are crap. Everybody knows that, mikey.

      • Don, see my little example above.

      • as Michael notes, this one time in band camp.
        his reasoning about this one time a gas fired plant went down is straight of the stupid skeptics book.

      • Mosher, you dill.

      • anecdotes and doeseatoats.

        too funny Michael you pull pages from the skeptic hand book.

        “well everything is intermittent”

        Bwah.. now THAT’S funny.

        hey doc will smoking shorten my life?
        everybody dies Michael

      • One example.

        Not one time.

        What a dill.

      • hey Michael lots of people smoked but never died of smoking.
        your skeptical logic is AWESOME.

        hey look, even the wind industry propaganda says you are wrong.

      • Put the bottle down Steven.

      • Here is a clue Michael.

        The discussion was about bearings in wind turbines and how reliable they are. As you note gas plants ALSO have turbines, so what about the bearings in those turbines. Why are we concerned about bearings in one but not the other?

        Sounds reasonable.. after all turbines are turbines. bearings are bearings.

        Except there is a difference. axial load variability

        One reason why bearings fail more often than predicted in wind turbines is the variability of the axial load. And the thrust to radial load specs are often exceeded.. you cant control how fast the wind blows but in a gas plant you can control the axial load.

        Next, because you cant control the wind direction changes in pitch and yaw will change the location of the load zone on the bearing. This impacts the effectiveness of lubricants and leads to micro pitting. In a gas plant you dont have a changes in pitch and yaw.

      • Never concede a point, mikey. Even when you are obviously upside down in an argument. If you give in, your credibility will be shot. What’s this called, joshie?

      • Mosher, if Michael had actually wanted to know he would have researched the topic. It would have been more fun to let Michael run with it a bit longer I think.

      • Mikey knows that wind turbines got big problems. He can’t admit it cause the alarmist dogma foolishly stands on only two legs: solar and wind. If the wind leg is admittedly bum, your dogma is hopping around on one leg. At night, your buttocks are on the ground.

      • There’s always a laugh with the moshpit.

        Thankyou for that fascinating lecture.

        Fortunately for wind turbines they are less prone to blades going ka-boom with the kind of consequences you get in a power plant.

        Like the one in the US a few years back – 2 years and $200m to repair.

        Ouch!

      • Don,

        Yes.

        They kill birds.

        Let’s clutch our pearls together.

      • Little mikey is adrift on that big river in Egypt.

      • another band camp story from Michael.

        he’s better than Monkton at cherry picking.

        This one time a nuclear power plant had a problem.
        this one time a gas plant failed.

        Kinda like skeptics and this tactic

        Michael. STFU you are not helping the cause

      • Don,

        Keep riding your horse and buggy. Don’t let anyone sell you one of those devil-contraption automobile thingy’s.

      • moshpit,

        Are you trying to outdo willard in playing dumb??

        You’re doing a fine job.

        One wind turbine goes down and……you don’t notice.

        Drinking at breakfast is not helping your thinking Steven.

      • C’mon Steven you can do better!

      • capt,

        please don’t interrupt Steven playing dumb.

      • Windmills went out with the horse and buggy, mikey. You live in your own little world.

      • Mikey, One hundred wind turbines go down and……you don’t notice.
        And neither do you notice when one hundred wind turbines come online – except in the size of your bills.

      • http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/
        http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/344771/can-you-make-wind-turbine-without-fossil-fuels

        One cited problem with giant wind mills is that they supposedly contain 750 pounds of rare earths.

        Wind mills use lots of other material – here are Siemens SWT-2.3-101 specs.
        http://www.madisoncty.com/Windfall%20Farms/WWF_Madison_SEP_Tab_06.pdf

        Rotor 62 tons
        Nacelle 82 tons
        Tower for 80-m hub height 162 tons

        So… about 100 tons of steel per megawatt, much of it stainless steel, and we haven’t discussed the reinforced concrete base yet.

        http://www.nrel.gov/wind/pdfs/day1_sessioniii_01_nrelcmworksop_pjt.pdf
        US wind mills are quoted as having a 98% availability.
        The above link from a European survey of thousands of wind mills averages to about 2 outages per wind mill per year with an average downtime per outage of about 4 days. The US numbers appear optimistic. So… for every 100 windmills a full time repair crew is needed.

        An insurance company says gearbox issues and lightning strikes are the two biggest failure reasons.

      • Don Monfort | September 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        “Windmills went out with the horse and buggy, mikey. You live in your own little world.”

        Derest Don,

        That was for pumping water.

        Oh dear.

      • Yeah, windmills were too intermittent to be reliable for a task which could accommodate some intermittency.
        =======================

      • David Springer

        Michael gets his ass handed to him by Mosher.

        That’s like getting beat up by a girl.

        Sheesh.

      • Steven Mosher, September 17 @ 12:28pm

        +++++
        Sounds reasonable.. after all turbines are turbines. bearings are bearings.

        Except there is a difference. axial load variability

        One reason why bearings fail more often than predicted in wind turbines is the variability of the axial load. And the thrust to radial load specs are often exceeded.. you cant control how fast the wind blows but in a gas plant you can control the axial load.

        Next, because you cant control the wind direction changes in pitch and yaw will change the location of the load zone on the bearing. This impacts the effectiveness of lubricants and leads to micro pitting. In a gas plant you dont have a changes in pitch and yaw.
        +++++

        Do you have a source for these assertions? Thanks

      • Curious

        Over here we’ve had a spate of turbines falling over in much less than the maximum stress wind speed. I don’t know how common this is.
        Tonyb

      • Tonyb | September 19, 2014 at 4:08 pm:
        +++++
        Over here we’ve had a spate of turbines falling over in much less than the maximum stress wind speed. I don’t know how common this is.
        +++++

        Thanks Tony – but do you have references for your claim?? Numbers of turbines involved in the “spate”? Dates and locations? Causative wind speed vs. “expected maximum stress wind speed”? Any other referenceable and citable details? I’ve googled your claim and only found a very few, apparently unrelated, “falling over” incidents with various causes cited.

      • Curious

        Also see my post above, which landed in the wrong place.

        Here is another turbine falling over in the north of my county

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-21577717

        This instance and the ones that prompted my comment to mosh were said to be mostly due to the fixings

        Tonyb

    • If wind power could be designed along the lines of a wind tunnel in the shape of a jet turbine (with appropriate screens in place to keep birds safe) it may work, but the long term economics are still in doubt.

      • Peter Davies, It can actually. I talked with a company working on an urban wind generator that used the Bernoulli effect with tall structures. UHI would actual improve performance. I doubt they will start flying off the shelves, but it was an interesting concept.

  18. I’m not sure that shopping for the better philosophy or outlook is the key. It’s not about: “Oh, I use to settle for survival, tried sustainability but now I’m into resilience and looking into thrivability.” Do people really think someone like Obama wouldn’t agree with resilience or thrivability? Or motherhood or puppy dogs?

    It’s about whether the claims of the IPCC and the klimatariat are false and possibly falsified. It’s about whether Obama is dead wrong with his Flat Earth comment, and whether that comment is contemptible as well s wrong. It’s about whether this is one of history’s great collective goofs.

    Free people will thrive naturally. What we need is an actual climate science, based on first admitting “I dunno” (sorry, Publish-or-Perish) and then proceeding to whatever dribbles of knowledge it can find. It’s about living with the confusion that comes with observation and empiricism and not trying to homogenize confusion, and hence reality, away.

    • My interpretation is Judith is trying to encourage people to look at the problem and possible solutions in a different way.

      Justin

      • But do we really need matters of commonsense and simple judgement arranged in columns and mathematized?

        Would I rather be just not dead, or thriving and bouncing? Well, duh. I could never tell which twin had the Toni, but even I know I’m for thriving and bouncing over merely being not dead.

        We keep getting told of a bigger and better role for climate science. Well, right now I think climate science should settle for “not dead”. Every time it thrives and bounces we end up with another white elephant trampling through the economies of the west. And this resilience gig is promising to be just as elephantine as all that organised waste called “sustainability”.

        Really, let’s just get rich, respect all resources, waste nothing, hope for the best and engineer for the worst. It’s called conservation, and you can’t beat it.

    • mosomoso wrote:
      >What we need is an actual climate science, based on first admitting “I dunno” (sorry, Publish-or-Perish) …

      I think, mosomoso, you have pointed to a major factor in the climate-science mess that is too often forgotten by the conspiracy theorists.

      When I was a doctoral student in physics over thirty years ago, my thesis advisor told me not to waste my time reading the journals, because most of what was published was trash – because of publish-or-perish.

      This was three decades ago, in an area with no political or economic impact (elementary-particle physics).

      I think the real difference in climate science may be not so much politicization as the mere fact that trash work in climate science, published to fill out the CV, ends up getting picked up by the news media because of its obvious political relevance.

      I.e., climate scientists may be no more irresponsible than scientists in many other areas: it’s just that bad work in climate science ends up affecting the larger society. And, of course, the most sensationalistic, least nuanced reports make the best headlines in the media.

      Incidentally, during the same time period as the climate hysteria, much the same thing has been happening in physics in the area of “superstring” theory: for years, there was a big media bubble touting superstrings as the “theory of everything.” It never actually panned out.

      There is nothing intrinsically wrong with either climate science or superstring theory: I’m interested in both, and, as a physicist, I have actually played around with some calculations in superstring theory.

      But, in both areas, the pressures of “publish-or-perish” and the media appetite for sensationalism have taken legitimate areas of research and turned them into artificial, over-hyped bubbles.

      Of course, the one difference is that superstring theory does not require turning the world economy upside down.

      Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • @ PhysicistDave

        “Of course, the one difference is that superstring theory does not require turning the world economy upside down.”

        Unlike string theory in physics, which is an actual attempt, be it correct or incorrect, to understand how the universe actually works, the PURPOSE of ‘Climate Science’ has little or nothing to do with understanding and predicting variations in ‘climate’; it is to provide ‘scientific’ JUSTIFICATION for turning the world economy upside down (i. e. turning it into a progressive, top down, command economy).

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        dave
        I remember at least 15 (maybe 20) years ago hearing a Stephen Hawking presentation where he said that we were 5-6 years away from a TOE
        and we would be able to produce fantastic materials at will
        “settled science” again

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        oh … and there was that compressing universe, time going in reverse, tea cup I dropped reassembling on my counter thing, too

      • @physicist Dave
        I think your general point of science publishing within the last few decades are pretty relevant, but surely if most of the papers are trash, some are not and you should ‘waste’ time reading a bit at least. The idea of reinventing the wheel seems no longer viable at this stage of scientific development. And climate science is not as specific a scientific field as super string theory, more like Field Theory.

        @Bob Ludwick
        What you know as climate science is mostly limited to a subset of actual climate science, limited to what I would call ‘Descriptive numerical/observational climate studies’ which involves looking at results from models or observations and indulging in generic time series or data analysis. There is usually very little science in these studies. Your assertion that this part of the group, who also make the news, and all that you and most people here know of, somehow embody the field, is just false and merely generic political rhetoric.

      • You don’t like being tagged by the freaks? Do something about it other than whine on a blog.
        ================

      • @ kaushik1234

        “What you know as climate science is mostly limited to a subset of actual climate science,…………”

        Actually, I sorta agree with you.

        Except that other than that limited subset, climate science, as done by real scientists following wherever the data takes them, has no more impact outside of ‘climate science’ than string theory has outside of physics.

        The ONLY part of climate science with impact in the real world is that ssubset which treats ACO2 driven thermogeddon as an axiom and uses uses it as justification for implementing political policies which are ALWAYS designed to advance the cause of progressivism.

        So yeah, there ARE real scientists studying real climate. And are never heard of unless they try to question the above axiom, at which time the referenced subset makes every effort to destroy them, personally and professionally.

      • kaushik1234 wrote to me:
        >I think your general point of science publishing within the last few decades are pretty relevant, but surely if most of the papers are trash, some are not and you should ‘waste’ time reading a bit at least.

        Oh, you misunderstood. Of course, my advisor was not telling me to ignore everyone else’s work! He was just warning me not to systematically read through the journals.

        I found from experience that he was indeed correct. For example, I found one paper in Physical Review Letters, the premier US physics journal, which claimed to prove a breakthrough result but in fact made a trivial algebra error (dividing by a a term that could be proved equal to zero). I naively contacted both the editors and authors about it. No one cared.

        The editorial process had completely disintegrated over three decades ago. Even the premier journals had become bad jokes.

        Which does not mean no one did good work – but you had to be very selective in what you took seriously.

        It has not improved since (consider, e.g., the “landscape scenario”).

        Dave

      • Bob Ludwick wrote to me:
        >the PURPOSE of ‘Climate Science’ has little or nothing to do with understanding and predicting variations in ‘climate’; it is to provide ‘scientific’ JUSTIFICATION for turning the world economy upside down…

        Well, I’d like to heart Judith’s opinion: she has more detailed knowledge than either you or I.

        My take is that while the academic world as a whole does indeed tilt leftward (as I recall, Judith herself leans in a liberal direction), the climate fiasco is due more to careerism than politicization. I.e., prominent people have staked out a position that they are afraid to back off from, they have found that over-hyped claims for the validity of their models brings them fame, media attention, and big grants, etc.

        Since I have seen that happen even in areas of physics with no political issues involved, I think that explains the climate-change mess without invoking politicization.

        You know, someone can have strong political views (almost everyone here does, I assume) and yet still try to pursue science independent of those views. I think the temptation of pushing one’s results in a direction that enhances one’s personal career, prestige, and monetary income is probably a more potent temptation than merely selling out science to advance one’s political ideology.

        Dave

      • If you read the climate gate emails, careerism comes across as much more of a concern than politics.

      • “hear” not “heart’ of course. Though kind of a funny typo.

      • Is The Open Atmospheric Society a step in the right direction?

        Are there other steps that can help fight careerism?

        Oh, “Climate Heretic Judith Curry” should not be unduly concerned about this title. Burning people at the stake has never been legal in this country.

    • mosomoso and Physicist Dave,

      Excellent comments.

    • “It’s about whether this is one of history’s great collective goofs.”

      Do you accept that Mann/Hansen could have been wrong about the timing/rate, but generally correct about a long term impact on temps?

      How might that impact government policy?

      • If this warming were different in a fundamental way from the various ones experienced since the Younger Dryas, I’d think about it. If we were living in a stable climate with temps flatlining over centuries I’d suspect that something was amiss. But this is a warming like all the others, like you have to have, like you’ve always had.

        The real argument against Mann et al are the Optimum, Minoan, Roman, Medieval…et al!

  19. Judith,

    Thank you for the moderate and reasoned arguments.

    The global climate will get warmer or colder in the future. Without regard to humans.

    • Human activity, including land use changes, will always have an impact on climate but to what extent remains uncertain.

      • The climate has changed for the 4 billion years before humans. And it will keep changing after humans are gone, “…but to what extent remains uncertain.”

  20. I do think the 3 slides beginning with “Conflict of Values” (30-31-32) may need some re-casting, imho. I’m not seeing how the column headings work with some of the items below…… or at least many of them don’t seem so distinct and mutually exclusive.

  21. “It’s about whether Obama is dead wrong with his Flat Earth comment, and whether that comment is contemptible as well s wrong. It’s about whether this is one of history’s great collective goofs.”

    I used to laugh at the “George Bush Worst President Ever” placards that were popular toward the end of his 2nd term, because I thought it was true. I could not remotely imagine back in 2008 that Obama would prove even worse.

  22. Stephen Segrest

    I agree 100% with Dr. Curry that this is about “Values”.

    From the get-go, GW was hi-jacked by Liberal Ideology of command/control and top/down policies of carbon taxes, cap & trade, portfolio standards.

    Conservatives have never seriously countered by developing centerpiece policies advocating our core principles of de-centralized, bottom/up, flexibility, economic growth, and international trade to tackle GW.

    Conservative principles especially targeted to Dr. Ramanathan’s Fast Mitigation would add “time on the clock” (he says ~50 years) for our Scientists to hopefully figure this “Wicked Problem” out.

    • “Conservatives have never seriously countered by developing centerpiece policies advocating our core principles of de-centralized, bottom/up, flexibility, economic growth, and international trade to tackle GW.”

      One reason conservatives don’t come up with such “centerpiece strategies” is that that is just another euphemism for central planning. Now don’t get me wrong, the Republican Party is full of wannabe “conservative” central planners, like Paul Ryan. They think central planning is fine, as long as it’s their plan we are talking about. But they are not conservatives (as I and other “three leg” conservatives use the word, for those who wish to pick nits).

      A second reason conservatives don’t come up with “centerpeice strategies …to tackle GW,” is that we see no convincing evidence of the level to which GW is either C (catastrophic), or even the extent to which it is A (anthropogenic). You don’t need centerpiece strategies to deal with a problem that you do not even know exists.

      Not to mention the fact that, with 17+ years of hiatuspause, we are becoming a bit uncertain about even the W in our near future.

      • That sums it up well GaryM, Dr. Curry policy speak is just fruit of the poisoned tree in another form. “Uncertain” really means “we never had empirical science supporting us to begin with”. A failed hypothesis should be repudiated and it isn’t for purely political reasons.

        It’s important to remember all the triangulation involved with the Green’s in the 70’s that brought us on this horrible road. The Nixon EPA and all that sprang forth. All the academic green funding that incubated social radicals in lab-coats.

  23. The time dimension is missing from Judith’s argument. Resilience and Thrivability become more difficult, more expensive and more likely to fail in a faster changing climate, so problem #1 is slowing climate change and preferably stopping it, which helps in solving these other problems. It’s fine to have resilience goals and plan to adapt or, for some, just survive, but the challenge is the speed of climate change and that must be remembered, otherwise we wouldn’t be even talking about these other things. Attack the problem at its source. It just seems more logical to slow or stop climate change than to just let it change increasingly faster and try to keep up.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Dr. Ramanathan’s approach would do just that.

    • It is interesting that the Survival column shares much in common with the Resilience column, but possibly expresses what happens when resilience development is not fast enough for the climate change, and it just becomes hanging on.

    • AFAIK, the last few centuries experience is that real climate change, in terms of what people notice and affects them, is too sudden for adaptation. Except for pre-adaptation.

      “Global Warming” may involve some slight differences in the average temperature after the change, and may affect the probability distribution of (types of) change, but in general the gradual (over decades) changes you’re envisioning aren’t really a problem.

      If the sea level rises gradually to the point that Manhattan is flooded by 2100, it’ll be dealt with.

    • “Resilience and Thrivability become more difficult, more expensive and more likely to fail in a faster changing climate, so problem #1 is slowing climate change and preferably stopping it, which helps in solving these other problems.”

      That’s a value judgement based on your attachment to top down centralized control that is always looking for universal solutions that can be applied to a situation (while ignoring the individuals who populate that space).
      I, on the other hand, am attached to bottom up, decentralized local control where people are able to find their own solutions through voluntary and civic organizations. The world looks very different to me than to you and I am able to tolerate what you find intolerable and find offensive what you find pleasing.

      • Some people would say don’t slow down your own emissions at all in case the problems all go to someone else. That is a value judgement they are making. Another type of value judgment is that we are all in this together, whether part of the problem or part of the solution. Solutions are not necessarily top-down. It could pan out that each country finds its own way to cut emissions based on their own resources, and in the end it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A model of this is how the EPA give different targets to different states for coal emissions, knowing that they all have different situations. Global guidelines on emission targets would help drive national planning for their energy future. The DDPP is an example of this where several major emitting countries can develop very diverse plans for emissions reductions, and even some like China may be able to do it, allowing for a longer time scale.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: It just seems more logical to slow or stop climate change than to just let it change increasingly faster and try to keep up.

      It would seem more logical if we knew for sure the directions of future climate changes on a region by region basis.

      It would seem more logical if we knew for sure which changes would be harmful and which changes would be beneficial.

      It would seem more logical if we knew for sure that we could in fact prevent or slow the bad changes.

      Given the science as it is, what is most logical is to continue with an “all of the above” energy R&D strategy; to continue to work on the “least regrets” projects in flood control and irrigation (for example); and to continue to research the fundamental processes in the climate.

      There is no logic at all behind the “California Plan” to shunt its investment money away from irrigation and flood control and toward it “bullet train” and wind and solar farms.

      What’s wrong with your previously-mentioned idea of transitioning away from fossil fuels on a schedule of 50-100 years?

      • Matthew Marler, you can see my response to Daniel above regarding how values determine whether you think of this as a regional or global problem. Even with a global problem, it is not necessarily top down.
        Regarding cutting emissions in 50-100 years, yes, that is what I think. 50 years gives you 450 ppm, and 100 years gives you 500 ppm, as long as we start now and cut emissions linearly over the whole time. 450 ppm is an ambitious target to set, and may fail, but then we still may be able to stay below 500 ppm. Having targets also guides national policies, while without them, it is everyone for themselves and you get the tragedy of the commons situation.

  24. “The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was implemented before we had any confidence that most of the warming was caused by humans.” – JC

    This is called being proactive and preventative.

    There were very good grounds for the position that human activity was a very significant factor. You might want to quibble over whether it’s 49% or 55%, but time has shown that this is the case. And irrespective of whether it was 40% or 80% anthropogenic, the focus was on acting on that component that we had the ability to influence – CO2 emissions.

    It was the common-sense approach based on fundamental science, and it’s now clearer than ever that it was correct.

    • I think even Judith agrees because right on slide #23 she says “Human impact on warming apparent post 1980”, and it is hard to deny, from that slide’s picture.

    • Kyoto failed and it will not be replaced, because the threat was exaggerated and oversold. And the heat is missing. Period.

      • Kyoto will not be replaced, in the sense of a global treaty, because the Chinese, Russian and Indian governments will not risk revolution by condemning their massive populaces to the economic dark ages on the whim of spoiled western progressives.

        But the onslaught of the decarbonization movement continues unabated in the west. Obama’s EPA is moving full speed ahead. And while Canada and Australia are enduring periods of relative sanity currently, you should NEVER underestimate the power of progressives to take advantage of any crisis. And if history teaches us anything (and with some around here I have my doubts), it is that there will always be crises.

        The “end of history” has been falsely predicted many times in the past. The demise of the CAGW movement is also greatly exaggerated.

    • Huh?

      “Proactive”? There are different terms that would be more accurate. I more or less bought in to global warming around 2002. Then I started looking at the evidence and was disturbed by the false claims and the 9/11 conspiracy mentality of global warmers. They did not appear to give a rat’s *ss if it was actually warming and were really trying to eliminate fossil fuel use. CO2 was a proxy (and a bad one) for eliminating fossil fuels.

      “There were very good grounds for the position that human activity was a very significant factor.” Yup. And there aren’t any anymore. The only trick left in the global warming bag is the models – and they don’t work right. Inability to model short term climate 10-15 years ahead means the long term simulation have no skill or value. We could work from the 0.23°C error over 15 years and extrapolate this – which informs us that the 2100 temperatures will be at least 1.53°C below the model predictions.

      The pause indicates we are on course for 20th century version 2.0. 0.7-0.8° mostly in the non-tropical latitudes mostly at night (low temps).

      We have increased plant growth about 30% (CSIRO says 11% from 1982-2010). Time to stay the course.

      Being “proactive” makes sense if you have limited information and the chance of real danger. The pause means the threat was overblown. There is no sign that the huge positive feedbacks exist. The heat isn’t getting banked anywhere. This makes the “it is going to soar upward in a few years” meme illogical. Without a stored heat source, a resumption of global warming will pick up where it left off. Move the goal posts 14-30 years down the road. The Arctic and Antarctic are currently cooling judging from the increase in sea ice. A return to normal Arctic sea ice levels would pretty much invalidate the theory.

      Spending trillions to shutdown coal plants and destabilize the energy grid based on a theory that is badly flawed if not fatally wrong is unwise.

      Perhaps we should take what is now predicted to be 15 more years of pause, to improve our understanding of the situation. Spending a few billion on energy technology research is better than spending 100s of billions or trillions building dinosaurs that consume scarce resources, are inefficient, and are built overseas. Understanding the pause may improve the models – so that information drives the policy, instead of the current situation where the policy is driving the information.

      • There is no ‘pause’ in OHC.
        There is no ‘pause’ in CO2 emissions.
        There is no ‘pause’ in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

        Onwards and upwards.

        Hopes for a benign 21st C are just that – wishful thinking.

        Even Richard ‘low warming benefits’ Tol says that unpleasant surprises later in the 21st C are much more likely than pleasant surprises.

        ‘Arctic cooling’ – you mean winter??

      • And the pause is killing the cause.

      • nottawa rafter

        Michael

        I will give you a shot at this question. How does the trend in OHC post 1950 compare to pre 1950 OHC trend?

      • not,

        what we know is that it’s currently increasing – as expected under increased GHG forcings.

        Observations inline with our physical understandings – interesting huh?

      • MIchael,

        Stop denying the science. Come out of your cave. Turn over your weapons. Your isolated, science-free atoll is about to be drowned in the tide of data from the hiatuspause.

      • nottawa rafter

        Michael

        So let me try to interpret your reply. You don’t know. Thus I could posit that it was increasing at the same rate thru the 1800s to 1950 and you could not refute it. Glad that has been established.

      • John DeFayette

        nottawa,

        Any pre-1950 increase is also consistent with all my SimEarth models. See? We’re doomed.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: This is called being proactive and preventative.

      You could say the same about phlebotomy and pre-frontal leucotomy. Just because we want to be proactive does not mean we should be unmindful of the possibility of doing more harm than good.

    • David Springer

      Michael | September 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Reply

      Curry>>“The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was implemented before we had any confidence that most of the warming was caused by humans.” – JC

      Michael>>This is called being proactive and preventative.

      I think Michael has a contagious mental condition that threatens western civilization. I don’t have confidence in that but the risk is so great I think we should be proactive and preventative by putting him in an isolation ward until we figure out what exactly is his major malfunction.

  25. “So how did we end up mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem?” – JC

    Straw-man.

    No one thinks it’s simple.

    • We are told that the science is settled, mikey. We must stop burning fossil fuels. That’s simple.

    • Judith refers to Kyoto – has it demanded a “stop” to using fossil fuels?

      A straw man to defend a straw man.

      • You are evading, mikey. Stop the strawman BS. Is the science settled? If so, what do we do? That’s all the time I have for you.

      • Don,

        It’s simple – there is no demand to stop using fossil fuels.

        Get real Don.

      • Phasing out fossil fuels means stopping the use of fossil fuels. That’s simple. Your lot are in a big hurry to get there. That’s a fact. Good luck, mikey et al! Case closed.

    • And Judith misuses the whole ‘wicked problem’ idea to push inaction.

      Wicked problems do not preclude acting to address them – far from it.

      In fact, we should act to *mitigate* wicked problems.

      And act with a view to the long term.

      • Wicked problems, by definition, do not have simple solutions. Drastically reducing fossil fuel use is a simplistic solution with known catastrophic consequences that may not even solve the hypothetical problem. All that said, there are legislative solutions. First, you have to repeal the second law of thermodynamics, after that the rest is easy.

        Justin

      • Reducing fossil fuel usage is not even remotely simple.

        It’s a very complex task.

        People seem to be confusing the simplicity of saying it, with the reality doing it.

      • Ted Carmichael

        I think the point of labeling climate change a wicked problem is not to push back against doing anything. Rather, it is to push back against the idea that the problem has a simple solution. It doesn’t. And so I agree with you, that the reality doesn’t preclude acting. But I disagree that that is Judith’s point. A wicked problem requires a spectrum of careful solutions, solutions that can: 1) solve issues that one is sure about, and thus have a rational basis, even as they also address issues where uncertainty is high; and 2) be calibrated or altered as more information comes in.

        For example, we can build infrastructure that is more resilient in the face of weather-related extremes, because these extremes will occur regardless of whether or not CAGW is real. We can, as Judith pointed out, spend more resources to develop models that predict on the order of days, or seasons. And that would be tremendously useful, regardless of whether or not CAGW is real. And we can have a more open, scientific discussion about what the ideal global average temperature is. Such a discussion, it seems, is often shut down before it can truly take place, which is a shame. Because if we ever learn how to turn a control knob on the temperature, we won’t know which way to turn it, as things stand now.

      • Michael:

        It’s simple – there is no demand to stop using fossil fuels

        Michael:

        In fact, we should act to *mitigate* wicked problems.

        If you’re not demanding that we stop using fossil fuels, then in exactly which way should we act to *mitigate* this wicked problem?

        You seem to be big on hand-waving and not so big on thinking things through.

      • Michael

        President Assad was a ‘wicked problem’ this time last year and was going to be bombed.

        It seems however that he may be a part of the solution as the wicked problem was actually the fanatics who would have benefited from the bombing of Assad.

        The problem really needs to be properly identified before we know it IS a problem and this will then dictate the actions needed.

        A fractional temperature rise since the end of the LIA hardly seems a pressing problem

        tonyb

      • phattie,

        mitigate – to reduce.

        This is Judith’s straw man – she says AGW is a wicked problem. Fine.
        But then she says that mitigation is a ‘simple solution’. It’s not simple and it’s no complete solution, as per a ‘tame’ problem.

        Reducing CO2 emissions is anything but simple – but it is mitigation, exactly what wicked problems call for.

        Judith is trying to use the language of ‘wickedness’ to argue against mitigation.

        While wicked problems call for a range of strategies, Judith is arguing to reduce the range of policy options.

      • tonyb,

        From the perspective of very short term thinking, you are right.

      • Michael

        Because we needed to ‘do’ something before thinking it through meant Inadvertently assisting people who take a very long term view of achieving their religious goals. Taking a considered approach to a 1500 year old problem hardly seems very short term thinking

        Trying to control the climate when we don’t know there is a problem seems an extraordinary measure. I would invite you to comment on my reply to Fan above where I asked what thirty year period we should dial back to in order to get a ‘natural’ climate?

        tonyb

      • Tonyb, the stable climate has never been, as you’ve pointed out so often.

        But even if one knew from a long way out how climate might trend, one would not know what climate would actually do. In the depths of the LIA came the high heat, drought and parching continental winds which assisted the burning of London in 1666. Likewise, who expected the heat of 1976 in England when cooling was the fashion? Lamb was shocked. Australia’s most lethal natural disaster was a heatwave in a La Nina flanked by neutral years. Just as well no expert back in 1939 told ’em to expect lots of cloudy days because the SOI said so.

        Really, what could even an impossibly well-informed climate scientist say about the future except to prepare and engineer and account for everything? Which is something we already know.

        The whole business of climate prediction would be hazardous even if possible. Predicting by projected CO2 levels or just extrapolation from recent trends, as happens now, is potty. What a climate scientist can do is tell someone they have built a metropolis near sea level in a notorious hurricane belt and that it would therefore be a bad idea to dump rubble in the river mouth to make more real estate. There’s a job for someone who knows a bit about climate.

        But where’s a climate scientist when you actually need one?

      • +1’s to Mosomoso and Tony B.

      • Michael, are you suggesting that most people have not already reduced as much as practical?
        If you had to pay nearly as much as we Brits do for energy – particularly road fuel – you’d be using as little as you possibly can.

      • tonyb,

        That was nothing but begging the question.

        You can do better.

      • phattie,

        not even close.

      • Michael –

        ==> “But then she says that mitigation is a ‘simple solution’. It’s not simple and it’s no complete solution, as per a ‘tame’ problem”

        The other side of this is a blithe argument about the benefits of “adaptation” – that it, in contrast, is a “simple solution” because it is a “no regrets” policy that won’t have “unintended consequences,.”

      • Heh, you’ve scared the meaning right out of those quotes.
        =========

      • Michael

        But its a question that begs an answer.

        What is the perfect natural 30 year period that we should be clamouring for as a model of what we need to aim for by reducing co2?

        tonyb

      • Joshua, “The other side of this is a blithe argument about the benefits of “adaptation” – that it, in contrast, is a “simple solution” because it is a “no regrets” policy that won’t have “unintended consequences,.”

        How can you and Michael not see that there are “no regret” answers that fit in the “adaption” category? Reducing your energy needs without overly sacrificing comfort and “trivability” would be a no regrets adaption. In a way it could be considered establishing a reasonable time table like 50 plus year goals instead of decade goals that are impossible to meet.

        Trying to do too much too fast tends to make the problem messier. Take the celulose ethanol mandate as an example. That policy expected technological break through to happen on a politically acceptable time frame.

        The whole object of the interlocking rings is to show areas of agreement. Start there then try to expand the area.

      • Cap’n –

        ==> “How can you and Michael not see that there are “no regret” answers that fit in the “adaption” category?”

        I can’t speak for Michael.

        My point was that I see the concept of “no regrets” policies being used to lay cover for simplistic rhetoric to score points in the climate wars – by setting up adaptation and mitigation as being in opposition to one another.

        I think that the best course for policy would be some combination of mitigation and adaptation. Realizing the benefits of adaptation will face many obstacles. It won’t be cost free, neither in terms of resources required nor in terms of potential opportunity costs nor in terms of unforeseen (unintended) consequences. We won’t achieve adaptation-targeted policies merely by demonizing mitigation policies, in particular by doing so with strawmanish rhetoric as Michael pointed out.

        ==> “The whole object of the interlocking rings is to show areas of agreement. Start there then try to expand the area.”

        I’ve got no problem with that.

      • Joshua, “My point was that I see the concept of “no regrets” policies being used to lay cover for simplistic rhetoric to score points in the climate wars – by setting up adaptation and mitigation as being in opposition to one another.”

        Then as Mosher would say read harder. Mitigation that sacrifices trivability and/or resilience would not be in the overlap. What you “see” is subjective. Sometimes you actually have to think outside your subjective box.

      • Joshua writes:

        “by setting up adaptation and mitigation as being in opposition to one another. ”

        In a world or limited resources adaptation and mitigation are in fact in opposition to each other. One provides clear benefits and the other provides something unmeasureable–hope.

      • Joshua, so is Stephen Segrest’s opinion the new impeccable norm? Over selling is part of the process that is why you need to focus on the over lap of the circles. That is the political reality. Since the science tends to be over sold, it is also the scientific reality.

      • Michael:

        not even close

        Care to elaborate with some actual facts and figures?

      • phattie,

        can you?

      • Michael, you’re the one making the assertions – but you either won’t or can’t back them up.

      • The problem really needs to be properly identified before we know it IS a problem and this will then dictate the actions needed.

        And when will you know it is problem? What will it take to convince you? Most of the science i have come across already indicates the risks are already large.

      • One provides clear benefits and the other provides something unmeasureable–hope.

        No mitigation provides measurable health benefits by reducing pollution as well as decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels which are not unlimited resources. Especially oil where our dependence has led us into multiple foreign entanglements and to rely on despots for supply.

      • Joseph writes- “No mitigation provides measurable health benefits by reducing pollution as well as decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels which are not unlimited resources.”

        Joseph- What are the health benefits of CO2 reductions? You may be thinking of black carbon but not CO2. If the CO2 mitigation actions are being suggested for the purpose of lessening the “risks” of AGW then there is only a hope that they will make conditions better. I agree that there are benefits unrelated to the issue of AGW. A huge tax on fossil fuels would generate revenue for the US government as an example—which is greatly needed.

      • Here is a study that illustrates what I am referring to. You may quibble over the numbers, but there is no doubt that reducing CO2 emission will have substantial health related benefits.

        https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/cutting-carbon-health-care-savings-0824

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: You may quibble over the numbers, but there is no doubt that reducing CO2 emission will have substantial health related benefits.

        The only undeniable benefits come from reducing the concomitant pollutants, not from reducing CO2; removing those is generally less costly than controlling CO2 (even those benefits might be questioned, but substitution of natural gas for coal is undoubtedly in the public interest.) The benefits assume that the ongoing increases in the electricity supply will not be slowed or interrupted, and that increased CO2 has no benefits in crop yields, and in forest and other vegetation growth.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb
        “what 30 year period would you dial back to”?
        I asked FOMD this very question (in less articulate language) a couple of days ago
        he called me a name

      • Joseph

        Unfortunately your link was not a study but a article that references some study. Again, CO2 itself is not a health issue in the atmospheris quantities. The health issues are associated with other things that are released as a part of using fossil fuels.

        The issue in question is whether CO2 emissions reductions will result in more favorable weather and better conditions overall for humans in the future. The answer is there is no reliable evidence to accurately answer.

        Please also try to remember the costs of the proposed activities and the fact that there are limited financial resources. (Although the EU and the US like to pretend otherwise)

      • The point is that reducing CO2 emissions will have health benefits period. And you are assuming that CO2 benefits will not be offset by increases in temperature.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael: And Judith misuses the whole ‘wicked problem’ idea to push inaction.

        That is not true.

        She pushed robust strategies:

        • Water resource management
        • Infrastructure security
        • Agricultural productivity
        • Ecological conservation and restoration
        • Resource conservation & reuse
        • Energy research

        I frequently mention California and the Indus Valley: for the near-term, intermediate-term and long-term they need better water resource management much more than they need for the people of the world to reduce their CO2 output; that is because, come what may, there will always be alternations of flooding and drought. But reductions in CO2 output may produce no good effects at all.

      • Joshua you dont get it and you make a bunch of assumptions about how the argument for adaptation works.

        The problem of climate change will require both local adaptation and global mitigation.

        here is a hint, if you are a local community ( say NYC) and your focus has been local mitigation ( cutting emissions locally) you grabbed the wrong end of the stick. Focus on local adaptation.

      • Joseph

        You are believing that CO2 reductions themselves will result in health benefits and that is untrue.

        You also believe that increased CO2 levels will lead to higher temperatures and that will result is conditions that are worse for humanity. I agree that higher CO2 concentrations will lead to slightly higher temperatures than lower concentrations, but I see no reliable evidence that this will result in conditions being worse for humanity overall.

      • Cap’n –

        ==> “Joshua, so is Stephen Segrest’s opinion the new impeccable norm? ”

        Yes. And not only that, his opinions will solve world hunger and cure the heartbreak of psoriasis. Was there some reason why you’re questioning whether that is the logical conclusion for why I linked his comments?

      • You are believing that CO2 reductions themselves will result in health benefits and that is untrue.

        I don’t see how can reduce CO2 emission without reducing fossil fuel use (which leads to reductions in pollution).

        I agree that higher CO2 concentrations will lead to slightly higher temperatures than lower concentrations, but I see no reliable evidence that this will result in conditions being worse for humanity overall.</blockquote

        That's your opinion and most scientists in the relevant fields would disagree.

      • http://www.vernier.com/innovate/human-respiration/

        The usual quote for human respiration (out) is 40,000 PPM of CO2.

        Hard to defend arguments that 400 PPM input causes a problem.

      • Joseph, Joshua, Michael

        To add to PA’s comment on CO2 impact on human health:

        From mammalian cellular metabolism there is @ 40,000 PPMv CO2 produced, transported and exhaled via the lungs.

        During a conference of people gathered in a room or conference center or auditorium, the ambient air is regularly 800 to 1200 PPMv.

        Submariners in our nuclear fleet may have sustained 8,000 PPMv exposure.

        To sustain a toxic effect of CO2, i.e. agitation, hallucinations, brain narcosis, requires @ 100 torr or about 100,000 PPMv. At this level, a lot of things in the body can go haywire.

        So, any of the public relations scientists that say CO2 has a negative human health effect is just plain….ah, likely under the influence of too much CO2 themselves.

        There is a long way between health effects of ambient 400 and 100,000 PPMv and how rapidly we get there.

      • phatboy | September 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        ‘Michael, you’re the one making the assertions – but you either won’t or can’t back them up.’

        phattie,

        you’ve lost track.

        ” phatboy | September 17, 2014 at 7:52 am |
        Michael, are you suggesting that most people have not already reduced as much as practical?”

        So, “Care to elaborate with some actual facts and figures?”

        ??

      • Michael, you’re asserting that people (esp in the UK) are “not even close” to using energy as sparingly as practical.

        With nothing to back up your assertion.

      • David Springer

        It’s as simple to reduce fossil fuel consumption as it was to reduce cigarette consumption. Tax it to the point of being unaffordable.

        Simplez.

    • Hay now…

    • 350.org

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: No one thinks it’s simple.

      Yet a simple solution is being pushed hard: eliminate fossil fuel use as fast as possible.

      • Minor correction to that. You won’t ever get Michael or Joshua to specify a policy that would result in mitigation at any level that would make a difference to global warming. They know nobody would accept it. As a result, we really aren’t debating anything at all because they’re afraid to put it in writing.
        For all their glorious commitment to mitigation, Europe isn’t reducing emissions. Kyoto would have had no impact on global warming (remember? it was a “good first start”). Back in the day the argument was that we had to eliminate 85% of CO2 emissions or the earth would die. Now we chatter endlessly about how many trillions we should spend to get solar and wind to handle 20-30% of electricity generation.
        The reason behind this is simple- if you put down on paper what it would take to reduce emissions 85% in the US, the population would freak and the first thing they’d do is questions the science.

      • Hence the Fatalism piece of Optimistic Fatalism. Unless and until something privately cheaper/better than fossil fuels comes along, it’s all going to be burned. Given the emerging economies’ prospective energy needs and their capability to build and operate power plants there is no way to prevent CO2 ppm from going into uncharted territory. So national policy should be maximizing our general economic capacity while local/private parties look out for adaptation needs in their domains. It would help to stop subsidizing flood insurance, etc., which could be described as anti-adaptation.

    • No one thinks it’s simple?

      check out this video, we have some concerned climate scientists trying to convince The Florida Governor to take action on climate change. Fast forward to about the 21 minute point. The guy who is their chosen representative to talk solutions suggests a 38% reduction in carbon emmisions in 15 years. Sounds easy, he describes coal power plants as low hanging fruit, low hanging fruit means the easy things, lets just shut em down and replace with solar. he is out of touch with reality.

  26. A briar patch of clouds athorned.
    ========================

  27. Superb image, Kim

  28. Morano, in his article about this (“Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry warns of decades of possible global cooling: Suggests the ‘current cool phase will continue until the 2030s’”) quotes some strong advocacy from Judith where she said ““Relying on global international treaty to solve the problem — which I do not think would really solve the problem even if it was implemented – is politically unviable and economically unviable. ” He also spells out past anti-UN quotes from Judith, and makes the point that this is on the eve of the New York UN climate meeting, which I suspect is not just coincidence on the part of the Marshall Institute. I think they have used Judith to the max, judging by this piece.

    • Maybe Judith has used them, jimmy dee.

    • Jim D,

      Anyone with any credible knowledge of politics – local or at the level of the UN – knows that, for the next couple decades or longer, there will not be a decrease in the rate at which humans are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

      Take into account the economic development of China and India and hoped-for development in Latin America and even Africa (we can hope!): total CO2 emission rates are not going to go down.

      I’m not altogether thrilled about this; I doubt Judith is thrilled about this.

      But it is reality.

      And it is not “anti-UN” to recognize that nothing happens at the UN unless it has already been agreed to by the major powers.

      Given all that, it would be very, very wise to think about what we are going to do if the warming is at the higher levels of the various models: really, what are we going to do if Bangladesh and the Maldives go under water?

      You don’t think people should seriously think about that?

      Dave

      • About the Maldives:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/floating-islands/
        Eschenbach puts forth the idea that the islands adapt to sea level rise and also retreat. Pala lends support to that idea.

      • Do you see any reliable evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise associated with increased CO2 levels???

      • Rob Starkey wrote to me:
        >Do you see any reliable evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise associated with increased CO2 levels???

        Rob, I am with Judith on the “uncertainty monster.”

        I honestly do not know what is going to happen.

        I hope there will be no catastrophic results of anthropogenic CO2.

        But I do not know.

        So, I think it is worth considering what we will do if there are.

        Dave

    • Jim,

      Judith’s anti-global approach has it exactly wrong.

      Wicked problems demands an approach that;
      – crosses boundaries
      – embraces the long term view
      – envisage muliple responses
      – accepts that no one approach is adequate and ‘messy’ soutions
      – accepts that we don’t/can’t fully understand the problem

      Judith’s rhetorical appeal to wicked problems is to reject much of the above.

      Judith’s use of wickedness is complete BS (I can’t think of a kinder term).

      • > I can’t think of a kinder term.

        Think harder. Or feel softer.

      • OK – i can’t think of a kinder term….that is as accurate.

        I don’t think bovine excreta conveys the same sense.

      • “Wicked problems demands an approach that;
        – crosses boundaries
        – embraces the long term view
        – envisage muliple responses
        – accepts that no one approach is adequate and ‘messy’ soutions
        – accepts that we don’t/can’t fully understand the problem ”

        Michael,
        All you alarmists seem to suffer from a hard to fathom lack of insight into human nature along with a pie-in-the-sky faith in our social institutions. What you write sounds good, but is essentially meaningless.

        I honestly think climate alarmism is a kind of pathology. After all this time and all this money you guys still can’t come close to proving that AGW is going to be a serious problem. In fact, you can’t even show that it won’t be a net benefit. And you you’re willing and even eager to remake society at a tremendous cost to those who can bear it least.

        But here’s something you might want to consider: It’s not going to happen. You’re lost the debate… you just don’t know it yet.

      • Then res ipsa loquitur, Michael, and follow through with the quod erat demonstrandum instead.

        Latin expressions did not survive for no reason.

      • A stalking horse for a socialist agenda. And that’s part of the “wicked” problem. As are the stalkers.

      • Must be a paradigm thing.

        I just noticed that this concept by C. West Churchman. A very interesting guy.

        Seems that this approach excludes pure authority, pure competition, and pure collaboration.

        Lazarus talks of structuring the implementation process to diminish the influence of short-term interests likely to be influential.

        The concept might deserve due diligence, after all.

        But socialism, of course.

      • Yes. It will all make sense.

      • Lazarus seems to embrace the long term view, naq.

        This may not be compatible with “we’ll see when we’ll see catastrophes”.

      • ==> “As are the stalkers.”

        Ah. “Stalkers.”

        Interesting.

      • ==> “A stalking horse for a socialist agenda.”

        Is there only one agenda, AK?

        As an example, might some have an anti- “stalking horse for a socialist agenda,” agenda?

      • Is there only one agenda, AK?

        Of course not. I make no secret of my agenda (to anybody who bothers to read my comments). And there are certainly some here (I won’t name names right now) who seem to have a “Don’t change anything!” approach to post-soviet “capitalism”. Probably others as well.

        But here’s my point: there may be problems, there are probably a lot of different solutions, but the socialists (and fellow travelers) promptly denigrate anybody who suggest solutions that don’t fit their agenda as “deniers”.

        There are very good reasons (in moral terms) for favoring the cheapest possible energy, for everybody. There are very good reasons, in practical terms, for opposing world-level central planning. (E.G. corruption.) There may be problems that may require some level of the latter to solve, but when anybody who looks for solutions that minimize the need for such central planning is denigrated as “deniers”, it makes sense to suppose the denigrators are following a different agenda.

        And using problems such as “global warming” as a cover. A stalking horse. If they weren’t there, it would be easier, IMO, to come up with general agreement for solution(s), some of which might require a bit of central planning. But as long as those “stalkers” are waiting in the wings to jump in and push for their own agenda, anybody who opposes that agenda will be wary of allowing them an opening wedge.

        Which would make them part of the problem.

    • “I think they have used Judith to the max, judging by this piece.”

      I certainly hope so. Anything that undercuts UN hubris and their constant interference in the matters of nation-states is welcome. I’d like to see the UN relocated to NKorea or Kiev. And we could save a few dollars by defunding what we pay for its upkeep.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: I think they have used Judith to the max, judging by this piece.

      So what? Do you find fault with the presentation?

      Al Gore “used” the UN IPCC. That by itself did not diminish the reports of the UN IPCC. Hansen and Mann have been “used” by FOMD (and, of course, by really famous alarmists like John Holdren), but that usage by itself has not undermined the credibility their statements.

      Everything said or written will be used by the people who find it useful.

  29. Excellent, Judith, I hope that your talk is well covered by the media.

  30. Awesome! I hope many people get the opportunity to read your presentation!

    Justin

  31. Judith quoted on Climate Depot:

    “If I were nontenured scientist, I would fear for my job! But I am a senior scientist with retirement in my sight, so I can afford to do what I want, say what I think.”

    Keep doing it and keep saying it!

    Justin

  32. Obama says, “…flat earth society…”

    This, from the POTUS. He has written off about 50% of the country of which he is the president. What a disgrace!

    • nottawa rafter

      One would hope a POTUS would elevate the discourse a little more, like some scientific references. This is straight from the adolescents on Huffington Post.

      • All those important world leaders not coming to Obama’s New York climate dosey-doe have fallen off the edge of the flat earth.
        ===============

      • I could be wrong, but I think the POTUS is using tactics from Saul Alinski’s ” Rules for Radicals”. He is attacking the credibility of the opposition and thereby discrediting it’s ideas. Dirty give-no-quarter politics at it’s worst. He is supposed to lead the entire nation, instead he divides the nation so that he can win. Sad.

        Justin

    • There are at least 2 possible reasons that the President took such an unscientific and demagogic view toward people who don’t agree with the Administration’s CO2 policies.

      1. He completely believes what Dr. Holdren and a few other people tell him, he is captive to one point of view and never hears what the other side really says, he hears only once characterization of their views (“flat earth society”).

      2. He believes, for whatever combination of personal belief and political necessity, that the most effective way of pushing and defending his policies is by using what amounts to demagoguery. Such a stance is not uncommon among Presidents, unfortunately. If this were his rationale, he would not be the first, or the last, to use it.

      Either possibility makes sense. It is unfortunate that the U.S. has come to this, but both Rs and Ds are quite capable of acting like this.

  33. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    Excellent summary of many aspects of the situation. Because it is in the first paragraph it would be good if you change the typo “understand” to what you must have said, “understood.” I’ll be copying and pasting this to share, with attribution of course, with my correspondents who wonder what the heck a skeptical Lukewarmer believes and why. Thanks.

  34. I disagree with two points of the introductory part.

    1) The discussion of shining the light is not justified at the level it’s presented. The starting point was not that the keys had been lost somewhere. It’s not true that UNFCCC was formed without a balance of evidence that pointed towards AGW. At that time the increase in CO2 concentration had been observed and firmly linked with burning fossil fuels. At that time the basic understanding of the atmosphere was already at the level needed to make the link between CO2 concentration strongly justified. Quantitative evidence was thin, but the basis for UNFCCC reflected balance of evidence.

    2) Discussing Goldilocks climate is totally out of place. Whatever we do, the climate will be warming for long. We do not have the possibility of choosing to return to some past climate. We can affect only the rate and ultimate extent of the future warming.

    ===

    On the four goals (Survival, Sustainability, Resilience, and Thrivability) I see the division largely artificial. Sustainability is interpreted here in a very narrow way. A more broad definition of sustainable development is that the overall capacity of the Earth and the human societies to support life and well-being must be maintained allowing for negative changes in some factors, when they are compensated by improvements in other factors. In that view resilience and thrivability are components of sustainability, not alternatives for it.

    Having a narrow view of sustainability is not a fault of this presentation alone. It’s ubiquitous in climate change discussion, and probably strongest in the overly alarmistic views. Many scientists have, however, understood the point. Many differences between AR4 and AR5 (WG2 and WG3) tell that understanding this point has become more widespread over the recent years.

    When sustainability is considered properly, the natural conclusion is that mitigation, proactive adaptation, and activities that support thrivability are not alternatives but all are part of wise policies. The relative weight given on these parallel activities depends on projections of future development in influencing areas, in climate, in automatic adaptation, in technology development, and in almost everything that we can foresee about the future development of the natural Earth system and of human societies.

    The whole problem is wicked, but that should not prevent us from starting to act now. Acting now is also one of the activities needed for learning to act more wisely in the future.

    • + 1,000 Pekka. Although doesn’t Judy cover this to a certain extent with her overlapping spheres?

    • ‘Whatever we do the climate will be warming for long’. Now, Pekka, you don’t know that. So why do you say that?
      ==================

      • The globe has been cooling ever since its fiery beginnings and with so much water encapsulated under its mantle, whatever else can happen? Towards the end of our solar system the sun will be very, very dim and the Earth will be very, very cold! Evidence? Check out what happens in other planetary systems and galaxies.

    • Pekka, you see it otherwise, but as an outsider (with a background in physics anyway), I find that the “looking under the street light” metaphor goes to the heart of the credibility problem in climate science today.

      The MSM and government reporting (“messaging”) certainly gives the impression that the field is rife with confirmation bias.

      While I am certain that there are many dedicated scientists in the field who are honestly trying to understand a complex system, I find it impossible to read anything about the subject without looking for the “spin”.

      As long as research in the field gives the impression of being “policy driven evidence making” – anything that is pronounced will be viewed – well – skeptically.

      • I have explained in a recent comment in another thread that I see the past emphasis on AGW as well justified, as long as the idea has been to extract, what knowledge can be extracted about the AGW based on the existing understanding of the atmosphere and other components of the Earth system. That kind of research is basically applied science aimed at answering questions of immediate significance for decision makers using basic science as input.

        When such research has gone for long enough there’s little left to learn based on that approach before the basic science of the atmosphere has led to better understanding of the natural processes. Some part of the applied AGW research may have already been unproductive, but more importantly the future research must now emphasize the basic research.

        Similarly the development of large Earth system models has been very useful for improving understanding of the atmosphere and the Earth system, but again improving understanding of the basics through basic science is likely to be the most important factor in development towards better tools for projections of both global and local or regional climatic changes.

        The above applies to climate science itself. Questions of impact and policy choices are not understood as well. Thus many different approaches may still have potential in these areas.

      • Blah, blah, blah, …..Sir.
        ============

    • Pekka
      You raise interesting points when you write:

      “We can affect only the rate and ultimate extent of the future warming.”

      My reply- do you consider it even possible that human released CO2 will lessen a potential longer term cooling trend that would be highly adverse for humans? Must the world only warm long term?

      “When sustainability is considered properly, the natural conclusion is that mitigation, proactive adaptation, and activities that support thrivability are not alternatives but all are part of wise policies. The relative weight given on these parallel activities depends on projections of future development in influencing areas, in climate, in automatic adaptation, in technology development, and in almost everything that we can foresee about the future development of the natural Earth system and of human societies.”

      My reply- “Proactive adaptation” is really the building of robust infrastructure and it is the only sure method of reducing harm from adverse weather. Mitigation activities generally waste resources. Funds spent on mitigation reduce funds available for useful activities. If developing nations (or developed nations) build or maintain good infrastructure they will have fewer people harmed. If they don’t people will continue to get hurt. It is a national and not an international issue.

    • “Discussing Goldilocks climate is totally out of place. Whatever we do, the climate will be warming for long. We do not have the possibility of choosing to return to some past climate. We can affect only the rate and ultimate extent of the future warming.”

      Huh?

      There are a number of implicit assumptions in this paragraph.
      1. The 1900 climate was the golden age of man and any deviation from it is bad.
      2. Increasing CO2 will cause a slow upward ramp in temperatures to infinity.
      3. Man has the godlike power to control climate.
      4. CO2 is bad and has no benefit.
      5. Warming is bad and has no benefit.

      These implicit/explicit assumptions are somewhere between half-truths and simply inaccurate.

      1. The weather varies 10-100 times more than climate. Saying a 1-2% increase in weather variance is bad is difficult to defend. Further you have to use the Medieval warming period and not the 1900’s (coming out of the little ice age) as a baseline. Using 1900 as the standard for optimum climate (Goldilocks) is absurd.
      2. Well, the models that assume the slow upward ramp in temperatures and they are wrong.
      For 30°C sea water at the equator a 1°C rise in temperature due to doubling CO2 (4 watts) causes, what I estimate from vapor pressure curves, a 5.5 watt latent heat loss. Which means the rise in ocean temperature will be less than 50% of the expected amount. This ignores the effect on convective heat loss (which will increase). Latent heat loss accelerates the more you exceed 30°C.
      Global Warming assumes the large signal performance of the climate system can be extrapolated from the small signal response to increased CO2. This generally isn’t true for most systems.
      Until the effects of CO2 on convection and atmospheric phenomenon (clouds) are better understood the effect of more CO2 is speculation.
      3. The IPCC says CO2 was 110% responsible for the post 1950s temperature change. The math, logic, and politics that lead to this conclusion need to be questioned. Climate changed a lot before man came on the scene. There were ice ages when the CO2 was over 4000 PPM. A better understanding of natural forces and cycles is needed before we can definitively say what is going to happen to climate.
      4. The mostly anthropogenic CO2 increase has increased plant growth 30%. Stopping the increase means starving some people. We need absolute proof, not someone’s bad guess, before we take that sort of action.
      5. Well, I guess a lot of warming would be bad… but it only looks like we are only going to get about 1°C. 1°C targeted mostly on low temperatures is beneficial. There isn’t much of a case for higher warmings and there is no indication the temperature will rise faster than the 20th century. Do the research and make your case. Right now the only support for the IPCC position is “appeals to authority”, a logical fallacy.

    • Pekka, you wrote:
      “Discussing Goldilocks climate is totally out of place. Whatever we do, the climate will be warming for long.”

      I’m with kim on this one – a lot of people disagree that future warming is already ‘baked in’ no matter what natural variability may do. That is one of the key points of the global warming debate, and in no way may we all assume it as a given.

      Secondly, this still just doesn’t let you off the ‘Goldilocks’ hook. Even if you are correct, more mitigation costs more money than less mitigation, so what reduction in future warming are we willing to pay for, and why? And if (if!) the level of warming experienced since the middle of the 20th century has already caused harm*, is it worth the cost of more efforts in the further future to get back down to that previous temperature? Why/why not? To answer any of this you have to hold a view on what the ‘best’ temperature is.

      *That many people believe this is demonstrated by all the stories about destruction of habitats, endangerment of species, ocean acidification etc that so often do the rounds.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä:

      2) Discussing Goldilocks climate is totally out of place. Whatever we do, the climate will be warming for long. We do not have the possibility of choosing to return to some past climate. We can affect only the rate and ultimate extent of the future warming.

      That may be true, but the possibility of preserving exactly what we have or returning to a previous climate (350 ppm) has been strongly promoted, not least by Pres. Obama and a bunch of senior Democrats and other opinion leaders. So I think that Prof Curry’s comment was warranted for that audience (the National Press Corps.)

      • Matthew

        the trouble is I cant get anyone to tell me what version of the climate they want, as exemplified by a previous 30 year example that covers what they believe to be the ‘natural’ temperature that we should aspire to
        tonyb

      • Goldilocks is kinda useful, though I’d not thought so much before now. It is a re-framing; it forces one to think just what is ideal climate.

        It’s not far from that viewpoint to the understanding that warmer is always better, both in what Nature can do, and in what Man can do.

        Colder is always worse, both from what Nature can do and what Man(perish those thoughts) can do.

        These values from the standpoint of the biome, of which Man is still a meager part.
        =====================

      • The sad thing is that Man is likely to only be able to raise the temperature of the porridge minimally and briefly, while Nature can freeze us Goldirocksolid.
        =====================

      • I like what we have. But if it changes, I would want it warmer, not cooler.

      • You can’t have what you like. We’d be blessed if it warmed.
        ===================

      • Matthew R Marler

        climatereason: the trouble is I cant get anyone to tell me what version of the climate they want, as exemplified by a previous 30 year example that covers what they believe to be the ‘natural’ temperature that we should aspire to

        I hear you.

        I have proposed that we take the current climate, with ca 400 ppm, as good, and look forward to the likely effects of future doubling of CO2. I don’t think there is a good case that the climate was actually better at 350 ppm or 280 ppm; such claims have not stood up to systematic review of the evidence.

  35. Well done. The more often that the President, politicians, journalists and the general public are told this the better: science is a not a belief system, its a method.

  36. Good stuff, though of course the people who ought to pay attention to this (including your fellow climate scientists) will ignore it.

    A key point in the slides that you haven’t put into the post is page 10:
    “Our core scientific research values became compromised in the “war against the skeptics”:
    • the rigors of the scientific method (incl reproducibility),
    • research integrity and ethics
    • open minds and critical thinking.”

  37. This is excellent. I’ve circulated it to my friends and many of my contacts.

    I’d make these points:

    I suggest ‘decision-analysis’ using cost-benefit analyses of policy options and the probability the advocated polices would deliver the claimed benefits. I suggest this is a way to get people to seriously consider and justify why they believe the policies they support and advocate for (such as carbon pricing and renewable energy) can succeed in delivering the claimed benefits (i.e. avoided climate damages) in the real world of competing interests of nation states and special interests with in each nation state. The focus should be on debating the probability of success of the policies, rather than the inputs and results of the cost benefit analyses. It is the probability the policies would deliver the claimed benefits that is important.

    Against the chart Sustainability-robust-resilient you list six dot points. The last is “energy research”. I argue this is not what we should focus on with energy. Instead we should focus on removing the unjustifiable and irrational policies that block the world from having the ‘no regrets’ option. We should remove the blocks that are preventing the world from having cheap, clean, safer, reliable, sustainable, secure energy supplies (Oh, yes, and near-zero CO2 emissions as a bonus). That’s nuclear power (in case some CE denizens didn’t know that).

  38. My own view is that CO2 is not just one gas. It’s absorption of IR depends on which isotopes are present and that in turn depends on what heavy neutrons ere in the CO2 molecule. These neutrons have their own vibra\ion modes and can absorb considerable energy from IR. You cannot calculate the specific heat of CO2 if you ignore them. James Chadwick discovered neutrons in the 1930’s. Neutrons opened the door to nuclear fission, to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. so everything about neutrons suddenly became a State secret, so science tended to forget about neutrons, unless you worked on the bomb or nuclear power. So what about climate change? is that a victim of the secrecy?

    No one knows why the climate changed so dramatically in 1940. The most likely cause was the saturation of the lowest frequency vibration mode of the CO2 molecule.When this mode saturated, any increase in earth’s IR radiation would pass through the atmosphere without further heating. That is why I have been saying for years that global warming is an on/off phenomena.

  39. Glad to see you finally realised that you can’t avoid discussing policy because it is what is driving the funding and hence the focus of the science. As in many areas of public policy, the ‘facts’ are constructed to fit around the desired agenda which is really being driven by green pressure groups that freely admit they are less concerned about curing any manmade warming than using it as an opportunity to fulfil their anti-growth dogma.

    Of course if the solution was obvious and easy then there would be little or no need for skepticism. We’d surely all like a world run by renewable energy, even the (presumed evil) fossil fuel companies who would inevitably control any renewable energy solutions that actually did what they promised. Alas there is no easy solution and the cures proposed are palpably worse than the disease: Energy reductions at a time of increasing energy demand lead directly to enduring poverty and death from either starvation or cold depending where you live. This is the really wicked problem, sometimes called the trilemma. If the fake sanctimoniousness and cheap insults were ditched from the debate and believers thought a bit more deeply and ethically about this trilemma then there might eventually be proper 3rd party scrutiny of the shaky assumptions behind the entirely manufactured consensus statements about the (lack of) discernability of manmade warming hiding within that great unknown envelope called natural variation.

  40. nottawa rafter

    JC
    Outstanding summation of the issues and how you made the transition in your views. As always, this is worthy of a much wider circulation.

  41. As I pointed out in my short 2007 essay on global warming, all climate is parochial. Normal south California weather is on the hot and dry margin of ideal, so vocal opposition to any further warming is to be expected. Northern Midwest weather is on the cool and wet side, so warming brings not only less opposition but also adds economic opportunity. With no proven ability to predict future climate, or to effectively modulate current weather or short term climate, the IPCC can rightly be viewed as anti-democratic elitists who are striving to impose a “mankind-free climate” when the idea is actually quite ludicrous. Our current population is able to maintain itself only through large and sustained expansions of the nitrogen cycle, where more than half of bioavailable nitrogen is industrially produced, and also of the carbon cycle, where we are a small (perhaps 10%) but real component. The world has voted overwhelming to accept the benefits of petroleum-based heat, electricity, transportation, and agriculture by adopting them enthusiastically. There is no similar consensus to restrain these activities, the more so if climate change seems to be enhancing the quality of life where you happen to be living.

  42. But when will we get rid of the horrid wind mill plantations … i happen to love birds and scenery …. and a more sensible way to produce electricity. Stupid and/or evil people are running the joint …. we can and must do better.

    • Ofay Cat, “But when will we get rid of the horrid wind mill plantations … i happen to love birds and scenery…”

      Once people accept an “in my yard reality”. As population grows the yard gets smaller so economy of scale can become a health and safety issue. Smaller and more efficient “solutions” will become more attractive.

  43. Stephen Segrest

    The problem we have are the dog-gone wrong paradigms being created: (1) The CAGW crowd’s Chicken Little use of Models; (2) The anti Renewable Energy crowd’s (aka Wagathron) use of wrong engineering economics:

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/15/how-to-criticize-with-kindness/#comment-629385

    • stephen, welcome to the real world. CAGW was coined to counter the over selling of the fat tail. If you try to get a warmist to provide a hard number, they drift off into the “potential” treats that beg precautionary action. Everyone over sells their side of the issue hoping that will lead to an acceptable compromise. Except of course the ideologues that actually believe they can have things exactly their way, if only democracy is restricted while they get the job done, as has been suggested from time to time.

      This is why most real progress happens in those formerly smokey back rooms or in some unknown’s garage. Too many cooks spoil etc.

      • captdallas,

        Some on the left are growing restless that CAGW isn’t being pushed forcefully enough, and are making the mistake of coming out and discussing what the leftist agenda actually is.

        Here a blurb from the website dedicated to Naomi Klein’s new book – This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs. the Climate.

        ” Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.”

        http://thischangeseverything.org/book/

        Just in case you think she is on the leftist fringe, here’s what the the folks at ClimateProgress think about it.

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/16/3567322/this-changes-everything-naomi-klein-capitalism-climate/

        One of their favorite bnits:

        “Humanity faces a stark choice as a result: The end of civilization as we know it or the end of capitalism as we know it.”

        There have also been rave reviews by The New Yorker, The Guardian and a fawning interview by Bill Moyers.

        Oh those kooky conspiracy theorists on the right who say CAGW is a stalking horse for socialism. When will they ever learn?

  44. The pic of you in Morano’s article is apropos. Wind in your hair, clouds behind you.

  45. This has been my favorite post so far. I thought JC used plain language and nice visuals to communicate very effectively. I was entertained by it and enjoyed reading it.

  46. David L. Hagen

    Positive Thriveability
    Judith
    Compliments on clearly laying out the much larger issues.

    Under Thrivability, I encourage adding positive themes
    Restoring Eden
    Greening the Earth
    Stewarding Abundance

    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    Genesis 1:28 NIV etc.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Many of us Christians are saying “enough is enough” and pushing back against David Hagan type manipulation and cheery-picking of God’s Word with a message:

      (1) One should decide their position on AGW on the science, period. End of story.
      (2) But, if you do decide that AGW is a concern, this view is totally consistent with God’s Word (with some associated scripture cited as follows)

      • Remember that even Hank Paulson, a Christian Scientist, used a tarp(prat) to the tune of $700,000,000,000.00 to cover and save the country by using the shovel. What verses is she using by the way?

      • IMO, we should keep religion out of the discussion of science. But of course, religion comes into play, negatively or positively, in politics and policy.

      • I can’t deny that at all.

      • Stephen Segrest
        “Come let us reason together”.
        Re: “(1) One should decide their position on AGW on the science, period.”
        I agree. Show your evidence as to why we should accept majority catastrophic anthropogenic global warming when the IPCC models are so contrary to the objective evidence.
        Following IPCC 1990, in 1991 I wrote a 330 page review of solar thermal energy to redress anthropogenic global warming. Now 24 years later, actual global warming is only half of what the IPCC forecast. We have also seen two decades with NO warming as quantified by McKitrick 2014
        By the scientific method, as a scientist and research engineer, I conclude that the IPCC’s AGW models are overly sensitive, fitted to the warming period, and unable to reproduce natural cycles or global cooling.

        Re: “(2) But, if you do decide that AGW is a concern, this view is totally consistent with God’s Word (with some associated scripture cited as follows)”
        Having given no references, have you really thought much about this? James instructs:

        Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

        Re: Katharine Hayhoe. She appears well intentioned but I see her as misled by the IPCC AGW authoritative argument from ignorance. Bill Moyers interviewed Hayhoe. She gives examples of global warming – yes it has – since the Little Ice Age. I agree that humans contribute – the issue is how much. She says “the highs are getting higher”. Evidence shows most US high temperature records were in the 1930s as were the heat waves. She said hurricanes are getting stronger – but they have not. She said “We have the science . . . Its not a scientific issue” – “now it’s a political issue.” I don’t see robust science, but rather politics driving science. She says we have to mitigate. Without addressing the costs. Obama’s preventing developing countries from obtaining coal fired power severely harms their ability to grow economically. (Caution Moyers asked a trick question she did not catch. “Sounds to me like it could be a new gospel.”)
        I see the Cornwall Alliance as having a better grasp on both science and applying Christian principles. Her comments need to be reviewed in light of Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth
        As Curry highlights, the IPCC presumes alarming global warming requiring economically catastrophic “mitigation” by burying CO2 in the ground. Consider Jesus’ Parable of the Talents where the third servant given one talent said:

        so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! . . . Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

        The IPCC/Obama trillion dollar “mitigation” policies appear to be the most egregious example of burying resources in the ground for no benefit which Jesus so emphatically condemned.
        Finally, how does belief in AGW address Revelation 16:8-10 (ESV)

        The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

        PS Can you support your accusations of “manipulation” and “cherry-picking” with evidence?

      • Stephen Segrest

        David Hagen — In your world, every climate scientist who is very concerned about AGW is a CAGW Michael Oppenheimer or Michael Mann type. You are absolutely dead wrong. There are many highly reputable scientists who believe the science is telling us this is a major concern — and stay out of “Policy Wars” (for the most part). Nobel prize winning scientist Dr. Molina is an example (that I think highly of).

        Dr. Molina is very different than say an Oppenheimer (whose CAGW message based on the shaky predictive ability of Climate Models is, IMO, reprehensible). Clearly on the CE Blog, Mosher isn’t a CAGW type.

        So, on this point you need to follow your own Bible citation of Isaiah of “Come let us reason together”.

        Next, by you bringing in the Cornwall Institute and their “Green Dragon” campaign (incredibly, which has been funded in part by Exxon/Mobil) — you make my second point.

        This “Green Dragon” message is very personal to me, as its permeated into my Church and often heard on Moody (Christian radio).

        I think a lot of Katharine Hayhoe, but not in a sense you probably think — as I’ve learned a gazillion times more science from Dr. Curry than Dr. Hayhoe. I admire Katharine as a Christian, and her message targeted to Christians only:

        After going through all the science (to the best our ability), “IF” you do fall on the side of a Dr. Molina — your opinion is totally consistent with God’s Word on responsibility and stewardship. You a absolutely not following and being deceived by the “Green Dragon” or creating a new religion worshiping Mother Earth.

        To make one’s science beliefs on AGW a “litmus test” of one’s Faith is reprehensible.

        Cornwall (in the name of Religion) has a long history of doing this “exact” same thing on numerous environmental issues ranging from DDT, air/water pollution, ozone depletion, etc.

      • Stephen Segrest

        David Hagen — I believe (no, I know) I’m following God’s Word of Isaiah a whole lot better than your conflict approach. Given the tremendous uncertainty of GW/CC, I look for policy options that could “bridge” the gulf in conflict — following a bedrock of my Faith in trying to be a Peacemaker.

        I found such an approach through Dr. Ramanathan’s ideas on “fast mitigation” (black carbon, methane, low level ozone, HFCs) — giving our scientist time to hopefully sort out this “Wicked Problem”.

      • Stephen Segrest

        David Hagen — One final note. My professional fields are Ag and engineering — and as a long time reader of Robert Rapier, I know you’re a smart person.

  47. From the link to the Steyn article:

    Well, yesterday was the deadline, and not a single amicus brief was filed on behalf of Mann. Not one. So Michael Mann is taking a stand for science. But evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for Michael Mann. The self-appointed captain of the hockey team is playing solo. As Judith Curry wrote last month:

    The link between ‘defending Michael Mann is defending climate science’ seems to have been broken.

    UPDATE:

    Word is we can expect, perhaps as early as this afternoon, a late amici filing on behalf of Mann by the Australian-American Chemical Society of Bavarian Ale and San Diego IPA Brewmasters Association.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    FOMD  commented “Diversity of opinion is no threat to science, but science can *NEVER* remain vital without personal integrity, professional commitment, and collegial openness … such as yours.

    Good on `yah, Judith Curry!”

    It’s good that *MANY* people agree with this assessment.

    ———–

    It’s good too, to see that Judith Curry and James Hansen are strongly on the same page with respect to sustained and vigorously expanded “A-Train”-type monitoring of rising seas, heating oceans, and melting polar ice-caps, as exemplified by the new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 and the new Deep Argo initiatives — emphasizing equally the instrumentation hardware, and the resulting global data, and the sustained analysis of that data … including climate-model validation.

    Needless to say, this solid climate-science is one of the 21st century’s wisest investments.

    Good on `yah, Judith Curry and James Hansen, for appreciating that *MORE* good scientific data-analysis — not less — is essential to untangling the 21st century’s “wicked problems.”

    Page 3 of Judith Curry’s presentation reminds of the solid historical precedents for IPCC Consensus-science:

    ———–

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Climate Change (IPCC)
    (1)  Anthropogenic climate change is real
    (2)  Anthropogenic climate change is dangerous
    (3)  Action is needed to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

    ———–
    Similar precedents include:

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Ozone Depletion (Montreal Accords)
    (1)  Anthropogenic ozone depletion is real
    (2)  Anthropogenic ozone depletion is dangerous
    (3)  Action is needed to prevent dangerous anthropogenic ozone depletion

    ———–

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Persistent Organic Pollutants (the EPA Dirty Dozen)
    (1)  Persistant organic pollutants are real
    (2)  Persistant organic pollutants are dangerous
    (3)  Action is needed to mitigate dangerous global accumulation of persistant organic pollutants

    ———–

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Tobacco-Smoke Carcinogens (“Big Tobacco” products)
    (1)  Tobacco-smoke carcinogens are real
    (2)  Tobacco-smoke carcinogens are dangerous
    (3)  Action is needed to mitigate dangerous public exposure to tobacco-smoke carcinogens.

    ———–

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Space-Borne Energy Weapons (“Star Wars”)
    (1)  “Star Wars” technologies are ineffective
    (2)  “Star Wars” technologies are destabilizing
    (3)  Action is needed to mitigate wasteful public spending on “Star Wars” technologies

    ———–
    Emerging threats have this same form:

    Scientific Consensus Regarding Smallpox, HIV, and Ebola viruses
    (1)  Smallpox, HIV, and ebola viruses are real
    (2)  Smallpox, HIV, and ebola viruses are dangerous
    (3)  Action is needed to mitigate dangerous public exposure to Smallpox, HIV, and ebola viruses.

    ———–

    The World Wonders  Why do think-tanks like the Marshall Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the CATO Institute, and National Review so consistently and relentlessly *DENY* the science-driven trifecta of “reality-danger-action”?

    The common-sense answer  Bible-fundamentalism and market-fundamentalism equally have proven to be ineffective against the above-cited real dangers. Ideology-driven think-tanks seek to deny these political realities, by denying the scientific realities that ground them

    *EVERYONE* appreciates *THESE* 21st century historical, political and scientific realities, eh Climate Etc readers?

    The scientific community (especially) appreciates these realities!

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

    • And, what of the infamous treaty known as the Kyoto-Protocol that expired in 2012? What of the countries that signed on back then when the time came to sign on for an extension of the treaty? So far, only 11 out of the original 144 and no EU countries. Bush was right.

    • Oddly enough, “Star Wars” led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. I am sure that is what FOMD meant by “destabilizing.”

      The world wonders what bothered FOMD about the end of Soviet Communism, which included its own manner of “destabilization” such as the destruction of civil government in Afghanistan to take an example that comes to mind.

      But I am sure that “everyone” you know agrees, because, no doubt, as soon as you find a note of disagreement with an acquaintance, they are read out of your life with a strong denunciation, Eh FOMD?

      Liberal “engagement” with alternate points of view is often characterized as follows “Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later!” Eh FOMD?

      • In the late nineteenth century, all the Smart Set just knew that Eugenics was vitally necessary.

        Then the Smart Set just knew that democracy and capitalism were over, and a centralized, collectivized economy was the way forward.

        Then the Smart Set just knew that overpopulation was going to destroy the world and it was essential to cut off all food aid to the poorest parts of the world, and curb the birth rates of all those, y’know, brown people.

        Then the Smart Set just knew that GM foods were wicked and needed to be stopped

        Then the Smart Set just knew that climate change was so serious that the ‘temporary’ suspension of democracy was necessary…

        People have an incredibly well founded fear of intellectuals run amok. The record of just delegating things to the Smart Set and letting the run and organize society is horrific beyond words. ~The Prussian

      • I know, the “Smart Set” thought WWI was a “capital idea!”

        The “Smart Set” thought the Treaty of Versailles was a good idea.

      • Wagathon, I could not possibly agree more with the quote from The Prussian. Thanks.

      • Wag,
        Thanks. That was interesting. Lots of smart set (SS) stuff that doesn’t include serial climate deniers, but other types.
        Scott

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Climate Etc readers are invited to compare for themselves Wagathon’s caricature with three authentic voices of the 21st century Englightenment:

      •  Hansen’s Why I must speak out (2012)

      •  Berry’s It all turns on affection (2012)

      •  Israel’s Spinoza Day lecture (2012)

      Observation  2012 was a remarkably effective year for the scientific Enlightenment.

      To embrace Judith Curry’s “entanglement” metaphor, these Enlightenment threads are inseparable.

      Conclusion  The entangled unity and accelerating 21st century impact of Enlightenment ideas and ideals is appreciated by *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers? … save for a shrinking cadre of ideologues that “hunkers-in-the-bunker” of anti-scientific denialism.

      A bunker of ideology-driven denial, whose contents Wagathon’s comments exhibit plainly to us. Thank you, Wagathon!

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

      • ” 21st century Englightenment:”

        So there is a new Enlightenment that abandons the old Enlightenment values?

        This “Enlightenment” is often referred to as “post normal science”

        Authority and “authenticity” seem to be valued in this new “enlightenment” more highly than rigorous reasoning from first principles, eh FOMD?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John H. Morgan’s well-considered Five Principles of Free Quakers are commended to your consideration, TJA — and to the consideration of Climate Etc readers — as summarizing pretty accurately some salient characteristics of the (ongoing) 21st century Enlightenment.

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

      • So it is a religious dogma. OK.When it achieves the kind of mass improvement of well-being that the actual Enlightenment has produced, you let me know. Until then, you can keep your church out of matters of state.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It may sooth you to learn that the considerations you raise are much-debated among Friends, TJA!

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

      • I was wondering if you would ever understand that I actually read you closely, even as I tend to reject your thinking, I do attempt to understand it. I wish you would return the favor.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: The entangled unity and accelerating 21st century impact of Enlightenment ideas and ideals is appreciated by *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers? … save for a shrinking cadre of ideologues that “hunkers-in-the-bunker” of anti-scientific denialism.

        It is a shame that you do not understand that your repeated references to “denialism” stifle discourse; as does your persistent neglect to consider the details of the scientific debate. What is the scientific evidence, for example, that increased global mean temperature and increased CO2 since the end of the Little Ice Age have caused any harm at all? Slim to none. So it makes no sense to call people who address the evidence relative to this point as “anti-scientific”. No science is being denied, only alarmism based on superficial consideration of scattered anecdotes.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TJA, my comments contain little (if any) of my own thinking. Mainly the intent is to point to works that enlarge and enliven the domain of climate-change discourse.

        In this regard, the shared roots of philosophical Spinozism, religious Quakerism, secular Freethinking, and the Radical Enlightenment are commended to your attention.

        As William Faulkner reminds us: “The past isn’t over; it isn’t even past.”

        Faulkner’s principle (as it appears to FOMD) largely governs the 21st century’s still-evolving still-accelerating continuation of the Enlightenment.

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

      • What is the scientific evidence, for example, that increased global mean temperature and increased CO2 since the end of the Little Ice Age have caused any harm at all

        Although this report has not received much publicity, I think it is definitive proof that the climate change has had an impact.

        http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/08/18/major-disasters-linked-extreme-weather-climate-and-water-hazards-rise

        The atlas included 8,835 major disasters in the four decades between 1970 and 2010. The largest increase, however, was between 1971 and 1980 with 743 extreme events and 2001 and 2010 with 3,496 events.

      • I beg of those more enlightened than I to explain to me how to put in to practice the principles laid out in “How to criticize with kindness” when one is confronted with the unctuous, smarmy smugness of FOMD. How does any sane, healthy person not want to take a shower after reading what he writes? It is a mystery to me. I could say to him that pretty words are a dime a dozen. Pretty sentiments were declared by the Nazi SS corp as well as the Soviet Politburo while millions starved or were gassed to death. The relevance of pretty words is exactly what? Is FOMD doing what liberals always do? Pleading that we pay attention to their words and intentions while ignoring the actual outcomes of their actions?
        Is NKorea an accident of geography? Or is it the direct consequence of ideas put into action with a mountain of flowery words to ease the pain and create a film of illusion for those who suffer the consequences of those actions? Should the NKoreans be gently chided about the loss of height in their population, for the squalor of most of their citizens lives? When you see people foaming at the mouth with the platitudes of the collectivists that have caused so much misery and pain in the last century, how is it possible to have any charity for those who refuse to give up the mythology of the benevolent dictator and continue to argue for top down, centralized control and for the ‘consensus of opinion’ of experts which have buried so many humans before their time. To criticize with kindness seems to require an assumption that the object of your criticism is working from the same intellectual rules that you are. But I never met an authoritarian/collectivist/Marxist that did operate from the same set of rules. I just don’t know how or why these ideas are tolerated in polite company. It’s a mystery to me.

      • Joseph,

        Did you know that extreme weather events occur naturally?

        Andrew

      • Andrew, how do you explain this?

        The largest increase, however, was between 1971 and 1980 with 743 extreme events and 2001 and 2010 with 3,496 events.

      • Joseph,

        You didn’t answer my question.

        Andrew

      • All weather events obey the laws of nature (occur naturally) Now answer my question.

      • Joseph

        You are citing an increase in weather extremes in a period so short it hardly registers on any historic time scale and fails to provide any context

        I research extreme events and the most frequent and most extreme appear to be during the LIA episodes with prodigious storms and severe flooding alternating with severe droughts and very long lasting heat waves and cold events that would make your eyes water.

        We are fortunate in having records in Britain that let us examine the duration and severity of these, many of which were detailed in Various books by Hubert Lamb and Kington amongst others.
        tonyb

      • “Andrew, how do you explain this?”

        Weather obeying the laws of nature.

        Andrew

      • That doesn’t explain why extreme events increased three fold in the course of three decades. It is consistent with the predictions made by AGW. Big fail..

      • I research extreme events and the most frequent and most extreme appear to be during the LIA episodes with prodigious storms and severe flooding alternating with severe droughts and very long lasting heat waves and cold events that would make your eyes water.

        All anecdotal and unquantified I presume. If so, I am not impressed.

      • “That doesn’t explain why extreme events increased three fold in the course of three decades.”

        Variation in the number events is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

        Andrew

      • “It is consistent with the predictions made by AGW.”

        See, the activist scientists who use the term “consistent with” know it’s a content free term. Anything that happens over the short term is consistent with their long term projections of catastrophic warming, because short term is weather. There is virtually NOTHING that can happen in the period of 10, 20 or 30 years that is inconsistent with CAGW.

        Well, maybe an asteroid strike or super nova of the Sun….

        But it is amusing to see the default progressive drones here, who don’t understand, repeating “consistent with AGW” as if it is a serious argument.

      • Joseph

        Climate didn’t begin when you were born. It has been recorded for thousands of years. We have increasingly good records from roman times with a great deal of information available from the time of the domesday book

        For specifics read ‘historic storms of the north sea, British isles and northwest Europe’ by Hubert Lamb

        ‘Climate and weather’ by John Kington

        ‘History and climate’ edited by various people including Phil Jones and Keith Briffa

        Lamb was the first director of CRU, Kington worked there until recently and Phil jones needs no introduction. The first two also worked at the met office which has a wonderful archive and library where those interested, such as me, can find hundreds of books and thousands of references on climate through the ages and the many extremes.

        Many extreme events were also recorded by le Roy ladurie. His ‘ times of feast times of famine the climate over the last 1000 years’is an easy to read book.

        For one of the first detailed accounts of a hurricane you might like to google ‘ Daniel Defoe 1703’

        They are just some of the people who have recorded the extreme events we can observe through the ages,, at a time when there were far fewer people to observe them.
        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Daniel decries  “[unctiousness, smarminess, smugness, Nazis, Soviet Union, North Korea, starvation, genocide, squalor, misery, pain, illusion, dictators, authoritarianism, collectivism, Marxism … and FOMD too]”

        Gosh-golly, Daniel, that’s a pretty rough crowd you’ve allied FOMD with!

        It may interest you — and may interest Climate Etc readers too — to learn that comparably vehement criticisms have long been raised against Enlightenment ideals and ideas:

        Having failed to make him [Baruch de Spinoza] mend his wicked ways, and, on the contrary, daily receiving more and more serious information about the abominable heresies which he practiced and taught and about his monstrous deeds, and having for this numerous trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and born witness to this effect in the presence of the said Espinoza, they [the elders of the synagogue] have decided that the said Espinoza should be excommunicated and expelled from the people of Israel […] with the excommunication with which Joshua banned Jericho, with the curse with which Elisha cursed the boys, and with all the curses which are written in the Book of the Law. […]

        Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in.

        The Lord will not spare him; the anger and wrath of the Lord will rage against this man, and bring upon him all the curses which are written in this book, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven […]

        We order that no one should communicate with him orally or in writing, or show him any favor, or stay with him under the same roof, or within four ells [about 1.5 meters] of him, or read anything composed or written by him.

        Hmmm&nesp; come to think of it, didn’t Galileo receive criticism along similar lines?

        Conclusion  Folks here on Climate Etc look forward to your further  excommunications  communications, Daniel!

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

      • Joseph, kindly explain how a reduced energy flux, on average, leads to more extreme events, on average.

      • Tony,

        No one disputes that there were extreme weather events in the past. What is at issue here is the trend in the frequency of extreme weather events globally. Sparse anecdotal records are not sufficient to give you this trend.

        weather extremes in a period so short it hardly registers on any historic time scale

        What is the length of time needed that will make you believe there is a trend? What is the scientific basis for your time period? And if you don’t think four decades is enough, then you surely don’t believe that a pause in surface temperatures of less than two decades is indicative of a trend.

      • Gary, I would call a trend over four decades “short term.” or “weather.” And AGW specifically predicts an increase in extreme weather related events.

      • Joseph:

        And AGW specifically predicts an increase in extreme weather related events

        Show us your workings

      • joseph

        said

        ‘Sparse anecdotal records are not sufficient to give you this trend.’

        Hardly sparse. These are very detailed accounts. As an example I use the Met office archives in Exeter to research historic climates.

        We can trace many hundreds of extreme events locally with many on a scale much greater than todays. You hugely underestimate, or have not troubled to read, the literature available on this subject. I quoted some of them in my previous email but you just seemed to have waved them away.

        No, I do not think that a pause in temperatures for 15 years or so constitutes a trend, although it is certainly intriguing as it was not expected. Equally, surely in the great scheme of things an increase in extreme events over the four decades you cite is not a trend especially when you consider the improved observations and recording

        tonyb

      • Hardly sparse. These are very detailed accounts. As an example I use the Met office archives in Exeter to research historic climates.

        Are those records sufficient to estimate a global trend?

        surely in the great scheme of things an increase in extreme events over the four decades you cite is not a trend especially when you consider the improved observations and recording

        What do you mean by this? Are you saying that the WMO wasn’t able to accurately record extreme weather events for the entire period? Where is the evidence that they did not? You didn’t answer my question about what time period is required to determine a trend and the scientific basis for the period.

      • Phatboy, A quick google search will answer your question. The IPCC has an entire section devoted to extreme weather (drought, floods, heat waves, etc.)

      • Joseph

        I was merely making the point that there are far more people these days, many more living in unsuitable locations (think Somerset levels) and with far more property and goods. With better observations and reporting it is not surprising that an increasing number of events will be recorded over a short time scale.

        However they are making no effort to compare it with earlier ages where, despite fewer people, many living in ‘safe’ places, with poorer levels of observation and recording we can still determine that the number of extreme events was very considerable and they were , on the whole, worse than today

        My interest is in CET which, according to numerous scientists and institutions such as de bilt and the Met Office is a reasonable proxy for global conditions.

        I cited you 4 books out of hundreds on the subject but you appear reluctant to accept the work carried out over many years and seem to believe that they should be considered merely anecdotal and not representative

        It seems remarkable if the best, most numerous and most diverse series of records in the world should turn out to be for the only country that suffered these extremes.
        tonyb

      • Joseph, I’m not interested in alarmist conjecture, no matter how the IPCC tries to dress it up.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: The World Wonders Why do think-tanks like the Marshall Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the CATO Institute, and National Review so consistently and relentlessly *DENY* the science-driven trifecta of “reality-danger-action”?

      As you can tell from Prof Curry’s lecture, the Marshall Institute is better than you have presented it to date.

      You ought to make a list of the “consensus” science beliefs and policies that were subsequently abandoned. A few of us have directed your attention toward some of the them: the consensus that aspartame would be a public health disaster; that there was no energy source large enough to support Wegener’s hypothesis (not merely “no known source”, but “no source”); that light waves were propagated through a luminiferous aether; that government-mandated Eugenics (by various means) would produce beneficent effects; and others, large and small.

      What is [*DENIED*] (so to speak) is the ruinous trifecta of “slim evidence – alarmism – misdirected action”. Also regularly disputed is the claim that the expansion of government power will necessarily have benefits exceeding its costs because the proponents of the expanded power are good people. We have a long history, from the Sedition Act, through the Palmer Raids and FBI, to the recent IRS and EPA, full of illustrations of the fact that administrations will use their to partisan advantage against their political opponents.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler asserts “The Marshall Institute is better than you have presented it to date.”

        Plenty of science-minded folks regard it as far worse.

        In regard to multiple scientific issues (summarized above) the track-record of the Marshall Institute is far from reassuring to the scientific community.

        *THESE* considerations are evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Matthew R Marler?

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

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Plenty of science-minded folks regard it as far worse.

        Now you know better, eh fan of *MORE* discourse?

    • FOMD “…why do think tanks …consistently …* DENY*…”

      Ignoring, for the moment, the obnoxious use of the word “deny”, the think tanks have compassion for the poor people that will suffer needlessly from the IPCC ordained policies.

      In simple terms: first there were the policies, from the political left and the environmental movement (including myself);then there was a little data (warming, CO2, Venus); then there was the IPCC created to drive the policies; then there was the search for more “data” (funding, lots of funding) including outputs from chaotic models, which is not really data; meanwhile the propaganda campaign is running full steam ahead (deriving their energy from coal, probably); then someone said “wait a minute, let’s see that data”, they were called deniers …

      Now, we have a self-interested coalition of government subsidized “green” businesses, fear-driven donation-hustling NGOs, government bureaucrats, the MSM, nations looking for a big reparation payday, and the politicians that are funded by this coalition. Collectively, minus the payday seeking nations, they are called the left. No pun intended.

      Justin

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        JustinWonder “[deplores market-failures associated to climate-change]”

        Point 1  Market-failures associated to the reality of climate-change pose multiple challenges to ideological market-fundamentalism; the delusional denialist axiom climate-change can’t be real is faux-conservative, anti-scientific, and non-rational.

        ———–
        *THIS* is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh JustinWonder? Young scientists especially!
        ———–

        Point 2  Fulminating personal abuse serves largely to alienate voters; this voter-alienation too has greatly harmed the cause of rational conservatism.

        ———–
        *THIS* is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh JustinWonder? Thoughtful voters especially!
        ———–

        Point 3  Faux-conservatism’s flimsy foundations and rhetorical abuses have rendered conservatism vulnerable to takeovers and astro-turfing in service of special interests; these takeovers and astro-turfing too have greatly harmed the reputation of rational conservatism.

        ———–
        *THIS* is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh JustinWonder? Thoughtful young people especially!
        ———–

        Conclusion  Anti-scientific faux-conservatism in general, and climate-change denial in particular, have greatly harmed the cause of rational conservatism.

        ———–
        *THESE* common-sense truths are obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh JustinWonder? Thoughtful citizens of every political persuasion, in particular!
        ———–

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

  49. I’m generally not a fan of the Booz, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc. consultancy style of presentations. Considering the audience, however, it seems appropriate. Well done.

  50. That is a very impressive presentation. As a “Big Picture” panorama, no one has said it better in such a compact and meaningful way. It should be required reading in every earth science course. The scientific method has been trashed by the drunks looking for their keys under the streetlight and it needs to be re-established.

    • The key(heh) point here is that they can’t and won’t find the key.
      ============================

      • It’s under the street light!

      • Reminds me of a story of a couple I knew who were very drunk one night and had pulled over to the side of the road so the woman could throw up outside the car. After she threw up the sight of it made him sick and he threw up also. The cops pulled up and got out and asked the guy, who was on all fours at the time, “Who’s driving here?” And the guy replied, “You think I’d let her drive in her condition?”

  51. For every problem there is a solution that is easy to understand, simple, and wrong.

    • Since H. L. Mencken’s 134th birthday was on September 12th, the least we can do is attribute that sublime thought to him and quote it correctly.

      The correct quotation is:
      …there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.

  52. Judith, let me add my congratulations. Very nice presentation, hopefully to an audience that can make a difference.
    A suggestion for future similar talks. The attribution and ‘certainty’ evolution from FAR to TAR could be carried further to AR5. That way the discord between IPCC pronouncements and reality becomes glaring. Removing the false ‘science is settled’ argument is one of the best ways to get a rethink of things like the EPS’s endangerment finding.

  53. Matthew R Marler

    Marc Morano has written up a summary that includes some of the discussion [link], although I’m a bit puzzled by the headline.

    He is first and foremost a political operative. I like is web log, but balance really isn’t his bag.

  54. Excellent presentation. I loved that you used the RCP4.5 rather than the RCP8.5. This RCP8.5 mistie with reality does need to be understood.

  55. Judith: The first area of disagreement you list is the anthropogenic contribution to warming. I presume that you don’t believe we can estimate human contribution to warming because: a) Observations indicate that unforced variability plays a significant role. The current hiatus is already consistent with unforced variability of perhaps 0.3? degC. 2) The IPCC’s attribution statement relies on climate models (with adjustable parameters and other limitations) which can’t be trusted to reliably represent climate sensitivity and unforced variability.

    However, one can approach the IPCC’s attribution statement from a different perspective: What value for TCR would assign at least 50% of warming to human forcing? Otto (2013) and other methods for estimating TCR from observed warming point to a TCR of about 1.4 degC. If only 50% of observed warming were due to anthropogenic forcing, then TCR would be 0.7 degC. Given observations from space and the likelihood of some water vapor feedback, do you believe that TCR could be this low? (Even Lindzen and Choi may be compatible with a TCR this low.)

    In the absence of a millennium of accurate temperature data (or validated climate models), it is impossible to say with any certainty how much warming unforced variability MIGHT have contributed during any period. A minimum value for TCR, however, allows one to calculate a maximum amount unforced variability DID contribute.

  56. underwater volcanoes??

    Surely that isn’t the ridiculous idea that the CO2 rise is caused by underwater volcanoes is it?

  57. Pingback: Greening the world’s deserts | Climate Etc.

  58. The video of my talk is now available

    • Matthew R Marler

      curryja:: The video of my talk is now available

      Sweet!

    • “The vorpal blade goes snicker snack!”
      Up with ‘Name of the Rose’ and ‘Foyle’s War.’
      Content and delivery awesome’

      A serf fer the open society.

    • A very good presentation. The only thing I would disagree with you on is that a human component of warming has been identified since 1980. We will see what is still above the level of noise once the AMO goes negative. I’m going to have to start looking at my opinions critically seeing where they may be too mainstream lest your opinions pass me up on the skeptical meter.

  59. Matthew R Marler

    again on the benefits of CO2 and warming:


    Forest stand growth dynamics in Central Europe have accelerated since 1870, Pretzsch, H., Biber, P., Schütze, G., Uhl, E., Rötzer, Th., (2014)
    Nat. Commun. 5:4967, DOI:10.1038/ncomms5967

    Abstract:

    Forest ecosystems have been exposed to climate change for more than 100 years, whereas the consequences on forest growth remain elusive. Based on the oldest existing experimental forest plots in Central Europe, we show that, currently, the dominant tree species Norway spruce and European beech exhibit significantly faster tree growth (+32 to 77%), stand volume growth (+10 to 30%) and standing stock accumulation (+6 to 7%) than in 1960. Stands still follow similar general allometric rules, but proceed more rapidly through usual trajectories. As forest stands develop faster, tree numbers are currently 17–20% lower than in past same-aged stands. Self-thinning lines remain constant, while growth rates increase indicating the stock of resources have not changed, while growth velocity and turnover have altered. Statistical analyses of the experimental plots, and application of an ecophysiological model, suggest that mainly the rise in temperature and extended growing seasons contribute to increased growth acceleration, particularly on fertile sites.

    CO2 and warming are historically associated, so it is impossible to disentangle their effects without factorial experiments.

  60. There seems to be a belief among those proposing radical changes to economies that this will be tolerated by the economy–e.g., a huge tax on fossil fuels or shutting down all coal plants or switching to intermittent power. But we have examples in the world of draconian policies: Venezuela was a very rich country but is now a basket case, with shortages of everything including toilet paper. Their auto industry has shut down because they can’t get supplies. Argentina is making moves to follow that lead, such as trying to disavow debt they owe (and then who will lend them $?) and putting in place price controls and penalties on “profiteering”. These were the two richest countries in South America, going down the drain. An economy is not made out of rubber–it is possible to break it. It darn well better be a well-documented emergency before taking some of the actions these activists want.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Craig — Your post is what I dislike about many CE comments — cherry-picking to create an ubiquitous paradigm. After these paradigms get created, they basically go unchallenged and often become part of a CE Echo Chamber.

      Example: Pursuing Renewable Energy policies MUST RESULT in destroying economies.

      The problem in the above paradigm is that Germany doesn’t fit into it. CE Bloggers are really “BIG” on demanding empirical evidence — but just shrug off Germany (which since 1990 has reduced its carbon emissions by 25%). There is no other country that can provide a better real world “macro” economic laboratory (in a developed country).

      Seems like we should dig a little deeper into understanding Germany on a “macro economic” basis as to what they’ve achieved — rather than creating ubiquitous paradigms using cherry-picked negative examples. Maybe, we could learn something.

      One may certainly disagree with Germany’s policies — but they didn’t destroy their economy.

      The latest Pew Opinion Poll on World Economies (where 85% of Germans say economy is good — which is highest in the World):

      http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/09/09/developing-countries-most-optimistic-about-economy/

      • Germany has an undervalued exchange rate because it is part of the Eurozone. This greatly boosts its exports – Germany is the second largest exporter in the world and exports account for more than one-third of national output. Nevertheless, its GDP fell 5.1% in 2009, and by 2012 had recovered to only 2.6% above the 2008 level. It fell 0.2% in the latest quarter. Germany has had to revert to coal-powered electricity after a knee-jerk reaction on nuclear power, so will be increasing emissions.

        The surveyed Germans who think that their economy is good might be comparing it to the dire straits of other Eurozone countries.

      • Well…

        It is generally credited with doubling their energy cost per kilowatt in real terms (index) or increasing it 2.5 times (euros).

        It could be argued that they shot themselves in the foot but they certainly didn’t blow their leg off. Because the US and most of Europe was also taking unwise shots at the ground, this mitigated the impact to some extent.

        Renewable energy that is cost completive isn’t bad. On the other hand the US is spending $478 billion over 20 years to upgrade the infrastructure to support renewables. That is a stealth renewables subsidy of about $25 billion per year. The fully loaded cost of wind is estimated at 7X conventional sources and solar is usually quoted in the 50-100x range.

        We could go to Mars for that kind of money, and Mars would probably be a better decision.

      • You have cherry-picked too by evading an inconvenient truth

        The Germans are bringing online 22 new lignite-powered generator stations – this is occurring *now*

        They are doing this, despite the obvious risk of exceeding their CO2 emission “limits”, in order to avoid destroying their economy through increasing reliance on uneconomical, unreliable wind and solar and a wish to continue decommissioning their nuclear-powered stations following Fukushima (this may be irrational)

        That about 40% of Germany’s gas supply is from Russia adds to this move back to brown coal again

      • Exactly, Ian, And I wonder if Merkel has been just talking green while digging brown. Walking away from nukes and insisting on BoA tech in the new lignite plants might have been the only political way of re-establishing coal power in Germany. Which is what is happening. The other EU member might want to howl…but they don’t want to pay for the drinks if Germany can’t.

        The result of that “reduction in emissions” was near failure. Were they really going to wait for total failure? As soon as the “market” – stop giggling! – price of carbon went into the toilet (or got shoved down there by Brussels/Strasbourg politics) Germany took the opportunity to exploit old and new coal fields. Poland hasn’t even bothered with much pretence: it’s already been through the political equivalent of Big Green.

        As to why these people want to depend less on Gazprom and that nice Mr Putin…

    • Stephen, Joshua will be proud. No where did Craig say renewable MUST do anything. Craig just provide examples of were policy action did things. There are lots of things that can be done, if done right, that’s the ticket.

      Right now, in the US, renewables as in grid connected wind and solar are making less and less sense in many areas. The local utility guys, who likely have some clue what they are doing, would be the go to guys to give advice. they would likely say that guaranteeing intermittent energy buy back at twice to four times their cost, isn’t all that bright of an idea. Fans of those types of renewables need to think of nifty new reasons for installing more renewable energy hopefully with a eye on breaking even without too much government assistant. Not that hard. Convince the backers, using their own money, that it’s a good idea. Let’s pretend that there is still a financial reality.

      There are very few anti-alternate energy folks that comment on this blog. There are just a little more ground in reality and what happened else where is a clue as to what can go right OR wrong. That OR wrong tends to be left out of some folks presentations.

      So when you noticed the skeptics harping on the OR wrong parts, it might be because they were omitted from the glossy sales brochure.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Capt — We need more stories on Germany, not Argentina, Venezuela, etc. Germany is a very interesting place as to things going on. A great big “economics laboratory experiment” especially with regard to the monopoly electric utility.

        Can we learn some positive things from Germany in areas of distributive generation, micro grids, shoot even the psyche of Germans towards energy? I read that a big source of German equivalent of retirement 401-Ks investments was their solar company provider.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Capt — You know I think you’re a good guy and knowledgeable. How about you posting some things from time to time on the lots of things that can be done, if done right, that’s the ticket.

      • Stephen, “Capt — We need more stories on Germany, not Argentina, Venezuela, etc. Germany is a very interesting place as to things going on”

        We need all the stories. Germany has some exciting things going on and Germany has some massive screw ups as well. That how things work. In the US, transportation fuels are a big issue and there are a few small scale gas to liquid start ups that will likely fill that US niche. Germany has different niches, but one of their big inspirations is a high tech pipeline system for several types of gas/liquid fuels. That is a political issue in the US, so small scale gas to liquids might be able to fill that niche. Germany also has high temperature/efficiency coal projects that are blocked in the US by low nat gas prices and treats of punitive regulation. It’s not a one size fits all world.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Capt — There is just so much negativity on CE. As an educational blog, it sure would be nice for knowledgeable folks (like you) to “pitch” guest blog stories to Dr. Curry on positive things going on.

      • There are very few anti-alternate energy folks that comment on this blog.

        What do you include in alternative energy and what do you exclude/

        If you include the high cost, unreliable, intermittent renewables like wind, solar, wave, etc. then count me out. If you include the high cost geothermal and high cost food eating biofuels, then count me out.

        If you advocate to remove the impediments from the nuclear power to allow it to be cheap then I’m a supporter.

        In the meantime for rationalists cheapest energy is best!

        [that is, the cheapest energy supply that meets requirements of energy security, energy reliability and quality.]

      • Stephen Segrest

        Capt — Peter’s comment on Renewable Energy is quite common here at CE and an example of what I’m talking about.

        As an educational blog, CE needs to spend time talking about how the power industry works — specifically things like engineering economics and electricity demand load shape curves.

        It would be highly uneconomic for any electric utility anywhere in the World to have a fleet of generating units that are 100% “base load” units (such as coal or nuclear) even if they are “so called” reliable. The cost per kWh would be astronomical — especially for peaking requirement demand.

        Much of the World is not blessed with low cost natural gas (and neither was the U.S. less than 10 years ago). In this World reality, solar clearly has a place in meeting total load dispatch — not because of liberal, socialist ideology but because of engineering economics.

        For example in meeting peaking loads, solar would not be competing in cost per kWh compared to the “reliable” base load coal units — but the extremely high cost per kWh of combustion turbines using oil.

        Is this above “general knowledge” known by many commenters here at CE? It doesn’t appear so.

        Sure, there are negative examples on renewable energy — but there are also positives which rarely (if ever) see the light of day here in CE discussion.

      • Stephen Segrest

        It would be interesting to read someone developing “their logic” of why we need nuclear energy — then being “consistent” with their pro-nuclear arguments of why Renewable Energy (say solar) is a bad idea on a world stage in a context of meeting total electricity demand requirements (base load, intermediate, peaking).

      • Stephen, ” There is just so much negativity on CE. As an educational blog, it sure would be nice for knowledgeable folks (like you) to “pitch” guest blog stories to Dr. Curry on positive things going on.”

        What is positive depends on the listener. I made some Indian Fry bread for the first time yesterday. It was positively delicious. Frybread though is linked to causing diabetes. That is not positive. Which to dwell on?

        Energy wise, South Carolina settled on a solar incentive program that makes sense. The buy in (or lease) and buy back rates were set by the utility. That is a “sustainable” program for the majority of that population.

        As for Lang, he is Australian and a nuke fan. He illustrates how a “global” approach is likely a waste of time. With a “global” wish list instead of a “global” directive, a “global” approach makes more sense. When Judith mentions regional steps that are no or low regrets, most miss that is in line with the “global” reality. It is not a one size fits all problem.

        If you are a fan of solar, then you should focus on breakthroughs in storage of energy. Nanotechnology will likely greatly improve the efficiency of fuel cells (high tech batteries) and gas to liquid/solid conversion (storage). Those would make solar much more cost effective than the tunnel vision grid connected “solution” that limits flexibility.

        For wind, instead of spreading wind mills all over hell and creation, think of taller wind/solar installations located at the point of use. There are a lot of positive potential solutions motivated by desire to help your fellow man, show the world how smart you are and make a buck at the same time. If you cut out the fame and fortune parts, the number reduces dramatically.

        I have no idea what technologies will win but I am “positive” some group will always be dissatisfied.

      • Stephen Segrest

        From an engineering economics basis, solar beats the kWh cost of a peaking combustion turbine using oil — as it has for a long time.

      • Stephen, “From an engineering economics basis, solar beats the kWh cost of a peaking combustion turbine using oil — as it has for a long time.”

        From an engineering basis, solar beats turbines in some instances. If it beat it in all cases, there would be no turbines.

        Currently, on a cost per nameplate kw solar is a winner because the solar manufacturer’s over built older technologies that they need to dump. During some of that over building, quality suffered, so there are new estimates of usable life and once a manufacturer goes out of business the warranties go out the window. Still plenty of good things about solar, but solar at 25 cents a kw is better than solar at $1 a kw is better than solar at $2 a kw. If you don’t have a fairy tail subsidy, you tend to be cautious about when to commit. You can jump right in with both feet if you like as long as it’s your money.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/business/energy-environment/german-energy-push-runs-into-problems.html?_r=0

        Me, I tend to watch for a while.

  61. A comment above about “shouldn’t we consider the worst case”? Actually, no. Considering the worst case in daily life is called a phobia. If the Maldives and every other atoll went underwater by a several foot sea level rise, it would be far cheaper to pay these people to relocate. The total area of land that would be lost is not even a footnote in the total Earth land area. And while we lose a little land to the sea, we gain land in cold places where the ice has melted and the entire HUGE northern Boreal zone (Siberia, much of Canada, Scandanavia) might actually become habitable. Remember that people’s tendency when faced with change is to only imagine the bad effects. People were afraid of trains when they first came out and insisted in the early industrial revolution that factories were all bad.

    • Craig, two good posts.

    • dikranmarsupial

      “Considering the worst case in daily life is called a phobia.”

      no, *obsessing* about the worst case in daily life might be suggestive of a phobia, but *considering* it is quite normal. If this were not the case, we wouldn’t take out insurance so that we have the extra resources to cope with some unlikely, but potentially disastrous event (for instance our home burning down, or causing a car accident, or becoming seriously ill). Most normal people consider both the best case and the worst case (and plausible outcomes in between) when choosing a course of action. It is called rational decision making. Refusing to consider the worst case is irrational at best if not actually foolhardy.

      • Considering daily, or considering the worst. Yeah, it’s ambiguous. I understand your reading but there are others.
        ========

      • dikranmarsupial

        Actuaries think about the worst that can happen every day, it is their job. Climatologists working on climate extremes consider the worst case every day, it is their job and their research interest. Those in government, responsible for policy and making sure resources are in place for emergencies think of the worst case all the time, it is their job.

        The point is that whenever there is a decision to be made, the rational thing to do is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and consider all plausible outcomes. Quite often, the worst case dominates the cost-benefit analysis. I think it is rather unlikely that I will be involved in a car accident this year (the worst case), yet I still have car insurance as that is the prudent thing to do, because I cannot bear the cost of the damages should I cause one. Blithely thinking that I don’t need car insurance because the best case (no accident) is by far the most likely would be considered foolhardy if not downright irresponsible by most people. Deciding not to look at the worst case is irrational.

      • Now you’re describing a phobia warped by skewed cost/benefit analysis. Consider that you’ve identified the source of the problem with ‘climate communications’.
        =============

      • dikranmarsupial

        no Kim, I am suggesting that rational cost-benefit analysis is a good idea, and each outcome affects that according to the plausibility of its occurrence and the distribution of loss should it occur. Trivializing the worst case by portraying it as a phobia is mere rhetoric and gets us nowhere.

        I would also suggest that you might take a different view of the loss of the Maldives depending on whether you lived there yourself, or whether you lived in a country thousands of miles away. The real problem with the cost-benefit analysis lies in differing views on “discounting”, as this discussion demonstrates.

        Anyway, I am done here, having made my point.

      • BRICs, absent from New York. Yes, your point has landed.
        ==============

    • ==> “Actually, no. Considering the worst case in daily life is called a phobia.”

      What an interesting comment. And how interesting is it that not one, not a single solitary “skeptic” saw fit to question Craig about his approach to uncertainty.

      Instead we get applause from Faustino and pretzel twisting from kim.

      Perhaps one of the better examples yet to support putting quotation marks around skeptic.

      Craig’s comment, and the lack of response, is why you can’t take it a face value when “skeptics” say that they don’t doubt that ACO2 warms the climate, they just don’t know the magnitude of the effect. Not knowing the magnitude means uncertainty.

      Blithely dismissing the “worst case” is not consistent with respecting uncertainty.

      • And how interesting is it that not one, not a single solitary “skeptic” saw fit to question Craig about his approach to uncertainty.

        Personally, I didn’t take his meaning that way. Since he brought up a “worst case” and considered it right there in his comment.

        But I see you taking his statement out of context and inferring a different meaning.

        Blithely dismissing the “worst case” is not consistent with respecting uncertainty.

        Neither is blithely demanding an end to the Industrial Revolution. Why should I pay more than the price of my car every year for comprehensive?

        Oh, you bring up “uncertainty” about whether certain “solutions to global warming” will actually shut down the Industrial Revolution? Or are you “[b]lithely dismissing the ‘worst case'” outcomes of those “solutions”?

  62. Thanks for the interesting link, Matthew, although…

    “Forest ecosystems have been exposed to climate change for more than 100 years”

    In fact, forest ecosystems have been exposed to climate change for more than 300 million years. Maybe there were forests before the Carboniferous period, I don’t really know.

    But it’s strange how one is allowed to use such hopelessly loose terms as “climate change” and “global warming”, without any qualification, in what is supposed to be a context of scientific precision.

    I’d look out for “extreme events” as the next infinitely pliable expression. Why bother proving a proposition when it’s easier to just hijack the English language?

    • Mosomoso

      For proof of the Extreme events meme being misused and misunderstood look at this contribution from Joseph and the following comments to it

      https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/16/jc-at-the-national-press-club/#comment-629524

      Tonyb

      • Tony, there have been 457 extreme events since breakfast. Since it’s difficult to define breakfast and everyone has it at a different time, nobody has been able to disprove my claim. Whoops, we just had another 32 extreme events as I was typing this.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb

        I don’t see where anyone offered a response to your question
        I think you phrased it “to which 30 yr period should we reset the clock”?

        Or is a stasis point achievable (or even desirable)?

        If the glaciers melt Bangladesh floods
        If the glaciers advance, Scotland must be evacuated
        damn, just when we get our own country – (my ancestors were kicked out after Culloden)

        I think we can divine the answer from Gavin
        I believe he claims human contribution to modern warming is 170% (not 50-50)
        something called “probable density function” makes a value greater than 100% possible I’m told – so no evil human CO2, it’d be getting way colder

        so there you have it, approaching Ice Age it is
        how ’bout we call it “BIA”
        goodbye Edinburgh (darn, we Scots take on the chin again)

        all kidding aside, I think your question points to a major logic weakness on the AGW side
        they ignore your question because they have no answer
        that happy stasis point has never, and never will happen

        as I write this, I realize support from me is cold comfort
        pun intended :)

      • john

        thanks for that. its curious how no one wants to answer the question.

        its the vote tomorrow. if the scots don’t vote to leave us, perhaps we English can have a subsequent vote to see if WE want to leave them.
        tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tony

        understand the sentiment
        if you could meet some of my relatives you would see that your ancestors made a wise decision

        do you know what Scottish Alzheimer’s is? …
        you forget everything except the grudge :)

        I think they should stay

      • john

        you said;

        ‘do you know what Scottish Alzheimer’s is? …
        you forget everything except the grudge’

        yes, they can stay, but not on terms that are more favourable than everyone else in the union gets,.it is causing great resentment.

        And they do need to get rid of that big chip on their shoulders.
        tonyb

      • John & Tony, I can’t copy & paste the Telegraph’s cartoon, but here’s a link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/matt/

        My mother’s paternal lineage were Ulster Scots, encouraged by the English to settle in Ulster in the 17th C to provide a Protestant counter-balance, my paternal grandfather was Scottish (Selkirk), and I grew up close to Scotland, on Tyneside, so I’m following with interest. Disenfranchising Scots living south of the border was a low blow.

      • Tony, did you ever read Redmond O’Hanlon’s “Trawler”? (If not, do so.) The Scots need that big chip because they catch big fish. Must keep things in proportion.

      • Faustino

        Yes, disenfranchising Scots living south of the border was a low blow. An even lower blow was giving 16 and 17 year olds (thought most likely to vote for independence) the vote.

        I suspect you have had children and the idea of my children at that age holding the destiny of the entire union in their hand-with no life experience in the outside world-is a concerning one. Personally, having seen my children grow up I would say that voting at the age of 21 is early enough!

        We are faced with the Scots asking for more and more in the future if the vote should be a close ‘No.’ It also makes investment difficult. Why should the UK govt invest our money in a country that might go its own way in a few years? Why should outside investors do likewise when they might end up with a much smaller market in a few years.

        I love Scotland and many of the Sots but there is a frightening brand of Braveheart nationalism, with great ire directed at the English by a proportion of the more committed Scot Nats.
        tonyb

      • Meanwhile, in Australia, a referendum on changing the constitution is afoot. Here’s my letter in today’s Australian, responding to claims that the fundamental contribution of Aborigines to Australian culture should be acknowledged in our constitution:

        “Our British heritage is the main component of our culture, as well as its economic wellbeing. Can this be recognised in the Constitution, please? Or can we just acknowledge that people are people, and our world is a place of constant change?”

      • I actually wrote, “Our British heritage is the major component of Australia’s fundamental culture,” echoing the wording of a front-page article.

    • Matthew R Marler

      mosomoso: But it’s strange how one is allowed to use such hopelessly loose terms as “climate change” and “global warming”, without any qualification, in what is supposed to be a context of scientific precision.

      I agree, but it was just the first sentence, which is frequently the hardest to write.

  63. “Wicked messes” are produced willfully. By contrast, no matter how complex and impenetrable it may seem, inanimate nature can only produce disasters. The situation in “climate science” to which JC refers was begotten, in many respects, by failure to call things by their proper name.

  64. Judith,

    I just finished watching your talk at the Marshall Institute. It was an hour well spent. I now have a much better understanding of your position. Very well done.

  65. Nary a word in the presentation about the continued, unabated warming of the oceans.

    • Oh, so the average went up another 0.001 C? Interesting.

    • She said words to the effect that the data about that could be better.

    • Owen M (10:54 pm):

      Nary a word in the presentation about the continued, unabated warming of the oceans.

      And nary a sense of perspective here. Unabated since when? By which incontrovertible measurements of sufficient resolution?

      As scare story endings go I think we have to call this the ocean whimper.

      • Richard

        I was at a climate conference at Exeter a few months ago when Thomas Stocker said we did not have the technology to measure the temperature of the deep oceans.

        tonyb

      • Unabated though the “pause” in atmospheric temperatures. Incontrovertible evidence of sufficinet resolution? Since 2005 the new Argo float system has shown an unabated rise in ocean heat content that reflects the continuing TOA imbalance

      • OwenM

        Do you think that 9 years of very coarse measuring is sufficient to tell us what is happening in the 90% of oceans that Argo don’t measure?

        You have more certainty in this than Thomas Stocker.

        tonyb

      • Thanks Tony. I didn’t know Stocker had said it that plainly. Nine years of such sporadic and imprecise data! As I said, CAGW goes out not with a storm-filled bang but a soggy whimper.

      • Richard

        My brief report on the Exeter climate conference is here. I do have other information.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/05/16/reflections-on-bengtsson-and-the-gwpf/#comment-558243

        tonyb

      • Are you, or can you be, at Bristol tomorrow or Tuesday Tony? You probably know more about what’s happening than I do but if you are around do ping me an email to ensure we meet. I’m rdrake98 on the gmail label. It sounds like there could be some fun discussions on both days. Thanks be to Cook and Mann for being catalysts for that. :)

      • Richard

        No, I’m not intending to be in Bristol. You probably saw my comments at the Bishops that I think this visit/talk is a missed opportunity for a wider get together which would probably have more benefits than a fleeting and controlled discussion at the University. Unless something else is happening behind the scenes that I am unaware of.

        I live near Exeter. Whereabouts are you?

        tonyb

      • Wherever you are in England, it’s only a few minutes walk from each other, isn’t it? :)

      • Tony, I’m currently living in North Somerset. There’s an opportunity to meet with Anthony, Andrew, Nic, Josh and Caroline K in Clifton at 4pm on Tuesday. I’m sure we’d all love you to be there. (I’m likely to be late.) This was only put together yesterday. Email me if you’re interested.

    • Activists don’t discuss uncertainties or conflicting data….well, at least some activists don’t.

  66. It’s not only in climate science that some wish to vilify humans in spite of the evidence: it occurs with claims that chimpanzees are violent only due to human influence, a proposition which has been total refuted.

    An extensive study of killings amongst chimpanzee groups suggests our closest animal relatives have an almost psychopathic tendency towards violence and slaughter that is not the result of human interference. Chimps fight and kill to get what they want and ”eliminate rivals”, say the authors. Competing groups of the animals go to war over resources such as territory, food or mates, the study found. …

    In an accompanying commentary, Professor Joan Silk, from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, US, wrote: ”In 2013 there were 33 armed state-level conflicts around the world. Many of these had persisted for decades, killed thousands of people, and thwarted international peacekeeping efforts.

    “War is certainly a contemporary fixture, but has it always been one? There is vigorous disagreement over the answer to this question …

    ”These results should finally put an end to the idea that lethal aggression in chimpanzees is a non-adaptive by-product of anthropogenic (human) influences – but they will probably not be enough to convince everyone.

    ”Perceptions of the behaviour of non-human primates, particularly chimpanzees, are often distorted by ideology and anthropomorphism, which produce a predisposition to believe that morally desirable features, such as empathy and altruism, have deep evolutionary roots, whereas undesirable features, such as group-level violence and sexual coercion, do not. This reflects a naive form of biological determinism.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/11102823/Chimps-and-humans-both-natural-born-killers.html

    • ==> “”t’s not only in climate science that some wish to vilify humans…”

      Indeed.

    • Important to realize that bonobos, more closely related to chimps than either is to humans, have much less aggression. At least when humans are watching…

  67. AS another with the Scottish heritage, I think of how the clever,
    hard-headed Scots of the Scottish Enlightenment, Hume et al ,
    argued fer union with England. The advantages of freedom of
    the seas and ports, investment, that followed meant a new found opportunity ter live the good life ( and not perish on the heather. )

    A red-headed-serf.

  68. Beth

    I think that has become forgotten in the Braveheart fuelled version of Nationalism that has come to the fore. If there is a NO vote I hope it is a substantial one which would lance the boil to some extent

    tonyb

    • Bear with one another awhile and don’t expect too much too soon. After much trial It took the perfect cocktail of Irish, Scots and English to produce the pinnacle race of Australians. And even then you get Ellisons.

      • It took the Vietnamese, Thai, Hungarians, Italians, Spanish, Turkish and others to create an indigenous cuisine worthy of the name. Which is why the British have still not managed it. Ever cooked a Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay recipe? Yech. Admittedly I do still have an Elizabeth David cookbook – ‘French Country Cooking’. Ah – the utter joy of rendered duck fat. And I did learn how to make croissants from it. But this is not a cocktail – or even anything approaching a boutique beer.

        Moso continues in his litany of error. Wrong about girls in rags and feathers, so wrong about Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, certainly wrong about the 1959 Cadillac, sadly wrong about horses in general and bizarrely writes lyrically about coal and/or woody weeds. Aberration is the kindest term for it.

  69. Not watched the video but the notes above are brilliant in their scope and clarity. With nobody willing to submit an amicus brief on behalf of M Mann is the turn of the tide finally visible?

  70. Hmm … myth bedevilled the 20th century, Tony. master race
    stuff ‘n such, and continues ter do so terday, back ter some
    mythical golden age purity politicking, tsk!

    • Beth

      Unfortunately we have practical knowledge of continuing to pay dane geld or in this case scot geld over the last forty years The current arrangements are unfair to the majority, let alone future arrangements that have been propsed

      How would you like it if kiwis could vote in your parliament to make your laws but you couldn’t do so in theirs?

      tonyb

      • Tony,
        What has happened to those proud inheritors of the western
        tradition of self help and innovation, Scots. Brits, Americans,
        Greeks, who want more and more bureaucracy and dependency
        on the publick teat?

      • Beth

        I think the welfare state and political correctness has happened. Which is not to say that either is bad in the correct proportions but there is a balance over which we may have tipped, thereby encouraging dependency and reducing free speech.

        tonyb

      • W S and PC, (
        ‘Ubiquitous arrows on one-way streets,
        Highway, lowway, mis-nomered free-way,
        Go right, go left look up look down. ‘

  71. Excellent presentation, Judith. I really enjoyed it and the questions and your answers. Much of interest.

    I liked your remark about how you feel liberated by not having to chase government grant money any more, because you can self-fund. Well done. Is that how science was done (mostly) up until about WWII and the Manhattan Project when government’s started to buy scientists and thus gained the ability to influence what they think and say?

  72. For keen students this talk may be worth comparing with Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to ‘Religious Belief’, also sponsored by the Marshall Institute at the National Press Club:

    The climate change debate has become corrupted by politics, the media and money, according to Lindzen.

    “It’s a sad story, where you have scientists making meaningless or ambiguous statements [about climate change]. They are then taken by advocates to the media who translate the statements into alarmist declarations. You then have politicians who respond to all of this by giving scientists more money,” Lindzen said.

    “Agreement on anything is taken to infer agreement on everything. So if you make a statement that you agree that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, you agree that the world is coming to an end,” he added.

    “There can be little doubt that the language used to convey alarm has been sloppy at best,” Lindzen said, citing Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbles and his famous observation that even a lie will be believed if enough people repeat it. “There is little question that repetition makes people believe things [for] which there may be no basis,” Lindzen said.

    He believes the key to improving the science of climate change lies in altering the way scientists are funded.

    Different style but that’s as it should be. Thanks again Dr Curry.

  73. Hi, Judith, I just watched the excellent presentation, and have one comment: in the question session, you engaged with the group and your personality came through. During the talk, you did not engage, you rarely lifted your eyes from your screen; you were separate from the audience. In my experience, it’s good to engage during the presentation, a bit more eye contact, perhaps an occasional aside or point made directly to the audience. This might not be your natural style, but it might be something worth addressing.

    • Faustino,

      That’s good for some people and situations and not for others. For really politically sensitive topics like this, and with so much angst about anything Judith says, it’s very important to stick to the script. And off the cuff comments can be taken out of context, twisted and used against the speaker. You and I have both spent time with politicians and written speeches for them. In my experience on Energy matters, the politician stuck to the script. Yes, he looked up and spoke to the audience, but that’s OK for some not for others. I can’t.

    • Hi Faustino a very valid criticism. This is the first long presentation that I’ve given that I’ve read from a script (previously I have done this for 5 min congressional testimony). There is substantial pressure in political venues not to make a misstatement, say anything off the cuff that could come back to bite me, not to mention stay within time limits. Especially in a relatively small room with a relatively small audience, I regret not being able to engage directly with the audience through eye contact. This is also the first time I’ve given this particular presentation. I will be giving versions of this talk to less formal groups in the next few months where I won’t have to read from a script.

      • I and I’m sure others understand the “substantial pressure in political venues not to make a misstatement”. This is what makes this new content so exciting Judy – it hits so many important targets. Well worth not getting in a ‘Bose-Einstein’ diversion with this one, if I can call it that. The carefulness is justified

      • Judith

        I had sent you this comment immediately after the Exeter climate conference. I don’t really think you have too much competition…

        “Afterwards I was approached by Prof Richard Betts of the Met Office who had been a speaker earlier in the day. He was very friendly and interested in natural variability. Having also had cordial talks with John Kennedy previously, I suspect there is far more scepticism in the Met Office ranks than is realised, although the top bosses are ardent believers.

        Incidentally, with a couple of exceptions I thought the speakers quite poor. They mumbled, stumbled, gabbled, lost their place, failed to have a understandable narrative and often used indifferent graphics. Not that YOU would ever do any of those things of course when you make a presentation…..”

        tonyb

      • Well, if you’re going to stick to a script, p’haps you might consider investing in an ObamaPrompter™. Just kidding, of course!

        I stayed up far later than I should to watch this video, and I’m very glad I did. My only disappointment (albeit somewhat closer to mild than to wild) was that, in both your slides and your speech, you mentioned “transformative”.

        Aaaaack … I feel the same way about “transformative” (a much-favoured UNEP buzzword) as I do about “hoax” (a very unfortunately favoured buzzword in some skeptic circles). IMHO, neither should be heard in the halls of rational discourse!

        P.S. Absolutely love the new hairdo! … Wish I could wear mine like that! The only “cosmetic” suggestion I might make – particularly when you know that a video is in the works – is to consider replacing your half-specs (which tend to drift down-nose, so to speak) with full-specs held firmly in place by whatever means you might choose!

  74. Peter Lang (8:55 am):

    Wherever you are in England, it’s only a few minutes walk from each other, isn’t it? :)

    It’s patronising attitudes like that make me stomp off angrily from my front door and fall off the white cliffs of Dover.

  75. I like that you put the Stadium Wave hypothesis out there in this talk. It helps bolster the argument that there is great uncertainty in climate science.

  76. Re Michael | September 17, 2014 at 2:59 am |
    The furphy is baseload – everything is intermittent to some degree.

    I read this discussion with mounting incredulity. How can anyone make comments without any backing knowledge? This looks like a sophomore discussion club. Saying that everything is intermittent to some degree is so meaningless that it becomes untruth.

    In the UK (as in a large part of Europe) the total windpower delivered to the UK grid has now been less than 10% of installed power, for a period of 18 days already. This period has not yet ended, looking at the high pressure system configuration over western Europe. Such outage happens every year a couple of times.

    How can anyone compare this with a CCGT generator being serviced? That is planned. These wind energy outages are not planned and we have no current technologies that can solve the problem, apart from cutting off users of electricity. Hearing this, wind proponents usually start waving their arms saying that technology always progresses “look at what happens to computers in a 10-year timeframe”, concluding it will be solved in the future. Well, silicon technology is quite different from power generation technology, storage technology etc. There is no way one can expect twice the battery power every two years, for the same cost.

    Wind energy hardly saves any fuel. It runs on subsidies, not on wind. It makes electricty much more expensive than necessary, look at Denmark and Germany, where a large fraction of wind energy is installed on the grid. Increasingly, German energy intensive industries are moving out to the USA because the electricity price is a fraction of that in Germany.

    Wind energy is a useless addition to the electricity grid.

    • baseload

      Bayless (2010) in “The case for baseload” provides “an engineer’s perspective on why not just any generation source will do when it comes to the system’s capacity, stability and control”. He says:

      The electric system is more than just the delivery of energy—it is the provision of reliability. First, the system must have capacity, that is, the capability to furnish energy instantaneously when needed. The system also must have frequency control, retain stability, remain running under varied conditions, and have access to voltage control. Each of those essential services for reliability must come from a component on the system. Those components are not free, and they don’t just happen. They are the result of careful planning, engineering, good operating procedures, and infrastructure investment specifically targeting these items.

      Read more: http://www.eei.org/magazine/EEI%20Electric%20Perspectives%20Article%20Listing/2010-09-01-BASELOAD.pdf

      The original link is broken, so here is the text without formatting or figures:
      http://mydigimag.rrd.com/display_article.php?id=500086

  77. curryja | September 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

    “If you read the climate gate emails, careerism comes across as much more of a concern than politics.”

    It’s a bit of a problem that “Climategate” would be so weighted in importance. The travesty of climate/green politics is easily sourced to the 1970’s and should be at obvious to the informed long before Climategate. “Careerism” sounds like “money” and that can’t explain the emotional imbalances of the climate advocate community.

    The political schism of our age is being overly discounted in such a statement. So by placing importance on Climategate it’s a bit of slap to the long years of skeptics long before the event. AGW believers are derived from green political views and culture, if they made a zealous career out of it shouldn’t discount the underlying facts; They’re greens with all the baggage and bias it implies. A fault (careerism) is being used as a shield of the greater motivation (cultural ideology). Climategate was a telling event but hardly the defining ones of the AGW cause which you seem to consistently discount. They could have chosen many careers but they picked one to validate their anti-market, anti-industry, pro-central planning worldviews. It’s what defines the group and the science at the same time.

  78. Ms Curry.
    Your patience & grace as they allowed a platform for “questions” is to be applauded.
    They were not questions.
    The 2nd questioner who just blathered about travelling the world to see the damage himself offered no questions, oblivious to all the fossil fuel used in his quest to ‘save the planet’.

    Bravo in the face of dolts.

  79. Lawrence Jenkins

    Hello Judith

    Excellent presentation, content , style and leading the way so that other academics feel that they can also say ‘wait a minute that’s not really the case , is ?’

    Now please take this as a compliment and not some grovelling sexist clichéd remark, but I really liked the new hairstyle, it really does suit you.

    So a thumbs up on two counts . As we say in SE London, its a ‘double bubble’.

  80. Lawrence Jenkins

    Faustino.

    I thought Judith’s style was spot-on, what do you want cabaret for gods sake.

    • Yes, LJ I agree and I was into drama performance with
      students.

      But this was not about performance, about sophistry and
      public seduction, it was lowered eyes, concentration and
      focused delivery of an important argument, that has been
      aggressively contested by persuaders of the Schneider,
      ‘you have to decide how honest ‘ persuasion. Considered
      argument, clearly and quietly delivered. I’d say It was
      Goldilock’s jest right.

      I did like ya hair, nevertheless, kinda’ Joan of Arc. )

      • Yes Beth, but how can you take her seriously if she’s not wearing a long white Lab coat with pencils in the upper pocket?

        tonyb

  81. With Fred Nerd printed on the pocket, Tony? )

  82. JC : So how did we end up mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem?

    Easy – the corruption of vested interest.

    The money for clmate science comes from the same organization that stands to make huge gains if the findng is for climate alarmism. And that organization is of course the state (in the broad sense, not the US sense). Egged on by those with a totalitarian/statist agenda.

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  87. A consequence of Ravetz’ philosophy?