Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Matt Nisbet pens a very interesting article: Fox News seeds climate doubts, but liberal media also distort, my latest column via @US_Conversation  [link]

Very good article from Steven Cohen: The #climate crisis requires a #technological fix, not symbolic, futile political talk. [link]

Disagreement over climate-conflict link heats up [link]

Will Yeates: The Symbolic Politics of Climate Diplomacy [link]

Should the climate movement turn down the radicalism? [link]

Enough with fat climate change reports already [link]

This is an excellent, empirical paper on energy tech “leapfrogging” [link]

How can we get power to the poor without frying the planet? [link]

Carbon-capture-storage  just keeps looking more and more expensive. [link]

Solar energy revolution in Bangladesh [link]

Solar power contagion [link]

Can we forecast where water conflicts are likely to occur? [link]

Another week, another good post from RealClimate (have I EVER said that before?)  Abigail Swann on How do trees change the climate?

Economist:  Historical death rates. Winter is the deadliest season, but a recent papers shows that summer used to be much worse [link]

Interesting analysis of how Professors spend their time [link]

Very good essay about mistakes we make when trying to make sense of scientific research [link]

How the theory of plate tectonics has been amended [link]

The Hummingbird Effect – how Galileo invented time and sparked the modern tyranny of the clock [link]

Isaac Asimov: How do people get new ideas? [link]

Weekend weather report:  I’m in South Carolina, 2 inches of snow on the ground with winds of about 50 mph

Cartoon-Cooling-and-Warming

 

x

Slide1

421 responses to “Week in review

  1. What I don’t get are the protesters here in Vermont protesting Natural Gas pipelines at the same time as supporting Wind Turbines. I might make a sign, run down there and counter protest that NG makes Wind work, but I am sure I would get accused of being a dupe of the Koch Brothers.

  2. Judith,

    This link re. the future and importance of coal is interesting as well: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_14.htm#.VFTaVock-nh

    • That’s good for my handful of coal stocks :) I also picked up a handful of shale oil stocks during the last scare. Those are starting to come to life again, too. Leftists, what would I do without them :)

  3. From the fox link regarding consistently liberal facebook users:

    “Consistent liberals are also more likely than others to block or defriend someone because they disagree with their views.”

    Digging through to get better data based on a pew research survey:

    “More than four-in-ten consistent liberals who use Facebook (44%) say they have blocked someone on a social networking site because of a political post. Consistent conservatives are less likely to have done this (31%), as are those with more mixed ideological views (about two-in-ten).”

    This explains a lot. Leftists have to call people “Deniers,” “Oil Shills,” whatever because you do not want to even hear the arguments. I’ve tried posting about the hiatus on various forums, to see the reaction, and it is very similar to this. I even got banned once the folks got so mad, but it didn’t even create a ripple of self-introspection on the warmist viewpoints at that site. Still, consistently conservative folks are the same way, though in general I would think of very strongly conservative folks as having some religious basis for some of their views, and being belief based, those have to be protected. Liberals ought to be more open minded and scientific, one would think, unless in fact the views are belief based.

    • See – now this is what’s beautiful about Climate Etc.

      ==> “This explains a lot. Leftists have to call people “Deniers,” “Oil Shills,” whatever because you do not want to even hear the arguments.”

      So we have evidence from one source that says that some 44% of libz and opposed to 31% of conz have blocked someone because of political disagreement. No discussion of the methodology. No discussion of margins of error relative to the 13% difference the analysis found.

      No, indeed. Instead, we have an apparent non-leftist and “skeptic” who goes form the evidence presented – about minority, and very specific action among a sample that may well not be representative – to make sweeping and categorical arguments about all libz – fueled by anecdotal observations, with an ad-hoc explanation (without any data or even attempt to evaluate evidence) for another aspect of the analysis that he wants to rationalize to confirm his biases.

      And to top it off, we get this:

      ==> “Liberals ought to be more open minded and scientific, one would think, unless in fact the views are belief based.”

      Climate Etc. comments are a work of art and a thing of beauty.

      • I don´t have a full set of statistics but I do get blocked much, much, much more by leftist sites. I visited “The Dialogue” and read over some of their articles, and wrote what I felt were quality comments…and in some cases they were completely erased. The censor didn´t even want to leave a sign of my internet existence.

      • So we have evidence from one source that says that some 44% of libz and opposed to 31% of conz have blocked someone because of political disagreement. No discussion of the methodology. No discussion of margins of error relative to the 13% difference the analysis found.

        What, you want me to discuss Pew’s methodology with you? Or do you want me to do the google work for you?

        http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/about-the-surveys-25/

    • I know of cases where liberals have blocked people on Facebook who supposedly were friends in real life with the blocked person. And the blocking action was taken because the person posted something that was conservative. I don’t know of any cases where conservatives have done that.

      • ==> “I don’t know of any cases where conservatives have done that.”

        Well that settles it, don’t it?

      • I’m just saying the observations of the other commenter comport with my experience.

      • I have been a regular commenter on several film/music forums. For years I got along with everyone. As soon as I started pointing out inconvenient facts about the Occupy movement and the Wisconsin governor recall attempt, I was ostracized by many. I would get PMs from friends asking “why are people saying everyone needs to ignore you?” or “are you really a racist/homophobe?”.

        The hard left want no dissent or contrary views expressed and the soft left are their useful idiots.

    • I’ve only been defriended once, that I know of :), and that was by a self-described liberal, with a PhD in math, because I cited some CDC statistics on gun violence in response to one of his posts on gun control. So much for open minds and tolerance…

  4. AGW theory has become a playground for the practice of government-funded cryptesthesia.

  5. David L. Hagen

    Develop Sustainable Technology
    Some of Steve Cohen’s essay makes eminent sense. http://huff.to/10HDQrb

    4. While short-term energy prices are volatile and can come down for a variety of reasons (such as fracking), fossil fuels are finite and therefore over the long run are subject to shortages and rising prices. Even in a global economy, some nations have easier access to fossil fuels than others.
    5. It is in America’s long-term national political and economic interest to develop a renewable alternative to fossil fuels.
    6. An energy policy that created a low-priced, convenient and reliable alternative to fossil fuels could drive fossil fuels from the market, reduce energy prices, stimulate economic growth, increase the popularity of elected leaders and end the climate crisis.
    7. One way to develop new renewable energy technology is to fund the basic science and applied engineering of energy production, transmission and storage, and to also fund the infrastructure needed to efficiently deliver this energy.

    Cohen echoes the findings of Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus

    • David L. Hagen

      Errata: (.com not .org) http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/
      See: Climate Change & Energy e.g.,
      Fix The Climate: Researching Green Energy

      In order to reduce global emissions by 50% from current levels by 2050 (an oft discussed target) and 80% by 2100, the average annual rate of de-carbonization of global output (i.e. the rate of decline in the carbon intensity of output, or GDP) must be raised from its “historic” (last 30 years) rate of 1.3% to over 4.0%. Not only must the rate of de-carbonization triple, but most of the increase will have to come from a decarbonization of energy which “historically” has declined, in global terms, at a 0.3% rate.
      Most of the long term decline in the de-carbonization of output is associated with a decline in energy intensity (1.0%), attributable chiefly to improvements in energy efficiency and, to a much lesser extent, global shifts in the composition of output. . . .
      It is the technology imperative that drives us to propose a climate policy in which research and development are front and center, at least in the initial stages. Given the lags in capturing the total productivity increase of new technologies (diffusion and learning new techniques), it becomes all the more important to act quickly in developing them.

      This requires real engineering quality math and RD&D to make sustainable energy cost effective, not political/climate fuzziness/mandates.

      • David Springer

        +1

      • Exactly. A country that enforces uneconomic unreliable energy on its people and industry becomes uncompetitive with those that don’t. Since there is sufficient fossil fuel for many decades, if technology doesn’t come through to make non-fossil energy economically competitive then the non-fossil-fuel-mandating countries will be virtually bankrupted (it’s happening right now). If the technology does come through, then there was no need for those countries to become non-fossil-fuel beforehand. If the technology doesn’t come through, then eventually the price of fossil fuels will make non-fossil fuels economically competitive. Basically, countries that have mandated non-fossil fuels had better hope for the that new technology to appear very quickly indeed, or they are stuffed.

    • David, I don´t have time to comment to the full extent, so let me focus on this:

      “An energy policy that created a low-priced, convenient and reliable alternative to fossil fuels could drive fossil fuels from the market, reduce energy prices, stimulate economic growth, increase the popularity of elected leaders and end the climate crisis.”

      Such an energy policy, if successful, would indeed be a positive (lower cost energy is definitely a plus). However, thus far we see nothing coming over the horizon we can consider a lower cost energy source. Furthermore, an energy policy limited to the US environment (or the “First world” environment) will not end the climate crisis.

      I would like to emphasize that I read way, way, too much material written by Americans and Europeans with a very limited world view. I can see how geographic isolation and the sheer size and power of the USA can turn Americans into a self centered people. Europeans, however, ought to know better. Sometimes I write tongue in cheek to try to wake you up to this issue, but sometimes it requires a straighter discourse, so this is it. ANY SOLUTION LIMITED TO THE USA AND EUROPE IS WORTHLESS.

      Hope this helps.

  6. This from Nisbet’s article:

    “For conservatives turning to Fox News, studies conducted by Rutgers University’s Lauren Feldman and colleagues conclude that the cable network serves an influential political function in the climate debate, sustaining its viewers’ doubts about climate science even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence.”
    _____
    Nice timing considering our discussions yesterday. Really, try discussing climate with someone who rely’s of Fox News for news about climate. Best just to walk away or sip your coffee or beer and smile politely.

    • Curious George

      Or memorize Prof. Lewandowsky’s peer-reviewed papers.

    • David Springer

      Yeah Simpson. Nothing builds bridges like condescension and/or refusing to listen to the other side. Thanks for being honest.

    • If you read the full report you will note that FOX is the only right of center news channel.

    • The lesson here is to NOT get your science or understanding of climate dynamics from any news channel, but go back to credible scientific journals and research papers.

    • Same for Daily Kos or MSNBC, or all of the MSM. Note that the MSM created, and continues to drive, the market for Fox. Had the MSM represented a cross section of the public there would be no Fox. However, the bias of the MSM is obvious, except to those with the same bias.

    • Fox is a centrist to slightly liberal news outlet. It isn’t conservative.

      The author who called Fox “conservative” also included the following statement:

      “To be sure, the strong reliance by conservatives on Fox News will continue to be a major obstacle to progress on climate change and should be a subject of extreme concern.”

      The author is pretty clearly a lefty and centrist looks “conservative” from his viewpoint.

    • Gates – I think it is fine to watch Fox News. But, one shouldn’t use a single source for information. Fox News might run a story on X and X might be a revolutionary idea. But you still have to seek information about X elsewhere. I find that a wide variety of news sources is good – TV, the internet, and even CNN on occasion.

      • Jim2,

        We agree here. Using the MSM is a great tool as many are on top of “breaking news”. Then seeking more in depth information is exactly what I try to do.

    • On the other hand I just saw a BBC news piece showing large waves hitting a sea coast, and Ban Ki Moon parroting the IPCC report…followed by a Greenpeace spokeswoman giving her analysis from Denmark.

  7. I just looked at the project plan for this new monster US climate model called the ACME: http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan_0.pdf

    According to Table 1, the “Primary Scientific questions” for this ten year project assume warming and more extreme storms! Plus they are looking for the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (which no doubt they will find).

    No wonder the models are no good. Running bad models on faster computers just gets more bad answers faster. We need better science, not faster models. Models are not science, except when they make testable predictions which actually get tested. Model runs are untested hypotheses. Big money for bad predictions to support bad policies.

    See also http://www.osti.gov/home/ostiblog/acme-perfecting-earth-system-models. Apparently DOE thinks this model will be “perfect.” Perfect hubris maybe.

    • This whole model thing is getting tiresome.

      We need a 10 year moratorium on CO2 studies and Climate models. For the next decade only grants related to studying climate cycles and natural forcing should be allowed.

      Until we have a batter understanding of climate, the models will continue to be wrong. Models are only as good as the understanding of the actual system being modeled. Lack of understanding appears to be a hindrance to development of good models, few scientists (and no “global warmers” as far as I know) predicted the pause..

  8. Note to TonyB

    October CET daily min/max still well above 20 year average

    • Vuk

      Thanks. It’s been a good October
      Tonyb

      • Tony and Vuk: Read an interesting article today “The Top Five Battleships of All Time” in National Interest. Victory came in #1. The article is interesting in that it gives as much credit to the commanders and crews as to the ships.

        http://www.realcleardefense.com/2014/11/01/top_5_battleships_of_all_time_265730.html

      • Richard

        Hms victory can be visited to this day

        http://www.hms-victory.com/

        Just along the coast is where Canute demonstrated that no mortal could control the tides. Also along this bit of coast can be seen that in roman times the sea levels were higher than today.

        As you rightly say the Commander and crew were vital. They were cooped up often for years and so there had to be discipline preferably mingled with respect. We had a famous commander called admiral pellew in my home town on the south coast .

        His main claim to fame was in crushing the trade in white slaves operated by the Barbary pirates of Algiers. A tale not often told.

        The hornblower books were based on Pellew.
        Tonyb

      • Tony

        Very interesting. Hope to see England again! Saw an English fighter jet on television the other night (chasing a Russian plane). It brought back memories, watching them demonstrate for us at RAF Wethersfield; the pilots flew on the edge and were much admired by us (yank airmen).

      • Enter your comment here…
        Richard and Tony thanks for the links
        October 1805 (battle of Trafalgar) was much colder than the recent years
        1805 – 8.2 C
        2013 – 12.5 C
        2014 – 12.5 C

      • Vuk

        Wonder how the sailors on the Victory kept warm? Would they have risked having a fire on board?

        Richard

      • rls, the RAF jets were from Boulmer. I lived in a cottage on a sheep-farm near there once, idyllic (apart from the climate described by the farmer’s wife as nine months of winter and three months of bad weather) except that Boulmer the base used for the RAF’s low-level flying training. The roar of a passing hedge-hopping jet was devastating.

      • Hi Richard
        Tony might be able to tell us more, with his extensive knowledge of archive material. The early 1800s i.e. Dalton Min, were coldest since 1690’s, I would assume many of the (gang pressed ?) crew probably were looking forward sailing down to warmer waters of the southern Spain. Wooden ships were notoriously vulnerable to fires, incendiary devices were principal weapon in maritime battles since ancient times.
        Few years back historic Cutty Sark was nearly destroyed by fire despite the fact that Greenwich fire station is only half a mile up the road.

      • Vuk and Richard

        This shows very well the arrangements for fire on wooden vessels

        http://margaretmuirauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/cooking-on-wooden-sailing-ships-in.html

        The technology for cast iron contained stoves rapidly developed during the industrial revolution and many of the stoves we still use today had their origins in the wooden ships of the past.

        The stoves served several purposes in as much not only did they allow hot food to be served but also hot water to be provided and for punch/hot rum to be made by heating a warming iron. Also they served as a ready source for flame to fire the cannons.

        That is not to say of course that fire didn’t happen ,it did. There were many tragedies and many ships trained squads to deal with it, with varying degrees of success.

        tonyb

      • Faustino

        That’s it! You cleared my memory and I now remember why I described them flying on the edge. They would come in at high speed dangerously close to the ground, then when right in front of us do an incredible maneuver, seemingly defying physics, pivoting into the air; each plane coming in one-by-one and pivoting in the exact same place. When they did the pivot there was no lateral movement hence no lift possible.

        Richard

      • Tony

        Thank you

        Richard

  9. Main stream media in the US ignores both sides of the climate issue. The science is settled and 2* C increase is worse than Ebola, ISIS, Afganistan taliban or lone jihadists in US, Canadian or Europe cities. Plus Russia in Ukraine and the freezing of energy starved EU cities. Not counting poverty in the third world and no access to fresh water or treatment of sewage. Fox news provides short snappy communications but is not a science information provider. But it attemps to provide both sides and let the viewer decide. One does not see both sides on CBS or other mainstream media.

    There are lots of unknowns. Rain predictions in California ignore past droughts in 900 to 1200 AD. Can this be a real change or can we predict future rain amounts. TEmperatures are changed to cool the past but heat the present when the UHI effect should adjust down the present. Plus loss of trees and monoculture in fields as opposed to tall prairies grass natural systems. This is all so complex and not settled at all.

    Cold in US in Alabama and snow early in the midwest. Must be global warming. Hope little ice 2 starts before we totally decarbonize.

    Scientists are shattering the trust they gained over careful projections that can be veriefied to computer models that prove incorrect and then 50 excuses. Only a few like Dr. curry and Pielke provide fair discussions.
    Scott

    • It rained heavily here in OC last night, all night, for the first time in I can’t remember when. It really cooled things off. Very pleasant indeed. I haven’t personally seen any repercussions from the drought. If one day you wake up and turn on the faucet and nothing comes out then I suppose reality would set in. In the meantime I will enjoy this cooler wetter version of SoCal.

    • I´d say most news sources are tainted, and this includes Fox News. What´s really interesting is to compare how the news slanted by different countries´s media. I can´t find any I think are reliable, but one can get better balance by watching several discuss the same issue. A blend of Fox, CNN, Russian Television and Al Jazeera seems to be a good recipe.

      • I agree that you can get a better honest snap shot perspective by sampling news from the around the world– not unlike using a multi-proxy approach in looking a paleoclimate data in fact. However, I still would not suggest anyone form any scientific opinion on anything other than taking a sampling of pretty much every true research paper written on any given topic.

      • I would read lots and lots of research papers, but they cost $35 a pop. So this means they either reform the way knowledge is harvested and profited from by a few publishing oligarchs, or I´ll have to continue being rather skeptic about the whole issue. I have also identified some outfits which publish peer reviewed papers which have a clear agenda. And I have read deceptive and misleading information in magazines such as Scientific American. So what else can I do but be skeptic?

        This also applies to other issues, in which I happen to have intimate knowledge. I have seen lies, bigger lies, and bigger bigger lies repeated ad nauseam by all sorts of media, therefore even though I´m not an “expert” in this field I do think the whole issue is extremely tainted.

        Then we move on to the prescriptions/solutions issue: most of the individuals proposing solutions from the left come from the Dumb and Dumber Engineering Pseudouniversity. And let´s be clear, global warming is so political by now, it´s fundamentally a left versus right issue. A moderate like me just has to sit in the middle, and watch the garbage fly back and forth.

    • “Hope little ice 2 starts before we totally decarbonize.”
      _____
      Great logic. In essence you’re saying you hope millions die before we adopt smart energy policies and technologies that are sustainable. Brilliant.

      • It is more likely that millions will die from your “smart energy policies”.

      • Yes, your perspective is the standard response from those who want to hold on to the past. Sorry, the Fossil Fuel age is going to come to an end one way or another. Best to get your investments in something else.

      • You don’t understand my perspective. That’s the first problem.

  10. Judith,

    To quote you “Very good article from Steven Cohen: The #climate crisis requires a #technological fix, not symbolic, futile political talk.” The link to the article didn’t work for me. But why would you give credence to an article with this title? What climate crisis? What physical data can anyone present that indicates we are, with any confidence level, facing a climate crisis? Rational people do not provide technological fixes to ill-defined Problems that are not about to occur and for which root cause has not been determined.

    I agree with your recent paper with Nic Lewis, that physical data proves climate sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than IPCC documents have trumpeted in the past. What other clues about a climate crisis do we have?….Projections of the obviously flawed IPCC AR5 models? Other branches of science, for well-established reasons, ignore output of un-validated computer models for critical decision-making. Somehow, Climate Science got off on the wrong track in this regard, and it is a big mistake that needs to be corrected by studying what other, more well-established branches of science, do in this regard. Why would a reputable journal even publish results of studies based solely on output of un-validated models?

    So where is the climate crisis the IPCC has warned us about? Where will it first appear? When will it first appear? Let us clearly define the Problem first, in terms of a deviation from normal with respect to What?, Where?, When? and How Much?, the deviation has occurred. Let us also establish data on What? Where? When? and How Much? the problem “Is Not” occurring. Then, we might have enough data to establish root cause(s) of the deviation from normal we have observed.. After we establish root causes(s) with high confidence, then we can be rational about developing a technological fix.

    • I agree that some of Stephen Cohen’s article is good.
      Some is not. As Harold Doiron pointed out, It has not been proven that climate is in a man-made crisis. Temperature is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years and it is not headed out. It would take a lot more warming to cause temperature to go out.

      Stephen Cohen wrote:
      No national leader will risk economic decline by significantly raising the price of energy.
      How many times has that been proven wrong?
      In Australia, the voters recognized it was wrong and picked new leaders.
      Germany is building coal power plants because they were wrong.

    • ” But why would you give credence to an article with this title? What climate crisis?”
      ______
      JC, some of your faithful would like you to become more like Jo Nova or WUWT. Thank you for resisting those pressures.

      • R. Gates. Why do you believe we are having a climate crisis? Show me the data you are relying on to reach your conclusion. I believe JC is on the right track with her study of climate science and I don’t normally disagree with her. I know she has been concerned about a climate crisis in the past. But what does she believe now?

    • The CO2 from fossil fuels has increased plant growth in last one hundred years.

      The temperature hasn’t shown a trend for 17 years.

      The claims of crisis appear to be based on inadequate or outdated information.

      Decarbonization has no apparent benefit and would reduce plant growth and increase water requirements. Capping CO2 will actually increase fossil fuel consumption if we are indeed entering LIA II as some predict.

    • Quite possibly it is worthwhile exploring the technology component of energy innovation irregardless of climate change.

      As might be demonstrated by looking at scientific papers, trade journals and even magazines like Popular Mechanics from the days before climate change ruled the agenda.

      Even absent climate change, fossil fuels tend to pollute, tend to increase in price and tend to favor some countries over others. It makes perfect sense to explore alternatives. We kind of like Edison, right? We think he did good things, don’t we? (Well, except for fans of Tesla–the human Tesla, not the automotive manufacturer…)

      And if this innovation provides extra services in the way of insurance against the possibility of human-induced climate change, is that really a reason to oppose it?

      • Tom, has there ever been a period when people were not exploring alternatives?

      • I’m not opposed to innovation. But the 400,000 of steel and about 4000 tons of rare earths needed for 1000 MW of windmills made in China are arguably dirtier and causes more pollution to the earth than a gas fired facility and it is debatable if they are cleaner on net than a coal facility.

        CO2 is not pollution. When you eliminate pollution things get healthier. When you eliminate CO2 everything dies, starting with the plants.

        CO2 may cause some warming. If we are indeed entering LIA II – warming is going to be the least of our problems.

        PV made of crystalline silicon is arguably as bad or worse than windmills. Polycrystalline silicon is a little better. Organic PV if done with clean processes appears to be an significant improvement.

        So, future PV with organic processes and higher efficiency perhaps with built-in storage) that are cost competitive with other sources is what we should be waiting for.

        The current wind and PV installations are inefficient white elephants that take up too much land and resources, and are too dirty for the net energy produced. They are empty symbolism.

      • Just to correct a number in my previous post (and some articles on on damage of rare earths in PV and Wind):

        http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2012/rare-earth-alternative-energy-0409
        http://science.time.com/2013/12/20/rare-earths-are-too-rare/

        The general number for tons of rare earth for 1000 MW of wind (4000 MW nameplate) is in the 752-756 tons range.

      • PA – we no doubt could make better use of the rare earths.

      • Quite possibly it is worthwhile exploring the technology component of energy innovation irregardless of climate change.
        Do the research, but do not use it when and were it makes nothing better. The subsidies and tax credits for windmills, solar and ethanol are just making the friends of the rule-makers richer and preventing the building of power generation that makes sense. They are promoting power shortages and higher prices. They don’t build a pipeline because they can get three times as much money by hauling the oil on trains.

        Fossil fuel can be burned cleanly. Nuclear is clean. Fossil fuel is what made our modern, wonderful lifestyle possible. Don’t cut off your energy to stop a man-made disaster that is not supported by actual data.

        The actual climate data is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years, except for one thing. Because of increased CO2, Green things now grow much better while using less water.

      • Even absent climate change, fossil fuels tend to pollute, tend to increase in price and tend to favor some countries over others.

        Yes. Also, even if it turns out that the linear climate response to increased GHG’s is too small to be a problem this century, there is always the possibility of non-linear responses, which could easily have “tipping points” in the 5-600ppm range. And such “tipping points” don’t need to depend on global mechanisms, it might be that increased surface warming in Tibet, or the Taklamakan, or a variety of other critical locations could have a global effect.

        And when it comes to the ecological effects of increased pCO2, increased apparently* to levels not seen since the evolution of modern C4 desert grasses, we have even less certainty that there aren’t a variety of catastrophic (in the mathematical sense) “tipping points” waiting to be crossed, or already crossed. (Ecosystem responses can easily be delayed by decades to centuries while micro-evolution within existing populations changes their behavior in response to environmental changes.)

        And something like half of the fossil CO2 we’re dumping into the atmosphere isn’t staying there: we don’t even know where all of it’s ending up, much less how much damage it’s doing along the way (if any).

        It makes perfect sense to explore alternatives. We kind of like Edison, right? We think he did good things, don’t we?

        Edison did it at his own expense. So the question becomes, who pays for innovation, and how do “we” prevent plausible innovations from losing their funding due to changing fads among venture capitalists and a lack of understanding of the differences in cost-effectiveness of different options in different circumstances?

        I watched in wonder during the late ’90’s as supposedly hard-headed venture capitalists were scammed into paying for innovations when there wasn’t even a business plan, or any idea how to return a profit on the innovations being developed. Some of those innovations were highly valuable to society in general, but in many cases my impression was there wasn’t any way investors were going to get their money back.

        How do “we” arrange for investors to continue supporting efforts such as Semprius’? Without asking allowing the government, or any other bureaucratic organization, to “pick winners”? I’ve tried thinking about how to tweak the IP laws to provide better returns when new, innovative, technology turns out wildly successful, but the major input to such changes comes, naturally, from the major existing holders of massive IP, whose incentive is to make things easier for them to snatch prizes away from small, agile, innovators. While those same major holders are themselves mired in bureaucracy and inability to “think out of the box”.

        *Assuming Salby isn’t correct, an unwarranted assumption until his ideas are more fully explored.

      • AK< | November 2, 2014 at 10:27 am |

        Yes. Also, even if it turns out that the linear climate response to increased GHG’s is too small to be a problem this century, there is always the possibility of non-linear responses, which could easily have “tipping points” in the 5-600ppm range. And such “tipping points” don’t need to depend on global mechanisms, it might be that increased surface warming in Tibet, or the Taklamakan, or a variety of other critical locations could have a global effect….

        Huh? The excess CO2 is diffusing into the environment at rate of roughly 6.2 gigatons carbon * (CO2PPM – 300) /100, IE 577 PPM will diffuse over 17 gigatons of carbon into the environment annually – mostly into the polar oceans. There are about 810 gigatons of carbon in the atmosphere. The level in 1700 was about 578 gigatons of carbon (the infamous 280 PPM). The is no long term CO2 effect because it is virtually impossible to keep the CO2 level above 400 PPM for more than a couple decades without massive continuous infusions of CO2.

        And we know from experience that 400 PPM is just fine.

      • @PA…

        Sheer arm-waving.

        The is no long term CO2 effect because it is virtually impossible to keep the CO2 level above 400 PPM for more than a couple decades without massive continuous infusions of CO2.

        You don’t have any idea whether that is true. It probably isn’t.

        And we know from experience that 400 PPM is just fine.

        We don’t have any experience! 2-3 years? Pfui! As I mentioned above, eco-system responses can take decades to centuries.

        It’s people like you that give types like Joshua the excuse to accuse real skeptics of “M0t1vated thinking”!

    • Harold & Alex, great to have people of your ilk post here. How has it gone downhill so fast?

  11. What a relief to read the Real Climate article about trees. The NYTimes essay had left me quite shaken.

    • Yes,, that’s it.
      Steven Cohen’s thesis that the climate crisis requires a technological fix is disingenous.
      The climate crisis is a political contrivance, and requires requires a political solution.
      Climate should be completely ignored as the red-herring it is.

      What we badly need is to directly address our energy future DIRECTLY and stop trying to implement energy policy through the backdoor via “proxy” touting Mythology and Dogma of CAGW.

      Euan Mearns has an interesting post

      We are at a very difficult juncture in the evolution of our energy system. The one thing I think I know for sure is that designing a system around the single metric of reducing CO2 emissions is bonkers, especially when it has thus far demonstrably failed so badly.
      http://euanmearns.com/the-failure-of-green-energy-policies/#comment-4512
      The Failure of Green Energy Policies
      http://euanmearns.com/the-failure-of-green-energy-policies/
      all the best
      brent

      • brent, You are so right! The CO2 distraction is blocking rational thought on a national energy plan that would guide us from where we are today to where we need to be when fossil fuels become increasingly scarce and expensive later in this Century. We will have an energy crisis before we ever have a climate crisis due to burning fossil fuels.

      • It will be interesting to see the effect of a cold winter in Great Britain. So many amazing outcomes had their origin in GB.

  12. From Cliff Mass …

    The U.S. is Falling Further Beyond in Numerical Weather Prediction: Does the Obama Administration Care?

    The computational resources available to the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) for numerical weather prediction is rapidly falling behind leading weather prediction centers around the world.

    Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not seem to care and the U.S. is retreating into second tier status. Such a degradation is not only completely unnecessary, but needlessly weakens the economic competitiveness of the U.S. and puts our citizens at risk. Amazingly, Congress appropriated the money to address this problem a year and a half ago, but the administration has not made use of the funds. There are words to describe such inaction, but this is a family oriented blog.
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-us-is-falling-further-beyond-in.html

    Details at the link.

    • We should not waste more money buying better computers until they get the models fixed to output data that matches real data. Faster computers will help them get wrong output faster. We really don’t need that. We do not need for them to spend more of our tax money doing what they have been doing. They must be checked by others to help them find what they have been doing wrong.

      We went to the moon with computers that had a tiny fraction of the capability of the computers they already have.

      • PCT, Cliff os talking about the NWS weather models and machines, which are underpowered, obsolete compared to say ECMWF, and underfunded. This is perverse, since these are the workhorses of weather forecasting, hurricane tracking, predicting whether a developing front might spawn tornadoes…useful stuff. Weather, not climate.
        Doubly perverse that the climate models get billions, and the best newest supercomputers, yet are a fools errand for several reasons illustrated in the essay Models all the way down in my new ebook. Illustrations include from Cliff (convection cell resolution) and from Judith at GIT (elevation, absolute rather than anomaly temperature fidelity). The Arizona Tstorm rainfall illustration shows why Cliff is correct about upgrading the computers to enable finer local/regional resolution on timescales of a few hours to days.

      • And propelled there by those evil fossil fuels.

      • Rud +1. Weather needs to be the focal point not climate.

      • Well, this is an easy problem to solve – assign the climate centers the weather service computers and give the weather service weather-related computation priority on the high-end massively-parallel processors.

        Predicting the near-term weather correctly is much more important than guessing badly at the future climate.

      • That’s only part of your problem. How do you stop people taking temperatures and measuring ocean heat content showing that the warming is continuing?

      • Jim D | November 2, 2014 at 8:52 am |
        That’s only part of your problem. How do you stop people taking temperatures and measuring ocean heat content showing that the warming is continuing?

        Huh? “How do you stop people taking temperatures and measuring ocean heat content showing that the warming is continuing?” is not my problem. If it was I would defund them and make continuation of their activities a felony. Stopping the activity is pretty simple.

        However, the earth is coming out of the LIA and the ocean response to change takes centuries. If they weren’t reporting some ocean warming I would question their methodology.

        The cooling of the deep ocean (below 2000 m) is interesting. This may mean the surface warming is a short term aberration and we are near equilibrium. Nobody predicted the deepest parts of the ocean would cool. If the deep parts are cooling obviously Trenberth’s missing heat isn’t hiding there.

  13. Another very high powered Finance guy has openly joined the chorus of CAGW alarmists

    Carney raises the heat on climate: you can’t burn all the oil

    A public call by Bank of England governor Mark Carney that the vast majority of oil reserves should be considered “unburnable” if the world wants to avoid catastrophic climate change makes him stand out among mainstream figures.
    Mark Carney has re-emphasised his support for the idea that oil companies’ reserves could be stranded assets – still valued by investors, but ultimately going to embody losses.
    “The vast majority of reserves are unburnable,” the Bank of England governor said – if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change.
    Thinking of hydrocarbon deposits as stranded assets has gained prominence in recent years, helped by movements like the US student drive to persuade university endowments to disinvest from fossil fuel companies.
    http://www.emergingmarkets.org/Article/3389530/Economics-and-Policy/Carney-hammers-the-point-you-cant-burn-all-the-oil.html

    BoE wants climate answers from insurers
    About 30 insurance companies have received a letter from the Bank of England (BoE), as Threadneedle Street officials aim to assess the risks that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings.
    The BoE looks to be increasingly worried about the potential financial fallout generated by concerns over global warming and has written to a number of insurers asking if they were aware when their business models might become affected by changing temperatures or extreme weather disasters.

    According to a Financial Times report, the letter from the bank’s Prudential Regulation Auhtority also asks the insurers whether they have considered they way their investment portfolios could be impacted by climate change.
    http://www.ifamagazine.com/news/boe-wants-climate-answers-from-insurers-307976

    Aviva responds to Bank of England on climate change impact
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/27/uk-aviva-plc-boe-climatechange-idUKKBN0IG29C20141027

    Bank [of England] prods insurers about climate plans?

    Summary: they’ve written to 30 insurers, asking them how prepared they are for Climate Change. Is it just a friendly little letter seeking to “deepen a shared understanding”? Some Qs are pro-forma, some (about 15) rather more detailed: have you considered the threshold of potentially serious extreme weather events that would start to impact the viability and solvency of your business? And then at the end “what do you consider the role of regulation”? Does this mean, do they want insurers to have to put up more capital? Not something they are looking at “at the moment” they say. Then a brief segment in which the interviewer probes the connection between GW and extreme weather. And what part of catastrophes need to be covered by The State preventing them in the first place, and what by insurers paying for cleanup?

    I’m no great fan of regulation. Ensuring that your insurers remain solvent is plausibly part of the regulators job, though.
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/28/bank-of-england-prods-insurers-about-climate-plans/

    Just as Judith has noted that it’s not really the norm for her to approvingly draw attention to realclimate articles, I should note exactly the same thing about commentary from Stoat (William Connelly) Last link above.
    Will miracles never cease :: ))

    • Curious George

      Follow the money – especially a stock price of oil, wind, and solar companies. It helps to be in a position to influence major decisions (no conflict of interest, of course).

    • My read on Mark Carney is that he tries to position himself as a “good bankster”, to get out a bit ahead of the pack on leading issues.
      For example, he had a big public tiff with Jamie Dimon regarding stronger capital base for the banks etc., and reining in the wild practices a bit

      Also in this article from late 2011:
      Growth in the Age of Deleveraging
      The Global Minsky Moment Has Arrived
      http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2011/12/growth-in-the-age-of-deleveraging/

      he’s talking almost like an Austrian Economist, says in effect we’ve got a “generational credit bubble”, and if we are not careful it could all come tumbling down.
      Of course Mark claims it came about because we dumb sheeple didn’t listen to the longstanding wise advise of our Central Banksters : (
      Still… some may differ with that CYA opinion!
      On the CAGW scam he’s adding another quite powerful voice to a chorus of high powered financiers, eg recently Paulson and Robert Rubin and many others..
      My read is that the agenda is far from dead, no matter what we think is most feasible in the short/intermediate term.. and irrespective that the facts do not support the CAGW alarmism

      One of the best propaganda efforts recently was by Jeffrey Sachs
      By really unloading about past practices, he conns the sheeple into thinking he can be trusted, at the same time he’s setting up the next conn game
      https://judithcurry.com/2014/01/18/mann-on-advocacy-and-responsibility/#comment-439324

      Mark Carney is playing the same game IMO

    • Until something privately better and cheaper comes along, It’s All Going To Get Burned.

      • “It’s All Going To Get Burned.”
        ______
        Not even close. One of 3 things is more likely: Either extracting the last bit of it will be too cost prohibitive, newer technologies will have come along, or the worst of the catastrophic predictions for climate change will come to pass, and they’ll be no civilization in tact to use the fossil fuels.

      • Your first and second options are that something privately better and cheaper comes along as the price of fossil fuels rise. That fits my scenario, but given the hideous private inefficiency of solar and wind the amount left in the ground could be pretty small if that’s what you’re counting on. Fission (or maybe some fusion concept as yet undeveloped) does put a practical ceiling on how high the fossil-fuel cost can go, but I suspect you are underestimating the ingenuity of the fossil-fuel industries to keep finding clever and cheap ways to get more-exotic stuff extracted and hence pumping CO2 into the air.

        Your third option is peculiar. I’m pretty sure that in a climate-stressed environment more energy will be consumed, not less.

    • Articles touting the “oil company reserves need to stay in the ground” seem to be written by ignoramuses who don´t look at the figures. Most of the world´s oil reserves aren´t controlled by privately held oil companies.

    • Brent

      I always look forward to those Brent crude posts.

      What are your thoughts on current crude prices. Who woulda thought?

  14. David L. Hagen

    Extreme Weather – Snow
    Spencer correctly predicted: Earliest snow in Columbia

    Columbia, SC has just experienced their earliest snow in 125 years of weather records, beating the Nov. 9, 1913 earliest snow record by 8 days

    Chicago Snow

    Friday’s accumulation at O’Hare marked a record for snowfall on Oct. 31,

    • Great animation of the big low pressure system and associated wind field causing both the Columbia weather and Chicago weather:

      http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/700hPa/orthographic=-80.60,35.89,1548

    • Always amusing to see “skeptics” focusing on local weather events. Kind of makes me wonder whether they actually believe any of the criticisms they level at the “consensus” view on global scale climate change.

      • Even worse Joshua is that they incorrectly focus on local weather events without digging deeper to find the root causes and would rather simply imply that early snow=no warming, which is of course the Faux News perspective, rather than look at the massive Rossby wave undulation going on:

        http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-43.34,47.65,660

        Which is may be caused by a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causing more meridional flow versus zonal flow, and hence increased extreme weather events.

      • R Gates:

        Which is may be caused by a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causing more meridional flow versus zonal flow, and hence increased extreme weather events.

        Which may be caused by a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causing less meridional flow versus zonal flow, and hence decreased extreme weather events.

        There, fixed it for you.

      • Curious George

        Local weather events should be an exclusive domain of warmists. Record drought in Texas! Record warm 2013-2014 winter in California!

      • I thought it was the realists that focused on local weather events or extreme weather events? Hurricanes in NY, NJ, and Miami etc.

      • “Which may be caused by a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causing less meridional flow versus zonal flow, and hence decreased extreme weather events.”
        _____
        Except that would be completely against atmospheric dynamics.

      • When your macro approach to climate and weather is solidly based, the regional and even micro starts to make more sense.

      • Explain how a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causes more meridional flow

      • “Explain how a reduced temperature gradient between the equator and pole causes more meridional flow.”
        ____
        Better still, let an expert explain it to you:

      • er, that’s not quite what you were saying.

      • And alarmists *never* point to local weather events as *proof* of global warming…

      • Always amusing to see “skeptics” focusing on local weather “cold” events.

        it is also always amusing to see the “alarmists” focusing on local weather “warm” events, and they get much help from the main stream media.

        Climate is made up of local weather events, added together, over the long term. We may laugh at each one, but we must watch for the long term result.

      • Joshua,

        There are I think valid reasons to put an emphasis on resiliency to local weather events, especially in a potential future environment with lower energy availability as fossil fuel depletion takes a toll.
        If we don’t get our act together and address real issues directly, we may well have such a scenario of lower energy availability.
        The Climate Change agenda is dangerous misdirection from real issues we need to deal with.
        all the best
        brent

      • ‘Meteorologists and climatologists who study the Arctic pay attention to the Arctic Oscillation, because its phase has an important effect on weather in northern locations. The positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation brings ocean storms farther north, making the weather wetter in Alaska, Scotland, and Scandinavia and drier in the western United States and the Mediterranean. The positive phase also keeps weather warmer than normal in the eastern United States, but makes Greenland colder than normal.

        In the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation the patterns are reversed. A strongly negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation brings warm weather to high latitudes, and cold, stormy weather to the more temperate regions where people live. Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phase. For a period during the 1970s to mid-1990s, the Arctic Oscillation tended to stay in its positive phase. However, since then it has again alternated between positive and negative, with a record negative phase in the winter of 2009-2010.’ https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/arctic-meteorology/weather_climate_patterns.html#semiperm

        https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/arctic-meteorology/weather_climate_patterns.html#semiperm

        What we expect to see is a one dimensional narrative based on quite unfounded assumptions.

      • Joshua scoffs at those noting the weather, but only when the weather is colder than it is supposed to be. We search in vain for Joshua’s scorn when the Consensus writes of Xtreme Weather, drought and heat.

        Motivated, yes–reasoning, I’m not sure.

      • Who came up with the Superduperhurricane Sandy bit?

      • There was nothing about Sandy that was super. What WAS super is where it landed – in a highly populated, highly developed, low-lying area where the inhabitants, even though they knew full well they were vulnerable to hurricanes, chose to do nothing about it until it was too late. Then, instead of blaming themselves, the true guilty party, they blamed it on “climate change” and gave it a good Alinsky-esque name “SUPER hurricane Sandy.”

      • brent –

        ==> “There are I think valid reasons to put an emphasis on resiliency to local weather events, especially in a potential future environment with lower energy availability as fossil fuel depletion takes a toll.”

        Fine. But that’s not what’s going on here. A rhetorical game is afoot – conducted by tribes defending their identity and attacking those who identify differently.

        “Skeptics” have a point when they talk of the potential of “realists'” focus on short-term phenomena without grounding them in the proper context of what the science tells us about long-term probabilities. But when they turn around and engage in a similar rhetorical game, it shows that the focus is on the rhetoric and not the science.

        == “The Climate Change agenda is dangerous misdirection from real issues we need to deal with.”

        This kind of vague rhetoric is precisely what I was describing. Dealing with the science of long-term probabilities w/r/t climate is a “real issue.” I think that there can be a variety of reasonable perspectives; afterall, that is the nature of decision-making about how to deal with risk in the face of uncertainty. Tribalistic rhetoric is counterproductive, IMO.

    • David L. Hagen

      Joshua
      Engineers need to deal with the realities of actual weather extremes, not alarming unvalidated models that predict 200% of actual average global temperature since 1979.

      • David L. Hagen

        Inadequate Levees
        When only 5% of federal levees meet prescribed civil engineering requirements why waste time on highly exaggerated models?

        The federal levees investigated in Atchafalaya Basin have crest elevations between 5.3 and 12 m while the local counterparts in Lafourche Parish are between 0.76 and 2.3 m. The vertical uncertainty in the elevation data is considered when assessing federal crest elevation against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers minimum height requirements to withstand the 100-year flood. Only approximately 5% of the crest points of the two federal levees investigated in the Atchafalaya Basin region met this requirement.

        Levee crest elevation profiles derived from airborne lidar-based high resolution digital elevation models in south Louisiana 2014

      • The Atchafalaya levees should be allowed to breach using a well planned procedure, and the Mississippi needs to flow due West of where it does now. This will allow sediment to be placed along the coast rather than dumping it in deep water on the birdfoot slope. I learned about this problem and the only practical solution when I was studying coastal engineering in the 1970´s. Somehow the Federal government keeps ignoring the fact that eventually mother nature will win.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks Fernando for clarifying the differences.
        e.g.,
        Floodway into the Atchafalaya Basin saves New Orleans: Oliver Houck

      • The Mississippi outlet has been petrified near the Eastern limit of its historic delta. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.
        ==============

  15. Things that caught my eye this week:

    CET “hiatus” turning around:

    And on the other side of the Globe, Australian “hiatus” long-since turned around:

    • The warmth in England right now and the snow in SC have the same root cause- a massive undulation in the jet stream. What goes down must come up and visa-versa:

      http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-43.34,47.65,660

      • Your link didn’t seem to go anywhere

        I think the jet stream is a much under researched field. Whether it creates climate or merely distributes weather is uncertain.

        Tonyb

      • Hmmm, link works for me, so not sure what the issue is. But regardless, jet stream behavior generally follows climate changes from external forcing, not a cause of that climate change. As the net energy of the climate increases (or decreases) the jet stream will change behavior to follow that net energy change.

      • R. Gates

        SkS has that interesting post up regarding this issue. I think they miss an important point that Ellison notes above regarding the Arctic Oscillation.

      • That particular post is a very informative essay Gates. Even if Francis is entirely correct, which may be doubtful, it indicates a negative feedback. I have to give credit to SkS for their excellent post.

      • It’s older from 2013 by John Mason

        http://skepticalscience.com/jetstream-guide.html

    • Gee, the running average of your charts is below average. The last three years in Australia – from the chart are on net below average.

      If a skeptic was making your claim – they would get tarred for claiming weather is climate

      Marohasy and.others claim Australia is cooling long term. Perhaps (it being Australia) the BOM is posting the charts upside down.

      • “Marohasy and.others claim Australia is cooling long term.”
        ______
        How is that even possible to make that claim? Such silliness. Australia’s “hiatus” (such as it was) is over, the warming continues as it must so long as GH gases continue to rise.

      • It´s an El Niño year. It will be very interesting to see if by next year we see a “step up” in temperatures like the one in 1998, or if the temperature drops back to the last decade´s rather flat surface temperature. If the temperature drops back to the plateau level the politics will get rather complicated for the IPCC.

      • Marohasy’s claim is that homogenization and pasteurization are ok for milk but ruin data.

        People who like their data raw claim it is cooling, people who like their data homogenized and pasteurized claim it is warming.

        An independent group of geoengineers and statisticians from private industry should be appointed to review the BOM bookkeeping and render an opinion. If their view is that much of the adjustment is unjustified – many of the BOM staff should be fired.

  16. Weekend weather report: I’m in South Carolina, 2 inches of snow on the ground with winds of about 50 mph

    Stay safe Judith! Since you don’t quite trust the models that say snow is a thing of the past, I’m sure you stocked up on several weeks worth of emergency supplies, including flour and powdered milk, to get you through your snow-bound isolation. On the bright side, being cut off from civilization due to the catastrophic blizzard means you’ll be less likely to get Ebola.

    I look for the silver lining in everything.

    • I would advise many of the people in the south to stay safe and stay off the roads if there is 2 inches of snow.

      Travel during snow conditions in the south is dangerous.

  17. Hi Prof. Curry…

    Your snippet:

    Very good article from Steven Cohen: The #climate crisis requires a #technological fix, not symbolic, futile political talk. [link]

    … Actually leads to a very interesting article on continental formation: Continents may not have been created in the way we thought.

    I’m guessing the link is supposed to lead here.

    • “…the climate problem will be addressed indirectly, largely by modernizing our energy system. The positive value of a lower cost, renewable, less polluting, more reliable and decentralized energy system is an easier sell than the negative politics of carbon reduction. One argument focuses on what we get, the other on what we must give up.” – Cohen
      I am reminded of an old advice. Don’t just tell me we have a problem. Also provide me with a solution. I think this is where the science moves into the background as solutions are proposed and implemented.

      • > The positive value of a lower cost, renewable, less polluting, more reliable and decentralized energy system …

        Seems to be something missing here. Wonder what it is ? Oh, of course, such a system doesn’t exist

      • It would have worked better by swapping in, “more renewable” for “renewable”. When he says, “modernizing our energy system” this has good sales power. It plays to renewables and conventional generation. In Minnesota, we seem to be saddled with wind turbines. Currently around 10%, Go Norwegians! We are looking at 25% unless our Legislature changes its mind. You might say we’ve been cornered into modernizing. See here for an example of how renewables win: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_Island_Nuclear_Power_Plant#Spent_fuel_storage
        You could say we are compensating for winds limitations and paying for that. But it’s not all negative. Addressing wind’s variable production problem leaves us better prepared to address others while being more adaptable and resilient. Granted there are more ideal economic scenarios that could have played out, but we were dealt this hand.

      • “The positive value of a lower cost, renewable, less polluting, more reliable and decentralized energy system is an easier sell” is based on rather uninformed view of existing technology. This is the problem with individuals who lack know how and try to write prescriptions for society, they have a serious case of “I don´t know what I don´t know”.

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Solar energy revolution in Bangladesh [link]

    If CA, as I claim, illustrates how to do solar power wrong, that story illustrates how to do solar power right. More on how they pay off their loans would be informative. I have read elsewhere that they sell services and products such as: charging people’s cell phones and operating the cell towers; working as seamstresses.

    • Solar power is often a good substitute for transmission (e.g. powering cell towers or pumps in the middle of a farmer’s field in the U.S.), it just stinks as a substitute for generation. So if you have no grid near you and not enough demand (purchasing power) to justify anyone building one to you and not enough institutional strength to keep people from pirating power or tearing it out of the ground and selling the copper anyway, a decentralized solar power solution may well be the best you can do. But one hopes for their sake that it is a stepping stone toward raising incomes and institutional capacities to the point that they too can enjoy the vast efficiencies of centralized grid power. Usually this happens through some combination of a) migration to dense cities and b) subsidized-from-the-cities rural electrification programs.

  19. Test comment

  20. Can anyone name a member of the MSM, Fox News or any other news source that really understands anything about the factors of the greenhouse effect, climate change, general changes in weather etc.
    –Perhaps a few

    • Why would you even want to bother when you have thousands of real scholarly articles and research you can delve into to really understand the issues. MSM coverage is just fluffy window dressing on the actual scientific issues. Entertaining perhaps– but not to be relied on.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Why would you even want to bother when you have thousands of real scholarly articles and research you can delve into to really understand the issues. MSM coverage is just fluffy window dressing on the actual scientific issues. Entertaining perhaps– but not to be relied on.

        Is that your way of saying that you judge the NYTimes to be unreliable?

      • “not to be relied on” does not equal “unreliable”. Stories can be excellently done and even accurate, but seldom get to the heart of the science. I visit every major news source every day, but don’t rely on any of them for actual scientific understanding.

    • Matthew R Marler

      darrylb:–Perhaps a few

      As hinted bluntly by R. Gates, it depends on how much you want to know. When even the “experts” dispute in scholarly journals how much is known and how much can be predicted, you should not expect MSM to display what the experts might think of as an informed “man in the street” level of understanding.

      In my opinion, The Economist has done a good job of reporting on the issue over a number of years. You can’t depend on one news item, or even one year’s worth of news items. They are not naive or simple-minded respecting the costs, including opportunity costs, of mitigation proposals, but again you can’t be content with just a few of their articles. It is not unlike them to write two articles that seem to disagree dramatically with each other, each article written with seeming great confidence.

      • Matthew Marler, the Economist’s shining hour was their spirited defense of Bjorn Lomborg. Is that what you’re referring to?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tom Fuller: Matthew Marler, the Economist’s shining hour was their spirited defense of Bjorn Lomborg. Is that what you’re referring to?

        I have been a long time subscriber, and the articles have blended in my memory.

    • darrylb –

      ==> “Can anyone name a member of the MSM, Fox News or any other news source that really understands anything about the factors of the greenhouse effect, climate change, general changes in weather etc.”

      Yes. Of course. Here’s a great example of a leading member of the MSM who is clearly very well-informed:

      If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming.”

      From the August 12 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

      Happy to oblige.

      • MY question was in response to the Matt Nisbet Article.
        The intent was to be mostly rhetorical. I think Joshua caught that.
        The purpose was to state that IMHO upwards of 90% of readers/listeners receive their info from sources with no scientific background, and that which is presented, even if from a scientific source, is meant to reflect the bias of.the presenter..
        —and politicians know less than media sources.
        But thanks for the note on the economist Matthew M.

  21. Matthew R Marler

    Another week, another good post from RealClimate (have I EVER said that before?) Abigail Swann on How do trees change the climate?

    Worldwide, reforestation and afforestation projects are “no regrets” policy actions with respect to CO2. On the occasions when I have purchased CO2 offsets, I have contributed to reforestation in Ecuador.

    CA has conducted a sort of experiment on afforestation: in the first stage, they used irrigation water to support large stands of fruit and nut trees; in the second stage they redirected some of the water to enhancing what was left of a part of the natural habitat, thus killing large swaths of trees. It would be good have a review of the CO2-related effects of those stages of the experiment. If anyone knows of some, please provide citations or links. I would appreciate it.

    • Matthew +1. Reforestation would be the best action that humanity could ever do. IMO regional deforestation (especially in the tropical areas) has a much stronger correlation to the recent “global” warming than CO2.

  22. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. Curry
    I am disappointed that you would mention snow in S.C.
    not relevant
    from what I understand, good climate scientist know that weather and climate are completely different things
    :)

  23. For Edbarbar and Joshua, Here’s a link to the Pew survey: http://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/

    A link within the article cited by JC above noted this:
    I give you this:

    Put a conservative in a room with a poll and ask him whether he supports cleaner air. Why of course he does! More efficient energy use? Sure! More solar energy? Yes, please! People like cleaner, more, and better, generally speaking.

    Now imagine that conservative in his living room, watching Fox or listening to talk radio. Is he hearing about cleaner air? No, he’s hearing about job-killing regulations, which he hates. Is he hearing about efficiency savings? No, he’s hearing about Big Government coming to take his lightbulbs, and he hates that. Is he hearing about the recent flourishing of solar power? No, he’s hearing about Solyndra, about government boondoggles and giveaways. He hates those.”

    http://theenergycollective.com/sierenernst/2018221/climate-movement-throwing-conservatives-under-bus

    I find this works equally as well from both sides. I still perceive there is middle ground from which solutions. If the term “climate crisis” was changed to say “climate conversation” would that make in more palatable? (Not that JC needs me to defend her reasoning for the inclusion of an article incorporating those words in the title)

    • This comment is explains the mind set of most lefty’s. They think they understand the conservative views. It must be because of ignorance or stupidity…or Faux news or Rush. Those poor uninformed, misinformed rubes. Lefty’s realize that they have to control information to succeed. In totalitarian regimes alternative information was outlawed but in the US as Alinsky determined other methods were necessary. Derision, demonetization and strawmen are the order of the day.

      • Who is the “lefty” to whom you’re referring? If you’re point that at me (Danny) I assure you sir, that you are sadly mistaken. I’m as independent as they come. I support some conservative ideals as well as some liberal ideals. Really nice assumption though.

        And does “rubes” & “lefty” fit in to your commentary of “Derision, demonetization and strawmen are the order of the day.”?

    • Your description of the conservative sitting in his living room. The only thing you left out was the drooling and yelling at his wife to get him a beer. That’s a typical lefty vision for us conservatives. Did I call someone a rube? I did call you a lefty and if your not I’m sorry but I didn’t call you stupid or ignorant racist or misogynistic, which are typical lefty rebuttals. do you see the difference?

      • Chuck,

        Those are not my words. They were from the article JC provided. Did I not say that?

        The article is about “Political Polarization” and you try to group me into a category called “lefty” and then toss out “typical lefty” terms?

        Did I not state at the bottom of the post that the pattern represented by the authors comments apply equally to both sides (Dem & Rep)?

        I think a bit lower blood pressure and a bit finer read would stop a lot of the very thing the article discusses, IE Political Polarization.

        If you’ll read what the author presented you’ll see the point that it’s not even what is said, but how it’s framed that brings about reaction. Please enjoy the article as I think you’ll find it a rather refreshing offering.

  24. Matthew R Marler

    Very good essay about mistakes we make when trying to make sense of scientific research [link]

    Mediocre, at best. Note that a small effect if reliable in a large population can be important. A 1% reduction in heart attack rates is a major benefit to a large number of people. And small effects, if reliable, can be built up into large effects: the Green Revolution was the accumulation of a large number of small effects, as was the ongoing revolution in product quality control; General Motors lost market share to its competitors a little bit at a time, the same way that Firestone lost market share to Bridgestone.

  25. John Smith (it's my real name)

    uh oh …
    lots of news coverage about record early snow in S.C.
    eyes front … focus on the computer models

    looking out the window will just get everyone off message

  26. I enjoyed reading the http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/10-stuff-ups-we-all-make-when-interpreting-research article. Yes they are all valid points but there are two things that drew my attention.

    I can’t agree more on comparing (climate) models to Bohr atom model. Yes, it does explain some atomic properties, particularly distribution of mass and in rough contours also electric charge. And it’s easy to draw and looks pretty. But it’s utterly useless for just about anything else. It does not explain any physics or chemistry of atoms, it just does not work and no “projections” can be drawn from it without diverging significanltly from reality. When Bohr’s atom model was found lacking, better models were found, instead of being defended as “good enough” approximation. It is not and never was a good approximation. Hopefully in 100 years climate scientists will be looking at today’s climate models with the same despect as today’s physics and chemists are looking at Bohr’s atom model.

    Another observation is about point 10. Yes, it’s definitely true that it does not necessarily have to be right if it is peer reviewed. The same way it does not necessarily have to be wrong if it is not peer reviewed. A peer reviewed work is more likely to be close to truth than a non-peer reviewed one. But dismissing some analysis because it’s not peer reviewed is way too easy and there are multiple examples of the same works rejected by journals at certain time being published by someone else in a different journal later.

  27. Judith, This didn’t catch your eye:

    ‘Why the world will not agree to carbon pricing’: In the USA

    Part 1: https://www.masterresource.org/carbon-tax/world-not-agree-pricing-carbon-1/
    Part 2: https://www.masterresource.org/carbon-tax/world-not-agree-pricing-carbon-ii/

    Cross posted in Australia here:
    Why carbon pricing will not succeed Part I http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/comment-page-1/

    Why The World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

    The Australian post has attracted more comments.

    See especially the figure in Part 2. It shows the carbon pricing would cost far more than the projected benefits throughout this century and beyond. Negotiators know this, so they will not sign up. There is virtually no chance of a global agreement to price carbon. Without a global agreement is cannot succeed. Part 1 explains why.

  28. “This kind of rhetoric is gleefully echoed by coal companies, which are busy yet again trying to reposition themselves as advocates for the global poor.” – some earnest and teachy juvenile writing in Grist

    The greatest liberator of humans has not been Bolivar, Mandela, Lincoln or anybody else you happen to like. The Great Liberator has been, above all, that automatic washing machine which is the product of heavy coal powered industry and which does its best heavy work of agitating and spinning with grid power. And the best and cheapest grid power has been from coal.

    Billions of women liberated. Think that’s an exaggeration? Try an hour of rub, slap and wring down by the old river. Or stoke up granny’s boiler using anything combustible you can find. Do all this while preggers, because when there’s no grid there’s always l’Opera des Pauvres.

    • Billions of POOR PEOPLE; men, women, black, white have been liberated from poverty! Marx certainly didn’t do it. In the case of the US lately, I’d say blacks are worse off than before Obola.

  29. From the article:

    As he took the floor at the tony Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, the veteran Washington public relations guru had an uncompromising message for oil and gas drillers facing an anti-fracking backlash.

    “You can either win ugly or lose pretty. You figure out where you want to be,” Rick Berman told the Western Energy Alliance, according to a recording. “Hardball is something that I’m a big fan of, applied appropriately.”

    More from Bloomberg.com: While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

    Berman has gained prominence, including a “60 Minutes” profile, for playing hardball with animal activists, labor unions and even Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In Colorado, he was offering to take on environmentalists pushing restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/fracking-advocates-urged-win-ugly-040031503.html

  30. Products we get from petroleum.

    –This page describes the separation of useful products from crude oil by the process of fractional distillation, part of the oil refining process in the petrochemical industry. Crude oil provides the starting raw material for making lots of different chemicals for a variety of uses. The uses of the fractions from fractional distillation fuel gas, LPG, refinery gas, gasoline, petrol, naphtha, paraffin, kerosene, diesel oil, gas oil, fuel oil, lubricating oils, wax and bitumen fractions are tabulated and many are non–renewable fuels. The uses of a fraction is related to its physical properties e.g. ease of vaporisation & boiling point or its viscosity (‘stickiness’) and the dangers of flammability are pointed out too. There is also a discussion on what makes a good fuel and reference to alternative fuels. These notes on fractional distillation of oil and the uses of oil fractions are designed to meet the highest standards of knowledge and understanding required for students/pupils doing GCSE chemistry, IGCSE chemistry, O Level chemistry and KS4 science courses.

    http://www.docbrown.info/page04/OilProducts02.htm

  31. From the article:

    TOKYO, Oct 7:

    Japan’s reboot of nuclear power, expected to begin early next year, is set to punish oil imports the most as utilities slash the use of their highest-cost fuel and shut aging oil-fired plants, a survey of Japan’s nine biggest power companies showed.

    Utilities in Japan are keen to close oil-burning units, not only because crude and fuel oil are their most expensive fossil fuels, but also because the plants are costly to maintain.

    This could see the world’s No 3 oil consumer cutting use further just as weak global demand and ample supply are already pushing the international Brent benchmark to multi-year lows.

    In the fiscal year ended March 31, Japan’s big utilities burned 18% less oil – mostly opting for cheaper coal – after oil for power use hit a 16-year high the previous year.

    Units burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal are more likely to be kept running, keeping imports of those two fuels near or higher than the records reached since the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years at the Fukushima power plant in eastern Japan in 2011.

    Nearly half of the 92 oil-fired generators operated by the companies surveyed are more than four decades old.

    Many of them are in use only because all of Japan’s nuclear reactors were eventually shut down after the Fukushima crisis.


    http://www.therakyatpost.com/business/2014/10/07/japan-nuclear-power-restart-punish-global-oil-prices/

  32. I wish Obola cared about the US like Canada’s leaders care about theirs!!

    Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three west African nations where the Ebola virus is widespread, the government said on Friday.

    The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that “the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health”.

    About 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Fears rose that the disease could spread beyond the region after a few cases were diagnosed in Spain and the United States.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/31/canada-ebola-suspends-visas-west-africa

    • A little research in history might be of interest here to put things in perspective. While this Ebola topic is current, one might look back a bit further, say before the U.S. was the U.S. and we sought out help at that time to fight off the British.

      Ebola is something we can help fight, but in a world context we were once in need.

      Perspective is a wonderful thing, eh?

      • And how is it that we became affluent, i.e. not in need.

      • At any rate, DT, the barring of people from ebola countries wouldn’t stop volunteers from going there and back to help out.

      • I agree, but I’m not comfortable with banning folks just because they’ve been there or near there. Plus, there are too many ways around any so called ban. We’ve made mistakes in our handling, but the fear the media has spread about this disease seems to be similar to Aids, Avian, West Nile, etc. and there is no epidemic of those that I’m aware of. But I guess it does sell advertising, huh?

      • DT – your lax attitude concerning my countrymen makes me very uncomfortable. Ebola is a violently deadly disease with a too long incubation period. In larger cities, the potential for hundreds of people to be exposed in just one day exists.

        I really can’t fathom your reasoning here. Why do you hold non-citizens in such esteem, more so than US citizens?

      • Not sure what gives an impression of a lax attitude, but that was not my intention, nor am I aware of your country.

        As we’ve done quite well in handling the disease in the U.S. and as we’ve sent a number of folks to Africa to assist, and we are learning more and more almost daily, the fear surrounding the disease seems to be no more necessary than others that we’ve dealt with over our recent history. As a matter of opinion, once a disease such as this gets more coverage, the focus in the U.S. becomes more intense and that intensity has historically led to an improved ability to fight it. The fearful approach I have disagreement with. But I do believe that kind of coverage sells.

        I don’t hold either U.S. citizens as more or less than any other people regarding this or other disease. Using common sense and appropriate PPE makes this virus no worse than any other deadly disease. Tragic in it’s consequences, especially in the areas of origin and outbreak, yes. But with focus comes action and our recent actions has proven to have positive results. Can we not agree?

        No disrespect was ever intended. But folks will just fly, travel by ship, or other means and will cross borders no matter what bans are in place.

      • What do you believe the fear of ebola sells? Sometimes fear is entirely appropriate – it is an emotion we have and it’s there for a good reason.

      • Ratings.

      • Danny –

        If it helps to understand…

        ===

        jim2 | July 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        I really hate public transportation. It’s like being in a germ incubator.

        jim2 | July 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        But at a grocery store, there isn’t someone 3 feet behind me sneezing or coughing in my direction. That’s my take on it. You are welcomed to it.

        jim2 | July 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        I personally don’t like crowds. I don’t like going to the theater, although I have done that, just not recently. I do go to restaurants, but usually ones that allow a decent distance from other diners….And I’m not going to be you-know-what to elbow with a bunch of people in the middle of February during flu season. Probably the next big thing to bring down excess population.

      • OK, Josh. Now explain why Canada, Australia, and Nigeria have ebola bans in place. I’m waiting to read your brilliant thoughts.

      • Danny and Josh, if it’s such a dumb idea, why do these countries have bans? Come on guys, step up to the plate. From the article:

        What follows is a list of travel bans imposed by various countries:
        Zambia…
        Kenya,…
        South Africa…
        Gabon…
        Rwanda,…
        Senegal, …
        Ivory Coast…
        Seychelles, …
        Guyana,…
        Haiti …
        Mauritius, …
        Colombia, …
        St. Kitts and Nevis, …
        Jamaica, …
        Antigua and Barbuda, …
        Belize …
        Dominican Republic, …
        Suriname,…
        St. Lucia,…
        North Korea, …
        Cape Verde:…
        Equatorial Guinea:…
        St. Vincent and the Grenadines:…

      • Hi Jim,

        The U.S. looked at it too. And the decision was that it would not work as intended. Folks would take a ship to: Spain, France, Italy, Monaco, Greece, etc. Or fly to other countries that didn’t have the ban, and if it is so infections possibly transfer the virus to others in countries not covered by the ban, etc.

        My impression was that a ban would prove in effective and indeed my mask other transfer potentials, therefore the U.S. ruled out the travel ban.

        Folks can travel to the U.S. and easily cross the border to Canada. A ban is not an effective control method.

      • All of a sudden, in diametric opposition that expressed in hundreds of previous comments, jim2 has great faith in the process of government decision-making.

      • Danny –

        To add to your points, it would potentially be more than ineffective. In addition to the often mentioned potential impact of counterproductively isolating those countries where it is epidemic, it would also potentially create a false sense of security that would result in less diligence.

      • Yes, Josh, and in exercising the most overdone forms of precaution in the face of some risks. It’s odd how the sides change in this debate regarding different risks.

      • Jim D –

        Compare the politics of reactions to avian flu under Bush and ebola under Obama.

        It’s interesting how the party ID of the president in the executive office can affect how people assess risk in the face of uncertainty.

      • It was looked at by the US and rejected. Yes, that is the problem. No, no plan to keep out ebola-infected people is perfect, but anything that makes it harder is worth doing.

        And as far as your feeble implication that ebola is somehow similar to global warming is totally and utterly ridiculous. It is obvious ebola is a deadly, transmissible disease. Global warming is a hypothetical problem given the low quality of evidence we have.

        You guys are a joke.

      • Uh, Jim,

        I didn’t bring up Ebola and in no way did I compare it to Climate change/Global Warming.

        As far as disagreement with the handling, you have an “opinion” as do I. Yours may be valid. I supported mine in a historic context. I didn’t insult you personally.

        I kinda get the impression that you just like to joust. That’s kinda fun at times.

        Best,

      • jim2, flu often comes in by plane too, and kills more people. What do you plan to do about that? I think fear has got the better of your judgement of perspectives, but it is not your fault. We see the same fear all over the media. You are more likely to be struck by lightning.

      • ==> “It was looked at by the US and rejected.”

        What does it mean “it was looked at by the US.”

        Public health officials, who study infectious disease and public health policy, determined to be not needed – in fact ineffective and likely counterproductive.

        http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1413139

        And on the other hand, we have politicians who are recommending the policy you support.

        So here we have an inveterate government-basher, who wails plantively about government overreach and roads to serfdom, saying that we should trust in the decisions that politicians make in opposition to those who actually study public health, and as a result impose restrictions on basic freedoms. And then, of course, lets throw in some rhetoric about how Obama doesn’t really care about public welfare,, and that’s the reason for his policy decisions – as if it isn’t that he’s following the advice of public health officials.

        You’re one of the reasons why I love me some Climate Etc., jim2.

      • Oh, wait.

        North Korea enacted a travel ban?

        I didn’t realize that.

        If North Korea did it, then jim2 is right. Obama just doesn’t care about America.

      • Jim D | November 2, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        jim2, flu often comes in by plane too, and kills more people. What do you plan to do about that?
        *****
        Another ridiculous comparison. If 100 people get the flu, how many will die? Compare that number to if 100 people get ebola.

        We have a lot of experience with the flu and we have a vaccine. We have very little experience with ebola. But we do know the odds of dying if you get it are high.

      • Joshua | November 2, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        Oh, wait.

        North Korea enacted a travel ban?

        I didn’t realize that.

        If North Korea did it, then jim2 is right. Obama just doesn’t care about America.
        *****
        This brings to light the real reason Josh argues against a travel ban. He would rather protect Obama than protect US citizens. Politics is THAT important to him.

      • Good point, jim2.

        Because laughing at your flip-flopping on government overreach and reasoning about risk in the face of uncertainty will “protect Obama.”

        I’m sure that he’s breathing much easier now that I’ve posted my comments.

      • BTW – jim2,

        I also like your flip-flopping on the threat posed by flu.

        ==> “And I’m not going to be you-know-what to elbow with a bunch of people in the middle of February during flu season. Probably the next big thing to bring down excess population.”

      • Joshua | November 2, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        BTW – jim2,

        I also like your flip-flopping on the threat posed by flu.
        *****
        I’ve had a flu shot every year for the last 20 years. If you get the flu, a very rough estimate is that 0.07% of people who get it will die from it.

        For ebola, that number is about 50%.

      • jim2 –

        North Korea, or the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology?

        http://www.apic.org/For-Media/Announcements/Article?id=529c5389-b73b-4ae9-8889-e47c6305c3ea#.VE6Qn_xjcv8.twitter

      • jim2 –

        North Korea, or The Infectious Diseases Society of America?

        http://www.idsociety.org/2014_ebola_quarantine/#sthash.imQTRF1a.dpuf

        I dunno, buddy. Seems to me that if you’re going to appeal to an authority – you might consider a little more deeply which authorities you choose.

      • Typhoid Mary was quarantined for 23 years.

        A couple of weeks in isolation isn’t going to kill anyone, and may stop them from murdering others.

    • Only a matter of time before the first alarmist fear-mongering from a “skeptic” about Ebola.

      I considered kim, Cwon, Wags, Cap’n, GaryM, stan, Jeffn, and pokerguy as likely candidates, but the smart money was certainly on jim2, and he didn’t disappoint.

  33. ‘Aside from solar, Grameen Shakti “has also delivered 28,762 biogas plants to Bangladeshi communities and 814,562 clean cooking stoves to Bangladeshi homes. It has 1,268 branches covering every district in Bangladesh,” and “Mr Barua, the first winner of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is also the Chairman & CEO of the Bright Green Energy Foundation,” which does almost the same work, with its own impressive track record!’

    This is far from an energy endgame but like the CRAPPER are good first steps.

  34. David L. Hagen

    Academic Political Bias – Distorts Climate Science

    A 2012 survey of social psychologists throughout the country found a fourteen-to-one ratio of Democrats to Republicans.

    Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?

    A Pew Research Center Poll from July 2009 showed that only around 6 percent of U.S. scientists are Republicans; 55 percent are Democrats, 32 percent are independent, and the rest “don’t know” their affiliation. . . .
    Think about it: The results of climate science, delivered by scientists who are overwhelmingly Democratic, are used over a period of decades to advance a political agenda that happens to align precisely with the ideological preferences of Democrats. Coincidence—or causation?

    Most scientists in this country are Democrats. That’s a problem.
    For objective science we need input from ALL sides.

  35. From the site:

    One of the most difficult survival situations is a cold weather scenario. Remember, cold weather is an adversary that can be as dangerous as an enemy soldier. Every time you venture into the cold, you are pitting yourself against the elements. With a little knowledge of the environment, proper plans, and appropriate equipment, you can overcome the elements. As you remove one or more of these factors, survival becomes increasingly difficult. Remember, winter weather is highly variable. Prepare yourself to adapt to blizzard conditions even during sunny and clear weather.
    Cold is a far greater threat to survival than it appears. It decreases your ability to think and weakens your will to do anything except to get warm. Cold is an insidious enemy; as it numbs the mind and body, it subdues the will to survive.
    Cold makes it very easy to forget your ultimate goal–to survive.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/chp15.php

  36. Dr. Curry, the cartoon above again illustrates your belief that the world is cooling. Do the record warm global temperatures of the past year call you to question this belief?

    • Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      1. Yeah right – it is based on weather.

      2. Yeah right – record temps. Based on drought affected surface records I suppose?

      • I know record warm temps do nothing to make you question your belief in a cooling globe, Rob Ellison. No scepticism, just idiocy.

      • ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        ‘Moist enthalpy hereafter referred to as equivalent temperature (TE), expresses the atmospheric heat
        content by combining into a single variable air temperature (T) and atmospheric moisture. As a result, TE, rather than T alone, is an alternative metric for assessing atmospheric warming, which depicts heat
        content. Over the mid-latitudes, TE and T generally present similar magnitudes during winter and early
        spring, in contrast with large differences observed during the growing season in conjunction with
        increases in summer humidity. TE has generally increased during the recent decades, especially during
        summer months. Large trend differences between T and TE occur at the surface and lower troposphere,
        decrease with altitude and then fade in the upper troposphere. TE is linked to the large scale climate
        variability and helps better understand the general circulation of the atmosphere and the differences
        between surface and upper air thermal discrepancies. Moreover, when compared to T alone, TE is larger
        in areas with higher physical evaporation and transpiration rates and is more correlated to biomass
        seasonal variability.’ http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/nt-77.pdf

        Which bit of science are you rejecting? Vigourous multi-decadal variability or moist enthalpy?

      • Not sure if you have a point Rob Ellison. The paper from 2009 says surface temps may cool or warm in coming years and we have seen it warm since, yet you claim cooling.

      • Thanks for the link to the Peilke paper. It helps explain why the graph you show should not be used alone to assess global warming. T v TE.

      • ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

        Why roughly constant – the curious wonder.

        And as the NASA site says – these periods persist for 30 odd years in the instrumental record. It may turn around soon? It is more likely not to.

        But the other bit discussed the importance of latent heat in the surface record.

        So it takes denying both bits of science to maintain the myth for as long as you can. 2014 is not warmer in the tropospere and 2015 is not likely to be either.

      • Thanks for the link to the Peilke paper. It helps explain why the graph you show should not be used alone to assess global warming. T v TE.

        It explains why temperature in the troposphere is much more reliable than temperature at 2m.

        The sad fact is that such tendentious nonsense is not even unusual with these people.

      • And so you ignore the Pielke paper you yourself linked to Rob Ellison.

        Record SSTs would suggest it already has turned around.

      • I know record warm temps do nothing to make you question your belief in a cooling globe, Rob Ellison. No scepticism, just idiocy.

        No you started by calling me an idjit.

        What you link to contradicts your previous posts and then you take insult when this is pointed out. Rational discussion is not possible with some.

        No – what I did was quote two papers – https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/01/week-in-review-33/#comment-643656

        You insisted that one of these meant that the tropospheric record was unreliable. I quoted the paper again showing why you were again wrong.

        Let me repeat. The surface record is unreliable because of changing latent and sensible heat – which changes because of water availability.

        But you are right – rational discussion is not possible with space cadets.

      • “And so you ignore the Pielke paper you yourself linked to Rob Ellison.

        Record SSTs would suggest it already has turned around.”
        ______
        Yep. Ocean heat content drives the whole system. It’s been off the top of the chart (literally).

      • The surface record is complicated by changes in latent and sensible heat – as a result of changing surface water availability. The tropospheric record avoids this problem and is a climate metric.

        The claims of the warmest September is a total nonsense – it is drought forced – it doesn’t show up in the tropospheric record.

        So they confuse the issue – make wild and incorrect claims – insult – mislead and abuse. This seems characteristic. So now sea surface temperature for a month is the issue. .

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl

        Frankly it is fairly weak tea. Desperate clutching at straws to avoid considering what is much more likely to be cool SST over decades.

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/full

    • Eric disowns C & W or doesn’t know it isn’t showing record warming. Which is it?

    • ‘Large trend differences between T and TE occur at the surface and lower troposphere, decrease with altitude and then fade in the upper troposphere.’

      It is latent heat that changes at the surface due to changing water availability – but in the upper troposphere the latent heat I released as water condenses. Thus the surface record is influenced by water availability but not the troposphere as a whole.

      So the whole discussion boils down to your superficial and tendentious interpretation based on not actually reading the study.

      But now instead of surface temps – it is sea surface temps that ‘suggest it has turned around’.

      A shift in these global patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation? A turn around in the AMOC, the PDO, ENSO frequency? Sure.

      So – summary – you misunderstand Pielke and still reject multi-decadal variability. And insult me. Pathetic really.

      • What you link to contradicts your previous posts and then you take insult when this is pointed out. Rational discussion is not possible with some.

      • ,i>I know record warm temps do nothing to make you question your belief in a cooling globe, Rob Ellison. No scepticism, just idiocy.

        No you started by calling me an idjit.

        What you link to contradicts your previous posts and then you take insult when this is pointed out. Rational discussion is not possible with some.

        No – what I did was quote two papers – https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/01/week-in-review-33/#comment-643656

        You insisted that one of these meant that the tropospheric record was unreliable. I quoted the paper again showing why you were again wrong.

        Let me repeat. The surface record is unreliable because of changing latent and sensible heat – which changes because of water availability.

        But you are right – rational discussion is not possible with space cadets.

      • I did not say the tropospheric record was unreliable. I agree with the Peilke paper that it is a poor metric to claim global cooling as you do. I said your posts are idiocy, not that you are an idiot. Sorry for the confusion.

      • I know record warm temps do nothing to make you question your belief in a cooling globe, Rob Ellison. No scepticism, just idiocy.

        How really is this mistakable? No science – no rational discussion – just abuse – misdirection and obfuscation.

        I linked to the tropospheric record – which shows no warming and linked to the Pielke paper that discussed why. That is the changeable balance of latent and sensible heat in the surface record as a result of changing surface water availability – that doesn’t affect the tropospheric record. .

        The world is not likely to warm for decades for the reasons given in the NASA and peer reviewed science quotes. But what we get in reply is science denial and wild and opportunistic idiocy apparently.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Hi Eric — The cartoon simply shows that Dr. Curry has a sense of humor (thankfully). Dr. Curry is on public record (e.g., her interview on British radio earlier this year) as saying that for the past 200 years or so, temperatures have been increasing.

      Dr. Curry is also on public record of saying that her current “best guess” (which is also refreshing in showing scientific humility) is that ~50% of this increase is from AGW, and ~50% from natural causes/variability.

      Dr. Curry is also on public record in supporting some selected actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — e.g., her kudos for Dr. Ramanathan’s “Fast Mitigation” (basically, reducing air pollution):

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

      As Dr. Ramanathan advocates, “Fast Mitigation” just might provide our ticket out of all this fussin’ and fightin’ mess — (1) Slowing down the trajectory growth in GHG emissions (what we should be concerned with); (2) Giving us probably a couple of decades for our scientists and engineers to hopefully figure out this wicked problem and how to best address it.

    • The surface record is complicated by changes in latent and sensible heat – as a result of changing surface water availability. The tropospheric record avoids this problem and is a climate metric.

      The claims of the warmest September is a total nonsense – it is drought forced – it doesn’t show up in the tropospheric record.

      So they confuse the issue – make wild and incorrect claims – insult – mislead and abuse. This seems characteristic. So now sea surface temperature for a month is the issue. .

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl

      Frankly it is fairly weak tea. Desperate clutching at straws to avoid considering what is much more likely to be cool SST over decades.

      ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/full

      .

  37. \

    \\

    \

  38. This caught my eye. An article about James “Hoax” Inhofe’s potential new power after the elections. Millennials pay attention to his age, because at 80 he wouldn’t care if he was wrong.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miroslava-korenha/a-millennials-perspective_b_6081944.html

    • ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” Stephen Schneider

      ”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      Christine Stewart

      ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
      Timothy Wirth

      The distinction between deliberate falsehood and extraordinary delusion is of no practical import.

  39. Eric

    “Dr. Curry, the cartoon above again illustrates your belief that the world is cooling. Do the record warm global temperatures of the past year call you to question this belief?”

    Let me help with your thoughtful question Eric. The answer from Dr Curry would likely be “The cartoon is a humorous depiction of reality, where new explanations for the pause emerge daily. It is not an illustration of my belief. My belief, frequently stated, is that scientists have too little knowledge to make multi annual predictions.”

    • Change that to “interannual predictions”

      • Could be rls. Seems the response most of the time is “uncertainty” and/or “the pause”. Would be nice to see updated thoughts based on recent data though.

      • Eric

        Monthly record highs followed by declines, resulting in an interannual pause or a plateau, are not of mind-changing significance. But perhaps you can explain the (significant) record breaking hockey blade of the early 18th century?

        Richard

      • Dr. Curry may disagree with you. One of her stated reasons for her change in view of GW was the pause.

      • I believe she has also stated the “models are running too hot”, as another reason, which of course has some serious logical flaws since models are not meant to be forecasts, but only tell us about dynamics and even the model makers admit the models are always wrong. But that, along with relying on the “hiatus” as a reason to suggest we have more time than we thought goes against the notion that there are likely nonlinear changes going on, and that even the latest IPCC report may underestimate the actual changes ahead:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/

      • Eric | November 2, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        Dr. Curry may disagree with you. One of her stated reasons for her change in view of GW was the pause.

        Perhaps I did not write my comment clearly. Meant to say that monthly highs followed declines are not of mind changing significance; what is significant is that those monthly changes are resulting in a multiyear pause.

  40. OIL 80.54
    BRENT 85.96
    NAT GAS 3.873
    RBOB GAS 2.1478

  41. From the article:
    Summary

    Cheap energy trumps cheap labor any day.

    The entire oil sector has just gone on sale, including the companies building the infrastructure.

    Peak oil is no longer a problem, but peak storage is.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2621945-stansberrys-matt-badiali-on-the-companies-that-could-thrive-in-a-cheap-oil-and-gas-world

    • Nice of you to mention that report Jim. It is actually quite good. BTW, the same report thinks that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President. I’m not a Hillary fan, but if you want to take part of the report, you’ll can’t cherry pick and exclude the other.

      • Rgates

        I was reading that Jeb Bush is a front runner for the Republican candidate. It seems strange that a country that supposedly dislikes dynasties-such as the monarchy-is so keen on modern political ones ;Kennedy: Bush: Clinton.

        I hope whoever wins reassumes leadership of the Western World as from my perspective it has been rudderless and impotent over the last 6 years and badly needs leadership.
        tonyb

      • ==> “the Western World as from my perspective it has been rudderless and impotent over the last 6 years and badly needs leadership.”

        Indeed. Consider, by contrast, how well steered and potent the Western World was when Bush was president.

      • Joshua

        As Mosh would say ‘read harder’. Obama has only been in power over the last 6 years, I said nothing about the period before did I?

        I would say that It was Hurricane Katrina that marked a distinct loss of the American ‘can Do’ attitude and competance

        It was a dismal response to Katrina both in the initial preparation for the storm and the subsequent shambles of the response that made me realise that something had changed.

        As a local perhaps you have a different view point, but the US isn’t the force it was a decade or more ago and your usual optimism has changed to pessimism. I hope your govt regains it, as it was generally a force for good and we all suffer when you withdraw and lose your confidence
        tonyb

      • Hi Tony,

        The Bush dynasty is integrally linked to the Plutocrats of Texas and DC. Defense, Oil, Pharmaceuticals mainly, but many others. Since Bush Inc. was the last Republican in the White House, the Republicans may go for what they know. But Hillary or Jeb as President will only make a difference in terms of which corporations get the biggest corporate welfare checks. The last Bush in the White House really screwed seniors on the whole issue of cheaper medications, but wave a few flags in their faces and pump enough money into political ads, and they’ll vote in the devil himself.

        You don’t really think America is a true democracy anymore do you?

      • I’m not really interested in this conversation, but I have to point out this is an incredibly stupid question from R. Gates:

        You don’t really think America is a true democracy anymore do you?

        The United States has never been “a true democracy.” It has never claimed not sought to be “a true democracy.” In fact, the United States has adamantly sought to avoid being “a true democracy” for its entire existence.

      • R Gates – I can very well believe some parts of any document and not other parts. From what orifice did you pull out that bogus “rule?”

        At any rate, I’m sorry to say that I thinks it’s likely Hillary will be elected President. It’s a sorry statement on the sophistication of voters, but unless Obola finishes the obliteration of the US as we knew it, Hillary will still have a good chance.

        I can’t see why anyone would vote for her, but I know full well the same sort of people who put this current travesty of a President in place are fully capable of screwing up yet again.

      • “…but the US isn’t the force it was a decade or more ago and your usual optimism has changed to pessimism.”
        ______
        Empires come and go Tony…as a Brit, you should know that better than most. The 20th century was the American century– no doubt. The economic power base of the world shifted from London to NY (and it is that economic power that determines the seat of empire). It is now shifting to Asia. The shift is gradual but gaining momentum. There will be some “dragon king” event that will complete the shift, and a new paradigm will emerge – could be a war, a global depression– anything that would make Asia come out stronger afterwards. The world currency will no longer be the US dollar just as the British pound was replaced by the dollar when the British Empire collapsed and was replaced by the American Empire.

      • “In fact, the United States has adamantly sought to avoid being “a true democracy” for its entire existence.”
        _______
        It was founded on the notion of rule by “the people”…not bogus paper “corporate people” that SCOTUS created, but flesh and blood, farmers, doctors, cooks, teachers, laborers, etc. Unfortunately, the Plutocracy only increased its grip on control by ensuring the money could flow in abundant supply to feed the political servants reelection efforts. Very sad times for America whose motto is now “By the Corporation, of the Corporation, and for the Corporation.”

      • I guess since I’ve commented on one thing, I should comment a the more general topic as well. climatereason said:

        I would say that It was Hurricane Katrina that marked a distinct loss of the American ‘can Do’ attitude and competance

        It was a dismal response to Katrina both in the initial preparation for the storm and the subsequent shambles of the response that made me realise that something had changed.

        I don’t agree Hurricane Katrina marked anything, but I do think it pulled into focus a problem which has been growing for some time. That problem is the growing disconnect between national and more local concerns in the United States. The response to Katrina was terrible, not because the United States was incapable of handling the crisis well, but because the United States failed to handle the crisis well.

        The federal government could have stepped in right away. The Louisiana state government could have acted aggressively right away. Neither happened. There are many reasons neither happened, including incompetence and obstinance by certain officials, but ultimately, the main problem was just a lack of cooperation. People did not want to work with one another.

        There is growing distrust and discord in the United States. People and groups are becoming more insular. Society is becoming more polarized, and there is a growing discontent with how things are. Basically, everyone is pulling away from one another.

      • Katrina heralded the birth of alarmism about humans causing more extreme weather

      • Judith, that is definitely true. Before Hurrican Katrina, people did talk about global warming causing extreme weather, but it wasn’t treated as a serious thing. Most people shrugged it off, if they heard about it at all.

        Hurricane Katrina definitely changed that. Everybody has heard humans cause extreme weather now, and a sizable number of them believe it.

      • not only that, but advocates seized on extreme weather to push the alarm

      • Judith, aye. In fact, I think that’s the cause for what I described. If advocates hadn’t seized upon Hurricane Katrina like you describe, the idea of humans causing severe weather wouldn’t have become so widely known/believed.

      • R. Gates, you sound like a ranting imbecile when you say things like:

        It was founded on the notion of rule by “the people”…not bogus paper “corporate people” that SCOTUS created, but flesh and blood, farmers, doctors, cooks, teachers, laborers, etc. Unfortunately, the Plutocracy only increased its grip on control by ensuring the money could flow in abundant supply to feed the political servants reelection efforts. Very sad times for America whose motto is now “By the Corporation, of the Corporation, and for the Corporation.”

        Nobody who actually knows the United States’s history would say things like this. Its history is filled with analogous situations, including ones which were worse. The entire history of the country could be described in terms similar to your ramblings.

        Try learning something about the country you claim has changed so much.

      • Brandon

        As a friendly Observer, it never ceases to amaze me as to how bad your presidential candidates are and that of course then often translates into poor Presidents.

        Obama had never done anything and reminded me from the outset of our own windbag, Tony Blair.

        The UK is often criticised as the most centralised democracy in Europe but as the entire country is I believe the size of New York state and has some 40 counties and Four distinct countries within it I think decentralisation is a bit unnecessary.

        The US on the other hand seems to have fifty or so independent countries but I don’t know it well enough to say whether or not they work properly together when needed. Katrina should have been a wake up call but instead things seem to have just drifted.

        I don’t know much about Jeb Bush but I certainly wouldn’t have much faith in Hilary Clinton being the decisive World leader she needs to be, based on her past performance. It’s a bit depressing really. Is the Americam century really over already?

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, I can never decide what name to refer to you by. You change it so much!

        As a friendly Observer, it never ceases to amaze me as to how bad your presidential candidates are and that of course then often translates into poor Presidents.

        I don’t think the candidates are always as bad as they appear. For instance, if the last George Bush had fully committed to the Iraq invasion, I think he’d be viewed as a good president right now. Most of the problems arising from that war did not come from the war itself, but rather, the mishandling of the war. Had Bush removed Saddam Hussein and replaced him with a stable government, I think people would have been happy with him.

        I think the problem with Bush was the same as it has been with a number of presidents – they’re weak-willed. Thanks to the growing involvement of the average person with the national policy, something which truly began about a century ago, the nature of the United States has been to weaken its leaders. Even good candidates do a bad job because they try to appease so many people.

        The UK is often criticised as the most centralised democracy in Europe but as the entire country is I believe the size of New York state and has some 40 counties and Four distinct countries within it I think decentralisation is a bit unnecessary.

        Truthfully? I’d say the decentralization of the United States caused by the increase in communication and transportation technology has weakened it severely. Centralized governments tend to be stronger governments.

        That isn’t inherently a bad thing though. The strength of a country determines how quickly it can change course. If a country is in a good position, it may not need to change much, thus a weak government could be a great thing. The United States tends to have problems because its leaders act as a weak government trying to do things only a strong government could do.

        It’s a bit depressing really. Is the Americam century really over already?

        This problem has been building for a long time. John F. Kennedy was arguably the turning point. He was a horrible choice for president, and his foreign policy set the stage for what we have now. (I’d say more, but I’ve already rambled enough.)

        The United States’s world presence has been going down for something like half a century. People are just starting to notice it more.

      • Judith

        That was all in 2005.At that time I think I would have described you as an alarmist.

        So an extreme event (katrina) seared into the public consciousness and promoted by the media can change the general perception on climate change for the people, but a somewhat more intangible event-climategate- only serves to sow doubt in a few scientists such as yourself.

        I can’t see any extreme event changing public views back again, as for example huge snowfalls and icy cold would get routinely ascribed to global warming. I also cant see anything as dramatic as climategate happening again.

        I’m personally at a loss to see how to turn the IPCC supertanker around.
        tonyb

      • it never ceases to amaze me as to how bad your presidential candidates are and that of course then often translates into poor Presidents.

        Principle, Rigor and Execution Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy

        Stratfor has always maintained that the behavior of nations has much to do with the impersonal forces driving it, and little to do with the leaders who are currently passing through office. To what extent should American presidents be held accountable for events in the world, and what should they be held accountable for?

        […]

        Nevertheless, we endow presidents with magical powers and impose extraordinary expectations. The president creates jobs, manages Ebola and solves the problems of the world — or so he should. This particular president came into office with preposterous expectations from his supporters that he could not possibly fulfill. The normal campaign promises of a normal politician were taken to be prophecy. This told us more about his supporters than about him. Similarly, his enemies, at the extremes, have painted him as the devil incarnate, destroying the Republic for fiendish reasons.

        […]

        Presidents are constrained by the reality they find themselves in and the limits that institutions place on them. Foreign policy is what a president wishes would happen; foreign affairs are what actually happen. The United States is enormously powerful. It is not omnipotent. There are not only limits to that power, but unexpected and undesirable consequences of its use. I have in mind the idea that had the United States not purged the Baathists in Iraq, the Sunnis might not have risen. That is possible. But had the Baathists, the party of the hated Saddam Hussein, remained in power, the sense of betrayal felt by Shiites and Kurds at the sight of the United States now supporting Baathists might have led to a greater explosion. The constraints in Iraq were such that having invaded, there was no choice that did not have a likely repercussion.

        The Election, the Presidency and Foreign Policy

        The American presidency is designed to disappoint. Each candidate must promise things that are beyond his power to deliver. No candidate could expect to be elected by emphasizing how little power the office actually has and how voters should therefore expect little from him. So candidates promise great, transformative programs. What the winner actually can deliver depends upon what other institutions, nations and reality will allow him. Though the gap between promises and realities destroys immodest candidates, from the founding fathers’ point of view, it protects the republic. They distrusted government in general and the office of the president in particular.

        […]

        The president has somewhat more authority in foreign policy, but only marginally so. He is trapped by public opinion, congressional intrusion, and above all, by the realities of geopolitics. Thus, while during his 2000 presidential campaign George W. Bush argued vehemently against nation-building, once in office, he did just that (with precisely the consequences he had warned of on the campaign trail). And regardless of how he modeled his foreign policy during his first campaign, the 9/11 attacks defined his presidency.

      • AK

        Great reply, thanks.

        I tend to view US Presidents as in overall control of the country, in much the same way as our monarchs were all powerful until some 350 years ago when we executed one and put Parliament on top.

        Nowadays our monarchy has constitutional authority but no real powers.

        I guess that the US President is more like our modern monarchy than I had come to believe. The Presidents powers are perhaps rather limited by the Senate and the Congress which themselves are somewhat susceptible -according to Rgates-to big corporations and lobbyists.

        tonyb

      • @tonyb…

        You’re welcome. My impression of the opinions at the time of the American Revolution is that most people blamed George III for the things they were reacting to. And there was a very strong strand of anti-monarchy/anti-dictatorship present in US politics.

        But we should also remember that the founders of the republic were familiar with the history of Rome, where the republic ended up being replaced by “lifelong” dictatorships (Sulla, Marius, J. Caesar) followed by the Imperium (Octavian “Augustus”, Tiberius, Caius/”Calligula”).

        In America, I would (following most historians AFAIK) identify Lincoln as the first “imperial” president, along with a socio-economic/political shift to a more centralized “nation-state” as opposed to the prior Federation of “province-states”. From there we can trace a gradual progress of the US from a sort of hybrid Federation/nation-state to full nationhood by, perhaps, WWI.

        A very complex subject, badly dependent on defective sources, tendentious teaching, and widespread historical revisionism and accusation of same.

      • Tony

        The US has had its ups and downs. The 1970s was a down decade: Vietnam pullout, Agnew and Nixon disgraces, Carter’s ineffectiveness, recessions every three years, inflation, unemployment, gas lines, Iran hostages. Then came Reagan, two decades of growth, and the fall of communism. We now need another strong leader; likely will not be Jeb or Hill, but keep your eye on Ben Carson.

      • AK, climatereason, I’m afraid that article is rather misleading. I take issue with many things it says, but the most important problem is it pretends the president has no real power. That is only true if we limit ourselves to the powers specified by law, an incredibly naive thing to do.

        The reality is the president is a leader. His greatest power isn’t one of law. His greatest power isn’t one of rules and regulations. His greatest power is that of leadership. Most people have heard of the “bully pulpit.” That’s the thing which allows a president to get up and talk about any topic he wants and force people to listen. People have no choice about it. If the president wants something to be an issue, he just has to stand up and say it is an issue. Everyone will have to listen.

        The problem is in burning out. A president who abuses the bully pulpit will wind up getting ignored. Similarly, a president who tries to push reforms unpopular in Washington D.C. will face adminstrative pushback. Bueracrats and minor politicians will fight changes they dislike so long as they feel they can.

        Which brings us to the central issue: political capital. By virtue of being the president, you get a certain amount of power which isn’t defined by law or regulation. You can use that power any way you like. If people like how you use it, your political capital will grow. If they don’t like how you use it, it will shrink. No matter what though, if you are willing to spend your political capital on something, there’s almost nothing anyone can do to stop you.

        One of my favorite examples of this is president James K. Polk. Polk started an illegal war with Mexico purely for imperialistic aims. Polk managed to start the war with what were basically outright lies, won the war, got Texas and California territory as a prize, and nobody minded. Nobody minded because he was president, and that’s what he spent his political capital on.

        Polk didn’t run for a second term. If he had, he would have certainly lost. That’s because Polk spent all of his political capital on the war with Mexico. He didn’t have enough left to accomplish much else, certainly not enough to win a reelection.

        Had Polk been limited only to that power specifically granted by the United States Constitution, he never would have been able to accomplish what he did. His accomplishments stem entirely from the fact the President has far more power than is granted by rule, regulation or law.

        On a related note, Barack Obama spent most of his political capital on Obamacare. He doesn’t have the capital to accomplish much of anything now. That’s why he’s pretty much guaranteed to be a lameduck president in his second term.

      • Richard

        I’d not heard of him before.
        I read this about him

        http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/bill_cassidy_tea_party.html

        I’m not sure he’s got the organisation to beat bush or Paul but I’ll keep my eyes open to see how he fares

        Tonyb

      • Richard

        Sorry, meant to post two links. This is the second

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/09/29/ben-carson-has-a-barack-obama-problem-its-not-the-one-you-think/

        Carson seems to be endorsing someone else in the first link.

        Carson seems to have no political experience at all. Obama was a political lightweight but other than his good works I can’t see how Carson has the expertise or infrastructure to defeat the big boys.

        Tonyb

      • @Brandon Shollenberger…

        I can’t really disagree with your analysis. OTOH, I also agree with Friedman’s (2 articles). My read is that he’s pointing out the legal limits within which the president may spend his “political capital”.

        But I would agree with him that Obama, like “Dubya”, and J. Caesar and Octavian, for that matter, was mostly caught within the constraints of the historical development of the societies and polities involved. All had choices, with consequences, but all had a very limited subset of real choices compared to what somebody ignorant of all the external factors might suppose.

        Did Obama really have a choice about spending so much of his “political capital” on Obamacare? Personally, I tend to doubt it. IMO he, at best, had some choice how to approach it, and how far to carry it.

        But in analyzing presidents and other singular rulers, we have to remember that they are also constrained by their own personalities, which not only place limits on what they will want to do, and how much they want to, but also affect their original chances of entering the office.

        Caius/”Caligula” comes to mind. A total disaster for Rome, but why wasn’t Tiberius’ chosen heir raised?

        After being recalled from Germania,[53] Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome in AD 17,[51] the first full triumph that the city had seen since Augustus’s own in 29 BC. As a result, in AD 18 Germanicus was granted control over the eastern part of the empire, just as both Agrippa and Tiberius had received before, and was clearly the successor to Tiberius.[54] Germanicus survived a little over a year before dying, accusing Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.[55]

        Would Obama have received the support he needed from the far left if he had really been more than a “community organizer”?

      • Tony

        Ben Carson was raised in the inner city of Detroit by a single mother and became director of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. He is humble and soft spoken, and has caught the imagination of many here in the US. The video at the link below might show you why.

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/02/07/dr_benjamin_carson_addresses_national_prayer_breakfast_criticizes_obamacare.html

        Richard

      • AK – a more interesting question is would a person with substantially the same qualifications as Obama – community organizer, lawyer, teacher, senator – only white, have been elected?

      • Jim

        Interesting question.

        Here’s another related one

        Would he have got the Nobel within two weeks of being elected?
        Tonyb

      • Richard

        I’ll watch it later. I’m reading on the iPad whilst my wife is watching Downton Abbey. I don’t think she’d appreciate hearing inspirational speeches at the same time.

        What’s his international experience?Is he a leader that others will follow?

        Interesting PS

        Downton abbey (highclere castle) was one of the 13 th century holdings mentioned in the manorial estates of the bishopric of Winchester. It will feature in my next article as the crop records show the climate of the time. The documents were found by me at the met office and translated from the Latin by one of the denizens at Climate Etc.

        Tonyb

      • AK:

        But I would agree with him that Obama, like “Dubya”, and J. Caesar and Octavian, for that matter, was mostly caught within the constraints of the historical development of the societies and polities involved. All had choices, with consequences, but all had a very limited subset of real choices compared to what somebody ignorant of all the external factors might suppose.

        George Bush could have committed the United States fully to reshaping the Middle East, beginning with an occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. It would have created its own set of problems, but there wouldn’t be the current problem with ISIS/insurgency. Alternatively, Bush could have just not invaded Iraq at all. That would have left things as the status quo. Either would have been better than the half-hearted invasion the United States went with.

        The problem isn’t the limitations presidents face. The problem is presidents have, for a long time, tended to favor half-hearted approaches to fully-supported solutions. Politicians don’t like to commit to a single cause, but often, full committment is the only way for a cause to work.

        Did Obama really have a choice about spending so much of his “political capital” on Obamacare? Personally, I tend to doubt it. IMO he, at best, had some choice how to approach it, and how far to carry it.

        He definitely did. Nearly every person in the nation would have been happier if Obama had done less to push Obamacare. Almost no politician liked the result. Had Obama pressed the issue less and let it die or pass as only a slight overhaul, everyone would have tolerated it. Obama just wasn’t satisfied with something so small.

        It doesn’t hurt Obama probably never would have been reelected without Obamacare. Obamacare was the only topic Obama could take a strong position on when it came to re-election. If Obama hadn’t pushed Obamacare, he probably would have had to accept being a one-term president – a one-term president who accomplished practically nothing, at that.

      • AK – a more interesting question is would a person with substantially the same qualifications as Obama […] only white, have been elected?

        Probably not, but for me the more interesting question is whether a black candidate really capable of taking the lead could have been nominated?

      • @Brandon Shollenberger…

        George Bush could have committed the United States fully to reshaping the Middle East, beginning with an occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. It would have created its own set of problems, but there wouldn’t be the current problem with ISIS/insurgency.

        Could he? Without the support of people who favored a less aggressive approach? Note that here, you’re saying about the same thing Friedman did. IMO he probably could have gotten away with an alliance with Iran, nation-wise, but most of his private supporters would (AFAIK) been against it.

        Alternatively, Bush could have just not invaded Iraq at all. That would have left things as the status quo.

        Perhaps. IIRC there was a lot of pressure from the Army, which was envious of the CIA victory in Afghanistan.

        Either would have been better than the half-hearted invasion the United States went with.

        IMO yes, but I have my doubts how much choice he had.

        The problem is presidents have, for a long time, tended to favor half-hearted approaches to fully-supported solutions.

        I’m pretty sure that’s because they’re trying to balance competing agendas of different supporters they rely on.

        Did Obama really have a choice about spending so much of his “political capital” on Obamacare?

        He definitely did. Nearly every person in the nation would have been happier if Obama had done less to push Obamacare. Almost no politician liked the result. Had Obama pressed the issue less and let it die or pass as only a slight overhaul, everyone would have tolerated it. Obama just wasn’t satisfied with something so small.

        I don’t have any links in support, but IMO this is totally wrong. Congress and most state politicians would probably have been happy, but the gang that put him into office probably wouldn’t. IMO.

        It doesn’t hurt Obama probably never would have been reelected without Obamacare.

        If my analysis is right, the people who got him re-elected, that subset of the far left that hadn’t given up on him, wouldn’t have done a thing for him except for Obamacare. So I agree with you here, but I disagree about how much choice he had.

        People have much less real choice about their actions than most people believe. IMO.

      • I heard an argument once that Obama’s win in the general election wasn’t because he was black, but the fact he was nominated for the election was. They argued Democrats rallied around Obama because it was difficult to attack the first (serious) black nominee, but in the general election, the black thing just didn’t matter much to people.

        I don’t know if the argument is correct or not, but it does make for a funny idea.

      • Tony

        Ben Carson has no international or government experience, but as a retired director of pediatric neurosurgy he does have executive experience. If he is elected president it will be for who he is; you’ll understand after seeing the video. As a note, IMO, effective presidents cannot be predetermined by their experience. However, one characteristic that both successful candidates and successful presidents share is strong speaking ability; a successful president must have it but it is not sufficient. A successful president must also be a strong leader, requiring trust from the citizens; he/she must earn their trust.

      • AK | November 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        AK – a more interesting question is would a person with substantially the same qualifications as Obama […] only white, have been elected?

        Probably not, but for me the more interesting question is whether a black candidate really capable of taking the lead could have been nominated?
        *****
        I would have happily voted for Charles Payne, Alan West, or Herman Cain. Any of them would have made a better President than Romney or McCain or either of the Clintons.

      • AK:

        Could he? Without the support of people who favored a less aggressive approach? Note that here, you’re saying about the same thing Friedman did. IMO he probably could have gotten away with an alliance with Iran, nation-wise, but most of his private supporters would (AFAIK) been against it.

        Bush didn’t need an alliance with Iran. What he needed was a larger force of United States troops, combined with a larger budget for the operation. I think he could have managed that, but it would have made the invasion more polarized than it already was.

        The problem Bush had was the stated cause for invasion was flimsy, and if he took the time to do the invasion right, that stated cause probably would have fallen apart. Had that happened, he’d have had to state the real cause (that Saddam Hussein was a terrible person who needed to be deposed), and he’d have had a hard time convincing people to support it.

        Perhaps. IIRC there was a lot of pressure from the Army, which was envious of the CIA victory in Afghanistan.

        Aye, but the military is the one realm where the president has a lot of direct say. Not going after Iraq would have caused a lot of unhappiness within certain elements of the military (who were already unhappy with how the Gulf War had turned out), but the president could have weathered that, if he were willing to suffer the blowback.

        I’m pretty sure that’s because they’re trying to balance competing agendas of different supporters they rely on.

        Definitely. Politicans are loathe to offend a group they depend upon because it cuts off their future options. The problem is they feel their presence in the future justifies their poor presence in the present. It rarely, if ever, does.

        I don’t have any links in support, but IMO this is totally wrong. Congress and most state politicians would probably have been happy, but the gang that put him into office probably wouldn’t. IMO.

        I don’t think we’re disagreeing. Obama had to push Obamacare in order to get reelected. The other option, the one I’m pointing out, is he could have accepted the idea of being a one-term president.

        That’s a problem I often see in these conversations. People say a politician doesn’t have a “choice” because one option means losing their next election. That’s silly. Being reelected is not a necessity. A person can choose to make a decision which will cost them the next election. It’s just a matter of priorities.

        There was an Oklahoman senator who supported the treaty to give over control of the Panama Canal. The treaty was good one, and it was one everyone should have supported. A lot of people didn’t though. A lot of people opposed the treaty for imperialistic/nationalistic pride. This senator recognized that was a bad reason to oppose the treaty, and he spent several months trying to explain to the state of Oklahoma why they were wrong to oppose it.

        The senator went on a tour across the state of Oklahoma, explaining the situation. It didn’t help. When the time came, he was forced to decide between supporting a good treaty and being reelected. He supported the treaty. It passed. He lost the next election.

        He had a choice. I firmly believe he made the right one. He followed his conscience, did what he believed was right, and he sacrificed his political career for it. I think that’s something every politician ought to be willing to do. The sad thing is most aren’t. Obama certainly isn’t.

      • AK

        I met sadaam Hussein in Iraq in the mid 70’s. He had just returned from France where he had bought a villa in the south and made a side trip to Switzerland to deposit money. He was thoroughly western. He was also deeply unpleasant .

        I also metassassins father and the shah of Iran. Again all west leaning.

        They were strongmen who managed to retain their power only by being stronger than the opposition and generally having a consensus with people that hated them

        Not an easy trick in Iraq and Syria in particular which has ancient bitter enmities between religions, between tribes, between sects, between regions, between families.

        Removing the glue that held it all together had Inevitable effects which we are starting to see in Iraq, Libya, Syria, as everyone turns against everyone else and plays out their enmities.

        Evil as he was, in my opinion it was counter productive to depose sadaam as the alternative was always likely to be worse, unbelievable as that may have seemed at the time.

        Personally, I would rather see Assad remain in place than depose him and watch the alternatives cause even more mayhem than he does.

        Tonyb

      • That’s a problem I often see in these conversations. People say a politician doesn’t have a “choice” because one option means losing their next election.

        I guess here we’re diverging into philosophical/neurological issues of “free will”. I’m not sure where I stand on “free will” per se, but from my studies of neurology, I’m very sure it isn’t nearly as “free” as most people think it is. Assuming it exists at all.

        Did the politician you mention really have a “choice” between his version of integrity and trying to get re-elected? I dunno. Did Obama really have “choice” between doing what Congress (and most state politicians) wanted, and trying to get re-elected? I dunno, although I’d guess not. But it’s also possible that Obama’s version of integrity required pushing Obamacare to the limit because he thought it necessary. He may actually have thought he was giving up re-election doing it, although I’m unaware of any quotes/interviews on either side of that speculation.

      • Evil as he was, in my opinion it was counter productive to depose sadaam as the alternative was always likely to be worse, unbelievable as that may have seemed at the time.

        That’s what I thought at the time, and I’ve seen nothing since to change my opinion. I said it would be “another Viet Nam”. Which it pretty much was, allowing for analogical looseness.

        The only way I can see Bush could have made it work was by allying with Iran, which IMO he was personally unable to do. As well as it would have alienated too much of his support. But I’m still not sure how much, if any, choice he had about it.

      • AK:

        I guess here we’re diverging into philosophical/neurological issues of “free will”. I’m not sure where I stand on “free will” per se, but from my studies of neurology, I’m very sure it isn’t nearly as “free” as most people think it is. Assuming it exists at all.

        Did the politician you mention really have a “choice” between his version of integrity and trying to get re-elected? I dunno. Did Obama really have “choice” between doing what Congress (and most state politicians) wanted, and trying to get re-elected? I dunno, although I’d guess not.

        I don’t agree people have so little choice as you seem to think, but I also think that’s irrelevant. The question was what choice a president has. The question was not what some individual, with their personal biases and neurological quirks, could choose to do. What matters when examining the correctness of a president’s decisions are the external factors, not whatever internal factors might exist within him.

        I’m going to call a person’s decision wrong even if they were neurologically incapable of making the right decision. I think most people will do the same. At worst, if a person has some neurological/psychological issue of making decisions of their own free will, they shouldn’t be president in the first place.

        That’s what I thought at the time, and I’ve seen nothing since to change my opinion. I said it would be “another Viet Nam”. Which it pretty much was, allowing for analogical looseness.

        This remark amused me. The only reason the Vietnam War became a mess is because American politicians, especially John F. Kennedy, refused to commit to it when it was winnable. The situation is largely analogous to the Iraqi invasion. Has America committed to winning the Vietnam war from the start,* the war could have ended with a minimal amount of fuss.

        Similarly, had the United States committed to occupying Iraq long-term from the start, designing the invasion around that plan, there would not have been a large scale insurrection. The large scale insurrection is almost entirely due to the lack of control caused by the lack of serious planning by the United States.

        It’s the same half-hearted thing we saw in Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. Politicians decided to take some action and faced significant consequences because they were unwilling to fully commit to the course of action they had chosen.

        *Rather than doing things like telling American pilots not to fire even when fired upon.

      • Tony
        when Darwin finally concluded “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” most likely he had in mind his own class of species.

  42. There are so many articles on oil now that the price has eased, I won’t post them. Here are a slew of them. (And remember, Seeking Alpha has a wide variety of authors, so you have been advised.)

    http://seekingalpha.com/analysis/macro-view/commodities

  43. What do the practitioners of weather cryptesthesia have to say about UK’s upcoming 2014/15 winter — no big deal or what the Sunday Express believes: “BRITAIN is edging closer to an ARCTIC FREEZE with blizzards, record low temperatures and polar gales set to cripple the country in weeks.” A forecasting tool that is being considered is the OPI (October Pattern Index) that apparently is at -2.86.

    The OPI was devised by Italian scientists Riccardo Valente and Professor Judah Cohen with this year’s readings dangerously similar to those taken during the catastrophic winter of 2009/10 – the coldest in 31 years.

    • I don’t think we can possibly accept anything from Judah Cohen, given the link between his nomenclature and that determined uncertaintiist Judith Curry. Can’t possibly be a club member. Perhaps its an alias for that Georgian?

  44. Fossil fuels should be ‘phased out by 2100’ says IPCC
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884
    “The report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.”
    That’s a lot of hydro power.

  45. Libertarians Sue White House Over Climate Change Video
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/30/3586457/cei-polar-vortex-white-house-lawsuit/
    “Under that law, the CEI said it brought its demands to the White House before the lawsuit was filed, but the White House refused, saying Holdren and Fried’s statements did not represent the official agency position. Instead, the White House said, they represented their “personal opinions.” Agency employee personal opinions are not covered under the Data Quality Act.”
    At the link, Trenberth seems to not agree with Francis. The subject covers the polar vortex and a cold last Winter.

  46. I see that the “Very good essay about mistakes we make when trying to make sense of scientific research” (JC) includes the line “A common battle-line between climate change deniers and people who actually understand evidence is the effectiveness and representativeness of climate models.”

    Unfortunately the essay doesn’t discuss the cognitive bias which underlies this example.

    • So true, like the cognitive bias exhibited in the earlier article on pre-traumatic stress (aka, cognitive dissonance) when the author says, “For conservatives turning to Fox News, studies conducted by Rutgers University’s Lauren Feldman and colleagues conclude that the cable network serves an influential political function in the climate debate, sustaining its viewers’ doubts about climate science even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence.”

      So… ‘conservatives’ are all turning their backs on the truth all progressives see all too well, despite the overwhelming contradictory evidence staring us in the face that AGW theory is valid and we’re all doomed as ‘conservatives’ turn to Fox News for apparently, nothing more than a political function in the climate debate to sooth the doubts of deniers.

    • Don’t call it sloppy propaganda in amongst patronising statements of the bleeding obvious. Call it “communication”.

      I note that the magazine’s side menu has an invitation to “choose your poison”. If only all science journals could be so frank.

  47. NASA Bombshell: Global Groundwater Crisis Threatens Our Food Supplies And Our Security
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/31/3586561/global-groundwater-crisis/
    What could be done to get Midwest farmer to irrigate less? We probably find that corn and soybeans are more associated with irrigation and wheat, oats and hay less so. But the latter crops generally generate less revenue per acre. As usual, farmers would like to get paid for not growing corn and soybeans (and switching to another crop) and not irrigating while helping the aquifers. I assume there are other approaches farmers could take to help with natural aquifer recharge. Farmers like drainage and are good at putting Spring field surface water into rivers using tiling to extend their growing season. I know a good way to get a farmer’s attention is to start talking about regulating their tile so there is less of it, or they’re having to build holding ponds. All this tile is seen when a river crests at a new record level and 100 years floods become 10 year floods.

    • Ragnaar, I wrote about this in both the water and food chapters of Gaias Limits. There is no groundwater crisis. There is a problem of Ogallalla aquifer depletion in the high plains of the US, and depletion in northern India and Bagladesh. There is also a problem with the Colorado compact that is already affecting Arizona and southern California. For example western Kansas will have to revert to rangeland by 2030. Without virtual water (food imports) loss of irribation water will put a food/ famine damper on that portion of ‘Asia’ population growth. But globally, only 20 percent of cropland relies on irrigation. It is eventually slowing growth in yield per area, and lack of additional arable land compared to exponential population growth, that becomes a global food calorie constraint sometime around 2050. Is a soft limit, and a little fuzzy given things like meat/cereals, possible crop substitutions, spread of best practices (especially for rice), and the evolution of crop pathogens (UG98 wheat rust being of greatest present concern).

  48. Excellent essay from Asimov. I recognise much in my own life, such as the ability to make a cross-connection, the element of daring, the self-assurance (in certain areas), the eccentricity and unconventional habits, isolation, mind continually working etc. Also the joy when you meet like-minded people, and the despair when you are subject to the animosity of petty jobsworths in higher office.

  49. Are we at the tipping point yet?
    A flurry of signs seems to indicate this is so.
    Record Antarctic ice.
    Rapidly improving Arctic ice.
    Correct New Zealand temperature records, read them and weep Mosher and BOM.
    The Pause.
    The absence of measurable heat hiding in the deep oceans.
    El Nino proving to be rubbish.
    England and Siberia freezing. Mann overboard.
    Al Gore working with the warmists in Australia.
    Are we there yet??
    Please!

    • We are near the tipping point.
      The tipping points are:
      When Earth is Warm it always tips toward Cold.
      When Earth is Cold it always tips toward Warm.
      The oceans are now warm and the snowfall has started.
      Oceans will be warm for a long time, the ocean temperature changes slowly. During this long, warm ocean time, it will snow more and then ice will advance and cool the Earth into the next Little Ice Age.

  50. Obviously the problem with models is they are not run by computers which are expensive enough. The Met is going to solve that problem.

    “Five years after we paid £33 million to buy the Met Office a new computer, we are now to pay £97 million to give them a “world-leading super-computer” – described by its chairman as “our integrated weather and climate model, known as the Met Office Unified Model”. That’s because it will not only “produce the most accurate short-term forecasts that are scientifically possible”, but can also predict how the Earth’s climate will change over the next 100 years.

    “I scarcely need remind readers of how the Met Office’s computer modelling has performed in the past 10 years. In 2004, it predicted that by 2014 the world would have warmed by 0.8C, and that four of the five years after 2009 would beat the 1998 record as the “hottest year ever”. In 2007, its computer predicted that this would be the “warmest year ever”, just before global temperatures temporarily plummeted by 0.7C, equal to their entire net rise in the 20th century. That summer in the UK, it told us, would be “drier than average”, just before some of the worst floods in living memory.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/11202650/Millions-for-the-Met-Office-to-carry-on-getting-it-wrong.html

    • Send money, $97,000,000 should do it, and we will deliver The –
      Miracle – Met – Office – Snake – Oil – Unified – Model – Climate –
      Predictor. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

      • beththeserf,

        And if 97,000,00 serfs should die due to lack of dollars, who cares? They don’t have Nobel prizes or PhDs.

        Surely they won’t mind!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

  51. I see the Met uses IBM and Cray machines. An olde joke;
    “Why can’t the British build super-computers?”
    “Because they haven’t found a way to make them drip oil.”

  52. Josh, the article you linked discusses quarantine, not travel bans. From the article:

    The New York Times published a piece Saturday entitled, “Experts Oppose Ebola Travel Ban, Saying It Would Cut Off Worst-Hit Countries.” The only problem with it is it quotes exactly zero people explicitly saying they oppose a ban.

    That lack of quotes doesn’t stop the Times from making the claim, assigning it to nebulous “public health officials.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/18/ny-times-experts-oppose-ebola-travel-ban-quote-none-gets-other-facts-wrong/

    • Steven Mosher

      jim2

      there isnt much “science” on the effectiveness of any of these measures with respect to Ebola.

      But there are cool models

      Like a GCM..

      http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EBOLA_HOW_BAD_CAN_IT_GET?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-11-01-10-25-24

    • Steven – I’m not “against” models in general. Our brains develop models of the physical world probably from before birth. Conceptual models are inescapable. Likewise, it is obvious computer models can tell us a lot about how the physical world behaves. Certainly, models based on quantum mechanics have advanced our understanding of the micro-world. Models are useful as a test of the fidelity of our knowledge when model output is compared to real world data.

      We really aren’t far apart on the utility of models as far as I can tell.

      In the ebola case, I think we have gaps in our knowledge about the transmission of the disease. That’s where I see the problem, the uncertainty if you will.

  53. jim2 –

    The sort of recommended policy that was supported in each of the links:

    Active monitoring by public health authorities of persons who have recently been to Ebola-affected countries for the 21-day Ebola virus incubation period with prompt identification, isolation, and medical evaluation of all persons who develop symptoms is an effective strategy to limit transmission.

    – See more at: http://www.idsociety.org/2014_ebola_quarantine/#sthash.imQTRF1a.iC2KNxwr.dpuf

    • jim2 –

      I will give Ron Paul some credit, though, for rising above the political fear-mongering and for not advocating that we restrict freedoms for the sake of catering to political expediency.

      http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/221377-ron-paul-calls-for-ebola-travel-ban-politically-motivated

      • this appears to be the full CDC HLS position.

        http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html

        Inbound travel is restricted to “ports” equipped to implement procedures. so that is a “travel” restriction. “Active” monitoring can involve “quarantine” a restriction of individual liberty. I believe this is a pretty standard type of policy which about every country, depending on their resources, would use. A country like the Bahamas or Canada, with limited resources might ban direct travel to the Bahamas and limit ports visitors can arrive from, like say the US, if the visitors had been in countries with higher Ebola risk in the past 21 days or month.

        Part of “active” monitoring is not coming within 3 feet of other people for 21 days. That severely limits access to public transportation, shopping, running the malls, dining out, taking in a movie, etc. and depending on the available resources of the person being monitored could be plain old quarantine. So “Active Monitoring” sounds like a PC term for quarantine to me.

        21 days is a pretty long time but a lot shorter than HIV and HIV would require a bit more close contact than 3 feet, but why “actively monitor” one and not the other?

      • Consider how close people get on a bus or especially a train or subway. Within 3 feet there would be several individuals on a crowded train. Look how many people had to be tracked down due to just one infected individual! For the train scenario, it could easily multiply to several hundred people after just a few weeks time.

        I really don’t see why someone who would go to the heart of ebola country to “fight” the disease wouldn’t be willing to spend 3 weeks of limited contact with others in order to protect citizens of their own country. People with that kind of commitment wouldn’t be put off going to Africa due to a mere 3 week quarantine.

    • Steven Mosher

      Interesting”
      “Strategies to limit the potential for EVD transmission from returning healthcare and humanitarian aid workers as well as from other travelers should be based on the best available medical, scientific and epidemiological evidence; be proportional to the risk; balance the rights of individuals and the community; minimize unintended negative consequences; and minimize unnecessary use of limited resources.”

      of course there isnt an ounce of math or data to back any of this up, because they have introduced moral issues into their weighting.

      Im pretty much un decided on this issue, the crap both tribes spew on this is amazing

      • Mosher

        Perhaps you, like Bertrand Russel during his first few decades at Cambridge, value mathematics as the supreme center over all truth. He eventually evolved until one of his students, Ludwig Wittgenstein, convinced him of a new philosophy that “..undermined the entire approach to logic that had inspired Russell’s great contributions to the philosophy of mathematics. It persuaded Russell that there were no “truths” of logic at all, that logic consisted entirely of tautologies, the truth of which was not guaranteed by eternal facts in the Platonic realm of ideas but lay, rather, simply in the nature of language. This was to be the final step in the retreat from Pythagoras and a further incentive for Russell to abandon technical philosophy in favour of other pursuits.”

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/513124/Bertrand-Russell

      • I love it when people point out one of my favorite philosophers–Wittgenstein

        Of course Wittgenstein said nothing whatsoever related to my point.
        but you saw the word math and used that as a springboard..

        Lets make this simple for you rls

        1. The argument is made that we should use a science based approach.
        2. I point out that those making this argument dont actually do it.

        Dont presuppose that I am not aligned with Wittgenstein on the larger issues. However, once a person commmits themselves to #1,
        pointing out that they havent lived up to their commitment is not an endorsement of their approach.

        hmm I made the linguistic turn back in 1978, scratches and itches and all that

      • Mosher

        My point was not about Wittgenstein but about Russell’s transformation. His original ideas were/are not uncommon; that we can find truth through logic and math. Not being familiar with Wittgenstein and only a bit familiar with Russell’s transformation, I don’t see it as a stretch to mention the limits of math; also in light of the fact that many of the elements of the problem are not fully defined.

    • Active monitoring of a person like Kaci Hickox involves following her with a police patrol car and a policeman on a bicycle. Active monitoring of the doctor who caught Ebola in New York would have involved watching him as he jogged through the NY streets, went bowling, and ate at pizza parlors. The problem I see is that reaction time needed to place the person in quarantine BY FORCE IF NECESSARY just won´t be there. The current US government protocol doesn´t say much for President Obama.

      • Fernando,

        I’m not a doctor, nor do I even call myself a scientist so I must defer to those with more standing than I. Ak provided a link to WHO and this comes from that source:

        Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
        Outbreak containment measures including prompt and safe burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola, monitoring the health of contacts for 21 days, the importance of separating the healthy from the sick to prevent further spread, the importance of good hygiene and maintaining a clean environment.

        I don’t see quarantine or travel ban anywhere. I do see “monitoring the health of contacts” but unless I’m misreading (which is certainly possible) this relates to those who are ill, not those “who may have been exposed”.

        Please help me here.

        As always, my thanks.

  54. more modelling of ebola

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/scientists-predict-number-us-ebola-cases-26621993?page=2

    some interesting things to note:

    1. the wide range of uncertainty
    2. Tribal responses to the tails of the distribution.

    its interesting to compare the AGW panic with the ebola panic

  55. John Smith (it's my real name)

    I see this morning new dire warnings from the IPCC
    800 scientists
    count ’em … 800!
    dragon warnings falling on my deaf ears
    scientist, from Galileo to Einstein, used to be outsiders
    now they are just a new Church, bonded in servitude to their own vested interest and institutional ideology

    the King and the Church in their holy alliance

    we peasants must repent
    end our idol worship of material comfort
    lest Gaia punish us in the hell fire of … uh, I mean a slightly warmer hell fire

    but I’m not a priest, or a noble, and lack the secret knowledge to understand what I see through my own window

    • Too bad the report had to be so watered down for political purposes. Still, its probably the best we have for now, even if it underestimates actual future climate changes:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        yes, thank you R. Gates
        we can’t handle the truth
        perhaps soon the right balance of information and withholding of information will be found
        I await that glorious day

      • Please do not hold
        Your Breath
        For that Glorious Day
        John Smith
        Or You’ll Meet Your Maker
        Sooner than your regularly scheduled
        Appointment.

      • Breaking news! IPCC admit Ernest Gold’s poem was correct and the atmosphere maintains a steady thermal state;

        THE BALLAD OF THE STRATOSPHERE
        by Ernest Gold (1881-1976)
        Published in Symons’s Meteorological Magazine in
        December 1914 (Vol.49, No.587, p.195). This is
        Gold’s reply to a toast at a meeting of the British
        Association for the Advancement of Science held in
        Australia in August 1914.

        I am the rolling stratosphere,
        I long to perturbate;
        So I tickle the top of the troposphere
        To make him undulate.
        My temp’rature is two fifteen,
        On Kelvin’s abs’lute scale,
        Though it’s never been taken in a louvred screen,
        It has in a comet’s tail.
        I rule the air beneath my feet,
        I’m in a stable state,
        When the sun is shining through a cirrus sheet
        My base I elevate.
        I was discovered, most agree,
        by Teisserenc de Bort;
        From Trappes his balloons he sent floating free
        Through my ‘Great Inversion’ floor.
        In England Dines has found me out
        With instrument so light;
        And my secrets he’s sought with courage devout,
        And correlation might.
        But no correlation ratio,
        For kilometres nine,
        Can explain to me why a small shallow low
        Brings rain from the land of wine.
        Where Simpson made a dash for me
        Antarctic east wind blows;
        So he tried calm days when (see Adm’ral B.),
        Smoke vertically rose.
        I am the rolling stratosphere,
        I keep, need I relate,
        By the radiation of the atmosphere
        In a thermal steady state.

        tonyb

      • Thanks for that Tony.

        A great reminder of how out of date science and poetry can sometimes make poor bedfellows.

  56. John Smith (it's my real name)

    please add silent s “scientists”
    damn spell check causes other problems

  57. From the article:

    Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.
    “If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/29/cdc-admits-droplets-from-a-sneeze-could-spread-ebola/

  58. Also, the military has chosen a 3 week quarantine for troops, troops sent stupidly to a non-war situation, I might add. Yet, the government won’t do the same for non-citizens entering the country. I’m sure the US can get by without them being here until the risks are better evaluated.

    • jim2, by now we should all know the US government isn´t exactly firing on all mental cylinders. I voted for Obama after the Bush disaster years, and to keep Sarah Palin out of the White House, but Obama sure turned out to be a lousy bet. It looks to me like political parties just can´t come up with worthwhile candidates. They are worthless.

      • Both parties do things I don’t like. I’m sorry there isn’t a libertarian party presence large enough that voting libertarian would not guarantee Dimowits get elected. My choices are limited, so I have to go with the party that net-net most closely comports with my views.

  59. Of course the latest IPCC synthesis report is watered down and conservative because it is based on linear models, but even so, it still recommends eliminating fossil fuels completely if the CO2 can’t be sequestered.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_LONGERREPORT.pdf

    • Gates

      Is this the same IPCC that is able to rate events as “likely” and “extremely likely” when, in the same section, they admit almost complete ignorance of the topic? See WGII AR5 Chapter 7 Section 7.2

      Richard

      • rls,

        You either fail to understand probability, true rational skepticism, or the political process that goes into drafting such a report. Which part are you missing? Which part of the actual scientific basis for the watered-down IPCC report are you missing?

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/

      • Gates, if you think the report is inaccurate then you would agree the IPCC is worthless because it has the wrong organizational structure and work flow? or do you think it´s worthwhile because its products do help your political objectives?

      • I’ve never been a fan of the IPCC. Unfortunately, this kind of consensus seeking political-science-policy hybrid organization is unfortunately what we are left with as there are far too many “masters to serve” around the world.

      • Gates,

        Regarding “Which part of the actual scientific basis for the watered-down IPCC report are you missing?” My comment was not about the recent IPCC Report, but about the veracity of the IPCC, it’s ability to do science, and our common sense; should we believe anything the IPCC publishes in light of AR5.

        Regarding “You either fail to understand probability, true rational skepticism, or the political process that goes into drafting such a report. Which part are you missing?”

        I’m not an academic or a statistician, but got a brain and a bit of an education.

        1. My brain says if scientists do not know most of the cloud processes then predictions of cloud feedbacks cannot be bolstered by probability analysis, but that is beside the point; the chapter 7 section on clouds does not use probability analysis. Instead it tries to present a flawed logic.

        2. Not sure what you are thinking regarding rational skepticism.

        3. I think you nailed it regarding the political process but we may have different ideas on it. I think key to the point is that the IPCC is an international organization and the leaders of member states have much to say.

        Regards,

        Richard

      • Richard,

        I apologize for my sharp tone of the last reply to you. To your overall points, I think there are many flaws in the IPCC process, and huge gaps in the science– not just clouds, but ocean dynamics, ice dynamics (especially the rates of likely change for Antarctic and Greenland ice). Overall though, the consensus political process leads both both faulty logic in some areas and even more conservative outputs in the result. This is Trenberth’s perspective, and I tend to agree with it. But this is the problem with many such reports as they can only make rather linear projections from “best guesses”, even though evidence suggests nonlinear responses are at work. But nonlinear behavior (the kind that always exists in a system exhibiting Chaos) can never be projected, so inevitably you are stuck with politically watered down linear projections based on incomplete science of “best guesses”. Currently the IPCC process is flawed, but the best process we have. An open data, open code, non-consensus seeking process (perhaps web based) is a future option to replace the IPCC. Who knows?

        Really though, what difference will the current report actually make? I would say…overall…very little.

      • Gates

        Thank you for the apology; you made my day. Not used to kind words. When I was working, as an applied physicist on electromagnetic and nuclear effects, I was highly respected. But now I’m retired and hear only from my children and grandchildren; derision is much more the norm.

        I agree with you on most everything and ignorant on the rest.

        Regards

        Richard

    • Right.

      And governements never made recommendations that were wrong and harmful before.

      • Not sure how that is even relevant here. Of course governments make mistakes, as any human endeavor does. There are mistakes of:

        1. Too little too late
        2. Too much too soon
        3. Unintended consequences
        4. Crafting policy by pandering to special interests in lieu of the creating the best policy
        5. etc. etc. etc. etc.

      • ==> “And governements never made recommendations that were wrong and harmful before.”

        Tell that to jim2.

        He thinks that contra-advice from public health experts, we should follow the expert recommendations of governments in places like North Korea.

      • Josh spins another fantasy.

  60. Here’s a story from this week. A proposed project in Tunisia called TuNur would build a 100 square kilometre array of concentrated solar and deliver it to Europe “via a 450-kilometre submarine cable”. they claim it’s cheaper than offshore wind or nuclear:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/massive-african-solar-project-could-4468322

    It does not appear to be part of “Energize Africa”. What would King Leopold II of Belgium have thought?

  61. MY week in review with apologies to all, I’d appreciate constructive (sans politics, please). I’m posting this in several locations at the risk of ridicule. As the week in review seems to be a bit of a catch all I could think of no more appropriate location and am happy to accept criticism of that choice.

    “Thank you for your response. I want to preface my comments with letting you know I’ve spent a few days on Watts and taken a firm beating (would be happy to provide a link or two if that would add to my credibility). I kinda expect the same to happen here because folks tend to let emotions take over.

    So I’ll ask that you and others here bear with me as I’m just beginning my journey towards an understanding of Climate Change and I have to start with a basic question that I can’t get a concrete answer for. Why is CO2 such a “bad guy”? My seriously AGW buddy (and I can provide his website, he’s given permission) said (para mine) I don’t know, go to the National Academy of Science. I’ve gone there and there is some evidence, but no definitive conclusion. I’ve gone to IPCC and get the same. Google, same. Watt (of course it’s NOT AT ALL a bad guy there–as if breathing on Venus would be easy for us humans LOL.). JC, eh, maybe, maybe not. I can’t for the life of me understand how if that is unsettled IPCC can say we have to cut it to the extent proposed. I can see it’s can be seen as pollutive at some level, but I don’t see it at today’s level. I’ve been to the NOAA Mauna Loa site to run the numbers for myself. Yes, it’s increasing, and that increase has increased in the past decade. But if it’s such a known “bad guy” why is it still debated?

    So many out there have already made determinations, on both sides. It’s thick with politics. But seemingly there is so much riding on such a basic question that I’m frankly confused.

    I don’t wanna stir things up, I’m no troll. There is no place for those of us beginning this quest. There is AGW, and “absolutely not” sides. There are some in what I perceive as “the middle” (accepting Global warming is occurring based on evidence, but unclear if cause is natural or man caused or maybe even a bit of both). I’m in that middle.

    My buddy has provided some stuff but he can’t seem to see that his politics muddies the picture. But to his credit, he’s got me researching.

    I see there is psychology of Global Warming communication and that bothers me as I’m not aware of something like that for say, chemistry or physics. I come from a sales background and selling an intangible requires some psychology. This should be tangible and it bothers me that it’s not.

    And I’m not understanding why There’s a Watts side, and Judith Curry side and a Real Science side. But since there is, why aren’t folks here over there and folks there over here?

    In other words, as you say it seems there is no “company line” on the “skeptical side” (I can’t use denier because my perception is very few deny global warming but do deny causes). But there are reasonable discussions (as well as unreasonable attacks) of some of the evidence for AGW.

    Short comment is the science seems far from settled. Am I missing something (I’m sure I’m missing A LOT)?

    Reminder, I’m just beginning developing my understanding. It’s a tough ask, but can you or others approach this with me from that perspective. I’m cringing by hitting the submit button.

    Oh, and if it’s inappropriately posted please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Danny Thomas | November 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
      MY week in review with apologies to all, I’d appreciate constructive (sans politics, please). …

      Short comment is the science seems far from settled. Am I missing something (I’m sure I’m missing A LOT)?

      Gee… well the lay of the land is something like this.

      1. In a lab if you test CO2 absorption (the amount of energy it blocks) the amount changes by roughly 5.35 ln (C/Co). For a doubling of CO2 (C is 2 times Co) the answer is 3.7 watts.

      2. The atmosphere shines this energy in all directions with some of it striking the planet. 3.7 watts is about 1% of the amount of solar and atmospheric energy hitting the planet and should raise the temperature about 0.7°C. This isn’t debated much. This number is from a simple application of the Stephan Boltzmann law for black body thermal radiation.

      3. When this infrared or long wave radiation hits the planet (it only penetrates the skin of the ocean unlike blue and UV which penetrate to 200 m) it causes some effect, that is where the debate starts.

      4. The global warmists believe that water vapor amplifies the effect causing about 3.5°C of warming.

      5. The skeptics are anybody who believes the net effect is less, in the range 0.35-2°C. But they believe CO2 should cause at least some warming

      6. Deniers believe CO2 has little or no effect and 20th century warming was due to natural and solar influence.

      7. In 2000 most the scientific evidence pointed to strong CO2 based warming.

      8. The lack of warming in the 21st century has cast a lot of doubt on the effect of CO2 warming.

      9. Some of the 20th century warming was due to natural cycles in the ocean and atmosphere.

      10. Some of the 20th century warming was due to increased energy from the sun.

      11. There isn’t a long enough accurate scientific measurement record to conclusively state how much warming was due to CO2 and how much was due to other causes.

      For 14 years the climate hasn’t changed much, hence the current debate.

      Until there is more data, a change in climate, or better analysis to sort how much CO2 affects climate the debate will continue.

      If you have questions about any of the above just ask and someone will fill you in or correct me.

      • PA,

        Thank you. I will read and absorb. In a nutshell, from what you’ve offered, there is no definitive “CO2 causes warming or doesn’t cause warming” if I’m reading correctly.

        So my confusion on that being the focus is not unreasonable? So if that’s unsettled, why are so many saying “we’ve got to reduce it”. Just as some sort of “insurance” for lack of a better description?

        This leads me to at least a better of “why” so much politics is involved.

      • Danny Thomas | November 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        PA,

        Thank you. I will read and absorb. In a nutshell, from what you’ve offered, there is no definitive “CO2 causes warming or doesn’t cause warming” if I’m reading correctly.

        So my confusion on that being the focus is not unreasonable? So if that’s unsettled, why are so many saying “we’ve got to reduce it”. Just as some sort of “insurance” for lack of a better description?

        This leads me to at least a better of “why” so much politics is involved.

        Well, activists and people in favor of more government are using the issue as a tool to drive their favorite policies. Hence the strong right=skeptic, left=CAGW (strong warming) shape to the debate.

        People on the left tend to want to end use of fossil fuel regardless of cost. They view government inference and .control as a feature not a problem.

        People on the right tend to want the cheapest power available and generally have a dim view of government interference and government mandates.

        Wind and Solar are really pretty dirty to build at the current level of technology and reek a small amount of havoc on the electrical grid so they are mostly symbolic. They simply export the pollution to China.

        The above discussion has nothing to do with the merits of the case for CAGW (catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming). It is simple politics.

        Climate per se is not well understood, and the models aren’t accurate enough to be very helpful.. We can’t predict weather for this winter let alone at the end of the century. The models are software programs that basically reflect the assumptions programmed into them and aren’t complex enough with enough resolution or enough processing power behind them to accurately model climate.

    • I’ve been at the start of trying to understand the situation myself. As far as a place for beginning ones quest, here has had some good posts:
      https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/05/evidence-of-deep-ocean-cooling/
      https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/21/cause-of-hiatus-found-deep-in-the-atlantic-ocean/
      There are many others searching further back. The above are peer reviewed study related, and reviewed by JC so they should be useful. Science of Doom is good if you have enough background to not to get lost with what he’s saying as I sometimes do. Real Climate is also good. I do agree with what they’re saying sometimes. Discussing CO2 is usually a lightning rod situation, so I try to steer clear of that one and look at other things like the oceans. The IPCCs own assessment of 1.5 C to 4.5 C I believe, tells me it’s still a work in progress that will take time. And one more place I’d start is http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1984/1984_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

      • Ragnaar,

        Thanks for sharing. I certainly look all this over.

        Wondering if you feel like I do. I’ve “started” here, there, and everywhere and yet it seems like I’ve done nothing yet.

        Appreciate your suggestions, and any others you can think of.

      • I feel like I’ve learned next to nothing yet. It’s a complex climate system. The oceans are huge and powerful. Often a CO2 discussion tends towards a pitched battle. There so much more to learn about. More than the math of the the climate, to learn about Nature.

    • Danny.I have a political bias so take this for what it’s worth. The people from Watts,Climate Audit and for the most part here are banned or censored at Real Climate and most warmist sights. The reverse is not true

      • Interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing that. I’ll have to address that over there for some sort of verification. But that does lead me to the recent Pew survey that those with a liberal view:”Are more likely than those in other ideological groups to block or “defriend” someone on a social network – as well as to end a personal friendship – because of politics.” http://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/.

        It seems if the politics could be removed (and the anonymity of the internet) and we added a few lawn chairs and appropriate beverages, more effective communication could occur. At least that’s my theory.

  62. Climate Researcher 

    Clouds and water vapour all lead to cooler surface temperatures, not warmer ones as the IPCC would like you to be gullible enough to believe. Empirical data proves this cooling is a reality.

    The emissivity of water and water vapour are a next-to-useless figures when trying to calculate the temperature of any thin layer of a cloud or the atmosphere through which most of the solar radiation passes, just as we can’t determine easily what temperature solar radiation mostly passing through the thin surface layer of the ocean would affect its temperature. (These layers do not act like black or grey bodies.) Yet the IPCC authors think they can do so, and not only that, they add the back radiation which, as is well known, does not penetrate more than a few nanometres into the ocean. Then they fudge the back radiation figure so they get a total that gives them 288K with emissivity 0.95 and hence a total solar and back radiation flux of 370W/m^2 of which solar flux is only 163W/m^2. That’s laughable, because their atmosphere is supposedly somehow delivering 370W/m^2 when, after albedo considerations (say, 30%) is 55% more than the total solar flux of 238W/m^2 entering at the top. So the atmosphere is a good energy generator is it?

  63. This is an etc. Dennis Gartman, The Commodities King, says there is so much corn that propane will be a good investment because it is used to dry corn. If CO2 is a problem for plants, it’s hard to see it in this arena.


    The ripening corn and soybean fields stretch for miles in every direction from Dennis Wentworth’s farm in Downs, Illinois. As he marveled at his best-yielding crops ever, he wondered aloud where the heck he’ll put it all.

    “Logistics are going to be a huge problem for everyone,” the 62-year-old grower said, adding that he has invested in boosting output rather than grain bins. When harvesting starts in a few weeks, Wentworth expects his 150-year-old family farm to produce 10 percent more than last year’s record. “There are going to be some big piles of grain on the ground this fall.”

    From Ohio to Nebraska, thousands of field inspections this week during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour show corn output in the U.S., the world’s top producer, will be 0.4 percent above the government’s estimate. Months of timely rains and mild weather created ideal growing conditions, leaving ears with more kernels than normal on 10-foot (3-meter) corn stalks and more seed pods on dark, green soy plants.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-22/too-much-corn-with-nowhere-to-go-as-u-s-sees-record-crop.html

  64. Doug (possibly soon to be deleted if it is the usual Doug), the assumption for 255 K is that you just remove either the trace greenhouse gases or assume these gases have no IR effect in the first place. That’s the only change and you get 255 K instead of 288 K. It’s a simple change-one-thing-at-a-time scientific method of doing things that demonstrates how effective those trace gases are at trapping heat (insulating).

    • Jim D | November 4, 2014 at 7:29 am | Reply
      Doug (possibly soon to be deleted if it is the usual Doug), the assumption for 255 K is that you just remove either the trace greenhouse gases or assume these gases have no IR effect in the first place. That’s the only change and you get 255 K instead of 288 K. It’s a simple change-one-thing-at-a-time scientific method of doing things that demonstrates how effective those trace gases are at trapping heat (insulating).

      Well, there are a couple of problems with this post. The main one is it is incorrect.

      1. If all the trace greenhouse gases were eliminated the surface temperature of most of the planet wouldn’t change a lot.

      2. The trace gases account for about 5-10% of atmospheric forcing. About 90% is due to water vapor and O2/O3/N2 absorption. The difference between dry and wet atmospheric absorption is many times the effect of CO2 and other trace gases.

      3. Even with no water vapor O2/O3/N2 absorb some of the infrared spectrum. O3 absorption is well documented. N2 absorbs significantly in the 4.3 µm range and O2 absorbs significantly in the 6.4 µm range, O3 peak absorption is at 4.75 µm and it absorbs a little at other wavelengths.

      4. The Antarctic/Arctic circles (areas south/north of roughly 66 1/2 degrees) are only about 8% of the planet surface area. While they would be heavily affected by the removal of trace gases like CO2 they are already radiators because of high albedo and low humidity.

      5. So… the only way to get the planet to 255°C is to remove the atmosphere completely.

      The claim the planet would be 255°C with no trace GHG, is factually incorrect. Even with no water vapor the temperature would not be 255°C.,

      • PA,

        Okay, realize this is somewhat facetious, but if we removed the atmosphere completely (see #5), wouldn’t we get a lot colder. Just like the moon?

      • We would alternately fry and freeze – assuming no ocean and concomitant water vapor.
        From the article:

        The moon has a very thin atmosphere, so a layer of dust — or a footprint — can sit undisturbed for centuries. And without much of an atmosphere, heat is not held near the planet, so temperatures vary wildly. Daytime temperatures on the sunny side of the moon reach 273 degrees F (134 C); on the dark side it gets as cold as minus 243 F (minus 153 C).

        http://www.space.com/55-earths-moon-formation-composition-and-orbit.html

      • Climate Researcher 

        Yes, jim2, and an Earth without water vapour forming clouds and cutting the direct solar radiation in half before it strikes our surface could, like the Moon, reach maximums around 134C where the Sun is overhead. Water vapour cools as you can read here.

      • PA, you misunderstood. I count water vapor as a trace gas too. It is only 0.4% by volume putting it below argon in the rankings that no one would dispute is a trace gas. Remove all GHGs and the surface is 255 K, albedo being kept equal. Having said that, water vapor demonstrates just how much effect trace gases can have. O2 and N2 have no noticeable IR effect.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Yes, PA overlooked that Jim D was responding to Doug C, who argues that radiative effects from greenhouse gases, including water vapor, contribute nothing at all to surfaces warming.

      • Replying to Jim D Nov 5, 5:11am

        Water vapour makes up between 1% and 4% of the lower troposphere. Carbon dioxide is about 0.04%. So there is 25 to 100 times as much water vapour at any time, and it doesn’t matter one iota if it is different water vapour two days later – it’s still 1% to 4% of the lower troposphere and it’s busy radiating energy out of the atmosphere. The energy acquired by nitrogen and oxygen molecules by conduction from the surface (and other air molecules) is mostly transferred to water vapour which does far more cooling radiating per molecule than does carbon dioxide with its very limited number of spectral lines.

      • D o u g  C o t t o n 

        Jim D:

        Empirical evidence proves water vapour cools by a few degrees. We all know that it reduces the temperature gradient by about a third in magnitude. It does so, not much by latent heat release, but because of its radiating properties. Other such molecules in other planetary tropospheres also reduce the gradient associated with thermodynamic equilibrium.

        If water vapour were to both increase the surface temperature and lower the gradient then a simple sketch of the thermal profile makes it very clear that radiative balance with the Sun would be thrown way out. I have explained elsewhere that the surface would be more like 288K than 255K if all GH gases were removed along with the clouds that reflect 30% of incident solar radiation.

      • Doug, the gradient change due to increasing water vapor is well known as the lapse rate feedback, which is a negative contribution as it also leads to the tropical hotspot. The lack of such a negative feedback (hotspot) is because the tropical oceans aren’t the fastest warming places at the moment.

    • Climate Researcher 

      No you don’t get 255K because it is the greenhouse gas water vapour which creates clouds – in case you didn’t remember that spanner in the works.

    • Climate Researcher 

      Yes well put some of that most prolific of all GH gases, water vapour, in the gap between double glazed windows and note how it reduces the insulating effect, just as it does in the troposphere as it helps thermal energy escape upwards in the troposphere far faster than it can by convection.

    • Climate Researcher 

      You get nothing like 255K. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient becomes steeper (close to 9.8C/Km) if you also remove water vapour and the thermal plot rotates about the pivoting altitude thus raising the plot at the surface end and consequently the temperature at the base of the troposphere which supports the surface temperature and stops the cooling in the early pre-dawn hours. And that’s why valid physics explains how water vapour cools, as we find from real data in the real world, as distinct from the imaginary world of Climatologists in Carbonland.

      The order of magnitude of all warming or cooling by carbon dioxide is about ±0.01 degree as it raises the radiating altitude by about 1 metre and lowers the gradient with its radiating properties, much like water vapour does – as we know.

    • Replying to Jim D Nov 4, 7.29pm

      No, the Earth’s surface temperature would not be 255K in the absence of GHG. You have assumed an incorrect amount of solar radiation to the surface that is only about half what it would be without clouds and atmospheric absorption by GHG, and you have assumed surface emissivity of 1.000 which is also too high.

  65. Climate Researcher 

    Moderator

    I’m just wondering why you delete my replies to other commenters here, because this form of censorship is hardly scientific. JimD, for example, writes a lot of garbage which cannot be supported by valid physics and, in that he attacks what I say, it would seem I should have right of reply so that your readers are not misled by even more incorrect science.

    Maybe you could answer how you think water vapour can jack up the surface temperature and at the same time reduce the magnitude of the temperature gradient and somehow maintain radiative balance. Or tell me why empirical data proves water vapour cools, as I have explained with correct physics.

    There’s a dedicated thread on The Air Vent where my comments stick and no one has successfully argued against them, not even Jeff Condon himself. I guess your readers could go over there to debate me if you keep deleting my responses here.

    PS I keep screen captures of deleted comments and these will appear next year on a new website I’ll be promoting.

    • repetitive and long and incorrect. Yes let people go to Air Vent or your own blog to discuss

      • Climate Researcher 

        I don’t respond to assertive statements. Either use valid physics to try to prove me wrong, or keep out of it.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Climate Researcher: I’m just wondering why you delete my replies to other commenters here, because this form of censorship is hardly scientific. JimD, for example, writes a lot of garbage which cannot be supported by valid physics and, in that he attacks what I say, it would seem I should have right of reply so that your readers are not misled by even more incorrect science.

      I dispute/debate JimD regularly, and none of my posts has ever been deleted, though a few were put into moderation for a while. Have you tried short, focused propositions and clearly worded questions?

      I don’t respond to assertive statements. Either use valid physics to try to prove me wrong, or keep out of it.

      Come on! That is not even minimally polite.

  66. Climate Researcher 

    i replied before but there’s censorship evident on this climate blog as much as there is on SkS. That really downgrades JC’s blog IMHO and I’ll make a feature of the censorship on my new website next year.

  67. Matthew R Marler

    Doug255: You can’t do away with the Second Law.

    Which quantitative version of the Second Law do you use in support of your derivations. I go with deltaH + TdeltaS >= 0; with a near steady influx of energy ( H is +) into the round, spinning, tilted Earth it is difficult to derive anything without having good measures of deltaH and deltaS. This near steady influx of energy drives photosynthesis, the winds and jet streams, .the ocean gyres and thermohaline circulation, and maintains the polar/Equatorial temperature gradient, and maintains the temperature gradients from the ocean surface to the ocean deeps, and from the Earth surface to the high altitudes.

    In reading your posts, I can’t see that you account for (derive quantitative relations from) this influx of energy at all.

    •  
      In reply to Matthew Marler (Nov 5: 5:24om) I use the standard statements of the Second Law which describe the process involved whereby entropy increases to a maximum wherein there is a state of thermodynamic equilibrium with no unbalanced energy potentials. I quantify the temperature gradient in that state of thermodynamic equilibrium (also allowing for the role of inter-molecular radiation) and from that I can calculate quite accurately temperatures such as that at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus. The fact that my calculations agree with reality throughout the Solar System, and such calculations show why and by how much water vapour cools, as I confirm with an empirical study, is sufficient for me.

      Whenever a molecule moves with a component of vertical motion its KE alters, keeping the sum (KE+PE)=constant. Roderich Graeff detected small temperature differences in his sealed insulated cylinders in nearly every one of over 800 experiments this century. But the “killer” is the Ranque Hilsch vortex tube which develops very significant temperature differences in a centrifugal force field. If the gravito-thermal effect did not exist then an Earth paved with asphalt and receiving just 163W/m^2 of direct solar radiation would have a mean temperature around -35C. It is “heat creep” which supplies the rest of the required energy, and to understand this downward convection you need to understand how it is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium, just as the Second Law says will happen..

      • Matthew R Marler

        D o u g: I use the standard statements of the Second Law which describe the process involved whereby entropy increases to a maximum wherein there is a state of thermodynamic equilibrium with no unbalanced energy potentials.

        Why is statements [sic] plural? There is only 1 statement of the law, namely what I wrote. So my question: in what way are you accounting for the continuous input of energy into the Earth system? Surely the equilibrium calculation must have some amount of error when applied to a system not in equilibrium: can you approximate, or bound, the amount of error?

      • Matthew R Marler

        D o u g : Replying to Matthew Marler (Nov 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm)

        The Earth does not have a climate equilibrium, so the arguments from equilibrium do not have accurate consequences. As to the Second Law, the continuous influx of energy into the system from the sun render logical and mathematical derivations intractable. While you have not disputed either of those statements, neither do you take them into account in your writings, at least not what you have presented here.

    • Replying to Matthew Marler (Nov 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm)

      Planetary tropospheric temperatures have a mean overall level determined by the limit as the system approaches radiative equilibrium with incident insolation from the Sun. We all know that, Matthew.

      But the temperature gradient in such tropospheres is determined by the limit as the system approaches thermodynamic equilibrium, that meaning overall thermal, mechanical and internal radiative equilibrium with no unbalanced energy potentials and maximum entropy within the constraints of the system.

      You don’t make it clear which equilibrium you are talking about, but variations due to weather tend to average out and what we are concerned with is the limiting values for the temperature gradient and the overall level of the thermal profile.

  68. From the article:

    The number of people under “active monitoring” for Ebola symptoms has increased from 117 on Monday to 357 people Wednesday, health officials said.
    The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York City within the past 21 days from the three Ebola-affected countries, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement.

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/active-monitoring-ebola-doctor-Craig-Spencer-bellevue-hospital-281671121.html