Climate/Energy Policy and the GOP Congress

by Judith Curry

With the Republicans in majority for both Houses of the 114th Congress, what are the implications for U.S. climate and energy policy?

The coming climate onslaught

Politico has an article The coming climate onslaught. Subtitle:  President Obama readies a sweeping list of executive actions.  Excerpts:

The Obama administration is set to roll out a series of climate and pollution measures that rivals any president’s environmental actions of the past quarter-century — a reality check for Republicans who think last week’s election gave them a mandate to end what they call the White House’s “War on Coal.”

Tied to court-ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate talks, the efforts scheduled for the next two months show that President Barack Obama is prepared to spend the remainder of his term unleashing sweeping executive actions to combat global warming. And incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have few options for stopping the onslaught, though Republicans may be able to slow pieces of it.

The coming rollout includes a Dec. 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time; a final rule Dec. 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants’ toxic coal ash; the Jan. 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors; and a Jan. 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.

The kicker for Republicans eager to stomp all over the president’s agenda: Congress has little immediate recourse, despite McConnell’s pledges to use “the spending process” to rein in EPA. With so much action rolling through the pipeline, Republicans will have to choose their battles carefully if they want to make headway while proving they can govern.

In an interview after Election Day, McConnell acknowledged that stopping Obama will be difficult, given the president’s veto power. McConnell has also promised a return to regular order, and Republicans probably won’t want to repeat last year’s government shutdown in hopes of forcing the president’s hand.

Christine Todd Whitman, who served as George W. Bush’s first EPA administrator, said the Republicans’ new Senate leaders will at least try to hobble the agency.

“It’s going to get harder for EPA,” she said. “With Jim Inhofe as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I think what they’re going to do is starve the agency.”

Can Congress derail Obama’s climate and energy policies?

From the Washington Post:  Congress can derail Obama’s global warming fantasies.  Excerpts:

The White House would have us believe that the president is unfazed by the midterm election debacle. There is plenty of coverage of President Obama’s upcoming unilateral actions on immigration and his yawner of an announcement of a non-binding agreement on global warming with the Chinese, but another executive overreach may be about to take place that will do a lot to reinforce voters’ reasons for voting against the Democrats and emphasize the notion that the president doesn’t get it. The New York Times revealed today that the president is about to announce that three billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money will be given to other countries to help “the world’s poorest adapt to the ravages of climate change.”

The new Republican majorities in the House and Senate could seize on this latest blatant tone-deaf overreach and use it to build serious opposition to the Democrats’ dream of a wealth transfer from America to who knows where.  Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) already said the president’s agreement with the Chinese “is the latest example of the president’s crusade against affordable, reliable energy that is already hurting jobs and squeezing middle-class families.” Republicans in the House and Senate are going to be focused on passing the Keystone XL Pipeline, rolling back onerous EPA regulations and increasing American energy security in the 114th Congress – not on helping the president raise Americans’ power bills and sending money we don’t have to foreign lands.

The New Congress and U.S. Energy Policy

A forthcoming event at the George Marshall Institute lists the following energy policy issues for the new Congress to deal with:

* The future of the proposed Keystone pipeline.
* U.S. oil and gas exports.
* Federal subsidies of renewable energy.
* The state of U.S. energy infrastructure.
* Maximizing the benefits of the shale revolution.
* The implications of falling oil prices on policy issues
* Regulatory impediments to energy development

Time has an article GOP Prepares for an energy battle.  Excerpts:

Consider that a starting gun on the coming season of energy debates, when everything is likely to be placed once again on the legislative table: pipeline development, oil and gas exports, carbon regulation, renewable energy and drilling on public lands, to name a few issues. Polls show strong support for increased domestic production, and environmentalists are playing defense after a near rout at the ballot box.  McConnell, not surprisingly, plans to seize the moment.

Near the top of his to-do list is bringing the Keystone XL pipeline to a vote. Climate activists have made a priority of killing the proposed pipeline from oil sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but it may soon become their Alamo. With the cooperation of a handful of centrist Democrats, the GOP could have a filibuster-proof majority on the question, forcing President Obama to approve or veto the project. Either way, he will be forced to show his hand on a question about which he’s been coy to date. “They can force the President to have to make some hard decisions,” says Philip Wallach, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. Obama’s willingness to go to the mat on the issue is anything but certain. “I’ve always felt the President was keeping Keystone around as something he could trade for something else,” Wallach says.

One item the President may trade for is continued support for renewable-energy subsidies like the solar-investment and wind-production tax credits, key components of his “all of the above” energy strategy. Those incentives–which help stimulate demand for pricey home solar panels, for instance–remain a lifeline for America’s nascent renewables industry. “Our energy sector is booming, and I’m happy to engage Republicans with additional ideas for how we can enhance that,” Obama said at a press conference after Election Day.

Ezra Klein has a good article:  How much does the Keystone pipeline really matter?

Senate EPW Committee

From the Time article:

The return of Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe to chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will also be a factor. A longtime bogeyman for environmentalists, he has made himself the face of opposition to taking action on climate change. Like McConnell, who campaigned as a champion of the Kentucky coal industry, Inhofe has in his sights recent Environmental Protection Agency rules that limit greenhouse-gas emissions. “Pretty much no Republican officeholder has supported the clean-power plan the way it’s been proposed,” Wallach says. “They’re going to gear up for a pretty bruising fight on that.”

The putative Chair of the Senate EPW Committee James Inhofe has written a 2012 book The Greatest Hoax:  How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.  I haven’t read the book, but it seems to play to conspiracy theory and confident idiot memes.  However, if we are going to label politicians as confident idiots on the global warming issue, how about:

John Kerry: climate change” is perhaps “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

Hillary Clinton: climate change is “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.”

Far more interesting and insightful is the Senate EPW Minority Report (from the Republicans) Critical Thinking on Climate Change, recently updated last December (a previous version was discussed at CE [here].)  The document doesn’t pay much attention to the IPCC, but rather to U.S. politicians, the U.S. mainstream media, U.S. assessment reports, and Congressional testimony.

The format of the document is to lay out  Predictions, Claims, The Latest Science, and Questions for Critical Thinking.  About half of the Questions are good ones; the others are either not very relevant or ‘gotcha’ type questions.  But my point is that this is not a document written by ‘confident idiots’ but rather by politicians who raise legitimate political concerns (and a few scientific  concerns also).

JC reflections

Well the climate change issue certainly seems to be front and center of US political debate, although there are arguably more urgent issues facing the US and the world.  It will be interesting to see how this will play out, and whether Obama can manage both policy changes at home and influencing the UNFCCC deliberations.

My main hope is that the 114th Congress will become more functional, and actually put legislation on the President’s desk so that some progress can perhaps be made on some of the energy and climate issues where robust policy options have been identified that make sense independently of whether or not climate change is an urgent or dangerous problem.

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639 responses to “Climate/Energy Policy and the GOP Congress

  1. I would note that the report mentioned above is essentially from Inhofe and written to be in contrast to the Kerry/Clinton/Obama view.
    It is even specifically noted as a minority report.

    • Mathew- that would be a good start and work for me. I have no problem with rational/practical regulation, but the EPA has gone far beyond that. I tend to like the concept of federal agencies being given an “expiration date” after which they cease to exist unless a super majority in congress votes to keep the agency alive. By thst standard, the EPA may have expired a while ago before it could inflict the damage it is now doing.

      • Mission creep takes all before it … creepy,
        say, what happened ter checks and balances?

      • The idea of zeroing out a bureau’s budget has been around for a long time. It is, however, a bad idea. Ken Shepsle’s book Analyzing Politics has a good example of why it doesn’t work. The idea is based on the median voter theorem, which postulates that a legislative body chooses the policy preferred by the median voter in the body. But the problem is that the set of policies preferred by the median voter to a budget of zero is larger than the set of policies preferred by the median voter to a positive budget. Thus, an expiration date on the EPA would in fact give the government a larger amount of discretion in its budgeting, which under some circumstances (e.g., if the government supporters of the EPA could propose a take-it-or-leave-it vote on a budget) could result in a much larger budget for the EPA.

  2. Yes, it looks like he’s going to need a new pen at some stage.

  3. Judy,

    I had not previously seen these statements: “John Kerry: “climate change” is perhaps “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

    Hillary Clinton: climate change is “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.”

    Wow…wow…wow. Some have said we have the worst political class in the history of our nation and these two comments illustrate the depth of the problem. North Korea, China, Iran nuclear weapons, ISIS, etc.., etc., and these two think global warming is the worst of the world’s problems?

    Denial is not a river in Egypt.

    Mike

    • I wish your ineffective semi detached President would resume leadership of the western world and do something about the pressing problems that need urgent decisive action. And none of them has anything to do with climate.

      Tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tony
        I doubt he believes that the US should lead the western world
        he believes in consensus
        here’s hoping we make until then

        I heard your guy’s statement on ISIL
        sounded a bit like WC
        any chance you guys could pick up the slack

      • John

        There’s not the rapport between Cameron and Obama that there was between Reagan and Thatcher so I have no great hope of your President being persuaded to actually do something and lead the west into taking action on the numerous firestorms facing us.

        Mind you, it seems from the quote above that Clinton is just as full of herself in chasing imaginary problems and seems unlikely to do much better. I don’t know if there is anyone on the Republican side who might turn out to be a leader who isn’t obsessed with climate change and can tackle real life problems? Richard linked to someone last week but I don’t think he’s a front runner.

        Having said that Obama still has two years in which to waffle and delay doesn’t he?

        tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tony
        we have a crisis of leadership in my country throughout the society
        I hesitate to say it, but we are being gelded by “progressive” ideology

        nation state identity is under assault
        the fact is most of the educated elite here see American leadership as an anathema

        did you not go through a similar phase in the Empire?

        progressives, and Obama is most definitely one, dream of a global citizen utopia
        EU progresses to GU
        Putin and ISIL will come around if we all communicate in an open, fair and honest manner
        China played very nicely last week
        If we all believe, the Copenhagen Consensus can be made manifest

      • “There’s not the rapport between Cameron and Obama that there was between Reagan and Thatcher”

        Obama made Cameron look an absolute fool over the use of Chemical Weapons in Syria, following the US lead and Obama’s drawing of ‘red lines’ Cameron prepared a commons vote on British intervention. Just before the debate and vote, Obama and Kerry backed down and allowed Russia to lead a fudge.
        Cameron lost the vote, looked a fool, and ended the chance of Britain ever joining with the US in military action until 2017 at the earliest.
        At least when Reagan got a bollocking from Maggie for invading Grenada, he took it like a man

      • The world comes out ahead if the USA doesn’t lead. This is shown by the record over the last 22 years. Mogadishu, Kosovo, September 11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Iraq again, Ukraine…

      • TonyB, you can count on Obama NOT being the leader of the Western World. By all evidence he despises the country the United States used to be, having delusions that his “skill” as an orator will solve the problems of the world. He spent the first two years of his reign apologizing to the world for the United States and its policies. He would gladly cede governance of the United States and the Western World to the UN.

      • 100 years from now they will write that he saved the planet.
        That is the bet.

        With two years to go he is playing the Longshot.

        Why work on a tough short term problem that is tough to solve when you can use your pen to place a long shot bet

      • Gamblin’ by cuttin’ the rug with the one what brung him.
        =======

      • Mosh and Kim,

        I lean toward what Kim said. Mosh, I don’t think it’s a 100 year bet. I do think Obama is a long term thinker and a stubborn, committed ideologue. Who maybe at times thinks he’s above the rules ;).

        I actually think the 26-28% is likely to be achieved:

        CAFE
        people drive less
        renewables (utility scale and otherwise)
        gas substituted for coal
        efficiency, generally

        I think too small to fail is exactly right, except that nothing is foolproof ever.

      • Mosher:
        In 100 years time Obama will be viewed as someone who put short-term political expedience above attempting to wrestle with the major social and economic problems facing not just the US, but the entire world. As will all US presidents in the last 50, and probably the next 50 years.

        In the even longer term it will get even worse. Who has a good word to say now about any of the Roman emperors?

      • Jonathan. it doesnt matter what you think.

        Stand in obama’s shoes.

        Making a move on climate is a win for him on all time scales.

        His reasoning like everyone else’s is motivated. And its tied to his identity.

        So when he makes a move on climate all you have to ask yourself is how does it relate to his concept of his identity.

      • 100 years from now they will write that he saved the planet.
        That is the bet.

        And perhaps ended Western civilization by dickering with non-issues like CO2 while allowing the rise of a genocidal jihadist state in the ME.

      • Tony,
        I case you have not noticed, Obama does not have rapport with anyone.

      • Mosher:

        It doesn’t matter what you think, either. It will be up to the people in 100 years. But you brought it up, and I chipped in. That’s the way blog comments work.

        Oh, and it also doesn’t matter a damn what Obama’s concept of his own identity is.

      • Tony,

        To resume a leadership role implies that he ever had one to begin with. It is becoming clearer by the day that President Obama is sorely lacking in leadership skills. He can lecture. He can dictate. But he cannot lead.

      • Jonathan
        You still don’t get it

        I am telling you how Obama thinks.

        It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what I think.
        What matters is that Obama thinks he is doing the right thing from the 100 year perspective.
        Get that through yer skull

      • It seems more likely to me that he is doing what he thinks is the best for 2 years from now. Shoring up his base.

      • “I am telling you how Obama thinks.”

        LOL-very likely to be an inaccurate given the lack of interface you have with him.

      • Mosher: I got that through my skull the first time. The only interest people in 100 years time will have in Obama’s attempt to influence how history treats him is as another stick to beat him with.

      • My take on it is that Obama won’t have stopped the use of fossil fuels because people don’t want to starve or freeze, or in my case, lower their standard of living for a half-baked idea like CAGW. From my US point of view, he is the worst US President in history. He ignores the Constitution, purposely fools the very people who elected him, has decimated our military in a very hostile world, has decimated the economy with burdensome regulations including Obamacare, he is an abject failure as a world leader, and a sham.

      • Mosher’s point provoked enough thought to get me to write a new blog post:
        http://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/taking-the-long-view/

        Basically, the Chinese deal is the equivalent of an alcoholic agreeing to give up drinking after he is dead, and Obama’s attempts to manage his historical reputation are him sketching out a painting others will complete, and complete however they see fit.

    • @ Mike Smith

      Just to add to your list of non-problems, we have Ebola, a disease that is highly contagions and kills 75-90% of those infected.

      But of course your list and Ebola pale into insignificance compared to the horrors of the possibility, maybe, that the ice at the North Pole COULD be 20-30% below long term average next year, or, even worse, the Temperature of the Earth MAY rise as much as one or two degrees over the next century. Or millennium.

    • Tonyb, everybody in the U.S. always wants the president to be more effective when the president is on the other side of the aisle. It is only when they actually are in office that it becomes clear how constrained their options are.

      We built it that way on purpose. We just forget that when it’s convenient.

      • Obama’s problem isn’t constraint. It’s the worst relationship with Congress (even his own party) in the history of the presidency. It’s the utter lack of any input from any advisor other than his Rasputin, Valerie Jarrett. It’s the unprecedented record of dishonesty, corruption and lawlessness. It’s Gruber, on steroids, for the last 6 years.

        Arrogant, ignorant, dishonest and corrupt is no way to go through life. Or the presidency.

      • stan, somewhere on a 5 inch floppy I have the first 32 pages of a screenplay titled ‘Rapsutin–The Musical.’ I really wanted DeNiro for the lead. I actually pitched it to Paramount with a friend of mine who knew people there.

        Now, if I had put Valerie Jarrett in there instead, I might be rich and famous!

        And if DeNiro was advising the President, who knows where we might be?

    • Day Hay, Obama has a rapport with Golfers and that says it all.

    • The Senate EPW Minority Report can be re-released in January as
      The Senate EPW Majority Report ….

    • People say the dumbest, most undignified things, particularly sound-bite mind-numbing statements from politicians

  4. The Australian carries an article today titled “Barack Obama gives PM a climate headache

    I recognise that the CAGW alarmists may have been given another lease of life. But, I remain unconvinced that CAGW is a high priority risk that needs urgent attention and drastic action that, if alarmist get their way, will do significant damage to the world’s economy, and therefore to human well-being. I have many reasons for not being persuaded CAGW is a serious threat. Below I explain one of them the links in the Ed Dolan article Judith linked in her Week in Review.

    Ed Dolan’s article referred to ‘Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysishttp://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/regulations/scc-tsd.pdf . Figures 1A and 1B compare the projections of global economic losses from climate damage by the three most widely accepted models.

    The damage functions for the three IAMs are presented in Figures 1A and 1B, using the modeler’s default scenarios and mean input assumptions. There are significant differences between the three models both at lower (figure 1B) and higher (figure 1A) increases in global-average temperature.

    Fund shows that global warming would be net beneficial up to 3C increase in 2100.

    DICE is by William Nordhaus and FUND is by Richard Tol. The FUND projections seem the most reasonable of the three models, because:

    1. The 0.8 C of warming over the past century has been massively beneficial for life and for humans. It strains credulity to believe this trend would suddenly reverse now and become damaging from now on.

    2. Tol seems to have done the most research and has the best understanding of the cost and benefits estimates that the damage function are based on.

    3. Arguably, the projected damage costs from DICE default are well on the high side. ECS is 3.2, damage function is high, discount rate is low and declining, emissions rate is near RCP8.5, and the participation rate is impossible to achieve (as I understand it). Regarding RCP, the DICE User Manual says (p23):

    The DICE-2013R baseline radiative forcings is close to the RCP 8.5 forcing
    estimates through 2100, then midway between the RCP 8.5 and RCP 6.0
    after 2150. The DICE temperature projection for the baseline scenario is
    very close to the model ensemble for the RCP 8.5 through 2200. This
    suggests that the DICE-2015R has a short-run temperature sensitivity that
    is slightly higher than the AR5 model ensemble. (Figures 12.4, 12.5)
    • Emissions in the baseline are close to those of the RCP 8.5 scenario. Total
    CO2 emissions in the DICE baseline total 103 GtCO2 compared to 106 GtCO2
    in RCP 8.5. Cumulative CO2 emissions in the DICE baseline are 1889 GtC
    compared to 1750- 1900 GtC in the models used for RCP 8.5. (p. I-60, I-61)

    • I should also have mentions that the DICE-2013 model shows that carbon pricing would be damaging for all this century and well beyond. The red line on the chart here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/ shows the projected global economic loss per 5 years at half the Copenhagen participation rate. The Copenhagen participation rate is extremely optimistic and even half that rate seems unrealistic. Certainly, even if the US-China desires are achieved and all the large emitters made similar commitements, we’d not achieve the 1/2 Copenhagen commitments. See the key relevant assumptions that underpin the models like DICE pulled ou here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

    • Peter Lang – “I recognise that the CAGW alarmists may have been given another lease of life. But, I remain unconvinced that CAGW is a high priority risk that needs urgent attention and drastic action that, if alarmist get their way, will do significant damage to the world’s economy, and therefore to human well-being.”

      Do not worry too much. If they do sufficient damage it will be fixed in the 2016 election. The last six years have been painful enough.

      • Justin Wonder,

        If they manage to ratchet up the level of alarmism leading up to and at the Paris UN Climate Conference in 2015, that will inevitable lock the world into agreements that do more damage to the world economy than if the negotiators are more rational at that conference.

      • Peter – “…lock the world into agreements…”

        In the democratic nations, the voters will nullify any “agreements” via the elections. The politicians aren’t dumb, they will likely (highly :) ) enter into non-binding agreements that will help keep them in office – symbolic gestures to keep the enviro money spigot open. Even the Europeans, who let Russia steal territory because they are the main suppliers of solar panels and wind turbines to Europe. Oh, I meant suppliers of fossil-fuels.

      • Justin Wonder,

        I don’t really agree with you on this one. For example, only a small swing is needed in public concern about CAGW for the Labor and Greens to win government in Australia in 2016. Then’ we’d be back to all the extremism and worse than before. And they’d have control of the Senate as well, so they could pass their legislation without opposition. We are just one middle size country, but this is an example of how all this stuff is on a knife edge. It’s be a catastrophe if Australia was governed by Labor-Greens again before the conservatives have time to get the finances back under control. At the moment we are heading for a socialist caused wreck like the EU is in.

    • Well…

      1. The 0.8°C has been beneficial. About the only serious issue in the IPCC agriculture problem list is maize in the tropics. Brazil has substantially increased production and yield.

      With Brazil increasing 2nd crop production… it is hard to see any negative impact so far.

      2. The Dice and Page models show that either an increase or decrease in temperature has a negative impact. The implied claim that the current temperature is the global climate optimum is just absurd.

      More CO2 is going to increase plant growth so one would expect that for some amount of CO2 driven warming the effect will be beneficial.

      Production of corn for the US. Yields seem to track moisture not temperature.

      https://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/secc_edu/images/USPrecip.bmp

      However the claim in places like wiki that mid-latitude corn (or wheat) will only decrease with more warming looks absurd on its face.

      3. “Arguably, the projected damage costs from DICE default are well on the high side. ECS is 3.2”.

      The ECS is sort of key and an absurd number gets an absurd result.

      • PA. Thanks for that. and the charts. You are an encyclopedia of relevant factual information. All your comments are loaded with information.

        P.A, can you explain to me how to post charts. I don’t have a web site of my own. Can I post charts that hare posted on other sites. How can I post the chart in this post I recently had published on Master Resource and Cross posted on Catallaxy Files: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

      • Peter

        Tap on the graph and it will become a single image on its own page with its own address in the top dialogue box. Merely cut and paste the link into your comment and the image will appear when you post it.

        I did this above.

        It doesn’t always work on all sites but it usually does on this site.

        Tonyb

      • What TonyB said will work in many cases, but there are more reliable ways. The most consistent way is to find the image you want to post, right click on it and select “Copy Link Location.” That will give you the URL of the image. You can use that like the URL for any web page you visit, meaning you can easily share it.

        If you’re posting on a WordPress blog, odds are you can embed the image just by pasting the URL into your comment. That’s because WordPress (can be set to) automatically fetch and embed any image whose URL you paste into your comment. That’s not going to be true at all sites though (and not all WordPress blogs have it enabled).

        By the way, if you ever want to post an image you’ve created, you’ll need to upload it somewhere people can access. There are plenty of sites which allow you to upload images (e.g. Photobucket) at no cost. Go to one, make an account if necessary, upload your image, and grab the URL from them.. Do that, and you can share any image you want.

      • Tony B,

        Thank you. That’s fantastic; clearly explained and so simple. I didn’t understand the instructions from the previous attempts to explain this to me. I’ll try it with the chart from Nordhaus “A Question of Balance” showing the cost penalty for participants when there is less than full participation in a carbon pricing scheme:

        I want to also try the other option “copy image’ from right click to see if that works. So I’ll try with the chart from Richard Tol showiing of the probability of the UN Climate Conference COP 18 reaching agreement:

        “Figure 1. The expected probability of negotiation success (solid line), its 95% confidence bound (dashed line) and the annual costs of climate negotiations (triangles).”

        Source: Richard Tol, 2012, “Global climate talks: If at the 17th you don’t succeed”
        http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-climate-talks-if-17th-you-don-t-succeed

      • TonyB, wow, that’s great. Thanks again,

        BTW, for other readers, my two charts are from:

        Why carbon pricing will not succeed, Part 1 http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/comment-page-1/#comment-1493789
        And the chart TonyB posted is from here:
        Why the world will not agree to carbon pricing, Part 2
        http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

        Of course, the same principles apply to any scheme that will raise the cost of energy. None of them will succeed in the real world. Renewables will not succeed for this reason. Therefore, those who want to reduce global GHG emissions have to focus on removing the impediments that are blocking cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels. The fastest way to for the next half century will come from removing the distortions in the energy markets – such as the massive distortions that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear power.

      • Brandon Shollenberger ,

        Thank you. I didn’t see you comment until just now (after my posts above). Very helpful. I’ve learnt a very valuable technique this morning. I used t learn all this sort of thing trough interactions in the work place, but that’s long finished. I recently got Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 and I am really struggling. I’m finding it a massive anti-productivity tool, in many ways. I miss having lots of younger people around to educate me on using the newer tools.

      • Tony B or Brandon,

        Are there simple ways to get Figure 1A and 1B from here: http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/regulations/scc-tsd.pdf and Figure 3 from here: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf and paste them into WordPress?

      • Peter Lang, no problem. Unfortunately, there is no convenient way to extract images from PDF files. It’s likely you’d have to take a “screenshot” of the image in the file, save it, crop it however you’d like and upload that.

        I believe your version of Windows may come with Snipping Tool software. If so, that will make things easier. With it, all you have to do (after opening the program, of course) is select what portion of your screen you’d like to take a “snapshot” of. That makes it easy to select just the figure you’re interested in if you have the software.

        And of course, once you have an image you want to share saved to your computer, all you have to do is upload it and share the URL.

      • Brandon,

        Thanks very much. great help. Appreciated.

      • Brandon, “Unfortunately, there is no convenient way to extract images from PDF files”.

        Go to jing.com. It is easy to extract images.

      • Peter

        Only just seen your follow up comment which Brandon has fully answered.

        The trouble is that a lot of the things you might want to do on Office or other programs are fairly infrequent so get forgotten.

        Personally I find it easiest to jot down the instruction on a draft email and save it with the appropriate heading then its easy to find. Other ways of saving information are of course available but that works well for me.
        tonyb

      • @ tonyb

        Re: http://catallaxyfiles.com/files/2014/10/Lang-3.jpg
        (Net benefit per 5-years)

        As with all these plots of ‘gains/losses’ resulting from ACO2 induced climate change, in this case projected for the remainder of this century, the whole thing is based on a skyscraper of ‘SWAG’s’, hold the ‘S’.

        I think that in this case, since it is being viewed and passed along on the internet, it is safe to say that it is worth the paper it is printed on.

        Should it be transferred to actual, tangible, paper–not so much.

      • Bob Ludwick,

        I agree. However, my point was to use the most widely cited and used model of the projected costs of climate damages, benefits of carbon pricing, carbon prices, social cost of carbon etc. By using the the model that is most widely used and cited to argue the case for carbon pricing and mitigation and show that even it shows that costs of carbon pricing greatly exceed the projected benefits, I thought should get seriously considered by moderate and luke warmists. I hoped that they would critique it. However, none have attempted to critique it. It seems they simply don’t want to know.

  5. daveandrews723

    “…whether or not climate change is an urgent or dangerous problem.”
    What kind of facts, figures, information, etc. do you need to make up your mind, Dr. Curry? I am on the side of the skeptics myself.

    • Its a wicked problem, with much uncertainty, ambiguity and ignorance. I’m skeptical, but not dismissive of the possibility of moderately extreme outcomes. Too uncertain to call. We need to acknowledge the uncertainty and that we are facing decision making under deep uncertainty. See this previous post
      https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/22/can-we-make-good-decisions-under-ignorance/

      • Climate Change is urgent and dangerous, not because of what will happen with natural variability, but what will happen with alarmists fixes that will cause more harm than good.

      • Curious George

        Too uncertain to call? We are already suffering record harvests, which will lead to a population explosion and a depletion of all resources and an uncontrollable further rise of carbon dioxide. Can’t we see a death spiral? :-)

      • “curryja | November 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Reply
        …we are facing decision making under deep uncertainty.”

        Which do you believe is worse, “carbon free energy” or AGW?

      • Spot on. Adaptive management is the smart approach. It makes sense to prepare for natural disasters whether CAGW is real or not. Low lying areas should be prepared to withstand floods, tsunamis (Fukushima), hurricanes (Galveston 1900), fire, earthquakes, tornados, etc.

        OTOH, the precautionary principle is vague, IMO, and can be exploited by politicians and special interests. I can barely understand the Wikipedia definition of PP – it’s complicated and dull. Assuming I am of average intelligence, about 50% of the voting population will likely feel the same way. Insuring your home or business against flooding – if you live or work in Manhattan, Miami, or New Orleans – is easy to understand.

      • Interesting comment.

        So Judith talks of uncertainty, decision-making under deep uncertainty, ambiguity, possible moderately extreme outcomes, to much uncertainty to call, a need to acknowledge uncertainty.

        And it’s a call to arms among her “denizens” to call people, who have different interpretations of uncertainty and ambiguity, all manner of names, and in a very “alarmed” manner hand-wring about Lysenkism and alarimism and communism and utopianism and those who are “contemptible,” etc.

        Doesn’t anyone else think that’s interesting?

      • I second popesclimatetheory’s view:

        I have often said, on this forum, that I consider anthropogenic global warming/climate change to be an existential threat to civilization.

        Not because of any impact of ACO2 on the temperature of the Earth, but because of the political actions being taken in the name of combatting it.

        Unless we collectively come to our senses, FAR more people will die from climate change mitigation than from any climate change resulting from ACO2.

      • Bob –

        ==> “but because of the political actions being taken in the name of combatting it. ”

        You make an excellent point. Those alarmists are surely presenting an existential threat!

        Best.

        Climate Etc.

        Thread.

        Ever.

      • But Judith couldn’t possibly believe governments can control temperature, climate and sea level using the CO2 control knob, could she?

      • “Its a wicked problem, with much uncertainty, ambiguity and ignorance.”

        1. There have been a number of deadlines for action, after which it would be “too late” starting with 2000. If these deadlines are indeed correct it is too late and we shouldn’t bother. If the deadlines weren’t correct and were simply presented to force political action favored by some, the advocates were were being dishonest and should be ignored.

        2. There were a number of levels 400, 600, etc. that were predicted to cause excessive warming, mostly based on ignoring the historic effect of geography on climate. We have reached 400 and nothing bad has happened so far.

        3. The IPCC “100+” year CO2 lifetime is just fantasy. The average CO2 lifetime is about 5.6 years and the “excess manmade CO2 lifetime” – particularly to get back to the proven safe 400 PPM level is less than 40.

        Overall there hasn’t been a good track record on CO2 climate predictions.

        This doesn’t prove that the strong forcing advocates are wrong… yet. But it does mean that we probably have the time to get a better understanding of climate system before we take what could be meaningless and counter productive actions.

        No one (who is sensible) believes we will be relying mostly on fossil fuel energy in 2100. Transitioning away from fossil fuels prematurely will be enormously expensive for little or no gain.

        AGW is being used to force politically driven economic and energy policy favored by a small activist cadre with scant real evidence of the drastic outcomes they are predicting.

        We do need to get a better understanding of clouds, natural cycles, and other climate features which have been ignored in the rush to overstudy GHG and make alarmist projections based on bad information.

        What bothers me is that the artificially induced panic over GHG may be leading us to ignore some more serious climate issues that may be more problematic and urgent.

      • PA @ 9.24, well said.

      • We need to acknowledge that we can’t predict the future. Until the advocates of policy change demonstrate that they are the first ever who can do so, we don’t have a problem.

      • Dr Curry,

        While I can agree that we should not dismiss the possibility of moderately extreme outcomes, it appears that those possible outcomes are a century or more away, should they arise.

      • “… it appears that those possible outcomes are a century or more away, should they arise.”
        _____
        Or, it is could be that the extreme outcomes from the highest GH gas concentrations in 3.2 million years are already with us.

      • “Or, it is could be that the extreme outcomes from the highest GH gas concentrations in 3.2 million years are already with us.”

        If they are nobody seems to notice.

    • Judith, I agree with all you say in that comment.

      However, I feel the problem is politics and ideology. the Left oppose economically rational policy and have been doing so for 50 years. As long as they continue, progress will be slowed compared with what it could be. A really clear example is the consequences of their anti nuclear activism. their advocacy for irrational policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy. These together have seriously delayed progress. If not for the anti-nuke activism, nuclear roll out and learning curves would likely have continued at the pace demonstrated in the 1970s. If that had continued, global CO2 emissions would be some 10% to 20% lower now than they are and we’d be on a fast track to ramp up to higher rates and easily achieve 50% reduction form electricity by 2050 and perhaps much more. More people would have electricity (saving millions of lives per year) and electricity would be much safer and cleaner than it is (more millions of lives saved). And cheaper electricity would be displacing some gas for heating and some oil for land transport.

      It would all be happening much faster if the ‘Progressives’ had not been blocking progress for the past 50 years. From here on we could progress much faster if the ‘Progressives’ would stop blocking progress.

      • Peter,
        You misunderstand Progressivism…something most rational people do.
        To a Progressive, progress isn’t measured by how many people live and prosper, but by how many people die and live miserable, contracted, brutish lives.
        This is progress in the War Against Overpopulation. To a Progressive
        killing people to save them IS progress. And sane. It’s War, after all.
        A Progressive doesn’t have to be concerned with outcomes, only with
        intentions. Haven’t you noticed the Progressive on this blog never
        answer the questions put to them about the consequences of
        their policy advocacy? Real deaths are always offset by imagined ones.
        To a Progressive being concerned about outcomes is gauche. It’s middle class, it’s anti-intellectual and materialistic. A Progressive keeps tune to a
        higher drummer, a loftier view, plans and policies made by the angels
        themselves.
        A Progressive can’t be wrong because a Progressive knows in his heart his policies are ‘best.’ Best doesn’t mean best for humans, those foul, ill-breeding, polluting, despoiling cancers that walk around and in total arrogance demand that life be good regardless of how they might hurt Mother Earth, or some other entirely Mythical, Make Believe person, place or thing, because in the end the only measure a Progressive has and is interested in is how they FEEL about an issue. Imagine what the world would look like if they were unopposed!
        Progressives practice a secular religion. Nietzsche announced God was dead and the Progressives have rushed in to fill the void . They behave just like the religious who came before them. Reality isn’t reality, it’s whatever they FEEL it to be at any particular moment. The natural rhythm of a Progressive is authoritarianism. The last six years of Progressive Power offers proof enough of that.
        Oh, and if the data doesn’t match the goal, ‘fix’ the data.
        They use the Power of Government, the Power of Law to shove down the throats of the cancerous things that are running around them, policies that they sell to the cancers as being good for them but first you have to know what is the GOOD to a Progressive in order to understand what is meant. We have in the White House a shining example of a Progressive and the whole country has been Grubered by him and his fellow travelers which is all for the good, don’t you know because they are the ultimate arbiters of what is GOOD. The only problem is that what is GOOD for a Progressive is rarely good, and most often horrendous, for the rest of us.
        Climate, the weather and the control of, are the ultimate grab for power
        by people who lust for power the way Tyrants have since we dragged our
        butts out of the slime and with a hubris fitting a Tyrant who claims to
        control the rise of the seas.
        If this weren’t true we’d all be happily adapting our way to the next century relying on intelligence, creativity and technology to solve real world problem instead of relying on the intentions and limited imagination of a self-proclaimed elite to write laws and use force to mold, constrain and otherwise stuff humankind into the ‘Dream’ world of Progressives.

      • “If not for the anti-nuke activism, nuclear roll out and learning curves would likely have continued at the pace demonstrated in the 1970s. If that had continued, global CO2 emissions would be some 10% to 20% lower now than they are”
        And the “global” temp and CO2 concentration would NOT have been affected. Still a good idea though for the other benefits.

      • Daniel,

        Very clearly and concisely explained, thank you. Could you copy your comment and paste it as replies to Joshua, Michael, Willard and some of the other ‘Progressives’ who habitually deny and avoid the relevant facts.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        “Nietzsche announced God was dead and the Progressives have rushed in to fill the void”
        Daniel, so true

      • Peter Lang | November 17, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

        “Daniel,
        Very clearly and concisely explained, thank you. Could you copy your comment and paste it as replies to Joshua, Michael,….”

        Awesome!

        Best bizarro rant of the thread.

        Yet another demonstration (if any more were needed) of the political nature of the climate-‘skeptics’. There is little interest in science, they are primarily AGW-policy contrarians, with a dogmatic opposition to what they perceive as green/environmental/progressive ideas. In fact they seem much less opposed to any policies themselves, as they are to the fact that they are policies supported by their ideological foes – the policy of my enemy is also my enemy.

        Daniel –
        “To a Progressive, progress .. measured …by how many people die and live miserable, contracted, brutish lives….To a Progressive
        killing people to save them IS progress. And sane. It’s War, after all.
        …A Progressive can’t be wrong because a Progressive knows in his heart his policies are ‘best.’… humans, those foul, ill-breeding, polluting, despoiling cancers that walk around and in total arrogance demand that life be good regardless of how they might hurt Mother Earth…Progressives practice a secular religion…. The natural rhythm of a Progressive is authoritarianism…..They use the Power of Government, the Power of Law to shove down the throats of the cancerous things that are running around them, …We have in the White House a shining example of a Progressive … The only problem is that what is GOOD for a Progressive is rarely good, and most often horrendous, for the rest of us….Climate, the weather and the control of, are the ultimate grab for powerby people who lust for power the way Tyrants have since we dragged our butts out of the slime and with a hubris fitting a Tyrant…”

        High Five ‘skeptics’!!

      • ==>High Five ‘skeptics’!!”

        OK -,

        I have to admit. Daniel is my new fav “skeptic” Peter Lang, Chief, Wags, Cwon, Gbaikie, stan, GaryM, pokerguy….none of them can compete.

        I had an inkling when he linked ISIS to progressives (and Egyptian Pharaohs, IIRC), but I guessed he’d peter out (pun intended). But no, he’s actually proved that he was just getting started.

        There is a new king o’ Climate Etc., and his name is Daniel.

        Thanks god for value added of the “extended peer review” provided by these insightful threads.

      • I don’t know if Daniel describes all progressives but he does describe Michael and Joshua awfully well….

      • ==> “I don’t know if Daniel describes all progressives but he does describe Michael and Joshua awfully well….”

        No doubt., I ALWAYS view killing people as progress.

        ALWAYS!

      • Joshua, “No doubt., I ALWAYS view killing people as progress.

        ALWAYS!”

        I didn’t know you were a member of 350.org :)

      • To no one in general,

        Regarding killing people – some people deserve killing. Talk to veterans of Iraq (including Iraqi’s and Kurds). Talk to the Nigerian families whose daughters were kidnapped. Talk to the anyone who has lived under a dictatorship. Be thankful that some are willing to bear the burden of taking life, no matter how well deserved.

      • ”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
        John Davis,
        Editor of Earth First! Journal

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/21/growth-versus-sustainability/#comment-502318

        Unintended irony from the disingenuous and IQ challenged Josh – God love him.

      • Sorry to break it to ya’, Chief, but try as you might – Daniel’s the new king o’ Climate Etc.

        Long live the king!

        Egyptian Pharaohs, ISIS, and Elisabeth Warren = same, same but different.

        You’re just never going to top it. Not even you.

        Long live the King!

      • interesting.

        Daniel looks at the broad range of progressives and selects a fringe element as the exemplar.

        other people look at Denizens, select a fringe element, and promote it as an exemplar.

        Of course both of these are explained by motivated reasoning.

      • Sorry – there is only room for one monarch at CE. Queen Josh – God love him.

      • The Chief is dead. Long live the King!

      • ==> “Of course both of these are explained by motivated reasoning.”

        Absolutely. Generalizing from a non-representative sampling is one of the most common “tells” for motivated reasoning.

        I tried to point that out to you a while back.

        Glad to see that you’ve come around. See, my confidence you has not been misplaced!

      • “My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
        David Foreman

        For more see here – https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/21/growth-versus-sustainability/#comment-502318

        These are fringe extremists with philosophies of limits, overweening ambitions to transform economies and societies and an impulse to authoritarianism. Mostly – however – the followers are merely twerps needing to feel superior to someone – anyone.

        I forgot the mad, naked Emperor Moshpit in the monarch stakes – but that’s more an honorary title. But he and Josh – God love him – certainly fill the bill.

      • Koshua,

        it has nothing to do with non representative sampling.

      • Joshua,
        I don’t actually think that Daniel’s comment applies to you and Michael (so far as I’m aware, I certainly don’t know all of the views either of you hold). My quip was only meant to mirror some of the misrepresentations that go on from “your” side of the fence. I agree with Mosher, if I understand him correctly, that there is too much on all sides of seizing upon comments of a few to make them exemplars for an entire group of views. For instance, I think that you do this far too often with discussion of “skeptics” but I don’t spend enough time or attention on the comments threads here to want to engage in rebuttals. I would like to see a lot less demonization from all sides, though. Cheers!

      • AK,

        What do you estimate the LCOE for the whole electricity system to be with your PV powered source vs the equivalent electricity system with an equivalent proportion of electricity supplied by nuclear (to achieve the same GHG emissions reduction)?

        Please also document your assumptions and inputs.

        Until you give LCOE values for the PV and nuclear options to achieve the same requirements, your comments are irrelevant.

      • Until you give LCOE values for the PV and nuclear options to achieve the same requirements, your comments are irrelevant.

        LCOE, like ERoEI, is a myth, primarily useful for straw-man arguments.

        Beyond the problems with ERoEI, levelized cost of energy (LCOE) involves all sorts of unknowns in technology, when projected even a few years into the future. Its primary value is straw-man arguments.

      • AK,

        LCOE, like ERoEI, is a myth, primarily useful for straw-man arguments.

        Sorry, AK. That demonstrates your ignorance. And motivated reasoning. You want to dismiss LCOE because it doesn’t give you the answers you want.

        You’re not honest.

      • You want to dismiss LCOE because it doesn’t give you the answers you want.

        I want to dismiss LCOE bcause, for future technology, it can give any answer you want, depending on assumptions. From Wiki:

        Levelized Energy Cost (LEC, also known as Levelized Cost of Energy, abbreviated as LCOE[6]) is the price at which electricity must be generated from a specific source to break even over the lifetime of the project. It is an economic assessment of the cost of the energy-generating system including all the costs over its lifetime: initial investment, operations and maintenance, cost of fuel, cost of capital, and is very useful in calculating the costs of generation from different sources.

        For future technology, how can “initial investment” and “operations and maintenance” be even estimated when we’re still in the pre-prototype stage?

        You’re not honest.

        Actually, IMO you’re the one who’s being dishonest, first by demanding LCOE for generic future technology, then by dismissing any inconvenient argument as “dishonest”.

      • LCOE is the standard way for doing the simple first pass estimate of FUTURE energy technology costs. It is used by IEA, EPRI, DOE, NREL, EIA, OECD and virtually anyone. Of course you have to feed in assumptions as you do for any analysis or projection. You can do sensitivity analyses oin the assumptions. What it shows is that with any reasonable assumptions, renewables are far too expensive, Put that together with ERoEI and renewables are not sustainable.

        There’s no point giving you links because you don’t read them and then you come back in a larter comment and say I’ve made baseless assertions. That’s another demonstration of your intellectual dishonesty.

        Answer my specific questions above and, if your are an honest researcher, you’ll recognise for your self why renewables are not sustainable and not economically viable.

    • Here is one example illustrating why I believe the GHG emission issue could be addressed more effectively and quickly if the ‘Progressives’ would get out of the way and stop blocking progress:

      Nuclear cost reduction potential and learning rates

      The potential to reduce costs of nuclear (e.g. by deregulating to facilitate private sector competition, innovation and R&D) is huge.

      Professor Bernard Cohen, 1991 ‘Costs of Nuclear Power Plants – What Went Wrong?’ says regulatory ratcheting increased costs of nuclear power by a factor of 4 by 1990, http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html . It’s likely doubled again since.

      Ramasb and Kohler, 2007, say:

      Negative estimates have even been reported for technologies when they have been subject to costly regulatory restrictions over time (e.g. nuclear, …”

      Schrattenholzer (2001) survey the evidence for energy technologies, showing that, in line with the more general results mentioned earlier, unit cost reductions of 20% associated with doubling of capacity has been typical for energy generation technologies, with the exception of nuclear power.


      http://www.eprg.group.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/eprg0723.pdf .

      According to Rangel and Leveque, 2013, ‘Revisiting the Nuclear Power Construction Costs Escalation Curse’ nuclear has averaged 4% cost increase per doubling in France and US. http://idei.fr/doc/conf/eem/papers_2013/leveque.pdf ,

      http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/TransitionstoNewTechnologies/06_Grubler_French_Nuclear_WEB.pdf (Figure 3)

      Clearly something is preventing the cost reduction rates of other electricity generation technologies from applying to nuclear power. It’s regulatory ratcheting and the financial risk because of the damaging litigation the anti-nukes cause to the operators. There is a very high financial risk premium, which in turn is caused by the public’s irrational nuclear paranoia and the anti-nuke activists.

    • To a certain extent we can shape our future. Energy consumption is going to increase, perhaps to a level six times that of 2010 by the time 2050 rolls around. If it is all powered by coal, we’re in real trouble. The pause is not likely to last forever.

      • That may be true. What I think is odd is there are few calls for energy R&D from the AGW advocates. Why on earth would you support $3B for climate justice and not be demanding much of anything for energy research? This muddling of social policy and AGW has made the advocates look deranged when it comes to comparing apparent urgency with effectiveness of proposals. Round hole, square peg.

    • mikerestin | November 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm | https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/16/climateenergy-policy-and-the-gop-congress/#comment-648256

      “But Judith couldn’t possibly believe governments can control temperature, climate and sea level using the CO2 control knob, could she?”

      Of course not. But the governments can control YOU.

  6. “My main hope is that the 114th Congress will become more functional, and actually put legislation on the President’s desk”. Good luck with that one. What we will see is more attempts to remove healthcare from people, and new efforts to damage the EPA and climate research with irrelevant bitter pills attached to any legislation given to the President.

    • You forgot the last part…..policies supported by the people who voted them into office.

    • How quaint and antiquated. One could think that this country has an administration of the people, by the people and for the people.
      “You might very well think that, I could not possibly comment.” – Francis Urquhart, “House of Cards”

    • As I mentioned elsewhere, the midterms had a 36% turn-out, meaning maybe 20% voted Republican. The other 80% did not vote Republican. It is not a mandate so much as a who cares about an ineffective Congress election. The people voted on that by staying at home.

      • nottawa rafter

        I wonder if Harry will bring that up on point of order. Naw….guess not.

      • Are you really going to make that lame argument, Jim D? Are you that big of an Obama toady? He did it after the election so you have no choice but to check your brain at the door and follow his lead?

        The voter turnout in the 2012 US presidential election was just under 60%. Obama got approximately 51% of the vote. By your logic, only 30% of people voted for Obama. Which means 70% did not vote for Obama or the Democrats. That’s more than 2 to 1 against. What significance does that have to the way the electoral system really works? None. Just as your argument has no significance when applied to 2014. Your attempt to move the goalposts after the fact is laughable.

      • I think the phrase “bitter rationalization” might be appropriate here.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: As I mentioned elsewhere, the midterms had a 36% turn-out, meaning maybe 20% voted Republican. The other 80% did not vote Republican. It is not a mandate so much as a who cares about an ineffective Congress election. The people voted on that by staying at home.

        that’s one take.

        In 2010 and 2014 the voters gave the House back to the Republicans (so to speak), than gave the Senate back to the Republicans, and saw to it that most Governors are Republicans, and gave the Republicans control more statehouses than at any time since the 1920s.

        Right now, a majority of Americans thinks that Obama is not doing a good job; a majority think that Obamacare is bad; a majority want the Keystone XL pipeline built and more federal support for fossil fuel extraction; a majority think EPA is exceeding its legal mandate; a majority think the huge subsidies to renewables have been a bad idea. The election results reflect the fact that the majority of Democrats have been out of step with the majority of Americans. Whether the Republican Congress can pass laws that keep the support of the majority of Americans remains to be seen, but for now they are closer to the majority than the Democrats.

        As for staying home, it appears that more Democrats did so than Republicans.

        Had they been released in late Oct, Gruber’s videos probably would have cost Dems the Senate seat held by Shaheen in NH, the Senate seat held by Warner in VA, and the Governorship held by Hickenlooper in CO. The Democrats would have probably lost a few more close House races. Of course we can not be sure, and indeed the biggest lie was already well known, but voters do not really like to be called “stupid” outright by the people seeking to mislead them.

      • Mattstat, “but voters do not really like to be called “stupid” outright by the people seeking to mislead them.”

        I believe the voters he was calling stupid were the democrats since the conservatives didn’t buy in, doncha know.

        Can you say, Dihydrogen Monoxide?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas 0.8 +/- : I believe the voters he was calling stupid were the democrats since the conservatives didn’t buy in, doncha know.

        I agree with that. There were plenty of critical comments based on the preliminary versions of the law as they became available, and the CBO review expressed skepticism that the law would save the government money. The law never had majority support.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D

        With voting age turnout of 55% and Clinton getting 43% of the vote I wouldn’t say 23.7% of the total for him was a mandate in 1992.

    • I have to say here speaking of silly political maneuvers, healthcare was just about removed from my family with double premium increases and the threat of ditching us, a month after this legislation was passed. For a very middle class family, nothing was more real than the fallacy of legislation like this, which was supposed to help. And hundreds of others I know are in the same boat. “Removing healthcare from people”??? Don’t be duped….

      • People too poor to afford healthcare get state aid, so at least you have that option now, which you didn’t before.

      • that’s not our choice or are desire, Jim D, to rely on the government, particularly in Virginia. The Legislaion basically stripped good plans from 10’s of millions of people (average incomes) to help 9 million people enroll. Premiums are far higher now even on the exchange from what I’ve heard, for the record, so no relief there. It was a backdoor tax on middle class. Very little good on the whole did this policy help.

      • Your so-called “good” plans were only “good” because they excluded people with pre-existing conditions. Those are not good plans because they distort the market, and because they also often denied coverage that you thought you might have had due to loopholes, having a very active bureaucracy looking to cut their pay-outs. That was not a good system.

      • Now we’re all denied, Jim D. :) Crummy plans with high deductibles and premiums, everyone of every economic group. Our plan, and the plans pf many I know, were good. To say that they were not good is self-serving for you. They were good for us. Now a big mess. :) I wouldn’t trust this administration to roll a bowling ball down a hill at this point.

      • And we now get to witness company after company dump fulltime employees for part timers to get around the legislation, a real economy killer for all of the US and for individuals/workers.

      • It’s good (for you) that the healthcare law gave a loophole for those companies that don’t care to provide group healthcare to their employees to opt out. My understanding is that only about 5% of the small companies are in the category where they don’t provide a group healthcare deal for their employees already, even before the mandate kicks in, so most employers do, in fact, care. I suspect the ones that don’t are doing it on some misguided anti-Obamacare principle rather than as an economic decision.

      • jimd

        I don’t have a particular dog in this fight being used to the UK State run NHS all my life. (private medicine is available if required)

        On the whole the NHS is very good but it is abused because it is ‘free’ All sorts of operations and care is provided which was not intended to be provided when the NHS was set up.

        We also get a lot of foreigners deliberately using it to provide free care for them which would cost money in their country and LOTS of hypochondriacs clogging up A and E and doctors surgeries.

        As the population ages it is impossible to fund EVERYTING tat people want.

        My son on his phd course in America a couple of years ago was shocked at the treatment of a colleague and was highly nervous of getting ill over there.

        I don’t know if Obamacare is on the whole beneficial or not, or whether a system already existed which meant poorer people could get help without too many financial consequences. It is obvious though that in a civilised society the maintenance of ‘good health’ should be expected without bankrupting yourself.

        tonyb

      • I know an indigent person in Texas who was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia by the county (poor people) health system. Meaning, the doctors thought small intestine had slipped through a damaged area of his body and was bunched up in his scrotum, which was the size of two grapefruit. He had great difficulty in walking and people laughed at him behind his back because, well, you could see the thing plainly through his clothing. For months on end the county system passed him from department to department. One day I picked him up and took him to my house and signed him up for ObamaSCARE. 5 weeks later he was insured for $210 a month and he was in a specialist’s office. He had a cyst. The doctor thought it was caused by unnecessary diabetes medication that was given to him by the county healthcare system. Once he was off the medication, the cyst gradually disappeared. No surgery was required. This year he turned 65 and is now on medicare. ObamaSCARE is the result of America’s complete irrationality about socialized medicine, which is, of course, not free. It’s just insanely more efficient and therefor significantly cheaper. Jim Cripwell used to try and tell these dolts they are completely wrong about the Canadian system. It’s impossible. Canadians outlive Americans, and just about every single American believes it’s because they pour across the bridges and get better healthcare here. Demonstrating Americans will believe almost anything, which is why American politicians just keep making stuff up.

      • tonyb, removing discrimination in calculating coverage rates necessarily raises the costs for some while reducing it to affordable levels for the sickest. Mandating coverage, which is the other measure, increases the pool and reduces costs for everyone which alleviates this increase that might have occurred. It was just a common sense move towards what other advanced countries do already to make affordable healthcare a right rather than a privilege. It saves freeloading where people without coverage have to show up in emergency rooms to get any kind of treatment which is highly inefficient in costs. Some complain because they don’t think something around 5% of their income is worth spending on their family’s health insurance. You will always get those people who think they have higher priorities for their money.

      • ‘insanely more efficient.’ Well, you don’t have to go mad about it.
        =================

      • nottawa rafter

        JCH
        Your story is more about incompetent doctors than the health insurance system. I have excellent health insurance. However, after 6 years of several doctors shrugging their shoulders over my problem, a ten second by chance conversation with a physical therapist resulted in the correct diagnosis. If the doctors don’t do their job correctly, it doesn’t matter what kind of insurance system you have.

      • JCH and JImD

        Lets hope Obamacare is not abused, otherwise that will reduce its effectiveness and increase costs and waiting times.

        Perhaps you guys need to find another word for ‘socialised’ as that word seems to be a red rag to certain bulls,
        tonyb

      • The county hospital is the training hospital for one of the higher ranked medical schools in the United States, so his doctors were either residents or MD professors at the medical school.

        The system is geared toward delaying/denying medical care to the poor due to habitual underfunding.

        ObamaSCARE was obviously vastly better in his case.

      • I’m not against welfare, generally speaking. I am against big government, however. We need a true safety net. It should be implemented as some variation of a negative income tax and shouldn’t make the recipient very comfortable. This should take the place of all welfare programs.

        For the old and infirm, we should combine medicare, obamacare, and social security into one program. This should take the place of all medical care welfare. It should be means based meaning someone would have had to expend their assets before they could qualify for the program. Charity for these people should be deducted from gross income for tax purposes.

        There would have to be other details, but this would be a good start.

      • jhprince2014 –

        ==> “And we now get to witness company after company dump fulltime employees for part timers to get around the legislation, ”

        What is your evidence?

      • Joshua.

        “What is your evidence?”

        what does Kahan say about the effect of these types of demands?

      • Steven –

        Are you stalking me?

        Again?

        I don’t know what Kahan might say about the effect of those types of demands, but I don’t expect to have any positive effect here. This is a forum for people who are already fixed in their mindset. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding his/herself, IMO.

        jhprince2014 made a statement. I used the Google a bit, and failed to find evidence for his statement. I mean some evidence I saw might be debatable (depending on whether you think that a worker choosing a different type of employment = getting “dumped”), but I was curious to know if he had a source I hadn’t come across (other than his anecdotal observations).

        Do you have some evidence?

      • Oh, forgot this one Joshua:http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/090514-669013-obamacare-employer-mandate-a-list-of-cuts-to-work-hours-jobs.htm

        Also, spoke with close friend of mine who manages a local home health care provider in our area and he said because of the mandate, they are cutting workers back to part-time. Not anecdotal, just the facts.

      • Already fixed in their mindset? Do you have evidence?

      • And you Josh, like so many smug soundly insured do not find the turmoil my family was dragged through with premium double spikes and the threat of loss of plan, do you? You find it hard to believe, right?? that someone could just possibly disagree with the actual outcomes of this legislation, right?? Get your head out of the sand.

    • Jim D,

      What is it about the EPA you think is so important to perserve? The part where they violated their own internal processes in making the CO2 pollutant determination, per their own Inspector general? The part where they based their new mercury limits on one small population set , while ignoring the bulk of data available to them? The part where they set up private email accounts to get around FIA laws? Or maybe the part where they conspired with environmental activist groups to facilitate lawsuits against the agency.

      • One thing is for sure is that the GOP Congress will have all kinds of hearings on the EPA now, focusing on the EPA itself rather than the problems the EPA is set up to address. Yes, the GOP don’t like regulations on air and water, and this is a predictable move against an agency that is responsible for those. In the end it is just theater for their voters, and nothing happens, but at least it looks like they are at work.

      • Jim D,

        “Yes, the GOP don’t like regulations on air and water, …” is an extremely broad statement and almost as broadly incorrect.

        The problem some of us see with the EPA is that having addressed the problems for which it was chartered to address, it now is set on finding new areas to regulate. And in doing so, relying to an ever greater degree on dodgy methodologies and questionable data.

        Try doing some background investigation on how they came up with their mercury limits. Or how they reached the determination CO2 was a health hazard. You will not find a single study that correlates CO2 to any health problem. Note I said correlates, not causative, which is a much higher standard.

        Like any organizational entity, the EPA understands the need to grow their responsibilities in order to maintain position. Having clean air and clean water is not their purpose. Continued existence is. Leading to ever tighter regulatory mandates, with ever diminishing return benefits.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: focusing on the EPA itself rather than the problems the EPA is set up to address.

        We can hope so, that being one of the duties of Congress.

      • The EPA has served its purpose and should be eliminated by statute.

        Any “useful” aspects of the EPA (if any) can be enforced at the state level.

        This allows states to set standards that they feel are appropriate. If California wants perfection they can legislate it.

  7. It seems that Obama and possibly Hillary Clinton too, have adopted the war against climate change as the main theme for the 2016 election campaign. They think that this will reverse the 2014 election loss (for the D), and will bring them votes.

    • I think it awfully brave of renowned climate scientists to declare 2014 the hottest year in modern history when record lows have been recorded over the last 24 months.

      • If they are wrong, as is most likely, it won’t matter – the MSM will make sure of that

      • Agreed.

      • Bravery has nothing to do with it, “Hey the stars might lie, but the numbers never do”

        GISS will be between 0.644 and 0.665 above the 1951 to 1980 average for the 2014 metrological year (Dec to Nov) and the record is 0.672. Prediction is based on Nov coming in within the range of values for the 21st century in Nov.

        Needs the third warmest month in the record, not only the warmest Nov.

        For the calendar year, there is still a chance, GISS will be between 0.630 and 0.678 above the 1951 to 1980 average, with the record being 0.661, again the prediction is based on Nov and Dec coming in within the range of 21st century values.

        With an average nov and dec (average of the 21st century values) it will come in just shy of the record at 0.652.

        But they will just adjust February so that the year is a record

        You know with the jet stream doing its best space mountain imitation, cold records are bound to happen

      • But they will just adjust February so that the year is a record

        Why do you say this? They made a couple of adjustments lately that have lowered the monthly anomaly. September was .77C; now it’s .76C.

      • People forget, the year started off with a very cold winter. Land was at one point in 44th place.

      • So what? On this side of the pond we had a slightly warmer than normal autumn, but our summer was somewhat cooler than normal.

      • Seriously? Why do you care about an annual mean? Why not a running mean?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/mean:12

        Really – do we care about the surface record with it’s errors arising from latent heat at all.

  8. A forthcoming event at the George Marshall Institute lists the following energy policy issues for the new Congress to deal with:

    Re arranged in order of priority below

    * Regulatory impediments to energy development (especially remove the impediments to low cost nuclear power)
    * Federal subsidies of renewable energy. (scrap them and scrap all the distortions that favour renewables)
    * The state of U.S. energy infrastructure.
    * Maximizing the benefits of the shale revolution.
    * The future of the proposed Keystone pipeline.
    * U.S. oil and gas exports.
    * The implications of falling oil prices on policy issues

    • Mr. Lang, it may interest you to know that the federal program that loaned money to the now-defunct Solyndra is actually saying it will make a profit of 5 to 6 billion USD on the portfolio of loans that was funded to explore innovation in energy.

      It knew in advance that some of the loans would go south–just the way a VC knows that not every startup will be a Google or Facebook–but hey, a $5 or $6 billion profit isn’t bad overall…

      • ” is actually saying it will make a profit of 5 to 6 billion USD on the portfolio of loans ”
        And you believe them? Why?

      • Tom Fuller. Could you explain the point you are making please. I don’t understand what point you are making. Are you supporting the government imposed distortions on energy markets? Are you supporting regulations to favour renewables over other types of energy. Do you understand that renewables are not economically viable and unlikely to be except in small niche applications? Do you understand that renewables are not sustainable http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/ ? Do you understand that advocating for them and avoiding the debate on the only viable options to replace fossil fuels is delaying progress and has been doing so for 50 years?

      • Tom Fuller | November 17, 2014 at 7:09 am | Reply .
        “… the federal program that loaned money to the now-defunct Solyndra is actually saying it will make a profit of 5 to 6 billion USD on the portfolio of loans that was funded to explore innovation in energy.”

        People (in this case apparently a federal program) say a lot of things.
        Suggest you read “DOE Cooked the Books on Energy Loan” here
        http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2014/11/17/DOE-Cooked-Books-Report-Energy-Loans-Economist

      • “It knew in advance that some of the loans would go south”

        Did it also know that many of them would be utterly corrupt?

      • Kcom1,

        Of course. That was the whole point.

      • JCH,

        I saw nothing in the docment you linked to that supported Tom’s comment about a profit.

        I did note that several billion dollars worth of loans have been in support of nuclear generation, including over $8 billion for the two units under construction in Georgia.

  9. Some views from downunder:

    Maurice Newman on Obama’s deal with China: “… China has been beating the US at diplomatic poker for decades. Unlike Washington, Beijing operates quietly behind the scenes, always putting economic self-interest first. For example, on the UN Security Council where it has veto powers, Beijing frequently abstains. It leaves to Uncle Sam the unpopular role of global policeman and, while America becomes entwined in expensive and emotionally draining wars, China curries favour with Washington’s enemies and the unaligned.

    “When America’s foreign incursions and undisciplined fiscal policies at home result in the US Treasury running dry, China lends it money, subtly pushing up the US dollar in the process and selling more, even cheaper goods. Not only does Beijing buy US bonds but it invests in American industry. Chinese companies are global players with 100 now among the Fortune 500. And, while America’s gaze has been distracted by wars and “progressive” issues, China has been making massive investments in the Middle East, Africa, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, turning many mendicant states into de facto protectorates. …

    “… while Obama believes in more bureaucrats, regulators and social engineers, China is focused on smaller government and economic growth.
    “While Obama may have noble intent, his latest climate “deal” with China reveals faulty judgment and dangerous naivety. As The Wall Street Journal editorialised on Thursday, “The Chinese no doubt saw how much the President wanted an agreement and that he would accept nearly anything that could pass as one. Mr Xi must have been delighted to see a US President agree to make America less economically competitive in return for rhetorical bows to doing something some day about climate change.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/barack-obamas-loss-on-the-cards-in-chinese-poker/story-e6frg6zo-1227125017041

    Greg Sheridan: “Obama blindsided the Abbott government in Brisbane, pretty viciously. Through his remarks on climate changed, he has damaged the government politicially. … The damage may not be long-lasting because the US President’s remarks bore little relation to anything he can deliver or will do. Instead, they reprise the most ineffably capricious and inconsequential moments in the Obama presidency: grand gestures, soaring visions, which never actually get implemented in the real world.

    “Obama went out of his way to imply, in the most politically damaging fashion he could, that Australia’s efforts on climate change were negligible and compared poorly with America’s. In fact, Australia’s efforts on greenhouse gas reduction are almost identical with those of the US. As some American journalists observed, it is not a speech Obama would have given at home, where his authority is gone and nobody buys the moonshine any more. …

    “It is a dangerous thing to be an enemy of Obama’s. Apparently, it can be fatal to be his friend.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/with-friends-like-barack-obama-treatment-of-tony-abbott-capricious-and-reckless/story-e6frg76f-1227124970848

    • Faustino,
      Thanks you for those quotes. I reckon Obama’s speech to the University in Queensland were BS and just plain bad manners.

    • Brian G Valentine

      Evidently the only way to get on the wrong side of the Obama administration is to do or say something that could be interpreted as discounting AGW.

      Other than that, people can pretty much do as they like and not be branded as an “enemy” anyway.

      • “the only way to get on the wrong side of the Obama administration is to do or say something that could be interpreted as discounting AGW”

        The only way to get on the good side is to have a policy of publicly attacking the USA and/or Israel.

      • Brian – “people can pretty much do as they like and not be branded as an “enemy” anyway.”

        Wrong. Obama is a tough, bare-knuckled politician schooled in Chicago politics. You are either on his side or he and his minions and useful idiots will bury you. He is a divisive president.

      • Doc

        Right on. He was raised and educated by people who despised America. And his actions show that he learned well.

        Richard

    • China is good at playing diplomatic poker. Doesn’t really translate into much in the way of reality.

      China’s leadership has been running scared since Tienaman Square. They’re just as scared now as they were 20 years ago.

      But hey, they’re great at that diplomatic poker stuff…

      • “Diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.” – Zhou En Lai

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        pooh
        I’m pretty sure that’s a paraphrase of Clausewitz

      • “China’s leadership has been running scared since Tienaman Square.”

        Yes, Tibet, Falun Gong, Taiwan, Japan and these guys:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_dissidents

        are all celebrating the timidity of the Chinese Communists.

      • Indeed, Clausewitz had a quote very much like it.

      • The Clausewitz quote is reversed. “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” Zhou was being a witty communist.

      • Zhou was being a witty communist.

        Actually, he was paraphrasing something Sun Tsu said, I don’t remember exactly where. But he was also being very perceptive.

        “War” has had many meanings, most of them involving organized violence, although there’s always a sort of fuzzy fringe of not-quite-violent metaphores. In von Clausewitz’s time, “war” within the framework of European tradition (not counting Guerrilla actions) actually was a continuation of the power/status struggle represented by “diplomacy”.

        But for Joe (Zhou), the “war” he was referring to was a sinicized version of Marx’s “class war”, a contest dedicated to total obliteration of the enemy. Much more like Clausewitz’s “absolute war”, which he introduced as a “reductio ad absurdam” relative to the Western/European tradition of war.

        I would loosely define the difference as between trying to impose your will on the “enemy”, and entirely obliterating the enemy (no quotes) so as to enjoy existence without them. The former, AFAIK, can always be traced back, culturally, to contest for power within an organized front with more “absolute” external enemies: Thus the system of nation-states of (Western) Europe evolved from among non-national polities that made up a cultural horizon with far more destructive external enemies, especially Islam.

        Because those within that organized front depend on their opponents in that internal power struggle for mutual defense against the external enemies, strict rules and limits tend to be imposed, primarily by “neutrals” whose primary incentive is to preserve the war-making capacities of both sides.

        Beginning with the French Revolution, this system began to break down, because idealistic defenders of the “oppressed” classes considered them natural allies to outsiders being systematically defeated and colonized by the ascendant “Western” religious/military/cultural horizon.

        Joe’s version of “war” derives from that revolution.

        IMO.

      • Umm, GaryM, the Chinese government is not running scared because of the Philippines, Vietnam, or even the U.S.

        They’re afraid of their own people.

      • Umm, Tom Fuller, the Chinese Communists are imprisoning and killing their people even now. They are so terrified of their people that they crushed them at Tianenman and have not stopped since.

    • Faustino – stop the doses of reality. It does not work on the liberal mind.

  10. Brian G Valentine

    It has been painful for me to witness so many people get sucked into this AGW silliness over the past 20 years.

    Although, it is been part of human nature for ever for people’s brains to get soft especially when they need to blame somebody for something.

  11. Over at the UK’s “Bishop Hill” blog Andrew Montford has posted an excellent short article by Labor’s Lord Donoughue which even though the article is UK based, has quite a bearing on the psychology that drives the way in which individuals and collectives of Congress members will vote;

    Climate change and the Left.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/11/15/climate-change-and-the-left.html

    As many skeptics have noted and maintained for a long time, belief in the former “Global warming” until that didn’t materialize in any promised and predicted and threatening form, a point from where it then morphed into “Climate Change”. a standard characteristic of the global climate since the planet formed. is based on the need of a particular psychological trait that needs the assurance of ” belonging ” to and being a part of an important and morally superior grouping compared to all those despicable unbelievers, those skeptics out there who are intent on just exploiting the scarce resources of our Mother Earth regardless of the consequences.

    In short, beliefs and how the Congress members vote doesn’t have much relevance or connection at all to any science.
    _____________
    As Lord Donoughue suggests and to quote;

    “With the collapse of Marxism, there was created a vacuum on the left. Those seeking an ideological faith to cling on to for moral certainty, felt bereft. They also wanted a faith which again gave them a feeling of still pursuing the common good of society, especially the new global society, and even more a feeling of moral superiority, which is a characteristic of many middle and professional types on the left. Climate change and the moral common good of saving the planet , with its claimed scientific certainties, offered to fill the vacuum. It may or may not be a coincidence that the climate change faith gained momentum in the 1990s immediately after Marxism collapsed with the Berlin Wall”.
    ________________________

    And in case you think any of this from both sides of the aisle doesn’t apply to you personally refer back to Dr Curry’s post, two posts back, on the mentalities of the players in this game.

    “We are all confident idiots”

  12. histrionics from Sen. Whitehouse. From the article:

    We everywhere see the harm carbon pollution is causing. We see it all around us, in storm-damaged homes and flooded cities; in drought-stricken farms and raging wildfires; in fish disappearing from warming, acidifying waters; in shifting habitats and migrating contagions. These changes carry real economic costs to homeowners, business owners, and taxpayers. And they come as a result of carbon pollution.

    The financial burden borne by people living in a changing climate is known as the “social cost of carbon.” It is the sum total of costs like property loss from sea level rise, the increased cost of treating mosquito-borne diseases, and loss from heat waves, drought, and other extreme weather. A recent study of the economic risks posed by climate change showed that sea level rise, for instance, will inundate up to $100 billion of U.S. real estate by mid-century. That is part of the social cost of carbon.

    Scientists and economists will tell you that some costs of climate change are hard to quantify. How do you calculate the cost of an extinct species? What does it cost to leave future generations with warmer, more acidic, less bio-diverse oceans? It is hard to price it all out, but the costs are still real.

    I work alongside Republican Senators who represent historic native villages, now washing into the rising sea. We have Republican Senators who represent great American coastal cities, now overwashed by high tides. We have Republican Senators representing states swept by drought and wildfire. We have Republican Senators whose home-state forests—by the hundreds of square miles—are being killed by the marauding pine beetle. We have Republican Senators whose home states’ glaciers are disappearing. We have Republican Senators whose states are having to jack up bridges and highways above the reach of intensifying storm surges.

    http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/sen-whitehouse-speech-at-nyu-institute-for-policy-integrity-fall-conference

  13. The easiest way to stop the Presidential pen is with the budget (which has not been passed since 2009 BTW). Congress could vote to defund the EPA and pink-slip everyone there until the Democrats realise that when they stated ‘elections have consequences’, they were right.
    The idea that the President can overrule existing law and Congress is laughable.

    • I’ve heard this argued, but I’m not persuaded. A decision to de-fund is not an act that removes the EPA’s statutory authority. As such, there is nothing to stop the EPA from continuing along its present course, except for the tendency of the EPA’s employees to wander off and do something else when they stop paying them. But that is a problem easily combated by the political left–just promise to retroactively reinstate their pay, and set up a fund to give them loans until that happens. And that assumes that the government itself actually stops spending the money when Congress tells them too–I’m not even sure that would happen. It might, but the whole thing looks to me like a Constitutional crisis, the results of which are as hard to predict as the climate.

      • It doesn’t remove statutory authority – but it does remove statutory enforcers.

        Where there is no patrol car there is no speed limit.

  14. This thread mixes science and politics (nothing new there).
    But it touches on something much deeper and more fundamental, the role of the executive branch in the US constitutional tripartite federal government system. No matter ones view of the science of climate change, one ought to be very concerned by Obama’s usurpation of the legislative branch.
    Is fly ash disposal safety a legitimate pollution concern? Absolutely. Stuff is toxic. Breathe it, you at best will develop COPD. It can pollute water, killing anything therein. Van it be disposed of safely? Sure, into road concrete and cement block–but at a properly legislated regulatory ‘cost’. Is CO2 emission? Absolutely not, under the governing CCA as written. See essays Clean Coal and Carbon Pollution in ebook Blowing Smoke.
    ‘Perverse’ executive branch results through contorted ‘false’ endangerment fact findings. And the third branch, the courts, are obligated to accept such ‘ facts’ as givens, ruling only on the fact finding process prescribed by regulatory law (so EPA had the hearings ( but decided before hand who was ‘heard’) responded to comments (choosing to what to respond), and found the predetermined endangering ‘facts’ despite all the certain and uncertain science to the contrary). A total warmunist perversion.

    Down this path lies Lysenkoism. And warmunists (essay Climatastrosophistry) already practice those tactics. Analogy thanks to Vaclav Klaus’ book Blue Planet in Green Chains, which first made the CAGW/Communism analogy. Former President of the Czech Republic. Knows from personal experience whereof he speaks.

    • Lysenko! Everybody drink!

      Also, Rud, nice name-calling.

      Say, Rud – read any good books lately? Perhaps one with chapters?

      • Joshua, we know that you believe yourself to be intelligent, well read and in good moral standing, but that does not mean that people with a different view to yourself are unintellegent, ill-read and immoral. You suffer from a highly virulent social disease, and the comparison to the Soviet view of greater good to the ’cause’, is very apt. Lysenkoism is an historical fact and it was driven by people, like you, who believed that science needed to serve some social aim, rather than being a philosophy designed to understand the way the contents of the universe function.

      • This is beautiful, Doc.

        “that does not mean that people with a different view to yourself are unintellegent, ill-read and immoral. ”

        and

        “Lysenkoism is an historical fact and it was driven by people, like you,”

        I love you boyz. Absolutely hilarious.

      • Joshua, persevere in the hope that one day they will get a combination that works for you. Then you will no longer have thoughts that meander like cracks through glass and instead you will comprehend the meaning of texts you read and be able to analyse what is presented, rather than imagined.

      • It’s a full on Lysenko thread today.

        Such an outpouring of alarmism from the ‘skeptics’.

        Gotta love the e-saloon.

      • Projection!

      • So after getting repeatedly bashed for his long winded “motivated reasoning” posts and juvenile hair pulling of Judith, Josh switches tactics and goes with drive by mud slinging.

        You’re a clown Josh. And not a very good one.

    • Curious George

      Actually, it mixes religion as well – at this time, a belief in a settled science is only a religious belief. As warmists exaggerate shamelessly, some skeptics are driven to an opposite extreme. Both extremes are only a dream.

      I wish the new Congress and the Administration a good interpreter of dreams. So far, no side has anybody remotely resembling Joseph.

    • ==> “No matter ones view of the science of climate change, one ought to be very concerned by Obama’s usurpation of the legislative branch.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders

      Methinks that Rud’s concern may just be a bit…um….er…uh…selective?

      • Joshua, where are all the human embryonic stem cell lines and cures for all manner of diseases that Obama’s pen was supposed to usher in?

      • Probably got waylayed by political expediency, Doc. Shocker, I know, that politics would get waylayed by political expediency. Must be because of warmunism/warmistas/communim/alarmism/religiouszealotry/eco-naz*ism/lysenkois/empirialpresidency/denial/extremweatherdenialism/fullofthemselvesism/perverision/semidetachism/notwantingtoleadthewesternworldism/beinggelded/beingunderassault/irrationality/utopianism

      • Joshua

        There are executive orders that are constitutional and there are executive orders that are unconstitutional. Obama has stepped over the line when overriding laws that are on the books; he is creating a constitutional crisis. This is the message from Jonathan Turley, law professor at Georgetown and highly regarded constitutional lawyer.

        Richard

      • rls –

        ==> “There are executive orders that are constitutional and there are executive orders that are unconstitutional. ”

        Excellent point. Those I agree with are constitutional. Those I disagree with are not constitutional.

        Of course, that’s just coincidence, of course

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

    just heard great new term…

    “Climate Grubering”

  16. Shouldn’t there also be more emphasis to solve the unknowns of clouds and oceans?

    Richard

  17. What do you most want in order;
    1) Cure for cancer
    2) Cure for Alzheimer’s
    3) Cure for Parkinson’s
    4) Reduction in global temperature

  18. 39 comments:

    – Denial is not a river in Egypt.
    – ineffective semi detached President
    – I doubt he believes that the US should lead the western world
    – t Clinton is just as full of herself… Obama still has two years in which to waffle and delay doesn’t he?
    – we have a crisis of leadership…we are being gelded by “progressive” ideology
    – nation state identity is under assault…most of the educated elite here see American leadership as an anathema
    – progressives, and Obama is most definitely one, dream of a global citizen utopia
    – CAGW alarmists
    – if alarmist get their way,
    – Climate Change is urgent and dangerous,..because of .. what will happen with alarmists fixes
    – the Left oppose economically rational policy …their advocacy for irrational policies …
    – warmunist perversion…. Lysenkoism. …CAGW/Communism
    – As warmists exaggerate…

    Impressive list for such a short thread. I believe that the pejorative, tribalism, and finger-pointing is significantly above the Climate Etc. average.

    • Joshua

      It is, after all, a post about politics, but you are probably correct. You are now the devil’s advocate. Somebody has to do it!

      • Justin –

        It’s possible to have views about the politics related to decision-making in the face of uncertainty without labeling hundreds of millions of people with pejoratives – simply because they have a different take than you about decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

      • Justin

        Those 39 comments were Joshua’s best, and far superior to any of John Carter’s Tomb’s.

        Richard

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I made the list 3 times
        :)
        all completely accurate, irrefutable declarations BTW

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        oops…
        4 times
        I think I win

      • Joshua

        You are absolutely correct. Civil discourse, personal reflection, and serious consideration of the ideas of others is the way it go. After all, we skeptics, and I am a skeptic, should be especially skeptical of our own beliefs.

      • Joshua | November 16, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        It’s possible to have views about the politics related to decision-making in the face of uncertainty without labeling hundreds of millions of people with pejoratives – simply because they have a different take than you about decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

        Yes, Jane, I agree with you girl, everybody should just put those pejoratives between “quotation marks”, like you, then all is wel, right?

      • The problem with uncertainty and the precautionary principle is shown by an actual example:

        You might slip in the shower, you might fall down the stairs, you might slip in the shower, you might choke on breakfast, you might slip on the sidewalk, you might have an accident on your way to work.

        If you apply the precautionary principle to your daily life, you don’t get out of bed in the morning.

        The precautionary principle is an absurd way to justify policy.

      • The first point was supposed to be “You might trip getting out of bed”.

        “Sigh”.

      • PA, adding CO2 is a deliberate act. It can’t be compared with chance accidents. It is more like you might get lung cancer if you smoke, or you might get a heart attack if you eat too much fat.

      • Jim D | November 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        PA, adding CO2 is a deliberate act. It can’t be compared with chance accidents. It is more like you might get lung cancer if you smoke, or you might get a heart attack if you eat too much fat

        I expel about 40,000 PPM of CO2. Calling it a deliberate act is beyond ridiculous.

        CO2 makes plants grow better with less water. Restriction of CO2 makes as much sense as reducing fresh water supplies or charging people for oxygen use.

        We should be giving CO2 emitters a tax credit not punishing and harassing them.

        Calling CO2 pollution is stupid, silly, ignorant and a first step to justifying massive depopulation measures. And besides – it is unfeasible to impose a carbon tax on all the little wild animals and forest fires.

      • David Springer

        Joshua | November 16, 2014 at 9:05 pm |

        “It’s possible to have views about the politics related to decision-making in the face of uncertainty without labeling hundreds of millions of people with pejoratives”

        On an anonymous open blog? Not likely.

      • PA, you seem to be one of the people who can’t make the distinction between bio CO2 and fossil CO2, as regards the effects on climate. Maybe another skeptic can take you aside and explain it for you before you continue to argue along those lines.

      • PA | November 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm |

        The problem with uncertainty and the precautionary principle is shown by an actual example:
        You might slip in the shower,”

        Non-slip surfaces.

        ” you might fall down the stairs”

        Handrails, anti-slip surfaces.

        “you might have an accident on your way to work.”

        Road rules, speed cameras, air-bags, seat-belts, car design, helmets.

        “If you apply the precautionary principle to your daily life, you don’t get out of bed in the morning.
        The precautionary principle is an absurd way to justify policy.”.

        The problem with ‘skepticism’ is shown by this example.

      • Justin,

        Joshua is only his own advocate.

        Joshua,

        Your fake concerning is touching. In a PITA sort of way.

    • Joshua’s ironic (unintended) refrain. Cretinous, scumbag deniers calling ‘hundred of millions’ of morally and intellectually superior progressives names is hypocritical and morally repugnant.

      He imagines it’s rational – God love him.

  19. And here’s the latest Saturday Night Jive skit from Sen. Comedian:

    Franken began by reminding colleagues that scientists are their best allies. “Scientists are the people who gave us antibiotics, for example,” he said. “Do you like being able to use antibiotics? Well, then, thank scientists.”

    If we are to progress as a country, he told senators, “we better put science right at the center of our decision-making. Yet, right now, foundations and think tanks funded by the fossil fuel industry are spreading misinformation about the integrity of climate science.” Franken said that “Ignoring or flat out contradicting what climate scientists are telling us about the warming climate and the warming planet can lead to really bad decisions on national energy and environmental policies here in Congress.”

    One famous email from climate scientist Phil Jones referred to his using climate scientist Michael Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years to hide the decline.” Deniers claimed that showed scientists were trying to “trick” the public and “hide the decline” in world temperatures, a claim many media outlets parroted uncritically.

    “That sounds very bad,” said Franken. “Trick’ and ‘hide the decline.’ That went viral in the conservative media — evidence that the scientific consensus on climate change was a giant hoax. We had a member of this body who said the science behind this consensus ‘is the same science that, through climategate, has been totally rebuffed and is no longer legitimate, either in reality or in the eyes of the American people and the people around the world.'”

    But Franken pointed out that by using Mann’s “trick” Jones meant he was going to use the most accurate data available.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-lawrence-otto/franken-whitehouse-expose_b_1159025.html

  20. Barbara Boxer gets Boxed in …

    “This is climate change. We were warned about extreme weather. Not just hot weather. But extreme weather. When I had my hearings, when I had the gavel years ago. -It’s been a while – the scientists all agreed that what we’d start to see was extreme weather. And people looked at one another and said ‘what do you mean? It’s gonna get hot?’ Yeah, it’s gonna get hot. But you’re also going to see snow in the summer in some places. You’re gonna have terrible storms. You’re going to have tornados and all the rest. We need to protect our people. That’s our number one obligation and we have to deal with this threat that is upon us and that is gonna get worse and worse though the years.”

    [Boxer] also plugged her own bill, cosponsored with Sen. Bernie Sanders that would put a tax on carbon. “Carbon could cost us the planet,” she said. “The least we could do is put a little charge on it so people move to clean energy.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/21/stunning-ignorance-on-display-from-barbara-boxer-over-tornado-outbreak/

    • Disgraceful. Even the lefty San Francisco Chronicle wouldn’t endorse her last Senate candidacy, and that is bad.

    • Brian G Valentine

      Evidently the idea that there might be a finite limit to the amount that welfare payments could be increased to pay for higher energy prices never occurred to her. Especially since wind and solar generate “revenue” that can only be interpreted with a negative sign in front of it.

  21. Anyone tell me why incandescent light bulbs were banned, causing a switch to mercury containing fluorescent units, when the administration knew that high luminescent LED’s were half a decade away from out performing both technologies?

    • The mercury from coal is more well controlled than all the mercury flooding the environment from those thousands of broken fluorescent lamps. What hypocrisy!

    • My thought too, I have a stock of unused and superseded fluorescents. And I had one explode in my face when I plugged it in, at a time when I was not aware of the mercury risk. (Stupid? I wasn’t at home, I was in a large kitchen with two lights off the same switch; one was working, one not. When I fetched the fluoro, the second bulb was off as I’d left it. It appears that while I was out of the room, someone switched the lights on, the second bulb blew, they didn’t switch it off – the one I was replacing was some distance from the switch.)

  22. Barack Obama, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton are embarrassments.

    The “scientists” (John Holdren in particular), that feed them the warmunist bulls…t that they spout, are contemptible.

    Let’s hope that the Republicans can rise to the occasion and keep this ship off the rocks.

  23. Sadly, the Republicans can do very little. Several years ago, in a case called Massachusetts vs USEPA, the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 was a pollutant covered by the Clean Air Act (CAA). Note that the EPA of the time, when George Bush was President, did not want to regulate. Massachusetts, and nine other “progressive” states wanted CO2 regulated and they won. President Bush couldn’t stop them then, a Republican House and Senate can’t stop them now, and a future Republican president, if and when there is such a president, won’t be able to stop them either. If the left overreaches far enough, and perhaps they will, perhaps a Republican House, a filibuster-proof Republican majority in the Senate, and a Republican President will all be elected at once. In that case, the CAA could be amended. Short of that, we’re stuck.

    • > the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 was a pollutant covered by the Clean Air Act (CAA)

      It is my likely incomplete understanding of this Supreme Court ruling that a single, cherry-picked by the EPA, judge made the ruling

      Is there here a better informed person who can give the actual fact, please ?

      • The issue was whether the EPA was justified (in law) for refusing to regulate CO2.

        Justice Stevens. “MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL.,” April 2, 2007. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf.

        Page 04, 05 (Syllabus): #3. Because greenhouse gases fit well within the (Clean Air) Act’s capacious definition of “air pollutant,” EPA has statutory authority to regulate emission of such gases from new motor vehicles. That definition— which includes “any air pollution agent . . . , including any physical,chemical, . . . substance . . . emitted into . . . the ambient air . . . ,” §7602(g) (emphasis added)—embraces all airborne compounds of whatever stripe.

        …”EPA identifies nothing suggesting that Congress meant to curtail EPA’s power to treat greenhouse gases as air pollutants.

        SCALIA, J. (Dissenting, Page 10 footnote 2): Not only is EPA’s interpretation reasonable, it is far more plausible than the Court’s alternative. As the Court correctly points out, “all airborne compounds of whatever stripe,” ante, at 26, would qualify as “physical, chemical, . . . substance[s] or matter which [are] emitted into or otherwise ente[r] the ambient air,” 42 U. S. C. §7602(g). It follows that everything airborne, from Frisbees to flatulence, qualifies as an “air pollutant.” This reading of the statute defies common sense.

      • The root cause of our present distress is sloppy law-making. CO2 is a GHG. Since GHG were classified as “pollutants”, CO2 inherited that label.
        So, take a deep breath and exhale. You are now a polluter.

    • They could defund or eliminate the EPA. problem is, that would take real courage – not a characteristic witnessed in the republican party in the recent past.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Barnes: They could defund or eliminate the EPA.

        They could pass a law declaring CO2 not to be a “pollutant” within the meaning of the statute. The House has already held hearings and the case that CO2 is dangerous is full of holes. This could be done quickly, then they could vote to override the veto. There is a long list of small things that they could do whose cumulative impact, on policy and on the next election, would be substantial.

  24. “It’s going to get harder for EPA,” she said. “With Jim Inhofe as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I think what they’re going to do is starve the agency.”

    You think?
    Obama has made this a near certainty- yes starve as, in EPA, is bye, bye.

    Federal EPA will be history trivia question.
    Which recent agency over reached it’s authority and was ended?
    Maybe it will be, what was the first agency in the 21 century which over reach it’s authority and was eliminated by Congress?

      • Well I suppose it depends upon the investigations. Or it depends upon whether we get some kind of flat tax [which requires less IRS]..

      • The simplest part of the tax code is the part where you take a percentage times your taxable income. What part of the IRS does that eliminate?

      • But I think it’s more morally responsible, to first investigate EPA in regard to evidence that as government body it committed war crimes:
        http://junkscience.com/2014/04/01/epa-medical-schools-complicit-in-unethical-and-immoralillegal-human-experiments/

      • “The simplest part of the tax code is the part where you take a percentage times your taxable income. What part of the IRS does that eliminate?”
        Well the alleged unethical behavior of IRS was in selective process in regards to non tax status of political groups.
        A flat tax “should” or “could” eliminate all tax exemptions.
        So, therefore is not longer something adjudicated by IRS, and therefore not possibility of executive or political party to be a corruptible influence upon the agency.

        Plus another aspect of IRS, no one [including the IRS] has certainty in regards to very complicated tax code. If simplify the tax code [and to me that seems like best ideas related to flat tax] you still may need accountants but not tax accountants.

      • You will most definitely will still need tax accountants. The war is over a percentage – simple whether one, two, or 100’s – times WHAT (the war i dover WHAT).

      • Some of the comments on the flat tax are just irresponsible.

        Taxes are used as a tool of social/economic policy – which is why they are so complicated.

        A flat tax return form would be 1 page.

        Line 7 Gross Income
        Line 8 Multiply line 7 by 0.17 (17%).
        Line 9 Enter amount from line 8 TAXES DUE _________

      • Seattle is considering a new tax on millionaires. They note that the very rich pay a lower percentage of their income than the middle class. And this is with a “progressive” tax structure.

        Apparently they are not bright enough to realize how a flat tax rate would fix that problem. In fact, if done correctly – establishing personal deduction levels at a high enough number – they can truly provide tax relief to the lower and middle income brackets and put into place a fair and equitable tax structure.

      • This would cause an exodus, and is profoundly misguided:

        A flat tax return form would be 1 page.

        Line 7 Gross Income
        Line 8 Multiply line 7 by 0.17 (17%).
        Line 9 Enter amount from line 8 TAXES DUE _________

      • An example would be my father, who typically grossed around 1.9 million as a sole practitioner. 17% of his gross income would exceed his net income.

        You have tax accountants to calculate net (taxable) income.

    • Who exactly is going to regulate pollution that crosses state borders under your scenario?

      • You assume as most blind idealogues that regulation is necessary. Cross state polution is just another boogey- man non-issue invented by the left.

  25. ‘Well, Xi’s cat is a good one. It seems to have effortlessly caught three mice at once. It has signed a meaningless agreement to the rapturous acclaim of the world’s climate cheerleaders, desperately wanting to build momentum ahead of the Lima and Paris conferences next year. It has potentially inflicted harm and slower growth on the US economy and ensured renewed hostilities between the Obama administration and the new majority Republican lawmakers, when the American people had hoped that political gridlock was behind them.

    Agreement or no agreement, for China it will be business as usual. But for the US it will mean working out how to cut its emissions by 26 per cent below 2005 levels without slashing coal-fired electricity output by 75 per cent by 2025. Senator James Inhofe, who is likely to chair the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, has called the deal “a non-binding charade. The American people spoke against the President’s climate policies in the last election. They want affordable energy and more economic opportunity,” he said. House majority leader John Boehner suggested he would move legislation to further limit President Obama’s ability to deliver the emission cuts he promised.

    At home, the Labor Party, the Greens, the media and academics herald this non-deal as a triumph. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the agreement was “historic and ambitious” and claimed, “At the G20 this week Australia will hold the embarrassing title of being the only nation going backwards on climate change.”

    Really? Rather the Abbott government is displaying real leadership, insight and backbone in calling this agreement what it is — one that neither signatory will honour.’ https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/16/climateenergy-policy-and-the-gop-congress/#comment-648191

    So has Obama insulted a close ally and undermined our political process in the service of a deal that gave away the US silverware in return for a mess of substance-less PR opportunities

    Australia is in fact one of the few countries in the developed world that met and exceeded considerably our Kyoto targets. We did so on the back of a consistently and strongly growing economy. We have just committed a further $2.5B to carbon auctions – contracts for the biggest bang for the buck carbon mitigation. This is on top of support for energy research and for regional forestry management initiatives. The other summit we have hosted this month is the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit. In contrast the US has exceeded substantially it’s Kyoto quota and succeeded only in stuffing the global economy. Which Abbott – btw – did his best to put back on track in the G20.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/rain-forest-summit

    I have had very little opinion on Obama – apart from on the important symbolism of a black president – but on the performance this weekend he seems to have pissed on the reputation of a friend and sold out America for a mess of non-committments from an enemy. With friends like this it is lucky that the big news in Australia is the new free trade deal with China.

  26. Having long been involved in shared decision making processes, including, and especially including, life and death situations, I can attest to the angst one feels, not in being wrong, rather; what is the next step, I, or more apt, we are going to take. In the emergent circumstance, the decision making process is quite vertical as it should be. When there is a little bit more time, then, quick consultation with those present; i.e., all stake-holders: go, no go. When there is even more time, then consultation with stake-holders including those who view the situation much differently would seem to be the next step in the process for making a decision.

    What the Catastrophists have done is to turn climate change into an immediate decision process. Time is of the essence. The time constraints are so acute, that the vertical, absolutists, and frankly those in power are to make game changing decisions including those decisions that effect the vast majority of citizens.

    What is wrong with the climate change debate as it is currently iterated is: immediacy. The disconnect for citizenry, we have to do something immediately to forestall something that may take place a 100 years from now. The disconnect, immediate pain and suffering for some vague futuristic consequence which we cannot clearly define, but we are told by those in the know, will happen, because we are relying on computer models.

    Does anyone, I mean anyone understand why this message doesn’t make sense to the public? The problem is the message itself, not in the messaging.

    When making decisions with imperfect information, the issue of time must be in the equation. The only ones seeing climate change as an immediate decision process, are the Catastrophists, no better than the bearded man in long white robe carrying a sign on the city sidewalk, The End Is Near.

    Believe him at your peril.

    • ==> “The End Is Near.”

      Indeed. Lysenkism. Communism. Alarmism. Religious zealotry. Utopianism. Contemptibleness. Catastrophism. People who don’t care about Ebola. And perhaps worst of all, the end of incandescent light bulbs.

      Can anyone doubt that the end is near now that we’ve lost incandescent light bulbs?

      • And the next hysterical environmental alarm will be about mercury accumulation in our landfills due to disposing of too many florescents.

      • ==> “And the next hysterical environmental alarm will be about mercury accumulation in our landfills due to disposing of too many florescents.

        Right.

        In 2006, coal-fired power plants produced 1,971 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity, emitting 50.7 tons of mercury into the air—the equivalent amount of mercury contained in more than 9 billion CFLs (the bulbs emit zero mercury when in use or being handled).

        Approximately 0.0234 mg of mercury—plus carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide—releases into the air per 1 kwh of electricity that a coal-fired power plant generates. Over the 7500-hour average range of one CFL, then, a plant will emit 13.16 mg of mercury to sustain a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only 3.51 mg of mercury to sustain a 20-watt CFL (the lightning equivalent of a 75-watt traditional bulb). Even if the mercury contained in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute 4.65 more milligrams of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.

        So they’ll be protesting in alarm about the reduction in mercury. Makes a lotta sense.

      • I did not say that it would make sense – I doubt the liberal mind is capable of sensible thought. Being detatched from reality is far more evident.

      • ==> “I did not say that it would make sense ”

        Nice duck. You stepped in it, dude. Man up.

      • Everyone that gets 7500 hours out of a CFLB raise your hand.

        Anyone? Want to know why?

        Fluorescent bulbs work best if not cycled often. So they are tested with 3 hour on 20 minute off cycles generally. If you test with 20 minute on 20 minute off, they don’t last as long.

        http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/conservation/are-compact-fluorescent-lightbulbs-really-cheaper-over-time

      • Joshua – read harder. My point is that liberals will leap to any cause if there is some perceived harm to the environment regardless of how irrational. Their ignorance can generally be readily displayed as when activists were all too willing to sign a petition banning dihydrogen monoxide.

      • Barnes –

        You had your chance to man up. Too bad you didn’t take it.

      • Cap’n –

        Now’s your chance to man up. Do cfls increase mercury in the environment? What will you do?

      • Joshua, “Now’s your chance to man up. Do cfls increase mercury in the environment? What will you do?”

        Depending on the bulb use, yes CFLB would generate more mercury. If used properly, that would be for longer on times, they would save energy and reduce mercury, until the new mercury limits are enforced, then there is absolutely no reason to consider CFLB other than a small energy savings. Basically, CFLB impact is just another example of engineering optimism aka slick sales pitch versus engineering reality. I imagine you sucked up that overly optimistic BS pretty quickly, didncha?

        If you read the link, they ignored installation and disposal plus they were a bit generous with the expected life. Try the spreadsheet out for yourself and use that famous critical thinking of yours.

      • Coal ash has low levels of metals – most of which is not bioavailable. Nowhere near a level that would be of concern in urban soils.

        Most coal ash is reused in long lived products in the US. It is a useful and cheap resource.

      • Joshua – you had your chance to gain a smidgeon of credibility, but once again you blew it. What group do you think becomes irrationaly hysterical over any perceived harm to the environment? Why don’t you go read up on the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide and report back in the morning. http://Www.dhmo.org.

      • David Springer

        Coal fired power plants don’t concentrate mercury in one spot (landfills) where it leaches into the water table. That happens when people throw CFL light bulbs into the trash. Someone needs to man up but it isn’t CD or Barnes.

      • Josh, why do you quote mercury emission from 2006?
        You must be surely aware that emission of Mercury from US power stations have been cut following modern EPA regulations?

    • The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.
      http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      Climate changes have been minor – undetectable against the background of vigorous natural variability. Despite rampant climate alarmist narratives passing as overweeningly confident interpretations of ‘The Science’. The question remains – what are rational policy decisions under great uncertainty and pressing social and economic need? The answer seems overwhelmingly obvious – although the neo-socialist left remains belligerently oblivious due to what is probably tofu brain poisoning. Something for which Joshua is perhaps the great exemplar – God love him.

  27. “My main hope is that the 114th Congress will become more functional, and actually put legislation on the President’s desk so that some progress can perhaps be made on some of the energy and climate issues where robust policy options have been identified that make sense independently of whether or not climate change is an urgent or dangerous problem.”

    Not going to happen.
    Obama was a lame duck, and now he is making it, duck season.

    • Stephen Segrest

      gbaikie — What are the robust policy options (other than infrastructure to adapt) that have been identified?

      • You’ll have to ask Judith Curry. The quote is hers.

      • I would say better fuel and energy efficiency standards, because we see that a reduction in demand also reduces prices, and the same could happen for coal. Investment in renewable energy technology, including storage methods, for businesses to better compete in the world as global energy moves out of the fossil-fuel age. Investment in non-fossil transportation fuel and technologies. Lots can be done to prepare for the coming fossil demise, and to give the US a head-start in needed technologies.

  28. As part of my new undertaking to do “studies” by counting frivolous things and then make the studies “indicate” stuff:

    Only once has the word “tackle” been used in this post, and that was by tonyb who was talking about tackling real life problems.

    So nobody has talked about tackling climate change or tackling climate.

    I believe this is encouraging, because you can thresh and lunge away all you like but the climate just does whatever it was going to do. Unless you are Mt Laki or Tambora maybe, and even then you only get to muck about with things briefly.

    I shall do further research on aspirations to “mitigate” and “stabilise” the climate. I find these ideas odd because the climate has never been stable and has pretty well always sucked – though it sucks slightly less during brief warm bumps in the brief Holocene.

    I suspect that mitigating and stabilising will be a lot like tackling, if politer. Trillions will be spent and nothing will happen. This may be a good thing, because so far nobody has been able to find a point in the past when climate was much bloody chop. (The frittering of trillions, of course, may not be a good thing.)

    • Moso’s past and present meet in a perfect storm of ‘rugby’ metaphors. Rugby is of course the game played by the upper classes in snotty nosed private schools – when they are not dressed in ‘whites’ and ‘knocking for six’ a hard leather ball. The former involves ‘tackling’ and makes a man of boys and the latter is summed up by the terms ‘playing cricket’ or ‘playing with a straight bat’. Something about being scrupulous, honest and forthright – while buggering the lower forms in an annex after lights out.

      His present of course involves a cover story of growing commercially worthless woody weeds in the heart of Australia’s golden ‘couch’ triangle. Hence the delusional ideation, the horribly mixed sporting metaphors and the fixation on colored jellies. It’s an occupational hazard.

      Frankly – it is a long slow decline into genteel eccentricity such as we see in the scions of impoverished gentry. A stark and sad post modernist contrast to the glory days of the Empire when the future was something to be stamped British made. After all – what is a climate that we can’t make ours?

  29. One should first discard the canard evident in the following quote from Politico:

    With so much action rolling through the pipeline, Republicans will have to choose their battles carefully if they want to make headway while proving they can govern.

    As Jay Rosen, no Tea Partier / Republican / conservative he, points out:
    The alternative to “show you can govern” is to keep President Obama from governing. Right? Keep him from accomplishing what he wants to get done in his final two years and then “go to the country,” as Karl Rove used to say, with a simple message: time for a change! (Read the whole thing to get a sense of what Rosen finds objectionable in the media’s reporting of the aftermath of the recent election.)

    While it seems that the media can focus on only one or two stories at a time, each of the House and Senate committees can focus on the executive branch’s various agencies and devise budgetary and other countermeasures.

    For example, the EPA has not followed the law in developing many of the regulations it is implementing, giving the Congress ample justification to defund enforcement mechanisms while preparing legislation to overturn or scale back the regs, Because the EPA refuses to release or publish what it claims to be the supporting data, its rule-making authority is diminished and will likely eventually be overthrown in the courts.

    It’s clear to all that the Republican House can just about pass whatever it wants, but many argue that without 60 votes, the Senate will still be an obstacle. That ignores two possibilities:
    1.) Seven or more Democrats may find merit in this bill or that,
    2.) The House bill can include spending authorization, meaning that the Senate can pass it with a simple majority (51 votes) via reconciliation.

    Is it possible that the GOP will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Certainly, but not in all cases. The session has not yet begun, so there’s plenty for the speculators to speculate over.

    Let the games begin!

    • If the Republicans keep the incredibly destructive socialist/progressive in the White House from doing more damage to the country they will have accomplished much and will deserve high praise.

      Even if you can’t get the country out of a hole it is a sign of progress if you stop the digging.

  30. If Landrieu is any example, even some Democrats will actually vote for what actually benefits the nation and all Americans and all of humanity that long to see the beacon on the horizon lighting the path to personal liberty.

  31. From the article:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/quote-of-the-week-5-waxmans-stunningly-stupid-statement/

    • David Springer

      Same guy who thought the island in the pacific was going to capsize if they built a military base on one side of it? Or maybe just a brother by another mother?

      • I think it’s a different guy, but not certain.

        There is more than enough stupid to go around in Congress. Waxman simply has garnered a larger share.

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

    I once worked in the political industry
    it is an industry
    DC is a factory town
    the product is hot button issues
    to induce folk to right checks
    we had a team of sweaty writers toiling to put words in pols mouths
    they’re really not capable of doing it themselves
    we often coached them
    “climate change” is one of the issues du jour
    they’ll kick it around until it gets cold (double meaning intended)

    the real business goes on without a hitch
    don’t take my word for it
    just look at the “hockey stick” of wealth distribution

  33. From the article:

    The Global “Warming” Speedometer: A Solution To Democrats’ Clueless Climate-Porn Rhetoric?

    Leftists, progressives, Democrats, liberals, socialists, crony-capitalists, communists, politicians, UN bureaucrats, crony-scientists, mainstream journalists and Hollywood celebrities are acknowledged as the world’s climate-porn stars, as well as being in dire need of a basic manual titled ‘Climate for Dummies’…their statements regarding global warming and climate change continue to be living proof that stuck-on-stupid and cluelessness are in a constant battle to dominate the leftward thinking brain…..

    “The planet is running a fever and there are no emergency rooms” – Democrat Senator Markey from Massachusetts

    ===> “We no longer need storms or hurricanes to produce flooding – it is becoming an everyday occurrence” – Anne Burchard, the Sierra Club

    ===> “It’s kind of like telling a little girl who’s trying to run across a busy street to catch a school bus to go for it, knowing there’s a substantial chance that she’ll be killed.” – MIT professor Kerry Emanuel regarding critics of his opinion that catastrophic global warming disasters are today’s climate

    ===> “It’s time for climate-change deniers to face reality’ – ‘They’re fiddling while the planet burns” – NY Daily News editorial page

    ===> “MSNBC segment claims that climate change could make a real ‘Sharknado’ happen” – a Comcast-owned Obama propaganda outlet

    ===> “And this, to me, is the most important film [Sharknado 2] ever made about climate change. There is no film, TV thing, special anything, more important than this film.” – Actor, Judah Friedlander

    ===> “A new report says redheads might one day be extinct…when climate change brings an end to cool mist, the climate for red hair will also disappear.” – Diane Sawyer, a TV “journalist”, U.S. ABC News

    http://www.c3headlines.com/2014/08/lglobal-warming-speedometer-solution-to-democrats-clueless-climate-porn-rhetoric-connect-the-dots.html

  34. Herding; how you misanalyze your data to look like everyone elses, and they do the same

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/heres-proof-some-pollsters-are-putting-a-thumb-on-the-scale/

  35. If you think China has no incentive to limit its fossil fuel use, I will point you to the following:

    http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat10/sub66/item392.html

    • Curious George

      fossil fuel use = smog?? You know better than that.

      • I think that’s one of those idiot memes.

      • In China it essentially does.

        One of the points I think Joseph misses is that the Chinese have other options besides cutting back on new fossil generation or reducting the number of current operating plants, to address the smog / pollution problems.

    • Joseph,

      I don’t believe any reasonable, informed person has claimed China has no incentive to limit fossil fuel use. The point that gets raised is “What incentive does China have to agree to western derived limits and reduction goals?”

      The Chinese government knows full well it is engaged in a balancing act. They recognize the growing discontent over increasingly poor environmental conditions. They also understand the importance of continuing to grow the economy and provide economic opportunity to what is still essentially a poor, rural, agrarian population.

      In other words, they will not be throttling back on building fossil fueled generation any time soon.

  36. Matthew R Marler

    My main hope is that the 114th Congress will become more functional, and actually put legislation on the President’s desk so that some progress can perhaps be made on some of the energy and climate issues where robust policy options have been identified that make sense independently of whether or not climate change is an urgent or dangerous problem.

    My main hope is that Congress passes a bunch of stuff that is popular among the swing voters. Approving Keystone XL is just one example. In the great scheme of things, Keystone XL is not that important, but it is illustrative of Obama’s inability to decide. The oil comes into the US via tank cars, and the pipelines to the coasts will be built elsewhere.

    But my point is that this is not a document written by ‘confident idiots’ but rather by politicians who raise legitimate political concerns (and a few scientific concerns also).

    I expect that John Holdren does not hold as respectful a view.

    I am not one who perceives government stasis as necessarily bad. Usually, government stasis results when there is no long-lasting majority support for any particular actions, as happened with the idea of universal health care after Medicare and Medicaid passed. The Democrats took advantage of their temporary majorities in the House and Senate, and simultaneous new Democratic president Obama, to pass a health care law that did not then have and has not ever had majority support — more stasis would have been an improvement.

    It isn’t just Republicans at the Federal level, but the large number of Republican governors and state legislators, the highest since the 1920s.

  37. The GOP has an uphill climb what with this kind of irresponsible rhetoric being carelessly tossed around. The mendacity is breathtaking.
    From the article:

    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said failure to address global warming could lead to war, and called on G20 countries to act ahead of a climate change conference in Paris next year.

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/hollande-raises-specter-war-over-climate-change-133133544.html

    • Brian G Valentine

      Nah. Sensible GOP or anybody else would pay no attention to EU pinko rhetoric (and there really is no other kind any more).

      I wouldn’t even visit the EU

      • Brian

        Europe is a fascinating construct of different cultures The EU is a political construct not a country. I am sure the numerous countries with right wing governments would be fascinated to learn they are pinkos, although our social safety net seems to be more advanced than in the US.

        However, what we have in common is that many European Govts are alarmist. In that at least your President is joining the zeitgeist and becoming a ‘pinko’

        tonyb.

      • Tony,

        “..although our social safety net seems to be more advanced than in the US.”

        Having a well balanced safety net is extremely important. It should recognize that some people need a leg up, but anything more can be harmful.

        Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress overhauled welfare in the late 90s and by many accounts it worked well; those on welfare got jobs and poverty went down. Then Obama decided to ignore the law regarding welfare and issued an (unconstitutional) executive order and now the poverty level is far worse.

        Richard

      • Richard

        From Hansard in 2005

        ‘David Blunkett has said that welfare payments—he may not have been talking about pensions, but it is a good analogy—should be not a safety net but a trampoline or an escalator. As far as pensioners are concerned, they do not want a trampoline. They need a much stronger safety net from the state with far fewer holes in it for them to fall through. ”

        Generally welfare should be a trampoline but there are instances, the old and the vulnerable who might need a safety net.

        tonyb

      • Tony

        I tend to agree, not from experience but from respected sources and anecdotal evidence.

        Richard

    • Matthew R Marler

      jim2: The GOP has an uphill climb what with this kind of irresponsible rhetoric being carelessly tossed around. The mendacity is breathtaking.

      One possibility is that the GOP Congress will pass laws that have majority support, and Obama will veto them.

      The recent agreement between the Obama administration and the Chinese govt may be a harbinger of things to come: each agreed to continue for decades with its policy of recent years. Obama could not get a treaty through the Senate anyway (no more than Clinton could), and no treaty would actually bind China. Ten more years of empty rhetoric regarding climate while each country pursues its own interests would be no bad thing, imo, on present evidence.

      • The funny thing was the Chinese did to Obama what Democrats have been doing to Republicans for years. Get the concession you want up front (taxes, immigration amnesty) in return for a promise of what your opponent wants in the future (spending cuts, border enforcement).

        The lying party has had it all over the stupid party for decades. And the Chinese just did the same to Obama. The difference being Obama couldn’t give a rat’s a** what the Chinese actually do, he just wanted the headlines and photo ops of him in his CPC attire.

    • Perhaps Hollande realizes the French have had little opportunity to surrender to anyone in almost half a century and is nostalgic to keep French military tradition alive.

  38. G20 targets new energy regime

    Central to the plan is the ­creation of a global institution that would sit above both OPEC and the International Energy Agency, giving a greater voice to rising economies, including China, and addressing fears about energy ­security.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/11/15/international-news/g20-targets-new-energy-regime

    Global energy cooperation needs urgent reform, say researchers

    A committee, led by Lord Browne of Madingley in the UK, along with senior Chinese and US experts is calling for world leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane next weekend to commit to energy governance reform that is more inclusive of developing nations.
    Their statement, issued today and published below, is underpinned by research carried out at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, together with China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
    Energy policy experts at these two institutions have published a study, “Global Energy Governance Reform and China’s Participation”, alongside the committee’s statement, which focuses on the need for reform and sets out recommendations for improving cooperation on international energy policy.
    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_10-11-2014-16-41-47

    A Big-Oil Man Gets Religion When John Browne broke ranks on global warming, he did more than shock the industry–he began to convert it
    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/09/laframboises-new-book-on-the-ipcc/#comment-378231

    • Brent

      The plan would simply invite China into the IEA. Problem is, the IEA accomplishes nothing. It is a place where people do studies, collect existing data, write plans and pathways, have meetings, and work on nonbinding agreements.

      It also publishes an annual report that lists its accomplishments; all about work it’s doing, nothing about results. Your dollars hard at work.

      Richard

    • Matthew R Marler

      brent: G20 targets new energy regime

      Central to the plan is the ­creation of a global institution that would sit above both OPEC and the International Energy Agency, giving a greater voice to rising economies, including China, and addressing fears about energy ­security.

      And do they seriously believe that OPEC would go along with it? And whyever does China need a greater voice than what it has? It speaks with non-ignorable purchasing power and industrial power. Has the committee forgotten that WTO already exists?

      That sounds like another “Nowhere plan for Nobody.”

    • @Matthew R Marler @rls

      There is a lot more behind this than meets the eye IMO, but I haven’t thought it all through and firmed up my thoughts as yet..

      Some examples.. there is a lot of tension right now between the US/EU and Russia..
      The globalists ( eg Lord Browne) would certainly like a world order where for example EU needn’t worry about Putin turning off the NG supply.
      Stress Tests Conclude That Europe Can Call Putin’s Energy Bluff And Win
      Without the European gas price of $304 per thousand cubic meter, Gazprom would have no choice but to remove the subsidies from domestic sales gas (at $107) and on sales to former Soviet republics (at $224). Restive Russian consumers would have to pay closer to world prices for their heating bills, and Putin would lose his hold over its “satellites” who no longer rely on Russia for cheap energy.
      Russia would be hard pressed to survive the loss of the European gas market. Gazprom’s European revenues have already fallen from $60 billion to $55 billion, and European sales account for one third of Gazprom’s revenue. If deprived of this revenue, Gazprom would run a loss of $25 billion and not a profit of $33 billion. Rather than contributing profits to a federal budget, 55 percent reliant on energy taxes, Gazprom would require subsidies. Its once-proud share price would collapse, and it would be hard pressed to obtain funding from any sources including China, with or without sanctions.
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/10/22/stress-tests-conclude-that-europe-can-call-putins-energy-bluff-and-win/
      http://ec.europa.eu/energy/stress_tests_en.htm

      Not really sure I have any more confidence in EU Stress Tests in this regard than I have in their banking Stress Tests!

      Nevertheless the Globalists would like a world where for example National Sovereignty (which they regard as anachronistic) could not trump business interests, and energy could not be used as a political weapon

      I wouldn’t even overlook ending OPEC as a cartel (at least in current form)

      Gulf states need to reform spending as oil price slips: Kuwait
      (Reuters) – Gulf Arab oil exporters will have to reform their state spending and make cuts in some areas because of weak oil prices, Kuwaiti Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Saturday.
      “We must undertake comprehensive economic reforms including the reform of imbalances in public finances,” Saleh told a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers, central bank governors and the International Monetary Fund in Kuwait.
      “This must be undertaken through strengthening of efforts to diversify away from oil and decrease dependence on oil revenue, which is now inevitable.”
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/25/us-kuwait-finmin-idUSKCN0IE0AH20141025

      There is a lot of interest in reforming Energy Subsidies and as Euan Mearns points out the subsidies are huge in some PetroStates, and underpin the Rulers control over the populace
      http://euanmearns.com/the-appalling-truth-about-energy-subsidies/

    • @Matthew R Marler @rls

      I think what Lord Browne is suggesting in the Energy field has close analogies to what Soros discusses regarding financial institutions
      Soros: China Must Be Part Of The New World Order
      http://tinyurl.com/ye6hlva

      • Matthew R Marler

        brent: Soros: China Must Be Part Of The New World Order

        China is a part of the new world order: in the UN, on the Security Council, a member of the WTO.

      • @MathewMarler
        Yes but what Soros is saying is their weight is not reflected in World Bank , IMF etc and that this needs to be changed.

      • Former World Bank President: Big Shift Coming
        James Wolfensohn
        http://tinyurl.com/yhsgpnb

        Uploaded on Jan 29, 2010
        James Wolfensohn, former president of The World Bank and CEO of Wolfensohn and Co., addressed Stanford Graduate School of Business students with details about his work at the World Bank during its transition years and how the equation between developed and developing countries is changing. Wolfensohn claimed that in the next 40 years, a global power shift will see today’s leading economic countries drop from having 80% of the world’s income to 35%.

    • Energy groups face ‘existential’ climate threat, says ex-BP chief

      Energy and mining companies are ignoring the “existential threat” from climate change and must change the way they operate, the former head of BP warns.
      The intervention by Lord Browne, one of the energy world’s most influential voices, comes as coal, oil and gas companies face mounting investor criticism that they are too complacent about the risk of tougher action to curb global warming.
      He told a seminar in London on Wednesday that the scientific evidence of global warming should be treated as settled but “this conclusion is not accepted by many in our industry, because they do not want to acknowledge an existential threat to their business”.
      http://www.cnbc.com/id/102200922

      BP(under Lord Browne) along with Enron were early lobbyists for
      Cap and Trade

      On that day, August 4, 1997, then-CEO, (then-Sir) John Browne, joined by Ken Lay, met in the Oval with President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
      Their mission that day? As revealed in the August 1, 1997 Lay briefing memo whiih I was later provided — having left a brief dance with Enron after raising questions about this very issue — it was to demand that the White House ignore unanimous Senate instruction pursuant to Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution (“advice”, of “advice and consent” fame), and to go to Kyoto and agree to the “global warming” treaty.
      Oh, and to enact a cap-and-trade scheme.
      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2010/06/15/BPs-Excellent-Oval-Office-Adventure

  39. Pop goes the Tight Oil Weasel??

    Oil price slump to trigger new US debt default crisis as Opec waits

    Falling oil prices and and US shale drillers drowning in a sea of debt could be the spark for a new credit crunch

    This rush to pump more oil in the US has created a dangerous debt bubble in a notoriously volatile segment of corporate credit markets, which could pose a wider systemic risk in the world’s biggest economy. By encouraging ever more drilling in pursuit of lower oil prices, the US Department of Energy has unleashed a potential economic monster and pitched these heavily debt-laden shale oil drilling companies into an impossible battle for market share against some of the world’s most powerful low-cost producers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
    It’s a battle the US oil fracking companies won’t win.
    The problem is that much of America’s shale oil is expensive to produce and the industry is comprised of numerous small companies who were forced to leverage their operations with debt
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11231383/Oil-price-slump-to-trigger-new-US-debt-default-crisis-as-Opec-waits.html

    GOLDMAN: Everybody In Texas Is Resigned To Lower Oil Prices

    In a note to clients over the weekend, Goldman equity chief David Kostin writes that the firm went to Texas this week to meet with portfolio managers, and those conversations “started and ended on the topic of oil.”
    “Although still stunned by the ferocity of the selloff,” Kostin writes, “everyone we met was resigned to the idea that crude prices would remain low for several years. Although we met many Longhorn alumni, we met no Energy bulls
    http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-on-cheap-oil-2014-11

    • The Department of Energy has been a hindrance to oil E&P, they had nothing to do with the shale boom. Some companies may go bankrupt, but the lower oil price will have a silver lining. It will force companies to husband the wells they already have and find new techniques to maximize production. The debt problem as stated in the article probably won’t materialize, but if prices drop enough, it could happen. Just not holding my breath on that one.

      • @jim2
        Here a comment from a knowledgeable retired finance guy on an earlier article. Maybe you might be interested :)
        http://tinyurl.com/n6x3lqb

      • @brent

        What does the following comment from that Yahoo post mean?

        “…, the shale industry (by and large) is going to be sacrificed on the altar of pleasing Saudi Arabia and punishing Russia”

      • @Justin Wonder
        In 1986, the Saudis tanked the crude market. It was speculated at the time and continues to be that Reagan worked with the Saudis to cut crude price to hurt the USSR export revenue.
        It’s being speculated now that price is being tanked to hurt Iran and Russia. (and some say US Tight Oil production from Saudi perspective).
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-647519

        The comment to which you refer, simply speculates that if the strongest Geo-political agenda right now is to target Russia and Iran by tanking the crude market, then the highly levered tight oil drillers will just be roadkill along the way, collateral damage.

        Robert Cooper The New Liberal Imperialism
        Why we still need empires

        Tony Blair’s foreign policy guru Robert Cooper believes that a new colonialism can save the world. This is the article that caused the storm. You can also read a longer version of this essay here and join the online debate here
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/12/09/pathological-altruism/#comment-423382

        Now the new Liberal Imperialists are taking on Russia over Ukraine.

        Russia Braces for ‘Catastrophic’ Drop in Oil Prices
        President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s economy, battered by sanctions and a collapsing currency, faces a potential “catastrophic” slump in oil prices.
        Such a scenario is “entirely possible, and we admit it,” Putin told the state-run Tass news service before attending this weekend’s Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, Australia
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-14/putin-says-russia-preparing-for-catastrophic-oil-slump.html

        Ukraine
        Henry Kissinger’s Thoughts On The Islamic State, Ukraine And ‘World Order’
        http://www.npr.org/2014/09/06/346114326/henry-kissingers-thoughts-on-the-islamic-state-ukraine-and-world-order?sc=tw

        Kissinger warns of West’s ‘fatal mistake’ that may lead to new Cold War
        http://rt.com/news/203795-kissinger-warns-cold-war/

        Oil Price Blues (Read: Dangers) for Some
        If oil prices stay below $90 per barrel for any length of time, we will witness massive fiscal squeezes and regime changes in one or more of the following countries: Iran, Bahrain, Ecuador, Venezuela, Algeria, Nigeria, Iraq, or Libya. It will be a movie we have seen before.
        http://www.cato.org/blog/oil-price-blues-read-dangers-some

        Steve Hanke can be an interesting commentator who is well aware how financial war can be waged

        On the Fall of the Rupiah and Suharto
        Why all the fuss over a currency board for Indonesia? Merton Miller understood the great game immediately. As he wrote when Mrs. Hanke and I were in residence at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, the Clinton administration’s objection to the currency board was “not that it wouldn’t work but that it would, and if it worked, they would be stuck with Suharto.” Much the same argument was articulated by Australia’s former Prime Minister Paul Keating: “The United States Treasury quite deliberately used the economic collapse as a means of bringing about the ouster of President Suharto.” Former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleberger weighed in with a similar diagnosis: “We were fairly clever in that we supported the IMF as it overthrew [Suharto]. Whether that was a wise way to proceed is another question. I’m not saying Mr. Suharto should have stayed, but I kind of wish he had left on terms other than because the IMF pushed him out.” Even Michel Camdessus could not find fault with these assessments. On the occasion of his retirement, he proudly proclaimed: “We created the conditions that obliged President Suharto to leave his job.”
        http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/fall-rupiah-suharto

        Putin’s view
        Putin: ‘Supporting Russophobia in Ukraine will result in catastrophe’
        Vladimir Putin: In reality the economy follows almost the same path as security. We preach the opposite of what we practice. We say that a single space should be built and build new dividing lines instead.
        Let us look at what the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement stipulates. I have said this many times, but it appears I have to repeat it once again: it eliminates the import duties for the European goods entering Ukrainian territory, brings them down to zero. Yet as Ukraine is a member of a free trade zone within CIS, zero customs tariffs have been introduced between Russia and Ukraine. What does that mean? It means that all European goods will flow through Ukrainian territory directly to the customs territory of the Russian Federation.
        There are many other things that may not be clear for people who are not informed regarding these matters, but they do exist
        http://rt.com/politics/official-word/206051-putin-russophobia-ukraine-nato/

      • Brent – thank you for that link. I like to read as much as possible on the oil patch.

        As I said earlier, some of the “tight oil” companies could blow up for sure. I don’t own Sandridge. On a side note, Sandridge is having some problems with its SEC filings over contracts to deliver, believe it or not, CO2 to Occidental. Their stock price was already just a bit over book value.

        It will all depend on the price of oil. A lot of oil has come online lately and not just from USA. Japan is bordering on or is in a recession despite Abenomics. China has supposedly hit a soft patch, but appears to be growing exponentially. OPEC is hurting, but they don’t really have any interest in driving the price of oil too low. They need oil money to pacify the masses over there, which we know they can get nasty. We’ll see what OPEC does later this week.

        Experts are all over the map on the price of oil, but short term we could certainly visit $50/bbl.

        Longer term, I was reading a Blackrock article stating oil and coal with both be significant players in 2035. I’m assuming they are discounting fusion energy and I know they are discounting “renewable” energy. I think they will be right because energy demand won’t stop going up any time soon. OTOH, this might just prove what the guy in your link was saying.

        From the article:

        “There are incredible numbers of ripples that go out from the splash,” the head of BlackRock’s $18.8 billion Private Equity Partners said in a recent interview. “Well the energy revolution right now is the rock. The ripples are all of the things in the economy that support the energy revolution, … that provide all kinds of investment opportunity.”

        That opportunity has the private equity industry salivating. PE funds have raised $157 billion since 2009 to invest in energy, according to data from intelligence firm Preqin. And they’re in the middle of raising even more, with nearly $32 billion collected by 33 funds this year. Energy-focused PE funds that launched between 2002 and 2011 average net returns of nearly 14 percent annually, versus 9.5 percent for the industry generally, according to Preqin.

        “If we were going to see major changes in energy consumption by 2039, we would need to be making major changes in the energy system and its infrastructure right now,” Beard said. “We are not.”

        Blackstone’s Foley added that oil will still be part of the equation in 25 years, despite a move to electric cars and lower long-term production.

        “There isn’t really yet a large scale substitute for crude oil as a source of transportation fuel,” said Foley. “It’ll be a hell of a lot more expensive, but we’ll still be using oil in 2039.”

        Regardless of the exact mix, private equity is excited by the massive amounts of investment needed to keep up with growing global demand. An estimated $40 trillion will be required to satisfy energy needs through 2035, particularly from emerging markets like India and China, according to recent estimates from the International Energy Agency.

        In all, coal, oil and gas aren’t going away.

        “A good percentage of the assets that are operating today will still be operating in 25 years,” said Ian Simm, founder and CEO of Impax Asset Management Group. “You can’t just wipe the slate clean and imagine that is 25 years time. We’re going to end up with a completely different set of assets.”

        “The mix of the energy will change with time, and it certainly will not be as dominated by oil and gas,” said BlackRock’s Steenberg. “But rest assured, oil and gas (are) not going away, certainly in this (25-year) time frame, if ever.”

        http://www.cnbc.com/id/102173514

        There is also the opposite point of view in the article. It’s a long article.

      • Brent – one more note. Let’s say, just for fun, that 2/3s of the tight oil companies go bankrupt. Is that the end of “tight oil?” I would say no. The court will sell off the assets to make creditors as whole as possible. That means stronger hands get the tight oil plays with lot’s of wells already drilled on the cheap. Suddenly, they have a big cash flow and can drill some more. I’m just saying, the tight oil business wouldn’t go away, it would just change hands.

      • brent,

        I don’t see a big picture down side if what you speculate is true.

        1) The oil and gas industry has always been boom and bust. Lower oil and gas prices bring far greater benefit than potential for debt default by a small set of producers.

        2) The oil and gas that doesn’t get extracted is still there. Nothing mandates we use it today.

        3) Russia and Iran represent serious threats. A strategy which forces either to behave in a manner befitting civilized nations brings its own benefit.

      • @jim2
        good luck with your investments.

      • @timg56

        There’s another aspect to this game. After punishing the high cost producers in short term: that sets the stage for price rise’s later on.

        This strategy is intimated in the following snippet:

        The Saudis now appear to be betting that a period of lower prices – which could strain the finances of some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – will be necessary to pave the way for higher revenue in the medium term, by curbing new investment and further increases in supply from places like the U.S. shale patch or ultra-deepwater, according to the sources, who declined to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions
        http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/12/oil-saudi-policy-idUKL2N0S70J720141012

        Also Saudi Aramco chief was on record not long ago as follows:

        Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Warns on Oil Supply
        STAVANGER, NORWAY—The chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, said Monday that worries such as rising oil-sector costs and global turmoil could lead to a lack of oil supplies down the line, if oil companies fail to make sufficient investments.
        snip
        The world’s oil fields are in decline, so the world needs to replace close to 40 million barrels a day of new capacity within the next two decades, Mr. Al-Falih said. A lot of those resources will be complex and expensive, such as shale oil and gas and heavy oil projects.
        “So, to tap these increasingly expensive oil resources, oil prices will need to be healthy enough to attract needed investments,” said Mr. Al-Falih.
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/23/week-in-review-24/#comment-621284

        Also note the following:

        Why Harold Hamm Isn’t Worried About Plunging Oil Prices
        What’s more, the oil industry is constantly fighting against natural production decline rates. Worldwide, output from the average oil field declines by about 5% a year. Declines are much steeper in the big new U.S. fields like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, where a well might come on line at 1,200 bpd, but lose half of that within four months. Even with technological advances to get more oil out of old fields, drillers need to bring on about 4 million barrels per day of new volumes, just to keep world production flat.
        And although there remains some low-hanging “easy oil” to be harvested in Iraq and Iran, most new supplies will require sustained high oil prices to justify investment — prices higher than the $100 or so that we’ve seen in recent years.
        And although there remains some low-hanging “easy oil” to be harvested in Iraq and Iran, most new supplies will require sustained high oil prices to justify investment — prices higher than the $100 or so that we’ve seen in recent years.
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-647519

        Slump in oil prices could mean fall in investment and future shortages – IEA
        ‘Well-supplied market in the short term should not disguise the challenges that lie ahead’, says international energy agency

        American shale oil and gas had transformed the market but post-2020 the world would increasingly find itself relying on Canada, Brazil and the politically volatile Middle East for world oil supplies, he said.
        http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/12/slump-oil-prices-fall-investment-shortages-iea

        Energy shortages ahead without major investment, IEA says
        Despite low oil prices now, the picture looks much less clear over
        the long term

        But it says the U.S. shale oil surge will peter out in 10 years, leaving the world again reliant on the Middle East for fossil fuels and under threat from geopolitical tensions.
        That could result in shortages and a sharp spike in prices, the report said.
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/energy-shortages-ahead-without-major-investment-iea-says-1.2832451

        A crude conspiracy: Saudi Arabia’s oil war is about far more than economics
        http://www.cityam.com/1416196316/crude-conspiracy-saudi-arabia-s-oil-war-about-far-more-economics

        Russia and Venezuela to fight low oil price
        Russia and Venezuela are discussing joint action against low oil prices, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in Moscow. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez was in Moscow for talks as part of a tour of several oil-producing nations, including Algeria, Qatar and Iran, aimed at developing a joint strategy.
        Asked if he discussed joint moves to counteract the 30-percent fall in oil prices this year, Novak told reporters: “Yes, there is such an initiative. We discussed this theme and now we are working out those proposals on our side.
        http://www.dw.de/russia-and-venezuela-to-fight-low-oil-price/a-18072639

    • The DOE was major in shale oil. You do not know the history. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Congress will okay a pipeline and nobody may come. Just like when GW thought ExxonMobil would rush back into Iraq and they said no thanks, and why did you go to war you freakin’ idiots? Congress wants low oil prices. Why oil supports Republicans is beyond me. You want moderately successful greenies running up the price. I remember when Odessa, Texas was almost a ghost town. When my son went to medical school there, it was a boomtown. Now it could become a ghost town all over again. If the Saudi’s have staying power, lot’s of people are about to be laid off and lot’s of companies are about to go broke. The Texas miracle could soon be the Texas nightmare. In North Dakota a man might have to plant wheat and punch a few cows to earn a living. Lol.

      • Perhaps they can find jobs shovelling spring snow so farmers can plant their wheat and cattle can get to the grass.

      • tim – I think this season’s seed is already in the ground. It has to have snow cover or a lot of it dies. But nice try!

  40. The DOE was major in shale oil. You do not know the history. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Congress will okay a pipeline and nobody may come. Just like when GW thought ExxonMobil would rush back into Iraq and they said no thanks, and please don’t tell us you went to war for the oil? Congress wants low oil prices. Why oil supports Republicans is beyond me. You want moderately successful greens running up the price. I remember when Odessa, Texas was almost a ghost town. When my son went to medical school there, it was a boomtown. Now it could become a ghost town all over again. If the Saudi’s have staying power, lot’s of people are about to be laid off and lot’s of companies are about to go broke. The Texas miracle could soon be the Texas nightmare. In North Dakota a man might have to plant wheat and punch a few cows to earn a living.

  41. Prof. Curry and All,

    The election results are likely to have only a marginal impact on US Govt conduct. The R’s have had blocking power since the 2010 elections gave them control of the House of Representatives. The increase in R seats in the Senate is not enough to overcome determined D opposition.

    The R’s have majorities in both the House and Senate, but no serious observer of US politics believes they have a sufficiently large number in the Senate on climate issues (even if 54-46 after the Louisiana run-off in December) to succeed on a 60-vote cloture motion to prevent a D filibuster. Given the composition of the Senate, there is no realistic prospect of obtain 6 D votes to override Administration policy on climate change or environmental issues.

    The President and EPA have regulatory authority under existing legislation to promulgate new regulations addressing environment and climate issues. When exercised, that will trigger a court fight, with concomittant delays in implementation. The Administration’s track record on those court fights so far has been pretty good, with the courts showing deferrence to the President and EPA. If course, the result will depend on the specifics of the proposed regulatory measure and whether the regulatory process comported with Due Process and the Administrative Procedures Act. Hence, the slow and deliberate regulatory process.

    The R’s retain blocking power with respect to the budget, but will no longer use it to shut down the Govt. That means a delayed and difficult budget negotiation, and eventual marginal changes (the pattern for the last several years, since the R’s have had blocking power over the budget in the House of Representatives since the 2010 elections).

    The R’s control the investigative powers of the Senate and the House, including hearings and subpoena power. Expect the R’s to use that power liberally with respect to environmental matters, as well as many other matters.

    Overall, expect sturm & drang, regulatory initiatives under existing legislation, painful budget negotiations likely resolved by means of yet another continuing budget resolution different only at the margins from today’s budget, and not much else until after the 2016 elections, if at all.

    I hope this is useful regardless of your individual political perspectives.

    Regards,

    MK

    • I agree that not much will change in reality. However anything done by executive authority can be undone by executive authority, they are in effect very weak laws that can’t be funded properly. Obama needs to tread a fine line here that he doesn’t so annoy the electorate that he hands the presidency to Republicans in 2016. It’s not clear he is a very good judge of where this line is. He is doing the more unpopular things now in hopes that these will be forgotten by Nov 2016.

    • MK

      Some factual notes:

      1. Senator Reid blocked far more bills than did Boehner.
      2. Congress reflects the desires of the electorate; a polarized congress reflects a polarized electorate. The polarized electorate reflects the politics of division.
      3. If the Republicans pass a 2016 budget resolution only 50 votes will be re

    • I think that most people are paying a little too much attention to President Obama’s recent rhetoric regarding climate change. Remember–he has no more campaigns to run, but most of the sitting Democratic senators do and they are keenly interested in keeping their jobs. They have to be aware of the plight of Senator Landrieu and may vote accordingly. If fact, there are reports of 14 Democratic Senators who are ready to vote for the Keystone pipeline this week. We may start seeing veto-proof votes on these matters once the new Senate is sworn in.

    • Matthew R Marler

      mkantor: The election results are likely to have only a marginal impact on US Govt conduct.

      I think you are basically correct, but:

      1. marginal results in a large country can have non -negligible consequences.

      2. the Democratic Senate has held up voting on a lot of bills which have considerable support among swing voters, such as the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. (right now, Sen Landrieu is making a major effort to get 60 votes in favor; should she not be successful, the Rep Senate will undoubtedly take it up when they are sworn in, because the bill is opposed by some Dems who lost their re-election bids, such as Mark Udall.) Another is the repeal of the medical devices tax. Should Reps pass and Obama veto bills that are popular among swing voters, the perception of who stands in the way of American progress will change.

      3. The Dem Senate has not passed a budget since Obama was sworn in: not the budgets submitted by Obama, not the budgets submitted by the House. Once the new Congress is sworn in, the House and Senate can pass budgets, and Obama can veto them. That will clarify who is obstructionist, at least if the Republicans can find it in their hearts to pass budgets that are popular with swing voters.

      4. Although the Republicans gained in the House overall, they lost a seat in the California delegation. The disparity is growth between California and Texas should continue to be an interesting drama of national significance.

      Your post was good, imo, don’t think me strongly critical. But I think that the cumulative effect, in a large country, of diverse small changes may be a big story. I love American politics, and this will be fun to watch.

  42. I imagine one of the first orders of business in January would be for both the House and Senate to take votes on Obama’s $3B climate justice proposal.

    You better be in the safest of safe districts before you vote to transfer wealth to unidentified developing countries for vague social justice reasons. Good luck defending this vote in light of struggling schools in your district and other underfunded areas.

  43. Looking at the article by Nate Silver (Here’s Proof Some Pollsters Are Putting A Thumb On The Scale) made me think the main worry considering the difference between ‘outliers’ and ‘inliers’ are, outright l*i*a*r*s.

  44. Hillary Clinton: climate change is “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.”

    Believing anything Clinton says about climate change really requires a willing suspension of disbelief.

    • Unfortunately, at this point in time, she is as most likely to become our next president as anyone. Do we doubt gruber’s claim?

      • Obviously, Hillary Clinton’s war on men doesn’t get my vote. She might as well as pulled the trigger on the guys in Benghazi. And, she’s Al Gore in a dress.

  45. I don’t think either climate or immigration will have any effect on voters until or unless they see a direct effect on their pocket books or lifestyle and make the connection. The economy would have to go south and a direct connection seen. In the meantime, Obama and the Democrats will have an advantage as to ‘high moral ground’ and republicans will continue to look like heartless, anti-science obstructionists. It’s more about perception not necessarily reality unless the voters feel the pinch and relate it.

  46. A Brief Recap is in order:

  47. I prepared an excel spreadsheet to estimate the actual impact of the Obama-China agreement + EU commitment. I assumed all the world’s nations would commit to follow either the USA or the Chinese leads. I also assumed that after 2030 almost all nations would reduce emissions by about 2 % per year. The net result was a 0.2 degree C surface temperature reduction by 2050 versus the case I discussed in Burn baby, burn.

    I guess I have to conclude that either we put a huge value on having future generations living in poverty in a slightly cooler planet or we had better think of something else. Obama’s strategy is pretty worthless as it is, I’m sorry to say.

  48. Greg Sheridan In The Australian today. Sheridan is very pro-American, and is very well connected in the US, with many high-level friends and contacts there:

    Front page headline: Xi Jinping came bearing gifts, Barack Obama just gave us grief

    Who would have thought it? A US president comes to Australia with the specific intention of damaging the Australian government politically on climate change, while a Chinese president comes here with nothing but gifts.

    Xi Jinping’s accomplished, well-considered speech to parliament yesterday contained no references to climate change and no implicit criticism of Australia. After all, there are other forums for that issue, China is not committed to any carbon emissions targets and why would you go out of your way to embarrass your host?

    The contrast with Barack Obama was staggering. More than that, Xi was charming, respectful and helpful to all Australians he mentioned. He completed the free-trade agreement, which is a big win for both countries. But more generally his speech was one of reassurance and reasonable ambition.

    Xi touched on some of the ¬issues important to him and his government: China would remain a nation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. But he presented these values in a way designed to soothe and reassure. More than that, the substance of his message was one of reassurance more generally to the whole Asia-Pacific ¬region. China was a peaceful country, he said, and repeated. China had suffered bullying and ¬oppression. It would not visit these indignities on other nations.

    Given how robustly the Abbott government has backed Japan’s strategic re-emergence, and protested against Beijing’s declaration of an air defence identification zone around the disputed Senkaku/¬Diaoyu islands, as well as declining recently to join, at least for now, China’s new infrastructure bank, many analysts in Washington and Australia had expected some overt display of Chinese displeasure. But the Chinese seem to value their relationship with the Abbott government, certainly to the extent that they would not embarrass their host by emphasising disagreements. Of course, the Chinese are being nice to everyone at the moment, including the Americans and even the ¬Japanese. The question remains whether this will be the character of Chinese attitudes into the future.

    But when China is being nice, everyone breathes easy.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/xi-jinping-came-bearing-gifts-barack-obama-just-gave-us-grief/story-e6frg76f-1227126332786

  49. Hi Judy,

    ” I haven’t read the book, but it seems to play to conspiracy theory and confident idiot memes.”

    Come on, Judy, you know better than to trust someone else’s description. If you had read the book, you would find out that: (a) James Inhofe is not uninformed, and (b) he know his job as a politician.

    Dave

    • Hi Dave, I don’t disagree with a) or b), but use of ‘hoax’ and ‘conspiracy’ in his title does motivate my statement

      • Sen. Inhofe’s basket of bread turned to roses.
        ============

      • ‘Hoax’ is definitely an inflamatory word.

        But it fits a narrative as the answer to
        ‘Is global warming real or a hoax?’

        Global warming is real in principle – as we understand it, GHGs force the climate leading to warming.

        But global warming is a hoax of exaggeration – observations indicate the low end warming rates, impacts are minimal and disasters have not materialized.

        My line is not real or a hoax, but rather global warming is real AND a hoax.

      • Dr. Curry,

        Have you heard of Jonathan Gruber?

      • How about lies (hockey stick), distortions(97%), and exagerations (arctic ice melt, sea level rise and other frankly false claims of catastrophe). Add to that the complete demonization of fossil fuels which happen to make our way of life possible and prosperous.

      • Oh, and climategate along with criminal behavior (gleick). Seems like hoax and conspiracy are mild terms compared to observable behavior.

      • GaryM,

        Gruber would obviously be very comfortable working with Mikey Mann and friends.

  50. Sceptics have got to stop using the words ‘hoax’ and ‘conspiracy’ and stop thinking all consensus climate scientists are idiots. A proportion of them are advocates and some over promote their work but they didn’t become scientists by being stupid.

    tonyb

    • Agreed

      But the point of overwhelming vanity as the well-spring for noble cause corruption is not a “conspiracy” – the siren call of saving the planet is irresistible to many, so exaggeration, misdirection and disinformation is quite justifiable

      The (Lewanclownsky) accusation of conspiratorial ideation is just a straw man but noble cause corruption is real

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      can’t say that I’ve seen “hoax” used by skeptics here
      I have seen skeptics here accused of being conspiratorial
      I’ve seen climate skepticism correlated with psychological disorders
      “denier” is commonly used
      I’m unaware of a corollary label for CAGW proponents

    • I don’t think the skeptics here are conspiratorial at all. Conspiracy theorists, maybe, conspiratorial, not.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      stand corrected
      incorrect use of word
      peasant
      also “alarmist” would correlate, just doesn’t seem quite as much of a slur Tony is right of course
      that “denier” thing gets to me though
      makes it difficult for me to hear the pro argument

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Joshua
        said mostly
        perhaps you have suggestions
        skeptic seems ok
        alarmist seems accurate
        you are alarmed, are you not?
        when I’m on my best behavior I try to use CAGW proponent

        I do fear that this a proxy battle
        for a greater social and cultural conflict
        at least in my small world
        I’m sorry for that
        tribalism is to be expected I’m afraid
        and relatively human

      • John –

        “Alarmist” is a pejorative. It’s a label used for rhetorical purposes. The intent of the usage is meant to be demeaning.

        “Realists” defend the use of “denier” by saying that it is accurate also.

        Of course it doesn’t seem as much of a slur to you – because you are using it to label others. Perhaps a “realist” would think that “denier” is less of a slur than “alarmist,” eh?

        Personally, I think all the hand-wringing in offense about the labeling is drama-queening. I mean seriously, what does it matter if someone calls you a name?

        But it’s information. It’s information about what’s going on behind the “debate,” and it ain’t about science. It ain’t about what people know. It’s about who people are.

        As for a suggestion – I have none really. There are no good terms to use. I refer to Someone Who Is Relatively Less Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRLCAREs) and Someone Who is Relatively More Concerned About Recent Emissions (SIRMCAREs) on occasion, but obviously those terms are not practical.

        What’s interesting to me is that there is much focus about the terms even though practically no one bothers to accurately define them or to consider whether they really are accurate. IMO, that is because of what I stated above about the intended use. The terms are reflective of the identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors that serve as “tells” for cultural cognition and motivated reasoning.

        ==> “tribalism is to be expected I’m afraid
        and relatively human”

        Indeed. It is to be expected. But what happens is that people invent some “asymmetry” in the tribalism. They are fully convinced that there is some disproportionality. What is funny about that, is that such confidence that their is a disproportionality (without, of course, a careful approach to quantifying evidence empirically) is exactly what the theory of cultural cognition would predict.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Joshua
        had seen the SWIRLCARE thing
        did not know what it meant
        had planned to google it
        now I know
        ok
        theories of cultural cognition are way above my pay grade

        I am new to this issue
        my first exposure was Sks and Real Climate (not a good impression)
        I doubt you’ll believe me, but I came in as a SIRMCARE
        am now at least a SWIRLCARE
        not quite yet a Skydragon
        maybe a Luke Skydragon
        :)

      • Josh,

        I couldn’t give a crap about the term denier. I haven’t denied anything related to the climate change debate and even if I had, I learned a long time ago the old adage about sticks, stones and words.

        Realist has no meaning. Because everyone believes their views are realistic.

        Alarmist most certainly has meaning. It is anyone sound the alarm. Anyone calling for immediate and often drastic action in order to avoid some predicted fait or condition. The question is whether or not they reasonably have cause for alarm and have accurately assessed the danger they want us to pay attention to.

      • Joshua,

        Two questions re you apparent motivated reasoning and bias as a SWIRMCARE:

        1. Can you tell CE readers whether or not you spend equal time on blog sites that are predominantly populated by commenters who an impartial observer would classify as ‘Someone Who is Relatively More Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRMCAREs)’ and on blog sites that are predominantly populated by commenters who an impartial observer would classify as ‘Someone Who is Relatively less Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRLCAREs)’ ?

        2. If not, why not?

    • John –

      ==> ““denier” is commonly used”

      Are you referring to when “skeptics” and Judith use the term, or when “realists” use it?

      ==> “that “denier” thing gets to me though”

      Hmmm. Judith will be crushed.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Joshua
        a little rough and tumble is fun
        I think the tone of the debate here is mostly fair minded
        “denier” is now part of the discourse on this issue, very much to the detriment of the pro side
        so I don’t think use of it in the right context is avoidable
        as for “realist’
        I assume you mean yourself as opposed to those who disagree
        as for Judith, doubt she pays much attention to me
        (note to host, appreciate being allowed to participate)

        also, I was thinking of the atmosphere on other sites
        In my opinion, the use of such words pop up when the user is loosing the argument and knows the facts are leaving them

        “alarmist” is not a judgement on the veracity of the argument
        “denier’ implies…
        well you know perfectly well what it implies
        again, I always read your comments with interest

      • John –

        ==> “I think the tone of the debate here is mostly fair minded”

        Good point, John. Comparing people who are relatively concerned about ACO2 emissions to ISIS is certainly fair-minded!

        ==> ““alarmist” is not a judgement on the veracity of the argument
        “denier’ implies…”

        They’re both ad homs, pejoratives, reflective of tribalism, distractions from the science, identity aggression. They are the same, and moral equivalency from “skeptics” who claim otherwise is vacuous. It suggest that the concern is rhetorical, not heartfelt. IMO, someone who is authentically offended by a denigrating label is very unlikely to improve the situation by treating others in the same fashion. Thus, logically, it seems to me that the counter-labeling is likely with the aim of perpetuating same ol’ same ol’.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        oops
        Josh relied above
        flubbed tthread

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        jeez…
        replied
        thread

    • Gee. I guess when the 18 1/2 minutes of blank tape was discovered the Watergate commission they said “I guess that was just an honest mistake” and moved on to close up the investigation.

      This is what regularly has happened to the climategate related investigations.

      It is only a conspiracy theory when you don’t have proof. When you have proof it isn’t a theory.

    • David Springer

      climatereason | November 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Reply

      “Sceptics have got to stop using the words ‘hoax’ and ‘conspiracy’”

      Sceptic don’t have to do anything.

      “and stop thinking all consensus climate scientists are idiots.”

      No one thinks that. They were tested and it was found that 3% of them are not ldiots.

      “A proportion of them are advocates and some over promote their work but they didn’t become scientists by being stupid.”

      97% of them became pseudoscientists by being stupid. Or gullible. I’m equating gullible and stupid.

  51. The current Republican “leadership” has announced surrender in advance the day after the election. They will absolutely not refuse to pass spending bills demanded by the president (“shut down the government”), and they die before they even discuss impeaching Obama, no matter what he does.

    The congress is now thus impotent to stop anything Obama does, short of
    selling the plans for West Point to the British.

    Everything they say and do from here forward will just be PR designed to protect themselves from the fall out from their abdication of any responsibility whatsoever in protecting the nation from the imperial presidency.

    Thomas Friedman is about to get a taste of what he has been dreaming about – autocracy from a central bureaucracy unrestricted by fear of voters.

    • Gary

      Do not be so sure.

      I have read that republicans plan to pass increases of the debt limit with stipulations on use of funds. The approach would seem to have merit as it would force the president to veto a bill approving the debt limit increase if he didn’t accept the restrictions.

      • @ Rob Starkey

        After observing Washington, and in particular the ‘Republican Leadership’, in action for 50 odd years, I will have to say, it appears to me that Gary M is an incurable optimist.

    • Rob Starkey,

      And when Obama vetoes the bill, what have the Republicans said they will do? They have said they will not “shut down the government” (a misnomer anyway) no matter what.

      They caved on the debt ceiling increase repeatedly already. They will do so again, and have said so.

      • Gary

        I believe the Republican argument in that case would be that the president shut down the government since he vetoed the bill authorizing the increase in the debt limit.

      • Rob Starkey,

        That was the Republican argument every time. And they were trashed by the progressive media every time. So they have sworn blood oaths in advance never to do it again.

        No one will be happier than I if the GOP “leaders” suddenly grow at least one pair of testes between them and do what you and so many others have suggested. But don’t hold your breath.

      • The simple reality is that we no longer have a sufficient number of representatives who will defend the constitution from the kind of abuse it is currently sufferring. Our framers gave congress the power of the purse for the express purpose of reigning in executive overreach. We now have an elected majority that has already announced it’s surrender of that power so as to avoid “defaulting on our debt”. A lie as egregious as “our co2 emissions will cause catastrophe”. Just as Obama’s delay of immigration reform until after the election, or Landrieu’s sudden desparate support of keystone, the republicans announcement is a cowardly political maneuver in the vain hope that they will not suffer media outrage. Our republican “leadership” lacks courage and conviction.

      • David Springer

        GaryM | November 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Reply

        “They caved on the debt ceiling increase repeatedly already. They will do so again, and have said so.”

        You’re complaining that Republicans want to pay our bills instead of defaulting, ruining the good faith and credit of the United States, ruining the world’s most trusted currency, and throwing the global economy into a tailspin?

        Seriously? Those BAD Republicans, huh?

      • David Springer,

        You have digested the progressive propaganda quite well. Not funding non-essential agencies of the federal government for a time (which was and is what is proposed) does not constitute a default on U.S. debt.

        Why don’t you google “government shut down” and see how frequently it was done before Clinton and his media surrogates lied to the American people in a way that would make Jonathan Gruber blush.

        The effectiveness of propaganda on such a massive scale is amazing to observe, even in the age of the Internet.

      • David Springer

        Maybe you ought to set down the conspiracy theories long enough to get a clue, if possible. Start here:

        http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/pages/debtlimit.aspx

      • Dave Springer,

        I love it. A citation to an Obama Treasury Department blurb on the catastrophic consequences of failing to raise the debt limit, as proof that failing to raise the debt limit would be catastrophic.

        I can’t wait for your next citation to Michael Mann as evidence of the dangers of globalclimatewarmingchange.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gary: they die before they even discuss impeaching Obama, no matter what he does.

      Are you advocating impeachment now for potential “high crimes and misdemeanors” he may be guilty of in the future? Do you think that a strong move to replace Obama with Biden while ignoring other legislation would be good for either the USA or the Republican Party?

      Assuming that they gave it their best effort, what do you think the Republicans could achieve? Perhaps they can halt, most likely slow, the growth of EPA power. Maybe they can do thorough investigations of “Fast and Furious”, the IRS, the Benghazi disaster, and the firing of the Inspectors General. They can pass budgets that are different from what Obama wants, then negotiate when he vetoes them. They could repeal Obamacare and then, after he vetoes it, force the vote to override the veto, setting up the issue for the 2016 election. After the veto override fails, they can pass repeals of particular provisions that are not popular. With Obama having veto power, there is no way that they can pass what are called “sweeping changes.”

      Assuming that Landrieu loses the runoff election, by 2015 28 of the senators who voted for Obamacare will have left or been voted out of office. Considering the usual stability of the Senate, that is a remarkable change in just 4 years due mostly to one unpopular law.

      • Matthew Marler,

        I don’t think the House should vote in favor of impeachment tomorrow. That is not how the process works. Biden is an idiot, and would be incompetent; but that would be better than a president who is intentionally shredding the constitution and ushering in a period of autocracy.

        The point is not whether Obama is impeached tomorrow or the government is “shut down” next week. The question is what will stop Obama without either as a credible threat? Number of times John Boehner has cried on national television – three. Number of times Boehner has voted to deny funding because of presidential abuse of power – zero. You do the math, I can assure you Obama has.

        Most people think about this in terms of the individual policy issues. They don’t event think about the institutional effect of what he is doing. If you think that a Republican president can just undo the damage after Obama has 2 more years of unrestrained abuse of power, you do not understand the nature of the system.

        The U.S. Constitution is not designed to tell the country what decisions to make. It is designed to force the politicians to make those decisions in a way that prevents the accumulation of too much power in any one group or person,

        Right now, the executive, the Supreme Court and half of the legislature are hell bent on removing those protections. THAT is the reason Obama needs to be stopped. Too bad there are only a few Republicans in Washington who get that.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Gary M: The question is what will stop Obama without either as a credible threat?

        There is a bill before Congress, the REIN Act, that if passed would require executive branch regulations to be approved by Congress before being enacted. As it is now, Congress has ceded the writing of regulations to regulatory agencies, something some people is believe is unconstitutional. As it is, the regulations, once adopted, are enforceable unless Congress votes to override them, a very difficult process. Requiring Congressional approval first restores the system to something more like Congress as legislative body and Executive Branch having the responsibility to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. Of course Obama would veto the REIN Act if it were passed by Congress. Passing the REIN Act and then overriding the veto would be far useful than a symbolic and most likely ineffectual and time-consuming attempt to impeach Obama.

        A simple law exempting CO2 from regulation would be a step in the right direction.

      • Matthew Marler,

        1. The constitutionality of congressional delegation to regulatory agencies has already been ruled on, repeatedly, by the Supreme Court. There is no realistic possibility of a reversal of those decisions any time soon.

        2. The REIN Act is not a credible threat, specifically because of the absolute certainty of a veto. It is just another Potemkin bill designed to make it look like the GOP “leadership” is doing something.

        3. The GOP will control from 53 or 54 seats in the Senate, depending on what happens in Louisiana. There is no way 6 or 7 Democrats would vote to over ride a veto to take power away from the regulatory state that is firmly in the control of progressives.

        The operative word here is credible. The impeachment against Bill Clinton may have “failed” because he was not convicted and removed from office, but it was a display of integrity and principle by the Republicans who pursued it.

        A “government shut down” is the preferable tool, but as you can see from the comments by David Springer in this thread, decades of propaganda has been hugely effective and thus have cowed the GOP’s “leaders.”

        Remember the predictions of a GOP armageddon that was supposed to result from the Cruz filibuster? A Republican wave election 6 weeks later disproved that orgy of fear mongering.

      • David Springer

        Not decades of propaganda but rather an understanding that refusing to pay legal debts isn’t a good way to restrain future spending. It is however effective in that it destroys the good faith and credit established which made and continues to make borrowing possible. Even if the treasury is “only” forced to take extraordinary measures to prioritize spending to get by for a month or three while the partisan circus in D.C. plays out it destabilizes financial markets and thereby harms the public.

        Try working to elect representatives who will restrain spending through fiscal responsibility not threats of non-payment. Being a blowhard blog complainer isn’t accomplishing anything but at least you’re bright enough to be anonymous about it. That much of your agenda is at least understandable.

    • Gary

      There is a December 12 deadline when the current 2015 continuing resolution ends (FY 2015 started on October first). Before that date there must be another continuing resolution or a bunch of appropriation bills, or a combination. The president, all presidents, have little to do at this stage, other than veto; continuing resolutions are stopgaps and never vetoed.

      The 2016 budget process will start early next year and the Republicans plan to have a budget resolution before June. One aspect of having a budget resolution will be that appropriation bills can the be passed in the Senate with 50 votes. Congress will be in the drivers seat if it is shrewed; passing bills that Obama can’t veto.

      Richard

      • rls,

        Continuing resolutions are normally stop gaps, but there is no reason they have to be. The point is that Obama plans to take unconstitutional executive actions during the lame duck congress. There is no reason not to use the CRs to stop the worst of his executive orders. Except for the fact the GOP is lead by political cowards.

        Oh, and there are no bills the GOP could pass that Obama can’t veto. He does not face reelection, and does not care what happens to Democrats in congress.

  52. Dr. Curry’s comment makes no sense at all. The entire junk science meme of “climate” should be renounced somewhat along the lines Chairman Inhofe has indicated. There is no “middle” to Greenshirt fascism so why should Dr. Curry’s appeasements seem more rational today??

  53. (Posted this on the Week in Review thread, but threading there is whacked so,,,,)

    Stephen Schneider, a man before his time.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/14/politics/gruber-update-friday-white-house-obamacare/index.html

    This is the sixth video to surface of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber outlining the successful plan to lie to the stupid voters about the comically named Affordable Care Act to ensure its passage. (Show of hands, how many here have even heard of the guy?)

    And from the peer reviewed litcherchur:

    “It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare.”

    http://ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/24/ajae.aau001.abstract

    A pop quiz for extra points. Who do you think Gruber was referring to as stupid? Here’s a hint. It is not the low information voters who vote progressive.

    • Curious George

      This Gruber scandal looks unlikely. Stupid voters never got a chance to vote on the Affordable Care Act. I remember vividly the Majority Leader, Hon. Nancy Pelosi, urging her flock of Congresspeople: Don’t read it; just vote for it.

      • nottawa rafter

        GruberGate
        What did Obama know and when did he know it.
        It appears that Gruber is the man who never was.

      • Unlikely? They guy was a major influence and participant in writing the bill. The tapes that have surfaced are not of some GOP talking head. They are of Gruber himself, speaking to his fellow conservatives, and explaining how they crafted the bill to keep key facets from the American public.

        The funny thing most haven’t heard about yet (if they’ve heard anything) is that first Gruber helped draft the bill. Then he pretended to be an independent analyst who did an economic analysis of the bill and provided reports that, surprise, mirrored the lies he wanted people to believe.

      • Oh, and he made millions doing it.

      • And we’re told that crime doesn’t pay.

      • Common gary, he only visited th WH 19 or 20 times during the legislative drafting. How much influence could he have had?

      • @ Gary M.

        ” They are of Gruber himself, speaking to his fellow conservatives, and explaining how they crafted the bill to keep key facets from the American public.”

        Fellow conservatives?

        Gary, I am one of your biggest cheerleaders, but you might want to give this one another quick look.

      • Pig in a poke,
        Vote, don’t tote,
        It’s no joke,
        Panels are rote.
        =========

    • Matthew R Marler

      GaryM: A pop quiz for extra points. Who do you think Gruber was referring to as stupid? Here’s a hint. It is not the low information voters who vote progressive.

      Lincoln said it first. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

      Obama, Gruber and company fooled enough of the people long enough to get Obamacare passed, but the Dems immediately lost the majority in the House, and then subsequently lost the majority in the Senate. As I wrote above, if Landrieu loses the runoff, she will be the 28th Senator to lose office within 4 1/2 years of voting for Obamacare. Considering the usual stability of the Senate that is a very high proportion of supporters to lose office, though it doubtless was not the only issue.

      Somebody may have been stupid regarding Obamacare, but it was not the Republicans in the House nor the Republicans in the Senate, nor was it the majority of voters, nor the majority of swing voters. Nor did Gruber et al fool the CBO, who noted in their review numerous reasons for thinking that it would increase the federal budget dramatically. Also not fooled were some commercial enterprises who projected that passage of Obamacare would enhance their business models (Kaiser-Permanente, AARP are often cited.)

      The people who were fooled were those who that that: (a) they could keep insurance policies that they liked; (b) overall cost of providing medical care would decrease; (c) a larger number of people would have coverage; or (d) that federal costs of providing medal care would go down.

      • Matthew R Marler

        oops, mean those who believed that

      • > … and all of the people some of the time

        Not true at all, just another piece of aaw shucks cornpone rhetoric

      • Matthew Marler,

        Close, but not quite.

        Maybe you don’t remember what was going on at the time the bill was passed on a purely Democrat vote in both houses of congress. The most important things to Obama at the time were first his own reelection, and passage of the bill. For Democrat congress creatures, the only goal that really mattered was their own reelection,

        The target was not conservative voters or activists. The target was not libertarian voters of activists. And even the majority of progressive, low information voters were not the target. They vote Democrat on auto pilot. The target was both progressive voters and lower level progressive activists. You know, like so many of the commenters here.

        Those congressional Dems facing reelection, like Bart Stupak, were terrified of their own more knowledgeable voters, and the great muddled middle. Default Democrat/progressive voters had to be conned because a huge number of them were going to lose their policies and/or pay big increases in premiums, co-pays and taxes, particularly union members. Ditto with “moderates” and “independents.” Those who normally consider themselves above “ideology” suddenly get the point when a government program threatens to nationalize an industry with an immediate reduction in service and increase in price.

        Obama did not sign on to the Copenhagen agreement for the same reasons. He and his congressional supporters would have faced not a wave election, but a tsunami.

        Obamacare was designed to destroy the current healthcare industry and force the introduction of pure socialized medicine. Just ask Gruber.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Matthew – It’s far more simple than that… Obama bought the votes of deadbeats by taking YOUR money and re-distributing it to deadbeats in the form of health-care, burner phones, and food stamps.

        Whoever robs Peter to pay Paul can count on the vote of Paul.

  54. Steven Goddard found that body language conveys a message propaganda artists cannot hide from the public:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/friends-and-enemies/

  55. Current state of play, then –

    After four and a half billion years, mostly molten Earth continues to cool.

    After four and a half billion years, CO2 warming still an urban myth, without scientific basis or verification.

    Life goes on.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  56. One of President Obama’s problems is that he does not understand the difference between carbon dioxide and soot. While they sometimes appear together, particularly on TV, they are of course very different substances. Soot is that black stuff, mostly carbon, can ruin washing on the line and is bad for our lungs, although it can be filtered out with a face mask if extreme. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an invisible non-toxic gas, essential to the planet as Plant food (human and animal existence would be impossible without it). Some have labelled CO2 as a ‘greenhouse gas’, but we all know there is no greenhouse in the sky. It is just an analogy that proves nothing.

    Obama’s misunderstanding is obvious when he joins forces with China to tackle carbon pollution. Sure, Beijing has a soot problem, and people ware masks to walk in the streets. But by and large, the US does not have a soot problem and people do not have to wear face masks. Some people, including some scientists including employees of the UN, think the world has a ‘greenhouse’ problem causing rising temperatures. But global average temperature has not risen in the last 16 years despite large increases in CO2 concentration. These UN employees object saying their models tell them that increased temperatures are inevitable in the future, despite that their models can’t correctly predict present temperatures. Obviously their models are too inaccurate to be useful.

    In case you think this is just an unqualified rant, see my website underlined above.

    • > … he does not understand the difference between carbon dioxide and soot

      Yes he does. But a majority of the general populace do not, which is why this sort of disinforming rhetoric works

      • “Yes he does” : But that is a serious charge to lodge against a President as it implies falsifying evidence, that may be dismissed as politics, but not in an international context.

        Thanks for your reply, ianl8888.

    • I was going to say shyte and Shinola, but I guess CO2 and soot will do.

    • David Springer

      CO2 is toxic in concentrations as little as 10% in otherwise normal air.

  57. We now have proof beyond question using an undeniable methodology: “Science Proves People Are Terrible… This methodology has no merit and can easily been seen to produce utterly nonsensical results. But people like those results so nobody seems to mind.” ~Brandon Shollenberger

  58. Thanks, Judith –

    A useful thread – lest anyone question the overwhelming association between political ideology and “skepticism” about climate change.

    Hilarious. Maybe you should hold off on any other threads for a couple of days. I suspect the amusement could well carry on for a few more days. There are still a couple of political extremists not yet hear dfrom.

    • “lest anyone question the overwhelming association between political ideology and “skepticism” about climate change”

      or question the overwhelming association between low information voters and cAGW.

      • ==> “or question the overwhelming association between low information voters and cAGW.”

        Besides expressing your elitism – what does that even mean? What is the association between low information voters and a physical phenomenon (i.e., climate change)? Do you mean association of low information voters and a relatively greater concern that ACO2 poses a risk? Of that’s what you meant, please, do, show evidence for that association. Or maybe that was an attempt at humor?

        This thread serves as an (anecdotal) example of the association I spoke of – but I can easily supply you with more evidence if you’d like.

      • My you are slipping, are we to take it that when people speak of ‘climate change’, they are ipso facto discussing cAGW?

      • Climate Change ≠ cAGW

        Ice is on Lake Superior about a month early (and the lake effect snow is speeding things along). NOAA isn’t even tracking it yet.

        Climate is changing as we speak (so to speak).

        Climate grubering has been used to give the casual observer the wrong impression about the state of the science (much like obamacare). The “strong warming” camp has been distinctly less transparent than the skeptics and used many dubious claims (much like obamacare)..

      • PDO index up sharply. Vast majority of the globe warm as heck.

      • Don’t know what to tell you JCH.

        PDO is above average. Surface air temperatures are warm – which means a lot of OLR (a lot of cooling). Depends on whether the energy is coming from stored surface energy or increased insolation (fewer clouds). We could be cooling, we could be warming.

        Given that the natural cycles are cycles (they go up and down) it will get cooler at some point.

        The basic perception problem of the strong warming community is they put a straight edge through the 1990s warming, drew a line and said it is going to continue forever without drastic action (the same thing has been done with sea level).

        Warming and sea level are driven by natural cycles. If they went up forever they would be called natural ramps.

      • David Springer

        re; high information voters

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html?_r=0

        “Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated”

      • JCH | November 18, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        PDO

        Fine. I got out my popcorn, we will see what happens. I think there is weak CO2 forcing.

        SAGW (strong forcing) is right – the temperature will go up.
        Either natural cycles or solar is right – more hiatus.
        Both natural and solar are right – it gets cooler.

        When we talk about warming do you mean raw/real or … ahem … “homogenized/pasteurized” temperatures?

      • The sun is the powerhouse; CO2 is its control knob. It is a complicated system, but none of its complications are going to ward off ACO2.

      • David Springer

        CO2 does next to nothing compared to water in all its forms. Earth is a water world and the sun is a water heater.

        Write that down.

    • Curious George

      There may be an overwhelming association between an IQ and a skepticism. Let’s ask Professor Lewandowsky to measure it.

      • Good point. And maybe monkeys fly out of your butt. Now all we need is some evidence

      • The average IQ of voters would be less than the average IQ of cAGWers but even less than the average IQ of sceptics. Now that’s an interesting hypothesis!

        Evidence? The donkey vote syndrome; the type of political advertising that clearly works in swinging an electorate; the type of comments that are posted on the web; the lack of conformity in sceptical comments.

        My take on all this? The error bands between these averages are sufficiently wide so that any conclusion must be taken with a large grain of salt. The really intelligent people would simply not take climate change alarmism seriously and would be more preoccupied with more important things.
        matters.

      • sorry matters don’t matter.

      • Research has consistently shown that intelligence is positively correlated with socially liberal beliefs and negatively correlated with religious beliefs. This should lead one to expect that Republicans are less intelligent than Democrats. However, I find that individuals who identify as Republican have slightly higher verbal intelligence than those who identify as Democrat (2–5 IQ points), and that individuals who supported the Republican Party in elections have slightly higher verbal intelligence than those who supported the Democratic Party (2 IQ points). I reconcile these findings with the previous literature by showing that verbal intelligence is correlated with both socially and economically liberal beliefs (β = .10–.32). My findings suggest that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans.

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289614000373

        What this means is that classically liberal Republicans are much smarter than Democrats.

      • Rob – those IQ findings were before the Obola administration and the concomitant uptick in pot smoking among the lefties.

      • Curious George

        Joshua dear – I outlined a way to get some evidence.

      • Peter –

        ==> “The average IQ of voters would be less than the average IQ of cAGWers but even less than the average IQ of sceptics. Now that’s an interesting hypothesis! ”

        That seems to me to be a slanted taxonomy.

        You seem to think that “skeptics” and “average people” are somehow mutually exclusive groups. “Skeptics” and “Realists” are average people.

      • Josh asks for evidence. Gee, just what many of us have been asking for.

        Perhaps we are asking for the wrong kind of evidence. Maybe we should be asking for evidence to help us determine if Josh is the monkey or the butt.

      • I wouldn’t put too much into IQ. My parents were told I tested out with an IQ approaching 150. I don’t recall ever demonstrating a genuis level intellect and felt right at home as a torpedoman’s mate, which it is well known requires a strong back and weak mind.

      • Joshua, sceptics and realists certainly are people but are they “average” people such as your “average” voter? The hypothesis that I put suggests not. My belief is that both are more intelligent than the “average” voter and that sceptics would be more non-conforming than “realists” but the error bands would overlap too much to draw any conclusions one way or the other. Do you disagree?

      • For this usage of ‘realist’ you need scare quotes, “realist”, perhaps “realist?”. They should be called modelists, they are certainly not modest.
        ==============

      • Peter –

        ==> “Joshua, sceptics and realists certainly are people but are they “average” people such as your “average” voter? The hypothesis that I put suggests not.”

        How do you define “skeptic?” If you define it as someone who doesn’t think that most recent warming is attributable to ACO2, then it is a large segment of the public. In other words, “average people.”

        It seems that you’re defining “skeptic” to equal fanatic commenters at “skeptical” blogs. I would guess that indeed, people fitting that description might, as a group, have higher than “average” IQs, but people fitting that description are a tiny smidgeon of the overall number of people who are “skeptical” about climate change.

        IMO, it is a mistake to generalize about the larger public from commenters in the blogosphere. Likewise, it would be a mistake (IMO) to generalize from commenters at “skeptical” blogs to assign attributes to “skeptics” more generally.

        Of course, if you have some actual evidence…..

      • Joshua, I was talking about cAGWers and sceptics in the blogosphere to start with and wasn’t intending to generalise much if anything. One thing that I did mention is my theory that cAGW sceptics tended to be more non-conformist than the realists toeing the party line on these matters.

        The general population do not seem to have much of a problem with climate change per se and that the really intelligent people are more interested in other things.

        There are only a few really intelligent people that contribute to climate blogs that I am aware of, Tomas being one of them, and he seems to be more interested in quantum field physics anyway.

      • Keep in mind that certain people with high IQs believe bristlecone pines measure temperatures. Also, Ivanpah and the Sydney desalination plant were advanced by people with high IQs. Timmy’s Geothermia involved people with very high IQs. Maybe even Timmy has a high IQ. Solar power in low-irradiance Germany was proposed and implemented by – you guessed it! – people with high IQs. And Spanish wind power? Yep, high IQs there.

        There seem to be two versions of IQ: one we might call “Douglas Mawson” and the other “Christian Turney”. You need to make sure your guy has the Mawson, not the Turney, IQ.

        Just check, okay?

      • +1 Mosomoso. A high IQ doesn’t necessarily imply wisdom or good decisionmaking under high levels of uncertainty. However, the decisions that you were referring to were probably made by bureaucrats with corresponding levels of conformity in their decisionmaking. Conformity means a tendency to follow the party line and a tendency not to think outside te square.

      • My father once said to his teen-age daughters voicing
        high flown opinions, ‘It’s good ter be clever and it’s good
        ter be smart, but it’s better ter be smart than clever.’
        … and added in a rare moment of self praise, ‘And I’m both.’
        To which his daughters responded predictably. )

      • You would think that there would be selection pressure for skepticism.

      • Cleverness has connotations of foxiness or cunning, smartness has connotations of superiority or impertinence, brightness has connotations of quick-wittedness or liveliness and all of them are forms of intelligence, but the most enduring and effective way to express this quality is to be perceptive of your surroundings and to make consistently better decisions. Which is all OT and not appropriate for Judith’s blog! :)

      • “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”

      • Re ‘lucky and smart,’ the I Ching says,’If you take on too
        much without a solid foundation, you will eventually be
        strained, leaving you with embarrassment and bad luck.’

        Sun Tzu ‘The Art of War.’

        Guess this applies ter ‘The Climate Wars’ big spending,
        based on what exactly? Feedback missing data? ($) or
        temperature and CO2 measurement non-correlations?($)
        Or ocean deep-heat missing data et AL perhaps? ($)

  59. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System wants to burn more nat gas because the system isn’t delivering the promised power from solar. It’s the biggest solar-thermal plant of its kind. (It’s also the one that friesEagles.) A nat gas plant would have been way cheaper and it would have worked.

    From the article:

    So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.

    Operators initially expected to need steam from gas-powered boilers for an hour a day during startup. After operations began, they found they needed to keep boilers running more than four times longer — an average of 4 1/2 hours a day.

    State energy regulators in August approved the plant’s request to increase the natural gas it is allowed to burn by 60 percent.

    Additional natural gas could also be needed to operate boilers when clouds thicken or to maintain output at the end of the day and extend the capability for power production, the company said.

    “Because the plant requires sunlight to heat water and turn it to steam, anything that reduces the sunlight will affect steam conditions, which could damage equipment and potentially cause unsafe conditions,” said the commission, which approved the request for increased gas use.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102192547

    • jim2, Does that mean Ivanpah is actually a fossil fuel plant. Should it be shut down?

      Sensible questions: is there any data available on its actual output at time scales of say 15 min, 30 mins, hourly or daily? I’d be really interested in that. Have a look at Figures 6 an 7 here to follow the text to understand the relevance. The real costs are enormous. I calculated them for Ivanpah previously before it was completed. I can dig them out inf interested. But I’d be interested to see this sort of data to compare it with the claims that were used to justify the government subsidies.

      • A hard cost comparison would be of interest to us hard heads, but unless you can get it on the front page of the Daily Telegraph it will be still-born

      • ianl8888,

        OK,

        I just dug this out. I wrote this a couple of years ago now. I have more, and comparisons and references to all figures used.

        The world’s largest and most recent solar thermal plant, Ivanpah, http://www.ecc-conference.org/past-conferences/2012/BrightSource_ECC_Presentation_combined.pdf will cost about $19/W of average power delivered.

        Nameplate capacity = 370 MW.
        Expected average energy generation per year = 1,000,000 MWh.
        This means average power output is 114 MW (about 1/10th of a new nuclear plant).
        Capacity factor is 31%.
        Cost = US $2.2 billion = $19/Watt average power delivered.

        This is around 3x the cost of some recent nuclear power plant builds that most environmentalists have accused of being prohibitively expensive.

        The heliostats used in the project weigh in at 30,000 tonnes. That’s 262 tons of heliostats per MW electric average. That’s just for the heliostats, not even the foundations, not to mention the tower and power block.

        The power plant area that had to be bulldozed over is 20x larger than a nuclear reactor of equivalent average (real) capacity (twin unit AP1000).

      • Peter – go here fast. There is some info here that is available only till the end of this month. But this might be the kind of info you are looking for.

        Here is the time sensitive info:

        http://www.caiso.com/Pages/documentsbygroup.aspx?GroupID=B1A5EABD-65DB-4EBD-927C-DA9DC2E51A99

        The main page has more info.

        http://www.caiso.com/market/Pages/ReportsBulletins/Default.aspx

      • Jim2,

        Thank you. I started to download and realised it is 327 MB file covering just 6 moments. I looked at the other file and thought OMG, it’ll be too much work to get anything useful out of it for only 6 months. The link I gave in another comment on ‘Solar power realities’ http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf took many months of work.

      • Cost = US $2.2 billion = $19/Watt average power delivered.

        Agreed. I don’t know what the investors consider a reasonable amortization period, but with a generous 20 years, Brightsource’s promise of one terawatt-hour of delivered energy per year adds up to 20 TWh over that period. Hence they’d have to charge $2.2/20 = 11 cents/kWh just to recoup their principal, plus a whole lot more for the opportunity cost of the 20-year investment. And that’s just for construction costs alone, nothing for operation, distribution, etc.

        Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology indeed seems to be unattractive. Greenbiz contributing writer Garrett Hering lists four concerns with the Ivanpah project here. His third concern (the only one bearing on cost) is that even if the project can reach its 2008 contract price of “at or below 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hour before time-of-day adjustments,” which in 2008 looked great compared to 21 cents for PV, in the meantime PV had dropped to 11 cents by 2013.

        How they were able to get away with the 12.5 cents/kWh promise in the 2008 contract is anyone’s guess given the $2.2B construction cost. It’s hard to see any other way of interpreting the “investment” than as a massive subsidy.

      • Here are some costs for a demonstration 130 kW solar PV power station in central Qyeensland (a high insolation area).
        $35/W,
        $110/average watt
        $1400/MWh
        Expected to avoid 30,000 to 100,000 litres of diesel per year
        CO2 abatement cost $2000-$6000/t CO2 avoided
        Note: transmission and decommissioning costs are not included (both are much higher than for nuclear)

        For comparison:
        nuclear power’s LCOE is about 1/15
        nuclear power’s CO2 abatement cost is about 1/100th

        And that’s nuclear with all costs included, including the costs the anti nukes love to rave on about but never actually convert their costs to LCOE.

      • Tonapah is another US solaar thermal project. I compared some figures for nuclear and CST using the $5,600 MW nuclear power station being built in UAE by a Korean consortium and the Tonapah CST plant in USA. I compared what we’d get for $68 billion. The reason for $68 billion is because that would provide the baseload capacity for the Australian NEM if nuclear. The last three columns show the values for nuclear, CST and the ratio of nuclear/CST

        Item Units nuclear CST nuclear/CST
        capacity GW 18.7 7.5 2.5
        energy GWh/a 138,992 32,980 4.2
        land area km2 19 440 4%

        For $68 billion we’d get 2.5 times more capacity, 4.2 more electricity and use only 4% as much land area.

        Faced with the facts, why does any rational person continue to advocate for solar power of any sort?

      • Vaughn Pratt,

        See my reply to your comment on Ivanpah which I must have mistakenly posted on the nesting level above.

      • Peter,

        They just reported today on the radio that there only getting about half the electricity they expected from Ivanpah as they underestimated clouds and jet streams.

      • Ordvic,

        They just reported today on the radio that there only getting about half the electricity they expected from Ivanpah as they underestimated clouds and jet streams.

        If that rate lasts for life, the cost per average watt becomes $38/W average!

        And still people are advocating for solar thermal power.

    • Spelling corrections and important correction to units (Abatement cost units are $/t CO2, not $/MWh)

      Vaughan Pratt,

      It’s not 11c/kWh. it’s much much higher. I suggest you take some time to read up on what LRMC and LCOE mean and learn how to calculate them http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe.html. You keep posting comments revealing you don’t understand them.

      By the way, do you understand what the real cost of solar PV is when all costs that should be attributed to PV are included? Using Australian 2013 costs, and reasonable assumptions about average life expectancy and average capacity factor for PV its CO2 abatement cost in Sydney and Melbourne is around $600/MWh.

      Graham Palmer (2013) “Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power?http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406

      Electricity Supply Association of Australia (2013) Discussion Paper “Who pays for Solar Energyhttp://www.esaa.com.au/policy/who_pays_for_solar_energy

      • It’s not 11c/kWh. it’s much much higher

        It certainly is. Perhaps you overlooked that I made exactly that point myself.

        Using Australian 2013 costs, and reasonable assumptions about average life expectancy and average capacity factor for PV its CO2 abatement cost in Sydney and Melbourne is around $600/MWh.

        I’m accustomed to CO2 abatement costs being given in units of dollars per abated ton of CO2. What’s the conversion factor from cost of energy to cost of CO2 abatement, and how robust is it?

        If you meant cost of energy, I’ve already fully amortized the 7.5 kW of PV panels on my roof. My cost of energy to run my air conditioner on a hot summer day is therefore zero, or better since PGE allows me to sell some of the excess to my immediate neighbors with no need to modify the distribution network (that may change when my neighbors install PV).

        Some day those panels and their inverter will indeed need replacing, but so far they’ve been going gangbusters. When they do eventually go out I expect they’ll cost a third of what I paid for them.

        With that in mind it’s hard to take your figure of $600/MWh seriously.

        You keep posting comments revealing you don’t understand them.

        Certainly one of us doesn’t understand them. My take is that one of us has lysdexia—no, sydlexia. Well, whatever.

    • Correction:

      Using Australian 2013 costs, and reasonable assumptions about average life expectancy and average capacity factor for PV its CO2 abatement cost in Sydney and Melbourne is around $600/t CO2.

      Given that nuclear is superior to solar power on all the key requirements (cost of electricity with all costs included, energy security, reliablity of supply, fit-for-purpose, CO2 abatement cost and fatalities per MWh, why would any rational person, once they are aware of the facts, continue to advocate for solar power and oppose nuclear power?

      • its CO2 abatement cost in Sydney and Melbourne is around $600/t CO2.

        Apologies, I commented before I saw this correction.

  60. Sen. Mary Landrieu says she has enough votes to pass Keystone XL

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2556295

    • Update
      Senate narrowly fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline bill

      The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

      The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 “ayes” would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

      TransCanada Corp’s $8 billion pipeline would help transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but is opposed by environmentalists.

      Had the bill passed, it would likely have been vetoed by President Barack Obama.

      • The vote count was 59-41 in favor,

        2014 Democrats: “Ok, which 14 of us can best benefit from a yes vote?”

        2015 Democrats: “Ok, which 6 of us can best benefit from a yes vote?”

        (Based on 45 Republicans in 2014, 53 in 2015.)

      • Convicted by conviction.
        ========

  61. Data and maps available on pdf downloads:

    http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/result/result.htm

  62. Speaking of nat gas, the price of which is up, and here’s why …

  63. Xi Jinping came bearing gifts, Barack Obama just gave us grief

    “WHO would have thought it?

    A US president comes to Australia with the specific intention of damaging the Australian government politically on climate change, while a Chinese president comes here with nothing but gifts.

    Xi Jinping’s accomplished, well-considered speech to parliament yesterday contained no references to climate change and no implicit criticism of Australia. After all, there are other forums for that issue, China is not committed to any carbon emissions targets and why would you go out of your way to embarrass your host?

    The contrast with Barack Obama was staggering. More than that, Xi was charming, respectful and helpful to all Australians he mentioned. He completed the free-trade agreement, which is a big win for both countries. But more generally his speech was one of reassurance and reasonable ambition.

    Xi touched on some of the ­issues important to him and his government: China would remain a nation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. But he presented these values in a way designed to soothe and reassure. More than that, the substance of his message was one of reassurance more generally to the whole Asia-Pacific ­region. China was a peaceful country, he said, and repeated. China had suffered bullying and oppression. It would not visit these indignities on other nations.

    Given how robustly the Abbott government has backed Japan’s strategic re-emergence, and protested against Beijing’s declaration of an air defence identification zone around the disputed Senkaku/­Diaoyu islands, as well as declining recently to join, at least for now, China’s new infrastructure bank, many analysts in Washington and Australia had expected some overt display of Chinese displeasure. But the Chinese seem to value their relationship with the Abbott government, certainly to the extent that they would not embarrass their host by emphasising disagreements. Of course, the Chinese are being nice to everyone at the moment, including the Americans and even the ­Japanese. The question remains whether this will be the character of Chinese attitudes into the future.”

    The Australian
    Greg Sheridan
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/xi-jinping-came-bearing-gifts-barack-obama-just-gave-us-grief/story-e6frg76f-1227126332786

    But when China is being nice, everyone breathes easy.”

  64. From the article:

    Operational Hiccups at Ivanpah Solar Worry Me
    The world’s largest solar thermal facility was brightly unveiled to the American Public in Ivanpah, CA by the U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on February 13. The project, designed and sponsored by BrightSource Energy and owned by BrightSource, NRG Energy, and Google, cost $2.2 billion and received $1.6 billion federal loan guarantees through the Department of Energy.

    NRG Energy tweeted: “Thrilled to announce: Ivanpah is fully operational & delivering solar power to California!” And Ernie Moniz exclaimed: “This is fantastic news! I’m hoping this is only the beginning of many to come. This is the type of energy we need.”

    But the operational data negate this optimism, and I’m worried that this concentrated solar project may not fare much better than several other projects that have not turned out well. Generally, operational complexity and risk do not deter me. But when a project utilizes public money and goodwill to absorb risks and generate private profits, even a partial failure could become a lightning rod for public criticism.

    http://psahay.blogspot.com/2014/03/ivanpah-solar-power-worries-me.html

    • jim2

      How do you show an image, instead of its URL here?

    • Jim the analysis you linked is insufficient to allow one to establish the full year operating parameters for that solar power plant. However, I just did a simple calculation using my graphite device and it shows the technology they used is a dead end. Building such a plant is a waste of resources.

      If the government is subsidizing ideas like this I may put together a proposal for a geothermal plant. This will allow me to play around drilling very expensive subsidized wells.

      • However, I just did a simple calculation using my graphite device and it shows the technology they used is a dead end. Building such a plant is a waste of resources.

        Yes. And this explains: http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/ . Renewables are not sustainable. Their ERoEI is too low.

      • @ Fernando Leanme

        “Building such a plant is a waste of resources.”

        Au contraire. I think that when all is said and done, we will find that building such a plant proved to be HIGHLY effective in accomplishing its primary objective: transferring the wealth and resources from the people who earned them to the the self-licking ice cream cone consisting of politicians allocating the wealth and resources to their friends and political sycophants who conveniently started the companies to which the wealth and resources were allocated, followed by said friends and sycophants funneling a good portion of the allocated resources back to the politicians who allocated them via political contributions, speaking fees, book advances, ad infinitum. Oh, and Peter Lang explains that the ‘carbon footprint’ of said plant is probably larger than that of a gas or oil fired plant, because of the huge footprint generated during its construction.

        Calling goat ropes like this a scam would be slandering old time, traditional scams.

      • @ Fernando Leanme

        Re my comment about the progressive politician/green corporation self-licking ice cream cone:

        http://greencorruption.blogspot.com/2012/05/brightsource-energy-political-influence.html#.VGtxr4e4m8U

    • The world’s largest and most recent solar thermal plant, Ivanpah, http://www.ecc-conference.org/past-conferences/2012/BrightSource_ECC_Presentation_combined.pdf will cost about $19/W of average power delivered:

      • Nameplate capacity = 370 MW.

      • projected annual generation = 1,000,000 MWh. Therefore average power output is 114 MW (about 1/10th of a new nuclear plant).

      • Capacity factor is 31%.

      • Cost = US $2.2 billion = $19/Watt average.

      • This is 3x the cost of some recent nuclear powerplant builds that most environmentalists have accused of being prohibitively expensive.

      • The heliostats used in the project weigh in at 30,000 tonnes. That’s 262 tons of heliostats per MW electric average. That’s just for the heliostats, not even the foundations, not to mention the tower and power block.

      • The powerplant area that had to be bulldozed over is 20x larger than a nuclear reactor of equivalent average (real) capacity (twin unit AP1000).

    • Stephen Segrest

      Jim2 — Could you also provide us your opinion on the billions of dollars provided (under the same DOE Loan Guarantee Program) to Georgia Power’s (and their Partners) Vogtle nuclear units?

      • Stephen

        Comaring dollar amounts of a loan guarantees would be inadequate; a comparison of risk is also needed.

        Richard

      • The first word is “comparing”

      • An admittedly biased paper on loan guarantee fees for nuclear projects:
        http://www.eenews.net/assets/2014/04/21/document_gw_02.pdf
        What is it the government has in case things go wrong? A half built facility that will probably be finished and operated. It has everything that was right about the project and a few things that were wrong with it that we assume can be fixed. It has an asset, the half built facility, that you can see and isn’t going to be wired to some offshore account. Everything that the government has at a time of a loan default reduces the risk to the government. Utilities if they are the ones with the loan guarantees, have advantages when things go wrong. They are still going to sell electricity. The demand for their specific product is likely constant. They have some ability to increase rates to cover losses. As far as what the subsidy amounts to on average, it seems to be 2% per year or less on the loan balance. I’d say it’s similar to a 2 percent decrease in the loan’s interest rate charged. It is undoubtedly a subsidy and subject to the same scrutiny as renewables subsidies. However, we can still compare the chance of success to both types of energy generation. With nuclear, do we get something we want, that fits with a low cost approach? Do we get the same with solar and wind? Are we subsidizing a mandated requirement or something the market wants? When we subsidize wind and solar are we hanging an albatross on the utilities? While in theory I am against all subsides, there are shades of gray.

      • Stephen Segrest. How many times are you going to ask me about government help for nuclear power? I am FOR government help for nuclear power because it is a compact, reliable, 24/7 source of power that can power civilization for a thousand years. I’m not for subsidies for “renewables” because they don’t work very well. Write that down so you will remember next time!

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2, rls, Ragnaar, Others — In a context of only discussing the U.S. DOE Loan Program — I’m trying to figure out what principles you stand for.

        While I disagree, I respect folks like Ron Paul and Robert Rapier (who’s probably smarter than any of us at CE) who believe the Federal Government should not be involved in any loan guarantee program. They believe the free market should be driving decision making — not politicians, in making these lending decisions.

        What principles are you standing on when you approve of DOE Loan guarantees for nuclear?

        Your continued arguments of criticizing DOE Loans for solar on a principle that Government should not intervene and then turning a deaf ear to loan guarantees for nuclear — appears to be very inconsistent as to principles.

      • I’m a great one for disposing of principles – c’mon, they’re good guides but they can be a bore – however I stay firm to this one:

        “Fund what does not suck, do not fund what sucks.”

        That almost made it on to Moses’ tablet, but it just got beaten out by the no-covet commandment (also pretty good and maybe deserved a higher spot).

      • You’ve raised that same issue repeatedly and you’ve been answered repeatedly. I’ve explained it to you on this thread https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/05/more-renewables-watch-out-for-the-duck-curve/ (or the previous thread by Planning Engineer) and you haven’t shown the explanation is false. In fact, if I recall correctly, you dodged it and moved on to raising some other issues you’d already raised repeatedly. You nether accepted the explanation or showed it was false which a sign of intellectual dishonesty:

        4. Avoiding/Ignoring the question or “ . . . and let’s not forget about . . .” Anybody who refuses to admit that their argument is weak in an area and, worse still, avoids answering difficult questions in that area is being intellectually dishonest. If they don’t ignore the question, these people are easily recognised from their efforts to change the subject.

        5. Never admitting error or “I am/We are right – regardless of your evidence”. These are the people who will never admit that they are wrong – ever – regardless of clear evidence that demonstrates their error. See Sign #1

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/05/more-renewables-watch-out-for-the-duck-curve/

      • “However, the companies (Vogtle) have always made it clear that they were pursuing all means to lower the cost of financing the plant. The interest rate savings will be passed to the consumer in the form of lower electricity rates.” http://atomicinsights.com/update-doe-loan-guarantee-vogtle/
        Arguably spin. The board of directors hears from the accountants that the government is giving away money. The accountants recommend getting some of that. We could changes the above quote to say, some of the money will go to the shareholders as well. The board is pushed towards ignoring their libertarian principles and improving their companies position, improving its long term viability. I don’t know if the AP1000s are going to succeed, but they seem to follow a proven power source. Safety issues have been raised but it seems there is interest in further purchases of the reactors.
        “What principles are you standing on when…”
        A reliable low cost long term energy supply. Stephen Segrest there’s a phenomena that occurs with subsidies. The most viable projects get them while the ones most in need of them are excluded if they are thought of as too risky. When one sits on the, ‘Hand out the subsidies board’, one leans towards the less risky ones, so they will be perceived as successfully doing one’s job. The DOE will at times get fooled and we might say they should have listened more to their engineers and accountants and less to the politicians. Perhaps the game can be called, getting someone else to stand on the ledge. The banks, the companies, the shareholders and the DOE all have an interest in getting someone else to take the risk.

      • Stephen

        Obama once said his philosophy is “Don’t do stupid stuff”. I don’t think he’s capable of following that philosophy, but Its a good one. I have no knowledge of power planning but remember Planning Engineer saying that solar and wind are not ready for base power generation. If true it would be reason enough to chose nuclear. However I would chose nuclear also because it is mature, less costly, and more reliable. My principle is “don’t gamble with other people’s money”.

        Richard

      • Stephen Segrest | November 18, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        Jim2, rls, Ragnaar, Others — In a context of only discussing the U.S. DOE Loan Program — I’m trying to figure out what principles you stand for.

        What principles are you standing on when you approve of DOE Loan guarantees for nuclear?
        ***********
        Stephen, you know, life is complex. I have to consider every situation on a case by case basis. Most issues are not black or white.

        One of my main principle is for me to survive and thrive. Another, similar principle is for my country to survive and thrive. I value personal freedom, small government, and the Rule of Law, and that our politicians and judges interpret the Constitution strictly.

        That’s not all of my principles, but hopefully, that will help.

        So, bottom line, I feel nuclear will help me and my nation survive and thrive. I don’t have the same take on “renewables.” See, it’s really quite simple.

      • +1

        I’ve already answered Stephens repetitious question about nuclear subsidies. He chooses to ignore that rather then debate it seriously. Buy ignoring it he can continue to ask the same question on future threads and on other web sites. that;s one of the 10 sighs of intellectual dishonesty:

        4. Avoiding/Ignoring the question or “ . . . and let’s not forget about . . .” Anybody who refuses to admit that their argument is weak in an area and, worse still, avoids answering difficult questions in that area is being intellectually dishonest. If they don’t ignore the question, these people are easily recognised from their efforts to change the subject.

        5. Never admitting error or “I am/We are right – regardless of your evidence”. These are the people who will never admit that they are wrong – ever – regardless of clear evidence that demonstrates their error. See Sign #1

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2 — There is of course, no problem in anyone stating their opinion. You believe solar is inadequate and costly technology and should not be funded. No problem with you stating your opinion (although I and many others disagree).

        The problem is criticizing solar on the principle that the Federal Government should not be intervening in the Free Market — and then having a deaf ear to nuclear project DOE Loan guarantees. This is inconsistent.

        ————–

        And again I will say that IMO, Obama was absolutely correct in providing loan support to Vogtle (and his attempt to provide guarantees to 16 other new nuclear projects that was blocked by Congress). IMO, the real problem with nuclear isn’t technology but that of public perceptions. Having 17 new nuclear units up and running safely would have gone a long way in changing public perceptions in the U.S.

      • For 50 years or more regulatory ratcheting has been ramping up the costs of nuclear power and penalising it compared with competitors. The imposts are huge. They’ll take decades to work them out of the cost on nuclear power (from when we begin to unwind them). In order to offset the imposts we’ve imposed by bad policies, we do, unfortunately, have to subsidise them. otherwise they cannot compete and we cannot get the benefits.

        But the fact we made a massive mistake with ratcheting up the costs of nuclear power is not a valid argument to do the same with renewables. Renewables are not sustainable and not economic and not fit for purpose (except in a few small niche applications).

        We should not be wasting so much time, effort and subsidies on them. All subsidies should be removed for future renewables. Subsidies should be would back from nuclear as fast as the impediments that have been imposed and are now incorporated in the costs of nuclear energy are removed.

        Rational, informed people should stop advocating from renewables and instead put their effort into advocating to get the impediments removed from nuclear.

      • Stephen Segrest

        rls made the statement: “However I would chose nuclear also because it is mature, less costly, and more reliable. My principle is “don’t gamble with other people’s money”.

        The current capital cost estimate for Vogtle is now a whopping ~$6,500 per kW and climbing. The Vogtle project is ~2 years behind schedule and embroiled in a major billion dollar lawsuit with Westinghouse.

        rls seems to be arguing that its impossible (1) for Georgia Power to lose this lawsuit; (2) for the PSC to ever require an asset write-down on Vogtle.

      • Irrelevant figures. Provide the comparative costs for the solar-wind alternative to provide the same baseload power. Provide the LCOE!

      • Stephen Segrest

        RE: Peter Lang’s comments. Its impossible to have a dialogue with a 100% hard-core Ideologue like you — who refuses to even try and understand that System Planning is much more than just Base Load generation.

        As I have repeatedly stated, decisions on Renewables (solar and wind) should be looking for “Right Fits” and based on engineering and engineering economics (and not “mandates” from Politicians).

        It would not surprise me that “Right Fits” currently in say, Mississippi based on engineering economics would result in a 1% (or less) penetration level for peaking load.

        It would also not surprise me that (again based on engineering economics) that a Renewable penetration (solar and wind) level in say, Maine could be 10%.

        But with you, its always zero.

        You are no different than an antithesis of the Ideologues in Denmark (that want zero fossil fuels and 100% Renewables).

      • As I have repeatedly stated, decisions on Renewables (solar and wind) should be looking for “Right Fits” and based on engineering and engineering economics (and not “mandates” from Politicians).

        You’ve repeatedly asserted that. But you haven’t managed to demonstrate that a significant proportion of renewables (solar and wind) are economically viable, would reduce the cost of electricity, are a cheaper way than nuclear power to reduce emissions. You have not made a persuasive case to support your assertions. Therefore, they are unsupported, baseless assertions. And trying to appeal to authority, i.e. yourself as the authority, is laughable. Who’d trust anyone who is habitually dishonest?

        It would not surprise me that “Right Fits” currently in say, Mississippi based on engineering economics would result in a 1% (or less) penetration level for peaking load. It would also not surprise me that (again based on engineering economics) that a Renewable penetration (solar and wind) level in say, Maine could be 10%. But with you, its always zero.

        1. Where did I say “its always zero.”? Prove that statement with quotes please! Please include quotes of where I’ve explained exactly what I am saying. I’m not going to write it here for you again. I expect you to correct this disingenuous statement using a relevant quote which explains the main point I’ve been making on viability of solar and wind energy.

        2. IMPORTANT! – provide a persuasive case that 10% non-hydro renewables are economically viable in Maine. However, be aware that even if you do provide a persuasive case to support that, it is not relevant to my argument because I said there are some small niche markets where renewables are viable. My main arguments is the renewables are not sustainable, expensive, cannot provide a large proportion of the world’s electricity and, therefore, cannot have much impact on reducing global GHG emissions. However, nuclear can, is sustainable and much cheaper. Therefore, we should stop advocating renewables and advocate for nuclear instead. That is a point that hasn’t yet penetrated into your brain. You keep dodging the key issue. And you keep bringing up anti-nuclear talking points that have been refuted repeatedly. You keep raising the nuclear subsidies arguments, completely ignoring that I’d addressed that for you on previous threads and you had no argument to refute it.

        You are no different than an antithesis of the Ideologues in Denmark (that want zero fossil fuels and 100% Renewables).

        That’s your opinion. I believe I am being rational and you are not. I’ve made my points clear. I advocate for least cost energy. Anyone who doesn’t is ignorant of the fact that energy is one of the two basic inputs to everything humans have achieved, the other being human ingenuity. Humanity wants and needs secure, reliable least-cost energy. That’s the starting point. If you want to be taken seriously you need to show you are advocating for a lower cost option that meet the requirements. You haven’t done that.

      • Stephen

        You asked for what our principles when we stand on loan guarantees for nuclear. And my answer was that nuclear is more mature, more reliable, less costly, and that solar and wind are not feasible solutions for base power generation.

        Your reply about delays, overruns, and lawsuits is not about nuclear vs solar/wind. These things happen in the business world, and it is not unusual that they occur when the government changes its requirements; been there. Could have happened with solar/wind, homes/tombs.

        Keep warm and safe

        Richard

      • Stephen Segrest

        Peter Lang — You have repeatedly said (and I’ve repeatedly shown/linked to your quote) that hydro and fossil fuels will always be cheaper than Renewables for peaking/intermediate load requirements.

        Just admit that you are wrong on this “absolutism” and we can move on constructively.

      • Stephen Segrest,

        Peter Lang — You have repeatedly said (and I’ve repeatedly shown/linked to your quote) that hydro and fossil fuels will always be cheaper than Renewables for peaking/intermediate load requirements.

        I don’t recall saying “hydro and fossil fuels will always be cheaper than Renewables for peaking/intermediate load requirements.”

        Please provide the link and quote.

        Why do you continually ignore the key point I’ve said repeatedly? It is: renewables are not economic except in a few small niche markets. Therefore, they cannot make a major contribution to supplying the world’s energy. Therefore, they cannot make a major contribution to reducing global GHG emissions. Therefore, we should not be wasting time advocating for them. Instead we should be advocating for nuclear which has demonstrated it can provide 75% of the electricity for a large industrial economy with low emissions (France has been doing it for over 30 years and cut emissions to 15% of Germany’s and Denmark’s).

        Why do you keep ignoring that?

        It demonstrates very clear personal, professional and intellectual dishonesty.

      • Stephen

        “Just admit that you are wrong on this “absolutism” and we can move on constructively.”

        Please forgive me for sticking my nose into this discussion. I’m not a power/planning engineer, but doesn’t the nature of nuclear make it feasible to design a nuclear power plant such that it can handle both base load and peaking load? One system for both loads instead of two? Given a requirement for both loads, what design approach is most feasible?

        Does this clarify your criticism “absolutism”?

        Regards,

        Richard

      • rls,

        doesn’t the nature of nuclear make it feasible to design a nuclear power plant such that it can handle both base load and peaking load? One system for both loads instead of two?

        Yes, they are feasible. Nuclear powered ships and subs change speed, can stop and start, dock at wharves, etc. Of course they are entirely controllable. The 1600 MW EPR is designed to ramp at 5% (i.e. 80 MW) per minute between 50% and 100% power. It can operate down to 25% power.

        However, it is cheaper in principle to use plants with high fixed costs and low variable costs (like nuclear) for baseload and use plants with low fixed costs and high variable costs (like gas) for peak and intermediate loads.

        The cost of nuclear can come down enormously over time as I explained in my comments near the top of this thread. As we move to small modular reactors and as costs come down, it’s inevitable that nuclear plants will be come cheaper and more flexible and will become the technology of choice in many more roles than is the case now.

        That’s where we are heading. But progress is being delayed by the passionate opposition to progress by people trying to keep the focus on renewables and continually find effectively irrelevant issues with nuclear – as Segrest does continually.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Peter Lang — It is you (not me) making ubiquitous black/white statements on Renewables.

        So, here’s how to back up your statements: Go select a MAPS model (which analyzes the complete Utility System and not just a base load component) combined with a revenue requirement model (like PROVAL — a model I wrote and is used by many electric utilities as a standard throughout U.S. and World).

        Next, get the information from Georgia Power/Southern Company grid to run these models.

        Make whatever assumptions you want. But you need to always hold your basic assumptions constant — like if you eliminated solar subsidies (tax credits) you need to do the same thing with nuclear (no tax credits, loan guarantees, or Price Anderson, etc). Be consistent like Ron Paul — allowing for no subjectivity.

        From your “expert” engineering economics analysis (from the models) show:

        (A) How Georgia Power’s 500 MW solar decision was a bad policy decision .

        (B) How Georgia Power’s Vogtle nuclear decision was a good policy decision.

        I’m sure the Atlanta newspapers, Georgia Power’s management and bondholders, Southern Company stockholders, the Georgia PSC would really like seeing your “expert” analysis.

      • Stephen Segrest,

        So, here’s how to back up your statements: Go select a MAPS model (which analyzes the complete Utility System and not just a base load component) combined with a revenue requirement model (like PROVAL — a model I wrote and is used by many electric utilities as a standard throughout U.S. and World).

        You know the models. Do it for me and report your numbers here or in a post – Judith already invited you to write a post. Why haven’t you taken up that offer?

        Be sure you remove all the market distortions from your inputs. Remove all renewable subsidies of all types, including the hidden cross subsidies provided by the grid and dispatchable generators, and remove all the impediments to nuclear power that have been loaded on it over the past 50 odd years. To do that, will take a long time, so you’ll have to subsidise to balance them out until removed.

        Please provide the following results for the two options to achieve the same emissions reductions from the grid:

        1. proportion of the world’s electricity that can be economically provided by non-renewables vs nuclear now and in 2050.

        2. Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) or LCOE of the grids.

        3. State the emissions intensity of the grid in CO2-eq t/MWh

        4. The CO2 abatement cost in $/t CO2-eq avoided

        5. Demonstrate that the figures you produce for your selected grid provide lessons that are generally applicable for reducing global GHG emissions (because if that was not the focus we wouldn’t be considering non-hydro renewables).

        3. Emissions intensity of the grid with

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: like if you eliminated solar subsidies (tax credits) you need to do the same thing with nuclear (no tax credits, loan guarantees, or Price Anderson, etc).

        Why? The benefit in electricity from support of nuclear power has been much greater than the benefit from supporting wind and solar, when expressed in GW-hr per $$$. Also you mix in tax credits (which only apply when there is an operating profit), with direct subsidies and loan guarantees which the managers/investers can collect even if they never generate any electricity (for Solyndra the amount exceeded $500M.)

        I think you mean to say that “all costs should be considered”, but a tax credit does not cost the government anything, as it does not even exist unless the power plant is constructed and has an operating profit. A subsidy costs even when nothing comes from it.

    • Probability of finding the above 9-leg correlation by chance (0.5^9)x100% = 0.2 %

      • Maybe you can also evaluate the chance of this correlation, which also uses the full trend in HADCRUT4 unlike yours.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/scale:0.01

      • Jim D

        The global mean temperature is the accumulation of all the increase in global mean surface temperature during the last 15 solar cycles because the oceans and land are storage of solar heat energy. So since each solar cycle increases the global surface temperature by about 0.12 deg C as shown in the figure below, the total increase would be 15×0.12 = 1.8 deg C. However, the observed increase is only 0.8 deg C because heat is lost to the cold ocean and land below the globe’s surface.

        The increase in the accumulated heat in the oceans give the secular global mean temperature trend. As the solubility of gases decrease with increase in temperature, the warming releases CO2 into the atmosphere increasing its concentration.

        Even if we completely stop using fossil fuels, the CO2 concentration will increase. It will reduce only with low solar activity like the Maunder Minimum.

        Increased Solar Activity => Increase global mean temperature => Increase in CO2 concentration

      • Jim D

        Your graph is correct, but the interpretation is not.

    • Girma,

      I guess when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Girma: SOLAR-CLIMATE LINK

      Why did you truncate the Hadcrut temp series at 2000?

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

    USA TODAY right now
    “More than half continental US covered in snow”
    note to self … it’s “climate” change
    never mind the weather

    kim, keep an eye out for those four horseman :)

  66. All 50 U.S. states, including Hawaii, recorded a low temperature at or below 32 degrees this morning

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/11/18/analysis-coldest-november-morning-in-u-s-since-1976-all-50-states-freeze/?hpid=z11

    now is the time to sell CO2 driven cAGW to the American people

    • Just imagine how cold it would be without global warming :)

    • Of course, the cause of these kinds of cold outbreaks (a high amplitude Rossby wave omega blocking event) can be discussed scientifically:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/07/rossby-waves-and-surface-weather-extremes/

      or with Faux-News pseudoscience.

      Given that the oceans are the warmest on record and 2014 could turn out to be the warmest year on record globally, pseudoscientists would like to pretend that this kind of record energy in the climate system cannot possibly have any effects on atmospheric Rossby waves.

      • So, it would be warmer without global warming.

      • You have to admit that the irony is beautiful.

        A perfectly valid lens to skeptically evaluate climate science is the axiom that weather ≠ climate.

        And yet self-described “skeptics” just jettison that evaluative criterion for the sake of their tribal agenda.

      • Are these warmest oceans ever before or after their temperatures have been adjusted?

      • “Edim | November 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

        So, it would be warmer without global warming.”
        _____
        Is this the Faux-News pseudoscience analysis.

        Ocean at the warmest on record, and 2014 could very likely be the warmest surface temps on record. Not enough to declare the “hiatus” over, but enough to keep the decadal average temperatures at the warmest on record.

      • Gates, this isn’t the first time blocking events were brought up regarding climate change. Take a wild guess what it meant the last time people were talking about them.

      • R. Gates

        I see the back and forth about record cold and warm days/months as jostling. You’re already on record stating these are meaningless. And Fox News? Are you serious; never heard anything there about climate, other than the weather reports.

        Maybe we should pipe some of our cold to Brisbane; heard they need it.

        Stay warm,

        Richard

      • RG,

        If you want to place your faith in the work of Jennifer Francis, be my guest. Let’s just say that if plumbing were her chosen field, rather than climate science, I wouldn’t let her anywhere near my toilet.

        Unless I was looking for a suitable place to store her work.

    • I’m starting to think all advances in medical research are complete accidents.

  67. I looking a policies, policymakers should be trained to spot science from pseudoscience. Here’s some tips:

    http://phys.org/news/2014-11-scientists-distinguishes-science-pseudoscience.html

    • Wouldn’t current GCM’s fit the definition????

      You know, those things that 90% of the concern regarding AWG is founded upon???

    • Randy the video guy is an autodidact in pseudo-science.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      R. Gates
      After reading Real Climate, I find them no less agenda driven than Fox News
      Again, warmest oceans on record…please…is that EVER?
      since ARGO? Since Darwin?
      “climate change” is the magic agitprop term of all time
      gets hot … CO2
      gets cold… CO2
      you call it Rossby wave omega blocking event
      I call it “coming up with a plausible technical explanation why predictions were wrong”

      Plus, CAGW proponents are quick to tout popular news reports when they support their view, then tell me to ignore it when it goes the other way

    • Oceans warmest on record?

      2014 heading for the warmest year?

      It is all not even pseudo-science. Not any kind of science at all.

    • When you read it, his claim of warmest oceans, maybe check the news for “warmest oceans.” What it says is warmest SST’s, not oceans. It’s what has been driving 2014 toward a record warmest year in the instrument record. So maybe that’s what he meant. The record on SST’s goes back into the 19th century.

      • Not likely the warmest if you think the C & W record is the most accurate.

      • Steven, just glancing at it, it looks like that agree it is. At what are you looking?

      • > So maybe that’s what he meant

        Or maybe not. This is what Steve Mc calls ClimateBall

      • JCH, I’m going by what Way says.

        Robert Way @LabradorIce · Oct 29
        Coverage bias works both ways – most datasets will show 2014 as warmest globally except ours (Cowtan and Way, 2014)

      • That’s the global temperature anomaly, the surface air temperature. We’re talking SST’s. Also, on October 29, I don’t GISS L&O did show 2104 to be the warmest.

        This year is different in that SST’s have led land. Land is back in the pack this year.

      • “The record on SST’s goes back into the 19th century”

        Only if you adjust for the transition between canvas buckets, metal buckets, engine inlet temperature near the waterline and then for various degrading electronic sensors; remembering to add a sharp adjustment in WWII. Perfect record.

      • So what? Anything but CO2 runs deep.

      • “Anything but CO2 runs deep.”

        Not as deep as “it’s C02” does.

        Your turn.

        Andrew

      • SST coverage has been around 70% since the 1960’s. NOAA has had SST’s at warmest in the record for 5 months in a row. This is not news.

      • JCH, you said “It’s what has been driving 2014 toward a record warmest year in the instrument record.” If you didn’t mean that SSTs were driving 2014 towards a record warmest year globally then I just misread you, oops.

  68. Obama’s Executive Orders Are Now Doomed

    “Jonathan Turley, a liberal law professor and attorney, announced on his blog Tuesday he will be representing the House of Representatives in its lawsuit against the Obama administration. Here’s Turley:

    As many on this blog are aware, I have previously testified, written, and litigated in opposition to the rise of executive power and the countervailing decline in congressional power in our tripartite system. I have also spent years encouraging Congress, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, to more actively defend its authority, including seeking judicial review in separation of powers conflicts. For that reason, it may come as little surprise this morning that I have agreed to represent the United States House of Representatives in its challenge of unilateral, unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama Administration with respect to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office. As in the past, this posting is meant to be transparent about my representation as well as my need to be circumspect about my comments in the future on related stories.

    Turley has been an outspoken supporter of both liberal causes and of curbing the growth of executive power. The lawyer has also spoken out recently against the proposed executive order on immigration, calling it a “sad” and “dangerous moment.””

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/liberal-lawyer-represent-house-representatives-against-obama_819563.html

    • From a world perspective as distinct from a US perspective, I’d prefer he focused his efforts on stopping the damage Obama is doing to the world by using executive powers to push the cultists’ beliefs about CO2 emissions rather than focus on the socialist health care issue.

  69. Greg Sheridan’s relevant comments on Indian PM Modi’s visit to Australia:

    “Modi, like Xi Jinping before him, and in stark contrast to Barack Obama, went out of his way to be as helpful to Abbott as he could. Like Xi, he didn’t mention climate change. No Asian leader is ever going to give an Australian prime minister any grief over climate change. This is an issue purely for European elites and US Democrats.

    “Asian leaders are typically determined to reduce the air pollution in their own cities, but they couldn’t care less what nonsensical non-targets the Europeans and Obama declare at Paris next year. Abbott finds much more policy comfort in Asia than in Europe or in Obama’s coterie. More Jakarta less Geneva makes eminent sense, perhaps more Delhi and Beijing and less Georgetown and Harvard is another way to put it.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/india-our-third-great-asian-growth-story/story-e6frg76f-1227127514813

  70. From the article:

    The nation’s energy grid is constantly under attack by hackers.

    In fiscal year 2014, there were 79 hacking incidents at energy companies that were investigated by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. There were 145 incidents the previous year.

    The outermost defenses aren’t holding up. Between April 2013 and 2014, hackers managed to break into 37% of energy companies, according to a survey by ThreatTrack Security.

    Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE) identified nearly 50 types of malware that specifically target energy companies in 2013 alone, according to its annual report. Energy firms get hit with more spy malware than other industries, according to a 2014 study by Verizon (VZ, Tech30).

    In March, TrustedSec discovered spy malware in the software that a major U.S. energy provider uses to operate dozens of turbines, controllers and other industrial machinery. It had been there for a year — all because one employee clicked on a bad link in an email.

    Related: U.S. weather system hacked, affecting satellites
    And just last month, CERT revealed that a Russian malware called BlackEnergy had found its way onto the software that controls electrical turbines in the United States.

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/18/technology/security/energy-grid-hack/index.html?source=yahoo_quote

  71. OIL 74.28 -0.33
    BRENT 78.41 UNCH
    NAT GAS 4.265 0.021
    RBOB GAS 2.0356 -0.0076
    DIESEL 2.3846 0.0033
    ETHANOL 2.05 -0.012
    URANIUM 43.15 -0.85
    COAL 51.75 -0.20

  72. From the article:

    SunEdison, the St. Louis, MO-based solar power juggernaut, said today that it would acquire First Wind, one of the largest wind power developers in the United States, for $2.4 billion.

    The acquisition of First Wind, which is based in Boston, MA, will make SunEdison the leading renewable energy development company in the world.

    TerraForm Power, an indirect subsidiary of SunEdison that owns and operates renewable energy projects acquired from SunEdison, is also involved in the transaction.

    TerraForm Power is SunEdison’s “yieldco” platform, a new type of investment vehicle that went public in 2013. Yieldco companies like TerraForm Power are similar to Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), but do not possess assets that qualify for pass-through tax treatment. Like MLPs, Yieldco companies are designed to appeal to investors seeking stable and growing dividend income from a diversified portfolio of lower-risk high-quality assets.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2014/11/17/major-wind-acquisition-makes-sunedison-worlds-largest-renewable-energy-developer/

  73. From the article:

    1.
    Summary of ERCOT Concerns with the Clean Power Plan
    ERCOT approaches this analysis from the perspective of an independent grid operator in a competitive market which has achieved significant success in using competition to drive efficient outcomes. Existing market policies and investments in transmission in ERCOT have incentivized arket participants to maximize the efficiency of the generating fleet and develop new technologies including renewable generation. With recent investments in transmission, more than 11 GW of wind capacity have been successfully integrated into the ERCOT grid. The ERCOT region maintains a forward-looking open market and provides affordable and reliable electricity to consumers in Texas.
    ERCOT’s primary concern with the Clean Power Plan is that, given the ERCOT region’s market design and existing transmission infrastructure, the timing and scale of the expected changes needed to reach the CO2 emission goals could have a harmful impact on reliability. Specifically, implementation of the Clean Power Plan in the ERCOT region, particularly to meet the Plan’s interim goal, is likely to lead to reduced grid reliability for certain periods and an increase in localized grid challenges. There is a natural pace of change in grid resources due to advancing cost effective technologies and changing market conditions.

    This pace can be accelerated, but there is a limit to how fast this change can occur within acceptable reliability constraints. It is unknown based on the information currently available whether compliance with the proposed rule can be achieved within applicable reliability criteria and with the c urrent market design. Nevertheless, there are certain grid reliability and management challenges that ERCOT will face as a result of the resource mix changes that the proposed rule will induce:

    • The anticipated retirement of up to half of the existing coal capacity in the ERCOT region will pose challenges to reliable operation of the grid in replacing the dispatchable generation capacity and reliability services provided by these resources.

    • Integrating new wind and solar resources will increase the challenges of reliably operating all resources, and pose costs to procure additional regulating services, improve forecast accuracy, and address system inertia issues.

    • Accelerated resource mix changes will require major improvements to ERCOT’s transmission system, posing significant costs not considered in EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis.

    http://www.ercot.com/content/news/presentations/2014/ERCOTAnalysis-ImpactsCleanPowerPlan.pdf

  74. Jim2,

    Thank you for the quote from ‘Summary of ERCOT Concerns with the Clean Power Plan‘ . I’ll extract some of it and hope that Stephen Segrest and the other renewables advocates may take note.

    ERCOT’s primary concern with the Clean Power Plan is that, given the ERCOT region’s market design and existing transmission infrastructure, the timing and scale of the expected changes needed to reach the CO2 emission goals could have a harmful impact on reliability. Specifically, implementation of the Clean Power Plan in the ERCOT region, particularly to meet the Plan’s interim goal, is likely to lead to reduced grid reliability for certain periods and an increase in localized grid challenges. There is a natural pace of change in grid resources due to advancing cost effective technologies and changing market conditions.

    • Integrating new wind and solar resources will increase the challenges of reliably operating all resources, and pose costs to procure additional regulating services, improve forecast accuracy, and address system inertia issues.

    http://www.ercot.com/content/news/presentations/2014/ERCOTAnalysis-ImpactsCleanPowerPlan.pdf

    • This ties in nicely with the thoughts that Planning Engineer has expressed in his articles here at CE. It’s an Obamanation.

      • Yes, Jim2, that was the point I was trying to make to Stephen Segrest and those who shares his beliefs that renewables can be a significant contributor to global energy supply and CO2 reductions. Those who belief that are not realists.

        I trust you didn’t mean US is an Obama nation, did you? :) I hope you will get over this dreadful period and return to leading the world in a forward direction instead of backwards.

      • China is gaining influence as a result of Obama’s weakness. I sent this to a friend after watch China’s President speak to the Australian Parliament on Monday:

        “I watched the 2h of proceedings with Xi. I am very impressed. I am enormously impressed with Abbott, Andre Robb, Julie Bishop and the public servant (forgotten her name) who lead all the free trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China and is now heads up all of them. And I believe Xi is honest and meant what he was saying. He got through to me (which might mean I am gullible). He definitely thinks China’s arguments over the disputed islands is valid and China would win if given a fair hearing in the international courts.”

      • Obviously, China is more and more an influence in the world. China’s leaders have had to move toward free markets because they came to realize they can’t micromanage such a huge economy to the benefit of the people with the efficiency free markets provide. I only hope that trend is realized to the fullest extent possible.

        OTOH, I am sad that in this era of the emergence of China, the US is thrashing about leaderless and in disarray. If there was ever a time we need to be on our A game, it is now.

      • Jim2,

        I agree

    • Did you notice the difference between the EPA and ERCOT estimate for implementing energy efficiency across the grid? ERCOT guessed they might get 5% from energy efficiency and the EPA thinks they could do 10% by 2030. The problem for ERCOT is that energy savings result in lower demand spread across a expanding asset base. In effect they will have to raise prices to offset losses to efficiency gains. Same thing is happening in cities with severe water shortages – the citizens cut use (revenues) then the water department has to raise prices to cover fixed costs.
      Jack Smith

      • Jack Smith,

        I agree. ERCOT would have a much better understanding of issues like this than the EPA.

  75. Where is Global Warming when we need it? Ground truth:

    FoxNews. “Early Winter Pummels Much of Country, Strands Motorists, Emergency Vehicles.” Text.Article. FoxNews.com, November 19, 2014. http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2014/11/19/early-winter-pummels-much-country-strands-cars/

    “Several feet of lake-effect snow paralyzed the Buffalo area Tuesday, forcing state troopers to deliver blankets and other supplies to motorists stranded on the New York State Thruway and adding an ominous note to a wintry season that’s already snarling travel and numbing fingers from the Midwest to the Carolinas.” (All 50 states, even Hawaii).

    Where is the polar vortex now?
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-17/polar-vortex-20-arrives-all-50-states-will-freeze-tonight (Nov 17, 2014)
    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/polar-vortex-to-vist-central-u/36890008 (Nov 08, 2014)

    Meridional flow in spades:

    As you pointed out:
    GOP Prepares for an Energy Battle | TIME
    The coming climate onslaught – Andrew Restuccia and Erica Martinson – POLITICO
    The Insiders: Congress can derail Obama’s global warming fantasies – The Washington Post

  76. The convention of putting “/Energy Policy” after “Climate” by any writer should be rejected. The relationship of the two is driven by blood lust command and control politics not by actual science or reason. “Climate” in respect to “policy” is meaningless while “Energy” is something actually real and transparent in importance. The parasitic Greens should take their meme and leave the room where the adults reside. “Energy/Climate” is intellectual leeching and false framing topics. “Climate” is politically motivated sci-fi supported by academic activists of the same stripe as a rule and certainly pandered to by the same.

  77. Joseph O'Sullivan

    The Republican members of the Congress did very little compromising since Obama was elected. One of the results of these election wins for the right is that they will not see any reason to compromise. They won without compromising, so why should they start now.

    Obama will have to go through with the various proposed Clean Air Act proposed regulations. He really doesn’t have a choice. He has delayed as much he could but the environmentalists have been threatening court action to force his hand if he does not follow through.

    • A spectacular projection of nonsense Joseph O’Sullivan. America is sinking to banana Republic standards, a President violating the law of land, here you are repeating Party line propaganda and rationalization. Shameful.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        “President violating the law of land”
        By not enforcing the Clean Air Act (CAA) he would be violating the law. The CAA is clear and has survived multiple court challenges. Obama has been dragging his feet on the actions the CAA requires him to do.

        I’m not sure how following the dictates of laws like the CAA makes the US a banana republic.

      • I’m sure the Republican congress will help the president resist the overwrought environmentalists by sensibly removing CO2 from EPA purview.

      • Removing CO2 from the EPAs death grip would be a wonderful thing for the USA and the world.

  78. Joseph O'Sullivan

    The Republicans haven’t weakened the CAA for the 40+ years it has been in effect. The only real way they could do it is by passing an amendment to the law in Congress and have it signed by Obama. They couldn’t even do that when Bush Jr was president. They will not be able to do it now.

  79. I wonder why Joshua avoided answering this question:

    Joshua,

    Two questions re you apparent motivated reasoning and bias as a SWIRMCARE:

    1. Can you tell CE readers whether or not you spend equal time on blog sites that are predominantly populated by commenters who an impartial observer would classify as ‘Someone Who is Relatively More Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRMCAREs)’ and on blog sites that are predominantly populated by commenters who an impartial observer would classify as ‘Someone Who is Relatively less Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRLCAREs)’ ?

    2. If not, why not?

    • ==> “I wonder why Joshua avoided answering this question:”

      Heh. The logic of a “skeptic” due to a lack of respect for uncertainty.

      I never saw the question.

      Now that I’ve seen it…. My answer is that I see no point in exchanging views with you.

      • I see. But I guess you’ll continue posting your snide remarks directed at me and other’s who don’t share your ideologically motivated beliefs, right?

        The fact you didn’t deny you are an ideologue and that your comments are driven by your motivated reasoning is significant.

  80. ‘Miracle’ tech turns water into fuel

    German cleantech company Sunfire GmbH has unveiled a machine that converts water and carbon dioxide into synthetic petroleum-based fuels.

    The technique is based around the Fischer-Tropsch process developed in 1925, combined with solid oxide electrolyser cells (SOECs). The SOECs are used to convert electricity — supplied by renewable sources such as wind and solar — to steam. Oxygen is removed from this steam to produce hydrogen.

    In the next step of the process, this hydrogen is used to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) — harvested from the atmosphere, precipitated at biogas facilities or gathered using waste gas processing — to carbon monoxide (CO); and the resultant H2 and CO are then synthesised into high-purity fuel using the Fischer-Tropsch process. Excess heat from the process is then used to create more steam — ensuring an efficiency rate, Sunfire claims, of 70 percent.

    Actually, the above story gets it a little wrong, according to the press release:

    Step 1 of the PtL process sees the SOECs used to convert electrical energy to chemical energy. Hydrogen is generated using steam rather than liquid water.

    Personally, I still think higher efficiencies could be generated with bio-conversion, although the idea of using external heat to overcome Evaporation enthalpy is a good one, and perhaps could be achieved using cooling heat from concentrated solar PV. Their stack system runs at about 850°C, I wonder if it could be made to run at the 80-90°C output temps from micro-channel cooling.

    And if the 70% figure is correct, and actually applies to energy efficiency from input to fuel output, it could probably be made cost-effective, with PV costs declining according to “Swanson’s Law”.

    I wonder whether the SOEC stack could be made small enough to fit one onto each IBM sunflower (or equivalent), and mass-producible enough to be cost effective that way. That might well eliminate much of the electrical transport costs (inverters, transmission lines), and with bio-conversion modules also small and mass-produced, only the output fuel (or methane) and input CO2 would have to be transported to the distributed solar power collectors.

    • OOps! The press release is here.

    • According to Wiki, the US has 15,749,300 km^2 of arable land (2005). Let’s suppose 2/3 of that are fitted with sunflowers or equivalent, at 5% zenith coverage and 40% efficiency (already achieved on the lab bench). That’s 50,000 square meters/km^2 times ~1000 watts/square meter (sun at zenith, no clouds), that’s 1Mwatt max/km^2, let’s average 20% annualized is 2 terawatts of electrical energy at the PV electrodes.

      The US used about 75 Quadrillion BTU in 2010, equivalent to about 2.5 terawatts. According to Wiki (see first link) US arable land constitutes about 10% of the total, so rolling out these sunflowers or equivalent to an equal amount of “waste” land (at 5% zenith coverage, with little ecological effect) would give a total of 4 terawatts.

    • From the link AK supplied …
      The rig, at this stage, is for demonstration and feasiblity purposes; its capacity for CO2 recycling is currently at around 3.2 tonnes per day, and it has the capacity to produce a barrel of fuel per day. The cost of designing and building the rig was “seven figures”, half of which came from public funding received from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
      *****

      So, a seven figure rig for one barrel a day. A refinery puts out from 50,000 bbl/d to 800,000 bbl per day.

      • I guess you don’t understand what terms like “prototype” and “proof-of-concept” mean. I wonder how much the first prototype refinery cost, and how much it produced?

      • AK – I do understand it’s a prototype, but eventually, it will have to produce much, much more than 1 bbl/d. Just sayin’.

    • AK,

      Why not replace the renewables (unreliables) with nuclear to supply the electricity? High temp nuclear reactors can also provide hydrogen much cheaper than from electrolysis? Why even consider unreliables when the energy could be supplied so much cheaper by nuclear power?

      • Because if solar PV continues its exponential decline in price, it’ll soon be much cheaper than nuclear. Especially if the anti-nuke people continue keeping the restrictive regulations in place.

        Another important point is that small, modular solar PV systems can be rolled out to areas with little or no contact with the sort of large, centralized, grid needed to distribute power from nuclear reactors. And if the energy is converted to methane or liquid fuel right on the spot, it could be stored until needed.

        Of course, if nukes were used to power a CO2+H2O->CH4 (methane) reaction, that could be fed into a much cheaper distribution system as well, which could supply native heat as well as small gas turbine generators. That way, nuclear power could directly feed baseload for a (relatively) nearby grid, while supplying fuel which could be stored and distributed for peak loads and distances where piping gas (and accepting the efficiency hit) would be more cost-effective than building long-distance electrical transmission.

        Another advantage of using large nuclear power plants is that they could be sited close enough to the ocean to use surface ocean water as a source of CO2, rather than trying to drag it out of the air.

        The big problem I see with the nuclear option is that solar PV will probably be an order of magnitude cheaper within a couple decades. Which is a short time period relative to anything that could be feasibly done about atmospheric pCO2.

        I know you don’t agree, but why not consider it for the sake of discussion?

      • AK,

        The “If” is the key word. It is an enoprmous risk. You need to cost that risk and add it.

        In costing it you need to take into consideration:

        1. the learning rates that apply when a technology has less than 1% penetration are no indication of what would be the case at high penetration.

        2. The ERoEI of PV means it is not sustainable. Therefore, a large penetration is not feasible. So the learning rate will decline and stop

        3. Nuclear has vastly more ability to reduce costs once the majority of the world’s population realise what renewables are costing and how much cheaper (and safe) nuclear is.

      • 1. the learning rates that apply when a technology has less than 1% penetration are no indication of what would be the case at high penetration.

        In the first place, there’s no good reason to suppose that “Swanson’s Law” is actually based on “learning rates”, no matter what Wiki says. Moore’s “Law” isn’t, it’s based on technology advances. Such advances are well in hand for PV, and by analogy with Moore’s “Law” would predict continual cost reductions independent of “learning rates”.

        2. The ERoEI of PV means it is not sustainable. Therefore, a large penetration is not feasible. So the learning rate will decline and stop

        ERoEI is a myth. And if “Swanson’s Law” doesn’t depend on “learning rate”, which by analogy with Moore’s “Law” is wouldn’t, then “penetration” wouldn’t necessarily be relevant, or at least not the only relevant factor.

        3. Nuclear has vastly more ability to reduce costs once the majority of the world’s population realise what renewables are costing and how much cheaper (and safe) nuclear is.

        Argument by assertion. It’s just an opinion, and IMO an incorrect one.

      • Argument by assertion. It’s just an opinion, and IMO an incorrect one.

        I agree. On that basis it is clear that all your comments should be dismissed.

      • AK, the panel price is a small part of the cost of renewables. There’s transmission lines to build, grid incompatibility as discussed at length on CE, backup generation. Surely you have read about these things.

      • There’s transmission lines to build,

        Not if the energy is converted to fuel at the source, and fed into the existing gas distribution system.

        grid incompatibility as discussed at length on CE,

        Not if the fuel goes into more traditional generating capacity, which could be built now to use fossil fuels, then switched to carbon-neutral fuels (identical except for the source) once that capacity is built.

        backup generation.

        The whole energy-to-fuel scenario covers this.

        Surely you have read about these things.

        Certainly. Which is why I’ve been proposing solutions that solve these problems for over a year and a half.

      • AK,

        Not if the energy is converted to fuel at the source, and fed into the existing gas distribution system.

        Certainly. Which is why I’ve been proposing solutions that solve these problems for over a year and a half.

        You’re ‘proposals’ are meaningless because you haven’t estimated the costs of them. I checked AK’s Ramblings web site and there is not a single “$” coast item mentioned. That is a clear indication that you are totally impractical. You have no interest in what is relevant and no understanding of it.

        You’ll uhnderstand why I don’t respond to your ramblings and your masses of irrelevant, mostly unsubstantiated assertions.

        If you don’t answer the specific question I asked in an hones straight forward answers without arm-waving, you will further convince me you are intellectually dishonest.

      • If you don’t answer the specific question I asked in an hones straight forward answers without arm-waving, you will further convince me you are intellectually dishonest.

        Probably m0t1vated thinking. Anybody who disagrees with you is “dishonest”.

      • If you continually dodge and weave and avoid answering relevant questions, then yes you are acting dishonestly. Your comments are irrelevant in a policy perspective because you don’t understand and refuse to deal with costs. your web site AK’s ramblings demonstrates that in spades – no a “$” sing in the whole thread and you want to dismiss LCOE.

  81. U.S. urged to look to Canada and Mexico amid energy revolution

    Two American policy heavyweights think this is a moment when the United States can be persuaded to turn its focus to its North American neighbours, such as Canada.
    Retired general David Petraeus and former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who led a task force on the continent for the Council on Foreign Relations, argue that a North American energy revolution and major reforms in Mexico mean U.S. leaders should now have a political interest in embracing their neighbours.
    snip
    It is not a case of one pipeline. Linking electricity grids would improve efficiency; Mexico could benefit first from low-cost U.S. natural gas being piped across its border, Mr. Petraeus said.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/us-urged-to-look-to-canada-and-mexico-amid-energy-revolution/article21645914/

  82. ERoEI: A Myth Used Mostly for Straw-Man Arguments

    We see frequent references here (Climate, Etc.) and elsewhere to Energy Return on (Energy) Invested (ERoEI), usually in the context of straw-man arguments. While I consider any discussion of ERoEI WRT future technology a waste of time, I went ahead and did some digging, hoping to curb such diversions in the future.

    The notion of ERoEI originally derives from ecological studies [Gupta and Hall (2011)], “with originally a focus on migrating fish (e.g., Hall [1]).”:

    In the 1980s, Hall, working with Cutler Cleveland, Robert Kaufmann and others, extended the concept to seeking oil and other fuels. The concept had been around in the anthropological (e.g., Lee [2]), economic (e.g., Georgescu Roegan [3]), and ecological (e.g., Odum [4]) literature for some time, although it was expressed as “net energy.” The difference is that EROI is the unit-less ratio of energy returned from an energy-gathering activity to the energy it takes to provide that energy, and net energy is the difference left over after the costs have been subtracted from the gains. Net energy can be useful but also misleading: it may be very large for a very large but poor quality resource (i.e., oil shales) that allow a large net from huge resources subject to slightly less huge costs. Alternately when used with EROI it can help assess a resource from both perspectives.

    The above quoted paper, along with many others (e.g. Lambert et al. (2013), Hall et al. (2014), Weißbach et al. (2013)) offer a continuous refrain of pessimistic predictions, based however on potentially “Inadequate Metric for Sustainability in a Solar-Powered World” [Pickard (2014)].

    The defects in such calculations are manifold [Raugei et al. (2012)]. The notion that the ERoEI of photovoltaics is lower than that for conventional gas and oil “is largely a misconception fostered by the use of outdated data and, often, a lack of consistency among calculation methods.”

    While it might appear deceptively simple at first sight, the discipline known as Net Energy Analysis, of which the EROI indicator is one of the most famous outcomes, is ridden with many insidious caveats which, unless carefully considered and clearly addressed, risk turning the whole approach into an exercise in futility. This fact has been widely acknowledged since the early days of the method, and has been the object of continued discussion ever since (Slesser, 1974; Leach, 1975; Chambers et al., 1979; Herendeen, 1988; Cleveland, 1992; Herendeen, 2004; Mulder and Hagens 2008).

    (See Raugei et al. for referenced publications.)

    First of all, as obvious as it may sound, the calculation of the energy return on investment (EROI) of a system demands a clear and unambiguous definition of which of the energy inputs over its entire life cycle are to be classified as ‘investments’. Such classification, and hence the resulting EROI, is ultimately determined by the choice of system space and time boundaries, and if the results are to be compared to those for different systems (e.g. PV vs. conventional fossil fuel-based electricity), it becomes absolutely essential that the calculation procedure be applied in a consistent manner.

    […]

    Regrettably, a clear definition of system boundaries is missing in many published EROI studies of electricity production.

    […]

    Unanimous agreement is lacking in the published literature, and sometimes the EROI of PV (as well as that of other renewables like wind energy) is instead computed without the prior conversion of the generated electricity into its primary energy-equivalent, i.e. according to Eqn. 2 (Kubiszewski and Cleveland, 2009; Kubiszewski et al., 2010). Also, in virtually all published studies, the simple (yet potentially ambiguous) term ‘EROI’ is invariably used, without any specifying subscripts such as the ones introduced here. This lack of consistency among the published studies has been a source of confusion and lack of comparability, which has occasionally been made worse by the omission of any clear indication of the adopted convention (Hall and Day, 2009).

    Besides methodological inconsistencies, another reason for the low EROI numbers for PV often reported in the hitherto published literature has been the use of outdated data. Using up-to-date values for PV systems is especially important, given the extremely fast rate of technological change in the current dynamic situation. In fact, combining the technical specification of modern state-of-the-art commercial modules with performance ratios derived from extensive experimental field data is arguably the most valid approach to assessing the level of energy performance that can be expected of a PV system today. Conversely, defaulting to measured electricity generation records from existing installations only returns an aggregated measure of the performance of a long chain of system components, some of which are likely to be no longer representative of the current state of technological advancement, and is therefore not a viable alternative if one wishes to faithfully portray a technology that is still in such a state of flux. [my bold]

    We herein present the results of our new EROI calculations for a range of modern PV systems (mono-crystalline Si, multi-crystalline Si, ribbon Si and CdTe thin film), based on the most recent published LCA studies by ourselves and other colleagues (Fthenakis et al., 2009; Held and Ilg, 2011; Fthenakis and Kim, 2011).

    The bottom line is their calculated ERoEI’s, [tables 1, 2, and 3 Raugei et al. (2012)]:

    •       Mono-c Si (rooftop): 19

    •       Multi-c Si (rooftop): 19

    •       Ribbon Si (rooftop): 30

    •       CdTe (ground): 38

    For comparison, they have presented data based on an equivalent method for oil-fired and coal-fired thermal electricity:

    •       Oil-fired thermal electricity: 3.7-10.6 “LCI data from (Ecoinvent, 2011; Jungbluth, 2007)”

    •       Coal-fired thermal electricity: 12.2-24.6 “(without Carbon Capture and Storage). LCI data from (Ecoinvent, 2011; Dones et al., 2007)”

    Although they did not include nuclear, Lambert et al. (2013) say this:

    Nuclear has a debatable moderate EROI value (5-15:1, some unpublished studies say more). Newer analyses need to be made as these values may not adequately reflect current technology or ore grades [6].

    While Gupta and Hall (2011) show a lower range:

    The SUNY ESF study summarized the EROI of nuclear power from previous studies [26]. The review concludes that the most reliable information is still from Hall et al.’s [7] summary of an EROI of about 5–8:1 (with a large part of the variability depending upon whether the electricity is corrected for quality), and that the newer studies appear either too optimistic or pessimistic with reported EROIs of up to almost 60:1, to as low as even less than 1:1.

    […]

    The authors note that the differences in EROI can sometimes be attributed to differences in system boundaries and technologies. However, overall there is a lack of empirical information on the subject. The three major drivers of nuclear EROI are the enormous upfront costs of capital required, environmental costs, and the grade of uranium ore available. At present, much of the ore is secured from dismantled warheads; a return to seriously depleted geological deposits could constitute a decrease in EROI in the future. On the other hand there are possible new, but untested, technologies using smaller reactors or even thorium that might lead to safer and higher EROI reactors.

    All of the above demonstrates that calculations of ERoEI are fraught with deceptive inconsistencies in method of calculations, maturity of technology, and other issues. Considering that every one of these calculations use specific examples that may not generalize to wider conditions, any use of ERoEI to argue against the feasibility of widespread adoption of solar energy constitutes a straw-man argument.

    This becomes even more true when future technology is considered, for several reasons:

    •       Small changes in manufacturing process can produce large changes in ERoEI. For instance, a switch from steel to wood, fiber-glass, or other materials;

    •       ERoEI really doesn’t have anything directly to do with “sustainability”. A far better measure would be total fossil carbon released (over the lifetime of the capacity) per kilowatt-hour of energy returned. Here, use of solar breeder concepts demonstrate the difference, although the idea has been criticized. Such criticisms add up to nit-picking, though, IMO.

    •       No good ERoEI calculations appear to have been made for concentrating solar photo-voltaic power, such as the IBM Sunflower. The key point here is that the energy required for the PV itself is tiny (e.g. a fraction of 1%) of that for standard PV modules. Most of the energy involved in manufacturing is for concentrating and tracking structures. And energy requirements for such technology cannot predicted, considering the wide variety of approaches available.

    Bottom Line: Virtually all of the ERoEI-based arguments against future solar power (or any future energy technology) are nothing more than straw-man arguments. They argue against technology with unknown, and unknowable (at this time) ERoEI’s based on current examples that aren’t representative, involve major inconsistencies and “apples-vs.-oranges” comparisons, and can’t be honestly used to represent future technology anyway.

    Especially when such technology will evolve, by design, under pressure to maximize ERoEI.

    References:

    Dale (2013) A Comparative Analysis of Energy Costs of Photovoltaic, Solar
    Thermal, and Wind Electricity Generation Technologies
    by Michael Dale Appl. Sci. 2013, 3, 325-337; doi:10.3390/app3020325

    Gupta and Hall (2011) A Review of the Past and Current State of EROI Data by Ajay K. Gupta and Charles A.S. Hall Sustainability 2011, 3, 1796-1809; doi:10.3390/su3101796

    Hall et al. (2014) EROI of different fuels and the implications for society by Charles A. S. Hall, Jessica G.Lambert , Stephen B. Balogh Energy Policy 64 (2014) 141–152

    Lambert et al. (2013) EROI of Global Energy Resources Preliminary Status and Trends by Jessica Lambert, Charles Hall, Steve Balogh, Alex Poisson, and Ajay Gupta State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, USA/Next Generation Energy Initiative (NGEI), Marcellus, USA (2013)

    Pickard (2011) The History, Present State, and Future Prospects of Underground Pumped Hydro for Massive Energy Storage by William F. Pickard Proceedings of the IEEE (Volume:100 , Issue: 2 ) 2011

    Pickard (2014) Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROI): A Quintessential but Possibly Inadequate Metric for Sustainability in a Solar-Powered World? by William F. Pickard Proceedings of the IEEE (Volume:102 , Issue: 8) 2014

    Raugei et al. (2012) The Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) of Photovoltaics: Methodology and Comparisons with Fossil Fuel Life Cycles by Marco Raugei, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer and Vasilis Fthenakis Energy Policy Volume 45, June 2012, Pages 576–582

    Weißbach et al. (2013) Energy intensities, EROIs, and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants by D. Weißbach, G. Ruprecht, A. Huke, K. Czerski, S. Gottlieb, A. Hussein Energy Volume 52, 1 April 2013, Pages 210–221

    • AK,

      I suggest you read the article by John Morgan and the two peer reviewed papers than debate those on BNC or in the relevant journals. There has been excellent debate on the thread on BNC. That’s where you should make your points and get responses initially. The main message is very clear. Renewables are not sustainable and cannot provide a large proportion of the worlds energy supply. That’s a ‘slam dunk’ for renewables.

      Renewables are not sustainable

      If you think renewables are sustainable then produce the relevant numbers to make the case, Please answer the following questions with straight answers, not a pile of arm waving. Please provide the following numbers and your sources for them:

      1. Projected global total energy demand in 2050, 2100, 2200 based on long term historical trends?

      2. How much solar,wind and biomass capacity would be required to meet the demand in 2050, 2100, 2200?

      3. How much land area and how much arable land area would be required?

      4. How much fresh water?

      5. How much material (such as concrete, steel, concrete, copper, glass)? (compare with for the equivalent nuclear plant to supply the same amount of electricity through life and with the renewables portfolio having the same reliability and availability as the nuclear plant. with the same reliability)?

      6. How much toxic emissions (compare renewables and nuclear on a properly comparable basis.

      7. ERoEI for the renewables system versus the nuclear system ( To make the comparison properly comparable and to make the point very clear compare the renewables and nuclear on the basis that they supply 80% or electricity and second comparison, they supply 80% of all global energy.

      If you do this comparison honestly you’ll understand why renewables are simply not sustainable.

      • @Peter Lang…

        I give a demonstration why “metrics” such as LCOE and ERoEI are myths, not suitable for anything but straw-man arguments when applied to future technology, and you demand those metrics. I’m hardly surprised: when somebody goes around accusing those he disagrees with of dishonesty, my first theory is “projection”: accusing your enemy of what you’re guilty of.

        I don’t have time right now to produce the numbers, and discussion of such myth-based straw-man arguments as yours above (and at your preferred discussion site). Other things to do right now (some of which I get paid for). But eventually I’ll probably get around to a discussion with numbers (not dollars, which are too unpredictable for the sort of future technology I’m talking about). If it hasn’t been too long, (and I remember,) I’ll put in a link to it here.

      • AK,

        You simply have no understanding of what is relevant for policy analysis , nor, apparently, do you have any understanding of money. So, your comments and beliefs, hopes and wishes are meaningless. They are simply that, hopes, beliefs and wishes.

        Some may come true, but not worth wasting time or money on if you cant even write as basic justification for why any taxpayer money should be invested in them.
        .