Super Pollutants Act of 2014

by Judith Curry

The Senate held an interesting and potentially important hearing on super pollutants.

The Super Pollutants Act of 2014 is legislation that has been introduced by Senators Murphy (D-Conn) and Collins (R-Maine), which is bipartisan legislation to address short-lived energy climate pollutants.  The text of the bill is found [here], and Senator Murphy has a June press release [here].  Excerpts from the press release:

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today announced their plans to introduce legislation aimed at reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). SLCPs, referred to as “super pollutants,” are non-carbon dioxide greenhouse pollutants that cause 40 percent of global warming. SLCPs range from methane that is leaked by landfills and oil and gas exploration, to refrigerants leaking from refrigerators and air conditioners, to soot from diesel engines and millions of traditional cookstoves all over the developing world. Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.

David Doniger, Director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at NRDC said, “We applaud Senators Murphy and Collins for adding legislative muscle to the fight to curb key pollutants that are driving dangerous changes in our climate. We have long known that heat-trapping pollutants besides carbon dioxide, such as methane and HFCs, also are worsening the climate. It’s time to start reducing these super pollutants because, if unchecked, they could make up more than 20 percent of our climate-changing pollution by midcentury.”

Dupont said, “DuPont applauds the bipartisan leadership of Senators Murphy and Collins in seeking sensible, cost effective reductions in the use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that exhibit high global warming potentials (GWP). The HFC policies contained in their Super Pollutants Act of 2014 reflect the kinds of common sense approaches that have widespread support in both the business and NGO communities.”

“The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senators Murphy and Collins in seeking sensible, cost-effective reductions in the use and emissions of HFCs that exhibit a high global warming potential,” said Kevin Fay, Executive Director of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy. 

Last week, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a Hearing on the Super Pollutants Act of 2014 [link].  There is no link to the Majority or Minority Statements on the Hearing page (and I didn’t listen to the entire webcast).

The Witnesses called by the Democrats include:

Durwood Zaelke of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development [link].  Zaelke’s testimony focused on specific mitigation strategies for black carbon, methane, and CFCs.  The testimony is well written and very informative, with a comprehensive reference list.  This testimony provides a very good overview of the problem and solutions.

Kevin Fay of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy [link].  Fay’s testimony focuses specifically on HFCs.  The Alliance is an industry coalition organized to address the issue of stratospheric ozone. I found his statement on the underlying philosophy of the Alliance to be interesting:  Alliance members have deemed it far more effective to control our destiny and achieve these objectives through measures that allow for achievement of goals over the long-term while minimizing near-term economic disruption.

Drew Shindell of Duke University [link].  Shindell is arguably the scientific ‘father’ of the climate fast attack plan (link to previous CE post).  His testimony is short, focusing on societal benefits from reductions to emissions of black carbon and methane, and includes a recent article published in Nature: Clean Up Our Skies.

The witnesses called by the Republicans:

Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation [link].  Peiser’s testimony (which is receiving a lot of attention in the skeptical blogosphere) provides a remarkable account of the negative impacts of EU’s unilateral climate policies that focus on reducing CO2 emissions.

Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation [link]. His testimony focused on the importance of fossil fuels industry to the U.S. economy and the importance of ensuring that government regulation does not impede future growth.

JC reflections

I am a big fan of the so-called climate fast attack plan; in fact this story got my vote for the climate story of the year in 2012 [link].  Politically, this proposal seems to have bipartisan support in Congress, and support from green NGOs as well some industry groups.

The beauty of the proposed bill is that it sold as mitigating super pollutants that have serious health impacts.  And by the way, they help reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gases and carbonaceous aerosols that warm the climate. The proposed reductions of black carbon, methane and CFC emissions have sufficient health and economic benefits that they make sense whether or not there is dangerous anthropogenic warming from human emitted greenhouse gases.

The climate fast attack plan has received opposition from some climate scientists and AGW advocates of the ‘urgent action needed to reduce CO2 emissions’ persuasion.  Their objection is that this proposal distracts from what they think should be the focus of climate policy –  drastically reducing CO2 emissions.  I spotted a paper somewhere in the last few months that claimed reducing emissions of super pollutants wouldn’t reduce greenhouse warming all that much (I can’t find it now).

This proposal to reduce super pollutants is a good example of a robust policy option – something that makes sense regardless of how climate change plays out.  Benny Peiser eloquently lays out the argument whereby aggressive unilateral emissions reductions have massive negative consequences – certainly not a robust policy option.

The witnesses selected by both the Democrats and Republicans are interesting in several contexts.  The three Democratic witnesses were all supportive of the bill – none of the sentiments were expressed about how this will distract from climate change mitigation efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.  The Republican witnesses provided general support for continued emissions of fossil fuels, without specifically criticizing elements of the proposed bill.

Zaelke’s testimony in particular provided pragmatic examples of specific efforts to reduce the super pollutants, that would seem to have relatively little economic impact on the fossil-fuel related industries.

This bill looks like as close to ‘win-win’ as we are going to see in the U.S. in terms of climate mitigation legislation, with even more important impacts on public health.

 

 

368 responses to “Super Pollutants Act of 2014

  1. That could very well be a “win-win” depending on whether the target levels are realistic as well as the time tables. Whatever it becomes, I do hope that legislators at least read the thing before voting on it.

  2. “Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.”

    What a complete crock. Falsus in unum, Falsus in omnibus.

    • Well, methane has an atmospheric lifetime of about 10 years.

      These short lived climate pollutants are limited in effect to basically the current rate of emission. Lets look at sources:
      http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2012/06/

      There is some low hanging fruit. We could release a deadly virus and exterminate termites permanently. We could drain all wetlands. That would eliminate 30% of methane sources. There is some small gain from killing off all deer and other ruminant wild animals.

      “Most of the Earth’s gas hydrates, about 95 percent, occur in water depths greater than 3,000 feet (1,000 meters). They are likely to remain stable even with a sustained increase in bottom temperatures over thousands of years.”
      The good news is the contribution from methane hydrates is so small, the lifetime of methane so short, and the depth of methane hydrates so deep, that the “threat” of methane hydrate release from the arctic is a bad joke.

      • There’s potential to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. And we can probably improve in other areas. For example I read they have been studying methane emissions from rice paddies, and some seed types cause lower emissions. Catching methane from garbage dumps seems feasible. I think this is a great idea. But it can’t be applied unilaterally to the USA. That’s a bit limited in scope. I bet the best gains would come from catching methane in Russia and Kazahstan (although North Dakota behaves as if it were in a third world country), or processing Mexico city and Buenos Aires garbage.

    • stan, Probably not that false, a bit overly optimistic perhaps. Black Carbon could reduce glacial melt enough to have an impact on SLR. With a pause going on, half of not much is still not much, premature deaths are mainly in third world countries and that estimate is likely about right, perhaps even on the low side. The crops deal is a bit hard to visualize because in some areas BC actually increases growing season, but let’s give them the benefit of doubt for a moment.

      Since this legislation is primarily directed at third world conditions, proper legislation would need to take a lead by example approach that excludes absolutely insane regulations that the third world nations could never meet. It would mean some degree of technology sharing or creative financing, hopefully not just throwing cash around and some way of having the world recognize private industry and charitable involvement from the US is recognized as part of the US contribution so the Millennium Goals folks realize we are not going to tax people to death in order to have our books look like theirs. Something like revisiting the 1000 points of light concept with a little bit better accounting methods.

      The challenge will be whether the geniuses we elect can get it done without adding too much nonsense and green buzz words.

      • The IPCC AR5 a picture of less than 49% due to man (this with a lowball termite number).

        So… the smart thing is to look at technologies to reduce methane from oil production (a profitable capture technology perhaps?), adopt lower water use rice techniques, et cetera

        Nibble at the edges in a cost effective way. If man is less than half the problem – there really isn’t a problem to solve – it is nature and that is the way it is.

      • PA from my quick read of the bill, oil fields, storage and pipelines would be the main focus. Improving some pipeline infrastructure would be a nice benefit.

      • CD, fixing pipelines makes sense.

        The bill also appears to go after diesel truck exhaust and CFCs.

        I’m fine with improvements to oil infrastructure, but I like the smell of diesel trucks and the AGW reason for changing refrigerants is not persuasive. If any of these secondary GHGs had the forcing effect they claimed – then CO2 would have no effect at all.

        We should wait a decade to see which direction the temperature is going before considering taking action on CFCs. If it gets cooler there is no reason to do anything.

      • I don’t agree the third world nations can’t issue and enforce regulations, the third world isn’t always as bad as many of you think. There’s a huge difference between Argentina and Congo (I know both of them fairly well).

      • The claims regarding reducing sea level rise and temperature increase are total crap. First of all, they have absolutely no idea -not the first clue — about what sea level rise and temps will do in the future without the bill. Second, they have absolutely no idea what they would do if the bill is passed.

      • PA, “The bill also appears to go after diesel truck exhaust and CFCs.”

        Actually it is just diesel exhaust which would include ocean shipping with a big focus on Arctic shipping. To be a truly “global” standard, cars and trucks would need “reasonable” pollution control. That would likely be a fuel standard and a CAFE standard adopted more globally which would include maritime, back-up power etc. etc. Not a bad idea to have more uniform standards if done the right way.

        With the CFC’s I am not current on the cost and efficiency of some of the newest substitutes, but phasing out R-22 is likely not too painful but R134a replaced R-12 so that could end up being expensive if not done properly. Done properly in my opinion would be a phase out as replacements becomes available with some R&D bucks to push things along. Not arbitrarily assuming technology will jump to political will.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        This discussion is off by one derivative. Global warming is a climate change phenomenon. The amount of methane released therefore has no bearing on global warming. Only the rate at which it is increasing can impact global warming.

        Table 8.2 on page 678 of AR5 WG1 gives the values of radiative forcing (in W/m2) in 2005 and 2011 for CO2, CH4, N2O, and HAL (total halogens, everything from CFC-11 to HCFCs). Here they are in three columns: 2005, 2011, and the increase.

        CO2 1.66 1.82 0.16
        CH4 0.47 0.48 0.01
        N2O 0.16 0.17 0.01
        HAL 0.35 0.36 0.01
        ————————–
        TOT 2.64 2.83 0.19

        In six years radiative forcing due to the combined action of these greenhouse gases increased from 2.64 W/m2 to 2.83 W/m2, an increase of 0.19 W/m2. CO2 contributed 0.16 W/m2. 0.16/0.19 = 0.84

        So according to Table 8.2, CO2 contributed 84% of the increase in radiative forcing attributable to greenhouse gases during 2005-2011.

      • Methane is a triple edged sword. Not only is far more powerful in trapping heat it also messes with ozone. Most important it degrades into CO2 to expand it’s shelf life:

        http://americablog.com/2014/04/perp-greatest-mass-extinction-earth-identified-methane.html

        CH4 + 2O 2 = CO2 + 2 H2O

      • @ord: Methane is a triple edged sword. Not only is far more powerful in trapping heat

        Only when comparing concentrations. Comparing radiative forcings takes that difference into account.

        it also messes with ozone.

        Good point. A missed opportunity in the Act.

        Most important it degrades into CO2 to expand it’s shelf life

        Indeed. So when we see CO2 increasing, how to tell what proportion of it came from degraded CH4 as opposed to carbon-based fuels? Seems like a great question.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Vaughan Pratt | December 9, 2014 at 12:59 am |

        Most important [methane] degrades into CO2 to expand it’s shelf life

        Indeed. So when we see CO2 increasing, how to tell what proportion of it came from degraded CH4 as opposed to carbon-based fuels? Seems like a great question.

        Near as I can tell the answer is, not much. One CH4 molecule can only make one CO2 molecule. Residence time of CH4 is about ten years. Atmospheric concentration of methane is about 1.8 ppmv, CO2 is about 400 ppmv. If a tenth of the methane converts to CO2 annually, that’s 0.18 ppmv …

        At least that’s my back-of-the-envelope calc …

        w.

      • @vaughan pratt

        Thanks for those clarifications.

        A few threads back someone posted how the arctic ice melt was triggering the dreaded methane time bomb. He had a chart showing what looked like methane realease was off the upper end of the chart. I looked around for confirmation and ran across several papers and articles that all said that there wasn’t good enough measurement there yet, most of it coming from Russia. Wiki points to a science magazine article that supposedly says that it would amplify global warming to unknown levels but fears of catastrophe were probably overblown.

        Under the title ‘Clathrate breakdown’ it shows the methane related to mass extinctions much like the article that I linked above. That aside, it points to the paper by Shakova et al. It says the surface layer in two seas was supersaturated to 2500% of present level 1.85ppm, with that decimal point it doesn’t sound like much. It also says anomalously high concentrations (up to 154 nM or 4400% supersaturation) of bottom layer shelf water, whatever that means. Since the arctic ice surely melted during warm periods of the Holocene, I’m taking it that were not quite ready for a hundred thousand year timescale ‘big one’.

      • @WE: Near as I can tell the answer is, not much. One CH4 molecule can only make one CO2 molecule. Residence time of CH4 is about ten years. Atmospheric concentration of methane is about 1.8 ppmv, CO2 is about 400 ppmv. If a tenth of the methane converts to CO2 annually, that’s 0.18 ppmv …

        Excellent reasoning except for one detail: CO2 is increasing at around 2.5 ppmv/yr these days. So your arithmetic should attribute 0.18/2.5 or 7% of the annual increase in CO2 to methane degradation. Any comparison with 400 ppmv is “off by one derivative”.

        The corresponding numbers for 1980 were 1.2 ppmv/yr for CO2 increase and 1.5 ppmv for methane level. 0.15/1.2 = 12.5%. So over the past third of a century the proportion of CO2 increase attributable to methane degradation has dropped from 12.5% to 7%.

      • Apropos of the 1.5 ppmv level for 1980 methane, I forgot to source it: Figure 2 of
        http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/ghg/ghg-concentrations.html

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Steven, now that you mention Berkeley Earth, is there a file there giving global sea surface temperature, as BE’s counterpart of HadSST3?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Steven, now that you mention Berkeley Earth, is there a file there giving global sea surface temperature, as BE’s counterpart of HadSST3?”

        Not as a separate entity. I meet with Rohde today. I’ll ask. Otherwise you
        can just use a land mask. If you’d like me to do this for you, write to me
        at steve @ berkeleyearth… and I will put it on the stack of things to do

      • Mosh,
        Thanks for the methane link. The page 11 part comparing methane and CO2 gives nice details.

  3. They want to jump right in and regulate the entire country. What they should do is apply it to one state and find out what the true costs of the program will be.
    I nominate California.

    • Curious George

      Time to run.

    • If it wasn’t already too late for Calif, I would disagree with you.

    • Regulating bear flatulence may be the next big thing in California, that and second-hand e-vapor.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Wagathon: Regulating bear flatulence may be the next big thing in California, that and second-hand e-vapor.

        I predict increased regulation/suppression of solar farms and wind farms. Now that AB32 has created an artificial market where entrepreneurs might earn money by supplying enough “alternative-sourced” electricity to meet the demand, all future construction will be prohibited. I am only half kidding: lawsuits hold up everything even once it has been approved, and the Ivanpah power tower and the wind farms are killing birds and bats. The next desalination plants are tied up in court.

  4. Virtuallynothing

    This might give them a shot at truly controlling hot air, shutting down the government.

    Falsus interruptus.

  5. Matthew R Marler

    Here’s a good one: millions of traditional cookstoves all over the developing world.

    What they need is more natural gas, coal and petroleum. I don’t see a US law having much effect.

    Methane from land fills is increasingly being harvested for fuel. Given that a land fill exists, the extra cost of the methane is not great.

    I’d favor the law with an amendment declaring CO2 not to be a pollutant to be regulated. Regulate soot, not CO2. Stop pretending that the goal of regulating CO2 is to reduce soot.

    • Matthew R Marler

      “What they need is more natural gas, coal and petroleum. ”

      Each one of those fuels need transport over God Forsaken roads, made impassible during the rainy season.

      The developing world needs cheap electrons. As most of the 2 billion people who live on <$ 1/day, live between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn or maybe a titch more, this is the only region that solar energy makes sense to address this group of people's needs. Cook during the day, connect with the rest of the world, then make hay at night, unless of course your belly is full (water irrigation from electric pumps increase crop yield) and you have heartburn as you lie down at night. "Honey, not tonight."

      • Sorry I retract the +10

      • Matthew R Marler

        RiH008: The developing world needs cheap electrons.

        I favor a multiplicity of energy sources. Solar is definitely desirable where fossil fuel deliveries are unreliable. I have written this before in response to claims that solar is too reliable — namely that in some places everything is unreliable. If I had it to do over again, I’d add solar and wind to my list. So I take your point.

        However, this is a US law aimed at reducing pollutants that are not the major problems outside of the US, places that would benefit from fossil fuels to replace dung burned indoors; the law will have no effect where most of those “extra deaths” and “crop failures” due to soot occur (assuming for the sake of argument that those are not imaginary.)

      • I don’t focus on people living in remote villages as much as I do on those living in more concentrated settings. I got the sense many solar power advocates don’t have much exposure to third world environments. The fact is that solar power has a very limited applicability. And most of those rural dwellers are planning to move to town.

    • +10

    • + 10. I also favor solar for the developing world. They should build more solar at the location where the energy is consumed. That way they don’t have to worry about a grid. The rich people in their government and the other rich people in their countries should jump on this project right away.

      • If only solar produced electricity…. Solar panels produce electricity 20% of the time in the best case (only 10% of the time in Germany). You need something for the 80% of the time too…

      • Jim

        If your goal is to make rick people less rich–it is a good idea.

      • Whenever you feel your grey cells just aren’t making it and you aren’t even game to take one of those instant IQ tests…

        Just consider that sunny Brandenburg, is, along with Bavaria, the German state which has the biggest uptake of photovoltaic on a watts per capita basis.

        Brandenburg lies at 52 degrees north latitude.

        See? You’re not so dumb after all. At least, not compared with the average German energy policy genius.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You need something for the 80% of the time too…

        Said the fat cat with 24/7 electricity.

        Electricity 20% of the day beats the hell out of electricity 0% of the day, by a very large factor.

        I was on safari in Botswana and Zambia recently, off the grid, where they use solar PV supplemented with a string of huge 2-volt lead-acid batteries, plus a diesel generator for when the sun don’t shine. At night you reduce your usage so as not to overburden the batteries, you quickly get used to the dim lighting.

        And don’t forget that 33% of that 80% is spent sleeping. You can still have a nightlight throughout the night without flattening the batteries.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Vaughan Pratt: Said the fat cat with 24/7 electricity.

        Exactly. I think most of us forget how diverse and energy-starved the rest of the world is. Cities, towns, farms and preserves have different energy needs, local organizations, local . security problems, financing sources, maintenance talent etc. Bangladesh has a rapidly growing small scale solar infrastructure largely financed by small loans through Grameen bank. It would be just as foolish, imo, to ignore that success as to try to force the same system onto California (which some people advocate.)

    • Regulate soot, not CO2.

      That would make sense if (a) doing both was infeasible, and (b) soot was a significantly greater long-term hazard than CO2.

      The case where regulating both is infeasible but both pollutants are a huge long-term hazard is obviously pretty awkward. It’s like a forger being told that for punishment he has the choice of chopping off his left or right hand.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Vaughan Pratt: quoting me: Regulate soot, not CO2.

        That would make sense if (a) doing both was infeasible, and (b) soot was a significantly greater long-term hazard than CO2.

        At this time, the case that soot is a health hazard is better than the case that CO2 is a health hazard, by a long way. And trapping soot is cheaper than trapping CO2 or preventing the burning of fossil fuels.

  6. Willis Eschenbach

    Haven’t seen this much unsupported claims in a while …

    SLCPs, referred to as “super pollutants,” are non-carbon dioxide greenhouse pollutants that cause 40 percent of global warming.

    We have no real-world evidence that ANY ghgs cause warming.

    Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.

    Two million premature deaths? Where are the corpses? Slow sea level rise 25 percent? I’m sorry, but this is nothing but models all the way down. And how will this “avoid crop losses”? Are CFCs and black carbon killing our corn? Is methane, which comes in large part from rice paddies, killing our rice?

    I’m sorry, Judith, but this is just a string of feel-good claims. If it was a product they were selling, we could sue them under the “truth in advertising” law … you can’t claim products are good for our health without scientific studies and evidence.

    The beauty of the proposed bill is that it sold as mitigating super pollutants that have serious health impacts.

    What health impacts? People dying from CFCs? I find this kind of handwaving, complete with bogus claims of “two million premature deaths”, to be reprehensible, and I’m surprised that our gracious host has signed on to this nonsense.

    The proposed reductions of black carbon, methane and CFC emissions have sufficient health and economic benefits that they make sense whether or not there is dangerous anthropogenic warming from human emitted greenhouse gases.

    Again, Judith, where are the corpses? And what are the “economic benefits”? WHERE IS THE ACTUAL EVIDENCE FOR THESE OVERBLOWN CLAIMS?

    Sheesh … I thought this was supposed to be a scientific website.

    w.

    • I thought it was uncontroversial that particulate in the home from wood burning stoves had serious health inplications in the developing world. Possibly the problem here is that specific issues associated with one particular pollutant are being generalized over many due to the grouping of all these separate pollutants into a ‘super pollutant’ group. It could just be Willis doing this. In general whats the problem with better air quality.

      BTW ALL disease ( including disease from environmental pollution) is modelled in some way or other in order for us to understand it. Generally its very helpful. You’re going to have to be more specific about what you dont like about modelling disease from environmental factors for your comment to be of any use in the discussion.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        HR | December 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Reply

        I thought it was uncontroversial that particulate in the home from wood burning stoves had serious health inplications in the developing world.

        And I thought this was a bill in the US Congress, with no application to the developing world … in any case, it’s the unburned hydrocarbons that are the danger in the developing world, not the black carbon.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        HR | December 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        BTW ALL disease ( including disease from environmental pollution) is modelled in some way or other in order for us to understand it. Generally its very helpful. You’re going to have to be more specific about what you dont like about modelling disease from environmental factors for your comment to be of any use in the discussion.

        Depends on what you are calling a “model”. Many environmental diseases (e.g. mercury poisoning) were described long before we had computer models. How? Plain old observation plus statistics.

        In any case, where is the model showing two million “premature deaths”?

        w.

      • This is a better Christmas present than we had any right to hope for.

        Black soot was only identified as the second largest driver of AGW a year and a half ago. Cutting it down (hey, China, that’s you) would have a very quick effect on whatever AGW is happening now. And Willis, I don’t care if that is zero, because it could help save millions of premature deaths a year in China alone.

        The cookstove part of this has the potential to save even more lives.

        If it takes a fig leaf approach to sell this common sense legislation by adding mitigation of climate change to it, just shut up and let them talk about it.

      • HR

        You are right that wood burning stoves produce indoor air pollution and have health effects especially on children. These effects were measured in the developed world, right here in the good olde USA.

        Most cook stoves in the developing world, from Katmandu Nepal, Gom DRC, Papua New Guinea or the mountainous region surrounding Bogota are vented INDOORS which amplifies indoor pollutants and causes premature deaths (including when you are not even counting newborns; you have to live 3 days to 12 months in some regions to be counted as “a live birth”).

        Indoor air pollution health effects are causal; health effects of outdoor air pollution are generally associated with.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Tom Fuller | December 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm |

        This is a better Christmas present than we had any right to hope for.

        Black soot was only identified as the second largest driver of AGW a year and a half ago. Cutting it down (hey, China, that’s you) would have a very quick effect on whatever AGW is happening now.

        Cite for the black soot claim?

        And Willis, I don’t care if that is zero, because it could help save millions of premature deaths a year in China alone.

        I’m sorry, but you’ll have to explain how the bill under discussion will “help save millions of premature deaths in China”. I must have missed that part of the bill.

        The cookstove part of this has the potential to save even more lives.

        THERE IS NO “COOKSTOVE PART” OF THE BILL UNDER DISCUSSION! You appear to be posting on the wrong thread by mistake.

        If it takes a fig leaf approach to sell this common sense legislation by adding mitigation of climate change to it, just shut up and let them talk about it.

        You have not shown how this legislation is “common sense”, other than claiming that the non-existent “cookstove part of it” will save lives … Sorry, Tom, but could you return to the subject under discussion? HOW do you plan to cut US CFC emissions? We don’t make any significant CFC emissions. HOW do you plan to cut methane? And where is your evidence that the bill will have any detectable effect on human health?

        w.

      • Willis said
        “Depends on what you are calling a “model”. Many environmental diseases (e.g. mercury poisoning) were described long before we had computer models. How? Plain old observation plus statistics.”

        It does depend on what your calling a model. Ok your arbitry dislike for models is focused on computers. That makes no rational sense. Sorry cant follow you down the Luddite route against technology love the modern world too much.

      • Agree w/Willis. I thought our gracious host had become less credulous.

    • I totally agree with w on this. If it’s a win for anything, it’s a win for stupidity. “avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually” is utter BS – the extra food production that a much warmer world could produce is absolutely massive, right across Canada and Russia for starters. And bear in mind that a warmer world is a wetter one too (Clausius-Clapeyron).

    • We have no real-world evidence that ANY ghgs cause warming.

      lol What would the earth’s temperature be without ghg’s? I thought the folks at WUWT didn’t deny AGW, but CAGW.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thank, Joseph. Sorry for my lack of clarity. We have evidence that the world is warmer in general because of the existence of GHGs, primarily water vapor. What we lack evidence for is the idea that when the world is at thermal equilibrium, small changes in non-H20 GHGs do anything.

        w.

      • So just for clarification, you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joseph | December 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm |

        So just for clarification, you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so?

        I deny that that is a meaningful question. The meaningful questions are “how much” and “how” and “at what scale”.

        w.

      • you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so
        ================
        the question is how much. most certainly converting almost 40% of the earth’s surface to cities and agriculture over the past 150 years has affected the climate of the plant.

        It is quite easy to see changes in rainfall patterns around cities, It is hard to imagine this would be any different when forests and jungles are cleared and burned on massive scales to raised crops and/or livestock.

        The problem for climate science is that they could not find any explanation other than CO2 for last 20th century warming. Thus CO2 became public enemy number 1. However, the rapid industrialization of China threw a wrench into the works. We should be seeing record increases in the rate of global warming, but we are not.

        Instead, what we find is that CFC production and O3 depletion now tracks temperature much better than CO2 tracks temperature. Much, much higher correlation. Which suggests that climate science got it wrong. They fingered the wrong suspect.

        This is further born out by the failure of climate models to predict the continued decrease in the rate of warming and the failed model prediction of an atmospheric hotspot to precede warming. In any other branch of science two major failures to predict would constitute a failed theory.

        Rather the continued decrease in warming is consistent with the decrease in CFC production and O3 depletion, as a result of the 1987 Montreal Protocol. As O3 has recovered, otherwise unexplained temperature increased has been reduced, in the face of record CO2 emissions.

      • Willis Eschenbach, could you explain why this question isn’t meaningful:

        So just for clarification, you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so?

        But this question:

        The meaningful questions are “how much”

        Is? The two questions are highly related. If the answer to the second question is zero the answer to the first question is, “Yes, you do deny it.” If the answer to the second question is anything greater than zero, the answer to the first question is, “No, you don’t deny it.”

        Even if you picked some other answer, it seems both questions must be equally meaningful.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Brandon Shollenberger | December 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm |

        Willis Eschenbach, could you explain why this question isn’t meaningful:

        So just for clarification, you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so?

        But this question:

        The meaningful questions are “how much”

        Is?

        Glad to, Brandon. It’s because everything, from fish farts to my wife planting a garden, has some effect on warming on some scale, whether positive or negative. As a result, your question doesn’t tell us anything.

        The meaningful question is, how much of an effect does X have on the global average temperature, and how does it exert that effect, and how widespread is the effect (micro, local, regional, global).

        w.

      • we do have evidence that the world is warmer because of the existence of GHGs, primarily CO2. If we had no CO2, green things would not be alive and we would not be alive to learn anything. What we do not have is evidence that CO2 has caused any warming. Temperature is in the same bounds that it has been in for ten thousand years so it does not matter what has not been able to push temperature out of bounds.

      • Willis Eschenbach, when someone asks if humans have }contributed to warming,” it’s safe to assume they mean on net. If you do, this is non-responsive:

        Glad to, Brandon. It’s because everything, from fish farts to my wife planting a garden, has some effect on warming on some scale, whether positive or negative.

        Because you’re not saying anything about whether the net effect is positive or not. You’re just misunderstanding what they are asking after. I’ll try rephrasing it in the way I think Joseph intended it:

        There is an argument humans have contributed to a warming of the planet through various means, predominately via greenhouse gas emissions. Do you dispute this argument?

        That seems a pretty meaningful question to me. I suspect a lot of people would choose not to discuss global warming with someone if they knew the person’s answer was, “Yes.”

      • Willis Eschenbach:

        His question was nothing like that. First, he didn’t ask whether I “disputed” something, he asked if I “denied” something. Next, he said nothing about it being “predominantly” through a particular means, he didn’t specify a means at all. In other words, that’s YOUR question, not Joseph’s question at all.

        The difference between “deny” and “dispute” doesn’t matter for my formulation. As for the other difference, it is common for people to refer to global warming, predominantly caused by greenhouse gas emissions, as simply human-induced warming. It is trivially easy to find numerous examples of people using phrasing like Joseph’s as shorthand for what I said. That’s why I interpreted in that way.

        You may not agree with that interpretation. It may not even be correct. It is a legitimate one though. I bet Joseph would accept it. Maybe he’ll even come by and say that’s what he had in mind.

        Unlike you, I try not to reformulate the question according to how I might wish it would have been asked. I answer it as best I understand it.

        I don’t know why you’d personalize this by suggesting I behave in some undesirable way. It’s pointless and rude. More importantly, it’s not true. Had I been asked the same question, I’d have answered the question in the literal way then say I suspect he had something else in mind and answer that. If I was wrong about in my interpretation, there’d be no harm. The worst that’d happen I’d give him additional information about my views.

        Considering multiple ways a person might have intended you to interpret their comments is not a bad thing. Trying to be flexible and allow for multiple intended meanings is not a bad thing. These are not reasons to make snide remarks about a person.

        And you know what? That’s all I’m going to say about this. Both your behavior and your position on this topic are such I don’t think there’s any sense pursuing this issue.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Brandon Shollenberger | December 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm |

        Unlike you, I try not to reformulate the question according to how I might wish it would have been asked. I answer it as best I understand it.

        I don’t know why you’d personalize this by suggesting I behave in some undesirable way. It’s pointless and rude. More importantly, it’s not true. Had I been asked the same question, I’d have answered the question in the literal way then say I suspect he had something else in mind and answer that. If I was wrong about in my interpretation, there’d be no harm. The worst that’d happen I’d give him additional information about my views.

        I’m sorry that you took that personally. I didn’t mean it as a slight, merely a distinction. You try to guess what someone means. I don’t. If you’ll re-read what I said, you’ll see I didn’t say or imply that your way was wrong, only different.

        Considering multiple ways a person might have intended you to interpret their comments is not a bad thing. Trying to be flexible and allow for multiple intended meanings is not a bad thing. These are not reasons to make snide remarks about a person.

        My friend, if I make snide remarks, you will be under no illusions. That was not a snide remark, just a distinction.

        Here’s my position. I have been burnt many, many times trying to guess what someone meant, only to have them get on my case and say “That’s not what I meant! Don’t put words in my mouth! Can’t you understand a simple question!” and the like.

        So I don’t do it any more, I got tired of being abused for doing that. I simply answer the question asked as best I can understand it, and let it go at that. I figure if the person had some other meaning, they’ll let me know.

        Now I understand you don’t do that, and that’s fine … but it’s also fine that I do that, it’s the result of having my fingers burned too many times when I’ve tried your method.

        Finally, at your urging, I not only answered your question, I answered the question that I thought you were asking … and in response, I got nothing. Not one comment on my answer. Zip.

        You see why I’ve given that up? Evidently, that wasn’t the question you had in mind … last time I’ll try that.

        w.

    • Still plenty of sky-dragons fluttering around…..

    • Two million premature deaths?
      ==========
      I agree with Willis. The “premature deaths” are a result of dung, wood and charcoal being burned inside 3rd world dwellings without proper ventilation.

      This has absolutely nothing to do with global warming or climate change and it is the height of misleading, politicized science typical of the US to try and blame everything in the world on global warming.

      It is high time that science and politics in the US woke up to the cold reality of day. The Chinese are moving very quickly to eat your lunch. They have just moved past you in GDP and their currency is poised to become the global alternative to the USD.

      And they have just colossally suckered the US into giving them a “get out of jail free” card for 16 more years of unrestricted emissions increases. The biggest polluter on the planet, the now richest nation on the planet, with more millionaires than the US, and continuing to grow at an astounding rate.

      The US has agreed that China can continue to increased emissions as much as it wants, which in return the US agreed to significantly cut emissions and pay billions of dollars? The US and EU could cut emissions to zero, devastate the economy, and the increase in Chinese emissions would still overwhelm the savings. Exactly what country was your President negotiating for?

      We just spent two weeks in China. In that brief time we saw ultra modern cities and industry on a scale unequaled in the west. Bullet trains and bridges on a fantastic scale, almost all of which has been built within the past 20 years. Compare that to Detroit, with 70 thousand abandoned buildings. Economics destroyed Detroit just as surely as an A-bomb. Who will be next?

      • Feed,

        don’t be so quick to board the Chinese bandwagon.

        They have huge systemic issues, ranging from environmental to demographic to political. Their currency is no threat to the dollar. No one is going to trust a currency which can be manipulated by the central government as China ‘s is.

      • I agree with Fred. China is well on its way. Now the US needs to pay down its 18 trillion debt. Currently, that $430 billion a year just in interest alone. Then there’s the fact that Social Security went into the red in 2010.

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/5/social-security-red-first-time-ever/

        We in the US need to clean our own house before we buy more furniture.

      • “In that brief time we saw ultra modern cities….”

        Google “ghost cities.”

      • Let’s vote Hillary Godham Clinton to the White House in 2016 and find out what Barack Obama III looks like. Should be quite a show watching the US implode on stupidity like that displayed by Obama in China. Gross!

      • Wherever Obama goes, stupid isn’t far behind.

    • https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_ALL_FINAL.pdf

      Well… the IPCC report says that less than 49% of methane emissions are anthropogenic (331 Tg out of a total of 678 Tg).

      The minority involvement of man in methane emissions means any significant change would take a lot of environmentalist opposed terraforming and animal extinction..

  7. This is a more complex and dubious issue than the hearings information has let on. There are two fundamental reasons, and then some specifics.
    First fundamental is dynamics. Pollution reduction is usually subject to the law of diminishing marginal returns. The next increment of reduction does less and costs more. Eventually the cost outweighs the benefit. With respect to things like particulate (including but not limited to black carbon) a lot has already been done. And the hearing’s benefit rationales (sea level rise, premature death prevention) are obviously sketchy. Second fundamental,is threshhold effects. ‘Harm’ is often assumed to be some smooth function, when reality suggests there are threshholds below which ‘harm’ either does not exist or or is undetectable. Radiation is an example, and PM 2.5 probably is. PM 2.5 harm in grossly polluted parts of China is obvious. PM 2.5 harm from diesel vehicles in European cities is undetectable (altpugh there have been some dubious ‘scientific’ extrapolations) amongst all the other known causes of similar lung impacts.
    And then there is the nature of ‘super pollutants themselves. Much more methane is produced by the biosphere (ruminent digestion, for example) than is lost from leaky oil and gas production or corroded gas pipelines.
    CFCs have already been reformulated once due to ozone.
    That said, there may be specific abatement things that make sense in specific circumstances. Nobody is in favor of true pollution (CO2 isn’t) when that can be sensibly abated. Didn’t find much of that sort of thinking in a glance at the proposed legislation.

    • Went and read the mitigation testimony of Zaelke. Much absurdly ridiculous stiff.. I will focus only on methane in this comment.
      He advocates funding to help dairy farmers capture atmospheric methane from ruminent digestion. Well, I have owned a fairly large Wisconsin dairy farm since 1985. My cows do not do their ruminating in some enclosed building with contained ventilation. If we did that, we would have all the animal rights folks beating us up. My cows rather like their pastures…but I would be glad to take a lot of federal funding to ‘experiment’ with cow fart capture.
      He advocates methane capture from anerobic digestion of manure. On my farm, we have things called manure speaders that putmit back on the fields to enrich the soil and reduce synthetic fertilizer cost. In fact, the USDA requires that we do so. (His idea might make sense for feedlots. Butnthen he doesn’t know that concentrated manure digestion methane is ALREADY captures and used as a fuel byproduct where this is feasible, just like landfill methane already is. See Waste Management website for landfill details.
      He advocates funding for methanogen vaccines that would eliminate ruminent methane in the first place. If such a vaccine against Archeae organisms existed, administering it would sure kill all my cows from starvation. Since they are ruminents. Those Archeae ruminent stomach microorganisms break down the hay and alfalfa and distillers grain complex sugars (mostly cellulose, hemicellulose) into simpler digestible forms the second stomach processes after the cow chews and swallows its cud from the first (ruminent) stomach.
      And, he advocates dry seeding of rice. Now, I am not a rice farmer, but a quick check showed that rice is a plant that grows in shallow water (which causes Archae mediated decomposition of organic matter, releasing rice nutrients and methane in the paddys). How the seedlings are set is immaterial to the plants main life cycle, although rice needs much water to sprout the seedlings planted in paddies in Asia.
      And I am pretty sure a US rice dry seeding program will not export well to China, Japan, Thailand, VietNam, India,… where most rice is grown.
      That woild be about as effective as this proposedUS law influencing developing country wood/charcoal cooking stoves.
      Dr. Zaelke needs to get out more.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I know that am new to this subject
        but it absolutely slays me that the digestive products of creatures be considered a threat to the biosphere that created them

        but then today I noticed the label on my 100% grape juice informs me that it is “gluten free”

        It’s not just methane, I can’t help but feel I’m witnessing a mass hysteria of the over educated

        SLCPs… oh great, a new impurity

        we are going to micro-manage our existence into non-existence

      • Rud – I agree this is hitting a high point of ridiculousness. At least in the US. How about we tear down some laws before we make more?

      • Istvan, I think I can design a cow poop separator using heavy oil field technology. But the most efficient separation takes place at a higher temperature. Is there a way to raise the cow’s rear end temperature to 60 degrees C? This could be done by circulating hot water in via a 2 cm hose, and then allowing the cow production (including methane) to come out a 5 cm diameter hose, which can be connected to a multi cow manifold. The manifold header can then be connected to a separator vessel, we separate the gases, which we burn to make the hot water we gave to inject into the cow’s rear end, but the mix of hot water coming out of the cow and associated manure can be put in a truck to be spread around the countryside as needed. Thus we have a fully sustainable system, it’s like solar power, but it works in the dark.

      • This is yet another case of where some very smart people are missing the obvious.

        Create a cow cart that runs on methane. Add a Adrino computer and a geo-location sensor. Then, put the cow on it and plug it into the cow’s rear-end.

        The cow would be carted to the milking shed each day and could be summoned at will for maintenance.

        Add an internet connection and you an monitor the cow’s vitals and milk production.

        It’s a win-win!

      • “SLCPs… oh great, a new impurity we are going to micro-manage our existence into non-existence”

        This is how civilizations die…too many people with nothing to do but sit around and worry and attempt to manage everyone else. Rules upon rules upon rules until the whole edifice crumbles of its own dead weight. Tacitus said of Rome, “The more corrupt the State, the more numerous the laws.” And I’d say the more numerous the laws the more opportunity for corruption. They feed off each other.

  8. Steven Mosher

    Willis

    “Two million premature deaths? Where are the corpses?”

    In China mostly. premature death harvests people early.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/110/32/12936.abstract

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Thanks, Steven, but until you can explain how a bill in the US Congress is going to affect China, I’m afraid that’s irrelevant regardless of its veracity. This bill is being sold on the basis that it will CHANGE something, but in China it won’t change anything, so your claim makes no difference.

      Finally, “premature deaths” is a bogus measurement. If something shortens the lifespans of all US residents by five minutes, that’s 300 million “premature deaths” … meaningless.

      w.

      • Your question was were are the corpses which doesnt really show you understand the problem or the metric.

        The china study shows you the methodology. If you like go search the literature for US figures, but you can pretty much read the lost years
        off the pm25 concentration.

        Premature deaths is a perfectly reasonable metric for this sort of thing.
        Its reasonable because you DONT get figures like 5 minutes off a life.

        If you DID get figures like 5 minutes your objection might hold water.

        Elected officials actually get to decide that cutting life expectancy by a couple years IS something worthwile to look at.

        They dont need the science to be perfect. they dont need the metrics to pass YOUR smell test. That is why you are not a policy maker.

      • for US figures you can start here

        http://lae.mit.edu/wordpress2/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/US-air-pollution-paper.pdf

        Pretty big CI

        however its clear. Dumping PM25 in MY FRICKING AIR is not something YOU get to do with impunity.

        Prove its safe and I have no issue. Until then the best science we have, however flawed or uncertain, says that its NOT without risk.

        You wouldnt let me pee up stream in your creek, dont pollute my air and then tell me I have no say

      • The china study shows you the methodology.
        =======================
        But in spite of the pollution, Chinese life expectancy continues to increase faster than US life expectancy.

        http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SP.DYN.LE00.IN/compare?country=cn#country=cn:zr:us

        So, if air pollution is causing so many “extra deaths”, then China with the worst pollution should be showing this in reduced life expectancy, while the US with the EPA should be showing much better progress.

        But the data isn’t showing it. It shows that China is catching the US in life expectancy, so the only thing that can be argued based on this data is that air pollution is better for you than the EPA.

      • You wouldnt let me pee up stream in your creek
        ==========
        fish pee in your creek, along with a whole lot of other animals. ever heard of beaver fever? it isn’t something only teenage boys get.

        Years ago I caught Leptospirosis in Hawaii from swimming in a river. Not nice. There were fatalities in Hawaii, before they finally got it sorted. It doesn’t come from humans, but from animals peeing in the river.

        so if you are going to stop humans, you better also stop animals.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Your question was were are the corpses which doesnt really show you understand the problem or the metric.

        He asked where are the corpses? You answered, in China. He asked, how is a US law gong to affect that?

        Well, …, how is a US law going to affect Chinese death rates? Have they responded, for example, to US laws about labeling cigarettes? Pesticides? Occupational safety and health?

    • This is actually a bit personal for me. As I look at the Air Quality Index site right now for Shanghai on Monday morning, Dec. 8, it reads 222. Anything above 150 is considered very unhealthy.

      China cannot afford to abandon coal. They build a new coal plant every week on average. They want to be green–they’re building more nuclear than the rest of the world combined, they have built or are building more hydroelectric than the rest of the world combined, they are the world’s largest producer of solar modules and wind turbines.

      But they cannot abandon coal. They don’t have the money to clean it up. If the West can help them do it the world benefits.

      Similar arguments are valid regarding cookstove usage in India, Africa and also in China.

      For modest expenditures–really modest–we can save a large number of lives and improve the health of tens of millions of people.

      I find it appalling that some would oppose it because one of the benefits ascribed to the plan is fighting global warming.

      I don’t care. I think it also should be advertised as a Meteor Defense Shield. Pass the bill.

      • Tom has it right. Lifespans continue to increase in China, so when people talk about premature deaths they are largely talking nonsense. 100% of people die, no matter what we do. The question is how long they live and the quality of life along the way.

        Right now there are probably 4 billion people on the planet that have better living conditions than kings and queens a few hundred years ago. We should concentrate on improving the lot of the remaining 3 billion, not bringing the 4 billion down to the level of the 3. 7 billion poor people is not a recipe for world peace and happiness.

        http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/china/life-expectancy-at-birth

      • This graph perhaps shows the effects of industrialization of population better than tens of thousands of words of discussion:

        http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SP.DYN.LE00.FE.IN/compare?country=cn#country=cn:zr:us

      • Tom, you are right wrt China. But this US bill funds a superregulatory agency body to ‘cooordinate and fund’ ‘superpollutant’ initiatives in the US only. And my problem is, we have already attacked all of them here and are likely on the wrong side of the law of diminishing marginal returns. See some specific examples from this specific teatimony posted upthread. We need another US federal funding bureaucracy like a hole in the head.

        I hated traveling to China back when I was a senior corporate exec (we had over 10,000 employees in Tianjin, the largest non-Chinese based revenue business in China at that time). Liked the Chinese. Loved the food. Hated the pollution and the ‘politics’.

      • As if US had the money or the means to make China stop burning coal, Tom. No thanks, I’ll keep my pittance for my retirement, thanks.

      • My understanding is that scrubbers are in place in some Chinese coal plants but aren’t being used because they lower the efficiency and somewhat decrease production of electricity. I guess that’s ‘not having enough money’.
        ===============

      • I don’t see much logic in borrowing money from China in order to pay China to clean up their air. Perhaps they can cut back on their military modernization program a bit and pay for it themselves.

      • Tom,

        You must have made a cost/benefit analysis before taking that job in China. It appears having a job is more important to you than breathing clean air.

        Most government regulations increase the cost of doing business as this bill likely will. Resulting in probably to less employment or slower expansion in addition to the consumer ultimately paying the freight yet again.They constantly try one size fits all solutions to things which are more reasonably left at the local level to decide whether there is problem or not. There may be small pockets of pollution, but those should be handled locally.

        I live in Connecticut and breath air that has moved across the entire country before reaching me. The air is so clean I wouldn’t even notice the difference if someone said they had made it cleaner. I was around in the 1950s so I’ve breathed years of polluted air and know what is it like. This is simply throwing money at a non-problem so some politicians can say they authored a bill and get some lobbyist money while doing it.

      • @ Tom Fuller

        So you, personally, have weighed a variety of factors and decided that the benefits of moving to China and intentionally subjecting yourself and your family to one of the most polluted atmospheres on the planet outweighed the risks of shortening the lives of yourself and your family by breathing it?

        Yet you think it reasonable to pass legislation forcing US residents, who by and large live in the least polluted atmosphere on earth, to spend billions of dollars on reducing the already minimal pollution to levels that can only be detected in a NIST laboratory? By corralling cow farts and building diesel engines and coal fired generators that emit only laboratory grade water vapor and by doing away with HFC’s? And how much colder is this supposed to make us and how much longer can I be expected to live if we make it either illegal or prohibitively expensive to use fossil fuels and refrigerants?

      • Tom Fuller

        You write- “If the West can help them (China) do it the world benefits.”

        My response– You appear to have reached a conclusion that the benefits out weigh the costs to the US taxpayer. Can you show what reasonably reliable data you have used to reach this conclusion? What are the benefits to the US taxpayer and where and when will these occur?

      • Tom, we do benefit if the Chinese don’t clean their own polluted air. The junk they put in the air probably kills them younger, and if chinese workers get upset at their capitalist overlords they may have a revolution to overthrow them. This will put a bunch of communists in power, wreck the Chinese economy and industry and reduce their emissions. It’s a good deal for us.

      • ” They don’t have the money to clean it up. ” Hilarious! Hysterically hilarious. They can stop building ghost cities and bridges to no where…they have more than enough money to take care of it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tom Fuller: But they cannot abandon coal. They don’t have the money to clean it up. If the West can help them do it the world benefits.

        Similar arguments are valid regarding cookstove usage in India, Africa and also in China.

        For modest expenditures–really modest–we can save a large number of lives and improve the health of tens of millions of people.

        Are you saying that this bill would appropriate tens of billions of dollars per year to clean the air in China and India?

    • Might be true. Might not be. Hard to sort out with all the other health and pollution issues in China. Like cigarettes, if worried about black carbon and PM 2.5. Like Beijing smog worse than London in the 1800’s, or what I remember of LA inversions in the 1960’s, if worried about ground level ozone and other free radicals impact on lung function.

      This is a US bill concerning the US only. So either the number cited is silly wrong (Willis’ “show me the [US] bodies”) or irrelevant to these US Senate deliberations (your reposte). Either way shows the generally sorry state of public policy discourse. Essays Carbon Pollution and Clean Coal in Blowing Smoke provide further US legislative/regulatory examples, as does the pika example in titularly fitting essay No Bodies, as does the cover art and its intro explanation.

      • The police in New York City killed a black man for selling cigarettes. That’s over the top. Drugs need to be legalized and that include cigarettes. Let’s make fewer things against the law instead of more things like the regulations being discussed.

      • The police in New York City killed a black man for selling cigarettes
        ===========
        the surgeon general of the united states was fired for trying to correct this. he said that if we made cigarettes illegal the way we do with drugs, people would be killing each other in the streets over them. his prediction has proven more reliable than hundreds of billions of dollars worth of climate models.

      • The crime rate would be lower if laws weren’t as strict. To reduce crime, reduce laws.

      • You have made that comment to be funny, but you are right. Every time a new law is passed, a new class of criminal is created. That’s the “progressive” way.

  9. Hi Judy – I am agreement with you on this. In the past, I have urged “win-win” solutions, and this appears to be one of them.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/04/20/a-win-win-solution-to-environmental-problems/

    For example, I wrote

    “At the April 13, 2006 Session “Climate Change – What Happens in a Warmer Rockies?” at the Colorado College “State of the Rockies Conference”, there was a very informative talk by Auden Schendler, Director of Environmental Affairs at the Aspen Skiing Company. He reported on a number of technical changes that have been applied at the ski areas owned by this company to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide. What was enlightening in his talk, however, were the benefits in all types of air quality that resulted, and that these changes saved money!”

    and

    Such win-win solutions to environmental problems should be a goal of policymakers. Such a framework fits with the “vulnerability” perspective that has been advocated on the Climate Science weblog.

    “If [an effective] policy decision is made for other reasons, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, this is clearly an example of a win-win situation.”

    See also

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/a-excellent-seminar-at-the-university-of-colorado-at-boulder-what-goes-around-comes-around-by-gregory-r-carmichael/

    Greg’s talk documents the immediate benefit of reducing fine particles in the atmosphere regardless of the impact on the emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Roger Sr.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Thanks, Dr. Pielke. I went to your post to find the talk by Auden Schendler. It directed me to a link to the report of the “State of the Rockies Conference”. I went there, and found nothing by Schendler at all.

      In any case, I find it very difficult to believe that anything that one ski company can do will make much difference to air quality. Do you have a link to the actual presentation, or are we once again, as in the head post, in the realm of uncited assertions?

      Next, you point to a talk by Greg Carmichael, in which he makes another uncited claim regarding premature deaths …

      Intercontinental transport of PM2.5 is associated with 100,000 premature mortalities world-wide of adults 30 years and older.

      So now we have a claim in the head post of 2 million premature deaths, and a claim from Greg of 100,000 premature deaths … and we have no source for either claim.

      Are we seeing a pattern here?

      Finally, when are you guys gonna say “OK, that’s enough!” I mean, once you throttle industry to reduce PM2.5, will you move on to PM1.5? For example, you quote Greg Carmichael as saying:

      (tightening the U.S. 8-hour O3 standard from 84ppbv to 75ppbv, is annually projected to prevent 1,300 to 3,500 premature deaths in the United States at a cost of $7.6-8.8 billion USD each year [EPA, NAAQS RIA, 2008])

      At about $4 MILLION dollars for each (theoretically) avoided premature death … are you seriously claiming that this is a good deal? Because it sure looks like you are.

      Particularly since, as I mentioned above, “premature deaths” is an alarmist fear-mongering device without meaning. As soon as someone mentions it, I know they have an agenda. If 1,300 to 3,500 people die one day early, those are all “premature deaths” … is that worth $4 megabucks per person to prevent?

      w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        The ground level ozone health impact is real, just not at 75 PPBillion, the current EPA standard. The measured human health impact is 400 PPBillion, a long way away from the current standard. The ozone limit of 75 PPB is a calculation from the approximation of Median Lethal Dose reduced by EPA Expert Opinion. There is no data for ozone at 75 PPB, nor any short or long term health effects. Ozone at 75, and now proposed 70 PPB is only a political decision, unsupported and mythicized by EPA.

      • how about dust? There is a whole lot of dust in the air, I expect a lot of it PM2.5. Are we going to outlaw anything that produces dust, like a moving car or person? How about we outlaw the wind?

        Or how about plants. They produce all sorts of nasty allergens and while hay fever may not kill you, any one that has it will tell you it makes you wish you were dead. Are we going to outlaw plants?

        where do you draw the line?

  10. I have no problem with reducing harmful aerosols close to background levels.

    Implicit in that is a proper determination of which aerosols are “harmful” and what levels are considered as an appropriate “natural background”.

    But who can we trust to discharge that duty competently and honestly without fear or favor? The current EPA no longer has my trust in that regard.

    The cynical might add that newer proposed controls are simply a way of making sure that carbon-based energy sources can be legislatively damned from several different angles.

    Color me unimpressed.

    • If 400 PPBillion is the limit at which harm results, why reduce the ozone limit to 75 PPB? It would appear to be an unnecessary expense. Take a walk in a rain forest and you likely experience more than 75 PPB. Do we regard this as a bad thing?

      For example, we know some mercury compounds are harmful at a certain doses. But we also know that too little mercury is also harmful to the developing fetus. Similarly with vitamins. Too little vitamin A causes disease, but so does too much.

      So it would appear that setting limits at the toxic or harmful level is appropriate, but setting them artificially low is not only a needless expense, it may well be harmful to health.

      As such, regulations carried to extreme are likely to cause as much harm as no regulations.

      • Ferd, a nice restatement of the lower threshhold effects arguement well documented for several ‘harmful pollutants’ that aren’t below some threshold.

      • Yes, ferdberple.
        I probably didn’t make that clear enough in my comment.

        Just because modern analytical chemistry can detect compounds at infinitesimally low concentrations, it doesn’t mean that they are harmful or that we shouldnecessarily waste time doing so.

        Chemistry, alas, has been bearing this millstone around the neck since I was at school in the 1970’s.

  11. I spotted a paper somewhere in the last few months that claimed reducing emissions of super pollutants wouldn’t reduce greenhouse warming all that much (I can’t find it now).

    Is this the paper you were think of?

    Disentangling the effects of CO2 and short-lived climate forcer mitigation

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/46/16325.abstract

  12. There are no details, obviously, so it’s not possible to have an opinion on any specifics. But, if they truly include the regulated bodies (mostly industry and energy) in the development of the details then I think this could largely succeed. I applaud the approach.

    In my working years I managed much of the environmental affairs of a large petrochemical company. Contrary to the popular perception, the general relationship between the petrochemical industry and the environmental regulators, including EPA, was constructive and progressive. At a working level constructive bipartisanship was the rule, not the exception, sort of like the “old days” of the US Congress.

    I do think the potential health benefits are overstated, as they almost always are. And, as a lukewarmer, I’m not particularly worried about the impacts of global warming. But, I like the idea of sensibly tightening releases to the environment over time.

  13. David L. Hagen

    Chinese get paid to create then destroy HFCs
    When politicians create markets, taxpayers suffer from scams. See:
    Who Is Fooling Whom When It Comes to Combating Climate Change?

    Chinese manufacturers of HFCs made more and more of them—more than necessary for use even in the rapidly growing Communist country—because the international market for buying and selling the right to pollute with greenhouse gases awarded credits for their destruction. The gas could be made more cheaply—and then destroyed—than the carbon credits that resulted from their destruction were worth. All told, Chinese manufacturers netted billions of dollars in profits from an international effort meant to pay for developing countries to reduce pollution via projects such as preventing forests from being cut down or building more expensive renewable energy projects.

    Chinese firms blamed in huge greenhouse gas scam

  14. Yes, the EU schemes seem to be getting nowhere by forcing the importation of products with a high emission content. In that regard the German Chancellor’s decision to close nuclear power stations was a disaster.

  15. More “Bi-Partisan” rubbish and quickly endorsed by statists , including Dr. Curry right out of the gate. “Experts” with PC opinions but no empirical evidence. AGW morfing isn’t progress but more decline.

  16. I need to add that the EPA has, in recent years, become more of an ideological entity and less constructive than in years past. My comments above assume that EPA can still work in a constructive way.

    David Smith

  17. I am somewhat surprised that no one has been asked to investigate the effects of molecular hydrogen on the Earths atmospheric chemistry, given the number of backers of ‘hydrogen economy’ and the lack of investigations into the consequences of large amounts of leaking H2 will cause. Surely the precautionary principle means one should look into this prior to using hydrogen as a storage medium.

  18. Size matters. Diesel exhaust has two pollutant phases: gaseous and ultra fine particulates. The gaseous phase contains those compounds known to be carcinogenic and directly damage the lining of the windpipe and lungs: including the potent aldehyde acrolein.

    The ultra fine particulates are elemental carbon coated with other carcinogens and health damaging compounds.

    http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/airtox/diesel.html

    What would be interesting: what does Mercedes Benz say regarding fine particulates and their diesel engines powering cars and trucks and things that go, As CO2 is not a health pollutant and diesel fumes are, eliminating all diesel powered sources would go a long way in the environmentalists’ global fight against Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Sans CO2, environmentalism may reacquire some luster if it sticks with the health effects science that is known, as opposed to what might be in Never Never Land. Eh? Wendy?

    • You are also exposed to acrolein any time you cook something with oil.

      • Dick Hertz

        Yes. Everything is related to “dose response.” The dose of acrolein with Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil on your salad or cooking pasta with a dash of olive oil into the boiling water, the dose to the person of acrolein is minuscule. The lung as well as the entire respiratory system have reparative processes that get us through day to day exposures without succumbing to cancer from day one. Overwhelming the reparative processes with large doses and cancer promoters or getting old and having a lackadaisical immune surveillance system may mean that a life time exposure to some toxicant is now lethal.

        For the developing world that are forced to use biofuels, and those in the developed world who are the crunchy-granola-back-to-nature type with their wood burning, self-sufficiency-living stoves, they can and do get sick from their indoor environment. But, you can’t tell the latter that when they are not connected to the grid and making their contribution to lowering their carbon footprint, they are shortening their grandchildren’s lives. In this case, bad news does not travel fast.

      • I was thinking about people who work over a fry vat or wok for hours at a time, 5 days a week.

      • DH and RiH, dose response, yes. But do not overlook the usual lower non-response threshhold, which the EPA resolutely refuses to admit exists. To them everything is continuous DR– so less is always better, no matter the cost. See upthread for some examples.
        Reminds me of corporate 6 sigma zealots. 5 sigma defects bad (even if justified economically), 6 sigma good, and if by some happenstance you were operating at 6 sigma, go for 7. Idiots forgot sigma was a ‘log’ scale, and that 6 sigma was a manufacturing defect inspiration, not a law of nature universally applicable.
        Well, that corporation no longer exists in its former form. Stock went from 60 to 6 in just two years. And many tens of thousands of loyal, innocent employees went jobless because of that single corporate idiocy. One very personal reason that I comment here and write books about common sense stuff.

      • It’s not just no response at low doses, sometimes you get a positive response to very low dose toxins. Hormesis

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

        http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/62/2/330.long

        There is some debate and there are some who believe that there are some compounds where a low dose can be worse than a higher dose. But to me that seems like an extraordinary claim that would require extraordinary evidence.

  19. What percentage of global black carbon is emitted by the US? Not much, I’m guessing. It would be interesting to know the number for it and the other items on the hit list.

  20. From the quoted press release:

    “SLCPs, referred to as “super pollutants,” are non-carbon dioxide greenhouse pollutants that cause 40 percent of global warming.”

    Can this possibly be true?

    What percent of global warming is due to water vapor and CO2? I understand that due to chemical structure and persistence that the sensitivity of other molecules can be high, but 40 % due to “Super Minors” ® seems a bit much. As Rud Istvan says, the CFCs have been addressed. Particulates have a huge natural component, but particulates from combustion have also been addressed in the West.

  21. I agree with Willis on most things but in this instance I think that he overstates his case. While the US can only legislate for its own citizens such legislation can still set an example for the rest of the world if its enactment can be demonstrated to bring out positive health benefits.

    I believe that there is considerable scope for the footprint of humankind to be reduced and that the environmental damage already been done can be repaired if not completely reversed, as, for example, the planting of trees to replace old growth forests that have been excessively exploited.

    I do not believe that CO2 levels are influental towards changes in temperature at regional levels let alone at the global level and there is no evidence that CO2 acting alone contributes more to observable GHG effects than clouds and other short term movements in suspended atmospheric particulates from volcanic activity and soot from the burning of fossil fuels.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Peter Davies | December 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply

      I agree with Willis on most things but in this instance I think that he overstates his case. While the US can only legislate for its own citizens such legislation can still set an example for the rest of the world if its enactment can be demonstrated to bring out positive health benefits.

      Thanks, Peter. You mean like how we refused to sign on to Kyoto, because it would cripple our economy and inter alia affect the health and welfare of the poor, and the rest of the world looked at our wisdom and fell in line? … oh, wait …

      As near as I can tell, the rest of the world takes great pleasure in doing whatever the US does NOT do, and vice versa. From Kyoto to gun legislation to, well, most things I can think of, I don’t see the US laws having much effect on other countries.

      We just allowed millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the US … care to point out all of the countries following suit?

      Heck, The Noble And Wise President Obama just cut the killer deal with China. We’re going to put in place a huge bunch of new regulations on coal, in part (allegedly) for the reasons you cite. And are the Chinese going to do the same?

      Get real. The agreement allows them to increase their emissions AS MUCH AS THEY WANT until 2030 … and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

      So I guess what I’m saying is … where is the evidence that just because we want to shoot ourselves in the foot with expensive regulations, that the rest of the world would even think of following our lead?

      w.

      • The rest of the world laughs at us and at how easily we are led around by the nose to be politically correct.

      • Thanks for responding Willis. I guess that you don’t believe that the US wields as much influence in the world as I still do. While you have introduced other issues (such as gun legislation) I believe that the US still occupies an important role in world affairs, notwithstanding the impotency of its present administration.

        To illustrate what I mean here, by setting an example, the US can still influence the world and this can work both ways.

        Take Kyoto, for example, the US effectively demonstrated that actions speak much louder than words (or signatures on false agreements) by being one of the few countries to make significant progress in the reduction of emissions. It may be moot as to whether this result was by accident or design because over this period of time the US was undergoing a big economic recession.

        An example of false agreements is indeed the current US and China agreement that Obama has just signed. BTW we in Australia very much resented what Obama said while he was a guest in our country about the Great Barrier Reef and on our performance in respect of the environment.

        Now with gun legislation , the example that has been demonstrated to the rest of the world has been just how important that the rest of the world does NOT follow the US in this area.

        As for refugees, the example of the US in allowing large numbers of illegal immigrants to stay is something to be emulated by other countries. The world wide refugee problem will not be getting any better whilst other well-off countries are not carrying their fair share of the burden.

        It is agreed that this legislation, if passed, will incur costs, but in the case of CFC’s and methane gas controls, there have already been measurable benefits achieved within reasonable cost bounds and it seems likely that improved combustion techniques for fossil fuels could also give rise to measurable benefits for communities who need to live nearby. There is ample evidence that various scrubbing systems can be made to work within reasonable cost bounds and that China can be made to lose face in the eyes of the rest of the world if they persist in their refusal to employ these techniques, notwithstanding any false agreements to which they have co-signed.

      • Wiliis bleated

        “So I guess what I’m saying is … where is the evidence that just because we want to shoot ourselves in the foot with expensive regulations, that the rest of the world would even think of following our lead?”

        Where is the evidence that any foot-shooting is involved here? looks more like a lot of knee-jerking in response to the R word.

      • Willis,

        <As near as I can tell, the rest of the world takes great pleasure in doing whatever the US does NOT do, and vice versa.

        I don’t agree. On balance, of all countries, USA has far more influence on the majority of other countries than any other country. We all have different backgrounds, different parliamentary systems, different laws and different precedents and different cultures, so we don’t all follow the USA on everything. But USA is more influential than any other country.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Peter Lang: On balance, of all countries, USA has far more influence on the majority of other countries than any other country.

        More than very little is still very little. And in the specific case of regulating pollution, I doubt that we have any influence at all on the major polluters outside the US.

    • Thanks for responding Willis. I guess that you don’t believe that the US wields as much influence in the world as I still do. While you have introduced other issues (such as gun legislation) I believe that the US still occupies an important role in world affairs, notwithstanding the impotency of its present administration.

      To illustrate what I mean here, by setting an example, the US can still influence the world and this can work both ways.

      Take Kyoto, for example, the US effectively demonstrated that actions speak much louder than words (or signatures on BS agreements) by being one of the few countries to make significant progress in the reduction of emissions. It may be moot as to whether this result was by accident or design because over this period of time the US was undergoing a big economic recession.

      An example of BS agreements is indeed the current US and China agreement that Obama has just signed. BTW we in Australia very much resented what Obama said while he was a guest in our country about the Great Barrier Reef and on our performance in respect of the environment.

      Now with gun legislation , the example that has been demonstrated to the rest of the world has been just how important that the rest of the world does NOT follow the US in this area.

      As for refugees, the example of the US in allowing large numbers of illegal immigrants to stay is something to be emulated by other countries. The world wide refugee problem will not be getting any better whilst other well-off countries are not carrying their fair share of the burden.

      It is agreed that this legislation, if passed, will incur costs, but in the case of CFC’s and methane gas controls, there have already been measurable benefits achieved within reasonable cost bounds and it seems likely that improved combustion techniques for fossil fuels could also give rise to measurable benefits for communities who need to live nearby. There is ample evidence that various scrubbing systems can be made to work within reasonable cost bounds and that China can be made to lose face in the eyes of the rest of the world if they persist in their refusal to employ these techniques, notwithstanding any BS agreements to which they have co-signed.

  22. I see a lot of claims this will be cost effective, but nothing about the total cost. Why does everyone just jump on the train without asking questions?

  23. Hi Willis

    The material by Schendler was in his oral presentation.

    As to what one ski company can do to make a difference to air quality, consider when they change the ski buses from diesel to natural gas, and when they require clean burning natural gas fireplaces, instead of burning wood.

    On the conclusions by Greg Carmichael, you have asked a valid question.

    As you, of course, know, such studies are based on epidemiological assessments. We analyzed such a question for CO in the NRC study

    National Research Council, 2003: Managing carbon monoxide pollution in meteorological and topographical problem areas. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 196 pp. http://fermat.nap.edu/catalog/10689.html

    Such criteria pollutants as CO (and PM2.5) have no nonzero health benefits (which I assume you would agree with). The challenge is to ascertain what is technologically, economically, and politically achievable. At some level, society tolerates the pollutants.

    What would be your desired limits on the atmospheric criteria pollutants?

    Roger

    • I wonder what is more dangerous, The diesel exhaust and campfire smoke or the unfiltered pot smoke inhaled directly from the pipe.

      • Dick Hertz

        Actually, it is the smoke, both inhaled and secondary from Hooka smoking that is more dangerous than all of the above. Mary Jane is not a feminist movement. it is a shiv in the kidneys, thrust by those who imbibe.

      • And how many of Colorado’s recreational use crowd are the same people who would be outraged by low level pollutants and demand their levels be lowered without any consideration of the cost or benefit

      • Dick Hertz

        You’re just as dead from inhalation injury as a gunshot to the head. Alas, it is the latter that makes headlines. Self destructive behavior doesn’t even register in the obituary. How many mothers say that their son or daughter were fools who were engaged in a vicious cycle of self and familial destruction. They are not in the newsprint that I can find.

      • I’m in moderation again. I am sure I deserve to be. Just tell me your answer.

      • Dick Hertz

        “http://www.mdlinx.com/pulmonology/news-article.cfm/5767348/?utm_source=in-house-msg&utm_medium=message&utm_campaign=top-read-clicks-dec14”

        If you are a mechanic working on diesel engines, it is the diesel emissions. If you are a recreational marijuana smoker, say in Colorado, then it is the Hooka house.

        “http://www.mdlinx.com/pulmonology/news-article.cfm/5767348/?utm_source=in-house-msg&utm_medium=message&utm_campaign=top-read-clicks-dec14”

      • I expect recirculated air in buildings and aircraft kills more people in Canada each year than PM2.5. Why do we not outlaw this practice?

        Come flu season in the fall one person in an office gets sick it isn’t long before half the office is sick. A certain percentage of those people go on to develop pneumonia, and some of these will die early as a result.

        And who hasn’t traveled on a plane and some yahoo is coughing his guts out the whole flight. Lack of sleep, jet lag, and sure enough a few days after you land you are also coughing your guts out.

        When are we going to outlaw recirculation of air in buildings and aircraft?

      • Dick Hertz – “unfiltered pot smoke”

        We have lots of second hand pot smoke in CA. Observe the results.

      • Your hookah cite is about smoking tobacco.

        Charcoal use is not needed for the Colorado crowd.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      rpielke | December 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Willis

      The material by Schendler was in his oral presentation.

      Thanks kindly for your reply, Dr. Roger. So we have absolutely no information about your anecdote.

      As to what one ski company can do to make a difference to air quality, consider when they change the ski buses from diesel to natural gas, and when they require clean burning natural gas fireplaces, instead of burning wood.

      Your statement was;

      What was enlightening in his talk, however, were the benefits in all types of air quality that resulted, and that these changes saved money!

      Any change from e.g. wood to gas will make a difference … but the question is always, how much of a difference, and at what cost. Your uncited, unreferenced claim that “these changes saved money!” leaves me cold. How much money was saved by going from wood to natural gas? How much money was saved by going from diesel to natural gas? In fact, I doubt greatly that running a vehicle on natural gas is cheaper … hang on while I look it up … OK, I find this:

      (a) In fact, nominally CNG buses cost about $300–$325 k (each) while conventional diesels cost about $250 k–$275k.
      (b) Maintenance costs on CNG are more than twice that of diesel according to Cap Met maintenance figures. *

      (c) Capital Metro experience shows that diesel buses averaged 7270 miles between road calls while natural gas buses averaged only 3038 miles between road calls. In 1997 this meant that a natural gas bus averaged 80¢ per mile while diesels averaged 39¢ per mile to operate. *

      (d) Put another way, CNG buses broke down more than twice as often: On an annual basis CNG averaged about 32,000 miles while diesel buses annual average was 51,000 miles. *

      *(SOURCE: Memorandum “CNG and Diesel Comparative Analysis” BY Elaine Timbs, CMTA Chief of Maintenance, dated September or October of 1997)

      (e) As any bus driver will tell you, diesel buses greatly out-accelerate CNG buses in any situation, and if you’ve ridden on the two different types of buses here, you know this is so. In frequent stop and go service, especially under heavy loads in hot weather with the AC going full blast with doors opening and closing, this is a very important consideration.

      (f) Because of the extra heavy-duty fuel tanks, CNG buses are 50% heavier than diesels and thus raise the cost of street repairs (i.e., more VHCs from hot paving mix and off-road equipment).

      (g) CNG buses have far less range than diesels and require more frequent refueling. There are more BTUs in less space with diesel in much lighter tanks.

      You see why your anecdotal enthusiasm, unaccompanied by citations or sources, doesn’t really impress me much? Where are the numbers to back up your claims of cost savings?

      On the conclusions by Greg Carmichael, you have asked a valid question.

      As you, of course, know, such studies are based on epidemiological assessments. We analyzed such a question for CO in the NRC study

      National Research Council, 2003: Managing carbon monoxide pollution in meteorological and topographical problem areas. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 196 pp. http://fermat.nap.edu/catalog/10689.html

      Such criteria pollutants as CO (and PM2.5) have no nonzero health benefits (which I assume you would agree with). The challenge is to ascertain what is technologically, economically, and politically achievable. At some level, society tolerates the pollutants.

      What would be your desired limits on the atmospheric criteria pollutants?

      Well, let me start by saying that Greg Carmichael seems to think that paying $4 million dollars for each theoretically avoidable “premature death” is a good idea … and I certainly don’t. So that’s a worst-case answer.

      Your question is a good one about desired limits, and there’s no easy answer. To begin with, I’d distinguish between pollutants and substances which occur naturally in the atmosphere. Certainly we have no interest in limits that are lower than those found in nature.

      Next, we need to stop referring to carbon dioxide as a pollutant. It is nothing of the sort, it has huge beneficial effects on the environment and is necessary for life on earth.

      Next, we need to stop talking about “premature deaths”, that’s just alarmism.

      Next, we need to take the science out of the hands of the EPA, which is one of the most anti-scientific parts of the government.

      Next, we need to stop asking people to double-pay for the results of the scientific pollution studies that we funded. You refer me to your paper in the NRC publication, and I find that they want $41 for the PDF … despite the fact that almost all of the funding for the NRC comes from the pockets of myself and other taxpayers.

      Next, we need to insist that all such studies are carefully reviewed and vetted by a qualified statistician. I can’t tell you how much bogus statistics I’ve found in these kinds of studyies. “Meta-analyses”, studies with pathetically weak power, lack of adjustment for autocorrelation, the junk is endless.

      Next, we need to use scientists who have no axe to grind. I’m not willing to have James Hansen author a study on the health effects of methane, that’s an obvious conflict of interest.

      Next, we need cost/benefit studies, not just cost studies. I see this hogwash about the “social cost of CO2” all the time, with nary a mention of the “social benefits of CO2”.

      Next, we desperately need to look at the history of the past regulation of the substance in question. We have already regulated most of the pollutants, and many of them more than once … how much did each stage in the regulation actually cost, compared to estimated costs before the regulation? How much were the actual improvements in health at each stage, compared to estimated benefits before the regulation.

      Next, we need to take a hard look at not just the theoretical detectability but the actual practical detectability of the effects. For some of these proposed regulations, the claimed benefits are undetectable given our current knowledge and sample sizes.

      Finally, as a long-time programmer who wrote my first program fifty years ago, I say that we need to be very, very careful about the use of computer modeling as opposed to actual analysis of outcomes. Inter alia, models allow us to extend our ideas beyond the limits of practical testability, which means that they are unverified. In addition, many and perhaps most of these models have not received anywhere near the V&V that we’d expect for mission-critical decisions … and despite that we’re making billion-dollar decisions based on software that generally is tested less than the software that runs our elevators.

      Once we have done all of that, we will be ready to answer the real question, which is, is paying for this particular pollution limit a wise a wise use of our limited resources? And that, of course, is a political decision … but at least those things would allow us to give solid scientific advise to the politicians.

      Now I realize I haven’t really answered your question about “What would be your desired limits on the atmospheric criteria pollutants?” … but it’s a start at understanding what we need before we can answer the question for any given pollutant.

      Finally, Dr. P, my thanks to you and the Pielke family for all of your varied contributions to all of these scientific questions and more over the years.

      w.

      • “What would be your desired limits on the atmospheric criteria pollutants?”
        ==============
        A what point does the regulation itself do more harm than the pollutants? For example, other drivers on the road are a clear danger to me and my family. I say we should outlaw all drivers except me. This would clearly prevent any problem drivers from harming me, consistent with the Precautionary Principle.

        Likewise, we should quarantine anyone that has any sort of illness, lest they spread the disease and perhaps kill someone. Colds and flu kills prematurely, so we should make it illegal for anyone with a cold, flu or other communicable disease to leave their house. Which would also include anyone exposed to them.

        We can apply this logic without end, until robots rule the world and people are all kept in prisons, lest they harm someone else. or perhaps the robots would kill us, to prevent us from polluting the atmosphere with CO2 when we breathe and thus harming nature.

        Science Fiction? Not really. Bureaucracy is not much different than a sea of mindless robot blindly following the rules.

      • Ferd and w need to stop this. If you keep talking sense and keep exposing the woeful lack of understanding re; economics and statistics, a lot of people are going to realize that 90% of the research the taxpayer is funding is crap. Think of all the problems that would cause.

        So just go away and let the dreamers keep believing in unicorn government, bureaucrats with efficient magic fairy dust, and a climate and environment with control knobs.

    • You are correct Ri,
      People are exposed to dangerous stuff all the time. Sometimes it is from frivolous things like skiing and smoking dope, sometimes it is from everyday things like cooking food, sometimes it happens while doing important things like growing food or manufacturing products people need.

      Some people get all bent out of shape over low levels of pollutants that sound really dangerous and they demand that action be taken, usually by someone other than themselves, with no regard for cost or benefit. At the same time they ignore life choices they make that are much more dangerous.

      If you are cooking with hot oil, you are inhaling toxic chemicals and carcinogens, if you eat food with black char marks on it you are consuming toxic chemicals and carcinogens, If you are sitting around a campfire, same thing. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these things, you should. But people should consider that many of our high level exposures are natural background things that overwhelm some of the pollutants that people freak out about.

      My 4 grandparents all lived past 80 and two are still going past 90. They lived at a time with very little pollution control, working with diesel equipment and in agriculture, fought in WW2, exposure to pesticides and herbicides, little or no use of personal protective equipment etc. Bottom line, life is dangerous and no one gets out alive.

  24. ==> “Peiser’s testimony (which is receiving a lot of attention in the skeptical blogosphere) provides a remarkable account of the negative impacts of EU’s unilateral climate policies that focus on reducing CO2 emissions.”

    Thanks good that Benny is around too fight the good fight to protect us against the alarmists, and the “economic suicide” he has been warning against.

  25. “Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.”

    PWUCG.

    That’s an acronym we’ll be needing more and more in these times of non-observational and anti-observational science.

    It stands for:

    Potty, With Unintended Consequences Galore.

  26. Admittedly I’ve not yet read the bill, and it will likely change anyway, but I’m all for some middle ground. As I understood from Dr. Curry’s intro. this bill covers GHG’s as well as refrigerants (man made) that have a history of harming our atmosphere, and soots.

    The methane focus might be just the ticket so that we learn more about how to utilize and not just flare it off as waste.

    The fact that CO2 is not considered a “superpollutant” according to this legislation seems telling.

    This seems like a prudent step in addressing the political needs on both sides of this discussion while addressing pollution. In lieu of more draconian measures from either side, I’m hoping “compromise” regains favor in the conversation.

    • I read the bill.

      The bill covers carbon black, methane, and “high GWP CFCs”

      http://www.unep.org/urban_environment/issues/urban_air.asp
      It is estimated that more than 1 billion people are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually. Urban air pollution is linked to up to 1 million premature deaths and 1 million pre-native deaths each year. Urban air pollution is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries.

      The source of the claims is a UNEP document on urban area pollution.

      Since only thing remotely resembling urban air pollution in the bill is carbon black this claim is bull****.

      The “high GWP CFCs” is sort of crazy; There isn’t any proof that we can even get out of the green range (1°C) let alone hit the 2°C target. Worrying about AGW is idle minds borrowing trouble to keep themselves busy.

      Why we are wasting time banning things like methane that is mostly natural and HFC-134a that is mostly harmless just mystifies me.

      Until we defund the EPA this nonsense will continue.

      • PA,

        You make some interesting points. I have to believe that the focus on methane will lead to improved technology where we receive some benefit other than pretty flares on the hillsides of covered landfills.

        I presume some history that leaves you with a bad taste regarding the EPA, and I’ve read of the anger directed towards that agency more recently than during the early days of the Clean Air/Clean Water Acts. So can you assist with a question I have?

        This is a legislative offering with bipartisian leadership, and touted as close to a “win-win” as we could currently expect with the understanding there is no expectation of passage through congress. If this is not something that fits your perception of appropriate legislation, what would make you more comfortable that you also believe could be “sold” via our political make up?

        I always appreciate your insight.

      • Well, anything that would have been considered pollution in 1970 is fair game.

        The West Virginia tank leak is a prime example. Making sure that containment facilities are adequate and existing rules are followed, etc. would be an area for some attention..

        By any standard things are getting better:

        It is difficult to find a list of current problems that aren’t getting addressed (I’m open to suggestions).

        There are some areas like the Ohio river that could use some work.

        I’m fine with developing recapture technologies to cost effectively minimize methane loss during resource extraction.

        I just have a problem with the “we need perfection now and damn the economy” attitude of environmental activists.

    • Danny, just a couple of points about your methane flaring comment above.
      One, it is only done when two separate conditions are met. First, reinjection is either not possible (Bakken shale) or not beneficial to EOR (some overpressured deepwater formations, like the Macondo blowout). Second, the pipelines to tranport the co-produced methane are not economic. Exxon and the like are NOT stupid. They are relatively efficient economic entities trying to maximize shareholder returns. That does not include stupid or wasteful spending.
      Two, when it cannot be used, it is flared. That means BURNED. Thus the flare flames you ‘see’ in North Dakota- although I doubt you have been there to see flaring for yourself. Leaving zero atmospheric methane behind as a GHG to be addressed by this bill.

      For both independent reasons, the bills proposals on flared co-produced US gas make exactly zero sense in the context of the bill’s purported purpose.
      Its more feel good political nonsense. Which you perhaps innocently echoed. Dig deeper, think more.

      • Rud,

        Thank you. My thinking was actually involving methane flaring that I have seen from landfills, but to your point it’s in insufficient quantity to make economic sense.
        But my further thought is not specifically that this or any legislation will lead to fixing the physical challenges we face, but that it will prompt innovation. I in no way meant to say Exxon is stupid and I agree with the financial goals in providing value in return for ownership/investment. But in my life I’ve witnessed over time valuable transitions from polluted air and water to un (less) polluted with associated benefits. And left to themselves, sometimes our corporations will put off investment (without prodding) in innovation to maximize their (current) value. So prodding, in the form of an improvement to this proposed legislation, could lead to indirect or delayed benefit. The enforcement mechanism should not be punitive, but could be provided to Exxon as a “subsidy” (like renewables) to implement technology to reduce emissions. Then Exxon could market it as “saving the planet” leading to everyone else piling on.

        I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      • Danny – passing more laws to promote more “innovation” is bass-ackwards. We don’t need any more laws in this area. In fact, we need to start disassembling them ASAP!

      • Jim2,

        I think I understand your feelings. I wish innovation was always spontaneous, and possibly, just the noise around this topic will lead to it, but from my view we did some good legislatively and necessarily when we took on Clean Air/Water and fixed some serious issues.So why not start thinking of a way out of this dispute? Is this prospective legislation seeds to some valuable compromise? Are you not comfortable with evening the playing field a bit by offering Exxon incentives for promoting “pollution control” even w/o being concerned about the science behind it? I’m honestly asking. It seems there is a bit of a box with lots of folks inside and lots outside, each seeing two different sides of the discussion. I’m truly wondering if there are only “dug in” positions that will be perpetual, or if we can start to fill this gap one shovel full at a time. I’d appreciate your further thoughts.

      • Danny – there is no reason to “think” our way out of this dispute. The dispute is a worthy one. Cleaning up obvious and serious pollutants is one thing, but overdoing it brings on the law of diminishing returns. You are blindly and sheep-like advocating this law when you don’t even have a clue what it costs. You are just parroting the Dimowit line, here. Have you no shame at all?

        Oh, that’s right, you love to spend money as long as it isn’t yours.

      • Jim2,

        So how can we “act” w/o thinking first?

        I agree that this is a worthy cause to discuss. Approx. 1/2 of the folks will be “right” and 1/2 will be “wrong” when it’s settled, and that will likely be long after I’m gone.

        I’m seeking what is good about the proposed (therefore subject to modification and improvement) legislation not just tossing it out in entirety because it goes “against” some line of thinking.

        The “solutions” to this dilemma will lie in politics short of some discovery of a “control knob” and who knows if that will occur in our lives, or if at all. So my thinking is based on “using what we’ve got” and building on it. I see no less shame in my thinking that than I do in the AGW sides “take no prisoners” approach or the skeptical side of effectively the same. My Papa used to tell me if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. We’re still digging, so please forgive if I’m trying to figure out a way for us to stop. It does not have to be this bill, but it must start somewhere. For some it appears continuation of the game is priority, for some their journey has ended. Some of us can only do the best we can by voting in the most sound way we know how.

        So, Jim2, other than just tossing away all government of any kind, please share the seeds of your solutions. I for one know I don’t have the answers but I am willing to toss out thoughts towards progress. Some will be blown back at me strongly, and that’s a learning experience. Some may have a nugget of value. Yours?

        The more perspectives offered the better, and I appreciate yours.

      • Danny, there is so much wrong with what you say.

        You say we are digging a hole. What does that even mean? Global warming isn’t happening at the moment and there is no proof that even if it is and does happen, that there will be a catastrophe. Your hole is mostly imaginary. You are starting with a false premise.

        Making law for no reason is just stupid. Sorry for the blunt language, but it IS STUPID!!!

      • Jim2,

        Ah. The root of it. I see warming, I just cannot connect the dots (yet) to CO2.

        I see lengthening growing seasons. Ocean’s are warming. Ice is melting. I see poor Ag practices that we can improve on (will legislation be required? only 33% of our land in production uses No till). We can increase biomass. We can even offer subsidies to Exxon to reduce CO2, Aerosols, soots, etc. Just like we’re doing right now for renewables. I’m for renewables to a minor extent as I believe we’ll eventually (not in my lifetime) run out of fossil fuels so using “seed money” right now providing the impetus for technological advances to address the lacking technology currently (improved storage).

        You see Jim2, I do not see that all innovation comes only from the private sector. Government is the root of much innovation which then transfers to the private sector. See nuclear as one minor example. So, yes, I’m willing to spend my money (and yours———thank you by the way) towards appropriate legislation. I did not say open the money faucet as you and I can agree our government is far from efficient. But it’s equally not the total waste of funds that you perceive.

        When I said “we are digging a hole” I’m referring to the great expanse that separates what seems to be “two sides” of this discussion. We can chip in together and come up with improved legislation. I’m pleased, personally, that this offering is bi-partisan. It’s a start, so we can chose to work with it (or something like it) or we can rail against the government and offer nothing positive into the conversation. I see this a positive to the conversation, and apparently you don’t. I don’t see you as “stupid” for having the feelings towards this that you do, but I also don’t see why you have to state that my thinking is.

      • Danny, this comment remains focused on methane. Check out the Waste Management website. They already installed spark ignited ‘diesel’ (fueled by natural gas) at about 675 of their US landfills. Why, because the electricity made economic sense. Big feedlot operations already anerobically digest manure, because itsn’t economic to transport low value organic fertilizer back to the fields where the high value animals were raised. Most of those feedlots capture the methane and use it for process heat. In feedlots, to cook the feed mash to facilitate digestion and weight gain.
        I am all in favor of innovation, which does take place when cost/benefit is positive. I left corporate America to become an entrepreneur. When ‘innovation’ is forced by regulation, often the cost/benefit is negative. There is one exception, externalities. That is where the cost and the benefit are disjunct in the economic system (one economic entity does not own both). The so called problem of the commons. Classic air and water pollution are the most apropos examples here. Then some other entity must make the regulatory cost benefit call. And that’s were we get in trouble with bureaucracies like EPA. Rather than declare mission accomplished when real pollution cost/benefit reaches zero, self perpetuation requires carrying on under one of two premises. One, as here, declare that less is always more beneficial even when that is not true. Results in distorted/contorted justifications such as Willis cited to Mosher upthread comcerning CAA and PM 2.5. And that is what I see behind much, not all, of this proposed bill creating yet another bureaucracy to coordinate bureaucracies and incentivize more spending on the wrong side of the law of diminishing marginal returns. See my first comment upthread from Sunday. Two, redefine the mission and carry on. The March of Dimes was founded to fund research into solving the infectious disease polio. After Salk’s vaccine, it morphed to the probably incurable (except maybe by some future gene therapy) genetic disease cystic fibrosis. Guarantees a perpetual life for the organization staffers. EPA declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant is exactly the same thing, except much more pernicious. Social cost of carvon has been grossly inflated already. Very negative cost benefit ratios already emerging. 17 states already suing. See my guest CE post on Clean Coal, or read it in a broader energy policy context in Blowing Smoke.

      • Hi Rud,

        I always appreciate your patience with me, and I want you to know I’m thinking, reading, and doing some on line discussion. I presume my wording was so poor that my message did not come across well.

        You stated: “I am all in favor of innovation, which does take place when cost/benefit is positive. I left corporate America to become an entrepreneur. When ‘innovation’ is forced by regulation, often the cost/benefit is negative.”

        We have similar lines of travel through life. I recognize that burdensome legislation is counter productive. But I also recognize that innovation often comes government and bi-partisan discussion is rare, so I don’t wish to miss an opportunity. Wasn’t it a governmental employee that created the internet and global warming? :)

        We can use the tools that are on the table (this legislation, or start over). I was pleased CO2 was NOT included, but I think methane needs further study. I’m in no way advocating this entire piece, but I am advocating that we “start somewhere” with some mutual cooperation and build on it. I’m not sure why the refrigerant is on there as in a brief check I don’t find but history of it’s ancestors harming ozone. Is the EPA a political football? Sure, I can see that happening but it’s the best tool we have so let’s fine tune it.

        Rud, I’m not letting you down. I’m thinking. I’m tossing out stuff in my own head, and sometimes here. Sometimes it gets blown up, but one note I’ve picked up on is the “subsidies” to Exxon for installing soot, aerosol, carbon scrubbers. Maybe there’s something to that one as no one has blown it up yet. So here’s an opportunity should you feel the need.

      • Danny, hope this threading still works.
        You and I may be far more alike philospohicallyq than we realize. For example, just read the new (today) PNAS methane leakage study on 19 abandoned PA wells. No paywalls.
        My original BS thought was, including Drakes? (Old tech Selection bias). SI gives a pretty good answer. Novody knows, bit the wellheads re 20th century. My second BS thought was how/ when plugged and abandoned? SI gave an even better (to my surprise) answer, one that is even (for the small sample) statistically justified for Pa.
        Well, my BS intuition was wrong. A small sample, impeccably done. Good science it seems.
        The inescapable conclusion is that many of those early PA wells were improperly abandoned, not properly plugged, and/or since improperly casing corroded. It seems they are inexcusably leaking methane. Now that is one of those specific situations (noted upthread) where ‘super pollution’ mitigation might be justified. There is no excuse for not plugging on abandonment (except folks did not used to do so). And no excuse for lacking a properly sealed well abandonment (except that was apparently not required or monitored in early 20th century wells). If this post’s superpollutant bill were to target such specifics (again, here just a methane example) I might be in favor, based on this new paper covering a sample of just 19 wells in the worlds oldest oil field. MIGHT, after more (but not prolonged- a mere nine month replication of the original nine month paper using its own SI methods on another sample of old Pa oil wells) C/B analysis
        Heck, on my dairy farm we were forced circa 1996 to plug ( minimum 50 foot down concrete) and abandon a perfectly good 120 foot 4″ water well drilled maybe 1920 but lacking a modern upper casing, and then drill another well with the proper modern cemented double steel casing not six feet away (to plumb the same water pipeworks to the barns from the same aquifer below). Water samples before and after were both ‘pure’. But the old well was theoretically susceptible to surface water contamination (bad, E.Coli and such from cow manure…) The old well was only ‘illegal’ if you wished to renovate it with a downhole submersible pump (which I really wanted after the second in 5 years sucker rod/bellows repair on the old reciprocating stand pump– just after Christmas, in 10 below zero before windchill, taking ten hours, and costing $hundreds from the well guy not to mention VERY cold fingers. ( BTW, I still have the old reciprocating pump, internal 2″ tubing, and sucker rods– available for any price above scrap. Willis?) Risk issue justified $15k extra new one time cost amortized over longer than my lifetime for producing over 1.8 million pounds per year of Class One milk for mostly your butter, ice cream, cream cheese, and cheese. (Our milk goes to a Dean’s processing plant in Richland Center, Wisconsin, too far from major markets for fresh whole milk except Madison and maybe Milwaukee).
        The economic logic we ‘had’ to use for pure water on my Class 1 dairy farm is what I find lacking in Washington for super pollutants. The analogies to climate precautionary principles, no regrets policies, and alternative adaptations are pretty clear. Hence the extended if somewhat boring expositions on Wisconsin dairy cows, their feed, manure, and water supply. Just some real world analogs to climate change, super pollutants, and such.

  27. Joseph O'Sullivan

    “This bill looks like as close to ‘win-win’ as we are going to see in the U.S. in terms of climate mitigation legislation, with even more important impacts on public health.”

    I agree, but will it get through Congress, particularly the House? The Republican base has shown little interest in bipartisanship and open hostility towards environmental regulations. Unfortunately I think this bill will be dead on arrival if it even gets to the House.

    • The problem is the environmental activists (mostly democrats) aren’t interested in pollution, they are interested in their agenda.

      HFC-134a is not a pollutant. The Arctic would become a sauna before HFC-134a reaches a harmful level. It isn’t a pollutant plain and simple.

      CO2 isn’t a pollutant, if you remove all CO2 everything dies.

      Atmospheric methane according to the IPCC AR5 WG1 is over half from natural sources. There is always going to be methane in the atmosphere regardless of what we do. People emit methane. Methane isn’t a pollutant either.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        What is the environmentalist agenda, and what is your definition of pollutant?

      • http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/print.php?id=13914

        Lots of fun quotes there.

        The environmental activists want zero emissions and reduced affluence/population (for the little people). Destroying the economy by over-regulation is a means to an end.

        ALL regulations should be means/cost effectiveness tested.

        The current rampant regulation is best controlled by eliminating the EPA and devolving the responsibility back to the states. If say California wants to destroy its economy to create a paradise for the rich they should be free to do so. And the states supplying California with power etc. should be able to charge a premium for California’s NIMBYism.

      • People who oppose regulations to curb pollution aren’t so hard to understand if you start from the assumption they like dirty air and dirty water, or at least don’t mind it. If there was a way they could expose themselves to pollution without exposing everyone else, I wouldn’t mind them.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | December 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        People who oppose regulations to curb pollution aren’t so hard to understand if you start from the assumption they like dirty air and dirty water, or at least don’t mind it. If there was a way they could expose themselves to pollution without exposing everyone else, I wouldn’t mind them.

        “Sigh”.

        1. Environmental activists are under the deluded impression that life was perfect before man came on the scene.

        2. They don’t give a damn about anyone but their own selfish wishes. This degree of narcissism and self-centeredness makes it hard to discuss any topic rationally with them.

        3. Fukushima is a good example of the problem. More people in Japan died from stress than died from the Tsunami. Anti-nuke activists killed far more people than will ever be killed by the radiation.

        Radiation exposure below 50 mS isn’t an issue. Between 50 µS/y and 2 S/y is an open debate, above 2 S/y it is generally agreed to be bad. There is no reason the radioactivity limit for nuclear steel is 1000 times higher than the limit for gas pipeline scrap.

        4. The original environmental position was to reduce pollutants to safe levels. The current position is zero tolerance. We can have a vibrant economy or zero tolerance – pick one.

        5. The US environment has steadily improved to the point that the environmental activists – to try to stay relevant – are pursuing bans on PINOs (Pollutant in Name Only) such as CO2, with faux targets based on faux reasoning for their faux pollutants. About the only way to stop this is to allow civil and criminal litigation for fraud against these groups. It is the only way to stop the whining and the sniveling. The stress induced by the activists false claims and overheated rhetoric should be actionable.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        According to pollution advocates, the choice is between

        1. Having clean air and clean water, but living in grass huts and eating roots.

        or

        2. Having dirty air and dirty water, and living in places like Cleveland.

        _____

        Damn, that’s hard one.

  28. humour? on/

    The U.S. is well on the way to reducing the world’s supply of pollutants, both super and otherwise.

    The Government aims to reduce industrial pollutants by progressively reducing economic output to less than that of Tuvalu.

    The program is showing initial progress, as the U.S. economy has been moved to number two, behind China.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. is likely to face stiff opposition from countries such as North Korea, Chad, and others, in the race to overturn several thousand years of foolish progress.

    Citizens are urged to do their bit. The Government is doing as much as it can, by launching an expensive rocket to drop an unmanned capsule into the ocean, as well as building incredibly expensive manned military flying machines, and then issuing orders to prevent their use.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. An ongoing program of Federal laws, rules, regulations, enquiries, and pointless pork barrelling, will ensure that the U.S. of A will achieve its target of pollutant reduction.

    The U.S. will then be able to occupy the high moral ground, and demand other nations follow suit. There are a few deniers who question the sense of this approach, but they will be prevented from ever occupying positions of authority.

    humour? off/

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  29. cost effective reductions in the use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that exhibit high global warming potentials (GWP). The HFC policies contained in their Super Pollutants Act of 2014 reflect the kinds of common sense approaches that have widespread support in both the business and NGO communities.”

    HFC are the largest GWP growth area.The SAP for the o3 assessment quantified the problem as such.

    The sum of the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) currently used as ODS replacements makes a small contribution of about 0.5 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per year. These emissions are currently growing at a rate of about 7% per year and are projected to continue to grow.

    If the current mix of these substances is unchanged, increasing demand could result in HFC emissions of up to 8.8 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent per year by 2050, nearly as high as the peak
    emission of CFCs of about 9.5 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent per year in the late 1980s.

    This is equivalent to about 45% of the fossil fuel and cement emissions of CO2 in the late 1980s

  30. I live in Santa Fe New Mexico, and our air is just fine thank you!

    If (and that’s a big if) there is real evidence that black carbon, methane and HFC’s are causing significant human health issues in parts of the USA and there are cost effective means of effectively addressing them then by all means let’s do it. Mitigating global warming or setting an example for the rest of the world is total bull scheit. China, India, Brazil, Indonesia ………….. are all capable of solving their own problems if they want to and don’t need us to set an example.

    I viewed Benny Peiser’s testimony and read his written submission. It was a pretty stark description of how unilateral action to try to drastically reduce CO2 emissions can wreck an economy.

    I am all in with Willis on this one. Judith………..not so much!

  31. When anything decomposes it makes GHGs. But when you pile the very same stuff it becomes a taxable pollution source. It’s a bit like how the burning of dung, grass, kero, raw coal, twigs etc by billions across the globe is ignored as unpolitical and untaxable – but pity help any fuels powering a modern grid!

    Remember, it’s not about reducing so much as obscuring. Scientists, at least those of the “climate” variety, are now paid to be knowing types, rather than to actually know; to “communicate”, rather than to say anything. Conditions are perfect for dodging, fiddling, obscuring.

    So scatter your waste thin and the emissions won’t be naughty any more. No more landfills! Just watch for those banana peels, though.

    • We use big diesel tractors pulling bigger manure spreaders on my Wisconsin dairy farm. Nice, thinly spread manure. All fields dosed multiple times a year. My cows do produce a lot of natural fertilizer. Every day, and for free!
      No banana peels, though. We make do with hay (mostly alfalpha), fermented silage (chopped green corn [whole plant] sweetened with molasses and enriched with minerals), ground corn, and newly distillers grain (we send some corn to the ethanol distilleries, and get back the higher fiber/protein ‘must’ after yeast converts some of the kernel sugar starch to ethanol plus CO2. The yeast provides an extra protein supplement for the dairy herd, meaning we can feed less corn AND less hay to keep the herd nutritionally happy while making more money off the cultivated fields 3/2 crop rotations.

  32. Cutting SLCPs is certainly a worthy goal, but I am extremely pessimistic and skeptical as to the ultimate effectiveness of any legislation. This also gives some cover and distraction to the need to reduce CO2 and the strong role of reducing fossil fuel use to achieve that goal. With the world now awash in seemingly cheaper and cheaper oil, and the U.S. Congress falling into the control of the oil sector friendly Republicans, efforts such as the reduction of SLCPs, while meritorious on the surface, might simply aid to stall the critical hard choices that need to be made to reduce CO2 emissions.

    • The Clean Water and Clean Air acts did quite a lot for pollution control. It’s time to upgrade those 40-year old goals and targets. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection prevent the accomplishment of the possible.

    • I love the smell of cheap gas in the morning, it smells like recovery. I think I’ll go for a long ride to look at Christmas lights then, with the money I’ve saved I’ll buy a mongo beef burger, a double double animal style with xtra onions. Then me and the ungulate will do a little duet out off the wrong end of the pipes.

  33. “super pollutants”

    Gee, that sounds scary. Let’s tax people billions of more dollars and give more power to government bureaucrats to protect us from “super pollutants.”

    Suckers.

  34. Willis Eschenbach

    Brandon Shollenberger | December 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm |

    Willis Eschenbach, when someone asks if humans have }contributed to warming,” it’s safe to assume they mean on net. If you do, this is non-responsive:

    Glad to, Brandon. It’s because everything, from fish farts to my wife planting a garden, has some effect on warming on some scale, whether positive or negative.

    Because you’re not saying anything about whether the net effect is positive or not. You’re just misunderstanding what they are asking after.

    Brandon, I answered the question as asked. The question and the answer were:

    So just for clarification, you do deny that humans have contributed to warming in the last hundred years or so?

    I deny that that is a meaningful question. The meaningful questions are “how much” and “how” and “at what scale”.

    Unlike you, I try not to reformulate the question according to how I might wish it would have been asked. I answer it as best I understand it.

    I’ll try rephrasing it in the way I think Joseph intended it:

    There is an argument humans have contributed to a warming of the planet through various means, predominately via greenhouse gas emissions. Do you dispute this argument?

    His question was nothing like that. First, he didn’t ask whether I “disputed” something, he asked if I “denied” something. Next, he said nothing about it being “predominantly” through a particular means, he didn’t specify a means at all. In other words, that’s YOUR question, not Joseph’s question at all.

    That seems a pretty meaningful question to me. I suspect a lot of people would choose not to discuss global warming with someone if they knew the person’s answer was, “Yes.”

    I’m sorry, but it’s no more meaningful than Joseph’s question. Again, the question is far too broad to even be answered. It’s like the question “has the earth warmed”, which can’t be answered “yes” or “no” as you seem to wish for your question. Your question, like the question “has the earth warmed”, has no simple “yes/no” answer.

    The meaningful questions are “how much” and “how” and “where”, not “have humans contributed”. For example, we chopped down lots of forests. That clearly has local effects on temperature, by removing the ground shade and reducing transpiration … but we have no evidence that it has had global effects. Is this “contributing” to warming? Depends on what kind of warming you’re talking about. Is it contributing “predominately via greenhouse gas emissions”? Nope. Do you see why a “yes/no” answer isn’t possible?

    But let me try to answer what you might be trying to ask. My position is that the global temperature is very insensitive to changes in forcing, whether from the sun, the GHGs, volcanoes, LU/LC changes, or anything else. This is because changes in forcing are met by changes in the number, onset times, and duration of a variety of emergent phenomena … and these changes are related to temperature thresholds of the instantaneous local temperature. They have nothing to do with forcing. They have nothing to do with averages. These emergent phenomena appear where the surface is hot and cool it down, then they disappear and the surface warms again, and then they arise again, and cool it down again … lather, rinse, and repeat, the temperature stays within a narrow band.

    These emergent phenomena are the reason that the global temperature is so stable (e.g. ± 0.1% over the last century). Any free-running natural system that is stable to plus or minus a tenth of a percent is an extremely strong indication of a natural thermoregulation system.

    Regards,

    w.

    • Almost like it was organized that way. What luck.

    • This site has threaded comments for a reason. Randomly breaking off forks to start new ones is inappropriate. Not only does it spread out discussions unnecessarily, disrupting the normal flow of the page, it also makes it far more difficult for people to follow the discussion. This is especially true if the person starting the new fork doesn’t even bother to include a link to that which he responds.

      I won’t encourage that. I’ve left my response in the original fork.

  35. Super pollutants, super storms, super droughts, sounds like a job for …..
    Green Lantern. Showing the way in an eco friendly style with world peace and Sandra round the corner.
    But what the heck, a little bit of regulation won’t hurt will it? Then we can get a bit more and a bit more…..
    Anyway if China wins, Australia wins and I have Australian shares.
    Perhaps Superman could emigrate to Australia. A win, win situation. No villains to beat up on and all the beer he could wish to drink.
    There is always some good in reigning in big polluters Judith, but the feel good messages in this proposal just set too many alarm bells ringing.

    • angech,

      I agree with you that there is always some good in reigning in big polluters, particularly if you are paid a multi-million dollar salary to reign.

      I have been appointed (by myself, in the best Klimatological tradition) to the post of Chief Autocorrect Correction Inspector. If your intent was to write “reining” rather than “reigning”, and your Autocorrect subverted your intention, in an effort to rattle your equanimity, I suggest you thrash the fellow until there is not a drop of blood left in his body! This tends to have a salutary effect on such intractable swine!

      Eternal vigilance is the price you must pay, to avoid the persistent attempts by the Autocorrect to lay you low.

      I remain, sir,
      Your humble and obedient servant,

      Mike Flynn.

  36. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | December 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm |

    Your question was were are the corpses which doesnt really show you understand the problem or the metric.

    The china study shows you the methodology. If you like go search the literature for US figures, but you can pretty much read the lost years
    off the pm25 concentration.

    Premature deaths is a perfectly reasonable metric for this sort of thing.
    Its reasonable because you DONT get figures like 5 minutes off a life.

    If you DID get figures like 5 minutes your objection might hold water.

    Elected officials actually get to decide that cutting life expectancy by a couple years IS something worthwile to look at.

    They dont need the science to be perfect. they dont need the metrics to pass YOUR smell test. That is why you are not a policy maker.

    Jeez, Mosh, chill out. I never said it needed to pass my smell test, that’s your sick fantasy. And I’m well aware that elected officials make the decision, and they not only don’t require the science to be perfect, they often act in opposition to the science. Read my comments to Dr. Pielke, I’m well aware of how it works.

    Steven Mosher | December 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm |

    for US figures you can start here

    http://lae.mit.edu/wordpress2/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/US-air-pollution-paper.pdf

    Pretty big CI

    Having now read the study, I can say that in fact, you saying “pretty big CI” [confidence interval] is a huge understatement. Their numbers are guesses backed by EPA computer models. The relative risk for PM25 reduction is not even given, and they say that their results are the result of an “expert elicitation” … perhaps that impresses you, Steven, but I prefer my science to be, you know, scientific.

    They do give the relative risk for the ozone figures … and it’s a whopping 1.040 … seriously? They use a study with an RR of one point freakin’ zero four zero to base public policy on, and you claim I’m the one who doesn’t understand what’s going on?? Physician, heal thyself.

    however its clear. Dumping PM25 in MY FRICKING AIR is not something YOU get to do with impunity.

    YOU drive a car. YOU dump PM25 in MY FRICKING AIR with total impunity. When are you going to start beating yourself up for your crimes? Everyone does it with impunity.

    Prove its safe and I have no issue. Until then the best science we have, however flawed or uncertain, says that its NOT without risk.

    You wouldnt let me pee up stream in your creek, dont pollute my air and then tell me I have no say

    First, I never said you “have no say”, that’s just your paranoia at work. Second, you “pollute my air” every time you drive a car. Heck, much of the PM25 comes from construction dust, and I don’t see you living in a tent so your construction doesn’t “pollute my air”.

    Next, almost nothing is safe. Of course the science says PM25 is “not without risk”. The question is, how much risk and how much are we willing to pay to avoid it?

    So no, I can’t “prove” that PM25 is safe … but as you know, or should know, that’s never the question. The question is, how much of an unsafe substance is society willing to tolerate, given that there is a cost to get rid of it?

    Next, bear in mind that the EPA thought so little of the dangers of PM25 that they deliberately exposed people to it to judge its effects. Since they’re willing to test it on live subjects, I find it hard to believe they found it all that much of a problem.

    Unlike you, I suspect, I actually went to the source document used for the claims in the paper you cited … and I found EPA “science” at its finest.

    Now, you’d think that the EPA would have used actual data on the amount of PM25 particles in the air, and compared them to actual deaths, to see if people died earlier in areas of high PM25 concentrations … dream on.

    They used no actual data at all about PM25 concentrations. Instead they used an EPA model to estimate the reductions in PM25 from the Clean Air Act.

    But then they found their models didn’t actually fit the data for beans, so they just changed the numbers to fit their fantasies, viz:

    One notable exception to the above involves the specification of PM2.5 emissions from non-EGU point sources and area sources. After initially attempting to model PM2.5 emissions in the without-CAAA scenario in 2000, 2010, and 2020 using the process described above, we determined that the resulting estimates over-attributed emissions reductions to the amendments. We applied two separate approaches to correct these emissions estimates: For emissions from area sources, we projected emissions from the two sectors responsible for the majority of emissions – construction and wood stoves – using source-specific data. For emissions from non-EGU point sources, the project team determined that emissions reductions from CAAA-mandated controls would be negligible in 2000, so we set without-CAAA PM2.5 emissions equal to with-CAAA emissions in that year.

    One last comment about the EPA report … they mentioned Relative Risk only once in the entire 238 page report, and never gave an RR value for a single one of their claims. That’s statistical fraud, Mosh, that’s not science of any kind.

    And guess what … at the end of the day, the finding of the EPA, the very people who designed and implemented the Clear Air Act, is that it is just a wonderful, stupendous thing! How surprising!

    The results of our analysis, summarized in the table below, make it abundantly clear that the benefits of the CAAA exceed its costs by a wide margin, making the CAAA a very good investment for the nation.

    The EPA graded themselves, and gave themselves an A+. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the henhouse … I assume, Mosh, that this is some of “the best science we have” that you refer to above that you seem more than willing to accept … I don’t give a damn if it’s the best, I’m still unimpressed and unwilling to use it for anything but hygienic paper. Why on earth should we make decisions based on that self-serving nonsense?

    Finally, why the personal bitterness? I’m not saying that we should not regulate pollutants. I’m not pissing upstream from you. I’m saying that paying $4 million dollars for each avoided premature death is a joke, and that before we impose serious burdens on our economy for minimal returns, we should have solid evidence evidence about costs and benefits, not just some EPA bumpf. Please think about the differences before you fly off the handle at me again.

    w.

    PS—You say:

    Premature deaths is a perfectly reasonable metric for this sort of thing. Its reasonable because you DONT get figures like 5 minutes off a life.

    Actually, you DO get figures like five minutes off a life. Well, not five minutes, but six hours. According to the study above, if a change reduces your “mortal risk” by 1/100,000, then in a population of 100,000 that’s counted as one premature death, viz:

    Because people are valuing small decreases in the risk of premature mortality, it is expected deaths that are inferred. For example, suppose that a given reduction in pollution confers on each exposed individual a decrease in mortal risk of 1/100,000. Then among 100,000 such individuals, one fewer individual can be expected to die prematurely. If the average individual’s WTP [Willingness To Pay] for that risk reduction is $50, then the implied value of a statistical premature death avoided in that population is $50 x 100,000 = $5 million.

    And if a person lives about 72 years, 1/100,000 of that is about six hours …
    you really should check your facts before you start calling me names.

    • Very well done. I like your style.

    • Willis, You left out no cohort studies, no blind studies and the other epidemiological niceties in Mosher’s link. Also, I thought RR’s to be statistically significant had to be about 3. Anything around one cannot be distinguished from random events. So, we get a 1.04 RR and are off to the races with statistical significance?

      Then they base economics on premature deaths, which I didn’t recall being defined. Is it less than the average life expectancy, average life expectancy male or female or some other number, like under 65? http://www.societyhealth.vcu.edu/Page.aspx?nav=64&scope=0
      Lousy statistics using squishy criteria.

  37. Willis Eschenbach

    HR | December 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm |

    Willis said

    “Depends on what you are calling a “model”. Many environmental diseases (e.g. mercury poisoning) were described long before we had computer models. How? Plain old observation plus statistics.”

    It does depend on what your calling a model. Ok your arbitry dislike for models is focused on computers. That makes no rational sense. Sorry cant follow you down the Luddite route against technology love the modern world too much.

    Thanks, HR. I fear you misunderstand me, likely my fault.

    Having both written and used a host of computer models, I have no problem with computers at all. What I have a problem with is using models in lieu of using actual data, which is far too common and often leads us astray.

    w.

  38. For example, suppose that a given reduction in pollution confers on each exposed individual a decrease in mortal risk of 1/100,000. Then among 100,000 such individuals, one fewer individual can be expected to die prematurely.
    =============
    that is faulty logic. the odds are spread over the entire population. it would be highly unlikely to be concentrated into a single individual. for example, two individuals might die prematurely, but each linger twice as long as the case when only one died.

    In any case, the quality of care has a lot to do with premature death, which is directly related to how much health care the economy can afford. If you spend all your money of scrubbers and ignore the economy and someone gets pneumonia for example due to having lost their job and living on the street, then all the clean air in the world isn’t going to cure them.

  39. Gerhard Keller

    Reducing forest fires is such a “win-win” action, too. For example, in publications of Greenpeace we can read, that Indonesia and Brazil with their CO2 emissions are placed at the third and fourth position after USA and China. This fact has been grossly disregarded; though there are – far from the limelight – statements even of the IPCC, that 50% of the potential to reduce CO2 emissions is contained in reducing deforestation.

  40. Sigh. The bill will never pass. The current US Congress is not capable of doing anything that makes sense. There’s too much anger and emotion on both sides of the aisle. Any sensible decision they make will be exploited when they try to run for election. They know this and will therefore do nothing. The only solution is term limits and public funding of elections. Congress would have to decide that.
    Just my opinion, of course. Nothing to do with science.

    • Rose, there seems not much science to be found in some of Judith’s topics. Even in the scientific ones there’s much of the anger and emotion that you ascribe to the US congress present on both sides of the debate on global warming.

      • Peter,

        According to the CE “About”, it is not a pure science blog:

        “Climate Etc. provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.”

      • I agree that Judith’s blog is not purely scientific because if it were I rather doubt that we would be here. The phenomenal success of this blog is mainly due to the divergent points of view that can openly be expressed here and the tolerance that is given to the people who contribute. The science underlying the AGW hypothesis is way too normative for my liking and the field of climate science should be taken to task over this.

    • Rose – we can only hope that his bill will never pass. There is nothing about it that makes any sense. It simply provides another avenue for the likes of the green blob to drive another stake into the heart of what was once a thriving economy.

      • @Barnes I disagree. There are some real issues that cross state lines. That’s the necessity of this being at the federal level. Also workers and local populations who cannot move elsewhere need to be protected. Local government cannot be relied upon. The companies who are targetted have had decades to deal with their pollution (during good economic times) and their lack of improvement on their own only demonstrates that they need to be regulated.

        I agree that good bills are very hard to find. (for example, I can agree with the necessity of Affordable care for all but think the bill itself is a gargantuan mess). This bill looks like a narrow focus bill which addresses a few small problems.

        I believe that the mix of pollution and climate change is a mistake. CO2 is not a pollutant. I am en environmentalist but I believe the EPA has made a mistake by doing so and made matters worse. Calling these molecules “climate pollutants” is playing with words. I wonder how this phrase was chosen.

  41. Well here I am as an old farmer and science layman right down at the bottom again.

    It seems that a very large gap has appeared in this debate between those who have lived and worked in the real and natural world where often you just don’t get to control or have much say in the way Nature deals with the extraordinarily complex interacting biological entities that go to make up this world and provide the entire basis for the existence of life in all it’s extraordinary complexity..

    Then you have those who apparently for most of their lives particularly their professional working lives have been living, working and interacting almost exclusively with man made, artificial as in man created, non natural, controllable, technologically orientated situations where mankind has almost exclusive control over the outcomes.

    Both mentalities have been modified by the circumstances surrounding and arising from the way they have lived and their life experiences.

    The Natural world dwellers seem to be saying, hang on, this legislation is a load of hog wash as there are so many natural sources including the entire range of the animal and plant kingdoms ALL of which release and or exude in large quantities some fairly toxic chemicals and gases in varying amounts and at varying and usually unpredictable times .
    Gases and chemicals which in the alternative, artificial man created world of the urban hives are known by the less perceptive and understanding of Nature as “pollutants”.

    For most of those so called pollutants there is no way they can be controlled in their entirety or even in most cases permanently and possibly partially at the very best.
    As an example- just how do you prevent numerous and often vast forest and grassland fires and their immense seasonal releases of carbon particles including black carbon?
    Stop all burning of course until you get a few feet of litter in the forests and then a fire goes through and wipes the entire forest out plus a lot of lives quite needlessly while releasing all that sequestered carbon and it’s particles in one huge conflagration.
    Alternatively you just leave a steady smoky slow burning fire that creeps along in the undergrowth for months and just clears out all the rubbish without damaging any trees or the bio sphere much in any way.
    But lots of smoke / carbon particles are then there for all to see so thats a real no- no, sensible and as natural as it reallity.

    The technological orientated denizens of the urban hives who have dwelt with and used technology all their lives and have had little experience with the natural world and have become adapted to the mentality that everything is controllable so long as you can identify the correct button to push, somehow think that they can control all those immensely complex natural factors that apparently, from the technologists perspective can be and should be controlled at mankind’s whim.
    All the controlling to be done, including that of all the entirely natural forces and gas releases including those supposedly resulting from mankind’s activities such as keeping cattle and trying to force farmers to limit methane emissions is a stupidity that can only be dreamed up by somebody who has rarely even seen a blade of natural grass growing and who has never smelt the strong odour of the gases from the dead and decomposing grass. All to be controlled apparently by simply applying a vast new set of laws and rules and strictures to just about everything that they perceive is the problem.
    Which as time goes on will be everything!.

    Trying to put a straight jacket on Nature is like trying to push a large balloon into a too small container.
    It and trouble will break out very fast and in the most unexpected points and sometimes with quite shocking results and outcomes.

    So it will be if the so called attempt to place strictures and limits on so many of what are mostly quite natural releases of those mostly quite natural but badly and ignorantly misnamed “pollutants”.

    • ROM +1. There are always exceptions but there are too many academics and not enough serfs for my liking.

    • Rom – “Here I am as an old farmer…”

      For a glimps of the future, see CA with it’s regulations for diesel engines to reduce black carbon and other scary boogeymen. Of course, you have to wonder what happened when massive wildfires burned for months with nary a firefighter on the entire continent.

      Anyway, for all your contributions to civilization, especially the enabling of specialization that freed scientists, politicians, and carpetbaggers from the drudgery of farm labor, the once great state of CA gives you, and your friends the miners, builders , shippers and other civilization enablers, the following reward:

      http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/multirule.pdf

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      ROM
      I was wondering where the wise ones were
      one of ’em is you
      nicely said
      once again, one of the fine folk on this blog gathers me own thoughts much better than I could me self

    • Maybe we pass legislation on ivory tower syndrome, or, more commonly known as “brain fart” syndrome.

      It is simply incomprehensible to me how such legislation as this is conceived,much less sees the light of day, and then is advocated for by someone such as Dr. Curry. It leaves me nearly speechless, but fortunately, there are those like yourself and others here who can articulate how inane this legislation is.

    • ROM only skimmed the surface. I will add a little about insects, birds, and fish.

      Insects are some of the biggest polluters. Cockroaches and bees are the worst offenders because of their large numbers. Everyone has probably had their flowers polluted by bees. Stink Bugs are also pretty bad (need I explain why?) as are cooties.

      Birds are well known for polluting, especially pigeons. I don’t think I need to go into detail about how birds pollute, but if you ever got a terrible taste in your mouth while looking up into a tree, you will know just how bad bird pollution can be. Most people don’t realize vultures are responsible for the deer carcasses that litter our roadsides, but it’s just a matter of putting 2 and 2 together. Hint: when you see dead deer, what birds frequently are hanging around?

      Unless you have no curiosity, you probably have wondered if fish go to the bathroom.
      YES, they do, and in the water you end up drinking. Need I say more about how fish pollute?

      I started to go into how pollution from bugs, fish, and birds costs our economy jillions of dollars every day, but it gets all complicated and confusing, and people don’t read long posts anyway, so I decided to think about something else I could talk about in a new post.

      • Max,

        It is a sure bet that whatever and when ever you add something to this conversation, it will be very little indeed.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Look who’s talking about adding to the conversation. You should try to think up something good to say yourself, rather than peeing on what others say.

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

    Maybe I missed it
    but no one seems to bring up
    “atmospheric commons”
    short memories?
    so pass your US unilateral bipartisan feel good legislation
    then get on your new I-phone 6 and celebrate with your friends

    • John Smith

      Fear not, our leader has promised to protect the borders, so no pollution will be allowed in without proper authorization.

      • I never thought of Hispanics as pollutants. Is it you think they smell bad or mostly drive old cars?

      • Max,

        What a terrible and racist comment from you!

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Justin, I called attention to your racist innuendo, and now you shamelessly try to lame the blame on me.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Max
        strange, I can’t see Justin’s comment as racist
        unless you consider national borders as implicitly “racist”
        this type of thought pattern is why I had to flee the liberal holiday camp

      • You missed the other Max, John, but the contrast is heart-breaking.
        ===================

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Well, Smith, people see what they want to see. I, for example, I see kim as a frustrated old maid who lives with a houseful of cats and never got over being dumped by some drug-crazed beatnik. Others may see kim as an exciting fun-loving little honey who they could have a hot time with.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        kim
        Max Ok had a beef with me, so he slammed you
        I am honored

      • Well, I’m amused that he tried to depict polar opposites but just did the yinyang thing.
        ============

      • Max gets racist and sexist in the same sub-thread.

        Hey Max, why not go for the trifecta and get homophobic?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Next, these lying coots will be accusing me of ageism.

  43. Peiser’s testimony referenced European industrial massacre.

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
    “We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.

    Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.

    “I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide,” he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.

    “The loss of competitiveness is frightening,” said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. “When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10295045/Brussels-fears-European-industrial-massacre-sparked-by-energy-costs.html

    • I’m not sure how to take this. Are you trying to be provocative?

      Seems like kind of a stretch to conclude that the reason that black people have higher incidents of asthma is because air quality near poor neighborhoods is worse than air quality near wealthy neighborhoods.

      I would guess that the incidence of asthma is higher in congested cities like Atlanta, Houston, LA, NY etc. than it is in less congested areas irrespective of race.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        some cranks like me actually think that much of the rise in auto-immune disorders are the result of modern lifestyles being too “clean”
        plenty of asthma in nice neighborhoods
        more anti-bacterial soap and anti-biotics for the flu should help

      • John Vonderlin

        Dr. Curry,
        I don’t see this as provocative at all. Poor people’s neighborhoods are almost always the site of more polluting industries and less favorable environmental conditions. Given that people with money have the opportunity to locate in better places how could it be otherwise? Relative wealth also concentrates people with chronic diseases in certain areas. A wide range of poor health habits are also associated with poverty. As is the lack of quality health care access, compliance with suggested treatment regimes, healthy food availability, etc. Smoking has mainly become a habit associated with the lower class. All these confounding factors makes dissecting causality from correlation difficult in regards to individual pollutants, super or otherwise.
        John Smith,
        While the “hygiene hypothesis” that you were referring to is intriguing and worth studying further, it remains controversial and is not well-supported by most studies. One thing is certain though, the “flu” is caused by influenza viruses and antibiotics do not work against viruses as far as I am aware.

      • John Vonderlin,

        I don’t think this link is at all provocative either. The article is dumber than dumb and I am trying to figure out why Judith felt it was worth noting.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        John Vonderlin
        use of the word “crank” was a sarcasm alert

    • The study would be better if a cross racial survey was done of people in these “problem” areas that controlled for other factors. There could be some problem areas.

      52% of blacks and only 21% of whites live in central city neighborhoods so some of this is to be expected.

      The problem is being solved if NO2 is indeed the problem. Nixon started fixing the NO2 problem 44 years ago. The population has increased 50% and the NO2 emissions have decreased 50%. All the trends are in the right direction. The NO2 standard is 53 PPB

      Even Los Angeles is generally compliant:

      Further the asthma rate is increasing while the NO2 level is decreasing sharply.
      .
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_035.pdf

    • Judith Curry,

      The link gives me a statement from an article in the Washington Post which I had glanced over the other day and found…difficult to comprehend; namely, causality. NO2 causes asthma in children and in particular African American and Latino children because they live in urban centers which are polluted by exhaust from traffic. Fair enough, let’s find the article upon which this is based. WP article no longer available so I had to Google and find an article which had causality in its headline. An epidemiology study:

      http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/rccm.201302-0264OC

      Good journal, recent (2013), multiple authors, peer reviewed …..

      Details: Population: 4:1 Latinos: AA. Recruited from 5 cities, including San Juan Puerto Rico. 1/3 of Latinos are from PR. AA only recruited from San Francisco Bay Area. Findings from the data presented: Children from PR have LOWEST exposure to NO2.

      From CDC web site: children from Puerto Rico have the highest incidence of Asthma of all children in US (@ 25 %).

      The Harvard Six Cities Study in 1997 was the foundation for EPA proposing and ultimately passaged of the Clean Air Act. The study monitored many pollutants including NO2, SO2 and ultra fine particles (<2.5 microns). What was found: regardless of other pollutants, ultra fine particles were the most important pollutant in reducing life expectancy by 1.6 years.

      Also found in Harvard Six Cities Study, indoor pollution from… gas stoves caused the highest concentration of NO2. 1/3 of US households at that time cooked with gas In all socioeconomic groups. Incidence of respiratory illness in children in homes who cook with gas was 5%. Gas stoves for cooking are more likely in older urban located households.

      Another confounding factor has been the use of hospitalization rates in epidemiological studies for children with asthma. Hospitalization for asthma may be because children are not taking their medication (non-adherence to the medical treatment regime) a disproportionate issue for minorities; exposure to cigarette smoke (30% parents of children in ER for respiratory illness admit to cigarette smoking in the presence of their children yet cigarette smoke products are in 80% of infants coming for respiratory problems. Cigarette smoking by itself could account for 80% of children's hospital admissions. The fetus exposed to cigarette smoke exposed mom has a higher likelihood of developing respiratory illness once born including being diagnosed with asthma.

      Getting back to the linked article and my take on the matter: Causality not established. PM 2.5 from transport exhaust particularly from diesel engines does have a negative impact on the all cause mortality. Separating PM 2.5 from NO2 as causative I believe is highly problematic and leads me to not agree with the causative statements of the article or the link.

      • As an addendum:

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30368504

        It seems that Paris France has a pollution problem which is being blamed upon diesel engines and their ultra-fine particulate emissions. Although diesel engines are more fuel efficient, they are also more polluting in the ingredients to cause human harm at least that is what the WHO says.

        A public report coming just in time to support my thread.

    • There is an acute high degree of tone deafness among the denizens regarding Environmental Justice. Not a care for our own urban and rural poor, let alone the developing world. The US drop in super pollutants was just shifted over to Asia where we gobble up disposable consumables they churn out and they get to choke on the waste as a bonus.

      Yeah, Everything is Just Fine the Way it is.

      • Howard, the quality of life has been improving everywhere. It IS fine the way it is going.

      • Overzealous regulation in the US shifts manufacturing to Asia. Overzealous renewable energy policies create a great demand for the manufactured goods from Asia that we regulated out of the country. Silicon tetrachloride (the plants dump it in the fields), cadmium, and rare earth slag heaps are getting to be a real problems in China.

        The environmentalist activists are personally responsible for the sad state of the environment in China.

      • Howard, your comment is of little relevance here. Post it to Xi in China. Good luck. You might even get a policy response like Obama just did.
        I and other denizens here are neither tone deaf nor stupid, just experienced realists. Regards.

      • China’s lack of environmentalists with any influence is what led to their sad state. However, now they are continually embarrassed by their environment (see the Olympics and APEC measures), and that embarrassment is forcing action. Similarly their lack of CO2 efficiency is noticed in the world, and there is a peer pressure there too.

      • Howard,

        You make a valid point. How do we reconcile global markets, free trade, environmental regulation, and labor laws? We import relatively cheap products and, in effect, export pollution and what we would consider injustice.

        I don’t have an answer.

      • Justin:

        There is no solution because the “realists” are making too much money on the backs and lungs and children of the poorest neighborhoods and nations. Fair trade, that applies environmental tariffs to products from gross polluter nations, will never happen because the “realists” are making too much money off of the Asian Brown Cloud. As long as the “realists” think they can continue to walk between the raindrops, then the rest of the world will just have to bend over and take it.

      • Jim D,

        RE: China’s continuous embarrasment

        Where do you get your information. When China hosts events on the world stage they simply use the powers of the state to temporarily make the problem go away. There is a difference to being embarrassed and utilizing good PR policy. If China was embarrashed they would be spending money on scrubbers.

      • Howard,

        Exactly who do you think benefits most from lower priced goods manufactured off shore?

        Hint: those urban and rural poor you are suppossedly concerned about.

  44. Worth noting that the expression “super pollutants” is thoroughly juvenile – though it is an insult even to juveniles. Delivers the message better than clunky “SLCPs”, I suppose. If anyone wants their senators to sound a bit more sciency on occasions, that deceitful and preposterous acronym will still be available to them. Bit of a tongue twister, but no doubt senators Murphy and Collins can handle a bit of glib.

    I’m thinking this is more of that “communication” we’re always thought to be needing.

  45. This is another bad idea.
    There is little evidence that the planet can only be saved by passing more laws. Congress does not have the earth’s temperature control knob.
    They can’t believe they do, can they?

  46. Life expectancy went up in China from about 50 years to about 75, while pollution increased horribly. So, one could conclude that air pollution actually prolongs life.
    What happens, of course, is that industrialization improves standards of living (wealth) while at the same time causing pollution. It is the better standards of living (better nutrition, better medicine) that prolong life expectancy.
    Better standards of living are much more important than better air quality, for longevity, happiness and everything we value.
    To claim a win-win situation one has to show that pollution reduction measures don’t lower the standard of living (i.e. the wealth) of people.

    • JACOBRESS,
      “To claim a win-win situation one has to show that pollution reduction measures don’t lower the standard of living (i.e. the wealth) of people.”

      I’ve been mulling this thought over in my feeble mind and I’m not sure I’m comfortable. Wealth (standard of living) is not the be all and end all if we have 51% wealth offset by 49% pollution. In other words, if we were faced with a decision to continue to pollute IN ORDER to maintain our standard of living would that be “win-win”? (I don’t think we have to pollute to maintain SOL as we’re able to learn and modify behavior). How would the loss of aesthetics be valued? Also, short term costs vs. long term benefits might reduce current SOL the later improve SOL, so time is a factor. Finally, and it always bothers me to post this, but every habitat has a carrying capacity and ours will be reached eventually. So will we then be the very “pollution” of our own habitat when that occurs?

      To be clear, I’m only referring to this “sound bite” quote. I think I get the gist of your intent, but am concerned about the application.

      • Well, they said that pollution reduction will prevent 2 million premature deaths. A reduction in SOL can cause much more premature deaths than that.
        All other things being equal – pollution reduction is a no-brainer – of course, cleaner air is better than dirtier air. But this is a simplistic approach, that ignores complex issues of the real world. Is it indeed a “no regrets” action? The answer is much more complicated than they declare.

      • Jacobress,

        I agree that the answer is more difficult, but some of the pieces seem relatively easy. I’m a simple guy. So the addition of biomass seems like low hanging fruit, as does offering incentives to companies that “willingly” install CO2 scrubbers just like companies willingly take subsidies to install solar power. We have a tendency, partially due to the political lines that are drawn, to toss out the good with the bad. I’d like us to get to those very “no regrets” action, and amended legislation such as this can lead to that end, IMO. We’ve made great strides since the early 1970’s just prior to Clean Water/Air acts and I believe we can do so again via appropriate legislation. But I also believe it will take some legislation as voluntary won’t get it done (based on history).

        I’d rather pick over the bones of this piece than toss it out and move on to the next one that will likely not satisfy either side either. At least this one doesn’t list CO2. Kinda like the adage where if both “teams” are unhappy the officiating was probably pretty good.

      • There already is the EPA for cleaning up the air and water, with plenty of legislation and regulation, and authority.
        Why do we need more legislation and additional bureaucratic agencies? What will they do that the EPA can’t do (or failed to do) ?
        The existence of “low hanging fruit” or “no-regrets action” might be a myth, or an empty slogan. This whole “super-pollutants” thing looks to me like empty and silly sloganeering.
        Every regulation, the “old”, “normal” EPA regulations, as well as this new proposed law – need a detailed cost-benefit analysis, much beyond the empty sloganeering that has been presented so far.

      • Jacob,

        Fully agree that appropriate Cost Benefit analysis needs to be applied. But as far as the need (or lack of need) for legislation, I’m not so sure. Clean Water/Air are still on the books and the EPA is part of the enforcement mechanism.

        I’m not advocating this specific legislation, but I can see a need for: Evaluation and refocusing the EPA, Giving the EPA tools it needs, appropriate legislation should those tools not currently exist.

        I’m not for spending for the sake of spending, but I am for the EPA as long as it’s mission creep is not excessive.

        I’m only suggesting we take this nugget and work with it. History shows that we have a tendency towards inaction w/o prompting and if this is a nugget towards mutually acceptable prompting lets get on with it. Agreed?

    • At the same time, as Rud has pointed out numerous times, along with improved SOL comes improvements to those things that help us achieve the higher SOL. For example, we developed technologies that largely remove PM2.5 and other dangerous polutants from coal burning in the US. Does it eliminate all polutants 100%? Of course not, but it does reduce them to levels that have minimal to no measurable negative effects on health, yet the benefits are, or should be, very obvious. So, do we bother actually doing risk/cost/benefit analysis to determine the best path forward, or do we simply cave in to extreme hand waving that says we must live in a pollution free environment regardless of cost?

  47. We need legislation that will curtail brain farts coming from the progressive elites who think up legislation like the Super Pollutants act. Brain farts like this are the single most dangerous pollution we can possibly experience.

  48. Willis Eschenbach

    curryja | December 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Reply

    Interesting article on air quality in the U.S.:

    http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/air-should-be-colorblind?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=socialmedia

    Dr. C., I had to laugh when you cited a page giving the American Lung Association (ALA) view about air pollution and race. Why?

    Well, because the ALA is up to its ears in the “sue-and-settle” scam in which the EPA has people sue it, puts up no defense, and then claims it is forced to tighten its regulations. See here for the whole sickening story.

    But wait … it’s worse. Not only is the ALA complicit in the sue-and-settle scam, the EPA is PAYING THEM TO DO IT, using your and my money. See here for the gory details.

    So it’s the same thing as when Mosh tried to convince me up above with some bogus EPA “scientific” study with a laughable relative risk of 1.040 (not an RR of 1.039, you understand, but 1.040) … you guys need to start checking out real science, not the deceptive con jobs put out by the deadly combination of corporate and government axe-grinders like the EPA and the ALA.

    Get more skeptical, my dear friend, get much more skeptical … citing or believing the EPA merely marks you as a mark.

    And as always, thanks for your blog, which manages to be ever interesting.

    w.

    • > … the “sue-and-settle” scam …

      Yes, but the real issue is what can be done about it

      I suggest nothing useful for the general public. The war is long lost

    • Holy crap! Need to double up on my blood pressure meds.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Dr. Curry — When you post topics such as this (SLCP), as an educational blog it would be very helpful to invite “professional experts” to post follow-up stories (both pro and con).

      As to all of Mr. Eschenbach’s (and Others) claims, there are certainly different medical/health science and legal views.

      For example, I find it hard to believe that if you asked someone from the NRDC to respond to all of Mr. Eschenbach’s claims — that they would say NO. They already have written about this.

      http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/the_office_of_house_majority.html

      In Mr. Eschenbach’s World, if Industry sues the EPA then “thank goodness we live in a Nation that values the rule of law”. But if Enviro Non-Profits sue, then its a “Liberal” conspiracy theory.

      • Stephen Segrest

        As anyone knows that has followed my posts — I’m not a fan of CAGW messaging to implement many liberal policies (e.g., the clearly Liberal Dr. Oppenheimer of Princeton, carbon tax, cap & trade, etc.).

        But, I think its really important to be consistent.

        When the CAGW types are criticized here at CE, how come the catastrophic messaging of Industry in the costs of environmental regulation are taken as FACT?

        Time and time again on so many environmental Regs, history has shown that Industry’s catastrophic messaging just wasn’t correct.

        But an overwhelming body of historical record on Industry estimated versus actual costs just never means much to folks like Mr. Eschenbach.

      • Here, let me fix that for you:
        “Time and time again on so many environmental Regs, history has shown that Industry’s catastrophic messaging was correct, prompting liberal politicians to wait until cost effective alternatives were developed (CFCs) or to be content with promoting very limited ‘feel-good’ action in lieu of actually voting on the proposals that industry analyzed from a cost perspective (global warming), or simply ignored so they could claim victory to partisans without actually doing anything (the SUV workaround of CAFE standards).”

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Stephen Segrest | December 9, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply

        In Mr. Eschenbach’s World, if Industry sues the EPA then “thank goodness we live in a Nation that values the rule of law”. But if Enviro Non-Profits sue, then its a “Liberal” conspiracy theory.

        Mr. Segrest, you are falsely using quotes to try to put words in my mouth, words I never said. That is a despicable and underhanded action.

        Not only did I never say that, I never expressed anything about whether industry suing the EPA was good, bad or indifferent. It’s all just a product of your nasty imagination.

        Finally, there is a difference (which apparently you are unaware of) between suing the EPA and the “sue-and-settle” scam. You desperately need to do your homework on this matter before making an even greater fool of yourself.

        Best regards, and please don’t try those low-down tricks again.

        w.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Mr. Eschenbach — The NRDC has numerous responses which (in their opinion) refutes point-by-point of your use of the term “scam”. I supplied one of these links (but, they have more):

        http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/the_office_of_house_majority.html

        In the NRDC response, they are arguing that they are operating under the same “Rule of Law” as Industrials do when they sue.

        Are you an environmental lawyer? What’s different when an Enviro sues the EPA and settles, versus when an Industrial sues and settles? How is the “Rule of Law” different?

        Now just don’t respond without any context — in your answer, specifically point to an NRDC argument (linked above) and tell us how they (in your legal opinion) are legally wrong in their statements.

  49. David Springer

    Support for this separates out the left-wing earth mommas and assorted hippie dippies who think people are a plague on the planet and those genuinely convinced of the pseudo-scientific merit of catastrophic global warming. Each group is mentally deficient of course but not in the same manner.

    • You can look it it that way. Then again, done right it could set a “reasonable” standard that would level the playing field. Part of the bill is an Arctic pollution standard that would impose a general maritime standard.

      There is also oil gas industry standards which could work. HCFC standard could eliminate some of the third world outsourcing, etc.

      I kind of doubt that our fearless leaders will do it “right”, but it could be a very good step in that direction.

  50. The leftist will to legislate more and more is never ending. Do you
    think they will discover a law for everything, impose a punitive VAT
    on breathing perhaps?

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      bts
      the leftist only want help folk
      especially serfs
      remember, extremism for a good cause, is no vice

    • beththeserf;
      “Do you think they will discover a law for everything, impose a punitive VAT
      on breathing perhaps?”
      ___________________
      At the usual 40,000 ppm [ Forty thousand ppm ] of CO2 in a human’s exhaled breath your American EPA would probably quite readily get around to believing they have a very good reason to tax our breathing as we would, under a probable and future highly likely extended Super Pollutants Act with that level of exhaled CO2, be classed as major contributors to the increase in the climate polluting Carbon Dioxide.

      So where does the EPA stop if the legislation says they have to take action on the release of excessive polluting gases ?
      40,000 ppm of CO2 from 7.2 billion sources or even just from the American’s 370 million individual sources every few seconds is a bit hard to rationalise around when your legislation says to take action on such excessive releases of the defined polluting gases.
      Thats assuming their complete ignorance and CO2 is included as a major polluting gas in the Super Pollutants Act legislation and supporting documentation.

      Its very sad and very indicative in a way that commenters here and increasingly across the blog sphere are now coming up with such ridiculous [ and sarcastic ] scenarios that relate so directly to climate science’s and the EPA’s recent pronunciations and actions.

    • I dare say they’ll do what they do with fossil fuels and only see what’s taxable. If you’re working in a corporation or cheering in a footy stadium they’ll quantify your breathing and tax it accordingly. If you’re out of range of taxation, they won’t worry too much. The fact that people breathe no matter where they are or what they are doing will become one of those Grand Unmentionables.

      Like I said before, a banana peel on a street is a banana peel. In a landfill, it’s a pollution source and taxable. (Or, in the baby-talk now common among US senators, it’s a super pollutant.)

      Never mind the carbon, feel the serfdom.

    • If you believe exhaled CO2 isn’t already in the carbon cycle and exhaling adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be easy for you to believe peeing adds to the supply of water, and therefore it is your civic duty to drink a lot more beer during droughts.

      Not me ! I don’t need a dumb excuse to drink more beer.

  51. Seems to be a case then of taxing, fining, and generally penalising CO2 and other gas sources at some vulnerable point somewhere in their cycles and then claiming that they are saving the planet.

    Meanwhile the whole lot just keep right on going round and round, each one doing so on different time scales.

    But it still all just goes round and round which emphasizes the utter futility and stupidity of the Super Pollutants proposal.

    • I suspect many of the legislative types who might fly to Lima genuinely still don’t see themselves as being apex consumers.

      Like a shark saying :”I don’t eat plankton. Only lower life forms do that. Let’s ban plankton-eating”.

      • Result: thinner sharks, or possibly none at all.

      • I never thought of it that way. Cleaner air will kill of low-wage workers or low-wage jobs, and I will have to mow my lawn and clean my chickens by myself. Not a pleasant thought.

        What the heck, that will leave me with more money to give to Greenpeace.
        It’ s a cloud with silver lining.

      • And what will Greenpeace do with your money?
        Probably buy themselves another fossil-fueled ship.

  52. The biggest problem we face in climate is the same that science in general is suffering from (NOAA, EPA,UN-IPCC, the government-funded education establishment, etc.): Research Corruption Disorder

  53. When compared to this, it makes the subject law look even more stupid. And it is already stupid enough.

    From the article:

    GARDI SUGDUP, Panama (AP) — As the Obama administration makes headway at home in the fight against global warming, it has helped stoke record exports of fossil fuels that are contributing to rising levels of pollution elsewhere.

    U.S. exports of diesel and gasoline have doubled since President Barack Obama took office, and the carbon embedded in them has meet political goals by taking it off America’s pollution balance sheet. But that does not necessarily help the planet.

    The U.S. is sending more fuel than ever to other parts of the world, where efforts to address resulting pollution are just getting underway, if advancing at all.

    Under Obama, the U.S. has reduced more carbon pollution from energy than any other nation, about 475 million tons between 2008 and 2013, according to U.S. Energy Department data. Less than one-fifth of that amount came from burning less gasoline and diesel.

    Despite these efforts, pollution linked to global warming is rising worldwide.

    U.S. exports of gasoline and diesel more than made up for the savings at home in pollution abroad, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Those exports released roughly 1 billion tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere elsewhere during the same period.

    In Panama, imports of diesel and gasoline from the U.S. have nearly quadrupled since 2008.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e3caedb0280d48b297159bfaf485ccde/fuel-fire-fuel-exports-soar-under-obama

    • But Jim2, when we send that fuel elsewhere, we get money back don’t we? This is damning one while praising another for the same conduct. Obama bad, Exxon good? I’m not sure that’s fair. Sorry.

      • You are a reliable Dimowit defender. I didn’t praise or damn anything. I’m for exporting fuel and crude oil. The lift of the crude oil export ban is being discussed in Congress now. Hope they git rid of it.

    • If we could only figure out a way to export fuel from France. Then America would be doing something right instead of destroying the globe.

      • We can follow the advice of the greatest climate genius of all time, talented hockey stick user, and Venus is coming shouter Jim Hansen and build more nukes!

    • “Under Obama, the U.S. has reduced more carbon pollution from energy than any other nation, about 475 million tons between 2008 and 2013, according to U.S. Energy Department data. ”

      Oh yeah, don’t worry, the fox is guarding the hen house.

  54. The comments on preventable deaths bring to mind my 18 years experience as a workers’ compensation lawyer representing claimants. After several years, you learn that what seems obvious to you on the surface may not in fact be obvious. You also learn that doctors are sometimes reluctant to go under oath and state that their patient’s medical condition is work related.

    Thus, knowing the many advocacy driven “scientists” associated with AGW, I am extremely skeptical of the scientific validity of the EPA’s claims that certain substances or practices have harmful health effects to the extent claimed by the EPA.

    In particular, I am very skeptical of the claimed ill effects of overflowing sewers and the necessity for cities to spend billions of dollars each to prevent sewer runoff. See, for instance: http://www.governing.com/blogs/fedwatch/mayors-question-epa-consent-decreees.html Southwest Ohio has to spend $3.2 billion on new sewers. In talking to a friend who is a landlord in Cincinnati, the consent decree has roughly doubled water prices (specifically the sewer charge component) over the last 6 years, and prices are expected to continue to steeply climb for the next 5 or 6 years.

    What makes me very suspicious is that when I was representing claimants, employers always scanned the medical records of employees to try to find something outside of work that could be responsible for the employee’s problem. Not once in my review of thousands of medical files did I see a mention that one of my clients had ever gotten sick from water. (Not denying that there could have been cases caused by the water that weren’t recognized by the doctors. However, if there were serious problems necessitating the spending of billions of dollars, I would have seen some mention of the problem, somewhere on a repeated basis.) I realize that it is disgusting to think of overflowing sewers, but although it may be disgusting, I haven’t seen substantial illness arising from the overflows.

    So, on my end when I see EPA claims that the billions of spending are necessary on water (or clean air,) I suspect that the EPA has cherry-picked a small, not well substantiated study, and extrapolated it to the whole U.S. to use as an excuse to achieve environmental ends that are not supported by good science.

    JD

    • Steven Mosher

      “Thus, knowing the many advocacy driven “scientists” associated with AGW, I am extremely skeptical of the scientific validity of the EPA’s claims that certain substances or practices have harmful health effects to the extent claimed by the EPA.”

      Scientific “validity” is not required. First, it’s difficult to define “property”. What counts as valid?. Who decides? The simple fact is we have a situation where some entities, corporations, are using a resource, the atmosphere, at zero cost.

      If I owned my share of the atmosphere I could charge them for the right to use it. I could charge them depending on my assessment of the risk to me.
      I might use the science to help me asses the risk. I might not.

      I can also decide that I would rather have the government decide how much they should pay. I don’t need any science to make this choice.

      • “If I owned my share of the atmosphere I could charge them for the right to use it. I could charge them depending on my assessment of the risk to me.
        I might use the science to help me asses the risk. I might not. I can also decide that I would rather have the government decide how much they should pay.”

        Who is this “them” you speak of? Corporations are groups of people who provide you with things you want. Exxon and your power company aren’t using your share of the atmosphere at no charge, you are. This is why the argument -that corporations are using the atmosphere at no cost – never works. Everyone knows the question is how much does Steven Mosher want to pay to use his share of the atmosphere and on what basis does he get to determine that cost for my share.

      • SM ““ [JD]Thus, knowing the many advocacy driven “scientists” associated with AGW, I am extremely skeptical of the scientific validity of the EPA’s claims that certain substances or practices have harmful health effects to the extent claimed by the EPA.”

        [Mosh] Scientific “validity” is not required. First, it’s difficult to define “property”. What counts as valid?. Who decides? The simple fact is we have a situation where some entities, corporations, are using a resource, the atmosphere, at zero cost.”

        I don’t realize how you get to “property” from scientific validity. You can’t issue rational regulations unless they are scientifically based. For instance, suppose that a despot believed that eating watermelons could cause people to exhale pollutants that cause lung injury to others. In a rational world, we would subject that belief to scientific inquiry before the government would issue regulations limiting the amount of watermelons that people could eat. Concepts of “property” have no relevance in terms of air or water pollution unless we know what harms humans.

        More to the point, most of the damage caused by silica particulates is caused by particles that are 10 microns or less in diameter. That is why people at beaches don’t generally suffer lung injuries from the sand that is composed of silica. However, where silica is used in factories and is ground down smaller than 10 microns, it is very dangerous. Thus, a law that attempted to decrease the number of sand beaches formed at shorelines would be irrational, if its purpose was to prevent lung injury.

        The point is that to determine “cost”, we need to know what causes injury, and to know what causes injury we need science. As my workers’ compensation practice taught me, knowing what causes injury to humans is not a simple matter.

        JD

      • “The simple fact is we have a situation where some entities, corporations, are using a resource, the atmosphere, at zero cost.

        I can also decide that I would rather have the government decide how much they should pay. ”

        Libertarian my a**.

      • If you owned your share then I would own my share. My share isn’t for sale at any price so stop doing anything that would affect it. That goes for my share of the water too.

      • Mosher “If you owned your share (of the atmosphere) then I would own my share. My share isn’t for sale at any price so stop doing anything that would affect it. That goes for my share of the water too.”

        You are trying to skate the issue of proof of the dangerousness of substances in the atmosphere by claiming a vague property interest in the atmosphere [and water.] Virtually, all property interests are accompanied by a practical ability to exclude others from using or possessing your property. For instance, if I own a bike, I have the right to use it and to keep others from using it. Please tell me how you propose to exert your dominion over the atmosphere and what molecules would be yours and which ones would be mine. Also, please tell me what my remedy would be if your personal habits offended my sense of justice (maybe you eat too many chili beans leading to emissions) and how I could stop what I consider to be your improper emissions.

        Your claim that science is irrelevant based on your claim of property rights is an illogical dodge.

        JD

      • ” I would rather have the government decide how much they should pay”

        When companies are charged to pay for polluting, or forced to install expensive pollution control equipment – they raise the cost of their products, so it is the public who pays the price, i.e. Steve Mosher.
        So, what you, and the rest of the public must decide is how much you are willing to pay in increased cost of living for those reductions in pollution which might (or might not) be insignificant.

        It’s not you against those nasty, greedy, big corporation polluters. It’s you against yourself. maybe it is desirable to pay more for clean air – the question is how clean and how much more.

  55. Black carbon emissions increase with industrialisation and then fall off rapidly. This can be seen in the relative size of regional emissions.

    There are a few solutions – and most of them apply to the developing world. Note in particular the improvement in particulate emissions in the developed world.

    http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/30/black-carbon-a-health-and-environment-issue/

    When we look at sources of greenhouse gases.

    – Carbon dioxide (CO2) – Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. The way in which people use land is also an important source of CO2, especially when it involves deforestation. Land can also remove CO2 from the atmosphere through reforestation, improvement of soils, and other activities.

    – Methane (CH4) – Agricultural activities, waste management, and energy use all contribute to CH4 emissions.

    -Carbon dioxide (CO2) – Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. The way in which people use land is also an important source of CO2, especially when it involves deforestation. Land can also remove CO2 from the atmosphere through reforestation, improvement of soils, and other activities.

    – Nitrous oxide (N2O) – Agricultural activities, such as fertilizer use, are the primary source of N2O emissions.

    – Fluorinated gases (F-gases) – Industrial processes, refrigeration, and the use of a variety of consumer products contribute to emissions of F-gases, which include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

    These present opportunities to save money – or at least not to add to costs. Precision application of fertiliser is an example. Improvements are happening in the developed world – and can continue to be improved on. Continuing along the path of efficiency, environmental responsibility and improved land management seems a given. Where the biggest gaps are continue to be in the developing world for a variety of reasons.

    The best use of US resources would be would be to review existing foreign aid through the lens of the Copenhagen Consensus analysis of the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals. While the goals of the Copenhagen Consensus analysis are much broader – development brings progress on the environmental front.

  56. @JC: I spotted a paper somewhere in the last few months that claimed reducing emissions of super pollutants wouldn’t reduce greenhouse warming all that much (I can’t find it now).

    No need for that paper since it merely says essentially the same thing as Chapter 8 of the 5th IPCC report, “Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing”. Section 8.3, “Present-Day Anthropogenic Radiative Forcing”, divides the relevant well-mixed GHG contributors to modern global warming into CO2, CH4, N2O (not to be confused with NO2 which is not even on the IPCC’s radar), and halogens. Table 8.2 of that section, on page 678, shows that CO2 is responsible for 84% of the increase in radiative forcing between 2005 and 2011 attributable to those GHGs.

    I posted the relevant numbers above. Here they are again, in three columns: 2005, 2011, and the increase. Units are W/m2.

    CO2 1.66 1.82 0.16
    CH4 0.47 0.48 0.01
    N2O 0.16 0.17 0.01
    HAL 0.35 0.36 0.01
    ————————–
    TOT 2.64 2.83 0.19

    • What radiative forcing? There has not been any Gorebullwarmng going on 2 to 3 decades, depending on how its measured.

      • Hey, we’re on the same side, fancy that. :) I fully agree with you that the Super Pollutants Act will have no significant impact on increasing radiative forcing.

    • The effective RF’s, which take into account the effect of clouds and other aerosols would be more informative. Again, I wonder how much of these measured RF’s can be attributed to anthropogenic causes?

      • Agreed. The Super Pollutants Act does not address clouds or other aerosols, so whatever the impact from them, the Act will have little or no impact.

        As to anthropogenic causes, if these increases in GHGs are of natural instead of human origin then again it’s hard to see how the Act could have any more effect than King Canute on the tide.

        I am at a loss as to how any case for the Act can be made based even on what amateurs know about the climate, let alone those scientists who have made a life-long career of studying climate.

  57. John Vonderlin

    Speaking of premature deaths, I was watching a lengthy show on all aspects of the tobacco industry and at one point they mentioned that with our policies inhibiting tobacco sales in the U.S., many companies are expanding overseas. With over 300 million smokers in China (including over 50% of adult males) they have become a prime target. Seeing beautiful Asian women in short dresses, passing out free cigarette samples from trays hanging from their necks, was truly a return to the “Good Old Days,” I remember. That over a million Chinese a year are calculated to die prematurely from the real diseases tobacco has been proved to cause would seem to make that a more beneficial area to concentrate on than the modeled premature deaths estimated to be caused by so-called super-pollutants. It’s a good thing “Super Pollutants” aren’t addictive or we’d all be screwed.

  58. @JV: It’s a good thing “Super Pollutants” aren’t addictive or we’d all be screwed.

    With nitrous oxide (N2O) close behind methane as a Super Pollutant (NO2 is not even in that race), one could ask whether it’s addictive. Perhaps not in the strict pharmacological sense, but this article cites a number of cases involving its abuse, such as inhaling it habitually for recreational purposes over a period of months.

    Seems like there’s a fine line between harmful habitual use and addiction.

  59. US can lead us into another focusarea-away from CO2 as leading greenhousgas. It will help the developing countries to deal with a real problem. Global dimming. Air in China is not healthy.
    http://www.stateair.net/web/post/1/1.html

    • @ oppti

      “Air in China is not healthy.”

      Undeniably true.

      Yet thousands of foreign individuals from countries all over the world, including the those from the State Department that provide the link that you posted, WILLINGLY subject themselves AND THEIR FAMILIES to the Chinese air. Apparently THEY have done the tradeoff analysis, threat vs reward, and have opted for the reward.

      We in the US are being told that our betters are far more concerned than we are about our health and that they have decided that the minimal pollution that we are currently experiencing as a byproduct of having available cheap, plentiful energy is intolerable. Therefore, they have decided that it is better for us to drastically increase the price of energy and decrease its supply in the quixotic pursuit of an environment that contains NO chemicals traceable to the existence of humans on the planet.

      Apparently Max_OK, Citizen Scientist thinks that this is a grand plan that every sane person should applaud.

      “People who oppose regulations to curb pollution aren’t so hard to understand if you start from the assumption they like dirty air and dirty water, or at least don’t mind it. If there was a way they could expose themselves to pollution without exposing everyone else, I wouldn’t mind them.”

      Maybe I’m not, since I don’t.

      Someone should remind Max that the choices are ‘Insane, unrealizable regulation designed to bring industrial civilization to a halt’ and ‘dirty air and dirty water’ only if you let the folks trying to stamp out modern industrial civilization and kill off 90+ % of the human race define the term ‘dirty’.

      How many times to people have to post links like this one (already posted previously):

      http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/print.php?id=13914

      and this one (contains a couple duplications):

      http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/musings-from-the-leaders-of-the-climate-change-movement-seeking-to-save-the-earth-from-humanity/

      before it sinks home that government organizations like the EPA and environmental organizations which were responsible for its existence are NOT engaged in ensuring a healthy environment. They are a pseudo-scientific means to a political end. And they are dead serious.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Bob,
        Regulations designed to bring industrial civilization to a halt have failed miserably in the past. Regulations against the use of lead and asbestos, for example, were just tiny bumps in the road to greater prosperity. So you shouldn’t be alarmed over these new regulations that are designed to
        “stamp out modern industrial civilization.”

      • @ Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        “Bob,
        Regulations designed to bring industrial civilization to a halt have failed miserably in the past. Regulations against the use of lead and asbestos, for example, were just tiny bumps in the road to greater prosperity. So you shouldn’t be alarmed over these new regulations that are designed to
        “stamp out modern industrial civilization.”

        Hello Max,

        “…….failed miserably in the past.”

        Really? Tell that to the Brits and the Germans, who are beginning to wonder if the lights will come on when they flip the switch. And who, when they feel cold, bypass the thermostat and go straight to the sweaters and extra layers of clothing.

        Tell that to the residents of jurisdictions which are now requiring ‘smart meters’ and ‘smart appliances’ who, as coal plants are regulated off-line, with no replacements, will find their houses and appliances being shut off by the power company as they shed load to keep the grid up–sorta. And while you are watching the ‘smart meters’ and ‘smart appliances’ in action, visit the power company and look at their ‘load shedding’ software and see if there is a file in there someplace that lists the customers whose power is not to be interrupted for any reason other than an extinction level comet strike or nuclear war.

        There are various possible conclusions to be drawn from your above quote:

        A. You didn’t read the links provided and are unaware of similar comments, spread over many years, in which the high priests of the ‘environmental movement’ state their aims explicitly.

        B. You have read them, observed the authors and their followers in action for 40 years, and think that they are simply lying when they state explicitly that they are working to eradicate modern technology, eliminate 90+ % of the human race, and return return the planet (except for what is required to enable them to regulate the remainder of us effectively) to a state of ‘natural’ wilderness. That they are lying when they say that humans inventing a source of cheap, plentiful energy would be the worst thing that could happen to the planet and that the introduction of such technology should be resisted by every means available.

        C. You understand their objectives, approve of them, and post your comments on blogs such as this one in support of emission limits that reflect the state of the art in detectability, rather than limits that are achievable and result in negligible health risks in an effort to help advance their agenda.

        D. You really believe that the health and well being of humans depend on the government setting emission limits for every byproduct of human civilization at the level of detectability and that the benefits of ever stricter emission limits on every ‘manmade’ chemical or chemical emitted as a byproduct of industry ALWAYS outweigh any negative impacts that may be experienced by the population at large by the imposition of such limits.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Bob, if I depended on coal for a living I might be tempted to believe anti-pollution regulations are the work of a small group of extremist who want, as you put it, to “eradicate modern technology, eliminate 90+ % of the human race, and return to a state of ‘natural’ wilderness.” But I doubt the temptation would be strong enough to trump my common sense. Anyway, I’m invested in clean-burning natural gas rather than coal, a dirty old fuel that’s on the fast track to obsolescence.

        I might as well be frank. After reading your lost post I fear you are as mad as a hatter, possibly as a result of being exposed to high levels of mercury. If I were you I wouldn’t eat any more Tuna and Swordfish.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | December 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm |

        Bob, if I depended on coal for a living I might be tempted to believe anti-pollution regulations are the work of a small group of extremist who want, as you put it, to “eradicate modern technology, eliminate 90+ % of the human race, and return to a state of ‘natural’ wilderness.” But I doubt the temptation would be strong enough to trump my common sense.

        Thanks, Max, but I fear that you’re not distinguishing between cost-effective, meaningful regulations, and expensive, meaningless regulations.

        Now, it’s certainly an arguable question where the line between the two might lie. But ignoring the existence of that line, as you are doing, marks you as a man who is not looking at the facts. Not all “anti-pollution regulations” are worth the toilet paper they are printed on.

        Current coal regulations have eliminated almost all of the pollution that used to spew from coal fired plants. The idea that we need another round of incredibly expensive new regulations which will drive prices through the roof and make little difference to the environment is indeed the work of extremists … including the “settle-and-sue” EPA and our President who doesn’t give a rat’s cloaca about either the poor or the economy.

        We know that because Obama said that his plan would “necessarily cause electricity prices to skyrocket” … yeah, like that wouldn’t simultaneously shaft the economy and the poor. Of course, as a member of the 1% it would make little difference to him, he won’t be the one freezing in the winter.

        And as my comments above show, the EPA could care less about science. They make a case for action in a 280-page report without a single measure of relative risk … and in another report they recommend action based on a relative risk of 1.040.

        Now, if you are indeed a “Citizen Scientist” as your self-serving advertisement claims, I’m sure you can explain to the class just how an RR of 1.040 is sufficient to drive wildly expensive public policy … and why you think skyrocketing electricity prices is a price worth paying for a meaningless increment in pollution reduction.

        Regards,

        w.

      • ==> “and our President who doesn’t give a rat’s cloaca about either the poor or the economy.”

        And there we go. People who don’t agree with Willis are bad people, amoral people, people who don’t care about poor people, people who are indifferent to starving children in Africa, blah, blah.

        Another in the long line of “people who disagree with me about X are sociopaths” arguments so frequently found in the Interwebs – so often from those like Willis who are, no doubt, concerned about “extremists” even as they promote extreme arguments.

        No possibility that Obama cares about the poor and the economy, but just reasons differently that Willis? No. Not a possibility.

        ‘Cause, you see, Willis is smart, and because he’s smart, he knows how to get into someone’s head, someone that he’s never met, never talked to, in order to understand that that person really cares about. Yeah, Willis is smart.

        I just love it when smart and knowledgeable people make such fundamental flaws in their reasoning as Willis just demonstrated.

        Just goes to show the power of how biasing influences, eh?

      • What makes it all that much more interesting is that I remember a time back, when I criticized one of Willis’ many highly flawed arguments, he complained that I was calling him a bad person (paraphrasing).

        Perhaps it is indeed, instructive, that Willis went from a criticism of his reasoning to an assumption that I was criticizing him personally – that I was criticizing personally someone that I didn’t know, someone who I had every reason to believe was just as much a quality individual as the next climate blog commenter.

        I explained to Willis his error – that I wasn’t criticizing him personally, but as I recall he newer acknowledged his drama-queening.

        So perhaps we should expect the pattern to continue? Maybe Willis takes personal offense so easily when his reasoning is criticized because he is locked into a pattern of demonizing people who disagree with him?

        Will Willis continue to sit in judgement of people he doesn’t know, simply because they disagree with him? Will Willis continue to take deep personal offense because someone criticizes his reasoning?

        I’m betting that the pattern will continue – but then again, everyone can change and grow and gain insight.

        Let’s see what happens, eh? What do you say, Willis?

      • The problem is that most people want pollution reduced to safe levels. That isn’t very controversial.

        The environmental activists want zero tolerance.

        We should treat them appropriately and show zero tolerance for environment activism.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joshua | December 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm |

        No possibility that Obama cares about the poor and the economy, but just reasons differently that Willis? No. Not a possibility.

        Joshua, you appear to be obsessed with my poor self. You might consider getting professional help for that, as my continued attempts to steer you away from personal attacks and back to the science and the issues seems ineffectual. I mean, I know I’m a fascinating guy and all, but you’re taking it to the level of creepy stalking. Regardless of what I say, your modus operandi is to ignore the issues and to try to make it all about me … nice try.

        The issue at hand is whether someone who deliberately sets out to make electricity costs “skyrocket”, and who hires a Secretary of Energy who stated that he wanted to drive US gas prices up to $8.00 per gallon, cares about the poor or the economy.

        Perhaps you can explain to us how skyrocketing electricity costs and $8 per gallon gas prices are supportive of the poor and the economy, and leave my name out of it.

        Deal with the issues, Joshua, and you’ll look a whole lot more rational … attacking the messenger has never done your reputation any good, and won’t do it any good no matter how often you repeat your pathetic ankle-biting. Give it a rest, my friend … the tragedy is that you seem like a smart guy, but you waste it on interpersonal aggression.

        w.

      • ==> “Joshua, you appear to be obsessed with my poor self. ”

        I had hope that you might learn.

        Well, we’ll see what happens next time, eh?

      • @ Max-OK, Citizen Scientist

        “I might as well be frank. After reading your lost post I fear you are as mad as a hatter, …..”

        I appreciate your concern, and you may in fact be right. According to the experts, 46+% of people will be diagnosed with a mental disease at some point in their lifetime (DSM-V), while according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 20% of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year, so the odds that I, as a random pontificator on this perfectly defenseless blog, am barking mad are quite high, actually.

        On the other hand, the odds that any of the emission regulations that are about to be inflicted upon us will result in any tangible, empirical improvements to our overall health or general well-being are close enough to zero that the difference is purely academic, while they will inarguably decrease the supply of energy while simultaneously increasing its cost. If those effects are what you consider to be ‘features’, you will undoubtedly be pleased.

        Me, not so much.

      • And Willis –

        Here’s a suggestion for you to consider if you do decide you want to change..

        Yeah, that was a pretty stupid comment. Of course I have no real basis for arguing that Obama doesn’t care about poor people or the economy. Actually, he probably does, like most people, care about those things; he just reasons differently on those issues than I do. Obviously, I’ve never met the guy, and I have no particular reason to think that he’s a sociopath. There are certainly people who disagree with me on these issues and who also do care about poor people and the economy.

        I shouldn’t allow my biases and tendency towards drama-queening to affect my arguments like that. Of course, we all do that from time to time, and what’s more important than whether we allow it to happen is being accountable when it does happen. And instead of acting all holier-than-thou and passing judgement on others, I should just stand up and be accountable and get on with the focus on the content of people’s arguments -maybe that way we could have reasonable exchange of views.”

        Only a suggestion. Feel free to modify it a bit, given what an excellent “wordsmith” you are, and all.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Bob, I was just kidding about you being mad as a hatter, but your hysterics over the Super Pollutants Act might make some people wonder if you have lost it. I think you are just having fun making silly statements.

      • @ Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        ” I think you are just having fun making silly statements.”

        Nope; dead serious.

        By the way, does your ex cathedra declaration that my statements are ‘silly’ make them inaccurate?

        I think you may want to revisit your original theory.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Bob Ludwick’s hysterics are hard to top. I practiced getting myself all worked up, and gave it a try, but I fell short.

        Bob’s got hysterical thinking about how global warming alarmist want to “eliminate 90+ % of the human race.”

        I got almost as hysterical as Bob thinking about how global warming deniers want to eliminate 100% of the human race.

        I had an advantage here with the 100% vs Bob’s 90+%. but he is just better at being hysterical.

      • @ Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        “Bob’s got hysterical thinking about how global warming alarmist want to “eliminate 90+ % of the human race.”

        I got almost as hysterical as Bob thinking about how global warming deniers want to eliminate 100% of the human race.

        I had an advantage here with the 100% vs Bob’s 90+%. but he is just better at being hysterical.”

        Well Max, there is hysteria and there is hysteria.

        MY hysteria was inspired by the fact that the folks at the pointy end of the environmental/climate change pyramid have stated, as explicit goals, the elimination of 90+ % of the human race and blocking any scientific/technical advance that promises worldwide availability of cheap, plentiful energy and the observation that they are the ones who are currently driving our energy and climate policies. I was even helpful enough to provide links to their public statement of those goals:

        http://blog.nationmultimedia.com/print.php?id=13914

        and this one (contains a couple duplications):

        http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/musings-from-the-leaders-of-the-climate-change-movement-seeking-to-save-the-earth-from-humanity/

        (which you apparently never bothered to read)

        YOUR hysteria re the sceptic desire to wipe out 100% of the human race seems to be based entirely on the fact that you say, with NO supporting evidence, that that will be the result of the skeptic resistance to energy/climate change policies that you favor (and your enthusiastic adoption of Rule 5). Those policies have been and continue to be devised by folks who have a stated objective of eliminating most of humanity, reducing the availability of energy, and increasing the cost of the remaining supply. As your favored policies would appear to be designed specifically to achieve those objectives, based on the predictable consequences of their widespread adoption, I would consider the resistance by skeptics to be prudent rather than hysterical.

  60. Which is more dangerous, DDT or marijuana? The Left’s belief that DDT is a super pollutant is responsible for millions of deaths. Phony beliefs are responsible for more poverty and death and CFCs.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Mosquitoes eventually become DDT resistant Super Mosquitos. By that time you got all that DDT in the water and soil causing God knows what problems.
      Fortunately, DDT is not the only weapon in the war on malaria.

      I am very careful about using pesticides. I don’t hire professional exterminators because I can’t be sure of what they are using. I take care of the problems myself with the least toxic solutions.

    • Tax Chipotles.

    • Mosher, please do better. By your own often professed read and study more standards, this post was a non informative non rejoinder to the debate here. Rather like your US PM 2.5 stuff Willis addressed upthread.
      Berkeley Earth policy papers are not the last word on these issues.

      Or even on temperatures. You have yet to explain in comprehensible language Station 166900 (Amundsen Scott) and the derived BEST regional expectation QCing out 26 months of its cold extremes, turning no warming into warming at the South Pole research station? You have yet to explain other than by ad hom attacks on those who pointed out the problem. Better would be to explain the BEST derivation of the QC ‘regional expectation’ for a station whose nearest neighbor (McMurdo) is 1300 km away and 2300 meters lower, on the ‘coast’ of Antarctica nowhere near the intercontinental South Pole. Which was your previous thread rationale for the BEST result.
      Don’t explain the BEST general algorithm again. Been there, done that. Explain why this specific case does not falsify the general BEST algorithm according to the precepts of Karl Popper and Albert Einstein.

      • “Explain why this specific case does not falsify the general BEST algorithm according to the precepts of Karl Popper.”

        one Popper was wrong.

        two : You have yet to explain other than by ad hom attacks on those who pointed out the problem.”

        wrong. nobody on the web was the first to point out the problem. The issue and this one in particular was well known by me, rohde and I think even robert way dropped me a note about it. in fact, this kind of problem is predictable.

        Start with the basics.

        T = C + W

        Temperature = Climate + Weather.

        This is the fundamental decomposition we perform. In words, the
        CLIMATE is defined as a DETERMINISTIC property. We work from the following framework. The temperature of a location will be a function of
        A). the altitude, B) the latitude. C) the proximity of large bodies of water.
        D) geomorphology E)insolation. F) land cover. you can expand this list as you see fit.

        For the purposes of doing a GLOBAL estimation we simplify the regression
        to
        C = f(A,Lat) the climate of a location is defined by its latitude and altitude.

        The residual is defined as W.

        you then have two feilds C and W

        W gets krigged and then the two fields are put together T= C + W.

        So, why restrict the approach to C= f(A,Lat)? well, a couple reasons.

        1) over 90% of the variance is explained by these two variables.
        2) computation complexity ( 2 weeks on super computer to calculate uncertainties )

        What we know. We KNOW that C= f(A,Lat) will miss some elements of certian UNIQUE climates. What kind of unique climates?

        1. Alpine climates.
        2. Climates close to large bodies of water.
        3. Climates wit unique geomorphology ( cold air drainage)

        That is in these locations the C=f(A,Lat) will have very large residuals
        and some of this residual could be removed by a tuned regression. In these case W will not be purely ‘weather’. The local estimation will
        be more wrong than other local estimations. That’s the nature of regression.

        Antartica will be more wrong than other locations. and all locations will be wrong. All locations will be wrong because temperature is being estimated VIA REGRESSION. the actual data ( raw data) will RARELY match the fitted values.

        What you have is a global function that allows you to estimate the temperature ANYWHERE. That estimate has minimized error, but error nonetheless. Do a regression. check your residuals. See how they are never zero? now compare your fitted values to the input data. See how they never match. The regression is never correct. Its least wrong.

        Further. because its a regression there will always be, there must be, those places where the fitted values ( the expectation) are farther away from input data. Some of these will even have outlier status ( 40K stations.. think about it).

        Some of these outliers will just be inexplicatable. Others will have structure. Because we DONT use distance from coast in the regression model and because there are some locations were this DOMINATES the climate, those locations will be more wrong than others. Same with areas where the climate is dominated by katabatic winds. So I expect antartica to be worse than other locations.. same with the alps for different reasons.. same with the CA coast for different reasons.

        But our AIM isnt getting each and every location done as accurately as possible. The aim is minimizing the error on the global number.

        Future verisions? Well, we are looking at a variety of methods for adding distance from coast/ large body of water. Its tricky, but Hope it goes into the next version. Geomorphology. there are a bunch of things here I’m looking at. the difficult thing again is the size of the problem as your DEM should probably e at least 100m. Not even sure that would help in antarctica because the DEM for that region sucks.
        Satallite data. Lots of data, the issue is time coverage.

        So antartica will likely remain one of the most wrong locations. In a regression some data point will always be most wrong. The nice thing
        is you can test how important it is. Answer: not important. The LIA was real. It is getting warmer.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Mosh, while that was interesting, I fear it was unresponsive. The question was:

        You have yet to explain in comprehensible language Station 166900 (Amundsen Scott) and the derived BEST regional expectation QCing out 26 months of its cold extremes, turning no warming into warming at the South Pole research station?

        with a specific addendum

        Don’t explain the BEST general algorithm again. Been there, done that.

        in response you’ve explained the BEST algorithm again, but you have said nothing specific about the 26 months of data that your algorithm rejects as shown in the Berkeley Earth South Pole data.

        And again, I have the same question with that data as with the buoy data we discussed recently—why throw out perfectly valid data simply because it doesn’t agree with your “regional climatology” when you have no reason to otherwise doubt the data? At that point, isn’t there more reason to throw out your regional climatology?

        w.

      • Why would the McMurdo station with a known UHI problem even be used when the Scott station nearby has cleaner (more UHI free) data?

  61. “Studies show that fast action to reduce SLCPs in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually.”

    Utter nonsense.

    We can no more control the sea level nor the Earth’s temperature than we can change the time the Sun rises and sets.

    These people are indistinguishable from the more pernicious sort of religious fanatic, and are extremely harmful, if they are not prevented they will do irreparable harm to our economy and society.

    The Chinese and Indians are laughing their socks off at the unimaginable levels of hubris currently demonstrated by the Western ruling classes.

  62. Free Mumia is getting more votes than global warming:

  63. Here’s something we (don’t) know about methane emissions that some of you want to tax us some more to “control.”

    From the article:
    Methane emissions to the atmosphere from cypress swamp habitat in four wetland ecosystems of the southeastern United States range from 0.0046 to 0.068 gCH4m−2day−1. The possible causes for this range include differences in nutrient input and organic accumulation. These results indicate that existing data are inadequate to estimate the role of wetlands as a source of methane to the global troposphere.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/GL008i009p01002/abstract;jsessionid=D16B30FC59B7298FF6548DC7AE5EADA8.f02t03

  64. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Willis Eschenbach | December 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm |

    “Now, if you are indeed a “Citizen Scientist” as your self-serving advertisement claims, I’m sure you can explain to the class just how an RR of 1.040 is sufficient to drive wildly expensive public policy … and why you think skyrocketing electricity prices is a price worth paying for a meaningless increment in pollution reduction.”
    _________

    Willis, thank you for responding to my post. You closed with the paragraph quoted above, which I would like to address. I believe scientists are people who make a living doing science. I am not one of them. My “Max_OK, Citizen Scientist” is sarcasm.

    I never offered to explain anything about “an RR of 1.040,” but I suspect you want to explain something or you wouldn’t have brought the subject up. I would listen to your opinion on the price of pollution.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Max_OK, perhaps I misunderstood you. You’d said:

      Bob, if I depended on coal for a living I might be tempted to believe anti-pollution regulations are the work of a small group of extremist who want, as you put it, to “eradicate modern technology, eliminate 90+ % of the human race, and return to a state of ‘natural’ wilderness.” But I doubt the temptation would be strong enough to trump my common sense.

      I interpreted this as meaning that you thought anti-pollution regulations were being made reasonably and on a solid scientific basis (as opposed to the way they are actually made, by a small number of science-twisting EPA extremist “sue-and-settle” un-fireable bureaucrats).

      As a result, I asked whether you could justify e.g. a call for regulation based on an RR of 1.040, although I could have picked any number of bizarre regulations based on equally ridiculous “scientific studies”.

      However, if I misunderstood you, my apologies.

      Finally, just as one can be a musician without making a living making music, and one can be an artist without making a living with one’s art, one can indeed be a scientist without making a living doing science. In each case it’s what you do and how you do it, not what you do for a living, that determines whether you are an artist, a musician, or a scientist.

      Best regards, and my apologies for any misunderstanding,

      w.

      PS—You say:

      My “Max_OK, Citizen Scientist” is sarcasm.

      Sarcasm in written exchanges is often undetectable, and in an alias, it’s totally indecipherable.

      • Stephen Segrest

        According to the NRDC, the ppb standards in the EU are 60, and 63 in Canada.

        But per Mr. Eschenbach’s arguments, the U.S. EPA’s request for comments on proposed Regs between 65 and 70 are part of a vast “Conspiracy” by Capitalist hating Liberals — with no valid science.

      • There is no valid cost/benefit analysis. There are many unknowns, STILL, in natural vs man-made methane, as well as other pollutants.

        Yes, I know. You just want to save the children and the planet. Aren’t we just so lucky to have you around to save us all. A white knight in a land of thoughtless slobs, and only you can save us all.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2 — While I’m certainly not an expert in environmental law, I don’t think you or Mr. Eschenbach are either.

        My understanding is that the Supreme Court (Justice Scalia of all people) made it clear that the law requires public health, not costs to industry, to drive decisions.
        http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-1257.ZO.html

        It is my understanding that cost/benefit is an important aspect of the law in “how” a Reg would be implemented (roll out and timing).

        You are opposing a Regulation before its even written, or its promulgation in how it would be implemented.

        The EPA did reference a benefits/costs ratio of 3 to 1 — in asking for comments on the “proposed” Reg. But, if the exact ppb isn’t yet known (probably between 65 and 70), how can detailed cost/benefits be determined in the EPA’s asking for comments on the ppb?

        You and folks like Wagathron, CWON, etc. should read the magazine “American Conservative” which directly addresses opinions like yours in their motto: Ideas above Ideology. Michael Gerson (Washington Post) would be a good solid conservative to follow also.

        Maybe if folks like you understood true conservatism better, they wouldn’t boo and catcall Jon Huntsman off the stage when he even talks about Global Warming.

      • Mr. Huntsman seems like a good man. Please don’t tell Jim2 I said that, he much prefers to think that I’m strictly a (how’s he put it?) Dimowit defender.

        Apologies for the interruption.

      • @ Stephen Segrest

        “According to the NRDC, the ppb standards in the EU are 60, and 63 in Canada.

        But per Mr. Eschenbach’s arguments, the U.S. EPA’s request for comments on proposed Regs between 65 and 70 are part of a vast “Conspiracy” by Capitalist hating Liberals — with no valid science.”

        Actually, you make Willis’ point very well. All you have provided evidence for is that the ‘Conspiracy by Capitalist hating Liberals’ is further along in the EU than here in the US.

        You imply that the fact that the EU has substantially the same standards as we are preparing to decree here is prima facie evidence that they were set by the EU reasonably, based on a solid scientific basis. It is not. It is prima facie evidence that ‘Capitalist hating Liberals’ have been, and continue to be wildly successful in their war on capitalism and, from the evidence’ promise to continue their success here. It says nothing at all about the solidness of the science that they are using as an excuse to implement their policies.

        You have NOT shown that the standards are being made ‘reasonably and on a solid scientific basis’ either in the EU OR here or that they are NOT made as Willis suggests: “…….(as opposed to the way they are actually made, by a small number of science-twisting EPA extremist “sue-and-settle” un-fireable bureaucrats).” In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that Willis is right.

      • Can’t find a pearl in a plastic clamshell.
        =============

      • Stephen Segrest

        Bob Ludwick — You state: “the EU has substantially the same standards as we are preparing to decree”

        No, the EPA isn’t decreeing what you say. There is a huge difference between 60 ppb (per the NRDC quote on the EU) and between the EPA’s 65 to 70 proposal. Also, this is higher than the Reg in Canada (63).

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willis Eschenbach: “Now, if you are indeed a “Citizen Scientist” as your self-serving advertisement claims, I’m sure you can explain to the class just how an RR of 1.040 is sufficient to drive wildly expensive public policy … and why you think skyrocketing electricity prices is a price worth paying for a meaningless increment in pollution reduction.”

        Snark aside, it is a question worth considering. Say for the sake of argument that 2 million people per year die of pneumonia and other respiratory ailments in the US, and you could reduce that by 4%. Granted, I am not sure that the regulations will have the desired effect, but that would be 80,000 people per year allowed to live longer. Shouldn’t you at least think about it? That’s about the size of the benefit of the mass immunization programs, or a daily dose of aspirin.

        You have to consider the size of the risk ratio, the size of the target population, the likelihood that the regulation will have the intended benefit, and the value of the benefit and the cost of the regulation. The size of the risk ratio by itself is not sufficient.

      • @ Stephen Segrest

        “No, the EPA isn’t decreeing what you say. There is a huge difference between 60 ppb (per the NRDC quote on the EU) and between the EPA’s 65 to 70 proposal. Also, this is higher than the Reg in Canada (63).”

        Which has nothing to do with Willis’ point, which was that standards are being set by and large to accomplish a political goal rather than to address a public health problem and that there is no scientific evidence that, starting where we are now, ever more stringent standards will have ANY measurable impact on public health OR the Temperature of the Earth. There IS abundant evidence that constantly lowering the allowable emission limits for an ever-growing list of ‘pollutants’ will advance at least two longstanding progressive goals: decreasing the supply of energy while dramatically increasing its price.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Willis Eschenbach in his post on December 10, 2014 at 2:11 am, said:

      “Finally, just as one can be a musician without making a living making music, and one can be an artist without making a living with one’s art, one can indeed be a scientist without making a living doing science. In each case it’s what you do and how you do it, not what you do for a living, that determines whether you are an artist, a musician, or a scientist.”
      ______

      Willis, by your definition if I know how to fix a leaky faucet I’m a plumber and if I know how to do a blinded test I’m a scientist, despite being no where near qualified enough to apply for employment in either field. Needless to say, I don’t go around telling people I’m a plumber and a scientist. Perhaps for laughs I should. Because I shot a few hoops recently, I could also tell ’em I’m a basketball player.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        And by your definition, Max, a journeyman plumber who decides to teach school is suddenly no longer a plumber because he’s not making his living plumbing …

        You also seem to have not noticed I said that it’s what you do and HOW YOU DO IT …

        w.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Oh no, a journey plumber who who decides to teach school is still a plumber because he still has the qualifications to be employed as a plumber, unless he gets to old to get up after squatting or bending over or forgets what he knew about plumbing.

  65. Here we go again. Of course, this would render the “SUPER pollutants” (It just has to be SUPER doesn’t it?) act completely meaningless and a waste of money, not that it’s probably already a waste of money. From the article:
    Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane

    Hannah Hickey
    News and Information

    Off the West Coast of the United States, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water.

    Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters, about a third of a mile down. That is the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas.

    http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/12/09/warmer-pacific-ocean-could-release-millions-of-tons-of-seafloor-methane/

    • Yep. Old mother nature “could” release mercury in to the ecosystem, so it would be a total waste to consider any legislation that reduces man’s emissions of same. For that matter, Jim2 can pour his used motor oil in to the ecosystem, so why even THINK about legislation making that a no-no.

  66. The US can’t eliminate short-lived GHG’s and 40% of forcing alone. If these goals were appropriate and practical, Congress needs an international treaty.

    Dupont has a patent on the only practical non-toxic, non-flammable HFC replacement. Westinghouse has an exclusive license to make air conditioners that use it. Otherwise, it is back to ammonia. China stopped Manufacturing CFCs only five years ago, so they will not be eager to change again.

    If you believe Richard Tol and others, the warming eliminated over the next few decades will be beneficial. Stopping emissions of short-lived GHGs today will have little effect in 70 years when it may get hot enough to cause real harm. After 15 years of hiatus, those afraid of CAGW should want us to emit MORE short-lived GHGs right now, so that people will be.scared enough about current warming to reduce CO2 emissions right now. Reducing CO2 emissions and deforestation are the only current actions that could be beneficial.

    The U.S. isn’t a big emitter of carbon black. We aren’t giving up all rice, beef and lamb, but we could capture methane from landfills. Particulates from diesel engines have little to do with climate change.

    Mostly alarmist hype, that will accomplish little.

  67. Willis Eschenbach

    Matthew R Marler | December 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

    … You have to consider the size of the risk ratio, the size of the target population, the likelihood that the regulation will have the intended benefit, and the value of the benefit and the cost of the regulation. The size of the risk ratio by itself is not sufficient.

    Matt, I’ve always been a strong supporter of cost-effective scientifically based pollution regulations.

    But when the EPA puts out a 280-page justification of the CAA and doesn’t even mention risk ratio, much less the other issues you correctly point out, I gotta call BS on it. As you rightly say, “the size of the risk ratio by itself is not sufficient” … but when they don’t even discuss the risk ratio, that’s totally insufficient.

    w.

  68. Willis Eschenbach

    And for those of you trying to convince us that “sue-and-settle” and the other collusion between the EPA and the “green” organizations doesn’t exist and that everything was wholesome and above-board… then perhaps you can explain to us all why Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, used her secret “Richard Windsor” email account to secretly communicate with inter alia the Sierra Club … if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc.

    My rule of thumb is that if someone is hiding something, it’s because they have something to hide.

    w.

  69. Willis Eschenbach

    Your humor for today …

    w.

  70. All hooey. Neither methane nor any of the other villains exist in the quantity or duration required to leverage climate. More rent-seeking.