Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

UNFCCC deliberations in Lima

Mat Nisbet: Talking climate change in Lima: who is pushing for what [link]

Peru climate change talks slowed by clashes of rich and poor nations [link]

5 Key Takeaways From UN climate talks in Lima http://buff.ly/1A2blA5

Lima climate summit extended as poor countries demand more money from rich [link]

India is leader for keeping old order in international climate talks [link]

Here’s text of John Kerry’s speech in Lima. [link]

Two degrees: The history of #climate change’s ‘speed limit’ [link]  … and how it is going to be modified [link]

In the mean time, some in-country realities:

#India says its #CarbonEmissions will grow as it drives to beat poverty. [link]

China has plans to ramp up clean energy by 2030. But it’d still be using a ton of coal and gas [link]

“Energiewende” Takes Massive Blow…Top Green Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”! [link]

Outsourcing Pollution: Fuel exports soar under Obama [link]

Interesting news on possible new climate law in India. But will it include new targets or simply repackage existing? [link]

Obama Harvard Law Professor Tribe Calls EPA carbon rule ‘a remarkable example of executive overreach’ [link]

State of the climate wars.

Scientists’ public letter says critics of #climatechange should be called deniers not ‘Skeptics’  [link]

Intellectuals should heal, not fuel toxic climate debate. Good essay by Tom Harris [link]

A remarkable comment at Real Climate  [link]

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine:  How concerned should we be about climate change? Judith Curry and Kim Cobb share differing opinions  [link]







420 responses to “Week in review

  1. Hey, Tribe, it’s alive!

  2. “China plans to begin ramping up clean energy by 2030.” Meanwhile they continue to add coal fired power plants daily. In 2014 it announced plans near term for 50 coal gasification plants that will produce an est .1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. The plants are called pollution reducing coal fired plants …meaning they will reduce would be pollution compared to installing in China’s largest cities, by will shifting that pollution to other regions mostly in the northwest… but will nevertheless generate enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide they produce will equal about an eighth of China’s current total carbon dioxide emissions, which come mostly from coal-burning power plants and factories. Chinese state-owned power companies categorize the proposed plants as “clean energy” or “new energy.” Note China is responsible for half of the annual global coal consumption and is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, followed by the United States. A large percentage of proposed coal-to-gas plants would be built in Northwest China

    • For years, many developing countries have said that the only successful international climate agreement is a binding one, requiring major emissions emitters to meet reduction goals. But rich countries such as the U.S., China, and other developed countries have argued that a binding agreement would limit flexibility and could hurt the global economy. (Read about a new report downplaying the role of global warming in California’s drought.)
      When did China get upgraded to rich and developed?

  3. Die ZEIT writes:

    “It’s a blunder with ugly consequences. The Energiewende, as it is now set up, is not making the air cleaner, but dirtier.”

    No s*** Sherlock! Furthermore, it made the rich richer and the poor poorer. What a waste!

    • Besides a kick in the kidney of their industrial competitiveness. Penalty Renalty.

    • They are NOT EVIL: They assumed a few little white lies were justified to save the world from nuclear annihilation In 1945.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      The wholesale price of electric power in Germany declined, penalizing the country’s competitiveness.

      Hmm …… how could that be?

      I give up.

      Economics sure can be puzzling

      • The wholesale price went down but consumer prices went up. The rising gap is paid as feed-in tariff to producers of solar and wind power.

      • Economics of subsidies can, indeed, be puzzling and lead to highly unwanted side effects.

      • Curious George

        Link, please. I consider you less than reliable.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Curious, I don’t know if by “less than reliable” you are referring to me, Pekka, or both of us. I think Pekka is 100% reliable.

        For the information you requested, go to the fourth paragraph in the following link.


      • Curious George

        Max, thank you. Puzzling indeed.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        PA | said on December 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm

        It looks like consumer prices for electricity are going through the roof in Germany.

        I doubt the rise in consumer prices for electricity in Germany are much different than the EU average. I don’t know about other EU countries, but in Germany consumers subsidize industrial users of electric power.

      • The High Price of Clean Energy: Tax Breaks and Subsidies for Industry Divide Germans http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/medium-sized-german-companies-criticize-energy-tax-breaks-for-industry-a-863430.html
        It looks like large industries were not asked to pay for the grid going green. The players are wrangling over who pays? What would happen if the large industries paid the same as others? Their products would now be less successful and German GDP would be lower. One possible political rule is don’t kill your industries. So go green, don’t hurt industry. It’s starting to look like the beginning of a collapse with people pointing fingers.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Ragnarr, why do you think Energiewende will collapse because Germany is behind in meeting its CO2 reduction goal?

        Energiewende is expensive because it is a revolutionary change in the country’s infrastructure, and electric bills for consumers are high because they are paying for the change. But apparently the public believes its worth the expense and Merkel is committed to staying on course.

        Germany’s economy is in good shape. It can afford to invest in energy independence and the environment.

      • Germany goes nuclear no matter what. So they can claim to abandon nuclear, but use it nevertheless. Nothing like hypocrisy, but not surprising at all from the watermelons. From the article:

        Germans pay some of the highest electricity prices in Europe – 31 cents per kWhr compared to 17 cents in France and 18 cents in the UK (Economic Times).

        Enter MAXATOMSTROM. By switching to MAXATOMSTROM, electricity customers can immediately reduce their carbon footprints by 99%.

        But what about the planned German nuclear phase out in 2022?

        Thanks to the diversity of the European electricity market, and the abundance of nuclear energy outside of Germany, the phase out is no problem for MAXATOMSTROM.MAXATOMSTROM presently gets their nuclear electricity from Switzerland, the same place that many green energy providers get their hydro power. The company can also buy the electricity from Sweden’s nuclear industry which is actually expanding.

        MAXATOMSTROM is confident of their program, pointing to a similar nuclear venture set up in the Netherlands in 2008 (Atoomstroom) that has been very successful. Large users and manufacturers like the reliability of nuclear power as well as its low-carbon out.

        It certainly seems like this German venture will work as well. Since its start last week, 3,000 customers have signed up for the nuclear plan (NuclearStreet; Der Spiegel; Stephen Tindale).


      • RE: “in Germany consumers subsidize industrial users of electric power.”

        Not surprising you would call it a subsidy. In the US, there are wholesale and retail pricing for electricity. Large scale users get a lower, discounted rate. In addition to amount used, they often represent a constant demand level.

        Care to offer your thoughts on how this is any different than any other commodity that offers wholesale and retail pricing? Perhaps you never heard of Costco.

      • I think the collapse will be because people don’t want to pay for the high costs of renewable energy. What is there to improve the situation?

  4. I got back from Switzerland yesterday and there were two green related issues in the same edition of the regional Montreux newspaper.

    The first was an advert asking locals to join a campaign to stop the erection of 160 two hundred metre high wind turbines. The second was an article asking people to reject a referendum proposed by the green party to cLose
    down three nuclear power stations.

    Interesting that there was the cause and effect here, that if you close nuclear power stations you will need something to replace them, and there is a consequence to that.


    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Tony, Switzerland is distributing iodine tablets to everyone living within a 50-kilometer radius of a nuclear power plant, which is more than one-half of the country’s population. The iodine is supposed to prevent thyroid cancer in case of a disaster, but doesn’t protect against all radiation hazards.


      My guess is nuclear power doesn’t have much of a future in Switzerland.

      • Curious George

        Could you please show me where your link says that?

        I apologize for an implied distrust, but you mentioned in your paragraph on rising electricity prices that “wind and solar have no price” and later explained that wind and solar are “free fuel”. Do you desire to be taken seriously?

      • It should be pointed out that there are no confirmed casualties from Fukushima.


        But the scare mongering has killed a few. More people died from stress than died from the tsunami.

      • Err, that is – no confirmed RADIATION casualties from Fukushima.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Curious, I place my comments on an article after the link to the article. I do this so the reader won’t get the mistaken impression my comments are a part of the article.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        PA, there have been few (or no) casualties from ICBM’s either, but the potential for casualties is enormous. With nuclear power plants, people may fear the potential. There was a very bad accident in Russia years ago.

      • Curious George

        Now I even doubt that your name is Max, but let me try again: How do you know that Switzerland is distributing iodine tablets? Do you just know, or is there a trustworthy link?

      • “There was a very bad accident in Russia years ago.”

        There have been no bad nuclear accidents.

        There was one stupid (Chernobyl) and one act of God/bad site planning (Fukushima).

        Chernobyl wasn’t an accident during normal operations. They were deliberately running a test with almost all the control rods out and removed from automatic control. They had to violate numerous protocols to get a reactor failure. The reactor reached 10 times its rated heat output.

      • Curious George

        Max, I apologize – but you should learn to handle your links more carefully. Providing incorrect links is maybe worse than not providing any links.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Curious, I apologize for giving you a wrong link to the iodine story. I know how annoying a wrong link can be. I hope the following link is the right one:


      • Max

        I posted those two items that I happened to see in the local Montreux paper whilst I was there earlier this week. It was merely on the basis that it seemed ironic that on the one hand there were complaints about possible wind installations caused by the Swiss desire (not universally popular) to phase out nuclear power, as evidenced in the second story.

        However, after doing some digging it seems there is much more at play here, involving politics and ideology.

        Florian Kasser is the Greenpeace nuclear activist in Switzerland who featured in the link you provided. Apparently in 2011 he was the spokesman to confirm Greenpeace were not behind a letter bomb sent to the Swiss nuclear power umbrella group


        He was also involved in a demo by Greenpeace outside the plant to be closed a few days ago


        I am not suggesting he had anything to do with any violent protests and merely link to the first story to illustrate the depth of anti nuclear feeling being felt by some group or other. Florian is certainly a key player in the story we are seeing unfolding and is the prime spokesman and nuclear activist for Greenpeace. That organisation and FOE had an open door to the UK govt at the highest levels prior to the passing of our Climate Change act a couple of years ago. The Greens are very strong in Switzerland and perhaps they are directly influencing Swiss Govt policy? (or perhaps not) anyway there is much more to all this than meets the eye.

        Perhaps Peter has a back story to all this?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Tony and Peter, thanks for the info on Swiss energy. I wish Max_CH was still with us because I know he would enjoy discussing the topic.

        Switzerland’s hydro plants provide 55% of its electric power and nuclear plants provide most (45%) of the remainder, which probably means little CO2 and other pollutants are produced. Renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar account for very little of the the power.

        I presume all of the hydro power plans are located inside the country, and all the uranium for fueling the nuclear plants is imported. If Switzerland wants to be self-sufficient in electric energy, a substitute for nuclear power must be found. Since the country has little if any fossil fuel, the only way to become self-sufficient is to develop more hydro and renewable capabilities.
        I imagine the Swiss are already taking near full advantage of hydro resources, which leaves renewables as the only way to energy independence.

        I’m surprised Switzerland currently relies so little on solar and wind for generating electric power. I see nothing about the country’s location and landscape that would be impediments to developing these renewable sources, other than being land locked preventing it from having wind farms at sea.

      • Max

        Yes, the other Max would have been a worthy contributor on this subject.

        You are right in that hydro is unlikely to be able to provide much more power than it already does. As regards solar power I can confirm that you see many small scale domestic installations in the towns.

        However I was very struck by a train journey from Geneva to Zurich last year in as much I saw numerous solar installations on top of chalets in small villages throughout the many valleys we travelled through. What was also very noticeable was that due to the topography of the country (many high mountains and steep valleys) many of the solar power installations were in deep shade and were unlikely to come back into the sun until March, or at the most would only get an hour or so of sunlight (should it be sunny of course)

        If the Swiss wish to be self reliant on their own energy, that effectively leaves wind power or nuclear. The former would devastate large areas of this pretty country (although some locations are of course less attractive than others) Some thermal heat is also possible from the rocks,.

        In Britain we get around 27% of the stated wind turbine plate power. Britain is supposed to be the windiest country in Europe so I would imagine Switzerland would do worse, especially as mountains are likely to block wind from certain directions.

        Here is an item on Swiss wind turbines


        From the article Peter supplied it would seem that nuclear remains popular to the pragmatic Swiss public. Hence my being interested in the original two newspaper articles, as getting rid of nuclear will presumably have to mean an increase in wind turbines.

        I suspect the Greens are pushing this policy for wind, but its not universally popular. Most greens still dislike nuclear but it is difficult to see practical alternatives.


      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        climatereason said in his post on December 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

        “If the Swiss wish to be self reliant on their own energy, that effectively leaves wind power or nuclear.”

        If Switzerland has to import uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants, the only way to complete self-reliance is renewables. If renewables can’t replace nuclear, Switzerland’s energy security can not be totally in its own hands. I believe it will boil down to how much security the Swiss want and how much they are willing to pay.

      • Max

        I think you are right in that Switzerland cant really have an independent energy sector.

        Wind is unpopular or impractical due to wind and scenic considerations. Much of Switzerland doesn’t get enough year round uninterrupted sun to use solar panels commercially (there would need to be very large installations in Ticino)

        They are using hydro and thermal to about the maximum. And as you say they will have to import Uranium. Which is the least worst option? I suspect importing Uranium from a friendly nation.

        Which won’t please the powerful Swiss Greens. So we go round in a circle as they want to get rid of nuclear…


      • We’re talking about a country that pays its farmers to farm in a 19th-century style so that tourists can have enjoyable train and driving excursions. I don’t think it will bother them to ay a bit extra to look green.

      • Interesting how there’s the Swiss people, and then there’s Da Greens, as if they’re mutually exclusive groups.

        Which seems to offer two, as of yet not mentioned, solutions. If Da Greens are being manufactured by evil scientists, the Swiss people could just close down the manufacturing plants. If Da Greens are aliens invading Switzerland, the Swiss people could just close down the borders.

      • If Da Greens are aliens invading Switzerland, the Swiss people could just close down the borders.

        Depends on what kind of alien.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        JCH, thank you for making me chuckle. I have witnessed cow herds being driven down city streets in Switzerland but I didn’t know it was a subsidized activity for attracting tourism. I feel like a child who has just been told Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are fiction.

      • You are missing the plot, joshie. Read :

        Peter Lang | December 14, 2014 at 6:17 am |

        It’s just below.

      • Max

        Because of the mountainous nature of much of the country a lot of the farms in the mountains are small scale or hobby farms. The Local cantons pay the farmers grants in a number of forms of which one is for ecological reasons, that is to say to farm in a green fashion and one that will enhance the local environment. There may be an element of playing to the tourist gallery in all that.


      • If anything, Fukashima is a testament to the safety and resilience of nuclear energy. Among the oldest tech, operating long past its life-cycle, endures a worst-case scenario with minimal damage to health and environment. Much of the plant remains operational.

      • Joshua

        The greens are voted for by a relatively small number of Swiss people


        However they are grass roots activists and wield power way beyond their numbers especially in certain cantons, one of which is Vaud, which is where I saw the original two articles about Nuclear power and Wind turbines.

        They perform a useful function in many areas, for example I am a skier and if the skiing industry were to have their way the swiss mountains would likely be plastered in ugly high rise resorts served by numerous snow cannon, like parts of France.

        However as regards energy I don’t think they are being realistic in as much the use of wind or solar in switzerland is necessarily limited for reasons already discussed. Its difficult to see any alternatives to large scale use of nuclear but the Greens are firmly opposed.


      • AK –

        Ya’. Initially I was initially writing the comment based on the logic that Da Greens were aliens from another planet, but couldn’t think of a way that The Swiss People could prevent that from happening – so I just conveniently switched to the other meaning of alien.

      • tonyb –

        ==> “However they are grass roots activists and wield power way beyond their numbers especially in certain cantons, ”

        What does that mean? Does it mean that some of the issues they discuss have some appeal even to The Swiss People who don’t identify as Greens, and not only to Da Greens? Does that mean that even some of The Swiss People have some doubts about the long-term safety of nuclear, or are concerned about some environmental issues even thought they aren’t Greens?

        How does that happen? Do they put mind-control dr*gs in the water supply? Do they hold guns to The Swiss People’s heads to force them to have opinions they wouldn’t have otherwise?

        ==> “However as regards energy I don’t think they are being realistic in as much the use of wind or solar in switzerland is necessarily limited for reasons already discussed. Its difficult to see any alternatives to large scale use of nuclear but the Greens are firmly opposed”

        But if we just kept the discussion at that reasonable level regarding differences of opinion, I wouldn’t be able to have so much fun at Climate Etc.!

      • effen filter!

        Part I:

        tonyb –

        ==> “However they are grass roots activists and wield power way beyond their numbers especially in certain cantons, ”

        What does that mean? Does it mean that some of the issues they discuss have some appeal even to The Swiss People who don’t identify as Greens, and not only to Da Greens? Does that mean that even some of The Swiss People have some doubts about the long-term safety of nuclear, or are concerned about some environmental issues even thought they aren’t Greens?

      • Part II

        How does that happen?

      • Part III

        Do they put mind-control dr*gs in the water supply?

      • Part IV

        Do they point weapons at The Swiss People’s to force them to have opinions they wouldn’t have otherwise?

      • Part V:

        ==> “However as regards energy I don’t think they are being realistic in as much the use of wind or solar in switzerland is necessarily limited for reasons already discussed. Its difficult to see any alternatives to large scale use of nuclear but the Greens are firmly opposed”

        But if we just kept the discussion at that reasonable level regarding differences of opinion, I wouldn’t be able to have so much fun at Climate Etc.!

      • Joshua

        Most people are passive and accept what is decided for them! albeit they may grumble. Activists tend to wield power beyond their physical numbers as they are persistent , often have contacts in the right places and as part of an organisation may have access to other resources.

        It’s surely easy to recognise that the greens, being well organised and with a Strategy, beliefs and resources are likely to wield more power than those who don’t ?

        What do you find controversial? You must come across this reality all the time. Substitute political parties or Unions etc for greens and that is the way of the world


      • Joshie knows how it works, tony. You can be sure he is a little activista in a teacher’s union keeping schools safe for incompetent educators, students and parents be damned.

      • This is typical of school systems in the U.S that are run by the joshies, tony:


      • Here’s the kicker, tony:

        “However, the Paterson school district said that they no longer use SAT scores to gauge students’ success.”

        The students can’t pass the freaking test. The progressive solution is to pretend it doesn’t matter.

        Paterson is a city of 150k. I would be surprised if any cities of comparable size in the UK had such a high proportion of uneducated youth. And Paterson is not the worst of the lot.

      • Don

        That’s a lot of pupils that the system has failed. Don’t the parents complain? Difficult to believe this could happen in china or Korea who will be leaving the west way behind.


      • Tony, the families are broken and the parents are also products of the failed system. The poor, undisciplined, uneducated, often unconscious are no match for the teacher’s unions. They are failed parents who are not equipped to nurture and motivate their kids to regularly attend school, sit down in the freaking seats provided for them and pay freaking attention.

        There are many conscientious educators. You will see examples of some very good people doing their best, in this account of how desperate school districts deal with the most disruptive and uneducable students. These kids were doomed, before they were born. I will warn you that it is frightening and heartbreaking:

      • Max,

        The list of topics you provide evidence for being clueless on seems never ending. Can you explain what radiation hazards exist?

      • Max,

        Get a clue about Chernobyl .

        Most of the people who were evacuated from the surrounding area have returned. To date, there has been no detectable increases in the rates of cancer among the survivors.

        The deaths associated with that event fell into two categories. The first were the emergency responders. The plant staff and fire fighters who fought to put out the fire. (Chernobyl is a graphite pile design. I’ll assume you understand what graphite is and why it would burn.) They went in knowing they would be receiving lethal doses of gamma exposure. Although I personally believe the term hero gets way over used, those guys were without doubt heros.

        The second category were the approximately 1500 premature deaths from thyroid cancer, many of which were children. What is sad is that almost all of these deaths were preventable, had the Russian government provided iodine tablets in a timely manner. They didn’t because they were trying to downplay the significance of the incident.

        In other words, Chernobyl is another example of the scare mongering often used by environmentalists opposed to nuclear power. Much hype and scary stories, with the facts presenting a far different story.

        FYI – one of my brothers visited the plant last year.

      • Max,

        RE: Switzerland being self reliant in energy.

        Having to import uranium is not that big of a hurdle to over come or poses that much of a threat to Switzerland’s energy security.

        The fuel pellets in reactor fuel rods can be recycled. I believe the number is over 80%. Additionally, the technology for “breeder” reactors has been around for a couple of decades or more. Having a supply of uranium within one’s borders is not a requirement to being self sufficient.

        Secondly, both the US and Canada have large deposits of uranium available. Switzerland would have no problem obtaining a stable and secure supply of the stuff.

    • Tonyb

      Excerpt from Switzerland Update: November 2014:

      Following a decision by cabinet to ignore a referendum that had supported new nuclear power only one month earlier and declare that the country’s nuclear power plants would not be replaced, the Federal Council on 7 June 2011 voted 101 to 54 to endorse this, so that nuclear energy is phased out in due course, perhaps 2034 (on the basis of a 50-year life for the newest unit). The proposal was also approved by the upper house, the 46-member Council of States, by 3:1, though subject to ongoing review of technology options which might allow new plants. A new government took office in December 2011, and it was to produce a new energy policy without nuclear power by 2013 and submit that to parliament. Until this is produced and considered the long-term future of nuclear power remains uncertain. The Federal Council proposes building a number of gas-fired plants – both CHP and CCGT – with subsidies, and raising electricity tariffs.

      In November 2014 the lower house (Nationalrat) energy committee called for the introduction of a system requiring operators to submit plans for improving the safety of reactors after 40 years of service. A Green Party initiative to limit the life of nuclear power stations to 45 years was rejected. If approved by the regulator (ENSI), this would enable reactors to continue in operation for a further 10-year period, with no limit to the number of 10-year extensions. If a reactor was judged unfit to continue in operation, the operator would receive no compensation.

      Axpo responded critically to this ‘long-term operation concept’ proposal: “To begin with it will almost automatically lead to safety shortcomings, compared to the present legal requirements. Secondly it will allow the government to order the shutdown of a reactor, temporarily at least, without any objective shortcomings at the level of the existing legal safety requirements, for purely political reasons. The reactors could only return to production after procedures that will take years. And thirdly the concept would force the operators of nuclear plant, due to the lack of legal and planning certainty, to renounce for economic reasons any further investment in expensive safety-related retrofits and to plan for the premature decommissioning of the reactor in question.”

      An annual poll of 2200 people in October 2013 showed that 64% of citizens considered that the country’s five nuclear reactors were essential in meeting the electricity demand – a 3% increase from the 2012 poll figure, but about average from 2001. Three-quarters thought that Swiss nuclear plants were safe, and 68% said that they should remain in operation. While 62% recognised cost advantages in using nuclear energy, only 42% believed that they reduced CO2 emissions. Some 88% said that the country’s energy policy should not jeopardise security of supply, 78% did not want to become more dependent on other countries, and 73% wanted Switzerland to produce all its own electricity. Finally, 78% said they wanted to vote on the country’s energy transition and nuclear phase-out.


  5. Thanks for all the links, Judith. I archived the thread with Steve Harris’s comment at RealClimate…just in case it should happen to disappear now that you’ve brought attention to it;

    • They should be appreciative of the traffic, Bob.

    • Yeah, I was wondering what comment it was. #22 by Steve Harris. Thanks.

    • Gosh. I didn’t realise Real Climate was still in existence.

      Bless them.

      Do they get much audience any more for standing on a very big soapbox and shouting

      ‘There is only One True Way! We are the Climate Scientists. Bow down, ye peasants. Shut up, listen up and obey’?

      It’s all so ‘noughties’ isn’t it?

  6. Kim Cobb is not afraid to speak her mind despite the possibility powerful voices, unnamed, at Georgia Tech could ruin her career.

  7. Mods. Had a problem with this link: Scientists’ public letter says critics of #climatechange should be called deniers not ‘Skeptics’ [link]

    • Planning Engineer

      I had trouble too. Initially I got a not found message. But when I refreshed the page it came up. That’s when the trouble started. Very sad to see the CSI pushing polarizing language as that will help further the misconception that there are only two dichotomous views on the subject of climate.

    • Curious George

      The link has an extra space at the end. Delete it when you get a “page not found” page, until curryja corrects it.

      • Curious George

        From the deniers_are_not_skeptics page: “Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. It is foundational to the scientific method.”

        Are these professional skeptics saying that the climate “science” is not a science?

      • That’s ok, members of the Cult of Anthropomorphic Global Warming (CAGW) are cultists and cultism doesn’t promote critical thinking.

    • Elliott Althouse

      How is it possible to deny a prediction? Most “skeptics” I know are fully aware that climate changes. What they are skeptical of is the prediction that not only is this current situation mostly man made unlike every other warm up in history, but that we will have a runaway warming devastating our ecosystem planet wide and causing unimaginable human suffering. And of course, the predictions are based on computer models which cannot forecast or hindcast with any accuracy.

  8. Obama mentor, Harvard Law Professor Tribe calls EPA carbon rule
    an executive over reach:

    ‘Second, the EPA plan violates the Fifth Amendment, because it takes private property without due process. “The Proposed Rule represents a radical shift in federal policy that upsets settled, investment-backed expectations,” the company and Tribe wrote in their 36-page submission. The EPA is “forcing the United States’ power plants and energy industry to bear the global burden of lessening carbon dioxide emissions.”

    Third, contradictory provisions in the amendments of the Clean Air Act mean that the section being used by the agency to establish these rules “ignores basic principles of statutory construction,” and raises separation of powers issues.

    “At bottom, the Proposed Rule hides political choices and frustrates accountability. It forces states to adopt policies that will raise energy costs and prove deeply unpopular, while cloaking those policies in the garb of state ‘‘choice’’ – even though in fact the polices are compelled by EPA,” the filing concluded. ‘

    • Sic Semper Tyrannis.

    • Beth, Tribe’s brief is a Big deal. He is the ‘800 pound’ gorilla of US Constitutional law. His former deam, Elenor Kagan, sits on the Supreme Court. Harvard University is a hotbed of politically correct AGW-witness hiring Naomi Oreskes. This means Obama has gone a bridge too far. Won’t end well.
      Btw, Tribe taught me con law. Best law professor I had.

  9. nottawa rafter

    I hesitate to criticize Ms Cobb, but I believe she is unjustified believing that if Americans knew the facts about climate change they would support a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My perception is most Americans are visualizing a graph of historical temperatures without the MWP and the LIA. If most Americans dug deeply into the current research and saw the oscillations that are ubiquitous in the literature, they would be even more skeptical than they are.

    Every week I find some new facts that raise questions about the consensus view. Just this morning I looked at a graph back to 1880 showing clear cycles in Great Lakes levels and the recent low levels are not unusual, despite numerous headlines in recent years that low lake levels were due to AGW.

    I also read this morning the fine essay by tonyb from 2009 about the Arctic sea ice and the variability for the last few centuries.

    My level of uncertainty today is much greater than it was 6 years ago.

  10. Kim Cobb begins her arguments with the following false scientific claims about what people believe:

    “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet. Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate. And nobody denies that, given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climatic response of our current emissions will play out over the lifetimes of our children and our grandchildren.”

    In fact lots of people with some knowledge on the subject deny one or more of these things. Some of those people are denizens here, including me. The world is full of such people, everywhere one looks. How can a scientist make clearly false demographic claims like this?

    • Her claim is true. You think you know more than you do

      • Curious George

        Show me a measurement.

      • No it isn’t.

        Stop making stuff up.

        As for thinking you know more than you do…

      • nottawa rafter

        Steven Mosher

        Or David has a different interpretation of deductive reasoning than you do or he has a higher standard for meeting the minimum level of “proof”.

        If the emergence of the divergence continues to grow for a couple more decades and the trend lines of temperatures and CO2 separate, I wonder who will be telling whom they think they know more than they do.

        Even though there is near unanimity in accepting the Big Bang theory, in the final analysis, it is still a theory.

      • “Or David has a different interpretation of deductive reasoning than you do or he has a higher standard for meeting the minimum level of “proof”.

        If the emergence of the divergence continues to grow for a couple more decades and the trend lines of temperatures and CO2 separate, I wonder who will be telling whom they think they know more than they do.”


        Kims claims

        “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet.

        1.The divergence cannot change the physical fact that
        a) burning fossil fuels adds c02
        b) that c02 warms the planet
        c) that it has warmed measurably since the LIA. there was an LIA
        nobody denies it.
        d) Note she doesnt assign a percentage attribution to c02

        Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate.

        2. the divergence says nothing about the risk accelerating
        as green house gases emissions accelerate. The science tells
        us as we add c02 the risk increases it does not decrease.
        Assuming facts not in evidence ( the divergence continues) Doesnt
        change the fact that people who know the science agree with this.

        And nobody denies that, given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climatic response of our current emissions will play out over the lifetimes of our children and our grandchildren.”

        3. the residence time of c02 has nothing to do with the divergence.
        Again, the best science says C02 has a long residence time.

        The only people who disbelieve these dont know what they are talking
        about. The only argument is over the surity of that knowledge and the exact quantifications.

        But go ahead, prove that adding more c02 will cool the planet. nobel prize stuff there

      • Mosher: “The science tells us as we add c02 the risk increases it does not decrease. Assuming facts not in evidence ( the divergence continues) Doesnt change the fact that people who know the science agree with this…
        The only people who disbelieve these dont know what they are talking
        about. ”

        You and Kim are dead wrong. You assume a static world and static response to CO2, which is wrong. You assume that other potentially cooling processes (increasing volcanic eruptions or decreasing energy from the sun) will not occur. More importantly, you assume that human knowledge and the capability to deal with any problems is static. It isn’t.

        Climate “science” AGWers have the amazing ability to claim that those with the correct perspective know nothing and that the superficial knowledge and analysis of AGWers has to be correct and can’t be challenged.


      • nottawa rafter


        Tell me which clause within my 2 sentences is wrong. The first sentence I was postulating what David might have been saying. The second sentence I was asking a question. Neither was a declarative sentence purporting any facts that could be found wrong. An English major? Indeed.

      • No claim should be considered true until it can be substantiated.
        I will agree with every one of her claims you can substantiate.

      • Since there has been no response to my earlier comment
        “No claim should be considered true until it can be substantiated.
        I will agree with every one of her claims you can substantiate.”
        I consider silence to be acquiescence to the statement that her claims cannot be substantiated and are consequently not true.

      • Mosher,

        At least one of them could be true – if you consider 6 years to be a long time.

    • She is obviously not an expert in risk.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Wojick: Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but Steve Mosher denies that all the time. I paraphrase: that CO2 warms the planet is undeniable, the remaining question is “how much” — literally, the amount is not reliably measurable.

      I have a little knowledge, growing weekly, which I hope is enough to qualify as “any”, and I cite standard textbooks and peer-reviewed studies recurrently. My conclusion to date is that the issue is undecidable on current evidence, both as to “whether” and “if so, how much?” The only things one can be reasonably confident of now are: (1) warming, past or future, has not been shown to be “bad”, only possibly to produce differences related to warming; (2) CO2-induced warming is not going to be as rapid as foretold by those raising the alarm 10-20 years ago; (3) CO2-induced warming will not be as great as foretold by those raising the alarm 10-20 years ago. I wrote “those raising the alarm” in place of “alarmists” — there have always been people, called “lukewarmers”, who have promoted a more modest alertness.

    • Kim Cobb “Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate.”

      Cobb shows the superficiality of her knowledge when she makes this statement. The great odds are that if warming becomes a serious problem (so far it has been largely beneficial), it will be easy to geoengineer the problem away. Julian Simon has proven that the accelerating pace of human knowledge almost always outpaces problems based on physical processes. Human knowledge is accelerating in an exponential fashion, and between the ability to change the carbon dioxide absorbing capabilities of plants or insects or the ability to reflect sunlight back into space, reducing warming should be a trivial task in a 50-100 year time frame, if warming becomes a problem.

      Additionally, it is very difficult to predict 50 to 100 years into the future, and that is another reason her statement is incorrect.


      • Curious George

        The real risk is that we may miss a chance to make the climate more livable. (Believe it or not, it is equally well supported by facts as a Kim Cobb’s statement.)

    • I don’t believe anyone with knowledge on the subject believe CO2 doesn’t have an effect and doesn’t have a long atmospheric life time. The camps should be more divided in the low side of estimates versus the high side of estimates which typically require lots of uncertain feed backs all pointing in the same direction.

      The low siders are more like they doubt that it is as bad as it is made out to be and if it is as bad as it is made out to be we are screwed anyway.

      The highsiders are I am not sure how bad it can be so we need to do everything possible even if that is never going to be enough.

      There should be a middle of the road in there somewhere.

      I guess a good test is if anyone points to this as evidence you can pretty much disregard their opinion.


      • Capt.

        When I was in grad school studying atmo physics, I understood the residence time of CO2 to be on the order of 6 years.

    • “Her claim is true.”

      Her claim is true? Really?

      The MWP featured 6 inch higher sea levels. Claiming CO2 warming before we pass MWP temperatures would be premature.

      Given that the “pre-global warming funding temperature” for the MWP was about a degree warmer than today (which would match up with the MWP sea level) the preindustrial 2°C target is difficult to defend. We are coming out of a little ice age.

      Claiming risk before we hit MWP temperatures doesn’t seem to have any justification.

    • David

      Ms Cobb seems to overlook, or purposely omits, the fact that many notable scientists do not endorse the axiom proposed by her and other consensus scientists. Those who question the consensus axiom say that the science is not settled, that there are too many critical and unanswered questions.


    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Kim Cobb makes deniers and false skeptics uncomfortable. I suggest for comfort they read our kim who posts frequently here at ClimateEtc, and is a quick read because she rarely says more than a dozen words. While you may have no idea what she is talking about, I can assure you it will be denier friendly.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        ‘denier” or “false skeptic”
        hmm…may I be “true skeptic” ?
        oh wait… kim is “denier friendly”
        okay, I’m a denier

      • You need a “carbon pollution” in there.

      • Max, a suggestion made elsewhere before. You think Kim Cobb is right, bring some evidence to support that.
        She makes me uncomfortable for the following reason. She begins with three classic ‘spund bite’ sentances. each supposedly irrefutable by any sane person. Well, I am sane, and can refute all three. Here goes.
        1. Sentance has two parts: CO2 from fossil fuels. True. Measurably Warming the planet. Not proven. Land data issues (UHI, homogenization fudges’ see essay When Data Isn’t) and for half the more reliable satellite era the planat HAS NOT measurably warmed.
        2. Risks accelerate as GHG accelerate. Not proven, or possibly even plausible. It woild have to be risks from GHG only on top of natural variation. Long view, we are on the waning side of an interglacial. Historical view, still below MWP nd still rebounding from LIA. Present view, no increase in extremes (several essays in Blowing Smoke), other possible ‘bad stuff’ hyped nonsense (essays No Bodies and Greenhouse Effects being examples), while the rising plant food concentration has greened the Sahel (essay Carbon Pollution).
        3. Long CO2 latmosphwric residence that plays out over children and children. Two counters ifnoringmthe debate,over atmospheric halftime and carbon sinks. First, assumes her premises 1 and 2 are correct. They are not. Second, given the probable rates of change (ECS at 1.8, TCR at 1.3) her time frames argue very strongly for adaptation, not drastic immediate mitigation. Not just a time value of money argument, although thatmos strong on purely economic grounds. A priorities argument and a technical evolution argument. My kids and grandkids will be suffering much more from peak oil than AGW. See several essays in Blowing Smoke. With time, ‘clean’ alternatives like 4 gen nuclear will be vastly preferable to inherently intermittant renewables. See essay Going Nuclear.

        Her polished simple sound bites move her from the realm of science to the realm of politics. quelle supris!

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        RE post by Rud Istvan on December 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        Rud, I apologize for not replying to your comments sooner. I was going to reply, but got distracted.

        Because I can’t know everything , as a ruIe I accept what most experts believe, and this rule has served me well. Skeptics give me no compelling reasons to reject what climate scientists believe. If there were compelling reasons, I would expect the climate scientists to change their beliefs.

    • Cobb makes a fundamental mistake a priori, why should anyone care what the proselytizers of CAGW Faith believe, any more than any other religious figure, including it now seems the Pope. .
      She presumes an arrogant belief in the superiority of her wisdom over the rest of us mere mortals, a belief that I don’t view as in any way substantiated by unvalidated GCM models and the bogus hockey stick
      But she’s in good company with fellow religious figures now apparently. :(

      Pope: Time To Tackle Global Warming
      Pope Francis Calls Climate Change ‘Serious Ethical and Moral Responsibility,’ Warns Time Is Running Out

  11. “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet.” Kim Cob in the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine

    “…is measurably warming…” The control knob is back in play if it ever was withdrawn in the first place. Assume the CO2 control knob and everything follows. No uncertainty. How much? is no longer in question, just a matter of how bad?

    As I tumble along on the prairie of climate sensitivity, I have visions, they are mirages, rising from the heated floor of intellectual honesty; that the story of “carbon the devil”, is a story full of mystery, a story with no real beginning or end, a story yet to unfold in unforeseen ways. I welcome the company of others to journey with me, following pioneers who have gone before, leaving narrow tracks and stories of hardship and discovery, wonderment. We all might learn something.

  12. Link to “Deniers are not skeptics” post at CSI is broken, apparently a couple of stray characters at the end.

  13. Cobb gives us this completely unsubstantiated probability claim: “It is equally likely that future impacts will be less than or greater than those projected by climate models.”

    I have no idea where these magical probabilities come from, such that they are centered on the model projections (nor what impact projections she is referring to for that matter, there being so many different ones). My personal view is that it is highly likely that the models are wrong in projecting any future impacts.

    She then begins a litany of standard false analogies and arguments by assertion, assuming what is in fact centrally in question. Cobb’s statements are very revealing as to the things one must believe in order to think there is a serious threat from human induced global warming. She appears to have no concept as to what the scientific debate is even about. That a scientist should so not understand the scientific issues is remarkable.

    • Well, now you know they all got cocooned. We’ll see how they follow the butterfly model.

      • Ignorance can indeed be nonlinear. It might be interesting, or at least amusing, to give them quizzes that require a basic understanding of the debate.

    • Models’ unprecedented discrepancies, yikes!

      • Beth

        Do I remember reading here that you are keen on professional cycling, as in the tour de France?


      • Yes Tony. )
        Welcome back by the way, bts.

      • Beth

        on the way back from Geneva last night I found myself sitting next to Sir Bradley Wiggins.

        The plane got caught up in the air traffic control problem in the UK and we had to land in Paris. Fortunately it all got sorted out and we made it back home. Just an illustration though as to how fragile technology is.


      • Wow Tony.Say did he know who you are?

        2011-2012 two good results in le tour.

    • David,

      I enjoyed this:” “It is equally likely that future impacts will be less than or greater than those projected by climate models.” and felt it was about as safe a statement as can be made. It read to me: This will get cooler, warmer, or stay about the same.

      • Danny, that is not what she is saying. She is basically claiming that there is a probability distribution centered on the adverse impacts projected by the hot models, making them the most likely scenario. Note that her low end is “modest damages.” Cooling is probably not even in her distribution, along the lines of the IPCC sensitivity estimates, which (erroneously) do not even include cooling.

      • No argument in your read. Just such a safe statement. “Modest damages”? Is that what we deal with every year/decade? One is not provided information so one must imply their own. “It is equally likely that future impacts will be less than or greater than those projected by climate models.”
        With so many models and not knowing those to which she refers it came across about as broad of a statement as one can say. If I used modeling the stock market and then made that statement, what would I be “committing” too? She’s explicit about CO2 and it’s contribution to “climate change” but there is so much waffling otherwise I took it in that context.

    • It is extremely likely that the Temperature will follow the same cycle that it has followed for ten thousand years. Nothing has changed that can cause a different cycle. The Consensus Alarmists do not understand the cycle of the past ten thousand years. They keep trying to turn it into a hockey stick. It was not a hockey stick and it will not be a hockey stick. We are in a warm period because we were due to be in a warm period of several hundred years. After this warm period a cold period will follow because during the warm period, snow will fall to replenish the ice on land.

    • When you don’t really understand something, a lot of things can seem equally likely.

  14. That Tom Harris quotes me should not be held against him. His articles calling for (gasp, choke) reasoning in the debate are becoming quite popular. The flames grow weary.

  15. Joseph O'Sullivan

    Tribe’s comments seemed to be more aimed at giving conservative pundits some ammunition in the public debate about global warming policies than thoughtful legal reasoning. Some of his legal arguments make good soundbites, but have little substance.

    • Josephie never heard Laurence Tribe, until today. Google him, joey.

    • Tribe is an uber-Democrat liberal. In this case I wonder if he is acting as a paid advocate by the coal company (the article wasn’t clear) or if he is just going off on his own hook about perceived executive-power abuses. He was generally all over the Bush administration on executive-power issues, so it’s possible that he’s just being consistent here.

      • Here is some better reporting:


        He was paid by Peabody Energy “to provide an independent analysis of the proposed EPA rule as a scholar of constitutional law”. Surely a distinguished uber-Democrat liberal constitutional law professor would not give an opinion that he didn’t believe in with all of his little bleeding heart.

      • My old con law professor is being consistent. Given his stature and status, he cannot be bought ever. It was a joint brief, not a Peabody brief written by lawyers includingmTribe.
        And he knows this is kicking off a huge kerfuffle within Harvard and its extended community (Obama POTUS, Kagan (former HLS dean now SCOTUS), and Warren ( former HLS prof, now senator from Massachusetts and a threat to Hilary in 2016).
        Tribe is formidable. And unforgettable. And very, very competent.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        I agree that Tribe is stating his honest opinion that happens to be of use of the polluters and is not acting as a hired gun for the coal companies. That being said, I think that his opinion is based more on what he thinks the law should be rather than what is on the books in the statues and case law.

      • It appears he’s saying the laws on the books aren’t Constitutional. Right?

      • The lefties say that Tribe is a sellout:


        The analysis in the article by the Columbia law Prof. has it about right:

        “If you clear away all the hyperbolic constitutional arguments, there is, at the heart, a statutory question about this part of the Clean Air Act — and whether it applies when the sources in question have been regulated under another provision in the Clean Air Act,” Heinzerling continued. “That is a meaningful statutory question. There’s disagreements among the parties what the statute does. Agencies get a lot of deference when things are unclear in statutes.”

        I predict that the SCOTUS will defer to the EPA, as it has done recently on the CO2 regulation issue. We need a Republican President in 2016, who will sign new legislation from Congress reigning in the EPA clowns.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        jim2, he isn’t saying the laws as written are unconstitutional, it’s how the Obama administration is enforcing them is unconstitutional.

        Don Monfort I think you are right about how the courts will rule on this issue. It will take a Republican President along with a Republican majority Congress to amend the Clean Air Act.

      • Steve,

        The WSJ editorial came out over a week ago, but if I recall correctly, Prof Tribe was filing on behalf of the Peabody Coal Company.

    • Tribe goes tribal with the wrong tribe.

  16. Thankfully, some parts of the US government still work as designed by the founders. Congress still has to approve any “climate change (barf)” agreement as well as money to spend on it. That has saved our bacon from BS treaties and agreements like this one more than once.

  17. Matthew R Marler

    from the scientists’ public letter: Real skepticism is summed up by a quote popularized by Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Inhofe’s belief that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is an extraordinary claim indeed.

    They have a half a point, but they overreach. Lots of people exaggerate and make indefensible claims. Had they stepped in 30 years ago with such a remonstrance, and pointed out that the extraordinary claims of the global warming alarmists were based on weak evidence, they might at least be seen as consistent. The single word “denier” is too broad, as well as being an insult, because it does not make clear what “denial” is objectionable. There is certainly nothing wrong with “denying” funding for expensive projects to supporters of political candidates based on the flimsy CO2-climate evidence to date.

    Sen Inhofe is guilty of loose language, “the idols of the marketplace” — scientists who aim to improve upon that ought to strive for language that is as precise as possible.

    This reads as another attempt by “true believers” to define “true skepticism” (true skeptics, etc) as true belief pretending at doubt. It is also an attempt, I suspect, to denigrate the many people who have supported Sen Inhof’s refusal to join the CO2 bandwagon.

  18. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Under things that caught Judy Curry’s eye this week was P. Gosselin’s take on an article in the Dec. 4 edition of Die Zeit , a German weekly, which he titled

    “Energiewende” Takes Massive Blow…Top Green Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”

    Because I couldn’t find an online edition of Die Zeit with the article, I don’t know if Gosselin was fair in quoting from it. Given the titles of the following articles he recommends, however, I suspect he is an anti-renewables propagandist

    notrickszone.2012/09/23/renewables-drive-is-turning-to a-disaster/
    – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2014/12/09/energiewende-takes-a-massive-blow-top-green-energy-proponent-concedes-blunder-with-ugly-consequences-huge-blow-to/#sthash.MKZjSqy8.dpuf

    • Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!

      Is this meant to indicate the article was inaccurate?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Danny, I don’t know if Gosselin was inaccurate. I can’t find an online edition of Die Zeit that has the article Gosselin based his piece on. It may have appeared only in the print edition.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Max_OK, Citizen Scientist: Given the titles of the following articles he recommends, however, I suspect he is an anti-renewables propagandist

      Long-term, his criticisms were solidly based on evidence, and in fact the “Energiewende” is widely reported to be in big trouble. The title “Smutziger Irrtum” is “dirty error”, “filthy mistake”, and things like that.

    • Max,

      The unintended consequence of “Energiewende” has been an increase in the burning of coal. It has led to an increase of US coal exports to Gremany. This is easy to verify with minimal search effort. As a result, both CO2 emmisions and plain old fashioned air pollution, which can travel around the globe, increased. Curtailing the use of nuclear was a bad idea, and we would all be better off if Germany would burn ur anium.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Justin Wonder, Germany’s unintended consequences have been good for West Virginia. Do you not like West Virginians?

        Would you rather the Germans burn natural gas from Russia instead of West Virginia coal?

        Do you think there’s something wrong with Germany’s goals, which are energy independence and less pollution?

        If a country is trying to do the right and slips up (closing the nuke plants too soon), do you believe you should pee on ’em.

        If you have ever had a setback when working toward an important goal, did you just throw in the towel?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Max_OK, Citizen Scientist: Do you think there’s something wrong with Germany’s goals, which are energy independence and less pollution?

        If a country is trying to do the right and slips up (closing the nuke plants too soon), do you believe you should pee on ‘em.

        If they make a big mistake and defeat attainment of their goals, should you pretend that ti wasn’t a mistake? They are at least as dependent on imported fuel as before, and dirtying their air.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Matthew, do you know for a fact Germany is polluting more? Do you know for a fact it is less energy dependent?

        Unless you are German citizen, or Germany is hurting you, what right do you have to complain about the country’s effort to achieve energy independence and pollute less?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Max_OK, Citizen Scientist: Unless you are German citizen, or Germany is hurting you, what right do you have to complain about the country’s effort to achieve energy independence and pollute less?

        I did not wrote a “complaint”. I wrote that their choices subverted their announced goals. They clearly can not replace the electricity from their nuclear reactors with electricity from wind and solar, so they are building new coal-fired power plants and importing coal from the US: that’s the “smutzig” part. That is important to fans of the Energiewende who cite Germany as a success story for the US to emulate.

    • Curious George

      Citizen, Scientist: It took me two minutes to find the article. How good a Citizen are you?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Curious, you found it. Good for you. The machine translation of the Zeit article was a little hard to follow, but I don’t believe Gosselin’s take on it was unfair.

        I’m not sure I understand exactly why the transition didn’t go as Germany planned. The plan was to close nuclear plants, coal-fired plants, and then gas-fired plants, in that order. But gas turned out to be too expensive, so they fell back on coal. I don’t know why the expense of gas was not anticipated. In retrospect, maybe it would have been better to leave the nuclear plants open and close coal plants.

        I think Germany will straighten this out eventually. I read they are negotiating with other European countries for power to replace what the coal fired plants produce.

        Germany has already demonstrated it can take care of its energy needs with a combination of renewables and fossil fuel power, depending heavily on the renewables. The critics who said it couldn’t be done were wrong.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Max_OK, Citizen Scientist: Germany has already demonstrated it can take care of its energy needs with a combination of renewables and fossil fuel power, depending heavily on the renewables. The critics who said it couldn’t be done were wrong.

        To date the critics have been correct: Germany has not been able to replace the electricity from nuclear power plants with electricity from power plants that do not generate CO2.

  19. Matthew R Marler

    A remarkable comment at Real Climate [link]

    What, in your opinion, was remarkable about it?

    • It was remarkable by virtue of not landing in the bore hole at RC

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja: It was remarkable by virtue of not landing in the bore hole at RC

        In my experience, they often post criticisms that they find easy to rebut. Comments go into the borehole for being unanswerable or repetitious.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I’m sorry
        were there rebuttals?
        except “why don’t you publish a peer reviewed paper”

      • I was surprised at level of traffic at the non-subject from Dr. Rahmstorf; I posted a speculative graph on the 2nd day, despite being strongly disapproved of by dr. Steig, it had over 300 hits during following 2-3 days (many US and some European universities were well represented), sort of rate occasionally but not often, get at WUWT.

      • “Comments go into the borehole for being unanswerable or repetitious.”
        Or mainly pseudoscientific pablum.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Or mainly pseudoscientific pablum.

        That they post and reply to.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Here is one of mine that went into the bore hole: 1526:

        133 WebHubTelescope: And why do you start the counting now on doubling and not start from 1860, the start of the oil age?

        The warming and CO2 accumulation since then, if they have made any difference, have been largely beneficial. Perhaps you value the changes differently, but that is WHY I start now.

        If you were just above freezing, a 1% change in Kelvin would have a significant effect.

        Well, we are not just above freezing. 1% is a little larger than the modeled change in Earth temperature, and the modeled change in radiative forcing due to CO2 is a little smaller than that. That scale is “small” relative to the errors of estimation of all (as far as I know) of the relevant quantities (“physical constants”, “parameters”, etc) in all the models.

        Readers: WebHubTelescope knows me from my postings at Climate Etc. For the rest, here is a brief introduction:

        I’ll leave you know. Probably catch you later?

        Comment by Matthew R Marler — 1 Sep 2014 @ 6:00 PM

        My post of today seems to have been suppressed. Maybe it will turn up out of moderation.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Here is one that was posted: 133:
        Matthew R Marler says:
        13 Dec 2014 at 2:58 PM

        100, gavin in response: “it’s all too uncertain, we need to do more research!” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/the-most-popular-deceptive-climate-graph/comment-page-2/#comments

        In fact, many grant proposals every year do exactly that: outline the gaps in the knowledge and request money for study.

        100 Steve Harris: Watching Gavin so rudely shun discussion with Roy Spencer did bias me – a lot. Bottom line – I’m not saying I can interpret climate science better than climate scientists, I have no where near that expertise. BUT – and this is important – I can see tremendous incentive for bias in this industry – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/the-most-popular-deceptive-climate-graph/comment-page-2/#comments

        Your best strategy, in my opinion, is to read the leading post, think of particular points or questions, and see what you can learn from them. I learned a lot from comments by, for example, Chris Colose (who recommended books). You are basically accusing the hosts and responders of being “of bad faith”, when most of them are knowledgeable about at least a few topics, and public spirited.
        – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/the-most-popular-deceptive-climate-graph/comment-page-3/#comments

        I don’t yet know whether anyone has responded.

        On the whole, I respect RealClimate, and I congratulated them on their 10th anniversary.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Matthew R Marler: My post of today seems to have been suppressed. Maybe it will turn up out of moderation.

        It did emerge from moderation, and was the post her that immediately followed that remark.

    • Curious George

      An example of my own .. I responded to a comment #50 on that thread: “Chris Dudley says: 10 Dec 2014 at 7:00 AM

      Steve (#44),
      You did not pay attention. The danger of greenhouse gases has been debated thoroughly. The answer has been found. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/

      Those who wish to debate are not raising debatable issues. They are demonstrating ignorance. Learn the topic first and then you will understand.”

      A real science at its best. I responded “Chris (#50),
      from your reference: “Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) — in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.
      Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.” and later “EPA denied ten Petitions for Reconsideration of the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings on July 29, 2010.”

      I find it strange that the Finding does not even mention the worst of all key well-mixed greenhouse gases, H2O. Does it constitute a debatable issue?”

      The comment languished 10 minutes in moderation and then disappeared without a trace.

      • “The answer has been found.” “The likely range for equilibrium climate sensitivity was estimated in the TAR to be 1.5°C to 4.5°C.” I guess we are loosely defining ‘answer’. “Learn the topic first and then you will understand.” As far as income tax goes, I consider myself a teacher. Can’t say I’ve said such a thing to one of my clients. If I have, it was shortly before I gave up on them. Every once in awhile, a relationship is not meant to be.

      • I also noticed that reply to Steve (#), scanned the EPA document, and thought the reply was using a circular argument. Many skeptics are challenging the assumptions on which the EPA document is based, yet the reply uses the EPA doc to support the assumptions in dispute.

      • Circular reasoning Justin. The base assumptions behind the CAGW argument is buried behind the brick wall of consensual science.

      • “The likely range for equilibrium climate sensitivity was estimated in the TAR to be 1.5°C to 4.5°C.”

        That isn’t an answer. That is a guess.

        Even cheap resistors are with 20% of spec. If they can’t bound the problem to within 20% we should tell them to go away until they can come back with REAL answer and not a hip-pocket guess.

      • H2O isn’t well mixed. But why they only want to deal with well mixed….

      • And, how they demonstrate damage to health…

  20. From the article:

    Weak demand and oversupply in oil markets raise the risk of global social instability and the potential for financial defaults, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Friday, as it cut its forecasts for global oil demand growth in 2015.

    The report came as oil prices slid to new multi-year lows, with Brent crude hitting a 5-½ -year low of $63.33 a barrel on Friday.

    “Continued price declines would for some countries and companies make an already difficult situation even worse,” the IEA said in its new monthly report.

    “The resulting downward price pressure would raise the risk of social instability or financial difficulties if producers found it difficult to pay back debt,” it said.

    Russia, Venezuela singled out

    Singling out Russia and Venezuela, the Paris-based energy think tank said that further price drops would heighten the financial risks to “highly leveraged” producers, and countries that are heavily dependent on oil revenues.

    Read MoreOil set to fall further in ‘new chapter’ for markets: IEA

    It warned on the threat to international financial stability should the situation in Russia deteriorate to the point of a default. Bond yields and the cost of insuring Russia against a default have risen in recent weeks amid fears over falling oil prices and intensifying sanctions from the West. Oil – the country’s biggest export – is crucial for its economy, and influence in the world.


    • Hi Jim2
      Price of oil dropped by about 40%. This is not simply driven by a huge drop in demand, it is more result of the derivatives brutal feedback in trades . For every barrel of physical oil traded, when a barrel was around US $100, there were about US$ 50,000 worth of derivatives open contracts.

      • The trigger for this was a rising dollar, a pronounced drop in economic activity around the world, excepting mostly the US, and the concomitant drop in demand, a surge in the supply of oil. The paper trades you mentioned are exacerbating the fall, yes.

      • nottawa rafter

        Russia gets 40% of its government revenue from oil. If I was Putin, I would be sweating bullets.

    • The Saudi standoff: Oil-rich nation takes on world’s high-cost producers

      It’s too early to call “mission accomplished” for the Saudis. The OPEC leader is playing a long game in order to preserve its oil market share by making life difficult for the high-cost oil producers, and its strategy is showing early signs of success.
      The quick reaction time by some of the high-cost producers, notably the American shale oil drillers, is why one of the world’s foremost oilmen, Sadad Al-Husseini, the former executive vice-president of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil and gas company, is becoming bullish on oil even as Brent prices sink to the low $60s.
      “If you go down low enough, as we are now, you’ll get to the point where there is little investment, which is what we’re going through,” he said in an interview in Al Khobar, the Saudi city filled with Aramco employees in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province. “You will force the excess out of the market and demand will take you back up. That is what is about to happen.”
      Mr. Al-Husseini, 67, worked at Aramco until his retirement in 2004 and was a member of its board and its management committee. During his Aramco career, he was instrumental in making 20 discoveries, including vast gas fields and the central Arabian and Red Sea oil fields. He is now president of Husseini Energy, an oil consultancy based in Bahrain that advises financial institutions and the oil services industry.
      He admits he underestimated the “strength of the profit motive” that turned the United States into a shale oil powerhouse. Since 2010, U.S. shale oil production is up by three million barrels a day. But he feels confident that waning investment is already hitting production growth and that prices won’t fall much farther as the supply-demand balance tightens up.
      “When prices come down 40 per cent, you’re not going to keep spending like there is no change,” he said. “My guess is that by the end of second quarter of 2015, there will be a returning confidence in oil. Does that mean it will go to $115? No, that was never a sustainable number. Could it go as high as $80, maybe $90? Sure.”

      • From that article:

        Cenovus Energy Inc. this week slashed its capital budget by 15 per cent and signalled more to come. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has said a quarter of its $8.6-billion (Canadian) budget is “flexible” and could be deferred if prices don’t recover. A growing number of smaller producers have cut budgets and dividends in a bid to conserve cash and ride out the storm.

        More cutbacks are likely to follow in the weeks ahead, and expectations that Alberta could double oil sands production over the next decade are suddenly in doubt. After all, new oil sands projects on the drawing board have costs per barrel well above current market prices.

        For Canada, future projects sidelined or scaled back will act as a drag on the national economy, which has for years benefited from heavy spending in the energy sector while other sectors such as manufacturing struggled. The case for the many new pipelines currently in various stages of planning will be weakened.

      • “…expectations that Alberta could double oil sands production over the next decade are suddenly in doubt…”

        “The case for the many new pipelines currently in various stages of planning will be weakened.”
        Boo hoo.

      • @jim2
        Yes.. Oilsands will be hurt as well as they are high cost marginal producers

        No I don’t agree that pipeline economics will be greatly affected.
        wrt OilSands. We are already in deep discount territory due to pipeline congestion, and that hurts even more proportionally when light crude marker (brent) prices are low.
        Although both OilSands and Tight Oil are higher cost marginal bbls, there is a big difference in that OilSands projects are very long life projects, whereas Tight Oil are the Red Queen paradigm.

      • Brent – every oil resource is limited, therefore is subject to the Red Queen analogy. Before I put up some past predictions, let me reiterate that I myself have said that if this low oil price persists for a prolonged period, some shale producers might go bankrupt. These would be the one that mismanaged their financed. Even if that happens, the resources will simply pass on to stronger hands and will continue to be produced, then or later. I have also said drilling will slow, and that is reflected in drilling permits. I have said that the low prices will cause the industry to focus on secondary recovery techniques, including refracking, to maximize production without drilling more wells. And, there are literally thousands of well now to be completed and even more that can be refracked. Due to the success of shale oil, the $100/bbl days are behind us for at least a few years. That day will come again – I know that.

        Here is an interesting article from the oil drum from two short years ago. Most of the predictions made by this author agree with “authoritative” research, as he pompously tells us. It is the history of shale oil “analysis” and “predictions” that have rendered me very skeptical any time the gloom and doomers show up to declare shale oil dead.

        Some clips from the article:.

        Presently the estimated breakeven price for the “average” well in the Bakken formation in North Dakota is $80 – $90/Bbl In plain language this means that presently the commercial profitability for new wells is barely positive.

        The recent trend for newer “average” wells is one of a perceptible decline in well productivity (lower yields)

        Now and based upon present observed trends for principally well productivity and crude oil futures (WTI), it is challenging to find support for the idea that total production of shale oil from the Bakken formation will move much above present levels of 0.6 – 0.7 Mb/d on an annual basis.

        (end of quotes)

        There have been many predictions from peak oilers in the past that were just this bad. And by “peak oiler” I mean people who predict a quick demise of profitable shale oil E&P. Even your tar sands will peak some day, Brent, so “peak oil” is one of those terms like “climate change”. It happens. So what. The trick is to predict when and how much, and no matter what degree held and how many differential equations are applied, the peak oilers fail time and time again.

      • Yep, and regulations might be the biggest reason. From that article, emphasis mine:

        Helms cited three factors for the production decline: low oil prices, state flaring reduction regulations going into effect Oct. 1 and the recently implemented regulations requiring the conditioning of crude before shipment.

        “This time of year, we would expect to set a production record,” Helms said. “It’s very unusual not to have a production increase from September to October. We’re looking at production under this current paradigm with the three pressures on it really, perhaps, plateauing.”

      • More from that article (and thanks for the articles!) …

        However, Helms noted that the flaring regulations caused the number of well completions to drop from 193 in September to 134 in October with a resulting impact on production.

        “Many, many companies reported that they were leaving wells uncompleted in order to accommodate the gathering capacity of the gas gatherers,” he said.

        According to Helms, the impact of low oil prices will likely be delayed for two reasons.

        “One is we have this inventory of wells already drilled that haven’t been completed,” he explained. “We’re going into 2015 with an inventory over 600 drilled and not completed. That’s a major cushion.”

        Another factor is that the core counties of the Bakken have break-even prices of well below $50 a barrel, which could result in more concentrated activity in McKenzie, Mountrail, Williams and Dunn counties.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        brent, in Oklahoma a typical shale well’s production curve falls rapidly after its first year and then levels off in the fourth year at about one-fourth of what it was producing in the first year. I imagine the curve is similar in other parts of the U.S. A lot of new wells have come in during the last 4 years. What’s this means is production, and thus supply for the market, will decline rapidly if the recent drop in the price of oil discourages new drilling, which could well be the case if the price remains low, or worse yet, continues to drop.

        After supply falls enough, the price of oil should rebound and new drilling should pick up. The question is how low will the price of oil go and how long will the price remain low? Anyone who knows the answer could make good money.

  21. Judith –

    I know some folks get deeply concerned if someone treats a “week in review” thread as if it were an “open thread” thread….but risking their wrath….

    You posted something about “The Big Fat Surprise,” a while back…


    Perhaps one should think twice about many of the arguments presented in that book…maybe the whole issue of low-fat vs. high fat isn’t simply a “consensus” conspiracy after all?

    The critique seems a bit of a polemic, but it does seem to raise some very valid points.

    • The point I take from the article – is that if you live a sedentary life and don’t get much exercise you have problems.

      The people who eat fatty meat and drink milk have a vigorous lifestyle and it doesn’t seem to bother them.

      I guess the point is to get enough exercise.

    • Josh, how can you isolate one thing, like saturated fat intake, out of all the things in a populations, and state its has an outcome of morbidity and mortality?
      It is not at all easy.
      The problem is the two-pack a day 98 year-old. Some people can take a particular insult, that kills others, with no noticeable effects. Thomas Tuohy was deputy to the general manager at the Windscale nuclear facility when it caught fire. He stood on the pile and put the uranium/plutonium/graphite fire out with a water hose. He probably inhaled enough radioactivity to kill the average person many times over; he died aged 90.
      The easy stuff has been done, the hard stuff, like the French Paradox, still is out there.

      • Perhaps Tuohy secretly acquired superpowers and had a quiet costumed career.

      • Sure. Incredibly complex. But mostly, I’m just trying to figure out a way to eat more bacon, worry-free.

      • Josh, your worries are just in your head and do not exist in the real universe. I suggest that you visit a British section in a major supermarket, buy some HP Sauce, and then prepare a bacon and brown sauce buttie. After tasting the food of the Gods, your mental state will be elevated to a higher plane, and such trivial concerns will no longer trouble you. Instead you will ponder why cherry picking of information can lead one astray so easily, and then move on to how one can decide if one is cherry picking and the defenses against it.

      • Worrying about it is probably far worse for you than the bacon.

        (I like this motivational talk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc, which shows how changes in our body-language (emotional state) affect our endocrine system. Think about how just achieving on less satisfying posture a day would compare to eating nothing but canned food (BPA).)

        I think that everybody is different, but for most of us adults there is something to cutting back on refined carbs and increasing fat intake. I’ve done well. I’ve found that for me, varying my diet is important. Occasional fast day, when I just don’t really feel hungry. Occasional day that’s just meat and veggies. And I found cutting carbs out too much was not good.

        I think mixing is probably also important, sugars and breads should be eaten with fat to smooth the responses. But everything in moderation, including moderation. The occasional sugar binge is good too.

      • One of my favorite breakfasts. I put a piece of bacon or two in the skillet and take a shower/shave, flip the bacon, put the bacon on a plate of spinach (try to get some extra grease on the spinach), fry a couple eggs, throw the eggs on top, get some more grease on the spinach, crack some pepper and squeeze some lemon juice on it (mostly on the spinach, might want to that before you cook the eggs).

        Maybe have a small side of a few bites of refried beans and some habanero sauce.

        The egg yolks become part of the dressing.

        Once you do it a few times and figure out how to get the eggs and bacon the way you like them, it’s real fast.

        Toughest part is not over cooking the bacon while getting ready (I like mine medium-rare). Eggs only take a minute + to cook.

  22. Norway finances its social programs from the National oil company, Statoil. Frequently, Norway has been held up as a model of Socialism. We’ll see how this outstanding model fares in the face of lower oil prices.

    From the article:

    Since 1990, Norway has diverted much of its oil earnings to a sovereign wealth fund, which has become the world’s largest. The money, reaching $890 billion as of June 2014, amounts to $178,000 for every Norwegian citizen. The sovereign wealth fund helps Norway avoid some of the problems associated with the “resource curse” by investing capital abroad. But more importantly, the money is set aside to be saved and invested to help the country plan for the eventual decline of oil production, with the intention of transitioning to a more diversified economy that can take oil’s place.

    The early cracks in Norway’s petrol-based economy are beginning to show, perhaps quicker than many predicted.

    But the oil price decline is only accelerating a trend that is already underway. Even with high oil prices Norway was facing a tougher future due to years of waning oil production. Since 2001, Norway’s oil production has fallen by almost half, from around 3.5 million barrels per day down to about 1.8 or 1.9 million bpd in 2014.

    The decline in investment is already pinching the labor market. Around 10,000 Norwegian oil workers have been laid off as the industry pares back spending, accounting for 10 percent of the sector’s total workforce, the Wall Street Journal reports. Oil workers are threatening to strike unless the government steps in to stem further losses.

    And the way forward is murky. Despite its best efforts, Norway’s economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil, which accounts for more than half of the country’s exports. Other export industries have struggled to develop as costs are too high – a classic symptom felt in countries suffering from the resource curse.


  23. Matthew R Marler

    5 Key Takeaways From UN climate talks in Lima http://buff.ly/1A2blA5

    How modest can you go?

  24. More on Norway.

    “The U.S. and the U.K. have no sense of guilt,” said Anders Aslund, an expert on Scandinavia at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “But in Norway, there is instead a sense of virtue. If you are given a lot, you have a responsibility.”

    Eirik Wekre, an economist who writes thrillers in his spare time, describes Norwegians’ feelings about debt this way: “We cannot spend this money now; it would be stealing from future generations.”

    Mr. Wekre, who paid for his house and car with cash, attributes this broad consensus to as the country’s iconoclasm. “The strongest man is he who stands alone in the world,” he said, quoting Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.

    Still, even Ibsen might concede that it is easier to stand alone when your nation has benefited from oil reserves that make it the third-largest exporter in the world. The money flowing from that black gold since the early 1970s has prompted even the flintiest of Norwegians to relax and enjoy their good fortune. The country’s G.D.P. per person is $52,000, behind only Luxembourg among industrial democracies.

    Just around the corner from Norway’s central bank, for instance, Paul Bruum takes a needle full of amphetamines and jabs it into his muscular arm. His scabs and sores betray many years as a heroin addict. He says that the $1,500 he gets from the government each month is enough to keep him well-fed and supplied with drugs.

    Mr. Bruum, 32, says he has never had a job, and he admits he is no position to find one. “I don’t blame anyone,” he said. “The Norwegian government has provided for me the best they can.”

    To Ms. Halvorsen, the finance minister, even the underside of the Norwegian dream looks pretty good compared to the economic nightmares elsewhere.

    “As a socialist, I have always said that the market can’t regulate itself,” she said. “But even I was surprised how strong the failure was.”


    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, I don’t get it. If that heroin addict has never had a job, why are his arms muscular? And how can he afford his drugs and other living expenses on the measly $1,500 a month the government gives him. How do we know he’s not getting that free $1,500 a month and picking up some extra cash by working.

      But if this story is true, it gives me an idea. Oklahoma has a problem with meth addicts. Locking one up for a year cost the State $25,000. If instead, we gave the meth addict $1,500 a month, the cost would be only $18,000 per year.

    • Muscular arms must come from the crystal meth’s affect on activity.

    • effect, not affect.

      Why are you asking me anyway? I didn’t write the article. Sheesh!

    • Max, I’m for legalizing all the recreational drugs and implementing something like a negative income tax. It’s rare I know, but it looks like we agree on something.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        jim2, I believe we have some agreement here. I’m not opposed to legalizing pot. I’m undecided about the negative income tax. I think I prefer the earned income tax credit for helping the poor.

  25. Those who believe low oil prices spell the end for shale oil companies may need to reconsider. From the article:


    Refracture treatments (“refracking”) has the potential to become the secret weapon that allows shale oil producers to sustain and even grow oil production at low oil prices.

    Refracking can produce results almost as good as the original well, but because no additional drilling or infrastructure is required it can be wildly economic.

    Low oil prices will incentivize the rapid transfer of what has been learned refracking shale gas plays for use in more liquids-rich plays like the Bakken and Eagle Ford.

    Let’s begin with a provocative excerpt from an article on the website run by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE):

    In what may become Act Two for the North American “shale revolution,” some operators are returning to their mature shale wells to refracture, or restimulate, the rock to accelerate the rate of production and enhance the ultimate recovery of trapped hydrocarbons. . . . [P]roducers want to apply refracturing to a large inventory of unconventional wells suffering from low production because of ineffective initial completions. . . . [L]arge volumes of oil and gas remain in the rock that could be produced through refracturing.


    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Oh come on, jim2, who wants to drill if the price of oil is so low the well will be unprofitable. When prices go back up, drilling will pick up too. I hope refracking is the answer to tired wells, but I am skeptical. You, on the other hand, are wildly optimistic about anything having to do with oil and gas.

    • Max – refracking does not involve drilling. That’s why it flys with low oil prices.

    • I’m optimistic about technology, Max. Applied in the high tech oil field, it’s already sent the peak oilers running off in shame with their collective tail tucked firmly between their legs. Other Malthusians will will go the same way.

  26. The more I read Cobb’s piece the more absurd it gets. What qualifies a self styled climate scientist to teach an “Energy, the Environment, and Society” course (every year)? Put another way, how can an expert on this course topic also be a climate scientist? These are two very different fields. But hey, on these grounds I am a climate scientist too, right? We are all climate scientists on this bus.

      • “This interdisciplinary seminar-style course relies on guest speakers from across the Tech campus and beyond, encouraging lively discussion of both current events and past developments relevant to our nation’s energy and climate future.”

        Has she invited you to speak to her classes, Judith?

      • Looks like Prof. Kim is not afraid of an open discussion.

      • Dr. Curry: I followed your link provided in your kerfuffle comment and found this:

        “JC comments: I think the most important thing to impart to college students is motivation to learn and to give them the tools with which to evaluate scientific and other controversies.”

        I think another equally important thing for college students to learn, or maybe the SAME thing, stated differently, is that a statement does not automatically become fact simply because it is uttered by a college professor while addressing a room full of students. Neither does it become fact by being printed in a college textbook. Nor are ‘peer reviewed’ papers, published by prestigious, respectable professional journals, necessarily composed exclusively, or even predominately, of facts.

      • Bob L. breaks the Hockey Stick code!

      • What a Mickey – M course! A quest w/out uncertainties critically confronted, no comparative studies, no Socratic doubt, and no
        development of skills other than learned compliance. Just on
        message seminars and lively confirmation bias discussion of
        green political policy.

      • nottawa rafter


        University politics-sheesh. Discouraging critical thinking in academia in favor of intravenous feeding.
        I heard yesterday students at an Ivy League law school demanded delays in exams due to stress from the recent events in Ferguson & NYC. Our culture is becoming a little soft.

      • I noted that while she listed Real Climate under Web Resources for her course she did not list Climate Etc.

        I found Judith’s essay to be vastly superior and well balanced. I suspect from Kim Cowan’s essay that she is a “save the earth” zealot.

        I downloaded her lecture on “Climate Science” which is very much alarmist and unbalanced. I don’t see any balance in her lecture nor does there appear to be another lecture introducing any other perspectives.

        I also downloaded the power point for the Guest Lecture by Paul Baer: Equity, Climate Change and the Right to Development. It is very interesting. This is what he says about what he is:

        An interdisciplinary environmental scholar, policy analyst and advocate
        An ecological economist
        A philosopher of sorts (specializing in “climate ethics”)
        An expert in global climate policy
        Kind of an expert in the management of scientific uncertainty
        Teach statistics, ecological economics, political economy, environmental policy, climate policy

        These are his stated premisses:

        The climate problem is VERY serious
        To reduce risks to a tolerably low level, we need to reduce emissions immediately and rapidly
        While this is not prohibitively expensive in a conventional economic sense, it is not free, and it is potentially very redistributive
        Global cooperation requires a solution that is “fair enough”

        Overall I would say that it is a shame that GTech is offering this course with out doing some due diligence on objectivity and political activism.

      • Paul Baer now works at EcoEquity

      • Judith, you indicated you gave a lecture at Cowan’s course in 2012 and it caused a kerfuffle. It doesn’t appear that you were invited back in 2013. What’s the story?

      • Kim Cobb’s course. Lack of return invite sort of speaks for itself.

      • OK Judith I get the picture.

        I have waded through the 700+ comments on the 2012 post. Looks like Willis Eschenbach unloaded both barrels on Kim Cowan and on you as well for being tolerant. He was on the mark about Cowan. I personally would find it difficult to show the restraint and tolerance that you do. Then again I’m a retired old fart and nobody really cares what I do or say anymore except my wife.

      • Kim Cobb’s course. Lack of return invite sort of speaks for itself.

        Probably little to be learned there anyway,try a change of faculty’s where there is more to learn especially in fluid dynamic systems.


        Predrag has a nice point of the ghosts of departed qualities (with recurrent flows)

        Fourth, the low numbers of unstable eigendirections for recurrent flows that form the turbulent web (in contrast to the highly unstable and never revisited ghosts of equilibria past) are suggestive of the extremely low dimensionality of the turbulent attractors studied here. In the long run it might be possible to make this dimensionality precise, by carrying out the ‘covariant Lyapunov vector’ programme of Ginelli et al. (2007).

        A similar approach with the ghost attractors is seen in Kravtsov 2014 (Tsonis is a co author)


      • Thanks for the links

  27. Actually, you should never go where anybody talks about tackling, controlling, stabilizing, targeting etc things over which they have no control. Right now, it is fashionable and respectable to talk of a “target” temperature for the world by a certain date. But a few decades ago they would have laughed at you, and not long from now they will be laughing at you.

    Better not do it, okay? Because it’s potty, and those bloody grandchildren are just going to make send-up movies and TV shows about you and your potty ideas. That’s all those grandchildren guys are good for. Forget about ’em. Just improve and modernize whatever actually works (eg coal in Australia) and stay clear of commercial wars, cold wars and hot wars as much as possible by being as energy-independent as possible. That way the little future-smarties will have less to giggle and patronize about.

  28. China has plans to ramp up clean energy by 2030. But it’d still be using a ton of coal and gas [link]

    I didn’t see the statement referenced below in this analysis.


    The Chinese government announced Wednesday it would cap coal use by 2020. The Chinese State Council, or cabinet, said the peak would be 4.2 billion tonnes, a one-sixth increase over current consumption.

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/business/energy-environment/china-to-place-limit-on-coal-use-in-2020.html

      Well, China’s emissions will still peak in 2030 (according to the above article).

      This policy is effectively just a statement of the current Chinese energy use trends, the increase in coal use was slowing anyway. This is domestic policy (the government is getting heat for the pollution level) dressed up for foreign consumption.


      It is pretty clear why 2020 was chosen – that is when the current wave of nuclear reactor construction completes. Yeah, they are going to the cleanest form of energy – much like the US should be.

      • Exactly. Where Big Green cannot go or where it is easily assuaged by promises which flatter its agenda (China, duh), you can actually diversify into nukes and major hydro.

        Try implementing effective low-carb (nukes) or effective renewables (hydro) in Australia and our Green Betters will riot. They have already rioted against nukes and hydro, and consider their successful rioting back in the 80s to be a moral victory. Result? Australia has no new major dams, no domestic use for its vast uranium reserves, does have unused desal plants by capital cities costing half a million dollars a day which, if used, will gobble valuable coal power from facilities we have not been allowed to modernise. The promise is, of course, more solar panels and whirlygigs which will be tickled along by a just a bit of gas and oil. (“Just a bit” meaning “lots and forever”, tee-hee.)

        Since coal is the primary target of Big Green, every “green” impulse leads us back to Big Oil. I have nothing against Big Oil but I just don’t like all that war and tension you get with all that dependency.

        A green activist is an oil baron’s favourite vegetable. Financiers and bankers also love their greens, since they get to trade shamelessly in a fraction of thin air. Cleverest thing since Coca Cola put sky-blue labels on plastic bottles and filled ’em with plain old water.

      • They may find it easier to say this than to actually do it.

      • Whatever they end up doing, black-and-brown China knows that any green promises it makes will be enthusiastically applauded and believed by the kinds of people who write for, and read, the New York Times. (It’s a self-hating thing.)

        China – and good luck to it – leads the world in commitments to promises to implement plans to project to make commitments to promises to implement plans to…Should I go on?

    • Curious George

      Learn to read: BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — China on Wednesday issued an energy development plan to cap primary energy consumption at 4.8 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent per year by 2020.

  29. How dare India and China proposing to increase their emissions, at least in the short term! Does this mean that the western economies need to reduce their even more to compensate. Silence from the decarbonisation camp…. Hellooooooo?

  30. How concerned should we be about climate change? Since climate is defined in 30 year increments, I’d say 0.25 degrees of worry:


    Whenever I talk about climate change with my best friend (a lawyer) she cuts me off and says stop being boring. Since she usually attracts crowds and I don’t , I always take her advice. Now is point twenty five degrees of worry something to lose friends over? So I’ll take the liberty of saying ‘we’ should not worry too much, I understand it’s bad for your health anyway.

  31. re: “Two degrees: The history of climate change’s ‘speed limit’ [link] … and how it is going to be modified [link].

    Both the historical timeline/background and Oliver Geden’s (SWP – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik German Institute for International and Security Affairs) working paper, 2013 are remarkable in that they clearly demonstrate the lack of scientific basis for the 2 degree Celsius limit on global temperatures and Geden clearly admits that it is a political flag figure.

    – “…and since the target formula is explicitly {quote)”science-based”(unquote)…”
    – “the attempt to delimit the range of options available to climate policy by establishing (quote) “science-based” (unquote).

    Clearly the quotations are meant to suggest a science based that is not actually science based but based on a selection of basis by persons that can say they represent the target as being science based opinion and / or consensus science.
    “With the (political) agreement on the 2 degree C target, international climate policy made a “scientized” global target the centerpiece of its activities and its communications with t4eh public.

    My mind has a picture of Frank Morgan as the wizard in the Wizard of Oz scientizing the field of global warming with the pull of the switch and almost getting away with it except for Toto. http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/pcote/clips/the_wizard_of_oz-title1_2.mp4/view

    Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain !

  32. “The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren’t sure exactly why.”


    Forget peak oil. We may have reached peak tornado.

  33. Judith mentioned a “remarkable” comment at Real Climate, which seemed to lead to this rather unremarkable graph:

    As we all know it definitely ain’t the sun wot dun it.

    • http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sorce_tsi_reconstruction_feb2013.png

      And another current data creep.

      It is what it is. The ocean is currently absorbing 0.75 W/m2. It gained 200 zettawatts over the past 54 years or about 0.35 W/m2 on average and the sun has been about 0.6 W/m2 stronger (or more) in the 20th century.

      You can’t make the case that the sun isn’t responsible for most of the 20th century warming. 0.6 W/m2 > 0.35 W/m2.

      We’ll see. The sun is getting less active. In the next decade we will find out if GHG or solar is the stronger influence. Solar irradiance penetrates the surface of the ocean to depths of about 200 meters. Infrared is a skin effect.

      • Prior to 1960, you can make a strong case for the sun plus volcanoes to be the dominant non-astronomical forcing to the climate, though certainly anthropogenic has been there for centuries on some level. Now that Anthro GH gases are so high, it appears anthro forcing dominates all others over the long-term. There was a strong role for volcanic forcing during the LIA– a fact which the “sun does everything” crowd seems to not fully grasp.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Where did G. Kopp , who apparently made the first graph, get the data? I don’t know who made the second graph, but what’s its source of data?

      • The first graph was the 2013 version

        Below is the 2014 version

        The second graph (red/purple) is Watts overlay of 2013 vs 2014.

        Same graph, from same source, different years.

        Too much historic data in the climate field is a moving target. Perhaps if congress defunded any data source that kept playing chess with historic data this would stop.

        If congress had defunded some NOAA and NASA departments in 2000, the last 1930s and early 1940s would be significantly warmer today.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Thank you, PA.

      • You are welcome, Max.

        Your courtesy is appreciated.

    • What we do know is that the modern TSI peaked around 1960, and by 1980 TSI and tempetatures were beginning to diverge. Does TSI still affect global temperature? Of course, but the net effect is now weaker than anthropogenic effects.

      • I was wondering if anybody noticed TSI impact on ENSO strength? It seems to me if the high TSI phase takes place within three years prior to an El Niño this ought to load the western tropical pacific with more energy?

      • Fernando, that’d be my thinking too. But it’d be more about albedo during those years.

        I don’t think it’s as simple as TSI. The relative energy mix and natural variability of high energy cosmic rays. The effects of solar flares and CME on earth may be different under different solar phases and regimes. Perhaps there is a threshold response.

      • http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/total-solar-irradiance-lean-data.jpg?w=720

        Not so much.

        The global cooling scare in the 70s occurred during a weak solar cycle.

        But there really isn’t much fall off in TSI until the current cycle.

        The TSI trend was on an upward ramp for the 20th century.

        The current solar cycle is going to make things interesting because increasing CO2 meets decreasing solar. A weak 25th cycle will be even more interesting.

        We might learn something sciency about what the real forcing drivers of climate are.

    • Yes, this is similar to the scaling of 100 ppm per degree C I tend to use.
      100 ppm per degree is a handy reference for the effects of adding CO2, and even though the log behavior diminishes the gradient going forward, it holds for the first few hundred ppm we are adding by 2100. Currently the linear fit is equivalent to 2 C per doubling. By the time it reaches 600-700 ppm, it is more like 3 C per doubling.

  34. From Lima Peru, where John Kerry spoke and the Telegraph reports:
    “Ironically, the conference has remained overtly reliant on fossil fuels, in the form of diesel generaters. Organisers rejected powering the village with solar panels on the grounds they were too unreliable, while efforts to hook the site up to the national grid – which is half-fed by renewable energy – failed due to technical problems. Experts say the Lima talks will have the biggest carbon footprint of any UN conference to date at more than 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide.”

    John Kerry: “Ask yourself, if Al Gore and Dr. Pachauri and Jim Hansen and the people who’ve been putting the science out there for years are wrong about this and we make these choices to do the things I’m talking about, what’s the worst thing that can happen to us for making these choices?”

    And the answer is observed in Lima Peru, unreliable power.

  35. Fingers pointed as climate talks deadlock

    US envoy Todd Stern said the stalemate put at risk a climate pact due to be signed in Paris in 2015, as well as the credibility of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — an offshoot of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit
    “All we have achieved so far will be at risk, and all that we hope to achieve will be at risk as well,” Stern warned delegates.
    “The success of this COP here in Lima is at stake,” he said, using the jargon for the UNFCCC’s annual Conference of Parties.
    “The success of next year’s COP in Paris is at stake, and I think the future of the UNFCCC as the body to address climate change effectively at the international level is also at stake.”

    Good, collapse of IPCC and UNFCCC is the best thing that could happen. Never should have been set up in the first place!

    John Kerry,
    “The solution to climate change is energy policy,” Kerry said while calling for a focus on renewable energy.

    No John.. Our energy future should be addressed directly! We need to stop trying to implement energy policy through the backdoor Via the ruse/hoax of CAGW

    • Lima climate change summit: ‘weak’ UN deal could let countries dodge green pledges
      Agreement reached to save Lima talks from collapse but critics say watered-down deal is too weak

      UN climate change talks have been saved from the brink of collapse by a “weak” agreement that could let countries dodge setting clear targets to cut their emissions.
      Negotiations in the Peruvian capital Lima dragged on to the early hours of Sunday morning – a day and a half after their scheduled close – amid deep disagreements between rich and poor nations over the steps they should take to tackle global warming.
      The divisions had threatened to derail the talks altogether but eventually resulted in a “bare minimum” deal, thrashed out by delegates who had barely slept in three days, that left many key disputes unresolved.

  36. David Springer

    “A remarkable comment at Real Climate [link]”

    Ha. Steve Harris says scientists should be open to respectful debate, present their views, then let the data speak for itself.

    Three others then told him essentially “The debate is closed, Shut up.”

    Isn’t that just precious?

  37. Kim Cobb Wrote:
    Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet. Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate. And nobody denies that, given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climatic response of our current emissions will play out over the lifetimes of our children and our grandchildren.

    Every statement is false. Many well qualified scientists and engineers do disagree with every one of the statements. Look at the credentials of the many speakers at the Climate Change Conference in July.

    Temperature has been bounded inside the same bounds for ten thousand years. It is not outside the bounds and it is not headed out.

    Climate Model Output does not match real data and cannot be used to take drastic action that will cause more harm than good.

    I side with Dr Judith Curry. What she wrote was reasonable. What Kim Cobb wrote was unreasonable.

  38. Kim Cobb Wrote:
    “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet.”

    A half statement and linguistically and scientifically correct as Mosher says for most of us who believe in GHG.

    But the full statement should read “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet however other factors have counter balanced that warming.”

    “Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate.”
    Again Mosher is right, true, but a half truth as well.

    “Nobody denies that the risks of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate, just as the benefits of climate change will accelerate as greenhouse gas emissions accelerate”


    Well Mosher joins Meatloaf here, two out of 3 ain’t bad.
    This is definitely false.

    “And nobody denies that, given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climatic response of our current emissions will play out over the lifetimes of our children and our grandchildren.”

    Sorry Mosher the science here is not settled. The length of time of CO2 in the atmosphere is definitely up for grabs.

    • Must disagree.

      1) Are we measuring CO2 warming? Directly? I don’t doubt GHE and that CO2 will result in net warming, but are we able to measure that? An it’s not implausible that regional differences in climate response could result in global cooling, the basis for The Day After Tomorrow scenarios.

      2) Emissions have increased and risks have not. There is no reason to believe risks will increase they do. They are just as likely to decrease as increase. Benefits are likely accelerating, but we do not know that the benefits will grow with concentration, they may be bounded.

      3) Definitely agree. It seems very unlikely that CO2 levels were as low or stable as icecore data suggests. I’m pretty sure plant stoma suggest otherwise. As I think icecore data does itself, 27% of the CO2 increase in law dome happens before CO2 emission become significant in the 40s (when 18% of emission happened). More recently, 2000-2008, 20% of emissions happened, but concentration only increased 15%.

  39. Scientists’ public letter says critics of #climatechange should be called deniers not ‘Skeptics’

    The real deniers are those who deny the facts that are relevant for policy analysis. That’s most of the CAGW alarmists.

    • But it’s OK to deny “Swanson’s Law”? That’s not “relevant for policy analysis”?

      • Now, I’m not saying for certain that “Swanson’s Law” will continue to operate for the next 50-100 years, just because it has for the last 50. But only a denier could honestly claim that it won’t.

        Looks like a good place for “decision-making in the face of uncertainty.” There’s no certainty that massive investments in nuclear fission won’t become “sunk costs” in the face of exponentially cheaper solar power. And there’s no certainty that solar power will continue to become exponentially cheaper.

        A very good candidate for generator investment in this case is combined cycle turbines:

        Low-Grade Fuel for Turbines: Gas turbines burn mainly natural gas and light oil. Crude oil, residual, and some distillates contain corrosive components and as such require fuel treatment equipment. In addition, ash deposits from these fuels result in gas turbine deratings of up to 15 percent. They may still be economically attractive fuels however, particularly in combined-cycle plants.

        This will allow immediate leverage of the low cost of natural gas, along with easy conversion to light oils (free of “corrosive components”) generated by cyanobacterial processes (such as Joule Unlimited’s), or methane from conversion of solar/electrolytic hydrogen and atmospheric CO2 when either/both of those processes become cost-competitive.

        Given mature distribution technology and infrastructure for storage and transportation of both those energy storage mediums, investment in such power generating technology, arguably the cheapest high-efficiency type available, offers the lowest probability of near-term (or any) sunk costs.

        And if it turns out that nuclear fission is the necessary way to go, the energy from that can also be fed into the electrolytic/methane conversion process, allowing much cheaper transport of energy than long-distance electrical transmission.

      • 7F.05 Gas Turbine (60 Hz) (General Electric)

        Fuel Flexibility with Price and Availability Choices

        •     Uniform technology is deployed in areas with varying local fuel supplies

        •     Full range of fuel flexibility includes natural gas, distillate oil, lean methane fuels, pure ethane, syngas, light crude oil, and a variety of other fuels

        •     Only GE has proven F-class operation on Arabian Super Light (ASL) crude oil


      • That turbine is pretty cool AK. Does it burn all those fuels without modification? I.e. can the operator just turn off the nat gas and turn on condensate?

      • @jim2…

        Good question. AFAIK you actually have to represent a credible potential buyer to get all the details, but I’m working on it (in my spare time).

        But my ultimate point is this: the technology for such fast switchover should be doable. Probably at low cost once the learning curve is past. There are good economic incentives to be able to to make that switch, and AFAIK there are no real technological issues with it.

        How much higher could the cost be and still be a better investment, in terms of avoiding risks of “sunk costs”? I don’t know, except that it would probably be highly dependent on your baseline assumptions. But consider this: if the cost of PV/electrolytic or cyanobacterial fuel (using environmental CO2) becomes competitive with current natural gas, an investment in such a plant is completely hedged, in terms of being “green”.

        And probably without serious (or, perhaps, any) additional cost over what’s justified in terms of fuel flexibility in the face of regular market changes.

      • I wouldn’t worry too much about having such fuel flexibility in the USA for a given gen set. Natural gas should be a lot cheaper than the other fuels for quite a few years.

      • Natural gas should be a lot cheaper than the other fuels for quite a few years.

        Perhaps. But the work with cyanobacterial oil that Joule Unlimited and others are doing suggests that “green” oil might become competitive with natural gas within a decade or so.

        If so, the ability to switch to “100% green” energy could represent a considerable savings in meeting regulatory requirements. I’m not talking about whether or not this will happen, I’m talking about how people providing the capital, and evaluating how much they’re going to charge for it, perceive the risk. An ability to switch to light, clean, oil could well represent a significant reduction in the cost of capital, depending on how this risk is perceived.

        Of course, if a credible “proof-of-concept” for solar PV/electrolytic hydrogen>methane shows up, that would also reduce the risk, without requiring any conversion capability.

        Which is why I consider such technology such an important potential.

      • From Wikipedea:

        Swanson’s Law is an observation that the price of solar photovoltaic modules tends to drop 20 percent for every doubling of cumulative shipped volume.

        The PV cells of solar systems represent only fraction of their total costs. They need to be wired, supported, inverted, … etc. If their price gets near zero, there is still a lot of expense, plus they take up a lot of space and materials. There are also the environmental effects of their manufacture.

      • They need to be wired, supported, inverted, … etc. If their price gets near zero, there is still a lot of expense, plus they take up a lot of space and materials.

        There are many ways around those problems. Reading the above might have shown a few, rather than knee-jerk straw-man arguments.

    • ==> “The real deniers are those who deny the facts that are relevant for policy analysis. That’s most of the CAGW alarmists.”

      Yet another “skeptic,” comparing hundreds of millions of people to holocaust deniers.

      Judith – please express your consternation, your concern. This “McCarthyism” must be stamped out.

      Oh. The humanity!!!!!!



      curryja | October 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Reply
      Yes, [the men and women at the Pentagon] confuse extreme weather events as being caused by anthropogenic global warming. I would call them extreme weather deniers – they seem to be in denial that these are caused naturally.


      Please disregard my previous outrage!!!

      • Joshua demonstrating his bias – again!

        You didn’t address your comment to the scientists who use the term to attack those who do not accept their beliefs, did you?

        I wonder why not.

        No I don’t. I know why. It’s your the ideologically motivated reasoning you share with so many of the ‘educators’ educating (actually brain washing) our children and students.

  40. As a brand new, rank amateur, becoming interested in all this, just who are these delegates in Lima, Peru? Who are the US delegates and what are they deciding (if anything)? The authoritative sounding language reminds me of people who want to get past the details and on to bigger things. After reading the posts above I’m sure someone can fill me in.

    • @ Rodman

      You can probably find out who the delegates are, with some concentrated digging. You MAY even learn who selected them. Or if they were ‘self selected’. I suspect (without bothering to check for myself) that you would find their curricula vitae ‘interesting’.

      One thing that you can be sure of however: They ALL view the authors of these widely publicized statements on the problems with energy, pollution, and climate change and the courses that should be pursued to correct them as icons of the movement:


      and this one (contains a couple duplications):


    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      I’ve wondered this myself
      I fear it is an army of NGO soldiers
      urban rangers armed with tax free status
      self and mutually assured in their righteousness
      unknown and without fealty to any electorate
      huddled with false security on the rung of the ladder just beneath those that appointed them
      gifted in memo prose
      tolerant of endless policy meetings with the endurance of a Tour de
      France rider
      Phds in engineering who can’t change a car tire
      Drs of French Poetry expert in environmental policy
      unbiased like no generation before
      getting just the right amount of exercise as to not get too muscular
      their best athletic skill is typing whilst walking on a treadmill
      atheistic or at least agnostic
      suspicious of others who are not in therapy…

      I could go on, but I’ll stop :)

  41. Guest Opinion: “Intellectuals should heal, not fuel, toxic climate debate”


  42. Thanks Bob, I shall look into it.

  43. Natually, now that citizens are getting a little more money in their pockets due to lower gasoline and natural gas prices, these ninnies want to take it back in the form of a gas tax. We can’t let the common people enjoy a benefit, can we?

    From the article:

    A global natural gas boom alone won’t slow climate change
    H-Holger Rogner
    H-Holger Rogner…

    The ongoing shale gas revolution in the United States, dubbed a “game changer” by many experts, is the result of a surge of innovation that is extracting huge amounts of natural gas from shale deposits once thought to be inaccessible. It has reversed a decade of declining domestic gas production and brought enormous economic benefits to American consumers and businesses: natural gas prices that dropped by two-thirds within 12 months after widespread fracking began and have risen only slightly since then, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a renaissance of investment in new manufacturing capacities, and improved energy security. The rise of shale gas has had an environmental benefit as well—greatly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, because generating electricity by burning natural gas emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as burning coal.

    Blessing or curse? Experts have both welcomed and rued the prospect of abundant natural gas. Where gas replaces coal, it provides a potent and low-cost climate mitigation strategy. Two-thirds of the US reductions in carbon dioxide emissions since 2005 are attributable to fuel-switching, and one-third to growth in low-carbon generation especially renewable technologies such as wind and solar energy. Unconventional gas, proponents argue, can act as a “bridge” fuel, curbing emissions while non-fossil energy sources such as renewables and nuclear energy are ramped up.

    The curse? Abundant gas gives fossil fuels a new lease on life. Cheap gas may replace coal in many industrial applications, especially electricity generation, or even penetrate markets traditionally served by oil, such as transportation. But a global gas boom wouldn’t stop there. Economic rationale suggests that gas would also encroach on investments in renewable energy, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency. At today’s prices of $4 to $5 per million British thermal units, gas-fired electricity holds a definite competitive advantage over new nuclear construction and unsubsidized renewables. Indeed, only four out of more than two dozen applications for new nuclear power plants have begun construction after receiving a federal license to do so. Two dozen other nuclear plant applications have been withdrawn, suspended, or are still under review. All four reactors are being constructed in deregulated electricity markets where the risks of cost overruns can be passed on to ratepayers


  44. “Nobody with any knowledge on the subject denies that carbon dioxide (CO2) derived from the burning of fossil fuels is measurably warming the planet.” – Kim Cobb

    I challenge anybody to show statistical evidence for anthropogenic CO2 “forcing” in the temperature record.

    It does not exist.

    When will scientists begin to be honest about just how tiny anthropogenic CO2 emissions are in comparison to natural CO2 emissions from the biosphere?

    • You can silence any advocate of CAGW by asking for data supporting their assertion.
      PMHinSC | December 14, 2014 at 4:17 am |
      Since there has been no response to my earlier comment
      “No claim should be considered true until it can be substantiated.
      I will agree with every one of her claims you can substantiate.”
      I consider silence to be acquiescence to the statement that her claims cannot be substantiated and are consequently not true.

      Every request I have made here or elsewhere has been met with silence.

      • Every request I have made for DATA either here or elsewhere has been met with silence.

      • You can put facts into evidence such as what has been happening since 1950, but “skeptics” refuse to even see the possibility of a connection. There is no chance of a rational scientific conversation with them when they are behaving like this if confronted with the data (not even models, just data). The gradient here supports 2 C per doubling, smack-dab in the middle of the IPCC expectations, but they just say, no, impossible for CO2 to do this, even though it may look like it does.

      • Well, The IPCC range is so broad it doesn’t even qualify as a guess. If climate science can’t bound the ECS to +/- 20% they either don’t understand how to generate an estimate or they don’t understand climate. Pick one. Dr. Curry seems to be in the 1.6°C ECS camp.

        Fine – we’ll use what appears to be a best estimate.

        The IPCC has charts for 2000 PPM CO2 – this may seem sensible to people who think “The day after tomorrow” is a future documentary.

        To sensible people – there doesn’t appear to be a way to get over 600 PPM CO2. This makes the effective ECS less than 0.8°C (applying a doubling ECS to less than 1/2 a doubling yields an effective ECS that is less than half).

        Is the equivalent of less than a hours drive south mostly in the temperature region worth trillions to stop?

        Doesn’t seem so.

      • Jim,
        Thank you for conceding there is no data.
        I haven’t seen anything out of the bounds of normal variation since 1950.
        There are at least 90 models that differ by a factor of more than 3 and almost all show much higher temps than have been recorded (see Spencer “95% of climate models agree; the observations must be wrong”). When models disagree by a factor of more than 3 you can’t just pic an average and call that science. If you are going to pick one why not pick one that most closely agrees with observation?
        Dispite claims to the contrary how long CO2 stays in the atmosphere, where it comes from, and where it goes is at dispute, clouds and water vapor are largely unknown, natural variation is poorly understood, although you assume it is positive the “amplification factor” may be zero or negative (I don’t claim to know), not to mention Dr. Currie’s uncertain monster. I could go on but you will continue to claim knowledge that does not exist. There is no other field of science where decisions would be made based on “no” data and such sketchy (and unscientific) information. You can’t even demonstrate that more CO2 and warmer temperatures are not beneficial.

      • PMH, sorry you misunderstood. Here is the data. It was at the end of my post in case you missed it. Measured temperature and measured CO2 since the 1950’s. No models here. Just evidence. Hope this helps.

      • Jim,
        I would like to also point out the following:
        In 1960 atmospheric CO2 was 317ppm and in 2010 it was 392ppm. That is an increase by a factor of 1.00425 per year. At this rate it will take 163 years for CO2 levels to double. You can only believe there is a looming catastrophe if a) you believe that man is responsible for 100% of the CO2 increase (that is in serious doubt), b) an increase of up to 2.0 °C is not beneficial (there is much evidence that it is beneficial), c) over the next 100 years there will not be any major advances in energy production (now we can switch to nuclear within 10-20 years), and d) man can realistically do anything to effect global temperatures (the US EPA estimates proposed CO2 restrictions costing tens of trillions of US dollars would reduce global temperature by 0.006 °C). Many of your supporters believe oil will have been exhausted long before the year 2175.

      • PA, your scenario for a 600 ppm cap involves leaving significant amounts of known coal resources in the ground, not developing Arctic oil or exploring for any other new oil fields, including shale oil, and not developing methyl clathrates as a methane source. It also implies a complete and fairly sudden stop to using fossil fuels by 2100. While commendable goals, 600 ppm is too high to keep sea levels from rising much higher. It really would be too little too late to let it get that far.

      • PMH, each 100 ppm averted is a degree C averted. We are on a path to add several hundred ppm by 2100, which is worth several degrees on top of the 1 C already committed.

      • @JimD “You can put facts into evidence such as what has been happening since 1950, but “skeptics” refuse to even see the possibility of a connection. There is no chance of a rational scientific conversation with them when they are behaving like this if confronted with the data”

        You are asserting a correlation as causation. If you care to look at the data more closely you will find that CO2 levels very closely follow SSTs:


        Why do climate alarmists continually assert that all atmospheric CO2 increase is anthropogenic? Try Henry’s Law, our contribution is only 30-50ppm.

        As stated above, nobody is able to show the “signature” for anthropogenic CO2 “forcing” in the temperature record. I can only conclude that the warming is natural.

      • backsider, no, the facts are evidence that happen to support a well known theory and are being used to test it.

      • Jim,
        You are acting like a man walking around with his fingers in his ears yelling nanananan. You show a plot you claim is data supporting causation. At best it shows correlation and if the scales are changed it doesn’t even show that. You say “each 100 ppm averted is a degree C averted” without evidence (specifically no data) that your statement is true, man is responsible, or that it is harmful. Please clarify your statement “100ppm averts a degree C.” If doubling (400ppm to 800ppm) is 2 degree C wouldn’t 200ppm be 1 degree C (assuming worst cast linear)?

      • Jim D | December 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        PMH, each 100 ppm averted is a degree C averted. We are on a path to add several hundred ppm by 2100, which is worth several degrees on top of the 1 C already committed.

        Jim D, perhaps I wasn’t clear in some way. Thanks for pointing that out.

        1. There 820 gigatons (more or less) of carbon in the atmosphere (divide 3000 by 3.67).

        November 2014: 397.13 ppm
        November 2013: 395.11 ppm
        Last updated: December 5, 2014

        2. From the ESRL the change since last year is 2.02 ppm

        3. 2.02 ppm * 820 gigaton /400 ppm = 4.141 gT (we’ll call it 4.2) went into the atmosphere.


        4. There were 9.8 gT emitted so 5.6 gT went elsewhere. The amount of CO2 going elsewhere is increasing faster than the emissions increase. Historically more went into the atmosphere and less went elsewhere.

        There is almost as much carbon in fossil fuel reserves as there carbon in atmosphere (within about 10%). About 200 Gt of Chinese coal reserves are unextractable and there are some other deposits off the table – but we’ll ignore that and move on. We will use the 820 gT atmospheric content as the “fossil fuel reserves”. Can we double the PPM with the same amount of fossil equivalent.

        Total carbon * current amount to atmosphere / current total emissions = amount added.
        820 gT * 4.2 /9.8 = 321.4 (we’ll faux round to 322).

        Current level * fractional change = new level.
        400 PPM *(820+322)/820 = 557 PPM (we’ll call it 560).

        So if nothing else changes the maximum CO2 level in the atmosphere is 560 PPM. I’m not factoring in that the rate of CO2 absorption is increasing as the differential from a 300 PPM equilibrium state. So the more the CO2 is increased the more it goes elsewhere, and with 38000 gT in the ocean a lot of it has gone elsewhere before.

        To even hit 600 PPM we have to find a lot of new reserves right now and burn them as fast as possible. Next century will feature declining CO2 levels and there isn’t anything we can to do change it. The differential driven environmental absorption will suck the CO2 level back under 400 PPM quite rapidly and it isn’t likely we can find enough fossil fuel sources to change that.

        Finally, referring to a study by a well respected climate scientist, the ECS for doubling is 1.64. 560 PPM isn’t even half a doubling and represents about 0.7°C of additional warming.

      • Yes, 100 ppm is worth about a degree. Up to 700 ppm that corresponds to 3 C per doubling, larger beyond that. It’s also the rate you get directly from the gradient on the graph, which gives an idea of the effect of adding each ppm of CO2 today. Many “skeptics” believe the .0006 C stuff, but actually that is just “political” science designed to fool you. The real effect is 0.01 C per ppm, so if we add 25 ppm per decade, that’s 0.25 C per decade.

      • PA, using a single year to evaluate the absorbed amount is not reliable. Averaged over time it is about 50% and decreases in warmer years. 600 ppm is achievable by burning another 3000 GtCO2, which is well below estimates of coal resources alone. At today’s rate we would reach 600 ppm in 2100, and no one believes we won’t increase the emission rate further unless there is a policy to control the increase. So far the emission rate has been doubling every 33 years. 600 ppm is what we would get in 2100 with a half-way attempted mitigation effort, as though some countries tried but others didn’t. It’s not a good scenario.

      • To even hit 600 PPM we have to find a lot of new reserves right now and burn them as fast as possible.

        Piece of cake. Your point?

      • Jim D | December 15, 2014 at 12:39 am |
        Yes, 100 ppm is worth about a degree. Up to 700 ppm that corresponds to 3 C per doubling, larger beyond that. It’s also the rate you get directly from the gradient on the graph, which gives an idea of the effect of adding each ppm of CO2 today. Many “skeptics” believe the .0006 C stuff, but actually that is just “political” science designed to fool you. The real effect is 0.01 C per ppm, so if we add 25 ppm per decade, that’s 0.25 C per decade.

        Hmmm. We seem to have a misunderstanding of what the ECS is.

        We have tested 120 PPM increase, and lets say for arguments sake we are 1°C above 1900, We won’t quibble about cyber generated vs anthropomorphic global warming. About 0.5°C of the warming was natural, a progression that started before the CO2 and about 0.5°C is CO2. That would make the TCS about 1°C.

        So the higher values of TCS/ECS don’t look at all realistic.

        The higher values of ECS are like the IPCC 2000 PPM CO2. They are BS.

        Also – the environmental absorption is dependent on the atmospheric PPM not the emissions. If the emissions don’t keep accelerating the amount absorbed by the environment will close with emissions. A constant increase in CO2 will put progressively less carbon into the atmosphere.

      • Jim D & PA,

        I think I missed it. Did either of you factor in a pause in to your calculations? I could not find one. :)

      • Reading PA I miss Max Anacker more often but less sorrowfully.

      • I have to agree with kim.

      • kJim D:

        You can put facts into evidence such as what has been happening since 1950, but “skeptics” refuse to even see the possibility of a connection.

        Now can you show us the evidence of what was happening before 1950?

      • Max Anacker, oh yes kim. I dedicated me 19th edishun of SU,
        ‘The Divine Comedy,’ ter Max. https://beththeserf.wordpress.com/

      • From my comment up thread (slightly edited for clarity…I hope):

        It seems very unlikely that CO2 levels were as low or stable as icecore data suggests. I’m pretty sure plant stoma suggest they were much more variable (ask Tony Brown). As I think icecore data does itself, 27% of the CO2 increase in law dome CO2 concentration happens before CO2 emission become significant in the 40s, when 18% of total industrial era emissions happened. More recently, 2000-2008, 20% of emissions happened, but only 15% of total industrial era concentration increase.

      • I think a lot of it ends up at the bottom of the ocean.

        From Dec 4 Open Thread:

        Fish also breed fast. Plant life in the ocean is consumed quickly. I brought this up in a couple comments on this post. http://judithcurry.com/2014/11/07/week-in-review-34/#comment-646123

        Danny, I meant a decrease in the emissions growth rate. We seem to be approaching a linear growth rate.

        Sinks are growing. With emissions rates growing, sinks have grown so much that concentration growth is almost linear.

        I would think it is largely an increase in biomass, but not primarily vegetation. Think of the oceans, how much old plant growth is there? I imagine much is consumed by animals…

        The oceans are huge, there is a lot of plant mass which reproduces quickly, is short-lived, and may be growing because of warming and CO2 (and keeping upper ocean CO2 lower than equilibrium with the increased atmospheric concentration). This mass is likely consumed by animal life rather quickly. Fish also breed very quickly, so both CO2 and energy may be sequestered in large increases in ocean biomass, and waste sinks and transports it to the deep ocean to decay (some of Trenberth’s direct deep ocean heating :) )



      • Jim D – Clearly you are not good with numbers.

        25% of the total of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have happened since 1998. Since 1998 temperatures have remained flat.

        Your theory has been falsified.

      • PA, yes, I have seen the “skeptics” hoping 0.5 C was natural. That is all they have left. No mechanism for it. The land is warming twice as fast as the ocean, the Arctic even more, somewhat as expected for CO2 forcing. This half degree just happens to have come at the same time as most of the CO2 forcing and is indistinguishable from a feedback in its timing. You can’t concede that the AR5 even may be right despite all the numbers going in their favor.

      • Danny Thomas, you can look at the woodfortrees link I posted above. I am not impressed by this so-called pause. It looks just like all the other pauses. It has had its run and got many skeptics extremely excited, but that will be all for now. Time to start thinking about your next meme.

      • Jim D,

        Please help me with what you mean by this: “It looks just like all the other pauses.” I’m learning not to put my assumptions of what another is meaning as I’m often quite off base.

      • http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:12/from:1850/offset:-0.05/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/mean:12/offset:0.05/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.3

        I changed the dates from 1950 to 1850 out of curiosity and noted 1910-1950 temp closely follows the pattern of 1960-2020. I also see a 1940-1980 apparent cooling plus one from 1880-1910. Lacking CO2 data going back as far as 1850 what is your theory for the other plateaus/cooling periods in between the warming, and indeed the warming itself prior to our tracking of that CO2?

        Jim, I still state I have sufficient evidence for warming, but I still cannot state to an equivalent level that there is more than correlation to CO2 and not yet definitive causation. Just reminding you of my perspective. Appox. 1C after 170 years (or 110 if you prefer more dramatic starting points to make the graph slope more steep so wish to start at 1910), just doesn’t bother me. We have time for more research from what I see. Continue to build your case, but there is not yet sufficient evidence (for me) to decide the case. IMO.

      • Yes, manacker was another one of the skeptics who thought we couldn’t get to 600 ppm even if we tried. Coal alone gets us past that. Many say there are several hundred years worth of coal left. It would be some progress to leave as much coal in the ground as 600 ppm implies, but that is only a first step.

      • Jimmy, do you believe that AGW is the most serious problem that we are facing? If so, you are a one percenter. That’s the very thin slice of the public, who believe that the sky is falling. You are on the fringe, jimmy. I don’t think your evangelizing is going to convert anybody here. How can you take so much rejection? I worry about you.

      • phatboy, 75% of the CO2 has been added since 1950 causing 2/3 of the warming in that period. Before 1950 it was indistinguishable from natural variation, and we see these with peaks in 1870 and 1940 and troughs between. However, after 1950 it has been getting warmer than at any other time in the measured record, and the reasons are obvious. The post-1980 rise was predicted by Broecker (1975) and Hansen (1981) to show by 2000 despite natural variability, and it did.

      • Don M, most people are more worried about tomorrow or their own future than the earth’s as a whole. This is natural, but it doesn’t mean no one should pay attention to the long term. That’s the head-in-the-sand syndrome. I am fairly sure ozone and acid rain didn’t figure high into general concerns either, but luckily they were not ignored. People are paid to plan long-term for coastal development, food, water, security and energy. Leave it to them to worry. Don’t concern yourself with these issues if that makes you feel better.

      • So jimmy, if Broecker and Hansen knew that CO2 would have it way over natural variability, what about the freaking pause, jimmy? If they know so much about natural variability, surely they saw the pause coming. Why didn’t the tell us? Soldier on, jimmy.

      • Danny Thomas, the expected effect of CO2 was about 0.3 C in the first 100 years and 0.6 C in the last 50, and the curve you show is consistent with that acceleration. So, don’t think of it as simply linear because the global energy demand is still growing fast, and currently we are feeding it with fossil fuels with the consequences you see there.

    • thebackslider | December 14, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply

      When will scientists begin to be honest about just how tiny anthropogenic CO2 emissions are in comparison to natural CO2 emissions from the biosphere?

      AR5 WG1 Figure 6.1

      There is about 220 gT of carbon that sloshes in and out of the atmosphere every year. There is about 820 gT of carbon in the atmosphere so the average CO2 lifetime is about 5.6 years. But to be clear, 26% of the carbon in the atmosphere is absorbed by the environment and replaced with emissions.from the environment every year.

      About 4.2 gT of human emissions stayed in the atmosphere and about 5.6 gT was absorbed by the environment in 2013 (less than half of emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere).

      And yeah human emissions are less than 1/20 (5%) of the carbon budget.

      • PA – thanks for your detailed analysis. It has helped expand my knowledge and focus my thinking. This has been a good thread; at least for me.

      • PA,

        Can you assist me with this:”But to be clear, 26% of the carbon in the atmosphere is absorbed by the environment and replaced with emissions.from the environment every year.”

        Is this indicating that there is an equilibrium and that which is absorbed must be then later ejected? This isn’t digesting well so I’m thinking I’m misunderstanding. Thx

      • Lets do the math from the AR5 chart:

        Into atmosphere:
        078.4 from ocean
        001.0 from fresh water
        007.8 from fossil fuels/cement
        001.1 from land use change
        118.7 transpiration and fire
        000.1 Volcano
        207.1 Total Input

        080.0 to ocean
        123.0 photosynthesis
        000.3 Rock Weathering
        203.3 Total Output

        203/820 is 28%.(percent carbon leaving the atmosphere per year).

        So the IPCC says 3.8 GT (207.1-203.3) goes into the atmosphere, The atmosphere has about 820 gT of carbon (all the numbers are carbon). A better number for the 2013 net atmosphere carbon increase is 4.2 gT.

        The lifetime is the amount of time a molecule spends in the atmosphere. If we tagged all the CO2 atoms only 72% would be in the atmosphere next year. This is where the popular 5.6 year lifetime number comes from, how long it takes our “tagged” molecules to disappear.

        The diffusion rate into the ocean is the difference between current PPM and about 300 PPM (the partial pressure differential). So the higher the CO2 PPM the faster the diffusion into the ocean. The higher the PPM (and the warmer it is) the faster plants grow. The greater the CO2 level in PPM the faster the “excess” CO2 leaves the atmosphere. Because these outflows are increasing so rapidly the net into the environment 5.6 gT is greater than the net into the atmosphere 4.2 gT. About half goes into the ocean and half into plants.

        4.2 + 5.6 = 9.8 gT.(the reported emissions for 2013.

      • The way I see it is that we are adding about 4% to the manmade fraction of CO2 per year of which half stays in the atmosphere. Natural absorption only has a chance to keep up after emissions are cut by 50% at which point the CO2 level would flatten at current levels.

  45. It’s a shame that Daniel C. Dennett feels the need to put his name to a petition calling for insults to be rained on those who are not persuaded by the arguments for cAGW.

    Perhaps he has simply been to busy writing books and not had enough time to actually look at some of the data, and compare them to the model effusions.

    This is, of course, partly my fault for buying the books and reading them. Perhaps if more of his readers stop doing so then it will give him the impetus to get up off his arse and stop letting the circus do his thinking for him.

    • What petition?

      Are you aware of the latest push to officially label CAGW skeptics as “deniers”?

      • @ Michael Hart and thebackslider

        A quote from Dr. Ben Carson: “The Alinsky-ites say, ‘never have a conversation with your adversary because that humanizes them, and your job is to demonize them.'”

        To understand the world of Climate Science (not the science of studying how the climate actually works), writ large, you need to remind yourself or or become familiar with Saul Alinsky’s twelve ‘Rules for Radicals’. Wikipedia, among other sources, provides a list.

        If you read this and other ‘Climate Science’ sites long you will find that these rules provide much of the playbook for ‘Climate Science’.

        You will also find by reading blogs like Dr. Curry’s, the mainstream press, and remarks by prominent academics that Rules 5 and 12 are favorites of the supporters of the ‘consensus’.

      • Bob

        Right on. Everyone should read ” Rules for Radicals” and recognize it for the evil that it is, so that we can call it out when it’s methods are being used. It’s a classic example of the ends justify the means. Pure evil that can only lead to chaos.

      • Yep, every conservative and libertarian should hold their nose and read that book. I have. It sanctions lying, cheating, and stealing – all via politics.

      • I respectfully suggest that any libertarians or conservatives so foolhardy as to read the following rubbish should hold their noses while doing so, as they are surely more refined than we ordinary mortals.

        At the time Alinsky wrote that book, 1971, radicals preferred pipe bombs, or nuclear weapons if they could have got their hands on them. Certainly “lying, cheating, and stealing” sound terrible to (some of) us innocents of 2014, who remain clueless, or at least puzzled, as to either the impacts or motives of “radicals” like ISIL and Boko Haram.

        But by the standards of either 1971 or when Moses brought down those tablets from the mountain, the first two, lying and cheating, were just fine in eyes of either G*d, Moses, or Alinsky. God’s eighth commandment to Moses, “thou shalt not steal”, of course consigned thieves to the higher temperatures of the netherworld, assuming equal temperatures for adultery (7th) and theft (8th).

        Whether those temperatures are a monotonically decreasing function of rank of commandment is a question rarely brought to the attention of the rabbinically inclined. If ever.

        Those conservatives and libertarians that made it this far can now release their noses and take a breath of air fresher than I’ve just poisoned you with. ;)

      • I heard him speak once. I even asked a question face to face in the small crowd afterwards. I don’t remember the question or his answer.

      • The problem with such senior moments is that even if you remember to bring your notebook to remind you of such questions and answers, how are you going to remember to write them down?

      • I’m reminded, thanks to Plutarch and Themistocles, of Mnesiphilus the Phrearrhian, but I perhaps I should study further before dragging his name into this pigpen.

      • Heh, Vaughn, I always tell the students, early in the day: ‘Learn it all, remember what’s important’.

      • ‘Rhetoric, according to a classical tradition familiar to Dante, is essential for civilized life when used wisely. However, eloquence without wisdom–far worse even than wisdom without eloquence–is an evil that can “corrupt cities and undermine the lives of men” (Cicero, De inventione 1.2.3).

        You are quite wrong on all counts Pratt. The 1970 radicals were not much inclined to other than sporadic violence by what everyone recognised were nutcases. The dimmer versions were even then chanting ‘solar power now’ and the brighter ones were wondering vaguely what Allen Ginsberg and ‘howling’ was all about and whether they should be ‘into it’. Mostly it was about taking recreational drugs, listening to Bob Dylan and sleeping around. The less committed could play it all for laughs and still get all the hot chicks.

        A few imagined they were a vanguard leading the way to a new world order. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. These latter are condemned – along with politicians, used car salesmen and tele-evangelists – to the 8th circle of hell where they will be sliced and diced eternally.

      • Yep, every conservative and libertarian should hold their nose and read that book. I have. It sanctions lying, cheating, and stealing – all via politics.

        Further to my previous response to this eye-grabbing recommendation, the premise that conservatives and libertarians are less prone to lying, cheating, or stealing than mere ordinary mortals sounds like a fascinating topic for some aspiring academic to work up into a thesis. Looking forward to reading all about how these goody two-shoes manage to avoid life’s little temptations, or at least detection thereof.

        (My dad once told me, at an impressionable age, that there were people in the world who believed that the only sin was to be caught. The very thought left me so flabbergasted that the possibility my own father might be kidding occurred to me for the first time in my life, witness to the principle that puberty afflicts the sheltered well before cynicism.)

      • “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”

  46. The Bottom Line

    …the fact remains that a new way forward has been established in which all countries participate and which therefore holds promise of meaningful global action to address the threat of climate change.

    –e.g., that we have the courage to do nothing, despite what nihilistic ideologues in Western civilization — mostly in the government-education complex — demand, even at the expense of individual iiberty?

  47. Stephen Segrest

    This week there is an interesting (and easy) read on advanced nuclear power and two remarkable young scientists at MIT: http://www.brookings.edu/research/essays/2014/backtothefuture?cid=00900013020140101US0001#

    • Yes this is a very good article, I have tweeted it

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        it takes so long to get them built
        15-20 years?
        even if we start tomorrow
        the hiatus could be 30-40 years long by then
        if so, won’t CO2 GHG theory be uh…in bit of trouble?

      • John – a molten salt reactor most probably won’t take as long to build as the current designs – that is if the government stays in its place and the greens are kept out of it completely.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        will endeavor to remain optimistic
        however, out my window
        temps trending down
        governmental control of dang near everything trending up

      • –it takes so long to get them built 15-20 years?
        even if we start tomorrow the hiatus could be 30-40 years long by then
        if so, won’t CO2 GHG theory be uh…in bit of trouble?–

        Yes. Bad idea to tie nuclear energy to the pseudo science of
        Jim Hansen. And if they take 15-20 year to build, then they don’t
        ever get built.
        It only helps the wacko lefties to support something like nuclear nuclear
        because it the only reasonable path of reducing CO2 emission. Nuclear energy was reducing CO2 emission before anyone was scared of CO2 emission. So Lefties need something rational to tie to their stupid ideas.
        The Nuclear industry can remind people that nuclear is a power supply that is the lowest emitter of any kind of greenhouse gas, but to sell the idea it should focus on it’s strong points.
        Such as it’s a very safe way to make electrical power. And it has the long record which proves this
        And the goal or focus should be to make it the cheapest way to make electrical power for various regions. So not cheapest power every where but rather the cheapest for a majority of the regions which need
        electrical power. Or they should say there goal is for all people to pay less than 10 cent per Kw hour. And there are lot of places in which residential retail price of electrical power is over 10 cent per kilowatt hour.

        And to provide electrical at 10 cent per kw/hour retail [a 1/10th of that wholesale] it needs to be able to build power plants in a time period of
        less than 10 years. Or if going to take 15+ years it will cost a lot more than 10 cent per kW/hour Or it simply will not be done.

    • I’m a big fan of the molten salt or liquid metal reactor types.

      A nuclear reactor contains dangerous (kind of) elements and should be operated at ambient or negative pressure. Using a high pressure coolant in a nuclear reactor is not a good idea and lends itself to a number of accident scenarios. Leaks in an ambient pressure liquid metal or molten salt reactor are slow and self sealing.

      • But would this reactor design be safe in congo?

      • “But would this reactor design be safe in congo?”

        Probably, until Hollywood make a Congo Syndrome movie.

      • It would be safe anywhere. However if you take top off the reactor and used buckets to scoop out the reactor solution and haul it outside you could create an incident – if you lived long enough.

        The basic soup kettle liquid fluoride reactor is naturally safe since increasing temperature causes the fluid to expand, reducing the neutron cross section thus reducing the reaction rate.

        And there is a freeze plug in the bottom of the kettle which drains into a bigger kettle where the liquid salt/fuel soup can’t go critical. If the operators do something really stupid to overheat the reactor, or the plant loses power, the freeze plug melts.

      • Curious George

        It looks great on paper. I wonder how much it would cost to build a working prototype – and, as the article mentions, to get all necessary permits – for land, for using spent fuel rods, etc. I don’t believe it could be done in the U.S. today. I don’t believe it would be possible to build the Hoover Dam in the U.S. today.

      • Well, building a prototype isn’t nearly as expensive as a PWR.

        The “vessel” has to be thick enough (about 1/3 of an inch) to mechanically hold the solution of salt and fuel in place. There is no 6-8 inch thick reactor vessel, there are no complex fuel assemblies, no thousands of zircaloy tubes with 10’s of thousands of rabbit pellets of uranium, there is no reactor core per se. There is not a maze of emergency cooling plumbing. If the system uses a brayton cycle there isn’t even any water close to the reactor.

        In theory it should be significantly less expensive.

      • Curious George

        PA – my point is that we are no longer a nation of engineers. We are a nation of lawyers.

      • CG, if you regulate the manufacturing out of the country – you take much of the engineering with it; This doesn’t affect people who build targets (civil engineering and some mechanical engineering).

        The overeager activist regulators have done more to damage America than foreign powers.

      • PA,

        The overeager activist regulators have done more to damage America than foreign powers.

        Same here in Australia. And in UK and Europe. And most of the OECD countries.

      • @ PA, Curious George

        “The overeager activist regulators (OAR’s) have done more to damage America than foreign powers.”

        This was not a coincidence. The OAR ‘movers and shakers’ are all smart folks who graduated from prestigious universities near the top of their classes. They KNOW what they are doing. And they are VERY GOOD at it.

        “I don’t believe it would be possible to build the Hoover Dam in the U.S. today.”

        You would be correct. In fact, we will be doing well if we can prevent the OAR’s from destroying it like they have so many other dams.

    • That’s a great article Stephen. It notes the US Fed is missing in action. Let’s hope they stay out of it until it’s time to approve it, and then they approve it in an expedient manner. Fat chance.

    • The aspiration to build a better mouse trap or nuclear reactor will always be welcome. However, talk of “battling” climate change is even more juvenile than talk of “tackling” climate change. Shows your head’s in the wrong place, and the place resembles a sandbox.

      If you want to be believed, don’t talk like a baby. Leave all that battling and tackling stuff to Superman comics.

    • I forwarded to my dad. He spent some time at Oak Ridge and was involved in designing reactor control systems for gas cooled and liquid sodium reactors.

  48. I just wanted to draw attention to Matt Ridley’s latest blog post “Evidence based policy making” (also published in the Times, behind a pay-wall).


  49. Uh oh, another reason that any climate treaty needs to have some serious effectiveness:


    • A link within your offering. http://phys.org/news/2014-12-human-important-factor-global-uk.html#inlRlv

      Interesting that they state: Peter Stott, Head of Climate Attribution at the Met Office, said: “Our research shows current global average temperatures are highly unlikely in a world without human influence on the climate.
      “Human influence has also made breaking the current UK temperature record about ten times more likely.

      They can attribute temps but cannot attribute rainfall. “Due to the large amount of variability in UK rainfall, it’s not yet possible to say whether human influence directly impacted this year’s total.”

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        what would the world look like without human activity?
        guess I lack sufficient sophistication…but
        this seems a logical absurdity
        a result that can never be confirmed and can only be eternally speculative
        we are inseparable from the biosphere
        we are a product of it
        there is no error

        “Due to the large amount of variability in UK rainfall, it’s not yet possible to say whether human influence directly impacted this year’s total.”

        come on, that’s laughable
        never will be

        when the great one’s of science figure the 0.00
        precisely measured difference between the human inhabited earth
        and the pure non-human earth
        I’ll be so relieved
        at least I’ll know how bad I should feel for my existence

      • “what would the world look like without human activity?” One thing for sure is we couldn’t measure it!

      • One aspect of above:

        Increasing variance alone increases radiation to space.

        That’s because ( (T-1)^4 + (T+1)^4 )/2 > T^4

        So, variance could increase while average actually decreased.

        Most likely, though, is increase average with reduced or constant variance.

    • Well, this is all fine and good but the charts to the article showed most of the warming extremes in the temperate zone.

      2°C in the temperate zone is a two hour drive south.

      Calling this extreme climate change requires an interesting interpretation of “extreme” and “climate change”

      • PA,

        It was the same with the ozone hole. There were what seemed like never ending horror stories on what would happen if it expanded. But not once did you ever see mention of the fact that the increased exposure to uv was the same as moving from Minneapolis to New Orleans.

    • I can see why you say uh oh. The NH winter should be warming the most according to climate models yet is cooling. They couldn’t possibly be more wrong. They indeed do need a treaty to fix the models.

    • I went swimming in Amistad Lake twelve miles NW of Del Rio, Texas last Friday afternoon. Couldn’t tell if the water was cold, it probably was, but the sun and wind was warm and I was so hot about the shenanigans involving the 1.1 Trillion dollar cromnibus that my human influence probably raised the temperature of the water in the cove a few degree.

  50. From the article:

    The collapsing oil price that is reshaping the global economy could derail the green energy revolution by making renewable power sources prohibitively bad value, experts have warned.

    Oil tumbled below $60 a barrel for the first time in more than five years yesterday – a fall of 44 per cent since June. It is forecast to fall further.

    A new “era of cheap oil” would be good news for consumers and motorists – but analysts say the consequences for politics, industry and the climate could be even more radical.

    The ripple effects could help the Conservatives to remain in power at next year’s general election by making voters feel richer as bills fall – while hurting Scotland’s oil-reliant economy and setting back its campaign for independence.

    The falling prices could damage the North Sea and fledgling fracking industries and make it harder for the UK to hit its legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions. But the biggest threat posed by falling oil and gas prices – in the UK and globally – is to the renewable energy industry dominated by wind-, solar- and hydro-power, experts say.


  51. Nice to see all those enviormental professors from a wide range of countries led by Australia stick their necks out for nuclear.

  52. Generalissimo Skippy

    Rob Ellison | December 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm |

    The usual threading problems I see.

    So here we are again. The lack of quality control results in the burying of anything of interest or substance in a pile of manure. It is certainly not worth wading through it.
    Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | December 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm |

    I’m sorry your “comment of substance” got buried in the manure pile. Your comment must be well camouflaged, because I looked through the manure and couldn’t find it. Of what substance was your comment?

    Just checked my reply button. Maxy is certainly out front in the cr@p comment stakes at the moment. Some people actually attempt – however misguidedly – comment of a science like nature. Maxy and Co. are about something else. It is ickily like a circle jerk for progressives with inferiority complexes. It is not worth wading through.

  53. Great comment over at real climate – well pointed out Judith – thanks for that

  54. @ Dr. Curry

    I followed this link:

    “A remarkable comment at Real Climate [link]”

    and read a bunch of the commentary regarding it and previous comments by Harris.

    Every time I visit that site I am forcibly reminded that Saul Alinsky is the Patron Saint of Climate Science.

    I am also reminded that these and the like-thinking are the folks who we have placed in charge of setting the rules—-all the rules—in what is generically known as Western Civilization.

    As Dr. Jerry Pournelle is fond of saying: “We have sown the wind…….”

  55. Dr Curry,

    Which comment was remarkable? That of Steve Harris or the response from eric (Stieg I suppose)?

    I’d go with the latter. I find it rather remarkable that a university professor would post such a lame response.

  56. 12/9 8:29 PM ET
    NAT GAS ______3.644__-0.008
    RBOB GAS____1.6984__-0.0252

    12/10 9:34 PM ET
    NAT GAS______3.713__0.007
    RBOB GAS____1.654__0.0122

    12/11 8:40 PM ET
    NAT GAS___3.655__0.021
    RBOB GAS__1.6184

    12/12 6:52 PM ET
    NAT GAS _____3.795__0.161
    RBOB GAS____1.5973__-0.0271

    12/15 7:26 PM ET
    NAT GAS ______3.759__0.04 1.08% 305
    RBOB GAS____1.5736__-0.0028

    • 12/16 8:16 PM ET
      NAT GAS_______3.637__0.018
      RBOB GAS_____1.5426__0.0016

    • 12/17 6:15 PM ET
      NAT GAS _____3.691__-0.011
      RBOB GAS___1.5535__-0.0127

    • OIL_________54.88
      NAT GAS_____3.667
      RBOB GAS____1.54

    • The electronic oil futures are still in a $4 contango a year out which indicates pressure to lower prices, so I’m not sure if this bump up will last.

      12/19 6:35 PM ET
      NAT GAS _____3.464
      RBOB GAS___1.5595

  57. From the article:
    WASHINGTON (AP) — People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming.

    Ethanol isn’t so green, either.

    “It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline” for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.”

    The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.

    The study examines environmental costs for cars’ entire life cycle, including where power comes from and the environmental effects of building batteries.

    “Unfortunately, when a wire is connected to an electric vehicle at one end and a coal-fired power plant at the other end, the environmental consequences are worse than driving a normal gasoline-powered car,” said Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it.

    The states with the highest percentage of electricity coming from coal, according to the Department of Energy, are West Virginia, Wyoming, Ohio, North Dakota, and Illinois.


    • I laughed at this:

      “Lima is just yet another re-enactment of the three-stage ritual that has become only too familiar over the past 20 years. First, we are treated to months of ludicrously unscientific hype, telling us that the threat of global warming is now worse than ever. Then, they all gather in some agreeable venue, for the “developing” nations – led by China and India – to say they will only play ball if the “developed” world, led by the EU, the US and Japan, pays them $100 billion a year to curb their “carbon emissions”. In days of acrimony and stupefying boredom it emerges that the rich countries aren’t really intending to deliver. Finally, at the eleventh hour – or more likely 4 o’clock in the morning – a “breakthrough” is announced. Everyone has finally agreed on a meaningless document that commits no one to anything.” –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 14 December 2014

  58. Rabett brings up the Newsroom was going to tackle climate change:
    The video is good. It reminds us to not do this: We have a problem. Without doing this: And here’s the solution.

  59. Funny and maybe true:
    “Thus: disagreeing *at all* with the standard dogma of B will get you branded by such people as The Enemy, and you will get generally treated with hostility and suspicion and, at worst, forcibly ejected from the B-supporter group. Result: everyone stops thinking about the issues, and discussion descends into not arriving at logical and interesting places but who can most furiously support B.”
    I’ve seen this name used a bit lately elsewhere.

  60. It does look like the Bakken may end up the swing producer for crude. Oil produced there is only fetching $42/bbl. So, wells may be shut in sooner than I thought. (Someone posted an article on this earlier, I don’t know where it is.)

    At any rate, oil production could go down faster than I first thought.

    From the article:

    Realized wellhead prices for Bakken crude were recently trading at a $16 discount (27%) to WTI.

    The NDIC’s latest report showed Bakken November production dropped month-over-month.

    Lower prices, rail transportation costs, new flaring and stabilization regulations are all negatively affecting Bakken producers.

    As a result, it appears much of Continental Resources’ (unhedged) production is unprofitable at the current price.

    Should CLR keep growing production, or stop drilling and completions until the price rises?


  61. Thanks in part to the protracted debate over Climategate emails, even the most basic models of physics are now being re-examined:

    See: “How Today’s Top Scientists are gambling away scientific credibility”:


  62. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30456664

    If Mars “belches” methane, might one expect to find that Earth does also and then might one wish to know how much and why?

  63. The Russian economy is imploding because “peak oil” has been revealed as yet another Mathusian delusion of the left. The economy/housing bubble in China is quivering like it’s about to burst.


    ” After a brief rally, the ruble resumed its cliff-diving ways on Tuesday, falling another 14 percent to a low of 80 rubles per dollar. It was 60 rubles per dollar just the day before.”


    “Last year it was revealed that in Beijing alone, there were 3.8 million vacant homes.”

    If you are a true believing acolyte of the Church of Global Warming, this is great news because economic collapse is the only way those two dictatorial regimes will ever reduce their CO2 emissions.

    If on the other hand, you actually give a damn about people, and are aware of how totalitarians historically act in times when their hold on power is imperiled, this is not good news at all.

  64. Here’s the tolerant “pro-science” culture at it again;


    Right, the blackball list to be compared to “Holocaust Deniers” for easy media meme creations.

  65. Rob Johnson-Taylor

    Now for something that Prof Judith Curry may not have spotted. Anew twist, at least for me, from a pro AGW climate change by Mark Maslin Professor of Climatology at University College London. “I’ll talk politics with climate change deniers – but not science”

  66. Climate Researcher 

    The current series of articles in the Hockey Schtick are overwhelmingly misguided by the writings of Maxwell in which he presented quite a different explanation to that of the brilliant 19th century physicist Loschmidt.

    The huge difference is that Maxwell incorrectly confused cause and effect, thinking that high pressure caused high temperatures. That is not the case. The force of gravity acting on molecules in flight establishes a state of thermodynamic equilibrium which, in the absence of radiating molecules, has a temperature gradient equal to the “dry” lapse rate. Then that state of thermodynamic equilibrium acquires a reduced gradient due to the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation and other radiation associated with those molecules. The force of gravity also sets up a density gradient in accord with the process of increasing entropy described in the Second Law. Pressure is just a corollary, being proportional to the product of temperature and density. Temperature is an independent variable requiring actual energy input. It doesn’t just rise because pressure rises.

    But this still does not explain why the lower gradient leads to lower surface temperatures, because it does not explain the necessary energy flows. One might argue that the lower gradient means the surface cools more slowly and so the daily minimum temperature is higher, even though the maximum is the same. This gives a warmer mean surface temperature. But that’s not supported by empirical evidence.

    The big question is whether it is the surface temperature controlling the atmospheric temperature or the atmospheric temperature controlling the surface temperature. The answer is complex for earth, and things vary at different times of the day and night, and in different circumstances such as cloud cover or clear days. The energy flows however must be understood, and they must include heat transfers into the surface because we know it warms by day and we only have to look at Venus data to realise the Sun’s direct radiation does not do all the warming.

  67. From the article:

    Two Texas A&M University scholars are calling for an end to the U.S. oil export ban because it penalizes domestic crude producers, hurts the global economy and harms American interests abroad.

    James Griffin, professor of economics and public policy, said that if Congress and President Barack Obama are committed to free trade, striking down the Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975 should be “a no brainer.”

    “It’s something that the new Congress and the president ought to be able to agree on,” Griffin said. “They both claim that they support free trade. Here’s a really good example of a case where we’re not promoting free trade like we claim.”


  68. From the article:

    A British parliamentary committee on Wednesday will endorse small modular nuclear reactors, which some view as the perfect answer to the energy needs of the future.

    Core of CROCUS, a small nuclear reactor in Switzerland — wikipediaWhile technology for the 300-megawatt or smaller power plants is in development, some see SMRs as a viable option for nuclear power that is carbon emissions free and yet avoids the high construction costs and some of the political resistance presented by large nuclear power plants that cost billions of dollars to build.

    Parliament’s cross-party Energy and Climate Change Committee, having reviewed the option of modular construction of nuclear plants, has concluded that a “a sustained period of collaboration between government and industry,” will be required to put SMRs into operation in Britain.


  69. From the article:

    In analyzing the outlook for near-term growth of nuclear power globally, it is no surprise that Asia will be the unquestioned leader. As we consider the drivers of growth, most Asian countries fulfill them all: rapidly developing economies, fast growing populations, high energy and electric power demand growth, relatively poor indigenous energy resources, and strong central governments.
    With roughly 70 new plants under construction worldwide and 150-200 more in the planning stages in 2014, most of these new units are to be sited in China, India, and South Korea. These, and several smaller countries to be discussed below, are seeking to meet their high electric demand growth with a diversified generation portfolio that includes nuclear reactors.
    However, Asia is truly a multi-dimensional region, and it is impossible to ‘broad brush’ the trends of Asian countries when it comes to nuclear. Consider, for instance, the differing attitudes, commitments, and plans of China, India, South Korea, and Japan. These are the largest countries from which to tell the story of nuclear in the region, and the view varies dramatically for each nation. Yet, to complete the story we must also address Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    Historically, it could be said that Asian countries, especially Japan and South Korea, kept nuclear new build alive during the 1990s and early 2000s. This was a time when new nuclear construction practically stopped in the West. The trends of that time created the major vendors we still see today headquartered in those countries: Toshiba, Hitachi, MHI, Korea Electric Power Co. (KEPCO), Doosan, and others. It is also this history of nuclear technology development in the region that is now leading to the export ambitions of these companies. Thus, the role of Asia in determining the future of global nuclear power is destined to only grow in the coming decades.


  70. The IEA has no right to suggest, tell, order, or lobby our government to raise the gasoline tax or implement a carbon tax. Let the people keep their hard earned money in the US and don’t snatch it from their hands at the urging of a world-class socialist.

    From the article:

    With the drop in oil prices “delivering a shot of economic stimulus to consumers around the world”, policymakers have a “once-in-a-generation” chance to take actions to cut our reliance on fossil fuels, writes Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). She urges policymakers in developed countries to use the drop in oil prices to put a price on carbon.

    The plunge in oil prices may be good for consumers and the global economy, but it could also encourage greater use of fossil fuels and thereby hurt efforts to make our planet’s energy system more sustainable. Policymakers from around the world can prevent this by taking advantage of cheaper oil to make meaningful changes in the way we price energy. But this moment will not last forever: the time to act is now.

    Today’s bear market in oil is merely reflecting the changes in supply and demand that were set loose by the bull market of the last several years. The more than 50 percent increase in U.S. oil production in recent years resulted at least in part from high prices. Similarly, prices played a key role in efforts to make cars and trucks consume less fuel, which has translated into lower oil demand growth worldwide.