Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week:

NOAA’s Overland argues Alaska’s heat wave is not evidence of climate change, but part of longterm weather pattern [link]

The Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Has Something for Everyone | National Review Online – [link]

It’s not the economy, stupid — it’s you. Americans rank politicians as the most important problem of 2014 [link]

How to be smarter: pay attention & embrace your mistakes. [link]

No more mad scientists. They’re Hollywood heroes now [link] …

Scientists track natural responses to climate change [link] …

Congratulations to Tim Palmer, Professor in Climate Physics, University of Oxford. CBE in New Year’s Honours, for services to Science.

Scientists seek demigod status; journals want blockbuster results; retractions on rise. Is science broken? [link]

Mark Steyn:  The limitations of lawyers [link]

New study: tropical forests are using far more CO2 and so growing far faster than previously believed.   [link]

Long term oscillations in rainfall extremes in a 268 year daily time series [link]

Was the push to minimize saturated fats in diets a terrible idea based on flawed science? That’s the argument here: [link]

Corruption is a major destroyer of economies & societies and political fabric [link]

Biggest cloud seeding experiment yet only sparks more debate [link]

How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions?  [link]  …

Why haters hate – Kierkegaard explains the psychology of bullying and online trolling in 1847  [link]

Reason: Why there will not be a climate treaty in 2015 [link]

NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory shows potential tectonically-induced CO2 input from the ocean? [link]

361 responses to “Week in review

  1. Regarding http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/02/nasas-new-orbiting-carbon-observatory-shows-potential-tectonically-induced-co2-input-from-the-ocean/.

    As I hoped, people are starting to analyze the OCO data for variations in natural sources and sinks of CO2, looking for explanations. The big question is how much will these regional variations, like hot spots, change when we see the next batch of data. That is supposed to happen in March I think. The present data shows the spatial variation, around 15 ppm, but not the change over time. What will that look like? New data yields new science.

    Unfortunately people seem to be focused on CO2 sources, not sinks, perhaps because of the pollution metaphor. That a tremendous amount of CO2 is removed every year, perhaps a hundred times the amount of the annual increase, seems not to have sunk in. The point is that natural variations in sources and sinks may explain much of the CO2 increase, rather than human emissions. It is now an attribution problem.

    • The action of the sun on the biome inevitably drives carbon(from vulcanism) into virtually irreversible lockdown, see hydrocarbon deposits and limestone. Vulcanism fails to sustain an adequate carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere and but for man’s glorious hydrocarbon intervention, with its gentle warming effect and its vigorous greening effect, the earth was headed for permanent icecaphood.

      Mebbe. Mebbe we’re just too impuissant to aspire to such effectiveness.

      • Here is the free ice cream you requested, Kim. Please update and revise your wrong-headed soundbites after you study the geochemistry.


      • Just another limestone block in the wall. Who will read me of this troublesome mason?

      • read, red, rid.

      • JustinWonder


        Interesting links. Why do you know this stuff?

      • Justin:
        The basics of climate and oceanography were covered in geology undergrad. What’s interesting about climate science is all of the well-funded research being done on the atmosphere and oceans that has direct applicability to other less sexy branches of science and engineering that more directly apply to my profession.

        Arguing over sensitivity, attribution, feedbacks, and consequences is just a silly game.

        Steven Mosher advises to read more and post less.

        This is the best advise going. The dirty little secret is that most of climate science is done out of the limelight, is very high quality, and (like I said before) full of useful theoretical models directly applicable for understanding other physical, chemical, biological multi-phase systems.

        I hope you are surviving the winter well. I am sure glad to have spent significant bucks limbing up the redwoods and getting rid of some sick and nasty madrones and doug-firs before those wind storms.

      • ice-ca-what?

      • Howard,

        Thanks for the reply.

        “Arguing…silly game.”

        I have questions, driven by curiosity, about the science. I have much more life experience with human behavior and bias from my career in management. The intersection of bias, science, economics, and policy is very interesting to me.

        “Mosher…read more, post less…”

        If I were only interested in learning that would be good advice. Some people (M) appear to be successful despite their poor interpersonal skills. I enjoy the interactions on the blog.

        We are surviving the winter ok, though I still have work to do. Those madrones really twist and lean as they grow in the shade of the redwoods – they can become a hazard. The madrone is my favorite tree – beautiful red bark, glossy leaves, and red berries. A flock of band-tailed pigeons feasting on the berries is quite a site!

        A happy new year to you!

    • Steven Mosher


      • Another penetrating analysis!

      • Well, thanks, David. Do you really think it will penetrate? My hammer is getting heavy.

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes David you are wrong. Burning fossil fuels adds

      • “Burning fossil fuels adds Co2.”

        Hardly front page news, but irrelevant. What goes in also gets taken out. The net increase is not significantly from human activity.

      • David Wojick

        Indeed, Bartemis. Nature adds perhaps 30 times as much CO2 as burning fossil fuel, so addition per se cannot cause the increase. The net increase is due to the sum of all sources and sinks as well as all of the changes in these. What that equation looks like we do not know and we are just beginning to investigate it globally thanks to the OCO. There is even old evidence that North America is a net sink, but we shall see.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        David Wojick | January 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm |
        “Indeed, Bartemis. Nature adds perhaps 30 times as much CO2 as burning fossil fuel, so addition per se cannot cause the increase.”

        Every time we exhale we add to the CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Every time we pee we add to the water supply.

        Ever time we … uh, I’ll have to think about that one.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Indeed, Bartemis. Nature adds perhaps 30 times as much CO2 as burning fossil fuel, so addition per se cannot cause the increase.”

        wrong again.

        you would have to show a secular trend in “nature”

        It’s simple. There is a secular trend in C02 added by Man.
        there is a secular trend in the total that matches this trend.

        But for the additions by Man, the sum total would be lower.

        You can disprove this simply. go ahead try..

        If you could demonstrate a change in Sinks, that would not help your case. Here is what you would have to prove.

        Prove that the addition of mans C02 UNIQUELY caused a change in sinks that offset the additional C02 emitted by man.

        That’s what you have to prove.

      • Well, are the oceans warming or not? Let’s settle that big sink sank sunk first. You can’t start your engines without that elixir.

      • “Here is what you would have to prove. Prove that the addition of mans C02 UNIQUELY caused a change in sinks that offset the additional C02 emitted by man.”

        I can prove it by applying Le Chatelier’s Principle to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      • “It’s simple. There is a secular trend in C02 added by Man.
        there is a secular trend in the total that matches this trend.”

        Not so simple. In fact, the trend only matched superficially for a time, and is now diverging from that spurious match. Human emissions are accelerating. Atmospheric concentration is increasing at essentially a steady rate.

        What does match, now and previously, is the temperature record with the rate of change of atmospheric CO2. That says that atmospheric CO2 is being driven by a temperature modulated process. Outgassing of increasing concentration in the oceans is a good candidate for that process. But there are other possibilities, of which human input, which is not modulated by temperatures, is not a member of the set.

      • “Prove that the addition of mans C02 UNIQUELY caused a change in sinks that offset the additional C02 emitted by man.”

        Not necessary. Anthropogenic flows are small enough that they were easily shrugged off by the Earth’s CO2 regulating mechanisms. They still are. The response of the sinks did not change. The natural input did. And, it is large enough to be a driver.

      • Mosher, anthropogenic CO2 emission ~29 gigatons while natural emission is ~439GT over land and ~332GT over water

        The increase observed is well mixed all over the globe. The sinks over both land and water are greater than the emission over both respectively.

        But here’s the deal. The 4% of total emission attributable to humans is almost entirely over land where that excess is plausibly (if not provably) taken up by vegetation. Recent studies by NASA of satellite data have unambiguously concluded that the earth is growing greener due to rising CO2 concentration over the past 30 years of observation.

        So if there is any oceanic source of CO2 that has risen by just 2% of the total (the atmosphere-retained portion of total emission) then it could easily be the source of the rise instead instead of anthropogenic source.

        You have to show attribution Mosher. Performance of all individual sources and sinks before you point the finger of blame and state with such undeserved surety that some contrary hypothesis to aCO2 being the straw that broke the natural CO2 sink’s back.

        Good luck with that. And be sure to show the math. ;-)

    • “”””Unfortunately people seem to be focused on CO2 sources, not sinks, perhaps because of the pollution metaphor. That a tremendous amount of CO2 is removed every year, perhaps a hundred times the amount of the annual increase, seems not to have sunk in. The point is that natural variations in sources and sinks may explain much of the CO2 increase, rather than human emissions. “”””

      If this isn’t an example of hard core “come up with any argument possible” to refute or simply not accept the basic phenomenon of climate change (activities leading to massive, now multi million year increases to the atmosphere’s long term thermal radiation absorption and re radiation properties), then it is hard to imagine what is.

      Here is a deeper and very non political look a why climate change is a big problem, and what type of problem it’s likely to be for us, that has nothing to do with any fears of what addressing climate change will do, but which merely looks at the underlying phenomenon itself.

      In this same context, it also shows multiple examples of the repeated pattern by so called climate change “deniers” (such as in the quote above), to come up with ANY argument possible to lessen, refute, or not accept climate change. These are examples that are also fed by ignoring or finding ways to dismiss anything that doesn’t help self seal in this belief – one fueled in part by the desire to not accept climate change, or a huge macroeconomic presumption and fear, and always by massive misinformation (as well as on this site, for example, massive misconstruction of the issue itself).

      • Right John, nothing political about calling for urgent, immediate action to deal with a non-existent problem.

      • @barnes

        Come on, seriously.

        The ISSUE is a science issue. What to do is a strategic assessment question, which is invariably, since it involves something beyond a personal decision, but in fact societal (even global) ones as well as policy to accomplish, is political

        So WHAT to do is both a strategic question, and in some ways, arguably I guess, political. But calling for urgent action may have political ramifications, but it is not political. It is strategic. And it is based on something that is is not political at all, but purely scientific and analytical.

        Do not (well, do what you want, but you make a mistake when you do) confuse the political ramifications of something, with that something itself.

        Of course, your entire premise is flawed, and based on – to put it bluntly, a scientific delusion, since you say that the problem is “non existent.

        Existentially I guess you could say that about anything. But in terms of our normal framework of looking at things, changing the long term energy trapping property of the atmosphere to levels not seen on earth in millions of years, and rising (very) rapidly still, is against our interests, and thus a “problem,” or challenge.

        Read this piece again, but really read it. With an open mind, dropping all the garbage you’ve heard from fox news, which is one step above arguing that climate change is not real because “it was colder this evening than earlier this afternoon.”


      • John

        CO2 does not capture heat as per your link.

      • It absorbs and re radiates thermal radiation, most of which is medium to longer wavelength, unlike solar radiation, which is mainly short wave radiation and which for the most part is not absorbed and re radiated by CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

        So what was your point, to try and help me improve the article (which help I would appreciate) and correct any actual errors, or something else?

      • My point is that if you wish to talk about science it is helpful to understand the science. CO2 raises the effective radiating plane of the atmosphere to a higher cooler level reducing the rate of radiation to space. The earths effective surface plane then increases a little to compensate and then there is relative equilibrium again. The problem in measuring this change is there is never equilbrium and the variations in this natural condition are 100 times larger than the CO2 signal we are trying to measure.

      • Your response has nothing whatsoever to do with the article I linked to.

        And it has nothing to do with my reply to your earlier (snarky or just plain old incorrect?) assertion’correction that “CO2 doesn’t capture heat.”

        But what you do engage in is the same highfalutin crap that skeptics who know barely anything about the subject but have some science background, constantly engage in.And do so in a way that bastardizes the basic issue.


      • surface plane temperature increases

      • It’s extraordinary the lengths to which climate skeptics go to prove to each other how they know more than climate scientists on the subject of climate science.

        But it is also (as are both of your comments) to once again COMPLETELY IGNORE the basic, relevant facts of the issue, and define it as something else, so that the “skepticism” over a pretty basic idea, can be falsely (yet self believedly) maintained.

        So yes there are all kinds of complications in terms of measuring precise gradations of this or that micro input at this or that micro unit of time.

        Interesting, and relevant to fine tuning what really can’t be fine tuned at this point, but not relevant to any of the main points I made, to my reply to you, or to the basic issue. But works nonetheless: “Sounds like” to other skeptics you know what you’re talking about, and so that’s great! You’ve just uncovered a huge flaw in basic climate science!

        Now get it published in a major, vetted, science journal.

        Oh, right, science conspiracy to have the UN take over the world – science, which relies upon dissent and counter theories – won’t listen to your great theory.

        Now you are going to tell me how it is their theory also, it’s just only you and skeptics can see how it undermines climate change; they can’t. But you can’t get any explication of that vision published in a reputable vetted journal either – even though it would be one of the most sought after science articles of the year.

        There is so much garbage out there – and yours is just a slightly more sophisticated version – about how the amount of co2 “naturally” emitted or waxing and waning is far more than we emit, so therefore what we emit is less relevant.

        That the blatant scientific illogic of this can’t be grasped is either a testament to what some AGW’s say – skeptics aren’t super brilliant in general – or what I believe (we are all what we are, after all, and capable of grasping basic science when correctly illuminated, not wildly misled by misinformation, and not ideologically driven or so desirous of simply not changing our views, as if doing so weakens rather than strengthens how we are able to think):

        Namely, that skeptics simply can’t or won’t view the issue objectively. And are driven to refute, rather than objectively examine, via the truly believed idea that they are simply “examining..” Which is how the skepticism is maintained.

        On the site WUWT it is almost like a fringe zealot cult, for instance. Where they are all practicing “secret science” that is heads and tails above the rest of us monkies and scientists. But that there is some huge conspiracy to nevertheless keep out of the main science discourse.

        It is like some bad science fiction movie.

        Only it is what is happening, right now, on this issue.

        Carbon dioxide absorbs and re radiates thermal radiation. More of it means more absorption and re radiation, and yes, we agree, less is ultimately lost to space.

        Skip the fancy highfalutin language to self reinforce here and on WUWT how brilliant climate skeptics – as opposed to climate scientists – are: You want to explicate how a change on the order of millions of years now (and rapidly rising) won’t change basic climate – which really isn’t a big deal to change (from a physics perspective)? Get multiple articles and follow up articles fully vetting them, etc., published (or even just 1, for a start), and set those climate scientists straight.

        And as for the small changes we have seen so far (meaningless as to the basic theory, but fairly intriguing, from a corroboration standpoint), in terms of massive ocean heat accumulation, melting ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica, now slowly melting permafrost, beginning methane eruption -, and all of this – WHILE excessive energy is being absorbed by the oceans, with still slowly rising ambient air temperatures as an ongoing LT trend (not fox news style hour to hour or year to year) ??

        Same thing. Explain those in a way that passes scientific muster, not the self reinforcing clapping and acclaim from like minded “skeptics.”

        Something better than the even more inane “climate changes” so that even though the coincidental odds of it changing this significantly at this precise geologic moment in time (many changes over the past but most of the time it did not change – which is missed by the unscientific, or the scientific “CC skeptic” mind) and at the same time the huge increase in atmospheric heat energy “re-capture” is however NOT having an affect are astronomically low, it is still just simply all “coincidental.”

        And after you are done explaining, I’ve got some beachfront Arizona real estate to sell you.

        And to Judy.

        But she’s already bought some.

      • John, you do not understand the most basic ideas of radiative transfer. I suggest spending some serious time at scienceofdoom.com to get up to speed. at this point in time your articles lack the needed science understanding to be effective.Your understanding is wrong.

      • You just exhibited, once again, exactly what I just wrote about.


        If you want to point out how my article can be better, I appreciate that. But you have still not responded substantively to one main point, nor to even one of my response, but just continue the same pattern, over and over and over.

        It’s worse than talking to a brick wall.

        It’s also fascinating how you suggest spending some “serious time at scienceofdoom.” Not NASA. Not the worlds leading universities or research facilities.

        But the blog “science of doom,” which I’m sure is very sophisticatedly written, – enough to sound very credible – and which convinces the hordes of readers (and the writer) who are likely almost all skeptics, of what they need or want or have been so badly led to, believe.

        And how you fail to grasp (as I’m sure do most skeptics) that NOT ONE of your responses has anything to do with any of my points.

        This pattern has now been repeated over and over, and if you reply I have no reason to believe it will change

        IT is part of the same pattern laid out here

        And repeatedly shown, by way of example, in the original piece which you’re “not” responding to.


        I would ask you to please explain how any of your comments, or anything written at “science of doom” logically contradicts or actually refutes anything substantive in that same piece, or at least the basic conclusion of most of the world’s leading climate scientists.

        I would, but it’s clear you are incapable of or unwilling to engage in rational, relevant, responsive conversation on the matter. And thus even consider any concept or fact that might suggest that skepticism is unwarranted, or way overblown. And, most of all, reinterpret and redefine everything (including me now, so you can ignore my points and carry on with your scientific delusion), to fit in with it.

        Which is again, exactly what hard core self sealing skepticism is.

      • John, is a surface plane one that has landed or not taken off?

      • John Carter

        First do no harm. Do not de-life the patient to cure the disease. Do not panic.

      • @justinwonder

        Please explain what you mean.

        The idea of transforming off of fossil fuels, which cause env’ damage in the extraction, harm everyone’s long term health in often insidious (invisible and almost impossible to accurately measure or often even pick up) ways, and are radically altering the long term chemical composition of the atmosphere to our likely great detriment – over to far more sensible growth practices, is about as far from de-lifing the patient as one can get.’

        So if I’m reading your question right – which again is why I asked – it is either more overblown economic chicken little alarmism (the irony) or more unrecognized bullcrap.

        The entire premise, as far as I can read it (although I warrant that it does drive a lot of skepticism which then turns great fear of redress into a warped view of the science) has it close to backward.

        Also nothing about panicking – that’s another bs phrase designed to mischaracterize most ACC concern. Read the piece I linked to. It’s a strong case for acting years ago, and even stronger for not continuing to “stick our heads in the sand” and continuing to ignore it.

        Want to discuss how to act, that’s another discussion. And the one which the world should be having, but which skeptics are mucking up by warping the heck out of the science out of the unrelated issue of the most sensible form or redress or action. Because of their own fear of action.

        It’s not completely a conservative issue, but it has a lot of overlay. And there’s an incredible fear of change. (changing weather is not change bc weather always changes) and a resistance to evolving understanding.

      • Mirror, mirror, on brick wall,
        Who’s the backwardest of them all.

      • Yes, Kim, common rabble rouser with nothing better to do, nothing to add, naturally, it is to you.

        That is what skepticism is. You illustrate my point again.

        Climate science – backward.

        Skeptic commenters on climate etc who know more than climate scientists – forward thinking and visionary Saving the world from the travails of transforming the current process radically increasing the earth’s net energy retention.

        A phrase which the forward thinking skeptic visionaries, like Kim, scoff at. Have no conception of. Don’t want to have any conception of. And invent all kinds of fictions – often under highfalutin science phraseology that has nothing to do with the actual issue being discussed – to continue to have no real conception of it.

      • John Carter,

        You demonstrate you are incapable of rational analysis.

        The idea of transforming off of fossil fuels, which cause env’ damage in the extraction, harm everyone’s long term health in often insidious (…) ways, … over to far more sensible growth practices, is about as far from de-lifing the patient as one can get.

        Your beliefs are wrong and complete nonsense. There is no alternative to fossil fuels – other than nuclear power in the long term – and the CAGW alarmist are more scared of nuclear power more than they are CAGW. So, progress is blocked by the very people who claim they want progress

        Do you realise the benefits fossil fuels bring to humanity. If not, consider what proportion of the world’s population would survive a month and survive a year with no fossil fuels. I expect 80% of the world’s population would die if stopped using fossil fuels. Irrational people like you are dangerous.

      • Your entire reply is nonsense. And remarkably manipulative..

        And your personal assertion that I’m incapable of rational analysis, more skeptic delusion to perpetuate the idiocy (fervent zealotry and often rather ignorant understanding) that passes for science and analysis in many of these comments.

        But I love people who have God like knowledge. Who assert things that are complete assumptions,as facts.


        And you, Lang, are one.

        “There is no other alternative to fossil fuels other than nuclear power.” you don’t know that, nor does anybody else. And I said consideration of nuclear power should be part of the solution to the problem.

        So your entire reply is inane.

        And your presumption that fossil fuels bring benefits to humanity outweighing the current harm passes past arrogance to outright religious fervor. You’re not God. You don’t know. the claim that fossil fuels keep the world alive, ,and that it is because of them we prosper now and will in the future, is idiocy. it’s like pea brain thinking in a mouse.

        It exhibits the vision of a lower mammal.

        Or someone who works for the fossil fuel industry.

        You don’t know what alternatives there are

        You dont know what alternatives or practices we could, would or will develop if even some of the inordinate harm to everyone’s future world (including pollution and harm to everyone’s health that is largely hidden) were integrated into the cost of fossil fuels, so the market could adjust.

        Yet you speak as if you do, as if you have some omnipotent knowledge. You speak like the addict, the religious zealot, the one addicted to fossil fuels, who will rationalize that addiction.

        To call me Dangerous is to call ideas that challenge your archaic way of thinking dangerous. The Taliban do that.

        And it is the mark of a zealot nut. And there’s a few of them on the climate change issue.

        They fear change. They fear ideas. they can not contemplate perspective outside of their own. They are incredibly ignorant, but often gifted of rhetoric.

        You are narrow minded to the point of zealotry. You would screw up most of the poor populations of the world, completely screw up future climate, and everyone’s progeny, because of your and others narrow minded delusion that doing what once seemed to be helpful must therefor always be helpful, even when we learn that in fact in the long run it may well be very much the opposite.

        But you have no ability , nor willingness , to even consider that concept either

        You have no ability or willingness to consider that maybe what we are doing to the earth and thus our own future (let alone all of the other species, which dome people feel someone responsible toward in the sense that maybe we should try not too wipe so many of them out) is backward – and so people that put that idea out there in a way that might make you THINK, threaten you.

        Because you don’t want to think,in anyway that otherwise goes against what you want to believe. And doing so is scary to you.

        And you call those concerned with agw ‘alarmists.” The irony, when your fealty is to fossil fuels and your own selfishness, under the self deluding guise that just staying enslaved to a process that damages us ,when we have the capacity to grow – is “helping people.”

        Sort of like how Fox news never cared about the poor (while Ive been an advocate for the poor my entire life) but now suddenly with climate change they’re veritable mother Teresa’s with their sudden overwhelming concern for the poor, which ironically climate change – particularly in poorer countries – is going to disproportionately effect.

        And your entire premise is almost beyond belief asinine. It would be hard to be this manipulative on purpose even if you tried:

        No one is saying – or I’m certainly not and your reply and characterization is to and about me – to shut off every plant tomorrow. Rather, sensibly transitioning in a way that’s proactive and positive, with any funds raised to specifically help those (both individuals and businesses) most affect short term while transitioning..

        But you turn it it into something else, you turn something sensible into a radical notion. And you can’t even conceive of the idea that energy exists beyond fossil fuels that there’s a world of it out there.

        Some folks’ resistance to nuclear energy is a separate issue. It is not germane to the issue of what we are doing right now to future climate. (It is germane to the issue of what to do to sensibly address it – but that is rational thought, which on climate change you are seemingly as incapable of grasping as a cat is of grasping Italian). But it is not one that is irrationality founded. As I said, btt it is only my opinion, nuclear energy should be considered,

        But you dismissed that. Misrepresented it, as you did nearly everything, responding instead like you are some sort of paid industry attack dog – which either you are, or just another one of the highly misinformed far right wing nut zealots getting their information from hate filled talk radio and polarizing “news” sources.

        What we do know is that ggs absorb and re radiate energy, and raised in geologically significant amount they would almost assuredly, in theory, increase the earth;s energy balance and start to change it, and start to change the things that drive climate. (And the total empirical picture, not the little cherry picked and often wildly manipulated or misconstrued slivers of denial and skeptic concoction, is overwhelmingly corroborative.)

        And we do know that their levels are now far far higher than at any point in nearly a million years, in the case of co2 alone, and likely more so when the other 3 major ggs are included. And almost assuredly in many millions of years.

        But all that goes out the window to the fossil fuel addict, who like the heroin addict self convinces of anything – and here you have an army of zealots and the misinformed in support – to continue their view

        And lashes out at anything that gets in the way of that view, as for example your rather unbelievably rude comment in reply to what was a good faith and reasonable attempt on my part to answer your question ,and your inappropriate (not too mention asinine – but for you I guess you need to believe to continue your anti science delusion on the issue) personal attack on me.

      • No point reading that diatribe. I couldn’t see any indication in the first few lines you’d recognised how ridiculous is your assertion I quoted, so you have supported my point about you being incapable of a rational debate or of rational analysis.

        I believe you have a closed mind. But just in case I am wrong on that and you are capable of rational analysis, this might life the blinkers and let just a crack of ,light in:

        Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

      • There is a point in reading it, and given your reply to me, you should read it. But you don’t want to read anything that might conflict with what you badly want to believe, and so thus do believe.

        I also think that you are being a little dense. The assertion you “quoted” or now twice referenced, is something that you didn’t even follow. At all. And badly misunderstood. Yet made all kinds of wild (and fairly ludicrous) assertions based upon it.

        But heck, you got the rest of the original comment/reply even more incorrect,if that’s even possible.

        As far as fossil fuels, just to once again delude myself into thinking that ANY type of rational discussion with you is possible, I’m not interested in the past, I’m interested in the future, based on the facts and knowledge and understanding that we have today, and certainly not on archaic and myopic economic presumption taken as ironclad gospel – speaking of close minded.

        And speaking of rational analyses. Which is something that on this topic, you seem incapable of following, while (irony of ironies) being ever so willing to blindly and personally categorize others on.

      • Yes Peter.
        history supports the
        claim, life expectancy records,
        per capita income records, extended
        voting franchise, that fossil fuels fostered
        the success of the Industrial Revolution in
        the West and brought us serfs unprecedented
        living standards and freedom from slavery. I shall
        do a lively clog dance in deference ter Ol’ King Coal.

        beth the serf.

      • We got rhythm, we got razors;
        All that panic, sliced by lasers.

      • Burma Shave pastry for Carter barbar.

      • @kim What is that supposed to mean

      • John

        You are arguing against actual peer reviewed climate science and for pseudoscience. I am having quite a chuckle.

        scienceofdoom.com is not a ‘denier’ website and can only improve your understanding. Do not be afraid to look there.

      • Re sod, I didn’t say it was DP. I only said I’ll take leading scholarly publications, universities and science organizations over a blog. But anyway all of that is kind of generic, somewhat meaningless without context, and tertiary.

        More relevantly, without making up what I am saying, or substituting your own assertions in place thereof, tell us what “peer reviewed climate science” I am arguing against.

        You also continue to just assert things that are false. I didn’t argue against anything in my replies to you.
        I simply said your responses had nothing to do with mine, nor with my original article that you had nothing to say on except that co2 doesn’t “capture” heat even through it does absorb and re radiate thermal radiation.

        And this reply by you once again follows the same pattern, and once again misrepresents my replies to you.

        I believe (i could be wrong) in my last reply I said that if you reply again, you would follow the same pattern. And you did.

      • Perhaps this may enlighten, John Carter, should yer
        choose ter read it. Why yer own generic name speaks
        of the time when humans were illiterate carters, OMG,
        but fer those historic technical evolutions …

      • Maybe kim meant “Carter tartar”, johnnie. Hamburger to you, johnnie.

      • Dailyplanet,

        Thank you for the link to the interesting post on abrupt climate change. It’s interesting and I expect many other CE readers would find it so too.

        Kim might point out that the GHG emissions we’ve released to date reduce the probability of such an extreme cold event occurring in the near future – but I expect Kim will say it more succinctly and with a touch good humour as well.

      • “””””…….might point out that the GHG emissions we’ve released to date reduce the probability of such an extreme cold event occurring in the near future – “”””

        Yes, but we’ve moved extremely far past that. Sure, given the slow march of carbon out of the atmosphere and deep into the bowels of the earth, the long term trend was cooling, and for the last two and a half million years, we’ve been in an ice age, with intermittent glaciations.

        But in co2 alone, and even more so when the GWPe of all major long term atmos ggs are taken into account, we’ve moved well past 2.5 million years.

        This study may represent the upper end of current estimates (which range on co2 from around 3.5 to 5.5 and according to some scientists more) puts it at 10 to 15 m years. http://bit.ly/1JYh1BF

        We just haven’t seen the effects right away, nor would we, bc of those same massive ice sheets (along with high albedo, particularly given that nearly a quarter of the northern hemi land is permafrost) on both ends of the globe that largely define the ice age. And bc of the stabilizing effect of the world ocean

        The energy that has been both accumulating, and increasing, has been starting to effect both, and in accelerating ways.

        Skeptics are not only largely blind to this, but seem bent on finding ways to mischaracterize or dismiss it, while at the same time – illustrating a profound misunderstanding oft he basic issue -, calling climate change insignificant because air temps, which are less important, over a fairly short time span have not shot up as much as over the prior short time span (which again was far far MORE than over the short time span before that….)

        The idea that we hit some sort of goldilocks or fairy tale “soft landing’ between near imminent glaciation,and excessive warming and re shifting back to a higher sea level world, is a fantasy. Or at best extremely pollyannaish.Maybe half a century ago, at least the idea could be rationally argued, We’re not only massive increases past that, we’re adding at a geologically breakneck pace.

        It’s not seen as such by :skeptics” bc they’re not looking at the issue rationally,while doing everything possible to convince themselves that they are, and that everyone else (including most climate scientists) are not. And doing so in large part bc of non acceptance of the basic reality (or inability or lack of desire to grasp ) that man is capable of inadvertently and now profoundly affecting the basic balance of the earth, and that we most definitively, have.

        And that doing so in a way that impacts climate in a way that might be radical to us, is not a big deal geologically,and that the RATE and AMOUNT of change we have wrought to the atmosphere – and keep adding to it – and what skeptics also completely fail to get is a fairly big deal geologically speaking.

        And then they argue against climate change, irrationally again, because it’s hard to actually measure change against a backdrop of long term and extremely variable (and long term unpredictable) climate, and because most of the change we would see would show a significant lag – as energy accumulates and it starts to change the things that most directly drive climate – bt atmospheric changes, and ultimate climate effect.

      • The climate changes abruptly, not as you seem to believe. We know cooling is catastrophic. But any warming that does occur this century is likely to be net beneficial. On the other hand, any policy that raises the cost of energy will be severely damaging to human well-being. You seem to not be able to comprehend that.

        There are policies that can reduce GHG emissions massively, as France has been demonstrating for the past 30 years of more, but the CAGW alarmist are opposed to rational policies. So, if you are genuinely concerned, try to understand what sort of policies will be politically sustainable for the long term. They certainly are not the policies advocated by the loony Left.

      • “””The climate changes abruptly, not as you seem to believe. We know cooling is catastrophic. But any warming that does occur this century is likely to be net beneficial. On the other hand, any policy that raises the cost of energy will be severely damaging to human well-being. You seem to not be able to comprehend that.”””

        You are making a phenomenal number of assumptions, once again. They are all critical to your point, and most of them are probably wrong. You assert them as fact.

        Come on man, seriously. It’s time to get off the skeptic train and embrace the reality, and figure out as a team how to effectively deal with the atmospheric challenge we face.

        Also, we have evidence of abrupt changes, out of 100s of millions of years, but climate also changes slowly. It is not so slow now in comparison with most (but not all ) geo’ history, but is likely to start to change in fits and starts.

        The idea that increased heat will be of benefit, come on… we evolved under a fairly temperate world, changing that, and the rainfall patterns, will really hammer some areas bad (it’s already starting to)

        It’s a bit of a mellower piece, but this takes a broader look at the agricultural question: https://climatesolutionsandanalysis.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/not-necessarily-just-change-over-time-but-increasingly-volatile-weather-most-problematic-for-agriculture/

        Not to mention sea level rise.

        Here’s some info on how polar glaciers are changing





        There’s also all kinds of unknowns, mostly bad. Not bc unknowns are bad, but again bc of basic ecology and the fact that we (and most of the species we relied upon, and under the current general precipitation tendencies) evolved, developed and built under the current fairly moderate to temperate ice age (major polar ice cap) conditions, which are now starting to change far more than most commenters on this site fatho – but not nearly so to many scientists who exhaustively study this and who have no vested interest but what science is and to just figure out.(Bad news is newsworthy but on this issue good news is even more rewarded.)

        And stop with the crap about “loony left.” People differ on politics. On this issue, though it often greatly colors it, politics directly have no bearing. It’s a science issue, and a strategic assessment issue.

        And stop categorizing what “alarmists” are opposed to and not opposed to. I ask some agw advocates to stop categorizing all skeptics as “liars, greedy bastards, or to ignorant to ever know better.” It’s fair both ways.

        As for what’s politically sustainable, that is ultimately dependent on perception and level of accurate understanding, isn’t it?

        First step, better assessment, and not all this misinformation, which only then causes agw’ advocates to dismiss the real concerns (whether valid concerns or overblown fears, they are still often real to those having them) of skeptics, etc. and what’s really driving that “skepticism.”

        Re your last point “any policy that raises the cost of energy will be severely damaging to human well being. You see to not be able to comprehend that.”

        Thanks for such a thorough understanding (once again) of my economic comprehension level. Though I probably comprehend what you are taking about, more than you do.

        I just disagree with it, on multiple fronts, and believe it rests upon enormous assumptions about what increases real utility over the long run, and what economic growth means, and what it’s value is.

        In a nutshell again, though I don’t want to get into a pissing match about this, it’s a separate issue, if GDP alone were a measure of true utility, true happiness would rise over time along with it.

        It doesn’t work that simply. How we grow is as important, and maybe MORE important, than the fact that we “grow.” There is also the question of defining “growth.” One thing, without requiring even much vision, that most of us can probably agree on (or at least many economists) is that what matters is that GDP grows, and that there are employment opportunities.

        To put it metaphorically, the idea of whether we got to an 80 inch flat screen TV by 2004 or 2010, or it cost 1k versus 3k in 1990 dollars by 2004 versus 2010, in the long run is essentially irrelevant to our well being. What is not irrelevant is the process of moving there, and the world we create (or slowly destroy, or alter against our interests) in the process.

        So it is a delusion to try and increase the speed, at the sacrifice of things (health, our environment, OCEAN LEVEL) that are of more absolute value, to do so. Yet that is exactly; what the idea that viewing “cost” to build better energy platforms, processes and habits (and agricultural ones) as some sort of “loss” versus simply a part of solid growth, nevertheless incorrectly relies upon.

        When we get into the shorter term, and how to address it on a more practical level in terms of solidly transitioning, it becomes a more detailed discussion, but again there is lots to be gained by smart assessment and strategy.

        Of course if someone is just trying to shill for the oil gas and coal industry, which seeing success so far believes it’s a better business model to continue to try and fight the science of climate change (which agw advocates need to do a better job of telling the story, or “showing” on), than to work to adapt long term to new business models, then for that person, at least right at this moment, this conversation is pointless. Even if they are concerned about their own kids and their kids’ (and everyone else’s kids’) future world, the engagement into the advocacy one professionally pursues, particularly with so much self reinforcing misinformation, usually becomes believed. And so the idea that climate change is no big deal becomes incorrectly believed, and self reinforcing.

      • John Carter,”

        You don’t seem to know much do you? You don’t seem to know that:
        1. the climate changes abruptly, always has always will

        2. life thrives in warmer climates and struggles in coder climates

        3. Life thrives during warming and struggles and dies out during cooling periods.

        3. GHG concentrations are well below the levels where life thrived in the past

        4. Warming has been hugely beneficial for the past 200 years or so

        5. No reason to believe this long established trend will suddenly change just because of the ideological agenda of cult followers like yourself.

        6. per capita energy consumption will continue to increase indefinitely

        7. There is no limit to energy availability (although renewables are not sustainable, so that is not an answer)

        8. Available evidence strongly suggests the cheapest and safest way to reduce GHG emissions from energy use is for nuclear power to (eventually) provide nearly all our energy.

        9. But those most concerned about CAGW are strongly opposed to nuclear power. So, these are the people blocking progress.

        10. There will be no significant progress unless the solutions are economically advantageous irrespective of any hoped for benefits like reduced climate damages.

        All the evidence is available. You just be prepared to read links previously provided and challenge your beliefs.

        But no sign of that so far.

      • “””‘You don’t seem to know much do you? You don’t seem to know that:””””

        No, I don’t. Climate scientists who professionally study the issue don’t.

        You do.

        You also keep repeating the same stuff over and over, and ignoring every point I have made to you..

        It;s like you are incapable of independent response.

        The level of manipulation in your list is extraordinary.

        First you list things irrelevant to the issue, But it’s clear you don’t understand what he issue is. Don’t want to understand what the issue is. And won’t consider learning what the issue is, because it is not a desire to understand what the issue is that is driving you.

        The rest of your list is once again a bunch of assumptions.

        You’ve failed to incorporate, respond to or in any way acknowledge or anything I have written back.

        The same pattern, over and over and over and over.

        I don’t have beliefs by the way on issues of strategy, assessment, and science. I have analyses.

        At this point, unless something very simple and direct comes up that might easily benefit other readers, If I’m on here again I am going to ignore your comments, given this pattern.

        This is what this climate science “skepticism” site produces, and is why most people who know AGW to be a real problem won’t put themselves through the grief of trying to engage in rational discussion here, believing that skeptics are incapable of it on this issue.

        I insist they are wrong. Maybe these experiences are proving them right, but I imagine when it’s a bunch of skeptics all reinforcing each other, and attacking someone with some sense on the issue, it is likely to seem that way, and part of the problem is in fact this attitude on the part of many who care about AGW.

        Still, I can well understand their desire to not engage on sites like this.

        Still, I think the self selecting and often very insular nature of climate change “skeptic” sites (in part because of the unpleasantness of engaging with some of the more zealous skeptics, such as Peter Lang), is problematic, and heightened by the general unwillingness, of most concerned with AGW to even bother.

      • Peter

        The dramatic changes in climate can be readily seen in CET

        *my reconstruction 1538 to 1659.

        The largest downturn and uptick can be seen to be centred on the decade leading up to 1700. The subsequent upturn dwarfs the modern ‘hockey stick.’ Phil Jones commented that the very warm decade of the 1730’s and the sharp downturn in the winter of 1740 caused him to realise that natural variability was far greater than he had hitherto realised.

        The half century prior to 1538 seems to be broadly similar to today but period 1400 to 1500 seems to have been substantially cooler and was the first outbreak of the LIA which came in waves, rather than was one long 500 year long extended event


      • TonyB,

        Thank you. Fascinating. Also thanks for mentioning the comment by Phil Jones.

        This is before the time you’ve been studying, you’ve probably seen it before, and I know there is much more paleo evidence of abrupt climate change, but I like this one a lot [Peter Carron Geology of Ireland, since 16,000 years ago]. I posted this comment at Science of Doom on today’s post about abrupt climate Change.

        “Interesting article, thank you.

        Is it likely the GHG emissions we’ve released so far have reduced the probability of an abrupt cooling event.

        For policy analysis I suggest we need pdfs for:

        time (years) to the next abrupt change
        Direction of the next abrupt change (to cooler or warmer)
        rate of change
        duration of change
        total magnitude of change
        which hemisphere

        Figure 15.21 here http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf shows how often and how abruptly the climate changed between 16,000 and 11,000 years ago, and how much more stable it has been since it warmed up. More evidence warming is to be preferred over cooling?

        Figure 15.21 The stable isotope record (∂18O) from the GRIP ice core (histogram) compared to the record of N.pachyderma a planktonic foraminiferan whose presence indicates cold sea temperatures) from ocean sediments (dotted line). High concentrations of IRD from the Troll 8903 core are marked with arrows. After Haflidason et al. (1995). The transition times for critical lengths of the core were calculated from the sediment accumulation rates by the authors and these gave the following results:
        Transition A: 9 years; Transition B: 25 years; and Transition C: 7 years. Such rapid transitions have been corroborated from the recent NGRIP ice core data.

      • @kim…

        We don’t need no stinkin’ lasers. Got air, water, and PV.

        But lasers might just lead to a way not to clutter up the landscape oceanscape with collectors. Once anybody gets around to caring. If they do.

      • CO2 does not capture heat John. CO2 reduces the amount of direct radiation from the surface to space at certain wavelengths of transmittance. The earth radiates at certain wavelengths at a cooler temperature so the effective surface temperature rises a little to compensate. But as the surface temp rises more energy is transmitted through the open window to space. Here is a link to a textbook.


      • “”””‘CO2 does not capture heat John. CO2 reduces the amount of direct radiation from the surface to space at certain wavelengths of transmittance. The earth radiates at certain wavelengths at a cooler temperature so the effective surface temperature rises a little to compensate. But as the surface temp rises more energy is transmitted through the open window to space. “””””

        I’m beginning to think you are a robot.

        Does repeating this over and over convince yourself that you know more about this than the climate scientists who study the issue?


        None of it is germane to any of my comments. None of it is germane to the original article to which you were ostensibly taking issue with in the first place.

        I already explained that the term “captured” was used as common vernacular expression for the basic fact that carbon dioxide molecules absorb and re rediate thermal radiation.’

        And you respond to that with another meaningless (and misleading, in that it implies that it is somehow relevant) repetition of the above?

      • Oh those compluhcating factors of narrow band absorption
        frequencies and disentangling the positive and negative
        feedback data. All those $$$$ spent, all those IPCC reviews!

      • All those $$$$ spent, all those IPCC reviews!

        Reminds me of the N.I.C.E. (“National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments”) from C.S.Lewis’ That Hideous Strength.

        “The N.I.C.E. marks the beginning of a new era-the really scientific era. There are to be forty interlocking committees sitting every day, and they’ve got a wonderful gadget by which the findings of each committee print themselves off in their own little compartment on the Analytical Notice-Board every half-hour. Then that report slides itself into the right position where it’s connected up by little arrows with all the relevant parts of the other reports. It’s a marvellous gadget. The different kinds of business come out in different coloured lights. They call it a Pragmatometer.”


        “And what do you think about it, Studdock?” said Feverstone.

        “I think,” said Mark, “that James touched the important point when he said that it would have its own legal staff and its own police. I don’t give a fig for Pragmatometers. The real thing is that this time we’re going to get science applied to social problems and backed by the whole force of the state, just as war has been backed by the whole force of the state in the past.”

        NOTE: any coincidence of names unintentional.

      • John, I read your blog post about skeptics.

        First, my perspective of our current ice age:

        Next, where I think we are in our current interglacial:

        Finally, I believe this is CO2’s connection to temperature:

        These graphs raised my skepticism.

        Plus government’s propaganda heavily pushed by the media, historically seems to overhype every problem whether it be Ebola, bird flu, aids, alar, the coming ice age, acid rain, ocean acidification, ad infinitum.

        Also, I believe climategate is real.
        The team hides that which should be public information.
        That’s bad science.

        Do you know how much money the billionaires will need to make or how much money we need to give to congress to stop the earth’s climate from changing and reduce the temperature and minimize the bad weather?

        The total time with accurate measurements is too short to know much about where we’re headed.
        As Mark Twain said, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

        What makes you believe them to the point of wanting to blog?
        Just curious.

      • Mike

        You ask what makes me believe.

        None of this has to do with belief.

        Forget what scientist say. Show me that the long term heat trapping property of the atmosphere has increased to a multi million year level (which while we can’t know definitely past about 800,000 years, we have a very strong idea about) and it is apparent scientifically that climate would be impacted.

        All the stuff that climate scientists say is just secondary support.

        As is all overwhelming geological corroboration when it is looked at objectively, and not cherry picked.

        But I think massive ideology, as well as a fealty to fossil fuels, and a great fear of macroeconomic change, is keeping a lot of people from seeing this.

        Most of your comment is just a bunch of generalities which really don’t say anything, but just support pre generalized conclusions.

        As for climate gate, enormous hype, and even more enormous rhetoric, has essentially manufactured the “science scandal” of the decade. It is part of the same thing that has led to all of this misinformation on the topic.

        Sure, scientists make mistakes. Hack into thousands of private emails and you’re going to find something to find fault with.

        I can’t read a single piece on climate change “skepticism” without finding equal or larger mistakes than the ones that supposedly constitute “climate gate.” Not ONE piece, Yet those mistakes, have been turned into the scandal of the century.

        Climate change is not the graph. Past reconstruction are difficult, ironing out data is normal. Language used is easily misinterpreted in private emails, and hacking God knows how many, that will be found.

        The fact is the desire was there to find and perceive something, anything, to fit an excuse, a reason, to believe, that climate change is not real, and then hyped up to self reinforce that belief.

      • A triumph fer practical idealism.(

      • “‘science scandal’ of the decade.” “Scandal of the century.” Hey, kid, this one’s for the millenium. Long may we rave.

      • It was 70 years ago, in 1945.

      • John

        “None of it is germane to any of my comments. None of it is germane to the original article to which you were ostensibly taking issue with in the first place.”

        It is germane to your linked article and comments because they are based on a gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the actual science and physics. You have a comic book understanding of what CO2 can do. If you want to discuss science you have to understand actual science, not comic book science. Why do you so stubbornly refuse to look at the link I provided?

      • dalyplanet, your persistent complaints to John Carter appear to be just semantics. You say CO2 is not “capturing” heat, but the link you point to from Harvard talks about “trapping” radiation. What is the difference that leads to your vociferous complaints, or were you also complaining about your own link?

      • @jimd – thanks much for the support, kind of feels like I am on an island here surrounded by (misinformed but often zealous) sharks, so nice to see someone reasonable on the issue

      • Because Jim D there is a significant difference between “trapping radiation” and “capturing heat”. It is not semantics but a completely different process. If you read the link you can see for yourself this is true. Radiation is not heat. Changing the location of where the surface radiates to a higher cooler level in certain bands requires an increase in temps at the actual surface to balance but the clear atmospheric window to space complicates this process to some degree. In addition increased latent and sensible heat transport further complicates this energy transfer to space. My point to John is that if he wishes to make a compelling argument, he should at least understand the basic physical process in a scientific sense. Confusing heat and radiation undermines his assertions significantly.

      • dalyplanet, again it is just semantics. Thermal radiation is radiated heat. When you feel the direct warmth of a fire it is radiated heat, not the convected or conducted parts. Capturing heat is the same thing as trapping IR radiation. You can also say absorbing instead of capturing. It means the same thing.

      • Please read the included link to chapter 7 also Jim D.

        Radiation is not the same as the source.

        CO2 is not the same as ocean and rocks.

      • Right from the textbook

        An increase in albedo of 0.007 (or 2.6%) since preindustrial times would have caused a negative radiative forcing DF = -2.5 W m-2, canceling the forcing from the concurrent rise in greenhouse gases. Such a small increase in albedo would not have been observable. We might expect, as water vapor concentrations increase in the atmosphere, that cloud cover should increase. However, that is not obvious. Some scientists argue that an increase in water vapor would in fact make clouds more likely to precipitate and therefore decrease cloud cover.

        To further complicate matters, clouds not only increase the albedo of the Earth, they are also efficient absorbers of IR radiation and hence contribute to the greenhouse effect. Whether a cloud has a net heating or cooling effect depends on its temperature. High clouds (such as cirrus) cause net heating, while low clouds (such as stratus) cause net cooling. This distinction can be understood in terms of our one-layer greenhouse model. Inserting a high cloud in the model is like adding a second atmospheric layer; it enhances the greenhouse effect. A low cloud, however, has a temperature close to that of the surface due to transport of heat by convection. As a result it radiates almost the same energy as the surface did before the cloud formed, and there is little greenhouse warming .



        Not robotics or being smarter than a climate scientist but first year college science.

      • @dplanet Once again you both don’t respond to the points being raised

        As for clouds, that is unknown, and not germane to any of the specific points (or the original article) u are ostensibly responding to.

        Overall the consensus is clouds, increasing absorption day and night while only decreasing albedo during the way, would have an amplifying effect. But in a warming world,rainfall might still shift dramatically, and intensify w longer periods in between, and massive regional changes – which would be particularly problematic for poorer areas and peoples, and those already food challenged.

        If clouds decrease, that might help from a total additional ongoing ephemeral gg perspective, but will only greatly exacerbate one of the biggest potential problems of this already – changing rainfall patterns, and likely decreases in many areas, and more periods of intensity, which dont conflate with the river system that evolved under our previous climate.

        And there’s a basic reason why neither cloud outcome is “good” for us. We (and the species along with us, many of whom we rely on) evolved under the temperate ice age conditions of the lat 2 or so million years. And we grew and built under it. and that is going to change.

        That’ yet another point that seems to be completely missed by climate change “skeptics” who are simply bent – as from your comments it is clear that you are and simply are going to stay that way – on the mission of refuting acc by any argument possible under well after the fact

      • The most dominant albedo changes relate to the loss of sea ice or snow cover that come with warming. There is no reason to believe clouds would go in the opposite direction, and they could just as easily, or more likely, go in the positive feedback direction. Note that ice albedo has had a major positive feedback explaining the magnitude of the Ice Age recovery. It cannot just be ignored especially as summer sea ice is declining. You would have a far better case for systematic albedo feedbacks if you talked about ice and snow, not clouds.

      • I agree that albedo is complicated.

        I am hopeful that you and John will agree that heat and radiation are not the same. That a human body and CO2 thermalize radiation differently.

      • In a scientific sense heat can be transferred by radiation. Radiation transfers energy. Heat is energy. In a colloquial sense radiation is a form of heat, but more accurately, it has a heating effect.

      • John

        Your long article is based on incorrect understanding, so it is impossible to take it seriously. If physics can be what ever you imagine it to be then the outcome of a small change in the rate of radiation to space can be whatever you imagine. This imaginary physics has for too long been used to sell catostrophic global warming to the public.

      • @dalyplanet
        Once again the same pattern. You tried to point out one error, which turned out to be a (big) error by you, as well as quite a manipulation of readers here, and what the article said. Then you repeated it later and ignored all points in response.

        So now you go to dismissing with the phrase “based on incorrect understanding.” As opposed to your understanding, which is clearly better than the world’s leading climate scientists who study this issue.

        Who by the way don’t have much issue with my article’s relevant points or conclusions.

        Although if after 15 responses that have done nothing but perpetuate your entrenched zealotry on this issue as well as manipulate readers, you actually have a valid point that shows a fundamental mistake – and does not wildly mislead readers (again) – please share.

        I have no hesitation correcting things, updating, and integrating more information when relevant.

        But I don’t think you can. What I think, and what I expect, is just as I have said before, is more of the exact same pattern.

        It’s what you need to do to perpetuate your illusion,, reinforced by incredibly insular self reinforcing and highly selective echo chambers such as this site and a few others, that a geologically radical change (defined as on the order of millions of years now) to the long term heat “capturing” property of the atmosphere, won’t significantly impact the climate of the planet on which that atmosphere sits.

        Which is essentially all my article helps to illustrate, and which you are unwilling to even consider, because like most skeptics you have already reached a “conclusion” and everything is now done, and everything “interpreted” (or dismissed) to reinforce that conclusion.

        So you dismiss it, and ludicrously dismiss as “made up physics” that climate would be significantly impacted by a huge increase in the earth’s net energy retention. (Which net energy increase has to happen, and is demonstrably happening – and so far as we know would only be offset by less water vapor, which, along with changing precipitation patterns and a bigger capacity for a warmer atmosphere to hold what water vapor there is in it for longer periods of time, would be a bad thing since it would heavily amplify drought – already one of the biggest potential problem areas of this.)

        This pattern of practicing the opposite of science, and using select science, under the guise of “science” to simply support a predetermined conclusion, desire or belief (usually led by non science related ideology, such as excessive macroeconomic or government response fears, or a bias against basic ideas of environmental externalities, fealty to fossil fuels, etc) is what the WUWT site is to a tee. (As well as every single one of your comments.)

        And fits in as almost a caricature, with commenters almost frothing at their disdain for climate scientists and all of us “fools” without the “in the know insider” more brilliant science knowledge and understanding that they posses – almost none of it publishable in major vetted science publications, nevertheless, because it is arrived at by wildly cherry picking, misrepresenting, misinterpreting, miscontructing, and confusing every little angle of science itself and unknown, with climate change refutation.

      • Actually radiation from earth has a cooling effect Jim D.

      • Yes, and GHGs have an insulating effect. More GHGs equals more insulation equals a warmer surface.

      • Jim D

        Greenhouse gasses have a scattering effect in certain bandwidths not an insulating effect. This is another important science fact, rather than the fiction we are told. Because the CO2 absorption bandwidth is already saturated adding more CO2 changes the surface temperature only a little.

        CO2 does a little sing and spin routine when hit with certain frequency photons, not at all like insulation.

      • “”””Greenhouse gasses have a scattering effect in certain bandwidths not an insulating effect. This is another important science fact, rather than the fiction we are told. Because the CO2 absorption bandwidth is already saturated adding more CO2 changes the surface temperature only a little.”””””

        It’s pretty funny.

        Light years ahead of the world’s leading scientists, using advanced physics knowledge, and a “little” re interpretation, dalyplanet and other hard core “skeptics” (aka those unwilling to accept the fact that man could and l likely is altering the climate of the earth by greatly changing the atmosphere) we have the new theory that the amount of greenhouse gases doesn’t matter much bc there’, essentially, already “too much of it” because the co2 “bandwidth is already saturated.”

        We are at the goldilocks bandwith, a couple hundred parts per million and that’s all it takes to absorb all the heat energy the atmosphere can do, for the most part.

        This is why in the deep geologic past, when the earth was much warmer and greenhouse gases were much higher, it was just a complete coincidence. Just like starting 40 years ago scientists starting predicting (outnumbering cooling papers 5 to 1) changes in the earth and now we are seeing them in constantly corroborating ways. And unbelievably hot surface of Venus,filled with a gg atmosphere



        Essentially, hard core climate skepticism is about playing and tinkering w just eno science (mainly by people w some science background, like daly planet, so there is the very iffy presumption of knowing a lot about climate change) to come up with any kind of theory possible that at least sounds plausible, to refute or be able to not accept the basic notion of anthropogenic climate change, and self convince oneself (and each other) that’s it all really just good, objective, science…..

        …..and not a self fulfilling quest that if the desire is there, on a future abstract complex issue involving broad changes in the patterns over great periods of time in what changes constantly anyway – weather – that can’t really be fully “proven until well after the fact (and far longer after the cause). said results can be achieved. Which is exactly what is happening.

      • dalyplanet, scattering? This is about as wrong as you can be. IR photons are absorbed and emitted by molecules, not scattered. Also the saturation myth. Where do you read this stuff? Go back and tell them to look at some textbooks and physics-based radiative transfer calculations instead of propagating this junk science. People believe it, unfortunately, and you are not helping by repeating it without questioning whether the source is consistent with actual physics textbooks.

      • Jim D

        Your response to my last posting is interesting. I wrote a couple of things that are sort of true and sciency sounding but are not at all the actual physics as understood, and you are all over it claiming it is wrong to do so. But you give John Carter a pass for doing the sane exact thing. Is it because John agrees with your point of view so its OK if the science is fuzzy? Don’t you think there should be equal opportunity call outs for badly represented science no matter which side is making the misrepresentation?

        Apart from that, when the earths IR field at certain frequencies impinges on the CO2 molecules, is the energy thermalized or does it only cause
        changes from normal to vibrational states and spin in your opinion? When most of the molecules are in a state of excitation do the photons them pass unabsorbed?

      • dalyplanet, the difference is that what you said about scattering and saturation was wrong by any interpretation of those words, while your complaints about John Carter were no more than semantics, not science, as I pointed out. Even your own reference said basically the same thing. Capturing heat or trapping radiation, both fine by me.
        On your question, there are many vibrational-rotational states, which is why there is a large number of lines at the 15 micron vibrational transition, covering a range of frequencies and probabilities of absorption. The outer ones, corresponding to not only a vibrational change, but a large rotational change, don’t saturate, so effectively the band widens as these get populated.

      • Returning to the textbook we see,

        “Another important point from the above discussion is that all greenhouse gases are not equally efficient at trapping terrestrial radiation. Consider a greenhouse gas absorbing at 11 mm, in the atmospheric window ( Figure 7-8 ). Injecting such a gas into the atmosphere would decrease the radiation emitted to space at 11 mm (since this radiation would now be emitted by the cold atmosphere rather than by the warm surface). In order to maintain a constant terrestrial blackbody emission integrated over all wavelengths, it would be necessary to increase the emission flux in other regions of the spectrum and thus warm the Earth. Contrast this situation to a greenhouse gas absorbing solely at 15 mm, in the CO2 absorption band ( Figure 7-8 ). At that wavelength the atmospheric column is already opaque ( Figure 7-13 ), and injecting an additional atmospheric absorber has no significant greenhouse effect.”

        so the CO2 band absorption band is already opaque or nearly so except for the slight broadening of the bands with higher concentrations.

        I am also not seeing CO2 as an insulator save in electrical applications. Perhaps you can elaborate on this assertion also.

      • If this textbook is saying that doubling CO2 has no significant effect, they are going counter to the generally accepted 3.7 W/m2 reduction in outgoing radiation of all the other textbooks. Whose textbook is this? Or perhaps they don’t consider 3.7 W/m2 to be significant. Adding an absorber in the window region is more effective per molecule, but that doesn’t mean that doubling CO2 is not going to have a significant effect.

      • In fact I found that the book was by Daniel Jacob of MIT, and he does go on to talk about adding CO2 leading to warming, so this is not someone the “skeptics” would want to quote too much of. He talks about the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, for example.

      • Well all the labeling as skeptic is coming from the fevered imagination of John Cook. Pointing out the actual physics can not be seen as an argument against the actual science unless you have some axe to grind.

        The standard definition of radiative forcing is:

        The change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus longwave; in W/m2) at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values.

        I am not seeing descriptions of heat trapping in any textbook science. There is a reason it is called radiative forcing.

        I have also sat through this posting where you have made some interesting comments as well as hundreds more of Judy’s posts here.


        In addition Science of Doom has many interesting posts with many many excellent comments so I am having a leg up so to speak on John Carter. He is not presenting science well with his particular style.

      • John Carter not John Cook a little Freudian slip there.

      • dalyplanet, if you want to go to a member of the public, or a typical blog reader, and start talking about infrared absorption instead of heat trapping, have at it. It is not an effective way of getting ideas across to use jargon when plain words will do.

      • You may notice Jim D, that Professor Jacob points out the Earth and Venus have not had the same fate do to the presence of water retained on this planet. This water and water vapor may have some important control functions against planetary overheating.

      • Google search heat trapping. It is commonly used in this context. Why do you complain to one person who uses it, and pretend you have no clue what he means, when it is such a common description that everyone knows what it means?

      • “””” Why do you complain to one person who uses it, and pretend you have no clue what he means, when it is such a common description that everyone knows what it means?””””

        Not only that, I clearly responded that capture was a commonly known way of simply referring to the well established knowledge that GGs absorb and re radiate thermal radiation.

        That same commenter – Dalyplanet – also took issue with that.

        And because (as with the answer to your question above), because of the same pattern of simply trying to take issue with anything in any way shape or form that supports a notion that he simply doesn’t or won’t support:

        Which notion again is that increasing the long term heat energy “trapping” properties of the atmosphere to levels not seen on earth in millions of years is likely going to start to shift the things that stabilize and drive climate – permafrost and clathrate buried carbon,but certainly glaciers,overall ocean sea ice (which overall is decreasing), ice sheets/caps long term ocean energy accumulation, etc, along with ongoing increased thermal radiation absorption (which he disputes,though any text book or university physics page will say otherwise)

        And self convince that this non acceptance is being “rational” when as these comments alone in the context of this conversation indicate (to anyone without the extreme bias of unwillingness to accept the basic idea on this),is anything but rational.

        In other words,the arguments being used to not accept it are even more non rational than not simply accepting the general idea: but when the goal is to refute,the notion, and self convince oneself (and others of the same or similar mindset) of this, on a complex multi layered long term heavily risk range oriented subject, it’s easy to do and convince oneself it is under the guise of “science” or “rationality.”

        And part of this process is to start,and keep, arguing, about the widely accepted semantic use of the term capture in this context,and misrepresent to readers of this blog that the initial piece – which daily planet doesn’t want to accept – make an egregious mistake in this regard,when in fact all it was saying, and clearly saying (and then again explained here) was the basic well established idea of what greenhouse gases do in the first place

        Which this commenter then took issue with. It’s one step away from taking issue with the idea of a so called “greenhouse effect” (which, knowing full well what that means, this commenter is apt to want to misleadingly take issue with as well).

        But that seems akin to saying the earth doesn’t rotate around the sun, or that the earth is flat. So the next step,the more complex step,and the easier one to get confused on, is then essentially say, thur all kinds of mechanisms, under the guise of righeteousness and self appointed “rationality” that greenhouse gas levels don’t matter much.

        It’s ultimately the conclusion one has to arrive at to be a hard score skeptic who is otherwise semi knowledgeable about the issue – , and it is one that all sorts of science mangling is done – particularly by those with a science or physics background, in support of most hard core skepticism

        It’s complex enough so that those who want to believe this, can easily do so,and continue to do so while finding ways to dismiss anything that conflicts with it.

        So the corroboration we’ve seen over 40 years to the basic theory (which essentially hasn’t changed) is also dismissed..

        This site for example cherry picks, takes small segments of the ongoing process of science itself, or areas where one or another group made a shorter term over assessment (while the mountain of under assessments are just COMPLETELY ignored) as evidence that climate change is insignificant, which is illogical in the bigger picture even if the mountain of over assessment did not exist, since climate change is not about pin point short term predictive accuracy, nor can it be.

      • Here is not the general public. It is not good to portray the issue falsely either. There are ways to state the science clearly and create a bigger tent.
        This is an issue that requires a clear headed approach rather than alarm.

      • Yes I know. It is a stupid backfiring approach.

        A short google search shows how false the heat trapping meme is and that it is rejected by many. Someone here mentioned a teeter totter.

      • dalyplanet, I don’t think I have seen anyone complaining about the common use of “heat trapping” describing certain gases before. You are being very odd about this.

    • Sink discussions are just one of many vast topics that the AGW establishment can only whisper about. As with temperature records, volcanic variance there are just some topics that are dismissed with wave of the hand and condescension. In fact there are whole lot of these topics as they move on to brain dead speculations about “missing heat” a moment later.

    • A few of the largest CO2 hotspots make very little sense especially those in the southern hemisphere.

      Image from the article:


  2. David,

    Thank you for the discussion and the links.

    Are you aware of how well (or not) the OCO differentiates from atmospheric vs. non atmospheric carbon? Wondering about picking up levels from the oceans (thinking underwater volcanic activity).

    • Danny, it is all atmospheric CO2. (However, it is my understanding these are column averages for each location, so vertical variation is unknown.) The WUWT piece is speculating that locally high atmospheric CO2 levels (called hot spots by the author) are due to underwater volcanic activity. This is interesting because it implies complex local ocean-air CO2 transport mechanisms. There are, after all, many different sources and sinks within the ocean, which we have almost no knowledge of.

      • Danny Thomas


        Thank you. Do you know then, when the OCO records a sampling if not differentiating vertically would it tend to pick up a more broad horizontal pocket vs one at a higher altitude (IE closer to the satellite?)?

        I’m picturing that it might find a “pool” of CO2 and yet what is “seen” masks that which is below if the pool has higher concentration.

      • Curious George

        I found it stunning how dramatically measured data differed from model predictions. If there are many more CO2 sources than expected, the whole carbon cycle must be re-assessed.

      • David Wojick

        Good question Danny, to which I do not know the answer. There is actually a sizable scientific literature on OCO sampling and measurement issues. A Google Scholar search on “orbiting carbon observatory” gives over 1,500 hits. The OCO is a complex critter. (Technically it is OCO-2 because OCO-1 failed to launch, several years ago.)

      • David Wojick

        I agree, George. It will be even more interesting (or upsetting) if the map changes a lot over time, which I expect. AGW is based on the hypothesis that all the independent natural sinks and sources are in some sort of magical balance and I have never believed that.

      • Curious George – The response seems to have been generally along the lines of, “nothing to see here, move along”. But, there is no mistaking that the model projections were top-heavy in the NH, while the data from OCO-2 are very bottom heavy in the SH.

  3. Regarding Alaska’s record warm year, Overland’s comments might be construed to imply there was some natural cycle of ups and downs related to this record warm 2014, but the actual data would show that, like the record warm N. Pacific Ocean, the record warm Alaska temperatures (which are closely related) are part of a much longer-term trend. So yes, temperatures cycle up and down, but this this natural variability is imposed on a longer term upward trend spanning many decades, where we are seeing both higher highs and higher low temperatures for Alaska.

    • My favorite quote was the one about Anchorage which said that 2014 was the hottest year for the city since 1926. A lot of these articles seem to have those caveats about being the warmest but then they cite some warmer date decades ago.

      • Yup, looks like 2014 is close but no cigar.

      • @ ceresco kid

        “A lot of these articles seem to have those caveats about being the warmest but then they cite some warmer date decades (or centuries) ago.”

        You noticed. Curious that the folks who are writing the headlines ‘Hottest (period) in (some long time) Provides Positive Confirmation of CAGW!’ never get around to noticing the same thing.

        Kinda like the breathless headlines about the unprecedented (catastrophic, of course) melting of glaciers, with the story describing how the unprecedented melting had revealed such things as ancient forests and signs of human presence on the uncovered terrain.

    • Rgates

      you said

      ” So yes, temperatures cycle up and down, but this this natural variability is imposed on a longer term upward trend spanning many decades, where we are seeing both higher highs and higher low temperatures for Alaska.”

      Presumably you meant centuries and not decades?

      CET warmest year in its record since 1659. About 0 .3C warmer than the warmest year of the 1730 decade. About the same as the couple of years around 1540 (my reconstruction) Not as warm as some years around 1350 and rather more years in the period 800 to 1190Ad (provisional)

      Warm 2014 Mainly due to a mild winter as few records were broken overall. I hope the Met Office will do a proper analysis as uniquely they have the opportunity of looking at the development of weather systems over the year to see if it was just the coincidence of weather systems and their position .

      We had a lot of warm westerlies in the Winter due to the jet stream position and lots of easterlies in the summer to make it warm. Anything unusual? Was the warm winter caused by a human change to the jet stream? Were the weather systems in unusual positions due to mans influence?

      Or is this just more evidence of ‘The long Slow thaw’ which has seen temperature rising since the start of the instrumental record from 1659. If so, WHY have they been on this inexorable rise for so long?


    • Hi Tony,

      I was really talking about the long-term trend in Alaska, and yes, it can be seen on an almost century scale:

      Could it be a continuation of the “long slow thaw”, or “LIA recovery”, or some combination of that along with anthropogenic forcing or solar forcing, etc? Sure, why not. I was simply pointing out that the warm 2014 is consistent with both a record warm Pacific and long- term general rise in tempertatures, beyond short-term natural variabillty. To people who say there is no consequence for generally rising ocean heat content, here is a perfect example as temperatures of the ocean in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska were at high levels all year long, and this has a big influence on tropospheric temperatures in the region.

      • Rgates

        Many people, but not you of course, focus on short term records. Personally I think it interesting that we can trace the long slow thaw back so far and yet we make little effort to find out why it is occurring.

        It seems to be similar to the period from 800ad which then got reversed briefly in the 13 th centiry but then warmed again in the 15th and 16 th century before declining again from where we can pick up the increase again from 1659.

        Long term trends mixed in with short term ones all mixed up with no trends at all.


      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        twice that graph has appeared
        I have tough time seeing something I should be afraid of
        and 90 year data set with little green line that runs slightly up
        what if went slightly down
        the green line looks like statistical BS to me
        good luck making it flat

    • Not sure what you can conclude anything but the weather is variable.

      If the weather is that variable does a 1°C or 2°C difference even mean anything?

      • Yes, a warmer baseline is always net beneficial for the biome, and its codependents.

      • If warmth were bad and cold was good – Alaska would have a larger population than California.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        I can think poorly too if I try. If warm was better than cool, Florida would have more people than California.

      • People went to California to get rich, finding gold or getting famous in Hollywood and others went to find work.

        People went to Florida because they were already rich enough and they just wanted to be warm.

        More people are moving from California to Florida than are moving from Florida to California. (I am really just guessing here)

      • Someone told me that if New York City had the same population density as Alaska, there would be 11 people in New York City. I have not checked the math on that.

      • nottawa rafter

        Surely you have heard of the proliferation of Florida sink holes. They can play havoc on 16 lane freeways. Somehow nature has its own population control measures. :)

      • Max – you clearly don’t need to try to think poorly, it sees to come quite naturally to you:) but happy new year to you anyway! As far as CA vs FL, there are many reasons why CA has a higher population – one being just the shear beauty of the state with it’s large variety of natural wonders, not that FL has no natural beauty or wonders, just that CA, IMO, has far more. The one problem CA does have is too many liberals, who will, if the trends continue, be the ones left holding the bag of that great state’s inevitable and total economic collapse.

      • Hunh? What stampeded all those Okies to a desert?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Nottawa, I didn’t know about the sink holes. That’s another reason to stay away from Florida. I went to Florida a few times in summer, and I disliked the heat and humidity. I went swimming and got sea fleas, something I had never heard of.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Barnes | January 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm |
        Max – you clearly don’t need to try to think poorly, it sees to come quite naturally to you:) but happy new year to you anyway!

        Thank you, Barnes. Happy New Year to you. As Pope said, some people went to California to find work. But new comers weren’t always welcome. Californians tried to pass laws to keep us Okies out, because we were considered riffraff (I wasn’t actually there, but you know what I mean). It’s kinda like today with the illegals, but the Okies were U.S. citizens.

      • ‘Yes, a warmer baseline is always net beneficial for
        the biome and its codependents,’ luvely o-non-pareil,
        nevah go away – serf – lol.

    • So yes, temperatures cycle up and down, but this this natural variability is imposed on a longer term upward trend spanning many decades, where we are seeing both higher highs and higher low temperatures for Alaska.

      The longer term trend spanning many decades is part of the longer temperature cycle that caused the alternating warm and cold periods in the same bounds for ten thousand years. That longer cycle is also natural variability. No one has or can prove that is wrong, not with actual data that is available from measurements or proxies.

    • Who cares. It’s warmer in the Alaska area and it’s cooler in the Mediterranean Sea area.

  4. If all of the Americans on the Left who have been calling all the shots in politics for years now were really believers in the science of AGW, they would have encouraged clean diesel technology years ago. Instead, taxes are higher on diesel fuel than petrol.

    • Logic would suggest they should have been encouraging the next generation of nuclear power plants too.

      • Policy dissonance, look to the cognition of social control.

      • Kim, I try not to entertain that theory, but I am fully aware many would would be happy with a lot fewer of us around, with the unstated assumption is that THEY will still be around and standing after the purges. And let’s face it, technology has made much direct human labor obsolete- there are better and faster ways to build pyramids. I think The Onion nails it:

      • Gaia wears us as glorious ornamentation, the old whore.

      • @ petebonk

        ” I think The Onion nails it:”

        From the article: “Saying there’s no way around it at this point, a coalition of scientists announced Thursday that one-third of the world population must die to prevent wide-scale depletion of the planet’s resources—and that humankind needs to figure out immediately how it wants to go about killing off more than 2 billion members of its species.”

        Of course, as always, the Onions exaggerates. Scientists and the leading lights of the ‘sustainability movement’ are actually calling for a ‘population reduction’ of around 90+%.

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

        ““A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
        Ted Turner,
        Founder of CNN and major UN donor”

        ““If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
        Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
        husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
        Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation”

        ““There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….” “Our program in El Salvador didn’t work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people…. To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females….” The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….
        Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs”

        “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people…. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.
        Stanford Professor ” Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb”

        “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.”
        J. Cousteau, 1991 explorer and UNESCO courier”

        Could this:

        “The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….
        Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs”

        explain why the ‘Powers That Be’ in the US thought that it was a great idea to send the 101st Airborne to Africa to ‘Fight Ebola’?

      • Somebody whispered ‘Not airborne’ across the green to Obama as the ball finally plonked into the cup, but he misunderstood, so involved was he with his victory dance.

      • Heh, mebbe they said ‘A hundred to one, it’s airborne’. I wasn’t there.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I had a dog, his name was Jack
        throw him a stick, he won’t bring it back
        he’s got better things to do
        see ol’ Jack is Airborne too

        When ol’ Jack was a little bitty pup
        we packed him a ‘chute and we took him up
        standing in the door there was no doubt
        he was waggin’ his tail when he jumped out

        (couldn’t resist…one of my favs)
        my poetry contributions will be of lower quality than kim and bts
        but what the hey

      • One day Jack, he met a sorry leg
        Standin’ hat in hand, his models for to beg.
        Jack cocked his, filled hat up to its brim,
        Now we know this, what models mean to him.

  5. Here’s another interesting NRO piece:


    It’s Tim Cavanaugh’s take on Chris Hayes’s piece comparing fossil fuels to slavery:


    • Chris Hayes has said that he won’t give airtime to so called “deniers” and has given powder puff interviews to Michael Mann. He has decided to serve Mann and drink the Kool-Aid:

    • I didn’t notice this piece was back from April. It showed up in the header for the NRO link. I just assumed it was a recent article, but forgot to check.

  6. Willis Eschenbach

    Haven’t seen the whole rainfall articlehttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014WR015885/abstract?campaign=wolacceptedarticle, but the abstract is fascinating (emphasis mine):

    We analyze long-term fluctuations of rainfall extremes in 268 years of daily observations (Padova, Italy, 1725-2006), to our knowledge the longest existing instrumental time series of its kind. We identify multidecadal oscillations in extremes estimated by fitting the GEV distribution, with approximate periodicities of about 17-21 years, 30-38 years, 49-68 years, 85-94 years, and 145-172 years. The amplitudes of these oscillations far exceed the changes associated with the observed trend in intensity. This finding implies that, even if climatic trends are absent or negligible, rainfall and its extremes exhibit an apparent non-stationarity if analyzed over time intervals shorter than the longest periodicity in the data (about 170 years for the case analyzed here). These results suggest that, because long-term periodicities may likely be present elsewhere, in the absence of observational time series with length comparable to such periodicities (possibly exceeding one century), past observations cannot be considered to be representative of future extremes. We also find that observed fluctuations in extreme events in Padova are linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation: increases in the NAO Index are on average associated with an intensification of daily extreme rainfall events. This link with the NAO global pattern is highly suggestive of implications of general relevance: long-term fluctuations in rainfall extremes connected with large-scale oscillating atmospheric patterns are likely to be widely present, and undermine the very basic idea of using a single stationary distribution to infer future extremes from past observations.

    Can’t say better than that …


  7. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    “The Carbon Tax Has Something for Everyone” says the conservative National Review.

    Yep, a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no brainer.

    But I wouldn’t say the tax has something for everyone. It wouldn’t do the coal industry any good. On the other hand, it should be good for natural gas producers.

    • So many brains, so little revenue neutrality.

    • It would require a no brainer to believe a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a good idea for the US

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      The problem is most people just don’t know what’s good for them. I suspect it’s because knee jerk ideology interferes with rational thinking. That doesn’t happen to me because I’m ideology free.

      A revenue-carbon tax would put dollars in my pockets. If the regressive nature of the tax wasn’t ruined by compensating the poor, my pockets would be even fuller.

      • Sorry Max, I can’t help myself – I’d say you are like most liberals detached from reality living in a fact-free fantasy land – not exactly ideology free. Taxes, like government agencies (think EPA), tend to grow over time as politicians of both parties think up of newer and better ways to waste our money.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        I don’t know how you would go about getting an ideology out of your head.
        I don’t remember ever having one, but if I did, it left. I can tell you I don’t want an ideology because people who have ideologies are always complaining and don’t seem happy.

      • Son, it’s like a melody that sticks, say, Mariah, or Birdnest of the Rising Sun.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        kim, I would comment on that if knew what it meant.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        you can’t understand kim ’cause you’re ideology free

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Reply
        The problem is most people just don’t know what’s good for them.
        Ideology free? No way.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        You believe my ideology is “I don’t think most people know what’s good for ’em.” OK, but that doesn’t seem like much of an ideology. How can I build on it?

      • Yes, as it is a sure sign of an elitist ideology.

      • You could be put in charge so you can make sure you’re always there so they always have the right answer.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Lots of denizens here think lots of people don’t know what’s good for ’em.
        The problem is we disagree on what’s good for ’em. Nevertheless, we can agree that lots of people don’t know what’s good for ’em. Our motto could be “I know what”s best, you don’t.”

      • k scott denison

        You may agree with that Max but I do not. In my world, individuals know what is best for them, not some group of “elites”.

    • More of this. The greater the government involvement, the greater the corruption. People on the left love getting the government involved. No wonder studies show people on the left are less honest.

      A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer, if you have no brains, policies like this make sense.

      We keep getting told that alternative energy sources are competitive and getting cheaper. We are then told we need a carbon tax.

      The two can’t both be true – but both could be lies.

      • Snakes eyes, all lies,
        God’s modspin, what are the odds?

      • Sure, the only business politicians know is business as usual.

        In theory it could be done. The key is to keep it simple, which is the opposite of what politician do, it’s how they make their money.

        That said, it wouldn’t be an emissions tax (that sets up all kinds of possible wasteful scams like CO2 sequestration at power plants). It would need to be an end user fossil fuel consumption tax.

        This would be a starting point:

        Rather than looking at it as a short term, immediate need to reduce CO2 emission, think of it as creating incentive for conservation and innovation over the long term. Innovations that happen in one country will spill over to the next.

        What I’d like to see is something like a carbon tax at the consumer level.

        One scenario would be something like, eliminate corporate taxes, raise capital gains tax and make it highly progressive, make income taxes more progressive &/ make a very high standard deduction (and maybe eliminate other deductions).

        This does several things:

        1) Allows consumption to continue in the short term (increases consumption cost, but frees up income to compensate).
        2) Incentivizes conservative decisions over time.
        3) Incentivizes innovation.
        4) Allows production to continue and increases energy supply for the developing world.
        5) Shifts the economy toward exports (it’s a consumption tax, we’d still extract).
        6) Encourages corporations to base/operate in the country.

        Two major issues that would need to be addressed are:

        1) How to tax imports.
        2) High energy costs would erode our manufacturing base, we may need to provide rebates/exemptions to manufacturing companies (and maybe commercial transportation).

        Energy producers would not pay tax, the end user would. So, energy producers are incentivized to improve efficiency to lower cost for the consumer/increase their margin by reducing the share that goes to the government.

      • Scott Basinger

        Revenue neutral does not mean cost neutral. The painful failure of Energiewende and the 300k customers / year being cut off from electrical services because they can no longer afford their bills should serve as a warning to others.

        From a policy perspective, this benefits a few renewables players at the expense of the ratepayer. Bad energy policy is bad for everyone.

    • Craig Loehle

      There has never been a revenue neutral tax. It always gets redistributed or unequally “neutralized”. For example, lotteries were supposed to be used to support schools (as a carrot for getting them approved) but ended up just substituting for general revenue–schools no better off, lottery a tax on the poor. The tobacco settlement was supposed to do good deeds, did not. It also presumes an evil that needs combating.

  8. Ironic when the World Bank publishes on “corruption”; https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/20457?hootPostID=c5ac7adadb92d435f7898bc49d6593ef

    Given that the Bank is an imbodiment of 20th century crony corruption and government authority corruption itself. A quick look at the cousin U.N., IPCC, EU or Obama administration would required many more pages and definitions of what corruption looks like. Metaphorically the focus remains on relative cab drivers padding their fare cheating tourists who don’t know the shortest route to the airport.


    Same clown culture that lists “climate change” as more of problem then themselves. Beyond clueless.

  9. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    The link to “Mark Steyn: The limitations of lawyers” didn’t work for me.

    I wondered if Steyn has new problems. I know he can’t get a break. First, he gets a bad judge, then incompetent defense lawyers. What now?

  10. The NR piece was all right, ’til they promoted carbon capture. It’s borderline evil, reducing our supply of coal ~15% which also means more pollution for the same energy.

    We shouldn’t be taxing CO2 emissions, but the actual consumption of fossil fuels regardless of GHG emissions.

  11. In response to the cloud seeding article, has anyone thought about the anti bacterial properties of silver? As in most things, could there be an unintended consequence that would be worse then the objective?

  12. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Check today’s NYTimes for Five Surprising Economic Trends in 2014, and What They Mean for 2015. I will quote two excerpts, and comment briefly:

    “If there was one thing Wall Street forecasters could agree upon at the end of 2013, it was that 2014 would be a year of rising long-term interest rates in the United States.”

    Yes, they were wrong and I was wrong. Lesson: Don’t try to time changes in interest rates.

    “The stock market had a remarkable rally in 2013, and some were skeptical that it could continue the run in 2014.”

    The skeptics were wrong. I’m glad I didn’t reduce my exposure to stocks. Lesson: Stick with your asset allocation.


  13. David L. Hagen

    Mary Enig on saturated fat, Coconut Oil and “trans-fat”
    The late nutritionist Mary G. Enig documented the benefits of coconut oil: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century
    She was a leading authority on trans-fats. Coconut oil has ~ 63% of its fat in “medium chain” fatty acids with 12 carbon chains or less. These are rapidly metabolized without having to be split like long chain fats.
    She extensively exposed the errors of the “avoid saturated fat” argument and the anti-coconut fat drive that was strongly supported by the American soybean industry etc. to gain market share. See Enig and Fallon (1999)The Oiling of America

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Call me skeptical, but I can’t buy what Enig is selling.

      Oklahomans consume lots of saturated fats. Oklahoma has the 3rd highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. If more Oklahomans listened to Enig, we could be #1 in something.

      • I was always amused that some spreads, touted as made from polyunsaturated fats, were solidified by saturating the fats.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Just eat lard. Spread it on your bread. A grilled lard sandwich is delicious.

      • Lard and lye, hey, it’s Saturday Night. No soap, church on radio only.

      • David L. Hagen

        What are you objecting to?
        Which part of “medium chain triglycerides” do you not understand?

        Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, as well as for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.

        i.e., MCT’s in coconut oil increase metabolism.

        Why do those in the South Pacific who eat the most coconut oil have the least heart disease?
        And those in the US who eat the least coconut oil have the most heart disease?
        Then when Pacific islanders get off of coconut and onto “western” diets (eg when migrating to New Zealand), they have massive increases in heart disease, diabetes etc.?

      • David L. Hagen

        Nature is designed to handle cis fats, not trans. Trans fats cause numerous health problems. e.g. Enig notes:

        One of the most common blocks in the prostaglandin chain involves delta-6 desaturase (D6D), the first step in the production of prostaglandins from essential fatty acids. When action of this enzyme is blocked, so is the entire pathway. This vital enzyme is inhibited first and foremost by trans fatty acids found in margarine, shortening and hydrogenated fats.

      • Thanks, David. So it is worse than I thought. What a joke.

        On us. Oh, how we laugh.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Mary Enig was warning against trans fats long before anyone
        your government now requires your being notified of their presence in your food
        rightly so
        problems in your state are caused by other issues
        I don’t know specifics
        my guess
        high tobacco and alcohol consumption
        lifestyle and income
        indigenous population genetic predisposition
        and high consumption of trans fats, not sat fats
        plus, she wasn’t selling much
        years ago I bought her book “Know Your Fats”
        by calling her husband’s architectural firm
        thanks David Hagen, Mary Enig was one of my favorite people
        I had not heard that she had passed

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        the indigenous population I reference are those folk that were marched there at gun point I think around 1832

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I was modded, so I shall rephrase
        the indigenous population I reference include those that were forced into OK by Andrew Jackson

      • I like the term ‘Indigeans’, but I can’t get it to catch on.

      • Vegetable oil is cooked at 170°C with 15-20 PSI Hydrogen and a nickel catalyst to produce transfat.

        The basic problem with transfat and some other food additives is they are the product of industrial processes that produce chemicals not found in nature.

        Polypropylene glycols (most famous as car antifreeze) are used in everything from chewing gum and sports drinks to wine, and some of it is even kosher. I looked through the Bible and could not figure out how you could kosher antifreeze except by the “if it isn’t specifically banned it is ok” rule, and there would not be a biblical admonition about drinking antifreeze.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      I thought Mary Enig was one of the brightest people I ever heard speak
      she was saying things now considered right
      at the time she was a heretic
      In my daily life I interact with no one who would have ever heard of her
      and now I see her name on CE

      that I would intersect with someone who knows of her on this climate blog
      impresses me
      not sure what to make of it
      she deserves to be remembered

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        It started when we were dancing
        it got heavy when we got to the bathroom
        we didn’t go back to her place
        we went some place where she cat sits

        she said, “I know I look tired, but everything’s fried here in Memphis”

        The Hold Steady “Sequestered In Memphis”

    • David, perhaps you can help.

      I have never seen a study of the relationship between populations with different degrees of autochthony and the incidence of diet-related (or allegedly so) disease. It seems to me that highly autochthonous populations (Japan, certainly – Greece? Inuit? La France Profonde?, to name but a few regions which have had “paradoxes” named after them) consuming a traditional diet in adequate quantities might suffer less from diet-related illness than highly miscegenated populations.

      In the case of autochthonous populations, the individuals available for present study are the survivors of a diet which has had many generations to expunge hereditary characteristics which “disagreed” with it.

      Miscegenated populations, by contrast, not only lack this period of genetic “training”, but are often found in highly developed societies with cosmopolitan – and exotic – appetites. Such populations might be expected to exhibit all sorts of diet-related disorders, but with much evidence confounding any attempt to correlate cause and effect. (this seems to me to be true of populations such as Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK).

      Can you or any CE denizens with relevant expertise tell me whether this idea has any merit? Does anyone know of any study which explores it?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      John Smith (it’s my real name) | January 3, 2015 at 6:10 pm |
      Mary Enig was warning against trans fats long before anyone
      your government now requires your being notified of their presence in your food
      rightly so
      problems in your state are caused by other issues
      I don’t know specifics ….

      Oklahomans eat lots of fried foods. Fats are high in calories. Oklahoma has an obesity problem. While I’m sure Enig didn’t advocate obesity, her approval of saturated fats could encourage obesity.

      Oklahoma is not alone. Southern States lead the nation in obesity.Southerners eat lots of fried foods.


      Seems like I recall the frying itself may cause health problems.

      • michael hart

        Acrylamide in fried foods from carbohydrate thermal decomposition is (un)fashionable these days. I’m not expressing a strong opinion either way… but the list is always longer than we think.

  14. The modern age’s economic version of the medieval belief that the sun revolved around the earth, is the idea that we, or developing countries, need fossil fuels or other counter productive practices to “grow,” when we don’t even know what growing really is.

    Ultimately all that matters economically is GDP and employment. Ideally, that GDP ultimately reflects more an increase in overall utility than decrease. Changing to smarter, less archaic, outmoded and from at this point somewhat stubborn and older, very polluting forms of energy and agricultural practices, if done intelligently (and that’s the “argument” or discussion to be having), probably greatly increases the true utility of any GDP, and it certainly doesn’t detract from net GDP or employment numbers, but is merely another component of it.

    In other words, this entire idea that our own future “prosperity” is based upon practices which are counter productive, is an economic illusion. Which is not surprising, because most people SUCK at economics. And even many economists (but fewer and fewer, unless they are heavily ideological one way or another) are trapped in the common myopic presumptions of the era.

    Food for thought, though I warrant most people really don’t like to think (nor are they particularly good at it) when that thinking goes against what they have come to believe, want to believe, or – such as in the case of climate change and a massive campaign of self reinforcing misinformation – have been intensely led to believe.

    • Would you accept nuclear power John Carter?

      • There is a lot of energy in the universe and my prediction is that man will not ultimately use all of it.

      • @jim2 Yeah, I mean it has its issues obviously. But we all kind of have to tackle this together and discuss the most sensible ways to transform,and that certainly has to be on the table and likely be part of the equation.

        I think more important is to start ironing out at least a LITTLE BIT of the massive market imbalance that has an incredibly large implicit (and sometimes, through horrible policy, explicit) subsidization of many of the same energy and agricultural processes and types that are at this point intensely counter productive long term, and see how the market responds.

        I think incentive and motivation, particularly when it is tangible market motivation, is pretty huge. And it isn’t really playing a role here because the massive harm of fossil fuel (and some agricultural practices) isn’t integrated into any market decision making. Nor can it be except when people get all gooey eyed and make decisions to “help the world,” which is great to do (and I’m not discouraging it – encouraging it in fact) but isn’t a sufficient model for change, and certainly not on its own

      • John C. While I don’t agree with you that fossil fuels have done or are doing great damage, I’m happy to find some common ground.


    • Ok John, please list for us the number of prosperous businesses started last year that didn’t rely on fossil fuels. Heck, list just one.

      • @k scott

        You write to me about logical fallacies,then ask “please list for us the number of prosperous businesses started last year that didn’t rely on fossil fuels”?

        And yet you CANT see both the irony ,and major flaw in that question?

        THAT is why I argue with climate change advocates all the time, who berate climate change skeptics as “greedy bastards who know better and who are lying.””

        I try to suggest to climate change advocates, sometimes almost as much in vain as trying to explain climate science to some of the more zealous “skeptics” on here (but not all), that this is normally not true, that skeptics are people too, well meaning, usually, like most of us, not nearly as good at science or as knowledgeable as they think they are (particularly on this issue where misinformation runs rampant, and particularly with former science types, who because of their science background think they’re “experts”) and come from differing views, and original beliefs, and are subject to a massive amount of misinformation.

        Because it is pretty clear to me that you are not trying to manipulate me, or other readers, and that you think that question is germane to my main points, or the science issue (not the “what do we do in response) of climate change itself .

        I’m not sure there is any point in even answering. Maybe you (and other reader) should really think about the basic flaw in that question.

        That flaw that in some ways goes to the heart of the problem.

        Do that, take a few guesses ,and get back to me. You can also comment on the bottom of my piece to make sure that I see it, and that way I can promise a response, and will try to do so as thoughtfully and reasonably as possible.


      • Not sure exactly what you are trying to say John. It is either your writing style or that your arguments are vacuous or both.

    • Through the Lens (@woodyjohn1)

      “It’s extraordinary the lengths to which climate skeptics go to prove to each other how they know more than climate scientists on the subject of climate science.”

      It’s funny you should make this statement John, I thought the basis off all science was skepticism. So therefore all “climate” scientists should be skeptics.

      • Climate change “skepticism” and the word skepticism mean two very different things.

        In very generic terms, all climate scientists are skeptics. That does not mean they don’t accept climate science or think it’s trivial (which is what the word “skeptic” has come to mean for CC and which means something very different.) Or that they are skeptical of gravity.

        What’s funny are the semantic games that go on to perpetuate CC “skepticism,” which is in fact more of a belief system than science. (But as part of it, it often likes calling science, a “belief system,” or, in psychology terms, projecting outward.)

        And which when hard core – although for some the word is charged (for others it’s not, and shouldn’t be in this context) – really means denialism of or non acceptance of the (fairly well scientifically accepted) fact that geologically radical changes to the long term composition of the heat “trapping” properties of the atmosphere will invariably and likely very significantly,affect our climate.

        Of course, “deniers” to use that unwieldy term, deny that it’s essentially a fairly well established idea, as well – which also helps perpetuate, and help self seal in, he denialsim, or hard core “skepticism.” Get enough people to believe it, and then repeat it, particularly on insular sites almost all feeding off the same manufactured misconstruction of the basic issue – a few of whom are actually scientists in real life (albeit often, but not always, with ideological ties) – and the myth gets perpetuated and reinforced, and more fervently and righteously believed.

        The even larger irony is that people should be even more skeptical of “skeptics,” and real skeptics who really have NO ideological motivation (and that is probably a small minority – Curry might be in that group a little but even she I think makes enormous economic presumption that prompts a colored view of what is otherwise a complex long term conceptual risk range assessment and analysis) should be VERY skeptical of the constant barrage of “information” that they are getting, that feeds their “skepticism”

        To put it mildly.

      • “In very generic terms, all climate scientists are skeptics.”

        This is bull****. Pure and simple bull****.

        There are a number of scientist who are members of environmental organizations, been arrested at environmental protests or attempted to drag Canadian sports equipment into climate discussion. These people are dyed in the wool advocates.

        Some of the numbers in the IPCC report (2000 PPM CO2 in 2200) indicate there might not be a truly skeptical scientist in the upper echelons of climate science. Either that or climate scientists have a herd mentality and the majority are incapable of independent thought.

    • John Carter,

      Human hunter-gatherer’s collected and used 8 MJ/d per person. Technological man uses about 900 MJ/d per person. Plot the rate of increase as humans progressed through development stages: primitive man, early agricultural man, industrial man, technological man, then project forward.

      It is not credible to argue per capita energy consumption will not continue to accelartate logarithmicly as it has been doing for the past 200,000 years

    • Craig Loehle

      John Carter: you have made a pretty bold claim that we don’t need fossil fuels to grow our economies. Maybe theoretically there are other energy sources somewhere, but in the world we live in we have fossil fuels, hydro (mostly maxed out and opposed for flooding land), tiny amount of geothermal, nuclear, wind, and solar. The wind and solar are expensive and intermittent (ie, no wind sometimes, and no solar at night) and battery backup is currently impossible. Switching to something more expensive is not “growth” it is called inefficiency and inefficiency raises prices and cuts jobs. Shutting off all fossil fuels and trying to switch to solar and wind would leave us with no transportation fuel (yeah yeah, electric cars, be my guest, go buy one) and with electricity that could shut down for days. And of course all plastics are made from oil. So please tell me how we “don’t need” fossil fuels. As to subsidies, solar and wind are so subsidized that when the credit for building them is periodically not renewed by Congress, they totally stop making them/installing them.

      • +1

      • @Craig
        “”‘ So please tell me how we “don’t need” fossil fuels.””””

        We’ve come to rely on them, which is very different from needing something.

        It creates the strong perception of need, but often, not the reality.

        It is in fact what an addiction is. And even George W Bush (in his SOTA 2006) said “We are addicted to oil.”

        Short term that reliance has created a need. But long term it is an addiction, and a perception of need, which again, is very different.

        As for subsidies, fossil fuels are currently subsidized in multiple ways.

        Far more importantly, they are inherently subsidized, even if the amount (and how to measure) are imprecise, since the enormous and often hidden cumulative harm is not integrated into their price.

        Hence the tremendous market imbalance, for lack of a better term, which perpetuates our continued usage and comfort with reliance, and hence short term (and perceived longer term) “need..”

      • John


        When do you realistically believe we (includes the West, China etc and the undeveloped world) can stop using fossil fuels in their myriad forms. A decade? 50 years? A centur?


      • @ Craig Loehle

        As you accurately point out: ‘renewable energy’ is profitable BECAUSE OF government; fossil fuel energy is profitable IN SPITE OF government.

  15. 11/27. 10:42 ET.
    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

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

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

    12/30 10:37 PM ET
    NAT GAS______3.099
    RBOB GAS____1.4495

    NAT GAS____3.003
    RBOB GAS___1.4334

    • Canada has shut down 18% of its drilling rigs in one week. There goes a chunk of Kanuck jobs.

      NAT GAS____2.914
      RBOB GAS__1.3452

  16. The NR article tries to put lipstick on the pig for conservatives and perhaps libertarians, but it’s malarky.

    While the US tax system desperately needs an overhaul, towards simplicity, that problem is totally independent of a carbon tax. Obviously, the writer has already decided that CO2 is “bad” without explanation how it’s “bad.” The carbon tax is what’s bad. I’m sad to see NR publish this rubbish.

    We need first and foremost cheap energy. And the “How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions? ” article explains how to do that: nuclear power. Now THAT is a good article! It gives real world examples. Reality is what’s missing from the carbon tax idea.

    It’s not a market based solution and it isn’t a solution.

    • Oh yeah, and the excuse for doing a carbon tax now, due to low gasoline prices, is tantamount to a lie. We all know oil and gasoline prices move up and down – history is a witness to that – and at some point gasoline will go back up. We will all be more solvent financially if it goes up without more taxes tacked on to it.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2 hasn’t freed himself of an ideology that says an unfettered market is the solution to all problems. The ideology is the master and poor jim2 is the servant. As long as his master controls him, he will not be able to consider practical solutions. Free yourself, jim2. You can do it if you try.

  17. From the original post: “”””Scientists seek demigod status; journals want blockbuster results; retractions on rise. Is science broken?””””

    Of course it is, as it creates a perfectly normal and rationale SEEMING way to simply ignore the fact that almost all climate scientists who professionally study the issue say climate change is a real problem, and instead listen to, or simply be or become, a skeptic that thus knows more than the climate scientists who professionally study this.

    Of course, every time this point is made, several wax eloquently about how just because a “majority” assert something, does not make it right. True, but it does more so on science than not.

    But it’s not just a majority here: But for a handful of all but acknowledged ideologues, it’s almost every single climate scientist who actually studies the issue, and it’s certainly an overwhelming enough majority to be now long considered a scientific consensus (so says every single leading science body world wide) – which science, being conservative, doesn’t just casually proclaim.

    But the real point is not who or what or how many say something. Though on this issue – where deep expertise and understanding is required to have a solid sense of the issue (something most skeptics think they have but do not have, some to an almost remarkably misinformed, but often extremely zealous, and self sealing degree of belief) – deferring to the experts who professionally study it makes sense unless one has both better information and understanding, and a reason for that. (Which few have, but there are plenty of reasons driving people to want to, so they think that they do.)

    The real point is that the arguments offered against basic accepted climate science continually misrepresent the science, misconstrue the issue, cherry pick, or conflate the natural learning, debate and adjustment process of science itself with repudiation of climate change itself.

    They aren’t driven by a “woh, we see something, let’s look again.” They’re driven by an intense desire to not accept climate change and an almost religious, fervent belief that climate change is or needs to be some sort of overblown hoax (often accompanied by enormous macroeconomic presumptions, fears and assumptions); and so, led by a huge industry to this effect, and massive self reinforcing misinformation, interpret everything in a way to self seal in this belief.

    So for example, if scientists make 20 projections, and over the next decade 15 are worse than they guestimated, 5 are not quite as bad, here is what climate change skeptics, without realizing, do:

    The 15 are ignored, while the 5 are used as “proof” that climate change is a hoax. Even though just the 5 in total, if that was all we had, don’t even undermine climate change, but simply reflect the imprecise nature of making projections, particularly on a shorter climatic time scale, and particularly when targeted guestimations or numbers, rather than likely ranges, are used. And of course even though in total the 20, actually make the entire case a little stronger, if anything. (Or more accurately, offer more robust secondary corroboration.)

    Skeptics of course don’t realize they are engaging in this tactic. Or almost any of them, which is how they get to be so much smarter on the issue of climate science, than climate scientists who professionally study the issue.

    In keeping with this of course is disparaging climate scientists, and coming up with ways to impugn them, so the fact that scientists – unlike ANY other professionals the world over – are paid for their expertise (but not for reaching a certain expertise or conclusions, which is the whole point of real science) suddenly makes the not credible. And the fact that most lobbying groups are actually paid to refute certain points or specifically argue something or persuade – regardless of the actual science or facts – is, incredibly ironically, ignored.

    • Slow down John, it’s too hard to count the sheer numbers of logical fallacies in your posts! You’re doing this on purpose, right?

      • See last comment.

        I’m sure you are far more logical than I am Scott. And have a far higher iq and scientific acumen. and have studied the climate change issue and science far more extensively.. (as well as more extensively than most climate scientists, I’m sure as well.)

        But, while Im sure there may be errors as with any long comment necessarily put out in draft form, I believe, to summarize, you are confusing the meaning of “logical fallacy” with “things you simply don’t even conceptually understand in the first place” and things you won’t allow yourself to even consider.”\

        Particularly the latter. Hence a good way to do this is exactly what you have done. See again my first reply to you, and the pattern by hard core climate change “skeptics.

        Again, in that very same piece which you alluded to in your other comment, that pattern is fairly well laid out, along with some basic ideas – which again clearly you don’t want to accept or allow yourself to consider (and this is common on politics) And it is the pattern that skeptics continually engage in to try and refute climate change, or arguments, facts, ideas or anything, really, in support of climate change, by any means possible.


      • John, when one’s third sentence includes two fallacies I’d say one is off to a particularly bad start.

    • Well, JC. 94-97% of scientists are wrong.

      The models represent the consensus and 97% of the models are wrong.

      So depending on how you count things… 3% of scientists are smart. If you want, because 3% of models get lucky, you can throw in 3% more lucky scientists. So the total of smart and lucky scientists is about 6%.

      And the rest are wrong about global warming.

      • @PA You confuse climate science with an ability to predict exactly how things will change, and exactly when they will change.

        That is not what climate change is. The thing is, most people who nevertheless have profoundly powerful views in contravention of climate scientists, don’t even really know what climate change is.

        They do know the slew of misinformation and misconstruction they’ve been fed.. Such as this doubly incorrect ideas that models represent climate change, and that models are “wrong.”

        Models hone understanding, and help make projections, NOT predictions.

        Skeptics however, take every projection that was understated, and ignore it. And they take every projection that was overstated – which is just about as irrelevant – and incorrectly decide from that “models are wrong.” (Which is itself wrong.) And climate change is not real.

        I don’t know what can be done to get skeptics to see this.

        Probably nothing.

        Most people have given up, since they think skeptics “know they are lying,” or are “greedy bastards,” or “are too foolish to even ever be able to understand the issue.”

        I don’t agree with those three things, so I try sometimes. But an intense zealotry, and massive misinformation that helps reinforce what people want to believe, that works further upon the basic psychology that people on political issues will work extraordinarily hard to see things in a way that perpetuates their previously held view, it’s probably pretty difficult to get anybody on a charged issue like this to see anything they don’t want to see

        Hence this pretty basic, yet ludicrous, idea that since models can’t exactly predict things (though in general they have been somewhat accurate, which is all that maters in terms of helping to corroborate a basic scientific concept that otherwise has nothing to do with models in the first place) climate change is not real.

        It means the person has no real idea what climate change really is, or has no idea what climate models actually do and don’t do, or their limitations, or their (though less relevant) overall (not cherry picked, and often highly misrepresented) record. Or doesn’t want to. Or both.

        And there’s a mountain of zealotry driven misinformation to feed this, on sites like this in comments – and even far more so, on other sites.

        There have been times in history when the great majority of scientists who study an issue are wrong. and when so science (and most scientists) welcome it, and certainly journals encourage it – articles that show something different.

        But there is nothing on this subject that passes much muster. And this because the basic idea – that changing the long term energy trapping property of our atmosphere to levels not seen in (now) millions of years won’t have ultimately have a significant impact upon our climate, is scientifically ludicrous.

        Scientists are open to the possibilities that something we don’t know might mean otherwise, but all the “theories” and assertions that so argue, far from being good science, mangle the basic issue, and in doing so themselves make a better case for the significance of AGW than the scientists advocating that AGW is a big deal in the first place.

        (But not to people that are a) not experts on the issue and only became half knowledgeable through a drive to feed a hostile reaction to or skepticism over the climate change “claim,” or that was fed by massive, often far right wing (not always, but usually) but self believed propaganda on the issue and b) don’t want to or are unwilling to (or at this point are still unable to) even remotely objectively consider the issue from a pure science, and humble, perspective.

        Of course skeptics don’t see this because most don’t have a robust understanding of the issue, but get what they do know from one sided, massively misleading and misinformed sites, often ideologically driven.

        So they take things such as this ridiculous comment that misconstrues models, the climate change issue, and what models do – as well as pretty much anything which is part of the ordinary learning and adjusting process of science – and turn it into some sort of rhetorically manufactured refutation or denial of basic climate science, or of the basic idea of meaningful ecological repercussions from massive long term atmospheric chemical change.

        Which sounds good, fits what people have been led to believe, or want to believe, and it then reinforces the belief further. For many zealots, it self seals the belief: Meaning no matter what evidence is presented, everything will be interpreted in a way to self seal in the belief that what we call anthropogenic climate change. isn’t really real. Easy to do when one wants, since weather is normally all over the place anyway, and climate variable (and normally unpredictable into the future) and it can all be ignored.

        That is, until half of Florida is sea bottom. But even them some will have an excuse for that too.

        Misinformation is massive, and the level of “strong opinion” or worse on this issue, relative to the level of balanced, objective, non ideologically tainted, and RELEVANT information and understanding of it.is astronomical.

      • Maybe less opinions, and more simple considering and being open minded about the issue – that maybe skeptics aren’t seeing something – might be helpful in the long run.

        You can say the same thing about those concerned with AGW. But that is kind of what science is – an what the process has been: To see what might be being missed. And all that comes up from the skeptic site is massive self reinforcing misinformation and awful miscontruction of the issue.

        No papers published that provide significant evidence or even cohesive theory to refute climate change.

        Just misinformation put out on websites and fox news and ideological advocacy organizations that also provide news, feeding the insular and constantly self reinforcing and website feeding solidarity of the supposedly “in the know” anti climate change group.

      • JC…

        There are about 2 GT of carbon from burning rainforests every year.

        The same activity destroys 0.5 GT of carbon sinking. The total sinking destroyed would have provided 40 GT/y of sinking.

        4.2 GT out of the 9.8 GT of annual carbon emissions (7.8 + 2) stay in the atmosphere.

        It is obvious to anyone that can do simple math that the problem isn’t emissions – it is sinking. If we had those 40 GT/y back today the CO2 level would be falling and falling rapidly.

        If we stopped burning rainforest today – in less than 8 years the CO2 would be falling. And we will stop burning rainforest – willingly or unwillingly. Indonesia has been burning forest at 540,000 ha/y and has about 10 million ha left to burn. And when we run out of rainforest to burn – cutting the emissions by 25% and stopping the sink destruction the CO2 level will level off then start declining. Assuming 150-200 tons of carbon per hectare Indonesia is responsible for about half the rainforest burning carbon emission and half the sinking loss. And that will stop shortly.

        It is pretty clear that the atmospheric CO2 level in PPM can only rise a limited amount once the burning stops.

        The IPCC has out year (beyond 2100) CO2 levels of over 2000 PPM. That is so beyond wrong it is stupid.

        Without a large excursion in the CO2 level the argument about CO2 warming is pretty pointless. The CO2 level can’t be doubled. So the ECS for doubled CO2 is a moot discussion point. The ECS for 50% more CO2 is about 0.8°C. That is about the best you can hope for. The 21st century is going be a replay of the 20th century at worst.

        The environmentalists effort to create problematic levels of CO2 by biofuel driven rainforest destruction looks to be doomed to failure.

  18. Here’s why Climate Change is a really big challenge for all of us, even if it’s not yet being fully recognized by some. It also helps, within the context of looking at the issue, to show the pattern that climate change skepticism has taken.

    • Easy, move each generation a quarter mile south.

      H/t some ancient male, well beyond pale.

    • More broken logic John. There are opportunity costs to every action we take, none of which are discussed in the link you posted.

      • @k scott denison There are many things not discussed in the link. To have done so would turn it into 300 books on the subject.

        The broken logic is of course to presume that the absence of opportunity costs is relevant to the significance of the basic general science points and facts discussed in the article.

        And that logic is of course used as yet another example of exactly the pattern that the article also, secondarily, points out. Everything and anything taken to refute or argue against relevant ideas, facts and considerations, to simply refute climate change and self seal an ongoing belief.

        Which is exactly what your comment here does, and is a way to dismiss what IS in the piece, and which is highly relevant to the issue, and which you obviously don’t want to consider (or only find ways to try and convince yourself that none of it’s correct) and so, again, hence, “the pattern.”

        Here’s a more detailed examination of that pattern.

      • Call me crazy John, but perhaps, just perhaps, a more thorough examination of “climate change” might lead some intelligent humans to disagree that it is an issue we must do something about now.

    • Through the Lens (@woodyjohn1)

      Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. –Robert Frost

      • Nice pablum. another nice say to avoid substantive issues and appear semantically clever.

        And cling to the delusion that climate scientists should be climate change “skeptics” because you are, and misapply the word w more semantic bs

  19. The Styne link is broken.

  20. CE is a bit of a zoo – Judy likes it that way. It’s a sociological experiment. How does rational policy evolve from this mishmash of quite hopelessly misguided ideas of ‘the science’ – both sides – and muddled headed policy?

    I am professionally involved in hydrological and water quality modelling. The science question I have been pursuing since the 1980’s was only accidentally climate related. It concerned an observation that stream forms had changed abruptly in the late 1970’s in eastern Australia. From high energy braided to low energy meandering. Rainfall regimes had changed – but why?

    Staying close to data and inferring relationships in the best traditions of natural philosophy – it is ultimately explained by complexity science. Simple mechanism combining in ways in which behaviour emerges from complex interactions in surprising ways. The principle is that small changes in conditions drive the system past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    It has to make sense in terms of fundamental – and conceptually simple – physical mechanisms.

    Climate is wild as Wally Broecker famously said. ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ (NAS 2002) I doubt that the ‘new paradigm’ is much advanced as yet. It suggests little warming for decades from 2002 – and the shifts beyond that may be more or less extreme either on the warm or cool ends of the spectrum. This is quite a departure from the conventional forcing model and has immense policy significance as the planet fails to conform to the old thinking.

    It is the most most modern concept of climate science. It says on the one hand that the sceptics may be right – the world may not be warming due to vigourour internal variability at decadal to longer scales. It says as well that a slowly changing climate may give way to transitional extremes of weather – dragon kings at thresholds – before settling into a new and unpredictable climate state in accord with complexity science.

    Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    The precautionary principle suggests we should reduce the pressures on the system. Common sense – somewhat lacking frankly – suggests that it is not nearly as simple as taxing carbon dioxide. Solutions are multi-dimensional involving economic and social development, better land use practices, sustainable production systems, reduction of population pressures, technological innovation and ecological restoration.

    • Rob – I wish you a much better 2015 than the 2014 you have barely survived. But I still don’t share your trust in models. Having modeled much simpler systems myself, I see an unlimited potential for errors. Let me use an old joke: a young painter visits Master Picasso, shows him his paintings, and asks: Master, you see they are highly artistic. But I can’t sell them. What am I doing wrong? Master: everybody can paint an ingenious painting. But selling it, that’s the art.
      Abrupt climate changes .. How do you define them? Are they a marketing tool, or a science? I read that one happened on March 27, 1970 – I don’t buy it. Do you?
      Did you compare OCO2 data with a NASA model?

    • I am professionally involved in hydrological and water quality modelling. The science question I have been pursuing since the 1980’s was only accidentally climate related. It concerned an observation that stream forms had changed abruptly in the late 1970’s in eastern Australia. From high energy braided to low energy meandering. Rainfall regimes had changed – but why?

      Models are hopeless at this – but the data is quite clear that there are abrupt shifts – 1976/77 and 1998/2001 stand out in the recent record.

      Here’s one from Roy Spencer.

  21. Transition to low carbon energy sources is indeed possible. Key findings of the NREL energy futures study are,

    1. Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.

    2. Increased electric system flexibility, needed to enable electricity supply and demand balance with high levels of renewable generation, can come from a portfolio of supply- and demand-side options, including flexible conventional generation, grid storage, new transmission, more responsive loads, and changes in power system operations.

    3. The abundance and diversity of U.S. renewable energy resources can support multiple combinations of renewable technologies that result in deep reductions in electric sector greenhouse gas emissions and water use.

    4. The direct incremental cost associated with high renewable generation is comparable to published cost estimates of other clean energy scenarios. Improvement in the cost and performance of renewable technologies is the most impactful lever for reducing this incremental cost. http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/re_futures/

    It does come at an economic cost – and this reveals the fundamental conceptual flaw in revenue neutral carbon taxes. If taxes were high enough to effect a transition – the revenue would dry up leaving consumers out of pocket with higher energy costs and lower economic productivity. The solution is to reduce the costs of low carbon sources.

    • Rob, NREL gets billions annually to work on renewables, mainly PV solar. They have never produced anything of practical value, and all their solar technology spinoffs have failed (that last may be a bit of an overstatement, as some may not have yet been fully wound up. Any report they put out must be read skeptically, and any conclusions taken with a large dose of salt.
      NREL has not solved the renewables intermittency problem. No one has. So the NREL conclusion you quote that renewables could supply 80% of US grid electricity by 2050 is wrong on its face– unless you also want to install an equal amount of redundant fossil fueled backup (inefficient gas peakers). Absurdly wrong from an investment and cost perspective. See Planning Engineer’s guest posts, or read essays Solar Sunset and California Dreaming in ebook Blowing Smoke.

  22. About conservatives supporting a carbon tax: seems the liberals don’t have a monopoly on bad ideas…

    I would gladly trade a carbon tax for the canceling of all wind and solar subsidies and mandates, as well as the ethanol mandate. Of course, this is not offered. What is contemplated is a carbon tax on top of all idiotic expenditures on things that don’t work.And’ like all taxes – it starts low (maybe 25-30 $ per ton), and advances each year… forever…

    Then – about “revenue neutral” – this is not credible… once politicians grab some tax money, they won’t hurry to implement the “revenue neutrality” part.

  23. “Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity… ”

    That is pure fantasy, refuted by the German experience.

    “grid storage” – there ain’t such a thing…

    The wind and solar energy is fully parasitic (dependent) on the carbon-powered supply. They are absolutely inadequate to supply regularly good quantities of energy. They absolutely useless. They don’t reduce emissions at all.

    • You can do anything if you throw enough money at it. Which was the bottom line. Obviously too subtle a message for some.

      • That’s pretty much what J.R. Sanders said in “Interview with an oilman”

      • “You can do anything if you throw enough money at it.”
        Many uninformed people, especially intellectuals, believe that. They believe that you can do anything if you throw sufficient money at it or sufficient force (government coercion).
        We, engineers, know that it is not so simple. There are those pesky laws of physics. You cannot produce energy from thin air…

      • Obviously we are not talking about violating the laws of nature – merely considering the use of existing technology to displace fossil fuels.

        Engineers like myself know that pontificating about being an engineer is bloody stupid.

      • Believing that current technology will produce emissions reduction (apart from nuclear), is counter-factual, counter-physical and delusional.
        The 37 GW wind “capacity” and 30 GW solar “capacity” installed already in Germany have produced no reduction. These are facts, the belief that “money will buy you anything” is just that – an idle speculation.

      • Of course it’s possible. Replace diesel with biodiesel in this one and scale it up. Cost and practicality are factors – but is is utter nonsense to say that it is not possible.


        It does come at an economic cost – and this reveals the fundamental conceptual flaw in revenue neutral carbon taxes. If taxes were high enough to effect a transition – the revenue would dry up leaving consumers out of pocket with higher energy costs and lower economic productivity. The solution is to reduce the costs of low carbon sources.

        Did you miss the essential point and decide to pointlessly quibble about trivia?

      • “Replace diesel with biodiesel ”
        You’re an engineer, aren’t you? Do your calculations. How much diesel is being used? How many acres of land do you need to produce that much biodiesel? (Don’t forget you need land for food production too).
        Replacing diesel with biodiesel is possible in small quantities, but impossible to scale up to the required quantities. So, it’s possible as long as you are a touchy-feely-greeny who doesn’t get numbers. In the real world it is impossible – on large quantities.

        Besides biodiesel doesn’t reduce emissions at all, or if it does – it reduces them by small amounts only (the point is debated). So the whole debate (and use) of biodiesel it utterly pointless.

      • Take ethanol, for instance. The US uses 40% of it’s corn production for ethanol, and this renders just 4% of it’s gasoline consupmtion. So – is it possible to replace gasoline with ethanol? Yes, but not in sufficient quantity to make any difference.
        Besides, as I said, ethanol doesn’t reduce emissions at all.

        My claim is that emission reduction in significant quantities (50%, 80%), by using currently known technology – is technically, physically impossible, regardless of cost.

      • You bring a link to King Island, Tasmania getting 65% of energy from renewables.
        Population: 1800…. How many factories are on King Island? It’s not scalable.
        Even there you can’t achieve 80% or 100% renewables.

        see also the story of El Hierro:

      • Ah, neglecting the sad, eternally harnessed, bits of chlorophyll, who’d suffer to render net emissions negligible. Such is their plight.

    • Well…

      Wind and solar aren’t useless per se. Nuclear is far better at the current time.

      But wind and solar have their niches and can be integrated in their current form into the power grid in small amounts.

      The percentage of usage renewables that can be integrated into the grid in a cost effect manner is going to grow as the technologies get less costly and more efficient.

      The 80% is possible today if cost was no object. Only an idiot or an environmentalist (different flavors or the same animal) would do it, however.

      • “Wind and solar aren’t useless per se.”
        “But wind and solar have their niches and can be integrated in their current form into the power grid in small amounts.”

        You are contradicting yourself. If you can integrate them only in small amounts – it means you can achieve only small reductions in emissions (if at all). What use are these small reductions? They tell us we need to reduce emissions by 80% or we’re all doomed.

        What exactly is the use of solar and wind if they can’t render a big reduction of emissions?

      • Jacobress – let’s look at your false assumptions.

        1. “If you can integrate them only in small amounts”. I said at the current time. Around 2030-2040 we should be able integrate organic solar with built-in storage. Silicon based solar, which is poisoning the Chinese (cadmium and silicon tetrachloride ring bells?) is somewhere between really dumb and ill-advised in most situations.

        2. “it means you can achieve only small reductions in emissions”.
        More misinformation. We only need small reductions to top out the CO2 PPM level in the low 500s. And the best way to do that is nuclear. China the leading producer of solar and wind is still only plans to be 17% renewable by 2030.

        China had 19.1 GWe of nuclear in 2014 and plans to have 150 GWe (octuple its 2014 capacity) in 2030.

        China plants 60% more electric capacity by 2030. So almost half of the new power will be nuclear – the cleanest form of energy.

        There is some merit in wind if you think mass bird/bat extinctions are an acceptable loss.

        As far as the CO2 level – low to mid 500s is just fine. Only uninformed/misinformed/reason challenged radical activists yearn for a return to the near starvation CO2 levels of the early 20th century.

    • When power costs go high or power is unavailable, people away from cities burn, burn, burn. Even well-off Europeans are big burners of whatever they can get their hands on. Just think: billions of electricity-poor people, every day, just burning stuff. Thanks for the return of flame and smoke, warmies. Good job there.

      I’ll stop now. You can lead an intellectual to facts, but you can’t make him think.

  24. russellseitz

    Judy seems to have overlooked WUWT’s elision of museum goers and webpage viewers: if it cost as much to view climate bloggerel as modern art, Watts would be funding the Koch Foundation.

  25. “To be specific, how large does the probability have to be that by the end of this century…that the type of drought that plagued sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s will become a quasi-permanent feature? 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 50%?” – Tim Palmer in the Guardian.

    Tim Palmer is a climate scientist, so I’m assuming he must know that drought has already been a quasi-permanent feature of sub-Saharan Africa. The period in question is called the Little Ice Age.

    So, if he’s not aware of that, or doesn’t care about that…what does Tim Palmer do with his time? Being a climate scientist ‘n all. Beyond patronising, activising, guardianising and modelling…what? What does he do?

    • Personally I’m looking forward to a new African humid period.

      ‘From lakes and grasslands with hippos and giraffes to a vast desert, North Africa’s sudden geographical transformation 5,000 years ago was one of the planet’s most dramatic climate shifts.

      The transformation took place nearly simultaneously across the continent’s northern half, a new study finds. The results will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

      The findings come from analyses of dust blown west from Africa and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean. Researchers sifted through 30,000 years of dust and ocean bottom muck retrieved with ocean drilling ships. The changing levels of windblown dust in the ocean sediments provide scientists with clues to Africa’s climate and how it has changed over time. Simply put, a lot of dust means drier conditions and less dust means a wetter environment.

      The wet period, called the African Humid Period, started and ended suddenly, confirming previous studies by other groups, the sediments revealed. However, toward the Humid Period’s end about 6,000 years ago, the dust was at about 20 percent of today’s level, far less dusty than previous estimates, the study found.’ http://www.livescience.com/28493-when-sahara-desert-formed.html

      It was ENSO wot done it.

      But this seems likely to turn around somewhat after a dry end to the millennium.

      ‘ENSO causes climate extremes across and beyond the Pacific basin; however, evidence of ENSO at high southern latitudes is generally restricted to the South Pacific and West Antarctica. Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD. Over the last 1010 yr, the LD summer sea salt (LDSSS) record has exhibited two below-average (El Niño–like) epochs, 1000–1260 ad and 1920–2009 ad, and a longer above-average (La Niña–like) epoch from 1260 to 1860 ad. Spectral analysis shows the below-average epochs are associated with enhanced ENSO-like variability around 2–5 yr, while the above-average epoch is associated more with variability around 6–7 yr. The LDSSS record is also significantly correlated with annual rainfall in eastern mainland Australia. While the correlation displays decadal-scale variability similar to changes in the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), the LDSSS record suggests rainfall in the modern instrumental era (1910–2009 ad) is below the long-term average. In addition, recent rainfall declines in some regions of eastern and southeastern Australia appear to be mirrored by a downward trend in the LDSSS record, suggesting current rainfall regimes are unusual though not unknown over the last millennium.’

      Tell Tim Palmer to change Africa to America – and things will be tickety boo. Doesn’t quite tug at the heartstrings in the same way – I mean really – who gives a rats arse about the US?

      • East Africa seems to have a different drought history to that of the Western Sahel, but just as long and awful. I really don’t get the purpose of scaring people with the inevitable. Warning of future major drought for Oz, Texas, California, the Sahel, the Horn…what’s the point? It’s like Christmas or tax time: gotta come. We know it’s coming, we know it can kill. But witch-doctoring CO2 from the global atmosphere clearly won’t stop it when so many horrific droughts precede the modern fossil fuel boom. Think of the late 1870s, in China and Brazil especially. Nobody engineered those horrors, though people may have mismanaged them.

        Most of Oz spent half a century being too dry after 1895. Before 1970, northern Oz was a markedly drier place. Why would I want my parents’ lousy climate?

        Do people need refreshing on the Texas drought of the 1950s before they accept that you can’t tax or regulate the drought demon away?

        Solid info can help. Conservation can help. Dams help…but they’re a no-no of post-conservation environmentalism, at least in Oz.

    • moso, Tim Palmer was honoured in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, he is surely beyond question or reproach. And he has the consensus on his side (see my reply to Wagathon below).

      • The real artists of alarmism always predict stuff that has to happen anyway, and keep the timeline flexible. If Palmer predicted that future Melbourne Cups will be dominated by quadrupeds, I’m sure the Guardian would praise his foresight and someone would find an Emmy or low-rent Peace Nobel for him.

  26. Ah, so the Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax is back on the CAGW alarmists’ agenda, eh. When will they realise carbon pricing no matter how you frame it is a dead duck and cannot succeed. it will always be fiddled by politicians to server their short term needs. And it cannot be implemented uniformly and maintained globally so it cannot succeed.

    We can make a carbon tax revenue-neutral by providing a simultaneous reduction in payroll taxes, accomplishing two conservative goals: lowering taxes on work and risk-taking while raising them on consumption.


    How can this be true? What is the compliance cost of monitoring, reporting emissions? What will be the rate of growth in the compliance cost as ever smaller and ever more difficult to measure emitters are are regulated to report their emissions?

    Why don’t economists look seriously at the economically rational alternative to pricing GHG emissions? Why don’t they consider deregulation instead of increasing regulation?

    Consider for example the effect of deregulating the nuclear power. Cut energy cost massively over time. Save millions of lives per year world wide when nuclear replaces coal for electricity generation. Save even more when transport fuels produced from cheap electricity replace petroleum based fuels and natural gas for some transport and heating. And have a secure source of energy for thousands of years of increasing per capita energy consumption.

    The main problem is that the economists 0 just like the general public – are mostly not aware of any of these facts I’ve written here.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Peter Lang | January 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Reply
      Ah, so the Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax is back on the CAGW alarmists’ agenda, eh.

      Lang is puzzling. He is alarmed because the Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax flies in the face of his right-wing ideology. But the tax also could lead to more nuclear power plants, which is his dream.

      • Max
        The entire proposition of a revenue neutral carbon tax is a foolish waste of taxpayer funds. The concept involves administrative expenses that enlarge the cost of government, while providing zero benefits to those paying the tax. The revenue neutral goal adds to the cost and also reduces the benefits. Excellent example of stupidity

  27. In the, “Fear, loathing and global warming article ( aspentimes.com/opinion/144709…), Beaton says, “So next time people ask if you “believe in” global warming, answer yes — and no.”

    This reminds me of how normal people think –e.g., we know what a heart attack is but unless we have experience dealing with heart problems, it’s not something we worry about. You never, for example, think about your right arm until suffer an injury; only then do you say something like, hey, we have a problem here with an arm. And yet, we’re supposed to believe that, exposed to the same world, only those on the Left are sensitized to the global problem of global warming?

    Once you see and dismiss the climate establishments’ “97% consensus” as nothing more than propaganda, you can only conclude that climate science is either politically-motivated or it is the product of a personal problem. The personal problem is similar those who fear global warming are like people who suffer from medical maladies and looking for remedies for problems they do not actually have.

    None of climatists who loath deniers have ever actually suffered from, ‘global warming.’ Just the reverse: fear of global warming is solely a Western phenomenon. Only those who are most the dependent on the benefits of modernity and the continuance of it are pushing the idea that all of the rest of us should now fear the effects of it.

    • Beat me to it, Wag. Strike up the band for Beaton, he got rhythm.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Wag…well said
      I see this issue as a pathology of affluence
      People who fear weather conditions a hundred years in the future
      have a poverty of fears

      • I’ve long called alarmism, and the fear and guilt inherent, a ‘precious conceit of a Western elite’, but both ‘precious’ and ‘conceit’ are used in a somewhat archaic manner, so I’m usually not well understood.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        not archaic kim
        I understand you perfectly
        It’s the Western elite that have taken to abusing the living cr@p out the English language
        they consider it clever

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        amendment to my comment…
        hesitant about the use of the word “elite”
        I like real intellectual elites
        some of ’em comment on (and run) this blog
        them that follow science and not the herd
        they’re feeling a bit under siege
        sometimes they think no one is listening
        but I am

      • My original formulation was ‘A precious conceit of the Western elite’, but as you intimate, ‘A precious conceit of a Western elite’ is much better.

    • Consensus science? Another good quote from “Against the Gods:” mathematician MFM Smith wrote: “Any approach to scientific inference which seeks to legitimise an [italicised] answer in response to complex uncertainty is, for me, a totalitarian parody of a would-be rational learning process.” (“Present position and potential developments: some personal views of Bayesian statistics,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, vol 147, part 3, pp 245-259.)

  28. The crunchy granola crowd will remember Eueill Gibbsons of the back to nature diet groupies;ie eating pine bark and all that. He died in 1975 at age 64. Also at that time Peruvian mountain people eating vegaterian diets were being held up as examples of people living to 100’s until autopsies revealed they were survivors of multiple heart attacks (silent MI) particularly of the anterior descending artery. Lucky people with the same history of long life and suviving heart attacks one might encounter in nursing homes today, some still smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and drinking a pint or two of alcohol to pass the time.

    Looking at exceptions and generalizing to the majority seems to be a habit of nutritionists and climatologists, a habit I might say that is hard to break, like cigarette smoking. Nowadays this habit is mostly found in the lower socioeconomic class of nutritional and climatological scientists

  29. Oooh, watch out for the little people, like Glenn K. Beaton @ the Aspen Beat, who has taken a long subversive look at the nude spectacle of climate science boobs and policy twits(sp)

  30. O I wunder wunder why I
    ‘m in moderation, jest when
    I was startin’ ter git excited,
    fer clog dancin’ does that
    ter serfs.

    • Must be the ‘c’ word. Try ‘blog dancin’. You gotta bran’ new pair of running blades, I got a brand new sheer for my electric occam.

  31. Whilst supporting much of what the author says about the absence of empirical data linking the consumption of animal fat to heart disease, mainly because the cholesterol/heart disease are also unproven claims, others of his statements need challenging. In particular the claims that are behind many of the books such as Nina Teicholz’s The Big Fat Surprise that overweight, obesity and other disorders of the Metabolic Syndrome in the USA and elsewhere are the result of the substitution of carbohydrates for fat in the promotion of low fat diets by various government organizations. In fact this may have been their advice but the response, except in a small proportion of the population of mainly persons of higher education, has not been that at all. Thus the statement by the author :
    The successful attempt to reduce fat in the diet of Americans and others around the world has been a global, uncontrolled experiment, which like all experiments may well have led to bad outcomes.
    is not supported by the facts. Taking the US as an example, though I can take data from other countries too, we find that what has happened since Ancel Keys started to promote his unsupported ideas ( except by the oilseed and grains industries) in the late 1950’s is that the US population as a whole has increased their caloric intake between 1970 and 2000 by 24.5% or an average of 530 calories and this in a period when their daily caloric demand fell due to the many labour saving devices in the home and at work and the increase in sedentary activities from the introduction of television. Referring to the US nutrition facts: http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
    Examining the facts given in this reference, we find that during the period 1970 to 2000 these extra calories came from an increase in consumption of refined grains(9.5%), fats and oils (9%), sugar (4.7%), fruits and vegetables (1.5%), meat and nuts (1%) and dairy products and eggs (-1.5%). Over the same period the proportion of the population that was overweight increased from 46% to 62% and those that were obese from 13.5% to 27%. A large part of the population was thus already overweight before any of these diet changes were proposed largely due to the electrification of US homes with washing machine, vacuums etc and widespread car ownership.
    But as all nutritionist know the use of the terms carbohydrate, fat and protein to describe a human or animal diet is imprecise and can, as in this case, be misleading. The energy source for the body is ATP that is derive through metabolic processes within the body from glucose or fatty acids, with glucose also available from the breakdown of certain amino acids in the liver that are produced by the metabolism of protein.
    Carbohydrates can be simple – sugars and starches or complex polysaccharides with many types of sugars that have differing metabolic effects, especially fructose that interferes with e metabolism of glucose in the liver and leads to its storage as adipose fat rather that used as a fuel in cells.
    Fats are made up of fatty acids of varying chain length and degree of saturation from the short chain saturated fats of most animal products to the long chain polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acid of fish, the omega 6 fatty of vegetable oils and the omega 9 found in olive oil. It is the balance of these oils in the human diet that matters and a good balance is found in the foods of the Mediterranean diet but not the US diet that is rich in corn and soya oils.
    Proteins supply amino acids required to build muscle protein and of the 20 found in protein foods nine are essential in that they cannot be produced within the body. The concentration of these essential amino acids varies by source with animal sources, especially fish, being superior to vegetable sources both in content and concentration.
    Similar comments apply to minerals, vitamins and trace elements that all have critical roles in human metabolism and where there are synergies as well and adverse interactions if the correct balance is not achieved – to mention just one the ratio of copper to zinc that controls the elongation of the omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids into the longer chains required for cell formation.
    Details of the nutrient requirements of humans can be found here:
    With these points in mind we can turn back to a consideration of the changes in the US diet. The significant ones are that between 1950 and 2000 there was an average increase in oils by 30 lb/head – mainly as corn and soy oils of poor omega 6: omega3 ratio. And whilst the consumption of cane sugar decreased by 30 lb/head there was an increased consumption of fructose syrup of 64 lb/head. It is these changes, together with increased consumption of prepared foods that contain them and especially confectionary products that contain the oxidized cholesterol from dried egg powder widely used in the manufacture of biscuits etc and shown in animal trials to have a damaging effect on the arterial wall that are responsible for the increased weight and health issues and not simply the ratio of saturated fat to carbohydrate in the diet.
    So we can see that it is not simply the change in the ratio of amounts of carbohydrates in the diet that must be taken into account when attempting to link these changes to changes in health but the changes in the composition of the diet as whole and the effects of such changes on metabolism. There are other factors such as the effects of simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates and fats on satiety and hence caloric intake that are also critical but space prevents my pursuing these points. Finally there are comments about the high fat diets of the Inuit, Masai and others that also have low levels of heart disease but the factor one must take into account is that these groups have lifestyle involving work needing sustained effort in which they make most use of their slow twitch muscle fibres that predominantly use fatty acids, and some glucose, as their energy source and so they do not accumulate fatty tises and especially no the damaging adipose fat.

  32. This web site and short presentation by Steve Alpin is interesting. And lots of good information. The nuclear deniers should take a look – then explain why they refute the facts presented:

    How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions? A primer on electricity infrastructure planning in the Age of Climate Change


  33. Here is discussion of a paper about peak oil. It forecasts $500/bbl oil by about 2035. The paper is rich in detail, so if you are interested you can determine if you agree with the authors decisions. Apparently, the author of the paper predicted the current lower price of oil about a year ago.

    From the article:

    Advocates for peak oil often try to fit oil production to a curve based solely on an idealized image of production. Indeed, when nothing unusual happens on the downslope, oil production looks like a Hubbert curve, especially on micro levels. But at the macro levels, unusual things do happen: for example, the shale boom. McGlade argues that pessimists have failed to acknowledge that now that conventional oil has reached its peak, we should not expect a smooth ride down, but rather we should expect the unexpected, such as discoveries of new methods of production or adjustments in demand. Oil production is an artificial, not a geological, process, and nothing about the way oil is produced at the macro level demands that it must look like a bell curve. Of course it is impossible to actually know what factors will really affect demand at a global scale, but the IEA considers two central scenarios which McGlade aims to apply to the future of oil (p. 174). One is the “low-carbon scenario” (LCS), in which the world’s governments take immediate and unprecedented action to keep anthropogenic warming below 2°C. The other is the “new policies scenario” (NPS), where new policies are adopted, but are insufficient for capping the temperature rise. This is assumed by the IEA to be what current green energy policy is actually pointing towards. McGlade does not even bother to model the IEA’s “current policies scenario” (aka “business as usual”), where very little is done to stop carbon emissions. It is hard to know whether the NPS has actually been implemented by IEA member states, but we will see that the NPS is disastrous enough.


    The paper:


    • Scott Basinger

      They missed a major source. At $150 Oil you’d start to see coal liquifaction plants being built.

      • Yep. This guy also shoots down some of the more optimistic recovery estimates. Being too pessimistic has lead many a peak oiler down the Primrose Path.

  34. The link to the article on natural responses to climate change is broken so I searched for it:


    I was disappointed with the content of this article. The substance was really weak for what should be an important subject. It did not really differentiate what was climate change and what was hiuman intervention in a deliberate way.

    As far as forests it spoke to warmer thawed ground was shortening the logging season due to not being able to get equipment in. Now that does point to global warming but it does not reflect what effect it has on the forests themselves. You might be able to argue this is a good thing preventing more logging. It did not touch on the effect CO2 might have on growth at all or discuss CO2 sink. It went on to a short blip on fish migrating poleward but had no scientific reasoning nor did it touch on overfishing or pollution. Finally it discussed bird nesting and a possible evolutionary response in one species to drought. It said droughts are more numerous and more extreme from global warming without providing any scientific evidence.

    I was left with the impression that this was meant for a general audience appealling to it with an authoritative narrative. As I said it seems like too important a subject to be treated with a pathetic story line with almost no scientific backup for justification of the byline. Maybe it was just as well the link was broken.

  35. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but the Mark Steyn link is not working.

  36. Telegraph: Wind turbine collapses in Northern Ireland: Investigation after 328-foot turbine buckles at wind farm in County Tyrone despite only light winds [that’s almost 100 metres, or just shorter than London’s Millbank Tower].

    A 328-foot tall wind turbine worth more than £3 million pounds has buckled and collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland. Unconfirmed reports suggested the blades of the turbine had spun out of control – despite only light wind speeds – before the structure came crashing to the ground on Friday. The remaining seven turbines have been shut down while manufacturers investigate what went wrong.


    “Worth” over £3 million? It cost that, but I doubt that it was ever worth it. Now it’s scrap metal.

  37. The linked story, ‘How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions’, has another 2 X 2 matrix bringing up initial costs and operating costs and that relates to electricity production. Looking at other matrix diagrams we have this one:

    From this article: http://ic-pod.typepad.com/design_at_the_edge/2007/11/red.html I’d say the warmists reside in the upper half and skeptics in the lower half. The matrix shows the minds versus molecules aspect of the debate. Also, it’s about the clients. On my less good days I explain it as, these people bring me money. That’s a key element. So the question often is, what does the client need? On the lower half of the matrix we’re looking at our clients. On the upper half that’s not going on as much. I don’t so much tell my clients, this will make you happy. I try to ascertain what will make them happy? Sometimes we may feel we have been prescribed something. It’s expensive and it doesn’t seem to be working. I think it’s fair to say that’s not a failure of the client. Something in the process that should involve more than just the scientists prescribing, isn’t working.

  38. Hi there. One of my sons has recently moved back from Scotland to South Aisteralia. Just in time for the current bush fires, but so far his rural property in the Adelaide hills has not been affected.

    Long before prop;e started blaming warming for the bush fires in SA they misguidedly planted Pine trees there. Nlow eucalllypts just shrug off bushfites but Pines love them and burn fiercly. Big mistake.

  39. Naomi Oreskes has an article today in the NYT that is odd, and hard, for me, to decipher. It appears she is trying to rationalize CAGW while accepting that there is no basis for the 95% confidence proclamations. The link to the article is:



    • Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.


      Complexity emerges from interactions of simple mechanisms. Cause and effect in the climate system is overrated. But this implies a certain instability.

      Solutions involve reducing anthropogenic changes on the system and are multi-dimensional involving economic and social development, better land use practices, sustainable production systems, reduction of population pressures, technological innovation and ecological restoration.

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

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


      Creative responses that build on social and economic development and enhance resilience – while reducing pressures on the system – would seem the rational way to go.

      The Copenhagen Consensus post 2015 MDG goals – focusing on the most effective use of existing commitments – would seem to be a good place to start.


      Getting both the science and policy wrong doesn’t mean they are entitled to continue to prattle.

    • I agree it is odd; I can’t make sense of it, can’t imagine what the broader NYT readership might get from it

    • nottawa rafter

      At times I wondered if she hadn’t recovered from a bad New Year’s Eve out. Her rambling thought process did little to convince me of anything other than being glad I don’t read her work more often.

    • Naomi Oreskes wrote, “We are now seeing dangerous effects worldwide, even as we approach a rise of only 1 degree Celsius. The evidence is mounting that scientists have underpredicted the threat.”

      Ok. What evidence?

    • Naomi addresses the New Man who believes he stands at Year Zero. Unfortunately – unless you have been soaking in the NYT’s snobby leftist twaddle for decades, or you got your education in Phnom Penh back in the 70’s – nothing is new…and climate is older than most things.

      The trick, of course, is to use comparatives without allowing points of comparison. Things are worse, hotter, more extreme etc…but one is never to ask “than what?” We have to be disconnected from the past as a matter of urgency, so we never ask that simple question: “than what?”.

      The only clearly alarming thing is that the Guardian and NYT have what is called an “educated readership”. Perhaps we really are reaching a dangerous point in humanity’s development: the point where the educated are dumber than the common punters.

      • So unintended irony strikes again, two times.

        First, we have the unintended irony of “alarmism.”

        The only clearly alarming thing…

        Then, we have this beautiful unintended irony as shown by this statement:

        “The trick, of course, is to use comparatives without allowing points of comparison. Things are worse, hotter, more extreme etc…but one is never to ask “than what?” …”

        Followed by this one.

        “…Perhaps we really are reaching a dangerous point in humanity’s development: the point where the educated are dumber than the common punters.”

        What is this trend that you see? What measures are you using for your comparison? What was the ratio of intelligence of the educated compared to the punters in the past and what is it now?

        Or maybe I should just play the game too?

        JC SNIP

      • Joshua, thanks for telling me what I wrote. But I just wrote it, so I kinda knew already.

      • You’re quite welcome, moso. Yes, you knew it already, but I just thought I’d review some of the key points you made in case someone else might have come to the thread late and not seen your comment.

  40. Crude oil futures one year out are in a $8 contango. This is up from an ~$5 contango a year out the last few weeks. Look for the price to plunge over the next month or more. Dennis Gartman, who predicted the $55/bbl oil price over a month ago, has said crude will definitely see $40, possibly down to 30s, and maybe even in the $20s before this is over, barring any unforeseen war or some other catastrophic event.

  41. Max and Josh

    My first post
    This is a great forum where both sides are argued.
    I was what you guys would call a “denier” but having read people like Mosh have turned me into a “Luke warmer”. I have enjoyed many of your contributions also but I must say when you guys start on the policy issues you come across as merely activists.
    Your arguments are so easily destroyed you lose credibility and to a casual visitor you can look foolish. Much like the “it’s all a UN conspiracy” nuts on the other side.
    FWIW I would advise you guys to stick to science topics rather than policy subjects if you want to convert more “deniers” such as I very recently was.

    Thanks also to all posters very informative and entertaining blog I have become addicted to of late.

    • Thank you, W. I can only add that the lukewarming man can add can only add up to be net beneficial for the biome, and also add that we may well be at the advent of natural cooling of unpredictable magnitude and duration.

      • Thank you Kim
        Very witty poster that you are.
        I find predictions of cooling lacking in any evidence ( beyond the inevitable longer term ice age events).
        The only evidence we have is the recent warming surge that although appears to have stopped certainly shows no sign of reversal.
        Consider all that will be needed to reignite government passion for extreme policy change is another, even small, return to a warming trend.
        The policy measures mooted by many are actually quite a huge threat to the world economy but I see them as inevitable.
        Judith Curry and her concern about policy in the face of uncertainty makes very compelling arguments that I fear will be generally ignored.

      • Agree again. Ignorance will be solved by observation.

      • Waltheof,

        Predictions of cooling are indeed lacking in evidence.

        Predictions of warming suffer from the same lack of evidence.

        Actually, all predictions of the future lack evidence. This is not really surprising, as they generally haven’t happened, being in the future.

        Make your assumptions, by all means. Would you bet your life that you are right? I do, every time I assume the aircraft in which I am flying will not crash. Likewise, I assume my car’s brakes and so on will continue to work in the future.

        Future warming, cooling, or no change? Believe what you wish, but I prefer you don’t expect me to pay for your assumptions. Do I get a refund and apology if you’re wrong? I thought not.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Hope this ends up as a reply to Mr Flynns post.

        I didn’t mean to make a prediction on warming, cooling or status quo. merely a comment on predictions of a cooling trend.
        If I had to make a prediction I would say a return to a slight warming trend and I certainly wouldn’t put any money on it.
        One thing is certain recent history shows us many more learned in climate science than I would have lost many a bet predicting the temperature over the last decade and a half.
        That, however, does not convince me more elevated levels of co2 will not have the predicted effect.
        My “opinion” is quite worthless I just try to avoid being an ideologue and listen to all arguments.
        I only participate in discussions were policy is discussed because then evidence is rock solid.

      • plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

      • Mike, our children and grandchildren unto generations unsuspected will pay for it; the lost opportunity costs compound. Hey, Daddy-O, make that Type O. I’m never never never gonna plead again.

  42. Oh it’s political alright.
    The charter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is

    “… to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy.”.

    ‘This make it a high-profile single-focus organization whose existence depends on its own reports. In other words it has a vested interest in promoting claims that would guarantee its funding and justify its continued existence.

    This alone would be reason enough to closely examine its procedures and claims but the situation is made worse by the involvement of governments. These governments not only fund the IPCC but apparently accept its claims without question and allocate funding for climate research on the basis of those findings, then repeat the process when the next IPCC Assessment Report draws on the findings of that government-sponsored research to support its hypothesis.’

  43. Judith,

    I just noticed that the link to ’10 Signs of Intellectual Dishonesty” is the sams as the link to 10 Signs of intellectual Dishonesty” at the top of this thread:

    I stumbled across these two posts at DesignMatrix:

    Ten Signs of Intellectual Honesty
    Ten Signs of Intellectual Dishonesty

  44. Unrelated but interesting…absolutely bizarre 10 hPa winds:


    Almost like a triple-lobed polar vortex at the 10 hPa level. Quite odd.

  45. Willis Eschenbach

    Jim D | January 6, 2015 at 12:45 am |

    The most dominant albedo changes relate to the loss of sea ice or snow cover that come with warming. There is no reason to believe clouds would go in the opposite direction, and they could just as easily, or more likely, go in the positive feedback direction. Note that ice albedo has had a major positive feedback explaining the magnitude of the Ice Age recovery. It cannot just be ignored especially as summer sea ice is declining. You would have a far better case for systematic albedo feedbacks if you talked about ice and snow, not clouds.

    Thanks, Jim. Two comments.

    1) Ice and snow albedo is so far polewards, occurs mostly during the dark time of year, and covers such a small part of the planet that it is not the most dominant variable albedo. The dominant changes occur in the tropical clouds, where most of the energy is entering the climate system, and which covers a much larger area.

    2) Contrary to your claim above, the cloud albed in the arctic DOES go in the opposite direction of the ice albedo.

    See here for more details.

    Best regards,


    • The sea ice anomaly is during the part of the year when the pole is tilted sunwards, so that the whole Arctic Circle remains illuminated just as its ice area moves towards it minimum. It is a significant effect when you reduce this ice-covered area by half, which is what is happening. Winter snow cover is important even outside the Arctic Circle, and those areas affect albedo in the winter. I don’t think the effect is as big as sea ice, but it can’t be ignored when talking about subtle cloud variations. Other than that, cloud variations seem to have gone in the positive feedback direction, especially during the rapid warming of the 1990’s.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      I appreciate your quick reply, Jim. You say:

      Jim D | January 6, 2015 at 1:10 am | Reply

      The sea ice anomaly is during the part of the year when the pole is tilted sunwards, so that the whole Arctic Circle remains illuminated just as its ice area moves towards it minimum. It is a significant effect when you reduce this ice-covered area by half, which is what is happening.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “when you reduce this ice-covered area by half, which is what is happening.” Do you mean the summer Arctic sea ice has recently been cut in half? I ask because the 30-year summer average minimum Arctic sea area is 6.1 million square kilometres, and the 2014 summer minimum was about 5 million sq. km, about 80% of the average.

      Next, the globe surface is about 511 million sq. km. … so you are talking about the albedo of about 1% of the earth. Can’t see that as very significant even if it disappeared.

      Finally, because of the low solar angle, even thought “pole is tilted sunwards” the albedo of the arctic is high whether or not there is sea ice. Grazing light tends to bounce of the ocean. You can see this effect when the sun is low over the ocean, you get reflection so bright you can’t look at it. As a result, the coming and going of the ice doesn’t make as much difference as you might expect.

      I’m not saying there is no effect … just that it is much smaller than commonly believed. Here’s the record of albedo reflections for the past 14 years …

      Next, you say that:

      Winter snow cover is important even outside the Arctic Circle, and those areas affect albedo in the winter.

      Again, what you say is true, but not all that significant. The main problem with that theory is that the snow-covered area changes very little year to year. Here’s the NHem record since 1972:

      As you can see … not much change.


      • The summer average hasn’t halved yet, but it is headed in that direction, and is almost a sure thing to be gone for part of the season within a decade or so. The ice area alone may be changing enough to eventually affect the albedo by 1% out of the 30% total, which is significant even though it is only for that part of the year. This systematic ongoing change is much more easy to understand as a positive feedback than any talk of clouds in either direction. Clouds also have the significant confounding effect of pollution, whereby cleaner air reduces the cloud albedo too. An increase in sulfates might increase the cloud albedo, as may have happened in the 60’s, but that is not the direction we are headed because we know how to burn fuels cleanly now.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Jim D | January 6, 2015 at 1:57 am |

        The summer average hasn’t halved yet, but it is headed in that direction, and is almost a sure thing to be gone for part of the season within a decade or so.

        Jim D | January 6, 2015 at 2:03 am | Reply

        Yes, I am only saying that if one thing about earth’s albedo is predictable, we can only expect those negative sea-ice reflection blips to increase in size and duration the future.

        Gosh … yet another prediction of “ice free summers” and the like “within a decade or so”. At least you’re in good company, Jim.

        Let’s see. We had Al Gore’s prediction of ice-free summers in five years … a prediction that he made, just as confidently as you make yours … but he made it six years ago. Epic fail.

        Who else? Well, seven years ago Jay Zwally, a NASA Climate Scientist predicted the Arctic would be ice free in the summer of 2012 … another man just as confident as you, Jim, and another epic fail.

        Just like the prediction from the climate scientist Wieslaw Maslowski, his arctic prediction was a bust.

        Then we have the scientists of the US Navy, who have predicted an ice-free summer by 2016 … yeah, right.

        Oh, can’t forget John Kerry, our Secretary of State and Climate, who said in 2009:

        “It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now,” he wrote. “Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.

        So yep … he’s just as sure of himself as you are.

        And now, despite all of those failed predictions, you confidently claim that the variations in arctic sea ice are “predictable”? If they are so dang predictable … then why have so many predictions failed?

        Finally, speaking of your prediction that “The summer average hasn’t halved yet, but it is headed in that direction”, did you predict that in summer 2013 there would be more arctic sea ice than in 2012?

        And for that matter, since it’s so predictable, did you predict that in summer 2014 there would be more arctic sea ice than in 2013?


      • I would give better odds on ice-free summers than a negative global cloud feedback based on what I have seen so far. The sea-ice decline is one thing the models have been too cautious on. You can judge for yourself when it will intercept zero. It is not that far out to say it will within decades.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Jim D | January 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm |

        I would give better odds on ice-free summers than a negative global cloud feedback based on what I have seen so far.

        Thanks for the reply, Jim. While there is no negative global cloud feedback, there is most definitely negative cloud feedback where it counts, in the tropics where the majority of the energy enters the system. Such a negative feedback is indicated by a correlation of albedo with temperature, meaning that as temperature increases, albedo increases. This condition prevails across much of the tropics. Here’s the CERES data:

        The sea-ice decline is one thing the models have been too cautious on. You can judge for yourself when it will intercept zero. It is not that far out to say it will within decades.

        So your theory is that you can just draw a line through a short-term trend, and extend it for decades? Using your theory, in 1975 we could have drawn a line through the cooling temperatures for 30 years from 1945 to 1975, and simply extended it to forecast that the world would continue to cool for the next thirty years to 2005 …

        Here’s the problem, Jim. The climate is a chaotic system, and as Edward Lorenz observed,

        When our results concerning the instability of nonperiodic
        flow are applied to the atmosphere, which is
        ostensibly nonperiodic, they indicate that prediction of
        the sufficiently distant future is impossible by any
        method, unless the present conditions are known exactly.
        In view of the inevitable inaccuracy and incompleteness
        of weather observations, precise very-longrange
        forecasting would seem to be non-existent.

        All the best,


      • Willis, even if your albedo-temperature plot is a valid way to do it, you need to look at the global average effect. The land is warming fastest, possibly because, as you show, clouds reduce as it gets warmer. This appears to be the dominant effect in the global temperature. From your plot, you must have expected the tropical oceans to be cooling, which sadly they are not. So far the albedo change measured indicates no increase and possibly a decrease, so you need your clouds to start doing something and turn around the temperature trends, because the sea-ice trend is so far responding to the temperature rise in a rather common-sense predictable way, i.e., warmer is meltier too.

  46. Willis Eschenbach

    OK, it appears I can’t post images, so the missing links are:

    Arctic ice reflections

    Snow extent



    • Yes, I am only saying that if one thing about earth’s albedo is predictable, we can only expect those negative sea-ice reflection blips to increase in size and duration the future.

  47. The sea ice is not melted by the atmosphere – it’s melted by warm sea currents coming up from the south.
    The open water then serves to warm the atmosphere.
    The question is, is the reduced albedo from the ice melt sufficient to make up for the resultant loss of heat from the open water?

  48. O we are creatures of the light, of enlightenment.
    Drawn to the light flickering on the river,
    The riffling silver threads disturbing its opaciy.
    Drawn to the litter of stars that spark
    In the dark abyss of night, to the harvest moon,
    Palpable as globed fruit, forgetting
    Its light’s reflected from the sun,
    Shine, o shine harvest moon.
    Seeking through poetry and science to probe
    The secrets of the heavens and deep abyss,
    We yearn for honey from the golden hive,
    Enlightenment – O.

  49. Here is the latest attempt to save the Standard Solar Model and reputations of those who deceived us:


  50. Now that the US has emulated the UK for healthcare, here is what we are in store for. I know my medical expenses have soared under Obumbles signature Socialist healthcare reform. It stinks.

    From the article:

    There are grave doubts over the NHS’ capacity to cope with ever-growing demand this winter after emergency departments recorded their worst week in a decade, and more than a dozen hospitals were forced to implement “major incident” emergency plans.

    Despite mild weather and without a serious outbreak of seasonal illness, this week at least 15 hospitals in England have had to cancel operations, call in extra staff or limit A&E services to only severely ill or injured patients.

    The Government has blamed the drastic decline in hospital performance on growing numbers of frail, older patients, but charities supporting the elderly, including Age UK and Independent Age, said that cuts to council care budgets were now having a knock-on effect upon the NHS.


  51. From the article:

    UAH Global Temperature Update for December, 2014: +0.32 deg. C
    January 6th, 2015

    2014 was Third Warmest Year Since 1979, but Just Barely
    (with input from John Christy and Phil Gentry)

    The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for December, 2014 is +0.32 deg. C, essentially the same as the November value of +0.33 deg. C (click for full size version):


    This is also related:

    Why Do Different Satellite Datasets Produce Different Global Temperature Trends?
    January 6th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    I thought it would be useful to again outline the basic reasons why different satellite global temperature datasets (say, UAH and RSS) produce somewhat different temperature trends.

    They all stem from the fact that there is not a single satellite which has been operating continuously, in a stable orbit, measuring a constant layer of the atmosphere, at the same local time every day, with no instrumental calibration drifts.


  52. How do I get elevated from doubt sower among the socks to a top drawer delayers?

  53. So I had to have another look at Interstellar – having given up on the first. My overall impression is that it is far too long and not calculated to appeal to the average movie goer such as myself. It seems much more self indulgent propaganda for the chattering classes than serious entertainment.

    The plot – such as it is – starts in a modern day version of the dust bowl with vaguely apocalyptic mutterings about drought and resource depletion. The fact that the original dust bowl spurred the most successful soil movement in history rates not a mention. The real threat – however – is oxygen depletion from some unspecified but obviously voracious organisms. This seems quite unlikely even if all land vegetation disappeared.

    The scientists in question have a secret plan to relocate selected people – or – plan B – germ plasm to a new planet through a black hole placed in the solar system by mysterious aliens who I anticipate – although not so much as to actually finish watching – will turn out to be us through the vagaries of time travel paradoxes. Time travel being the stuff of black holes and worm holes to other galaxies of course. Thus technology – I presume – saves the day and it all finishes on a morally uplifting tone. I give it 1.5 stars.

    If you would care for a much funnier version of black hole gravitics and time – I suggest the 7th voyage of Ijon Tichy from the pen of Stanislaw Lem. The Star Diaries are the record of the journeys of Ijon Tichy – some of which haven’t happened yet to the inveterate time traveler. The 7th documents his encounter with a black hole.

    • Ah… soil conservation…

    • Chief, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t see out a half-hour of a new 3-hour Nolan bloatfest with murky cinematography and mumbled dialogue to suggest profundity.

      But I’m sick of being told what I’m doing to the planet. I do unto the planet before it does unto me, okay? Let the humans promote the humans for a change.

      Also, while there may be a connection between warming and drought in some places, especially SW USA, people need to reflect on what cooling does in such obscure little corners of the globe as Asia and Africa. And if there has to be a movie about catastrophic drought right across the middle of the planet…just call it 1878.

      Yeah, 1878 and surrounding years. Some say it was imperialism, other say it the lack of sunspots in cycle 11. Do they really know? What’s known is that there was famine and drought from the Cape, through India, China, New Guinea and over to Brazil. Australia too, of course, though we mixed in some horror floods – but that’s just how we are. Polynesia and – get this! – New Zealand copped it. Must be the only time people paid big money for a bucket of water in Dunedin.

      The late 1870s. Make a disaster movie about them apples. I can suggest a number of megastars to play the dried lumps of wood.

      • mosomoso

        How many times do you need to be officially notified that climate only began AFTER 1980, yet you insist on talking about climate pre 1880!! Get a grip!

        Obviously I am beyond hope in believing that there were extreme weather events and a changeable climate as far back as the records go, when mature and reliable climate scientists tell us quite firmly that everything was honky dory and consistently great, prior to mans intervention from January 1st 1980.

        However, there is still hope for you..

        Praise to the Hockey stick! Read it, agree with it and repent your ways whilst there is still time.


      • I can’t help it if people thought there was climate change pre-climate change. It’s out of my hands.

        Folks back in 1878 used to say: “At least it’s not 1816”. Of course, seven years before that big chill Thomas Jefferson was complaining about the end of snow. So all things pass, even a three hour Chris Nolan epic. It’s just that some things feel like forever.

      • You might not like Cloud Atlas then.


        It has everything – imperialism, colonialism, New Zealand, 1878, apocalypse – in an episodic setting that is downright discombobulating.

        Even reading the book doesn’t help. I workshopped it with the girl at the video shop and we can’t see the point of any of it.

      • As I can feebly remember, this was good sci-fi:

        A bit thinky, not too preachy.

        But I’m a sucker for the 1950s, and radioactive mists mixing with the wrong insecticides. And a movie that’s over in 81 minutes has already got one big thing in its favour.

  54. the paper by Lewandowsky, Gignac, and Oberauer that was published in PLOS ONE in 2013, entitled The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science Can be referenced from a link at Bishop Hill’s.

    It contains a large section on moderation polices which Judith and others would find interesting, including

    No ad hominem attacks. Attacking other users or anyone holding a different opinion to you is common in debates but gets us no closer to understanding the science. For example, comments containing the words ‘religion’ and ‘conspiracy’ tend to get deleted. Comments using labels like ‘alarmist’ and ‘denier’ are usually skating on thin ice.

    One wonders how a paper on Conspiracist Ideation could ever be discussed when the comments containing the word ‘conspiracy’ tend to get deleted

    Another beauty is ” The public has a right to be informed about the risks societies are facing, from issues such as climate change or the introduction of GM foods to often-fatal diseases that are preventable by childhood vaccinations. Sadly, the public is currently prevented from exercising that right,”
    ” Science is debate, but that debate takes place in the scientific literature and at scientific conferences. In the history of science, we are not aware of a case in which a serious scientific issue was adjudicated by tabloid journalists or their modern-day equivalents such as blog commenters.”

    In other words the public has a right to know but no right to debate issues

    I love Lewindowsky. Could you discuss these attitudes Judith?

  55. Pingback: oh dear | asoliduniverse

  56. Judith,

    Thought you might like this interview with Cass Sunstein, author of “Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter”


  57. Latest NOAA PDO:
    2014 07 0.15
    2014 08 0.16
    2014 09 0.59
    2014 10 1.35
    2014 11 1.29
    2014 12 1.92
    It’s looking warmer.