Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

On the climatic impact of small volcanoes:  Daily Mail and Carbon Brief

Some astonishing statistical nonsense about global warming [link]

5 reasons why low oil prices are good for the environment [link]

NYTimes: Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says [link]

Nature: Ocean ‘calamities’ oversold, say researchers – more scepticism needed in marine research  [link]

New book:  Climate Change: The Facts, with chapters written by well known skeptics. [link]

‘Green’ biomass boilers may waste billions in public money  [link]

Saudi Arabia has “jumped to be the first to start the race to the end of the age of hydrocarbons.” [link]

Tom Fuller:  Pseudoscience in the service of policy [link]

Economist: Oil price plunge provides once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix bad energy policies [link]

660 responses to “Week in review

  1. 1/27. 10:42 ET.
    OIL________68.92___-4.77
    BRENT______72.49___-0.09
    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

    12/9 8:29 PM ET
    OIL__________63.06__-0.76
    BRENT_______66.13__-0.71
    NAT GAS ______3.644__-0.008
    RBOB GAS____1.6984__-0.0252

    12/19 6:35 PM ET
    OIL_________57.13
    BRENT______62.15
    NAT GAS _____3.464
    RBOB GAS___1.5595

    12/30 10:37 PM ET
    OIL__________53.84
    BRENT_______57.54
    NAT GAS______3.099
    RBOB GAS____1.4495

    1/6/15
    OIL_________47.59
    BRENT______50.65
    NAT GAS____2.914
    RBOB GAS__1.3452

    1/9/15
    OIL________48.36
    BRENT______49.95
    NAT GAS_____2.946
    RBOB GAS____1.323

    1/16/15
    OIL_______48.69
    BRENT_____49.90
    NAT GAS____3.127
    RBOB GAS___1.3588

    • Nice list of dates and prices, but I’m not sure why you posted it. Nor why AK posted a whole heap of stuff about solar energy etc which is presumably in reaction to low oil prices, but irrelevant because solar does not compete with oil.
      So where do oil prices go next, and in future? It’s a brave or foolish person that tries to predict anything nowadays, but I’ll have a go : N American shales/sands have brought supply above weakening demand, Saudi has kept production up, so prices have plunged. The oil price will fall to the marginal cost of production (the incremental cost for those who have already sunk capital) which is thought to be about $40 but noone really knows. Capital investment has already slowed and will stop for the expensive stuff, at which point the price recovers to the full economic price (ie including capital) which is thought to be about $70 but again noone really knows. After that, there are too many unknowns to continue the prediction.
      To my surprise, the perpetual pessimist nouriel Roubini also thinks the oil price will start recovering within 12 months. http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/Roubini-oil-price-capacity/2015/01/15/id/618763/?ns_mail_uid=93877686&ns_mail_job=1603881_01172015&s=al&dkt_nbr=eguspabj
      So there you have it. And for investors it may be worth noting that after the oil shock in the mid-80s, oil stock prices started recovering 3 months before the oil price started recovering.
      As for the notion that the world is going to stop using oil because of global warming ……. get real. Unreliables don’t compete with oil. The real world runs on game theory not ideology, and the first to lose are those who ignore the former in favour of the latter. ie, it’s simply loony.

      • Unreliables don’t compete with oil.

        Last I heard, pumped hydro was pretty reliable.

        […] irrelevant because solar does not compete with oil.

        The whole “Climate” thing is about thinking on a scale of decades. And so is (the smart side of) finance.

        Mix solar getting exponentially cheaper with pumped hydro, and the likelihood of other technology (e.g. electricity→ fuel) also getting much cheaper, with natural gas, and its conversion to fuel coming over the horizon, and with sea-floor methane hydrate to back up fracking, and you have a good recipe for oil prices back where they were in the ’60’s. In 1960 dollars of course.

  2. From Everything Has Changed: Oil, Saudi Arabia, and the End of OPEC (also linked above)

    All of these threats to oil use are occurring against a backdrop where the acceleration of costs-effective alternative technologies expands the potential of viable alternatives to our current fossil fuel-based energy economy. Yamani’s prediction no longer seems a fantasy where no one outside of science fiction writers could envision an alternative to the age of oil, but rather a stunningly prescient analysis of the future risk to the value the largest oil reserve on the planet by a man who once managed that reserve.

    Saudi Arabia no longer needs OPEC. Global action on carbon dioxide emissions is gaining global acceptance and technological advances are creating foreseeable and viable alternatives to the world’s oil dependence. Saudi Arabia has come to the stark realization, as Yamani foretold, that it is a race to produce, regardless of price, so that it will not be leaving its oil in the ground. The Kingdom has effectively open the valve on the carbon asset bubble and jumped to be the first to start the race to the end of the age of hydrocarbons by playing its one great advantage – a cost of production so low that it can sell its crude faster and hoping not to find itself at the end of the age of oil holding vast worthless unburnable reserves.

    […]

    The owner of the most valuable fossil fuel reserve on Earth just started discounting for a future without fossil fuels. While they would never state this reasoning publicly, their actions speak on their behalf. And that changes everything.

    This will almost certainly create a massive boom, as retail technologies based on Internet buying and oil-fueled delivery ramp up in response to predictable low fuel prices.

    • From the same site (Energy Collective): Desert Sunlight, Another 550MW Solar Farm From First Solar, Now Fully Operational

      Late last year, the 550-megawatt capacity Topaz Solar project achieved full commercial operation and claimed the title of largest solar plant on-line in the world.

      And now Topaz has to share the crown with First Solar’s 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project in Riverside, California, which went all-on this month, according to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) website.

      […]

      But these two projects from First Solar will soon yield their glory to SunPower’s 579-megawatt solar project in Antelope Valley, Calif., which is scheduled to go fully operational in the first half of this year and claim the title of the largest operational solar project on the planet.

      […]

      Manufacturers of the world’s most efficient solar panels (SunPower) and some of the world’s less efficient panels (First Solar) are still able to make large solar projects work, revealing that panel efficiency is less important than project economics and execution in 2015.


      But this is small potatoes, compared to an innovation that will keep support structure costs falling maybe as fast (exponentially) as PV: An Interview With Cool Earth Solar CEO Rob Lamkin

      What do Cool Earth Solar and a bag of potato chips (AKA ‘crisps’ for our British readers) have in common? Well, Cool Earth Solar is utilising the same thin film that lines every bag of potato chips – and almost every other snack food – as part of its CPV solar technology.

      […]

      A: “Although this is a pilot, I’d make the argument that the site represents a commercial deployment because it is grid connected. This is an operating power plant and the electricity we make is powering part of the National Laboratories. We have about 10KW out there now of our Gen 5 version, which is our latest iteration of the product.”

      […]

      A: “For our equipment to capture the same amount of solar energy as more traditional solar equipment, we use less than half the materials in terms of weight and mass. When you factor in the fact that the little material we do use is a whole lot cheaper, that’s how we drive down the cost.”

    • Curious George

      I like the crystal clear thought process underlying that article: Saudi Arabia will produce more oil, and does not expect to run out of reserves. THE END OF THE AGE OF OIL!

      • But they’re going to come as close to running out as they can manage. Let others meet the “end of the age of oil” with their ground full of “reserves”.

      • Curious George

        Yes, as they said: The stone age ended when we ran out of stones … or did you get something wrong?

      • Those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly formed to be destroyed merely for the energy within them. We need them for structure, to house and clothe the many-headed, and to store all their stuff.
        =================================

      • Yes, as they said: The stone age ended when we ran out of stones … or did you get something wrong?

        What they said was

        […] The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.

        The “Stone age” actually “ended” when there was enough bronze (sometimes copper or arsenical bronze) left in old sites for archaeologists to label it the “Bronze Age”.

        The “Iron age” is actually even better: still plenty of bronze (most Greek hoplites had armor made of bronze), and iron first showed up around 2000 BCE but isn’t usually thought of as marking the beginning of the “Iron age”. AFAIK the transition is usually dated to the same transition that ancients dated their transition from the “Heroic Age” (LBIII) to their “Iron Age”.

        By that standard, the “oil age” ended during the Cold War, when significant power generation from nuclear fission marked the beginning of the “Nuclear Age”. Which in turn will end when significant power generation from solar (5-10%?) marks the beginning of the “Solar Age”

        At which point we can probably expect the remaining nuclear fission white elephants to be shut down due to concern over their safety.

      • Curious George

        Oh, I got it. When people ran out of bronze, the Bronze Age ended and a Stone Age followed. Thank you. I like Scotch, too.

      • Curious George

        Sorry … /sarc

      • They never ran out of bronze. Iron was just cheaper.

    • David L. Hagen

      Saudi’s Game changer Solar PV Prices
      At 5.85c/kWh by 2017, Saudi’s ACWA has trumped DOE’s 6c/kWh by 2020.
      Dubai Doubling Size of Power Plant to Make Cheapest Solar Energy

      (Saudi’s) ACWA will sell electricity from the plant to DEWA at 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour, a price that will be “the lowest by far” for solar power globally and among the cheapest from other sources, Paddy Padmanathan, the Riyadh-based company’s CEO, said in an interview.

      • Thank you. That is interesting.

      • David L. Hagen

        Comparative Electricity Rates
        Motely Fool posts: The Solar Project So Cheap It Will Revolutionize Energy

        Region Electricity Rate
        Dubai Solar Bid 5.98 cents/kW-hr
        U.S. Average 10.50 cents/kW-hr
        California Average 15.31 cents/kW-hr
        Hawaii Average 33.94 cents/kW-hr
        Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration./blockquote>
        Caution: Dubai is still not dispatchable.

      • Those costs don’t include the cost of delivery.

        From the article:

        Electric bills are going up as the amount of electricity available to consumers is decreasing, according to data released by two separate federal agencies.
        Electricity production in the United States has steadily declined since an all-time high in 2007 even though America’s population has increased by 14 million people since then, the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
        Meanwhile, electricity costs hit a record high in January 2014 according to the electricity price index compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average cost of electricity in the United States rose by 1.8 percent that month, continuing a trend previously reported by Off the Grid News.
        The 1.8 percent increase was the largest since March 2010, a BLS press release noted. The price of electricity rose so sharply that it actually drove up the entire Consumer Price Index (CPI), which documents the cost of living in the United States, Motley Fool writer Justin Loiseau said.
        Electricity costs are rising faster than other energy costs, according to the BLS. The overall energy price index only rose by .6 percent, which means electricity costs are rising at a rate that is more than double that for other kinds of power.

        http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/03/08/shortage-electricity-bills-hit-new-record-high-as-production-declines/

      • And a carbon tax will make electricity even higher.

      • David L. Hagen

        jim2
        EIA posts the average RETAIL price of electricity – including delivery:

        In 2013, the average retail price of electricity in the United States was 10.08 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
        Average prices by type of utility customer:
        Residential: 12.1 cents per kWh
        Commercial: 10.3 cents per kWh
        Industrial: 6.8 cents per kWh
        Transportation: 10.3 cents per kWh

    • GE Ecomagination: SunHopes Floating Solar

      The SunHopes system is, essentially, a collection of helium balloons outfitted with solar cells that floats aloft, attached to a central pole, creating an image akin to that of a giant plant or flower from afar. Like the leaves of a plant, the semi-transparent balloons are arranged in such a way as to minimize any blockage of the sun’s rays to other balloons.

    • Oil price slump puts at risk clean energy push
      ABU DHABI – Falling oil prices could have a negative impact on global efforts to develop renewable energy sources, experts warned Saturday at a conference in Abu Dhabi.
      Oil prices have fallen by almost 60 percent since June, crashing on worries over global oversupply and weak demand in a faltering world economy.
      Participants at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conference that opened Saturday in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) said the trend could spell doom for plans to shift to clean energy.
      The fall in oil prices could be a “game changer”, Italy’s Deputy Minister for Economic Development Claudio Vincenti told the two-day meeting.
      Oil price rises in the past encouraged clean energy investments, said Vincenti, adding that a long-term fall in prices could shift the balance among various energy sources. He did not elaborate.
      Salem al-Hajraf, representing oil-rich Kuwait at the conference, agreed that falling oil prices posed a “major challenge” this year as was the case two decades ago.
      “The fall of oil prices in the 80s was a main reason behind the collapse of many renewable energy projects,” he told participants.
      http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/663805-oil-price-slump-puts-at-risk-clean-energy-push.html

  3. From the last link:

    The plunging price of oil, coupled with advances in clean energy and conservation, offers politicians around the world the chance to rationalise energy policy. They can get rid of billions of dollars of distorting subsidies, especially for dirty fuels, whilst shifting taxes towards carbon use. A cheaper, greener and more reliable energy future could be within reach.

    I agree with some of this, like removing actual subsidies (not the tax breaks to apply to all businesses, though). But these low prices won’t last forever. As our tax burden has gone up, especially for the middle class, this is not the time to pile on more taxes. A carbon tax is a market distortion just like the ethanol subsidy. The idea of allowing US exports is a great idea though.

    • The price ought to be $65 Brent in 12 months, and $150 by 2035. In checking the rig count, the Bakken wells waiting on completion and other data, and it sure looks like it’s bottoming out this quarter.

      That Independent UK Article was zany. There’s a serious need to train newspaper writers. I thought the ones here in Spain were bad, but the Brits are the same.

      The Repsol Canary Islands well came up dry. The rig is moving to Angola.

  4. It is also the case that environmental policies are helping to create low oil prices by reducing demand.

    • Not by very much. Yet. But the end can be foreseen. Especially with exponentially falling prices for PV cells.

      • AK
        You like this phrase, don’t you?”exponentially falling”
        I do not think it means what you think it means.
        Asymptotically? Limited by materials costs and installation costs?

      • You like this phrase, don’t you?”exponentially falling”
        I do not think it means what you think it means.

        It means exactly what it says: the price of PV cells (not allowing for assembly into modules) is roughly dividing in half every 4-5 years. Or, turning it around, the number of PV cells you could buy for $100,000 (at the factory gate) is doubling every 4-5 years.

        Of course, the economics around it is much more complex. Transport, automated assembly, sales/purchase, are all subject to economies of scale that help keep their costs in line with the “exponentially falling prices for PV cells.” But not necessarily completely.

        But meanwhile, people looking to make money in the business are working to develop ways to take advantage of these changes. Basically, as solar PV gets exponentially cheaper, more of the costs for total systems will come from other parts, and the incentive will increase to find cheaper ways to make them.

        Simple economics, in principle. But very complex in implementation, of course.

    • And, AK, that is a good argument to remove government support for the solar industry. Now.

      • I don’t see that. Although I certainly agree the whole feed-in tariff thing needs to go away ASAP.

        Coal got support in its day. So did oil. So did nuclear (and still is AFAIK). Solar is a good thing™, and deserves support. Just not massive subsidies for install-base or any for the whole roof-top boondoggle.

        OTOH, if they’re going to phase out subsidies for oil, the same for solar. Ten years from now it’ll be the cheapest anyway, IMO.

      • Oil gets the same sort of tax breaks that all businesses get. Wouldn’t you want to be able to write off the value of a solar plant over time? A solar plant won’t go on forever, you know. Things will break. The panels will weaken over time. Many will end up failing altogether. Be careful what you wish for.

    • It’s the people who perfected horizontal drilling that we need to thank.
      Thank You!
      (no thanks to Obama)

      • I second that emotion!

      • My family is in the conventional oil and in the fracking business. You’re dead wrong.

      • JCH

        That is called coincidental correlation. Give me a specific Obama policy change that is directly responsible for the upward trend.

      • JCH: all the increases in US oil and gas production, has come from state and private lands. Federal lands have actually seen a 20% decline in production.

        Obama hindered the oil boom, not encouraged it.

      • JCH – you are so full of it! As others have pointed out, all the increased oil production is from state and private land. You seem to be a shill for the Dimowit party.

      • A particularly transparent and pathetic shill.

      • i think the link below is relevant and makes me ask why don’t we wait until they start developing the land they already have instead of just leasing more land half of which they don’t even use? I think it is also important to note that the private sector and states are doing a good job of increasing production

        http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/letting-sleeping-oil-deposits-lie

        More than half the federally owned land approved for oil exploration and leased to energy firms for that purpose is going unexploited – because the companies holding the rights say it would be economically infeasible.

        175 billion barrels of oil lie under federally owned land. 70 percent of that land has been approved for exploration and drilling. But 56 percent of it goes untapped. Offshore exploration is even more modest, with 72 percent of the area leased to energy interests not producing oil.

        The Congressional Budget Office says the leaseholders are waiting until oil production becomes more profitable.

      • Futuramalama, J; all on spec. Dropping oil devalues those leases.
        =================

      • Ken W – Absolutely! Let OPEC kiss our fracking gas!

        To JCH – “My family is in the conventional oil and in the fracking business. You’re dead wrong.”

        You gotta be kidding! The fracking revolution occurred in spite of Obama, on private land. Have you “forgotten” about his previous energy secretary? Slow walking permits? Hyperbole about drilling on existing parcels before approving any new ones?

      • Look at how much federal land there is in West Texas. The federal government cannot participate in one of the hottest plays.

        Compare with western North Dakota, where there is significant federal land. McKenzie County, for instance. All kinds of unconventional wells on federal lands.

        http://www.ptpblog.com/storage/Traffic%20Accident%20Map.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1337138046801

        Oil wells in McKenzie County, North Dakota:

        There are no wells in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

    • >It is also the case that environmental policies are helping to create low oil prices by reducing demand.

      How ?
      Do be exact in your answer – ie. verifiable numbers, no arm waving or rotating of goal posts

    • JimD – “It is also the case that environmental policies are helping to create low oil prices by reducing demand.”

      No, by hamstringing exploration and production. Though economic policies certainly reduce demand by dragging down the economy – the slowest recovery from a recession in history.

      • For now, however, the Saudis are trying to tough this out — and show no sign of trying to prop up prices as they have in the past. The kingdom has built up a stockpile of foreign currency worth some $740 billion, which it will use to finance its deficits. Still, if low oil prices persist, Saudi Arabia may have to cut back on some of the social programs it had instituted after the Arab Spring.

        […]

        If history is any indication, oil prices will eventually rise again, though it could take some time. And some experts think we should be preparing for that day. In the Financial Times, energy expert Michael Levi wrote a piece on how the US (and other countries) could take advantage of low oil prices to make needed energy-policy reforms — such as ending wasteful fossil-fuel subsidies or putting in place new efficiency measures. That would help countries insulate against future price shocks.

        But maybe the Saudis are going to start investing a good fraction of the “$740 billion”:

        Saudi Aramco invests in Siluria: will BIO rescue OCM and put the ROI back into GTL?

        In California, we learned that one of the brightest lights in cleantech these days, Siluria Technologies, is receiving a strategic investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the venture investment subsidiary of Saudi Aramco.

        […]

        Siluria’s oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technology, catalytically converts methane (and can co-feed ethane) into ethylene and water. Ethylene is the world’s largest petrochemical building block used in the production of a wide range of plastics, coatings, adhesives, engine coolants, detergents and other everyday products. The ethylene from the OCM reaction can be purified using conventional separations technologies, resulting in petrochemical grade ethylene ready for use in downstream chemical production or transport in an ethylene pipeline.

        The OCM ethylene can be converted using a different catalyst into liquid hydrocarbon fuels or blend stocks, in a process referred to as Ethylene to Liquids. The composition of the liquids products can be tailored to a preferred composition and specification. Examples of ETL products include gasoline, condensates, aromatics, heavy oil diluents and distillates (diesel and jet fuel).

        H/T Rud Istvan

  5. From the article:

    Summary

    The recent sell-off in many energy stocks has created a buying opportunity in the uranium sector.

    Uranium could be one of the world’s most undervalued assets and be poised for demand growth.

    Japan plans to restart a number of nuclear plants in the coming months and this could mark the start of a 2015 ‘nuclear renaissance’.

    Beyond 2015, there a numerous nuclear plants that are either under construction or being planned which should virtually guarantee increased demand for uranium.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2820446-a-2015-nuclear-renaissance-should-fuel-solid-gains-for-uranium-stocks

  6. If you.’ve not ruined your day yet, check out the NYT’s front page on the “warmest year on record,’, complete with map of the world in lurid paint bomb reds to convey how hellishly hot we’ve become. A despicable piece of propaganda.

    • nottawa rafter

      My favorite is the picture in USA Today of a woman in July in Las Vegas wiping her face looking like she is going to croak from the heat over the quote “Humans are literally cooking their planet.” If that is true then it has to be leftovers because we’ve gone through this before.

  7. Some astonishingly statistical nonsense……..
    I wonder what the probability of having those odds given to the same sampling size during the MWP. The logic of even going through the exercise or thought experiment is beyond comprehension. The relevance of any of this defies explanation.

    OT. I have read and listened to nearly a dozen reports in the MSM of 2014 breaking warming records. Only 1 has referenced any numbers about the degrees of the record. To their credit, the NYT in interviewing John Christy had a reference to it being warmer by hundredths of a degree. When all the major news outlets will lead or headline their stories with the actual nominal amounts and start saying “record broken by .08 C (or what ever it is)” then they will start gaining some credibility.

    • Some astonishingly statistical nonsense……..
      (YOU GOT THAT RIGHT)

      I wonder what the probability of having those odds given to the same sampling size during the MWP.

      (WE ARE REPEATING A SIMILAR CYCLE TO THE ROMAN AND MEDIEVAL WARM PERIODS, THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND IT IS HAPPENING)

      If the temperature over the instrumented time period was not rising most of the time, the fact that it is warmer now would be a small chance. It did not happen that way.

      The fact that the temperature over the past ten thousand years has been this high and higher, multiple times shows that this warm period was supposed to be warm and that it is well inside the bounds of natural variability and it can even get some higher and still be well inside the bounds of natural variability.

      Until they understand what did happen, they will never understand what will happen.

    • They measured part of a natural temperature cycle that goes up and down. They measured “part of the up cycle” and were surprised that it got to a higher part of the cycle. That is really lame.

      Look at the past cycles and understand what is really normal.

      They think normal is climate model output and when the normal cycle deviates from the hockey stick, they think the normal climate cycle is abnormal.

      The have a lot to learn, actually, it is just one thing. When oceans are warm and wet, it snows much more and then it gets cold. When oceans are cold and frozen it, it snows much less and then it gets warm. I guess that is two things, but it is just one natural cycle.

    • Well…

      Scientists during the upswing of the MWP were making similar claims, “Look, look, it is the warmest year on record”, “This is statistically unlikely”, “The odds of this happening randomly are 5283:1”, etc. The only difference is they weren’t blaming it on CO2.

      The MWP had a 6 inch higher sea level. If the sea level rises 12 inches (six inches over MWP) the CO2ers will have an argument that the forcing made a difference. If sea level doesn’t rise more than six inches the global warmers have no case.

      • Yes, but, the case could be that our forcing made a difference, but still not enough to get to the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period.

        A nit, yes; but I can’t neglect an opportunity to point out the good that man has done, is doing, and will continue for some time to do by burning fossil fuel and freeing the imprisoned carbon within.
        ==============================

  8. No comment on Monckton’s pocket-calculator climate model? He uses the standard balance equation, plugs in numbers he likes on the basis that the feedback can’t be large from some engineering design argument applied to the earth system, and, bingo, a published model. They even present an amazing feat of having observations out past 2040.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/16/peer-reviewed-pocket-calculator-climate-model-exposes-serious-errors-in-complex-computer-models-and-reveals-that-mans-influence-on-the-climate-is-negligible/

    • They don’t have a working link, but here it is
      http://www.scibull.com:8080/EN/abstract/abstract509579.shtml

    • The good pseudo-lord Monckton is the true Lord of Pseudoscience. But he has brought me endless hours of mindless giggles.

      • >But he has brought me endless hours of mindless giggles

        C’mon, you can do that all by yourself

        One can easily understand why the US, while containing many interesting qualities, is an irony-free zone

      • The good Lord of Pseudoscience (and honorary Sheriff of Tombstone) Monckton, in full red, white and blue:

    • Jim D and R Gates, I beg to differ.
      First, take Lewis and Curry TCR~1.3 and ECS~1.7. Gives (1.3/1.7) transience parameter r~0.76. Foots very nicely to their table 2 for sum of feedbacks f<0.5.
      Second, careful study of what was in and got left out of AR4 says the watervapor feedback should be roughly halved, and cloud feeback is neutral to slightly negative. Details in the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth, with updates to AR5 in several of the Blowing Smoke essays. Using Lindzens (Bode) 1/1-f model for feedback sensitivity, works out to f~0.3, and for newer L&C f~0.25. Using those estimates for r and f, taking the remainder as estimated in the paper, gives about 1.7C for RCP6. Not 1C as the paper argued since it has r too high and f too low. That still fits nicely on paper figure 5 in the well behaved portion of the curve, to Calendar (1938), and to other simple observationally derived ECS estimates catalogued in essay Sensitive Uncertainty.

      The utility is multifaceted. It is simple yet reasonably comprehensive. It makes testable predictions about warming in any time period given CO2. It is another way to confirm how and why the CMIP3 and CMIP5 models run too hot. The paper itself used the equation to show the fundamental inconsistency between the IPCC's own data (used to develop bounded estimates for the equation parameters), and what the IPCC and its GCM models concluded. No wonder you don't much like it.

      • “First, take Lewis and Curry TCR~1.3 and ECS~1.7.”
        —-
        If that is your “first” then what follows must be all downhill. Both of these estmates are likely so terribly low that any intelligent conversation attempted based on them would be quite distant from the science. Trying to base such things on short-term natural variability will lead to these kinds of errors.

      • RCP4.5 lists global emissions of CO2 for 2015 at 9.23945 Gt.
        RCP6 lists global emissions of CO2 for 2015 at 8.73105 Gt.
        RCP8.5 lists global emissions of CO2 for 2015 at 10.23155 Gt.

        The real emissions in 2015 are going to be over 10 Gt.

        It is difficult to justify using anything other than RCP8.5 as the standard for comparison.

        On the other hand RCP8.5 lists the 2015 CO2 level as 408.90146 so the CO2 is not staying in the atmosphere as predicted and is apparently going somewhere else. Perhaps some of it got lost and wandered off after it left the smokestacks.

        The RCP6 401.99284 PPM level mid year CO2 level looks possible. However if we don’t make the RCP6 CO2 level we will have to drop down to a lesser forcing file next year.

        It looks like our CO2 PPM level will match some of the capped CO2 emission projections even if we follow RCP8.5 emissions and do absolutely nothing to change it.

      • Monckton et al. have constrained the feedback so much by a heuristic engineering design argument that even Lewis and Curry’s low ECS exceeds their upper limit. Their upper limit of the feedback is 0.1, giving an amplification of the no-feedback response by about 10% at most. Most of the feedback space they allow for is negative, down to -0.5. These 4 authors seem to firmly believe this process engineering design approach to feedback loops, as if Nature is a process engineer. Their 0.1 comes from no other argument than that is where an engineer would want to limit feedbacks. Remarkable stuff.

      • Mebbe Gaia wanna feedback like that, too. I smell value in the paper.
        ==============

      • Jim D, I agree. Moncktons assertion that f must be less than 0.1 for stability is simply wrong. He was overzealous in rejecting the Bode feedback model as useful. His own figure 5 shows that anything up to the inflection (~0.75) is still well behaved and ‘stable’. The implicit AR4 f is 0.65 if you accept that the grey earth SB zero feedback value is 1.2C. Certainly on the quasi linear flat part of the Bode feedback model used by Lindzen himself in testmony to the UK parliament, anything below 0.5 is stable. It is still a well damped system. That why I took Momckton to task (politely and factually) over at WUWT yesterday on the model thread. It is why I rederived r and f above here and over there, to test the model against more reasonable values for those two parameters. Results foot neatly to a lot of other literature.
        And Monckton was pleased that I did so, since that sort of independent testing that anyone can do with such a simple equation, plus bounding the 5 parameters using only IPCC info, was the whole point of his paper. He said so himself on that thread.
        BTW, there is blogosphere confusion about what climate feedback means. It is a change in a secondary feedback in response to a change in primary CO2 forcing. So it is actually a ‘second derivative’, not a ‘first derivative’. For the math challenged, a simple illustration. Clouds form as a result of land plant transpiration and water vapor evaporation from (mainly) oceans at our range of Earth temperatures. No one doubts that clouds provide negative climate feedback; they are the main component of albedo. But the IPCC assertion that clouds have positive feedback to increased CO2 forcing (itself a rate of change) means that this negative cloud feedback weakens (becomes less negative) as CO2 increases. See essay Cloudy Clouds for specifics from AR4 and AR5. That is a ‘second derivative’, changing the rate of change in cloud response. Never confuse speed with acceleration, as some have with this general feedback notion, both warmunist and skeptical.

      • Rud, I agree with a lot of what you say. Monckton lays out the equations, which is useful, even if they are well known, and looks at IPCC numbers in their context, but then goes completely off track with his assertions about the limits on g, and finally ends up with the wrong conclusions about warming in the pipeline. The problem now is that this is going to be widely quoted by politicians and skeptics as a published work despite being an engineering-based assertion not a result of a study. On cloud feedback, I was not aware of the confusion, but I would phrase it that cloud forcing is negative, which means the earth would be warmer without clouds. But, yes, feedback is only defined as a response, and it can be a positive feedback even though its forcing remains net negative. That just means that cloud negative effects are reducing.

      • But do they, and what clouds? We don’t have much clue yet.
        ==============

      • Nope, it was rate of change of rate of change. Velocity, acceleration and all that speedy stuff.
        ============

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: but then goes completely off track with his assertions about the limits on g, and finally ends up with the wrong conclusions about warming in the pipeline.

        We had a paper a few weeks ago to the effect that the lag between CO2 increase and the full temperature effect was no more than 10 years (there was a discussion about consequent effects of the temperature increase.) If that paper is correct, then there is little warming in the pipeline.

        Long ago I wrote about the csalt model that it also does not have any “warming in the pipeline”. The claim that there is “warming in the pipeline” does not to me have a sound basis.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Rud Istvan: Moncktons assertion that f must be less than 0.1 for stability is simply wrong. He was overzealous in rejecting the Bode feedback model as useful. His own figure 5 shows that anything up to the inflection (~0.75) is still well behaved and ‘stable’. The implicit AR4 f is 0.65 if you accept that the grey earth SB zero feedback value is 1.2C. Certainly on the quasi linear flat part of the Bode feedback model used by Lindzen himself in testmony to the UK parliament, anything below 0.5 is stable. It is still a well damped system.

        Is not your last sentence there the main point? Granted that Monckton’s preferred value is lower than the one that you showed would work, is it not still the case that the positive feedback to a temperature rise is “small”, and insufficient to (say) double the primary effect of CO2 increase on temp?

      • Matthew Marler, their denial of heat in the pipeline is equivalent to saying that the imbalance is essentially zero and the global ocean heat content should not have been rising during the pause. Facts seem to belie their assertions. Their model is too simple to account for ocean heat content changes except as part of a catch-all delay term that they have to set to zero to make their low-sensitivity model fit the temperature change, which unfortunately means they have to ignore the imbalance evidence.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Facts seem to belie their assertions.

        What facts are those? Every claim about warming in the pipeline is model-based. How much time passes between 95% of the transient response being completed and 95% of the equilibrium response being completed are totally conjectural. Sure the ocean holds a great amount of heat, but how much it will warm if the surface warms 1C is unknown. All we know is that there will not be an equilibrium, but a permanent gradient (or rather range of gradieints, because the surface temps will oscillate).

      • Fact that there is an imbalance.

      • Jim

        The fact is that the system is rarely actually “in balance”.

      • The imbalance is because the forcing has changed, and it is not small because the forcing is changing rapidly in one direction. It can’t be denied as Monckton has done with his statement, even in the abstract of his paper, that there is nothing in the pipeline.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – I happen to know something about CAM5.1 climate model. Lord Monckton’s model can not be much worse, and it does not consume megawatts of coal-generated electricity.

    • I’m sure that “skeptics” will have nothing to do with it….you know, modeling and all…

      Oh…

      Wait.

      401 comments a WUWT, and near as I can tell, only one with the typical “we can’t trust modeling” refrain (Dr Norman Page January 16, 2015 at 6:57 am).

      Shocking, I know.

      • Monckton took some heat there for even admitting there was a greenhouse effect. Fun to see him defend it for once.

      • Joshua, what the H does your post have to do with the substance here? Download the paper, fool with the equation parameters, relate to previous papers, whatever. But otherwise take your existential ‘####’ out of here.
        Show up, put up, or please just disappear as no value added ever.
        Its late my time, I am actually very tired. But please! Up your game or exit.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Monckton took some heat there for even admitting there was a greenhouse effect. Fun to see him defend it for once.

        He has defended the idea of a real CO2 effect many times over many years. His claim has been that there are holes in the evidence and little to no support for the exaggerated warnings of dangers to come.

      • Modeling is not wrong. Screwing up the models is wrong.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: He uses the standard balance equation, plugs in numbers he likes on the basis that the feedback can’t be large from some engineering design argument applied to the earth system, and, bingo, a published model.

      The feedback from temperature increase can not be positive because previous warmings were followed by cooling, not by runaway warming. Also, previous coolings were followed by warming, not runaway cooling. They could be slightly positive, if the alternations of warming and cooling in the past were driven by external “forcings” that overpowered the feedbacks, but the oscillation within a range rules out the size of positive feedback from temp increase that has been included in some models.

      They even present an amazing feat of having observations out past 2040.

      You might want to reread that. They are clearly model values with a clear purpose.

      One of the reasons that the paper is interesting and publishable is the careful attention to details in the IPCC reports, and the use of published information to choose the best values for their “potentially tunable” (but actually untuned) parameters. The paper should be read carefully by many people.

      Personally, I preferred WebHubTelescope’s unpublished csalt model, but in that model the parameters really were tuned via least squares estimation. Diverse factors that are treated separately in the csalt model are aggregated into a small number of modifiers of the main linear in log CO2 effect.

      With his forthright (ie as first author) publication of a global mean temp model that has a linear in log CO2 effect, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has clearly labelled himself a “lukewarmer”. The model provides an estimate of climate sensitivity that is lower than the estimate of Lewis and Curry.

      Like every other model out there, it can’t be relied upon until after it has passed tests against out of sample data (ie, future data). By its method of development and reasonable fit to data, it is at least as reliable as any IPCC-promoted model. The model includes non of the cycles of Scafetta or Dr Norman Page: if those cycles reflect real and persistent processes, then Monckton et al’s model will fail pretty soon.

      • Thank you. That’s lucid, Matt.
        ========

      • Matthew Marler says “The feedback from temperature increase can not be positive because previous warmings were followed by cooling, not by runaway warming.”
        This is simply wrong. Not even Monckton claims that a positive feedback leads to runaway warming until his g parameter (closed-loop gain) exceeds 1. He decided to limit it to the range -0.5 to +0.1 based on heuristics from engineering. Models going back to Arrhenius have numbers in excess of +0.5. Monckton says something about the last 800k years as his argument, while Hansen used the last hundred million years to come up with long-term sensitivities near 4 C per doubling (which includes albedo feedbacks due to the loss of the last glaciers and spread of vegetation into the tundra), and while Monckton didn’t show his numbers, Hansen did. Regarding observations into the future, look at Figure 6 and see how you interpret it. If a climate scientist extrapolated observations into the future and called it “observations”, they would never hear the end of it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler says “The feedback from temperature increase can not be positive because previous warmings were followed by cooling, not by runaway warming.”

        You are correct. He merely says that the positive feedback, if present, can’t be as large as treated by the IPCC — i.e., it can’t double the primary CO2 effect.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D:Regarding observations into the future, look at Figure 6 and see how you interpret it.

        Here is what they say about figure 6: If, for instance,
        the observed temperature trend of recent decades were
        extrapolated several decades into the future, the model’s
        output would coincident with the observations thus
        extrapolated (Fig. 6).

        And if the temperature trend of the future decades is not like an extrapolation of recent decades, then their model (or at minimum the parameter selections) will have been disconfirmed.

    • Steven Mosher

      The crazy thing is he thinks he model can expose errors in other models.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: The crazy thing is he thinks he model can expose errors in other models.

        The errors are exposed by the fact that the models are running too hot. His model permits exploration of a few hypotheses about why that might be the case. The credibility of any claims will depend on the making of accurate forecasts of global mean temperature, which no model has done yet.

      • Why not? A model can be right or wrong. Just happens the “Branch Carbonian” models are wrong.

  9. The authors list of Climate Change: The Facts, reads like a rouges gallery of pseudoscientisrs and their apologists. Sadly, It will no doubt be often referenced by the new House and Senate leaders as they try to create policy from such pablum.

    • Compared to the sort of great “science” we get from the likes of Mann?

      • PA, I do hope you’re correct. However, the average annual gain in CO2 concentrations from 1980 to 1993 was 1.4. The average annual gain in concentrations from 1993 through the present day is 1.96.

      • I’m kind of curious what happens this year…

        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2009.ems
        ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_annmean_mlo.txt

        The first two times the increase was greater than 2 are 1977 (2.10) and 1983 (2.13). The emissions level in 1983 (we’ll be generous) was 5.094 which will be less than half the emissions this year.

        The stated increase in 2014 on the NOAA site was 2.32 PPM. If you take the mean, year end levels or any other standard you get 2.07 or less. We should be in the high 3 low 4 range. We have not exceeded a 3 PPM increase even once in all of recorded (by NOAA) history. If the emissions were driving CO2 there is only a 5283:1 chance (or some other large made-up number) of this happening.

        So this year will be interesting.

        I’ll plot the “CO2 deficit” at some point (the time series difference between the emissions and the atmospheric increase). That should be informative.

      • PA, it will be especially interesting to compare emissions to concentration rise. Oil prices suggest we’re in a major economic slow down.

        If concentration increases more than usual and emissions happen to be lower than recent years, what will that imply?

    • Willie Soon= zero credibility. Not saying he deserves it, just sayin.

      • >Not saying he deserves it, just sayin

        Ah, the ultimate ad-hom

        Well done

      • Willie Soon made his bed with Heartland policy advocacy group, and he’s got to sleep there now forever more. Not an ad hom, just the bare truth. Nasty business goes down where science and policy meet…as Judith well knows.

      • “Willie Soon= zero credibility. Not saying he deserves it, just sayin.”

        Gee. Is there anyone on the warming side that has credibility?

        The emissions are following the RCP 8.5 trajectory. The predicted CO2 level for RCP8.5 in 2015, 408.90146 PPM is a sad joke.

        We are emitting at the high end of predictions, and the CO2 level is following the CO2 stabilization scenarios (it will be close to RCP6) without any help from us.

        We don’t need to stabilize CO2 it is already happening.

      • There you Gates, a complete 180o

        First: ” …Not saying he deserves it, just sayin”

        Second, when challenged on this stupid ad-hom: ” …Not an ad hom, just the bare truth”

        Which is it, (just sayin) ? What a silly, dilly bovver-boy you are

        Jimmy Doo: it’s easy to see why you avoid engineering papers. The accountability in them makes you sooo uncomfortable

      • Willie Soon made his bed with Heartland policy advocacy group, and he’s got to sleep there now forever more. Not an ad hom, just the bare truth.

        Actually, it is a textbook example of ad hominem. The fact that you don’t realize it reveals a great deal about you.

    • I have seen warmists try to take down scientists due to their religion, age, cv, etc. What is wrong with Soon, play golf left handed? ABTS Anything But The Science

      • There are two reason why Soons credibility is in question (see his wiki profile).

        1.) A 2003 paper that challenged the notion of 20th century trmperatures being the hottest. It was challenged with rebuttals and people on the peer review board resigned in protest.

        2.) He received grants from American Petroleum Institute and the Koch Brothers.

        I suppose you could read into that what you may. Consensus Scientists consider big oil and the Koch Brothers as Hell and Satan. Taking money from them is tantamount to blatent evil. Just ask the people at Best. The paper supposedly had obvious mistakes.

      • BLATANT!! That too.

    • Oddly missing is Judith with a chapter on uncertainty. They must have invited her(?).

      • James “I’ve been intellectually raped” Dellingpole!

        Surely that’s a ‘not to be missed’ chapter.

        Faark! – will make the NIPCC report look like a work of genius.

  10. On the small volcanoes thing. This is Susan Solomon and Ben Santer’s third attempt. First 2011 paper said 25%, second said 15%, now they say maybe a third. So much for settled science. Two comments.

    First, if true still leaves 2/3 of the pause ‘unexplained’.

    Second, all three papers are not true, just silly. The multiple lines of observational evidence are laid out in essay Blowing Smoke in ebook of same name. Basically, fiddling with models that ignore observed vucanology and measured optical depth. More inexcusably bad climate ‘science’ from some of the usual suspects.
    Blowing Smoke debunked a 2013 U Colorado press release making the same claim, which was echoed in MSM headlines no different than the links Judith posted concerning this newest paper. The saddest part was the university’s PR headline did not even correctly reflect the main subject of the paper being PR’d. Which shows yet again how the politically correct Warmunist propaganda machine works.

    • “First, if true still leaves 2/3 of the pause ‘unexplained’”
      —-
      Nope. Volcanic aerosols were always suggested as only part of the “hiatus”. The sleepy sun and negative IPO as other potential contributors have been discussed here and elsewhere at length, and strong data supports the negative IPO especially as related to the hiatus.

      • Here is another excuse for the hiatus, gatesy. OMG! A ten percent DECREASE in stratospheric water vapor! But in previous decades POSITIVE water vapor feedback accounted for 30% of observed warming. OMG! It’s the NOAA that’s telling us about this paper:

        http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/water_vapor.html

        “Their findings indicate that as stratospheric water vapor decreased after 2000, it has slowed the rate of the Earth’s warming. Likewise, an increase in water vapor in the 1990s accelerated the rate of warming during that time — by about 30 percent. Scientists cannot yet fully explain the changing patterns of the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere.”

        So, CO2 is increasing without pause, or rate slowing, the temperature is climbing then pausing and the water vapor feedback helps explain both the increase in temperature and the pause by flopping up and down, conveniently. How long can they stick with this BS? Well, they do admit they don’t really know what is going on. So it goes, in the world of the settled science on atmospheric physics. And they pretend to wonder why billions are skeptical.

      • I can’t see how any fair minded person… no matter what their position on global warming…. can bear witness to the manifest dishonest of our government agencies in their carefully worded, artfully spun assertions of a new temperature record…. without feeling the urge to puke. 2 hundreds of a degree? Are you kidding me? It’s just this kind of thing that woke me up, starting with climategate. The NYT’s has disgraced itself once again with todays shamefully misleading piece, accompanied by their lying, red paint bomb world map.

      • nottawa rafter

        Don
        But isn’t this significant in that as CO2 kept increasing while water vapor decreased resulting in a decoupling of the two components in GHG. Am I missing something? Seems like the observational data shows some other processes are going on. Aha, maybe an unknown unknown.

      • That’s pretty much it, nottawa. There is an obvious decoupling form reality. Here it is again:

        “Their findings indicate that as stratospheric water vapor decreased after 2000, it has slowed the rate of the Earth’s warming. Likewise, an increase in water vapor in the 1990s accelerated the rate of warming during that time — by about 30 percent. Scientists cannot yet fully explain the changing patterns of the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere.”

        Well, they never told us up front that water vapor feedback could be nicely positive for a decade or so, then subsequently turn negative for a decade or so, even as temperature and CO2 accumulation continued to break records. Look how they account for this little deadly blow to their theory:

        “as stratospheric water vapor decreased after 2000, it has slowed the rate of the Earth’s warming. Likewise, an increase in water vapor in the 1990s accelerated the rate of warming during that time”

        The water vapor feedback is doing the opposite after 2000, during the time of unprecedented record CO2 and temperature, to what it did before 2000. But they say it’s acting:

        “Likewise”

        Yeah! Opposite, but likewise. No inconsistency with the theory there at all. OMG! Who do they think they are fooling with that BS. Hold your hands up, jimmy, gatesy, Dr. Pratt et al.

      • NOAA settled science geniuses on our payroll tell us:”Scientists cannot yet fully explain the changing patterns of the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere.”

        Maybe the theory is wrong. Clowns.

      • For us non-NYTimes subscribers, do they mention the UAH satellite record?

      • canman,

        I just coudn’t real the whole thing. But I very much doubt it. I’d have dropped the NYT’s long ago were it not for my wife who can’t seem to do with the daily crossword. I get the Wall Street Journal as an antidote to their propagandistic poison. Politics aside, the NYT’s op-ed pages are a terrible embarrassment, markedly inferior to the WSJ, which isn’t afraid to give space to opposing points of view. NYT’s can’t go out of business fast enough as far as I’m concerned, which might not be that far off the way they’re going.

    • I have a guest post in the works on this topic

      • Outstanding!

        Hope it includes discussion of this:

        Strongly supported by direct and proxy data.

      • I am more interested in the paleo stuff so perhaps you can extend R. Gates stuff back to the period formerly known as the MWP :)

      • Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. It is characterised by the state of the PDO and changes at the same periodicity in frequency and intensity of ENSO events. These states shift abruptly on decadal to millennial scales. Here is a Law Dome ice core proxy – more salt is La Nina.

        The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006) Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947). NAM and SAM are to an extent solar driven.

        The latest shift was associated with a change in cloud cover seen in diverse data sources.

        ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

        To talk about the IPO you need to talk about much longer term dynamics than 100 years. This shows variability over the Holocene.

        Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period. For comparison – the red intensity of the 1997/98 El Nino was 99.

        And yes the 1998/2001 shift was anticipated – just as it is possible to anticipate that climate will shift again in a decade or so. But it is no no means guaranteed that the Pacific will shift again to a warmer state. A shift to yet cooler states is much more likely as the system reverts to the the La Nina normal dominant state.

      • Great. Cannot wait.

      • Isn’t there some level of conflict between the volcano/aerosol theory for the slowdown and the ocean heat uptake theory? Sure, they could both contribute in reality, and of course there is some uncertainty on the ocean warming estimates leaving room for both mechanisms, but, if there are claims that the ocean has warmed right as fast as predicted (versus, say, half as fast), then it seems that the ocean warming would be in conflict with aerosols having blocked some of that warming? (I am just a novice here, by the way.)

  11. It seems we now have three types of statistics – frequentist, Bayesian, and now Mannian.

  12. If we get honest about nuclear energy, we may be able to “mine” energy from the cores of many lanthanide and actinide elements heavier than 150 amu.

    • Curious George

      Agreed. But there is a public opinion generated by anti-science lobbies which can not bear hearing the word “nuclear”. I know because my university-educated and strictly anti-nuclear girlfriend developed a thyroid problem and had to take some radioactive iodine to kill off a part of the gland. For the first time she made herself to learn about radioactivity. It takes a strong motivation for a brainwashed person.

      Meanwhile we use a depleted uranium in anti-tank shells.

  13. From the Economist, one of my favorite publications:

    “An obvious starting point is to target petrol. America’s federal government levies a tax of just 18 cents a gallon (five cents a litre)—a figure that it has not dared change since 1993. Even better would be a tax on carbon. Burning fossil fuels harms the health of both the planet and its inhabitants. Taxing carbon would nudge energy firms and consumers towards using cleaner fuels. As fuel prices fall, a carbon tax is becoming less politically daunting.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how little compassion these people have for the common working person or the retired folks living on tiny little pensions. The cost of transportation, mostly fuel, is a burden on the poor and working classes. I would bet most of the writers at the Economist have a nanny drive their children to a private school in a car burning “petrol”.

    If they want to reduce carbon they can ride a bike, put on a sweater and turn down the heat, carry their little cloth bags to the organic market, eat beans instead of beef, and live in a tiny house. They can stay home and stop flying around in those ultimate emmiters of carbon. Leave the rest of us alone to make our own choices in the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas. Top down doesn’t work, it’s too vulnerable to political patronage. If top down really worked, there would never be a USA and we would still be paying taxes to those lords of the left at the Economist. How many times do you have to repeat the same failing experiment to figure it out. Jeesh!

    • Justin, raising US taxes on liquid tranportation fuels using some mutiyear but firm ramp makes sense from several perspectives argued in the last chapter of Gaia’s Limits. There is however no justification for doing so based on the current state of true knowledge about climate change, as California did starting this year.
      More parochially, there is a serious deficit of US transportation infrastructure M&R that fuel taxes are supposed to support.
      Ramping over time gives everyone time to adjust as fits their circumstances. Move closer to work. Work closer to home. Smaller vehicle. Ignore it cause you don’t care, whatever.

      • We already have enough taxes, especially regressive taxes like the gas tax.

        “… Move closer to work, etc…”

        I don’t like the idea of using tax policy for social engineering. First, most of the plans are not effective, are politically expediant, and have unintended consequences. The social engineers are either incompetent or have selfish motivations. Taxes are to fund government and basic services, and that is already more than the government can handle. It is too tempting for politicians to use the people’s money to buy votes and reward political friends. Think Solyndra, California’s slow, but costly, train to nowhere; and California’s renewable energy policy. None are effective but there are some big winners. This is not new, it’s as old as the hills

      • With regard to U.S. gas taxes, there may in theory be some value in an increase at least if an efficient mileage tax could not be substituted. But the Highway Trust Fund shortfall would essentially be eliminated if we stopped diversion from highways to, e.g., subsidized mass transit. Contrary to popular belief, moreover, there’s reason to believe that our roads’ conditions actually have been improving steadily.

        Also, federal gas-tax revenues get distributed by politics, not need. According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, “Texas recovered only 88 cents of every dollar residents paid in taxes, while seven states and Washington, D.C. (no surprise) received more than twice as much.”

        Perhaps it would be better to let the states handle roads.

      • Letting each state fund its own highway fund would make sense. That way people in Montana aren’t paying for New York City’s roads.

      • Joe, that’s a good point about hijacking other taxes for mass transit. The Fed takes more money from us than it should already, let them find the money in the pile they already have.

    • Ya’know, it always amazes me how people keep pursuing their ideological positions without thinking moderation, or considering relative scales. Here’s a thought:

      The federal gov. could impose a new tax on fossil carbon in gasoline (with equivalent on diesel) amounting to 20¢/gal. But index it to price: full tax if the price is under $1.50, otherwise pro-rated to $1.90, where there’s no tax. That way, it only applies once the price of oil falls far enough that people are getting the benefit anyway. Anybody who doesn’t want to pay for equipment able to do the extra calcs can just keep their price over $1.90, till they go out of business from competition.

      And, if some fraction, say 40%, of the fuel is from “renewable” sources, the tax would only be 60% of what it would be otherwise, and the vendor could keep the other part. That would be a subsidy of sorts, but it wouldn’t really hurt anybody, and could incent “renewable” fuels.

      I’m not saying that’s the way to go, just trying to point out it’s not a binary thing.

    • Does The Economist ever actually define the term “a tax on carbon” ?

      It’s so meaningless, such a bubble-headed brain fart, and so earnestly disingenuous (ie. a deliberate, considered, outright propaganda lie)

      Are we to believe that every molecule of all carbon compounds in the biosphere and lithosphere is intended to be taxed ?

      • “Are we to believe that every molecule of all carbon compounds in the biosphere and lithosphere is intended to be taxed ?”

        Sure, they can buy mucho stuff with that tax money. Although, it isn’t really TAX money, given that there is so much deficit spending.

  14. At this link: http://theenergycollective.com/eliashinckley/2181166/oil-prices-saudi-arabia-and-end-of-opec “The widely held conventional theory is that the Saudis want to shake the weak production out of the market.  This strategy would undermine the economic viability of a meaningful amount of global production.” Alarmistly called predatory pricing. I say let them try, the supply markets will be more resilient than they are given credit for. Some sources will go out of service but then come back online when prices rise again. So they can idle production, and even if they can shake some out, kill it off, new investors will look at the retrievable oil, buy that at a bargain price from the failed company, and be ready to go back into business. Oil is a hard asset. Bad financial conditions cannot destroy the oil, they can just delay its extraction. “An alternative rationale is that Saudi Arabia is fighting an economic war with oil; a strategy designed to economically and in turn politically cripple rival producers Iran and Russia because the governments of these countries that depend on oil exports cannot withstand sustained low prices and will be significantly weakened.” Not that they should be doing this, but it’s more likely to be successful than trying to long term transform the oil industry. The article goes on the imply that Saudi Arabia is having a going out of business sale as oil is going out of fashion. That they are selling it while they can. While Saudi Arabia is a big player it’s just one of many in the market, predicting the future. A failed prediction on their part would present significant upside opportunities for those betting the other way.

    • You right. It is a desperate act by the Saudis. We’re not in the 1970’s anymore, Toto. BTW, the Saudis are throwing their OPEC buddies under the bus.

    • Wrong logic, flawed knowledge about the oil industry. The Saudis want to reduce the production excess coming mostly from the light tight oil, deep water, heavy oil sands, and usa stripper wells. This can be accomplished by forcing new well construction down and then allowing price to stabilize around $80 per barrel. After that production decline of legacy wells will allow price to increase gradually to $150 per barrel. And by then renewables can start replacing the declining oil.

      • The Saudis are heavily invested in the majors, and they work well with them. There are all kinds of rumors circulating about majors buying out shale companies. They don’t do drill baby drill. They want control of the supply. There will be blood.

      • Fernando – ” And by then renewables can start replacing the declining oil.”

        Only by state fiat, certainly not market forces. Renewables do not have the power density to satisfy ever increasing demand. We know what they can do, and it is not enough. Besides, they are all land intensive and land is finite. It is possible, perhaps likely, that there will be a technological breakthrough in power generation, but the exact form of that breakthrough is unknowable.

      • Renewables do not have the power density to satisfy ever increasing demand. We know what they can do, and it is not enough. Besides, they are all land intensive and land is finite.

        Don’t need much density. 100MWatts/square Km (max, divide by 4 for average) can squeeze 10 GWatts from a 10-Km square.

      • The stripper wells in the Permian and elsewhere have been shut in and rejuvenated multiple times. Price high, they are turned on, price low, they are turned off.

        When it comes to shale, a shut-in will allow the oil to equilibriate in the formation. It might even improve recovery in the long run. (This is just speculation on my part.)

    • Shaking the weak out of the supply market, I think is the wrong goal. Don’t waste resources on your competition, deliver the best product, produced as efficiently as possible. The customers will then abandon your competition. And you would’ve have accomplished your goal, without being negative. Oil is in some ways a mature product. You can see that as the suppliers fight amongst themselves, in this case Saudi Arabia is increasing its market share temporarily. The Boston Matrix tells us, it’s time to develop new products and that’s preferable to fighting over a more or less constant sized pie.

      • Actually, IMO a better analogy is mature trees spending resources saved from last year to put out leaves (in Spring) before it’s cost-effective so as to suppress saplings.

      • Someone wrote once that large trees dropping their leaves, are an attempt to kill some kinds of vegetation. My lawn for instance.

      • Yeah, well, I suspect most forest/woodland trees don’t like Bermuda-type grass growing around their feet. OTOH, Acacias, silk trees, locust, AFAIK they’re friendly to grass. I suppose it’s nitrogen: they don’t compete for nitrogen, they add it (the leguminous trees, I mean).

    • When oil was $140 per barrel the greenies were saying we were at peak oil, that we would run out soon, so we needed a push to alternative energy. Now they are saying the Saudis are pumping today because oil will be passe soon. They are full of it.

    • Tee-hee! Ebil scientists do data fraud to further their ebil plan to control the world! Tee-hee!

      Hilarious Judith, farking hilarious.

      • Just how much persistence is there year to year with global temperatures as measured?

        I say not very much, so the 27 million is pretty close.

        Because it’s the sun and the greenhouse gases keeping the earth’s temperature warm, not some statistical persistence.

      • bob droege, I would think that the Holocene interglacial lasting 10,000 years is one example of year-to-year global temperature persistence.

      • “Tee-hee! Ebil scientists do data fraud to further their ebil plan to control the world! Tee-hee!”

        Look! “Michael” is doing the Crazy Warmer Dance! It happens when Warmers have to confront the truth. It makes them do weird stuff.

        Andrew

      • Scott Basinger

        Michael,

        Not data fraud. It’s more subtle than that. It’s time-based manipulation for purposes of press release.

        ie: Making a press release announcement before required downward adjustments are made. Making those required downward adjustments afterwards with limited press release a few months afterwards (corrections don’t have the same impact as ‘hottest ever’). Then putting out a new press release in 2016 with basis of comparison adjusted downwards – ‘hopefully’ with the ability to proclaim ‘hottest evah!’.

        Rinse and repeat.

      • Not an unlimited process. They are running out of wiggle room. Already well out of wiggle room were deliberation provable.
        ==============

      • willb,

        I think the Mount Tambora eruption and Mount Pinatuba are excellent examples against the long term persistence of global temperature.

      • bob droege, if you don’t think the Quaternary glacials and interglacials, occurring over and over with each one lasting many thousands of years, are strong evidence of long term persistence in global temperature, then what is your definition of persistence?

      • My question is what causes the persistence, is one year warm because the last year was warm?

        No, large volcanic eruptions show that temperatures can drop rapidly due to changes in the composition of the atmosphere.

        Are temperatures persistent because the amount of solar radiation and the earth’s albedo are remarkably consistent year to year.

        I think a random walk model loses to an energy balance model and one year’s temperature has little to do with the next years temperature.

        If small changes in insolation are enough to flip in and out of glacitations then persistence is only short term, days to weeks.

    • Yeah, what duplicity.The thermometer record is accurate enough to determine the “pause”, but not the warmest year. You folks are funny.

    • Let’s twist again,
      like we did last suuuhmmer …
      dadada, let’s twist again
      like we did last yeeer.

    • Wow, Jim2. That’s some cooling trend. Clearly, we are in a very cool period.

      Furthermore, this chart certainly puts the lie to 2C of global warming being catastrophic or even dangerous.

      Only three times since multi-cell animal life began has the planet been as cold as it is now for a duration of 10’s of millions of years. For 75% of the past half billion years there’s been no ice at either pole.

      By the way, I understand the amount of carbon tied up in the biosphere was much greater in warmer times than it is in cooler times.

      Conclusion:

      1. life thrives in warmer times

      2. Increasing global GHG emissions may be doing more good than harm – make like grow better -> more food for more people

      3. And reduced risk of catastrophic global cooling event.

      We may be saving the planet from life dying out altogether.

      • The planet’s ‘normal’ temperature is about 6 C to 8 C higher than current temperatures (say 21 C to 23 C). That’s normal. So, what’s the problem? Why the fear campaigns? Why the scaremongering?

      • The 280 ppm was the lowest of the last 500,000,000 years – it has been as high as 7,000 ppm. However, the continents have had an entirely different configuration since the beginning of the Pleistocene. I would like to hear what the oceanographers have to say about that.

        Check out this Scotese graph of Phanerozoic CO2 levels:

    • Jim2,

      There’s much finer detail in the charts now, but the big picture message hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years or so. Here’s is a chart from Scotese that is consistent with what I learnt way back at the beginning of time.
      http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm

  15. Why is there so little interest among climate scientists and those most concerned about substantially reducing global GHG emissions inrational policies to do this? Why is there almost no debate among these people about the probability that policies they advocate will succeed in the real world in delivering the benefits they expect and say they want – where the benefits are ‘reduced climate damages’ and measured in dollars.?

    Why isn’t the following widely understood by those most concerned? And why isn’t it widely advocated?

    1. Nuclear power is a far cheaper way to substantially reduce global GHG emissions than renewable energy.

    2. Nuclear power has the capacity to provide all humans energy needs effectively indefinitely.

    3. RE cannot sustain modern society, let alone in the future as per capita energy consumption continues to increase as it has been doing since human first learnt to control fire.

    4. There is far greater capacity to reduce the cost of nuclear energy than renewable energy.

    5. The issue with nuclear is political, not technical. The progressives are the block to progress and they have been for the past 50 years.

      • Curious George

        Top Climate Change Scientists’ Letter .. What is the difference between a Top Climate Change Scientist and a Scientist? Is it similar to a difference between a straitjacket and a jacket?

    • It gets back to global warming being more political than scientific in nature. When people relentlessly propose stupid solutions when smart ones are available there is usually politics involved.

      Global warming has generated a lot of interest in climate science though.

      • PA,
        The agenda was political from the start. The Primary Godfathers of the CAGW scam were Maurice Strong and Crispin Tickell.
        Maurice Strong’s formal education was limited to High School. Tickell is a British Diplomat who read History at University.
        Yet as far back at 1972 in Stockholm, Strong was trying to get the agenda accepted. And Tickell’s pamphlet in 1977 was said to be seminal in raising the issue politically.
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/01/25/death-of-expertise/#comment-442818
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/11/climate-science-sociology/#comment-364124
        The significance of Maurice Strong of course is that as a callow youth he met Rockefeller at the UN and joined the dark side.
        He’s effectively been Mr Corporate Environment under mentorship of Rockefeller

      • Brent (and others) may be interest to know a bit abut Maurice Strong’s connections.

        http://tome22.info/Persons/Strong-Maurice.html

      • @Peter Lang
        Thanks Peter I’m aware of a lot of this, but it’s good to see a source compiling it in depth.
        In addition to this High School graduate being one of the Godfathers of the CAGW scam he’s also apparently the new Christ figure. We apparently have a new Holy Trinity replacing the Father Son and Holy Ghost of Christianity
        The new Holy Trinity consists of the Father, Rev Steven Rockefeller: The Son, Maurice Strong:, And the Holy Ghost, Mikhail Gorbachev.

        Interview: Maurice Strong on a “People’s Earth Charter”
        But, let us be very clear, the UN action is not going to be the only goal. The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. And, that is where the political influence, where the long-term results of the Earth Charter will really come.
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/11/responsible-conduct-in-the-global-research-enterprise/

        The Earth Charter is based on Bio-ethics
        all the best
        brent
        P.S. In religious terms I’m an agnostic

      • No need for a confusing Trinity, it’s just Gaia, my Gawd.
        ============

  16. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    pottereaton proclaims [along with many anti-science ideologues]  “As for CAGW, NASA shouldn’t even be involved in the global warming mess.”

    Climate Etc readers may wish to verify for themselves the #1 article of NASA’s 1955 charter:

    National Aeronautics and Space Act

    The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

    (1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

    (2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;

    (3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space;

    Note that NASA atmospheric science comes before NASA astronautics.

    Good on `yah NASA … for sustained commitment to top-quality atmospheric science programs AND astronautics!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  17. According to the Economist, it’s all those subsidies we’ve been handing out to industries not liked by posh-green Economist journalists…there’s your problem! And it can all be proven in hard mathematical terms.Those studious years of making one column look better than the other have not been wasted. Life is a preparation for university essays, after all.

    An economy which tries to function with industries liked by Economist journalists might fail within a day. But it’s about the liking, not about the doing. And you can always make the doing conform to the liking with essays. Reality may pass, the essay abideth.

    Anyway, hardship from green waste and white elephants will hit the the inner-urban bourgeoisie last. So why sweat the big stuff?

  18. The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System. Here, we revise and update the planetary boundaries framework, with a focus on the underpinning biophysical science, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Several of the boundaries now have a two-tier approach, reflecting the importance of cross-scale interactions and the regional-level heterogeneity of the processes that underpin the boundaries. Two core boundaries—climate change and biosphere integrity—have been identified, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth System into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/01/14/science.1259855

    At it’s core this new paper is about tipping points in the biophysical Earth system. Tipping points in biophysical systems are apparent. When pushed by inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus a lake will transition from clear to murky overnight in a process caused by oxygen dynamics at the water/sediment interface. Populations will precipitously decline to zero after some point dependent on the ratio of recruitment to mortality. Global hydrology shifts abruptly with shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation every few decades.

    Four exceedances of so called planetary boundaries were identified. GHG emissions, nutrients, biosphere integrity and land use. Although the paper waves an arm toward ‘slowing down’ as an early indicator of change – there is no possibility that this is as yet a practical methodology in the real world for identifying and anticipating a tipping point. The authors are invoking a real mechanism known from gleams of knowledge in the relatively new field of complexity science – but unnecessarily conflating it with disaster scenarios in the way we have come to expect.

    • http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/scientists-human-activity-has-pushed-earth-beyond-four-of-nine-planetary-boundaries/2015/01/15/f52b61b6-9b5e-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html
      “That puts the planet in the CO2 zone of uncertainty that the authors say extends from 350 to 450 ppm.”

      Well, gee. Where did these “boundaries” come from. We are halfway through the CO2 boundary and it is all good.

      We should deliberately push the CO2 level to 500-550 in an attempt to validate their approach.

      If we can vastly exceed their boundaries without substantial negative consequences their paradigm doesn’t have a lot of value or the boundary setting process was not sufficiently informed or rigorous.

      Unless the boundaries are set accurately to the actual point of harm they don’t have a lot of value. We are going to cross the 450 PPM boundary and no one is going to notice so at least for CO2 they haven’t made a serious effort.

      Having said that, the things we are influencing the environment. It should be done in a planned way. Things that mitigate negative consequences such as low erosion agriculture have been implemented. More of the same is fine.

      The important thing is to identify the low hanging fruit that don’t cost much and don’t impact people’s freedom. These are generally noncontroversial with high benefit to cost ratio. There are some natural problems we could mitigate but this is an area we should approach with caution.

      There are the next level of adjustments that have some cost but great benefit. These need to identified and discussed, based on good unbiased research so we proceed on an intelligent basis after knocking off low hanging fruit.

      High cost low benefit issues like CO2 should get the “talk to the hand” .treatment.

      The activists want zero impact even at high cost immediately. That shouldn’t happen, not now, not ever, never.

      • Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times – around 1912, 1944/1945, 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said. The warming between 1944 and 1998 was 0.4 degrees Centigrade. At least half of that was quite natural laving not much to show for anthropogenic warming in the last half of the last century. The presumption is – however – that small change adds to the pressure of change in the system creating the potential for instability. The solutions for carbon dioxide emissions involve energy innovation in the development of new sources of cheap and abundant energy. This remains less than half the problem of climate forcing. The solutions for black carbon, sulphur, nitrous oxide, CFC’s and methane are multi-faceted and must be based on accelerated global social and economic development.

        But you have still failed to understand the essential nature of climate change.

      • So… CO2 only caused 0.2 °C of change in the 20th century. Well that good news.

        We have differing viewpoints.

        We are going to have to feed 9-11 billion people. This will require 50-100% more protein from the ocean than we currently extract. We ARE going to be farming the ocean.

        Now these studies are useful to the extent they are honest in guiding us on how to do that reasonably safely. And it would be nice to minimize the impact on the little plants and animals, but it looks like boosting the CO2 level will be a significant part of meeting our future needs.

        Now this “potential for instability” is an interesting concept. What kind of instability are they contending is possible?

      • So… CO2 only caused 0.2 °C of change in the 20th century. Well that good news.

        Do you understand how that works.

        We have differing viewpoints.

        We have discussion of the literature in ways that encompass core understanding and opinionated nonsense.

        We are going to have to feed 9-11 billion people. This will require 50-100% more protein from the ocean than we currently extract. We ARE going to be farming the ocean.

        We are not going to get anywhere near 11 or even 9 billion. And wild fish stocks are fully utilised and almost everywhere in decline. We are going to have to double productivity on the same amount of land.

        Now these studies are useful to the extent they are honest in guiding us on how to do that reasonably safely. And it would be nice to minimize the impact on the little plants and animals, but it looks like boosting the CO2 level will be a significant part of meeting our future needs.

        ‘If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and savannas where the cover is less complete than in wet locations, according to Dr Donohue.

        “On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said. “Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.” http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Deserts-greening-from-rising-CO2.aspx

        I distrust confident assertions that we understand the ramifications of changing complex systems like this In fact I think they are totally bloody stupid.

        Now this “potential for instability” is an interesting concept. What kind of instability are they contending is possible?

        That’s the complexity science core of it. The essence of climate change and your very question shows it sailing right over your head.

      • Now these studies are useful to the extent they are honest in guiding us on how to do that reasonably safely. And it would be nice to minimize the impact on the little plants and animals, but it looks like boosting the CO2 level will be a significant part of meeting our future needs.

        Quoted from above…

      • [… I]t looks like boosting the CO2 level will be a significant part of meeting our future needs.

        Then boost it in greenhouses. Make them out of inflated plastic film. If it works for PV why not greenhouses?

      • We are not going to get anywhere near 11 or even 9 billion. And wild fish stocks are fully utilised and almost everywhere in decline. We are going to have to double productivity on the same amount of land.

        I distrust confident assertions that we understand the ramifications of changing complex systems like this In fact I think they are totally bloody stupid.

        There is a viewpoint among activists that man is destroying the planet. Some activists believe that the human population must be reduced by 90%, yet they are so full of narcissism and hypocrisy that they don’t volunteer to go first.

        It would be better to try to meet the needs of the human population rather than eradicate them. Attempts at eradication in past have met with a lot of resentment and resistance.

        In the past activists have grossly exaggerated how long things would take to recover. Lake Erie wasn’t supposed to recover in our lifetime. Since the environmentalists seldom if ever correctly estimate how bad things are or how long things will take to recover their word isn’t worth much. Only people who embrace honest and accurate data have a place at the table discussing the future of the planet.


        http://planetsave.com/2014/07/02/ocean-fertilization-dangerous-experiment-gone-right/

        The claim about ocean productivity is really suspect. As is pretty obvious from the huge dark blue patches the vast majority of the tropical ocean, the potentially richest food source on the planet, is a desert. Much like 1/3 of the land area is desert. The ocean is depleted argument is basically that “we been gathering wild animals and vegetables and there aren’t many left”, the solution on land was to start farming. The current highest use of the core ocean is ship traffic. That has to change.

        CO2 is helping turn the land deserts into productive area. It will help with the tropical areas as well. The tropical ocean has a lower pCO2 level – as much as 1/3 of the arctic level because of the pop bottle effect (lower solubility at higher temperatures). More CO2 is critical to increasing productivity in the open ocean and will reduce the need for other nutrients.

        The other part of using the open ocean is supplying iron and other nutrients which are in short supply. There are a number of ways to do this – cost will determine the best method.

        There are few objections to farming the deserts on the land and ocean that were created by low CO2. We are turning the natural equivalent of parking lots back into productive farmland.

      • There is a viewpoint among activists that man is destroying the planet. Some activists believe that the human population must be reduced by 90%, yet they are so full of narcissism and hypocrisy that they don’t volunteer to go first.

        It would be better to try to meet the needs of the human population rather than eradicate them. Attempts at eradication in past have met with a lot of resentment and resistance.

        Utterly silly arguments. Population will peak well below the numbers you picked out of your arse. Even less with such things as economic development and improved health and education services.

        In the past activists have grossly exaggerated how long things would take to recover. Lake Erie wasn’t supposed to recover in our lifetime. Since the environmentalists seldom if ever correctly estimate how bad things are or how long things will take to recover their word isn’t worth much. Only people who embrace honest and accurate data have a place at the table discussing the future of the planet.

        That leaves you out in the cold then.

        The claim about ocean productivity is really suspect. As is pretty obvious from the huge dark blue patches the vast majority of the tropical ocean, the potentially richest food source on the planet, is a desert. Much like 1/3 of the land area is desert. The ocean is depleted argument is basically that “we been gathering wild animals and vegetables and there aren’t many left”, the solution on land was to start farming. The current highest use of the core ocean is ship traffic. That has to change.

        Seafood continues to be an important source of protein but fisheries are in decline – and it doesn’t supply most food. Most food is small scale farming which can be a lot more productive.

        ‘CO2 is helping turn the land deserts into productive area. It will help with the tropical areas as well. The tropical ocean has a lower pCO2 level – as much as 1/3 of the arctic level because of the pop bottle effect (lower solubility at higher temperatures). More CO2 is critical to increasing productivity in the open ocean and will reduce the need for other nutrients.’

        Nonsense – you have read the solubility charts wrong.

        The other part of using the open ocean is supplying iron and other nutrients which are in short supply. There are a number of ways to do this – cost will determine the best method.

        There are few objections to farming the deserts on the land and ocean that were created by low CO2. We are turning the natural equivalent of parking lots back into productive farmland.

        It is again an argument from ignorance. You are the worst sort of pompous blowhard with a few notions and some simplistic ideas that seem far from any reality. Changing the atmospheric composition is venturing into the unknown – and simply repeatedly insisting in the same words that you do know is not all that credible.

        I suggest you might go back and see what I actually wrote rather than what your fervid inner voice is telling you I wrote.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/17/week-in-review-37/#comment-665504

        Complexity science is still not remotely on your horizon. Until it is – you’re talking nonsense.

      • As is pretty obvious from the huge dark blue patches the vast majority of the tropical ocean, the potentially richest food source on the planet, is a desert.

        It’s not a desert because of missing CO2, and increasing the atmospheric pCO2 isn’t going to change anything. If you want the “desert” areas of the ocean to “bloom”, you need micro-nutrients, usually iron.

      • AK | January 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm |
        As is pretty obvious from the huge dark blue patches the vast majority of the tropical ocean, the potentially richest food source on the planet, is a desert.

        It’s not a desert because of missing CO2, and increasing the atmospheric pCO2 isn’t going to change anything. If you want the “desert” areas of the ocean to “bloom”, you need micro-nutrients, usually iron.

        http://planetsave.com/2014/07/02/ocean-fertilization-dangerous-experiment-gone-right/

        I pointed out that you need to add nutrients as well. However on land more CO2 reduces nutrient requirements.

        I get the feeling that some people aren’t from a farming background.

        This isn’t rocket science. You analyze the water, identify the missing nutrients. You then supply the missing nutrients. You include enough inert material to ensure that there is an even distribution at the correct concentration.

        A small increase over a large area is better than a large increase over a small area.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/04/28/iron-fertilisation-of-the-oceans-produces-fish-and-sequesters-carbon-dioxide-so-why-do-environmentalists-oppose-it/

        Nature fertilizes the ocean all the time in this manner – and quite successfully. But instead of encouraging more research in this area there is this “nature fertilization good, man fertilization bad” mantra. 1984 style chants aren’t getting us anywhere.

      • Nature fertilizes the ocean all the time in this manner – and quite successfully. But instead of encouraging more research in this area there is this “nature fertilization good, man fertilization bad” mantra. 1984 style chants aren’t getting us anywhere.

        I tend to agree. Although I’m highly skeptical of any supposed ability to counteract fossil CO2 emissions. And the concerns about deoxidizing the lower levels are extremely well taken.

        OTOH, increasing levels of CO2 may well be responsible for depletion of the iron in the first place, in which case there’s probably no difference in risk between more CO2 with and without iron.

        And I’m also highly skeptical that 100 tonnes of ferrous sulphate are more than a nit compared to natural events such as variation in levels of dust from the Sahara. Although the locations are different.

        Such experiments certainly ought to be properly monitored, but when bureaucratic inertia makes such proper science impossible, the Chicken-Littles have no right to complain when people do it themselves.

        I did find reports of one item of research:

        Due to better organic matter supply, the seafloor of the iron fertilised site supported a larger abundance of deep-sea animals such as sea cucumbers (holothurian echinoderms) and brittle stars (ophiuroid echinoderms related to starfish). In addition, whereas some sea cucumber and brittle star species were found at both sites, others prospered only at one or other site. This resulted in major differences in species composition and evenness, with the animal community of the seafloor at the iron-fertilised site resembling that of the productive North East Atlantic, more than 16,000 kilometres away.

        “Our findings show that the timing, quantity and quality of organic matter reaching the seafloor greatly influences biomass and species’ composition of deep-sea communities off the Crozet Islands, as it does in other oceanic regions,” said Billett. “Because the amount and composition of sinking organic matter is affected by iron supply to the surface waters, it is likely that large-scale, long-term artificial iron fertilization, as envisaged by some geo-engineering schemes, would significantly affect deep-sea ecosystems.”

        However, whereas natural iron fertilisation increased ecosystem biomass, there was no evidence of damage due to reduced oxygen concentration at depth, which may assuage the concern that artificial ocean iron fertilisation might cause the seafloor to become a biodiversity desert due to lack of oxygen.

        I guess it’s the difference between frantically demanding: “Don’t touch it at all!” and efforts with a good chance, based on good research, of enhancing natural diversity while also enhancing edible fish stocks.

        And, after all, humans have already driven most of the major baleen whale species to or almost to extinction. The seas today are totally disturbed compared to a few centuries ago. So there’s no real reason to think that further careful disturbance has a greater chance of increasing the risk (of whatever) than decreasing it.

      • Fish returned to American north-west stream for other reasons.

        A couple of blog articles by the totally ignorant doesn’t change that.

      • Adding nutrients to waterways is a bad idea.

      • Arguing against strawmen doesn’t help your cause.

        A link I previously posted in the thread;
        http://planetsave.com/2014/07/02/ocean-fertilization-dangerous-experiment-gone-right/

        The issue is sockeye salmon.

      • ‘A remarkable characteristic of Alaskan salmon abundance over the past half-over the past half century has been the large fluctuations at interdecadal time scales which resemble those of the PDO (Fig. 6, see also Table 3) (FH-HF, Hare 1996). ‘ http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/REPORTS/PDO/pdo_paper.html

        From the original PDO paper. We are talking here about the Alaskan pink and sockeye salmon.

        Repeating a link to an ignorant blog article doesn’t really help.

      • “From the original PDO paper. We are talking here about the Alaskan pink and sockeye salmon.”

        No, you are, I’m not, not unless Richmond, Washington moved to Alaska recently.

        Are you out of strawmen or is this going to continue? Argue against the point I’m making not some random point you want to argue against. The PDO may affect things. Lots of things affect fish populations. That has nothing to do with whether fertilizing the ocean increases fish stocks. Or are you going to argue that more food doesn’t make for more fish next?

        Are you trying to argue that Volcanic ash doesn’t fertilize the ocean?
        http://climate.nasa.gov/news/855/

        Or are you arguing sand doesn’t fertilize the ocean?
        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100809/full/news.2010.396.html
        http://www.scientificamerican.com/gallery/saharan-dust-feeds-atlantic-ocean-plankton/

        Since it is pretty obvious that the ocean can be fertilized from above (that is a fact and facts should not be in dispute) it is pretty obvious that man can fertilize the ocean from above.

      • AK | January 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm |

        I guess it’s the difference between frantically demanding: “Don’t touch it at all!” and efforts with a good chance, based on good research, of enhancing natural diversity while also enhancing edible fish stocks.

        And, after all, humans have already driven most of the major baleen whale species to or almost to extinction. The seas today are totally disturbed compared to a few centuries ago. So there’s no real reason to think that further careful disturbance has a greater chance of increasing the risk (of whatever) than decreasing it.

        Yeah, that is sort of the point. If we carefully explore increasing productivity where there is little or none now we can relieve some of the pressure on the coastal and polar ecosystems where the vast bulk of the fish are caught now..

      • PA | January 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm |
        “From the original PDO paper. We are talking here about the Alaskan pink and sockeye salmon.

        No, you are, I’m not, not unless Richmond, Washington moved to Alaska recently.

        We are talking fish stocks in the north-east Pacific – which respond to PDO changes and not some dimwit dumping something in the ocean and some other dimwit on a blog claiming it did something to fish stock.

        Are you out of strawmen or is this going to continue? Argue against the point I’m making not some random point you want to argue against. The PDO may affect things. Lots of things affect fish populations. That has nothing to do with whether fertilizing the ocean increases fish stocks. Or are you going to argue that more food doesn’t make for more fish next?

        The argument being made was that there were too many nutrients in the oceans in many places. You claimed that human populations was going to 11 billion and that therefore we needed to fertilise the oceans. Both incorrect. You then linked to some blog story about fish stocks responding to a clandestine dumping in the north-east Pacific resulting in higher fish stocks. Nice narrative zilch science. Zilch understanding about how marine ecoststems work.

        Are you trying to argue that Volcanic ash doesn’t fertilize the ocean?

        http://climate.nasa.gov/news/855/

        Or are you arguing sand doesn’t fertilize the ocean?

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100809/full/news.2010.396.html

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/gallery/saharan-dust-feeds-atlantic-ocean-plankton/

        Since it is pretty obvious that the ocean can be fertilized from above (that is a fact and facts should not be in dispute) it is pretty obvious that man can fertilize the ocean from above.

        All of these systems are exceedingly complex. What we would risk with fertilisation is changing the balance of marine ecologies. And we have seen the effects of eutrophication in coastal zones the world over.

        Although there are certain equatorial and southern ocean waters that are high in nitrogen and low in chlorophyll – suggesting iron limitation – waters are more generally nutrient limited. Notably – phosphorus was suggested as the limiting nutrient in marine waters in the original 1958 Redfield (of the famous Redfield ratio) paper.

        It is lucky you aren’t in charge of anything serious.

      • Forgot this bit.

        Are you trying to argue that Volcanic ash doesn’t fertilize the ocean?

        http://climate.nasa.gov/news/855/

        Or are you arguing sand doesn’t fertilize the ocean?

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100809/full/news.2010.396.html

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/gallery/saharan-dust-feeds-atlantic-ocean-plankton/

        Some is good therefore more is better is some half arsed argument about fertilising the oceans?

        It usually doesn’t work that way. Ecologies are adapted to specific conditions – change the conditions and vulnerable species disappear. This is how ecologies evolve but blundering about with some ill founded ideas about how it might work to feed an unrealistic level of population is quite silly.

        People are putting too many nutrients into marine and freshwater systems – and the effects on abundance and biodiversity are all too obvious.

      • Rob Ellison | January 18, 2015 at 10:52 pm |

        People are putting too many nutrients into marine and freshwater systems – and the effects on abundance and biodiversity are all too obvious.

        Sigh… More of this… Oh, well.

        Fish by and large are located near land because that is where the nutrients are from runoff or upwelling. Human landscaping has created more nutrient run off which is too much of a good thing in some cases.

        Perhaps you are unfamiliar with geography. The middle of the ocean is far away from land – which is why it doesn’t have many nutrients. 95% of fish and shellfish come from 10% of the waters. There is room for a 950% increase in ocean productivity or more because we have 4000+ meters of depth to play with..

        I did not suggest putting more nutrients at the mouths of rivers where there already is enough or too much – that would be poor farming practice. I suggested putting nutrients where there aren’t any, after running a chemical analysis and determining correct proportions. Perhaps you misunderstood.

      • Nutrients are recycled very efficiently in the photic zone. They are used again and again cycling through phytoplankton and grazers and back to phytoplankton as the contents of lysed cells are released. They are carried around the oceans on currents over thousands of kilometres. Oceans by and large are a super productive soup of microorganisms. As can be seen in the SeaWiFS imagery.

        But the point really was excess nutrients in many areas of the world and not some half arsed idea for adding more.

      • The dead zones due to excess nutrients are located at the mouths of rivers.

        The water is flowing away from those points ie anything we do in the deep ocean is:
        a: Far away.
        b. Down current.

        The nutrient poor areas of the ocean are far from the coast and nutrients are utilized (and eventually sink to the bottom) between the ocean deserts and the coast. If nutrients could reach the nutrient poor areas they wouldn’t be nutrient poor.

        The worst that will happen if we fertilize the ocean deserts is the areas between the coasts and the nutrient poor ocean (quasi-desert areas) will become more productive.

    • ” The warming between 1944 and 1998 was 0.4 degrees Centigrade.”
      Um, yes but you’re forgetting the decline between 1945 and 1976, just as human CO2 was seriously getting started.
      There is absolutely no rational relationship between human CO2 and temperature of any persuasion.

  19. If warmer is better, why is child poverty so correlated with the warmer states? I don’t have an answer. Just posing this question.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – an excellent point. I don’t know either. But maybe poor people tend not to migrate to cold areas. Better ideas welcome.

    • nottawa rafter

      Jim D
      You are not going to get an easy answer since there is none. Some is historical, some due to agrarian beginning, some more recent demographic trends and I am sure many others. But given capital movement and the rust belt losses, I would expect an evening out in the next 30 to 40 years.

    • It shouldn’t have to be stated that correlation is not necessarily related to causation…especially on this blog. North Korea is cold too.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        chuckr
        did you forget?
        climate change is causing violence…
        and poverty
        and malaria

    • Something to do with the problems of transitioning from a former plantation economy. Not just in the United States.

    • My guess is that colder climates are more challenging and foster more community cohesion.

      • I dunno. It may be as simple as extremes of seasons require a more adaptable people, which would require…..well, you fill in the blank.
        ==================

      • Are rabbits more adaptable because they can grow their fur in different colors?

        The most important source of the need for adaptability in humans is other humans. Plenty of those everywhere (except maybe for Eskimos).

      • Right, Kim. Back country Alaskans spend the few mild weather months growing food, hunting, and gathering fire wood. If you don’t do all these things right and well, you are likely to starve and freeze – it all takes forethought. That being said, they can have it ;)

    • Jim D,

      When you look at the US map, one sees the Mason-Dixon line; the Northward migration of blacks during WW II into Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, the immigration into Southwestern and Western states of Latinos from Mexico and Latin America.

      Public schools were destroyed when “Bussing” for integration purposes was instituted. When the individual public school became >25% minority, then the neighborhood disintegrated (white flight) and the remaining public schools became overwhelmingly minority. The theoretical basis of the social experiment “bussing” was that the neighborhoods mothers would continue to fight for improving their own children’s education bringing along the black children into high performing schools. Mom’s believed the fight was lost and elected instead to move to the suburbs.

      As a social experiment, bussing, well, we see the destruction of US cities and growth of suburbs, a lesson in social engineering our warmist groups have yet to fathom.

      Childhood poverty in the US, and in particular below the Mason-Dixon line comes from lack of cheap energy. The energy of the South was manual. Slavery was a means to address the situation of little available energy. Lack of energy except slavery was one of the reasons why the South lost our Civil War to the North in the face of a better organized and led army, fought on a field with a smaller perimeter. The North had cheap energy and could and did build, manufacture, and distribute guns and butter.

      After our Civil War and for the next 50 years, blacks moved amongst the former slave states as well as the West (see Oakland California) and Southwest. After an initial Reconstruction period, whites began to dominate the former slave state legislatures and defunded public schools with the rise of “private” schools and colleges (the 1896 Separate by Equal) Supreme Court decision.

      A fight had been brewing within the black intelligencia after the turn of the 20th Century between Booker T Washington and WEB DuBois. Washington wanted blacks to become educated and industrious leading their own rise from slavery just as almost all the immigrant groups had. WEB DuBois want to confront the establishment demanding rights, reparations, and a place at the economic table. WEB Dubois confrontation message won.

      WW II, an industrial war machine needed labor when the majority white population either enlisted or were enforced into the Armed Forces. Women put down their aprons and took up the riveting gun. Blacks from the South were recruited into the Armed Forces and brought North to work in industry. Neighborhoods of the South were disrupted drawing people North and isolation led to ghettos forming of black working people, who, having lived under Jim Crow laws, were largely un-educated.

      Latinos came largely for agricultural work and had no need for education. They came to the USA, having left their neighborhoods and communities behind, and also began to live in ghettos.

      Modern history of urban living for blacks and Latinos has become well known to all of us. Urban black and Latino children are now the product of such a legacy where poverty becomes generational, education become optional, and social fabrics are rent by the whiz of a bullet.

    • The most populated warm states – Texas, California, Florida – are gateway states to Asia and Latin America and have attracted many poor people looking to improve their lives. I don’t know anything about the other states.

    • It’s said in Minnesota that the cold weather keeps out the riff raff. More transient people have fewer options when it’s 15 below Fahrenheit. We are also one of the coldest states on average in Winter. On the other hand, we’ve taken in many immigrants from my perspective: http://education.mnhs.org/immigration/ In Minnesota we are probably mostly Scandinavian and German immigrants, four countries that continue to be generally successful. Maybe it’s the lutefisk?

    • On the global scale, I think there is some truth to the idea that you need a proper winter to keep down the pest/disease issues. This helps agriculture to be more productive in the temperate and northern continental climate zones, and also helps the human population.

    • http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/11/whats-your-states-average-iq-new-map-purports-to-have-the-answer/

      It correlates with intelligence – most of the rest of the country has higher IQs.

    • http://www.higheredinfo.org/mapgen/state.php?datacol=18161
      Minnesota is up there again. My mother and father’s (about 80 years old) children and grandkids were expected to attend college. This seemed a given.

    • Low income students is a measure of poverty. Smoke on, Jim D.

    • Scott Basinger

      Canada must be full of child billionaires then. :)

  20. The South has not fully recovered from the Civil war is my somewhat flippant guess. The South has always seemed to lag behind the Northern states economically. Although they have made some gains and there has been some stronger economic growth in states like North Carolina and Florida and in the larger cities like Atlanta. Here is breakdown of per capita GDP by state. Could it be the climate? That seems difficult to answer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per_capita

    • When mapped, GDP per capita is less obvious because where there is a lot of oil wealth like Texas, it brings those states up, even though it doesn’t help poverty rates. However, on a global scale GDP per capita is also lower in the warmer countries (as is life expectancy), and this is sometimes discussed, but also not resolved.

      • Well if I understand you correctly you are saying that a hotter climate has something to do with childhood poverty. What is the connection? The only one I can think is through affecting economic activity in some way leading to more lower paying jobs. Do you have anything specific in mind?

      • A sociological and anthropological morass. Need guides through the swamp.
        =========================

      • I think it is complex and interesting. Life expectancy also tends to be shorter in warmer states and countries. Here is one clue.
        http://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2013/08/05/obesity_rates_and_life_expectancy_by_us_state_106622.html
        I think that in warmer countries people tend to spend less time outside in healthy pursuits because it is too repressive for large parts of the year. This feeds back to poorer health and shorter lives. The connection to poverty is harder, but these are less desirable places to live because of their climate so maybe the ones who have skills have more choices of places to live and move out. Just my ideas. Nothing definitive.

      • The obesity link also shows how that has become a big problem only in the past 30 years, and has grown more in the south east than anywhere. I think it is related to poor diets of poor people (think fast food), combined with poor exercise in warm humid states. Again, just my guess.

      • JimD, “The obesity link also shows how that has become a big problem only in the past 30 years, and has grown more in the south east than anywhere. I think it is related to poor diets of poor people (think fast food),”

        Food stamps. 50% of females collecting food stamps are obese. The US has a starving fat kid problem, linked to food stamps as well. That isn’t the only factor of course, but food stamp programs and low income life styles tend to push folks to snack foods, process foods and away from foods that required more preparation.

        42% of the single parent households receive food stamps so single parent households, food stamps and lower per capita income all correlate with obesisty.

      • As a p.s. on the Food Stamps. the way the regulations are written should be changed to keep up with the times. You can get a quick hot meal in any grocery or even a lot of convenience stores with veggies for a couple – three bucks, but not with food stamps, no hot prepared food, no paper plates, napkins, toilet tissue nada but packaged foodstuff.

      • That brings us back to why warm states have more poverty, and globally this also goes for warmer countries. If warmth is so good for agriculture, what happened in Africa? Why do they live shorter? Humans that escaped the warmth flourished more, and now the warmth is catching back up to them.

      • The health thing is easy to answer, though (AFAIK) lacking proof: humans evolved in such warm humid conditions, and so did most of the disease organisms that attack them. When our (primary) ancestors moved into more temperate regions (60-40KYA), they left behind most of those diseases, and especially the local vectors and alternate hosts they’d evolved into. Only a small subset of diseases actually hitchhiked along.

        Following Diamond, I’d guess most of the diseases that plague (heh!) temperate cultures evolved after the invention of agriculture.

      • JimD, there are a host of confounding factors. If you stick to the US, southern states are more rural, meaning emergency response times are a factor with a higher shorter-lived ethnic population . Northern states have a faster emergency response time and higher longer-lived ethnic population The emergency response time was over looked in a number of studies plus Asias live longer than Africans due to some genetic differences.

        The US didn’t have much of a tropical disease problem, but that seems to be changing some newer cases of West Nile, Dengue Fever and a few other neglected tropical diseases making comebacks. Costa Rica with a butt load of tropical diseases though has the same life expectancy as the US.

        There is also a cold climate medical treatment bias. It is amazing how many southerners have complications from simple things like commonly prescribed diuretics and other HPB meds questionable for hot humid conditions.

        On the whole, genetics is a big deal in the US. Mississippi large African American population – 75 years, Hawaii large Asian population 81.5 years. US average is about 79 years with a margin of error of around 4 years, so a lot of the differences aren’t particularly significant.

      • captd, on the health issue, it is a real shame that nearly all of these southern states are Republican and hence, so far, refusing the Medicaid expansion money on political grounds. That would have helped people at and near the poverty level. However, they will still get some benefit of the Affordable Care Act, so maybe those differences will improve some.

      • JimD, “captd, on the health issue, it is a real shame that nearly all of these southern states are Republican and hence, so far, refusing the Medicaid expansion money on political grounds.”

        Believe it or not, there are doctors in the south. Before Obamacare, most southern states had pretty fair rural health networks for lower income. Sliding scale cost was how most were set up. However, everyone in the south is bullet proof. We put off doctor’s visits to get in another round of golf and croak on the back nine or while fishing, hunting, chasing women etc. etc. instead of next to a fire station or hospital.

        “For urban and rural hospitals alike, we find that higher population density is correlated with a smaller hospital radius. Hospitals in the most densely populated areas in the country (density in the top five percent of all metropolitan areas) have radii 6.5 miles shorter than hospitals in the least dense of urban areas. Likewise, hospitals in the most dense of rural areas have radii on average 9.2 miles shorter compared to those in the least dense areas.”

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361015/

        For a heart attack you have about two minutes less time than it takes the ambulance to arrive if you are “rural”. Obamacare ain’t going to fix that.

      • Lol. Before ObamScare all was good!

      • JCH, “Lol. Before ObamScare all was good!’

        How big of an impact do you think Obamacare will have on average life expectancy, emergency response time , ethnicity distribution or obesity in the South?

      • I have no proof but I wonder what will be the effect, of taking a big chunck of income from young people with limited resources, on them and the economy. They would otherwise probably spend that money on consumer goods. Also how many will not be able to afford insurance and have to take the fine hit? I don’t think the young can be expected to pay for the old peoples medical care nor is that a successful economic model. Insurance companies weren’t able to sell that and that’s why they wrote the law to coerce the young to pay up.

      • ordvic, when they are spending over 100% of their income and going into credit card debt, the 2% on healthcare is not the thing pushing them over the limit, and is probably one of their wiser spending choices at that age.

      • I think the rural versus urban issue is important for the south. There aren’t a lot of large cities which attract businesses as well as people who migrate from other regions. And I do think that for many years after the civil war the northern business elites looked down on the South and didn’t move their businesses there. I that has changed somewhat in recent decades.

      • That’s how progress happens in the United States. The ijjitts have to be forced. Dragged by the hair across every inch of progress.

        I hate ObamaScare, but the real solution was taken off the table decades ago by the opponents of ObamaScare.

        ObamaScare is stupid, but not for one single reason offered up by its opponents.

        It’s stupid because it should have been single payor. Socialism. Medicine should be fully socialized.

      • Oh, yeah, keep the Government out of my….you fill in the blank.
        ==========

      • Joseph, “And I do think that for many years after the civil war the northern business elites looked down on the South and didn’t move their businesses there.”

        There was no need to move most industry. Iron ore and coal are more northern resources and were the backbone of most industry. With more scrap iron available and electric arc furnaces, southern steel industry started growing. Other than ship building most southern industry was agriculture related, textiles for example.

        Automotive related industry started growing in the south mainly due to lower labor a cost of living in the south. Unions priced themselves out of the market. Now regulations are moving most heavy-repetitive industry out of country for the same reason.

        A lot of the agriculture related jobs have been displaced by equipment modernization and migrant labor. Construction work has a lot of peaks and valleys but the real estate bubble did in a lots of folks in the South. You have massive unemployment, more uninsured folks, larger strain on the system. Instead of fixing the problem, unemployment, every one tries to fix the symptoms. Typical government nonsense.

        So now they want to raise the minimum wage because the unemployed are doing whatever they can to make it by, instead of the typical infrastructure construction that creates higher wage jobs and longer term investments worth financing under a deficit.

        But it is nice to see y’all nit pick insignificant statistical data to death so it can be due to climate change or some other agenda you like instead of basic piss poor government planning :)

      • Here is a link to a neat graphic of industry by state. Watch the transition from manufacturing to retail sales to healthcare. When Healthcare is the biggest industry in every state, who wins the prize?

      • Interesting, captd. A sign of the times. Manufacturing is going overseas, retail is consolidating into big boxes and online, and the population is aging. Wealth is becoming concentrated into fewer hands by the manufacturing and retail trends which signals the demise of small businesses. This is the shrinking middle class problem in a corporation-dominated society, perhaps.

      • Imagine the biggest industry with a single payer. What have we wrought?
        ===================

      • JimD, ” This is the shrinking middle class problem in a corporation-dominated society, perhaps.”

        You could blame it on corporations or you could consider what has your government done lately.

        It is a lot more comforting to blame it on some one other than ourselves, but you really should start there don’t ya think?

        Consolidation, big box aka walmart, home depot, could be limited by reducing a lot of business regulations that make big better. You can do that be attacking “corporations” or reducing the mountains of crap mom and pops have to deal with. I think Colorado finally will allow sale of home grown produce without a half dozen certifications and inspections. Just about any start up runs into a ton of obstacles related to overly complex regulations. Add to that minimum wage, healthcare and insurance and you might as well outsource to a corp or hire illegals.

        There is actually a growing “gray” economy so before long the only industries reporting earnings will be “corporate”. What are you going to blame then? When you simplify things, think VAT or national sales tax with a little less euro-styling, “gray” can be tolerated. Less can often be more.

      • The shrinking middle class is a result of the growing “winner take all” global economy, the race to the bottom, and the destruction of distance by the Internet.

      • instead of the typical infrastructure construction that creates higher wage jobs and longer term investments worth financing under a deficit.

        Don’t you know who is stopping the US from doing that?

      • –Jim D | January 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm |

        Interesting, captd. A sign of the times. Manufacturing is going overseas, retail is consolidating into big boxes and online, and the population is aging. Wealth is becoming concentrated into fewer hands by the manufacturing and retail trends which signals the demise of small businesses. This is the shrinking middle class problem in a corporation-dominated society, perhaps.–

        We are not in a large corporation dominated society. [Though small businesses can be corporations- a 10 year old can form a corporation
        and essentially “be” that corporation.]
        It’s not a given that any society will become dominated by large corporations {one say it’s never happened nor likely to happen] unless by dominate one is talking about influence upon the government.
        Large corporations [and other organized groups] have always and will forever have disproportional effect upon government.
        And large corporation use government to protect their corporate interests. It’s obvious the large corporation are involved with government to make more money. And the key lever used it have regulation which favorable to that corporation’s interest. And what corporation want is for governments to grant them monopolies. Or largest threat to large corporations is competition. Or maintaining a large corporation without the bought help by government laws is nearly impossible. As large corporations are dumb and slow as is their “nature evolution” over time.
        One smart guy can outwit a dozen smarter guys who have to constantly deal each others idiocy. A dozen geniuses has to compromise- or not pick what each thinks is best option. And this doesn’t have get into the vices of human beings [dozen geniuses trying to kill it each- for example].
        The solution is to have a CEO- but we all know the various complication
        involved with this- but still it is the best solution. And so you have one Pope.
        What gets rid of large and stale corporations is less governmental aid in the form of massively complicated laws and higher taxes.
        The example of the US government rush to save “the too big to fail” is
        merely a very obvious and blatant example of “normal political business”.

      • joseph, “Don’t you know who is stopping the US from doing that?”

        You haven’t read about all those high paying “green energy” jobs your government subsidized? How about the dinosaur industry bailout? Keystone pipeline debate?

        It takes a bit more than pipe dreams to stimulate and economy. Throw a dollar at construction and it filters through a half dozen times at least. throw a dollar at finance and auto ballouts and you are lucky to get one. Throw it at solar, batteries or other high tech and most goes either in the dumper or to Asia. If you want a middle class try thinking middle class.

      • “Manufacturing is going overseas, retail is consolidating into big boxes and online, and the population is aging. Wealth is becoming concentrated into fewer hands by the manufacturing and retail trends which signals the demise of small businesses. This is the shrinking middle class problem in a corporation-dominated society, perhaps.” It could be that the government is losing control with policies that used to work before the global economy, but do not work now as it’s so much easier for capital to run away to lower tax and labor cost countries. Control works better with a captive a audience. Barriers are dissolving more and more. Eventually we’ll see a federal corporate tax rate drop as well some enlightened states doing the same. So rather than it being corporations dominating, the government is trying to dominate corporations with punishing tax rates, the corporations rationally move elsewhere, and the ones effected are the middle class workers who used to work for those corporations.

      • The US has a massive consumer market. The government has leverage to prevent corporations from putting too much of their employees and profits overseas, and they are using it. At some point it becomes a foreign company and is effectively exporting to the US, which can be made disadvantageous against true stay-at-home companies.

      • JimD, ” The government has leverage to prevent corporations from putting too much of their employees and profits overseas, and they are using it.”

        which country are you from again?

      • captd, well, true it isn’t quite deterring them all. This remains a problem with big corporations.
        http://fortune.com/2014/08/28/is-burger-kings-move-to-canada-a-raw-deal-for-u-s-taxpayers/

      • Obamacare is just going to keep getting more onerous. Hopefully the pubs will run with it 2016 and revise it out of existence.

        A big, socialistic government is the problem. It has driven corporations out of the US through one of the highest corporate taxes in the world. It has put an onerous healthcare system in place. It has ruined the economy. It is decimating the middle class. It is punishing the banks for a problem that was largely caused by the government.

        Government IS the problem.

      • captd, it seems that the US corporate tax rate is somewhat higher than in even the most socialist countries. This is because while the rest of the world has reduced this rate, the US has kept it fixed for decades, possibly hoping for patriotism to win out, but that is not happening. This was interesting to find.

      • “Eliminate corporate tax, seriously”
        “Pretty simple. Right now, large American companies are slow to repatriate profits made overseas, because they are not taxed on those profits until they do so. As a result, you have companies like GE and Apple with over $100 billion parked offshore. Overall, U.S. companies are sitting on an estimated $2.1 trillion in offshored profits.” http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/25/1324505/-Eliminate-corporate-tax-seriously
        “…Uncle Sam could collect at least as much revenue in a more progressive and less distorting manner by eliminating the thing entirely, and raising taxes on capital-gains and dividend income (which were previously kept low to ease the negative impact of “double taxation”—taxing corporate profits first as corporate income, and then again as shareholder income).”
        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/07/end-the-corporate-income-tax/307518/
        “On Nov. 18, in a speech given at the Finance Ministry in Vienna, Austria, the very highly regarded European economist and first woman president of the Mont Pelerin Society, Professor Victoria Curzon Price, called for eliminating the corporate income tax.
        There, in the center of socialist Europe, was not only the call to get rid of this destructive tax, but almost everyone in an audience of economists, various government finance officials and public policy experts appeared to agree with her.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/nov/30/20041130-084445-1131r/?page=all

      • JimD, Corporate tax rates are too high in the US, regulation is mostly NIMBY, which is counter productive. Like it or not, a capitalistic society needs to be a bit business friendly.

      • Do you folks just repeat right wing talking points without even considering their validity?

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/17/week-in-review-37/#comment-665881

      • jim2, “Obamacare is just going to keep getting more onerous. Hopefully the pubs will run with it 2016 and revise it out of existence.”

        It will be a problem until real employment gets back on track. Right now they are only looking at unemployment claims not changes in payroll employees. Michigan for example had a 16,000 reduction in unemployment but only 4000 increased payroll employees. They pad the numbers like always. Real unemployment is probably closer to 9% than 5% and 5% is “normal”. If there was full employment pretty much all the issue disappear. Obamacare could be tweaked a bit and be affordable, but that will probably be a mean larger out of pocket. Right now there is even more under reporting of income, the government pad, the governed pad.

      • Joshua, of course corporations are sitting on cash in many cases and not hiring until all the new regulations are figured out. What do you think? They are stupid? Threats of regulation will change corporate planning. Now is it the fault of the corporations that Obama is doing an end run around the system trying to play emperor? business and government should be working together not having government attack squads running amok or presidents threatening to put this or that industry out of business. Did you get wood when your fearless leader did that?

      • Cap’n –

        Try to get past the right wing talking points…you’re better than that. Investors have invested in the face of uncertainty forever.

        Get over the whole ODS thang.

      • “Medicine should be fully socialized”
        That’s certainly the direction we’re headed, but if the socialized doctors are of the same ilk as the socialized climate scientists, I’m seriously worried.

      • Joshua, “Try to get past the right wing talking points…you’re better than that. Investors have invested in the face of uncertainty forever.

        Get over the whole ODS thang.”

        Come on Joshua try to think. You use buzz phrases like “trickle down economics” Economies do have flows in different directions and some times you can stimulate overall flow by focusing on one particular direction. When money gets tight, flow slows. (nod your head to pretend you understand).

        Stimulate the economy and the flow picks up. Flow good, no flow bad. (nod your head again).

        Now how would you stimulate Corporations to grow in America? a) blah, blah, we will bankrupt them, blah, blah. b) Increase energy cost for the good of the globe, c) Increase corporate taxes d) mandate healthcare e) increase minimum wages f) all of the above.

        Now what does an investor do in such a situation? a) gold, b)platinum, c) mattresses, d) emerging economies e) all of the above

      • Capt’nDallas

        “Now what does an investor do in such a situation? a) gold, b)platinum, c) mattresses, d) emerging economies e) all of the above”

        With tycoons making all that money, stashing it under a mattress will make the bed one has made, lumpy. How do tycoons sleep at night?

      • Jim D said “Yes, compared to the current system there would be winners and losers because it has the same revenue, but there is a sense of fairness in simplicity.”

        I agree.

        How about everybody pays a flat tax of 23% on each dollar of gross income.

        If you earn 23,000 of gross income you pay $5290 in Federal income taxes.

        If you earn 2,300,000 of gross income you pay $529,000 in Federal income taxes.

        I would be ok with that and it is pretty simple.

        I am pretty sure I read an analysis that put 23% at the number needed to keep the same revenue.

      • RickA, that is where I differ. I think there should be an untaxed part and it should be large. Someone earning $10 per hour should not be paying over $2 of that in tax when they can barely live on that amount as it is and likely would qualify for benefits like food stamps, so it makes no sense to take with one hand and give back with the other. The median wage is around $25 per hour, and I would argue people need all of that to live reasonably too.

    • Jim D,
      I hope for America’s sake that you are right. Based on what eventually happened to Social Security, where it had to constantly had to be readjusted, I have my doubts. I’m also basing it on personal experience, owning a small business, any extra expense is very difficult. I know it’s set up to be subsidized by the Feds but it may have been better to bite the bullet and just set up socialized medicine. That was probably impossible due to Republican sentiment but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll be forced into that eventually.

      • Yes, “Medicare for all” makes the most sense. Reduce the role of the insurance companies, negotiate with drug companies from a position of power, dictate hospital costs, everyone pays in the same amount from an extended payroll tax and doesn’t have to shop for insurance, every citizen covered with no extra fees or out-of-pocket costs or questions about whether they have insurance. Everyone wins except for those who want to make profit out of illness.

      • Everyone wins except for those who want to make profit out of illness.

        More simplistic nonsense. I’d wondered why this person could never understand about the complexities of climate. Obvious answer: he’s just a socialist using the “climate” thing as a stalking horse. One of many.

      • AK – it works in UK

        All healthcare free at the point of need.

      • AK and his complexities, otherwise known as chaff.

      • AK and his complexities, otherwise known as chaff.

        Ah, yes. The “wheat” being whatever simplistic nuggets can be used in support of a socialist agenda.

      • All healthcare free at the point of need.

        Anything “free” is worth what you paid for it.

        But in this case, plenty has been (or will be) paid, just not by those getting the benefit.

      • It is only free in the sense that Medicare is free, which is not.

      • ==> “Certainly any rational person would regard “quality education” as having, among other qualities, the one of excluding the likes of Joshua from any position of authority whatsoever; especially any contact with the students.”

        I’ve notice that AK has been getting more hysterical of late. So now he’s gone full ad hom.

        What next? He’ll start calling me joshie and calling me a “joker?”

        Join the club, AK.

    • Jim D,

      This is the shrinking middle class problem in a corporation-dominated society, perhaps.

      I disagree with your opinion on the attribution of cause

      An alternative explanation of cause the cause is the anit-enlightenment period underway in the rich developed countries. These countries are turning back to believing in religions (new religions like the Green religion) and following cult beliefs. They oppose rational analysis. They oppose rational economics. They advocate to implement regulations and legislation to force their beliefs on society. The cult of climate alarmism is one example. If it wasn’t climate alarmism it would be some other cult. It’s invariable the same types of people who fall for these cults – rich, highly educated, Left leaning, inner city elites.

      Your comment about “corporate dominated” society is a give away. Corporates have done enormous good for humanity and continue to do so. they provide more an better services and employ people. They lift our well being. Multi-national corporations spread the wealth and employment around the world. They produce the goods the rich want and lowest cost and employ people in the poorer countries to produce them. Everyone gains and the world becomes better off – better health and educations systems, law and order, infrastructure, etc.

      • “Your comment about “corporate dominated” society is a give away.”

        Yes, it is ideology bounded thinking.

      • Peter, good response. And in Australia we’re almost all middle class now.

      • Let me say as someone who dislikes, avoids and constantly looks for alternatives to all things corporate…

        I really appreciate the corporate, especially multinational corporate. Yep, I appreciate most what I most dislike. I don’t mix up my likes with my needs.

        You see, there’s what a bush-retreating, bamboo-loving, MTB-riding Linux user in hippie-land likes. Then there’s what he needs in order to go on being a bush-retreating, bamboo-loving, bicycle-riding Linux user in hippie-land. I see Big Green as the biggest threat to my Little Green. I see capitalist wealth, industrialised agriculture, Gina Rinehart and coal power as the enablers.

        Let’s not confuse preference with necessity here. Just remember that 2008 is what a commie country goes through ALL the time.

      • I see corporations as funneling the wealth more efficiently to fewer people, rather than having multiple end lines for the profits. Owners are being replaced by middle managers. Increasingly the skilled middle class are in areas requiring government funding like healthcare, education, infrastructure, the military, and the energy sector. Yes, there are a few niche markets like new technology, arts and foods where you can beat the corporations for a while at least until they buy you out. This is the trend I see.

      • Jim D,

        I don’t understand your points and don’t understand why you “see” what you say you “see’.

        I see corporations as funneling the wealth more efficiently to fewer people, rather than having multiple end lines for the profits.

        Why do you see corporations funnelling wealth to fewer people? I see the opposite. I see the corporates funnelling wealth to a large proportion of the population – unlike small business owners who hold it tightly for themselves and family. The corporations are owned by shareholders. They pay dividends to the owners, a significant proportion of whom are superannuation (pension) funds and other mutual funds etc. The ownership, and hence the earnings, are shared around the world. Investors on mass act reasonably rationally to invest in companies that meet their requirements for risk versus reward. The corporations respond to what the investors want. They spread the wealth around the world. The whole process tends to balance out, diversify and reduce the overall risks (not perfectly of course, but better than central control can do). It all works best when there is minimum interference from governments. Most of the stuff ups are due to government interventions, sometimes accumulated over decades and centuries. However, interference is required to ensure competition is maintained and trade is free.

      • I remember when my own town was homey and local. All you got was ripped off by snobby small businesses who treated you dismissively and offered you small selections of non-local goods, often over-priced, unsuitable, out-of-date etc. If you needed something urgently, that was their signal to go slow. Of course, they were probably being treated like that by their suppliers and wholesalers.

        And what about good old Aussie Telecom back in the monopoly days? Wait forever to be charged for nothing. Mother Russia, they should have called it.

        Now I can buy lots of stuff in lots of ways and our small businesses can’t afford to carry on like squatter aristocrats. They don’t want to carry on that way. They’ve forgotten that businesses ever did carry on like that. They’re better businesses because they have several supermarkets and department stores in walking distance. Yes, you can beat the Big Boys…but you won’t bother trying unless there are Big Boys to beat. Human nature, dare I say. (Conservatives will know what that is.)

        Think global but act global. And burn that good black Permian.

      • Peter Lang, very few people live off investments. Most rely on salaries, and these depend on actual jobs and their quality. The division into a wealthy and working classes and the shrinking middle class mean that there is less consumer demand which feeds back to the decline. A healthy middle class living well above the poverty line is what is needed for consumer demand, not just a few very wealthy people, but many middle-income people. I am not saying this is gone already, but this is the trend.

      • Jim D

        Peter Lang, very few people live off investments. Most rely on salaries, and these depend on actual jobs and their quality.

        The whole country lives of investments. Everything comes from investments. Tax revenue that pays public sector workers, including most academics, comes from investments in productive and profitable businesses. Salaries are paid from profitable businesses and some of that goes to income tax that, along with other revenue, pays the salaries of public sector workers. All retirees, other than those on government pensions, are paid by income from investments (via direct investments and/or the pension funds).

        The division into a wealthy and working classes and the shrinking middle class mean that there is less consumer demand which feeds back to the decline.

        Several statements of purported ‘fact’ that are not facts at all. They are ideologically driven, cherry picked factoids.

        The middle class is not shrinking it is expanding. Only the envious, ideological Left talks about divisions between ‘wealthy’ and ‘working class’. It’s a nonsense and a diversion from rational analysis

        A healthy middle class living well above the poverty line is what is needed for consumer demand, not just a few very wealthy people, but many middle-income people. I am not saying this is gone already, but this is the trend.

        The rich countries are not doing as well as they would if the impositions imposed on them by the, irrational, naïve, ideologically Left had not been imposed. These ideologues are electing governments that pass laws and regulations whose ultimate consequence is to force industries to move from the rich countries to the poor countries – by adding never ending imposts on business. That’s why jobs and remuneration are growing more slowly than they could if not for these imposts.

      • — Jim D | January 18, 2015 at 11:07 pm |

        Peter Lang, very few people live off investments. —

        **Survey: 36 percent not saving for retirement**
        The silver lining

        “While some people aren’t even close to being ready for retirement, others say they have been saving since a young age, Bankrate’s survey shows.

        About 10 percent of the respondents in the survey say they started saving for retirement in their teens.

        That’s a “pleasant surprise,” Cunningham says. About 23 percent say they started saving in their 20s and 14 percent in their 30s.

        The study was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and included answers from 1,003 adults in the U.S.”

        Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/survey-36-percent-not-saving-for-retirement.aspx#ixzz3PErcHyjn
        Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook

      • Fascinating.

      • “They pay dividends to the owners, a significant proportion of whom are superannuation (pension) funds and other mutual funds etc.” So if Apple and GE can use the current tax laws to hang onto more of the money, the owners which are us have more money. Hurt Apple, hurt us. There’s this false separation floated. So many huge retirement funds, including public service ones have to invest somewhere. These kinds of investments in corporations contribute to more self sufficiency for individuals. I took the simple route and used IRAs as I am self employed. Apple and other such companies are my retirement money. You’re asking for my money. I am proposing we get a little closer to the average corporate tax rate seen in other countries.

      • Ragnaar,

        I think you are replying to me and disagreeing with me, but I am not clear what your point is. Could you please restate it.

      • By the way, Although some US citizens think the US is the word, educators should know better. The US is just one of 193 members of the UN. It is not the whole world.

        Here are some UN stats for the world. Spend some time selecting different axes and get some relevant, fairly objective information, not totally biased, cherry picked charts from the ideological Left publications.

        There is no point debating those whose confirmation bias for their extreme ideological Left beliefs trumps all reason. Sorry J

      • Peter –

        That’s a brilliant observation. The U.S. is not the world.

        Thanks for the insight.

        So which part of the world were you referring to with this paragraph?:

        The whole country lives of investments. Everything comes from investments. Tax revenue that pays public sector workers, including most academics, comes from investments in productive and profitable businesses. Salaries are paid from profitable businesses and some of that goes to income tax that, along with other revenue, pays the salaries of public sector workers. All retirees, other than those on government pensions, are paid by income from investments (via direct investments and/or the pension funds).

        How about this paragraph?”:

        The middle class is not shrinking it is expanding. Only the envious, ideological Left talks about divisions between ‘wealthy’ and ‘working class’. It’s a nonsense and a diversion from rational analysis

        Communist China, perhaps? The “socialist” countries you so live in Scandinavia?

        How about this comment? Which countries would you offer as contrast to those suffering for “the left” that controls economies without input from “the right?”

        The rich countries are not doing as well as they would if the impositions imposed on them by the, irrational, naïve, ideologically Left had not been imposed.

        Non-left countries like China? Like Somalia?

        It’s awfully easy to wish upon a star for libertarian Utopia, ain’t it? Everything would be just peachy keen. But have you ever stopped to consider why it has never existed anywhere on the planet? And have you ever stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, reality might be a tad more complicated than your fantasized Shanrgi-La?

      • The trickle-down economy idea doesn’t work. Let them have investments is like let them eat cake. The rich get richer, the lenders don’t lend to the lower incomes, but prefer to invest in the corporations. The divide gets larger. Upward mobility is now better in many European countries than in the US which comes down to just how hopeless and isolated it is for the poorest section of the US population.

      • I’m sure that any minute now, Peter will give us the evidence he’s gathered from the thriving countries that aren’t suffering under the thumb of “the left.” You know, all those countries where the economies are exploding under right-wing, libertarian governments.

      • In the U.S. – corporate profits up markedly as the middle class declines.

        Tough nut to crack, ain’t it Peter?

      • Not a tough nut at all, if you get rational. Dump your socialist sympathies would be a start. But that’s too tough for you Joshua.

      • ==> “Not a tough nut at all,”

        Nice duck, Peter.

      • The gap that matters is the gap between having no automatic washing machines and having automatic washing machines even in poor homes. It’s the gap between the successors of George Westinghouse and us. I don’t care if you have zillions and I have but little. I do care if I have to slap my shirts on a rock before wringing them.

        I certainly hope that Alva Fisher and F. L. Maytag got many times richer than others. Us “others” owe them that.

      • ==> “The gap that matters is the gap between having no automatic washing machines and having automatic washing machines even in poor homes.”

        Hmmm.

        I guess some might consider the gap in access to quality education as being a worthwhile concern. Or the gap in access to quality medical care. Or the gap in access to free speech. Or the gap in access to political representation. Or the gap in economic and safety protections. Or the gap in protection in the application of f fair and universal rules of law.

        But nah…. now I realize how wrong they’d be. What matters is is the gap in ownership of washing machines.

      • I guess some might consider the gap in access to quality education as being a worthwhile concern.

        Massive unintentional (AFAIK) irony! Certainly any rational person would regard “quality education” as having, among other qualities, the one of excluding the likes of Joshua from any position of authority whatsoever; especially any contact with the students.

        But nah…. now I realize how wrong they’d be. What matters is is the gap in ownership of washing machines.

        Well, it’s a lot easier to get an education if you don’t have to spend your time washing clothes. And it’s a lot easier to understand why free speech and “fair and universal rules of law” are important when you have an education.

      • Billions of women, every day…slap, rub, squeeze…slap, rub, squeeze…Then there’s dinner with no Frigidaire, no on/off cooking heat connected to an electric or gas grid courtesy of Edison, Bunsen, Tesla or Westinghouse (and no Bamix, for god’s sake!)…Then the Opera of the Poor, since there’s no Dime Novels let alone Penguin Paperbacks, no Baird, let alone Marconi…

        But no time to fret over “issues” because it’s down to the river again…slap, rub, squeeze…Billions of women, every day…

        Still, mostly organic living, which should appeal to the “quality educated” among us.

      • And they burn yak dung to cook and heat.

      • The leftists clearly do not understand the business of businesses. The goal of a successful business is to grow, which is never certain. Without growth, prospects for the future diminish. Profit is not the goal; it is a means to the goal of growth.

        The leftists cling to failed economic ideas; read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

        Keep warm,

        Richard

      • “Profit is not the goal; it is a means to the goal of growth.”
        ____
        Growth as a goal? The only thing in the natural world that is a close parallel would be cancer.

        Fortunately, there are some capitalists who understand that growth for growth’s sake is not a worthy goal. Providing for the general betterment of humanity and the environment upon which humanity depends is a worthy goal:

        http://www.natcap.org/

      • Slap, rub, and squeeze would provide better quality education to those alarmists, for now they’re wasting their time getting sued, which is not unlike murdering cartoonists and Muslim policemen:

        http://thehigherlearning.com/2014/12/30/united-airlines-suing-22-year-old-who-figured-out-genius-way-to-buy-cheaper-tickets/

      • Willard

        Interesting link. The UK is not big enough to enable this to apply to flights but it has been going on for at least a decade with regards to Rail tickets.

        It is often cheaper to buy a ticket to a station further than you want to go (say a big city) and get off at your earlier station, or to buy two single tickets with a break point along the way, where you alight for a second (or not) then reboard.

        I think its partly a reaction to very costly travel as well as the huge complexity of ticketing arrangements.

        I am not aware though of any formal site for this service in the UK such as the one you cite.

        tonyb

      • Peter Lang:
        I was agreeing with your quote. And trying to make the point, corporations are us.
        5. Florida State Board (123.4) billion
        4. New York State Common (133)
        3. California State Teachers (138.9)
        2. California Public Employees (214.4)
        1. Federal Retirement Thrift (264)
        http://llenrock.com/blog/top-10-largest-u-s-pension-funds/

      • Ragnaar,

        Thank you. Now I understand, and agree.

        To those who disagree,, especially to those who are on the public pay role, I’d aks them to think where their money to pay their salary originates. Where would they be without investors and risk takers who invest in profitable and productiv industries – i.e. industries that produce goods and services thet people want to pay for.

        It really surprises me how poor our education system must be that the Left (and educators) don’t understand the most basic facts about where their salary and all the services they use ultimately comes from.

      • Don M, doesn’t that tell you that rich people would not mind higher taxes. They are comfortable, and want the US around them to benefit too with money they don’t actually need. It’s only Republicans who misguidedly try to defend the rich when they don’t need defending. Also, when the Republicans talk about the middle class, what they usually mean is small business owners, which is a very small subset. They don’t mean nurses, teachers, builders, factory workers, etc.

      • Gates

        Successful businesses do not guess their way to profit and do not sit on profit. Do you think new products and services evolve free of charge? Or that businesses will survive without new products and services?

      • Agree Richard. Writing my 8th Edition of Serf
        Underground on ‘Dynamic Disequilibrium, came
        across this by Peter Drucker on Keynes and
        Schumpeter. Schumpeter’s insight was that
        innovation underpins the creation of a nation’s
        wealth and profits are a genuine cost and the
        only way that to maintain jobs and to create
        new ones.
        http://www.druckersociety.eu/files/p_drucker_proph_en.pdf

      • ==> “But no time to fret over “issues” because it’s down to the river again…slap, rub, squeeze…Billions of women, every day…”

        Good point, Moso…because basic freedoms and having a washing machine are mutually exclusive. It’s an either/or.

        Yeah – let’s just whine that they don’t have washing machines and ignore so many other basic needs that can’t be met….so’s we can all pretend that the real problem is advocating for renewables.

        Yup. That’s the problem with the world today. The “green blob” who advocate for renewables. If we could just get rid of them, poverty would just disappear.

        I mean it’s not poverty ever existed before those libz started advocating for renewables.

      • Just how beloved are Judy’s “denzens?”

        Let me ask you – so someone says that “The gap that matters is the gap between having no automatic washing machines and having automatic washing machines even in poor homes.”

        And I point out that other things might matter also….and in response they sling the insults and ignore the point. ‘Cause you know, they’re “skeptics.”

        That’s why I love* you guyz. Don’t ever change,

        *Actually, love isn’t strong enough. I lurve you guyz.

      • HI Don –

        Must be tough being so persecuted.

        Anyway, for your viewing pleasure:

      • Don –

        You do like graphs,don’t you?

        Have another:

      • Joshua:
        Regarding your link:

        We have to say they’re are at a lower rate than they were before. The graph indicates it’s working but there are many opinions on the subject. It shows a volatile revenue stream. I tend to think they should remain low so that people want to live and invest in the United States. There’s also the issue of should appreciation of assets even be taxed? Many peoples houses appreciate and the tax code allows most of that to escape taxation though more expensive houses are likely to see some income taxes upon their sale. The basis step up rules also allow appreciation of some assets to escape taxation, for instance inherited after tax stock. These rules have been enacted by Congress and they say that some appreciation of assets should not be taxed.

      • This thread is really ridiculous. The little lefties posting charts that show the decline of the middle class, most steeply under their man of hope and change. WTF has crony capitalist Obama been up to? And OMG! those corporate profits! None of these jealous characters see any of that money. Wait a minute, the big stockholders are mutual and pension funds. Ever heard of CALPERS? These anonymous blog characters don’t know that the faceless, metal corporate machines don’t actually eat the money. It trickles down.

        Study some history. Trickle down economics built Western Civilization. It’s called capitalism. Capitalism is not an ideology. It’s how humans do business with each other, unless ideologues-demagogues seize power over them. Communism biggest failure in world history. Socialism destroying economies all over the world and destined for the ash heap of history.

        You can tell if a person is rich by comparing his/her net worth with the paucity of resources controlled by public union activistas like joshie and jimmy dee. Back to you little guys.

      • Some more help for the little guys:

        http://taxfoundation.org/blog/us-has-highest-corporate-income-tax-rate-oecd

        Is the U.S. corporate tax rate too low? Should we make it 50%? Did you know that taxes on dividends and capital gains are additional taxes on corporate profits? How many times do you want the gubmint to take a bite?

        Now you guys try to think of reasons why all those progressive countries don’t raise their corporate tax rates to squeeze the rich corporations.

      • > This thread is really ridiculous.

        Wait before it gets terrorizing:

        Paris Mayor: We’ll sue Fox News after they ‘insulted’.

        http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/01/20/intv-amanpour-france-paris-fox-news-anne-hidalgo-sue.cnn

      • Don

        + 1000

        It’s hard to understand how intelligent people can be so ignorant about how the world works, what improves human well-being and what has been doing so since humans first began to communicate.

        Joshie and Jimmie Dee, like many lefties, are focused on how to divide the pie. They argue incessantly about how the pie should be divided instead of focusing on how to grow the pie so everyone is better off.

        The Lefties have been blocking progress for decades or more. They are dragging down the countries where they manage to convince the population to accept their nonsense. The voters then, as a result of the misinformation and half-truths they’ve been fed, elect governments that implement bad policies. For example, Leftie governments continually increase the regulatory burden on business, industry and energy. The result is they are driving companies out of the developed countries to the developing countries.

        For example, Australia’s carbon restraint policies plus re-regulation of the labor market among other impediments to business, has caused an increasing rate of exodus of Australia’s manufacturing industries and energy intensive industries out of Australia. As a result, our energy demand has been decreasing. We now have a massive problem with the electricity industry. It is not “bankable”. Investors will invest in new capacity. Sure we reduced our GHG emissions rate by a small amount but that hasn’t made any difference to the global emissions rate – it’s just moved the emissions from Australia to another country – mostly China. It’s also exported the jobs and the income and tax revenue from Australia.

        Similar is happening in other countries: EU, US, Canada.

        This is the damage to jobs and wealth being caused by media and voters who are persuaded by those who share Joshie’s and Jimmie Dee’s socialist ideological beliefs. The Left are the main thrombosis in the system. They are the main cause of the relatively poor economic performance of the developed countries (i.e. poorer performance than if the Left were not blocking genuine progress).

      • Yeah Peter, I have been trying to school these characters on basic economic reality, but they are impervious. They have comfortable lives, because capitalism built all this stuff for them. They are so comfortable that they feel guilty about the poor. And at the same time they are jealous of the rich. The rich being anyone with more money than they have. Yet I would bet they got dusty spare rooms in their houses, 3 or 4 cars, a surfeit of clothes and shoes in their closets, full fridges, cats and dogs. And they are not going to invite any homeless folks in to share. No, they are vicarious communists. Robin Hood socialists. Take it from the rich and give it to the poor. That works out well every time.

      • And I bet you are a rent-seeking, tax evasive, illegal maid hiring, Euro fancy stuff buying Macheavellian CEO, Don.

        Please leave schooling to corrupted minds like Joshie, and focus on enforcing discipline using your good ol’ style affectionate vehemence.

        Here’s a small token of appreciation:

      • You are deja vuing me, willy. My son gave me the same crap almost verbatim, Saturday. He’s still running.

        I know you’ll never see the light, willy. But I am going to keep on trying to help you.

        Pretend that at some point in your life you started a business. I know it’s a stretch, but stay with me. You bought a lawn mower and some other gardening implements and you went about selling gardening services. You charged $10/hr, which was above market, but you were really good. You got very busy and had more business than you could handle. You hired a helper. Did you pay him $10/hr? I am guessing you paid him $5/hr, because you own the business, you made the investment, you have the sales ability, you got overhead, etc. If you pay him much more than that, you would be better off without him (review MR=MC). It’s not nearly a Living Wage, but the kid never had a job before, he needs money real bad to help his single mom, and he really appreciates the opportunity. He looks up to you as a father figure.

        Uh,oh! The do-gooders raise the min wage to $8.50, making it illegal for you to keep the kid on, unless you pay the $8.50. You keep him on because that’s the kind of guy you are. You figure you will just raise your prices.

        Uh, oh! The folks say we got 5 sons, inflation is killing us, we’ll make the layabouts do the lawn. You have to let the kid go. Wait a minute. You can pay him the mandated $8.50 and lose money. You are a nice guy. You feel so good about yourself that you hire some more kids. Do you know what’s going to happen, willy?

      • Willy will wiggle and squirm and avoid acknowledging he hasn’t a clue about the real world

      • I have hopes for willy, Peter. He is about 19 times smarter than the others, and sometimes I detect a streak of honesty in the old dude. If he ever gets what I am telling him, he will have an epiphany. Like Jake and Elwood in the church.

      • I hope you’re right. I know he is intelligent, I’ve just never seen any evidence that he understands what makes the real world work and what is best for improving human well-being world wide. As you know, but I don’t this willie does, it aint socialism. It’s:
        capitalism
        lightly regulated markets
        free trade
        globalisation
        multi-national corporations
        cheap energy (as cheap as possible)
        small government
        minimal regulation of business and industry
        low tax rates.

      • That’s a good list, Peter. But you forgot:

        21 year old women
        21 year old Kentucky Bourbon
        Dominican cigars

        Which reminds me of what the penniless George Best said, when asked what happened to the fortune he made playing football : “I spent most of it on booze, birds, and fast cars. The rest I squandered.”

        You could also add what Earl Butz said to your list, but not here.

      • Yes, That’s good. I laughed at this bit:

        cheap energy (as cheap as possible)

        It reminded me of a response I got to a question I posted on a web site during the Copenhagen Climate meeting. I asked what the 114 delegates, support staff and media Australia’s Prime Minister kevin Rudd, were doing at the Climate Conference. the answer came back:

        Booze, sex and party, party, party

      • Willard has given me zero clues to climate and many clues to how the debate about climate got perverted.
        =============

      • > Do you know what’s going to happen, willy?

        The future is the hardest to predict, Don, except in Russia, where an old World Champion said they also have problems retrodicting the past.

        Still, let me guess. I, as a CEO of my gardening aesthetics services, when confronted with salaries increase, will have no choice but to hire illegal aliens, which I will pay peanuts, unless they’re allergic, in that case it will be soya beans. Since one of them would be a secretary coming from Eastern Europe, I’ll apply for special grants:

        Larry Davis and his company had the special privilege of working on the World Trade Center Project, which is not only a major project, but is also one that holds a special place in New Yorkers’ hearts. Davis gained contracts for his company worth almost $1 billion for construction work at the World Trade Center. These contracts came with the responsibility to increase the role of minority and women-owned businesses in the project, which are important to both the community and the economy. Instead, as alleged in the Complaint, Davis committed fraud by claiming that work was going to minority and women-owned businesses when it was not. Davis allegedly tried to cheat the system and deserving businesses out of work.

        http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/July14/LarryDavisComplaintPR.php

        Then, to make sure competition won’t do the same, I will ask my governor that he tighten security borders, offering him all the arguments I will have seen on Lou Dobbs the month before.

        For those who’d become, not unlike you, at enforcing discipline, I’d pay them in stocks. I’d also create an intern program for the newcomers, for which they would only need to pay a small fee.

        To make sure my business grows, I’d sell a whole range of both organic and Monsanto-engineered fertilizer and pesticides, for which I’d only charge thrice the price, and not six like my competition.

        My truck would have “Made in America” all over it, it goes without saying.

        So, how did I do?

      • Willard caricatures himself. Or does he?
        ==============

    • What an amusing thread…yeah, the problem is the poor corporations are treated so harshly…

      Are y’all serious? Have you not even heard about tends in corporate profitability, as they sit on cash, as wages remain flat?

      • As a libertarian, my answer is that:

        •       Governments like a few big corporations much more than lots of small businesses: fewer cash cows to keep control of.

        •       Politicians like a few big corporations much more than lots of small businesses: fewer entities to make deals with, and bigger deals.

        Thus, as the government becomes more of a burden on the populace, the balance will tend to tilt towards a few big corporations rather than lots of small businesses. And, since socialists tend to show the same naive faith in “government” that you do, as socialism infests a culture, the government will become more of a burden on the populace.

        In the US, which was originally a federation of “states” within a framework explicitly designed to foster competition to serve free citizens, socialists will almost always appeal to the Federal government when their policies fail at a state level because free people prefer freer states.

        Not to limit it to socialists: just prior to the Civil war, Southern slaveowners tried to use the Federal government to enforce their “rights” over escaped slaves living in “free” states.

      • ==> “Not to limit it to socialists: just prior to the Civil war, Southern slaveowners tried to use the Federal government to enforce their “rights” over escaped slaves living in “free” states.”

        That’s beautiful. So now the trajectory of slavery becomes evidence of the pattern of gubmint stealing rights from the populace.

        Consider the arc of history, and the presence of slavery – for how long it existed and where it no longer exists.

        You might want to rethink a bit.

      • ==> ” And, since socialists tend to show the same naive faith in “government” that you do,”

        I love how “skeptics” feel no compunction whatsoever to make arguments based on empty conclusions.

        What “faith” do I have in government, AK – and what is your evidence of that “faith” of mine….other than your fantasies, that is?

      • What “faith” do I have in government, AK – and what is your evidence of that “faith” of mine….other than your fantasies, that is?

        My evidence is your comments.

      • Can’t have religion without faith. Well, except those for whom there’s no faith about it.
        ===============

      • Consider the arc of history, and the presence of slavery – for how long it existed and where it no longer exists.

        True “slavery” in the sense of “chattel slavery” had almost been suppressed in Western Europe until the settlement of the “New World”. In the core at least, it still occurred around the fringes, and in some Mediterranean areas.

        How much difference that makes depends on (among other things) how much distinction you make between serfdom (involuntary clienthood) and actual “chattel slavery”.

        But even as the early (pre-steam) Industrial Revolutiion was starting to put an end to serfdom, slavery popped up again in the tropical (later sub-tropical) colonies. The US has a poor record in dealing with it, but it should be remembered that the US was founded as a federation of “states” that had started as British colonies, with slavery established under British law.

        With the rise of enclosure, and the Industrial Revolution, the institution of serfdom, and the whole patron-client system, began to fall apart. Workers (including children) may have been poor, but they didn’t face the choice of starving (or being murdered) or submitting to a local warlord or socialist village power structure. They had the option of seeking employment elsewhere, although the whole system was far from perfect. Closer than what it replaced, OTOH.

      • Now why, oh why, might corporations be “sitting on cash”? Yes, yes – to purposely not wire workers and PUNISH them for being poor. Yes, yes, that’s it! Liberal economics understanding brought to you by Joshua.

      • The consequences of governments allowing offshore tax havens to proliferate is best seen in Greece. Now entering its sixth year of recession, with the economy set to contract almost four per cent this year, Greece is the prime example of what happens when you don’t tax the wealthy and corporate sector. By 2010, the country had accumulated a staggering $1.2 trillion in debt while, at the same time, tax evasion was running rampant. In fact Greeks pay only an estimated one third of tax they actually owe, with an estimated US$74 billion not being collected, including as much as 45 billion Euros hidden in Switzerland.

        http://globalnews.ca/news/976581/tax-dodge/

        Cue in to “but if we tax corporations they’d go elsewhere,” “the alarmists will kill third world babies” and “who is John Galt” types of arguments.

      • “What “faith” do I have in government, AK – and what is your evidence of that “faith” of mine….other than your fantasies, that is?”

        Hmm.

        1. Your defense of government in a wide number of cases
        2. Your attacks on people who attack government.

        These behaviors admit several explanations.
        One explanation for your behavior is that you have faith in government.
        there are others, but people get to come up with explanations.

        You can indicate this explanation is wrong by.

        1. Clearly stating that you have no faith in government.
        2. Living your life in a way that demonstrates that to us.

        Failing that people

        A) have a right to explain your behavior.
        B) have no requirement or obligation to defend their belief to you.

      • Sometimes I think he’s faithless, and then I think, ‘Aw, be charitable’.
        ==========

      • Some people seem to be under the misguided impression that “corporations” want what is good for the people. And all the lobbying they do is merely to “protect” the “free market.” But we all know that the main purpose is to maximize profits for their shareholders and that has nothing to do with being “good” to anybody.

      • ==> “One explanation for your behavior is that you have faith in government.”

        What does “faith” mean?

        Answer that question, and then find evidence of my “faith” in government.

      • Joe – corporations want to make money. Your unicorn idea that people don’t know this is pretty ijitiotic. We ALL know that. But as corporations go about their business, they create jobs. The economic activity spreads like a wave on water to other businesses that support more jobs. You need an education, IMO.

      • Corporations cut corners to make profits. The cheapest way of producing things is not necessarily good for society at large, whether it is worker safety, pollution, product safety, etc. Let corporations run amok, and these are the issues you face.

      • ==> “1. Clearly stating that you have no faith in government.”

        Heh.

        Please clearly state that you have stopped beating your wife.

      • ==> “My evidence is your comments.”

        Right.

        And I see evidence that you have faith in Islam. The evidence is in your comments.

      • ==> “Now why, oh why, might corporations be “sitting on cash”? Yes, yes – to purposely not wire workers and PUNISH them for being poor. ”

        Well, now. I see it’s straw-man-apolooza-day here at Climate Etc.,

        Oh. Wait.

        Actually, it’s same-as-it-ever-was-day here at Climate Etc.

      • Simple. Wages remain flat cause the big corporations ain’t paying the workers enough. The gubmint needs to do something. Ratchet up wages by raising the minimum wage, everywhere. Don’t just raise the minimum wage by some token amount. Go for broke! Make it a living wage. Occupy Wall Street, for real, with tanks and black helicopters!

        Unintended consequences of ill-conceived central economic planning, which is really just misguided social engineering:

        http://www.voxeu.org/article/how-much-have-minimum-wage-increases-contributed-us-employment-slump

        It is settled, 97% of real economists agree that minimum wage laws reduce employment opportunities. If a kid dropped out of high school, has no skills, no work experience, smokes weed, fights with police officers, got tattoos all over his face, he is going to get a well-paying legitimate job?

        It is not the fault of big corporations or small business entrepreneurs that the U.S has a failed education and social system that produces kids that can’t read, can’t count and think the world owes them a living. Is it the lefties’ to raise the minimum wage high enough so that it will motivate the slackers to take a job? Have they ever heard of inflation? Well, they have. Inflation is just another oppressive tax on the middle class.

        There are plenty of high-paying jobs created by big corporations and small business entrepreneurs. They require skills and discipline. So if you want those jobs, get a freaking education and stop fighting with police officers. Best to work your way through school. McDonalds will shape you up. Or grow up in a society where hard work is necessary for survival and your parent’s teach you that education is the ticket out of poverty. Then get yourself an H1 visa and come to the U.S. We need skilled hard workers to help us support our growing underclass.

      • jim2, why do you think they lobby our government and give huge sums in political contributions? Do you think they have the “people” in mind while doing that?

      • Don I think you are under the mistaken impression that low wage jobs are on the decline right now. In fact, they are on the rise. And that’s the problem!

      • > If a kid dropped out of high school, has no skills, no work experience, smokes weed, fights with police officers, got tattoos all over his face, he is going to get a well-paying legitimate job?

        Worse, he’ll turn into an alarmist. Have you considered what this means, Don? He’ll start reading to Coran and want to kill cartoonists. Or suing people. Same same.

      • JimD – when corporations cut corners, consumers notice and switch brands. We do need some safety, health, and environmental regs, but they need to be as simple and unintrusive as possible.

      • Don M, if your described “kid” can compete for and get a job and then do it to standards for 40 hours per week, they deserve a living wage.

      • Joe – IMO, the corporate tax gets set close to zero, and a law is passed that they can’t lobby congress – except through public hearings. That would put a chill on sweet deals that screw the people and limit competition. A smaller government with less power will also put a damper on that.

      • jim2, maybe responsible consumers who listen to complaints about sweat shops, dangerous working conditions, environmental damage, underpaid workers, would switch brands. Others just call protesters anti-business lefties and continue to buy the cheapest thing on the market.

      • That might help, jim, but the right to lobby is in the constitution and the Supreme Court has said that corporations are “people,” so they have the right to lobby. And that also doesn’t address the fact that they spend huge sums of money on political contributions or that they use that money to influence how they are regulated.

      • You are clueless, joey. You didn’t bother to follow the link. You have no understanding of basic economic reality. Clutch your pearls real tight, the ugly secret is out. Businesses are in business to make a profit. Watch this joey: everybody is in business to make a profit. You probably work for the gubmint, like little joshie. That’s your business. Selling your services to the gubmint. You won’t keep working if it costs you more to go to work than you are getting paid. Can you follow that, joey?

        People who are working, for so-called low wages, are getting paid what they are getting paid, because that is what their services are worth. If their services were worth more, they would sell them to a higher bidder, period.

        Read up on the microeconomic concept of marginal cost=marginal revenue. (I know you won’t). That’s how the business world operates. If a guy’s services will increase my revenue by $10,000 a month, and if all costs of having him on the job amount to a maximum of $10,000 a month, I’ll be happy to hire him. If he’s worth $500 a month, that’s all I can spend to hire him. If I pay more, I’ll go broke and nobody will have a job. All people who are successful in business know this intuitively, or through education in economics. Business people in big corporations or small businesses are not in it to shaft the workers. Grow up, joey.

      • I won’t even bother to try to correct your ignorance, jimmy dee. Let’s just pay everybody $100 hr. Wouldn’t that be fair? Nimrod.

      • Don I am not sure what to make of your study, but in terms of the recovery and job creation, low wage jobs are increasing more than any other.

        http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/05/01/most-jobs-created-in-this-recovery-are-low-wage-study-finds/

        Most jobs created in this recovery are low-wage, study finds

      • If the gubmint must help those who are working for low wages, the earned income tax credit is the way to go. Basic economics. If you want more of something-in this case more people working-then you subsidize it. If you want less of something-jobs-you raise the cost. You can raise the cost of hiring with taxes, raising the minimum wage, mandating insurance and long vacations on the Riviera, etc. This stuff is simple, but leftie’s who always have tears in their eyes don’t see it.

      • I didn’t dispute that a high proportion of jobs that are being created aren’t high paying jobs. What do you think is the reason for that? Could it have anything to do with lefty interference in the economy? How many jobs do you think would have been created if Obama and his mob had been more successful in transforming the economy, by drastically raising the cost of energy? Plenty of well-paying jobs have been created in the enery sector, despite Obama’s efforts. Now that’s all I have for you. It’s not my job to teach you what you should have know from childhood. You get paid what you are worth, unless you work for the gubmint.

      • And also this from the report, Don.

        The food services and drinking places administrative and support
        services (includes temporary help), and retail trade industries
        are leading private sector job growth during the recent recovery phase
        .These industries, which pay relatively low wages, accounted for 39
        percent of the private sector employment increase over the past four years. Job growth in the food services and drinking places and the a
        dministrative and waste services industries has more than offset employment declines during the downturn; however, despite strong growth, retail trade employment is still below the previous peak.

        Like I said I don’t think these low wage jobs are going away. Unfortunately, corporations have outsourced all of the good jobs for low skill workers to foreign countries.

      • JimD, “Most jobs created in this recovery are low-wage, study finds”

        Now why would that be JimD? I thought all those high tech green energy jobs where high paying? Oh wait! A123 got some of that “sustainable” energy money and created about 1350 jobs. Of those about 1300 were in China. Apple sales have been pretty good. Where is their stuff made again?

        The federal minimum wage was raised to $7.50 an hour in 2009. That had almost zero impact on economic growth and didn’t do much to reduce poverty, but it did create more crap job growth 2009 was close to perfect timing for it to have had a major impact. Nope. So five year later you think it is a good idea again. What has changed JimD? Why is it going to magic this time?

        Business doesn’t like change JimD unless its their idea. Democrats in general are so totally disconnected from business they should spend more time listening and checking out the data instead of spouting off. Corporations are playing it close to the vest because it would be stupid to commit to long range plans with short minded politicians in charge.

      • Your reasoning is bizarre, joey. You didn’t mention the dewy-eyed lefties’ love affair with illegal immigrants. Do you think the invasion by those legions of new Democrat voters have had any effect on wages? You people live in a fantasy world. Jimmy wants the living wage to be $100/hr? Do you think that’s fair, joey? How much do you make? Everybody should get paid as much as you make. You are not worth more than any other of your fellow human beings, are you joey? Of course, if the guy working in McDs made as much as joey or jimmy, Big Mac would cost $42. Out of business.

      • > People who are working, for so-called low wages, are getting paid what they are getting paid, because that is what their services are worth.

        I like the way you’re putting this, Don. It looks like a geometry definition. Should be a law a nature or something, right?

        Let’s try it:

        There is no doubt that shareholder activism as well as court cases sympathetic to shareholder interests pushed publicly-held companies to pay more attention to maximizing stock prices. But when exactly did the shift in corporate attention in the direction of shareholder concerns lead to virtually ignoring the needs of employees?

        Let’s be clear about the wage levels that are associated with not having enough to eat. A family of four with one breadwinner is eligible for food stamps if they earn less than $2500 per month. That is the equivalent of a $15 per hour job and a 40 hour work week. The government has determined that full-time workers earning less than that do not have enough money to feed their families on their own. If that breadwinner earns less than $16 per hour, they are also eligible for Medicaid assistance to provide healthcare. Depending on where they live, that breadwinner is also eligible for subsidies to help pay for housing.

        Jobs paying $15 per hour are not the concern, though. Those are routinely seen as good jobs now. The concern is those jobs paying at or around the minimum wage, $7.25 per hour or only $1160 per month for a full-time job. About 1.6 million workers in the U.S. are paid at that level, and a surprising 2 million are actually paid less than that under various exemptions. If you are an employer paying the minimum wage or close to it, the Government has determined that your employees need help to pay for food, housing, and healthcare even if they have no family and no one to look after but themselves. As we’ve been reminded this season, many of those workers also need help from families and coworkers to get by.

        https://hbr.org/2013/12/scrooge-is-alive-and-well/

        So, let’s read your definition again, Don: people are not eating what they’re not eating, because that is what their services are worth, right?

        But the poor kid who can’t find a job, I know, I know.

        The Harvard guys are just a bunch of alarmists anyway.

      • ==> “It is settled, 97% of real economists agree that minimum wage laws reduce employment opportunities. ”

        Interesting.

        Seems to me that there’s quite a bit of uncertainty w/r/t the outcomes of minimum wage laws, in part depending on the amount of the minimum minimum.

        http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/upcoming-debates/item/853-abolish-the-minimum-wage

        Personally, I find uncertainty interesting. I’m not one for triumphantly proclaiming certainty. IMO, boastful certainty for the purpose of demagoging complex issues is not usually terribly productive.

        For me, what is more productive is having discussions about decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

      • Little dewy-eyed willy weighs in with his clueless contribution. I wish I hadn’t read all that. You are not going to help poor kids by raising the minimum wage, willy. They will have fewer job opportunities. But you don’t care about those who don’t get jobs, because you will feel better that those who have jobs get paid a little more. Never mind that prices will go up for everybody, including the poor kids.

        I was a poor kid, willy. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken any job, for any amount of money. It’s better than welfare. Welfare is demeaning and demoralizing. And crime doesn’t pay. Thankfully, I learned that before I turned 18. I mentor poor ghetto kids, willy. I think I will stop spending my time on these interminable useless discussions with ignorant and dishonest anonymous lightweight blog characters and spend more time with the kids.

      • captd, that wasn’t my quote. But while we are on the subject, many European countries would love to be in the position the US is in, coming out of the recession. The corporations in the US are actually really happy with the recovery, as are the investors. The Republicans, in an unusual disconnect, are less happy than the corporations and would prefer higher wage jobs in common with the Democrats. However, now that the Republicans are talking right, and saying they support the middle class, it is still difficult to get those stimulus packages and middle-class benefits through. We will see if Obama’s latest tax deal gets far, or if the Republicans balk as usual when it comes to working with the President.

      • willard –

        “Jobs paying $15 per hour are not the concern, though. Those are routinely seen as good jobs now. The concern is those jobs paying at or around the minimum wage, $7.25 per hour…”

        You might find the Intelligence squared debate I linked to be interesting. Much of the discussion in the debate centers around that point I just excerpted. It’s a commitment (fairly long), but if you have an elliptical, it helps motivate a workout.

        If you do watch, make sure to watch the bouncing ball, and see how the motion debated morphs….kind of like how this discussion morphed when the obvious (high corporate profitability coinciding with a shrinking middle class) was pointed out…

      • Wages are an odd thing. Corporate executives earn as much in a minute as a minimum wage earner gets in an hour. Is what they did in that minute as valuable? Does a person need more than a million dollars per year to be comfortable? What hardship do they have if their tax rate goes up 10%? These are he questions.

      • Little jimmy with the usual huffpo talking points. His Democrats do a lot of talking about helping the middle class. But everything they do involves transferring wealth from the middle class AND THE SO-CALLED WORKING CLASS to pay for their social engineering schemes. The Repubs are just out to protect the rich. But if you look at voting patterns by income levels, you will find that rich people vote for the Demos.

      • JimD, “But while we are on the subject, many European countries would love to be in the position the US is in, coming out of the recession.”

        At one time most of the world admired the US economy. All the while Democrats were admiring euro versions of socialist democracies. Some times it something isn’t broke don’t fix it. Gradual adjustments are much easier on business than “CHANGE” just for the sake of change.

      • captd, what those countries don’t have is the level of poverty that we see in areas of the US. These areas should be shameful to have in a western country, plus until recently healthcare was unaffordable for them, and a good education still is. Democrats are trying to do something about this, while Republicans prefer to neglect the problem.

      • Don, I don’t think you have conclusively proven that a higher minimum wage will necessarily lead to significantly fewer jobs (or opportunities). First of all we are talking about a small proportion of working people making less than $10/hr. So the effect, if any, will be necessarily small on the overall economy if any. And as I pointed out increasing income will lead to more demand at the very places that employ low wage workers. Also the dynamics of the current job market has led to an increased supply of low wages jobs. So I just don’t think the argument that the minimum wage is going to have more than a minimal impact on the economy and jobs is very persuasive.

      • It’s really painful to watch you, jimmy. I grew up in those areas you are moaning about and mine is one of the few white faces you will see there now. Since the declaration of the war on poverty, the hoods have deteriorated greatly by almost any measure of human well-being. The only solution for the breakdown in civilization in many of these places is the 82nd Airborne Division. And any fool who thinks the remedy is to send in more money and food stamps, is guilty of turning a blind eye to the real problem. I never heard of a kid getting killed for his sneakers, in my day. Babies killed by stray bullets in their cribs. We thought we were living in poverty.

      • Let’s all get teary-eyed and stipulate that a $100/hr minimum wage is a fair Living Wage and end this discussion on a happy note. All other’s wages and salaries will adjust upward, so that will make everybody richer. No skin off anybody’s nose. Right?

        Alinksy-Krugman Economics 101. Send me your addresses and I’ll put your diploma in the mail. Nimrods.

      • Jim D said:

        “Wages are an odd thing. Corporate executives earn as much in a minute as a minimum wage earner gets in an hour. Is what they did in that minute as valuable? Does a person need more than a million dollars per year to be comfortable? What hardship do they have if their tax rate goes up 10%? These are he questions.”

        I had to jump in on these questions.

        By definition, if someone is willing to pay someone else millions of dollars per year it must be worth it (to them). Not only do executives make this kind of money, but also movie stars, tv stars and sport stars.

        Since so many different people earn millions per year paid by so many different corporations I would say YES – it must be worth it. Therefore it must be valuable at the higher hourly rate to the people paying it higher hourly rate.

        Do people need more than a million dollars per year to be comfortable? Depends on their annual expenses. Some do some don’t – just like people at all wage levels.

        If their tax rate goes up 10% they have to pay 10% more in taxes.

        Jim D – here is the real issue (to me anyway). Right now, 48.2% of taxpayers pay no Federal Income tax (this is as of 2010 IRS data). That figure has been rising for quite a while and it may eventually get to more than 50%.

        What happens when more than 50% of the voters pay no federal income tax?

        What happens when a minority of the voters pay any federal income tax?

        The “rich” will be defined as the minority of taxpayers who pay any federal income tax and it will only be “fair” to make fewer and fewer pay 100% of all federal income taxes (paid by individual filers).

        In American a person can make as much as they can and they don’t have to justify how much they make to anybody.

        I hope our system stays that way – but I am very fearful that it won’t.

      • RickA, among those not paying income tax are the very rich that only pay capital gains at a 15% rate. Many of the others are deemed to be only earning enough to live off, and still pay payroll tax as a higher percentage than the wealthy. It is not a fair system when taxes are a bigger burden of their income to the middle class than anyone else. It is not right when Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

      • Basically, all we have to is cut government spending in half and move to a negative income tax. It will provide a floor for the poor and essentially becomes a flat tax above a certain income. This will vastly shrink the IRS and the rest of the government. Then, all will pay a fair share, no deductions for children, mortgage, or anything else.

      • More huffpo talking points from jimmy dee. Are you not capable of thinking for yourself? When I was in the venture capital business, I would often make decisions to investment millions of other people’s money along with some of my own. We earned that money or, some inherited it. In any case, that money had already been taxed. We could have spent that money on booze, gambling, drugs, sneakers, etc. We would have enjoyed that. However, we chose to invest the money in hopes of starting a new successful business. We hired a lot of people, jimmy. We created a lot of wealth for a lot of people. A lot of taxes got paid. You want to raise the capital gains taxes on rich people to 30%, or make it 50%? That should teach us a lesson. We will just keep our money in an offshore account, jimmy. Rich people are generally a lot smarter than you are.

        That Warren Buffet BS is just tired demagoguery. He is one of yours.

      • I don’t think we need a negative income tax, just a high-deductible flat tax. If the deductible is close to the median wage, $40k-50k, a flat tax of 25% on anything earned above that would raise as much revenue as the current system (I think I worked it out once). The deductible could also be calculated based on dependents.

      • JimD, “captd, what those countries don’t have is the level of poverty that we see in areas of the US.”

        When did you go see poverty in the US? What you saw was “national” averages for the US. Poverty level for the CONUS is $11500 for an individual about $800/mo after tax. If you work 36 hours a week for 50 weeks you would need to make $6.38 and hour. Minimum wage is $7.25/hr You want to kick it up to $10/hr. For the same hours that would be $18K per year. 18K per year would be poverty level for a family of 2.

        So you look at your data a see that those dumb hillbillies in the South tend to be more “impoverished”. You can get a 3/2 ~1500sqft home in Jackson, Mississippi for less than 50K if you shop around. That would be about $300/mo including homeowners 30 years at 4.7%. Cell phone and cable $80/mo, electric $75/mo used car $70/mo, groceries $180/mo total $705/mo So your impoverished hillbilly can become a property owner at the current minimum wage and have two weeks off for the holidays.

        Is that the kind of poverty you “see” in the US?

      • Jim D:

        Well I think you might be a bit confused about the Warren Buffet example.

        First, everybody pays the same rate up to each bracket. You pay 15 % on the first x dollars, then 28% (or whatever it actually is today) on the next bit on income up to the next bracket and so on. So Warren does pay a higher tax rate if he earns more gross income than his secretary.

        What you are talking about is his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary. That is where you take your total income taxes and divide it by your total income. Some people with a lot of deductions (say huge mortgage interest, etc.) could end up with an effective tax rate of 12%, while a person who only takes the standard deduction could end up with an effective tax rate of 14% (just a made up example).

        Anyway – rest assured that Warren Buffet actually had dollars taxed at a rate higher than his secretary – it may just be that his “effective” tax rate turned out to be lower.

        Part of that is also due to not paying social security on any wages over 108,000 (again I don’t remember the exact cut-off). The reason for that is that the maximum amount social security pays out is tied to maximum amount they tax – so a person making 1 million (say 150,000 W2 and 1M of dividend and capital gains) is only paying the 6.2% for social security on the first 108K (and no social security on the investment income part).

        Now take a person only making 80,000, with no investment income – all W2. They pay 15% on part, 28% on part, maybe 34% on part (I am not sure of the income cut-off or even the exact rate – but you get the picture). However, they pay the social security on every dollar. This is by design because we wouldn’t want someone earning 20 million to get social security benefits of 1 million per year (or do we?) – so we cap the maximum payout and therefore cap the amount which is taxed.

        This plays hob with the effective tax rate and allows for these comparisons which make it look like Warren is paying a smaller rate (which is not correct) – he is paying a smaller effective rate.

        The key word there is “effective” – but that never seems to come out in the articles.

        Hope that explanation helps.

      • Jim D – your plan would result in 42% increase in my income tax liability. The flat tax is stupid. It is genuinely stupid. Our Grandfathers were far far more intelligent at income taxation than we think. Lots of brackets. Have lots o brackets.

      • JCH, since my flat tax caps out at 25%, you must be paying a very low tax rate, and it seems unfair when others are currently paying 25%. Now, I would agree that with the payroll tax being regressive, there could be some compensation so that between payroll and income tax, it doesn’t exceed 25%.

      • jim2, a lot of Republicans at least say they want a flat tax with no loopholes. Whether they really want that I don’t know. The difference in mine is the high deductible which is basically saying you don’t get taxed on your basic living expense which can be tied to the median wage. Someone earning twice the median wage is taxed at 25% on half of it, that is 12.5%. Yes, compared to the current system there would be winners and losers because it has the same revenue, but there is a sense of fairness in simplicity.

      • > They will have fewer job opportunities.

        Sure, Don. We could double the job opportunities by cutting the minimum wage in half. Heck, reinstating slavery could help us shoot for an infinite job creation loop.

      • Don M, you are conflating a few things, poverty and crime. London had less than 100 murders in 2014, and a declining rate. Detroit’s per capita murder rate in 2014 is 30 times higher. The US has some poor areas that don’t have so much crime. High crime rates compared to Europe have other causes than just poverty.

      • Judith deleted my last couple of comments, which were entirely appropriate in the context of this ridiculous conversation, so this will be my last. It’s not like I tried to equate anybody’s actions here with those of the terrorists who recently committed premeditated mass murder, in Paris.

        I am really tired of dishonest lightweight anonymous blog characters like you, willy.

      • Right Willard, so Don are you saying we should never raise the minimum wage again or get rid of it or what?

      • WARNING! SATIRE AHEAD!
        CHECK YOURSELF!
        CLUTCH YOU PEARLS!

        JC SNIP I’m a fan of satire, but pls avoid content free insults to other commenters

        Much of what I write is satire, Judith. If the trolls can’t take it, they should not be free to roam the internet unsupervised. Which side are you on, in the war on satire?

      • Wouldn’t that be great if China outsourced its swear shops in Detroit, Don?

        With jobs as low as a few dimes per day, imagine the job creation!

      • “Here’s how it’s possible that Buffett paid a lower tax rate than his employees. Basically, most of Buffett’s income comes from capital gains and dividends, income from investments he makes with the money he already has. Income earned by buying and selling stocks or from stock dividends is generally taxed at 15 percent, the rate for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.” http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/sep/21/does-secretary-pay-higher-taxes-millionaire/ Romney got the same treatment when he revealed his tax returns. People tried to make it sound unfair. Why tax dividends and capital gains at a lower rate? Do you want people to invest? There was a swing back though recently. The top rate moved to 20% from 15% for higher income people. A net investment income tax of 3.8% was added for higher income people. What else does lower dividends and capital gains rate mean? All things being equal, consider consistent dividend paying stocks over bonds for after tax investments. The argument has been made that since corporate income is taxed twice, a lower rate on dividends makes some kind of economic sense.

      • > Do you want people to invest?

        Exactly.

        Do you want people to run Fortune 500 businesses?
        Do you want people to create junk bonds?
        Do you want people to lobby?
        To seek tax havens?
        To outsource?

        Then you know what to do.

      • Ragnaar –

        ==> Do you want people to invest? ”

        You might find this interesting:

        http://usbudget.blogspot.com/2010/11/do-capital-gains-tax-cuts-increase.html

      • Judith,

        Half of the comments on your blog are content free insults, or insults in reply to content free insults. The round of insults routinely begins with one of the provocateur thread hijackers assigned to your case finding some nit to pick with a new post.

        motivated reasoning..yatta..yatta.

        big boy pants..yatta..yatta

        testifying for the Repubs in Congress…blah…blah…blah

        You are the target of the insults, Judith. They are here to get you for straying from the reservation. Since you rarely put up a fight, many of us leap to your defense and it’s on. You could stop the BS by defending yourself. Send some of the creeps on their way. You bend over backwards to accommodate their nastiness. Watch Steve Mc and Anthony. They don’t put up with provocateurs. Are you afraid you will be accused of censoring your critics? They have already trashed your professional reputation and put the kibosh on your academic career. You don’t owe them anything.

      • > You don’t owe them anything.

        Please don’t start me with these alarmists, Don.

        Their hate should be banned from the Internet. Sooner or later, we’ll have the policies and the technological means to shut them down for good. Invisible hands are working on it was we speak.

        All we need is to get some uneducated kid who’d work for pennies. It’s important that they’re uneducated, otherwise they risk having had contact with the likes of Joshie. Some Californian venture techno-communists suggest we gamify all this, so they would pay to moderate.

        Wouldn’t that be a great idea, Don?

      • Willie with his usual flair for foolishness twists the gist of my comment to suit his trolling purposes. Judith should treat you provocateurs the way Anthony and Steve Mc treat you. They have struck a good balance between tolerance and contempt. Judith needs to add a lot more of the contempt. Contempt for the contemptible. Isn’t that fair, willy?

      • Willard and Don, I’m not interested in this kind of sniping at each other, and I don’t have time to trace down and delete this whole subthread. Your cooperation in keeping the discussion targeted at the topic in the post is greatly appreciated.

      • I wasn’t sniping at willy, Judith. I was just using him as prop to make a point about your blog policy, which allows most threads to devolve into foolishness. If you want 1,000+ comment threads with 40 something per cent foolishness, keep doing what you are doing.

      • The best way to get rid of objectionable posts is to email me alerting me to them (springer is now doing this), so I can delete them, rather than waiting until there is a whole subthread of responses.

  21. In Annie Hall, the subject couple go to a counselor who asks each one:
    ‘How often do you have sexual relations?’ and they respond:

    ‘Constantly – three times a week!’
    ‘Almost never – three times a week!’

    For more than a third of a century now, global average temperature trends
    are around 1.5 K / century:
    ‘How much is earth warming?”

    Hysterics: ‘Worse than expected – 1.5 K / century’
    Deniers: ‘Not warming at al – 1.5 K / century’

  22. Thanks for the link to the article in the Economist. One less rag to waste my time reading.

    • Everything changes. I read The Economist from 1961 (and almost got a job there in 1964), and for decades it was excellent. Somewhere along the line, maybe in the late 1990s, it began to lose its rigour and adopt more trendy values, alas. To an extent, the same can be said of my alma mater, the London School of Economics. How are the mighty fallen.

      • True. They are publishing the renewable energy spin that has been shown to be disingenuous for the past 20 years.

        The Weekend edition of Australian Financial Review ” http://www.afr.com/p/business/resources/energy/power_generation/renewable_energy_from_fad_to_fact_JqKygUkF60ySg5YrUHh4LM

        ECONOMIST
        At first sight, the story of renewable energy in the rich world looks like a waste of time and money. Rather than investing in research, governments have spent hundreds of millions of pounds, euros and dollars on subsidising technology that does not yet pay its way.
        Yet for all the blunders, renewables are on the march. In 2013, global renewable capacity in the power industry worldwide was 1560 gigawatts (GW), a year-on-year increase of more than 8 per cent. Of that total, hydropower accounted for about 1000GW, a 4 per cent rise; other renewables went up by nearly 17 per cent to more than 560GW.

        I was sent the article and asked for comment. I replied:

        renewables are on the march
        It’s an insignificant march. Fossil fuels have increased much more than RE over the same period. RE has shrunk from 100% of energy 300 years ago to 1% now, and is still shrinking. Hydro capacity is strictly limited. It cannot increase much more and certainly cannot provide a larger proportion of global energy supply. Quoting percentages is misleading unless you provide proper context. Intermittent, unreliable energy sources, like wind and solar energy, provide a minute quantity of global electricity supply. So increasing the proportion from 0% to 1% is relatively easy. It doesn’t mean the growth rates at these small proportions are sustainable to high proportions of energy supply from these technologies. To give an example: consider a person on a salary of 100,000 pa. If s/he’s been saving $10/wk s/he can easily double that and save an extra $10/wk. But s/he cannot save an extra $100,000 a week.

        “global renewable capacity in the power industry worldwide was 1560 gigawatts (GW), a year-on-year increase of more than 8 per cent.”
        Context:
        The RE industry continually talks about capacity instead of energy supplied. The capacity factor of wind and solar very low. So it doesn’t produce much energy.

        “renewables went up by nearly 17 per cent to more than 560GW.”
        That’s trivial because they don’t produce much energy. Furthermore, the rate cannot continue to a significant proportion of total energy supplied because these technologies are uneconomic and not sustainable. That is they cannot provide the energy to support modern society. They are totally dependent on fossil fuels.

        I’d urge Ken to ask this question

        Why is there so little interest among climate scientists and those most concerned about substantially reducing global GHG emissions in rational policies to do this? Why is there almost no debate among these people about the probability that policies they advocate will succeed in the real world in delivering the benefits they expect and say they want – where the benefits are ‘reduced climate damages’ and measured in dollars.?
        Why isn’t the following widely understood by those most concerned? And why isn’t it widely advocated?
        1. Nuclear power is a far cheaper way to substantially reduce global GHG emissions than renewable energy.
        2. Nuclear power has the capacity to provide all humans energy needs effectively indefinitely.
        3. RE cannot sustain modern society, let alone in the future as per capita energy consumption continues to increase as it has been doing since human first learnt to control fire.
        4. There is far greater capacity to reduce the cost of nuclear energy than renewable energy.
        5. The issue with nuclear is political, not technical. The progressives are the block to progress and they have been for the past 50 years.

      • They are spinning wind power.

      • Spinning, with cracked blades and a fluid leak from the gearbox.
        ====================

  23. An El Nino starting 2014 died last week, or rather it was never born. It got so close [4 months of > 0.5] but went under without a trace. where are the articles pointing this out? where is the discussion? also gone without a trace. More ice at both poles for the past 2 years, giving a record total global sea ice are suggests that the temperatures should only go down from here. Looking forward th a cold 2015 !

    • To me it’s good news. The prolonged ENSO neutral warming will continue.

      Let’s how the 12 months March 2014 through Feb 2015 look. Could see a GISS anomaly in the .69C to .71C range.

    • Having the higher temperature water spread out over a larger area should enhance evaporation and produce more clouds. Also, the larger area will allow the ocean to absorb the heat more quickly. I wouldn’t count my hot years before they hatch.

      • We”ll know in 1.5 months.

      • JCH | January 18, 2015 at 12:26 am |
        “We”ll know in 1.5 months.”
        Last 2 years in Australia 1st warmest, now 3rd warmest, were accompanied by very high starting temps at beginning of January.
        This year started out for 3 days like that but then we were hit by a giant low, lots of rain and cloud and I expect this month to be quite cool for a January. It bodes well for a much cooler year here and in the Pacific hence the world.
        We will see the trend in 1 1/2 months as you said.

    • Looks much more like a solar high warmth.

      The first thing we could expect – imminently – is a turn down in solar intensity – both in the Schwabe cycle and much longer term. A continuation of the surface temperature plateau for a while yet seems really a no brainer. A turn to yet cooler ocean states after that seems more likely than not.

  24. I’m in moderation and I wonder: why?
    Too late on a Saturday night to speculate further

  25. Planetary Physics

    This week saw the formation of a new group “Planetary Physics” …

    (Please forward to any you know with physics qualifications)

    I am forming a world-wide group called “Planetary Physics” whose website will be here at this stage. Group submissions may be added to that site after suitable review processes. I will also coordinate comments from the group on climate blogs.

    At some stage in the future we may produce PowerPoint productions and/or youtube videos which may be used at meetings anywhere that members can talk and spread the word in any country they live or visit.

    Any wishing to join should just send name, address, qualifications etc to the email address on our website and they will receive emails from time to time and of course be welcome to comment and contribute material.

  26. “…in the current environment of low oil prices, a $25 per tonne tax on carbon would raise over $1 trillion over the next 10 years while only lifting US gas prices by a mere 25 cents for the consumer.” – Assaad W. Razzouk, clean energy entrepreneur, investor and commentator, writing for the Independent.

    25 cents against a trillion! I’m totally sold on this carbon tax.

    Unless this is some of that trick verbiage that changes snow to “flood risk” and “blizzard” to “Lake Effect”. Something tells me that if I chase Assaad in ten years time to follow up on his promises he’ll be “investing” in the latest miracle berry or selling Queensland real estate at low tide. He’ll have moved on, as they say.

    • –“…in the current environment of low oil prices, a $25 per tonne tax on carbon would raise over $1 trillion over the next 10 years while only lifting US gas prices by a mere 25 cents for the consumer.” – Assaad W. Razzouk, clean energy entrepreneur, investor and commentator, writing for the Independent.

      25 cents against a trillion! I’m totally sold on this carbon tax.

      Unless this is some of that trick verbiage that changes snow to “flood risk” and “blizzard” to “Lake Effect”. Something tells me that if I chase Assaad in ten years time to follow up on his promises he’ll be “investing” in the latest miracle berry or selling Queensland real estate at low tide. He’ll have moved on, as they say.–

      Well a gallon of gas makes about 20 lb of CO2. 100 times 20 lbs is one tonne. And 100 times $.25 is 25 dollars.
      Federal taxes on gasoline is currently 18.40 cents or $18.40 per ton of CO2 it emits. Average state taxes on gasoline is 23.47 cents.
      Or average state plus federal taxes is $41.87 per ton of CO2 it emits.
      http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=10&t=10

      So US federal govt tax on gasoline pays for interstate roads and some of State taxes pays for roads. And since 41.87 per ton is greater than $25 per ton, over last 10 years, the Fed and states [on average] have received over
      1 trillion dollars and spent on roads.
      The Federal govt has spending about 1 trillion per year above all the money it received for all tax revenues. And that called deficit spending.
      And since government feels there no problem mortgaging it’s citizen’s future, why does matter if find other ways to feed this beast?
      In order words the federal government is already find an endless supply
      of money to spend [and it’s basically a tax on the future].
      The problem is not the lack of money, the problem is federal government is recklessly spending it’s citizen’s wealth.
      One could hope that small amouint of money would used so as to not increase the debt further- but that is quite a stupid hope.

      • That money printing, and taxing the future, puts the lie to wanting a carbon tax to “save the children.” Will the government suddenly stop printing money if they get the carbon tax? No.

      • –m2 | January 18, 2015 at 8:56 am |

        That money printing, and taxing the future, puts the lie to wanting a carbon tax to “save the children.” Will the government suddenly stop printing money if they get the carbon tax? No.–

        Yes.
        But let’s called what it is a Big Lie. Say in, wiki:
        “A big lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique.”
        Everything thing ever said [certainly everything repeated] by the Left
        is a Big Lie.
        So what most common is that lefties will say conservatives are doing X,
        when it is the Left which is doing X.

        This works because if I accuse Joe of stealing candy, and Joe say I stole the candy. It Joe puts at the disadvantage and any evidence of me stealing candy, I can say Joe fabricated the evidence.
        So I promote weird and many conspiracy theories- and most important I get away with stealing the candy.

    • What we’ve got going on here is a good old fashioned gas war – gone global. I hope that Obama is smart enough to tank up the strategic reserve instead of doing something stupid.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        the fall in gas prices is curious
        considering that for 40 years experts have been saying
        “turmoil in the Mideast, expect oil prices to rise”
        now this
        perhaps this is a clue that expert predictions are almost always overtaken by unforeseen factors
        strike that, let’s say “always overtaken”

      • Political factors, in the ME for example, will have less impact now that the US, Mexico, and Canada are producing more oil. It’s a good thing. Note that the brutal, barbaric, dog ISIS hasn’t driven up the price of oil.

    • Oh if want to tax imported oil that would subsidize domestic oil production.
      And be essentially taxing countries we import oil from [about 1/2 US consumption] and charge $50 dollars per ton of CO2.
      But this could easily be seen a violation of World Trade agreements and reversal of US policy which suppose to favor free trade. Since Europe has little oil production- that it essential what Europe is currently doing with ridiculous tax rates on gasoline.
      So considering Europe has been doing iit could interesting court case- if US won, we probably encourage less trade trade in the world.
      But 100 billion per year is peanuts, when federal govt spent $3.7 trillion.
      “This was the first budget the Senate had itself proposed in 4 years. It called for $3.7 trillion in federal spending and increased taxes, and it anticipated government debt continuing to accumulate”-
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_United_States_federal_budget

      Keep in mind the individual State add up to spend trillions per year also- getting gas tax, sales tax, and property taxes which spend many silly things but large chunk pays for public schools- plus and welfare, medical care, etc.

    • You mean it’s 25 cents per gallon? Dang, I knew there’d be a catch. And here I was ready with my “mere” 25 cents to mail to Assaad the clean energy entrepreneur. I guess he thought “per gallon” might sound less “mere”. In fact, it doesn’t sound very “mere” at all. I’m sure his type gets a start in business writing the mystical-sounding labels on energy drinks.

      No doubt even a trillion will eventually be “mere” to a giant carbon bureaucracy operating along side clean energy entrepreneurs (like Lehman Bros and Enron used to be, back in the heady pioneering days of taxing fragments of thin air).

      Still, the trillion could be well spent on junking old wind turbines, solar panels and tidal generators. They won’t just jump into the recycling bins on their own.

      We owe it to our grandchildren and all the usual grand-suspects to take action on clean energy now. With a bit of luck, they’ll never know what a clean energy entrepreneur looks like.

  27. Tom Fuller: Pseudoscience in the Service of Policy

    “This week has been an education–reviewing the work of Naomi Oreskes, Anderegg, Prall et al, John Cook et al and Stephan Lewandowsky.

    “Short version–some people who were (mostly) not scientists and certainly don’t know how to do research properly conducted a series of studies that had foregone conclusions supporting their position on climate policy. For Prall, Cook and Lewandowsky the foregone nature of the conclusions was explicit–they wrote on various websites that they were conducting the studies with a predetermined end. For Oreskes it was implicit, but easy to see, as she structured her research carefully, not to show the breadth of opinion on climate change, but rather to conceal it.”

    https://thelukewarmersway.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/pseudoscience-in-the-service-of-policy/

  28. From the article:

    Thousands of Britons living in Spain could soon find themselves in a “black hole” when it comes to medical treatment. Tough new regulations mean that many can no longer access local health care services there, but those returning to the UK are also being turned away by the NHS, despite the fact many have paid National Insurance throughout their working lives.

    Those who have already reached retirement age will still be covered by a similar reciprocal agreement (provided that they have signed the correct paperwork). But with further cost-cutting on the horizon there are concerns that this too could soon be under threat. Expats who can no longer get free health care in Spain, however, cannot simply pop back to Britain and get treatment on the NHS. In recent years there has been a clampdown on this kind of “health tourism”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/10834116/NHS-rejects-expats-returning-from-Spain.html

  29. From the article:

    Scottish-born David Gray, a creative director based in Brooklyn, was “doubled-up coughing in the snow” when he fell out of love with the US healthcare system.

    When he handed over his insurance card, the receptionist’s dazzling smile faded. His employer had changed healthcare providers without Gray’s knowing it. “Sliding the new card back across the desk, she said ‘this is not insurance we accept.’ She turned away. Sixty seconds later I was back out in the snow, bent over double coughing,” Gray says.

    Gray is far from alone. The American “health insurance” system comes as a nasty shock to many British expatriates working and living in the United States.

    Even some who enjoy great career opportunities and stay in America for 10 or more years simply resent having to deal with it.

    Some prefer to fly back to the UK for visits to the doctor or dentist because even after paying for flights it is sometimes still cheaper – and a lot less hassle – than getting treatment in the United States.

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/12/us-healthcare-system-leaves-brits-baffled-enraged

    • jim2

      my son was over in the States for much of the summer of 2013 and was shocked by the eye watering cost of health care and the manner in which it could be accessed.

      I don’t know if the situation has got worse or better for the majority since Obama care but it certainly wasn’t the shining example it is often held up to be at that time.

      tonyb.

      • We had to pass the bill before we could read what’s in it. That pretty much tells the story. The Dimowits pushed it through with parliamentary tricks.

      • That’s because Redumblican’ts totally oppose the system that allows far less spending for healthcare by just about every country on the planet:

        Single payer.

        LMAO.

      • In the United States, because of the knot heads among us, a single payer system is politically impossible.

        So to have a system that provides healthcare for all, it has to be incredibly expensive so that Americans can pick their own doctor.

        Remember Jim Cripwell? He tried to explain to these know heads that the Canadian healthcare system is superior to ours, and Redumlican’ts have been brainwashed to believe the Canadian system is horrible. Poor Jim. He thought he liked American conservatives. If American conservatives had a vote, they would destroy Jim’s adored Canadian healthcare system.

        They would also destroy the British system. They hate single payer. Oh gawd, it’s socialized medicine!

        ObamaScare is capitalism Yippee for capitalism!

      • Here is what the Dimowits did. They bent over backwards to help the health providers in return for support. The chart below shows health care stocks in black, the S&P 500 in tan, and Consumer Discretionary stocks in blue. Dimowit cronyism to the core.

      • JCH – I was very happy with what I had before. The dumba$$es among us couldn’t cut government spending and implement a negative income tax with provisions to help the truly disabled. Dimowits block our progress as a society.

      • Hmmm … the bottom of the chart got cut off. This is one year back to today.

  30. From the article:

    Here is something few pundits predicted.

    Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally going to the doctor’s office for care. But middle-class patients are increasingly staying away.

    Take Praveen Arla, who helps his father run a family practice in Hillview, Kentucky. The Arlas’ patient load used to be 45% commercially insured and 25% Medicaid. Those percentages are now reversed, report Laura Ungar and Jayne O’Donnell in USA Today.

    What’s the difference? Medicaid patients generally face no deductible or copayment when they seek care. But people who get health insurance at work or buy it in the (Obamacare) exchanges can face high out-of-pocket costs.

    Nationwide, the size of the average deductible more than doubled in eight years, from $584 to $1,217 for individual coverage according to the Kaiser Foundation. Deductibles of $1,000 and up are now the workplace norm. In the exchanges, total out-of-pocket costs can reach $6,600 for an individual and $13,200 for a family. Moreover, the bulk of people who get insurance in the exchanges are choosing high-deductible plans.

    But when those same people have a medical problem, they are often forced to spend money they don’t have, incur significant debts or forego care.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2015/01/06/is-obamacare-squeezing-the-middle-class/

    • Personally, my out of pocket max per individual in my family jumped to $6,000 and I resent it greatly.

    • My cousin’s out of pocket on ObamaScare is $1500.

      Did you read the policy?

    • When my son was born, 1986, we switched to an HMO. At that time Texas doctors hated HMOs. So did Texans. When we told people we had switched, they thought we were crazy. “You’re all gonna die!”

      When he was two he spent a couple of weeks in a pediatric trauma center. He almost died. They told us that if he lived, he would probably have brain damage. In June he starts his residency in a medical specialty at one of the world’s very best hospitals – always ranked at the top or near the top. Lot’s of number-one rankings in its history.

      So she I sat down to settle his bill the lady said I owed them $8,000. 80/20. I owed 20% up to $8000. That’s how it was done. I told her I thought she was wrong.

      She was. We owed nothing. The HMO paid the whole thing.

      So it pays to read what your employer has to offer.

      The HMO had doctors on call 24 and 7. Th done who answered was a young Canadian who was doing her residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. When I told her my son’s symptoms, she said she thought she knew what he had. She told me to take my son to the car and go straight to the ER. She said to not even bother getting dressed. She yelled, “Now!” He stopped breathing about three minutes after arriving at the ER. There is usually an answering machine at an 80/20 that says, “If you have an emergency, hang up and call 911.” My son would have died.

      At that time with an HMO, the HMO picked your doctors. They picked a pretty good one.

  31. Senator Cruz may be seriously trying to salvage NASA:

    http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2077

    It may be too late now that Russia again controls space.

    • Sending a bunch of joystick jocks around outer space is ridiculous. We’ve finally discovered the economics of drones on earth.

      Always another Redumlican’t. Seemingly endless supply.

    • I worked on the Apollo program as well as the Space Shuttle and have in the past been a huge support of NASA. Spinoffs from NASA programs are used in every conceivable industry including medical, transportation, electronics, fabrics, adhesives, etc., etc., etc. Our modern life would be less modern without NASA. During those years dedicated scientists, engineers, technicians, clerical people, accounts, etc. were involved in something they believed in. Over the last several decades self-serving individuals seeking money, power, and glory have replaced that dedication. Scientific advances seem to have given way to political objectives and the desire to build a bigger empire. Supporting man in space is hugely expensive and I can’t help but wonder if science wouldn’t be better served in other ways. Although I do not know what plans the new power structure has for NASA, I do think it is time for a change. There is a saying; you can’t make an omelet with breaking some eggs and I am hungry for an omelet.

      • I’ve read that the Chinese astronaut corps consists of male jet fighter pilots and female jet tanker pilots. Tres interessant, esp. if true.
        =====================

      • Supporting man in space is hugely expensive and I can’t help but wonder if science wouldn’t be better served in other ways. Although I do not know what plans the new power structure has for NASA, I do think it is time for a change.

        Space Solar Power.

        Seeing as how NASA has been dabbling in decades-long issues, why not decades-long plans to solve them?

      • The study concluded that the SPS-ALPHA concept could – with needed technological advances – make possible the economically viable deliver[y] of solar energy to markets on Earth. In particular, it appears that a full-scale SPS-ALPHA, when incorporating selected advances in key component technologies should be capable of delivering power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of approximately 9¢/kilowatt-hour. At noted previously, at this point this result has been validated only to an early TRL 3 level of maturity.2 Although no breakthroughs in technology appear to be needed to realize SPS-ALPHA, transformational changes in how space systems are designed are needed. Additional research and development (R&D) will be required for confirmation of this very promising finding.

        My bold. See link within text for source.

      • “9¢/kilowatt-hour” is equivalent to $90.00/MWh, for comparison with values (Total system LCOE) from this report, also from 2012:

        •     Conventional Coal: $95.6/MWh

        •     Integrated Coal-Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC): $115.9/MWh

        •     IGCC with CCS: $147.4/MWh

        •     Natural Gas-fired Conventional Combined Cycle: $66.3/MWh

        •     Natural Gas-fired Advanced Combined Cycle: $64.4/MWh

        •     Natural Gas-fired Advanced CC with CCS: $91.3/MWh

        •     Natural Gas-fired Conventional Combustion Turbine: $128.4/MWh

        •     Natural Gas-fired Advanced Combustion Turbine: $103.8/MWh

        •     Advanced Nuclear: $96.1/MWh

        •     Geothermal: $47.9/MWh

        •     Biomass: $102.6/MWh

        •     Wind: $80.3/MWh

        •     Solar PV[2]: $130.0/MWh

        •     Hydro[3]: $84.5/MWh

        Notes (2&3) from original document:

        ]2].     Costs are expressed in terms of net AC power available to the grid for the installed capacity.

        [3].     As modeled, hydroelectric is assumed to have seasonal storage so that it can be dispatched within a season, but overall operation is limited by resources available by site and season.

  32. A man who can write “..given the disastrous economics of North American coal..” without mentioning that it may be due to politics, is a man I cannot trust.

    • And Hinckley also writes:
      “The U.S. and China have agreed to bilateral carbon reduction targets.”

      This guy is starting to make me feel smart. Sorry, Judith, that is not one of the best articles you have ever linked to.

      China has agreed to some woolly-minded non-binding statement that may help assuage the concerns of a US President’s domestic vanity. Chinese CO2 emissions will rise until there is a demonstrably cheaper energy source or they are in the position to dictate terms to the rest of the world.

      And they are probably right to do so.

      • China has agreed to some woolly-minded non-binding statement that may help assuage the concerns of a US President’s domestic vanity. Chinese CO2 emissions will rise until there is a demonstrably cheaper energy source or they are in the position to dictate terms to the rest of the world.

        China is also spending enough money to convert solar PV into “a demonstrably cheaper energy source”.

        China is leading the way to a world of decarbonised energy, by placing the emphasis of its policy on growing the markets for renewables and building the industries to supply wind turbines, solar cells, batteries and other devices.

        In this way it is driving down costs, through the learning curve, and making renewables more accessible to all countries. This is good for China, and for the world.

        For those interested in real analysis (rather than twitter-bytes): Re-considering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power.

    • AK – I have a bridge for sale, cheap!

      • Where’s the link to the engineering report? What’s the LCOT (transport)? Do you have traffic projections, costs of toll collection?

  33. An example of the “good Muslims.”
    From the article:

    The King of Saudi Arabia is to refer the case of blogger and activist Raif Badawi’s to the Supreme Court, his wife has told BBC News.

    Her comments come after Saudi authorities postponed Badawi’s second round of public flogging for a week, citing medical reasons, according to a leading human rights group Amnesty International, the Associated Press reported.

    In May last year, authorities sentenced Badawi, 31, to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes after he used his liberal blog to criticise Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics. The Jiddah Criminal Court also ordered he pay a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (£175,700).

    Last Friday, Mr Badawi’s was flogged in public for the first time, before dozens of people in the Red Sea city of Jiddah. The father of three was taken to a public square, whipped on his back and legs, and taken back to prison.

    Rights groups and activists believe his case is part of a wider clampdown on dissent in the kingdom.

    Amnesty International said authorities delayed administering 50 lashings to Raif Badawi, set to take place today after midday prayers, because his wounds from last week’s flogging had not yet healed properly and he would not be able to withstand another round.

    Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme said the postponement exposes the “utter brutality” of the punishment, and its “outrageous inhumanity.”

    “The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances,” said

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/raif-badawi-saudi-king-refers-case-to-supreme-court-says-bloggers-wife-9983986.html

  34. From the article:

    On Friday’s broadcast of his HBO political talk show, comedian Bill Maher channeled Breitbart News on the threat that radical Islam poses to European countries, along with the dangers sharia law represents to Western freedoms.

    During the discussion, Maher and panelist actor Josh Gad brought up the straightforward comments by Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb who told Muslim immigrants in Europe that if they didn’t like Western freedoms and free speech they should “f**k off.”

    Maher and Gad approved of the mayor’s comments, but “neoliberal” journalist Josh Barro disagreed, saying that the mayor’s message was counterproductive.

    Maher took Barro to task for his point and cited an incident in England that was extensively covered by Breitbart News.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/17/bill-maher-channels-breitbart-news-on-threat-of-radical-islam/

    • Interesting. Thanks for the link. A funny thing has happened “While Europe Slept”. It is very odd that the nation that gave us English Common Law, the Magna Carta, Parliament, and gave birth to democracptic nations like the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and modern India has found itself in this position.

    • Maher is a well known anti-religion secularist. While he joins with the Christian right wing on the issue of Muslim indoctrination in schools or influence in local laws, he opposes them when they want to similarly incorporate Christian values into state laws. His is a consistent secular viewpoint.

      • Our Christian founding fathers saw the wisdom in separation of church and state. I’m on their side.

      • Jim2 – but ‘In God We Trust’

      • The US has an equivalent with the attempts to have creationism being taught in schools.

      • Well, the “evolution” being taught in schools is just as bad, if not worse. Dogma is dogma, not science.

      • “In God we Trust” is part of our history. But we don’t have a religious fanatic in charge, like in some Muslim countries, that force you to be a Christian or lose your head, or be buried up to your neck and stoned, or … so many other brutal and in-human punishments.

      • Yeah, not to burst your bubble, but separation of church and state is a Christian, more accurately Catholic, value and gift to western culture.

        “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s,” predates the founding of this country by about one thousand, nine hundred and seventy six years.

      • ‘In God We Trust’

        Translated into American Progressive:

        ‘In The Democratic Party We Find Our Purpose”

        Andrew

      • […] separation of church and state is a Christian, more accurately Catholic, value and gift to western culture.

        Over 11 centuries, from 380 CE to 1517 CE, prove you wrong. Along with riots and persecutions before, and massive wars and persecutions after.

        More historical revisionism.

      • AK,

        History is full of people who use religion as an excuse for their depravity. But the question is whether their actions are consistent with that church’s dogma.

        Catholic dogma is not defined by the actions of those who purport to act in its name, but by the scriptures and traditions that are approved by canon law over the millennia.

        All those riots, persecutions and (unjust) wars you mention were contrary to established Church doctrine. It’s not unlike Nazis like Mengele and Soviets like Lysenko using the name of science to justify their depravity.

        The history of the Catholic Church extends over 2000 years. The Church has had billions of members, many of whom, including not a few clergy, were as evil as it gets. But no one can point to any aspect of Catholic dogma that actually justifies such evil.

        The Bible established the principle of separation of church and state over two millennia ago. It just took “enlightened” man 1700 plus years to put it into effect.

      • A case in point, a Catholic pope who does not believe in the separation of church and state, despite that being a central tenet of Catholic dogma.

        http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/01/18/world/europe/18reuters-pope-philippines-environment.html?_r=0

        Of course, progressives love this pope injecting himself into politics, because he is a political progressive.

      • The Bible established the principle of separation of church and state over two millennia ago.

        Highly doubtful. Check your chronology again.

        But I understand what you mean. The problem is that the “Catholic” church was the one that was placed in power by Constantine, forged the Donation of Constantine, and carried it as official church dogma until (at least) 1588:

        Valla’s treatise was taken up vehemently by writers of the Protestant Reformation, such as Ulrich von Hutten and Martin Luther, causing the treatise to be placed on the list of banned books in the mid-16th century. The Donation continued to be tacitly accepted as authentic until Caesar Baronius in his “Annales Ecclesiastici” (published 1588–1607) admitted that it was a forgery, after which it was almost universally accepted as such.[3] Some continued to argue for its authenticity; nearly a century after “Annales Ecclesiastici”, Christian Wolff still alluded to the Donation as undisputed fact.[15]

      • All this history of the Christian religion is OK I guess, but fast forward to now and it’s Islam that combines church, state, and just about everything else in one’s life. It is a brutal, backwards, and bloody religion-state-legal-system.

      • jim2, “All this history of the Christian religion is OK I guess, but fast forward to now and it’s Islam that combines church, state, and just about everything else in one’s life.”

        The Qu’ran devotes a good bit of text to demoting Christ to just another prophet and has an entire book on Mary the mother of Christ. Mohammed used the division of the “church” as a proof that there was only one God. That was in the 600s AD in the middle of the political fight over who controlled Christianity. So fast forwarding isn’t needed. “Live and let live.” wasn’t all that popular, especially in a nation where slavery was a major industry. Poverty wasn’t all that popular either.

        So “Christians” left banking to the Jews and slavery to the Muslims until the “enlightenment” which was the beginning of the industrial age. Political and economic needs tend to create more enlightenments and revivals. While there is a separation of church and state, the state never really separates from the church, just tweaks it a bit.

      • Captain

        Are you aware of the white slave trade carried out by the Muslims until the 1820’s? They used to snatch people from Towns on the south coast of England. The trade was smashed when Admiral Pellew, from my home town attacked the Barbary pirates In Algiers and released the white Christian slaves.

        Its estimated that over the course of two centuries they enslaved some two million Christians

        tonyb

      • CD – I disagree. There are plenty of nations run by secular governments. The US is one of them. Sure, people have root in religion, but you are over-generalizing and making connections that are no longer there.

      • From the article:

        “Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess…” (Qur’an 4:3).

        Do any Muslims still take female captives and feel themselves justified in doing so by this teaching of the Qur’an?

        For background, see this site.

        “Madeleine: New hope for McCanns as kidnapped American girl ‘is found safe in Morocco,’” from the Daily Mail (thanks to Doc Washburn):

        Private investigators searching for Madeleine McCann found a blonde girl who had been kidnapped by a Moroccan family, it was claimed yesterday.

        The discovery will give new hope to Kate and Gerry that their daughter is still alive and in a “similar situation”.

        Sources inside Spanish detective agency Metodo 3, which has been hired by the McCanns, said Interpol is investigating the discovery of the blonde girl living in the Rif mountains “” the area where they are searching for Madeleine.

        An insider said: “She was not Madeleine but she was an English speaker, possibly an American.”

        The boss of Metodo 3 said he believed Madeleine was abducted by a care worker on the instruction of a paedophile gang who stole the child to order.

        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/10/there-is-a-long-history-of-girls-being-kidnapped-from-europe-and-ending-up-in-morocco

      • jim2, “CD – I disagree. There are plenty of nations run by secular governments. The US is one of them. Sure, people have root in religion, but you are over-generalizing and making connections that are no longer there.”

        Not really, Christianity allows for a secular government, so the US just followed that path. Rule of law is still based loosely on the ten commandments though. The tweaks are just smaller so far. Catholicism with a capital C is a little less tolerant now and at one time wasn’t very tolerant at all, depending on who was doing the interpreting. There are a lot of things illegal in the US that are legal in other secular countries because of different interpretations.

        In some US states/counties liquor sales are banned on Sunday. Not a bad idea in some areas so Sunday drivers aren’t mowed down by drunk drivers where before it was more like drunks shooting up Sunday meetings. There are still bans on liquor sales on election days in some places for the same reason. Those “blue” laws are all based on local ethics derived mainly from religious heritage.

        Atheists aren’t particularly proud of their heritage or don’t have a heritage, so they aren’t as tolerant of others. So they want every possible religious symbol removed. The most intolerant that exist because of tolerance want to run the show. Fat chance.

      • The fact that our basic laws are based on the 10 commandments does not generalize into the proposition that the US government is Christian. The 10 commandments make sense to most people and are just very basic guidelines of behavior. As I said, you are over-generalizing.

      • jim2, ” As I said, you are over-generalizing.”

        You are allowed your opinion no matter how wrong it is :)

  35. So, you haven’t seen Seth Borenstein’s latest piece at Phys.org, about the weirdest ‘climate statistics™’ you’ll ever have seen …

    Millions of billions, yeah, that’s right!

  36. For decades the big question about energy was whether the world could produce enough of it, in any form and at any cost. Now, suddenly, the challenge should be one of managing abundance. (see article in the Economist)

    So, the Left was wrong all along. And, everything it is demonstrably wrong about — from fears of running out of energy to fear of a free-enterprise economy that is free of Marxist, liberty-robbing central planning — played into the Left’s demonstrably wrong fears of runaway global warming.

    • Well, other than pointing out the obvious… was there some other message?

      • …temperature variations over the last 2,000 years suggests global warming (and cooling), are the rule, not the exception, and so greenhouse gas increases in the last 100 years occurring during warming might be largely a coincidence. ~Dr. Roy Spencer

  37. The way I put this issue is whatever the forcings due to Co2 and associated feedback may be, they are no match for other forcings that repeated drive the earth into ice ages after periods of higher temperatures and higher CO2. I posted that on realclimate once and Gavin S acknowledged its truth, but said it does not matter because manmade warming is bad or something to that effect.

  38. 85 years of Dimowit socialist programs and this is what we’ve ended up with:

    For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

    The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.

    “We’ve all known this was the trend, that we would get to a majority, but it’s here sooner rather than later,” said Michael A. Rebell of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College at Columbia University, noting that the poverty rate has been increasing even as the economy has improved. “A lot of people at the top are doing much better, but the people at the bottom are not doing better at all. Those are the people who have the most children and send their children to public school.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/majority-of-us-public-school-students-are-in-poverty/2015/01/15/df7171d0-9ce9-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html

    • They have an answer which is to get minimum wage back up to where a full-time job doesn’t leave you in the poverty bracket. Republicans are consistently against this, but now some Democrat states have acted on their own seeing that there is no hope for Congress to do anything anytime soon.

      • They have an answer which is to get minimum wage back up to where a full-time job doesn’t leave you in the poverty bracket.

        What happens when all those below-minimum-wage jobs just go away, because the businesses can’t stay solvent? Or get outsourced to Viet Nam? Or replaced by robots?

      • Yep, 85 years of Dimowit socialism has failed, and your answer is more socialism. Right.

      • We can see that did not happen in the Democrat states, so now maybe more will follow. It gives more people more spending money and lifts the economy. It was a Republican myth that this would lead to unemployment and unaffordable burgers.

      • I don’t think low paying service jobs are going away as long as there are people who can afford the services. They definitely won’t be outsourced.

      • Will Dyson wipe the floor?

        The sleek device has a number of innovations that, Dyson claims, put it far ahead of its competitors. Its vision system, with a 360° panoramic camera, allows it to see where it has cleaned in a room and what it has left to do, unlike its competitors which roam about in a seemingly random fashion in the hope that they will eventually cover the entire floor. This means it can clean a given area much faster by prioritising the places it has not yet covered. It also has tank tracks, rather than wheels, which allow it to climb rugs and small obstacles such as carpet edges (see picture). There is even an app to activate the device remotely.

      • AK, nothing to do with the above, but a good informative talk.

      • Here’s How Robots Could Change The World By 2025

        The report that is today’s OTB is from Pew Research and Elon University and runs to 67 pages. I have excerpted about six of those pages, which highlight some of the key takeaways from thought leaders among the 1,896 experts the authors consulted with, some of whom think robotics will be a huge plus and others who are deeply concerned about our social future. (You can find the whole study at http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/ plus links in the first few pages of the report to other fascinating subjects on the future. Wonks take note.)

        The vast majority of respondents to the 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing anticipate that robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as health care, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance. But even as they are largely consistent in their predictions for the evolution of technology itself, they are deeply divided on how advances in AI and robotics will impact the economic and employment picture over the next decade

        The countries that are winners in the coming technological revolution will be those that help their citizens organize themselves to take advantage of the new technologies. Countries that try to “protect” jobs or certain groups will find themselves falling behind. This report highlights some of the areas where not just the US but other countries are failing. Especially in education, where we still use an 18th-century education model developed to produce factory workers for the British industrialists, putting students into rows and columns and expecting them to learn facts that will somehow help them cope with a technological revolution

        The only comment I can come up with is that both sides of the debate over things like minimum wage have locked themselves their thoughts into a tiny little box rooted in the past. If, as seems likely, there aren’t enough jobs to go around, then systems and especially preconceptions based on past eras when there were need to be replaced, or at least substantially broadened.

        Here’s a thought: give people a salary to go to school. Just like a job. Some would just continue their schooling forever, but still benefit their schoolmates and the instructional institutions. Others would use the opportunity to learn how to do something useful, profitable, etc. I’m not saying “do it”, I’m just throwing it out there to think about.

        As a libertarian I should remind that libertarianism is about liberty.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, nothing to do with the above, but a good informative talk.

        Plenty to do with the above: how many wealthy people do you suppose hired servants to do their laundry before washing machines became common? How many today? How many when they’re able to wash, dry, iron, and sort just like taking your clothes to a laundry?

        Service jobs were once essential for people with full time obligations (job and/or social) that kept them from taking care of themselves. Today we have machines.

        And consider the internet: if you need somebody to oversee your robots taking care of your home, why hire somebody in your home town when somebody in India will do it 10× cheaper?

      • OTOH, there’s Why Call Center Jobs Are Coming Back

        On Monday, Aegis, a Mumbai-based outsourcing firm owned by Indian conglomerate Essar, announced it will add 1,000 new jobs in the “Dallas Metroplex” as part of a pledge it made last year to hire “more than 4,000 workers in the U.S. over the next two years.” The jobs, according to Aegis’s announcement, are a mix of full- and part-time and of sales and customer service: 230 of the new employees will be “licensed full‐time sales representatives,” 600 will be customer service representatives, and the remaining 250 will be “nonlicensed sales representatives.”

        […]

        She estimated that at one point, 30 percent of call center jobs for high-tech firms were offshore; now, thanks to onshoring, or insourcing, it’s more like 12 percent.

        […]

        A 2008 study by the CFI Group concluded that “when customer service representatives are perceived to speak clearly, they also resolve customer issues 88 percent of the time.” But when they’re not perceived as speaking clearly, “they resolve customer issues only 45 percent of the time.” Although the study concluded that “an in-depth understanding of products and services is as important as language skills,” they were more-or-less inextricable from each other.

        […]

        The jobs themselves aren’t necessarily great. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for customer service representatives in 2010 was just over $14.50 an hour and $30,460 a year. The jobs, however, fit a niche in the economy that is more and more underserved. Customer service jobs certainly are not no-skill—one needs good communication skills along with basic phone and computer abilities. But they do not require a college diploma, and the training can be done on the job. There were more than 2.1 million of these customer service jobs in 2010 and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that number to grow 15 percent over the next decade. And the more these jobs require speaking recognizably American English, the bigger advantage Americans have in getting them.

        Americans, note. Not Americans living in the same state. Which just ties into the constant demand by socialists for higher-scale government, to make up for suppress competition between more and less free states.

      • At AK’s link:
        http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-robots-could-change-the-world-by-2025-2014-8 We have I think the adapters and those hanging onto the past. When labor markets change in part because of innovation, we can try to turn back the clock to what seems safe and predictable. We can try to protect people from change by passing laws and say that businesses can afford minor cost increases. What can happen is businesses seem squeezed and now make bigger adaptations for instance more automation. The ones now getting squeezed are the people who were to benefit from our benevolent oversight. Trying to guide our economy sounds good in theory. “It would be hard to conceive of a worse set of policy prescriptions than the ones Larry Summers and his Keynesian collaborators have conjured up. We’ve had bailouts, massive spending-stimulus plans, tax increases on “the rich,” Obamacare, rudderless monetary policy that has collapsed the dollar, the Dodd-Frank bill, anti-carbon policies, a vast expansion of the welfare state, and on and on.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/385517/secular-stagnation-cover-larry-kudlow-stephen-moore Maybe the control variables of the economy don’t reliably do what we think they do. The economy is unpredictable. Rather than trying to control it, we should be adapting to it.

      • Minimum wage was never intended to support a family, or even an individual. Rather, the min wage allows an employer to hire a person with no skill or experience. IAC, the unintended consequences of the min wage are obvious.

      • AK I am including restaurants (fast food), hotels, retail, convenience stores etc as being service jobs.

      • joseph, “AK I am including restaurants (fast food), hotels, retail, convenience stores etc as being service jobs.”

        With unemployment high those are in big demand. They are not what one would consider a “career” job at minimum wage. Even there the minimum wage staff are most often part time, new hires or seasonal. At a local convenience store a “salaried” employee can make a decent living but don’t check the time sheets too closely. There are lots of hours required to man a store but not all that much physical labor.

        With the last minimum wage hike, waitstaff starting making more than managers causing a bit of under the table shuffling. A fairly good waitstaff job is good for more than a grand a week in season with about 70% off the books.

      • I am including restaurants (fast food), hotels, retail, convenience stores etc as being service jobs.

        Well, I usually use the U-Scan at the supermarket. And fast food from vending machines strikes me as usually as good as potluck from an unfamiliar fast food restaurant. Convenience stores are almost perfectly adapted for full automation. And so on.

        I don’t see where you have an argument.

      • Rather, the min wage allows an employer to hire a person with no skill or experience

        How about the 64 unskilled workers under the federal scheme.

        http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/unskilled-workers-report-new-jobs

      • Even there the minimum wage staff are most often part time, new hires or seasonal.

        Even more reason to give these people a raise. I actually think that over $10/hr is too high but lower income will be eating at fast food restaurants, going to convenience stores more and the like with more money, so I think it really is mostly a wash. Prices go up slightly and profits take a small hit. There may be more churn but the jobs should be there if you look for them.

      • Heh, unless taken over by cheaper robots first. Oh, that could never happen, China would be there first anyway.
        ==============

      • Let the market set the minimum wage and more young people could get a job and the valuable work experience and work ethic that go with it.

      • joseph, “Prices go up slightly and profits take a small hit. There may be more churn but the jobs should be there if you look for them.”

        never has been. Every minimum wage increase has caused a shift in employment. Minimum wage regulation is most often a feel good band-aid. Quality job growth initiatives generated by states to attract corporations have a more definite impact. High unemployment and state/city tax incentives can be attractive when marketed right.

        Joseph, the same ol same ol is played. You have to think outside the box. If the Fed wants to do something positive, finance new nuclear power plants. They are labor intensive long term projects. Averaging electrical cost over 40 years with sweetheart financing and economic impact they are a boon not a boondoggle.

        Oh, you don’t like nuclear probably but you would “feel” better thinking a minimum wage increase has resolve all the nasty working class issues right? Your magic bullet.

    • The Dimowits are making good progress towards their goal of two classes – rich government official and rich business men, then the other 85% in poverty. Good communist stats, that.

  39. John Vonderlin

    Seth Borstein’s article quotes John Grego in this excerpt: ( Dr. John Grego is Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics, University
    of South Carolina. He is also the Director of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory) “And then there’s the fact that the last 358 months in a row have been warmer than the 20th-century average, according to NOAA. The odds of that being random are so high—a number with more than 100 zeros behind it—that there is no name for that figure, Grego said.”
    Though my memory about such things was from nearly fifty years ago, I thought that can’t be right. Wikipedia agrees, ten to the hundreth or a 1 with one hundred zeroes after it is a “googol.” Dictionary.com adds: ORIGIN 1935-40; introduced by U.S. mathematician Edward Kasner (1878-1955), whose nine-year-old nephew allegedly invented it.

    .

    • Grego is wrong not only about the word googol, from which came Google. His mathnis bad. Temperature series are autocorrelated (last year not so different from this year). His calculation assumed random independence like coins tosses. Inapplicable math model, fundamentally flawed thinking.
      The same fundamental flaw as the 1 in 27million goof also making MSM rounds concerning warmest year ever.
      NASA itself in its SI said there is only a 38% chance 2014 is actually warmest owing to measurement uncertainty. ‘Record’ was IIRC 0.04C when GISS accuracy is +/- 0.09C. NASA should have PR’s same as BEST did.

      • “NASA itself in its SI said there is only a 38% chance 2014 is actually warmest owing to measurement uncertainty.”
        NOAA said 48% as well, both of them below 50%, so it is more likely than not that 2014 was not the warmest year in recent records given uncertainty in measurements.
        Gavin Schmidt asks any questions yet puts up these figures saying he is wrong. Go Figure.

    • Climate is not random and you can’t apply random statistical analysis to it.

      • Over at the Bish’s I wondered which is worse, the 97% or the 1 in 27 million. I decided it was the 97% because that was a deliberate political corruption of science. The other just exposes the idiocy of its creators, and the shackled political followers who touted, er, spouted it, in particular Mann, Schmidt and Gleick.

        But Dave Chappell had a remark that made me think of all the other fantastic phantasmgoric numbers being thrown around, apparently in a deliberate campaign. Pretty soon we’re talking about Big Numbers.

        It’s just the Big Lie told Bigger.

        The 97% reached the ears of the President, expect the 1 in 27 million to fog up the vision of the many-headed.
        ===================

      • It was DaveR not Dave Chappell.
        =======

      • Correct. It is chaotic and no amount of statistical shenanigans is going to change that.

  40. I called up my statistician friend and had him do a calculation for me. He found there is a 1 in 27 million chance that a climate alarmist will understand radiative transfer physics in its most basic form.

  41. From the article:

    Well, I have new term in 2015 for our friends on the left: “Energy Deniers.”

    In 2015, the “Energy Deniers” in the White House, the EPA, and the U.S. Senate are out in force. Our misguided President, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, are elbowing each other for face time in front of network TV cameras to announce plans to deny the Keystone XL Pipeline, deny access to vast energy resources on federal lands, and deny our potential energy and manufacturing renaissance. And, they’ll do it all by imposing
    unnecessary and costly new environmental regulations that will surely raise energy prices for all of us while reducing energy production.

    This makes sense to whom? Our “Energy Deniers” pander to the environmental fringe and dream of endless tax revenues that we will all pay for.

    Against the backdrop of Sen. Schumer saying we should deny the Keystone Pipeline because it supposedly doesn’t create jobs, and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ clarion call for a costly new national carbon tax, we now learn of a new move by the White House and the EPA to impose another strict round of environmental regulations that will only drive up the price of energy in the U.S.

    This latest move by EPA will have a harmful impact on countless American workers, small businesses, and energy consumers who desperately need affordable energy to make ends meet.

    The EPA has already declared carbon a pollutant and ozone a pollutant. So now, EPA is gunning to declare methane gas a pollutant as well. Why? The obvious answer is that taxing methane is a great revenue-booster for the federal government. Unlimited carbon, ozone, and methane mean unlimited taxes on manufacturers and energy producers, but ultimately you and me (the consumer).

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/16/ken-blackwell-energy-deniers/

    • Jim2

      This makes sense to whom? Our “Energy Deniers” pander to the environmental fringe and dream of endless tax revenues that we will all pay for.

      John Holdren should be included.

      It’s really amazing what length the Left are going to to damage the US economy for the ling term. What motivates these people to go to such lengths to damage human well-being?

      • Peter – “What motivates these people …?”

        For some, money, others, religion, and stil others political power.

      • Justin Wonder. I agree. I’ve just extracted a page from a book I have by Herbert Inhaber “Energy Risk Assessment”. The book is dated 1993. The page is from one of many Appendixs in the book where all the critiques of the analysis are included. This is the page that introduces the critiques by John Holdren in 1979 and the responses to the critiques. It’s interesting to look back and see John Holdren’s background and consider that thsi si the type of person the USP President selects to be his senior advisor on Energy Policy.

        John Holdren and Nuclear News

        A letter by John Holdren of the University of California, Berkeley appeared in the March, 1979 issue of Nuclear News to which the author replied. Holdren wrote again in the April, 1979 issue and a second letter in response was published. At the end of the set is a personal letter from the author to Holdren inviting him to settle any differences with respect to the report. No answer was received. Because Holdren refused to give reprint permission for the two letters, they are paraphrased here.

        In his first letter, Holdren said that he had only recently seen the item on the Atomic Energy Control Board report as noted in the July, 1978 issue of Nuclear News. Since he had been quoted in the publication, he felt that he should set the record straight. He began by saying that although he had written on nuclear power, he had not estimated the health impact of long­ term storage or disposal of radioactive waste. His estimates of occupational and public risk from nuclear waste were only for transport and reprocessing.

        Secondly, he said that data from his report had been “misunderstood, misrepresented, and misused” in Inhaber’s report. He said that some errors included confusing thermal and electrical energy, exchanging megawatts with megawatt-years, making arithmetic errors, double counting labor and back-u p energy requirements and introducing arbitrary correction factors.

        Thirdly, Holdren said that Inhaber’s values for material requirements for wind are made up of a remarkable combination of errors. He stated that these included pounds-to-tons mistakes of a factor of 2000, and a counter­ vailing error of a factor of 20 by confusing the energy output per year with the energy output over the lifetime of the system. He stated that the net error of a factor of 100 is in all the conclusions about wind.

        Fourthly, he stated that Inhaber’s values for biomass are too high by a factor of 8.33. This factor supposedly corrects for an assumed 12% efficiency of converting the chemical energy in methanol to the mechanical energy in vehicles. Holdren said that Inhaber did not account for inefficiencies of end-use devices for conventional energy sources that he considered.

        Fifthly, Holdren said that these errors and inconsistencies render Inhaber’s values unusable, either absolutely or as measures of comparative risk. The risks of nonconventional energy sources are worthy of study but it should be done objectively, by “someone who knows a thousandfold error when he sees one.”

      • Correction, the Herbert Inhaber book “Energy Risk Assessment” is dated 1983, not 1993.

      • Say, Peter, yer so meticulous in yer corrections. )
        What’s a decade between friends, or a degree or two
        in the climate debate.
        bts.

      • Beth,

        In this case it was a typo and important to correct for the context of the comment. John Holdren’s critiques were in 1979. he wouldn’t allow his nonsense to be published. His critique was pathetic and full of assumptions he never checked or asked about. He an Amory Lovins and A host of like minded anti- nukes were trying to ridicule the Canadian Atomic Control Board’s work but wouldn’t allow their critiques to be published. The book was published 4 years after Holdren’s first critique, not 14 years after. So, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t give the usual culprits a free kick and then have to defend it afterwards.

        The full debate between these ‘academics’ (one of them is now the senior adviser on energy policy to the President of the US), is interesting. It made it very clear to me back in those days who could be trusted and who could not. Nothing has changed much in the past 30+ years

      • A serf stands corrected, Peter.Context matters.
        bts.

      • I still miss Max Anacker ( and his high integrity) when we are discussing things like this.

      • Oh yes, Peter, integrity and humour, who can ask
        fer anything more. Many of us miss Max.

    • Peter – “John Holdren…It’s interesting to look back and see John Holdren’s background and consider that this is the type of person the USA President selects to be his senior advisor on Energy Policy.”

      Nothing Obama does surprises me. The people of the USA really didn’t understand who they were voting for, even though it was plain to see his history as an activist and Chicago politician. The far left knew what they were getting, and they just love it. The rest voted for an image created by a very clever and cynical pr and marketing machine. To me, he is the equivalent of the Chinese emperor that burned the fleet and set China on a trajectory toward defeat and colonization. China has just now recovered in the last few decades.

  42. For Joshua, (and anyone else who wishes to chime in)

    I’ve been thinking a fair amount about your “risk” thought process. Wanted to run something by you.

    It seems that so much of the AGW conversation is oriented towards soley the GHG’s. So I asked myself, being comfortable stating “it’s warming” but lacking cause. As a good risk manager how should I proceed? The known knowns are our climate cycles cool/warm/cool. Using the “likely” (66-90% confidence) conditions that man is attributed to a portion (maybe 50%?) of the warming. That is then balanced with the known known that nature has caused the previous fluctuations (100% confidence).

    Steven Mosher indicates the appropriate approach is to prepare for “yesterday’s weather”. Seems prudent.

    Considering the expenses associated with mitigation, it also seems prudent to factor that in to some extent but at most only to the “likely” level of contribution. So doing what Mosher says and doing some math, give it 50% of the 66-90% leading to 33%-45% of associated costs and allocate other funds elsewhere. (How’d I do Steven?)

    So what behaviors do I change and to what extent? Given the known known, would not the most prudent mitigation be for man to relocate from areas most exposed to the effects such as away from rising seas? Infrastructure can be factored in here also. Man has migrated in the past. In fact, recently we’ve seen studies giving evidence of societies that have perished by not relocating (migrating). I’ve only seen mitigation being in terms of reduction of emissions.

    I have an cAGW buddy (small c as he thinks we’ll head off the C). But he won’t even consider relocation as an approach as (according to him) he’s spent over 20,000 hours (10 years) deep in to his research and says he’s found ZERO possibility the warming is NOT caused by man. I express that that’s just not credible, but …………it’s a typical GW oriented debate with no end. He indicates it’d be “too expensive” to relocate but if it turns out (thinking risk here) that we mitigate our GHG’s to the levels of say 1950 (?) and ya can’t fool mother nature so she takes us on up, up, up, then did we not miss on our risk management?

    Just tossing it out. Thoughts?

    • Danny…will try to get to this and your other comment…maybe tomorrow….haven’t had time (or inclination) for anything other than drive-bys.?

    • **Steven Mosher indicates the appropriate approach is to prepare for “yesterday’s weather”. Seems prudent.

      Considering the expenses associated with mitigation, it also seems prudent to factor that in to some extent but at most only to the “likely” level of contribution. So doing what Mosher says and doing some math, give it 50% of the 66-90% leading to 33%-45% of associated costs and allocate other funds elsewhere. (How’d I do Steven?)**

      I assume yesterday weather would be including 60 years period of the past weather in the region [assuming it’s available].

      —So what behaviors do I change and to what extent? Given the known known, would not the most prudent mitigation be for man to relocate from areas most exposed to the effects such as away from rising seas? Infrastructure can be factored in here also. Man has migrated in the past. In fact, recently we’ve seen studies giving evidence of societies that have perished by not relocating (migrating). I’ve only seen mitigation being in terms of reduction of emissions. —

      Hmm, most practical method would finding out various insurance rates in the area. One can assume they have done the research. Though their fluctuation of rates over time and what government laws are have been involved are also related. And things like very local improvements or changes related to say a beach tend to be more important than global changes. It’s largely about neighborhood.

    • Firstly, let’s not use common words like “risk” and “uncertainty” in a precious fashion. We know what they are. Also, let’s not endow such loose abstractions with a precision they can’t have. Don’t tell me of a 38% risk or 67% uncertainty in matters of fantastic complexity (climate, duh). Keep it splotchy so I know we’re still discussing risk and uncertainty.

      And please take me back to 1950, the year Australia became wetter and cooler after more than a half century of rainfall deficit – and our still-standing world heatwave record of the 1920s and our great killer heats of 1896 and 1939.

      Btw, fans of extreme weather should check out Australia 1950. It’s to die for if you are an extremist. Though we actually managed a bit of drought at what is normally the wettest time of year, NSW just about floated away. (What? You wouldn’t have missed us?)

      • I remember the 1956 floods on the Southern Tablelands. Highest river levels I’ve seen and it happened over and over again that year.

      • Peter, the Hunter or Maitland Flood of 1955 was the doozie. A sea the size of England and Wales formed up to the west of Sydney. Staggering stuff, and many with no memories of the period before 1895 really blamed the stark climate shift on A-bombs, Sputnik, and “all them things they send up and blow up”.

        While there was a long, droughty BAU hiatus after 1958, there was still that day in 1963 when my town got half of London’s annual rainfall in 24 hours. Mind you, the mid-1970s constitute the one known period when most of the continent was wet. Quite a contrast with the 1930s. David Jones could have had some fun coming up with new colours to dramatise all the worse-than-we-thought rain.

        That too did pass. And this too shall pass.

      • Mosomoso,

        Records from the early settlers state that our river valley consisted of a “chain of ponds” and “swampy meadows”. There are terms you can look up for definition. But now the river is incised and the bed contain very corse cobbles up to 150 mm in places. That indicates vary high flows have occurred from time to time. About room downs stream from our house is one of many tributary gullys. Where this joins the river, the rocks are up to 1.5 m x 1 m x 0.7 m. There are some very large rocks strewn across the flood plain between the mouth of the steep part of the gully and the river (about 300 m).

        The rocks were washed/rolled down the gulley, in the past 200 years or so, since white man came and over grazed the land. It is evidence of an intense local rain storm. It happened before man’s CO2 emissions can be blamed and is clear evidence of massive floods that have nothing to do with man-made climate change.

      • “About room downs stream” should read
        About 500 m down stream

      • Before clearing and settlement observers claimed an 80′ rise of the Hunter at Maitland in 1806. A few years later settlers did find driftwood in trees at 62′. This would dwarf the serial deluges of the 1830s, and those of 1857, 2007 and even 1955. We know the flooding on the Hawkesbury, nearer Sydney, was pretty stupendous in 1806 and has probably not been exceeded since.

        What might amaze non-Australians and even many Australians marinated in modern climate exceptionalism are the ferocious droughts which intervened. Stark contrast in the Hunter, where Maitland is so exposed to massive flood but the local rainfall is not that high for coastal-side NSW. Even 1952, before and after the big wets, they got into bad drought troubles. And those floods of the 1830s were sandwiched between horror droughts.

        Thing about Oz, it was born extreme. If things ever stabilised here…now that would be a real climate change. I’d have to go and bat for the other team (shudder).

      • Mosomoso,

        Thanks for all that. You sure are an encyclopedia of knowledge.

        I’d have to go and bat for the other team (shudder).

        Right, and work for the ABC, eh? :)

    • Hey Danny –

      ==> “It seems that so much of the AGW conversation is oriented towards soley the GHG’s.”

      Yeah. That’s one of the major problems. Seems to me that the bickering about ACO2 (and even the impact of other GHGs) becomes a proxy for ideological wars (just look at this thread – how deeply do you have to scratch the climate wars’ surface to find ideological battles?)…

      And while people are throwing overly-certain Jell-O in the GHG foodfight, what gets left out are the ginormous uncertainties w/r/t positive and negative externalities associated with different pathways for energy supply, respectively.

      ==> “So I asked myself, being comfortable stating “it’s warming” but lacking cause.”

      Perhaps lacking cause, but not lacking fat tails of theoretical causes.

      ==> “As a good risk manager how should I proceed? The known knowns are our climate cycles cool/warm/cool. Using the “likely” (66-90% confidence) conditions that man is attributed to a portion (maybe 50%?) of the warming.”

      Or maybe more.

      ==> “That is then balanced with the known known that nature has caused the previous fluctuations (100% confidence).”

      OK.

      ==> “Steven Mosher indicates the appropriate approach is to prepare for “yesterday’s weather”. Seems prudent.”

      Not prudent w/o a discussion of fat tails, IMO. Prudent would require discussion of fat tails.

      ===> “Considering the expenses associated with mitigation,..”

      I am unconvinced about arguments asserting net “expenses.” I consider the net cost/benefit ratio to be highly uncertain. Certainty requires subjective determinations such as discount rates. It relies on ignoring errors bars and having “faith” (there’s that word, now) in unvalidated and unverified economic models from modelers who have poor track records. IMO, the discussion can’t go forward without acknowledging uncertainties. When I see someone talking about the “expense” of mitigation, sorry Danny, but I see a warrior.

      ==> “it also seems prudent to factor that in to some extent but at most only to the “likely” level of contribution.”

      Can’t quite follow there.

      ==> “So doing what Mosher says and doing some math, give it 50% of the 66-90% leading to 33%-45% of associated costs and allocate other funds elsewhere.”

      So not sure I agree – but let’s roll with it for the sake of argument.

      ==> “So what behaviors do I change and to what extent? Given the known known, would not the most prudent mitigation be for man to relocate from areas most exposed to the effects such as away from rising seas?'”

      Perhaps. Some problems there, however. Who moves? Only those that can afford to do so? Is this some large scale, coordinated effort, with support for those without means? If so, who pays for it? Who designs it? Who implements it? What are the oversight mechanisms? What are the governing mechanisms (how it is evaluate real-time to calibrate the appropriate speed)?

      ==> “Infrastructure can be factored in here also.”

      Not sure that that means, but I will point out that arguably, we have done a very poor job of sustaining infrastructure over the past few decades (in the U.S., at least. China? My sense is not so much – when I look at the scale of fast-developing, government supported infrastructure there).

      ==> “Man has migrated in the past. In fact, recently we’ve seen studies giving evidence of societies that have perished by not relocating (migrating). I’ve only seen mitigation being in terms of reduction of emissions.”

      ==> “I have an cAGW buddy (small c as he thinks we’ll head off the C). But he won’t even consider relocation as an approach as (according to him) he’s spent over 20,000 hours (10 years) deep in to his research and says he’s found ZERO possibility the warming is NOT caused by man. I express that that’s just not credible, but …………it’s a typical GW oriented debate with no end.”

      So I’m not sure that I agree with your bud – but the point is that there are a lot of people who are deep into this debate who share his view, just as there are many, deep into the debate who are quite convinced that it is zero.

      http://www.culturalcognition.net/storage/no_warming.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1408719976946

      You can’t just make them go away. So, IMO, we a solution must come through stakeholder dialog, where people of wildly divergent views get down to the brass tacks of discussing decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

      ==> “He indicates it’d be “too expensive” to relocate but if it turns out (thinking risk here) that we mitigate our GHG’s to the levels of say 1950 (?) and ya can’t fool mother nature so she takes us on up, up, up, then did we not miss on our risk management?”

      I’d say that a determination of “too expensive” is not reflective of sound risk management absent some of the discussion I suggested above.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ding dong Joshua.
        Yesterday’s weather is fat tails.
        Both tails.

      • Joshua,

        (How to make this long enough to be clear but not to become a novel?)

        Thanks for your feedback. Being a “new kid in town” I’ve much to catch up on, learn, and hope I can bring “fresh eyes” and offer thinking points as I feel I should add value or shut up. Being long out of school, this format makes me think and I cannot express how much I appreciate the feebacks (and patience) of others.

        To your response: “Perhaps lacking cause, but not lacking fat tails of theoretical causes.”. Yep. Too many of them. And for this boy, the broadening of theories instead of narrowing indicates we really don’t know. Too much certainty by IPCC and the scientists and little acceptance of “we goofed”. Wouldn’t cut it in the non academic world. Lot’s of theories on the AGW side, but seemingly ruling out the historic proof track record while propagating the “it must be man” theme. And very little except picking of nits from the skeptical side and no proof except relying on history. No wonder there’s such a debate.

        “Or maybe more.”……..or maybe less. I’ll agree with yours and think you can agree with mine. Just my poor attempt at narrowing.

        Re: relocation. Great questions. Short answer is those who’d be affected. If sea level rise is an issue, then those that build there must accept responsibility. Insurance coverage denied outside “these” lines”, and so on. In other words if catastrophe occurs who would take on the very tasks you detail, then just implement proactively. Thinking Steven’s prepare for yesterday’s weather. Deal with it before the fact, or after. But weather’s gonna happen.

        The infrastructure was a part of the above thought about dealing with yesterday. Not sure that’s as clear as it should be.

        Re: “When I see someone talking about the “expense” of mitigation, sorry Danny, but I see a warrior.” I think that’s fair, but not for a side but intending to be for the entirety. From my view, with the science not settled, I’m willing to provide funds for mitigation that’s not detrimental as I wish to be fair to myself (thinking taxes) and not punish financially based on the evidence at hand. I’m more in the incentivize but don’t punish camp (as of right now) based on current vacillations in the science.

        So what I’m trying to formulate is if we (the collective we) can agree on contribution based on contribution towards cause then I’m all for it. Today, cause is uncertain but some “risk” associated expense seems reasonable. But focus leaving out the “uncertainty” of natural viability is not acceptable.

        Thinking this might be what we’re doing: “decision-making in the face of uncertainty.” and I appreciate it!
        Geesh this got long winded. Apologies.

      • Worth reading, Danny. A fine effort from an observer striving earnestly for neutrality, chasing truth with curiosity.
        ==============

  43. Professor Curry,

    Have you, or would you be willing to, analyze and post your conclusions on the influence of UN Agenda 21 [1] on conclusions by the UN’s IPCC?

    1. UN Agenda 21, “Chapter 31: Science & Technology” http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/index.htm

  44. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Bureau of Meteorology
    ANNUAL CLIMATE STATEMENT 2014

    • Another year of persistent warmth; spring was the warmest on record nationally, with autumn the third-warmest on record

    • Seven of Australia’s ten warmest years on record have occurred in the 13 years from 2002.

    Conclusion  Australia’s antiscience climate-change denialists and market-fundamentalists are spinning faster than an over-revved centrifuge cascade.

    *EVERYONE* sees *THAT*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • “Seven of Australia’s ten warmest years on record have occurred in the 13 years from 2002.”
      _____
      Yep, that’s why it is called a “hiatus”….from cooler temperatures.

      Better odds than not that 2014-2024 will continue the trend of each proceeding decade being warmer than the prior one. Only a big volcano or two might make a dent in this relent march upward in temperatures during the 21st century.

      • I believe that is why it is called a hiatus not a colding

      • Rgates

        So how long do the records of this very young country go back?

        To save you looking it up I will tell you. Some go back to the 1950’s others go back to 1910. The earlier records -even when higher-are generally discounted as they were not taken in a Stevenson screen, even though some of the screens-with higher temperatures-were pretty effective, they are discounted.

        tonyb

      • Please gentlemen, don’t pull a Tisdale Cherry pick. Let’s look at the fullest record we have, and speak from that point. We can’t have a reasonable conversation if we are not going to look at the longest record we have reliable data on, and put things in this perspective:

        If you want to even go back further using proxy data and speak about the Holocene temperature evolution and how the modern warming period fits into this, I welcome that entertaining conversation as well.

        Australia, like the rest of the planet is warming. There is a high likelihood it is anthropogenic in origin on some level or another. The only real issues surround how warm will it be getting over this century or next, will this be disruptive to humanity, and ought we do anything about this potential disruption?

      • Globally we have this with 2014 being just another non-El-Nino year on the trend line.

      • Heh, that gardener has a pretty thorough understanding of his cherry orchard. Gates gets a pie in the face from the cook.
        ==============

      • Rgates

        We have a very short temperature record-with Australia being especially limited. I am not sure we can deduce very much from that blink of an eye, other than to agree with you that in that very small window it has been warming.

        A much more interesting question is how long has it been (generally) warming for and prior to that when did it cool and prior to that when did it warm again?

        Its been generally warming (in fits and starts) for some 300 years with the most remarkable hockey stick being the 1700 period that Phil jones expressed surprise at.

        The next question is why? If its a response to the trivial amounts of co2 emitted by man 300/400/500 years ago, it surely means we cant live on this planet as there is no chance of cutting emissions back to 1700Ad levels

        tonyb

      • For those who think following linear trends is important (which I don’t happen to):

        Seems that nature (or at least natural variability) in climate cycles is more along the lines of 4th degree polynomial evolution:

        Easier to look at this kind of chart and spot both a long-term upward trend upon which natural variability rides. The next positive IPO cycle could be most interesting, allowing us a chance to see if the rate of long-term warming is actually increasing, moving that ECS clearly toward the 3C or above mark for 560 ppm CO2.

      • gates, why would you pick that data source? I thought everyone was in love with Cowtan and Awry er Way?

      • Heh, it’ll be ‘Cowtan and Wry’ if it cools, with them leading the band, batons aflourished.
        =============

      • “The next question is why? If its a response to the trivial amounts of co2 emitted by man 300/400/500 years ago, it surely means we cant live on this planet as there is no chance of cutting emissions back to 1700Ad levels.”
        ______
        A very good point Tony, and of course, the answers to this question are broad an all over the board. In reading my comments over these many years, you’ve no doubt come to realize that I happen to think the climate is pretty sensitive to CO2 changes, but CO2 is of course not the only external forcing that affects climate. You also know that I think that volcanoes played a big role in the LIA, and yes, I have come to realize (thanks to you and others) that the LIA was not a monolithic cold period that lasted 500 years.

        I take the “sum of all forcings” approach to climate, and try to attribute the general evolution of climate from this perspective, keeping in mind that there is always natural variability. Thus, the role of GH anthropogenic forcing was small 300 years ago, but has steadily increased to become now the dominate external forcing.

      • The higher the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 the colder we would now be without man’s efforts. You have a dilemma, RGates; even kim can’t solve this one.
        ==========

      • “I thought everyone was in love with Cowtan and Awry er Way?”
        ____
        They certainly raised some very good points about the inclusion of Arctic warming into the global average, but I would not say I am a big fan overall. The truth of the evolution of global temperatures is probably somewhere in the middle. We are certainly getting Arctic amplification of warming, and this skews the need for weighing this region in the overall average, but what I’m more interested is in the dynamical evolution of climate, related external forcings, and natural variability. Thus, the IPO chart I used above is quite interesting to me, and of course, the related external forcings that effect the longer-term direction of temperatures over the current modern warm period, with the dominant ones now being anthropogenic GH gases.

      • “The higher the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 the colder we would now be without man’s efforts. You have a dilemma, RGates; even kim can’t solve this one.
        ==========
        I asked you to explain this logic before to me. Essentially, we saw an extremely negative IPO during the course of the “hiatus” and yet only got flat temperatures, not a cooling. What this means is that despite several negative forcings combined during this period, (IPO, aerosols, solar) GH forcing held its own. If the climate was not sensitive to this GH forcing, we would have gotten more actual cooling, as those would have dominated over the GH forcing.

      • The IPO is far from hugely negative.

        But hugely likely to become more negative. More salt in the Law Dome ice core is La Nina.

      • The top graph comes from here – btw.

        http://www.cawcr.gov.au/staff/sbp/AAA_Power_papers/2014/Salinger_et_al_SPCZI_CD_2014.pdf

        The long term ENSO proxy comes from here.

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1

        Randy the video guy’s picture comes from England et al 2014 – http://web.science.unsw.edu.au/~matthew/nclimate2106-incl-SI.pdf – which he wildly interprets through a maddened narrative.

    • FOMBS comes to another contusion.

    • Interesting pic of an Australian fire there.

      Worst fire conditions in my northern NSW region were in 1895, when lush summer gave way to desert-conditions over late autumn and winter. Frosted vegetation and howling westerlies at the end of winter did the rest. When people implied that recent NSW spring fires were freakish the level of ignorance shown was astounding. Late winter/spring is fire season in many parts, and especially mine, where frost and fire can be partners. The Big Wet of 1950 was a perfect set-up for spring fires in NSW – which came!

      But the great fires occur in the south, with Victoria being a global hotspot for infernos, because of the summer-dry pattern and fires reaching forest crowns like they don’t do in my area.

      World’s biggest known fire would have to be the 1851 blaze in Vic. Black Thursday’s scale and intensity terrify just on reading. Other legendary infernos were in 1939, 1967, 1983, 2009, but one could name so many fire years.

      People who believe that Australian fire is proportionate to drought and heat forget that in the worst fires there has to be something to burn. Good years make bad years. Victoria was a tinder-box after Melbourne’s driest known summer in 1943-4: the fires were lethal, but there may not have been as much to burn in those years. A million hectares went up just on the southern fringe of Sydney in 1980 (mid-spring!) after the lush growth of the 1970s.

      Where I’m living we have had a decade without the worst type of conditions (eg mid-90s) and lots of regrowth from the good lush years of 2008-2011. That’s how you get set up by the Old Enemy. It never changes, you just think it does.

      The best responses to fire in Australia are understanding, information and management. You are not likely to get either in these post-everything green times.

  45. Obumbles is going to present another tax-the-rich-and-banks scheme, supposedly to “help the middle class.”

    Instead of playing Robin Hood, he should focus on job creation. For job, you have to have businesses. One logical move is to put the corporate tax at 1-3%. This would attract more businesses to the US without draconian laws to limit freedoms. Second, change Obamacare to a negative income tax and put a hiring freeze on the Federal Government to begin shrinking it.

    There are a myriad of costly regulations on businesses that can be simplified or eliminated.

    These efforts should be the President’s priorities.

  46. Charlie Hebdo has now sold 7 million copies.

    From the article:
    Brussels (CNN)First France, now Belgium and possibly Greece. Where next?

    The recent spate of terror attacks and threats in Europe has many wondering what the next target might be and how the danger can be mitigated.

    Here are the latest developments:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/18/europe/europe-terrorism-threat/

  47. Joshua and Michael’s brand of “science” is winning the day. They surveyed people about the urgent need to label food that has DNA, over 80% agree with the need for the regulation.
    That’s not a typo, it really was DNA, not GMO.
    Those who disagree are just deniers, I’m sure.
    This is why they push the “warmest year ever” theme. It’s doesn’t matter if it’s true, doesn’t matter if it means anything, it’s a big scary message to push low-information voters to back a specific political agenda.

    http://io9.com/80-of-americans-support-mandatory-labels-on-foods-cont-1680277802?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

  48. From the article:

    Proposed US EPA rule to have significant impact on power grid: ERCOT analysis
    Houston (Platts)–17Nov2014/457 pm EST/2157 GMT

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas anticipates that implementation of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will result in the retirement of up half of ERCOT’s coal generation capacity, raise retail energy bills up to 20% and lead to a greater likelihood of rotating outages.

    ERCOT Monday released its analysis of the impact of the Clean Power Plan, saying it “is evident that implementation … will have a significant impact on the planning and operation of the ERCOT grid.”

    “ERCOT’s primary concern with the Clean Power Plan is that, given the ERCOT region’s market design and existing transmission infrastructure, the timing and scale of the expected changes needed to reach the CO2 emission goals could have a harmful impact on reliability,” according to the report. ” … it is unknown, based on the information currently available, whether compliance with the proposed rule can be achieved within applicable reliability criteria and with the current market design.”

    http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/houston/proposed-us-epa-rule-to-have-significant-impact-21572835

    • Planning Engineer

      Here’s another link. Texas is getting aggressive.
      http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060011373

      • Planning Engineer

        Meant to say Texas and points north are getting aggressive.

      • Yep, it’s all about the government when it comes to electricity. Get the government out of it. That way the gov will be spending less of our money and the private sector can supply electricity at the cheapest price. All it takes is a free market. Problem solved.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Planning Engineer — Could you do a post on Electricity Capacity Reserves in the U.S.?, specifically on the changing market structures for transmission, distribution, and generation. Could you especially focus on ERCOT?

      • Planning Engineer

        Stephen – I would like to read that post. I have a good understanding or traditional Capacity Reserves. I have a fair understanding of how in general the Independent System operators work. I’ll think on that a while, but hopefully someone more qualified/capable will step up there or we’ll find a good reference paper.
        It’s hard to evaluate how well Capacity Reserves are working for much of the country due to the economic slowdown and oversupply of capacity in many regions. Many places just have a capacity glut at this time. The test will come when we’ve outgrown existing supplies and new resources need to be added and it happens quickly and we get extreme weather on top of it.

      • They need to take a page from the anti-humanist environmental groups and sue the EPA. Use the EPA’s own dodgy techniques to show the health costs of higher costs and rolling power outages on the population.

  49. From the article:

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran sees no sign of a shift within OPEC toward action to support oil prices, its oil minister said, adding its oil industry could ride out a further price slump to $25 a barrel.
    The comments are a further sign that despite lobbying by Iran and Venezuela, there is little chance of collective action by the 12-member OPEC to prop up prices – entrenching the reluctance of individual members to curb their own supplies.
    In remarks posted on the Iranian oil ministry’s website SHANA, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh called for increased cooperation between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
    “Iran has no plan (to hold an emergency OPEC meeting) and is currently in consultations with other OPEC member states in a bid to prevent the sharp fall in the oil price, but these consultations have yet to bear fruit,” he said.

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iran-oil-minister-says-no-plans-call-emergency-133332881–finance.html

  50. Socialist Obumbles and the Dimowits screw the middle class some more. It never ends with socialists in power.

    From the article:

    Those Americans who didn’t get health insurance last year could be in for a rude awakening when the IRS asks them to fork over their Obamacare penalty — and it could be a lot more than the $95 many of them may be expecting.

    The Affordable Care Act requires those who didn’t have insurance last year and didn’t qualify for one of the exemptions to pay a tax penalty, which was widely cited as $95 the first year. But the $95 is actually a minimum, and middle- and upper-income families will actually end up paying 1 percent of their household income as their penalty.

    TurboTax, an online tax service, estimated that the average penalty for lacking health insurance in 2014 will be $301.

    “People would hear the $95, quit listening, and make an assumption that that was what their penalty was going to be,” said Chuck Lovelace, vice president of affordable care for Liberty Tax Service. “I think that a lot of people will be surprised when they get in there and find out that their penalty is [based] on their household income.”

    The penalty is designed to prod Americans to buy insurance and the penalty for not having it is scheduled to rise considerably: to a $325 minimum or 2 percent of income in 2015, and to a $695 minimum or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.

    This Aug. 21, 2014, file photo shows health care tax forms 8962, … more >
    Tax experts said those stung by a higher penalty the first year may buy plans to escape the penalty the next go-around.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/18/obamacare-penalty-may-come-as-shock-at-tax-time/

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Can You Read People’s Emotions?

    FOMD’s Score  32 (of 36)

    Predictions  Skeptics will generally score worse, denialists even worse, market fundamentalists worst of all.

    The world wonders, why this might be?

    Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

    The smartest teams […] scored higher on a test called “Reading the Mind in the Eyes,” which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.

    Conclusion  By crucial measures of broad-band team-relevant intelligence, climate-scientists are just plain smarter than skeptics, denialists, and market-fundamentalists.

    *THAT* is common-sense reality is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      BREAKING NEWS
      Call to climate scientists
      SUBMIT YOUR QUOTE
         FOR 97 HOURS OF CONSENSUS 2015

      In 2014, Simon Donner’s hair attracted many comments … Simon was scolded quite sternly at the AGU Fall Meeting for getting a haircut.

      !!! Don’t be afraid to be creative and funny !!!

      Good on `yah, rational responsible respectful risable climate-scientists!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Peter Cox’s quote is laughable! Climate scientists are a bunch of scaredy cats when when it comes to challenging the consensus enforcers. It’s tigers like Judith Curry that are not herdable.

    • Jonathan Haidt says libertarians “are the smartest people out there. They are the most rational, clearest thinking, least emotional, and that includes emotions such as vengfulness”. This is @24:00 in this Inquiring Minds interview with Chris Mooney:

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/inquiring-minds-jonathan-haidt-tea-party

    • Fell for it did you?

    • On my count yer incorrect, fan oh fan. I also scored
      in the thirties. Piece of cake fer a skeptic. And how
      are yer able ter conclude from yr expression reading
      test that cli scientists are smarter than their critics,
      the world can only wonder. Of course the ‘team’ are
      deep into fuzzy fuzzy logic, we’ve observed that alright.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Lol … beththeserf, you’ve been reading Anna Karenina and Real-World Economics Review again!

        Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind

        Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skillthat enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies. Yet little research has investigated what fosters this skill, which is known as Theory of Mind (ToM), in adults.

        We present five experiments showing that reading literary fiction led to better performance on tests of affective ToM (experiments 1 to 5) and cognitive ToM (experiments 4 and 5) compared with reading nonfiction (experiments 1), popular fiction (experiments 2 to 5), or nothing at all (experiments 2 and 5).

        Specifically, these results show that reading literary fiction temporarily enhances ToM. More broadly, they suggest that ToM may be influenced by engagement with works of art.

        —–
        Post-autistic economics

        Post-Autistic Economics (PAE) is a movement of different groups critical of the current economics mainstream. In March, 2008, the journal “Post-autistic Economics Review” changed its name to “Real-world Economics Review”

        Conclusion  Sustained progressive readin` keeps those neurons growin`!

        Good on `yah for sustained literate reading, Beth!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Milankovitch–The world wanders.

      • Thx fan, yes I’d say I’m atune ter fiction, that’s why I’m
        a skeptic with regard ter climate doomsday scenarios,
        I surmise. )

    • **FOMD’s Score 32 (of 36)

      Predictions Skeptics will generally score worse, denialists even worse, market fundamentalists worst of all.**

      26 of 36

      So I suppose you were correct.
      But it’s within the average range apparently.
      Most were quite obvious, usually if it pondered over it, I was wrong.

  52. Lets we forget to commemorate the day:

    In 1983, 112 federal lawmakers—90 representatives (77 Republicans, 13 Democrats) and 22 senators (18 Republicans, 4 Democrats) voted against commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a federal holiday on the third Monday in January.

    Go see Selma to celebrate the day.

    Then consider what it means to sacrifice to protect our civil rights Rev. MLK Jr., and the marchers in Selma or Mark Steyn? ….so hard to choose.

    • I lived through it, I don’t need to see a movie to know what it is.

      • It’s not a bad thing to have a reminder, for those tempted to handwring about need Steyn to ensure our freedom of speech.

    • Joshua

      Could you not just stuff the thinkprogress crap? What was the party line vote of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The answer is unimportant but no less so than your trivia.

      Keep warm

      Richard

      • ==> “The answer is unimportant ….”

        Nice that you’re willing to admit that, rls…

      • But then the question is why did you bother mentioning it? I love it when “conservatives” bring up that bogus argument. I was hoping someone would.

      • Joshua

        Your think progress talking point trivia deserved trivia back. Fact is you don’t know why the Representatives and Senators voted as they did. The 1983 vote memorializing MLKs birthday also eliminated tributes to Lincoln and Washington, and many non-bigoted people would have preferred a different outcome.

        Richard

  53. Planetary Physics

     
    SLAYING THE ‘SLAYERS’

    In the article “KIEHL AND TRENBERTH DEBUNK CLIMATE ALARM” (January 19) on the website for Principia Scientific International, Joseph Postma writes “And why do Kiehl and Trenberth, and climate alarm, get into such a mess? Of course, it’s because they don’t get the incoming energy from the Sun correct in the first place. Their “168 absorbed by surface” means that Sunlight could only ever make a surface it strikes to heat up to -40 degrees Celsius.”

    But the 168W/m^2 of mean solar energy absorbed by the surface is indeed roughly correct and also appears in NASA diagrams. The Solar Constant (about 1360W/m^2) is reduced by about half because of reflection and absorption by clouds and the rest of the atmosphere. Then we need to understand that the effective mean radiation is one-fourth of that half because the incident radiation is that which passes through a circle which is perpendicular to the radiation and which has the same radius as the Earth. It is the area of this circle which gives us the number of square meters used in the flux measurement that has units of watts per square meter. However, over the course of 24 hours the solar radiation is spread over the whole surface, and the area of the surface of a sphere is exactly four times the area of a circle with the same radius. Hence we divide the 1360 by about 8 and thus we see that the 168W/m^2 figure is about right.
     

  54. The link is great:

    …I began to read the work of two Canadian researchers, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. They and others have shown, as confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, that the hockey stick graph, and others like it, are heavily reliant on dubious sets of tree rings and use inappropriate statistical filters that exaggerate any 20th-century upturns. What shocked me more was the scientific establishment’s reaction to this: it tried to pretend that nothing was wrong. And then a flood of emails was leaked in 2009 showing some climate scientists apparently scheming to withhold data, prevent papers being published, get journal editors sacked and evade freedom-of-information requests, much as sceptics had been alleging. That was when I began to re-examine everything I had been told about climate change and, the more I looked, the flakier the prediction of rapid warming seemed. ~Matt Ridley

  55. Global Warming: The Most Dishonest Year on Record
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/19/global-warming-most-dishonest-year-on-record/

    The Daily Mail reports that 2014 was .02C over the previous 2010 high, with +/- 0.1C margin of error. So a graph of the global temperature index should be a line with a width representing 0.2C. Wonder how flat, and how far back that line would extend?

    Richard

  56. Yep, this is how it needs to be …

  57. Comments, corrections and criticisms would be appreciated on “The Great Social Experiment of 1945-2015″

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Social_Experiment.pdf

  58. Matthew R Marler

    Planetary Physics

    from your web page: For those who are interested it is the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets.

    Angular momentum is a vector quantity that is conserved within a system, unless there is a torque applied from outside the system. What is the “scalar sum” of vector quantities?

  59. I read an article that some Brit expats in the US go back to Britain for health care, but then I see this …

    From the article:

    NHS may be forced to abandon free healthcare for all, says Britain’s top doctor as he warns service needs radical change
    Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England said the health service needs a ‘complete transformation’ to make it less reliant on hospitals
    Said GP surgeries need more resources to cope with high demand
    If changes are not made it ‘may be forced to abandon free care for all’

    The NHS is ‘not fit for the future’ and unless it undergoes radical change it may be forced to abandon free healthcare for all, in the future, the service’s top doctor has warned.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2918003/NHS-forced-abandon-free-healthcare-says-Britain-s-doctor-warns-service-needs-radical-change.html

  60. From the article:

    Power company PacifiCorp will cough up $2.5 million in fines after its Wyoming wind farm was found to have killed 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds.

    The Justice Department prosecuted the company’s green energy project, asserting that the company failed to build the windmills in a way that would minimize the threat to endangered birds.

    “PacifiCorp Energy built two of its Wyoming wind projects in a manner it knew would likely result in the deaths of eagles and other protected birds,” said Sam Hirsch, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in a statement in December.

    PacifiCorp pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this month, according to the Associated Press.

    According to the Justice Department, power companies should work with the United States Fish and Wildlife services to properly develop their wind turbines in a way that is sensitive to the local wildlife.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/20/bird-chopper-wind-farm-fined-by-justice-department-for-killing-golden-eagles/

  61. From the article:

    A squadron of 1,700 private jets are rumbling into Davos, Switzerland, this week to discuss global warming and other issues as the annual World Economic Forum gets underway.

    The influx of private jets is so great, the Swiss Armed Forces has been forced to open up a military air base for the first time ever to absorb all the super rich flying their private jets into the event, reports Newsweek.

    “Decision-makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner, and lower-carbon economies,” former Mexican president Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/20/1700-private-jets-fly-to-davos-to-discuss-global-warming/

  62. Pingback: Är hoten mot världshaven överdrivna? - Stockholmsinitiativet - Klimatupplysningen

  63. “Peer-reviewed pocket-calculator climate model exposes serious errors in complex computer models”

    http://phys.org/news/2015-01-peer-reviewed-pocket-calculator-climate-exposes-errors.html