Nonsensus about the Senate’s non consensus on climate change

by Judith Curry

On the politicization of ‘climate change’.

On my recent post Raw politics, I made the following remark re President Obama’s tweet:

‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.

Senate votes

A few hours after I posted this, the U.S. Senate  provides some interesting news, summarized in this article by Andrew Freedman:

The Senate made history on Wednesday by overwhelmingly passing a non-binding “Sense of the Senate” resolution stating simply that “climate change is real and not a hoax.” Previous climate change-related non-binding resolutions were not supported by such large numbers.

In a development that seemed to surprise Democratic senators and environmental groups, the most prominent climate change contrarian in the Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., joined Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island in co-sponsoring the climate amendment, which was offered during debate on a Keystone-XL Pipeline bill.

If Whitehouse’s amendment had included one additional word or phrase, such as “man-made,” it wouldn’t have drawn Inhofe’s support, or that of many of his Republican colleagues. Once he threw his weight behind it, the vote was a blowout, with senators voting 98-to-1 in favor. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) was the sole “no” vote.

Schatz’s amendment, which he said was intended to “restate the facts” on climate change, namely that “climate change is real and humans are contributing to it,” failed by a vote of 50 to 49.

The amendment included the language that “climate change is real; and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” The word “significantly” was cited by Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as a reason for a no vote.

‘Climate change’

As per twitter, many are at a loss as to how the vote could be overwhelmingly ‘yes’  on the first statement, and fail on the second statement.

It all comes down to the definition of ‘climate change’.  There is both a scientific definition and a political definition.

Scientific definition.  Here is what the IPCC TAR says: Refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

Political definition. Here is how the UNFCCC defines it : climate change is a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Surprisingly, if you google ‘climate change definition’, the political definition wins out:

Oxford Dictionary: A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Roger Pielke Sr had a 2012 post entitled What does ‘climate change’ mean? Does a lack of preciseness in its definition discourage effective discussion of the risks from climate on key environmental and societal resources?   RP Sr. cites some additional definitions, but I found this excerpt from RP Jr to be particularly illuminating:

As written on page 145 of Climate Fix, in relation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” definition,

“The IPCC adopts a broader definition of “climate change” that is more scientifically accurate. Claims that climate policy should be based on the work of the IPCC typically fail to recognize that the policy community has rejected the most fundamental statement of the IPCC on the issue – the very definition of “climate change”.

So . . .  President Obama and Senator Whitehouse seem to be referring to the political definition of ‘climate change’, whereas climate ‘denier’ Senator Inhofe seems to be referring to the scientific definition.

‘Significant’

While we’re talking semantics (again), the other word that caught my attention is ‘significant’, it seems that a number of ‘no’ votes hinged on this word.  Let’s head to the dictionary again:

Significant: large enough to be noticed or have an effect; sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; fairly large in amount or quantity.

Well ‘significant’ seems to have both a scientific and a political/values connotation:

  • large enough to be noticed or have an effect (scientific)
  • sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention (political)

Going back to the issues raised on my recent post ‘Most, more than half‘, how does ‘significantly’ relate to ‘most’ and ‘more than half’?  Well in the political context, it would seem that ‘significantly’ would relate to proposed policy options to deal with the issue.  If human-caused climate change was not predominant of natural causes of climate change, then reducing CO2 emissions would have little impact on the climate.  On the other hand, if you are focused on regional severe weather  events and adaptation measures, you might have a lower threshold ‘large enough to be noticed’ for considering policy options.

Politicians versus scientists

The bottom line is that the majority of U.S. Senators do not seem to buy the IPCC AR4/AR5 attribution statements ‘most’ and ‘more than half’, with a vote of 50 (yes) to 49 (no).

If you equate ‘significantly’ with ‘mostly’, then these results are not too different from the recent survey of professional members of the American Meteorological Society [link] that only 52% state the the warming since 1850 is mostly anthropogenic.

Disagreement

So, why the disagreement?  Here are some of the scientific reasons:

  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence (e.g. models)
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance
  • Belief polarization as a result of politicization of the science

And here are some reasons for disagreement among the Senators:

  • Insufficient understanding of the science and the science debate
  • Concerns over the politicization of the science
  • Distrust of climate science (e.g.  Climategate, advocacy etc)
  • Ambiguities in the language used to communicate climate change
  • Clashes of values, politics, etc.

The disagreement isn’t going to go away.  In fact, disagreement spurs scientific discovery and can spur development of better policy options.  A way forward in the face of disagreement is suggested in a previous post World Bank: Agreeing on Robust Decisions: A Process for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty.

I just spotted this relevant statement in The Conversation“foster pragmatic climate policies that do NOT hinge on scientific truth” 

Here’s to hoping that the U.S. Senate can constructively use its disagreement on the issue of climate change to productively explore robust policy options.

323 responses to “Nonsensus about the Senate’s non consensus on climate change

  1. Attribution, she’s a bitch,
    Don’t know how just scratch that itch.
    Puff the Magic Clmate
    Lived by the CO2.
    Nature turned and bit him, someplace rich.
    ====================

  2. Lawyering.

  3. Politicians like vague undefined slogans.

    Science requires precise definitions.

    Mix them and you get arm-waving nonsensus.

  4. Eystein Simonsen, Norway

    Great post! Illuminating for a Norwegian living in a slightly different climate in many regards…

  5. Judith Curry

    “Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence (e.g. models)”

    “Scientific modelling, a simplification of relevant aspects of a situation in the real world for its systematic study” Wikipedia

    When did models become evidence?

    • Steven Mosher

      since god was a kid

      • Models are not evidence, models are argument. All models are of the logical form: if a (and b and c and…y), then z. Just because the question, “what is x evidence of?” depends for its answer on what model is offered up or relied upon as an explanation of the occurrence of x; that does not mean the model thereby becomes evidence. Rather, it is the model which is evidenced by x. It is the extant fact which serves as evidence for the (logically coherent) explanation of the existence of that fact, not the other way around.

      • god was never a kid AFAIK so models are never evidence

        thanks for clearing that up Mosher

      • Damn JT
        To call on Taggart here:

      • In as far as “model” refers to a big pile of software, the models are evidence of nothing.

        I have developed and tested industrial software for 25 years and this is exactly what makes me skeptical the most. Where I come from, the software has to be proved correct before it is used for anything, not the other way around.

        Show me Gods validation, then I shall believe.

      • So if I build a GCM with climate sensitivity to CO2 of zero you will accept that as evidence that CO2 has no influence on climate?

      • @Steven Mosher Validated models are evidence. FIFY

    • Matthew R Marler

      RiHoo8: When did models become evidence?

      At least as early as the Pythagorean Theorem. Perhaps as early as the construction of the Great Wall of China or the Mesopotamian ziggurats.

    • Mosher & Marler

      Both of you have given me a time scale. Older than dirt; since man began to think and articulate in the abstract. Fine.

      Now, would you please provide the evidence? That is, models are evidence?

      It seems to me that models are all wrong and yet they may be useful at times.

      Simplifications of the real world to help with the process of understanding may be worthy. Using them as evidence is…?

      Please elaborate.

      • Matthew R Marler

        RiHoo8: Simplifications of the real world to help with the process of understanding may be worthy. Using them as evidence is…?

        Consider a simple example. Your child feels hot to the touch, so you use a mercury thermometer to take his or her temperature. You read 102F. Is that evidence that the true temperature is at least close to 102F? The reading is based on a model.

      • Marler

        The reading of 102F is evidence. My perception of a fever integrates my experience and my touch. I have been mistaken before. Touched my forehead and didn’t perceive a discrepancy. Maybe I have a fever also.

        Models, my intuition that my child has a fever given everything that is going on, i.e., how my child looks, acts, things that I have seen before when my child is ill all go into my intuition; i.e.,my model.

        The thermometer, 102 F, Now I must decide. Call the doctor. Give Tylenol. Bath my child in a tepid bath (85 F). Evidence then drives the decision making.

        Models of climate change are people’s intuition, which not only can be wrong, but can be reassuring, falsely.

      • Did Mr. Marler and Mr. Mosher not conflate physical/intuitive models with programmatic models? As a software engineer of > 20 years experience I can tell you that programmer assumptions have a huge impact on software performance/accuracy.

        If the programmer’s assumption for example is that increased CO2 leads to increased temperature regardless of anything else, then that is what the model will show regardless of anything else. Wether you can then argue that that is evidence of CO2 leading to higher temperatures or even catastrophically higher temperatures, would depend on your philosophical bent.

        I think the > than 50 excuses (some conflicting) put forward for the pause by various scientists (when the models did not indicate a pause) argues persuasively that programmer assumptions in the models are incorrect, and also argues quite persuasively that who ever feed the assumptions to the programmers did not take into account the many other inputs that influence what happens in reality.
        Certainly suggests to me that Climate Scientists assertions that they know what is going could actually be examples of great hubris on their part.

        cheers
        Jim

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim Reedy: Did Mr. Marler and Mr. Mosher not conflate physical/intuitive models with programmatic models? As a software engineer of > 20 years experience I can tell you that programmer assumptions have a huge impact on software performance/accuracy.

        The first question was about whether model results provide evidence. Lots of examples show that they do. Are they the only evidence? Are they conclusive evidence? Are there lots of different kinds of models?

        Jim Reedy is correct that in lots of (complex) measuring devices there is computer code to calculate the model results. This is true in medical laboratory measurement instruments like GC/MS, MRI and other scanning devices, and GPS coordinates. The computer code that carries out the model computations should be considered a part of the model.

        So, if the thermometer reads 102F, is that evidence that the true temperature is at least close to 102F? The number is based on a model. Should you pay attention if your reported blood cholesterol level is high? The number was calculated from a model, via computer code. Are you interested in an unusual feature displayed in an MRI image? The whole image was calculated via computer code from complex modeling.

      • A mercury thermometer is a physical model of temperature. An infrared thermometer is a physical model. An alcohol thermometer is a physical model. A color-changing chemical is a physical model. These can be calibrated and tested against a physical basis i.e. one BTU will raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree F.

        Climate models are conceptual not physical.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David in TX: Climate models are conceptual not physical.

        The GCMs are based on physical laws. Whether calculated values can be taken as evidence of anything is undermined by the fact that they are globally running hot against the mean temperature values that they can be calibrated against.

      • Matthew R Marler

        RiHoo8: The reading of 102F is evidence.

        That’s my view. It is also model output, though not (cf Jim Reedy) calculated. There is a range of complexities in the models and their calculated outputs. If calculations and comparisons have shown them to be well-calibrated (accurate against out of sample data), then the calculated outputs can be evidence. I mentioned GPS and MRI images. A model output gives the “age of the universe” — that is taken as evidence of the time lapse since the “big bang”.

      • Matthew,

        Zero modeling knowledge here. Aren’t the trajectories used to plop a probe on a moving comet effectively a model? Thoughts as to how we can get so close to putting one up in the right position (the bounce was the error?) yet miss on the climate models? Thinking none (that I know of) projected the pause? As I type asking in my mind if the number of variables are (yet) too high in the climate chaos?

      • The forcing used to drive the models has an uncertainty. Being 10% too hot can easily be accounted for by 10% too much forcing, which is within its error bars.

      • The mercury thermometer isn’t based on a law. It’s based on the physical behavior of mercury. It requires no knowledge of any physical law. You could have an entirely wrong conceptual model of how mercury changes volume with temperature and it won’t make a damn bit of difference to the mercury it will still expand with temperature by the same amount.

        Now say you are modeling a mercury thermometer on a computer and you have the temperature/volume law for mercury wrong. Now the modeled reading would be wrong.

        This is the difference between physical models and conceptual models.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Danny Thomas: Aren’t the trajectories used to plop a probe on a moving comet effectively a model? Thoughts as to how we can get so close to putting one up in the right position (the bounce was the error?) yet miss on the climate models? Thinking none (that I know of) projected the pause? As I type asking in my mind if the number of variables are (yet) too high in the climate chaos?

        There is an interesting series on modeling climate and chaos over at Science of Doom, the most recent being this:

        http://scienceofdoom.com/2015/01/04/natural-variability-and-chaos-eight-abrupt-change/

        That model shows a complex phenomenon (“abrupt climate change” that resembles the Little Ice Age) emerging unexpectedly from the computations without a change in forcings or parameters. Such behavior, though not necessarily that model, may characterize the Earth climate system. It’s the sort of unexpected behavior to be “expected” from high dimensional non-linear dissipative systems, especially with heterogeneous surfaces and non-constant input. Such phenomena have not yet emerged from simulations of planetary trajectories (look up “digital orerey”). The current “pause” may be a smaller size such phenomenon. Or it might just be that we do not yet have accurate enough estimates of the many parameters.

      • Matthew,
        Thanks for the link as always. Will bookmark for later as models seems to be an entirely different can of worms I’m not yet ready to delve in to.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David in TX: The mercury thermometer isn’t based on a law. It’s based on the physical behavior of mercury.

        What is known about the world and actionable is called the law. Some people do and some people don’t distinguish between what is known about the shared world, and what is really happening in the shared world. That “the expansion of mercury is approximately linear in temp over small temperature ranges” is a simplification.

        The thermometer was not the only example of model output being evidence.

  6. They all asserted that there cannot be such a thing as the correspondence between a statement and a fact. This is their central assertion. They say that this concept is meaningless (or that it is undefinable, which, incidentally, in my opinion does not matter, since definitions do not matter) In other words, the whole problem arises because of doubts, or scepticism, concerning correspondence: whether there is such a thing as a correspondence between a statement and a fact. Popper, K., “Objective Knowledge: A Realist View of Logic, Physics, and History”, [reported in “Objective Knowledge (1972), Clarendon Press] 1966, Section 4: Realism in Logic, p. 24 of 31.

    Popper, like those in the Vienna Circle whom he envied and who shunned him, including notables like Wittgenstein, trying to import the successes of contemporary science into philosophy, never realized that a fact is a different thing in philosophy than it is in science. In philosophy, a fact has truth values. In science, it is an observation, reduced by measurements and compared with a standard. Philosophy then seeks proof, while science seeks validation — validation of its predictions.

    The Vienna Circle failed. Popper succeeded, but in a unique direction. He managed to found Post Modern Science, the epidemic infecting academic physical sciences. IPCC followers, the AGWers, are archetypes.

    • Popper founded post modern science?? Impossible. If you want to convince me otherwise then you will need to present evidence.

      • The United States Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow 509 US 579 (1993) held that courts could determine scientific validity and whether a theory or technique is scientific knowledge by applying five guidelines, four “Shoulds” and one “Should-not”. The five tenets in the affirmative define Post Modern Science, each traceable to the writings of Karl R. Popper:

        (1) Falsifiability. It should be testable and preferably tested. (Popper (1934/1959) Log.Sci.Disc., p. 267; Popper (1963) Sci.Conj.Ref., p. 8/45.)

        (2) Peer-review publication. It should have been subjected to peer review [“inter subjectively tested”] and publication. (An individual cannot be objective, but must be challenged; publicity of method. Popper (1945) Open Soc.Enem. II-213, II-225-6; Popper (1962) Open Soc.Enem. p. II-209; Popper (1966) Obj.Knowl. pp. 1-2 of 31.)

        (3) Single error rate decision making. Any technique should have an established error rate, the Type II or false negative error. (“[I]nstead of considering a truth frequency we should have to consider the complementary value of a falsity frequency.” Popper (1934/1959) p. 256.)

        (4) Science by Consensus. Results should have been accepted by a consensus in the scientific community. (“… social aspect of scientific method … .”, “inter–subjectivity of scientific method”. Popper (1945) p. II-205.)

        (5) Political Correctness – not. Conclusions should not depend on the application, but instead be based solely on scientific principles and methodology. (The High Court reversing Popper’s urging that science is a moral endeavor in which a model is not accepted because its predictions are valid, but rather because of its social consequences. Popper (1945), p. II-220.)

        De rigueur in climatology, not one of these tenets is relevant to science. Science is strictly objective, rejecting any taint of subjectivity. The ultimate test for science is the predictive power of its models, a mapping on facts to facts.

    • Is it true what they say about Popper ? A life long fighter
      against relativism being made responsible via some alleged
      ambiguities in arguments fer the faults of Kuhn’s view that
      ‘yer can’t cf/contrast opposing theories’ and Feyerband’s
      relativist take that ‘anything goes?’ (Tra la.)
      bts.
      .
      There’s Hans Joachim Niemann on Popper but i can’t
      find the url.

  7. Judith Curry: “Insufficient understanding of the science and the science debate.”

    Although that was intended to describe politicians, and rightly so, I would suggest that it is nearly as true of scientists. Most specialize in areas that don’t make them any better informed than a layman about the attribution issue. They tend merely to believe, as the general public does, what “the scientists” say.

    I might also mention in passing almost none is any better qualified to assess the economic results.

  8. “Here’s to hoping that the U.S. Senate can constructively use its disagreement on the issue of climate change to productively explore robust policy options.”
    —–
    Hope springs eternal. Given the political climate is only likely to worsen in advance of 2016’s election, I doubt any “robust” policy options will be forthcoming.

    • “Given the political climate is only likely to worsen in advance of 2016’s election, I doubt any ‘robust’ policy options will be forthcoming.”

      From your finger tips to God’s eyes.

    • But since there is little evidence that the real climate will worsen, is it going to matter what the political climate does?

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: Hope springs eternal. Given the political climate is only likely to worsen in advance of 2016’s election, I doubt any “robust” policy options will be forthcoming.

      Right now, the most robust policy regarding climate change is not to waste resources on projects unlikely to be productive of good results: Solyndra, for example, or high speed rail lines, or massive CO2 sequestration.

    • Well, the real question is why is only the Indian and South Atlantic warming and the Pacific and North Atlantic not?

      Either the Indian and South Atlantic are going to stop warming or the Pacific and North Atlantic are going to start warming.

      • An even bigger question is why you would want to misrepresent the actual facts by suggesting the Pacific Ocean has not been warming. This kind of blatant spreading of erroneous information speaks poorly for your credibility, or at the very least, your actual knowledge base. Here’s recent data showing the growing heat content of the Pacific Ocean:

        http://data.nodc.noaa.gov/woa/DATA_ANALYSIS/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/DATA/basin/3month/h22-p0-2000m10-12.dat

        But as I’ve mentioned several times, the ONI index has been adjusted several times in order to account for the continuously warming Pacific Ocean. El Niños are all about temperature anomalies and without this continual upward adjustment to the ONI because of the continually warming Pacific Ocean spanning many decades, the index would show a near permanent El Niño state existing in the Pacific.

      • Here’s a link to a description of the adjustment to the ONI index because of the continually warming Pacific:

        http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ONI_change.shtml

      • “continually warming Pacific:”

        Alarmist’s point to very short term data and misrepresent it as “continually”. Try being honest and admit we have limited data about the oceans to make reliable conclusions???

      • “Try being honest and admit we have limited data about the oceans to make reliable conclusions???”
        _____
        I completely disagree. While precise amounts might have higher levels of uncertainty (especially pre-ARGO and especially at deeper levels) we have a reasonable and reliable conclusion in the general trend of ocean heat content globally and in within each ocean basin. The constant drum beat that we don’t know whether or not the oceans are warming is nonsense. We might not have the amount well constrained, but not one expert on the subject would now suggest that we don’t know general direction of ocean heat content.

      • Gate’s claim
        “but not one expert on the subject would now suggest that we don’t know general direction of ocean heat content.”

        To be more specific, if the question was asked of experts

        “I am highly confident that the world’s oceans are warming overall”
        Yes
        No
        Not Sure

        You are claiming all would respond yes. Want to make a bet?

      • @R Gates
        Merely stating the Pacific or any other ocean/land mass is warming is worthless. We’re still recovering from the LIA – and failure to attribute what portion is man-made vs. natural is exactly the problem.
        The IPCC said changes were almost entirely man-made – but then The Pause showed up – which either says the IPCC is entirely wrong about climate changes being man-made, or that the IPCC dramatically understated natural variability, or both.
        No matter which the case, the result is that any and all IPCC and climate model pronouncements on future behavior are no longer trustworthy, and will remain so until the discrepancy is resolved.

    • I started to suggest a policy of “do no harm” but prefer “benign neglect.”

  9. AK: “Science requires precise definitions.”

    In my experience that’s among the many differences between science and scientists.

  10. “I believe the climate is changing.”

    Does that cover everything?

  11. Actually these are politicians and this was politics. As far as I can tell the vote for the language of climate change is not a hoax was for an amendment (29) to an amendment (2). The amendment (29) to amend amendment (2) is what passed. I do not believe that the amendment (2) has a chance of passing. Both parties are not doing substance in this instance. Democrats are throwing amendments at the pipeline bill to embarrass Republicans. Republicans are responding with votes to amend amendments that have yet to pass. If you are confused by what I am saying it is likely that was intended by the politicians.

    You are attempting to have a substantive discussion. I don’t believe that either brand of politicians are. However, the current batch of senators does believe in debate. During the past Senate these amendments would not have been allowed. I just would not go to the point of suggesting that a real discussion is taking place here. In fact, if I were a senator, I would have voted for the climate is changing and man is somewhat responsible version. However, not for the correct reasons, even though I have no problem with that language! I would use the language to hammer Obama when he does what he is likely to do and vetoes the thing.

    Attempting to make sense of “this is what the science is so therefore the politicians ought to do X” is probably not going to go anywhere. There are many issues out there and trying to make CO2 the biggest one is problematic in my opinion. Further, in this sound bite world politicians do the above even if they are really attempting to prioritize things in a way that may be more substantial, because to have a real discussion looses the public’s attention, unfortunately. In fact, I have probably exceeded the attention span of many already so I will stop.

  12. The most commonly cited metric of climate change is the global average surface temperature. Attribution of most (>50%) of the change in this metric since pre-industrial to anthropogenic causes wouldn’t disturb me, although more recent change (say, the last 40 years) seems to have had a far greater natural component.
    However, in political/policy contexts, “climate change” is often extended to encompass other metrics, such as the frequency/severity of tropical storms. Any attribution there to anthropogenic effects is highly suspect. The elasticity of the topic under discussion — not just whether “climate change” refers to all change or just anthropogenic change — is a further factor in talking past one another.

    Ambiguity is a tool in achieving a political consensus.

  13. ==> “Significant: large enough to be noticed or have an effect; sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; fairly large in amount or quantity.”

    • Joshua

      Does public opinion trump scientific facts? Those who have studied the climate can’t state with any great accuracy what percentage of any warming that has occured is due to human activities. There is too much about the system that is unknown. What is the relavance of people’s guesses in response to a poll??? As more better data becomes available over time, the public’s opinions will become more knowledge based

      • Rob –

        Working backwards:

        ==> ” What is the relavance of people’s guesses in response to a poll???”

        My point is that it is interesting to watch as “skeptics” hide behind the “skeptics don’t doubt that the earth is warming and that ACO2 increases the warming” gambit, along with the “climate always changes” gambit.

        In point of fact: (1) people can hold contradictory beliefs to fit conveniently into specific context and, (2) “skeptics” conveniently change their characterization of what “skeptics” think, depending on context.

        A plurality (giving some leeway for the accuracy of the poll) of “conservatives” state a belief that there is no warming taking place. The “hoax” meme is alive and well, despite the attempts of some “skeptics” like Judith to throw it under the tires of the bus of political correctness. But we see in Congressional resolutions the same patterns we see in public opinion polls. People leverage climate change to fight ideological wars.

        The point is that these resolutions don’t actually mean anything about beliefs about climate change because (in general, although certainly not always) what people say about what they believe about climate is actually a proxy for who they are., or more accurately how they identify ideologically.

        ==> “Those who have studied the climate can’t state with any great accuracy what percentage of any warming that has occured is due to human activities. ”

        This is about decision-making in the face of uncertainty, IMO. IMO, Decision-making in the face of uncertainty is inherently complicated and difficult for humans. So people resort to simplistic heuristics, if you will. And, IMO, when the issue being examined is overtly polarized, they resort to identity-oriented heuristics. So what they do is fall into simplistic patterns to quiet the cognitive dissonance of uncertainty, that fall into well-worn identification-hueristics.

        ==> “Does public opinion trump scientific facts? ”

        No. The poll gives a snapshot of a pattern in how science is reflected in public opinion.

      • Joshua

        You appear to inappropriately reach conclusions based on poor or incomplete information.

        Joshua writes- “(2) “skeptics” conveniently change their characterization of what “skeptics” think, depending on context.”

        Joshua-
        1. you seem to miss that individuals are skeptical about something specific and different individuals will have their individual skeptism reduced or increased at different rates based on gaining additional information.
        2. You try to reach conclusions based on a poor polling question that is open to confusion among the responders.

        Joshua writes–“This is about decision-making in the face of uncertainty, IMO.”

        On that point we agree. It is possible to make stupid decisions based on trying to respond to potential outcomes.

      • Rob,

        Reaching is one of the things Josh excels in.

      • Steven Mosher

        “As more better data becomes available over time, the public’s opinions will become more knowledge based”

        huh.

        on any given day you can find a skeptic who claims to believe in the LIA
        ( it was cooler before ) AND who claims to believe that the warming we have seen since then is all a hoax perpetrated by climate scientists who
        adjust data.

      • Well, I have heard it said that the ‘pause’ only exists because they’re running out of reasons to adjust the data.
        I don’t subscribe to that view myself, but just sayin…

      • Encounter ‘hiding behind.’ Stop paying attention.

      • Mosher: “on any given day you can find a skeptic who claims to believe in the LIA
        ( it was cooler before ) AND who claims to believe that the warming we have seen since then is all a hoax perpetrated by climate scientists who
        adjust data.”

        Sure. It’s also true that on any given day you can find a warmist who claims to believe the consensus AND who claims there is no pause/hiatus, despite numerous papers from consensus authors positing reasons for a pause.
        What’s your point?

      • ““As more better data becomes available over time, the public’s opinions will become more knowledge based”

        Mosher-Note I did not write that all opinions are impacted by reliable data, but it will impact the overall public opinion. People generally do not “believe” the world is flat.

  14. Judith

    Did you really mean to write this, or is there a typo?

    ‘If you equate ‘significantly’ with ‘mostly’, then these results are not too different from the recent survey of professional members of the American Meteorological Society [link] that four only 52% state the the warming since 1850 is mostly anthropogenic.’

    Are you saying that 52% of the AMS membership believe that temperature rises since 1850 are mostly down to us?

    If so the trivial effect we had on co2 levels for the first 100 years since 1850 has caused a significant effect on temperatures. That surely means we can’t live on this planet as there is no way we can get back to pre 1850 levels of some 300ppm or less.

    tonyb

  15. Svend Ferdinandsen

    I look forward to a statement that gravity on Earth is constant and not changing. Hopefully all vote for that statement, but you never know with politicians.

    • Is someome trying to tell you to use less gravity?

      • Walt Allensworth

        I someone trying to pass the largest tax increase in the history of the US because of gravity?

      • Walt,

        Don’t give them any ideas.

      • Due to the obesity epidemic, there are a lot of people out there who are using more than their fair share of gravity.

      • Must insert definition of “fair share” here:

        “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.”

        Fair share = what you can produce – needs. Please remit to the government.

    • Well … gravity on Earth is constant in general, but we have instruments that are accurate enough to measure that it is not constant in detail. Depends on what you are doing. If you are doing geophysics then it is all about the deviations from the normal value. If you are doing high school physics then it is likely not going to be worth noting that there are minor differences. If the earth were exactly spherical and homogeneous then gravity would be constant. The earth is roughly spherical and pretty heterogeneous. However, getting congress to vote on science is a pretty bad idea in general in my opinion.

      • I believe Obama is signing an Executive Order to move mass from places with excess gravity to those where gravity is deficient.

    • Pretty sure that gravity varies on Earth depending on where you are…
      (sure not by a lot)

      Parameters affecting the apparent or actual strength of Earth’s gravity include latitude, altitude, and the local topography and geology.

      Sure the below is from Wiki.. but fairly certain it is somewhat accurate.
      “Apparent gravity on the Earth’s surface varies by around 0.7%, from 9.7639 m/s2 on the Nevado Huascarán mountain in Peru to 9.8337 m/s2 at the surface of the Arctic Ocean.[5] In large cities, it ranges from 9.766 in Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, and Singapore to 9.825 in Oslo and Helsinki.”

    • Gravity varies based on location.

  16.  
    Examples of Significance: >50% Democrats saying they worry about global warming a great deal compared with 29% of independents and 16% of Republicans. (Source: Gallup)

  17. The left has to control the language to control the agenda. So re-defining the term “climate change” to mean only “human-induced climate change” gives them an advantage. It implies to the uninformed that there is only one type of climate change that matters, and effectively discounts the possibility that natural climate change may be as much or more responsible for the slight rise in temperatures we’ve seen over the past century. It also buttresses the unproven theory that “most” of the warming comes from an increase in CO2 from emissions.

    Propaganda is nothing more than manipulating language to distort truth.

  18. Huffington Post also does not understand the scientific definition of climate change. A headline:

    “The Senate Actually Just Acknowledged Climate Change Is Real”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/21/senate-climate-change-key_n_6519728.html

    • CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin also does not understand the scientific definition of climate change. When Sorkin accused Princeton physicist Will Happer of not believing in climate change, Happer lost it, and told Sorkin to “shut up.”

  19. –A few hours after I posted this, the U.S. Senate provides some interesting news, summarized in this article by Andrew Freedman:–
    http://mashable.com/2015/01/21/inhofe-senate-climate-not-hoax/
    “However, what he said is a hoax is the finding that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global warming. ”

    I find this interesting.
    I wonder if he referring to a findiing that CO2 causes global warming? Or is the finding referring to the non-specific process of groupthink and propaganda?
    Or perhaps
    Say you were to have a group of Senators who do not know what causes the seasons of year and perhaps more importantly they have no interest in finding out what causes the seasons of a year. But they are voting on a bill regarding “climate change”.

  20. The link: If you equate ‘significantly’ with ‘mostly’, then these results are not too different from the recent survey of professional members of the American Meteorological Society [link] that four only 52% state the the warming since 1850 is mostly anthropogenic.

    Takes you to here: “Most’ versus ‘more than half’ versus ‘> 50%

  21. “‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.”

    If that is all it means, you’d wonder why a Republican senate thought it necessary to pass a resolution affirming it.

      • Yes, but again, what is the point of it?

        I guess that it is so that the general public will assume manmade is meant (as per UNFCCC), while Inhofe can claim the omission to his supporters.

      • The point is that IPCC et al. finessed anthropogenic global warming into “global warming”. People have a problem saying global warming does not exist to mean AGW does not exist, when global warming does exist. He who controls the vocabulary wins the argument.
        IPCC revised its own charter from investigating climate into investigating human caused climate. It’s models are small signal models in which all natural causes are assumed to be in balance (which it calls equilibrium, to be confused with thermodynamic equilibrium). Then any changes produced in data or by its models are attributed to man. And some changes in nature IPCC simply omits from its models, e.g., Henry’s Law (i.e., CO2 solubility in water), cloud variations (which amplify the Sun and mitigate warming from any cause).

      • So like negative space in painting.
        There large agreement when manmade was removed.
        A rule one should keep in mind, the Senate talks to the Senate.
        And keep in mind the universe spins around the US Senate.

      • David L. Hagen

        Nick – It was a DEMOCRAT amendment intentioned to demonize REPUBLICANS over the POLITICAL/UNFCCC REdefinition of “climate change”- (see below) except that Senator Inhofe etc saw a way to appeal to the original scientific definition of “climate change” and pull the teeth of the amendment by it not requiring human causation.

      • nottawa rafter

        There is no end to the Machiavellian maneuvers that go on. The subtext is always more interesting than the literal.

    • Nick,

      Maybe to differentiate from climate static? :)

    • Nicky, do you have any idea which defeated Democrat Senators were in the angry mob that poked out Dingy Harry’s eye? What’s really significant, nicky, is that there is actual voting in the Senate, now that the Republicans are in charge.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Nick Stokes: If that is all it means, you’d wonder why a Republican senate thought it necessary to pass a resolution affirming it.

      Why is that hard to understand? The Republican Senators are now on record as affirming the reality of climate change. From here on out, any one who calls them “climate deniers” or “climate change deniers”, excepting the one who voted against, can be called a “scurrilous liar” or some such.

      Incidentally, it is only a “sense of the Senate” resolution, not a law requiring obedience. The last famous climate policy related “sense of the Senate” resolution was the unanimous rejection of the Kyoto Treaty in 2009. It was why Pres Clinton never submitted the treaty for ratification.

  22. The proposed amendments do not follow the accepted format.

    A proper legislative amendment would read like this:

    Whereas, Extent of global sea ice is at or above historical averages;
    Whereas, Populations of polar bears are generally growing;
    Whereas, Sea levels have been slowly rising at the same rate since the Little Ice Age ended 150 years ago;
    Whereas, Oceans will not become acidic due to buffering from extensive mineral deposits and marine life is well adapted to pH fluctuations that do occur;
    Whereas, Extreme weather events have not increased in recent decades and such events are more associated to periods of cooling rather than warming;
    Whereas, Cold spells, not heat waves, are the greater threat to human life and prosperity;

    Therefore, This chamber agrees that climate is variable and prudent public officials should plan for future periods both colder and warmer than the present.

  23. Renenber that the UN’s IPCC was told to do an impossible task by it’s founder, the UNFCCC, their task was impossible because they were told that the science was ‘stilted’ when , in fact, subsequent events have shown this instruction to be far from the truth: more scientific research was necessary, if they were to meet their goal. Remember also that the IPCC was not set up to do scientific research – this was the role of the world’s Universities.

    The inescapable solution to the resulting dilemma is for the FCCC to withdraw its instruction to the IPCC and call tenders to the world’s Universities to do the research task.

    What surprises me in all this is the passivity with which established research institutions allowed the UN to take over their role.

    • Literally billions of dollars has been spent on and by research institutions – the vast majority provided for by national governments.
      And you’re wondering why the UN was allowed to spearhead this particular crusade? Doesn’t seem like a lot of suffering going on to me.
      The regular IPCC conferences all over the world also contrast greatly with the standard definition of doing thankless work.

  24. Why Is This Man Smiling?
    Climate change is no hoax. It’s a tautology.
    … Climate change in this sense has no need of evidence. The proposition “Climates change,” like the proposition “2 plus 2 equal 4,” is not an empirical hypothesis but a tautology. It is true by definition. Climate is change.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-is-this-man-smiling-1421958869

  25. Warmists are the real climate change deniers. It’s old news.

  26. The idea described in the linked article, “foster pragmatic climate policies that do NOT hinge on scientific truth,” reminds me of the government’s food pyramid and that reminds me lf a government Energy Pyramid–e.g.,

  27. There is neither a scientific nor political definition of “climate change”. It is a common English term and it means what it means – with allowances for context, as with all common English terms.

    There is a scientific hijacking of the term “climate change”, as well as a political hijacking. This sort of thing happens when people want others to associate their dogma and bias with something common and neutral so they have the necessary dodges and back-doors if their arguments start to wobble. Call something odious “cute kittens” and then defy me to say cute kittens are odious. Call something debatable “eastern sunrise” and then challenge me to debate that the sun rises in the east.

    You ask abruptly: “Is climate change real?” I immediately have to start scratching my head and shuffling my feet and mumbling about how it all depends what is meant…Round one to you! Every time!

    I notice people on this blog are starting to publish naughty pics of the present geological epoch which, though only vaguely representative, show the real reason why constant manipulation of language and numbers is required to keep all those jets and limos on track to climate conferences, government hearings and Antarctic rock concerts.

    If people twig that the climate and sea levels are just varying and fluctuating in the same old disturbing Holocene ways, some wet blanket will eventually suggest, as Dame Edna said to her husband Norm when he wanted to see the world: “Why not just have a drink at home?”

    • Climate is pretty easy to define. First you start with normal. 30 years later you look back and to what the weather was like before; and, then, you proclaim how shitty it got.

  28. Climate is pretty easy to define. First you start with normal. 30 years later you look back and to what the weather was like before; and, then, you proclaim how sh*tty it got.

  29. Pingback: Nonsensus about the Senate’s non consensus on climate change * The New World

  30. David L. Hagen

    Global Warming has become a religion,”
    Underlying the Senate’s amendment on “Climate science” is a deep seated religious belief that humans are causing global warming (aka “climate change”), with catastrophic consequences, that it is a religious duty to stop that warming, and that those who do not agree are evil and must be clearly put up to public scorn to force them to change their ways. This belief focuses on the UNFCCC political definition, and consequently interprets/slants most global climate models and IPCC reviews to show that humans are causing the global warming. (Contrast the reports by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change NIPCC.

    Richard Lindzen, MIT observes:

    As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it,” he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!” . . .
    Last week, after scoffing at Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a Senate vote on global warming, Lindzen was subjected to another barrage of diatribes.

    MIT CLIMATE SCIENTIST: GLOBAL WARMING BELIEVERS A ‘CULT’

    In her 2014 dissertation, Eija-Riitta Korhola addresses:
    5.5 CLIMATE CHANGE IN RELIGIOUS REVIEW

    In 2007, the columnist of the Financial Times John Kay wrote a column with a headline: Green lobby must be treated as a religion120. Kay marvelled at the inefficiency of the environmentalists in times of crisis – it is as if they weren’t interested at all in finding solutions to problems, moreover they concentrate on preaching about improvement and penances. Why indeed not seriously invest in the search for efficient technology that diminishes emissions? Why show more interest in imposing gestures that try to impress the public although they don’t really have any importance as a whole? “The danger of environmental evangelism is that rituals, gestures and rhetoric take the place of substance”, Kay reasoned.

    . . .the founder of Greenpeace who then resigned from the organisation, Canadian Patrick Moore, has named precisely fundamentalism as the reason for his withdrawal. He described the so-called Round Table meetings with the government an efficient method to achieve results. “The Round Table method was important in the whole of Canada in the 1990s, and we reached many good and sustainable environmental solutions using it”. “Compare this to Greenpeace’s ‘No compromise for Mother Earth’ campaign. A hard line, fundamentalism, which inevitably leads to the question concerning the movement’s perception of the human being. Are humans only destroyers? Doesn’t the human deserve a place on Earth? In the end, many activists do not care about human beings.”124

    THE RISE AND FALL OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: CLIMATE CHANGE AS A POLITICAL PROCESS (Curry promises to post on this thesis soon)

    Because of such deep rooted religious beliefs, any who question those models are branded “anti-scientific”. Contrast the simpler more accurate NEW PAPER: Why Models Run Hot: Results From An Irreducibly Simple Climate Model

    Government vs private action
    The other major reason is that climate alarmists believe that to be effective solutions must be centrally imposed and thus government action is the solution/salvation. Those who politically see centralized government as the problem must be branded heretics, and thus the Senate Climate Change amendment circus. Having survived communism, President Vaclav Klaus reveals key insights into these trends in his book: Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?

    • David L. Hagen

      Environmentalism has become a religion
      In an interview, “old fashioned green” James Lovelock says that environmentalism has:

      “become a religion” and does not pay enough attention to facts, . . . (James Lovelock. . . .said of the warnings of climate catastrophe in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia:) “I was a little too certain in that book. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen.” . . .Asked if his remarks would give ammunition to climate change sceptics, he said: “It’s just as silly to be a denier as it is to be a believer. You can’t be certain.”

      Talking about the environmental movement, Lovelock says: “It’s become a religion, and religions don’t worry too much about facts.”

    • David L. Hagen

      Physicist William Happer expands on the religious thrust of most climate science activists:

      “Policies to ‘stop climate change’ are based on climate models that completely failed to predict the lack of warming for the past two decades. Observational data show clearly that the predictions of unacceptable warming by more carbon dioxide are wrong. Economic discount rates aside, policies designed to save the planet from more carbon dioxide are based on failed computer models.”

      The Costly, False, Futile Climate Crusade, January 22, 2015

  31. Atmospheric CO2 is identified as a climate change forcing with units of J sec-1 m-2 by the ‘consensus’ and the IPCC. Energy, in units J M-2 divided by the effective thermal capacitance equals average global temperature (AGT). Thus the time-integral of the atmospheric CO2 level times a scale factor equals the AGT change.

    For 8000+ years the temperature trend has been flat while the CO2 level has been in the range 260-280 ppmv. This mandates that the scale factor be zero.

    Since 2001 the temperature trend has been flat while the CO2 level has been in the range 380-400 ppmv. This also mandates that the scale factor be zero.

    Together these observations lead to the expectation that ‘climate sensitivity’ to a doubling of CO2 level will also be zero.

    The two factors that do explain the temperature rise since the depths of the Little Ice Age and the flat trend since 2001(95% correlation since before 1900) are identified at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    • –For 8000+ years the temperature trend has been flat while the CO2 level has been in the range 260-280 ppmv. This mandates that the scale factor be zero.–
      About 8000 years ago the temperature of Holcene [your present interglacial period] temperatures were still rising and peaked to highest temperature of your present interglacial period. Also sea around 8000 year in period of about 1000 year [say either side of it] rise about 10 meters.
      During this time treeline in northern hemisphere went furthest poleward, and with the frozen stumps are still frozen and marking this very warm part in time.
      Starting from about 8000 year peak in temperature, the temperature have over the long term slowly declined [though with century long periods rising and diving temperature which similar rising and falling temperature in last 1000 years:

      So roughly 8000 years we had 10 meter rise in global sea level.
      If go back 9000 it’s instead about 20 meter rise in global sea level

      • gbaikie, Paleo climatology is still waiting for its guru. If you think instrumental adjustments are a PITA just wait until the holocene reconstruction battles really get going.

        If you take the basic Marcott et al. 2013 reconstruction, include the available data to bring the recons he used into the 20th century and get rid of some of his brain farts, the tropical ocean reconstruction would look something like that and that is smoothed to about 120 years prior to 1000 AD.

        If you do a northern hemisphere recon you also have a precessional cycle signal that peaks early and an southern hemisphere would have a precessionaly cycle signal that peaks late, now actually. The oceans have a 18%,52%,30% area distribution 90N-30N, 30N-30S and 30S-90S, so the dominate climate signal as far as the oceans go is mid- precessional cycle. Glacial mass is mainly NH so sea level peaks when most of the NH glacial mass melts. Ocean heat content should be nearing its max about now in the precessional cycle. Peak ocean heat content would coincide with peak SST and atmospheric water vapor which would be peak atmospheric forcing.

        So someone has to grab the bull by the horns and polish up Milankovitch’s theory before they can even come close to figuring out the actual CO2 equivalent gas impact. Water vapor forcing due to precessional cycle change isn’t part of their game plan.

      • Capt., nice chart I hadn’t seen that one before identifying the max equatorial insolation.

      • ordvic, I have my doubts that you will see any more for a few years thanks to carbonmania. I noticed there wasn’t much in the way of tropical Holocene reconstructions and had to build my own.

      • Here is a similar one of the last interglacial that includes CO2:

      • Ordvic, Mean while in that other hemisphere,

        The initial CO2 pulse appears to be related to NH glacial melt and biological activity then in the SH precessional maximum you have a more ocean related CO2 trend.

        The Equatorial precessional maximum isn’t all that exciting if you look at “average” insolation, but if you look at peak insolation, you can see a reason for the cycle to stand out more in SST reconstructions. So a lot of SST recons have 4000-5000 years oscillations that appear to be based on NH peak, Equ, Peak, SH peak, Equ peak. or precessional cycle/4.

        I find that more interesting than the standard NH-centric reconstructions using 65N peak only.

      • btw, here is a chart of ocean area by latitude from 60S-60N.

        You really need to compare both precessional maximum insolation and the ocean surface area it can impact.

      • Cap’t, My understanding of using 65N centric peak is due to orbital tilt?

      • ordvic, right the 65N is preferred because of orbital tilt creating those endless days in the circles. If you are into melting Ice that is what you want.

        If you are into ocean energy you want equatorial insolation variation.

        That looks a touch different than your run of the mill orbital oscillation. I use the peak because oceans are clear fluid that absorb energy and tend to hang on to it for a while.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-solar-precessional-cycle-and-ocean.html

        That is my approach which is not really a climate science mainstream kinda thing :)

      • btw the legend in that peak graph should be k year not year obviously.

      • Capt’nDallas

        “http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-solar-precessional-cycle-and-ocean.html

        Too many moving parts for my little brain to follow. Let me summarize my understanding.

        During glaciation, earth tilted so that maximum sunlight was at 65 N. Glaciation was on land which occurred because of snow fall. Higher Northern temperatures, more atmospheric moisture, more snow fall, thus building glaciers. Right?

        Now, earth tilt so that maximum sunlight at 65 South. Snow fall in Antarctica building glaciers there. Right?

        I’m strictly a learner here.

      • RiHoo8, The 65N is due to axial tilt, with the long daylight hours and higher available solar energy during a precessional peak, they combine to melt snow provided it is dirty enough or the insolation is strong enough.

        Accumulation of snow is an ocean energy/SST thing. Ocean energy and SST build with the precessional forcing increase where there is ocean. So the Equator to 15S equinox modes of the precessional cycle provide the most energy for the oceans.

        One of the tricky parts is ice sheet stability. They can keep building to the point they basically destroy themselves or you can have a high insolation peak in 65N like about 100 thousand years ago. Since the sheets aren’t all that stable, a string of earthquakes or super high tides can cause an abrupt shift along with the usual suspects of impact events, dirty snow, mega volcanoes etc. That would be the real chaos, the rest is just thermodynamics with a little realism applied to precision.

      • For Milankovitch cycles, 65N is more important because there are large nearby continental areas that support glaciation. The southern hemisphere has no equivalent area for the albedo feedback to persist on.

      • captd, so you are disagreeing that the asymmetry of the continents is the key to why the Ice Ages are steered by 65N not 65S(?). Did you read the question by RiH008 that I was answering?

      • JimD, what you should have read is that I said 65N is important with regard ice sheet and equ to 15S are important as to ocean heat capacity/SST. You have a land world ~30 and a water world ~70%.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-solar-precessional-cycle-and-ocean.html

        See if you can find a redneck to minion translator.

      • Yes, but why not 65S was the question?

      • JimD, ” Why not 65S?” You see any ocean under 65S? If you had read carefully I mentioned ice sheet stability. Now why would the Antarctic ice sheets be more stable? Why would the Antarctic Ice sheets be “cleaner”? Just how far do you think the Antarctic ice sheet can expand?

      • captd, yep, completely opposite continental distribution. Continent at the south pole surrounded by oceans, ocean at the north pole surrounded by continents. The asymmetry explains it.

      • JimD, “captd, yep, completely opposite continental distribution. Continent at the south pole surrounded by oceans, ocean at the north pole surrounded by continents. The asymmetry explains it.

        Asymmetry explains some of it, nothing explains “it” as in all of it. If it did, glacials/interglacials would be just like clock work.

        Now if you are concerned with how much solar energy varies at the ocean surface due to orbital cycles, you would look at the ocean surface.

        That is roughly the variation in solar intensity only over the ocean. Each latitude band has so much ocean area and gets so much solar. So if you didn’t have all the confounding factors, you could create a simple model of future climate as far as the oceans go.

        One of the big confounding factors is of course albedo of which clouds create the majority. Clouds would tend to respond to SST so you would have critical energy levels that would vary “global” in this case ocean, albedo.

        So the right answer to “why not 65S?” would be tradition. To do it right, you look at a lot more.

  32. Throw another “thermometer” on the fire …

    “Here is a plot of the two high-resolution new series. Neither series shows any recognizable uptick in the 20th century. ”

    http://climateaudit.org/2015/01/21/important-new-north-american-east-coast-proxy-data/

  33. Help prevent more CO2 omissions!!

  34. There is a disconnect between the congressional Republicans and the public Republicans, half of whom think man is responsible for the warming and want to limit CO2. The congressional ones don’t because they have some incentives to toe the line (or disincentives not to) regardless of what they may actually think, but what they really think is probably more in line with the public. They should be polled anonymously to avoid being scapegoated and intimidated by their power wielders.

    • Jim D,

      This is pointless yap. You are trying to guess motives. I have a totally different impression to you. I’s suggest CAGW alarmists, from either side of politics, are largely influenced the mains stream media and their tendency to accept and follow cultist beliefs.

      Those who do not accept CAGW are more rationally skeptical. They inherently understand the balanceof costs, benefits and risks (for both the short term and the long term). They are inherently wiser about what is best for humanity, their dependents and future generations. They are smarter than those who fall for cultists beliefs – as the CAGW alarmists clearly have done.

      • It’s not even CAGW. It is just AGW, which is why so many of the general public have accepted it. By now it is obviously happening and they hear the scientific reason for it. There is no scientific mystery here, but a few are motivated to make a whodunit out of it.

      • Jim D,

        I am afraid I don’t understand what you are talking about. Very few people are saying there is not AGW at all. What you don’t seem to understand is that people accept some CAGW and want government to implement policies to do something about it as long as it does not cost them. Other than a tiny proportion fo the world’s population (perpaphs 1%) are not prepared to pay to address AGW or CAGW. Thye just don see it as a high priority for their dollars. They don’t see the benefits of spending that money. No matter what you believe, you and those who share your beliefs are not going to change the 99% of the world’s population.

        But, if you get rational, then you can succeed and we’ll all succeed. But you need to work on convincing those who are concerned about AGW or CAGW to stop pushing their ideological beliefs and support policies that are economically rational. Do not advocate for carbon pricing renewable energy, big government, anti-market and anti-competitive regulations or UN instigated international agreements to limit GHG emissions. These are the wrong approach and wont succeed. 25 years of UN climate conferences should convince any thinking person of this reality.

      • Peter Lang, maybe you don’t read them, but many here don’t believe in a significant A part of AGW. This is also what the Senate voted against. They are happy with GW, but don’t, whatever you do, call it AGW. So, let’s first work on getting the AGW accepted.

      • Jim D,

        So, let’s first work on getting the AGW accepted.

        I don’t agree with that approach. It’s like banging your head against a wall. You and those who share your beliefs have been truing that approach for 25 years and where’s it got you. It’s involved massive UN climate conferences every year, Kyoto agreement and attempt t set legally binding targets and timetable with penalties for breach of commitments. There is virtually no chance of anything like this succeeding and being sustained for 100 years or whatever it takes, Likewise, there’s virtually no chance of carbon pricing being implemented let alone sustained (globally). And renewable energy cannot achieve much in global GHG emissions reductions. So all the policies the CAGW alarmists have been advocating have failed and will always fail. It’s inevitable.

        If you want to succeed in reducing global GHG emissions, follow me and I’ll lead you to a wonderful new world – a place you’ve never been before. :)

      • I know, and to you the choice is nuclear or nothing. I am not opposed to nuclear, but there can be a balance with new energy, and there is especially a need when it comes to some forms of transportation that nuclear can’t fulfill.

      • Jim D,

        You are misrepresenting me. I am not saying nuclear or nothing. What I am saying is:

        1. If you advocate for policies that will reduce economic growth you will fail.

        2. If you advocate for policies that will raise the cost of energy you will fail

        3. Renewables cannot achieve much. They are not economic and not sustainable. They cannot support modern society and will not be able to: http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

        4. If we can’t have energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels we’k keep using fossil fuels until we can have a cheaper alternative.

        5. Nuclear is already by far the cheapest way to make large reductions to global GHG emission (much cheaper than renewables but still more expensive than fossil fuels)

        6. the cost of nuclear could be massively reduced.

        7. Those most concerned about CAGW and AGW need to lead the way to remove the impediments to low cost low GHG emissions energy. These are the people who are blocking it, so it is them that need to lead the way to unblock. If they don’t nothing will heppen because 99% of the world doesn’t see CAGW as a priority issue and they are not prepared to waste money on it. This is the political reality. It’s up to you and those who share your beliefs.

        8. Your comment about transport fuels is irrelevant. once we have cheap nuclear we’ll get to have unlimited transport fuels too.

        It’s all up to you guys. You not going to get any support for any of your beliefs until you can show the way forward with economically rational policies.

      • JimD – If it is really AGW and not CAWG, then who cares?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: So, let’s first work on getting the AGW accepted.

        Almost everyone accepts some part of the A. What has been missing among those sounding the alarms, at least until recently, is an acceptance that global climate changes naturally, so the size of the A part can only be estimated with reference to the naturally occurring changes.

    • Jim D’s day dream fantasy about the similarities and differences between Republicans and Unicorns.

    • Jim D,

      What rationalists understand is that the policies advocated by the CAGW alarmist would be very damaging for the world and would slow the rate of development and of improvements in human wellbeing. See the red line on this chart:

      It show that carbon pricing would be highly damaging for all this century. That is the costs exceed any projected climate damages avoided for all thjis century. No rational person would advocate or support such policies. That is what rationalists are opposing. It’s the policies advocated by the CAGW alarmists. It seems the majority in the US align with the Democrats. in Australia they support the Leftist political parties – Labor and Greens.

      By the way, the net cost benefit would be much worse that that chart says. The assumptions that underpin it are highlly favourable to the CAGW warmist. For example:
      – ECS = 3.2C
      – Emissions rate = ~RCP8.5
      – Damage function is high and further inflated by 25% just for caution
      – Even half the assumed Copenhagen participation rate is highly unlikely to be achieved (I’d say near impossible in the real world).

    • nottawa rafter

      Jim D
      Document half of Republican public wants CO2 limited. I have not seen those polling results.

      • I will help you understand what’s going on, jimmy. If you ask people if they are concerned about the environment, global warming, climate change, whatever they will say “yeah”. Ask them what they believe are the biggest problems they face and climate barely registers. You have a lot of evangelizing to do, jimmy. I suggest you seek a bigger and more gullible audience. We have just about been sermonized to death around here. It ain’t working for you.

      • Don M, I think you are on the side that has some convincing to do where the public is concerned. Tell them the earth is the warmest in centuries, but humans are definitely not to blame, and they will be skeptical of your assertion just based on the evidence and news that they have seen.

      • They can both be right. There are many examples of people holding beliefs that are contradictory. Depending on context, they will offer one belief or another so as to maintain their identity.

        And on top of that, they will filter information so as to support their ideological orientation. Look at all the “skeptics” who say that no “skeptics” doubt that ACO2 affects the climate, they only question the magnitude of the effect” even as they read, time after time, comments like this:

        popesclimatetheory | January 22, 2015 at 11:01 pm |

        […]

        Finally, some common sense in Washington. Climate has changed, but no data can or has been measured that show that humans are responsible.

        They want to throw good folks like popesclimatetheory under the wheels of the bus of political correctness – just so’s they can quite that cognitive dissonance that’s screaming in their ear.

        Oh, and don’t forget:

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D
        The top poll says only 46 % of Republicans believe over half of Global Warming is due to humans. In the second poll 58% of Republicans believe
        it is a hoax. Not very good links to prove your point.

        This fits right in with the themes of the last few posts. How you frame the question and how people interpret all the definitions mean everything. And then you have the schizoid attitudes of all voters on all public policy issues.

      • people read between the lines in polls:
        Ask anyone randomly if they think kittens are cute. 90% will say yes.
        Ask the exact same poll question the day after every news outlet reports on a government mandate to require every home have at least one kitten at all times. Only the cat people will answer yes.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/12/poll-half-of-republicans-support-climate-regulations/

        thank you for the link.

        from the article: It should also be mentioned that even though 50 percent of Republicans supported global warming regulations, the poll never specified which regulations they would back.

        Possibly the Republicans have the majority in Congress because they have resisted every (expensive) measure that has been proposed.

      • They have been convinced that the measures are expensive, when they are not. It is an economic alarmism campaign that has been very successful on them. The actual cost is well within the noise of year-to-year global GDP growth as WG3 and any economists doing the numbers show.

      • Jim D,

        That is simply blind ignorance or denialism. I think the latter is the case in your case because you completely avoided dealing with this when I posted it in reply to you on the previous thread here: https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/22/nonsensus-about-the-senates-non-consensus-on-climate-change/#comment-667480:

        It shows the huge economic cost of CO2 abatement.
        Source: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

      • @jim d

        ‘Tell them the earth is the warmest in centuries’

        And they’ll rightly ask ‘so what’?

        If we hadn’t created a client state of climatologists and assorted hangers-on whose pay, rations, status and careers entirely depend on their summoning up of an endless serious of climate hobgoblins, would we have noticed at all?

        How?

        What actual signs would Joanna Public have noticed that said to her

        ‘Oh golly gosh, we are at the warmest for centuries. Help, help, I need somebody or something to rescue me from this terrible fate!’

        Because if the answer is approaching ‘none at all’ as I suspect, then why are we bothering to worry?

  35. Words are flowing out / Like endless rain into a paper cup / They slither wildly as they slip away / Across the universe. – John Lennon

  36. Interesting that you now accept the IPCC as the arbitrator of scientific definitions Dr Curry. How fast you spin.

  37. James Inhofe has said, “global warming is debunked”. Do you agree with him Dr Curry? Can the world warm or, as James Inhofe believes, is this not possible?

    • As per the Senate vote, apparently Inhofe believes in climate change (i.e. temperatures can change), he is just not willing to blame any significant change on humans. That is how I interpret his position.

      • Thanks. That’s pretty clear. In that case I agree with Inhofe. So there are some smart, wise, rational Senators in the US. Pity about the President

      • He has clearly stated he believes global warming is debunked. Now that you have shown he doesn’t mean anthropogenic without explicitly saying so, it would seem he does not believe temperature can increase. You seem to have shown Inhofe only thinks temps can decrease. His position becomes stranger yet.

      • The vote clearly shows Inhofe believes in climate change.

        His vote is ON the record!

        He voted against placing significant blame on humans.

        His vote is ON the record!

        I agree with him, big time!

        This is what is debunked, that a fraction of a trace gas can regulate Earth Temperature. That would be like the flea in control of the circus elephant.

        You can say what you think he believes, but you can’t change his votes.

      • ==> “…he is just not willing to blame any significant change on humans. ”

        Now don’t be coy. It goes further than that, Judith – despite your attempts at throwing Inhofe’s activist political incorrectness under the bus.

        He believes that the view that there is evidence supporting the theory that ACO2 significantly affects the climate is a “hoax.”

      • I’ll have to help you, joshie. Inhofe is in the same boat with about 7 billion other people. He is not losing any sleep worrying about global warming. The Chicken Littles are the fringe minority. That’s why all you have been able to accomplish are token schemes to reduce CO2 by a smidgen. There has been no actual reduction. You people are miserable failures.

      • ==> “You people are miserable failures.”

        Heh. “You people.” I love it when Don goes all “you people.”

        Must be because of all that political savvy he’s got.

      • If only Judith would take lessons in political savvy from Don.

      • I will give you another lesson, joshie. In politics it doesn’t hurt to show scorn to a fringe minority, like you people. You don’t count for anything. Little public employee union activists are dirt to me. Am I making myself clear?

      • Joshua writes_ “He believes that the view that there is evidence supporting the theory that ACO2 significantly affects the climate is a “hoax.””

        Josuha– are you claiming there is NO such evidence???

      • Inhofe is in the tribe that wants cheap energy. He stands for quality of life, a good life, a full life … not living in a hovel, like this billionaire, one of our jet-setting overlords, tells us we need to do.

        From the article:

        “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,”

        Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.

        The billionaire said he’s planning on having dinner tonight with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and will attend several private meals and parties throughout the week.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-21/billionaire-greene-goes-long-on-u-s-while-bemoaning-jobs-crisis.html

        So, I’ll consider down-sizing my life (and only consider it) when this guy divests all his assets and buys himself a 250 sq ft tiny house. What an A$$.

      • Jushua wrote:
        He believes that the view that there is evidence supporting the theory that ACO2 significantly affects the climate is a “hoax.”

        “ME TOO” All they got is Consensus Alarmist Climate Theory and Climate Models that have demonstrated no skill for two decades.
        There is not actual climate data that is outside the bounds of the past ten thousand years.

    • Nancy Pelosi says …

      Talking to reporters, the House speaker was defending a jobless benefits extension against those who say it gives recipients little incentive to work. By her reasoning, those checks are helping give somebody a job.

      “It injects demand into the economy,” Pelosi said, arguing that when families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/01/pelosi-unemployment-checks-best-way-create-jobs/

      • Just curious as to who you hang out with, jim2?

        Most people I’ve ever met would rather earn more money from working a job than sitting around collecting less money in unemployment. Not all, of course. But perhaps in your millieu, most people would rather collect unemployment?

      • Somebody has been injecting too much botox into Ms. Pelosi.

      • Joshua – I think you got the point! You just don’t realize it yet.

      • Joshie only knows boondogglers with no-layoff lifetime gubmint jobs. Well, most of them retire on disability by the time they reach 45, but you get the idea.

      • Joshua,

        You can’t possibly be that naive. People respond to incentives. If you can get x for couch surfing and y for working, then it doesn’t take much to figure out that you really get only y – x for working.

        If you really are that naive, please help to find these 7 million missing children:

        http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/dependents.asp

      • Unemployment checks is the best way to get people to vote for Democrats.

        Since they are not working, they don’t even need to take off work to vote.

        Nancy Pelosi knows this very well.

  38. If there have been no changes in weather and no change in temperatures as James Inhofe believes, then what climate change has taken place?

  39. At the end of the day, what the Senate did was take a surprising step forward in at least acknowledging that climate change happens, but it still refused to budge when it came to recognizing the science community’s conclusion that human activities are a primary driver of that change.

    Finally, some common sense in Washington. Climate has changed, but no data can or has been measured that show that humans are responsible.

  40. Enjoying the analects

    hmm

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

    “A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”

  41. Climate keeps changing; BUT: there is no such a thing as ”global” warming!: Here is the HOLLY GRAIL of climatology::: https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/cooling-earth/

  42. Once again, very late to this conversation. A quick (and undoubtedly inaccurate skim) did not pick up full context. The House vote was a political ‘double amendment’ to the KXL bill. The amendment to the amendment passed, saying climate change existed. The amendment saying climate change was significantly man-made did not pass. So the current state of Congressional posturing is KXL should pass, and climate changes. Both true.
    All just proving how political climate has become. Judith posted on that previously.

  43. And here are some reasons for disagreement among the Senators:
    Insufficient understanding of the science and the science debate
    Concerns over the politicization of the science
    Distrust of climate science (e.g. Climategate, advocacy etc)
    Ambiguities in the language used to communicate climate change
    Clashes of values, politics, etc.

    Basically what one side says the other denies unless both have a common interest. Superannuation, pay rises for senators and the right to remain silent.
    If you tied Climate Change to an increase in Superannuation you would have 100% support for the legislation.
    There is a big push to get the USA to contribute more money to the poorer nations at the expense of American industry, there must be jobs and money for a lot of people somewhere in this, or votes.

    • The ‘Greek Isles’ are behind door number one and the new owners are even willing to take on the risk of a raising sea. Do you think Greece will get them back again?

    • Angech2014,

      Seems they should start a blog or join this one.

  44. My post on The Conversation:

    “Scientists tell us the world is warming and that a climate catastrophe is imminent. They’re probably right.” Some scientists say the world is warming; others note that there was similar warming from 1910-1940, not related to human emissions, and that there has been no warming since 1998. Some say that “catastrophe” is imminent, and others do not. I’ve been following the issue since the 1980s, when I was briefed by the IPCC’s Chief Scientist, and I have seen no convincing case that a catastrophe is in sight, never mind “imminent.” The word means “about to happen.” Could you please demonstrate exactly when this “imminent” catastrophe will occur, what form it will take and where it will manifest itself? If you can’t do that, then your premise fails and your article is pointless.

    As to what policies we might adopt if there were a catastrophe on the horizon, that’s another big question. The emissions-reduction policies followed to date have had high economic costs for a minimal impact on any warming that might occur.

  45. Planning Engineer

    In addition to the scientific and political definitions of climate change, I think there is a third “social” definition of climate change as well. Disagreement or disbelief with any tenants of the social definition will get you branded as a “climate change” denier in many circles. Here’s my guess at the social definition (no doubt others can improve upon it).

    Social definition: Climate change is a belief system supporting a core advocacy for mankind to adopt aggressive near term action to radically curtail greenhouse gas emissions most particularly CO2 from fossil fuels. This foundations of this belief system may come from a fear of eminent ecological disaster, a desire for limiting mans environmental footprint, a belief in the overwhelming benefits of “clean” energy technology or some combination of those factors. Adherents believe that any observations, evidence or analysis that might serve to reduce fears of pending disaster or cast doubts upon “approved” solutions come from those with impure motivations. Challenges if not false are at least unhelpful and as such should be silenced because they may impede much needed action. Similarly no defense from any quarter of the “climate change” orthodoxy should be publicly challenged no matter how far it may depart from evidence and logic.

    • There is a fourth definition of climate change: the Occupy-Wall-Street-Stoner definition.

      Through a marijuana haze, I perceive that if I say man is destroying the planet via burning of fossil fuels; then I get laid a lot more often. Also, I get more and better drugs. Lastly, look at this great group of friends I have!

      • Planning Engineer

        jim2, by my reckoning the motivation to get laid applies to >50% of the male adherents to climate change orthodoxy. Of course since there is no ceiling on percentage levels, I haven’t figured out quite yet whether it is a major or minor driver, but my gut goes with major.

      • Given the possibility of gender benders, it’s possible that 110% of OWS males want to get laid.

  46. Planning Engineer

    This is the definition that gets Bjorn Lomborg, Judith Curry and others labeled as deniers. Settled Science you know.

  47. Planning Engineer
    Because we are on a temperature plateau, warmists and skeptics divide over what we should expect in the future. As shown in a recent analysis of CMIP5 models, all of them are incapable of projecting cooling, only warming. The situation is dire for warmists. They believe rising CO2 causes rising temperatures, and since CO2 continues to rise, temperatures cannot be seen to decrease.

    Rationally, we should plan for both cooling and warming, since we have no certainty for either. Principle objectives should be robust infrastructure and cheap,reliable energy.

    • Planning Engineer

      No disagreement from me on that Ron C.

    • Cities like New York have become complacent given the lack of the severe hurricanes of 2005. They should have been planning for sea level rise only because it’s been rising since the LIA. New Orleans still a sitting duck. Even after the gubment wasted tons of money on it.

      From the article:

      If you talk to activists, officials and New Orleans residents, they’ll tell you that one of the worst disasters in U.S. history — the flooding of New Orleans — wasn’t caused by Hurricane Katrina but by the failure of the flood protection system.

      Over the course of several hours on Aug. 29, 2005, floodwalls collapsed, pumps failed and a 25-foot storm surge was funneled into city neighborhoods. It was a failure due to poor design and faulty construction.

      Five years later, billions of dollars have been spent to protect the city. But the new flood protection system still leaves New Orleans vulnerable to a major storm.

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129466743

    • So if we build a big building in the far NE coroner of North Dakota, all you fruit loop Koolers agree to go up there and busily spend the rest of your lives planning for Kooling?

      • Who is this “we” to which you refer???

      • JCH–
        Do you deny that building and maintaining robust infrastructure is the surest method to prevent/reduce harms from adverse weather regardless of the cause???

      • NYC has to figure this out and we in flyover country shouldn’t have to pay one red cent for the solution.

      • Jim2

        I agree that NYC and NY overall need to do better in regards to their infrastructure, but it is really a worldwide issue. It is sad in the US for the 2 major parties not to make this a higher priority largely because they don’t want the other to get credit.

      • Rob – my point is exactly that the FED SHOULD SHOULD STAY OUT OF IT! Let the states and cities pay for their own goodies. This is the only fair way to do it,

      • Jim

        Some infrastructure projects are national in nature and some are local or State. Funding follows use.

      • We were discussing NYC and New Orleans. I can’t think of many flood remediation projects that are by nature national in scope.

      • Some states might want to try to prevent the Mississippi from flooding. Others states might want to allow the flood to replenish the land and try to manage it instead of outright preventing it.

      • Jim2,

        That makes absolute sense. Which leads to the need for some entity to be the arbitrator. If I’m Illinois and Louisiana won’t work with me on my flooding issues re: Mississippi, and we have no arbitrator, why would I then as Illinois not use that Mississippi as my “waste removal system” and let Louisiana deal with it? Fair is fair.

  48. Words mean what there’s an interest in talking about.

    There is no word “grue” meaning green before the year 2000 and blue afterwards, except among philosophy 101 students who see it as an evidence problem.

    Various interests produce various meanings, and then you can import hidden doctrines by asserting two of them at once, one forced by context and the other by common use.

    “Just as we must dress for the weather, we must do something about climate change.” That uses both definitions at once, one from context and one from politics. The doctrine would be that even natural climate change is man-caused.

    The science is settled.

    Don’t be confident that definitions settle the matter. They interact and are a resource even for thinking. You can’t clarify it out without doing literary criticism.

  49. Planning Engineer

    When I was a child in the 60’s we’d frequently got to New Orleans and I’d marvel at driving in tunnels underneath the canals. It was explained to me then that the only reason major parts of that area were not submerged was due to the damns, levees and pumps which were in terrible shape and would inevitably fail without uprates and maintenance. In some instance the city was saved by releasing water and flooding outlying areas. It was an accident waiting to happen and many were fortunate it worked as long as it did.

    • and it is interesting how many nations jump at the chance to seek funds for “avoiding the damage from climate change” while they fail to build the proper infrastructure to prevent damage from annual flooding.

    • Yes, when I was in NOLA, the old corkscrew pumps were operating. Amazing. Build a city below sea level between Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf, What could go wrong?

  50. Is it reasonable to think that much of the difference between warmists and skeptics is related to the IPCC reports; the trust that individuals have in the conclusion that man is almost wholly responsible for global warming?

    I think so, and have been pouring over sections of AR5 and reading some of SoD trying to find out how AR5 reached that conclusion. Here’s what I’ve learned:

    1. The conclusion was reached as the result of using the “footprint” method for detection and attribution.

    2. The footprint method requires, among other things, an “estimate of internal variability”. The footprints are individual models of various forcings, such as the forcing of CO2. The footprints are then verified by merging them with the estimate of internal variability and comparing the merged result with observations.

    3. The estimate of internal variability is derived from pre-industrial proxy temperature reconstructions and models that result in “pseudo proxies”

    4. The pseudo proxies are remarkably flat, and the flatness will only result in almost all warming being attributed to the footprints. There is recognition of natural forcings, but these are determined to be negligible. The man caused forcings (footprints) are therefore responsible for almost all global warming.

    Note: There’s a reference in AR5 that tends to dispute its own findings; On The Natural Variability of the Pre-Industrial European Climate, Bengtsson et al (2006). Here is an excerpt:

    “We suggest that climate variability in Europe for the “pre-industrial” period 1500-1900 is fundamentally a consequence of internal fluctuations of the climate system.”

    http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/seagrant/ClimateChangeWhiteboard/Resources/Uncertainty/Mac1/bengtsen06PR.pdf

    • RLS,

      Are you aware of any review which has been done regarding the make up of the “political leanings” of those who put together the IPCC (and reports)? While the science can be scrutinized, it occurs that the ideologies could not and human nature could influence word choice it seems.

      Not intending to damn the process, but it might give a potentially broader understanding. Since so much of the conversation on both sides surrounds the politics might that be a fair starting point?

      • Danny –

        ==> ” but it might give a potentially broader understanding. …”

        ==> ” Since so much of the conversation on both sides surrounds the politics might that be a fair starting point?”

        Information is good. But while we’re waiting for that information, why not use the “political leanings” of “skeptics” as the starting point? Seems to me that an identification of a “starting point” is inherently subjective, and likely only to be a continuation of sameolsameol. I’d say that there is no “starting point.” The information about “political leanings” will not paint a picture of a discrete phenomenon.

      • Joshua,

        I have a pretty good “gut” feeling of the leanings of >50% of skeptics offset by my “independent” leanings (social liberal, fiscal conservative, vote lots of directions).

        It certainly could be squirrel chasing, but if say 90% of those folks were found to lean “conservative” (and as I’ve been informed by the AGW side—so therefore the reality must be worse than the report indicates—- the IPCC is a conservative report) that would be of interest. What might one think if the 90% lean the other direction?

        In my little brain, I’m equating the “thought experiment” to what just occurred with the “climate change” amendment and what it took to get it “passed”.

        Seems like a fair discussion and I’d love to hear what you and others know about this.

      • The ideologies of skeptics vary more than those of consensus alarmists.
        ==================

      • Kim,

        That is exactly what I perceive. AGW is “it’s my way or the highway”. Skeptic range is much more broad. My goal is for us to all sit together out with lawn chairs and lot’s of beverage and fix this. Our elected officials are providing evidence that they are incapable so it’s our charge.

        But I’m and admitted polyanna!

      • Planning Engineer

        Danny and Joshua, I’d be interested in both of your take on this. It seems to me that among the mass of most people who are vocal on social/political issues the overwhelming majority seem to line up pretty much as liberal or conservative (or libertarian). So for many people their views on climate are just an extension of their political identity, which isn’t that interesting to me. I’d like to know how “independents” tend to shake out on climate. Also, I’m interested in knowing more about conservatives breaking ranks on climate as compared to liberals based on other issue alignments. I’d suspect their is a lot of interesting information to be found around their motives and their reasoning.

        For me, I understand that mandates and energy taxes are a regressive tax on the poor. Green’s bristle at solar feed in tariffs, but that money is eventually coming out of the pockets or those with less resources to subsidize those with more resources. The question of weather to electrify a small portion of Africa with “clean” technology versus a large portion with conventional technology should challenge liberals. Similarly you might think many conservatives would like breaking away from utility monopolies with independent power sources and avoiding oil interests (And there is a Green Tea Party-but I don’t think they are big or mainstream).

        My take is there ought to be a lot more diversity not tied to party lines, but people form their opinions and then stay in their information bubble.

      • PE,
        I’m interested in same.
        One tool I’d love to see here is some sort of “icon” representative of where one stands as I see a scale. I’d bet they’d not be as red or blue as one might expect, but that’s a guess.

        I’m a long time independent. My voting history is broad. I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. My family make up touches on a range ethnically, racially, and culturally.

        GW wise, I can state warming and am looking for trigger (not alone here). I think Joshua has a good track for risk management which is were we can focus and make progress. Perceptions: we need alternative energy sources. FF won’t last forever. I’ve lived near nuclear for decades and other than 3 mile and chernobyl am aware of little risk. Pollution reduction is a no brainer and I trust the EPA more than others here but agree it suffers from mission creep.

        I’d love to see a post with a number of questions allowing a “score” on where we stand so we could “self test” and share (or not). Then, a scale could be put forth and it could meander as the evidence changes. I don’t care for boxes but am thinking more like a skate board in a 1/2 pipe rolling back and forth (confirmation bias that the answers in the middle?)

      • kim –

        ==> “The ideologies of skeptics vary more than those of consensus alarmists.”

        I see that you’re also a fan of unintentional irony – given that as a self-described “skeptic” you formulate beliefs not on evidence, but on self-serving faith.

        Of course, maybe you do have some data?

      • ????

        ==> “The ideologies of skeptics vary more than those of consensus alarmists.”

        I see that you’re also a fan of irony of that special kind – given that as a self-described “skeptic” you formulate beliefs not on evidence, but on self-serving faith.

        Of course, maybe you do have some data?

      • Joshua,

        I perceive Kim to be accurate based on observation. Tossing out the irony part is “anti” bridge building from this observers view.

        I think PE is on to a bridge foundation!

      • Something strange going on with the moderation filter.

      • Re; mod. Ditto. I used “smoking g_n” in one (my bad) but not sure on others unless it’s ’cause I talk too much.

      • Danny

        On the whole I would say that most non US denizens here are not as conservative as American Republicans. Many of us would veer towards the Democrats, so not sure the lean towards the conservative and therefore AGW must be worse than you think is necessarily true for all of us.

        I personally don’t think its as bad as some think, as I have the advantage of being able to access historic records in such as the Met Office library and archives that go back 1000 years.

        It seems that our current climate is relatively benign and extremes have been far worse in the past.

        I think Humans always need something to worry about…

        tonyb

      • TonyB,

        Thank you for that! “I personally don’t think its as bad as some think” is my perception and that refers to both the science and the politics.

        If I’ve left an impression that either leaning is “bad” it’s unintended. I’m not really even meaning to “build a consensus” (yipes). But I think the communication can be improved. And if one knew more about the “self defined” starting point of those with whom one is speaking that communication might just get better. Not all of us are as “gentlepersons” as we should be due to anonymity of the internet. If we were face to face I can’t help but believe civility would be the norm (in the larger CC world). The science will “eventually” settle the issue no matter where one falls in the debate.

      • PE

        ==> ” I’d like to know how “independents” tend to shake out on climate. ”

        From what I’ve seen, indies do indeed line up along the liberal —> conservative continuum belief on climate change (slightly on the liberal side of the mind-way point. We can also see that in fact, there’s a pretty strong continiuum just among self-identified “conservatives” – with those who identify with the Tea Party as showing up as pretty much the outlier.

        ==> “Also, I’m interested in knowing more about conservatives breaking ranks on climate as compared to liberals based on other issue alignments.”

        I don’t really understand the question – but looking at Bob Inglis might be interesting.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard?act=2

        ==> “I’d suspect their is a lot of interesting information to be found around their motives and their reasoning.”

        Yeah – looking at the outliers is interesting. Dan Kahan has some material on that.

        ==> “For me, I understand that mandates and energy taxes are a regressive tax on the poor.”

        My response would be, not necessarily. It depends on how they are implemented. Many “greens” take that argument into account into the structure of mandates and tax structures. Not to diminish that not all “greens” take into account the potential for regressivity, but I think that you are operating from a falsely binary construction. If the goal is to reach a synergistic solution of shared interest rather than to double-down on arguments of position (which I would argue happens in service of identity-aggression and identity-defense), it is important to not leverage issues like the potential of regressivity (is that a word).,

        Green’s bristle at solar feed in tariffs, but that money is eventually coming out of the pockets or those with less resources to subsidize those with more resources”

        Again, that doesn’t ‘have to be the case. And we have discussed this before, but IMO, there are very real issues w/r/t “subsidies” for the status quo of fossil fuels that, IMO, cause anti-greens (what is a better term) to bristle.

        ==> “The question of weather to electrify a small portion of Africa with “clean” technology versus a large portion with conventional technology should challenge liberals.”

        Absolutely. These are complex problems that won’t be solved simplistically. For example, more coal plants won’t provide the necessary infrastructure for fighting poverty.

        ==> “Similarly you might think many conservatives would like breaking away from utility monopolies with independent power sources and avoiding oil interests (And there is a Green Tea Party-but I don’t think they are big or mainstream).”

        The problem is that people relate to proposals based on identity orientation. It can lead to people staking out positions that aren’t in alignment with their espoused values.

        ==> “My take is there ought to be a lot more diversity not tied to party lines, but people form their opinions and then stay in their information bubble.”

        Yup. Climate change is only an example of a larger pattern as you describe. Consider how the health insurance mandate transformed from a mainstream “conservative” value into liberal tyranny. I think that it’s more complicated than simply “party lines” (not to say that by that term you were necessarily speaking only of Repubs and Dems).

      • Planning Engineer

        Your mention of electrifying Africa reminded me of a question. What do you know of the African grids? Would they not be phase one of a Electrify Africa Project? Is there an estimate of the cost developing an adequate grid, and is there already work under way to do it?

        Regards,

        Richard

      • How independents, dems and republicans break down on climate issues:
        http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/files/Climate-Policy-Report-April-2013-Revised.pdf
        Lots of good stuff in there, but the song remains the same- as long as it doesn’t cost anything, people want strong action on climate. As soon as it costs something, they don’t.
        This is why Democrats like Joshua don’t detail their proposals (other than to claim anything they’d do wouldn’t cost anything).
        This is why Republicans like me detail the costs of their proposals and show alternatives that don’t cost anything (switch to gas, nuclear).
        Independents, per this survey, seem to be much more concerned about the issue, but unwilling to do anything Joshua would support.

      • JeffN,

        Thank you for that link. I’ll look it over.

        May I ask a question? Were “you” to get the nuclear would you be willing to accept a bit higher costs to subsidize for example solar? And just to toss it in, pay a bit more for gasoline as a result of CO2 emissions reduction?

        I would, but wish to hear other thoughts. Common sense from what I see here is nuke would be more economical thereby “paying for” CO2 emissions reduction elsewhere (indirectly) and addressing FF consumption issues in the broader picture. This also satisfies both sides to some extent. Is this making any sense?

      • Planning Engineer

        Richard (RLS) – I’ve seen pictures of the African grid but not very knowledgeable. South Africa is probably fairly robust. Lot of lines in the coastal central regions. I think their problem is more generation resources than grid infrastructure. Generation costs tend to overwhelm transmission costs especially when land is cheap.

        Joshua – you were unclear on this. “Also, I’m interested in knowing more about conservatives breaking ranks on climate as compared to liberals based on other issue alignments.” By breaking ranks, I mean having someone who overwhelmingly agrees with either liberals or conservatives across most all major issue areas, but forming a different/conflicting position on energy/climate issues.

        In my case my liberal friends worry about my conservative views and my conservative friends worry about my liberal views. (FYI-I’ve never voted for a Republican who was elected President and I did vote for Obama once.) I look at the parties today and I am torn. I don’t think either group (or me) is going to be right or wrong 100% of the time (though some are trying). Maybe I’m incongruous, but I see gay marriage as a good thing and no threat to me or this country while at the same time I don’t see available renewable energy sources as effectively addressing climate risks (which I fear tend to be over exaggerated). For some those two issues share a bond that I can’t see.

      • JeffN –

        Just curious. What am I willing to support?

        And since you’re a “skeptic,” you must have evidence for having that certain understanding of what I am willing to support.

        What is that evidence that you used to determine what I would support?

      • Planning Engineer

        Tough subject – I’m in moderation too! Did say I don’t know a lot about Africa but expect the biggest costs are with generation (and adding now – distribution, metering and basic infrastructure) not transmission grid costs.
        Also just struggling with why climate/energy perspectives mesh up with liberal/conservative outlooks.

      • Hi Danny,
        I think solar can work well in many applications without subsidy- mid-afternoon peaking, hot water in many places, etc.
        Would I “trade” solar subsidies for nuclear? Don’t know that I’d need to. Where solar works it wouldn’t need subsidy, but it comes down to type of subsidy. I wouldn’t trade anything for feed-in tariffs.
        Gasoline taxes? Charles Krauthammer – a very conservative pundit – recently ran a very convincing column calling for a gas tax hike in return for a payroll tax cut. It’s an interesting idea. The dirty secret on gas taxes tho is that liberals ultimately hate them because they’re regressive and regional impacts vary tremendously. It’s no surprise, for example that a new yorker living on nuclear power and riding subsidized public transit thinks rebated carbon and gas taxes are awesome! Plus gas prices are… volatile. Al Gore ran for president promising to reduce gas prices. There’s a reason for that.

      • JeffN,

        I’m so sorry that I wasn’t clear. I was not intending to indicate taxing gasoline.

        To preface, I can’t help but believe a first rate energy company such as Exxon wouldn’t tout their emission reductions as a marketing tool. So if nuke reduces our energy related cost of living, then we could afford to pay a bit more for gasoline with the emission reductions technology in place.

        This leads me to policy. If nuke is allowed to expand (side benefit of emissions reduction here also) then the FF energy companies must reduce emissions. Dollars flow thru consumers (cause the companies and stockholders wouldn’t be okay with it otherwise).

        Leaves out CO2 as cause for GW, but politically acceptable by both sides?

      • Steven,

        Interesting and part of how I (try) to self evaluate in the CC discussion. Was in a successful family business, but it could never be “mine”. Quit. Started my own and it did just fine. Quit. Travel and see this country. Never had a flu shot. Volunteer at wildlife refuge where prairie dogs are known to carry the plague. Walk up to badgers. That, plus I venture in to a public skeptical blog forum as a warmer. Guess I’m not risk adverse. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe not too bright either.

      • Tony

        Referring to my comment above I was surprised by the direct link between proxy reconstructions and the IPCC conclusion that almost all global warming is due to CO2. It therefore means, to me, that the pre-industrial temperatures being used by the IPCC need to be scrutinized by the paleoclimate community. Also the reference I provided above by Bengtsson et al was interesting in two respects:
        1. It included historical documents as proxies, and
        2. It evaluated internal variability at the regional level, using regional proxies.

        It appears that the AR5 authors are trying to establish a global proxie reconstuction and from that, a global estimate of internal variability. Intuitively, this may be taking too big of a bite. Wouldn’t regional proxie reconstructions be more accurate, and wouldn’t regional estimates of internal variability therefore be more accurate?

        Thank you, and Cheers,

        Richard

      • Danny –

        we can think of all kinds of things based on our anecdotal observations. Those conclusions that we draw on that basis are obviously subject to observer bias. Skeptics try to control for observer bias. How have you control for observer bias in your observations?

      • Joshua,

        If I’m being honest, I’d have to say I don’t consciously. I’m trying to learn how folks think about this topic. So I’m learning to consider the biases. I’m a (skeptical) warmer and come here to “falsify” my thinking. I’m totally against “preaching to the choir”. But I come to this knowing that I don’t know so I’ve gotta ask lots of questions. What I am comfortable with is that if the tone is right others respond well. I think (bias?) that I can communicate with anyone. There’s lot of “gotcha” in the debate and that broadens the divide, makes folks defensive and harms communication. I can’t empirically prove that, but I can see it happen. Does that answer the question or did I miss what you’re seeking (as I often do).

        I’m not sure I understood this:” Skeptics try to control for observer bias”. Do you mean in themselves or in the broader conversation?

      • Danny –

        I was referring to Kim’s statement of fact which you said your observations support. I am suggesting that your observations are obviously susceptible to observer bias. By definition. Because they are purely anecdotal. But maybe you do have evidence. If so I would appreciate seeing it.of course a discussion of non anecdotal evidence would probably have to start with the definition of terms. What do we mean by skeptic?how are we going to define evidence?

      • Joshua,

        Best I can do is a bit of math as Mosher suggests.

        “This leads me back to the scale CAGW-cAGW-AGW-GW-skeptic-denier which is what I’ve “observed”. So since CAGW/cAGW is the outlier side of the range (do we agree on that?) and since I’d stated earlier that “skeptic” is a subset of all of these. I agreed with Kim.

        The “evidence” of skepticism I’m using is:”a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.” Seems to apply to all sides of the debate. Is that a better answer?”

        So if the entirety are all skeptics, and you remove just the “consensus alarmists” a subset (Do we agree that would only include CAGW/cAGW?).
        Therefore, Kim is accurate in this statement:”The ideologies of skeptics vary more than those of consensus alarmists.” 6-2=4. 6 > 4.

        If you disagree, then you’ll have to provide what you consider to be the definitions and who’s what where. I don’t know how else to go about it. Or, if you take umbrage say so.

      • Joshua | January 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm |

        Danny –

        I was referring to K*m’s (whose name seems to trip the moderation filter) statement of fact which you said your observations support. I am suggesting that your observations are obviously susceptible to observer bias. By definition. Because they are purely anecdotal. But maybe you do have evidence. If so I would appreciate seeing it.of course a discussion of non anecdotal evidence would probably have to start with the definition of terms. What do we mean by skeptic?how are we going to define evidence?

      • Joshua,

        Fair point. You’re always making me self evaluate so I went back to look.
        Kim stated:”The ideologies of skeptics vary more than those of consensus alarmists.”
        This leads me back to the scale CAGW-cAGW-AGW-GW-skeptic-denier which is what I’ve “observed”. So since CAGW/cAGW is the outlier side of the range (do we agree on that?) and since I’d stated earlier that “skeptic” is a subset of all of these. I agreed with Kim.

        The “evidence” of skepticism I’m using is:”a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.” Seems to apply to all sides of the debate. Is that a better answer?

      • Darn it. I spelled out K*m, so in mod.

      • Richard

        personally I am not a fan of global temperatures as averaging everything together misses the interesting nuances. That is to say that some places are warming, some are cooling and some are static.

        Regional examinations of the climate will allow us to home in on regional information such as historic records, observations. crop records, wind directions as well as temperature.

        We have the same problem with global temperatures as when we are told that global growth say will be 5% this year. That’s a very broad brush and disguises everything from negative growth to very high growth. That’s not really a very useful piece of data

        so, yes regional data is good. We are a long way from that however.

        tonyb

      • Steven, (PA & Joshua too since we’re in this discussion)

        That’s amazing. So, as an independent (not in the study) I presumably use no parts of my brain. Then, as a social liberal I fear for the potential impacts of GW, but based on the information at hand I’m only willing to pay for addressing known knowns (my fiscal conservativeness). I thought that was just confirmational bias but may indeed be hard wired. Fascinating!

        Thank you. I need to absorb this much more, and frankly think this fits the topic well. I learn so much more that climate science here!

      • Just make it a gold star and I’ll be happy.
        =========================

      • Danny,
        Forgive me if I misunderstood. Exxon is a gas company, so they’re kinda stuck unless they come up with a bio-fuel or water-to-fuel plan (which is possible, but I’m not betting on it.)
        The use of nuclear would make energy low cost enough to make fossil fuel taxes more acceptable, but there is a big regional difference. It would take a while to get nuclear power out to all the hinterlands, so those folks would be paying for something others can avoid simply by the luck of where they live.
        The goal of a carbon tax/gas tax/whatever tax is to either get people to use less of the stuff or make alternatives appear to be more economical. Absent some breakthroughs in electric cars (and price reductions) some people can’t really use less gasoline.
        But my point with the pundit was that there are ways to do a bi-partisan gas tax increase- quite a few conservatives would support it. Here’s his column on it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-raise-the-gas-tax-a-lot/2015/01/08/5b4b407c-976f-11e4-aabd-d0b93ff613d5_story.html

        Joshua, I have no doubt that you urgently support whatever it is we skeptics are delaying by virtue of constantly harping on uncertainty or cost. Care to detail what that is for us?

      • JeffN –

        You must have missed this, you know, because the subthread is so long…

        …Since you’re a “skeptic,” you must have evidence for having that certain understanding of what I am willing to support.

        What is that evidence that you used to determine what I would support?

      • Steven Mosher

        In the end Danny it comes down to how “we” respond to risk,separately and together.

        it isnt a math problem or science problem.

      • Steven,

        Makes sense. While I’m not risk adverse, I do prefer a bridge vs. a tightrope at any elevation much about about 4 feet. Unless I have a net.

      • Interesting link, Mosher. I’ve seen stuff like that before- liberals are more open to risk, conservatives cower in fear.
        “Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli.”

        Yet, oddly enough, we take it as a given that the guys starting new businesses, rolling the dice in the stock market, driving race cars are conservative. Meanwhile, we all assume the folks seeking tenure in academia, lifetime employment and pensions in government employ, and union job security contracts are liberal.

      • Joshua,
        1,652,346.691 posts of yours lump me in as a skeptic even though i’ve posted 156.34 times that I’d be happy to support any cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels that works.
        And no, you can’t see my code because you’d just find something wrong with it and I’m still adjusting it.
        Did you know that 76.8% of statistics are made up on the spot? It’s true, I read it on the internet.

      • JeffN –

        You indicated that you know what my opinion is.

        I am asking you to elaborate, and provide the evidence you have used to determine what my opinion is.

        This really isn’t complicated. If you don’t know what my opinion is, and thus have no evidence to provide, just say that you were being notably unskeptical and get on with it. If you do know my opinion, state it, and give me the supporting evidence.

      • I have read enough of your posts to conclude that you support robust, forceful action to mitigate CO2 emissions to prevent anthropogenic global warming.
        But, if you are willing to say now that you don’t, I will certainly take your word for it and welcome you to the brotherhood of skeptics.

      • JeffN –

        ==> “I have read enough of your posts to conclude that you support robust, forceful action to mitigate CO2 emissions to prevent anthropogenic global warming.”

        What “robust, forceful action to mitigate CO2 emissions to prevent A warming” do I support? And keep in mind, that you described the policies I support as being ones that Indies wouldn’t support.

        Go for it, bro.

        Spill the beans. Stop dancing.

        Or just acknowledge that you didn’t know what you were talking about and we’ll move on.

      • That’s exactly precisely the opposite of what I wrote, Joshua.
        Here it is again:
        “This is why Democrats like Joshua don’t detail their proposals (other than to claim anything they’d do wouldn’t cost anything).”

        I wrote that I don’t know what specifically you’d support. Nobody does. There’s a reason for that- as long as you don’t tell anyone what you want, they agree with you in general.
        But here’s your chance to prove me wrong- all you have to do is detail exactly what you want and we can go look at what Independents think of your proposal.

      • JeffN –

        Lol!

        Look, it isn’t my fault if in the same comment you make remarks that are in direct contradiction. Here is what you wrote:

        ==> “Independents, per this survey, seem to be much more concerned about the issue, but unwilling to do anything Joshua would support.”

        That comment necessarily means that you know what I would support, and that what I would support are “things” that indies would not support.

        Dude.

        Your options are simple. Elaborate on what “things” I would support (and that indies would not support), or just admit that you actually had no idea of what you were talking about. Why are you making this so complicated?

      • Steven Mosher

        Ya JeffN
        I found it interesting.
        folks need to take care in interpreting those types of experiments.

      • JeffN,

        I’d say go for it! Provide a list and each can be confirmed or denied. Still gets the same results. What’s the real harm if wrong, and more understanding occurs if right. But I’m not risk adverse and will be quietly here offering moral support.

      • Ah, I see what you’re talking about. You also asked what evidence I have of what you support, I wrote that the evidence is your posts. You also asked me to say what you support and I wrote that you support whatever it is that you think I’m delaying by focusing on uncertainty and cost. And now you want details of what that is and I wrote that nobody knows what those details are because you steadfastly refuse to cough them up.
        And here you are again steadfastly refusing to tell us the details so we can examine my proposition that independents wouldn’t like the things Joshua supports.
        But since you’re confused, I’ll give you an analogy:
        Joshua- I want a forceful, robust Superbowl game, but the anti-sports Seattle Seahawks have refused reasonable, science-based, multinational efforts to place reasonable limits on their yardage gains allowed.
        Jeff- Ah, Joshua’s a New England fan.
        Joshua- where’d I say that? Where? Evidence please.

      • Tony

        Thank you for the answer. Have a great weekend and keep warm.

        Richard

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @Planning Engineer: Tough subject – I’m in moderation too!

        Pay no attention to those WordPress computers, PE. They’re seriously demented, just psych them out and post again. No way would JC moderate you.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        This is why Democrats like Joshua don’t detail their proposals

        So can we infer that Republicans deny that global warming is a serious problem on political grounds?

        Completely understandable given that being a Republican is a political affiliation. Why can’t those outside the US accept the inevitable logic of this reasoning?

        What? Ok, I’ve just been informed that they do. Sorry, my mistake.

      • People in Europe believe in the generous welfare state in conditions of declining population and industrial output. Being on the wrong side of the Atlantic confers no special wisdom.
        And given that emissions in Europe are rising and the governments are cutting subsidies to renewables and much of Europe relies on nuclear power, I’d say European actual policy is aligning nicely with the GOP of late. But you’re right in one respect, Europe may be ditching the policy, but ey haven’t given up on the messianic self-righteousness.

  51. Jack Smith, TX

    Elections have consequences.
    West Virginia repeals the Alternative & Renewable Energy Portfolio Act.
    http://wvpublic.org/post/repealing-alternative-renewable-energy-portfolio-act-passes-house

    “Utility companies would no longer be required to make 25% of their energy come from renewable energy sources like solar or wind. This would instead put all the energy output back on coal.”
    I noticed they also repealed the Net Metering rules which should effectively kill off what remains of the residential solar market except for the survivalist and preppers.
    I predict this will snowball to other states. Congress will attack from the top and the states from the bottom up. Obama, Dept. of Energy and the EPA are caught in a vice and the screws are turning. No more tax credits for RE by the end of 2016 if not sooner with the Republicans wanting to have major tax reform this year.

    Jack S,

  52. At http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com and references listed there, discover findings of unbiased science:
    1. Historical evidence that CO2 change does not cause climate change.
    2. The two factors that do correlate with climate change. The correlation is 95% since before 1900 with average global temperature including the current plateau. The physics-based analysis also predicts the ongoing down trend of average global temperature.
    3. An explanation of why CO2 change does not cause climate change.

  53. Pingback: You Ought to Have a Look: Web Reactions to SOTU Climate Claims | The Moral Liberal | The Moral Liberal

  54. Wasteful Ideology by this President.

  55. POTUS has no science skill at all so he had to be parroting what Gavin Schmidt told him. But Gavin’s BA and PhD are in mathematics so he has little insight with the first law of thermodynamics. The first law is the basis of the equation which, in the paper at the “agwunveiled” site, demonstrates that CO2 change has no significant effect on climate. It is disturbing that Gavin appears to have missed the application of the rudiments of calculus that prove that CO2 has no significant effect on climate change.

  56. In passing, Lord Carington, the last surviving member of Winston Churchill’s government (and of the MacMillan and Home governments) was interviewed by The Telegraph on the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death. A couple of extracts:

    He is amusing on the subject of the plethora of foreign leaders he has met over the years. Ronald Reagan was ”the most delightful man — funny, not clever but full of common sense’’. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing was ”clever, but rather grand. He tried to patronise Margaret, which didn’t go down well.’’ Mitterand? ”Not a very upright man’’; Jimmy Carter “left an awful mess behind’’. As for Barack Obama, ”I think he’s doing rather badly. I said to Henry Kissinger – an old mate of mine – what he thought of him, and he replied: ‘He makes the most wonderful speeches, very thoughtful. The trouble is: he thinks having made the speech, he has solved the problem.’ And I agree.’’

    “People who weren’t alive then, they didn’t quite realise how important he was. From the moment in 1940 when he became prime minister, after the disaster of Dunkirk when we were so isolated, it never occurred to me, to any of us, that we were in danger of losing the war. And the reason was Churchill. What he said, stood for, looked like, how he behaved, those marvellous speeches. People now don’t realise what an extraordinary effect he had on Britain and the British.’’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/britain-at-war/11360734/Sir-Winston-Churchill-our-saviour-my-boss.html

    • Wonderful, Faustino. Thank you.

      Where would we be now if not for Churchill’s leadership and the effect his speeches had?

    • Thanks for sharing. I have spent many delightful hours reading the Manchester/Reid 3 volume biography of Churchill in addition to innumerable recollections of his life in other biographies of the period. His relationship with FDR is especially enjoyable and the many meetings and communications have been a source of some great anecdotes. He had a prodigious, perhaps photographic memory, which at times, FDR found irritating.

      I am sure in 100 years he will still be remembered as one of the great leaders of the 20th century.

    • From your link, Jim D.

      I wasn’t shocked when Senate Republicans made their first order of business a bill pushed by Canadian special interests. I knew they had made a commitment to Big Oil to force through a vote on the Keystone tar sands pipeline, which would carry the dirtiest oil on earth across our country.

      I wasn’t even surprised that GOP leaders ended this week’s session early so their members could fly to Palm Springs to cozy up to the billionaire oil magnates, the Koch Brothers, at their winter retreat.

      What shocked me about the debate last night that stretched past midnight was the way Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the new Republican majority treated their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

      First, McConnell and the new Senate GOP leadership pushed to have debate and votes on all kinds of Republican amendments that had absolutely nothing to do with Keystone. They included measures to prohibit EPA enforcement officials from carrying weapons, to block the designation of new national monuments, and even to halt the historic U.S. agreement with China on cutting dangerous carbon pollution.

      Fortunately, we have had enough Democrats in the Senate who stood strong and opposed these ludicrous amendments that have zero to do with the tar sands pipeline.

      But things hit a new low last night when Senator McConnell refused — again and again- – to allow Democrats even one minute to explain their amendments, which the Senate had agreed to consider. He shut down the debate before it even started.

      Yep, paybacks are a b*tch, aren’t they? More than that, I’m for more of the things the pubs want to do than the Dims. As far as I’m concerned, the pubs should push to the side as far as possible the Dimowits. The less power the Dimowits have the better. The Dimowits did it to the pubs, now it’s their turn. A great turn of events!

      This is what the Dimowits did to Republicans.


      That left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama in a dilemma. Everyone assumed that the Christmas Eve 2009 Senate bill would be tweaked considerably to conform more with the House bill passed two months previously. But now that strategy wouldn’t work, because the Democrats no longer had the 60th vote in the Senate to end debate. What to do? They decided to have the House take up the identical bill that the Senate passed on Christmas Eve. It passed on March 21, 2010, by a 219 – 212 vote. This time, no Republicans came on board, and 34 Democrats voted against. President Obama signed the ACA legislation two days later on March 23.

      The rancor has not abated since, as we all know. Republicans invoked Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “great innovations should not be forced on a slender majority – or enacted without broad support.” They cited broad legislative innovations like Social Security and Medicare, both of which enjoyed bipartisan support. They complained that one fewer vote in the Senate or a change of four votes in the House would have been enough to defeat ObamaCare. Democrats responded just as vociferously and passionately that this healthcare reform package was too important and overdue to delay or compromise.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/physiciansfoundation/2014/03/26/a-look-back-at-how-the-president-was-able-to-sign-obamacare-into-law-four-years-ago/

    • If the Republicans want a pipeline project for jobs, they should have one that replaces all the old ones that keep leaking. That would be money well spent.

      • Most crude spills are inconsequential. I’ve had it all over me, it’s not as toxic as portrayed in some quarters, and as a chemist, I know what real toxicity is. And, being natural and all, bacteria eat it. It’s a non-issue for the most part.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and let the market decide whether or when to build it. No goal is achieved by continuing to hold it up now that it has been extensively reviewed.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: Barbara Boxer’s opinion of the Keystone “debate”.

      It isn’t like she is unbiased, or has been a tireless advocate for the rights of the minority party in the Senate.

      Boxer believes it’s a good thing that the only sector of the CA that is growing is the subsidized renewable energy sector. She thinks that is an argument in favor of increasing the subsidies.

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  58. Dr. Curry,

    A bit late to the thread but…

    I am reminded of another Senate vote in 1997.

    The Byrd-Hagel resolution said in part:

    “Declares that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997 or thereafter which would: (1) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex 1 Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period; or (2) result in serious harm to the U.S. economy.”

    This was passed 95 to 0 with 5 abstaining. 53 Republicans and 42 Democrats.