Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Politics and policy

Majority of Senate just voted US-China climate deal “economically unfair and environmentally irresponsible.” [link]

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu weighs in on the future of energy [link]

Conversation: “foster pragmatic climate policies that do NOT hinge on scientific truth” [link]

Science is actually just making the climate debate worse, researcher says [link]

Scientific American: Obama strikes first in war of words with Congress over global warming [link]

Inside Obama’s effort to use science — and find policies that actually work [link]

Briefing: India’s energy and climate change challenge [link]

“Energy subsidies are a catastrophic policy,” Economics Nobel laureate  [link]

 

Science

Science by democracy doesn’t work [link]

IPCC’s van Ypersele under fire for trying to stifle the scientific debate on climate change [link]

ECMWF released their reanalysis data … global temps: 2014 is not the warmest year  [link]

Is there a creativity deficit in science? [link]

How the Met Office successfully forecasts temperatures a year ahead of time – http://j.mp/1yHFxmh

The recent global-warming hiatus: What is the role of Pacific variability? [link]

Faulty thermometers exaggerated western U.S. mountain warming | Science News [link]

Blog land and the climate wars

Matt Ridley: A lukewarmer against dogmatism [link]

Tom Fuller:  Climate blogger and blog award of the year [link]

State Department Official Wants Disney’s ‘Frozen’ to Teach Kids About Climate Change – [link]

Disney thought a State Department pitch to use “Frozen” to teach climate change was too sad [link]

And now into the sewer:

ATTP’s identity is ‘outed’ by pop tech [link]

Sou: Freed of any values, Judith Curry slithers and slides and hurtles into deniersville [link]

 

 

 

614 responses to “Week in review

  1. David L. Hagen

    Economy and Coal
    Obama’s US-China agreement nullified

    “Members of Congress who voted for this amendment reinforced that the President cannot make an international agreement without the advice and consent of the Senate and cannot impose rules that go beyond the scope of the Clean Air Act,” said Inhofe. . . .”China will continue to build coal fire plants, and are currently bringing online one plant every 10 days.”

    Why?
    China’s coal use is closely tracking its economy.
    Why would China kill its golden goose?

    • David L. Hagen

      Electricity Rates Soar To Record Levels As Obama Shutters Coal Plants
      Electricity up 38% since 2001
      Obama shuttering 381 coal fired plants.
      Ideas have consequences!

      • Thanks, David, for pointing out the recyclable source of nuclear energy that produce sunspots and volcanos:

        https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/an-interesting-resource-for-weather-history-vs-sunspots/

      • My good friend, Robert Wilcox – author of the book on the history of Japan’s atomic bomb project, suggested the term, “the greatest secret of the universe – creation, God”

      • And from your link David L. Hagen, most of that increase took place before 2008, before Obama won the Presidency in a landslide.

      • David L. Hagen

        Eric
        Contrast far faster closures in the future. e.g. EPA predicted 25% reduction in all coal plants. GAO says its coming faster.
        GAO: More coal power plants to close than expected

        A Government Accountability Office report said 13 percent of coal-fired generation will come offline in 2025, compared with a 2012 estimate that ranged between 2 and 12 percent. . . .
        The EPA predicted coal would supply 30 percent of the nation’s power in 2030, down from above 40 percent today,

        Consequence: EPA driving electricity prices up rapidly.

        Because of these and other factors, the Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise 4 percent on average this year, the biggest increase since 2008. By 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13 percent, a forecast that does not include the costs of coming environmental rules.

      • You blamed Obama for what happened before his administration and now you are blaming him for what has not taken place after his administration. I prefer to look at real world data which shows during the Obama administration no large increases in the cost of energy.

      • Eric, the worst coal regulations were formulated DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION. Why is this so difficult for you to understand???

      • jim2, because I am skeptical. Since the begining of the Obama administration, energy has become more abundant and affordable. Maybe you should be skeptical of your beliefs and look the real world.

      • In the real world, our abundance is from development on private land, and has nothing to do with Obama’s help. Nonetheless, he’s tried to grab the credit. Typical.
        =======================

      • David L. Hagen

        Eric
        Then look at the CONSEQUENCES of Obama’s POLICIES – declining oil production federal land – vs increasing production on private land without his meddling.
        President Obama’s Record on Oil and Gas Production to 2010
        Similarly to 2014
        Private Sector, Not Obama, Created Lower Gas Prices

        Just compare the figures for crude oil and natural gas production on federal lands in fiscal year 2013 (the latest data available) vs. 2009. On federal lands, crude oil production declined more than 6 percent; natural gas production plunged nearly 30 percent. Meanwhile, on private land crude oil production skyrocketed 61 percent while natural gas production increased nearly 33 percent.

        OBAMA’S SOTU: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE FORGOTTEN
        See 2009-2013 figure

      • A faster natural gas expansion would have displaced even more coal. Perhaps the new clean coal policy can enable that to happen now.

      • So the Obama administration helped foster less government involvement and more private sector involvement in energy production. Why would you see this as a negative David? I am all for less government.

      • You’re not even a good sophist; take lessons from Joshua.
        ========================

      • David L. Hagen

        Eric
        Reality/Logic check: Obama’s HIGHER government involvement -by multiplying rules and regulations and causing delays – led to lower oil and gas production on federal land. Oil and gas production on private land increased DESPITE Obama’s more onerous regulations.

      • My Norse ancestors would have called this character Eric the Disingenuous. Or Eric the Dim. I wonder if he thinks he is doing the cause any good.

      • David L. Hagen

        Trying to help others learn, and to see if Eric is too dim, or can be turned from his foolish ways, or is reprobate. http://bit.ly/15CE6ty

      • Well, David, that seemed contradictory enough I sought refuge in the Interpreter’s Bible for the nuance to resolve it.

        “In spite of the apparently hopeless position of the fool, there is another position more hopeless. This is occupied by the man who is wise in his own eyes. There is more hope for a fool than for him (vs 12). The fool is a person who does not know that he does not know; the man who is wise in his own eyes thinks he knows when in reality he does not know.”
        =====================

      • David L. Hagen

        kim
        Thus the parallel with climate alarmists who are certain of what is not known, who do not know what is not known, and who cannot know some things which cannot be known – a few of which Rumsfeld explained. Curry’s tricolor flag gives the simplest version of the uncertainties involved.

      • David, you started this thread by blaming Obama for a rise in prices which occured before his Presidency. How dim is that?

      • Eric,

        Processing information at the level of a bright 3rd grader can get you unto trouble. First, you need to know where the expansion of US energy production is coming from. Next, to help in evaluating the degree of assistance or credit due the current administration, you have to look at policies and (in President Obama’s case) executive orders. When you bother to research the issue, you will find the government restricted drilling in federal lands. Now to be fair, some of that was related to the gulf spill, but there is little to point at and say that energy production is in large or even small part due to the efforts of our federal government.

      • Eric,

        The massive growth in US oil and gas production and the resulting enormous boost to US economy (and jobs and re-gaining competitiveness of its manufacturing industry) are almost entirely du to the policies of George Bush Jr and and Dick Cheney. They understood the oil business and what was need to get it going – i.e. deregulation of the impediments that were blocking it (not subsidies or government interference – just removal of unwarranted and unhelpful interference).

        Now we’ll need to wait for the next wise and rational President to remove the impediments on nuclear power.

      • So the claim is the rise in energy prices in the US during the Bush administration was caused by Obama’s policies while the leveling off of energy prices during the Obama administration was caused by Bush policies.

      • Eric got up on the wrong side of his mind this morning.
        =============

      • David L. Hagen

        It takes about 10 years to build an electricity power generation plant. Thus you have to lag data by 11-15 years to see the consequences of policies.
        Residential electricity 2003-2016
        Reference projected electricity rates continue go up (Fig 10) WITHOUT the much faster referenced coal power closures. Power shortages cause very rapid price increases. A brief example:

        “This cost increase represents an overall increase in costs of $1.733 billion, or a 140 percent increase,” Jepsen wrote. “The additional incremental costs to Connecticut consumers will be $340 million for one year.”

        One major point consumer advocates and Jepsen pointed to was the region’s capacity auction last year, which saw prices skyrocket as grid operators failed to secure enough generation to meet demand in 2017 through 2018.

        The shortage — unlike in past years that saw generation surplus — saw prices jump to a total cost of about $3 billion, up from about $1 billion in 2013 and around $1.8 billion in 2009. The grid operator, ISO New England, pointed out in a news release that more than 3,000 megawatts of plant closures were announced before the auction, <resulting in insufficient resources and triggering “administrative” pricing rules to protect consumers from any one company exercising market power and raising prices.

      • It takes about 10 years to build an electricity power generation plant.

        Actually, lead times for CCGT are around 3 years. Shorter for open cycle.

        Natural gas generating plants are constructed much more quickly than coal fired generation. Simple cycle plants are typically constructed in 18 to 30 months and combined cycle plants are constructed in about 36 months. These lead times are significantly less than the average for solid fuel plants (i.e. coal plants), about 72 months.

        If the permitting time can be eliminated.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK re “If permitting time can be eliminated”
        As I said!
        For the epitome of political delays see:
        U.S. approves first new nuclear plant in a generation

        U.S. regulators on Thursday approved plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in more than 30 years, . . .No nuclear power plants have been licensed in the United States since the partial meltdown of the reactor core of the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. After the accident, the NRC adopted more stringent safety standards, which caused construction costs for nuclear plants to skyrocket and stopped dozens of planned plants in their tracks.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Eric: I prefer to look at real world data which shows during the Obama administration no large increases in the cost of energy.

        could you list the initiatives of the Obama administration that promoted the reduction in energy costs? Their stated goal was to raise the cost of energy to be more like the costs in Europe.

      • @David L. Hagen…

        Well, permitting might be easier for combined cycle dual-fuel gas turbine than nuclear, or coal. And the way oil prices are, probably little or no more expensive, LCOE-wise. Gas won’t go up if oil’s low, will it?

        IMO that’s the way to go, while pumping research into nuclear, power→fuel, and solar PV. IMO the price of PV will come down far enough to make fuel from solar economical, but if it doesn’t, nuclear can eventually fill in, if CO2 turns out to be a problem.

      • David L. Hagen

        AK Think deeper – check facts. In 2006, gas hit $14/MBtu while oil was at $4/MBtu. With power and chemical plants lasting 40 years gas prices sank the US methanol industry. Similar increases could again transform markets. @David L. Hagen…

        Well, permitting might be easier for combined cycle dual-fuel gas turbine than nuclear, or coal. And the way oil prices are, probably little or no more expensive, LCOE-wise. Gas won’t go up if oil’s low, will it?

        IMO that’s the way to go, while pumping research into nuclear, power→fuel, and solar PV. IMO the price of PV will come down far enough to make fuel from solar economical, but if it doesn’t, nuclear can eventually fill in, if CO2 turns out to be a problem.”

      • David L. Hagen
      • So an 11-15 year delay David and you were pointing to a 13% increase by 2020. 2020 minus 11-15 years would be 2005 to 2009. Which administration was in power during this time? Do you think through what you write?

  2. WHy would anybody care what a psychopath like Sou has to say about anything?

    • It is not always easy to be a skeptic. There are days when I sit back and reflect on how I got to this position. But then there are days such as today, when after reading her intellectual vacuum of vitriol, I realize how I got here. She and the others or her ilk must know they are the greatest recruiting tools for the skeptical view.

      • ” She [Sou] and the others or her ilk must know they are the greatest recruiting tools for the skeptical view.”

        I seriously doubt that – rather the reverse: they think they are “leaders” in their “moral crusade” against “rampant capitalism”.
        Just look at what they say about our host in the cited post – not one rebuttal of data, methods, conclusions or speculative concepts. It’s feelings, all the way down. It’s values, distant futures, calls to action and so on.
        It assumes that scientific opinion has equal value to scientific data.
        It assumes that political choices should be based solely on scientific opinion, in total ignorance of – even disdain for – economic and other social factors.
        This is not reality as it exists today – for better or worse, the widom of the crowd (ie, the electorate) will prevail.

    • Does this Sou character have any sort of technical background?

      Her posts aren’t very sciency and she doesn’t seem to understand the subject very well.

    • Sou’s entire argument seems to be “she doesn’t agree with the consensus therefore she must be a nonscientist and so there is this stupid and incredibly sexist based supposition and a slander that Judith was after Mann’s body and got turned down and that is the entire source of any skepticism or disagreement Judith has. Wow, just wow. The whole premise stems from a weird circular reasoning that begins with “I know I am right and I can not possibly be wrong and anyone sane and ethical knows it” and therefore anyone who disagrees is clearly unethical. Since Sou had to stoop to such base sexism and such deeply personal attacks in attempts to discredit Curry, I must conclude Curry’s work is pricking at some uncomfortable region of Sou’s conscience and making her doubt. Either that or Sou is just plain a scum bag. I will not goner that blog again. I feel the need to go shower now.

      • Oh yes and make note of comments from the peanut gallery such as anyone who does not embrace anthropogenic global warming should automatically be deemed unfit to hold public office (how about that for a way to run a democracy?) proving once again that inside every (well maybe nearly, let’s not generalize like they do) progressive lefty lurks a totalitarian tyrant screaming to get out. I’d suggest Sou go out do a bit of reading on the history of science and the importance of skepticism and the past dangers of science based on consensus such history details but that would require intelligence this Sou person obviously does not have. And for the record I have never met Michael Mann and therefore you can’t dismiss me with a sexist demeaning swipe like Mann turned me down hence my attitude.

      • Yes. It’s as equally disturbing and curious as how we are told we are supposed to *feel* about GW or CC. Imagine being browbeat into how to *feel* about something.

      • Worse, Prince, imagine being browbeaten by machines.
        ==============

      • Heh, kids these days.
        =========

      • invisibleserfscollar.com

        Read about tethering the minds of children.
        =====================

      • Well I had never read an entire Sou post before including the comments and I am convinced that the entertainment value there will cause me to give up my Captain America/Avengers comic books for a while.

  3. Matthew R Marler

    from “conversation: foster pragmatic climate policies that do NOT hinge on scientific truth” [link] : Mark Maslin, a climatologist at University College London, recently offered his analysis of climate denial and the sceptics’ reluctance to accept the science. In an article published here he correctly observed that “the lack of acceptance of the science of climate change is neither due to a lack of knowledge, nor due to a misunderstanding of science”.

    I think that is another misidentification of the problems highlighted by CO2 lukewarmers. And the US Senate, including the much criticized Sen Inhof, is now on record as affirming climate change. These pejoratives, “climate denial”, “climate change denial”, “climate denier”, “climate change denier” need to be stifled if there is to be any engaging debate about CO2 science and CO2-targeted public policy changes.

    • Inhofe has informed the populace that climate always changes. He had to do that, since climate science has avoided this truth like the plague.

      Attribution is the next step, with scales falling from hoi polloi’s eyes. This will relieve a great deal of fear and guilt. Absolution peeks over the horizon.

      Yes, optimism dawns; it’s been a long dark night.
      =================

      • Kim, the Senate vote irony is even richer. The Republicans almost unanimously passed an amendment to the upcoming KXL bill proposed by Vermont’s left leaning Sanders. The amendment said climate change was real. True and so what. They then defeated a proposed amendment to the amendment saying climate change was substantially anthropogenic. IIRC, the vote was near straight party line. The Hill has a good commentary on this little example of the kerfuffle to come.

      • Yes, they voted that climate does change. Glad that one is settled. Next up should be a debate and vote on evolution or the age of the earth. Not a given for some there.

      • JimD,

        Depends on the error bars! :)

      • Stephen Segrest

        Kim — If there is any hope, we need to talk science or economics — not the stuff Senator Inhofe talks all the time about:

      • Kim, I envy your feelings of hope. Lately I find myself going the other way, like the soon to be declining temps.

      • +1. Congratulations Dr Curry.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Fr Wolber, my spiritual mentor during conversion to catholicism, often told me that Popes have many times done and said wrong things, but never caused catholic dogma to error. I fret the religious beliefs of politicians only so far as they affect the laws of the US.

        Richard

      • Kim,
        Senator Inhofe is right. Stephen Segrest does not yet grasp that the best available data and observations indicate:

        God (a conscious and intelligent Mind) uses neutron repulsion to make galaxies of stars, solar systems that orbit the stars, and worlds consisting of atoms, chemical compounds and living organisms with conscious awareness of their surroundings, memories and the passage of time.

    • Warming trends since the MSU era are lower than the low end projections.
      These trends are not zero, but are less than expected, something Maslin and others like him apparently can’t grasp even while pontificating.

    • ==> “These pejoratives, “climate denial”, “climate change denial”, “climate denier”, “climate change denier” need to be stifled if there is to be any engaging debate about CO2 science and CO2-targeted public policy changes.”

      Right. But not the pejoratives of “warmist” and “alarmist” and “eco-zealot,” and “believer of the AGW cult” and “fraud” and “perpetrators of a hoax” and “statist/socialist/progressive/young-children-in-Africa starver? Nah. They are a necessary ingredient if there is to be any engaging debate about CO2 science and CO2-targeted policy changes.

      • Oh, and I almost forgot. “Denier” is also a necessary ingredient, as long as Judith and other “skeptics” are using the term.

        Another spectacular assessment, Matthew.

      • Alarmist is apt, dead on.
        ================

      • Don’t forget hysterics – that’s my favorite.

      • “alarmist is apt, dead on.”

        As is warmist

      • The IPCC has tables and charts showing CO2 reaching 2000 PPM.

        That is almost 4 times any reasonable expectation of the maximum CO2 level..

        If that isn’t alarmist I don’t know what is.

      • ==> “alarmist is apt, dead on.”

        And so “realists” argue about denier.

        You’re a poopyhead!

        No, you’re a poopyhead!

      • We just can’t have a “rational discussion” and engage in any debate about CO2 science and CO2-targeted policy changes if those poopyheads don’t stop calling us poopyheads.

      • ” kim | January 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm |
        Alarmist is apt, dead on.”

        Says the person constantly communicating the coming cold calamity.

      • Gad, I hope I’m wrong. Can the warming alarmists say the same?

        I highlight the relative risks. Our warming can only net benefit the biome, cooling is disastrous. On which should we inflict the Precautionary Principle?
        ==============

      • Joshua, you have never tried to participate in any of the discussions about CO2 science or policy. You’re here to attack Judith. End of story. Which is why people call you different euphemisms for a poopyhead.

      • Stephen Segrest

        What about the Catastrophic messaging of Industry (which has been historically wrong time after time on so many environmental issues) in this discussion?

        Let’s face it. You just might be a Ideological “Denier” if you have also opposed Regs on lead, mercury, air particulates, smog, acid rain, ozone depletion, fluoride for dental health, coal ash, . . . . . .

        When Warmists cite an economic study here at CE, the majority comes out in full force attacking it. But when folks like Senator Inhofe cite an Industry Study, the reaction is a free pass since he’s telling the Truth.

      • Josh,

        In a nod to your contributions, perhaps clownie is another term to refrain from using.

        Tough though it may be.

    • There is no cooling. There is not going to be any cooling.

      The climate is chaotic, so you have to watch it every moment and everywhere. It’s January. Next week my weather is forecast to be in the up to 70F range. Looking at the globe. January looks warm. If it beats .68C, the warmest 12 months in the thermometer record falls one month later.

      Optimism will do you no good. You need to pray to gawd global warming causes the Atlantic to get hot enough to restart anomalous trade winds in the equatorial Pacific, and soon. Then you can enjoy yet again the salad days of 2011 and early 2012.

      • Well, that is a bold prediction.

        I like bold predictions. If there is cooling, that is pretty much it for strong AGW as a theory. AGW might have an influence on par with land use but that is it.

        Both solar and CO2 influence climate. Wisely we have chosen to continue producing CO2 so we can find out which is the greater influence.

      • Actually, the IPCC says there could be cooling due to natural variability. But see, after they wrote that junk natural variability got its butt kicked right in the middle of its fans doing their stadium wave.

      • I fully accept that if the sun turns off, all bets are off.

      • JCH:

        I’m not sure if it is going to warm, cool, or stay the same but am willing to organize a betting pool.

      • PA,

        I’m in for a buck on “change”. Um, uh………can anyone loan me a buck?

      • “There is no cooling. There is not going to be any cooling.”

        Care to wager? I bet there will be statistically significant cooling on a year to year basis within the next 10 years.

      • Rob Starkey,

        I would also like to take a bet along those lines. The alarmists for all their professed certainty, seem to waver when you ask them to reach for their wallets. Of course a bet like that… given the great weight of the scientific consensus…,should involve odds favorable to the side betting on cooling. But I wouldn’t even ask for that. Just a straight up bet.

      • The Girl Scouts just emptied my wallet. Right now my only asset is four empty Peanut Butter Patties boxes.

      • In the Midwest they say:

        “Talk is cheap, it takes money to buy whiskey.”

      • JCH,

        The Earth seems to have cooled a little, over the past four and a half billion years. Do you not agree?

        At some point, you believe the Earth stopped cooling, and started to heat up again. Each day, a little warmer than the day before, obviously.

        Pray tell, when, and why?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • Even James Inhofe was forced to admit climate change is real. Proof that the real world trumps denial of the real world.

      • Yup, attribution next, and then the relief of fear and guilt for hoi polloi.

        Inhofe is well on his way to elucidating the smeared meaning of ‘climate change’ which you yourself employ.
        =================

      • Nobody denies that the climate changes. Inhofe is simply pointing out how badly this debate is framed.

      • He draws the stinger out of the waspish ‘denier’ label.
        ===============

      • RickA, how has the climate changed in the past 15 years?

      • Eric, Eric, Eric. Think that one through.
        ==========

      • Eric – Inhofe did not change his spots. He admitted the obvious: climate changes naturally. He did not give up one little increment on anthropogenic climate change, and he’s not about to.

        In the last 15 years? The PDO finally weighed on anthropogenic climate change, and then it lost its grip.

      • JCH, Inhofe has finally admitted climate change is real. This is a step in the right direction. Acknowledgement of a part of reality is better than denial of all of it. I welcome even a step which most the rest of the world took many many years ago.

      • Yes, it is now the alarmists who deny natural climate change. See the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Stick.
        =================

      • Climate skeptics destroy another alarmist strawman. “Deniers” never actually denied that climate changes. Alarmist Eric declares this a victory.

        Trumped by the real world, indeed.

      • Deniers continue to deny the climate changes. What do you think is meant by “the pause” or when deniers like Tony Watts put photos of submarines surfacing in the Arctic on his blog? These are parts of narratives built claiming nothing has changed.

      • Eric, it means the submariners were sharing a pause that refreshes with the Polie Bears. That’s the best I can come up with tiptoeing through your tuliped confusion.
        =============

      • nottawa rafter

        Eric
        Read JCH closer. Inhofe said what the pioneers said and knew 200 years ago. The climate is always changing. Look at the multiple oscillations and periodicities. He said absolutely nothing new to him. Pay attention to the politics and the subtext and nuances more and read HP less. Their headlines are written for adolescents.

      • Eric

        The climate always changes. Who says otherwise?

        Here is an article I wrote a few years ago that cites numerous instances

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/

        tonyb

      • Never met anyone who believed the climate does not change. I’ve encountered a few scamps who imply that the present climate is “new” after being “stable”…but it’s more tricky implication than claim. Hockeystick and so on.

        It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD or only a Maze Master Medal from the Easter Show: if you saw that Hockeystick (esp Mk 1) and did not keel over laughing…well, you just had to be dumber than doggie-do.

      • Climate change is where new adjectives are used in describing an event.

        The new word of the day is crippling.

        http://alerts.weather.gov/cap/wwacapget.php?x=NJ1253911AB098.BlizzardWarning.125391397F50NJ.OKXWSWOKX.0028bd4ba3e6472c8b078eba836f9976

      • Seems NY is facing some sort of unprecedented extreme something-or-other. As distinct from the Great Snow of 1717 and the Great Blizzard of 1888, this is the Great Unprecedented Extreme of 2015.

      • The Gore Effect is dead, long live the Obama Effect.
        ===================

      • Many people claim climate does not change. If the climate is always changing, how has it changed in the last 15 years?

      • There must be free peanuts in the peanut gallery. Which explains Eric’s presence.

      • I am going to help Eric the Dim. This is what your head climate guru says:

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_17/

        Climate dice are loaded with heat:

        “An important change is the emergence of a subset of the hot category, extremely hot outliers, defined as anomalies exceeding +3σ. The frequency of these extreme anomalies is about 0.13% in the normal distribution, and thus in a typical summer in the base period only 0.1-0.2% of the globe is covered by such hot extremes. However, we show that during the past several years the global land area covered by summer temperature anomalies exceeding +3σ has averaged about 10%, an increase by more than an order of magnitude compared to the base period.”

        But despite alleged record warm years, record warm decades, record warm water, blazing trees, melting lampposts etc. there have been no continental record high temperatures broken in nearly 4 decades:

        http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001375.html

        Could the problem be that if they tried to pass off serial adjustments that lowered the historical record high continental temps, people would notice? Hey, all the newspapers of the day reported that it was blazing hot. People got roasted in their rocking chairs. Geese and ducks fell out of the sky. Pluck em and eat em.

      • So Don offers conspiracy theories and says climate has not changed. Don is a climate change denier.

      • Poor Eric. You are not going to get drastic CO2 mitigation by hollering that the climate changes and those frustrating your efforts are climate change deniers. It’s not working. There are at least 7 billion people in the world who are not losing sleep over climate change. We are not feeling the heat. The pause is killing the cause. Aided by the ineptness and the transparent dishonesty of the alarmist crowd.

      • When did I ask for CO2 mitigation Don? Some, like Dr Curry, claim nobody denies climate change. You are an example that this claim is idiocy. You Don deny the climate has changed. Even Inhofe disagrees with you Don.

  4. This is woderful …
    Majority of Senate just voted US-China climate deal “economically unfair and environmentally irresponsible.”

    Virginia just dropped renewable energy requirements and hopefully this trend will spread. Most of what Chu said was more futuristic speculation …
    Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu weighs in on the future of energy

    I don’t see that climate claims are based on what I would call “scientific truth” now. So, this approach really isn’t much different …
    Science is actually just making the climate debate worse, researcher says

    I know I don’t care what Obumbles thinks about “climate change.” I’m betting fewer and fewer people care since pubs took Congress….
    Scientific American: Obama strikes first in war of words with Congress over global warming

    Even if studies show this or that approach will work, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a more efficient way to accomplish the same thing …..
    Inside Obama’s effort to use science — and find policies that actually work

    I predict coal will continue to be used for many decades to come, and not just by India….
    Briefing: India’s energy and climate change challenge

    This just looks like a huge number of excuses to expand UN powers. We don’t really want to go there. …
    “Energy subsidies are a catastrophic policy,” Economics Nobel laureate

    • Chu was a member of the Obamanation. He is pushing the company line like a loyal ex-soldier. Renewables that get deployed because they are cheap are fine. Renewables that get deployed because somebody put the utilities feet to the fire are a bad idea and poor investment.

  5. 1/27. 10:42 ET.
    OIL________68.92___-4.77
    BRENT______72.49___-0.09
    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1/23/15
    OIL_______45.59
    BRENT_____48.55
    NAT GAS___2.986
    RBOB GAS__1.3479

    • The one year contango is almost $10 now. Look for oil to fall further. I think it will hit $20’s before this is done.

      • Ya’know, it would be great if oil companies started selling 100-gallon cards: buy one and it entitles you to 100 gallons of gas at any of their service stations, in whatever size chunks you choose to use. Let the consumers get into hedging/speculating their gas prices.

      • Stephen Segrest

        As folks might know, I highly value the opinion of Robert Rapier (who has been on 60 Minutes, writes in the WSJ, ect.). Robert’s current article: Why $50 oil won’t last:
        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2015/01/22/why-50-oil-wont-last/

      • SS – I agree with the WSJ guy. Oil will go up again and stabilize around $70-80. But it could well see a price in the twenties first. Shale oil plays will stop the expensive activities, like drilling, but won’t shut in wells. The supply of shale oil will be at least stable and will probably grow over the next few months. Even companies with a lot of debt will continue to produce oil because they need to service debt. Companies in better shape will drill in the known sweet spots, albeit at a reduced rate. Some will also refrack and there will be more experimentation with that and other secondary recovery techniques. They will never hit the estimated $4/bbl of Saudi Arabia, but they won’t go away either.

        Of course, an unexpected significant disruption could drive the price of oil up sooner.

      • Jim2, SS, I agree with Jim2. A lot of people who should have known better predicted 2 years ago that prices would be more likely towards the $100 range than the $50 range. They did a poor accounting of the reaction by business to EPA’s announcement to start regulating fracking, and debt servicing. I agree it will stabilize, but this period reminds me of the time in the late 70’s/early 80’s, IIRC, when cash flow constraints for fuel businesses and well head owners meant a glut that was slow to fade. At that time, as now, certain mid east players would/could not reduce production below a certain amount.

    • Curious George

      1/27 is probably incorrect. Only warmists are entitled to a crystal ball.

    • Jim2,
      Thank you for keeping us updated. Considering the continued (from this short timers view) vacillations in the discussions I for one find these trends an interesting phenomena and pertinent to the broader picture.

  6. Matthew R Marler

    from the Vox interview with Haskins: So Obama deserves a lot of credit here. Unfortunately Republicans are completely blinded by their rage against him and I’m afraid that they will end some of the Obama evidence-based programs.

    Where is the evidence that warming or extra CO2 since LIA has been bad?

    I think it would be better to claim that some (a few who are well-informed) Republicans are challenging the view that Obama anti-CO2 policies are based on evidence.

  7. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The modern term for publishing the identity of anonymous authors — as practiced in the climate sphere by Popular Technology.net and WUWT for example — is doxing (or doxxing).

    But of course, the practice of doxxing goes back centuries. Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, and (Quaker) George Fox all published anonymously; all were “doxed”; all suffered harm by it.

    It’s hypocritical that Popular Technology.net and WUWT both practice doxxing, while protecting the identity of their own editors (and their secret funding sources too).

    WUWT, indeed?

    Conclusion  Doxxing works to suppress public discourse  — which is why Popular Technology.net and WUWT practice it — and for this reason it is just plain wrong.

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

    • Can one assume that FoMD will apply the same logic to desmog?

    • Well, Warmists seem to do more of this.

      It isn’t going to hurt the career of a warmist by outing the warmist.

      The career risks of an outed skeptic are a little dicer.

    • If you have evidence of secret funding for WUWT, FOMD, please provide it. If it is someone who made an argument of supposition, that is not evidence. Otherwise, you are a crank.

  8. Matthew R Marler

    Majority of Senate just voted US-China climate deal “economically unfair and environmentally irresponsible.”

    It is another “Sense of the Senate” resolution. The Obama-Xi agreement had the same flaws that caused a “Sense of the Senate” resolution to reject the Kyoto Treaty to pass unanimously in 2000: US to cut production while China continues to pollute ad lib. Without the agreement, the US and China will continue to add renewable energy sources to the total energy mix, and substitute natural gas for coal as it is economical, each on its own schedule.

  9. Chu’s interview is a real disappointment. But show the low levels of comprehension in the Obama administration.
    Solar generation is not reaching grid parity except via subsidies, and that still overlooks the large unaccounted cost of intermitancy Planning Engineer posted on.
    ‘The falling price of oil wont affect wind much because many states have renewable mandates’ (Chu is Californian) just illustrates one of the problems caused by CAGW alarmism. Cal grid is unstable, and wind costs (when intermittency is factored in) more than twice CCGT. Essays in Blowing Smoke.
    And in Chu’s sciency stuff, he is just flat wrong about graphene based supercaps for bulk energy. Ruoff at UT has already tried and failed, for a basic physics reason that Geims himself (won Nobel in physics for discovering graphene in 2004) told Ruoff in 2009 at the beginning of the program–agglomerates are not stable due to Vanderwahl force. Vertically aligned graphene supercaps (Stanford laser disc method being one example) may eventually have some utility in things like smartphones, but are completely infeasible for the grid from first principles. Chu should have known that.

    • Not to mention the EESTOR effort which failed time and time again. Much hype, but not even smoke of a failed super capacitor.

      From the article:

      The Company holds an approximate 71.3% equity and voting interest and certain technology rights to a solid-state capacitor and related energy storage technologies currently under development by EEStor, Inc. (“EEStor”). The acquisition of the controlling interest in EEStor aligns the businesses of both companies and now allows ZENN to benefit from other revenue streams that should be available to EEStor, including applications throughout the capacitor industry and not limited to high density energy storage applications.
      EEStor’s capacitor and energy storage technology is still under development and a number of further development milestones must be achieved before commercial viability can be fully established. There are significant risks associated with the development of new technologies such as EEStor’s capacitor and energy storage technology and readers are directed to the “Risk Factors” disclosed in ZENN’s most recent Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR.

      http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/zenn-motor-company-announces-private-placement-tsx-venture-znn-1985765.htm

      • From the article:

        There’s also a broader lesson, though, about technology generally. It is human nature to wish for technological solutions to knotty social problems. It’s certainly a deeply ingrained part of the American psyche. Watch any TV show or movie set in the future and there’s always been some miraculous new energy source discovered. It usually glows blue, for some reason.

        When it comes to climate change, in particular, the problem is so daunting it can seem that only a deus ex machina could save us. Whether it’s nuclear fusion or carbon capture and sequestration or batteries that charge in seconds, everyone’s got a few favorites they pin their hopes on.

        But the reality is that genuine technological breakthroughs are extremely rare, especially in energy. And even when there are new technologies, they take a long, long time to substantially impact the global energy system, which is f’ing huge. Revolutions are rare in practice but frequently forecast. If every promised breakthrough and revolution in the press had panned out, we’d be living on Mars with jetpacks already.

        http://grist.org/business-technology/progress-rarely-glows-blue-eestor-and-the-lure-of-new-technology/

      • Jim2, EEStor/Zenn was most likely a sophisticated swindle. EEStor used the grass eating snake dodge. Proof in the pages on it in ebook The Arts of Truth published in 2012. What is not certain is whether or when Zenn became complicit. My own view is that they were in the circumstances leading up to the July 2009 stock raise, and most likely have been ever since. The new emphasis on displacing high V wets simply a slow letdown for liability avoidance.
        Analyzed this back in 2008 and have followed since, because if there had been even a remote chance the science was valid, it would have very negatively affected my supercap carbons development.

    • Porous 3D graphene-based bulk materials with exceptional high surface area and excellent conductivity for supercapacitors

      Until now, few sp^2 carbon materials simultaneously exhibit superior performance for specific surface area (SSA) and electrical conductivity at bulk state. Thus, it is extremely important to make such materials at bulk scale with those two outstanding properties combined together. Here, we present a simple and green but very efficient approach using two standard and simple industry steps to make such three-dimensional graphene-based porous materials at the bulk scale, with ultrahigh SSA (3523 m^2/g) and excellent bulk conductivity. We conclude that these materials consist of mainly defected/wrinkled single layer graphene sheets in the dimensional size of a few nanometers, with at least some covalent bond between each other. The outstanding properties of these materials are demonstrated by their superior supercapacitor performance in ionic liquid with specific capacitance and energy density of 231 F/g and 98 Wh/kg, respectively, so far the best reported capacitance performance for all bulk carbon materials.

      • AK, I know about supercaps since hold patents on the world’s best commercial carbon for them. Graphene is now to supercap materials science what carbon nanotubes were before graphene was discovered. Same cycle of many exciting ‘breakthrough’ papers, yet fundamental technical and economic barriers to commercialization. For bunches of loose graphene needed to make thich enough electrodes, the stuff agglomerates (clumps) due to Vanderwahl forces. The agglomerates work in the lab if you are careful. 140 F/g in ILs. But they aren’t stable. Least vibration causes collapse to 80 F/g. Useless: Cheap Commercial supercap carbon like Kuraray YP-50 is ~95 F/g.
        So this paper is trying to solve that problem by crosslinking. But does not feature the most important result, machanical stability over time,under vibration. And ILs meeting minimum electrolyte conductivity requirements are super expensive. There are as yet NO ILs meeting commercial conductivity requirements (RC tau less than 3 seconds to be equivalent to 1.8 m TEMA/PC, the slowest and worst used in commecial supercaps. Note that like robustness, the experimental RC is not reported. Because awful.

        Not all science leads to commercial innovation, especially breakthrough innovation. That is Especially true in energy storage. Anyway, Grid supercaps are used in statcoms for frequency regulation. Not for intermittency or load shifting. The ED reported here (if true) is still only at PbA level. liIon is now up near 300 and can probably get to 400 in a decade or so using nanomaterial approaches like A123 was doing (nano Lithium iron phosphate out of MIT) before they went bankrupt.

        Main takeaway for the denizens is most energy storage papers are like most climate science papers, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. Much chaff, little wheat.

    • Rud, you may have caught this, but if not, the first link is from January 23, 2015 20:12 ET.

      Zenn is floating a private placement! Who the heck would give them money now?? Weird.

    • The price of oil has little bearing on the price electricity.
      Different fossil fuel.

  10. On the MET patting themselves on the back for getting the 2014 anomaly forecast about right, Paul Homewood had an amuzing factal response on his blog a couple of days ago. Even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut.

  11. Jack Smith, TX

    This Long Now Foundation seminar (from Jan. 13th.) should call into question the recent “Planetary Boundaries” paper that was discussed yesterday.
    Synopsis:
    In the field of environmental progress the conflict between anecdote and statistics is so flagrant that most public understanding on the subject is upside down. We worry about the wrong things, fail to worry about the right things, and fail to acknowledge and expand the things that are going well. For decades at Rockefeller University Jesse Ausubel has assembled global data and trends showing that humanity may be entering an exceptionally Green century. The most important trend is “land-sparing”—freeing up ever more land for nature thanks to agricultural efficiency and urbanization. Ausubel notes that we are now probably at “peak farmland“ (so long as we don’t pursue the folly of biofuels). Forests are coming back everywhere in the temperate zones and in many tropical areas, helped by replacing wild logging with tree plantations. Human population is leveling rapidly and we are now probably at “peak children.” Our energy sources continue to “decarbonize,” and a long-term “dematerialization” trend is reducing the physical load of civilization’s metabolism. In the ocean, however, market hunting for fish remains highly destructive, even though aquaculture and mariculture are taking off some of the pressure. In this area, as in the others, rigorous science and inventive technology are leading the way to the mutual flourishing of humanity and nature.

    [audio src="http://origin.fora.tv/rss_media/Long_Now_Podcasts/podcast-02015-01-13-ausubel.mp3" /]

    If this research is accurate then 90% of the rhetoric warning us about tipping points is flawed.
    Jack S.

  12. Congratulations, Judith, on the blog of the year award! I know that your site is one of my favorites; not just for the information that it imparts, but also for the good-natured attitude that you maintain in spite of the “climate jihadi” (thanks Richard Tol) being waged against rational thought. You always link to the critical dogmatics (example: blather from appropriately named “Hot Whopper” . . . ) while some other discussion sites (The Guardian, SS) actively dissuade rational conversation. Go figure.

    At any rate, thank you.

    • ==> ““climate jihadi” (thanks Richard Tol) ”

      Indeed, thanks to Richard for exploiting the slaughter of tens of thousand of Muslims and the systemic oppression of women, to score cheap points in the climate wars.

      • Not to mention the contribution of the term “climate jihadi” to “rational conversation.”

        Go figure.

      • Joshua dishes up another crock of crap. Even the Dims would toss you out.

      • Fergit it, Joshua, you are floundering. Take a break, for your own good.
        ==========

      • Even Josh is tired of his act. Just going through the motions.

      • Kim

        “Fergit it, Joshua, you are floundering. Take a break, for your own good.”

        From Fishing Stories: When trolling expect now and then to snag some garbage.

        Richard

      • ” exploiting the slaughter of tens of thousand of Muslims”.

        Joshua – Is it only Muslims that are the victims of Jihad? Why did you purposely leave out the Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Why, one could think that you are a bas propagandist or something

      • Je suis Charlie

    • ‘To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better
      than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.’ Charles Darwin. Cited
      @ Tom Fuller’s site.

    • Thanks for proving my point Joshua!

    • Tol: “Jihadi aptly captures the warmistas attitude towards learning and their longing for times past”

    • (nothing about slaughter. . .) ;)

    • Jack Foster III

      Congratulations, Judith, on the blog of the year award! I know that your site is one of my favorites; not just for the information that it imparts, but also for the good-natured attitude that you maintain in spite of the “climate jihadi” (thanks Richard Tol) being waged against rational thought.

      + many

    • How about “climate zealot?” A little milder and as Joshua points out would not have the extreme connotations. Although, again, it would require you to psychoanalyze a large group of people and somehow know what they are thinking and or have done.

  13. Judith Curry

    “Sou: Freed of any values, Judith Curry slithers and slides and hurtles into deniersville [link]”

    “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d/Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”

    It appears that Ms. Sou has lost something; a journalism career? a science suitor? respect in the eyes of some science guy? her mind? She has turned to vitriol and so casts her bread upon the water. Will the dead rise? Restoring some sense of wholeness to the tattered soul? Or, will the witching hour strike before all’s well that ends well.

    • Sou’s usual thing is to rant illogically about WUWT. Taking on Climate Etc shows the growing influence Judith has, not just on capital hill but amongst some of the general public. And Sou’s headline style is also an apt illustration of the Ridley comments Judith linked to.
      Its sort of fun to see the warmunists growing ever more unhinged as the wheels fall off their bandwagon.
      Things like NASA GISS 2014 warmest ever, then even MSM pointing out (within 24 hours) yes, with a 62% probability that the by 0.02C is wrong, will do that to bandwagon wheels.

      • I really wish I hadn’t followed the link to Sou’s fetid swamp of a blog. Pathological seems to sum it up best.

      • It’s quite clear that the lady isn’t very well. I love how she’s having trouble getting her head around the fact that seemingly reasonable people enjoy Judith’s blog.

      • “seemingly reasonable” is one of the points well made by Sue (code for utter nutters).

      • Some interesting musings, above, about the source of HotWhopper’s obnoxious, abrasive weirdness.

        My own theory (wildly speculative, I admit) is that in her “dumb-kid” days, HotWhopper’s assigned youth-masters bungled the hive’s brainwashing-protocol and subjected her to a premature, overly-rigid, fuss-pot training-regimen, which, when combined with her pre-existing, “mother-superior” martinet-complex, really screwed her up royally–as evidenced by the control-freak, queen-wannabee, jealous-female belligerency she ferociously directs at any other women who dares to up-stage her with a show of courage, integrity, and an independence of thought that disdains the hive-solidarity imperatives of HotWhopper’s pseudo-religious, group-think Lysenkoism.

        Incidentally, if you go to the top of HotWhopper’s blog you’ll find an “About HotWhopper” link. Clicking on that link, then, brings up a page chock-full of HotWhopper’s flaky self-promotions and self-absorbed chatterbox-revelations. And after you wade through all that, you’ll then get to the second paragraph from the bottom, where you’ll suddenly discover a most remarkable, HotWhopper boast–namely, that the HotWhopper blog is classified by Nature.com as a “scientific blog” Really! I’M NOT KIDDING!!! (check it out!).

      • ==> “Its sort of fun to see the warmunists growing ever more unhinged as the wheels fall off their bandwagon.
        Things like NASA GISS 2014 warmest ever, then even MSM pointing out (within 24 hours) yes, with a 62% probability that the by 0.02C is wrong, will do that to bandwagon wheels.”

        Quite remarkable how often we see how smart and knoweldgeable people (on both sides of the climate wars) who pride themselves in their analytical abilities, when sufficiently “motivated,” can effectively filter out any extraneous information that confounds their tendency towards seeing whatever patterns they want to see in order to confirm their biases.

        ..

      • ==> “Its sort of fun to see the warmunists growing ever more unhinged as the wheels fall off their bandwagon.
        Things like NASA GISS 2014 warmest ever, then even MSM pointing out (within 24 hours) yes, with a 62% probability that the by 0.02C is wrong, will do that to bandwagon wheels.”

        Quite remarkable how often we see how smart and knoweldgeable people (on both sides of the climate wars) who pride themselves in their analytical abilities, when sufficiently inclined to do so, can effectively filter out any extraneous information that confounds their tendency towards seeing whatever patterns they want to see in order to confirm their biases.

      • I tot I heard a puddy tat, but it was only an echo of a miaow.
        =============

  14. Met office basically forcasts a continuation of the (non existent?) hiatus.

    Steven Chu
    “And we can’t really abandon fossil fuels before the first half of this century because they are needed for backup power. We need to invent a method to transform very inexpensive electricity into cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels that can be shipped by tanker and stored around the world. After that we can begin to wean ourselves from fossil and fission nuclear energy.”

    Science by Democracy:”Believe it or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters isn’t what people thought the answer was — since they only had incomplete information — but rather that this debate was an important step in laying out what the arguments would be to support each of these two competing ideas.’
    Followed by: “But it isn’t arguments or votes or opinion that herald the acceptance of a scientific explanation: it’s the evidence. Follow it wherever it leads.”

    Top 10% warmest year ever:http://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2015/ecmwf-releases-global-reanalysis-data-2014-0

    My confirmation bias? We’ve got time and more to learn.

    No resolution this week. Can’t wait till next.

  15. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Steven Chu and US Marine Vet
        align on rational energy policy!

    Steven Chu Take climate change. The climate is changing and there is very strong evidence much of the change is due to humans.

    While there are large uncertainties as to what will happen in the future, there are huge risks unless we greatly decrease carbon emissions.

    The proper political debate would be how to deal with these risks, but it makes no sense to say, “Unless science can prove unequivocally that very bad things will happen, we can continue on our present course.”

    Science cannot predict who will get lung cancer if they smoke. With a half a century of hindsight we now know that the risk is 25 times greater than for nonsmokers. Prudent risk management does not use uncertainty as an excuse for inaction, and fire and health insurance make sense.

    We need leaders who are scientifically well-informed and willing act in the long-term best interests of their countries.

    ———–

    Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

    The Strati company was founded in 2007 by John Rogers (he also goes by Jay), an entrepreneur and former Marine commander in Iraq who wanted to build vehicles outside of the traditional auto industry—ideally, products that weren’t reliant on foreign oil.

    John “Jay” Rogers

    “We were helping the Iraqis to rebuild their oil ministry, but thinking deeper, thinking to myself as a businessman and an entrepreneur, I would have liked to just shut this whole apparatus down,” Rogers told Xconomy in a 2008 profile.

    “Friends of mine had been killed. Global warming was weighing heavily on my mind. I really had a moment of ‘What should I be doing with the rest of my life? What can I do to make a difference?’”

    Since 2008, Local Motors has grown fast: It increased its team from nine employees to just over 100, built microfactories in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and has introduced what it calls the world’s first fully functional, 3D-printed vehicle.

    Good on `yah, Steven Chu and John “Jay” Rogers! Just say “no” to Big Carbon’s wars, debt, oligarchs, mullahs, and earth-destruction!

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

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      “Steven Chu – Take climate change. The climate is changing and there is very strong evidence much of the change is due to humans.”

      I find this type of statement annoying
      in that it is just plain shallow, hyperbolic, purely political and devoid of intellect
      the non-human earth climate
      the humanless pure environment
      Eden before sin
      mind numbing stupidity
      plus…though I’ve been seen snapping to attention and saluting the flag
      the former Marine thing does not make him more credible
      ‘specially if you’ve ever inhabited a saloon with them

    • Fan,

      Your ability to ignore context is truly impressive.

      What John Rodgers has to do with climate is …. Well I don’t know. I’ll guess has to do with you propensity to twist the reputation of organizations and individuals give a veneer of credibility to the crap you push.

  16. Dr. Curry, Bad on me for leaving out the most important part. CONGRATULATIONS! Tom Fuller: Climate blogger and blog award of the year [link]

  17. Steven Mosher

    “Yet the orthodox approach to climate change, epitomised in the Kyoto Protocol, has proven ill-suited to adequately address the wicked problem of sovereign states all pursuing their own national, carbon-consuming interests. However useful it has been in bringing the topic onto the political agenda, the scientific framing of climate change as a global pollution problem to be fixed by governmental intervention has run aground.”

    like moshpit said.

    • US per capita CO2 emissions peak – 1973
      US national CO2 emissions peak – 2007

      Doing nothing seems to have worked.

      • Yes, the US exported its industries overseas and imported finished goods and materials.

      • “Yes, the US exported its industries overseas and imported finished goods and materials.”

        As did the EU – both managed not to dislocate their arms patting themselves on the back, although the EU certainly has managed something similar with fishing quotas, so this should not surprise anyone.
        “Think globally, act locally” is NOT how the EU and current US policy works – it’s closer to “Think locally, pronounce about globally, act only to make yourself look (and feel) good”. Don’t imagine it ever going to change…

      • Doc Martyn, the US manufactures more now than it did in either 1973 or 2007.

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

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

      • What if there is no politically feasible route to decarbonization? Nuclear decarbonizes but isnt politically feasible at present. See Germany. Wind is apparently politically feasible, but neither improves social resilience (see UK) nor decarbonizes (see UK) because of intermittency.
        Policy frameworks based on unobtanium do not work out well.

        That said, there is lots that could be politically done regionally/ nationally to improve environment, resilence, and economic development if we would focus on those goals rather than on decarbonization.

      • Energy is less than half of the problem forcing. There is much that can be done in the context of social and economic progress – which in themselves reduce population pressures – to reduce pressures from black carbon, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone, sulphides, methane and CFC’s. We may usefully sequester carbon in restored agricultural soils and in restored and conserved ecosystems.

        Remembering that this is just one of dozens solve all of the technical issues of conventional nuclear designs – including waste, meltdowns and proliferation – but also importantly reduce cost and capital requirements.

        http://www.motoring.com.au/reviews/2014/renault/twizy/renault-twizy-2014-review-46996

        Factory built and promising to power the US for hundreds of years from existing nuclear waste – and based on 50 year old technology. Even if fusion does come off – it is still a no brainer just to clean up waste sitting in leaky ponds and drums. Generis approvals are under way. They have no choice about it.

        It is one of dozens of designs that utilise much more than 1% of the fuel value.

        Here’s another – http://www.brookings.edu/research/essays/2014/backtothefuture

      • Hey Rob, I mostly agree. We use no till on each contour except for crop rotations. My essay Going Nuclear in Blowing Smoke discusses many (not all of the sketchier) fourth gen nuclear schemes solving radwaste (3 G mostly solves safety).
        So how about policy? If climate sensitivity is lower than IPCC asserts (my money is on Lewis and Curry) and big tipping points are scarce (aince little tipping points are not so important), we have a few decades. Lets defund climate models that inherently cannot work (essay Models all the way down). Lets repurpose those supercomputer assets to modeling TWR or LFTR or whatever 4G nuclear scheme. After all, US already has the nuclear scientists, and remember supercomputers were originally developed to model H bombs after the testing moratorium. Weather, and then climate, models were just civilian tag alongs.
        Lets put more money into clean energy research. Caveat, I have been there myself taking about $2 mil from ONR. But much of what has been federally funded is goofy from first principles when viewed from practical commercial perspectives. Beyond just speculative. Plain silly. Looks like political connections and university ‘hooks’ get grants No other way to explain it. Sort of like climate research.

      • Here’s the GA link.

        http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

        I was having a think about FOMBS printable car. It’s a chunky enough beach buggy style but based on the Renault Twizzy mechanicals. The latter is a twee smart car look alike that will just end up being tipped over by drunken yobbos on a Saturday night.

        Add high performance in-hub motors in all 4 wheels, beefed up suspension and chunky tyres – and perhaps a couple of Toyota free piston linear generators and you might have something.

        http://www.tytlabs.com/tech/fpeg/fpeg03.html

  18. I remain surprised that lukewarmers (Matt Ridley, Judith) attribute recent warming to human emissions. Looks like CO2 follows temp to me and human emmissions are dwarfed by natural variability. Enjoy the blog!

    • Emissions

    • Jim, that is true for glacials/interglacials because of Henry’s Law and Le Chatellier’s principle. Lag is on order of 800 years. Gore got it bigtime wrong.
      The debate is over unequilibrated anthropogenic CO2 emissions since about 1950. Since there is no doubt CO2 is a GHG whose concentration is rising, the attribution problem is how much of delta T is GHG and how much is natural variation. This is also central to the sensitivity debate. Both are central to climate and energy policy. There are several essays on all this in ebook Blowing Smoke, with a foreward from Judith. Regards.

      • Rud Istvan | January 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Reply
        “Jim, that is true for glacials/interglacials because of Henry’s Law and Le Chatellier’s principle. Lag is on order of 800 years. … The debate is over unequilibrated anthropogenic CO2 emissions since about 1950. Since there is no doubt CO2 is a GHG whose concentration is rising, the attribution problem is how much of delta T is GHG and how much is natural variation.”

        Not sure I agree that the 800 years which was “true for the glacial/interglacials” is not true today. Our natural variability knowledge is so sketchy we don’t really know how much of the GHG is natural variability and how much is anthropogenic. Nor do we know whether the feedback is positive, zero, or negative. You may be able to make a creditable argument based on known Physics but, since there is really insufficient data, that is all it, a good argument. The original argument that anthropogenic GHG was swamping natural variability implies that GHG is the primary climate driver. I do not believe that that argument, based on bound physics necessarily applies to the unbound environment or is a substitute for data which does not exist.

      • Late dead thread. Read book. Get back.

      • Nice, declare victory and move on.

  19. This from the Matt Ridley fine piece: ” I have never met a climate sceptic, let alone a lukewarmer, who wants his opponents silenced. I wish I could say the same of those who think climate change is an alarming prospect.”

    I wonder how many others have that same perspective. After following this issue for several months and noting the discussions of both skeptics and warmers, I began to observe this distinction. My views have not changed, and if anything are stronger today than 6 years ago. I find many things about the entire global warming subject fascinating, including the science, but as a once aspiring social scientist, I think this emerging truism of a difference in behavior of the two camps is the most puzzling of all.

    • Ceresco kid: I do not think it is puzzling. Sceptics by and large are practical people: engineers, businessmen, software, farmers, etc. In this world what matters is what works, the numbers, not what you wish to be true. Those most loudly expressing alarm are mostly in a symbolic world, where having the right beliefs is more important than action and outcomes. When symbolism is countered with showing why what is said is either not true or won’t work, anger and attack is the result.

      • + heck, iPad does not have an infinity sign. Perhaps we can persuade Judith to elevate your short comment to a complete guest posting.
        Total treffer.

      • heck, iPad does not have an infinity sign.

        &infin;

      • “Sceptics by and large are practical people”

        State Department in Disney talks on climate change Frozen spin-off

        http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/22/state-department-in-disney-talks-on-climate-change-frozen-spin-off/

        “Frozen, which tells the story of a princess trying to free her kingdom from eternal winter, is the highest grossing animated film of all time, earning $400 million in the US and Canada.

        In explaining why we (the State Dept.) wanted Disney’s assistance on this, I said, ‘You’ve taught an entire generation about the Arctic.

        Unfortunately the Arctic that you’ve taught them about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway, where everything is nice.’

        Papp admitted that the film executives were “perplexed” about how to fuse the depressing story of climate change with Disney’s relentless optimism and penchant for happy ending.”
        . . .
        There are no lukewarmers in Disney’s “relentless optimism” of Frozen.

        Nor will there be lukewarmers in the State Department’s depressing story of climate change either.

      • Well said Craig.

        Which begs the question – How does one reach common ground with someone whose believe system is not rooted in the real world, but in one they wish would exist?

    • “…I think this emerging truism of a difference in behavior of the two camps is the most puzzling of all.”

      Emerging? Twas ever thus. Saul Alinsky was preaching the merits of silencing your opponents before most commenters here were born.

  20. “First criticizing the impact of energy incentives, Michael Spence, Nobel in Economic Sciences was hopeful about the crossroads many business and government leaders now stand at: “Energy subsidies are a catastrophic policy. They produce distorted development of the economy. But I am very encouraged; this year has been a turnaround. We have a choice between an energy efficient, low carbon path and an energy-intensive, high carbon path – which at an unknown time ends catastrophically. This doesn’t seem a very hard choice.”

    Not subsidising or taxing energy sources is clearly a good idea. Yes – we know that fossil fuels are said to have ‘external’ costs – but these seem quite uncertain according to Joshua.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Danny
      violence, malaria, low birth rates, poverty
      now this
      climate change is at the heart of the most important story in Western civilization
      I knew it

  21. From the Conversation link “Politicians in the US put a higher premium on science to resolve their ideological conflicts than anywhere else – just look at the dozens of Congressional hearings on climate science over the past three decades.”
    This is how those “debates” typically go.

  22. Urk — you tricked me into reading some of Hot Whopper. Please don’t do that again. God’s gonna getcha fer that!

  23. My comment at Hot Whooper:

    This blog thread appears to be a one-note samba compared to Curry’s Climate Etc, where a wide range of views is presented and linked to – even this post. As someone who has followed the issue since the 1980s – I was briefed by the IPCC’s Chief Scientist in 1989 or ’90 – I’ve found Judith’s blog of great value.

  24. Good News! Don’t known why this didn’t catch Dr Curry’s eye this week. I woke up breathing this morning on my 74th birthday.

    Richard

    • Happy Birthday Richard. Celebrate!
      From Beth the serf.

      • Beth, John, and Ordvic, Thank you. I was a fan of that song and a fan of the beatles, Nero jacket and all. Went to a dance in Dumbarton, Scotland in my Nero jacket but without the haircut, was in the US Air Force at the time (Christmas 1963).

        Richard

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Richard congrats…
      let’s sing together
      “when the Moon is in the seventh house
      and Jupiter aligns with Mars
      then peace will guide the planets
      and love will steer the stars”
      my sign too
      ‘cept I am not old enough to remember that song

    • You say it’s your birthday
      It’s my birthday too (not)
      They say it’s your birthday
      We’re gonna have a good time
      I’m glad it’s your birthday
      Happy birthday to you. ?

      Yes we’re going to a party, party
      Yes we’re going to a party, party
      Yes we’re going to a party, party

      John Lennon (except for (not))

    • Happy Birthday Richard!

  25. The communique from those authors of the climate book has seven reasons why they think van Ypersele is a jerk and tha Belgium should withdraw their support of him for IPCC president. In reading them I found these attributes would make him a perfect candidate. Alarmists love these antagonists truly a match made in

  26. The teven Chu interview is an example of the dishonest cr@p being espoused by past and present Obama advisers. here’s one gem demostrating the dishonesty:

    China also is moving—it has now set goals to cap carbon emissions and coal use, and be 20 percent renewable by 2030 or earlier.

    I presume all CE followers know that this is BS.

    • China will finesse it, and everyone will let them finesse it. Lots of hydro, a few whirlygigs, and some masterful accounting should do the trick. Just like Germany with their recent coal-wende. The Guardian-perusing classes will be happy to see Germany’s lignite boom as de-nuking. Handy, that Japanese tsunami. Still, I suppose when you are depending on solar at 50+ degrees north and the only alternative is that nice Mr Putin…

      Deep down, we know we love lots of stuff and someone somewhere has to make it. Just not us.

      • Hi Mosomoso,

        Yes to all that. You forgot to mention that China did not say this:

        it has now set goals to cap carbon emissions and coal use, and be 20 percent renewable by 2030 or earlier.

        It’s spin, misrepresentation, dishonesty.

        What they said was they’d attempt to cap carbon emissions and coal use, and get 20% from non fossil fuel energy sources by 2030.

        Big difference. The 20% won’t be wind and solar. It’s be mostly from hydro and nuclear.

  27. From the Steven Chu interview:

    And we can’t really abandon fossil fuels before the first half of this century because they are needed for backup power. We need to invent a method to transform very inexpensive electricity into cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels that can be shipped by tanker and stored around the world. After that we can begin to wean ourselves from fossil and fission nuclear energy.

    Something I’ve been saying here for almost two years. Similar, anyway. IMO methane’s a better approach, but either works.

    Interesting that he’s the “former Energy Secretary in the Obama administration.” It’s almost as though there are string-pullers within the Administration who don’t want solutions that don’t require raising the price of energy.

    • Gee’s he must be badly informed. What sort of people are feeding him the this nonsense and why hasn’t he got enough sense to challenge it?

      What sort of people did he select to advise him on energy policy?

      • They’re All in This Together

        In fact, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were radical Marxist revolutionaries in the Vietnam War era. They were founders of the Weather Underground, a violent terrorist arm of Students for a Democratic Society. Both were eventually indicted in federal court, and Dohrn by the State of Illinois. Rather than face a trial they jumped bail and disappeared into the underground in 1970. After they resurfaced 11 years later, both were admitted into the halls of academia. Ayers became a Distinguished Professor of Education and a Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Incredibly, Dohrn became a law professor at Northwestern

        […]

        What, then, is the relationship between these two hard-core leftist revolutionaries and the president of the United States, and why is it important?

        Something most Americans had a chance to hear during the ’08 campaigns, but may not have made its way across the Pacific.

      • Obama’s Radical Past

        The conference itself was not a secret, but it held a secret, for it was there that a demoralized and frustrated socialist movement largely set aside strategies of nationalization and turned increasingly to local organizing as a way around the Reagan presidency — and its own spotty reputation. In the early 1980s, America’s socialists discovered what Saul Alinsky had always known: “Community organizing” is a euphemism behind which advocates of a radical vision of America could advance their cause without the bothersome label “socialist” drawing adverse attention to their efforts.

      • From Jo Nova link, Rosa Koire speaks out on Agenda 21
        redevelopment funding for the U.N.

      • Beth,

        I’d suggest, if the UN want’s more money, they should float the UN on the stock market.

    • We need to invent a method to transform very inexpensive electricity into cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels that can be shipped by tanker and stored around the world. After that we can begin to wean ourselves from fossil and fission nuclear energy.

      I agree.

      Why not do it this way:

      1. Allow the world to get to “very inexpensive electricity”
      2. Produce cost-competitive “transform very inexpensive electricity into cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels” as the US Navy estimates is possible now from sea water at $3 to $6 per gallon using currently available technology.
      3. Instead of shipping it around the world in tankers, allow each country to have it’s own “every inexpensive electricity” and make it’s own “cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels”.

      The first step is low cost electricity. It must be cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels for it to be viable, to allow development to accelerate, to allow competition to accelerate and drive innovation.

      I have the answer to this. Ask me. (hint: it’s not renewables).

      • The first step is low cost electricity. It must be cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels for it to be viable, to allow development to accelerate, to allow competition to accelerate and drive innovation.

        Yup. Solar cells at <3¢/watt (peak).

        And Chu is a “professor of […] molecular and cellular physiology”, so I’m sure he understands the potential for bioconversion of solar PV/electrolytic hydrogen to methane and/or liquid hydrocarbons.

      • AK,

        Yup. Solar cells at <3¢/watt (peak).

        Nope!. Cost of solar cells is irrelevant. it’s the cost of electricity from the entire grid that is relevant. You seem to have great difficulty understanding that one. In fact, every time I bring it up you dodge it and say things like “I can’t project future costs” or similar. That’s just a dodge.

        You might as well assert you can get cheap hydrogen from the sun, after all there’s plenty of it there, … and it’s all down hill from the Sun to earth when the Sun is high in the sky.

      • it’s the cost of electricity from the entire grid that is relevant.

        Nope. Don’t need a grid when you feed the electricity from the cell right into the electrolysis unit.

        You seem to have great difficulty understanding that one.

        BTW, Lazard puts LCOE for Utility Scale Solar at $72-&86/MWh, much lower than nuclear at $124-$132/MWh.

        OTOH, Trembath at the Breakthrough Institute calls BS, references German Fraunhofer Institutes

        According to Fraunhofer, utility-scale solar PV has an LCOE of approximately $70 to $350/MWh, with most estimates clustering around $200/MWh.

        But nobody (sensible) denies it’s been coming down exponentially, and (IMO) there’s no good reason to think it won’t continue:

        We should celebrate and learn from the major recent cost reductions in solar. But I’m not sure how analytical sleight of hand is supposed to help make solar even cheaper and more competitive in the future.

        Hear! Hear! It doesn’t need “analytical sleight of hand”, learning curve and technology advances will do fine.

      • AK,

        Nope. Don’t need a grid when you feed the electricity from the cell right into the electrolysis unit.

        You seem to have great difficulty understanding that one.

        Your statement is wrong! You don’t understand. I do. An electricity network is essential to supply reliable continuous power for industry. No solar panel provides reliable, consistent power 24 h a day to power industrial processes (such as an aluminium smelter). Just work out the cost of the cells and the storage to provide power 24/365 as is needed for industrial processes. To help you get a handle on the concepts involved, look at this (especially chart’s 9 and 10) here:
        Solar power realities – supply-demand, storage and costs
        https://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf

        BTW, Lazard puts LCOE for Utility Scale Solar at $72-&86/MWh, much lower than nuclear at $124-$132/MWh.

        This is clear confirmation you do not understand the difference between the LCOE of the technology and the LCOE (or LRMC) of electricity from the electricity system; the system includes a many generators, storage, transmission to ensure it is able to meet the requirements for reliability and quality.

        Now that you understand this, perhaps you can focus on comparing the cost of electricity from a grid powered mostly by nuclear versus mostly by renewables.

      • You don’t understand. I do.

        I do understand. You don’t.

        An electricity network is essential to supply reliable continuous power for industry.

        Perhaps. But it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m talking about. I’m talking about taking solar cells, feeding their output into an electrolysis unit, and converting the resulting hydrogen to gas or liquid fuel. No grid needed. Just hook the output of one to the input of the other. Feed the hydrogen into downstream processes.

        Sure, it won’t work at night. So at night the electrolysis stops, the hydrogen stops, and downstream processes stop. Or perhaps the hydrogen is stored under pressure, so downstream processes can be continuous. Once it’s converted to gas/fuel, it enters the normal distribution network, and is used by standard combined cycle turbines. That’s what goes into the grid.

        Just work out the cost of the cells and the storage to provide power 24/365 as is needed for industrial processes.

        About 8 times peak. At <3¢/watt peak, that’s around 25¢/watt delivered to the grid. (Per a calculation I did a while back that showed a theoretical 50% efficiency for that trip, and dividing by 4 for daily cycle.)

        This is clear confirmation you do not understand the difference between the LCOE of the technology and the LCOE (or LRMC) of electricity from the electricity system; the system includes a many generators, storage, transmission to ensure it is able to meet the requirements for reliability and quality.

        Oh, I understand, in principle. That’s why I linked to Trembath calling BS.

        Now that you understand this, perhaps you can focus on comparing the cost of electricity from a grid powered mostly by nuclear versus mostly by renewables.

      • AK,

        Taking everything into account, including learning curves rates (optimistic for renewables and nil for nuclear), my estimated cost of electricity for Australia in 2050 is $149/MWh from a grid that is 50% power by non-hydro renewables compared with $90/MWh for a grid that is powered 50% by nuclear power?

        We should also add the expected value of the risk that the technology cannot do the job in 2050. Add $54/MWh for renewables and $2/MWh for nuclear.

        “Policy analysts also need to include in policy options analysis an estimate of the risk that renewables will not be able to do the job. We know nuclear can provide around 75% of electricity in an advanced industrial economy because France has been doing it for over 30 years. But renewables have not demonstrated they can or will be able to. Many practitioners think they will not. An estimate, in LCOE equivalent terms, of the risk that renewable technologies do not meet the hopes of the proponents is $54/MWh.

        The risk that renewables will not be able to do the job is the major risk that should be questioned, not the costs of waste disposal, decommissioning, accident insurance etc. of nuclear all of which are negligible compared with LCOE and the risk that renewables do not deliver the benefits claimed by their proponents.”

        Therefore. the comparison of the options for 2050 are:
        – LCOE for 50% of electricity supplied by non-hydro renewables = $203/MWh
        – LCOE for 50% of electricity supplied by nuclear power = $92/MWh

        Here’s another comparison, this time with about 90% of electricity supplied renewables or nuclear power:

        LCOE for ~90% renewables = $261/MWh
        LCOE for ~90% nuclear = $123/MWh
        Source: ‘Renewables of nuclear electricity for Australia – the costs, See Figure 6:
        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.363.7838&rep=rep1&type=pdf

        [These figures do not include an estimate of the risk that the technologies will not be available in 2050)

      • AK,

        Perhaps. But it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m talking about. I’m talking about taking solar cells, feeding their output into an electrolysis unit, and converting the resulting hydrogen to gas or liquid fuel. No grid needed. Just hook the output of one to the input of the other. Feed the hydrogen into downstream processes.

        But I am not interested in being side traced to what you want to talk about because it dodges the important issues of the cost comparison of viable options. If you can’t present costed options you have nothing worth debating – just the optimism of the inventors. But lacking engineering and financial reality.

        You have to cost the whole production system. If you have solar power providing power that is effectively a sine curve through the day and varies by season as well, then you must divide the total capital and fixed O&M cost of your processing plants and storage (all of it), by the amount of product you get. You’ll almost certainly find you have to run the plant 24/365 to minimise the cost per unit of the product.

        What is your background? Have you ever been involved in cost estimating and options analysis? I am just asking because I am surprised you don’t seem to understand any of this.

      • AK,

        What about the risk that nuclear won’t be allowed to?

        The cost of nuclear accident insurance is included in the LCOE as is decommissioning, waste disposal and everything else. They are trivial costs compared with LCOE of the technology and the grid. IN $/MWh they are:
        Accident insurance: RE 0, nuclear 0.1
        Decommissioning: RE 0.15, nuclear 0.01
        Waste management: RE 0, nuclear 1

        Nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity, so the risk of fatalities from renewables is higher than from nuclear. If you’d followed the links I’d posted in previous responses to you on other thread’s you’d know all this.

        It’s really clutching a straws when you are using such trival arguments to avoid rational options analysis.

      • If you can’t present costed options you have nothing worth debating – just the optimism of the inventors. But lacking engineering and financial reality.

        Well, that’s true of any technology where part of the R&D remains to be done. We’ll see later how it pans out.

        You have to cost the whole production system. If you have solar power providing power that is effectively a sine curve through the day and varies by season as well, then you must divide the total capital and fixed O&M cost of your processing plants and storage (all of it), by the amount of product you get.

        True. Although if the hydrogen is stored and used on a continual basis, downstream processes could run 24/7.

        You’ll almost certainly find you have to run the plant 24/365 to minimise the cost per unit of the product.

        That’s a trade-off against energy storage costs. AFAIK the assumption that you have to run your equipment 24/7 to repay capital costs is just a tradition, based on many decades of reliable energy-on-demand. IMO for many purposes, it would probably turn out cheaper to design for on-energy-supply, especially when using solar power.

        What is your background? Have you ever been involved in cost estimating and options analysis? I am just asking because I am surprised you don’t seem to understand any of this.

        IT. And yes, I’ve done cost analysis, although always with available hardware options. (Software’s a little different, since it’s usually pre-development.) Obviously it’s different when talking about technology not out of R&D. Here it’s more like requirements analysis for the R&D than options choices used with mature technology.

        It’s really clutching a straws when you are using such trival arguments to avoid rational options analysis.

        You obviously didn’t understand the purpose of my links. Your “nuclear accident insurance” is irrelevant to the sort of people the garbage I linked to is aimed at. But they vote. What’s your plan to get the voters to let you build all those plants with all those scare stories being hammered at them? As you pointed out, it’s a political problem.

      • AK,

        You obviously didn’t understand the purpose of my links. Your “nuclear accident insurance” is irrelevant to the sort of people the garbage I linked to is aimed at. But they vote. What’s your plan to get the voters to let you build all those plants with all those scare stories being hammered at them? As you pointed out, it’s a political problem.

        I did understand the purpose of the links, and don’t accept your premise. The reasons I don’t accept the argument are:

        1. The undeniable fact is that people will demand the least cost energy option that meets reliability and energy security requirements. GHG emissions is not relevant (in that only perhaps 1% of the world’s population would pay more for energy to reduce GHG emissions)

        2. Therefore, if we can’t have low emissions energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels, we’ll stick with fossil fuels

        3. People will object to higher energy prices. Once they realise the cost of renewables, they’ll block it and governments will dump it.

        4. Take India as an example of a developing country http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/briefing-india-energy-and-climate-change-challenge/ ; the probability that the 400 million Indians without electricity and the 300 million living in poverty are going to object to nuclear power if it will give them cheap electricity is negligible. The probability that they will be in the slightest concerned about GHG emissions if it means higher cost electricity is negligible.

        5. Your questions is one sided. You ask “What’s your plan to get the voters to let you build all those plants with all those scare stories being hammered at them?” The more important question, that you need to address is: “What’s your plan to get the voters to let you build RE once they know they could have cheaper fossil fuel or nuclear energy?”

      • Exponential improvement in efficiency, costs, and speed of solar power installations

        In just 15 years, the world as we know it will have transformed forever. The age of oil, gas, coal and nuclear will be over. A new age of clean power and smarter cars will fundamentally, totally, and permanently disrupt the existing fossil fuel-dependent industrial infrastructure in a way that even the most starry-eyed proponents of ‘green energy’ could never have imagined.

        These are not the airy-fairy hopes of a tree-hugging hippy living off the land in an eco-commune. It’s the startling verdict of Tony Seba, a lecturer in business entrepreneurship, disruption and clean energy at Stanford University and a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

      • AK,

        It is people like you who have been spreading distortions and misinformation about RE and nuclear for the past 50 years or so who are the principal reason nuclear is too expensive to compete with fossil fuels. People spreading misinformation and distortions as you are doing are arguably the main cause of emissions being 10% to 20% higher now than they would have been if not for the anti-nuke propaganda and the effect it has had on raising costs. A more important consequences is that the state of development of nuclear power is way behind and the costs much higher then they would have been if nuclear development had not been effectively blocked. The rational solution is to unblock it. Intelligent people like you should be leading the way for rational solutions, not doing all you can to block it.

      • AK,

        Sorry, but as I see it you continually quote nonsense and won’t deal with the issues. The costs. This is why every time we’ve had a discussions I’ve concluded you are either irrational or dishonest. I realise it is impossible to have a rational discussion with someone who is incapable of unwilling to have a rational discussion.

        If you actually engage in the costs then I’ll be interested. As long as you dodge it, my impression of your ability to do rational policy analysis or discussion is reinforced..

      • Well, well, well… It seems I’m not the only one who finds your niggling efforts to cram front-end exploration into your obsolete back-end box annoying:

        This is a personal response to Lang’s (2012) article critiquing the peer-reviewed paper Elliston, Diesendorf and MacGill (2011) ‘Simulations of scenarios with 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market’, referred to hereinafter as EDM (2011).

        I appreciate the large amount of work that Lang has done in attempting to assess our work. However, I think his critique is premature, because he has misunderstood the intent of our work, which was clearly identified as exploratory.

        Lang appears to be confused and mistaken in some key issues, such as the reliability of generation, where his conclusions are incorrect and potentially misleading.

        Lang misunderstands and hence misrepresents our result that, in its baseline scenario, supply does not meet demand on six hours per year. He draws an incorrect conclusion from this result […]

        Since Lang refers to LOLP later in his article, he presumably partly understands this fundamental principle of electricity supply, yet somehow forgets this when critiquing the principal conclusion of our paper.

        His oversight invalidates his conclusion.

        Lang’s belief that we must add 20% reserve plant margin is also based on misunderstanding and confusion.

        Lang claims incorrectly that “Gas turbines running on biofuels are not a proven, commercially viable electricity generation technology at the scale required (IEA, 2007)”.

        Regardless of his quarrel with you, trying to impose that sort of requirement on future technology not yet out of R&D is completely inappropriate.

        Lang’s phrase ‘at the scale required’ could be applied unfairly to all the commercially available technologies in our 100% renewable electricity scenario. If we assume that the transition to 100% would occur over several decades, there would be no unsurmountable problem in scaling up the technologies, including gas turbines. Hence, the term ‘at the scale required’ is irrelevant.

        Again, we can clearly see an effort to cram projections of future technology into obsolete boxes based on mature technology.

        However, it must be mentioned that Lang’s assumption, that the capital cost of open-cycle gas turbines is $5,051/kW, is too high by a factor of over six. These are the same gas turbines as currently used with fossil fuels. EPRI (2010, Table 7.15), a study cited by Lang, gives a capital cost of $801/kW sent out. Lang’s huge error greatly inflates his cost estimates of the renewable energy scenarios.

        And you accuse me of dish0nesty?

        At this stage it is premature to attempt an economic analysis. When this is eventually done, realistic assumptions must be made about future prices of renewable energy technologies in large-scale mass production, gas turbines and their fuels, and future carbon prices. Lang’s economic estimates are tied to current prices, apart from an overestimate of the capital cost of gas turbines by a factor of over six. Hence his cost figures are gross over-estimates.

      • AK,

        Lang’s huge error greatly inflates his cost estimates of the renewable energy scenarios.

        And you accuse me of dish0nesty?

        Are you implying I was dishonest? If so why. Check the responses and you’ll find the explanation. The figure is not an error. There is a choice between putting all the huge cost of biofuel storage into the capital cost of the system or into the cost of bio-fuel. I elected to include it in the capital costs for the reasons stated (basically to make the options analysis more consistent and more easily understandable). Apparently you didn’t understand it, or haven’t you bothered to read it before going straight to Diesendorf’s defence of his work.

      • Well, well, well… It seems I’m not the only one who finds your niggling efforts to cram front-end exploration into your obsolete back-end box annoying:

        What a classic example if bias. You copied selected quotes from Mark Diesendorf from his defence of the critique of his paper. You clearly didn’t bother to read the critique, or the comments on the posts, or the comments about his critique of my critique. You’ve shown you are clearly biased and clearly aligned with the RE zealots.

        What a waste of time.

      • By the way, the critique stands. It has later been shown to be largely correct by the analysis of 100% renewable electricity for Australia which was done by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for the previous government (as part of the agreement between Labor and Greens to form an alliance Government in 2010).

        So, now you can work on trying to show substantial errors in the costs I’ve given.

      • So, now you can work on trying to show substantial errors in the costs I’ve given.

        For the moment I’m still trying to find my way around broken links. But whether or not your numbers are correct, they’re irrelevant. I sympathize with Diesendorf, although I suspect that when I actually track down his paper I won’t agree with him. Biomass! Feh!

      • But whether or not your numbers are correct, they’re irrelevant. I sympathize with Diesendorf

        Why are they irrelevant?

      • Here are two response by Dr. John Morgan to Mark Diesendorf:

        “A number of commenters above have remarked on the problems with the biogas component of the EDM model system (and I made similar observations in this comment on Peter’s article). Regarding the scaleability Mark responds:

        Lang’s phrase ‘at the scale required’ could be applied unfairly to all the commercially available technologies in our 100% renewable electricity scenario. If we assume that the transition to 100% would occur over several decades, there would be no unsurmountable problem in scaling up the technologies, including gas turbines.

        But the problem is not the scaleability of the turbines – we know GTs can pop up like mushrooms after autumn rain. The scaleability problem is the gathering of biomass, stockpiling as required, conversion to fuel and storage of weeks or more of supply.

        This problem Mark has not addressed in his response, and it deserves respectful consideration.

        There’s not much more to say on this topic, other than to quote an adage from military circles: Amateurs talk strategy, professional talk logistics.”
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-151751

        Second comment by John Morgan:

        “On the question of reliability of supply, Mark addresses Peter Lang’s critique in these terms:

        Lang misunderstands and hence misrepresents our result that, in its baseline scenario, supply does not meet demand on six hours per year. He draws an incorrect conclusion from this result to claim that ‘renewable energy cannot realistically provide 100% of Australia’s electricity generation’. However, he overlooks the fact, clearly stated in the abstract, the main body and the conclusion of EDM (2011), that all our scenarios meet the same reliability criterion as the existing polluting energy system supplying the National Electricity Market (NEM), namely a maximum energy generation shortfall of 0.002%.

        The all renewable scenarios modelled in EDM do meet the NEM reliability standard. But only if you grant the capability of the biogas component.
        I’m not prepared to do this. Based on the difficulties with biogas technology and logistics at the scale required, as described by Peter, and elaborated in a number of comments above, I don’t find the modeled biogas contribution credible.

        That leaves a large hole in the winter generation mix. The period June 29 – July 6 would lose roughly half its generation. There would have been little power available outside of the short daylight hours, only the modest contribution from wind and hydro. The shortfall is severe.

        Because the case has not been made for biogas, and because a compelling case exists against it, Peter is right to focus on the reliability of the 100% renewable system. His conclusion that ‘renewable energy cannot realistically provide 100% of Australia’s electricity generation’ is supported by a sound argument.

        Mark also dismisses the plea to maintain a 20% capacity reserve margin:

        Lang’s belief that we must add 20% reserve plant margin is also based on misunderstanding and confusion. The generating capacity of our baseline renewable energy system is 84.9 gigawatts (GW) and the maximum demand on the NEM in the year we simulated, 2010, was 33.65 GW at 3 pm on 11 January.

        Of course, that 84.9 GW capacity is not realized. It is reduced by the capacity factors of the component technologies. And the annual average capacity factors hide the reality of near-zero instantaneous capacity factors for extended periods.

        So while there might appear to be a comfortable margin between the peak demand of 33 GW and capacity of 85 GW, that margin is razor thin during some parts of the year, such as the midwinter period of 2010 referred to above where it disappears completely. A 20% reserve margin certainly appears prudent.

        Its not enough to have generation (just) meet demand in 2010. How many other ways might 2010 have panned out? If we could restart 2010 again, might the weather have behaved differently? Perhaps a bit more cloud, a bit less wind, cooler nights? We know how 2010 actually ran. But is that sufficient justification for not maintaining a reserve margin?

        What of the next 12 months, from today forward? We don’t know how they will pan out. Should we go into them without planning for any reserve margin, in particular the midwinter reserve margin, where generation from the baseline system was completely maxed out in 2010?

        That seems to be what Mark is arguing. Or maybe some reserve margin will do. If so, how much? 5%? Surely not. 10%? Sounds dicey. No, Peter’s choice of a 20% reserve margin is a prudent, pragmatic engineering margin to carry in the system against unusual demand peaks or generation shortfalls.

        Peter’s stance on both the (non-)reliability of the baseline scenario and the need for a 20% reserve margin are well founded. A 100% renewable generation mix that gets through 2010 on a wing and a prayer and a fabulous biogas infrastructure does not fly.”
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-151768

        Here two of my responses:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-151865

        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-152532

      • Peter, I don’t think AK understands how incremental costs and sensitivity studies effect economic choices in an existing system like an electric grid. Nor as far as I can tell, costs that intermittency/changeover/ramping causes to industry or electric supplies. The time cost of money in an incremental economic study with a limited 50% sinusoidal uptime cycle that varies seems to be missing.

        “”This is a personal response to Lang’s (2012) article critiquing the peer-reviewed paper Elliston, Diesendorf and MacGill (2011) ‘Simulations of scenarios with 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market’, referred to hereinafter as EDM (2011).”” “”I appreciate the large amount of work that Lang has done in attempting to assess our work. However, I think his critique is premature, because he has misunderstood the intent of our work, which was clearly identified as exploratory.””

        Your statement “”You have to cost the whole production system. If you have solar power providing power that is effectively a sine curve through the day and varies by season as well, then you must divide the total capital and fixed O&M cost of your processing plants and storage (all of it), by the amount of product you get. You’ll almost certainly find you have to run the plant 24/365 to minimise the cost per unit of the product.””

        Apparently it is not appreciated if you make the assumptions of your critique based on reality, and not exploratory. To think you would want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples through an accepted cost estimate, is adding fuel to the fire. LOL. That their title is ‘Simulations of scenarios with 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market’ makes the humor better. 100% renewables??

        You state: “”[These figures do not include an estimate of the risk that the technologies will not be available in 2050).”” One of the blind spots that brings me humor in that so many who say renewables have to be implemented think those who look to improved technology in other areas suffer from Pangloss syndrome.

        In fact, thanks for the interesting and humorous thread.

      • Well Dr. Morgan has hit the nail on the head “”Of course, that 84.9 GW capacity is not realized. It is reduced by the capacity factors of the component technologies. And the annual average capacity factors hide the reality of near-zero instantaneous capacity factors for extended periods.”” Peter did you read the Wyoming wind study, where they also just BS’d their way around this same problem? http://www.nrel.gov/electricity/transmission/news/2014/10329.html

        The results suggest that the economic benefits of developing the corridor exceed the costs under the array of future conditions tested in the analysis. Benefit-to-cost ratios range from 1.62 to 3.62 depending on assumptions about federal tax incentives in 2017, and depending on assumptions about the future costs of different renewable energy technologies. Where outcomes fall within this range will depend on:
        • Expectations about future technology costs. If large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) costs fall significantly faster than the cost of wind power, the ratios will tend toward the lower end of the ranges reported here.
        • Expectations about future federal tax incentives. Reductions in the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) tend to favor developing the corridor, particularly if the reductions are even across all benefitting renewable technologies. If the changes significantly benefit solar and geothermal without benefitting wind, the ratios will tend toward the lower end of the ranges reported here.
        • Avoided transmission build-out in California. The ratios tend toward the higher end of the ranges when including the economic benefit of avoided transmission build-out in California, regardless of expectations about future generator costs and future federal tax incentives.
        This study does not offer recommendations about what one should assume regarding future costs, future incentives, and avoided transmission build-out. Rather, the aim is to test the extent to which the corridor constitutes a “least regrets” proposition for major infrastructure development and its long-term benefits, anticipating how some of the most crucial variables could change by 2017.

      • John Pittman,

        Thank you for your two excellent comments. Your help to explain the important, relevant issues is much appreciated. Please post more.

      • John Pittman | January 25, 2015 at 7:52 am

        I’ve looked briefly ant the NREL study but haven’t studied it in detail. Thanks for posting the link. I’ll bookmark it for future reference.

      • Peter, I don’t think AK understands how incremental costs and sensitivity studies effect economic choices in an existing system like an electric grid.

        Actually, I do. Not perfectly, I’ll admit, but well enough to know they should be avoided. My approach: push combined cycle gas/light fuel turbines for the grid, use the solar on the back end, separated by the gas/fuel distribution network. AFAIK CCGT is completely dispatchable, essentially ideal from a grid perspective.

        Nor as far as I can tell, costs that intermittency/changeover/ramping causes to industry or electric supplies.

        Not relevant.

        The time cost of money in an incremental economic study with a limited 50% sinusoidal uptime cycle that varies seems to be missing.

        Not relevant, except for the equipment needed to convert electricity and ambient CO2 to fuel.

        And that technology is still on the lab bench, barely beyond “proof-of-concept”. And I see plenty of BS here around that:

        Produce cost-competitive “transform very inexpensive electricity into cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels” as the US Navy estimates is possible now from sea water at $3 to $6 per gallon using currently available technology.

        The fact is that Lang is insisting on comparing apples and oranges, or perhaps apples and apple tree saplings. Granted, before any polity locks itself into a long-term decision such comparisons would have to be made, and the technology would have to be much closer to mature than it is now. And powering any electricity→fuel process directly from solar cells would, indeed, require a much greater capacity (×4 for “back-of-the-envelope” calculations) than running off the grid at continuous full throttle.

        But I would question whether that’s the correct comparison: power demand varies, and some way of dealing with that is needed. Comparing nuclear with solar, either the capacity must be sufficient for peak demand, in which case there will be an intermittent supply of energy for things like making fuel, or the capacity will be lower than peak, in which case some method of storing energy from low-demand to high-demand would be necessary.

        Where the electricity→fuel process will fit into this equation depends entirely on how far the cost of the equipment can be brought down. IMO it’s going to come way down: in the article describing the paper linked above:

        Initially, FireWater Fuel intends to develop an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen for energy storage at wind farms. It intends to create a commercial prototype of a freezer-size electrolyzer that would convert a few liters of water a day to electricity for consumers by 2015.

        There are ~55.5 moles/liter of water, and 96,500 coulombs per mole of electrons, ×2 electrons per hydrogen atom, works out to 10711500&div;86400=~124 watts in a freezer-sized unit.

        Just over a year later, we have:

        A water electrolyzer that achieves ~20mA/cm^2 at a voltage of 1.5V, and which may be operated by a single-cell alkaline battery, is fabricated using cheap, non-precious metal-based electrocatalysts.

        This works out to 300 watts/square meter, which assuming a 1mm cell thickness ends up with a cube perhaps 10-15 cm (4-6 in.) on a side. Of course, these are optimistic projections, but the speed which which problems in electrolysis are giving way is highly encouraging.

        My vision (which I admit is also optimistic) is an electrolytic unit perhaps the size of a Coke bottle, combined with a 10-square meter collector with 40% net efficiency. Peak electrolysis would be around 4 KW, requiring an order of magnitude improvement over current “on-the-lab-bench” technology. Could this be achieved brought to production scale in a decade? IMO yes.

        One of the blind spots that brings me humor in that so many who say renewables have to be implemented think those who look to improved technology in other areas suffer from Pangloss syndrome.

        Well, I understand nuclear fission very well. And much of the technology is either mature, or would require a fundamental breakthrough to achieve the sort of improvements we’ve seen in PV and catalysis, and especially biotech over the last decade or so. Fast neutrons are dangerous, and without some sort of fundamental breakthrough the need to safely contain them will continue to be a challenge.

        Heat engine technology is fully mature, and while some improvements from superior materials and learning curve can be expected, such will also apply to CCGT generators, which IMO are a better choice. Cheaper too, today and probably in the future.

        Not to rule out a fundamental breakthrough, but the exponential improvements in solar PV and biotech are predictable, requiring only routine R&D. AFAIK the same can be said for electrolytic catalysis.

      • OOps! 10711500÷86400=~124

      • My approach: remove all subsidies and let the free market determine what energy sources to build.

      • My approach: remove all subsidies and let the free market determine what energy sources to build.

        The “free” market is simply a tool. As Adam Smith understood, even if a subset of modern market fanatics don’t.

        “Free market”? Fine with me, as long as coal plants aren’t allowed to pollute my air with any dangerous particulates or gases. Or enough sulfer or nitrogen oxides to interfere with natural processes (which are sometimes bad enough). CO2 is a risk, but it can be addressed without treating it as pollution. But it should be addressed.

        And what will the “free” market end up using, if coal is required to burn clean? Almost certainly gas: combined cycle gas turbines. Lowest LCOE, quick to build and ramp up production. As for CO2, the cost of solar is coming down exponentially, and with proper incentives for R&D the cost of electrolysis and hydrogen→gas/fuel conversion will be brought very low as well. If solar doesn’t make it, we have nuclear, although that has its own problem.

        No urgency. If, in the light of another decade or two study, it turns out we need to drag some of the CO2 back out of the atmosphere, it’ll be much easier then than now.

        It’s R&D that should be subsidized. Solar PV, energy storage, conversion to gas/fuel, even innovative nuclear. With the proper incentives, it’s almost certain that by the time we actually know we need to drag CO2 out of the atmosphere, if we do, the technology will be there.

        Meanwhile, “let them burn gas”.

      • AK – the complete and total elimination of risk is not achievable. The air in the US has been cleaned to the point that warming is occurring due to the lack of SO2. I say, you can’t demand no risk from coal plants. Or, you can demand it, but can’t have it. The free market, with appropriate, light-weight, well-thought-out regulations, is the way to go.

      • I say, you can’t demand no risk from coal plants. Or, you can demand it, but can’t have it.

        Giving them a license to dump poisons into the air is a subsidy, of sorts. And if we’re going to subsidize one, then all are up for consideration.

        The free market, with appropriate, light-weight, well-thought-out regulations, is the way to go.

        When those regulations allow them to use “commons” for business purposes, they become part of the overall strategic planning.

        Do “we” need coal enough to justify letting them dump poisons? When gas appears to be just as good, with the added advantage that it can almost certainly be switched to run off of non-fossil fuels once that technology is up and running? When transporting gas is almost as easy, easier with pipelines? When the lead time for CCGT is shorter?

        How much would it save on energy bills (letting coal pollute), compared to easing the regulations requiring “renewable” percentages? Or compared to dumping the feed-in tariff?

        If coal burned clean, such questions could be opposed on principle: regulatory regimes shouldn’t pick “winners”. But as long as they dump particles, or mercury, or other dangerous materials into the air, they’re getting a benefit that their competition isn’t. AFAIK, anyway.

      • AK – the reasoning you apply is way too broad. It can be used to give the government an excuse to regulate just about anything. Noise from children playing could be regulated because it propagates through the “commons.” There is risk to life, get used to it.

      • ‘Poison’ is a matter of dosage. That’s what’s the matter with linear no-threshold reasoning.
        ====================

      • AK,

        You said :

        But whether or not your numbers are correct, they’re irrelevant. I sympathize with Diesendorf

        I asled you:

        Why are they irrelevant?

        You haven’t answered that question. I think this is the most important issue of all. You are not interested in and don’t understand costing and options analysis. Yet, that is critical for the discussion of policy options. Can you please answer my question, explain why you say the co9st estimates for the alternative options for meeting the requirements of the electricity system are irrelevant, and provide your replacement for the figures,I provide the basis of estimate as I’ve done.

      • AK,

        You have demonstrated:

        1. Bias. You swallow anything that supports your beliefs about renewable energy without making even the most basic checks. You swallowed the response from Diesendorf and believed all of it without even weighing up the EDM paper, my critique of it, Diesendorf’s defence and the critiques of his defence.

        2. You don’t understand finance and don’t understand costed options analysis

        3. You don’t seem to be able to appreciate orders of magnitude differences in physical things. For example

        3a. Power in the electricity system is some 12 orders of magnitude more than in the IT toys you deal with. Electricity system components contain many orders of magnitude more mass, orders of magnitude longer lives and longer life cycles (therefore slower learning and and slower to develop), and many orders of magnitude more expensive.

        3b. Regarding storage compare battery technology with nuclear. The best available submarine batteries can power conventional submarines for up to about 400 km at 4 knots. Nuclear submarines can run for 30 years on a single fuel load. They can run at up to 40 knots underwater (say 60 km/h). They could run for about 10 million km (at 60% of full speed). Nuclear sub is about twice the size is 10 times faster at sustainable speed underwater and can travel 25 million times further on a fuel load. Therefore, energy storage with nuclear is more than 25 million times more than the best battery storage. Say nuclear is 50 million times better energy storage than battery storage.

        I guess if you don’t have a physical understanding of orders of magnitude, it may be hard to understand the point I am attempting to make.

      • You haven’t answered that question. I think this is the most important issue of all. You are not interested in and don’t understand costing and options analysis. Yet, that is critical for the discussion of policy options. Can you please answer my question, […]

        Yes, Peter, I do understand costing and options analysis. I also have enough experience with it to understand how easily such an analysis can be turned into an exercise in rationalization for the selected option.

        But here’s why your numbers are irrelevant: they apply to mature technology. I’m not looking at mature technology. I’m looking at technology that’s barely on the lab bench (in some cases just expressing a wish that somebody would put it on the lab bench. much less off the lab bench into prototype and early production.

        So the sort of numbers you want aren’t available. Of course, I agree that without such numbers, hard options decisions in energy investments wouldn’t be appropriate. But I’m not looking that near-term. Based on experience in other industries, I’m making some assumptions about how solar PV, and a few other technologies, are going to evolve over the next couple decades, and looking at options from a “maybe technically feasible” perspective. Not the “it’s already been done so how much will it cost” perspective.

        As we’ve agreed, we’re talking past each other. And if you’ll simply accept that almost anything I spend much attention on is probably too far in the future, and to tentative in feasibility, for the sort of debate you want, then you’ll probably experience much less frustration.

        As for policy options, I’m approaching the subject from a perspective of making decisions under uncertainty. There’s a good chance that nuclear will be a little cheaper a decade or two from now. There’s a good chance, but no certainty, that solar PV will be one or two orders of magnitude cheaper a decade or two from now. We know that there’s some risk from dumping all that fossil carbon into the system, but there doesn’t seem to be any urgency about fixing it, and no option that will be accepted is likely to fix it in less than 3-7 decades. What to do?

        I’d say, focus energy generation on gas; CCGT. Focus R&D on solar, storage, and, yes, innovative fission. As technology develops, it’ll become clearer whether investments in solar vs. nuclear make sense. Either way, the energy→gas/fuel option will be available for vehicles, and legacy power generation. As will the option of using some of the energy to drag large amounts of CO2 out of the ocean to sequester.

      • AK,

        You are advocating for renewables and do not accept that nuclear is a much cheaper and better fit for purpose option.

        You don’t accept cost comparisons between renewables and nuclear even when they use projected costs that are based on optimistic learning rates for renewables and pessimistic learning rates for nuclear.

        You prefer to believe that pie in the sky claims by inventors of their latest idea with no reliable, authoritative, independent costs estimates or projections.

        We have one or two centuries of experience which demonstrates a very small proportion of such ideas inventions actually progress to the stage of becoming commercially viable; this experience also demonstrate the long time (many decades) it takes for large electricity system components to progress from invention to Research to Development to commercially competitive in a free market.

        Yet you ignore all this centuries of experience and gullibly believe that the ideas, thought-bubbles, and inventions you read about in the material you read, can suddenly do what’s never been done before and in a very short time (decades) become commercially viable. Dream on.

        You’d do better to stick to IT and stop writing about stuff you don’t understand. Certainly you shouldn’t be advocating for your pie-in-the-sky ideas without making any attempt to understand the costs. Because by doing so you are giving other ignoramuses hope that RE is a viable option. This is delaying genuine progress.

        I recall in the 1980s and the 1990’s solar thermal energy researchers (such as Dr David Mills, Dr Mark Diesendorf, and others) making representations to the Australian government’s research and development funding agencies in which they claimed that solar thermal was cheaper than nuclear power now (i.e. in 1980s and 1990s) if the government wasn’t so stupid and would just give them some more money to demonstrate it. Similar people (like you) are still making the same sorts of claims.

      • AK, Thank you for highlighting my point that you seem to have not practical understanding of orders of magnitude.

        The mobileshere use mW. Electricity transmissions lines carry GW. A factor of 10^12 difference.

        The mobiles cost about $10 (cost, not price). A 1000 km x 3 GW transmission line costs about $3 billion (1000 km x 3000 MW x $1000/MW.km).

        The mobiles last about 3 years and new models are released about twice a year. Transmission lines and nuclear power plants last about 60 years and new models of nuclear power plants take about a decade to pass through licencing.

        Get the difference?

        This is why any new pie in the sky ideas that come out of inventors and dreamers are highly unlikely to ever make it to commercially viable, and if they do it will take many decades and be marginally better than the mature alternatives. it will take many decades.

        You would be far better off, if you are genuinely concerned about CAGW, to focus on advocating for technologies that are well proven, can do the job. Nuclear is one and it could be far cheaper if people like you would swing behind explaining why it can be much cheaper and how we can get there fastest. I’ve explained it many times.

        If you missed this when I posted it before, have a look now:
        How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions? A primer on electricity infrastructure planning in the Age of Climate Change

        http://image.slidesharecdn.com/ecerpmatrixpresentation-150107095405-conversion-gate01/95/electricity-generation-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change-10-638.jpg?cb=1420646347
        Explanation here: http://canadianenergyissues.com/2014/01/29/how-much-does-it-cost-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-a-primer-on-electricity-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change/
        Not that you are advocating for the approach in Slide 10

      • AK,

        Are you trying to make a point. The only point I’ve mgetting from the three photos you’ve posted is that you lost the debate, you know you’ve lost, you’ve got nothing relevant to offer, you don’t have the personal, professional or intellectual integrity to accept and acknowledge you are wrong and reconsider your advocacy for RE.

      • Here’s the chart (I hope):

      • AK,

        Are you trying to make a point. The only point I’m getting from the three photos you’ve posted is that you know you’ve lost the debate, you’ve go no relevant points or arguments to make and, significantly, you don’t have the personal, professional or intellectual integrity – or the guts – to acknowledge you are wrong and to then set out reconsider your advocacy for RE. Learn and then advocate for good rather than for blocking progress through ignorance.

    • AK, You’re probably already aware of this but a plant is bring built in Mississippi to convert coal to natural gas and then sequester 65% of those carbon emmisions. Another one is planned to be built in Indiana:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemper_project

      • Thanks, ordvic, I wasn’t. But after a little research I’m not too impressed:

        The Kemper County is now projected to cost almost $5.6 billion. Initially the project was estimated to cost $2.4 billion.

        Kemper County, one of the US flagship CCS projects has been beset with delays and cost-increases. Currently the price tag is at $5.6 billion. Additional delays and set-backs have caused Southern Company to postpone the start-up until May 2015. The cause of these cost increases and time delays are due to a number of causes, including miscalculating pipe thickness, length, quantity and metallurgy. After these changes to the pipes were made, additional changes needed to be done to the support structures.

        The Kemper County CCS project is being used as one of two examples used by the EPA to demonstrate the feasibility of CCS on coal-fired power plants in order to reduce their CO2 emissions. Under the US EPA’s proposed guidelines, future coal plants would need to emit no more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of power produced. The Kemper County CCS project will emit well below that amount.

        The pulverized coal power station will be a new construction with a base lignite capacity of 524 MW and NG Capacity 58 MW. The plant will capture 65% of total emissions resulting in 3.5 million tons per year. The Kemper County energy facility will have fewer particulate, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions than traditional pulverized coal plants.

        Still, it’s more of a “pilot”/”proof-of-concept” than a real production plant (despite the size). According to this slide show CO2 removal wasn’t originally part of the scope. Huh! And I thought scope creep gallop was limited to IT projects.

      • AK, yeah I was aware of the cost overruns and just being expensive to start anyway. I was just pointing out it’s being done. This seems to be the vested interests answer to pollution regulations. Says coal: ‘Don’t count me out’. It helps to have big O’s blessing.

  28. Had a think about FOMBS printable car. An all electric beach buggy lookalike based on Renault Twizzy mechanicals. Not much good for anything – except you wouldn’t be seen dead in a Twizzy.

    But could they be onto something?

    Here’s what they call their Rally Fighter – as it appears in Transformers 4.

    Team it with a Protean Drive system.

    http://www.proteanelectric.com/en/#

    And a DLR range extender.

    [video src="http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/videos/2013/FKLG_en_hq.mp4" /]

    Could they build a simple go anywhere car cheap?

  29. This 2015 paper seems interesting.
    Both in pointing to the potential problem of a spurious data spike in OHC in the early 2000’s and in the suggestion that the hiatus is at least in part also showing up in the nett TOA radiation budget.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062669/abstract

    • ‘Observational analyses of running 5-year ocean heat content trends (Ht) and net downward top of atmosphere radiation (N) are significantly correlated (r~0.6) from 1960 to 1999, but a spike in Ht in the early 2000s is likely spurious since it is inconsistent with estimates of N from both satellite observations and climate model simulations. Variations in N between 1960 and 2000 were dominated by volcanic eruptions, and are well simulated by the ensemble mean of coupled models from the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We find an observation-based reduction in N of -0.31±0.21 Wm-2 between 1999 and 2005 that potentially contributed to the recent warming slowdown, but the relative roles of external forcing and internal variability remain unclear. While present-day anomalies of N in the CMIP5 ensemble mean and observations agree, this may be due to a cancellation of errors in outgoing longwave and absorbed solar radiation.’

      The splicing artifact – Argo and earlier data – is blindingly obvious.

      The cause of the change in downward flux in the 1998/2001 climate shift likewise seems fairly obvious.

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

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

    “Is it time to take science out of the climate change debate?”
    funny
    since nature’s refusal to comport to the hypothesis is the reason there is a debate
    arguing the science has become problematic
    so stop
    brilliant

  31. The government scientists of Western academia cannot explain why it is happening without admitting that a stop in global warming is what they said they wanted and that the warming they predicted wasn’t really alarming at all. Time is all that was needed to disprove the AGW hypothesis (the idea that humanity’s release of CO2 into the atmosphere is causing an increase in global warming). The faithful of Climatism are saying, …no, no, not God bless the pause; God damn the pause. We want more warming to prove our beliefs are true and modern man’s CO2 is bad!

    The Left gave America and capitalism a bad rap. People going about their business of living in a modern world didn’t cause global warming: from the beginning it’s been nothing more than Leftist politics and Euro-communist-inspired anti-Americanism.

    

  32. “Tom Fuller: Climate blogger and blog award of the year”

    That’s one damn prestigious gong Judith!!

    You must be in the running again this year, what with ‘Michael Mann is the equivalent of a mass-murdering terrorist’ and ‘Gavin Schmidt/NASA are conspiring with the White House’, and it’s not even the end of January!

    But i’m worried you’ve peaked too early.

    Save some of that crazy for later in the year too!

    • What do you know, that we don’t, Michael.

      • Danny –

        Not asking about what you might condone – but about whether you think that as an axiom, it should be applied evenly. Seems to me that if you agree with the principle as being axiomatic, then it should apply evenly.

        Thus, Ridley’s use of it (as someone who attacks) becomes nonsensical, and the use of it to infer whether someone who is attacking Judith has “lost the argument’ is also nonsensical, as Judith, herself, attacks.

        That is, unless you think that everyone has lost.

      • Joshua,

        It should be applied equally. If one puts forth an evidence based arguement and are subsequently attacked personally then attacker has lost that argument (or at least run out of evidence to counter). But seemingly you wish to apply to a broad context and I’m referring to specific arguments. I, and I presume you, have lost arguments. That fact does not impact the next argument I put forth. If/because Matt Ridley or Judith Curry or Danny Thomas allow human emotions to get the better of them in no way invalidates their next argument but indeed indicates they lost the one in which the personal attack occurred. Life happens.

        If you followed the thread with Michael, he criticised my behavior and IMO displayed far more juvenille behavior here than that which he criticised me for over at RC. If Michael brings an evidence based argument forward now, I’d be happy to evaluate and respond. Reasonable adults can do that.

        I chose not to enter the box in to which you wish to frame me. Context is important. Methinks you paint with a brush too broad.

      • Danny –

        I think this is turning into a bit of a handbag fight, so I’ll add one more comment, look for any responses that might be forthcoming, and then give up the ghost…

        ==> “It should be applied equally.”

        Truth told, I think it’s pretty bad argument to begin with. Whether someone attacks some they’re engaged in a discussion with personally may or may not be somewhat informative about the relative strengths of the arguments (i.e., whether they’ve lost an argument), but is certainly isn’t conclusive.

        What’s amusing to me is that Ridley offers such a rule of thumb even though he regularly attacks people, and I see the argument (about an attack meaning someone has lost) being put forth by others who are also engaged in the climate wars (on both sides of the divide) by people who, in turn, like Ridley, regularly, personally attack people they’re engaged with.

        So anyway, you say this:

        ==> “If one puts forth an evidence based argument and are subsequently attacked personally then attacker has lost that argument (or at least run out of evidence to counter). ”

        I think that neither of the conclusions you state are valid as a rule of thumb, but IMO, if you’re going to offer it as a general rule of thumb then you should apply it evenly, to Gavin, to Michael, to Ridley, to Judith, etc.

        ==> “But seemingly you wish to apply to a broad context and I’m referring to specific arguments.”

        Except you aren’t. You just stated it, and have done so before also, as a general principle – not with respect to specific context.

        ==> “That fact does not impact the next argument I put forth. If/because Matt Ridley or Judith Curry or Danny Thomas allow human emotions to get the better of them in no way invalidates their next argument…”

        I agree – but I would add that it doesn’t invalidate their current argument either. What invalidates their current argument is the merits of their current argument. What we learn about from someone who levies a personal attack is that they’re someone who levies personal attacks. Obviously, if they haven’t offered an argument and only attack, then they haven’t won the argument by definition – because they haven’t made an argument. You can’t win an argument if you haven’t made an argument. But the existence of an attack does not mean that they’ve lost the argument. And if it did we could judge many arguments from Judith, for example, as being losing arguments without even bothering to evaluate the content of her arguments beyond that they were accompanied by attacks.

        ==> “If you followed the thread with Michael,..”

        I didn’t follow it. I’m not interested in that.

        ==> “I chose not to enter the box in to which you wish to frame me.”

        ??? What box is that?

        ??? “Context is important. Methinks you paint with a brush too broad.”

        I don’t know what you’re referring to.

      • Joshua,

        I agree with this: “Truth told, I think it’s pretty bad argument to begin with.” But I think it’s indicative. If “evidence” was available I’d presume it would be used. This all of course presumes the argument which instigates the personal attack is rational.

        If in any way I’ve not done this “if you’re going to offer it as a general rule of thumb then you should apply it evenly, to Gavin, to Michael, to Ridley, to Judith, etc.” Have I not? Please point out past exclusions (and future transgressions, I’m sure I’ll fail again if I have before). I try, first, to appy it to myself as it’s an indicator that I’ve lost.

        As far as the “broad brush” I was left with the impression that because Mr. Ridley (or anyone) had made personal attacks in the past then any/all of his arguments were invalid. This was inferred, as it’s challenging to get specifics at times.

        “Consider what it would mean to apply that axiom even-handedly.”
        I could have answered…….okay, I’ve considered.
        I did answer, that I do and invite evidence otherwise.

        “Consider, for example, the implications to Ridley’s advocacy where he attacks others, or Judith’s. Or to Tom Fuller’s.” Okay, I’ve considered. Part of what led me to the “broad brush”.

        “Is your perspective that mostly everyone has lost “the” argument?” Here, I presumed you meant the “climate change” argument. Lacking the detail of offered specifics did I presume incorrectly? If not, my answer stands. If so, I’ll defer until specifics are provided as to what “the” argument is from your view.

        Regards, and thanks for the bridge.

    • thomaswfuller

      Mini Michael, Gavin won the first award for blogger of the year. I’m puzzled at your comment. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

      • Thomas Fuller,

        You may have missed my reply to your question you asked me here:
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/23/planetary-boundaries-tipping-points-and-prophets-of-doom/#comment-667970

        Happy to discuss it more and/or explain my reasoning more fully if I didn’t properly address your question.

      • Is there a statue or something for winners?

      • You’d need to be on a leash before anyone let you near it.

      • How ’bout a bronzed turd?

        Would seem appropriate.

      • Michael,

        Interesting. You and I had a difference of opinion of what one considers apporpriate regarding treatment at RC, and you bring this here :”How ’bout a bronzed turd?”

        Thank you for providing perspective. Now I understand.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Danny
        like you, this world is new to me
        shocking isn’t it?
        how creepy one side is
        coming in I expected the opposite
        even if they’re right, too heck with them
        just my feelings

      • John Smith,

        Matt Ridley in the above discussed it well I think. Once they attack the person they’ve lost the argument (Congratulations again Dr. Curry as I’d perceive Michael’s comment as another small victory or jealousy at the very least!). What’s often seen is folks profess to worry about the welfare of others yet when given the opportunity to express as Michael has done, provide evidence to the contrary. I’ve seen the same on all sides and all levels. No wonder there is a “Psychology of Climate Change Communication”, eh?

      • Tone was my first important clue.
        ===================

      • Danny,

        You were pearl-clutching over the response you received.

        See the difference?

      • Danny Thomas | January 25, 2015 at 10:06 am |
        “Once they attack the person they’ve lost the argument (Congratulations again Dr. Curry as I’d perceive Michael’s comment as another small victory or jealousy at the very least!)”

        Fascinating Danny.

        If I were to compare Judith to a terrorist, presumably that would be a major victory?

        Don’t tell Judith.

      • Michael,

        I’m not going to spend the day playing tennis with you about this. The point which you made quite well for me is bad behavior and poor tone do not make for positive conversations. You chastised me for my admittedly poor behavior at RC, then bring juvenile vitriol here. I think the term is along the lines of “casting the first stone”………………..

        Being proud and standing up and defending your comment shows no improvement and doubles down on bad behavior. On this, do we agree?

        May we move on and discuss topics of substance?

      • The soft terrorism of dissension suppression.
        ============

      • Danny –

        ==> “Once they attack the person they’ve lost the argument”

        Consider what it would mean to apply that axiom even-handedly.

        Consider, for example, the implications to Ridley’s advocacy where he attacks others, or Judith’s. Or to Tom Fuller’s.

        Is your perspective that mostly everyone has lost “the” argument?

      • Joshua,

        I don’t have the history (keep in mind I’m a newbie and it’s gonna be a while for me to “catch up”). But if personal attacks are made in a “scientific” discussion then I’d not condone it. So lacking context I’ll defer. I, for one, have stuck back (still not my best behavior) after feeling I’ve been personally maligned.

        This:”Consider what it would mean to apply that axiom even-handedly.” I try to do, but am not always successful, but hope the scales bend my way.

        Re: Is your perspective that mostly everyone has lost “the” argument?

        I’d state that there is no apparent “winner” so the argument continues.

      • Joshua,

        I’m not the brightest bulb. That link took me back to the same question in which you seemed to frame Mr. Ridley as an attacker and therefore his argument that he has attacked in the past makes the use of the axiom invalid. I don’t agree, but that’s my postulation as you don’t spell out your issue.

        If Mr. Ridley “attacked” in the past, in no way invalidates his new argument that “attacking” means the argument is lost. In fact, he might be admitting that he lost an argument. I don’t know.

        Now, if you want to take this any further I’m happy to respond to specifics. You like big and complex, but I prefer narrow. You like inference, I prefer questions.

      • Danny,

        I was explaining, not chastising.

        You can behave anyway you want, but if you are annoying, people will get annnoyed, so it seems rather stange to complain about that.

      • Michael,

        Okay, so I was annoying. I’ve admitted poor behavior. I felt attacked, maligned, and discarded and reacted inappropriately. See how I can admit that?

        So then, how should one describe this “How ’bout a bronzed turd?” I see it as worse than annoying, and as directed to Dr. Curry and the entire Climate, etc. blog it’s fully insulting. So how much better are you? (Did you polish Dr. Schmidt’s “trophy” presuming you apply this comment equally to him and RC?). Feel better now that you’ve won?

      • Danny,

        It’s really quite simple. Tom could respond to my comment any way he likes – but you won’t find me having fainting spells and clutching my pearls because I feel he was ‘almost rude’ to me or something.

      • Michael,

        It’s even simpler than that. I was naievely “annoying” 4 months ago as a newbie on a different blog. Mine was unintentional by thinking I could wander in and seek help there. You, however, were purposefully rude and insulting yesterday here, and as a veteran of these blogs. And you wish to position yourself as somehow being the “better”. Tom may have taken the higher road than I, but you brought this to me. And I chose to address it head on and call you on it. Tom, being much brighter than I apparently chose to ignore. You found me annoying then, I find you annoying, rude, and insulting here and now. You deflect by deferring to Tom as somehow making your comment (degrading this blog in it’s entirety) acceptable? Don’t think so. I’m still the same annoying person here, and no one has (yet) been rude or asked me to leave. Indeed, most who have chosen to not out right ignore me have helped me thru much effort on their part. Shows a much higher class of denizen (of course excluding myself). The proof is in the behavior.

      • Danny,

        You can be as annoying as you want, just don’t whine about it when people return serve.

      • Michael,

        The irony is I’m a warmer. Treated and taught better on a “skeptical” site by skeptics with nothing to gain by aiding me. And you, come from the very site I began with and prove my point about bad behavior on the part of the AGW side. I’m not complaining (pointing out “bruskly”, yes), but you ARE validating my point. And you’re so arrogant that you cannot even see it. Consider taking the concept back to RC and get someone to explain it to ya. You’re the sales guys. Read up on “the jawbone of an a$$”. You might learn something that apparently I’m not able to get you to understand. As was done to me, “Begone until you accept and conform”.

      • Michael:

        Yes – you are tough.

        To bad your namesake (this Michael Mann you inject into many comments) wasn’t as tough.

        His response to criticism and differing opinion is a defamation suit.

      • +1 more. Thank you.

    • Onan the Contrarian speaks

      • Old… I liked Conan the Librarian better… ‘What can I say, my dear, to catch… your ear…”

      • Tom, I was surprised to see you declare my little pun in response to your inane critic “old” – if I had thought so, I would never have used it. Perhaps I should have Googled it first – lesson learned. Not that it was entirely my own work – many years ago I read a review of Philip Larkin’s correspondence with Kingsley Amis, straplined “Onan the Librarian”.

        However unoriginal it may be, Onan the Contrarian seems to me to be an apposite tag for the handful of denizens who hang around here biting Judith’s ankles and carping at anything they perceive as a win for traditional science.

        But “Conan the Librarian”? Doesn’t work for me here.

      • “Ankle-biters” tends to refer to small children; but not always. Years ago my (now) wife and I went to a party in Brighton. My wife is fairly, though not uncommonly, short. As we entered, a smart-*ss remarked ” I see they’re letting midgets in now,” to which she replied, “Careful, or I’ll jump up and bite you on the ankle!” The threat was sufficient to bring the twerp to heel, so to speak. (The heel to heel, even.)

      • Well… picture it with a Schwarzzeneggerian accent… Vat kin ah say, muh dir,…

      • Faustino – my compliments to your wife, whose presence of mind I applaud. I share with her the experience of being of unusual stature, although at 6’7″ I occupy the other end of the bell curve. Your post brought to mind the fact that I feel it incumbent upon me to suffer the jibes that my height attracts in silence. It seems that being tall is seen as a boon (it’s not), whereas short people are (usually, and pace your wife’s encounter, which I trust was in Brighton, Sussex, and not Brighton le Sans, NSW?) accorded the sympathy due to the mildly disabled. The casual disparagement of the tall does have its compensations, though. Many years ago, I was hailed in a Paddington (Sydney) pub by an old denizen with the cry “Jeez, if you’re not long, I’ll wait!” – a quintessentially Australian piece of wordplay which I still treasure.

  33. It would be interesting to hear some Europeans comment on this. The article has a nice interactive map purportedly showing the “political state” of each country.

    From the article:

    Europe is being swept by a wave of popular disenchantment and revolt against mainstream political parties and the European Union.
    In 2007, a majority of Europeans – 52 per cent – trusted the EU. That trust has now fallen to 35 per cent.
    Once, Britain’s Euroscpeticism was the exception, and seen as the biggest threat to the future of the EU.
    But now other countries pose a far bigger danger thanks to the political discontents unleashed by the euro,
    In Greece, a far-Left Socialist party, Syriza, is poised to win elections with a political programme that would overturn eurozone policies. Many believe the Greek revolt against the loss of their economic sovereignty by eurozone diktat from Brussels or Frankfurt is only the beginning.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11366613/How-the-European-dream-is-dying-state-by-state.html

    • jim2

      it is the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death. I remember my father taking me to a station where the funeral train would pass through slowly. There were thousands of people there to pay their respects.

      In the immediate aftermath of the War Churchill could clearly see that the tensions that had torn apart the continent twice in the twentieth century needed to be addressed. At the heart of that was the relationship between France and Germany. (Paris had been occupied by the Germans four times in living memory)

      He spoke of this relationship and the need to create a United States of Europe to ensure that mutual cooperation and friendship could flourish in place of enmity and suspicion and rivalry.

      Here is the speech he made in Zurich in 1946 that some say laid the foundations of the ‘United States of Europe’

      http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html

      It can be seen he specifically excluded Britain from the notion of being a part. The EU (as it has evolved from the ‘European Steel and coal community’ was intended as a giant trading bloc of similar (developed) European nations.

      It has become highly political, a de facto state with its own currency and army and currency and a ‘one size fits all’ mentality administered by a European Parliament and a bureaucracy that is remote from its citizens. .

      So the original ideal of it being a trading club for developed nations that would enrich, improve and cement the ties of those within it, and who traded with it, was very sensible

      Unfortunately it has gone far beyond that with the joining of numerous under developed nations -Greece being a good example. There was then a second slew of less developed nations when former Eastern European nations joined.

      With low interest rates and the syphoning of lots of EU funding to such countries, a false air of prosperity and contentment was created which has deflated with the imposition of ‘one size fits all’ rules, a single interest rate and a common currency. This suits some countries (Germany) much more than others who struggle to live within the confines.

      To see the necessity of ‘something’ to weld together these disparate countries, just look at a pre 1939 map of Europe compared to now. Many borders are substantially different. That ‘something’ -the European Union-is in my view much too rigid and needs to revert to a trading bloc, albeit there will be many areas where common interests will mean working closely together.

      As far as Britain goes, we have been denied a vote on what we have found ourselves in- a political union rather than trading bloc. As a result, many of us would vote to leave the EU-but would vote to remain in a trading bloc if that were the option.

      Many countries have found that the EU has constructed its own problems-most notably the Euro and a single interest rate-and would vote to change direction. However, bearing in mind the horrors of two world wars, shifting borders and other reasons, I suspect that few nations on the continent itself, would actually choose to leave ‘something’ but they don’t know what that ‘something’ should be.

      tonyb

      • I can understand why the concept of a united Europe seems compelling. But we see the result. The problem is, as you point out, the disparity in culture, productivity, and national income.

        Given the reality we see today, I don’t see why any sort of union is desirable. Free trade agreements would suffice, it seems.

        I wasn’t aware of the changing borders. Why did that happen?

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tony
        “It has become highly political, a de facto state with its own currency and army and currency and a ‘one size fits all’ mentality administered by a European Parliament and a bureaucracy that is remote from its citizens”

        so true, scares me a bit (make that a lot)
        what constitutes the EU army?
        NATO I guess?
        who is at the top of that command structure?
        It’s sad that 18 year old Iowa farm boys and poor kids from Manchester are wearing cammo with American flags and Union Jacks on their shoulders…unclear to me who they are working for

      • Meanwhile, the folly in the US continues. Even after massive Keynesian government interference in the economy, the economy is still sucking wind. I suspect the only result of QE here is to put our children under a massive debt burden.

        From the article:

        Nothing Is Going to Save the Housing Market
        1605 JAN 23, 2015 8:00 AM EST
        By A. Gary Shilling
        U.S. housing activity remains weak despite six years of federal government aid, strong interest from overseas buyers, rock-bottom interest rates and massive purchases of mortgage bonds by the Federal Reserve. Does this mean housing may never spring back to its pre-recession levels? Many signs point to yes.

        Don’t blame the Chinese, who are showing an abundance of interest. Their share of foreign purchases leaped to 16 percent in the year ending March 2014, from 5 percent in 2007. They paid a median price of $523,148, higher than any other nationality and more than double the $199,575 median price of all houses sold.

        The value of home sales to all foreigners rose 35 percent last year to $92 billion, up more than 50 percent since 2007 and accounting for 7 percent of all existing home sales. Foreigners view U.S. homes as safe investments and U.S. schools as good places to teach their children English.

        http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-01-23/housing-weak-even-with-government-programs-and-big-bank-interest?cmpid=yhoo

      • nottawa rafter

        Tony
        Adding this experiment to the US quantitative easing and near zero interest rates we are witnessing some very unusual forces and distortions in the markets. I have no idea where it all ends but I’m not convinced anyone else
        does either. Negative rates on bonds in Germany, Switzerland and Denmark are something I don’t ever recall happening.
        I thought I had seen it all with the sky high rates in the early 80s but this seems a little scarier.

      • Yellen’s comments in the article highlight the fact that gubmint is the problem. Now that banks have been mightily punished for bad loans, they are being very careful to loan only to credit worthy customers. Yellen exxpresses concern about tight credit choking the housing market. In fact, the previous housing bubble was in large part caused by gubmint actions to stimulate the housing market. I predict the gubmint will relax rules and once again encourage banks to make riskier loans. They should resist this with all their might. As we have seen, even if the gubmint underlies the cause of the problem, they will take out their mistakes on the banks.

        From the article:

        By necessity, banks remain selective about the mortgages they’ll underwrite, having paid huge penalties for originating and selling bad mortgages pre-crisis. Banks are also being careful to avoid the high cost of mortgage defaults now that they must repurchase loans with underwriting defects. The result can be seen in foreclosure data: In the third quarter, banks began foreclosure proceedings on only 0.4 percent of mortgages, far below the 1.4 percent level in the peak of the financial crisis.

        Fed Chair Janet Yellen worries about the negative effects of tight credit standards on housing. While she admits that lenders should have raised their standards earlier, “any borrower without a pretty positive credit rating finds it awfully hard to get a mortgage,” she said in July. Even Ben Bernanke, her predecessor, was turned down when he tried to refinance his mortgage.

      • jim2

        There have been substantial changes to European borders as a result of two wars and the fragmentation of the Austro Hungarian empire,.

        For example the Italian Sud tirol -German speaking -is now part of Italy but was part of Austria. Similarly Trieste on the Italian Adriatic was a main port for the Austro Hungarian empire but was handed to Italy. Borders between Poland and Russia changed as a result of deals (and are a potential future flash point) , Borders between France and Germany changed as a result of post war agreements.

        here are a number of maps

        https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=pre+1945+europe+map&rlz=1T4DSGL_enGB415GB416&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3QTFVIX7MMPR7Qbu0oA4&ved=0CCIQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=589

        To see the true changes, subtle and major, you would need to examine borders pre 1914 (which effectively ended the Austro Hungarian empire) pre 1939, post 1945 until the fall of communism and today whereby it can be seen for example that the Czech republic and Slovakia, once a united nation, are now two separate countries. Only last year it looked as if the UK might break up if Scotland left.

        So Borders are very fluid and you can understand continental European nations desiring stability which they saw embodied in the EU. The Euro was a step too far as it can not work without political and economic union which is a step too far for many proud European nations who still cherish their sovereign status and have seen it eroded over 20 years.

        War time antagonism between Greece and German will be played out if the left win todays Greek elections as they will try to blackmail Germany into a much better deal to ease their debts and war time resentments will be stoked.

        Britain sees itself as semi detached and most of us would like to see a free trade association replace the current political animal which none of us ever voted for,

        Churchill’s speech that I linked to, really sets out the background for the need for ‘something.’ in Europe. That ‘something’ is not the EU for many-but not all-of us.

        tonyb

      • John Smith

        The European army is small but evolving, it is not Nato, but is closely related to that organisation. Britain and France will be major contributors but as defence spending is being reduced it will likely be at the expense of Nato. In my view Nato needs to be stronger, not weaker, and also needs to flex its muscles more, as in Ukraine and the Baltic States and Southern Turkey/Iraq.

        The EU also has its own embassies and a foreign policy. The result is that it becomes very difficult for all member states to agree policies. We often see the world differently to how the French or Italians might see it. The Germans who are now pacifists, view it differently still.

        tonyb

      • Nottawa

        QE has always seemed bizarre to me, as buying up poor debt at the expense of prudent savers seems unfair and counter productive.

        There are a lot of unusual forces at play which cause concern and to my mind CAGW doesn’t even make the top 100.

        Is President Obama copying Nero and fiddling whilst Rome Burns?

        tonyb

      • QE and “saving” companies has been a farce in the US. Take the GM bailout as an example. This easily could have been handled in a structured bankruptcy. So, the gubmints prime motive was NOT to save GM, it was to save the GM UNION. The gubmint played politics and breached the Rule of Law. They screwed the bond holders who had a legal right to first claim of payment. Instead, the government saved union pensions. All of the failed companies here could have been handled via a structured bankruptcy. This should have minimized political shenanigans, but given the proclivity of some judges here to ignore the law and their own oath, it wouldn’t have been in the bag even then.

        The gubmint needs a good shrinking here.

      • The Greeks are smart. Their problem is socialism and they are voting for more of it. We will see how many more Euros the northerners will be willing to dump down that rathole to preserve the rickety monetary union.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tony
        I had no idea the EU is forming it’s own military
        I’m supposed to be concerned about deflated footballs over here
        the command structure of that force will be what?
        curiouser and curiouser
        Feudalism
        Nation States
        I don’t trust the next animal
        Market Federations?

      • John smith

        It should be stressed that the European force is in its early and evolving stages and consists of political aspirations for a combined military force by certain key states such as France Spain Italy and Germany that have been backed up by semi formal alliances between various national forces

        https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/12302.19.0.0/world/military/germany-wants-european-army

        The European bureaucracy want this as part of its political integration and what they want tends to be what they get.

        This is different to the training ‘exercises’ whereby countries cooperate with each other for a specific limited purpose. We shall see what happens.

        It looks like the far left have won the Greek elections. The Greeks will try to blackmail the Germans citing the war no doubt. Britain has said it wants no part in bailing out the foibles of the Euro zone, we wisely kept out of this stupidity.

        Expect tough words from the Greeks and recalcitrance by the northern Europeans who resent the corruption, non payment of taxes, over spending and early retirement etc that caused the Greek problems in the first place.

        Tonyb

      • You don’t have to worry about a Euro military actually doing anything military, John. It’s a jobs program.

      • The late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously used to say “all politics is local”. The EU is a massive technocracy that undervalues the things that most people think are important: communities, neighborhoods, local schools, local environment, and an ability to actively participate in their governance. Local culture and traditions are very important to most people and, as long as they don’t result in racism or xenophobia, they are cohesive forces that improve people’s lives. From my viewpoint in the USA, the EU seems to devalue those things. I reserve the right to be wrong and change my mind at any time. :)

        By the way, no need to worry about the EU army. When there was a real European crisis – the genocide in the Balkans – the US military had to step in and solve the problem. Yeah, I know, there was EU involvement, but any of the other contributors could have dropped out with minimal impact, except the USA. The left doesn’t get that our taxes and military expenses are high because we are the defacto global leviathan, whether we like it or not, and we mostly don’t.

  34. Absolutely loved Matt Ridley’s blog on lukewarmers. His experience so parallels my own it is uncanny even to having his doubts first stirred by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick book. In my case I attend a seminar Ross gave and then went out and bought the book. I am a lukewarmer too.

  35. yes, I agree, the science of climate change cannot be sold to the public as just a massive pollution problem, because it isn’t. Well, it probably is in Bejing where people are walking the streets wearing face masks, but that is not the general situation in our cities,like in Sydney, London, or New York.

    The fallacy that the problem, could be solved as a pollution problem was well illustrated by the recent attempt by the then Austealian Labor government to do so, it was the government that went, not the so called pollution.

    The fact is the pollution (co2) is not a problem: in Bejing soot is a problem and that is why people are wearing masks that don’t block carbon dioxide anyway.

    • China has plenty of cash. Outsource our DOE & EPA to them for a change in smog. How about 40 years, win win?

  36. I just want to make a note regarding Poptech’s exposure of blogger Anders’s identity. I don’t understand the fascination with figuring out people’s identities, but I find it deplorable Poptech wrote:

    For all those banned and trolled by Ken please feel free to contact him, as I am sure he would love to hear from you.

    While including Anders’s phone number and e-mail address. I think that is inexcusable. People contacting Anders based upon this encouragement are disgusting and should be condemned. There is no justification for mindless harassment, no matter who the victim is.

    I’ve said the same thing in a few other places. I’m just repeating my sentiments here because I think it’s important to publicly criticize bad behavior like this.

    • +1 Brandon

      • An ironic award, Steven, given that you took the time to research my last name and then post out in a thread.

    • Agreed Brandon, I like to think ‘we’ are better than that.

    • Judith didn’t like my previous comment. I will soften it a little. Condemn them for what? Why should we worry if some blog characters send some nasty emails to a nasty blog proprietor, who was recently outed by another nasty blog proprietor? It’s a game. We don’t even know that anybody cares enough about this Anders joker to bother sending him an email. Don’t we have more important things to condemn?

  37. A no doubt idle enquiry from “The sewer”.

    When will you get around to properly fixing this little problem?

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2013/10/the-david-and-judy-show/

    • Heh, Jim. Consider volume, and a whole nutha year.
      =========

      • You rather miss my point Kim.

        I hauled the Mail and the Telegraph in front of the Press Complaints Commission over here in the UK, and they both issued (admittedly rather half-hearted!) retractions of the “million more square miles” nonsense in the summer of 2013.

        However despite my polite heads up at the time it is still present here on “Climate Etc.”. Unfortunately the PCC’s jurisdiction didn’t extend as far as whatever part of the planet Judith inhabits.

      • And you miss mine. Go reread Garethman and Nop in the comments on your link. Take them to heart.
        =================

      • Kim – I had another spare half hour and put together a set of monthly PIOMAS regional volume graphs (for a whole nutha year!) for your edification:

        http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/gridded-piomas-graphs/piomas-regional-volume/

        Perhaps I’ll find another 1/2 hour in the not too distant future to fill in the gaps?

    • And why on Gaia’s Green Earth could you think the Stadium Wave has already been falsified. My impression was that it would take a decade or so.

      Have you read Wyatt & Curry? Disclaimer: I haven’t.
      ===================

    • You can see that the Arctic sea is has been on an up trend since 2012. You can also see that total sea ice is doing just fine.

    • What problem, exactly? I read your post. I stand by what I have written at Climate Etc. on the subject of Arctic sea ice. David Rose’s headline had an error because he used erroneous information that was posted on the NSIDC web site. The NSIDC website fixed the error, David Rose acknowledged the error in print, and I noted all this on my blog post.

      • He’s living in the past.
        ========

      • Judith – One of your links still says “Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year with top scientists warning of global cooling”. Click it and you will no doubt note that the Mail now says “And now it’s global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year” instead.

        You still say “A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year”. The Mail (and The Telegraph) don’t any more.

      • Consider sea ice volume, Jim, and wonder at the nit you pick.
        ============

      • Believe it or not Kim, I have done just that:

        http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-graphs/#Volume

        Since it’s evidently of great interest to you I’ll endeavour to bring all the information bang up to date, as soon as I have a spare 1/2 hour!

      • Nice recovery, er, ice recovery. Thanks.
        ===============

      • My pleasure Kim. I found a spare 1/2 hour, so the latest volume charts are now anxiously awaiting your inspection.

      • Nicer recovery, er icer recovery, shorter icerecovery, pronounced ‘I see recovery’.
        ==============

      • I also think volume at minimum is an earlier sign of a turning point than extent at minimum. Area will lag volume as a sign. But I have to think about that again; that was from years ago when I was much sharper and paying more attention.
        =============

      • I am grateful to you, Jim; I’d not have found that chart without your direction. The last two years show pretty much the sharpest rise in volume since records began.
        ===============

      • My uncertainty about what would lead, volume or area, is enhanced by their variable effect on albedo. I don’t think I can think it through.
        ======

      • Yes, the recovery is ameliorated at lower latitudes. That would make sense. Much gracious, Jim; you’ve helped me and I did not expect that.
        ================

      • Now I wonder if the increasing volume is where the wave expects it. Naw, that would be expecting too much precision.
        ===============

      • You’re a fervent believer in the PIOMAS model then Kim?

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim
        Nice comprehensive link. Thanks.

      • I’m just interpreting what you showed me, Jim. Try not to interpret my beliefs.
        ===============

      • @nottawa – My pleasure.

        @kim – I’m trying. That’s why I asked, Instead of jumping to hasty conclusions.

    • So the conclusion from the NSIDC that the 2013 ice extent was 1.38 million square kilometres greater than 2012 means – as in the headline – that there is a real hole in the Arctic?

      The smargy and tendentious quibbling here is really quite bizarre.

      Sea ice is likely to recover over decades and NH temperatures decline.

      It is all related to decadal changes in the Earth system.

      Just like in the stadium wave – yet this person imagines it is a badge of honour not to have read it or any of the related papers in this leading edge of climate science. Utterly pathetic.

    • I quoted 1.38 millon square km from NSIDC – 15% coverage from memory. Judy quotes nearly a million square miles extra ice cover. Why do’t you ask instead of being a way too credulous enforcer of absurd memes?

      • Here’s one question for you Rob. Have you read your own comment? The one that says “The minimum ice extent in 2013 was a million square more than 2012. 2014 is about the same.”

        As I initially pointed out Judy does indeed quote “nearly a million square miles extra”.

        Here’s another question for you. Who is it that is in fact the “way too credulous enforcer of absurd memes” here?

      • I’ve given even wondering why insane quibbling is substituted for rationality. Obviously we have one figure from NSIDC – 1.38 million square km using one definition and a million square miles using another. The quibble seems to be that Judy’s quoted figure doesn’t match the NSIDC.

        The bigger issue of recovery over decades of Arctic ice – as per the stadium wave. That seems fairly obviously the way it is going – but not something that AGW religious goons can contemplate. Just the trivial quibbles it seems.

      • Really – the funniest bit was critiquing the stadium wave while boasting of not having read it. Of course he hasn’t. Way beyond the capacities of these people.

      • Rob – Are you familiar with metric/imperial conversions? Is Judith? Why not find an online calculator of such things and try converting 1.38 million square kilometres from metric to imperial. What answer does it give?

        FYI – Here’s my very own summary of the long term trends in Arctic sea ice extent:

      • What sort of a stupid question is that? The basis of the two might be different as I suggested. One based on 15% ice cover showing a half million square mile increase from memory. Something very likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

        I’m don’t know where Judith number but I’d warrant it is far more reliable than anything you come up with.

  38. “And now into the sewer:

    Sou: Freed of any values, Judith Curry slithers and slides and hurtles into deniersville [link]”

    What, did she equate you to a terrorist?

    • I was very amused by the juxtaposition of ‘slither’ and ‘hurtle’. What a picture. Thanks, sou.
      ===============

      • Me too, Kim, Extremely odd combination. Altogether one of the most noxious blog posts it’s been my displeasure to read. I felt the need to take a shower after.

      • Imagine your shock and outrage at seeing Judith equate a fellow scientist to the Charlie Hebdo terrorists – did you need full body decontamination??

  39. Rod Montgomery

    Also noteworthy: Russ Roberts’ Econtalk episode of 19 Jan 2015

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/01/nassim_nicholas.html

    “Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms”.

    The episode is mostly about GMOs, but Taleb mentions, during the conversation, that he thinks the same argument applies to climate change.

    • The really cool thing is that once we’ve figured out the man’s minor contribution to warming, and great contribution to greening, can only result in net benefit, then all this hullaballoo about harm and risk and catastrophe will be seen in a new light. There is a black swan coming to the discussion.

      Either sensitivity to CO2 is low, or we’ve already averted the catastrophe of cooling.
      ===========

    • Thanks for the heads up Rod. Most interesting!

      “Skepticism about climate models should lead to more precautionary policies.”

      From: http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/pp2.pdf

      • Jim Hunt: Taleb knows little about biology if he claims GMOs pose a global risk–pure idiocy even though I loved his book. GMOs are just a faster way of breeding plants and without advanced rice (just to take one case) China would still be a basket case–it was crop failures and the great leap forward that killed millions there. The precautionary principle applied strictly would cause you never to drive a car, never develop a new technology, never marry, never have kids, because in each case the chance of a catastrophic outcome is in fact not zero. Yet we decide these things are worth it.
        Just as a side note, the introduction of trains was complained about as unnatural and that you would die if you went faster than a horse could run.

      • Rod Montgomery

        Craig Loehle: I do not think Taleb says what you say he says.

        In the Econtalk conversation, he distinguishes clearly between potential catastrophes that are purely local — such as a nuclear powerplant disaster — and those that are global.

        He also distinguishes his caution from unthinking aversion to doing anything that might, by any argument, however implausible, be deemed risky — what he calls paranoia.

        The problem I have with his positions, about both genetically-modified organisms and climate change, is with exactly where to draw the boundry of paranoia. I think he’s gone over that boundary; he, obviously, does not think so.

        That said, I do think Taleb has a point, not really about GMOs, but about anything that results in monoculture-based agriculture. I cannot tell whether Taleb believes that some GMO will run wild and reduce all organic matter in the world to Grey Goo; if he does, then I think he’s paranoid in that respect.

        I do see very clearly, though, that he thinks big companies could develop monoculture crops so much more productive than competing crop strains that pretty much all farmers would be forced as a matter of economic survival to adopt them, and that the resulting monocultures would then be subject to catastrophic failure, for example due to susceptibility to some pest or pathogen. That line of thinking deserves careful consideration.

      • So, you seem to believe one company will research one monoculture plant, the stop doing research? I think 1) more than one company will be developing GMO plants and 2) these companies will continue to develop new plants.

        So, it’s not really a monoculture after all, if you back up a bit and look at the big picture.

      • Craig – As you may possibly have gathered by now, I am more interested in the application of Taleb’s ideas to something that does pose a global risk (IMHO at least). Namely “climate change” or whatever the currently preferred euphemism is.

      • I’m leaning towards “climate bloviation.”

  40. Bengt Abelsson

    Note to self / 2014 04 28
    Never visit Sou again.

    Now I remember why.

  41. How true Kevin D. Williamson (linked article) who is so right to question the new world order of Climatism:

    There exists in every human being, in every human organization, and every human system a sort of epistemic horizon, a real and meaningful boundary on the amount of knowledge and cognitive firepower that that person or agency can bring to any given problem. This is a fact that is at some level known and understood across the political spectrum: It is the cornerstone of the progressives’ case for diversity, in that people with different knowledge inventories, different experiences, and different perspectives are more likely to discover effective solutions to complex problems than are groups that are more intellectually homogeneous. For conservatives of a Hayekian bent, this is the familiar “knowledge problem,” the understanding that markets will allocate resources more productively than political agencies will because markets are the only effective means of aggregating usable information about specific economic.

  42. Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the death of Britain’s great wartime leader Winston Churchill.

    Here are a selection of some of his most memorable quotes.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.638764

    Tuesday is the 70th anniversary of troops entering Auschwitz.

    Mark Twain said “the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

    History seems to be the poor relation of many other disciplines these days. We often need to put things into their historic perspective and context which is something we signally fail to do with our modern alarm of our ever changing climate and extreme weather events.

    There are many serious things humanity currently needs to deal with, as history repeatedly shows us, and CAGW isn’t one of them.

    tonyb

    • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1545653/Wendy-Reves.html

      At the Dallas Museum of Art Wendy and Emery Reves had a recreation of their French home built to display their art collection, and there is a lot of Churchill stuff there.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      That wasn’t Twain, it was Orwell! Twain said just the opposite:

      “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”
        Samuel Clemens (writing as Mark Twain)

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

      • Fan

        You are right of course. I selected two quotes, one by Orwell and one by twain but discarded the latter as I thought orwells was more appropriate.

        I also had twain on my mind as I have just arrived back from bad ischl in Austria where his name is on a board as a visitor there. Until then I hadn’t been aware of his real name.

        Tonyb

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Tonyb
      well said
      I, for one, am listening
      thanks for reminding us of WC
      my favorite photo is of him painting at an easel
      with a big fat cigar and a libation, at 90
      God love him
      (I know it’s embarrassing to mention, but he was half American, wasn’t he?)
      :)
      I very much appreciate and learn from your comments

      • John

        Yes, you are right.

        It’s even more embarrassing to point out that your presidents father was born in Kenya which at that time was still a British colony.

        It’s curious that though his mother was a white American Obama is still referred to as Americas first black president. Surely he is as much white as he is black?

        Tonyb

      • It’s even more of an embarrassment to point out that by the intentions of the Founders, who were horrified at the thought of divided allegiance, the term ‘Natural Born’, only used to describe the required qualification of the President, precludes someone with a parent who is a non US citizen.

        Despite what many think, the question is not settled Constitutionally.
        ==================

      • Kim

        Obama has been in office for six years now. If it was genuinely unconstitutional Surely he would have been actually challenged in the courts by now, or is it more theoretical than a reality?

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Jefferson’s momma was born in London. Obama is US citizen, Ted Cruz is too (born in Canada). Those are just the entertainment side of politics here. Seems “naturally born” can have wide margins. I think even Geo. Washington wasn’t born in “the United States” but a colony, if my history is correct.

      • He has spent a small fortune keeping it out of the courts. But the question is getting to be no longer germane. We endure, and hope for change.
        ===============

      • Yes, Danny, ‘natural born’ is not defined, nor settled Constitutionally. Many of the Founders had read a Swiss scholar whose definition was one with two citizen parents.

        And, of course, there were exceptions for those born before the United States was founded.

        The question is of allegiance, and that one is still germane.
        ====================

      • Kim,

        “The question is of allegiance, and that one is still germane.” Same, as it ever was? I believe our very first may have had the term “traitor” used in description? And likely not the last, in the wars of politics.

      • Yes, discerning allegiance is tough; not something that can be legislated.

        Heh, the Founders did their best, but clearly it was not enough.
        ==============

      • @ Tonyb

        “It’s curious that though his mother was a white American Obama is still referred to as Americas first black president. Surely he is as much white as he is black?”

        Sorta like the ‘Tiger Woods principle’: Has anyone, anywhere, ever read a news story in which Tiger was headlined as the best Thai golfer in history, or even as a Thai of any description? Nevertheless, he is just as much Thai as Black and since there have been several top Black golfers and NO Thai golfers of note, you would think that the Thai half would have been noteworthy. If you were totally unfamiliar with the term and concept of being ‘politically correct’. There are numerous similar examples, but Tiger and Obama are simply the most prominent.

      • Bob

        I had no idea at all of the Thai connection and tiger woods.

        I dare say the same could be said about obamas mixed parentage if he hadn’t been so famous. A white Obama and a Thai tiger woods really changes the landscape of our perceptions doesn’t it?

        Tonyb

  43. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In regard to doxxing and related practices … HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
       FOR YOUNG CITIZEN-SCIENTISTS

    STEP 1  Review the evidence associated to Climate Change Philosopher A Target Of Abusive Hate Campaign

    STEP 2  Review the individuals and organizations associated to Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza (Heartland ICCC9).

    ASSIGNMENT  Write an essay, arguing either the affirmative or the negative, in regard regard to the following proposition:

    Proposition  Denial of serious anthropogenic climate-change is correlated to the anti-scientific practices of personal abuse, doxxing, demagogic rhetoric, and accepting secret funding.

    Postulate  A majority of thoughtful young people, upon review of the evidence and consideration of arguments on both sides of the debate, will elect not to be associated to events like ICCC9 and the denialist community that supports it..

    The reasons for young people to reject the ICCC9 community and its conclusions — namely the practices of abuse, doxxing, willful ignorance, and secrecy — are abundantly evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      FOMD
      I find your posting style to be quite “demagogic”
      definition: “thoughtful” – those who agree with your side of an argument

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John Smith (it’s my real name) opines “FOMD, I find your posting style to be quite ‘demagogic'”

        You will appreciate, John Smith, that neither you, nor I, nor any other science-respecting commenters here on Climate Etc are:

        • Personally abusing each other!

        • Doxxing each other’s phone numbers and addresses!

        • Denouncing one another to our employers!

        Accepting corporate subsidies to deny and/or obfuscate scientific findings!

        • Omitting to respectfully cite scientific justification for our views!

        • Advocating practices that comprise science-denial!

        Thank you for not doing these things, John Smith!

        Thank you, Judith Curry, for not tolerating these practices!

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

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        FOMD• Accepting corporate subsidies to deny and/or obfuscate scientific findings!
        this link is goes to an article about tobacco not climate
        an appeal to emotion not related to the subject at hand
        to my mind an example demagogic arguing
        (with a little d)

        as I am new to this, I was surprised to find little to no suppression of pro warming climate science by corporate interest
        in my observation it is the skeptic POV that is most often subjected to openly stated censorship

        besides, one’s vested interest has no bearing on the validity of ones argument, even if that interest is hidden
        accurate info can usually defend itself, in my experience

        I do not doubt that your views are sincerely held
        and that your knowledge base is substantial

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        John Smith (it’s my real name) notices “an article about tobacco not climate [moreover] I am new to this”

        Many folks have remarked upon the numerous institutions and individuals who embrace *BOTH* tobacco-cancer denialism and climate-CO2 denialism.

        How does this correlation arise?

        The world wonders, eh John Smith?

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

      • Mr Smith,

        It requires only a short acquaintance with fan to recognize that links he posts rarely have any bearing on whatever point he wants to make.

  44. Regarding Willis on WUWT (where I refuse to comment). He rightly said Roe did a better job of defending Milankovitch by using the derivative with time of the ice volume versus June 65N insolation, and we can see it in Roe’s paper.

    But, then Willis proceeds to take the derivative of the temperature instead and produces a mess. Did I miss something? Why didn’t Willis reproduce Roe’s plot? I have always seen Roe’s as a convincing argument for Milankovitch because of the graph above.

    • Is that a rhetorical question to those here who don’t know what you are talking about? Swallow your pride and go over there and ask him yourself. He won’t bite. Well, on the other hand.

      • I see some regulars from here on that thread. Maybe they can ask.

      • I wonder if they have noticed on WUWT that you refuse to comment there, jimmy dee. When you decided to take such drastic and punishing action, did you think they would miss you? I guess it’s not a big deal for nearly all of them and your fans can always come here and watch you clown around, incessantly.

      • They haven’t noticed the error yet, and it is entertaining to see how long it takes.

      • Thanks, ordvic, who has asked. It’s on the icebox heating up thread.
        ====================

      • What’s really entertaining is that you desperately want to confront Willis, but you don’t have the guts.

      • Jimd

        Willis often wanders along here about this time so you can ask him yourself.

        I’m booking a seat in the front row. Don, care to join me? I’ll get the popcorn in.

        Tonyb

      • Yes, that is also why I posted here. Anyway ordvic linked my post over there so their denizens and maybe Willis will be along any minute now.

      • Wear your galoshes and slicker, tony. It will get messy. Jimmy will be unarmed, as usual.

      • OK, he passed. Fine by me.

      • And, regarding Willis’s comment. Yes, I am sincere that I don’t post there.

      • Jimd

        Here you go, a direct invitation from Willis to ask him your question and point out his mistake

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/24/the-icebox-heats-up/#comment-1843749

        Do you want me to hold your coat?

        Tonyb

      • Yes, I noticed and, if he has read my comment, he should be busy redoing his graphs by now to recreate what Roe did properly.

      • Jim D,

        You’ll do fine! Go for it. Willis professes to be all about the science and if you have good argument believe he’d be reasonable. Even I, and as you know I’m somewhat less than even a citizen scientist, will post over there. The bluster is just bluster. Frankly, if you provide a reasoned discussion with good evidence, Willis would likely (66%-90% confidence) respect that.

      • I don’t think ordvic would be satisfied with his answer either.

      • You have managed to make Willis look reasonable and mature, jimmy. Whether you are right on wrong on the chart thingy, you are a big loser. Where is webby when we need someone to call:

        OOOOOOOOOOWN GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

      • Don, I have provided my argument. There is nothing more to say from my side. We can await a proper response.

      • Willis could have answered. Then the ball would be in Jim D’s court to answer over there.
        =================

      • Nothing like barriers as opposed to bridges when it comes to the CC discussion. Jim D obviously has reason to not feel comfortable which may or may not relate to the science. Much as others have had elsewhere.

      • You got a proper response. If you find WUWT so distasteful, why do you read it? You expect Willis to respect your pleading for attention through a messenger, that starts out with an insult? How old are you? Pathetic, jimmy dee. I never thought much of you, but this is a new low.

      • His answer was a non-answer or dodge. ordvic shouldn’t just let that go.

      • Both petulant, bah.
        =============

      • Are you kidding, jimmy? Ordvic shouldn’t let it go. You are pathetically disingenuous. You refuse to comment there, but you want Ordvic to carry your water for you. Why aren’t you angry that Ordvic posted your comment in that terrible forum? If you had any sense and any self-respect, you would be quiet now. You have made a very big fool of yourself, playing gotcha with Willis. You can’t even face him.

      • I would have preferred if ordvic asked that question himself and didn’t link my comment. That may have received a response.

      • You would have preferred that Ordvic…blah…blah…blah.
        Ordvic isn’t your sock puppet, jimmy. Do it yourself, or STFU. You are making people sick.

      • I could ask the question, Jim D, but I cannot answer like you.
        ===================

      • kim, it is better if someone who understands my question takes up the point. I just put it out there for someone to pick up for free. If there is an answer, I can also help with the response, but the most likely answer is that he goofed which doesn’t even need a response.

      • I did re-ask the question perhaps not the same as Jim D.

      • Yes, not the same question.

      • Willis loses the petulant label at 11:36 PM last night, Watts Up Time. Your turn, Jim D.
        =================

      • You’ll have to go see for yourself if his graphs are redone this AM. I ain’t sayin’.
        ===========================

      • Kim, I didn’t see your post, at first, I replied to Jim D same. I don’t know if Jim will be satisfied but I am FWIW. I think Willis deserves credit for taking the time to address it, although from the science standpoint it deserved addressing.

    • Science of Doom has discussed the same issue much more extensively referring also to scientists who either think that Milankovitch cycles explain the 100 ky cycle or otherwise.

      My impression is that the explanation is really poor, at best badly incomplete and perhaps more likely totally wrong. It seems much more likely that the 100 ky cycle is related to dynamic behavior of Earth itself than that it has much connection to the eccentricity cycle. Recent papers of Abe-Ouchi and her collaborators propose an interesting mechanism related to deformation of the Earth crust under the weight of the ice sheets.

      • My question was more about how he misrepresented Roe. The plot I displayed from Roe was not what Willis got, and from his wording you can see why. He plotted the wrong thing. Roe’s work shows that orbital forcing certainly proved the impulses for Arctic ice extent, but I am not sure how well the tipping points can be predicted from just the impulses.

      • Jim,

        The eccentricity cycle is by any measure very weak and very smooth, far too smooth to act as a clear trigger. With sufficient manipulation it’s possible to extract from that something that looks stronger but that’s extremely artificial and implausible to be of significance.

      • I think Roe’s graph with the derivative of ice volume emphasizes the precession cycle. The precession cycle is an understandable trigger and is a necessary but not sufficient condition for changes to and from a glaciation phase. Eccentricity helps to amplify the precession cycle.

      • The precession cycle and obliquity cycle have clearly observable influence, but the effect of eccentricity on their strength is small, and most significantly changes little over some 30 ky at both extremes. Other variability in the combined effect of the shorter cycles is much stronger. Thus the explanation that has been presented fails seriously. If the eccentricity cycle plays a role, better mechanisms are needed to explain that.

      • There is no single 100k eccentricity cycle. It is made up of several frequencies. What I observe from the time series is that the interglacials are probably less than 20% of the total time and only exist during relative maxima in eccentricity. That is, the Ice Ages are the normal state, and it takes exceptionally warm summers to get us out of them and keep us out for any length of time.

      • Jim,
        My theory is that increasing glaciation is the most normal state of the Earth as that has taken most of the 100 kyear cycles. When that phase has reached the maximum supportable level, a transition to deglaciation takes place. This state lasts some 15-20 kyear. States of interglacial an maximum glaciation are just turning points between these phases. The 100 kyear cycle length is determined by the time glaciation and deglaciation need to reach their end point. That leads to the 100 kyear cycle. The eccentricity cycle just happens to have roughly the same length.

        Of course the above has not been confirmed, but the calculations of Abe-Ouchi give some support to that idea.

      • The eccentricity cycle is by any measure very weak and very smooth, far too smooth to act as a clear trigger.

        Eccentricity is weak, -BUT- of the longest duration ( the smoothness you note ) which is very consistent with glaciation. What protects glacial ice from melting ( as is the case with Greenland’s ice ) is elevation of ice ( reaching above the average freezing level ). Accumulating this depth of ice takes time ( very many seasons of snowfall ) so of necessity a smooth ( long wavelength ) signal is necessary.

      • Pekka, For what it’s worth that was exactly my reading of the eccentricity cycle since it starts near round and gradually evolves to full eccentricity and then wanes again. Just as all of the Milankovitch cycles do (ie. Duh, that’s why their called cycles.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Pekka
        “My theory is that increasing glaciation is the most normal state of the Earth”
        if this is true, I am happy about this period of human caused warming
        Gaia is taking care
        there is no error
        nature is infallible
        :)

      • Well, the ice age is the stable configuration.

        The interglacial is the anomaly.

        The 20K year cycle.Apsidal precession cycle determines when we can temporarily exit the ice age. The northern hemisphere has to have summer at perihelion (closest approach).

        Every 5-6 cycles other trends match up to drive us out of the ice age, temporarily

      • PA,

        Why do you say:

        Well, the ice age is the stable configuration.

        The interglacial is the anomaly.

        There’s been no ice at either pole for 75% of the past half billion years (the period that multi-cell animal life has thrived).

        Are referring to the past million years or so (just 0.2% of the time multi-cell animal life has thrived)?

      • “There’s been no ice at either pole for 75% of the past half billion years (the period that multi-cell animal life has thrived).”

        The Himalayas (near tropical high mountains), the isthmus of Panama (solid American land stripe), the Euro/African continuous land stripe, the encircled Arctic ocean and the isolated continent at the south pole have existed in this configuration for 2.5 million years and only 2;5 million years.

        This configuration never ever existed before in the history of the planet.

        35 million years ago more or less Antarctica moved far enough south to start building permanent ice. Some time after that Australia separated enough for a circumpolar current to form. 2.5 million years ago the isthmus separated the oceans and we were off to the races.

        Ice age is the current stable configuration. Interglacials are aberration that occurs when the maximum insolation is applied with the correct distribution (NH heavy).

      • PA,

        Ice age is the current stable configuration. Interglacials are aberration that occurs when the maximum insolation is applied with the correct distribution (NH heavy).

        So are you saying the current distribution of the land masses is the reason we are in a cold-house phase (just the third in the past 500 million years) and why we’ve been in a long term cooling trend (for the past 50 million years)?

        I’d like to read more on that (but short and clear, please). I am ware of some of the arguments and evidence, but haven’t seen the cause of the cold house phases attributed largely to the locations of the land masses before.

        A simple (aimed at school teachers) explanation of past global climates, the evidence, and the location of the land masses is here: http://www.scotese.com/

        This is an animated view of where the land masses have been over the past 150 My: http://www.odsn.de/odsn/services/paleomap/animation.html

      • Both the location of the land masses and the natural level of CO2 are surely essential factors that have made quaternary a period of glacial cycles.

        The general temporal nature of the glacial cycles is a asymmetric and somewhat irregular sawtooth formed by the relatively slow phases of glaciation and abrupt deglaciation. The glacial terminations have taken place both at times of high eccentricity and at times of low eccentricity. They do not follow systematically the eccentricity cycle, what correlation is seen is not more than what could result from purely random coincidence. Obliquity and precession cycles are apparent in finer structure.

        Asymmetric sawtooth is caused typically by charging some property until it reaches a critical level, where rapid discharge is initiated. The most obvious idea is that what is being charged is the amount of ice and factors causally linked with that including sea level, deformation of the Earth crust, and distribution of CO2 between oceans and atmosphere. What exactly is the critical factor that causes the termination is less obvious. Abe-Ouchi has proposed that the deformation of the crust is the key.

        Milankovitch cycles have some influence as a strong precession cycle may be the final trigger, when the level of charging is already close enough to the critical level. As the main charging process is very likely related to the buildup of ice sheets, it’s really difficult to link that to the eccentricity variation, and even less when even the observation do not give much support to such link beyond what follows from the first sentence of this paragraph.

      • You have to include thermohaline circulation. This increases high latitudes temperatures and leads to reductions in ice sheets. At some stage AMOC falters – with high freshwater inflows from melt and generally warm conditions. This favours as well evaporation and increased snowfall that becomes increased spring melt in a self reinforcing cycle.

        When AMOC falters – and there are external UV drivers in this as well – the NH cools favouring summer survival of ice sheets. As does low summer insolation. Sometimes runaway ice feedbacks drive glaciations, .

      • PL

        “So are you saying the current distribution of the land masses is the reason we are in a cold-house phase (just the third in the past 500 million years) and why we’ve been in a long term cooling trend (for the past 50 million years)?”

        Yup that’s it – it is just that simple.

        All you need is an ocean separated into two parts with no circulation path, a big white spot at each pole and a big white spot on the tropic of cancer. The current configuration makes for a very odd climate.

        Snowfall is a NH thing. The pointy ends of the continents face the South pole and they don’t get a lot of snow.

        As I understand it – the earth absorbs the least solar radiation in December when it is closest to the sun.

      • We are discussing processes that take thousands of years or more. Thermohaline circulation by itself is very unlikely to have long enough memory to be considered a separate effect on that time scale. it’s, however, true that I might have included the temperature of deep ocean in the list of long term changes as that changes slowly enough. That affects also thermohaline circulation.

      • ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’ Wally Btoecker

        We are talking triggers for abrupt change – and not long term effects. You don’t have much of a grasp of these physical and oceanographic processes do you Pekka?

        The closure of the Isthmus of Panama – btw – increased nothward flow in the Atlantic keeping higher latitudes warmer than otherwise. They tip into colder conditions with ice feedbacks.

      • Well, precession (perihelion during Northern summer) should give significantly more energy. There is a 20+ watt difference and it would go to the Northern Hemisphere which is the only place that matters.

        So the only question is what other effects enhance northern warming.

      • We are talking processes – and changes in the system – that happen on a scale of months to decades.

      • Jim D said

        That is, the Ice Ages are the normal state, and it takes exceptionally warm summers to get us out of them and keep us out for any length of time.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/24/week-in-review-40/#comment-668536

        Therefore, will Jim D acknowledge that our GHG emissions may be reducing the probability or delaying the next abrupt cooling event?

        Weighing the probabilities, is it more likely than not that our GHG emissions have been more beneficial than less so far?

        If more beneficial (as most people seem to think), is it credible to argue that more GHG emissions this century is more likely to be harmful than beneficial?

        Are there any authoritative, objective, impartial studies (not by members of the climate orthodoxy) than have analysed the probabilities?

      • Rob

        Don’t forget that Britain used to be attached to the European land mass until 6000 years ago where the North sea now is. Such Rivers as the Rhine drained into it in a far different way and there were many marshes.

        I don’t know what effect that all had on circulation as I have never seen it discussed.

        tonyb

      • PA

        I am aware of this explanation of the Carboniferous – Permian cold-house phase, including the glacial-interglacial cycles and the locations of the land masses http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html . But I don’t know how it is considered by the climate science orthodoxy. Is there an authoritative source covering similar grounds and similarly clearly presented?

      • “Is there an authoritative source covering similar grounds and similarly clearly presented?”

        Umm. Gee. I’ll see if I can find one.

        I just noticed that any claimed CO2 driven change in the past occurred during either a geological shift, or volcanism, or etc. etc.

        The Permian warming occurred 3K-5K years before the CO2 rise from evidence in ocean sediment. Unless the temperature knew that the CO2 was coming it is hard to see how the CO2 could have affected it. Historically CO2 looks like a effect not a cause.

      • I think the M cycle is being held to too high a standard for correlation. Even in the deepest depths of ice ages the ice cores show large time periods where it appears to be trying to warm up. You may picture this as anything that suits your hypothesis. I picture it as ocean currents organizing poleward heat transport and being disrupted time and again until the slight change in orbit gives it that little extra push that allows it to organize and maintain. The idea that this always works out exactly to a radiative forcing formula seems unlikely. There is too much randomness in how precipitation reacts and what the initial conditions were at the start of the transport reorganization.

      • PA,

        Thanks for this: https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/24/week-in-review-40/#comment-668681

        I look forward to Pekka’s and Rob’s comments too.

      • The most obvious idea is that what is being charged is the amount of ice and factors causally linked with that including sea level, deformation of the Earth crust, and distribution of CO2 between oceans and atmosphere. What exactly is the critical factor that causes the termination is less obvious. Abe-Ouchi has proposed that the deformation of the crust is the key.

        Don’t forget that falling sea levels will expose large areas of soft sediment to aeolian erosion. Dust could be a tipping element. Today, the Bodélé depression: a single spot in the Sahara that provides most of the mineral dust to the Amazon forest, perhaps because rising sea levels have blocked most wind-borne dust from coastal sediment. But if enough dust makes it across the Atlantic to fertilize the whole Amazon, much more must fall into it, fertilizing it, and aiding in removing CO2.

        Analysis of solid-phase phosphorus speciation in Saharan Bodélé Depression suggests significant amounts “derived from fish bone and scale”:

        This is the first-ever report of fish material in aeolian dust, and it is significant because P derived from fish bone and scale is relatively soluble and is often used as a soil fertilizer. Therefore, the fish-P will likely be the most readily consumed form of Bodélé P during soil weathering and atmospheric processing, but given time and acid dissolution, the detrital apatite, Fe-P and organic-P will also be made available. The Bodélé dust input of P to global ecosystems will only have a limited life, however, because its major source materials, diatomite in the Bodélé Depression, undergo persistent deflation and have a finite thickness.

        I would intuitively assume that much coastal sediment exposed by falling sea levels would also contain significant “derived from fish bone and scale” (pending research), which means that falling sea levels could contribute to low CO2 levels (as well as many other biological effects), and termination might be due to exposure of the entire continental shelf and exhaustion of available dust.

        Maybe.

      • What ended the YD? This paper claims ocean heat transport did.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644072/

      • Pekka said, “It seems much more likely that the 100 ky cycle is related to dynamic behavior of Earth itself than that it has much connection to the eccentricity cycle. ”

        Well yeah, you don’t really expect it to be easy do ya?

        What most folks seem to forget is that at the Equator the precessional cycle is rectified producing an ~10ka +/- 2ka frequency and that imbalanced ice mass tends to change the +/- 2ka part. So glacial cycle can synch with either the 100ka +/- 15ka or some eccentricity or the 41ka +/- 4ka obiliquity. You really could have 100ka +/-, 41ka +/- or 21ka +/- glacial cycling. Since you have a “predictable” to reasonable accuracy “chaotic” input and a not so predictable “chaotic” response, you have a variety of preferred cycle frequencies.

        Considering all the possibilities, Milankovitch’s theory is much better than most.; It can always use a little tweaking, but there seems to be much ado about diddly when folks start dissing Milankovitch when they are pretty much clueless.

        That is the difference between the Peak insolation, rectified and the June insolation that just shows part of the picture. Tropical SST btw would be clipped by negative cloud feedback, limiting SST.

    • Well since you have a 100,000 year match and I suggest it happens inbetween the peaks, it should at least solicit an answer as to attribution of the cycles.

    • Willis has now answered the question about Roe’s chart at the bottom of his blog. He produced on of his own as well. I believe he deserves credit for that.

      • Where’s jimmy dee? I am worried that jimmy decided to hold his breath and stamp his feet, until Willis answered his potshot to little jimmy’s satisfaction. He might have passed out and hit his little head. Or he has seen Willis’s retort and he is too embarrassed to come back here.

  45. The State Department introduces it’s new mascot in the battle against global warming:

    In the immortal words of Oprah, “He’s Brilliant”

  46. Michael Spence did, indeed, say that energy subsidies are catastrophic policy, but from the linked texts it may be difficult to understand that he was not referring to subsidies for renewable energy but to the existing subsidies for fossil fuels and electricity in developing countries. His view on renewable energy development was optimistic as he was telling that policies that promote renewable energies and improved energy efficiency are not going to have much negative effect on economic development.

    You can listen to his words starting at 18:45 of the video from the WEF panel

    http://www.weforum.org/sessions/summary/tackling-climate-development-and-growth

    • How do you keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree? Why, cheap energy, what else?
      ==============

    • ==> “he was not referring to subsidies for renewable energy but to the existing subsidies for fossil fuels and electricity in developing countries. ”

      Funny.

      How far and quickly he will fall in the eyes of the “denizens.”

    • More accurately, what Michael Spece tells is the following (my transcript from the video skipping some side remarks that do not affect the content).

      When we were working on growth commission report, one of the things we discovered was that energy subsidies were pervasive in the developing countries and they are fortunately [..] in the process of disappearing [..]. Energy subsidies are catastrophic policy. They produce distortion to the development of economy and all kinds of bad thing, so I think we are on the way on that thing.

      I think the climate challenge, I’m very encouraged. This year has been a turnaround, .. In economic turns I think in the following way. We have a choice between a low energy, energy efficient low-carbon path and an energy intensive high carbon path, which at an unknown point of time ends catastrophically. This doesn’t seem like a very hard choice.

      Then he refers to The New Climate Economy Report noting that it tells that

      These two paths do not differ much from each other, you do not pay a price, or much of a price, in terms of growth and other things that matter by getting on the energy efficient low carbon path.

      • ‘which at an unknown point of time ends catastrophically’. This is his problem and yours, Pekka. This is inchoate fear, and it is mere assertion. Prove it.
        =====================

      • And we have the very high energy, low carbon path that is nuclear. More countries are building more reactors. This is a good thing. The US just needs to step up work on small, modular reactors and approve more gen 4 ones.

    • Fossil fuel subsidies are a distraction. It was on the G20 agenda in Brisbane. No one much is in favour of energy subsidies.

      The NREL energy futures report calculates the cost of renewable at 80% penetration – a considerable imposition on US energy costs – and the environment. R&D for energy innovation is one thing – I have suggested a $1B global energy prize – but subsidising uncompetitive technologies in broad scale implementation another thing entirely.

    • To me Michael Spence sounds a bit overly optimistic.

      My main point in writing these comments was, however, to tell what he was really saying, because I found the page linked Judith’s the post as well as the written excerpt presented by WEF misleading, surely not intentionally, because they are misleading in a direction that seems against the goals of both those pages.

      • Pekka, perhaps you over-estimate their powers of comprehension.

      • Faustino,
        I think that people who wrote those texts didn’t realize that subsidies are prevalent both
        – for fuels and electricity in developing countries (and oil less industrialized producing countries)
        – renewable energy

        They didn’t realize that very many readers are likely to think the latter, while Spence discussed the former.

  47. A skep checking out Scientific American, Carbon Brief, Vox, The Climate Group etc can really feel like the tramp who wandered into Maxim’s. It’s all the green stuff which is actually the efficient, no-subsidy way forward favoured by hard-heads in suits. “Evidence-based initiatives” and “straightforward no-brainers” which “get the math right”…it’s all the green stuff!

    Did you know it was the pampered, obese, bad-math carbon sector gobbling the subsidies, while little thrifty Little Green, a Dickensian stepchild, can hardly find threepence to put in the Xmas pudding?

    There’s no question about it!

    I mean, the CEO of Unilever says so, and his company makes “brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life”. And guys with proper Nobels, not just cornflake-packet Nobels (but them too!), who see the world so clearly from chartered jets. And Christine Lagarde, rumoured to have once paid income tax, who gets a better tan than John Boehner with nothing but the European sun.

    The problem is just a few hold-outs like me, paleo-cons, grubby little spoiled boys, all snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

    Wherever you look, the clever, be-suited and educated are thoroughly green. They see so much further than the rest of us, standing, as they do, on the shoulders of a carbon-created giant called Industrial Civilisation…but never deigning to look down at where their feet are planted.

  48. Mosomoso

    Paleo-cons? I like it – I’m one of those. We’re bringing sanity and sobriety to the debate, preventing a policy and economic runaway greenhouse event.

  49. O/T, Mosher, if you see this, I have/had a question about a station from BEST I hope you can answer. The station is Puerto Casado, Paraguay, ID: 86086.

    I am trying to locate the station meta-data documenting the station’s moves. BEST *knows* the station moved twice (or thrice) but doesn’t record the provenance of this information. @BerkeleyEarth on Twitter ‘tried’ to help but seemed more interested in jerking me around and ‘denier’ mockery.

    Hope you can help.

    • Shub, i think they do this statistically, by looking at the data (incl surrounding stations), rather than with station meta data

      • That’s what I thought at first. But see @BerkeleyEarth’s responses:

        @shubclimate .The records of the station indicate different locations. If there was no move, the answer doesn’t change. simple math.

        and

        50m: @theresphysics @shubclimate Ha, they dont trust the raw metadata

      • Shub

        Was that signed by Mosh as it sounds like him?

        Tonyb

      • I don’t think it is Mosh.

        Why would Mosh go around making fun of people asking for station data? LOL.

      • It’s not Mosh on twitter

      • Judith, the twitter person is linking me around to different folder domains on the BEST website – places I had already been to, downloaded data and located the station in question. There are relocation flags in these data files but the data itself is compiled and not truly ‘raw’. Additionally, I could not find any documented move in the data I looked into, for Puerto Casado – but obviously, that doesn’t mean anything.

        I’m giving up now.

      • If the break point is not a move, it could be an equipment change. They find these statistically as Judith said.

      • Steven Mosher

        its me on twitter, Im just not swearing

      • Steven Mosher

        “Judith, the twitter person is linking me around to different folder domains on the BEST website – places I had already been to, downloaded data and located the station in question. There are relocation flags in these data files but the data itself is compiled and not truly ‘raw’. Additionally, I could not find any documented move in the data I looked into, for Puerto Casado – but obviously, that doesn’t mean anything.”

        The data is read directly in from Ftp sites.
        Want to see how its done

        http://berkeleyearth.org/analysis-code

        The data is raw, It is copied directly from the source files. which are taken as raw.
        it isnt adjusted. So if the metadata says 83.345 our file says 83.345.

        If you want to check for a copying error then you have to go to the same source we used. Download it for yourself and compare.

      • Steven Mosher

        If the break point is not a move, it could be an equipment change. They find these statistically as Judith said.

        “break points” are determined in the following way

        1. A metadata record or collection of records which shows different
        locations for the “same station” so, one record says its at X,Y,Z
        another source indicates a position that differs in subsequent years.
        2. A metadata record that indicates a TOB change
        3. A gap
        4. A metadata record that indicates an instrument change.
        5. A statistical Break.

        When a “station” has one of these OTHER people
        COMBINE the records using an adjustment scheme.

        We do the opposite. We break the record.

        1. IF there is NO discontinuity asssociated with the break, that is IF there is no bias introduced by the change ( see 1-5 above) then our method
        will DO NOTHING. There is no one size fits all adjustment for instrument changes for example. If the instrument change doesnt cause a change in the series, then our method does NOTHING. if a station move does nothing or the metadata was wrong about the move, and the move had no effect on the temperature then the method DOES NOTHING.
        2. If there is a discontinuity in the data, if the station diverges from its neighbors after tracking with them over time, Then our method asserts
        “hey, somthing changed here.. its correlated with a indication from metadata that the location changed or its correlated with a instrument change or TOBS change.
        3. The discontinuity is not explicitly removed from the data. Rather
        we estimate what the station would look like IF there were no discontinuity.

        Obviously you cant be there to witness a station move in the past.
        You cant be there to witness a sensor change.
        What you have is metadata ( uncertain of course) that indicates a change happened at this time period.

        you have two choices.

        A) disbelieve the metadata and treat the station as one thing
        B) believe the metadata and predict “what would this station look like
        if the change didnt happen”

        So in option A if you had a station move from the rural setting to an urban setting you would treat it was one station and the warming would be misattributed.

    • Steven Mosher

      PUERTO CASADO [Missing] 2000.042 2009.458 GCOS Monthly CLIMAT Summaries -22.28333 -57.86667 -999.00000 -999.00000 0.00833 0.00833 -9.99999 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 GCOS_86086 : 2000.0417 – 2009.4583 9a3753bd9b7606f545cdbf20481c1ef5
      157455 2 LA VICTORIA [Missing] 2009.542 2009.708 GCOS Monthly CLIMAT Summaries -22.28333 -57.86667 -999.00000 -999.00000 0.00833 0.00833 -9.99999 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 GCOS_86086 : 2009.5417 – 2009.7083 91d540b6101422657a4e23e001ae6035
      157455 3 PUERTO CASADO [Missing] 2009.792 2010.208 GCOS Monthly CLIMAT Summaries -22.28333 -57.86667 -999.00000 -999.00000 0.00833 0.00833 -9.99999 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 GCOS_86086 : 2009.7917 – 2010.2083 644768611e6f3559d2f8551042f483dd
      157455 4 PUERTO CASADO [Missing] 2010.292 -9999.000 Specially Edited Location Record -22.26670 -57.91670 -999.00000 -999.00000 0.00833 0.00833 -9.99999 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 GCOS_86086 : 2010.2917 – NaN 8ebf484e495dace0d71ceab72a72840d
      157455 5 PUERTO CASADO [Missing] 2010.292 -9999.000 GCOS Monthly CLIMAT Summaries 22.26667 57.91667 -999.00000 -999.00000 0.00833 0.00833 -9.99999 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 GCOS_86086 : 2010.2917 – NaN d90ff71f96e440a2e09d7383d6f8ca23
      157455 6 PUERTO CASADO Paraguay -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Historical Climatology Network – Daily -22.28300 -57.93300 87.00000 -999.00000 0.00050 0.00050 0.50000 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 ghcnd: PA000086086; GHCN-D_PA000086086 a1b350b4f52b33a2a7809f9d33e07ec9
      157455 7 PUERTO CASADO Paraguay -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Historical Climatology Network – Monthly v3 -22.28000 -57.87000 87.00000 80.00000 0.00500 0.00500 0.05000 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 ghcnm: 30886086000; GHCN-M3_30886086000 7cc07b0db2d96e4e1595eecbaa6a2d74
      157455 8 PUERTO CASADO Paraguay -9999.000 -9999.000 Global Historical Climatology Network – Monthly v2 -22.28000 -57.87000 87.00000 80.00000 0.00500 0.00500 0.50000 0 -99 86086 -9999 -9999 -9999 ghcnm: 30886086000; GHCN-M_30886086000 f45c769d1bec4892ff10fcdb301e90d5

      • Thanks Mosh, but I already saw all that (almost all, I didn’t download the GCOS file) but I can’t find what I want. Where do I find data documenting the 1971 move, for instance?

        In any case, I’m not pursuing this any further – at least now. The data is not in a shape I expected it to be. It is what it is and I understand that. But you have censorship master ATTP writing a post claiming it’s so obvious the station moved because BEST’s data said so and here we have BEST struggling for the best part of half a day tiptoeing around pointing out where they got their move information from. Clearly these are not people serious about what they are doing, and I don’t intend to waste further efforts.

      • Steven Mosher

        Shub

        If you choose not to look at the data provided I cant understand it for you.

        You are lucky it was fluke I was even on twitter.

        The data is there. you’ve been given links
        access to SVN, password..

    • Steven Mosher

      Shub

      I have already pointed you to the files.

      station_detail_complete.txt.

      In that file you will find all the various records that were used to construct
      the stations with the name Puerto Casada and stations with different names at the same location

      GCOS -22.28333 -57.86667
      Specially edited location record -22.26670 -57.91670
      GCOS monthly 22.26667 57.91667
      GHCN-D -22.28300 -57.93300
      and two others for GHCN-M

      These locations are taken from the metadata of each of the sources.

      Determining a station move is easy. The metadata gives you a location.
      There is NO ADJUSTMENT for station moves. Station moves are or changes in in the reportage of station location are used to “split” records
      or in this case the records are not joined mathematically.

      So if the raw metadata says the location is different, then they are treated as separate stations.

      This approach has a wonderful effect.

      Two cases:

      case A. the metadata is correct and the station changed location
      case B. the metadata is not correct and the station location was the same.

      case A.
      1. The move caused a change in temps.
      The method will fix the problem
      2. The move caused no change
      The method will DO NOTHING and make no change

      Case B. the location is the same.

      if the location is ACTUALLY the same and the raw metadata is wrong
      then the method of splitting amounts to a NOP. it makes no change.

      basically the metadata is used as a HINT to look for discontinuous behavior in the station and quality weight the station accordingly.
      if the hint is correct AND there is a discontinuity then the record is weighted accordingly. if the hint is correct and there is no discontinuity ( a station move that makes no difference) then the method does nothing.
      if the hint is incorrect ( no actual station move) then there will be no discontinuity and the method is a NOP.

      people who want help with the data should

      A) email me at steve @ berkeley.. so I can keep records
      B) expect to stand in line behind guys who are publishing papers
      or working with me on projects.

      If you are the type of person who freely gives back to open source and open data efforts ( like a package maintainer) then you go to the top of my list.

      • Well, great Mosher, thanks, I wrote a little comment above not seeing this just below it. Feel free to ignore it or take it for what it is worth.

        I *was* looking at the station detail complete files, and I did notice multiple entries for the station in question, but, as I mentioned above, I was attempting to find something that said ‘Station X moved from A to B on Z date’. I now appreciate the data structure and chain of inference better.

        For the purposes of answering my question, and addressing the Telegraph story with Christopher Booker, it appears to me that there is no rigorous data documenting station moves. The ATTP post and Ed Hawkins claims on Twitter fall.

        To BEST’s credit, they are doing the best with what they have. Though, I wonder whether it gives you guys any reason to pause that your method takes data that has minimal problems and converts a -1.3C/cent linear trend into a +1.3C/cent on a wholly unsupervised basis with no supporting field evidence.

      • Steven Mosher

        I *was* looking at the station detail complete files, and I did notice multiple entries for the station in question, but, as I mentioned above, I was attempting to find something that said ‘Station X moved from A to B on Z date’. I now appreciate the data structure and chain of inference better.

        That’s not how it works for the vast majority of the world.

        You might find that for USA metadata but for ROW it doesnt
        work like that

        You have one record from GCOS that starts in year 19xx and reports
        position XYZ. it ends
        Then you have another source that picks up and reports a different location. it stops
        Then you have a third source that picks up and reports a third location.

        So, “station move” is one probable explanation. The other explanation
        is bad metadata or less accurate metadata.

        With different locations we make the decision to treat these records as different stations. If there was no move in actuality then this decision has zero effect on the data.

        “station move” is a simple but not necessarily lucid way of describing the process.

      • Mosh, when I wrote above I was stopping looking, I meant it literally – I am simply out of time to spend on this, at this point. I’m not saying I don’t want to look. I didn’t spend half a day on this for nothing.

        In terms of the Booker story, with your explanation for a station move in mind, take a look at the ATTP post:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/puerto-casado/

        Here we are, saying the timing of the ‘moves’ is determined statistically, on the basis that the station co-ordinates show different entries, and that the magnitude of breakpoint adjustment is partly derived from the regional trend. There you have ATTP supporting the adjustment because, he says, the post-adjusted trend is similar to the regional trend!

      • Steven Mosher

        “There you have ATTP supporting the adjustment because, he says, the post-adjusted trend is similar to the regional trend!”

        See my post there clarifying the operation.

        The adjustment that GISS relies are are Validated by our approach

      • mosh, the BEST operation is (now) clear. This however does not address the circularity inherent in the larger situation.

        Look at the problem as I see it:

        1) there’re only a bunch of rural stations in Paraguay
        2) Available metadata suggests the station moved. Effect of move – unknown
        3) The data itself is used to detect shifts, given that we have ‘moves’, and ‘adjustments’ are applied.
        4) Data from this station and the region is used to extrapolate/krig/smear etc large adjoining areas that lack instrumental data.

        We both simultaneously see the above and see a huge problem, or, absolutely nothing wrong with it.

        My own reasoning on adjustments is here; https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/circular-reasoning-in-temperature-adjustments/. It remains unchanged. Of course, with the data-sparseness of S. America such synthetic temperature trends are smeared over large geographic regions and the question of their effect on such things as ‘record warm year’ does arise (which is what Paul Homewood asks). What is their effect on the long-term true trend – which is what you guys are truly concerned about? My answer is : we don’t know. But I know nothing of these matters.

      • 1) there’re only a bunch of rural stations in Paraguay
        2) Available metadata suggests the station moved. Effect of move – unknown
        3) The data itself is used to detect shifts, given that we have ‘moves’, and ‘adjustments’ are applied.
        4) Data from this station and the region is used to extrapolate/krig/smear etc large adjoining areas that lack instrumental data.

        ###################

        1. I have long far and wide for any consistent UHI effect. There is none
        to be found. That is, use any metric you like of urbanity and try to
        find a consistent effect due to urbanity and you will fail.
        2. You misunderstand how the data is fit. The fit effectively finds the best prediction for the field. You can test this.
        3. Kriging is not smearing

        here is the process

        T= C + W

        Temperature is CLimate + weather

        The climate for every point on the global is calculated from the data.
        We look at latitude and altitude. This DETERMINES 93% of the variation in temperature. That is, you give me a latitude and altitude and I will predict the temperature for any given location. Temperatures at un sampled locations are not infilled or krigged or smeared. The physical model T = f(alt,lat) determines the temperature.

        The residual ( W) is the weather. The weather is krigged.

        so its a fundamental misunderstanding to assert that temperatures from one location are SMEARED into another location.

        temperatures at location with latitude x and altitude z, are used to PREDICT climate at locations that are not sampled. The final temperature at these locations is the sum of

        1. The climate
        2. The krigged weather

  50. I have been watching a WUWT favorite, Lord Monckton, take on multiple id’s and call “people” Communists repeatedly. Quite a comment thread:

    http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/monckton-soon-legates-and-briggs.html

    • I had a look at the first comment. Graves disease and dementia. I presume it went downhill from there.

      I don’t pay much attention to climate models of any complexity. Climate evolution is intrinsically unpredictable. Certainly pay much less to blog triple triple plus unscience that purports to nitpick one paper or data source at a time than actual science.

      • Well if you are interested in Monckton’s credibility or his paper, you should read it. And what I find the most amusing is he gets caught posting as his “clerk” under the Monckton id. There are also two other pseudonymns that are talking for him and defending him that I am almost sure are actually Monckton.

      • Joseph –

        I know that folks like Stevie Mac, Judith, the crew over at WUWT, Nic Lewis, RPJr., etc., have grave concerns about climate science papers that may be in error, and about peer review processes that allow flawed papers to get published.

        As such, I’m sure that there are many, many blog posts from the “skeptic” community that dig into the criticism of Monckton’s paper – and not just form the “realist” community.

        Since you’ve looked into this, I was hoping that you could link to a couple of those analyses from “skeptics.”

      • You’re almost sure are you Joseph? I had a quick look at the paper some day ago. If you don’t have the paradigm right – and very few do – right answers are impossible and wrong questions are much more common.

        But I’ll suggest that a critique on a blog post that inevitably misses the point entirely hardly qualifies as science. Joshua’s typically vacuous commentary much less so,

      • I know Rob you have it almost figured out, but I think I will wait for the scientific community to decide. If you are (Tsonis?) right, they will eventually have to accept it as the evidence mounts. That is how science has always worked and I expect to work in the future.

      • There are also two other pseudonymns that are talking for him and defending him that I am almost sure are actually Monckton.

        It is this triviality I am referring to.

        As for the other.

        ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ NAS 2002 – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        It is not something that is in question – just not something most people have internalised.

  51. Interested Bystander

    An article in Saturday’s Washington Post explains one reason why governments will find it difficult to reach an agreement that will actually reduce world-wide carbon emissions–a desire by developing countries for economic growth. For many developing countries a growing economy trumps pollution concerns even when confronted with staggering local pollution.

    See “On Obama’s India visit, climate-change deal unlikely as Modi boosts coal production.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/heres-why-obama-wont-get-a-climate-deal-with-india-this-trip/2015/01/24/77fb95cc-9ccf-11e4-86a3-1b56f64925f6_story.html?postshare=7341422160812690

    • Interesting, Bystander. But the fact that “For many developing countries a growing economy trumps pollution concerns” is something which many of us have appreciated for years, and which echoes the pattern since the UK’s Industrial Revolution – growth and its benefits comes first, addressing the disbenefits occurs when a country is wealthy enough to address broader issues. The poorer countries were never going to buy into emissions avoidance as a priority.

      • Interested Bystander

        Faustino, I agree, and for developed countries to reduce their emissions enough to counter emissions from growing developing countries will be very difficult. Per capita CO2 emissions from the poorest countries averaged .2 mt in 2010. The next higher income group of countries averaged 1.4 mt per capita, and the next category after that averaged 4.6 mt per capita, and that gets you to GDP/capita of $12,745. By the way, about 82% of the world’s population live in these countries. That is potentially a lot of emissions for the high income countries to offset.

      • Heh, he got this great deal from China. Couldn’t he just give a little more to the Indians?
        ===============

      • I have been looking at India’s energy consumption for some time now. India has a lot of coal but politics has left most of it in the ground to date. They get a lot of energy from hydropower and are enthusiastic (if minimal) users of solar and wind.

        It seems clear that India is pretty much destined to follow the same energy usage curve as China.

        http://3000quads.com/2015/01/15/indias-energy-consumption/

      • Interested Bystander

        Thomas, I agree that India will likely follow a path similar to the one China chose, which of course means a tremendous increase in CO2 emissions in coming years. Prime Minister Modi’s actions seem to support that conclusion.

        If I am reading World Bank data correctly, in 2011 India generated about 79% of its electricity using fossil fuels. And of electricity from renewable sources about 70% came from hydro.

      • Keep energy expensive, inefficient or inaccessible and even First World people will start burning any old thing. And I’m not just talking about those Euro-sophisticates who came up with the idea of incinerating American forests in England. There’s these guys, for example:
        http://nepacrossroads.com/forum-74.html
        Some First World anthracite problems there! Black Stuff White People Like!

        And let’s not forget the less refined use of coal in poor households across Asia, those who may be low on dung or sticks, or just prefer the hard stuff. A carbon footprint is still a footprint even if some tosser in a bank or university didn’t calculate it for tax reasons. In fact, it’s a carbon lung-print when it’s burnt off-grid.

        Being green should not be a dispensation from thinking. But it is.

  52. Interested Bystander,

    An article in Saturday’s Washington Post explains one reason why governments will find it difficult to reach an agreement that will actually reduce world-wide carbon emissions

    It’s simpler than this. It is highly unlikely that carbon pricing can succeed. It would be a very high cost for virtually no benefit for all this century (see the red curve in this chart:

    Explained here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

    One of the main reasons is that the cost of particpation in carbon pricing increases rapidly as the proportion of global GHG emisisons included in the global pricing scheme decreases. At 50% participation the cost penalty on the participants is 250%. At 80% participation the cost penalty on the participants is about 50%.

    see explanation of the chart and and the underlying assumptions in the analyses of optimal carbon pricing (summarised from William Nordhaus’s analyses) here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

    These cost penalties for participants mean that negotiators will not buy in.

    For some context, the EU ETS covers only about 45% of their emissions. If that is the best participation rate the most advanced countries in the world – and by far the most CAGW alarmist population on the planet – can achieve, the probability of getting China, India, Indonesia, Brazil etc, let alone Eretria, Ethiopia, Mogadishu and Somalia, to reach 80% participation rate or higher is not credible.

    • Interested Bystander

      Peter the Catallaxy Files article you cite appears to be discussing work by William Nordhaus. All I have read about him and by him indicates that he advocates pricing carbon emissions via something like a carbon tax or cap and trade scheme. Check out http://www.npr.org/2014/02/11/271537401/economist-says-best-climate-fix-a-tough-sell-but-worth-it

    • Interested Bystander,

      All I have read about [Nordhaus] and by him indicates that he advocates pricing carbon emissions via something like a carbon tax or cap and trade scheme.

      Yes. That is correct. Nordhaus advocates carbon pricing as the least cost way to reduce global GHG emissions. As do many economists. But, for a number of reasons their analyses are theoretical and do not take into account the many real world issues – too many to summarise here. Please read the two links and then lets discuss any issues you want to raise.

      One issue I mentioned in my previous comment was the cost to participants when participation rate is less than 100%, but high participation is virtually impossible, (and even if it was possible it would have huge compliance cost).

      Another is that the models used to justify carbon pricing are accumulating discounted costs and benefits out to 2300 (i.e 300 years of projections of costs and benefits). But policies don’t even last a decade if they are not delivering more benefits than costs to the population. That’s the real world reality. So, for any policy to succeed it’s got to be net beneficial over all time scales. The analyses that advocate carbon pricing do not take that into consideration. in fact they avoid it. That’s why they show cumulative curves of net benefits-costs, rather than per year or decade, so they can include the claimed net benefits from the far future. That’s why I plotted Nordhaus’s figures from DICE-2013R as per period. The chart shows clearly that Nordhaus’s own projections, from his default input values, demonstrate that the net benefit-cost of global carbon pricing would a very high net cost throughout this century. There is no way any country is going to sign on to that.

      If you read the two links I gave you I explain the reasons the advocacy is theoretical and is highly unlikely to succeed in the real world. Here is my summary of some of the key assumptions that underpin the analyses:

      – There will be negligible leakage (of emissions between countries, between industries and between emissions sources)
      – All GHG emission sources are included (all countries and all GHG emissions in each country)
      – There will be negligible compliance cost and negligible fraud
      – There will be an optimal carbon price and it is implemented globally in unison
      – All countries act in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically and continue to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and beyond).

      If these conditions are not met, the projected benefits of carbon pricing would not be achieved.

      • Interested Bystander

        Peter as suggested I read your articles. While I would have to spend a lot more time to comment on the details, I think you are moving in the right direction, and may be on the mark. I will give a modest hopeful note below, but I want to stress that I share your pessimism over the likelihood that global compliance over a carbon pricing scheme will succeed. There is just too much at stake for developing countries for them to pay more than lip service to carbon emission reductions at least until they grow their economies sufficiently. As the Washington Post article indicated India is willing to inflict more local pollution on the population to achieve economic growth. CO2 emission reductions would have to take a back seat in comparison.

        This said, both China, India and other developing countries do face problems that may help reduce carbon emissions over time, although I believe indirectly. I believe everyone wants to live in a pristene environment, but basic living needs have to be put above this goal for those living near a subsistence level of income. China’s income is steadily moving away from the subsistence level for a sizable portion of the population. The result is that more and more residents are demanding a cleaner environment. I believe government leaders know that if they don’t deliver a cleaner environment their authority may start to erode. Hence the desire to move to cleaner energy technologies is growing in China with the indirect consequence of eventually reducing carbon emissions, but if I’m right local pollution concerns are driving the process not CO2. India and most other developing countries are behind China in this regard, but they will face the same challenges in coming years.

        As an economist, I am confident that market-based solutions have the greatest potential of solving the problem, given the chance. Unfortunately, a market-based solution requires that the costs to society of carbon emissions have to be included in market prices, which is not the case now. However as you rightly pointed out, wide country participation in a pricing scheme will not likely work. So is there a possibility that more limited participation will have a more positive impact than the cost-benefit analyses you analyzed suggest? I am hopeful that the answer is yes via creating incentives to develop carbon emission reducing technologies, at least carbon emissions from fossil fuels. As you well know, carbon pricing schemes are crude ways to internalize into the market place the carbon emission externality. Every proposal has its problems, including the potential for low participation worldwide. But as a small subset of regions (e.g., California and British Columbia) do put schemes in place it encourages entrepreneurs to seek ways to reduce carbon emissions via technology. The hopeful aspect is that if an entrepreneur comes up with a great idea, it can be adopted beyond the regions that paid the price by introducing carbon prices. This is not necessarily a fair system nor one someone would want to bet the farm on, but it does give me some hope. Of course, governments are pouring money into alternatives for fossil fuels, but governments don’t have a good track record for backing the right horse. Entrepreneurs may fail just as often as government programs, but they do it at a smaller scale and stand willing to move on to other ideas more quickly. Part of that comes from putting up their own money, time, etc.

        By the way, I am with you on the need to revamp nuclear regulations to give some of the new technologies that are on the drawing boards a chance. Some proposals sound very interesting in that they greatly reduce the safety issues and some even use spent fuel from the existing conventional facilities. If the US and other advanced economies don’t react to this challenge, developing countries such as China and India might. They may end up leading on this issue.

      • Interested Bystander,

        Thanks you for your thoughtful reply. I find this topic about the most interesting of all to do with the climate change and GHG issue.

        As an economist, I am confident that market-based solutions have the greatest potential of solving the problem, given the chance.

        I agree. But I don’t agree that government intervention to impose taxes or bureaucratically controlled pricing systems are genuine markets. The mess the EU ETS is in is a classic example. And it will always be so. Governments will always interfere. Ireland’s PM raised their carbon tax to pay off the debt they’d incurred from the GFC.

        Every proposal has its problems, including the potential for low participation worldwide.

        I don’t agree this is necessarily the case. If we removed the impediments that governments have imposed on nuclear power over the past 50 years, the cost could come down a huge amount. I can address that later if you want me to.

        IMO, carbon pricing has virtually no chance of success. Another reason I didn’t include in my previous comment is why put a price on almost harmless (perhaps net beneficial CO2) before we put a price on the seriously damaging pollutants?

        Why put a price on climate change (7%) before exploitation (37%), habitat degradation (31%), habitat loss (13%), and all the other highly toxic pollutants being emitted by our industries?

        There is a better way. It’s been proven to work, with nil or minimal interference from central control, since humans first began to trade. It’s to appropriately deregulate energy markets. Remove the impediments that are making low emissions energy far more expensive than it could and should be. Regulatory ratcheting had raised the cost of nuclear power by a factor of four by 1990, and probably doubled it again since – i.e. a factor of 8 cost increase due to totally unwarranted regulatory ratcheting.

        I posted this on another web site:

        “I believe we’ve been advocating for the wrong policies for over 2 decades. There is an alternative to carbon pricing. It is achievable. The USA is by far the most influential country on nuclear matters. It could influence the leaders of the other major nuclear powers to encourage their IAEA representatives to re-assess the radiation limits and ask that they be justified on the basis of evidence. They need to replace ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) with AHARS (as high as relatively safe). The costs and benefits for the whole world should be properly assessed, including the fatalities avoided per TWh. The next President of the USA could lead the way.

        Once IAEA begins to raise the allowable radiation levels, progressively over time, the costs of nuclear should come down (over time). The main reason is that it gives all of us and the media the catalyst to re-examine the benefits, costs and risk of nuclear power. It gives the rationalists a new opportunity to explain the case.

        It will also reduce the costs of accidents – because less people will need to be evacuated when they do occur; less over reaction; less need to shut plants down early. All this leads to lower insurance premiums and lower investor risk premium.

        IMO, this is where our efforts should be focused, not in advocating or giving support to policies like carbon pricing and mandating renewable energy targets that have very low probability of success.

        I believe all those who have been supporting (what I see as) economically irrational policies for the past 50 years or so, and carbon pricing for the past 20+ years, have been blocking progress. The rational policy analysis had not been done.”

        I’ll consider your comment some more and may reply to more of it after more consideration. I’d greatly welcome more discussion of this really important policy issue.

      • Interested Bystander

        Peter,

        As I read your comments I am becoming more convinced that we are very much on the same page. Areas we agree on include:

        I agree that there are more serious threats than CO2 emissions that need attention. I have principally confined by thoughts to local pollutants such as particulate matter, whereas you have taken a more expansive view. I have been saddened by international agencies stressing carbon emissions over local pollutants in determining which projects to fund. I take solace in knowing that both local and global pollutants are generally addressed when an energy project targets CO2.

        [As an aside, I will point out that Nassim Taleb in a recent Econ Talk podcast discussed the precautionary principle as it applies to GMOs. But he also mentioned in passing that climate change also warrants imposition of the precautionary principle. For him the precautionary principle should be invoked when there is the nonzero possibility of total ruin (e.g., extinction of humans). If I understand him correctly he would say there is no greater threat than something that qualifies for the precautionary principle (as he defines it). I have yet to be persuaded, and still believe CO2 emissions should be lower priority than several/many other problems we face today. You can find the January 21 podcast at http://www.econtalk.org/ ]

        I also agree with you that the free rider effect will prevent a few areas that restrict carbon emissions from making a difference. As you and Nordhaus have stated, it takes a critical mass of participation to make a difference. Other areas will attempt to free ride on the coattails of regions that restrict emissions while trying to capture carbon emission intensive business. By saying there may be a silver lining I was only considering the possibility of spurring new technology not reducing global CO2 emissions even if local emissions are reduced. Just consider California as an example of a state that is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. They are moving toward meeting their emission target by “importing” coal-based electricity from neighboring states. That doesn’t do much for reducing overall emissions, but it does boost business for the coal-burning states that supply electricity to California. I thought of writing Jerry Brown, California’s governor, thanking him for making life easier for those of us living outside California.

        As another aside, it is very difficult to build potential technology gains into cost/benefit analysis such as Nordhaus’. I don’t know what he did, but it was probably ignoring technology gains or making some guess.

        I also agree that nuclear needs to be in the mix of energy alternatives, particularly later generation nuclear technologies (e.g., those that will shut themselves down if the operators walk away). It is my understanding that China and India are working on these technologies. Some U.S. researchers are also doing work in this area.

        You also said, “But I don’t agree that government intervention to impose taxes or bureaucratically controlled pricing systems are genuine markets.” I agree in that a genuine market would determine the price of carbon emissions within the market mechanisms without help from government. Economists recommend a less than perfect alternative such as carbon pricing when there is market failure. A better solution is to always figure out how to incorporate the price of carbon emissions directly into the market. Unfortunately, this is certainly difficult and maybe impossible for something like carbon emissions. By the way, if carbon emissions were included in the market, the market price of these emissions would reflect whether CO2 emissions are harmful or beneficial. The price of carbon emissions would be negative if CO2 emissions were determined to be beneficial (i.e., the end result would be to reduce the price of items made with fossil fuels), encouraging using more fossil fuels. Of course, the opposite would occur if carbon emissions were detrimental.

      • I’ve just posted a reply to your last comment, but it is awaiting moderation (too many links)

      • So is there a possibility that more limited participation will have a more positive impact than the cost-benefit analyses you analyzed suggest? I am hopeful that the answer is yes via creating incentives to develop carbon emission reducing technologies, at least carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

        I understand there is wide agreement (including Nordhaus) that to succeed carbon pricing has to be global. As I see it, the benefits are limited or nil if it isn’t global. The country that raises its cost of energy through the pricing scheme disadvantages its economy. Energy intensive industries move elsewhere but there is no reduction in the global GHG emissions. Therefore, the country that leads, reduces it emissions but gets no benefit. Instead it loses business, and jobs.

        I did an analysis of the cost of Australian ETS to the average Australian. I’d welcome an economist checking my analysis and also checking if my simple explanation of how the average person can interpret what discounted cost means is correct.

        What will the ETS cost every Australian?
        According to Treasury estimates, the ETS would cost Australia $1,345 billion dollars in total to 2050 [Treasury, Chart 5.13[iii], ‘Medium global action‘ minus ‘SGLP core’ http://carbonpricemodelling.treasury.gov.au/content/chart_table_data/chapter5.asp ].
        That is $58,000 for every person living in Australia now (assuming 23 million population). This is what it will cost if we pay at 2013 prices in instalments over the 37 years to 2050. However, the discounted cost – i.e., for those who choose to pay a lump sum in 2013 and “no more to pay” (assuming no more changes to the rules) – is $17,000 per person (or $68,000 for a family of four). In return for this up front payment you hope to get $5,400 per person of benefits, as climate damages avoided, over the period to 2050.

        How many are prepared to pay $17,000 per person as a lump sum now, or prepared to pay $58,000 over 37 years, in the hope of gaining an intangible benefit of $5,400 in ‘reduced climate damages’ over the next 37 years?

        But the ETS is just part of the cost we are committed to pay to reduce ‘carbon pollution. Another is the Renewable Energy Target.

        If my analysis is correct it persuades me there is negligible likelihood “that more limited participation will have a more positive impact than the cost-benefit analyses [I] analysed suggest.”

      • Interested Bystander,

        As I read your comments I am becoming more convinced that we are very much on the same page. Areas we agree on include:

        You have a very pleasant way of debating constructively. It’s greatly appreciated and an excellent example; it’s not common on blog sites that debate global warming and GHG emissions. I can learn from your example. Another person who has similar communication skills is also an economist whose career was important and influential positions in policy He’s now retired. He blogs here under the name Faustino. His post on the Stern Report is interesting: “The costs of tackling or not tackling anthropogenic global warminghttps://judithcurry.com/2012/09/12/the-costs-of-tackling-or-not-tackling-anthropogenic-global-warming/

        If I understand him correctly he would say there is no greater threat than something that qualifies for the precautionary principle (as he defines it). I have yet to be persuaded, and still believe CO2 emissions should be lower priority than several/many other problems we face today.

        I agree with you. Much to discuss on this matter if we wanted to. However, the Precautionary Principal and risk management have been discussed extensively on previous CE threads. So, I won’t respond to that now.

        Just consider California as an example of a state that is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. They are moving toward meeting their emission target by “importing” coal-based electricity from neighboring states.

        More significantly, they (and virtually all other economies that artificially raise the cost of energy) are importing CO2 emissions embodied in the goods they import. Look at the Global Carbon Atlas and rank countries based on total emissions consumed as distinct from emissions produced (or look at any individual country, region or economic group). http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/

        I don’t know what [Nordhaus] did, but it was probably ignoring technology gains or making some guess.

        I think he has it covered reasonably well (interested in what you think). See:

        A Question of Balancehttp://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

        The documentation and lab notes: http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

        DICE 2013R Introduction and User’s Manualhttp://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/DICE_Manual_103113r2.pdf

        I also agree that nuclear needs to be in the mix of energy alternatives, particularly later generation nuclear technologies (e.g., those that will shut themselves down if the operators walk away).

        Yes. But they are decades away from being commercially viable and able to produce a significant component of electricity generation and, therefore, of being able to significantly cut GHG emissions. I agree we must continue researching, developing and demonstrating. Some of the many concepts and designs will take over from existing designs, eventually. But because of the long economic life of nuclear power plants – 60 years and then likely extensions – the rate of turnover is slow, so the rate of learning from doing is slow. I argue we must proceed as fast as possible with existing, proven designs and adopt new ones as fast as we can too. But don’t wait, and don’t allow this to be used as an excuse to delay moving forward with what we have available and proven safe and reliable now.

        Economists recommend a less than perfect alternative such as carbon pricing when there is market failure.

        I agree, but I have some problems with this when it relates to GHG emissions:

        1. The concerns about CO2 emissions are largely driven by the latest ideological cult beliefs. We really don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm than good. The estimates of Social Cost of Carbon are based on very weak evidence.

        2. What is the rational justification for picking on GHG emissions rather than other more detrimental emissions and pollutants?

        3. Why begin by adding another distortion to energy markets before removing the existing distortions – such as the huge impediments we’ve imposed on nuclear power over the past 50 years or so? These distortions are preventing the world from getting low cost, low emissions, much cleaner and much safer electricity than what we have now. Surely, the first thing that should be done is to remove these. Because if we add more distortions, it’s like adding more band-aids on top of band-aids. It covers up the real problem. It hides it. But it doesn’t fix the problem because those that don’t participate will have a significant advantage. Eventually the system will fail, just as the Chicago Carbon Exchange and Australia’s ETS failed and EU’s ETS inevitably will fail too in due course.

        By the way, if carbon emissions were included in the market, the market price of these emissions would reflect whether CO2 emissions are harmful or beneficial. The price of carbon emissions would be negative if CO2 emissions were determined to be beneficial (i.e., the end result would be to reduce the price of items made with fossil fuels), encouraging using more fossil fuels. Of course, the opposite would occur if carbon emissions were detrimental.

        I agree – but if and only if it is a true market, not one imposed by governments, politicians, bureaucrats, environmental NGO’s, cult groups, and voters who are persuaded by these groups via a media whose business prospers from scaremongering and threats of human catastrophe.

        Arguably the most authoritative study of the externalities of electricity generation is the EU ExternE study: http://www.externe.info/
        See page 13 here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/energy/pdf/externe_en.pdf
        Note that they couldn’t estimate the externalities of CO2 emissions so the resorted to estimating a shadow price: the cost to implement the EU’s policies.

      • Interested Bystander

        Peter,

        Thanks for the information on nuclear. It gave me a dose of reality. I know little to nothing about the nuclear industry. As a result, I thought, based on what I have been reading, that newer generation nuclear facilities were closer to becoming operational than you indicated. I guess I have been buying into the hype and enthusiasm researchers in the field have been exuding. I should have known better. I long ago realized that researchers/innovators in other areas of research had consistently overstated how close they were to competing with fossil fuels. It seems that every week I read a story proclaiming the discovery of our energy salvation.

        Thanks for the links to Nordhaus’ work. While I couldn’t get the first two links to load, the third link to his user’s manual had a description of how he handled technological advances. Basically, his model makes emissions reducing technology more competitive by lowering its price .5% per year. Eventually, the price of the alternative fuels or CO2 using the emissions reducing technology fall below fossil fuel prices. Then fossil fuel use is replaced by the new technology. Because the price of fossil fuels varies by location, the phase out of fossil fuels proceeds from region to region and is gradual. (See the quote below from page 13 of the manual.)

        Given the unpredictability of when technological changes will actually occur and the impact particular changes will have, this seems like a reasonable approach. Of course, the arbitrary nature of the .5% reduction means that the time scale of how long it takes for fossil fuels to be replaced by non-CO2 emitting energy sources is also arbitrary.

        ****From page 13 of DICE 2013R: Introduction and User’s Manual****
        “The DICE-2013R model explicitly includes a backstop technology, which is a technology that can replace all fossil fuels. The backstop technology could be one that removes carbon from the atmosphere or an all-purpose environmentally benign zero-carbon energy technology. It might be solar power, or carbon-eating trees or windmills, or some as-yet undiscovered source. The backstop price is assumed to be initially high and to decline over time with carbon-saving technological change.

        In the full regional model, the backstop technology replaces 100 percent of carbon emissions at a cost of between $230 and $540 per ton of CO2 depending upon the region in 2005 prices. For the global DICE-2013R model, the 2010 cost of the backstop technology is $344 per ton CO2 at 100% removal. The cost of the backstop technology is assumed to decline at 0.5% per year.”

      • Interested bystander,

        Thank you. It’s really satisfying when someone is sufficiently interest to read, consider and reply.

        Sorry for the broken links. I must have got them from cache. I’ll try to get the latest and get back to you.

        As I recall it (perhaps wrongly) the back stop technology price is the marginal price for the replacement of the last tonne of CO2 emissions.

        I don’t think the 0.5% rate of reduction of backstop technology is purely arbitrary. I think there is an enormous amount on that. I can dig some of it out if you are interested.

        But I don’t think this is among the highest priorities to be concerned about. From my perspective, we can reduce the emissions intensity of electricity by around 90% by rolling out nuclear power using the types of plants that are best fit for purpose at the time. Nuclear is already competitive or nearly competitive in many countries and, for many reasons, will be much cheaper than building shipping, railways and pipeline capacity in developing countries to move large quantities of fossil fuels. Nuclear fuel is 20,000 times more energy dense than fossil fuels (up to 2 million times more energy dense when we start using the Gen IV breeder reactors like the IFR); so it requires 1/20,000 (to a 2 millionth) the amount of ports, shipping, railway and gas pipeline infrastructure.

        The rate of improvement of the technology will accelerate as the rate of rollout increases. What we need to do to make all this happen is to remove the impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear power. This will provide 80%-90% of the solution to reducing the GHG emissions intensity of electricity; this will reduce global GHG emissions by 50% as electricity’s share of total global energy increases. Explaining all this is where I believe our efforts can be most productively used,

        I explained my suggestions as to how this can be achieved in a post yesterday: https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/28/open-thread-23/#comment-669525. As you can see, what is needed to make this happen is education and a change in the public’s’ perceptions of nuclear power. So learning and advocacy can be enormously effective. This is where I think people’s effirts should be placed if they want to be effective.

      • W. Nordhaus (2008) ‘A Question of Balance’ http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

        W. Nordhaus (2007) ‘Accompanying Notes and Documentation
        on Development of DICE-2007 Model:’
        http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

        Compare the GHG emissions intensity of electricity versus the price of electricity in advanced economies that have a high proportion of renewable energy versus those that have a high proportion of nuclear power (see slide 10 here and note the irony in Slide 14):
        http://canadianenergyissues.com/2014/01/29/how-much-does-it-cost-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-a-primer-on-electricity-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change/

      • Interested Bystander,

        I just did a search for ‘backstop’ in ‘A Question of Balance’. I found this on p42

        ” The backstop technology is introduced
        into the model by setting the time path of the parameters in the
        abatement-cost equation (A.6) so that the marginal cost of
        abatement at a control rate of 100 percent is equal to the backstop
        price for each year.”

        We won’t be anywhere near replacing the last 1 tonne of GHG emissions this century, so although it has relevance for estimating the SCC, I don’t believe it is relevant for estimating the cost of GHG emissions this century.

        Furthermore, I am strongly persuaded there is enormous potential to reduce the cost of low emissions technologies nuclear power this century. If we can unwind the social beliefs about nuclear the costs can come down enormously. There is no physical or technical barrier. It’s purely societies beliefs and the irrational demands for regulations that actual cause far more fatalities than if they were removed.

        Professor Bernard Cohen showed that regulatory ratcheting had raised the cost of nuclear by a factor of 4 by 1990. I expect further regulatory ratcheting and increased investor risk premiums have doubled that since then – for a total increase in cost a factor of 8 due to regulatory ratcheting. This is short and good background:
        Professor Bernard Cohen (1990) ‘Cost of nuclear power plants – what went wronghttp://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

    • I am yet to be convinced that externalities are net negative.

      Even if so – the realistic cost is the cost to develop low cost alternative sources. I have suggested a billion dollar triennial energy prize. Global peanuts. But there is no point at all – counterproductive quite literally – to substitute expensive energy for cheap.

      • I agree with most of thsi comment. Not sure about the prize idea, at least not until after the focus has been placed squarely on removing the massive impediments to low cost nuclear power. These have been imposed by government is the developed economies (US and EU) over the past 50 years or so. The first thing to focus on, IMO, is to remove these (as appropriate).

      • “I am yet to be convinced that externalities are net negative.

        Even if so – the realistic cost is the cost to develop low cost alternative sources. I have suggested a billion dollar triennial energy prize.”

        I think mining a ton of water on the moon and making a ton of rocket fuel
        could be a interesting energy prize.
        Though mining a ton water and a ton of rocket fuel anywhere in space would also work. So whether from asteroids, Mars, Mars moons, Venus, Mercury, or our Moon.
        The general idea is once a ton is made, then more would be made.
        And if were get to making 50 tons per year of rocket fuel in space, it would be transformational in terms using space resources and developing near infinite sources of energy.

  53. I have to wonder how much biological activity is occurring in the solid ice. Microbe’s metablolism might be slowed down a lot, but it has thousands or more years to eat or emit CO2.

    From the article:

    In a cold and dark underwater world, where a never-ending rain of rocks keeps the seafloor barren, researchers were startled to find fish, crustaceans and jellyfish investigating a submersible camera after drilling through nearly 2,500 feet (740 meters) of Antarctic ice.

    The swimmers are in one of the world’s most extreme ecosystems, hidden beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, roughly 530 miles (850 kilometers) from the open ocean. “This is the closest we can get to something like Europa,” Slawek Tulaczyk, a glaciologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a chief scientist on the drilling project, said, referring to Jupiter’s icy moon.

    This is the first time scientists have drilled through an ice shelf to its grounding line. These thick, floating tongues of ice are attached to glaciers or ice sheets, and the grounding line marks the transition from land to sea. Researchers with the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project punched through the ice with a custom hot-water drill on Jan. 8 and discovered the marine life on Jan. 16. The WISSARD drillers are crunching through the ice with the same setup used to reach Antarctica’s subglacialLake Whillans in 2013, when scientists grabbed the first evidence of microbial life from a lake under the ice sheet. [Life on the Edge: Photos from Drilling the Ross Ice Shelf ]

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0123/Bizarre-Antarctic-fish-lives-below-2-500-feet-of-ice

  54. From the article:

    According to a recent survey (available in .pdf form here) by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, over 80% of Americans said they would support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.”

    https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/mandatory-labels-on-foods-containing-dna-80-of-americans-support-that-011915.html

  55. I have been busy designing a crowd sourced AWD electric beach buggy at Local Motors. What fun.

    Maybe design it around a motor – or four of them. Not available yet – but seemingly close at $1600 a piece. Provides usable amounts of power and great torque. Some 50kW/motor – 200kW in total compared to the 13kW Twizzy motor used in the printable car. 30 odd kW more than the Chevy Volt.

    Simplifies things enormously. Engines – gearbox – differentials – all gone. They say it is designed for SUV’s amongst other things.

    http://www.proteanelectric.com/en/about-us/

    You would need to add a battery pack and a range extender. The Volt uses a 1.4 litre ICE. The next step is a free piston linear generator – perhaps fueled by LNG.

    This is a better idea – still in development.

    http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid

    With a printable chassis – perhaps something like the Lotus Evora vehicle platform – http://www.lotuscars.com/gb/engineering/vehicle-pl… – perhaps incorporating space for batteries – and even aluminium sections for torsional stability and crumple zones – you can hang a variety of configurations off it.

    This beach buggy is on a VW bug chassis.

    Maybe a hard top and soft top option – like the Jeep Wrangler.

    • Rob Ellison

      When I think of a Jeep Wrangler, I think of clearance for off road cruising; sand dunes, rock beaches, and rutted fields. The space occupied by the protean motor needs to be minimal to allow vehicle to traverse over obstacles; wheels on both sides of object. Drive is independent.

      What lingers in the back of my mind, weight of the batteries; i.e. lugging around some horrendous amount of weight and, there is no jerry can to fill up the tank when your in a valley, position flag waving, and no “electric” passer-bys. If in the “Outback”, its a long way to Tipperary.

      Range is the issue even if you top up at every opportunity.

      • The motors fit in a conventional wheel where the brakes would normally be. The batteries weigh about 250kg – low down – centrally placed – get rid of gear boxes – large engines – differentials – half of the fuel weight – start with a light weight chassis.

        Perhaps more Suzuki than Wrangler – certainly more beach buggy. Beach buggies need to be light and agile – much better for sand and rally type driving. The yellow design is much sexier – https://localmotors.com/rambone/dunester-dune-buggy/

        With a free piston linear generator – the batteries can be recharged on the go. Range is limited only by the fuel you are prepared to carry.

        A simple idea – mount magnets and coils and you have a linear generator.

        There’s a video in the DLR link.

      • Rob Ellison

        Is the gas turbine a two cycle engine like the old BMW motorcycle apposing cylinders?

    • Curious George

      The first application of these ideas will likely be in military gear. They don’t have it yet, so there might be a little devil in the details.

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

    WARNING
    Snowpocalyse coming to NYC
    De Blasio sounds ridiculous
    allow me to paraphrase Tip O’Neill
    “all climate is local”

  57. Just on a sewage theme, but hurtling and private-jetting far away from Deniersville:

    ‘America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence.’ Property Investor Jeff Greene (of sub-prime fame) at Davos.

    Among other properties, floating and land-based, Jeff has a $195 million home in Beverly Hills. It has 23 bathrooms.
    That’s a lot of Low Flush to plumb in! But I’m sure Jeff opted for Ultra Low, for the planet ‘n all. Any peas that float can be skimmed out by Hispanic staff.

    Peak Silly yet? Or more to come?

  58. While I am here – it is Australia’s day to member that 200 odd years ago some white guys – many of them in chains – landed on a beach in the antipodes. We’re keeping the tradition alive – although chains have been relegated to Mardi Gras.

  59. I have to wonder about the nous of both my country of birth and my adopted one.

    UK: An influential committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change. The government’s drive for shale gas should be put on hold because it would lead to more reliance on fossil fuels, the Environmental Audit Committee said.

    Oz: Australia is awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, a year after the honour was reintroduced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Mr Abbott said the Prince deserved Australia’s highest honour for a “long life of service and dedication”.

    • “I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist…. I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.” Sir Prince Philip (or however you say it).

      A truly great Prince Consort was killed by a deadly bug we worry about less these days. His physician, William Jenner, did much of the foundational work. The remedy also has to do with the achievements of a man called Bazalgette, who named part of his great apparatus after the Prince.

      Prince Albert was defender of another Jenner’s work and memory. What would he make of Aussie Sir Prince Philip’s often repeated wish to be reincarnated as a lethal virus to cull tedious humanity?

      • “wish to be reincarnated as a lethal virus to cull tedious humanity?”

        Well, hopefully after he reincarnates he is introduced to a modern disinfectant.

    • Ffffffft. Prince Philip! Though I have no beef with the Royal Family
      per se. Queen Elizabeth’s late father was a dutiful servant of his
      people in WW2, kinda’ Foyle’s War stuff, Prince P not so much.
      Serfs think virus envy ‘n such is not ter be admired.

      • I was born in Windsor and strongly suspect I am of Royal blood.

        It is not befitting for a serf to speak with so little respect of their betters.

        You have obviously been consorting with Simon de Montford again. We have had our suspicions of your family loyalties ever since your sister gave up the thought for the day franchise.
        tonyb

      • LOL Tony b.Thought fer terday hmm ‘….

  60. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    James Hansen’s latest Communication
    he’s too polite to say …
       … “Told you so”!

    Global Temperature in 2014 and 2015
    posted 16 January 2015

    Summary  Record global temperature in 2014, achieved with little assistance from the tropical ENSO cycle, confirms continuing global warming.

    More warming is expected in coming years and decades as a result of Earth’s large energy imbalance (more energy coming in than going out).

    With the help of even a mild El Nino 2015 may be significantly warmer than 2014.

    Noted  Personal abuse, doxxing, and demagogic rhetoric are notably absent from Hansen’s communications.

    How does Hansen do it? The world wonders!

    Good on `yah, James Hansen, for respectful, rational, responsible discourse … sustained through many decades!

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

  61. Group of physicists

    At room temperature there are two rotational DoF’s and at higher temperatures there are also two vibrational DoF’s. What is relevant is that nitrogen can absorb and emit in a process called Raman scattering which involves low frequency radiation in the Raman band which, although below the frequencies of the IR band, does still comprise some of the radiation from Earth’s surface.

    No atmosphere in any known planet in our Solar System is totally unable to absorb and emit radiation, especially when you recognise your mistake and realise that diatomic molecules do have more DoF’s than just the three translational ones, and so absorption and emission in the Raman band is possible.

    Hence the effective radiating temperature of a planet with an atmosphere will be found somewhere in the atmosphere, usually within the troposphere. This anchors the overall level of the thermal profile after allowing for albedo. Then the temperature gradient associated with the overall state of thermodynamic equilibrium allows us to extrapolate the thermal plot to the surface and thus estimate the supporting surface temperature. That temperature is close to observed minimum values on calm nights. On clear days, especially in the tropics and nearby latitudes, the solar radiation can indeed raise the surface temperature with temporary extra energy that usually dissipates later that same day. The cooling slows or ceases when the temperature approaches the supporting temperature. The actual energy flows can be understood and explained once it is understood that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium has a temperature gradient equal to the “dry” -g/Cp value less a reduction due mostly to inter-molecular radiation, but maybe also some latent heat release.

    • Group of physicists

      Sorry that should read “albedo would be reduced from 30% to about 20%. This was our revised figure which is being conservative in assuming there would still be reflection from the atmosphere and that reflection from the surface would be more than the existing 6% because there is less absorption of insolation and so more to be reflected from the surface,

  62. Group of physicists

    (continued)

    In the first paragraph above (where we were discussing nitrogen and the process of Raman scattering we deduced that atmospheres will radiate even without having water vapor and other so-called greenhouse gases.

    This enables us to determine what the Earth;s surface temperature would have been without water vapor etc. There would of course be no clouds, so albedo would be reduced from 30% to about 10%, of which 6% is from the surface. So the effective radiating temperature is based on 0.8(1366/4) = 273.2W/m^2 which gives 263.4K instead of 255K. Also the temperature gradient would be 9.8C/Km so we add (for 4Km) about 40C° and thus get about 303K.

    Fortunately greenhouse gases cool the surface by about 15 degrees.

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

    Monster storm…Warmest year
    economy improving…income growth stagnate for average person
    hmm…

  64. Oh dear. It’s a disaster. We will no doubt keep warming until we are as warm as it was in the past!

    Woe, woe, thrice woe!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  65. At what point will people like Stephen Chu worry about the rather more certain risks of not having enough energy because we assumed/hoped renewables were capable of filling the void left by increasingly outlawed fossil fuels?

    • JamesG – “…at what point…Stephen Chu worry…not having enough energy…”

      Never. We will have “enough” energy, it will just be too expensive for the serfs to buy it, and he and his ilk don’t care about that.

  66. Heh – nice reveal of the pompous a** that is “And Then There’s Physics”
    I also thought it was amusing that the Nobel Prize winner in Economics calling Climate Change important is about as negative an endorsement as possible: The Nobel Prize in Economics is not an actual Nobel prize, the doctrinal field of Economics is so utterly discredited as to be beyond belief, and the endorsement of a so-called hard science by a non-real Nobel Prize, non-hard science field of economics – there must be some sort of prize for pots calling kettles gold.

  67. Tony

    Last night on TV there was a segment on the Charing Cross Station fire. The segment described how investigators were initially befuddled; that it did not seem to conform to basic physics. Eventually they found the answer, discovering a new phenomena which became known as the “trench effect”.

    The new discovery reminded me of the climate debate; warmists saying that we know enough and skeptics saying we don’t. Did Charing Cross show that our knowledge of basic physics is incomplete?

    Richard

    • Richard

      Are you referring to the fire last November. I vaguely rememberEd it and on checking found this

      http://www.channel4.com/news/charing-cross-rail-station-fire-video

      As far as I was aware there was an electrical fault on a train.

      Did the programme say something else or was this another fire?

      Tonyb

    • Richard and Danny

      You two are in league to confuse me aren’t you? So it was the kings cross fire not the charing cross fire.

      I remember the big fire at kings cross well. I hadn’t heard about the trench effect though as being the cause.

      I think it illustrates we don’t know everything about physics as yet although bearing in mind the amount of money expended on climate that should be settled science once by now. It doesn’t appear to be though. Despite the protestations the uncertainty monster is alve and well and hotly pursued by the ‘ we just don’t know’ monster.

      Tonyb

      • Tonyb,
        “You two are in league to confuse me aren’t you? ” I fear it’s only confusion rubbing off from mine and not Richards. But misery does enjoy the company! The good news, we can now “unboil that egg”! ;)

      • Danny

        On a happier note regarding railway stations, if you get the chance go see ‘paddington’ he was named after paddington station in London.

        We had thought we might need to borrow a nine year old child in order to justify seeing it, after catching trailers when we went to see ‘turner’ (another must see film.)

        However as it turned out there were only adults at the screening we went to.

        Curious about that boiled egg isn’t it?

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Will seek it out. Thanks.
        Wish to share on our brief but enligtening visit to London in 2000. On our way via the chunnel to Paris we had a field education. The station (cannot recall the name) from which our trip was to originate was cleared out due to a threat of bombing. Think there may have even been a few AK’s in service. We watched as the upper lips stiffend on those surrounding. A quick reorganization and reroute and we were again on our way, all unperterbed. Going with the flow seemed most appropriate. This taught us much. Mother, by the way, was British (think I’ve shared this before), and a WWII survivor. Her genetics brought backbone down the line. Could not have been a “happier” note re: railway stations.

      • Tony,

        I apologize. It was the Kings Cross fire in 1987. The trench effect was related to the encline of an escalator (where a small fire started) and the low walls on each side of the elevator. Instead of the hot gases rising, they followed the upward incline of the escalator, close to the surface of the stairs, and eventually blew into the upper level in a massive burst of flame. Many people were killed and injured.

        Richard

      • Danny

        I think at that time you did indeed depart from Paddington station on the Eurostar.

        On the concourse was a little display which would have included the Paddington Bear of which I speak.

        Paddington is the main line to the West of England where I live. It was called the Great Western Railway or(GWR) or Go*ds wonderful Railway’ because of the many engineering marvels along it, designed by the great Brunel. Amongst those marvels were a short stretch (which included us) of ‘vacuum’ railway. Unfortunately it had to be abandoned as the rats ate the leather pipe which formed an integral part of the vacuum tube.

        It was also just round the corner from us that this time last year that the railway line got swept away in storms caused by ‘climate change’.

        I wrote about it here;

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/09/black-swans-dispatches-from-the-front-line-of-climate-change/

        Supposedly unprecedented in the 170 year history of the line, but it wasn’t.

        tonyb

  68. Scientists warning last week that we’re ever-closer to the apocalypse is proof of religious zeal, no. If not, then how about Obama, speaking for the Democrat party, at the State of the Union message last week: “And no challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Can you smell the sulfur?

  69. “So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline,” Obama said. “Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year and make this country stronger for decades to come.”

    So, he’ll only sign a bill with 30 times the pipeline of keystone. I don’t think we can come up with viable projects in a reasonable timeframe.

    He must mean freeing up nuclear power from regulation.

  70. Group of physicists

    All heat transfer (whether by radiation, conduction or convection) takes place in the direction which causes entropy to increase. And, in an isolated system, all heat transfers cease when entropy is at a maximum within the constraints of the system. We know this from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    So, until you genuinely understand when and how entropy increases and how you can know when it has reached the maximum, then you do not understand the processes that lead to the observed temperature gradients in tropospheres, crusts, mantles and cores.

    Yes, in a horizontal plane the transfer of thermal energy will be from warmer to cooler regions. But this is not always the case in a vertical plane in a gravitational field, or in a force field such as in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube that separates the gas into hotter and colder streams. That is because gravitational potential energy affects entropy.

    Until you understand why there is a propensity for the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy (PE+KE) to be constant as the system approaches thermodynamic equilibrium (which has a density gradient and a temperature gradient) you will get nowhere with any alternative reasoning.

    You may read about this and the supporting evidence here.


  71. et’s just take a moment to remember that Trump is not alone. In fact, it’s a scientifically proven fact that people’s opinions of global warming—an issue reaching over years and decades and centuries—can change based on the weather of a single day.

    Let’s just say that again, to let it settle in. It’s scientifically proven that the public will dampen its belief in global warming if the day they are being asked about it is colder than usual.
    …,

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102368396

  72. Pretty neat interactive if one wonders about the topics and levels of concerns. Can anyone shed lite on how/why in 2006 GW went from N/A to fairly substantial on the ‘ol radar? http://www.people-press.org/interactive/top-priorities/
    I’m guessing a “tipping point”.

    • Danny

      I think the tipping point possibly occurred in 2007 and not 2006?

      If so, I suggest the reason was the enormous publicity surrounding the ipcc ar4 report

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html

      Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Thank you. That follows. One thing I’ve noticed is I’m missing a good understanding of the history from approx. the Hansen paper (or maybe the Clean/Air & Water Acts over here) to today. Any suggestions on a reading?

      • Danny

        To get a good conventional overview of the history i would suggest you google the online book ‘The discovery of global warming’ by weart.

        Then to get a good overview of the scandal that made many people suspicious of the official view you could do worse than this

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Climategate-Crutape-Letters-Steven-Mosher/dp/1450512437

        It’s by our very own Stephen Mosher and Thomas fuller. Fortunately mosh is not in his cryptic mode and the story deals in depth with the climategate scandal.

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Thanks again. It will be interesting to read Mr. Mosher in more than about 5 word sentance segments.
        Seems he only gets a bit more wordy if his B.P. rises. I’ll assume that might have been the case in the Climategate circumstance.
        These will move to the top of my list as I’m finding I just can’t catch up reading various blog posts with their imbeded links, stay even with current blogs, googling various and sundries, and adding my two cents in some cases along the lines.

    • My initial guess would be that they added it to their list when it went from N/A to a numerical value.

      • Steven,

        I’d also wondered if it just became a question they were asking, but in looking at other topics such as tax reform I assumed that was not the case.

  73. Globalcalculator.org
    (New for me, thought I’d toss it out)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/28/fight-climate-change_n_6562264.html

    “But to achieve that, we must use energy more efficiently, shift away from fossil fuels, protect forests and make smarter use of land, it added.”