Climate change as a political process

All this talk about climate change has misled us collectively. It has made us search for a mega solution to a mega problem: it has created the impression that if we solve the problem of climate change, all other problems would also be solved. This is not the case. – Eija-Riitta Korhola

In a recent post, I echoed Dan Sarewitz’s question: Is climate change making us stupid?   A recent Ph.D. thesis from Finland suggests that the answer is ‘yes’.

This thesis is remarkable not only for its insightful analyst, but also for the background of the author. Roger Pielke Jr writes:

Eija-Riitta Korhola is a rare politician. She was a long-serving member of the European Parliament from Finland as a member of the European People’s Party, the largest block in the legislature. She has also recently completed an academic dissertation for a PhD in a policy field that she specializes in – climate policy. I can’t recall ever hearing of another politician completing a PhD while in office. Rare indeed.

Korhola’s dissertation is titled, “The Rise and Fall of the Kyoto Protocol: Climate Change as a Political Process”.

Some context is provided from the Preface, excerpts:

I was not the only one, but without doubt, I was one of the first Finnish politicians to knowingly push the issue of climate change and its threats onto the political agenda. I was worried about the effects of climate change on nature and society. I read the warnings issued by various environmental organisations. I followed scientific research on climate change and I had no particular reason to doubt its credibility. 

We are increasingly concerned with problems, which are wicked or super-wicked. These are systemic, self-fuelling tangles of problems, which are multidimensional, hard to define and which get out of hands and easily generate new problems when one tries to solve the old ones. 

My aim is to elucidate the difficulties which are arisen when this kind of wicked problem is misunderstood and processed with an outdated and prolonged decision-making procedure. We still try to solve wicked problems using traditional methods, as if they were tame problems. Thus, the final result may be even worse. These kinds of wicked problems may be, for instance, the war against terror, biodiversity loss, waste problems, the debt crisis and climate change.

When I entered politics, I wondered why climate change was not discussed at all. The time then came when I began to wonder, if it was possible to talk about anything without being forced to mention climate change. This happened during the great climate hype in 2007 when the political agenda changed abruptly. It seemed as if no issue could be promoted without mentioning the threat of global warming.

Because of the financial crisis, the climate hype is definitively over now. Politics is always a factor of “attention economics”, and now, economics seems to have taken the attention. The interest towards climate questions had dropped radically: the climate scare turned into a climate fatigue and also in this regard, overreaction can be expected. At the same time, the atmosphere has liberalised: critical opinions are no longer outright rejected and there is no single climate truth. We are living in times of some kind of a climate glasnost. We start recognizing some religious elements in that hype and perhaps question them.

However, the decisions arrived at during the hype are still in force and we are experiencing their consequences. My research is even more topical taking into account the fact that in 2012, 20 years have lapsed since the Rio Conference, and the Kyoto Protocol expired at the end of the same year. It is time to ponder the past 20-year period, its rise and decline – the whole narrative.

Along the way, my views have changed and I have often been forced to check my presumptions. I also have to face my own mistakes. I accept change and welcome it positively: I would not wish to finish up as a politician who ends up being on bad terms with the facts. “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”, asked the famous economist John Maynard Keynes. I believe that changing one’s mind is not the same as turning one’s coat – something politicians are often blamed for. However, someone who changes his values may be considered a turncoat. A value, such as the requirement for intellectual honesty, could also steer a person to change their opinion.

The chapters within the thesis that intrigued me particularly are:

5 Climate change as a grand narrative

6 Wicked and other  problems

Chapter 5 is probably worth an addition post, it is a very nice synthesis of a topic that I haven’t really covered here at Climate Etc.

Chapter 6 provides an excellent resource regarding climate change as a ‘wicked problem’.

The Bibliography/References is a treasure trove.

The Afterword summarizes her findings/conclusions, excerpts::

The key message of my thesis can be summarised as follows:

• During climate actions global emissions have increased forcefully, especially in developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol has not been able to intervene in this development. In the case of industrialised countries, no significant differences can be traced between countries that have taken up Kyoto obligations and those that have not. The ratifiers of the Kyoto Protocol have not succeeded significantly better, especially if also consumption is taken into account. The carbon-intensity (CO2 per GDP unit) of human kind has not decreased.

• UN Climate Conferences present a series of failures: they have created a conference culture that promotes postponing difficult issues to later meetings. The desired and pursued global treaty has not been produced in this framework.

• Climate change is a problem that we would not even know of without climate science. But this scientific field does not give as frightening a picture of the situation as the catastrophe discourse that has been born out of it. The relationship between science and politics has been problematic in climate science. The linear model of science has been dominating in such a way that in climate issues more certainty and more precise information than what science is able to provide has been expected. The political and public debate around climate change has been fierce. Many scientists were seduced to act as committed advocators rather than objective scientists. It is important that despite the pressure posed by political discussions the scientific community retains its cognitivistic ideal also in climate science, in order to preserve the credibility of science.

• Climate change became the next grand narrative after the Cold War dominating the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century. It bypassed many concrete and severe problems and a record amount of attention and resources were sacrificed to it. During this hype, emissions increased both relatively and absolutely. Environmental thinking took some steps backwards while climate change was cannibalising other problems. Still, the main environmental problems are caused by overpopulation, poorly planned land-use and over-exploitation of natural resources.

• Climate change has turned out to be a so-called wicked problem, which is hard to define, hard to solve, and whose solving does not have a clear end point and whose resolution attempts generate additional problems. Climate problem is a problem of decision-making.

• The Kyoto Protocol is not suitable for the solution to a wicked problem, because it is a copy of other agreements for tame and clearly definable problems. Thus, Kyoto has, as a matter of fact, worsened the situation as demonstrated by the increase in emissions. EU climate action cannot be considered successful, neither from the viewpoint of emissions reduction nor the angle of decision-making.

• The success of climate actions has also been disturbed by a massive and unpredictable global change. In 1997–2002, nobody guessed that China, India and partly South America’s economic growth will absorb industrial production so forcefully out of Europe and the US. The emission share of Kyoto countries was marginalised from 63% at the entry into force to 13–14% under Kyoto II.

• Climate policy should be split into pieces that are promoted decisively. Poverty, energy shortages, loss of biodiversity, desertification or the problems of developing countries cannot be reduced to a mere climate problem. These issues have to be dealt with as such because they are concrete problems.

• Scientific uncertainty is an acceptable fact of life, and the discussion on the causes of climate change will continue. We will never reach a stage in which research should end and politics should start based on this. Both have to be advanced simultaneously, also while uncertainty reigns. This poses a challenge to politics: it has to be so robust, sturdy or grounded in certainty and focused on relevant issues, that it does not have to be regretted significantly when scientific truths change.

On the grounds of all the elicited preceding information, we may state that the Kyoto Protocol is a failed climate strategy since emissions have neither been reduced absolutely nor relatively.

Poverty will not save the planet, unlike the environmental movement often seems to assume.  Poverty forces people to think shortsightedly and destroy their environment, the same way as limitless and irresponsible greed. Secondly, poverty makes us more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and weakens our ability to be prepared for all kinds of catastrophes.

Therefore, we must find a better strategy. We need to humble ourselves politically and acknowledge that the chosen way was wrong. We must do this, at least for the sake of the future generations.  Those who are able to learn from their own mistakes are the real heroes of democracy.

All this talk about climate change has misled us collectively. It has made us search for a mega solution to a mega problem: it has created the impression that if we solve the problem of climate change, all other problems would also be solved. This is not the case. Although, according to the saying, the media can handle just one issue at a time, and although obviously the same is also valid for humankind and its relationship with grand narratives, the real world is much more complicated. Combating climate change does not solve the problem of biodiversity, pollutants, poverty or energy shortage. As Hulme said, we have created a political log-jam for ourselves, one to which we now offer a vision of the “mother of all solutions”. There is no such thing at all.

So, how should we proceed from here? In the previous chapter, I outlined the theses presented by the so-called Hartwell Paper, which are well-founded in my opinion. Climate policy must be split into parts. The problems have to be tackled in a determined manner but not at the expense of creating or increasing other problems as has happened too often lately. We have to make policy that systematically rewards those who invest in energy efficiency and high environmental standards. We also have to return to the basics and give other problems the value they deserve. Poverty, the high price of energy, pollution, biodiversity degradation, desertification or problems of the less-developed countries cannot be reduced down to a climate problem. These problems must be taken as such since they are concrete problems.

It is thus at least equally as important to get inside our heads and demythologise the problem. Climate change cannot be solved by means of technology or science, because it is largely a product of culture and a pain of our hearts. What are we going to lose, if the climate changes, as Hulme asked? Perhaps nothing dramatic. The climate does not have the same value as biodiversity or the ozone layer; the depletion of both is clearly a threat to nature and humankind. When the climate changes, certain climatic conditions will just become rearranged; we do not lose the clouds, cast off rains or deny the sun. Certain climatic conditions will change, but not in such a way that we would have either a good or a bad climate as a result – somewhere else, other than in our imagination.

Our visions have caused future fear and anxiety, they are depriving our children of sleep, optimism and hope. I am not so sure at all whether they would have needed all this fear. I am not sure at all whether it is even possible to change the provocation of fear into a constructive action.

Even though I criticise many of the means to combat climate change in this book, I consider fostering a healthy environment as one of the most important pillars of life.

JC comments

I’ve read Korhola’s thesis in its entirety; I can’t find much to disagree with, and parts of it had me jumping up saying “Yes!”  Her thesis echoes two points that I have been making:

  • It has been a mistake to assume that both the problem and solution to climate change is irreducibly global
  • We have vastly oversimplified both the climate change problem and its solution, mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem.

Korhola’s thesis will be a valued resource for me as I ponder all this.

If you are interested in additional background on topics related to Korhola’s thesis, see these previous CE posts:

Korhola has a blog http://www.korhola.com, which is in Finnish.  She tweets at @ER_Korhola, I am now a follower.

425 responses to “Climate change as a political process

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Eija-Riitta Korhola’s message is well-echoed by work this week from Naomi Oreskes and James Hansen, which amounts to this: politicians who are brave enough to foreswear Playing Dumb on Climate Change can seize a foresighted Golden Opportunity …

    … to forestall climate-change whose sobering scientific reality (both theoretical and observational) has become rationally undeniable.

    Thank you, Judith Curry, for helping citizens to integrate their scientific, historical, economic, political, and moral appreciation of climate-change!

    \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}

    • “Thank you, Judith Curry, for helping citizens to integrate their scientific, historical, economic, political, and moral appreciation of climate-change!”

      And thank you fan, for reminding us that when we get right down to it, you guys have nothing to offer but willful blindness, twisted “facts,” and endless propaganda.

      • And never forget, the Pope and other believers in the flying spaghetti monster are behind Fan foursquare!

      • TJA,
        Being a righteous Pastafarian, wearing my colander with pride, I can assure you that you should be afraid, be very afraid, of coming to the notice of His Most Grand Noodliness.

        To assume that we righteous Pastafarians are foursquare behind Fan is correct, but only at the time we are hounding him from the Temple, for bringing the worship of the most Noodly Flying Spaghetti Monster into disrepute. Long may he slurp!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • ‘Today we could jump-start a carbon fee at a large rate, say $100 per ton of CO2, collected from fossil fuel companies on the first sale at domestic mines and ports-of-entry. This initial fee generates more than $600B per year in the U.S., which should be 100% distributed electronically (to bank accounts or debit cards) to all legal residents. With half a share for children up to two per family, a family of four or more would receive about $6000/year. Subsequent increase of the carbon fee would be slow, e.g., $10/ton per year, to allow people and entrepreneurs time to make changes and investments, as we move toward carbon-free energies and energy efficiency.’

      How to add another trillion dollars/year to the US deficit. Utterly insane thinking that is utterly at odds with this post, the Hartwell Paper, Pragmatic Climate, etc.

      • Has does that quote relate to Fan? I agree it would be stupid policy.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        What price oil-nation wars Rob Ellison?

        Obvious conclusion  Carbon-energy cost-accounting is a “wicked” problem that neo-conservatives have never mastered.

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT* common-sense reality, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • It is in the link he provided – the “Golden Opportunity”. Low oil enable taxing the hell out of fossil fuels apparently.

      • Iraqi oil was available on the market – oil for food – and on the black market. Fuel supplies are not the real problem as yet.

        Energy innovation remains the solution to potential scarcity as well. Folks like FOMBS haven’t really got the hang of a little idea called economic substitution. If you really concerned with externalities of fossil fuels – the price is R&D to cost effectively replace the source. Say a billion dollar triennial global energy prize. Cheap as chips. Not the complete and utter and ongoing fiasco of Kyoto or trillion dollar taxes.

        But there is still a much broader problem of climate forcings.

        Carbon dioxide is some quarter of the problem when you factor in black carbon. The solution here is a silver scatter gun approach – as I quote elsewhere in this post.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/26/climate-change-as-a-political-process/#comment-668823

        Notwithstanding insane politics and policy from fringe extremists – the way forward is obvious.

      • Here you go Ed Martin.

      • And here ya go back at ya

      • Wow, thanks, I found a new one… We desperately needed another FDR, we keep getting ‘Tricky D*cks’

    • Tonight I am pleased to report that Occam’s razor shaved Big Brother!

    • Matthew R Marler

      From the afterword: Climate change is a problem that we would not even know of without climate science. But this scientific field does not give as frightening a picture of the situation as the catastrophe discourse that has been born out of it.

      How exactly has that message been echoed by Oreskes and Hansen?

      Oreskes, at your link: CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — SCIENTISTS have often been accused of exaggerating the threat of climate change, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that they ought to be more emphatic about the risk.

      Hansen, at your link: My talk, “Our Golden Opportunity”, includes several strong criticisms, beginning with scientists. We scientists are certain that humanity faces an emergency, right now.

      Korhola’s thesis deserves careful reading by a wide audience. The science, taken all together, does not give as frightening a picture as communicated by Oreskes and Hansen.

      • “The science, taken all together, does not give as frightening a picture as communicated by Oreskes and Hansen.”

        Which seems to frighten Oreskes and Hansen.

    • That article breaks all the rules of statistics, twists all the wordsto mean the opposite to normal, etc.See the following statistician’s comments:-
      http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=15179
      http://www.statsblogs.com/2015/01/04/significance-levels-are-made-a-whipping-boy-on-climate-change-evidence-is-05-too-strict/
      “Playing Dumb on Statistical Significance” by Nathan Schachtman

      I know a lot of climate scientists mangle statisitics badly, but that …..

  2. This is a remarkably good statement, but Eija-Riitta Korhola misses the most important point of all : There isn’t actually a problem.

    • Well summarized. There is an issue which may or may not become a problem…sometime….somewhere

      • If it is a problem I can think of 100 much worse ones that need to be tackled first. I suspect that the problem only exists in the minds of computer modellers and those juggling with advanced statistical techniques

        Tonyb

      • Not to imply that multiple issues can’t be worked at the same time. I agree that we have to assign priorities for the application of our limited resources.

    • “to say that there isn’t a problem constitutes an insult to the sensibilities of the educated classes”. ~ paraphrasing Lindzen. This will always be true so long as the average person still thinks of the climate problem in terms of blankets and the trapping of heat and Hiroshima bombs. The poorly developed physical process imaginations of most people is what allows CAGW to soldier on. When you next encounter an CAGW proponent ask them if they think it’s reasonable to describe the global mean temperature anomaly as being primarily a function of man made emissions of CO2.

      • “I think Mosher is pointing out the fact that Democrats across the land vanquished Republican Senate, House, Governor and Statehouse candidates by labeling them as climate deniers.”

        For Mosher to “point it out,” wouldn’t it have had to have actually happened?

        I don’t think he’s referring to the last election at all. Mosher is obscurantist, not stupid. He is just regurgitating the conventional wisdom of his tribe, for whom no facts are necessary.

      • This should be in the thread below…

      • Steven Mosher

        “Luckily there are others that are capable of calling a spade a spade.

        NOAA, wtf NOAA published this”

        You too.

        I’ll repeat the position that steve mcintyre and I share on climategate.

        Climategate was NOT about temperature records.

        Folks who tried to make it about temperature records, in PARTICULAR those hacks who asked me to help them find/create dirt on NOAA in the climategate emails, are the problem.

      • Steven Mosher, “Folks who tried to make it about temperature records, in PARTICULAR those hacks who asked me to help them find/create dirt on NOAA in the climategate emails, are the problem.”

        You are getting specific when you should think general. “Tightening up” is not smearing. There is no infallible organization. cliamategate was more an indication of the warm and fuzzy politics involved in science than real miscarriages of scientific methods. Mann of course would be “exceptional”, but in general the “trust me, I am a scientist” bit was shot to hell by climategate.

        You are looking at this like Nick Stokes looks at Mann-O-Matic procedure. It is the whole process not just the bits that make the situation.

    • Steven Mosher

      since she is a policy maker and you are not, her opinion wins.
      sorry.

      • Steve
        Here is where we disagree.

        Communication of clear policy statements and the supporting rationale by any member of the populace can impact government policy. Other people and Politicians pick up on what has become popular in the public. (although I agree it’s easier to get noticed to if you if you have $/power)

        The issue of climate change is a long term issue, but not necessarily a problem. The scientific data is very unclear when or even if the climate will be significantly worse as a result of more CO2. We should reduce our emissions to reduce the risk where possible but need to look at all our funding priorities.

      • Steven Mosher

        Rob

        you dont have a pen
        you dont have a phone.

        what you think doesn’t matter.

        The people who represent you left the battlefield. Now all they can do is whine.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: what you think doesn’t matter.

        Sez you?

        Korhola’s thesis is bound to have more influence than most writings because it is so thorough, and because of her personal involvement in the policy-making process. But every voter’s thoughts matter.

      • Curious George

        Steven – I agree with you regarding policy makers. But you may be abusing your crystal ball. How do you know what Rob does not have when you don’t know how high above your head the ERL is right now?

      • moshe thinks the pen and the phone is a bundle of sticks. Soon out of ink and out of range.
        ================

      • “since she is a policy maker and you are not, her opinion wins”.

        Steven, you have posted some ridiculous comments in the past, but surely this is the most stupid yet. It is so stupid that it is even difficult to explain what is wrong with it (to someone who thinks like that). Let me try: There is no connection between being a policy maker and opinions being right. Let’s suppose that you are unarmed and someone is pointing a gun at you. At that point in time, their opinion wins (ie, they are the policy maker). But are they right?

      • I love it when Mosher’s liberaltarian facade slips and we see the iron fisted progressive beneath.

        “since she is a policy maker and you are not, her opinion wins.”

        “you dont have a pen
        you dont have a phone.

        what you think doesn’t matter.”

        Jonathan Gruber’s got nuthin’ on Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher

        I’m just pointing out the fact that talking on a blog isn’t effective action
        Having an opinion doesn’t trump power.

        Republicans fought the science and the science won

      • Yeah, nobody backpedals faster than a progressive who has screwed up by saying what he actually thinks.

        See eg. the aforementioned Jonathan Gruber.

      • “Republicans fought the science and the science won”

        Democrats are still full on board with decarbonization as a global policy. Republicans are against it, and just took over the Senate in the US, not to mention previous gains in Canada and Australia.

        It seems to me that someone who claims to be a lukewarmer would side with the Republicans on the ultimate policy debate of decarbonization. It also seems to me that, so far, Republicans have won on that issue in the elections. Although democracy is obviously no hindrance to a progressive with a pen and a phone.

        But a true progressive would believe the party line that “Republicans fought the science and the science won.”

        Keep writing. This is fun.

      • I think Mosher is pointing out the fact that Democrats across the land vanquished Republican Senate, House, Governor and Statehouse candidates by labeling them as climate deniers. I can’t remember any examples right off the top of my little head, but ask Mosher to provide you with the list he is carrying around in his pocket.

      • Policy maker? Bullpucky!

        Policy is made in the voting booth!

      • Don Monfort,

        “I think Mosher is pointing out the fact that Democrats across the land vanquished Republican Senate, House, Governor and Statehouse candidates by labeling them as climate deniers.”

        For Mosher to “point it out,” wouldn’t it have had to have actually happened?

        I don’t think he’s referring to the last election at all. Mosher is obscurantist, not stupid. He is just regurgitating the conventional wisdom of his tribe, for whom no facts are necessary.

      • Mosher

        The Science didn’t show up. The scientists-turned-activists have turned science up-side-down.

        Regards,

        Richard

      • btw, don’t confuse climate blog nerds with the world at large. People make “policy” everyday with their choices. In fact, the people of Greece just made a decision yesterday and they didn’t have to consult any technocrats to do it.

      • Thanks Gary, I guess I was confused.

        Mosher is not a progressive. He is not talking about Republicans losing elections. He is talking about something else. It requires more than unidimensional thinking to understand the complex mind of Mosher.

      • don monfort,

        “I think Mosher is pointing out the fact that Democrats across the land vanquished Republican Senate, House, Governor and Statehouse candidates ”

        vs.

        “He is not talking about Republicans losing elections. He is talking about something else. It requires more than unidimensional thinking to understand the complex mind of Mosher.”

        If by “unidimensional” you mean self contradictory….

        But I can see you have learned well from Mosher. He likes to take both sides of the argument too.

      • I am not taking both sides of the argument, Gary. I am having a little fun with people on both sides of the argument. I guess that makes me a progressive by your unidimensional way of thinking. If I am not with ya, I’m agin ya. The difference between Mosher and you is that he knows what I am doing and you don’t have a clue. You could lighten up a bit, Gary.

      • “since she is a policy maker and you are not, her opinion wins.
        sorry.”

        Try understanding the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. The likelihood of climate legislation passing the US congress in the next decade is pretty low. Why is this?

        Environmentalists going out of their way to alienate the right has proven disastrous. What is really surprising is the sanctimonious arrogant attitude (as you so elegantly demonstrate), as if this is somehow the path to climate enlightenment. The right doesn’t even have to put up a fight when environmentalists do such a good job of making themselves so unlikable.

        If effective climate legislation is actually the goal, compromises are going to have to be made to get votes from the side that for some reason is treated like a moronic enemy. Counter productive. If the goal is to wait until the greens have absolute power to implement their will, I suggest that wait is going to be a very, very, long time.

      • Don Monfort,

        Sorry, I know you think you are hilarious, and apparently you think your your self-contradictory comments aren’t self-contradictory if you think you’re being funny, but Mosher is the king of self-contradiction around here, the Obsurantist-in Chief. So saying he gets you does not make your point the way you think it does.

        On the other hand, I better be careful, or Monfort will use his razor-like wit to add a ‘y’ to the end of my name to form a diminutive. Oh rats, that won’t work with me….

        Wait, maybe an ‘ie’.

      • Mosh, “I’m just pointing out the fact that talking on a blog isn’t effective action.”

        I agree, but the warmies seem to think our talking on blogs is somehow holding back action on climate change.

        I find it a bit bizarre, and in defiance of all the evidence, that being, or having been, a policy maker imbues one with a wisdom denied ordinary people.

        I’m assuming you’re an American, or indeed Canadian, citizen, both countries were built on the undeniable fact, accepted by the policy makers of the time, that when it came to policy the voice of the people is supreme.

        It is a regrettable fact that in the Anglosphere over the last 50 years or so the policy makers have rowed back from that respect for the common sense of ordinary people, and prefer now to take the views of lobby groups to those of the voters in general.

        This slow death of democracy is exemplified by otherwise well educated and knowledgeable people openly saying that policy makers know best.

        They don’t.

      • GaryM, be careful. His wit may extend far enough for him to start referring to you as, “My dear Gary.”

      • The statement “what you think doesn’t matter.” is all about hopelessness and despair and the tone of the subject/debate. We all make decisions and can. I for one make policy everyday with what I purchase and who I vote for as what I say and how I feel. I do not live in the eye of a politician, on about the same level as a possum.

      • Gary and brandy sittin’ in a tree attempting humor in harmony. You two sourpusses ain’t got half a sense of humor between you.

        Gary, you poor thing. You actually thought that I was being serious, when I said that Mosher should present his list.

        “For Mosher to “point it out,” wouldn’t it have had to have actually happened?”

        Yes Gary, everybody knows that. Even I know that the Republicans cleaned up. I worked on several campaigns. I actually put my money and my mouth, where my mouth is. Talking on a blog isn’t effective action.

        Mosher says:

        “I’m just pointing out the fact that talking on a blog isn’t effective action
        Having an opinion doesn’t trump power.”

        That’s a defensible utterance.

        “Republicans fought the science and the science won”

        That one needs some elaboration and justification. That’s why I tweaked Steven with my comment on the recent elections. But that’s over your head. You are distracted by your hunt for the progressives hiding under every bed. And maybe you are not very bright. Certainly not as bright as your buddy Brandon.

      • > That one needs some elaboration and justification.

        One word suffices. Demographics:

      • Thanks for the MSNBC perspective, willy. Will probably reach a bigger audience here than it got on cable. Is this their new survival strategy?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mosher is not a progressive. He is not talking about Republicans losing elections. He is talking about something else. It requires more than unidimensional thinking to understand the complex mind of Mosher.”

        Thank you Don.

        “The difference between Mosher and you is that he knows what I am doing and you don’t have a clue.”

        man and I love you for it.

        ######################
        At the bottom I am trying to shake up my fellow conservatives with a few cryptic comments.

        It stems from a conversation I had with a K street guy who used to work with one of the well known anti climate science think tanks, but left.

        His bottom line for leaving was two fold:

        One he was sick and tired of the anti science conspiracy thinking. this resonated with me cause I had gotten email from some think tank guys who wanted to know how they could use climategate to smear NOAA. WTF? I repeat WTF!! I want no fricking part of that. The science says man is warming the earth. the question is how much. Fight the science and you end up looking like a creationist or anti vaxer .

        Two: he recognized that climate change would not go away as an issue
        and that somebody would do something somehow.He foresaw the pen and the phone. A potential crisis can be useful for pushing an agenda as democrats have realized. You can fight the science or use the science yourself.

        And so position of the guy who deals in power was this. He didnt want to play defense. he wanted to play offense, even though the other side had made the first move. That also resonated with me.
        e4
        c5

        So I see my fellow conservatives playing defense, badly. Instead of taking political action, they write on blogs. Instead of using the science to fight for an agenda, they fight a losing battle against the science. They make stupid arguments about the science being a hoax that put sane republicans on the defensive having to explain their nonsense or excuse their ignorance. They squandered an opportunity.

      • “my fellow conservatives”

        Now THAT’S funny.

      • Steve
        Good summary of your rationale.

      • “my fellow conservatives”

        I guess there is no bottom to the barrel.

        Andrew

      • although the conservative vs. liberal label seem to depend upon the issue and the available data on the topic

      • Maybe I should find the comment I posted long ago pointing out several of the funniest examples of Mosher’s typing out of both sides of his keyboard.

        Here it is.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/15/why-libertarians-should-support-a-carbon-tax/#comment-344518

      • Steven mosher, “One he was sick and tired of the anti science conspiracy thinking. this resonated with me cause I had gotten email from some think tank guys who wanted to know how they could use climategate to smear NOAA. WTF? I repeat WTF!! I want no fricking part of that.”

        Luckily there are others that are capable of calling a spade a spade.

        NOAA, wtf NOAA published this

        NOAA WTF NOAA,

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2014/11/why-do-alarmists-love-marcott-et-al.html

      • Steven, I was thinking I would tell you that your time would have been better spent had you been been explicit rather than cryptic, but I read the comments below yours and I see that it doesn’t help to spell it out for some people.

        I think you may be overestimating the damage that has been done by yahoos to the ‘conservative side’ of the political climate argument. The truth is that the U.S electorate is really not very sophisticated and they don’t understand the science. The majority are easily swayed by unscientific and outright bogus arguments. Gruber is right. That’s why the alarmists are doubling down on the Gruberesque unscientific scare tactics. Oh, it’s getting hotter than Hell! We know what’s good for you. Trust us.

        The scientific argument is in another realm. But it’s all about politics to many of these characters. Known progressives and fellow travelers like yourself are not going to make any headway with the bedrock militant progressives-under-every-bed conservative pseudo-scientists. They’ll just bog you down, Steven. Have a little fun with ’em and discard.

      • Don, Just how “scientific” do you think NOAA’s cartoon climate roller coaster is? Group think isn’t a conspiracy, it is just one of those cycles we go through. Right now there is a lot of piss poor “science” being churned out. Mosher points that out often but then gets all warm and fuzzy when he thinks one side is going over board. Both sides go over board more and more often when the divide gets larger.

      • Steven Mosher

        I think you may be overestimating the damage that has been done by yahoos to the ‘conservative side’ of the political climate argument.

        Opportunity cost is notoriously hard to estimate.

        I’m just alerting these yahoos to the fact that they lost an opportunity
        and now have to fight the pen and phone.

        guess what?

        they dont have the stones for that fight either.

        maybe they will write a comment.

      • Capt, there is definitely a lot of foolishness and outright dishonesty on the settled science side. And unlike Monckton’s entertaining shenanigans, we are being compelled to fund it. However, I am open-minded about the possibility that CO2 accumulation could be a serious problem sometime in the future. I would really like to know if I am doing bad things that will screw up the climate and make life harder for future generations.

        I think Mosher is honestly trying to help resolve that issue. I also wonder if he may have lost some objectivity, since he got mixed up with that BEST crowd. Stockholm syndrome. I am watching him closely, Capt.

        I could be persuaded to pay a lot more for greener energy if someone would show me a chart with water vapor increasing in lock step with CO2 and temperature. They only show us the charts with CO2 and temperature. It seems to me, having spent extended periods sleeping on the ground in deserts and tropical jungles, that water vapor is not a strong positive feedback. Where is the evidence?

        Why haven’t any continental high temperature records been broken in nearly four decades of ever increasing CO2 that has allegedly loaded the climate dice by orders of magnitude? This is supposed to be the hottest year evah, in the hottest decade evah. The climate dice are coming up craps. The pause is killing the cause.

        It might take some time before we figure out what’s what, if ever. I would like to see the Congress appropriate a few billion dollars to fund some of the world’s great minds to check the work of climate scientists. No current publicly funded academics allowed. Give a billion to the Lockheed Skunkworks. Give a billion to Boeing. They know something about atmospheric physics, how to measure stuff and analyze data to solve complex problems. Some other non-governmental organizations with similar capabilities. One-off research contracts excluding any future funding. We don’t want them jumping on the gravy train.

        Just my very humble opinion. And I think I’ll take a break from this repetitive foolishness. Got some projects to work on.

      • I got you, Steven. I don’t think anything momentous is going to happen, unless it starts getting significantly warmer. So the peeps can feel it. But that joshie is interesting.

      • Don

        “Just my very humble opinion.”

        And, in my humble opinion, your opinion is spot on. I would also add these thoughts:

        1. Is there any difference between being a lukewarmer and a denier? 0.5C?

        2. Were you as surprised as me, about Korhola’s view that the alarmists were loosing influence?

        Richard

      • Steven Mosher, “I think you may be overestimating the damage that has been done by yahoos to the ‘conservative side’ of the political climate argument.”

        I am sure that is not directed at me. The damage done on both sides is sickening. There isn’t a great deal of difference really, the dihydrogene monioxide idjits versus the plain vanilla idjits. I tend to prefer the plain vanilla since they generally admit they don’t know everything.

      • “maybe they will write a comment”

        (taken from a comment by Mosher)

        Heal thyself.

        Andrew

      • “Republicans fought the science and the science won”

        Actually, the modelers took on the skeptics and the skeptics won (with actual science).

    • That’s the thing, Tony. There are too many real problems in the world.. People are understandably overwhelmed. So what do they do? Make up an imaginary problem that’s orders of magnitude worse than the actual problems (we’re all going to fry), and then pretend we can solve it…if only we can all become “good” enough. It’s all quite fascinating. Deeply primitive in my view…the sense that we only need appease the gods by good acts.

      • From jungle witch dockters, ter priests of the Nile, ter
        guvuhmint u – name – it …’Only I, ( WE ) can save y’all
        from the wrath of the Gods.’

      • Which reminds me. ‘ Thought for Today.’

        ‘When one with honeyed words but evil mind
        Persuades the mob, great woes may befall the State.’

        Euripides – Orestes.

      • Beth’s fine quote by Euripides enables us to recall that ancient Greece was perhaps destroyed by a 300 year long drought.

        http://www.livescience.com/38893-drought-caused-ancient-mediterranean-collapse.html

        Tonyb

      • Now lignite-rich Greece has formed a gas energy triangle with Cyprus and Israel, the politics and geopolitics of it all could keep one entertained for as long as coal, gas and other fossil fuels abound – which is a long time. Turkish naval threats, Palestinian claims, demarcation disputes, EU permissions and participation…Isn’t it fun depending on others and fighting with just about everyone over energy! (To think boring old Oz used to just burn its own coal from right out of its back yard just because it’s easily accessible and in massive supply. So shallow.)

        Of course, Greece’s brand-new Syriza government will sort it all out ethically etc. They have intellectuals who can ponder narratives and such like. They also have Greens Party partners to advise them on how to go all sustainable and renewable by such-and-such a date. And everybody knows that old law of gravity whereby money in Europe just slides effortlessly from the north to the south. So why make your own money?

        Never mind. Someone somewhere is burning stuff to make all the stuff you like. Any contradictions can be explained away with “honeyed words” from ethicists, climate experts and Guardian journalists. It’s all good, serfs.

      • ‘Time will explain it all. He is a talker and needs no
        questioning before he speaks.’ Aeolus.

        And ‘ he,’ if he is smart, relies on long term predictions
        fer which he won’t be held accountable. He can talk
        the talk with no need ter walk the walk. Like predicting,
        by the end of the century, a three degree rise in temperature
        or more.’

      • “The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” – Antisthenes

      • Regarding Antisthenes’ observation, guess that’s why
        some of us are drawn to Climate Etc. Uncertainty as
        the state of play in climate science and a reminder of
        Feynman’s words to scientists ‘first do not fool your-self.’

      • Ol’ Antisthenes also observed: “Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”

    • I suspect that changing the composition of the atmosphere is an adventure full of risk – and not in a good way. Given the state of knowledge and the complexity of the system – the outcomes will be most likely surprising.

      The Hartwell Paper was the preceded by an earlier paper from Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner – The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy

      ‘The final section sets down the principles that should underpin a viable engagement with climate security. In it, we take a radically different approach from the top-down command and regulatory regime of output targets that is Kyoto. Our approach is both older and simpler. It sets out to harness enlightened self-interest to drive a process designed to generate a range of possible solutions, which can be compared and assessed, mixed and matched, changed and refined as we pursue the goal of climate security. In this essay, the reader will not find a detailed critique of the Kyoto mechanisms. Nor will the reader find a proposal for a different single solution in place of Kyoto. We have refrained from this because climate change is not a discrete problem amenable to any single shot solution, be it vi
      Kyoto or any other. Climate change is the result of a particular development path and its globally interlaced supply system of fossil energy. No single intervention can change such a complex nexus (although as the earlier sections have shown, the attempt to do so has produced unintended and unwelcome effects). There is no simple silver bullet…

      The flexibility of our silver buckshot approach, emphasising technology investment and adaptation, would allow early policy interventions to serve as a series of policy experiments, from which lessons could be drawn about what works, when and where. Cooperation, competition, and control could all be brought to bear on the problem as appropriate. A particular
      advantage of this approach is that it allows for switching strategy. Policy actors (not just governments) would have the ability to abandon courses of action that are not working, and transfer their efforts to those that might, by responding to price signals in genuine markets for example, and without the ponderous necessity of renegotiating an entire international regime.’

      There would seem to be mitigation potential in restoring agricultural soils, restoring and conserving ecosystems, reducing black carbon, nitrous oxide and methane emissions that have broader health and productivity benefits. Along with social and economic development progress that reduces population pressure with improvements in health, education and welfare – while building resources for these other actions.

      This approach stands in stark contrast to philosophies of limits and negative growth. We need a new agenda of global growth and optimism that is framed and promulgated by moderates – embracing social and environmental progress on broad fronts – as an antidote to the prophets of doom and their carbon monomania. There are multiple, rational ways forward to a bright future.

      • The first cab off the rank should to remove the impediments that have increased the cost of nuclear, are effectively blocking investment in it and have slowed it’s growth rate to near a standstill since the 1980s. Arguably regulatory ratcheting has increase the cost of nuclear by about a factor of 8. Although the impediments could be removed relatively quickly (if the will was there and that depends on honest education), it will take decades until all the effects of the 50 years of regulatory ratcheting have been removed from all new designs, new power plants, and existing plants.

        If the unwarranted, unjustifiable regulatory impediments were removed quickly (say a decade), the cost of nuclear could, optimistically, be halved by around mid century. Optimistically GHG emissions from electricity could also be halved by around mid century. Cheaper electricity would displace some gas for heating and some oil for transport. So, the emissions reduction would be more than just from electricity. By late this century, optimistically, much of fossil fuel could be replaced by low emissions electricity and liquid fuels produced from sea water by low cost low emissions electricity.

        France demonstrated what can be achieved in a major industrial economy. Most of its nuclear plants were commissioned over a period of about 20 years. For the past 30 years it has been producing nearly the cheapest electricity in EU at near the lowest GHG emissions intensity – i.e. about 15% of Germany’s and Denmark’s electricity emissions intensity. See Slide 10 here and then see 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/

        IMO, this is by far the fastest and least cost way to significantly reduce global GHG emissions – optimistically 50% reduction by around mid century.

        This is recent and and excellent start in the right direction (there’s no cost to this, it’s all benefit):

        US study on low-dose ionising radiation

        The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives. The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 directs the two organisations to carry out a research program “to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods.” The study is to be completed within 18 months.

        The Act arises from a letter from a group of health physicists who pointed out that the limited understanding of low-dose health risks impairs the nation’s decision-making capabilities, whether in responding to radiological events involving large populations such as the 2011 Fukushima accident or in areas such as the rapid increase in radiation-based medical procedures, the cleanup of radioactive contamination from legacy sites and the expansion of civilian nuclear energy. The aftermath of the Fukushima accident has boosted concern that unduly conservative standards may have large adverse health and welfare costs.”
        WNN 20/1/15. ‘Radiation health effects’ http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Radiation-and-Health/Nuclear-Radiation-and-Health-Effects/

      • Curious George

        Rob – it would be nice to see policy experiments. However, right now untested policies are pushed down out throats. In the name of imaginary and untested and potentially impossible goals.

        Have you heard that the UK is considering a switch to driving on the right side of the road? They are preparing a policy experiment with a sample of 100 London taxicabs.

      • Curious George,

        Yes, I understand that is true. I understand they are planning to phase it in. Trucks change one week and cars the following week.

        TonyB might be able to add some more details.

      • Fukishima was caused by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, however TEPCO did not learn the lessons the US industry learned from TMI.

        The lack of hydrogen recombiners and the failure to adequately protect their diesel generators were the proximate cause of the disaster.

        A reactor core isolation cooling turbine would certainly helped as well. This is a turbine that uses steam from the reactor to drive a pump that provides cooling water to the reactor.

        If the regulatory impediments are the requirements to have the above mentioned safety equipment installed inspected and operated properly, and I think they are, then I can not support expanded nuclear power without them.

        Raise the beta and gamma exposure limits if you will, but it is still necessary to keep alpha exposure to zero, or as close to it as possible.

        The government should build them and auction them to the utitities after their first refueling outage.

        That would remove the largest impediment, which is the long term lack of return on an investment.

        Back in the day, that nearly sunk every company that built nuclear power plants, and some made a lot of cash. I doubled my 401K going all in on one company’s stock.

      • Peter

        Gadzooks! If we changed to driving on the right it would prevent us from so readily drawing our swords with our right hands.

        Fortunately there is no truth whatsoever in the rumours. Anyway, we are already too busy fighting the imaginary dragons of overpowering climate change to have enough time for policy experiments.

        tonyb

      • Bob,

        Raise the beta and gamma exposure limits if you will, but it is still necessary to keep alpha exposure to zero, or as close to it as possible.

        I don’t agree. Why don’t you argue to ban flying and require that all toxic polutants be kept to zero. It’s a ridiculous argument. It is this sort of argument that is preventing progress.

        See this: posted 3 days ago:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2015/01/24/what-can-we-learn-from-kerala/

      • Peter,
        Brave New Climate was the site that was saying Fukishima wasn’t melting down when the site was experiencing the hydrogen explosions.

        Basically they aren’t reliable.

        Your cite doesn’t address my point about alpha radiation.

        Anyway, its the high cost of investment in a nuclear power plant rather than the radiation safety regulations that pose the greatest impediment to increased nuclear power.

      • Bob Droege,

        Please provide the link to where BNC was saying Fukushima was melting down when it had the hydrogen explosion. I think you are wrong on that, but please link to where that was said. You may have seen someone make a comment to that effect, but so what. If you can’t provide a link to where BNC said that does this mean you are unreliable and nothing you say can be trusted?

        And anyway, you can’t simply assert a site is unreliable and use that as an excuse to dismiss everything that is posted by the host or guest authors. You need to deal with the actual article.

        I gave other links on the thread, including this video presentation by Professor Wade Allison, a retired physics professor from Oxford. Did you watch it?

        This is a short explanation of some relevant facts
        http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf

        I can provide more if you want, just ask.

    • I like what Korhola and Judith have to say on this issue. However, I still have problems using the term ‘wicked’ with regards to climate change.

      https://thelukewarmersway.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/wicked/

      The problem is not wicked. We have all the tools needed to solve it. It’s agreeing on implementing the solution that is contentious.

      • tom,

        From your blog post, which was interesting reading.

        “To begin with, we have all the tools we need to reduce anthropogenic emissions by whatever percentage we need, should we agree on the necessity.”

        What are the tools you propose to use in China, Russia, India and Africa to bring billions of people out of the economic middle ages while reducing worldwide CO2 emissions? Nuclear power for transportation?

        And what are the simple tools to force dictatorships and oligarchies to adopt expensive “green” technologies when they have repeatedly and expressly stated they have no intent of doing so?

        Lukewarmers are funny folks. We don’t believe AGW is catastrophic enough to justify global decarbonization, but we support almost all of the progressive policies whose sole rational justification is decarbonization – carbon taxes, subsidized “green” energy, massive global wealth redistribution.

        The lukewwarmer manifesto: “I don’t buy the hysterical hype of the consensus predicting catastrophe, but I support pretty much everything they want to do to prevent it.”

        I would love it if lukewarners actually tried to win elections with this position: “There is no impending catastrophe, but we want to centrally plan the entire global energy economy and tax and spend your money in the trillions as we see fit anyway.”

        It would at least have the benefit of being honest.

      • Gary, nuclear power can charge car batteries and power trains. I think air travel will already be emissive. It won’t be a game changer.

        Decreasing the intensity of carbon energy consumption is not even new, let alone controversial. The energy ladder is a good thing and being at the top is a good goal. Or would you rather keep burning dung?

        Remember that my premise is that we will be consuming 3,000 quads by 2075, compared to 510 in 2010. This spurs me to look for non-emissive energy sources with or without climate change. If I’m a crackpot, oh, well. If I’m right, 3,000 quads from coal is not a good thing. Guess we’ll see.

      • Solve what? Extreme weather? sea level rise? Solve it when?

      • tom,

        Maybe some day we will be able to afford to send a billions Teslas (once they work) to China, Russia, India and Africa, as well as the charging stations and nuclear power plants to charge the batteries.

        But I thought you were talking about currently available technology, as in “We have [present tense] all the tools we need….”

      • We do NOT have all the tools to solve it. The Amish have all the tools to solve the problem, but there are to many people on the planet for that type of solution.

      • tom,

        “Or would you rather keep burning dung?”

        Leaving aside my personal level of technological lifestyle, I would rather those living in countries so economically backward they need to burn dung to stay alive would be freed from the progressive, centrally planned nightmares they are living in.

        I would prefer they be welcomed into the global free market economy, with generous subsidization of of development of oil, coal and gas resources and delivery, as the cheapest way of bringing them into the 21st century.

        The only tools they need are a free market and a democratic republican form of government and they will solve their problems themselves. Of course, then they will have no need to vote for messianic progressives, so I don’t expect any support for my solution from the left.

      • Hi Judith,

        Solve problematic human emissions of CO2. That I believe is what all the fuss is about, right? We need exactly zero innovation to build a fleet of nuclear power stations, double hydroelectric power and continue the growth of solar and wind.

        I guess tomorrow’s post at my place of business will be showing the numbers–but it isn’t wicked.

        My thesis is that we are not seeing ‘wickedness’, we are seeing ‘mission creep.’ If the problem is not human emissions of CO2, we are entering a different field of argumentation.

      • Hi Tom, I would argue that this will not solve the ‘problem’ of climate change. And there are undesired/unintended consequences associated with all of these power sources. Further, the expenditure to do this is an opportunity loss to deal with other problems.

      • GaryM, I am in violent agreement with your last comment. 100%.

      • And although their attempt to create false conditions to make climate change not just wicked but insoluble is wrong-headed to the point of insanity, one can look at the Consensus and say they actually are trying to achieve something else…

        That’s pretty much what I’ve thought since 1998.

      • Tomaswfuller

        Decreasing the intensity of carbon energy consumption is not even new, let alone controversial.

        That statement is meaningless unless you state the cost of energy for your solution and compare it with the BAU cost of energy. Unless you have a way to decrease the GHG intensity of energy consumption, you do not have a realistic solution. Do you have a solution that will reduce the cost of energy?

        [I do]

      • Fuller:
        I too liked your post.
        Person A: “We have a problem”
        Person B: “We have a problem and here is the solution, hydro and nuclear”
        Person A: “We can’t use those anymore.”
        Hydro and Nuclear have a good record while solar and wind are just not there yet for real world base load duty. It does look like Person A is now the obstructionist and brought us the unsolvable problem. We don’t hire Person A.

      • Hi Judith, yes, doing something–anything–will have consequences, some unintended, and will entail costs. Obviously, those concerned about CO2 emissions will say the same about doing nothing.

        But (and I’ll try and show this in a post at my place tomorrow) the costs and consequences of replacing fossil fuels with nuclear, hydropower and other renewables should prove to be an order of magnitude below the costs and consequences of burning coal, counting only the costs and consequences of the pollution (including mercury and fly ash).

      • tom,

        There seems to be a bit of a bait and switch in the point you intend to blog about tomorrow.

        “…the costs and consequences of replacing fossil fuels with nuclear, hydropower and other renewables should prove to be an order of magnitude below the costs and consequences of burning coal, counting only the costs and consequences of the pollution (including mercury and fly ash).”

        The only realistic/fair comparison, is “the costs and consequences of replacing fossil fuels with nuclear, hydropower and other renewables” versus the cost and consequences of burning oil, gas and coal, not just coal.

        And even that is only a fair comparison if by consequences, you mean positive consequences. A cost benefit analysis without the benefit side of the equation is a stacked deck.

        I don’t think anyone has even tried to quantify the benefit side of fossil fuel consumption, at least that I have seen.

      • Okay, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow: http://3000quads.com/2015/01/26/costs-and-consequences-of-transforming-global-energy-sources/

        Short version. If you accept my thesis that energy consumption will rise to 3,000 quads by 2075 (the various international agencies think it will be far less), the pollution hard costs (not climate change, not lost IQ points, not money for lives lost–just hard pollution) for the amount of coal we will use will be $120 trillion. The costs of replacing that coal with nuclear power will be $23 trillion. (The OECD estimated in 2012 that global GDP in 2075 will be about $675 trillion USD).

        Go beat up those numbers! There are assumptions involved! Beat ’em up!

      • Thomas, re “doubling hydroelectric power.” In which countries, on which sites, affecting which cross-border irrigation flows? From what I’ve read – and I’m sure Peter Lang will know sources – opportunities for hydro are far fewer than you blithely assume.

        In general, I have very similar views to GaryM on most issues raised at CE, and support his views on lesser developed countries benefitting most from entering the global free market economy with non-kleptomaniac democratic republican governments – not easy to bring about, unfortunately, and it won’t happen through funnelling money via current governments. As Gary said, any aid from rich countries for energy should be directed to the most cost-effective solutions, which will almost certainly mean oil, coal and gas resources. The less input from the UN et al and environmental NGOs the better.

      • Faustino, without exception, everyone I have seen doubting the potential for hydro has been focusing on its dismal growth in the developed world. All of the action is in the emerging nations and it is impressive indeed.

      • Tom, it needs a lot of work. Get a book on capital budgeting. Rethink all of your assumptions.

        You can’t build a nuclear power plant in the U.S. for what it costs to build one in China. Why would you think that?

      • Whatever energy source is used, it should be such that dependence on the wrong political entities is minimised. Australian sourced uranium is hardly a political problem for France. Dependence on French nukes is something of a problem for Spain. Dependence on Russian gas is a political problem for any of their customers. And so on.

        This is not just about extrapolating from some current base numbers of dollars, measures of pollution etc. You have to consider pipeline wars, Nigerian tribesmen, Venezuelan governments, the drastic political shifts occurring right now: Kurdistan, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Saudis, China, Russia etc, their disputes, rapprochements, alienations etc…Want to keep buying in to all all that? Because you did some calcs back in 2015?

        You don’t know where the next bunch of trouble will come from, but you know there’s a lot of lovely anthracite lying all around the Sydney basin that can be accessed by Sydney without a war or international pipeline. So bet big on that favourite, punt small on the rest.

        And did I mention bad winters? You Yanks won’t have Jimmy Carter to turn down the heating in the White House if you backed the wrong climate change. And that Eastern Seaboard can be brutal.

        The other point is this: Notice how, when you finally replace something rickety with something brand new from the top shelf, things just get better around it? Whether it’s coal power, nukes, hydro…opt for up-front quality in a new fit wherever possible. Get efficient. Renew. Things will get better around your energy supply in ways that can’t be calculated.

        Or are you still driving a forty year old Falcon because of calcs made about Falcons forty years ago? If so, show me the pics on your Motorola brick.

      • I had a 20 year old Le Mans red Ford Falcon I really, really loved.

        On the other hand – I did find the battery for my 430hp all wheel drive electric dune buggy.

      • Oh – did I say the battery is 100% organic Egyptian cotton? How cool is that?

      • I used to love my old Peugeot 505. The Africa car. Around that time I also owned a Mac and MTB. All that, along with my scruffy appearance and hippie address, made it impossible for me to persuade people I wasn’t of the green persuasion. I felt like putting my head out of the Peugeot’s window and screaming: “I just look this way! I’m actually a conservative death-beast! I vote for the Nat with the big hat!”. A wicked cred problem, now being tamed with a Toyota 4Runner.

        Congrats on the battery, chief, but don’t hammer my beach with it. (I am a tiny bit on the green side about those things.)

      • mosomoso

        ‘So bet big on that favourite, punt small on the rest.’

        I think I agree on everything you wrote. We need to develop appropriate energy horses for our own country courses.

        What is appropriate for one country may not be appropriate in another-for example relying on solar power in the UK is crazy, but tidal power is all around us. We also have lots of coal which would be better than importing wood chips from the US to burn in a power station specifically built on a major coal seam to maximise efficiency….AS for not building a nuclear power station for two decades…

        But the main caveat should be that we have our own energy security in our own hands (or from proven close friends) and not rely on importing energy from people who don’t like us and seek to use their influence to change us.

        Dealing with Russia or the Arab states for our energy are examples of pure folly.
        tonyb

      • Thomas,

        Faustino, without exception, everyone I have seen doubting the potential for hydro has been focusing on its dismal growth in the developed world. All of the action is in the emerging nations and it is impressive indeed.

        For hydro you need water and topographic relief. You need big rivers and valleys that are close together horizontally and have a large elevation difference and suitable dam sites. Or the ability to build high dams, keep them near full and have huge, reliable water flows. There is limited potential for future hydro development in the world – by which I mean, it can help to provide very valuable grid balancing services, but cannot displace fossil fuels.

      • Don, I don’t understand your comment. China is where the energy will be consumed going forward. They’ve already pulled way ahead of the U.S. and will do so even more markedly in the future. The figure I gave was a capital budget published by Areva.

        Do you not think that there will be cost savings for construction if there is essentially a mass buildout of nuclear?

      • Peter, what you are writing is intuitive, full of common sense–and inaccurate.

        In a paper published just a couple of weeks ago, “At least 3,700 dams, each with a capacity of more than 1 MW, are planned or under construction, mostly in countries with emerging economies. These dams are expected to increase the present global hydroelectricity capacity by 73% to 1,700 GW.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00027-014-0377-0#page-1

      • Most of the best places for hydroelectric are already used. Every further application comes with rising environmental and capital costs, and with less return.
        ==============

      • The serious alternatives to Russian gas – Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Turkmenistan – are probably not ideal places to depend on for European energy supply. And those pipelines would pass through a Turkey which may not be Kemalian forever (and which is a huge Russian gas consumer).

        Russia’s biggest gas customer by far? (Hint: biggest ueber alles.) That’s right. While the sun was trying to warm those hectares of solar panels at 50+ degrees north, Gazprom was powering Germany.

        Any wonder that Germany secretly said “whoops” to its energiewende and started gouging the brown? They have to pay for a lot of ouzo they don’t even get to drink these days.

        Back in the shivering 70s when we were all worried about OPEC, Russian gas exports were a tiny dribble. Now Russian gas worries OPEC. Do we now, in the shivering teenies, start worrying about Russia or the new Russia-China, Saudi-China bromances? Etc? Where does it end?

        Does this soft new generation need a good war or two to make men of ’em? I’d rather they made a good quid in the mines.

        I don’t know what an externality is, or whether its opposite is an internality, but I’d ponder the above facts, and many like them, before deciding on what’s a naughty or nice energy choice.

      • Hiya kim! How are you? Like I told Peter, what you’re saying is more or less true for the developed world, but the emerging countries are going crazy for hydro. 3,700 dams under construction or planned…

      • Cost is irrelevant without a timescale. I will need to spend $150,000 on cars. Since it’s over the next 40 years, I don’t really care.
        If you tell me I must do it tomorrow, even though my two current vehicles run great and are paid for, I’ll fight you tooth and nail while folks like Joshua will argue that I’m denying the need to spend money on cars.
        The AGW debate is about whether the science says we need to replace our energy infrastructure right now or over the next 90 years. There is no opposition to the latter, which is a good thing because it’s the consensus.
        Now, you had an opportunity with developing nations, but the climate concerned opted for coal there so the ship has largely sailed. Oddly, they don’t seem to feel bad about that.

      • Where hydro is viable and government has most of the say hydro is a great energy source. One reason coal is dropping on world markets is the scale of Chinese hydro. A mooted Tibetan development could dwarf the Three Gorges. Also, such is the severity of Chinese flooding that one mega-event averted (like those of the 1930s and even 1998) could well pay for a Three Gorges.

        However, boosting hydro in more democratic contexts can land you in trouble (Australia in the 80s). Just like boosting nukes can land you in trouble (Australia in the 80s!). If people like Tom can help find ways over those political hurdles there is probably some good to come of their activism or campaigning.

        But unless you can terraform your nation into Norway or Paraguay or BC you need to make other choices than hydro. Those choices should be based on thrift and energy independence. Right now, many seem to be sleepwalking into waste and dependency, with the likes of Exxon and Gazprom trying to persuade that theirs is the nice fossil fuel. The nicest fossil fuel is the one you don’t have to kill, bribe, manipulate or beg to obtain in a world which is still a rather naughty place.

        I notice that that great incinerator of American forests, the UK, is also a big customer of Gazprom. Wonder how smart all that is. To echo what tonyb says, maybe that course needs its own horse.

        Got nothing against Gazprom or Exxon. I want to like ’em. I just don’t want to need ’em. And frankly I find this awkward hand-holding between Big Oil and Big Green to be a bit disturbing. Grotesque, even.

        First they come for the coal…

      • Oh, I see Tom. When you say “Assuming that each power plant we built cost that amount, the total cost would be 23.07 trillion USD.” You are thinking that all those nuclear power plants are going to be built in China, cause that’s where all the power will be consumed. Moso is correct you are just extrapolating naively, from now to 2075. China’s economy is not going to keep growing the way you think it is. Can you say capital investment bubble, Tom? You are making naive assumption on top of purely speculative assumption. That’s not how you do this kind of analysis in the real world, Tom. Study up on capital budgeting, managerial finance, microeconomics, business research methods, cost accounting, from a quick glance at my bookcase.

      • ThomaswFuller2

        I said:

        >For hydro you need water and topographic relief. You need big rivers and valleys that are close together horizontally and have a large elevation difference and suitable dam sites. Or the ability to build high dams, keep them near full and have huge, reliable water flows. There is limited potential for future hydro development in the world – by which I mean, it can help to provide very valuable grid balancing services, but cannot displace fossil fuels.

        You responded:

        Peter, what you are writing is intuitive, full of common sense–and inaccurate.

        Please explain what is inaccurate about what I wrote?

        You continued:

        In a paper published just a couple of weeks ago, “At least 3,700 dams, each with a capacity of more than 1 MW, are planned or under construction, mostly in countries with emerging economies. These dams are expected to increase the present global hydroelectricity capacity by 73% to 1,700 GW.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00027-014-0377-0#page-1

        This comments suggests either you don’t have much of a background in energy, or you’re being misleading and disingenuous. A common trick of renewable energy advocates is to make comparisons of their technology and conventional technologies on the basis of units of capacity (power) rather than units of energy. This is a well-known trick to mislead uninformed readers. You’ve used that trick in your response to me. You quoted figures of capacity (i.e. MW) not energy supplied (i.e. GWh). The comparison of how much energy each technology can provide has to be in energy units (e.g. GWh), not units of generating capacity (, i.e. not in units of power in MW). The amount of energy the proposed new plants can provide depends on their life time average capacity factor. The Australian Snowy Mountains Scheme, has a capacity factor of about 15%. Run-of-river plants such as Three Gorges Dam in China have higher capacity factors, but not close to that of nuclear. So, misleading readers by putting up a thread called “3000 Quads” and then stating my comment is inaccurate, appears to me to be disingenuous and hypocritical.

        If the proposed 1700 GW of hydro capacity has an average capacity factor of 45% it would be equivalent of 850 GW of nuclear. However, it is unlikely it will all get built (most such proposals and ‘plans’ do not get built).

        As I said in another comment, projected future hydro will be insufficient to maintain its relative share of global electricity supply. It will not maintain its current 16%. And nothing your advocacy for hydro can do will change anything. If you are seriously interested in having an effect on reducing the CO2 intensity of electricity globally, you would do as I suggested in another comment on this thread: apply the Pareto Principle (the 80:20 rule) to where you put your effort; i.e. focus most of your effort on where you can have most effect. That is clearly with nuclear. Because advocacy to change people’s irrational fear of nuclear power can greatly reduce the costs, as I explained in the other comment on this thread.

        You also said to Don

        Do you not think that there will be cost savings for construction [of nuclear] if there is essentially a mass buildout of nuclear?

        Yes. A huge cost reduction can be achieved by reducing the general public’s fear and loathing of nuclear and of radiation, then unwinding the impediments that have been imposed through excessive and unwarranted nuclear regulation and licencing, then ever improving and evolving design. There are many papers on the advantages of moving from large plants (1 GW scale) to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) (30 to 300 MW scale). I suggest you do some research. Ask me and I can provide a few links

        Meanwhile here are a three links I think you’ll find informative:

        Geoff Russel: “What can we learn from Karala” India: http://bravenewclimate.com/2015/01/24/what-can-we-learn-from-kerala/

        http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf

      • [Repost with corrected format]

        ThomaswFuller2

        I said:

        >For hydro you need water and topographic relief. You need big rivers and valleys that are close together horizontally and have a large elevation difference and suitable dam sites. Or the ability to build high dams, keep them near full and have huge, reliable water flows. There is limited potential for future hydro development in the world – by which I mean, it can help to provide very valuable grid balancing services, but cannot displace fossil fuels.

        You responded:

        Peter, what you are writing is intuitive, full of common sense–and inaccurate.

        Please explain what is inaccurate about what I wrote?

        You continued:

        In a paper published just a couple of weeks ago, “At least 3,700 dams, each with a capacity of more than 1 MW, are planned or under construction, mostly in countries with emerging economies. These dams are expected to increase the present global hydroelectricity capacity by 73% to 1,700 GW.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00027-014-0377-0#page-1

        This comments suggests either you don’t have much of a background in energy, or you’re being misleading and disingenuous. A common trick of renewable energy advocates is to make comparisons of their technology and conventional technologies on the basis of units of capacity (power) rather than units of energy. This is a well-known trick to mislead uninformed readers. You’ve used that trick in your response to me. You quoted figures of capacity (i.e. MW) not energy supplied (i.e. GWh). The comparison of how much energy each technology can provide has to be in energy units (e.g. GWh), not units of generating capacity (, i.e. not in units of power in MW). The amount of energy the proposed new plants can provide depends on their life time average capacity factor. The Australian Snowy Mountains Scheme, has a capacity factor of about 15%. Run-of-river plants such as Three Gorges Dam in China have higher capacity factors, but not close to that of nuclear. So, misleading readers by putting up a thread called “3000 Quads” and then stating my comment is inaccurate, appears to me to be disingenuous and hypocritical.

        If the proposed 1700 GW of hydro capacity has an average capacity factor of 45% it would be equivalent of 850 GW of nuclear. However, it is unlikely it will all get built (most such proposals and ‘plans’ do not get built).

        As I said in another comment, projected future hydro will be insufficient to maintain its relative share of global electricity supply. It will not maintain its current 16%. And nothing your advocacy for hydro can do will change anything. If you are seriously interested in having an effect on reducing the CO2 intensity of electricity globally, you would do as I suggested in another comment on this thread: apply the Pareto Principle (the 80:20 rule) to where you put your effort; i.e. focus most of your effort on where you can have most effect. That is clearly with nuclear. Because advocacy to change people’s irrational fear of nuclear power can greatly reduce the costs, as I explained in the other comment on this thread.

        You also said to Don

        Do you not think that there will be cost savings for construction [of nuclear] if there is essentially a mass buildout of nuclear?

        Yes. A huge cost reduction can be achieved by reducing the general public’s fear and loathing of nuclear and of radiation, then unwinding the impediments that have been imposed through excessive and unwarranted nuclear regulation and licencing, then ever improving and evolving design. There are many papers on the advantages of moving from large plants (1 GW scale) to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) (30 to 300 MW scale). I suggest you do some research. Ask me and I can provide a few links

        Meanwhile here are a three links I think you’ll find informative:

        Geoff Russel: “What can we learn from Karala” India: http://bravenewclimate.com/2015/01/24/what-can-we-learn-from-kerala/

        http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf

      • @ Gary M

        “I would love it if lukewarners actually tried to win elections with this position: “There is no impending catastrophe, but we want to centrally plan the entire global energy economy and tax and spend your money in the trillions as we see fit anyway.”

        It would at least have the benefit of being honest.”

        Actually, if they were seeking COMPLETE honesty they would throw in: “And by the way, there is absolutely NO evidence that our central planning, taxing, spending, and regulating would have any measurable effect whatsoever on the ‘Temperature of the Earth’, now or at any time in the future.”

        Which I understood to be the ostensible justification for Climate Policies in the first place.

      • @ Gary M

        “I don’t think anyone has even tried to quantify the benefit side of fossil fuel consumption, at least that I have seen.”

        There are currently at least 6 billion folks alive who will be dead within two years of our cessation of fossil fuel consumption.

        You and I would likely put that down in the ‘Benefits of Fossil Fuels’ column and cite it as justification for continuing to use them. Those in the forefront of the drive toward planetary sustainability, who make no bones about their intent to eliminate somewhere around 90% of humanity, would likely put that same date in the column ‘Problems Created by Fossil Fuels’.

      • Hi Don, (wow–this subthread is getting very long.) I have spent quite a bit of time and effort at 3000 Quads working on energy consumption figures for the developing world out through the year 1975. I don’t assume perfect economic growth for anyone throughout that period. But I do assume that at the end of that time frame that average Chinese per capita assumption will be very similar to Western per capita averages today. Which is a scary total and makes it a worthwhile exercise to discuss (well, yell and scream, actually) fuel portfolio choices.

      • Ohh, I haven’t finished my first cup of coffee. Where I wrote 1975 in my previous comment, please imagine that I correctly wrote 2075. Thanks.

    • I completely agree with Mike Jonas. What problem? Heat transport through the atmosphere is controlled by convection not radiation, CO2 changes lag temperature changes (Humlum et al 2013) and measured global average temperatures are just pink noise. See http://blackjay.net/

  3. Thanks to cooperation and unselfish input from many, “the greatest secret of the universe” is being revealed as the “greatest fraudster on Earth” is exposed:

    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/smoking-gun-of-incompetence-at-the-ipcc/

    Misinformation-by-design to fit UN Agenda 21 explains systematic, worldwide distortions in experimental measurements and observations.

  4. “We have vastly oversimplified both the climate change problem and its solution, mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem”.

    IMHO, one can blame post modern climate science, along with mainstream media for this “wicked mess”…they both take Al Gore’s fictional documentary and Michael Mann’s highly suspect tree-ring proxy temperature reconstruction as gospel truth.

    If tame, why a problem, what solution?

    • Herewith having bought back the franchise for
      ‘Thought for Today’, Today’s “Thought for Today.’

      ‘Climate change is not caused by the weather.’

      Attributed (in alphabetical order) to John Cook et al,
      97% of scientists, James Hansen, Naomi Oreskes,
      Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, Chris Turney, David
      Viner…( 90% ter go,) and them non-scientist oracles,
      Al Gore, Christine Milne, President Obama and more.

      • +1 Beth. Climate change is a term meanin

      • g very little to the serfs of the world. t is a trivial description of the behaviour of weather, which only hubris will believe that humanity can make it change to accord with their wishes.

      • Peter, if I were not restricted ter but one ‘Thought fer
        Today,’ I might respond with a quote on hubris from
        wise Euripides. Maybe termorrow.

      • beth

        Ah , you saw my pointed barb to your sister?

        However, ‘bought’ has a certain meaning in Anglo Saxon worlds.

        When the transfer is in the bank and funds have cleared might be considered the time when the franchise is ‘bought back’.

        Your apparently close friend Simon de Montford seemed to have vague notions of property and intellectual rights as well. Are you sure you haven’t been consorting too much with him in the ale houses of Warwick?

        So can we use the term ‘provisionally bought.’

        On that basis your putative thought for the day was a good one.

        tonyb

      • Casuistry, Tony. I will defend my franchise property
        ter the death. I’ve watched those historical movies
        about Warwick! )

  5. I believe that the problem is that we went from acusation to sentencing without bothering to have a trial, and that when evidence started to surface that perhaps there might be some reasonable doubt, the behaviour of the accusers degenerated into name calling and appeals to authority rathar than an examination of reality. The longer that circus continued, the worse it looked for the accusers – instead of admitting that they weren’t really sure, but had lots of circumstantial evidence, they insisted the circunstantial was physical, as they continued to bend this evidence the suit their desired outcome. As per the main article, this damages not just cli. sci. but ALL science, to the detriment of all of us. Very sad, and despite believing the good intentions of the accusers, they have messed their own nest enough at this point to suggest they need adult supervision at all times. (sorry about the mixed metaphores).

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      +1
      part of the “wickedness” is the problem of not being sure there is a problem

      from the cheap seats it appears that “most” or >50% of the problem is psychological
      a pathology of the academic and political class’s socially and intellectually inbred inability to deal with the “uncertainty” of existence
      aided by an affluent secular public that demands security in all aspects of life
      just look at the reaction to the NE US snowstorm
      we do suffer a lack of adult supervision
      over thinking is an impediment to wisdom

      • John Smith and kneel63 +100.

        My wife just canceled her flight to NYC (Thursday) and rescheduled for next week. Seems like an adult way to deal with uncertainty!

      • @ John Smith

        “from the cheap seats it appears that “most” or >50% of the problem is psychological”

        Or, as I like to explain it, if the US were an individual, it would be locked up for its own protection.

    • Looks like we had another hype-of-the-century storm.

  6. daveandrews723

    Excellent perspectives. Those people who are so ardently pushing the so-called catastrophic effects of AGW have lost all touch with reality and common sense. Their cause has taken on the aspects of a religious cult, in my opinion, and do not resemble the scientific method. I am more and more convinced that some of the leading advocates of AGW are misrepresenting the data because of their zealotry. I have to wonder who the real “deniers” are in this debate.

  7. Judith

    This seems a nice adjunct to the interesting article you have posted.

    The met office, who are being as circumspect as BEST, as I predicted, say that 2015 was one of thE ten warmest years on record but note the sparsity of data

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/uk-met-office-confirms-2014-among-hottest-years-on-record/

    The hiatus continues, albeit on a plateau.

    Tonyb

  8. Another excerpt:

    Another conclusion of mine is as scathing as my previous reference to the 20-year delusion [of UN climate policy]. It concerns the environmental movement. I suggest that the movement has, above all, failed in its strategy to combat climate change, but also quite often in its other environmental policies. Again, good intentions do not guarantee a wise strategy. The environmental movement regards economic growth as an enemy of the environment although practice has proven that in precisely those quarters of the world where economic well-being prevails and basic needs are satisfied, people are more interested in taking care of their environment. Poverty, in its turn, is the biggest environmental threat,although it has been romanticised in environmentalist rhetoric.

    • This is a common argument but the political reality is that environmentalism is very strong and continues to grow stronger.

      • The point is that they – environmentalism and climate change anxiety disorder – are not the same. Poisoned water is plain to see whereas hypothetical warming catastrophes 50 years into the future are not. Only a dummy would have trouble choosing between the two.

    • This is a key point:

      “The environmental movement regards economic growth as an enemy of the environment although practice has proven that in precisely those quarters of the world where economic well-being prevails and basic needs are satisfied, people are more interested in taking care of their environment.”

  9. Climate change is the banner guiding a very large social movement that has steadily increased in power over the last 50 years. This movement is not about to diminish, much less to fade away. That is the wicked problem, with no simple solution.

    • Climate change dogma is the perfect liberal cause, because everything bad that happens can be blamed on it, no other reasons need to be explored.

  10. Steven Mosher

    “It has been a mistake to assume that both the problem and solution to climate change is irreducibly global
    We have vastly oversimplified both the climate change problem and its solution, mistaking a wicked mess for a tame problem.”

    yup

    • The Obama administration makes no such assumption. They are moving forcefully on climate change unilaterally, as are other national, state and local governments.

      • Steven Mosher

        ya, republicans left the battlefield and lost by not showing up for the game

      • barn E. Rubble

        RE: “. . . They are moving forcefully on climate change unilaterally . . .”

        Yes indeed. The Obama Amin has seen the U.S. of A become the world’s largest producer of fossil fuels. I think (altho could be wrong) the US is now the biggest exporter of everyones favourite; coal.

        Doesn’t the US still generate about 40% of their electricity from burning coal? What was the % in 2008?

        Blocking the XL has nothing to do with climate change but everything to do with short term politics.

    • “Poverty will not save the planet, unlike the environmental movement often seems to assume.”

      IOW, the administration’s solutions will not be effective in the long term, so we can assume that at some point the Republicans will re-engage.

    • Sorry, Steve. If the problem is human emissions of CO2 then the answer is well within our grasp–nuclear and hydro buildout, with natural gas as a bridge until it is complete.

      If that is not the problem, what is?

      • Thomaswfuller2,

        If the problem is human emissions of CO2 then the answer is well within our grasp–nuclear and hydro buildout, with natural gas as a bridge until it is complete.

        +1. I agree 100%. That is the solution.

        The next question is how, because it won’t happen unless nuclear an hydro are cheaper than fossil fuel. That is the key point, but I haven’t seen you state it clearly yet.

        Once you acknowledge that, then it’s time to get to understand howthat can be done. Here’s my suggested way to achieve it and to reduce emissions from electricity by nearly 50% by around 2050.

        1. Next US Administration takes the lead to persuade the US citizens nuclear is about as safe as or safer than any other electricity source. US can gain enormously by leading the world on developing new, small modular nuclear power plants. Allowing and encouraging innovation and competition. Unleashing the USA;s ability to innovate and compete to produce and supply the products the various world markets need.

        2. Next US President uses his influence with the leaders of the other countries that are most influential in the IAEA to get their IAEA representatives to support a process to re-examine the justification for the allowable radiation limits – as the US has just announced (last week) it is to do over the next 18 months.

        US study on low-dose ionising radiation
        The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives. The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 directs the two organisations to carry out a research program “to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods.” The study is to be completed within 18 months.

        The Act arises from a letter from a group of health physicists who pointed out that the limited understanding of low-dose health risks impairs the nation’s decision-making capabilities, whether in responding to radiological events involving large populations such as the 2011 Fukushima accident or in areas such as the rapid increase in radiation-based medical procedures, the cleanup of radioactive contamination from legacy sites and the expansion of civilian nuclear energy. The aftermath of the Fukushima accident has boosted concern that unduly conservative standards may have large adverse health and welfare costs.

        WNN 20/1/15. Radiation health effects http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Radiation-and-Health/Nuclear-Radiation-and-Health-Effects/

        3. Once the radiation limits begin to be increased this should have a catalytic effect on reducing emissions: 1) it will mean radiation leaks are understood to be less dangerous that currently thought > less people evacuated from effected zones > reduced cost accident of accidents – reduced accident insurance cost; 2) population takes another look at the effects of radiation . gains an understanding it is much less harmful than they thought > fear subsides > less opposition> easier and less expensive to find sites supported by the people nearby > planning and sight approval costs come down over time 3) risk of projects being delayed during construction or one in operation is reduced > all this leads to a lowering of the investors’ risk premium . thus reducing the financing costs for all of the plants life 4) Increasing support allows the NRC licencing process to be completely revamped and the culture of the organisation changed from “safety first” to a balance of all costs and risks, > including the costs and risks of nuclear being delayed and too expensive to compete as well as it could if the costs were lower.

        4. NRC is revamped. Its Terms of Reference and its culture are changed. Licencing period for new designs is reduced to the equivalent of the design and licencing period for new aircraft designs (for example)

        5. Small modular reactors are licenced. Much more quickly developed and new versions rolled out more quickly. More competition. More innovation. Learning rate continually improves so that costs come down.

        6. The efficiency of using the fuel can be improved by nearly a factor of 100. That gives some idea of how much room there is to cut costs.

        7. Eventually, fusion will be viable and then the cycles starts again – but hopefully the anti-nuke dinosaurs will have been extinct for a long time by then.

        if you

      • Peter – your vision can work only if the next president is a reincarnation of someone like JFK – that is, another democrat that the media unconditionally, and uncritically falls in love with, but who, unlike the community organizer we currently have, is not ideologically blinded. A republican president would be highy unlikely able to pull it off because you will need the media to help persuade, and the media, well, how much more ned I say.

  11. “Poverty, in its turn, is the biggest environmental threat,although it has been romanticised in environmentalist rhetoric.”

    People should try to remember that the planet is governed not by a 1 world government looking after the betterment of humanity. It is governed by roughly 200 independent nation states with frequently conflicting goals.

  12. Judith writes:

    Korhola has a blog http://www.korhola.com

    FYI, as I discovered a few days ago when I first saw this (uplifting!) post at RP Jr’s, she also has an English version of her blog:

    http://www.korhola.com/en/blog/

  13. I would like to take her thesis seriously, but she is known to associate with activist-scientists (her husband), and I have it on good word from Judith Curry that activist-scientists aren’t to be trusted.

    • They have divorced, and I don’t really know who of them was diving more the activism before that.

      Atte Korhola has not shown much policy activism recently, and seems to have concentrated more in new research. He has been active at least in some PAGES 2K work (paleoclimatology).

    • Attack the person, not the message.

      • Perhaps the sarcasm is lost.

        I’m not making a serious argument. I’m mocking the “We can’t trust activists” argument. I don’t buy the argument. I’ve been consistent in saying that I think the argument is fallacious. I’ve stated it many times.

        Scientists have a right to be activist. I have no problem with politicians working with activist scientists (as has been the case with Korhola and her husband).

        The problem that I have is when people selectively define “activism” and then use that arbitrary (in the sense of being subjective) definition to lobby against those whose opinions they are in disagreement with.

        My problem is with Judith’s argument, not Judith, and not Korhola.

      • Joshua, you forgot to read the fine print. My concern is with activist SCIENTISTS, not with politicians.

      • Joshua is the poster boy for can’t trust activists.

      • Judith –

        ==> ” My concern is with activist SCIENTISTS, not with politicians.”

        Wasn’t it just a couple of days ago that you were expressing concern about the linkages between Obama and Holder Mann etc.?

        Did that concern lessen over the course of just a few days?

      • Joshua, Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann pass themselves off as scientists, as does Holder. This is an unproductive line of discussion for this thread

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        from where I sit, looks like
        activists are becoming scientists
        for the purpose of activism

      • Steven Mosher

        From the analects.

        A wise man removes his head from his rear
        Before biting his opponents ankle.

        In the present case Judith helped by putting her foot
        Were Joshua keeps his head.

      • You never make a serious argument, joshie. And you didn’t mention they were divorced because you didn’t know, until Pekka told you. You usual slipshod foolishness.

      • “Joshua, Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann pass themselves off as scientists” – JC

        JC too, apparently.

        But, perhaps, with less cause.

      • Those worried about Korhola’s duel role as activist politician and disinterested researcher have not read her dissertation, or even the whole preface. She discusses this issue quite frankly and openly, certainly to my satisfaction.

  14. it has created the impression that if we solve the problem of climate change, all other problems would also be solved.

    I really think that is absurd thing to say. Climate change is just one among a number of problems that face us today. Obama has tackled a financial crisis, health care, the budget deficit, and climate mitigation since he took office. Maybe I don’t understand what is meant by this. I don’t understand how climate change policy is really related to many other problems. It has the potential to increase energy security, reduce pollution, and resilience to weather related disasters, but there are many other problems that need to be and can be addressed.

      • I should probably slap this up on my blog, but here goes: Homelessness in the developed world was treated as a ‘wicked’ problem for almost a century, with many good-hearted and high-minded people trying to solve the root causes of homelessness, from unemployment and family breakdown as proximate causes to lack of education, poor diet and a myriad of other conditions as ultimate causes.

        Then about a decade ago people started building modest apartments and giving the homeless people the keys. And it worked.

        It did not solve the very real problems of education, discrimination, homelessness, ad infinitum.

        But the homeless were no longer homeless.

      • The homeless are no longer homeless. I am going to pass on this one.

      • Don, I’m not suggesting that homelessness has been solved. Just those helped by this new approach.

      • Well, when the apartments for the rest of the homeless people are finished the problem will be solved. I wonder what took them so long to figure out that if you give a homeless person an apartment they won’t be homeless. Did Paul Krugman come up with this plan?

      • tom,

        “Then about a decade ago people started building modest apartments and giving the homeless people the keys. And it worked.”

        I am unaware of any government programs in which homeless people are gifted by government with new, free apartments.

        I do know that homelessness, while always with us, did not become the massive problem it was until governments started pushing the mentally ill onto the streets, and also “controlling” rents in big cities.

        If on the other hand by “this new approach” you mean free market entrepreneurs building apartment buildings and renting them at affordable rates because there is a market in which they can make a profit (once government took its boot off the neck of some small parts of the housing industry) then I would agree.

        Section 8 does provide some additional demand, but it is small compared to the costs government imposes on the industry in general. And as a genuine conservative, not a liberaltarian, I favor such voucher subsidies to those who genuinely cannot support themselves. Although from what I read, the program is as poorly run and full of fraud, over regulation and unintended consequences as any huge, centrally administered welfare program.

        (For the contrary, historical approach of government “subsidized”, crony-capitaist slum lords, see Tony Rezko – Obama supporter, confidant and provider of magically appreciating real estate.)

    • Joseph

      “Obama has tackled a financial crisis, health care, the budget deficit, and climate mitigation since he took office.”

      He is tackling while also claiming that climate change is the biggest problem. The result is that his actions have not improved the economy, health care, the budget, or the climate. The economy is improving as the result of oil drilling, which he fought, and labor participation is still at a historic low.

      Richard

      • Messiness prevails, rls, as it has since Venice rose from
        the marshes to seed the growth of Renaissance cities and
        the innovations of the Copernican and Industrial Revolutions
        and freedom of serfs from goddam unremiitting slavery and
        burden of guilt and dogmatic super-stishun fostered by
        them goddam power elites for their own ends, like that
        goddam U-N. beth the errf.

    • But, Dr. Curry, climate change is not the primary driving force behind our politics (just look at the polling). It is just one of a number of important problems. I think most people realize that there are number of things that will affect our future well being besides climate change. Go watch tv or read a newspaper and see how much attention it really gets.

    • barn E. Rubble

      RE: Joseph “Obama has tackled a financial crisis, health care, the budget deficit, and climate mitigation since he took office.”

      Please define ‘tackled’ as you believe the word means. I’m guessing it defers somewhat (to be kind) from my definition.

    • Don, what makes the anecdote interesting is that it save the government oodles of money for each homeless person that was housed.

    • It can’t be understood – it’s nonsense.

      I’ve never heard anyone take this poistion.

  15. If the traditional method for dealing with social problems is representative democracy then I am curious what the new method is? This does not seem to be spelled out.

    • Steven Mosher

      in the US it’s a pen and a phone.

      Silly republicans left the debate.

      • Mosher

        Didn’t you once say that most of your friends there in Berkley are of the Democrat/Liberal persuasion? Have you not read or heard that Dirty Harry was stuffing Republican passed House bills into his desk drawers? I respect your intelligence, but we know that non-homologous groups are smarter than homologous groups. I suspect that there may be too much homogeny in Berkley.

      • Steven Mosher

        some folks didnt leave the debate.

        R Street is an example.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Silly republicans left the debate.

        Non-silly Republicans have gained the majorities in both houses, and chairmanships (or chairs) of all the committees. That’s at the Federal level. At the state level the predominance of Republicans in the legislatures is even greater. Sure some of them are silly, but so are some prominent Democrats, and the Socialist Bernie Sanders.

    • Mosher,

      What is your opinion of the Democrats behavior in regards to climate change?

      Andrew

      • Now now, Andrew. If he mentions Democrats, he isn’t talking about Republicans and we can’t have that.
        James Hansen is considered the father of AGW concern in this country. Quick: which political party would be quite happy to promote James Hansen’s preferred alternative to fossil fuels (after more than 20 years of thinking about it)?
        Hint, it will never happen because it would be bi-partisan and where’s the fun in abandoning your ability to say one party walked away from the debate.
        “…left the debate.” They left the GMO, peak oil, and anti-vaxxer debates too. It’s one of the reason why I’m Republican.

      • JeffN, I agree. I don’t think Mosher is capable of giving a single straightforward answer anymore.

        Andrew

      • “La la la la la” —> can’t hear the republicans —> they have left the debate.

      • Steven Mosher

        opportunistic.
        smarter than republicans

      • In 2003-2004 you were a denier if you didn’t accept 6 degrees warming this century, Florida underwater, and that the U.S. could be powere entirely by wind and solar cheaply and easily with a few years of government action.
        Republicans said that was a gross exaggeration and today their position is pretty much the consensus from Kansas to Beijing.
        Walking away from a debate is what you do after you win it.

      • And FWIW, I think Mosher gives lots of straightforward answers. Most of them are right, IMO. This one is not, IMO.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: smarter than republicans

        Who? Warren? Obama? Pelosi? H. Clinton?

      • Dingy Harry?

      • Steven Mosher

        you guys let me know when you beat the phone and pen.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steve Mosher: you guys let me know when you beat the phone and pen.

        You are choking some poor idea near to death, and all that’s allowed out are some nonsensical fragments. Something about how the President’s right to veto is evidence that the Democrats are really, really smart and well-informed; or the Republicans gained a majority by losing a debate, or something.

      • Since the last election the pen writes in disappearing ink and the phone goes to voicemail.
        ===========

      • We beat the pen and the phone in 2008, when Democrats took control of the White House and both houses of congress and determined immediately that AGW, the most important issue of our time, was utterly unimportant.
        Sure, they still write and say nasty things about the GOP, but massive government action re AGW isn’t going to happen. Period. You can check my math on it, but I’m pretty sure that’s the GOP position.

      • “Let me know when you guys beat the phone and pen”. Let me know how you would react if the next president turns out to be Ted Cruz uttering the same dictatorial nonsense.

      • “opportunistic”

        Yikes.

        Andrew

      • Ted Cruz is not going to be the next President. Unless the economy takes a dive, it will be Hillary. The Demo brand is getting repaired by lowering gas prices and the perception that the economy is improving. Obama’s gallup poll approval rating has risen to 50%. Hillary basks in the Clinton economy, which was booming due to no help from the Clinton’s socialistic yearnings. If Clinton had not been restrained by Republican Congressional opposition, Hillarycare and other shenanigans would have doomed him to one term. But now Hill very likely gets to be President. Blind luck, and it’s a woman’s turn.

      • “The Demo brand is getting repaired by lowering gas prices and the perception that the economy is improving.”

        Agreed. In other words, the Demo brand won’t be pushing anything that results in higher gas and electricity prices. They are walking away from the debate. Nice to see bi-partisanship on AGW :)

  16. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Hummm…. a politician making sense about climate change…. soon she will be pilloried by the enviro-loons, and “discredited” as a shill for some organization. She recognizes that climate change is a political mess, but I doubt she appreciates the political abuse she is going to receive.

  17. Wasn’t going to read the thesis based on Pielke’s comments. Seemed too Kyotoish. But a reading assingment from Prof. Curry is a different matter.

  18. Still “tackling” and “combating” climate change, are we? Still deliberately leaving the vaporous term “climate change” undefined? A super-wicked as distinct from a tame problem? Pain of the heart?

    Look, if you had to be told that climate is vast and fantastically complex you are probably the last person who should be advising or deciding anything. Just join the rest of us in the Dunce’s Room – but go to the back.

    Whatever happened to PhDs for subjects with names like Post-Marxian Neo-Derridan Deconstructionism. Stuff you could ignore right away and which didn’t end up merely halving the annual cost of white elephants across the globe.

    Gawd, I sometimes prefer the old fashioned mullahs of alarmism. They were easy come, easy go, those guys. You knew where they stood…and what they were standing in.

  19. Nice find, but sadly, my prediction is Ms. (or Mrs.?) Korhola will simply be exiled to the land of the lukewarmers by the mainstream, and to the land of deniers by the loudmouths.
    Indeed, the fact that Ms/Mrs. Korhola was so unusual as to complete a PhD thesis while in office directly points to the unlikelihood of her view becoming more mainstream – we’re talking literally unicorn here.

  20. “Kyoto has, as a matter of fact, worsened the situation as demonstrated by the increase in emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is a failed climate strategy since emissions have neither been reduced absolutely nor relatively.”

    I would argue that Kyoto was necessary and inevitable outcome of the Climate Change discourse as it happened and that it was beneficial in that it exposed the hypocrisy and inaction of those who professed commitment to it.
    The same could be said for President Obama and America. I am impressed with the outcome in a number of areas including efforts to extract the USA from Afghanistan/Irak, trying to close Guantanamo, opening up communication with Cuba and raising the Afro American profile in America which would not have happened had he not appeared and run for President.
    It is only by having Kyoto that we can move on.

    Wicked problem is a lovely term, synonymous with nightmare I take it.
    The answer to a nightmare is to wake up.
    Climate Change is not a wicked problem if you believe in it, or if you do not believe in it.
    Life will go on. Those of us who are upset enough about the logic of it will be burnt at the stake as apostates or welcomed as heroes if the revolution against Climate Change succeeds.
    Next week, month, year life will go on as usual, Climate will change as usual, people will be as iodiosyncratic in their views [ie not agreeing with me] as ever.

    • I don’t know that much about Kyoto. In those days I was really busy (I think I was in Azerbaijan, or maybe Russia?), but in general I agree with you. I only wish Obama would listen to my advice a little bit more. For example, I would have got the UN involved in Cuba, so they could organize an election for dissident leaders. This way the USA representative could sit down with dissidents she knew represented the people, and the Castro dictatorship could beat and jail the top level troublemakers. I don’t think the Castro regime was nearly as effective arresting Tania Bruguera or Yoani’s husband just because they are known,

  21. Don’t they offer continuing education for members of Congress? Perhaps that should be a mandate :)

    • Matthew R Marler

      captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 Don’t they offer continuing education for members of Congress?

      I am sure that by now the staffs of the appropriate committees of both Houses of Congress have received Korhola’s thesis and are mining it for good quotes for the Members, and good questions for the next rounds of hearings.

    • “THEY” “DO” , most of it is by alarmists and most of it is flawed.

  22. Excellent post. Too much to digest as I run back into the laboratory, so I will have to come back and read this again, and some of the background. Thanks, Judy.

  23. The only real reservation I have is that fossil CO2 is a much bigger problem than just climate, much less its contribution to the greenhouse effect. Thus, it should be tackled as a separate problem from climate adaptation.

    • Do you feel CO2 will cause a problem other than the greenhouse effect and ocean ph changes?

      • I think it might cause problems through direct effects on the ecosystem(s), including downstream effects on the climate via aerosol loading changes. IMO that’s a bigger risk than the greenhouse effect, or perhaps I should say a less small risk.

      • Also its effects on regional and local sink/sources. Seems likely to me that some of these have been or are filling past “tipping points”, although we can only guess how much difference it would make to human civilization.

      • I think this goes to the idea that there are a lot of other problems that are creeping up on us which have not been addressed and which are being buried by the focus on the monster. The question of ocean pH and ocean warming wrt reef corals, for example, is just one.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Fernando Leanme wonders “Do you feel CO2 will cause a problem other than the (1) greenhouse effect and (2) ocean pH changes?”

      Those are two good reasons, Fernando Leanme! Three more Big Carbon correlates are:

      (3) earth-destruction …

      (4) democracy-destruction …

      (5) and life-destruction

      Summary  There are five GOOD reasons (or more!) to embrace carbon-neutral energy-economies.

      *THAT* is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Thank you for reminding Climate Etc readers of these five good reasons, Fernando Leanme!

      \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}

  24. I have been involved in a variety of environmental issues on a local scale. These have included preserving endangered orchids, putting native tall grass prairie into habitat conservations, marsh health and a few other similar local projects. I have noticed a real trend since the whole climate change issue came to the forefront of young people basically throwing up their hands and saying something that amounts to “What is the point? We have to fix climate change or project X won’t matter.” As an old fashioned environmentalist I have begun to wonder if pushing climate change has become a way to do nothing at all.

  25. Wicked problems like climate change are beyond solution by human brain alone. The masses of linear and nob-linear differential and feedback equations can only be solved with a powerful computer – a mathematical model. Why has this process not succeeded? Probably because there has been no debate on the models that the IPCC sponsors: all too dominated by the original Hansen model.

    Until we have proper debate on the IPCC sponsored models, we are not likely to find a solution to this wicked problem.

    • Forget the stupid models. look at past data that repeats in the same cycles with the same bounds for ten thousand years.You don’t need to understand why it happens, you jut need to understand that it does happen.

      • The problem is only wicked if you ignore actual real data. Actual real data is well bounded and it has followed the same cycles for ten thousand years. There is nothing wicked about data that stays in bounds.

  26. About 2014, according to NASA, the hottest year:

    Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing. ~Dr Lindzen

    NASA has become a member of the hysterical ‘Cult’ of Global warming believers.

    • When you lose your job if you don’t promote the agenda of the big boss, it really is easy to understand. You will only find consensus when the job requires consensus. They believe the alarmism. Any who don’t believe and promote the Extreme Alarmist Consensus, are either really gone or really silent.

  27. The mindset that has simplified the AGW problem and solution is also the one that views economic problems/solutions in the same one trick pony simplistic way. Ignore other factors like cultural, demographic, education, technology, globalization, labor structure or monetary policy and focus on the age old elixir of Keynesian economics. You have an eager propaganda machine (including the complicit MSM) and a willing audience primed to swallow it all.
    In economics, the mythology of the Keynes solution even involves revisionist history much as is done with paleo reconstruction to bolster the simplistic AGW view. Leading economists still perpetuate the myth that Hoover reduced spending, when in fact he increased Federal outlays by 50%, from $3.1 Billion to $4.6 Billion. Never mind that Federal spending was only 3% of GDP when Hoover took office compared to 21% in FY 15, and that monetary policy and exiting the gold standard had more to do with the reversal in the economy than Keynesian economics did.

    It is not coincidental that the mentality that creates and feeds one of there narratives is at the center of the other.

    • What about Weaponized Keynesianism, did that not play a factor? The one that so attracts Neocon/Neoliberals today.

    • Yes, thank you for an opening to debunk another myth- that increases in the Defense Budget exploded the Debt. The Defense Budget has increased by $300 Billion since FY2000, going from $300 Billion to $600 Billion. The Keynesian/Socialism/WeNeverSawAProgramUnworthyOfDoubling Budget has gone from $1.1 Trillion to $2.7 Trillion. It is clear what has added to the Debt the most. But to listen to the Liberals, one would think there is no Social Program Budget.

      I wonder how many MSM journalists ever took the time to challenge their orthodoxy that it was the Defense Spending that drove the skyrocketing Debt.

  28. 5 Climate change as a grand narrative
    Why we disagree about Climate Change
    Mike (Aesop) Hulme
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/04/quote-of-the-week-cru-scientist-disses-cooks-97/#comment-1558534

  29. David L. Hagen

    Korhola on Nature and Energy
    Remarkable insight. Here are some extracts that stood out in scanning the first portion of Eija-Riitta Korhola’s 2014 dissertation:

    Now, a new kind of party entered the negotiation table. It was a compelling force that does not make any compromises, but simply “is” by default: Nature. There is no other option but to take nature into consideration, and all others just have to adapt to its needs . . .
    the Ellulian idea of technology running loose from mankind’s control and it becoming a self-steering force is a very apt description of the new operational environment of politics. . .
    I had understood something essential: if one recognises the problem of climate change, it does not logically follow that one could also solve it wisely. . . .
    However, climate change is regarded as a pollution problem, and to solve it the same old medicines are suggested, as these have worked with regard to previous pollution problems. In my research, I aim to prove that this is one of the factors, which has made climate policy ineffective. Instead of regarding the causes of climate change as environmental problems, they – and the solutions to the problem – should be regarded as incentives for energy market operations and technological development. . . .

    However, in practice, EU legislation proves to be the exact opposite: it punishes the most accomplished one almost systematically. This concerns both emissions trading and investments in renewable energy. The lesson taught by the EU is basically: “Do not do anything until you are being forced into doing it.”
    . . .
    The EU is, indeed, on the right path with regard to the agreed Kyoto reduction targets, and it is likely to achieve the goal of reducing 8% of the 1990 level by the end of 2012 whilst decisively also approaching its own target of reducing 20% from the 2005 emission level. The researches of Saikku et al. (2012) and Peters et al. (2011) reveal, however, that the image of the EU’s success is altered, if we take into account not only production – but also consumption – based emissions. When analysing international trade volumes, we have to conclude that the EU’s total emissions have increased. We have simply outsourced our emissions. The additional energy has, in this case, most likely been produced using coal, which has the highest carbon concentration of all energy forms (94.6 g CO2/MJ)

    • Matthew R Marler

      David L. Hagan, quoting Korhola: we have to conclude that the EU’s total emissions have increased. We have simply outsourced our emissions.

      That has been written before, but it is good to see it in a document written by someone formerly in the vanguard of formulating policies.

    • David L. Hagen

      Dr. Tim Ball similarly explores why the IPCC failed from missing the forest for the trees. See: IPCC Climate Science As A Gestalt Theory Problem

      they are so consumed with detail, they don’t understand the larger situation. This is true of society in general and climatology in particular. One book that at least addresses part of the problem as it relates to climate, is Essex and McKitrick’s Taken By Storm, in the chapter titled, “Climate Theory Versus Models and Metaphors”. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has exacerbated, amplified and exploited the problem because they are about politics, not science.

  30. Korhola’s thesis is an amazing narrative by an incredible lady. It also strikes me as important scholarship, but I’ll leave that to the scholars to decide upon.

    The appendix to the thesis includes a slew of fascinating blog posts that make for interesting reading.

    Like Judith I found myself agreeing with almost everything she says and shouting “Yes” on many occasions.

    In the course of reading the thesis I found my way to the Hartwell Paper (Korhola and Pielke Jr. were co-authors). I’ve studied this as well, but find it less compelling than the thesis by Korhola.

    One thing that is hanging me up is the notion of “decarbonization” as a goal in and of itself. I just don’t get this! It appears that the default position of the CAGW alarmists is that even if they are wrong and there is no catastrophe in our future then it is still a good idea to decarbonize asap because ………….why?

    My other reaction to all of this is: who asked the UN and the EU to define and solve problems on behalf of the world? As an educated and reasonably aware and thinking American I gotta tell ya that the EU and the UN are probably in the bottom 10% of organizations I want managing anything.

    • David L. Hagen

      Mark re Decarbonization
      Sooner or later we run out of fossil fuels and have to develop replacement fuels. CO2 is then recycled aka “decarbonization”. The “climate” focus distorts thinking.

      • David,

        Sooner or later yes, but wrt to electricity there is plenty of gas, coal and along with nuclear to make this a 100+ year issue. Now when it comes to liquid transportation fuels and oil that’s another story as Rud has pointed out in “Blowing Smoke”.

        The point is, as you say, climate focus distorts thinking.

    • As an educated and reasonably aware and thinking American I gotta tell ya that the EU and the UN are probably in the bottom 10% of organizations I want managing anything.

      This Aussie agrees 100%.

    • One thing that is hanging me up is the notion of “decarbonization” as a goal in and of itself. I just don’t get this! It appears that the default position of the CAGW alarmists is that even if they are wrong and there is no catastrophe in our future then it is still a good idea to decarbonize asap because ………….why?

      Because they can use that to tax and control us.

      Because they can use that to tax and control us.

      Because they can use that to tax and control us.

      • This is why it is irrelevant to progressives whether any given policy will actually have its purportedly intended effect. It is also why they don’t really give a damn if the Russians, Chinese Indians and Africa do a damn thing,

        Progressive climate policy is not about climate.

        Progressive education policy is not about education.

        Progressive housing policy is not about housing.

        Progressive healthcare policy is not about healthcare.

        Progressive energy policy is not about energy.

        Forget what they say, look at what they do. Policies that are abject failures with respect to their stated goals, are eternal because they are resoundingly successful at their real goals – the accumulation and maintenance of power.

      • Black lung disease?
        Mining accidents?
        Pollution from the heavy metals in coal?

    • Decarbonization: Peak Oil isn’t cooperating. Plan B: Let’s try and force it.

      • KenW, got some bad news for you. Price volatility in an inelastic commodity is SOP. $140/bbl when demand exceeded supply for a few months in 2007-8. ~ $40/bbl when supply exceeds demand for a few months in 2014-5. Now what do you think the price will be when demand permanently exceeds supply forever? My best guess, supported by IMF working papers and even (implicitly) the IEA (read essay IEA Fictions, guest posted here under a different title some time ago) is sometime around 2020. IMF says $200/bbl for starters then.
        Now, we can just let that happen, or we can try to get ahead of the curve. In my first book, Gaia’s Limits, argued for getting ahead of the curve.
        Problem is that climate change generally just distracts from this much narrower, better based geophysically, issue. And the same climate deniers who deny an impending peak in oil production just confound the problem horribly. FWIW I remain a lukewarmer like Judith.

      • Rud,

        The renewables industry is counting on Peak Oil happening as soon as possible. But this isn’t working out as fast as projected because private entrepreneurs find ways to make things work as soon as the price is right.

        Some people really hate this (look over at the Guardian sometime).

        So,in order to drive up the price artificially, they want to legislate that it stays in the ground. This is a first step. The real goal is to collectivize energy ownership and production on a global scale.

        I’m really not kidding here.

        The energy markets are volatile. Yes. .

        Some of the alternatives, товарищ, are terrifying.

  31. “Climate change is a problem that we would not even know of without climate science.”

    Pondering the narrative and all that, I’d say that climate science is a problem we would not even know about without careerism and political boosting. Climate change, on the other hand, is something I have always noticed, as have my aphids.

    Ms Kohola may seem just another searcher after truth and navels, but I’d say she’s less a obscure figure thanks to people who think climate hasn’t even turned 40 yet. I dare say she is another climate change expert thoroughly bored by the subject of actual climate change. If an actual climate change jumped into her lap and started tap-dancing she’d be too busy checking her phone for updates on the Paris agenda to even notice. There’s nothing moderate about a lukewarmer. You’re just buying “lite” or “mild” instead of “fruity”, to put it in oil terms. You’re still paying.

    Byzantine seems the best way to describe the present intellectual climate. The physical climate? Anything but Byzantine! Just don’t “stabilise” the US back to 1899 or 1888, even if you know how. The present east coast storm could well be an improvement on those suckers.

    • mosomoso, have you been drinking too?

      • Yunnan black tea. Fruity, for sure.

      • Tito’s vodka for me!

      • Since I’m the only sober one, Mark…

        If you look at what Ms Korhola is half-saying (she only discreetly half-says stuff) as opposed to the conciliatory tone and moderate flavour, she wants to continue with the manipulation and bureaucratisation of climate. Bolshie or moderate, they all cost, these climate-botherers, and the moderates may cost you for longer.

        Okay, the lady’s proposing more nuance, consultation, narrative-pondering etc. But we’re still suppose to “tackle” and “act on” and “combat” the climate via “policies”. It’s a changing of the guard, not a dismantling of the klimatariat.

        This is not the Yunnan black talking. The climate’s not for tackling – not even earnest, moderate tackling.

      • OK mosomoso, the Tito’s has worn off, I get it. It’s kind of the same thing that turned me off about the Hartwell paper. Why are these people consumed by the need to find intractable problems to “solve”? It keeps them busy and leads to grants and more and more conferences and symposia etc.

        Leaving it to human ingenuity and markets is always the best way to tackle wicked problems.

    • I blame technology. Without improved instrumentation we wouldn’t have even known it was happening.

  32. I’m impressed by E-R. Korhola’s willingness to face up to her mistakes (difficult for everyone) which provides a good reason to study her thesis. As has been discussed in numerous posts on Climate Etc, our climate future is certainly a “wicked” scientific problem and there is no viable plan to arrive at a solution. Hence only Government and organizational policies that “do no harm” should be considered for adoption – which would eliminate most of the current policy proposals to address climate change.
    E-R. Korhola notes that ozone layer depletion is a serious problem and, prior to Climategate, I would have agreed. I no longer place any trust in peer reviewed results published by the geosciences community and would only support actions to address ozone layer depletion if the science was reviewed and approved by an independent scientific organization. The worst result of the climate wars is the destruction of geoscience credibility.

    • As has been discussed in numerous posts on Climate Etc, our climate future is certainly a “wicked” scientific problem and there is no viable plan to arrive at a solution

      No, that ignores the fact that Temperature has been tightly bounded for ten thousand years and is not headed out of bounds. There is nothing “wicked” about that. The only thing that is “wicked” is that people are not looking at past data and trying to understand what has happened and what natural variability is regulating temperature, And Sea Level.

    • Heh, wasquires, there is no skeptic like a convert.
      ============

  33. “All this talk about climate change has misled us collectively.”

    and

    “Is climate change making us stupid?”

    Us? Pardon me? It is always affirming to see a default progressive’s eyes opened, even when the awakening is limited to a single issue like globalclimatewarmingchange.

    But there are those of “us” who have known for over a decade that the CAGW movement was all about politics dressed up as science. And you didn’t have to be a climate scientist to see it. The consensus’ own pronouncements were contradictory and obvious products of false claims of knowledge and certainty. Some of “us” can even see the exact same tactics, dishonesty and motivation on a host of other political issues.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is always heartening to see someone who was firmly ensconced on the political left discover the importance of humility. But let’s not pretend it’s a universal phenomenon. Particularly when those whose eyes have been opened on ‘climate change’, are still full fledged, eyes closed, default progressives on so many other issues.

  34. It seesms most of the official surface recording agencies has been truly nailed this time https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/all-of-paraguays-temperature-record-has-been-tampered-with/

  35. Pingback: Wicked | The Lukewarmer's Way

  36. Korhola says: “All this talk about climate change has misled us collectively. It has made us search for a mega solution to a mega problem: it has created the impression that if we solve the problem of climate change, all other problems would also be solved. This is not the case. … Combating climate change does not solve the problem of biodiversity, pollutants, poverty or energy shortage. … we have created a political log-jam for ourselves, one to which we now offer a vision of the “mother of all solutions”. There is no such thing at all.

    “… We also have to return to the basics and give other problems the value they deserve. Poverty, the high price of energy, pollution, biodiversity degradation, desertification or problems of the less-developed countries cannot be reduced down to a climate problem. These problems must be taken as such since they are concrete problems.”

    Judith, this is good stuff, but it is not new. It has been argued at Climate Etc since its inception, and elsewhere before. The difference is mainly the standing of the author, which should help these ideas to get a wider hearing.

    • Yes, this was music to my ears, some of the same tunes I’ve been playing. But she brought some academic depth to these topics, which is very welcome.

    • Faustino,

      “The difference is mainly the standing of the author, which should help these ideas to get a wider hearing.”

      That is what many thought when Dr. Curry underwent the great awakening.

      Korhola’s political career sleeps with the lutefisk.
      (with apologies to Luca Brasi)

    • Faustino, that was what caught my eye also.

      “… We also have to return to the basics and give other problems the value they deserve. Poverty, the high price of energy, pollution, biodiversity degradation, desertification or problems of the less-developed countries cannot be reduced down to a climate problem. These problems must be taken as such since they are concrete problems.”

      Does anybody here disagree with the above statement?

    • ““… We also have to return to the basics and give other problems the value they deserve. Poverty, the high price of energy, pollution, biodiversity degradation, desertification or problems of the less-developed countries cannot be reduced down to a climate problem.”

      This is just garbage.

      Prior to AGw we must have ben in the midst of solving poverty, rising energy costs, pollution etc.

      Oh wait…..

      What moves someone to write something so patently absurd??

      • What moves someone to write something so cynical?
        ======================

      • so much for Glasnost

      • kim,

        If you are aware of an imminent end to poverty that was rudely interrupted by AGW, please do tell.

        Otherwise it’s utterly absurd contention, that only the most feeble-minded would ascribe to.

      • It is clear that the absurd urge for decarbonization, from unfounded fears of catastrophe, has hampered the ability to diminish poverty in the third world. Why on Earth do you think the BRIC coalition sprang to life full grown?
        ===================

      • Michael, we have limited resources. What is your plan exactly?

      • Michael, what you don’t know – when James Hansen told the senator to open the windows on that blistering hot day, a natural hot day I might add, there was a Republican senator who had a bill on the table there that would have ended global poverty. As the hearing unfolded, his fear of global warming became so intense he did not notice that, page by page, the only hope of millions of impoverished people blew out that open window. Newly terrified by AGW, this great white knight of humanity quit the senate. Wanting to be like Al Gore, he has been living as a hermit in a hovel ever since. Oh the coal plants!

      • Michael
        Do you accept that there are limited resources (financial) to apply to issues?

      • These resources may be more limited than you suggest if nothing gets done, KenW. Paradise’s lost rhetoric may be worth the shot to gain political klout among the Lomborg Collective, but please bear in mind that nature bats last.

        “Let’s return to X” is not a plan, BTW. Why don’t you ask for Korhola’s first?

      • > Do you accept that there are limited resources (financial) to apply to issues?

        Do you, Rob?

        I thought Grrrowth was infinite, omnipotent, and inherently benevolent.

      • Maybe it needs absurdity to even engage with you Michael, let alone spend a lifetime correcting the mistakes every time you come near a keyboard.

        “Nearly 1 billion people have been taken out of extreme poverty in 20 years. The world should aim to do the same again….”

        http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

      • Tom,

        Poverty can’t be over – AGW.

      • Between 1990 and 2010, their number fell by half as a share of the total population in developing countries, from 43% to 21%—a reduction of almost 1 billion people.

        Imagine how much more it would have been if the eco-zealots weren’t spending trillions on studying climate change and promoting renewables.

        Why my guess is that could have been doubled only if RealClimate didn’t “censor” commenters.

      • Meteorologists will still prosper…

        http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2015/01/27/storm-fails-to-live-up-to-predictions-in-some-areas/

        AGW science will mean poverty stricken.

      • Willard,

        Growth is the source of resources.

        It is without measure.

        Hallelujah.

      • Willard- You seem to like to pretend that the EU’s models of continually spending more that is being generated in revenue is sustainable.

        It isn’t.

        Choices and priorities must be made and many good things will not be funded. That is real world economics.

        TomFuller- ““Nearly 1 billion people have been taken out of extreme poverty in 20 years. The world should aim to do the same again….”
        Nations have a primary responsibility to take care of their citizens and not the citizens of other nations with often conflicting interests. (realism)

      • +1 more. Thank you.

      • Willard,

        I asked who disagreed, and Michael obliged. I thank him for that, and resist making a value judgment on his reply, but since his reaction was rather strong I am curious as to exactly what he would have us do.

        I’m certain we’re not doing nothing. When I drive down the Autobahn I see Windmills and Solar Fields and Corn for Biogas left and right. We’re spending lots and lots of money and using every inch of available space – and IMO probably doing more harm than good.

        The will to do the right thing is nice, but objective thinking is a critical component that is missing. I believe that is the gist of Ms. Korhola’s message.

      • Rob,

        Is there any chance that you are an internationalist on wealth and a isolationist on poverty?

      • > You seem to like to pretend that the EU’s models of continually spending more that is being generated in revenue is sustainable.

        You’re right, Rob, but above all I like to pretend that I beat my cat.

      • Oh, yeah, and before AGW, the Greens here were busy trying to prevent Reagan and Thatcher from cleaning up the Workers Paradise.

      • Michael writes- “Is there any chance that you are an internationalist on wealth and a isolationist on poverty?”

        Michael- if all it took to work on issues was snappy comments you might be effective.

        No, I am a realist. What do you not agree makes sense?

      • > The will to do the right thing is nice, but objective thinking is a critical component that is missing. I believe that is the gist of Ms. Korhola’s message.

        Ms Korhola’s message ain’t a plan, KenW, and yet you asked Michael for a plan. Do you really think Michael is against helping the poor? Using the poor to argue for one’s own favorite path to prosperity is both cheap and renewable, windmills after windmills of comment threads.

        Also, you forgot to address my main argument: resources may very well be impacted by AGW. Both are resource-management problems, therefore putting one against he other amounts to a false dilemma. It amounts to claim that we ought to rethink our reinsurance practices instead of tackling AGW. Relying on dichotomies like that does not showcase objectivity very well.

        What you daydream about when you surf the Autobahn is duly noted.

      • > [T]he Greens here were busy trying to prevent Reagan and Thatcher from cleaning up the Workers Paradise.

        KenW’s sense of objectivity shines, out of sudden.

      • I point at Rob’s

        > [I]f all it took to work on issues was snappy comments you might be effective.

        I point at Rob’s very next sentence:

        > No, I am a realist.

        That would be all, if we could resist pointing out that Rob’s realism is good old non-interventionism:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-interventionism

      • Willard

        Wrong again

        “Nonintervention or non-interventionism is a foreign policy which holds that political rulers should avoid alliances with other nations, but still retain diplomacy, and avoid all wars not related to direct self-defense.”

        I do not agree that is a wise policy.

      • I don’t see why the poorest countries shouldn’t be allowed to use fossil fuels for now when the alternatives don’t make economic sense. Because any increase from them would not contribute much to global emissions. This would not include the larger more developed countries like China. I think at some point in the not too distant future, because of the increase in demand for lower carbon technologies, the technology will have advanced to the point where the costs are comparable and this will no longer be an issue.

      • Joseph writes– “I don’t see why the poorest countries shouldn’t be allowed to use fossil fuels for now when the alternatives don’t make economic sense.”

        Nobody is stopping a poor country from using fossil fuels today to build power plants. The issue is they do not have the funds to pay for these plants and need loans from others.

        The question is whether foreigners are willing to loan these countries additional funds to pay for a means to generate electricity that emits less CO2 than would a fossil fuel power plant.

        Imo, it comes down to the specifics. What nation, how much more money, how much less CO2. Specifics matter in determination of good vs wasteful plans.

      • Willard “resources may very well be impacted by AGW.”

        Yes, they may. And the world has lots of problems. And I am willing to soberly consider the costs, benefits and drawbacks of strategies for solving any of them.

        The Plan – is to not let dogma get in the way of clear thinking. If you find this idea patently absurd, so be it.

      • Brilliant, JCH, @ 8:56. A second benefit besides the horselaugh is that I fortunately couldn’t concentrate on subsequent comments.
        ================

      • > The Plan – is to not let dogma get in the way of clear thinking.

        Then cue to Green bashing and right-wing idolatry from the good ol’ days.

        That ought to show us how to think clearly.

      • > I do not agree that is a wise policy.

        What would be a good “realist” policy, Rob? I thought this followed your idea that realist countries took take care of their own citizens. Consider the sentence that follows the one you quote:

        An original more formal definition is that Non-intervention is a policy characterized by the absence of interference by a state or states in the external affairs of another state without its consent, or in its internal affairs with or without its consent.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-interventionism

        Assuming that every country should only take care of its own leads to non-interventionism, Rob. At least in principle, which ain’t the level of policy. Which means we ought not conflate appeals to “isms” and specific policies.

        Unless you’re appealing to good old imperialism, where countries take care of their own citizens at the expense of others?

      • Willie the Warp.
        ============

      • Cause and it’s affects.

        “Many restaurants were looking forward to Winter Storm Juno, because people typically order more food when they’re hunkering down. According to NBC New York, the Natureworks Restaurant location on 31st got more GrubHub and Seamless orders during the polar vortex in January 2014 than any other restaurant in the city. So understandably, the restaurant doubled the delivery staff that was scheduled to work yesterday.

        But instead, the restaurant ended up closing at 7pm. When asked why, manager Carlos Arcos told NBC New York, “Right now my delivery guy was walking.”

        Needless to say, the same city that binge-shopped for kale in preparation for the storm wasn’t happy that it couldn’t get its pad thai and dan dan noodles.

        NYC is really dropping the ball-Only 3 restaurants come up on @Seamless for delivery right now. And they’re terrible.”

      • Rob, it’s my understanding that under the current regime, the international community will loan money to the poorest nations to help pay for coal fired power plants when the alternatives are too expensive. I think they should continue to do that.

      • Joseph

        “It comes down to the specifics. What nation, how much more money, how much less CO2. Specifics matter in determination of good vs wasteful plans.”

        In some instances the cost to produce and distribute electricity in a developing region is greatly increased due to the corruption in the area/nation. In others the use of the funds are better put to use in some other area.

        The specifics determine whether a plan is good or folly.

      • The specifics determine whether a plan is good or folly.

        It’s encouraging to me that you are willing to consider a plan.

      • Joseph writes- “It’s encouraging to me that you are willing to consider a plan.”

        I suggest that my approach is not unusual. What seems more common is to be described as a “denier” if you think it is critical to review the specific justifications for a proposed project prior to it being approved.

        Notice what people who are most concerned about AGW write at this site. Do you notice the Fan’s, Willard’s, Michael’s and Joshua’s providing the specifics of what they think their country should be do and what specifically will be accomplished as a result?

        Not so much huh.

        What we get is generalities about climate change being bad and ANY adverse weather being a sign of AGW that might have been avoided if everyone would have only done what they advocated.

      • Willard, That wasn’t Green bashing. Michael had wondered what was being done to reduce poverty before AGW came along, and I pointed out that the Greens in Germany were in the streets trying to protect “real Socialism” from NATO aggression. The Kremlin considered them “useful”. It’s a simple fact that I know first hand.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        don’t know why everyone’s worried about limited resources
        President Obama says we can have “free” community college
        just like high school

      • Obama wants community college to be free, so that high-school dropouts are not denied the right to further their education. See where this is going?

      • Don

        There was an interesting article in the Sunday Times about obamas Sotu speech and how he had set a framework for cradle to grave care for Americans which is on a par to the more socialist countries in Europe. The free community college offer was mentioned.

        As we can see from the Greeks, people like to have ‘free’ goodies and don’t like it when they are taken away.

        If his is all implemented it will change th US for ever. I make no comment as to whether that is good or bad.

        Tonyb

      • To the folks arguing with Willard and Michael, just remember that “poverty” never ends because they keep redefining it.
        The bottom 5% of the US population, income wise, makes more than 68% of the world. Most people on this planet would die to be that “poor.” This is historically unique – to claim the industrial revolution and social and economic democracy had nothing to do with it would be absurd.

      • > “poverty” never ends because they keep redefining it.

        Show me where I did.

      • You guys crack me up asking willard for a Plan.

  37. For me the most significant contribution to the practical aspects of the discussion was this,

    “Poverty will not save the planet, unlike the environmental movement often seems to assume. Poverty forces people to think shortsightedly and destroy their environment, the same way as limitless and irresponsible greed. Secondly, poverty makes us more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and weakens our ability to be prepared for all kinds of catastrophes.”

    I have lived and worked in 16 countries and have observed that the richer countries guard the environment more carefully than poorer countries.

    Spcicifically, the more energy per capita produced and consumed, the better the monitoring and regulation of environmental hazards and waste.

    • ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    • Tenuous bur musical, link here to one of the problems*
      regardin’ renewable energy, 24/7. And facts-wise, F.F.
      IS related to Danny Kaye.

      * Another problem is landscape use. Miles ‘n miles of it.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Copenhagen Consensus says when can end extreme poverty by 2030
      AGW consensus says ‘decarbonization’ will be good for economies
      nothing says “I love you” more than good intentions

  38. My views somewhat align with Tom Fuller’s on this topic. Climate change is a very linear problem dependent on CO2 levels and the solution is what we do or don’t do with the fossil fuels left in the ground. It is very easy to take your eye off the ball (the CO2 level and fossil fuels) by taking the Hartwell approach, for example, and many have advocated that. The focus is and should remain the fossil fuels and how to replace them. There are deep decarbonization routes available to the world, different paths for different areas depending on their circumstances. See the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project as an example of the quantitative thinking that has already been done in this direction for several major emitter countries. The solution is not simple and it is not one-size-fits-all, but the technology is moving in that direction and should be more strongly encouraged rather than given up on, which appears to be the sentiment here.

    • CO2 makes green things grow better while using less water.

      Decarbonization routes will kill people and life on earth that depends on green things that grow.

    • Are you still mad at Willis, jimmy. He answered your criticism that was delivered by a third party. Are you done with that, jimmy?

      • I saw that Mosher put it to him directly and he side-stepped that, then answered later as if not talking to Mosher. His answer was to point to Science of Doom, which does have a good discussion especially on the SPECMAP data shown by Roe which was the question I had. I don’t put much stock in lacks of periodic. Milankovitch looks well supported by the interglacials occurring when they do.

      • Good work, jimmy. You got it all straightened out. Are you sure you won’t reconsider your adamant refusal to comment over there, jimmy? What if you feel compelled to play gotcha with Willis again?

      • I think I could short-circuit it by going straight to Science of Doom rather than taking the WUWT twist of science. That’s where this one ended up. If he doesn’t believe in Milankovitch cycles, good for him. Not many even there are falling for it.

      • Yes, please shortcircuit it. This is important stuff. Can’t let Willis lead science astray. Thank you, jimmy. Thank you. Your courage is inspiring. And so on…

      • Yes that was funny.
        The back story was I shared a post on fb by Robert Rohde. He had been working like a dog to get our data done. So he posted a comment using the words
        It’s official.. And then showed our results where he calls it a tie.

        Well I know rohde. He is a friend. He doesn’t care for the climate debate. He works quietly and is super careful. He called it a tie.

        Well Willis comes on my page and calls Dr rohde a fool and devious. Why? because Robert used the word official. Robert tried to explain that he meant official for us. Willis never generous would not back down. Of course I returned his name calling with My own.. He apparently got pissed when I deleted all of our comments and blocked him. Never had to block anybody on fb..
        Last time I let him speak to people at Berkeley on email Dr brillinger cut ties with me because of what my rude friend Willis said on mail about muller.

        Two times.. I won’t let it happen a third.

      • Mozsher,

        That seems reasonable to me. Willis is definitely rude, arrogant and nasty but so too are you.

      • Sorry for missspelling name. I meant ‘Mosher’

    • As with all middle-of-the-road solutions the Hartwell idea ends up getting run over in both directions. The denialists don’t like it because it admits to a problem, while the warmists don’t like it because it ignores the fossil fuel elephant in the room.

      • To be more clear, they do advocate carbon taxes to fund the development of non-carbon energy sources, but they don’t emphasize the need to leave carbon in the ground or limit emissions which is taking their eye off the ball, in my view.

      • Moderates however like it a lot. The ‘fossil fuel elephant’ is some 1/4 of the forcing issue – the solution is cheap and abundant alternatives arrived at by energy innovation.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim D — I’ll give a RINO’s (Moderates) perspective on what Conservatism means to many of us and trying to find Common Ground:

        (1) Our 1st responsibility lies with stewardship. While we accept the “Basic Science”, we scratch our heads on the Wicked nature of CC (how much and how fast). This is why for many RINOs, Dr. Ramanathan’s Concept of Fast Mitigation (Worldwide) has appeal — to change the trajectory of Greenhouse gas emissions on something we can understand (pollutants like Methane, Black Carbon, Smog).

        (2) RINO’s are highly skeptical of anything that smacks of Utopianism. We resist seduction of the latest “Big Idea” that explains everything (e.g., Democratism of the Middle East to AGW).

        (3) RINOs are very wary of concentrated power in whatever form — from Washington to Wall St. We favor local over the distant. This explains why many of us RINOs just hate TOP/DOWN approaches like Federal Carbon Taxes, Federal CO2 Trading Schemes, Federally mandated Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards.

        (4) For Christian RINOs, we believe in Original Sin and do not worship at the Temple of Ayn Rand. In our politics, RINOs value the opinions of John and Henry Adams, Bourne, Niebuhr, Lasch, Flannery O’Connor, and Wendell Berry.

      • Stephen Segrest

        A recent national poll reflects that 56% of Republicans support regulating GHG emissions:

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/27/us-usa-politics-climatechange-insight-idUSKBN0L00D620150127

        Another national poll shows that there is only one national issue that President Obama has a clear advantage on: The Environment http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/11/13/obama-vs-the-republicans-on-environmental-issues-how-the-public-views-them/

        Another poll reflects a vast difference between Tea Party and Traditional Republicans (RINOs) on Science:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/02/tea-partiers-and-traditional-republicans-are-split-on-science/

      • Stephen Segrest

        “I think there will be a political problem for the Republican Party going into 2016 if we don’t define what we are for on the environment,” says Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, who has supported cap-and-trade and is a moderate on climate change. “I don’t know what the environmental policy of the Republican Party is.”

      • The Republicans in Congress have not yet admitted that the warming we have seen so far has much to do with CO2 emissions. As long as they have this view, they will not be coming to the table with solutions, free-market or otherwise, because they claim not to know (I won’t call it deny) that there is a problem in the first place. The world has moved on, and they are being left behind in their state of doubt, which comes across as bewilderment in the face of change.

      • Warming isn’t happening for another decade or so – beyond that it is likely to cool. Not understanding that comes across as total freakin’ clown show.

      • I heard much the same cooling thing before the 2012-2014 drought. On my land and the surrounding National Forests, old growth forest, we lost a lot of trees to drought and beetles at the turn of the century. Then along came Hurricane Gustav & Ike which wrecked more trees. Then we lost a lot more to the January 2009 ice storm. But the 2012-2014 drought was the biggest killer. This is old growth forest south of Branson, Missouri reduced to mangled stumps compared to their former health. It has really caused me to rethink the global warming deal. Where will we be when the see sawing settles down? I’m not sure, but I’m certainly not going to predict warming won’t return with a vengeance in the near future.

      • Jim D wrote:

        To be more clear, they do advocate carbon taxes to fund the development of non-carbon energy sources,

        Who are “they” who advocate carbon taxes? I do not advocate carbon taxes for any purpose. The people I know who advocate carbon taxes are the liberal alarmists. That damages the Economy and Energy Production and is really the wrong path. Low cost energy that is not taxed is the path to a better life for more of the people on Earth.

        They who believe different are ignoring history. Fossil fuel did bring us out of the horse and buggy days into a more wonderful present. When better Energy sources make more sense, they will take their place. Nuclear clearly should be moving along on that path, but the alarmists have cast the best choice as a worst choice. The loudest of the people who claim to promote the best for us are really promoting the worst for us.
        The Greens are less green than any other groups.
        The fossil fuel Elephant in the room is the reason that more people than ever enjoy a better standard of living than ever in the history of the world.
        That Elephant is a hero, and he or she is a republican.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – I noticed that you did not link to the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, another nice project from the UN, the organization which so successfully prevented Russia from annexing Crimea.

      The report is meant for dimwits. In all seriousness it considers nonexistent or unproven technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage. It juggles a lot of estimates with a single goal to satisfy the sponsor. Its conclusions are as reliable as the conclusions of a famous book The Limits to Growth. It is probably written by the same crowd.

      To quote, “Meeting a 750 MtCO2 target requires a transformation of the U.S. energy system”. My interpretation: We should first transform the U.S. legal system (not a bad idea) and the U.S. political system (a very bad idea).

  39. It is important that despite the pressure posed by political discussions the scientific community retains its cognitivistic ideal also in climate science, in order to preserve the credibility of science.

    I really, really, really, don’t think so. NOPE!

  40. Pingback: Costs and Consequences of Transforming Global Energy Sources | 3000 Quads

  41. Don’t like the tenor of “wicked”. As in evil and witchcraft and misogyny. Blame the devil, burn a witch, sacrifice a goat. That is the policy in place. How little things have changed.

  42. Pingback: Are we going slightly mad? - Climategate.nl

  43. ThomaswFuller2,

    You are keen on hydro. I’ve mentioned there is not a lot more suitable sites available in the world. It may help to to understand why I am saying this if I give some figures I calculated some time ago. The scenario is as follows:

    – to power the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2010 with all generation from a fixed solar PV array from a single point in NSW (South Eastern Australia)

    – sufficient pumped hydro storage (NAS battery storage also cited) to store the energy from the PV during the day and meet the NEM’s 2010 demand every half hour throughout the year

    – Total energy consumption in 2010 – 204 TWh, peak demand 35 GW.

    Results:

    Least cost option was with 30 days of energy storage

    With 30 days of energy storage the reservoirs would inundate 11,000 km2
    .
    The pumps would need to pump 2.3 Sydney harbour volumes of water up 150 m in 6 hours, and release it to generate power to meet demand during 18 hours each day.

    The alternative: 26 1 GW nuclear power stations could do the same job.

    The greenhouse gas emissions from the solar+ pumped hydro option with 30 days of storage would be some 20 times greater than from the nuclear option.

    [ process what these numbers mean for a bit]
    Read more about it here and see the cost comparisons: https://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf

    Although this is Australia, the constraint on available hydro capacity is strictly limited, hydro is very expensive, the capacity of nuclear is effectively unlimited, and the costs are already far cheaper and can be greatly reduced (as I mentioned in an earlier comment).

    • Peter… did you not read my previous post or follow the link? Here’s another one…

      An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

      Hydropower may double in electricity capacity
      Renewables account for 20 percent of the global electricity production today, with hydropower contributing 80 percent of the total share. An expected 3700 major dams may more than double the total electricity capacity of hydropower to 1,700 GW within the next two decades.
      Given that all planned dams are realized, China will remain the global leader in hydropower dam construction although their share of total future global hydropower production will decline from currently 31 to 25 percent, due to increases in other parts of the world.
      The Amazon and La Plata basins in Brazil will have the largest total number of new dams in South America, whereas the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin (mainly India and Nepal) and the Yangtze basin in China will face the highest dam construction in Asia.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141024082615.htm

      • I already answered your previous comment. Didn’t you see it? I am well aware of all this. But you are misunderstanding the meaning of your numbers. Hydro is about 16% of global electricity supply. Electricity damand will double by about 2030. Even if hydro capacity could double by 2030, that just means its share of total global electricity remains at 16%. And that’s about the end of it. No more. Hydro cannot solve the GHG emisisosn from electricity issue. if you want to do that, you need to allow nuclear to be cheap so it replaces coal without any incentives (i.e. just because it is the cheapest way to generate electricity). France commissioned most of its nuclear plants over about 20 years. For the past 30 years France has been generating 75% – 85% of its electricity from nuclear power. It’s cheap, low emissions. It’s proven. And it can be made much cheaper if we remove the impediments. That’s what you need to aim for.

        You haven’t answered my comments so I don’t know what you’ve read. If there is no acknowledgement, I assume you haven’t read them.

      • Peter, I’m also aware that even if hydro doubles it won’t increase as a percentage of rising energy consumption. I’ve been saying that since 2012 on my blog.

        But heck, 16% is a real chunk of what we’re going to need.

      • Thomas,

        It’s fiddling at the edges instead of tackling the answer that can provide 75% of electricity with no emissions. Fiddling at the edges is a distraction from tackling the real issue. Apply the Pareto Principal – the 80%:20% rule. Put most of your effort into where you can have the greatest effect.

      • Thomas,

        You are totally wasting your time and effort advocating for hydro. There is nothing your advocacy can do to reduce costs or make it more competitive. It is a mature technology. Engineers will do what they can to make it as cheap as possible for each site. Nothing you or politicians can do to have much effect on hydro developments (World Bank and other aid agencies can fund and they do all ready when it is viable to do so – I know I’ve worked on many).

        But where your advocacy can be valuable to learn about nuclear then start advocating and educating – always honestly. That;s where the big advance has to come from. Only nuclear can replace fossil fuels. Hydro cant’. it probably cannot maintain it’s 16% share of global electricity generation. So it cannot do anything to reduce global emissions. All ti can do at best is maintain its share.

      • We disagree, Peter. I don’t think it’s wise to put all our eggs in one basket and I definitely think a little ‘horses for courses’ attitude would benefit many of the regions that will struggle to implement nuclear.

      • IMO solar PV and pumped hydro will be cheaper than nuclear (fission) within a decade. Especially for emerging economies with plentiful labor.

        http://3000quads.com/2015/01/26/costs-and-consequences-of-transforming-global-energy-sources/#comment-12604

        Turkey nest dams with a 5 meter depth would require about the same effort as less effort than levies the same height (no storm surges to design for). They could be built using sandbags, made from fiber glass if necessary. (There would be the extra cost for gloves for the workers.) Unlike pumped storage used for load balancing, the turbine requirements would be smaller compared to water storage for balancing solar.

        Besides, Francis turbines could be popped out like eggs in a henhouse, given the demand.

      • Thomaswfuller2

        We disagree, Peter. I don’t think it’s wise to put all our eggs in one basket and I definitely think a little ‘horses for courses’ attitude would benefit many of the regions that will struggle to implement nuclear.

        I didn’t say put all your eggs in one basket. I said focus your resources and personal energy on advocating where you can have most effect (Pareto Principal, 80:20 rule). To cut global GHG emissions by 50% (economically) will require a very large proportion of electricity is generated by nuclear power (around say 75% or more) and electricity has an increasing proportion of total energy supply. Hydro will provide a declining proportion of electricity and of global energy. Hydro’s share of global hydro will not be affected in the slightest by your advocacy. However, you can make a significant difference by getting a much better understanding of nuclear power and then explaining it. You can make a difference, but not if you continue to waste your time advocating where you can have no effect.

      • Peter, when you say there is not a lot of suitable locations for more hydro and i point out that 3,700 new dams under construction or being permitted will double in 20 years what took a century to build the first time, it seems we have different visions of what is or is not taking place.

      • ThomaswFuller2

        Peter, when you say there is not a lot of suitable locations for more hydro and i point out that 3,700 new dams under construction or being permitted will double in 20 years what took a century to build the first time, it seems we have different visions of what is or is not taking place.

        It’s not different visions. It’s a matter of understanding how comparisons must be done if they are to be valid. Comparing the number of hydro schemes or the total capacity is not a valid comparison. You have to compare them on the basis of the annual energy they provide and the reliability of that energy.

        To determine if hydro is likely to increase share or decrease share of global electricity generation offer the next 1, 2, 3 4 decades you need to compare the projected energy generation from hydo with the total projected electricity generation over the same time period and using the same analysis method.

        You can do it simply by looking up any of the authoritative projections such as by IEA, EIA, OECD, EPRI. But be sceptical about sites that clearly have an agenda for one type of technology e.g. for renewables etc.

      • Thomaswfuller2,

        I’ve done it for you using EIA: http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser/#release=IEO2013&subject=4-IEO2013&table=27-IEO2013&region=0-0&cases=Reference-d041117

        Projected proportion of electricity generated by hydro / total world electricity generation, every 5 years to 2040 is as follows:
        2010 16.8%
        2015 16.3%
        2020 16.7%
        2025 16.0%
        2030 15.7%
        2035 15.7%
        2040 16.0%

        A slightly declining trend.

  44. I see the climate models are being used to predict snowstorms in NYC now. Doom! Doom! Doom!… Never mind.

  45. I think she got it a little bit backwards. Carbon dioxide reduction was always a convenient peg to hang a lot of other ideological baggage from a diverse range of people; undermining of belligerent coal miners in the UK, green-washing of nuclear power worldwide, economic growth reduction aims from Friends of the Earth and their ilk, development of cleaner energies from greenpeace and the peak-oil brigade, over-population and resource-reduction from diverse neo-malthusians. massive funding increases for academia by linking their existing work somehow to climate change and a vast spiders web of quangos producing speculative, reality-free, engineering-poor scenarios & models to provide extra income for people who would otherwise be unemployable.

    The earlier global warming alarmists; Arhennius & Callender thought that warming would be good for us. The earlier global coolers agreed that cooling was the real scare. But with all this pessimistic, dogmatic baggage from so many self-interested groups, the demonstrably beneficial effects of mild warming must never be discussed – only catastrophic worst case scenarios are allowed because only that affects policy.

  46. Judith!
    Eija-Riitta Korhola does keep her blog also in English: http://www.korhola.com/en/
    Her dissertation was a great success with a very large public consisting mostly of people fro academia except for the Finnish Meteorological Institute, with no official representation. Probably too scary due to the fact that the institute is the home for the Finnish National IPCC Commíttee.

  47. The busted blizzard forecast is a great example of politics and ‘no regrets’.

    NYC shutdown in prep but the epic storm didn’t occur ( for NYC anyway ).

    May have cost $1 billion.

    Now a $billion is what it used to be, and politicians know that they can be held to account for not being responsive enough.

    Still, preparing for disasters that don’t occur can cost:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102372298

    • Curious George

      There are people who claim with a straight face that we have reliable 100-hour weather forecasts. Turns out, not even 50 hours.

  48. Judith Curry,

    I believe the Blizzard of 2015 for New York City is a political teaching moment. Amongst predictions of an unprecedented storm, hurricane wind strength, snow accumulations of 24 to 30 inches, NYC was shut down, transportation stopped, La Guardia closed and JFK only partially open, flights from the West Coast were stopped idling airplanes at LAX & SFO all in the name of the precautionary principle. Everything predicted based upon models

    What transpired was an accumulation of 3 to 6 inches, winds 5 to 7 MPH. All transportation previously shut down due to the impending storm are back up running.

    Now the teaching moment: What did the shut down of the East Coast, and in particular NYC cost? For one day, the airlines lost $ 1 billion dollars. Think of the lost wages, tips, and commerce, sales, deals, not made because of the precautionary principle.

    See if one can find videos of the politicians who just yesterday talked about the largest storm ever! Read the pundits who were speaking of extreme and unprecedented weather.

    Now, not being recorded as of yet, think of all the people whose lives were disrupted, lost money, lives which were made just a little be more difficult, think of all these people when they hear words like: weather, unprecedented, extreme, models and all due to man’s doing. Think of what will be recorded in the minds of people when Gavin Schmidt at Columbia University NYC and head of Goddard Institute of Space Studies, is on some talking head’s show stating knowingly about dire and calamitous events are yet to come.

    The precautionary principle regarding weather, climate and models as evidence, etc. has real consequences when non-knowledgable and unsophisticated average Joe/Jane hears the forecast and then sees the reality….what do you expect people to do the next time politicians tell us the sky is falling and you need to pay-up and this will hurt? We will see how many politicians are apologizing today. I don’t expect President Obama will be apologizing for leading environmentalism down the rabbit hole either.

    • The Gore Effect is Dead, Long Live the Obama Effect.
      ================

    • Post on this topic coming later today

    • Stephen Segrest

      If we apply your logic to a Cat 5 Katina hurricane (where it can take days to evacuate) what do we have?

      • Stephen Segrest

        Katrina came ashore as a Category 3. 1800+ people died. The dikes broke. Federal monies given to the local councils (parishes) to maintain the dikes was siphoned off to feel good social programs. The mayor instituted NO emergency plan nor did he have one formulated. The Big Easy had no appetite for planning or getting busy, just give us the money and we’ll figure out what to do with it. And so they did. There is such a thing as prudence, in your speech, in your thinking, in your interaction with others, in handling of your finances. There are times to yell “fire.” When you are wrong, THEN you are accountable and you should think of what you did wrong. When you put all your eggs into the “model” basket, then expect to be held accountable; i.e., get fired.

        Bye Bye Gavin. Bye Bye Barak.

      • Five investigations (three major and two minor) were conducted by civil engineers and other experts, in an attempt to identify the underlying reasons for the failure of the federal flood protection system. All concur that the primary cause of the flooding was inadequate design and construction by the Corps of Engineers…

        There is no reason to even look at the rest of the tripe.

      • Curious George

        My friend who used to live in New Orleans told me a story of a bridge construction. They were building the bridge from both shores and in the middle there was a one foot mismatch.

        I asked, This is hard to believe, are you sure it was a bridge and not a tunnel? Answer: You don’t know New Orleans.

      • http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/levees/History%20New%20Orleans%20Flood%20Control-Rogers.pdf

        It sounds a little more complicated to me than just the Corps of Engineers failed with their design. It sounds a lot more like they weren’t allowed to do what they wanted to do so ended up just doing what they could.

    • Blizzard of 2015 for New York City is a political teaching moment.

      We saw with Katrina how not being proactive led to a much worse disaster than it could have been.

      • Blanco refused to act … Govenor’s indecision cost precious time

        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1484139/posts

      • Joseph,

        The big lesson is that people should not rely on governments or experts for their own survival. In the Katrina example, some people waited for someone to evacuate them while fleets of yellow school busses sat in parking lots. Google the images. Project money, our money, is a “Whale for the Killing” (Farley Mowat) and is subject to political patronage and the prisoner’s dilemma at every step, from planning to execution to the final bungling. People need to think like survivors and take action for themselves, like the guy on the Estonia who survived by crawling on to the hull and watched people sitting passively in their seats, going under waiting for someone to rescue them. Another example is the, drum roll, guitar player on the cruise ship that saved many people after the crew abandoned ship.

        We do need plans for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other vulnerable people. We also need to help each other, but not via the state.

      • I don’t think the private sector can build levies, set building codes, or plan for evacuation of the poor, etc. All of which are proactive approaches that do have costs.

      • The private sector can do all those things and do a better job.

      • Joseph

        Read ordvic’s link.

        We are all the time preparing ourselves for some eventuality. First there were seat belts and child car seats, then anti-lock brakes, then air bags, then sophisticated electronics to help prevent vehicle roll-overs. All of it leading to fewer and fewer deaths from highway accidents. By and large, people were spending the money for cars with these features and many more in the name of improving automobile safety. The Feds mandated many of these safety features and laws were written and implemented to have people use them. The Fed mandates had positive feedback that the mandated item was working, lives were saved. People believed the educational message because the information had observational validation. Trust could be established.

        Now let me tell you about CO2; not much, as far as trust: scientists who gave up their science integrity to become rock stars. As far as winters are getting warmer? Say what? Polar Vortex anyone? No observations. All models up and down. Remember that this Nor’Easterner’s predictions came from model output.

        Let me tell you about living through a Nor’Easterner; been there, done that.

        Let me tell you about the weather broadcast media talking about the impending. Nor’Easterner: landfall…..

        Now let me tell you about the weather, political, and experts forecasting the big blow on the East Coast for last night: Unprecedented.

    • RiH008

      “…what do you expect people to do the next time politicians tell us the sky is falling and you need to pay-up and this will hurt? ”

      Yes, though this knowledge is already stored in the language in the expression “the sky is falling”. We also have that info encapsulated in the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. This is not new, it is just being expressed in academic speech via a credible, to some, vehicle – a PhD dissertation. The amusing, yet frustrating, thing is that people inside this inner circle seem not to understand how it is perceived from the outside. We all have our biasis, and our blind spots.

    • What are the consequences of over-caution and over-certainty versus the reverse on economy, field credibility and forecaster’s careers?

    • Ri, at the risk of outing my age, we had been married 6 years and were living in the Boston area in Feb 1978, preparing to transfer to Munich. The blizzard of ’78 dropped 4 feet of snow in Stoneham where we lived. (north Boston suburbs intersection of I93 and Boston beltway). Drifts to 15- 18 feet. Easy to measure. On the lee side of our building, they came up to our balcony floor. We lived on the third floor.
      Messed things up for a week. Still moved to Munich as scheduled. Resilience and adaptation. Was great crosscountry skiing.

      Your points are valid. My point is simply that with MSM and Internet, everything is blown out of historical proportion. History began in 2000? Not.

    • The storm track could have changed a tiny little bit and NYC could have gotten what Boston got. The skill of forecasts are not good enough to tell everyone who had not much to worry about that they did not have much to worry about. The NWS should not apologize. They really could not know where the snowstorm was not going to cause the most severe problems. If they did not divulge the uncertain information in the forecast, that is wrong. It is like when NASA or NOAA said 2014 was the warmest year, but they can only say that with a 38% confidence that it is right and they left that part out. To leave out the doubt is criminal.

  49. Pingback: The Great Blizzard Of 2015 Climate Policy Lessons: When Bad Predictions Equals Bad Policy The People Pay The Price | Power To The People

  50. That is a stunningly good essay. She does a good job of deconstructing climate myths.

  51. Myth #1: The increase in atmospheric CO2 is happening at an alarming rate and the consequences of the increase spells O-U-R D-O-O-M.

    No, the increase does not look alarming at all when properly scaled. In Earthly greenhouses, plants grow best at concentrations of 1,000 to 2,000 ppm of CO2 (or, at levels about what you’d find in a crowded lecture hall), so growing by 61 ppm in 100 years (e.g., ~315 ppm in 1958 to 398.48 today) is hardly the looming apocalypse we’ve been harangued about when you consider that our exhaled breath contains from 40,000 to >50,000 ppm of CO2.

  52. I know you aren’t required to say, but do Republican politicians seek out your counsel (e.g. through aids) outside of the formal hearings? What do you tell them?

    • Actually, the Chair of a House Committee contacted me about 2 weeks ago, with various questions related to climate change. We talked, and I followed up by sending relevant blog post links related to topics we discussed. The catalog of CE blog posts IMO is a pretty useful tool for communicating with policy makers.

    • It would be nice to know where they go for advice on the science. It seems like a lot the of detailed facts are assembled by aides. So in a sense you can’t always blame the lawmaker for getting it wrong when it was someone else who did the research.

      • Well, i do get emails from congressional staffers regarding my blog posts; seems they are read by some!

      • Joseph,

        I suspect they may go to people like Judith because she answers their questions in a way that is relevant and they can understand. Many scientists don’t do that. They want to teach the politicians science, and then complain “if only politicians understood science … [they do what we say, or whatever]”

  53. Dr. Curry,

    Thank you for your sensible thoughts, and for posting Dr. Korhola’s ideas.

    I visited Helsinki in 2003, in August. It was gorgeous. I could live there. In January, maybe not. Or the northern regions, definitely not.

    I remember talking with a lady who had a total knee replacement. The nationalized healthcare program would not cover it. Fortunately, a free-market-pay-for-service sector did. It cost her out of pocket, but she was grateful that she had this option.

    I worked at Baylor-Fondren Hospital. They sent a heart-surgery and post-surgical team and equipment to the Soviet Union to save Leonid Breshnev’s life, and enabled him to keep ruling. Houston, the fossil-fuel-energy-capitalism center, rescued the leader of socialism.

    You have never heard of all the socialist-medicine countries whose people come to receive treatment here. Mayo Clinic et al.

    I was struck that Finnish schools have lots of land with woods and meadows for kids to play in. No dispiriting urban schools. Their teachers are selected from among the top-performing high school students for teacher-training. not exactly true for Atlanta teachers, or anywhere else in the U.S.

    • Olde Farte

      Well made point about leaders and other influential people in poor countries not wanting to face their own healthcare systems.

      They are very vocal about how wonderfully their regimes are doing, but when it comes to the crunch, they don’t trust them, and flee to the corrupt West for everything from surgery to suits.

      But we keep sending them foreign aid.

  54. There was a book from the argentinian writer Martín Caparrós titled: “Contra el cambio” (“Against change”, it was an irreverent way to deal with the omnipresency of climate change instead of dealing with more specific and real problems of the suffering and pover humanity. I don’t think it has been translated into English.

  55. We need to stop equating climate change and CAGW. They are not the same thing.

  56. During climate actions global emissions have increased forcefully, especially in developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol has not been able to intervene in this development.

    From what I remember back in the days of Kyoto, developing countries were pretty much exempt from it. It was this that got me interesting in the politics behind environmentalism and I have been following it ever since.

  57. In 1997–2002, nobody guessed that China, India and partly South America’s economic growth will absorb industrial production so forcefully out of Europe and the US.

    Right, that’s why some major US banks were helping some of the Three Gorges Dam lenders issue bonds on the international markets around or shortly after 1995.

    Why?

    My guess is that somebody in power knew that we were going to give China permeant (PNTR) trade status (we did near the end of 2000 under Clinton).

    The result of PNTR?

    We were de-industrialized (are you happy John P. Holdren?) by over a third of our manufacturing base which was by far the largest ever drop in US manufacturing jobs:
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MANEMP

    Leave it to the (Jonathan) Gruberittes to keep us on the wrong path…

  58. Kenneth Fritsch

    Interesting post and excerpts from the thesis on a ‘wicked” problem. The comments by the author of that thesis sound like those from someone who had great expectations on what government could do to counter act any real or imagined problems relating to AGW and then over time saw how ineffectual and wrongheaded policy and government actions have been. To this libertarian I did not see from Judith’s excerpts any change in political philosophy by the thesis writer but rather thinking it is time to change the approach by policy makers and government She certainly has not reached the point of seeing that government is the problem and may well never get there.

    The required changes will come not from the politicians or policy makers, as they are locked very much into the status quo, but rather from the thinking class who will try their ideas out on other members of that class – and maybe some of that will occur on the blogs. We see much nonsense on the blogs but every now and again there are some good ideas and discussions there that make sifting through the chaff well worth the effort. I would challenge those who might think that the diatribe coming out of most politicians mouths or even partisan policy makers raise above a thoughtful blog discussion.
    In the US and probably in other countries those politicians leaning to the right want to downplay the changing climate and any detrimental effects of that change because of the mess they think that the government will make of their attempted mitigation solutions. They do not have any good alternatives which could include adaptation to change in the context of letting the freer markets and better protection of individual private property rights work, and instead appear to stay on the defensive and unfortunately to point of denial. The left leaning politicians see climate change much the same as neo conservatives see military action, i.e. an opportunity to allow the government to flex its muscle. In both cases there is much playing loss with the facts of the matter. Since these right and left positions go beyond climate change and are much more basic in nature, the problem for society goes much deeper.
    Meanwhile the task should be keeping advocacy out of the science and for thinking laypeople to be involved in analyzing the work of science.

  59. Leonard O'Reilly

    I often read Judith Curry’s posts, and seldom read the comments, but when I do, I notice that amongst the first out of the gate to weigh in is someone with the nom de troll of “a fan of *MORE* discourse”, who obviously has no appreciation for irony, since he ( ? ) is really “a fan of MORE EMPHATIC assertion”. My question, though, is why other responders continually rise to his bait, eh, climate etc. readers? Of course, I cannot escape the paradox that this very comment makes me one of you, but it had to be done, and only this once.

  60. Religious fanatics and climate change true believers walk alike, talk alike, avoid reality alike, hate unbelievers alike, and center their world views alike.

  61. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #166 | Watts Up With That?

  62. I think it needs to be realized that probably ALL the data you have been quoted is worthless drivel. This includes all sketical/warmist climatologists, WMO ect http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html