Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.


U.N. #climate deal set to rely on persuasion, not coercion [link]

IPCC politics, contest for next Chair – IPCC scientists call for focus on regional climate risks [link]

How does outgoing Chair Rajendra Pachauri think the @IPCC_CH should “move with the times”? [link]

Broken process @UNFCCC bodes ill for Paris – Ballooning UN climate text risks becoming “unmanageable” [link]

WSJ: Feel good folly of fossil fuel divestment [link]

Scientific Pros Weigh Cons Of Messing With Earth’s Thermostat [link]

Good critique of the NAS Geoengineering study [link]

National Academy: Geoengineering No Substitute for Carbon Cuts [link]

Geoengineering might allow us to take control of Earth’s climate. What could possibly go wrong?  [link]

Reforming Farming to Fight #ClimateChange – An interview with @michaelpollan [link]

Climate engineering could be a money-making opportunity for business, says @KenCaldeira [link]

“The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism in Politicized Science Debates” – excellent new paper by @mcnisbet et al. [link]  …

Growing Season Grows: #ClimateChange could expand double cropping in U.S. [link]

Tom Fuller:  Conflict deaths and global warming [link]


What Apple did in solar is really a big deal [link]

Politics and perverse incentives in the rooftop solar industry in Arizona [link]

FutureGen clean coal plant is dead [link]

Shell chief urges industry to speak up in climate debate [link]

We did the math on “clean coal,” and it doesn’t add up [link]  …

78 scientists submit letter protesting @EPA’s take on burning wood for power [link]

Just the Facts: Sustainable Energy in America [link]

Not Alone In the Dark: Navajo Nation’s Lack of Electricity Problem – [link]

Beyond Technology Tribalism: A Call for Humility and Comity in the Clean Tech Debates [link]

UN scheme blamed for Brazil steel emissions spike [link]

First Utility-Scale #Solar Project In East #Africa Now Online [link]


Hubert Lamb and The Transformation of Climate Science with forward by Richard Lindzen [link]

Blog row erupts between climate scientists over Nature model paper – authors reject criticisms [link]

Spinning Global Sea Ice [link]

Not a strong global warming signal on U.S. #droughts: [link]

Stop blaming global warming for #CoralReef destruction [link]

So butter is good for you. Just like global warming, then. [link]

On free speech and ivory towers. [link]

Can grains of the past help us weather storms of the future? – Combining science with traditional knowledge [link]

Victor Venema: Changes in screen design leading to temperature trend biases [link]

U.S. poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol [link]

When science gets it wrong: gravitational waves [link]

Climate Wars

New study examines #AAAS members/ scientists’ political engagement & communication efforts [link]

In climate change fight, @justinhgillis asks, What’s in a Name?  Denialist, Denier, Skeptic, Lukewarmer [link]

Why Americans are cool toward climate alarmism [link]

American Voters Care About Climate Change – But is it Enough to Matter? [link]

“as conservatives become more knowledgeable, they become less likely to accept the scientific consensus on AGW” [link]

Good paper by Paul Matthews: Paper on reasons for #climate skepticism lists actual reasons, rather than psychiatric categories. Mentions AirVent, Climate Etc.  [link]

Can dissent in science be epistemically detrimental? [link]

‘Climate wars’ in Australia [link]

Long List Of Warmist Organizations, Scientists Haul In Huge Money From BIG OIL And Heavy Industry! [link]

“Green Love Is Blind – WSJ” Green influence-peddling brings down Oregon’s governor [link]  …


268 responses to “Week in review

  1. “Good paper by Paul Matthews: Paper on reasons for #climate skepticism lists actual reasons, rather than psychiatric categories.”

    The fact the psychiatrizing dissent has a history of unspeakable horrors cannot be repeated too often. The fact that a subset of climate fanatics seem to favourr this approach is telling.

    • A few decades of record-breaking, unrelenting winter snowfall in the NE may be required to wake up blue America to the fact that global warming is Left-right politics not science.

      • Given that many (most?) homes in blue New England are still heated with oil, you would think that they would be thankful for the bounty of fracking.. However, never underestimate the power of dee nye all.

    • Maybe they are hoping the mental hospitals will make a comeback. People with alternative views of reality – like Repulicans, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, skeptics of all stripes – can be submitted to court ordered mental competency hearings staffed by “community representatives”. Once the skeptics are warehoused, the progressives can get on with their “progress”.
      This would make a good plot for a novel! :)

  2. Judith in the Marotzke & Forster discussion it might have been better to link directly to the authors reply on Ed Hawkins blog


  3. Judith, I have to say that I’m disappointed. It’s February already, and there has been no announcement yet of the winner of the prize for most prolific commenter at this site in 2014. Now to be fair, I never noticed an announcement of any such contest. But given the strenuous efforts of several denizens here to comment the most frequently, which can not have any rational explanation other than a sizable prize, such a contest must logically exist.

  4. Link for “Geoengineering might allow us to take control of Earth’s climate. What could possibly go wrong?” goes astray to a discussion of UKIP.

  5. It will be interesting to see what the Denizens make of the new movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service…

  6. Climate models leave nothing up to nature. According to government scientists humanity is solely responsible for climate change. The models leave nothing up to chance and are wholly unable to deal with the chaos and uncertainty that humans routinely reckon with all the time. “We would go on to suggest,” say Tom Stohlgren and Dan Binkley (Are Some Scientists Overstating Predictions? Or How Good are Crystal Balls?), “that it’s the scientist’s responsibility to asses the validity of their predictions over time, and to follow up on news reports and uses of their model results, and respond to misuses of their results. Overstating predictions is a great way to lose credibility. As Mark Twain said, There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

  7. Problem with this link: Not Alone In the Dark: Navajo Nation’s Lack of Electricity Problem – [link]

  8. U.S. poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol [link]
    “The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.”

    Since 97% of doctors believe eating cholesterol-laden food is bad for you, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee should be considered skeptics. (Sarc)

    • U.S. poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol [link]
“The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.”
      Since 97% of doctors believe eating cholesterol-laden food is bad for you, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee should be considered skeptics. (Sarc)
      Hopefully corrected italic error from previous.

  9. Last night Bill Maher interviewed Robert Kenner about his new movie on “Merchants of Doubt”. More about the movie here.

    • Jim D,

      The kind of thinking I was hoping to get you to at least consider (from above):http://m.firstpost.com/world/u-n-climate-deal-set-to-rely-on-persuasion-not-coercion-2096235.html

      • I think when China sees that they are responsible for by far the majority of projected growing emissions in graphical form, there is peer pressure, and I am sure this has caused them to reconsider their plans. Most countries will be looking around for successful strategies in reducing emissions, and that is where the persuasion will come in. In the end it is practicality that persuades.

      • Jim D

        China agreed to do nothing other than what they were going to do in any case.

        “Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26% to 28% before 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year.”


        The Great Negotiator told them “If you like your emissions you can keep your emissions,” but this time he was telling the truth.

      • Yes, everyone including the “skeptics” want China to do more. This kind of peer pressure helps when it comes from absolutely everyone else.

      • Jim D says, “Yes, everyone including the “skeptics” want China to do more. This kind of peer pressure helps when it comes from absolutely everyone else.”

        Wrong, absolutely wrong. China will change when it’s middle class feels as though their basic needs have been met and they have decided they want clean air. It’s the old hierarchy of needs thingy.

        Do you really think the world’s biggest economy, a nation of 1.4 billion, gives a rat’s patoot what anybody thinks?

      • Bill Clinton gave away the technology, Barack Obama gave away the industry, Al Gore, well, John Kerry, well; the Red Queen or Fauxcahontas will give away the children.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D

        China and every other country will always do what is in their own self interest. To think otherwise is living in foofoo land.
        Altruism doesn’t cut it in the real world.

      • Jim D,

        China’s rulers only ever act in the best interests of the ruling clique of the communist party, their friends and families. Everything else is an utter irrelevance. Some people kid themselves otherwise, and the ruling clique play along as far as it suits them. Never try to kid yourself it isn’t so.

      • Greenpeace thinks China coal use fell in 2014:
        CO2 probably mirrors coal.

        Given our understanding of Chinese demographics and economics, this makes sense. And probably China’s emissions decline like the developed world’s:

      • Another important measure is CO2 per GDP (carbon intensity) and China is one of the least efficient by that measure. If it was as efficient as the US and EU in producing its GDP, global CO2 emissions would be 10% lower. There is a lot of room for improvement. Profligate is the word for China.

      • Another important measure is CO2 per GDP (carbon intensity) and China is one of the least efficient by that measure.

        Is this total CO2 emitted, or fossil CO2 emitted. AFAIK China’s doing a lot of work with methane from bio-mass fermentation, for power generation and heating. CO2 from such sources shouldn’t be counted.

      • China got 69% of their primary energy last year by burning coal. Their plans are to drop that to… 65% by 2040.

        China consumed about 125 quads in 2014. The U.S. DOE projects they will burn 219 quads in 2040. 65% of 219 quads is 142 quads coming from coal, more than the entire world burnt last year.

        China has published its ambitious plans for non-emissive energy, an impressive commitment to nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar. Adding up the contributions from all this new construction to what they have already built, it yields a total of 32 quads by 2040.

        Sadly, I project that China will burn more than 219 quads in 2040–my total comes to 255 quads.

        China needs to get greener about its fuel portfolio. China dearly wants to be greener with its fuel portfolio. China cannot be greener about its fuel portfolio. Sorry…


      • China? Peer pressure? Seriously?

        You all really don’t get the whole communism thing do you?

  10. Here’s something else on energy. The drop in oil prices has given pause to the bio-fuels producers.
    From the article:

    The (oil price) Crash of ’14: what lessons can we learn?
    February 1, 2015 | Jim Lane

    4 weeks past the helter-skelter Oil Crash, as prices plateau for now (and maybe for the long term) — what have we learned about energy markets in the Age of Alternatives?

    No can perfectly predict what will happen with energy prices, over the long period of time, and the relief that the energy sector might be feeling about a recent stabilizing of the crude oil price around $45-$50 per barrel might be temporary.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Jim2 — I continue to disagree with you on ethanol. What you continue to fail to address are the octane and oxygenate attributes of ethanol: http://www.agriculture.com/news/business/ethols-dead-right-not-so-fast-new_5-ar47370

      I just don’t think you understand Clean Air Regs, where the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) removed a ton of specific blending Regs giving Blenders much more flexibility. If the RFS was just eliminated, EPA would have to go back and re-implement something.

      At the current ~10% blending, we are probably in just about the right place. And as Obama Administration has shown, the RFS is not a “Mandate” to increase ethanol by X% per year.

      One of the biggest importers of U.S. ethanol is Saudi Arabia, and that should tell you something about the price competitiveness of U.S. ethanol for octane and oxygenates requirements.

      As long as we stay at the ~10% current blend-wall, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Going above the ~10% blending level will be market driven by advancing engine technology (turbo-charging) which we are just now seeing (smaller more powerful engines that need higher octane).

      • Stephen Segrest

        For Folks who think “Big Government” is forcing ethanol down your throats: Unblended gas (E-0) has a octane level of ~84. Ethanol (E-100) has octane of ~113. A 10% blending of ethanol (E-10) gets you to 87 octane which most standard cars require to operate.

        The subject of oxygenates (for air quality) is more complex — and would take more than a couple of sentences to explain.

      • Ethanol is fine for Brazil, which has enormous amounts of sugar cane waste. Encouraging the use of US corn to make ethanol is just plain dumb. It does not reduce GHG emissions raises the cost of food, and hurts the poor.

      • justinewondered,

        ” It does not reduce GHG emissions raises the cost of food, and hurts the poor.”

        That is just an illusion, Rud and Stephen will set you straight on that. See, US corn used for ethanol production has its waste product converted into animal feed. Theoretically, the cost of foods, mainly meat products should be reduced by US corn ethanol.

        Just because corn prices double at times, they are saving us money, on paper at least :(

      • Stephen Segrest – I didn’t say anything about ethanol in my comment on this post. However, since you brought it up, the gasoline manufacturers should be free to choose the oxygenate they prefer and not have it mandated by the government. Let the government set a (reasonable) standard, then get the hell out of the way, how about?

      • Jim2,

        Not intending to but heads with you today, but no, leaving it up to manufacturers w/o oversite has led to negative issues in the past. I followed ethanol after the gas cruch in Carter years. Congress provided ethanol resistant legislation as MTBE was made by FF industry. MTBE is not indicated as a known carcinogen, but will likely cause adverse health issues at 20-40ppb http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm. States (Not Fed) imposed water/MTBE regulations leading to its use being stopped in the US http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/feature_articles/2006/mtbe2006/mtbe2006.pdf. General info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_tert-butyl_ether

        A net good use of gov’t regulation.

      • You might want to reconsider going to the beach, Danny.

        From the article:

        Potential Chronic Health Effects:
        CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Classified 1 (Proven for human.) by IARC. Classified A2 (Suspected for human.) by ACGIH


      • Jim2,

        But, but, but, states and feds haven’t banned it yet! Didn’t see that one coming! Well done. Note to self, don’t drink MTBE and don’t eat/inhale sand.
        Gotta get me a bubble to live in! Regards.

      • Stephen, let me underscore your point concerning ethanol, but only to the E10 blend wall. Beyond makes no sense. Details in first two books. Not only does E10 raise the fuel octane rating (not just important for engine knock, also means refiners can get more gasoline from a barrel of crude), it is an environmentally friendly substitute for MBTE (smog reduction), which has proven to be a significant groundwater pollutant from leaky gas station storage tanks. Plus the food impact is much less than politicized. True, about 41% of the US corn crop by weight goes to ethanol production. But what is not reported is that 27% is returned to farmers as distillers grain. On my dairy farm, that protein and cellulose enriched, carbohydrate poor feed supplement means we feed less alfalfa (a cows ruminent diet requires mostly protein and cellulose; carbohydrate in crushed corn is the supplement to adjust butterfat production…Swiss pastured dairy cows eat nothing but grass but are not as milk productive) and so can grow more corn. The food impact is not a complete wash, but close. And most corn (except in Africa) is used as animal feed to produce meat protein, with a conversion caloric efficiency averaging 4:1 across all common animal food species (chicken and farmed salmon best; beef worst; goat and pig middle. Pork caloric conversion is about 4:1). Not at all the simple MSM talking points pro and con.

      • Swiss pastured dairy cows eat nothing but grass but are not as milk productive

        Remove countervailing tariffs and subsidies for US dairy farmers,and you would struggle to compete with NZ imports of grass fed dairy.

      • MTBE was actually an early victim of conservative talk radio. They railed against like crazy. What they thought they were going to get next is nuts. They thought it would be like old gasoline. Lol. Instead they got ethanol. Oxygenator? They didn’t need no stinkin’ oxygenators. They had their blood up. They were on a mission to beat the EPA.

      • Maximovich, you might be right. Which is why us Wisconsin farmer guys will never agree! (Hey, hi. Is meant mostly in jest.) You NZ folks don’t have to put up with our long cold Wisconsin winters. Now, if global warming procedes, maybe we can reach a dairy deal at COP21…

      • Stephen Segrest

        Rud — As I have long stated, I agree with you on the ~10% blending level. Anything above this approximate level should be market driven (e.g., turbo charging in engines). As long as we stay at ~10% blending (needed to get to 87 octane which is driven by auto engine performance requirements not “Big Government” forcing ethanol down people’s throat), I’d say “let dead dogs lie”. Fully rescinding the RFS could end up in less flexibility by Blenders than they currently have.

        In the U.S., you can get ethanol free gas today (i.e., at Marinas), there just isn’t much volume demand for it — as ethanol’s price (for no other reason other than octane engine requirements) beats the alternatives.

        This ethanol stuff (by primarily Tea Party Republicans) is a Red Herring.

      • So, Stephen, I should reconsider my plan to picket the local green gas station with my ‘Buy a Gallon of Ethanol, Starve a Dozen Children’ sign?

      • I’ve got a better plan. I’m fabricating wings in the backyard and will test flight by their birdchopper. The subsonic vibrations rattle the feathers off, though, so far, even on the ground, well away.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Kim — Recognizing that you are the only person on this Blog that I fear getting on their wrong side — I suggest a picket against auto companies for developing a vast Left Wing conspiracy of developing engines that require, at minimum, 87 octane when unblended gas only has 84 octane. And with turbo charging advancements in engines, this agenda of Liberals and Farmers is only gonna get worst. Or we could go back to putting lead in gas — like they still do in North Korea.

      • Stephen Segrest

        One point on MTBE not mentioned here at CE is the Court system. Blenders and manufacturers of MTBE were being hauled in Court, and they were losing. Blenders and Manufacturers of MTBE decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.

        I find it funny that when something goes their way, people say “Thank goodness we live in a County governed by the Rule of Law”. When something doesn’t go their way, these same people say “Those dog gone Activist (liberal or conservative) Judges”.

  11. Stephen Segrest

    PolitiFact rates temperature statement on Fox News as “Pants on Fire“. News worthy here at CE in that Dr. Curry is cited in article: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/feb/13/dana-perino/fox-news-host-climate-scientists-fabricated-temper/

    • I don’t think any of the regular Fox watchers would have questioned that statement. It is just part of their faux-reality bubble that they have cultivated.

    • First line in the Politifart article:

      ‘The U.S. Senate may have voted 98-1 that “climate change is real and not a hoax,” but the accusation that government scientists have cooked the books and invented a warming trend is as robust as ever.’

      Really? Is that tounge-in-cheek or just ignorant? The Senate vote was clearly ambiguous (pun intended).

    • Bigger liar than Brian Williams?

    • Stephen

      You seem to have likened to the progressive outlets like politifact and think progress. No problem. But please don’t count yourself as a moderate.

      I didn’t see the show, but politifact states that the pants on fire rating regards a dialogue on “The Five”, which is not a news show, it is a talk show akin to “The View”. Hardly worth concern except for the truly dedicated progressives!

      Keep warm,


      • Stephen Segrest

        RLS — Richard, I only posted the link to this story in “Week in Review” because Dr. Curry was cited in it. Note my comment why this story is News Worthy here in “WIR”.

      • Stephen

        The View and The Five discuss news worthy topics, but that does not mean that their discussions are news worthy.

        If you are truly a moderate, perhaps moderation in the selection or reading resources would be helpful. This may be one of the biggest challenges today, with so much crap and lies on the internet. As a mentor of young engineers before my retirement, I found that critical selection of resources was an important topic they often had to learn. Perhaps even more so now than when I graduated.


      • Stephen Segrest

        rls — Richard, this week at CE we had a post on temperature adjustments with about 1K comments. In this PolitiFact story, we have numerous quotes by Dr. Curry and Zeke Hausfather.

        Specifically, Dr. Curry said ” The adjustments aren’t of such a magnitude that they throw into question the overall increase in global temperature for the past 100-plus years”.

        The Curry and Hausfather quotes make this at least a relevant news worthy story to post at CE.

        Although I’m a Jon Huntsman type RINO (who in general doesn’t like the opinions/conspiracy theories of Tea Party types), lets assume that I’m truly a Liberal troll here at CE. The hard AGW skeptics here at CE don’t cherry pick data or stories? Routinely never happens?

        I am also an engineer, and papers/stories/perspectives on Renewable Energy by folks like MIT, the DOE (and its labs like ORNL, NREL), EPRI don’t get routinely trashed here at CE by a ubiquitous Liberal label? Really?

  12. The Quadrant link on Australian climate wars is quite a read, and much broader than just Australia. TY for spotting it. I was aware of MSM bias, and of disappearing sceptical comments on warmunist blogs. I was not aware of many active editoial policies not to report important sceptical information, quote sceptical experts, or even post sceptical opinion pieces. Pravda like. Justifies the warmunist analogy first used by former Czeck President Vaclav Klaus in his 2007 book, Blue Planet in Green Chains.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      quite a read indeed
      I’ll try to stay positive and consider it a sign of the failing of the warmist argument
      which it is
      but I also was unaware of the active censorship
      turns me against the them, even if they are right

    • Rud, should every tiny minority opinion be reported for every science story?

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        of course minority opinions should be actively censored
        tiny, or otherwise

        …even if you are right

      • So how would you choose which ones to censor ?

        Please try just answering the question

      • Joseph, no, of course not. Press judgement is required. But not this way via provable MSM supression of substantive, fact credible, and authoritative counterviews. I don’t think the Skydragons merit a second of media mention. I think our gracious hostess does. And article linked says there is an active, overt policy in many MSM to prevent that. Using directly observational, non hearsay examples.
        You posed a straw man arguement as weak (false) as Cook’s 97% paper. Tiny minority opinion? What about the Oregon Petition? Perhaps you have forgotten the Galileo heliocentricity lesson. Obama’s SOTU meme was science is settled, so anyone disagreeing is a Flat Earther. Catholic Church tried the same thing with heliocentricity. Did not turn out well.
        The pause has falsified all the CMIP5 models, by modelers own criteria. Unsettling. Excuses range from the ridiculous (WMO, Mann, no pause) to the illogical (Trenberth, heat suddenly snuck into the deep oceans) to the mathematically and logically wrong (Marotzke kerfuffle). None of the previous CAGW predictions are emerging. The 2014 US National Climate Assessment is worse than propaganda. See several essays in ebook.

      • Rud,

        Re: Yesterday. The force is with me. Thank you.

        Would you see more impact if the Oregon Petiton had a subset of “climate scientists” as is referenced in the 97%? There are a range of some 54 “skeptics” in this wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
        including our gracious host.
        Would you give more creedence if this was “peer reviewed”?:
        and if conducted by “climate scientists” vs. “forecasters? Work is on google scholar and shows citations. Authors are marketers. And Heartland folks.
        Thoughts? (Trying to look at all things equally critically)

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        newspapers are slowly ruining themselves
        because of censorship
        and their self-righteous bourgeois ‘journalistic standards’
        the net is vital as a new born pup
        give me the Wild West of ideas
        let the fastest slinger win
        sky dragons…why not?
        I think it’s interesting
        I want to hear what the nice people think I shouldn’t
        if your not quick enough to defend yourself
        don’t play

        I teach a thing for a living
        No.1 request of my students
        make me defend everything I say
        no such thing as a dumb question
        no question too elementary
        If you ever disagree with anything I say, I DEMAND that you say so
        that’s how I get smarter
        and have fun

      • Danny, IMO be cautious of Heartland. See one egregious example in my second book. In my opinion, their offensive Unibomber billboard, and sponsored conferences including intelligent design awards are unnecessary baggage that just enhances Obama Flat Earth denier meme.
        Not every opponent of Assad in Syria is a friendly ally. Live and learn.

      • What about the Oregon Petition?

        My goodness, Rud, have you not heard any of the criticisms of the Oregon Petition. A simple Google search will clue you in.

        And anyway what you are talking about is the opinion of experts in climate science and to be honest Rud, Dr. Curry’s view is also in this small minority. I am all for publicizing important solid research that conflicts with the vast majority view, but unfortunately those on the “skeptical” side don’t seem to do a lot of research and the research that they do do seems to be mostly in obscure journals. What I see most often is complaining from the sideline.

      • It’s all very simple, kiddoes, Authority vs Curiosity. There has never been a round limit.

      • Kim, I think putting the decision of which or whose minority view should be solicited about a new paper in the hands of a journalist is more than we should expect a non-expert to be able to handle. It also a difficult task for a editorial board when soliciting opinion pieces. That’s not to say that the minority view won’t be aired. Because if the “skeptics” view wasn’t getting out, there wouldn’t be so many conservatives that doubt climate (whether justified or not).

      • Subvert the authority, lynch anybody who questions it. Len1n to Lysenko to Alinsky.

        RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

      • Oh and one other thing, if the “skeptics” view wasn’t getting out, you wouldn’t have people on the other side referring to you as “deniers” Most of the informed know your arguments very well or at least some of them. I use to go to the Yahoo News and I heard all of them repeatedly. It was a bit tiresome and I stopped going there.

    • The Australian media is as tribal as it gets, and the tribe is inner urban left. I call it Polanski Effect. If you tick enough boxes in terms of appeal to the tribe, you can get away with saying or doing anything. The tribe will be behind you and you might even gain the martyr’s crown. And when I say you can do anything, I mean anything.

      Just ask Saint Roman.

    • @Rud

      > So how would you choose which ones to censor ?

      Same question for you, as yet no answer from the original recipient (and no surprise, either)

  13. I love these week in reviews. Keep em coming!

  14. “Climate Skepticism and the Manufacture of Doubt: Can Dissent in Science be Epistemically Detrimental?”: Title should be “In Support of Climate Lysenkoism”.

    Because of the dramatic way in which it represented late-twentieth-century warming, the graph quickly became the target of attacks from climate change deniers. Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (neither of whom are climate scientists) published a paper in which they claimed to invalidate the hockey stick graph on the grounds that it was supported by bad data (McIntyre and McKitrick 2003). They reached this conclusion by using an incorrect version of the proxy data set used in MBH98 (Rutherford et al. 2005, p. 2312). In a subsequent article, they argued that the hockey stick is an artifact of the statistical conventions chosen in MBH98 (McIntyre and McKitrick 2005). Their argument in this paper targeted MBH’s use of principle component analysis (PCA), which is a statistical procedure that can be used to represent large data sets in terms of a smaller number of patterns. MBH used this procedure to deal with the problem of diverse proxy data, which included large sets of tree ring data and smaller sets of data from other sources (MBH98; Mann 2012). McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) argued that the hockey stick pattern is an artifact of the choice of a convention for centering tree ring data; more specifically, they argued that if one centers tree ring data at the twentieth century, the hockey stick pattern appears, but that if one centers it around a long term average (from 1400–1980), then the pattern does not appear. Like their previous argument that the hockey stick pattern is an artifact of bad data, this more recent argument was deeply flawed and quickly exposed as such. MBH analyzed the data into two principle components (PCs), one that describes periodic, oscillating temperature changes, and the other that describes global warming. McIntyre and McKitrick adopted a retention criterion for PCs that had the effect of tossing out the global warming PC; “they had chosen to throw out a critical pattern in the data as if it were noise, when an objective analysis unambiguously identified it as a significant pattern” (Mann 2012, p. 138). This problem is confirmed in Wahl and Ammann (2007).

    First, use of the term “climate change deniers” shows that they’re l1ars as well as blatant propagandists. IIRC the immediate objection to the Hokey Stick was that it eliminated the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period, something totally inconsistent with “climate change denial

    As for the PCA argument, I expect we’ll be hearing from CA soon, but pending that I’ll make a try: the claim that “MBH analyzed the data into two principle components (PCs), one that describes periodic, oscillating temperature changes, and the other that describes global warming” is begging the question: the interpretation of the “Hockey Stick” PC is a key conclusion being argued over. In fact, when MM05 used the correct “convention for centering tree ring data” the “Hockey Stick” dropped to the 4th Principle Component, clearly not a matter of “global” importance. And, in fact, as reported in MM05 and repeated many times at CA, they went on to look at where that “Hockey Stick” came from, and narrowed it down to a handful of exceptional “proxies” whose original authors had recommended against using for temperature proxies (Graybill strip bark and/or Yamal).

    Despite the fact that McIntyre and McKitrick’s dissenting research was deeply problematic – it violates the standard of ensuring that the data that one tosses out is, in fact, noise and not signal – and easily dismissed by competent climate scientists, it was (and still is) used by the authors, some scientists, politicians, conservative think tanks, and others to advance their ends (see below).

    IIRC (see above) MM05 documented their reasons for “tossing out” the “Hockey Stick” PC4 as noise, generated from a few exceptional “proxies”.

    And so on. Pretty d1sgusting, IMO.

    • AK:

      IIRC (see above) MM05 documented their reasons for “tossing out” the “Hockey Stick” PC4 as noise, generated from a few exceptional “proxies”.

      It’s even worse than you make it out to be. MM05 didn’t toss out anything. MM05 showed what happens if you tossed out various things. That’s called sensitivity testing. It’s nothing more than saying, “If we didn’t have this data, what would our results be?”

      The only reason people complained about it is it turn out if Michael Mann and co-authors hadn’t had a specific, tiny amount of tree ring data (which is known not to be appropriate for temperature reconstructions), they wouldn’t have gotten their hockey stick.

      Basically, that paper just copies Michael Mann’s description of what happened, including obvious and gross misrepresentations. One of the more baffling ones is these authors say:

      They reached this conclusion by using an incorrect version of the proxy data set used in MBH98 (Rutherford et al.
      2005, p. 2312). In a subsequent article, they argued that the hockey stick is an artifact of the statistical conventions chosen in MBH98 (McIntyre and McKitrick 2005).

      Which is based upon a total fabrication in Michael Mann’s book. The reality is Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick pointed out the incorrect implementation of PCA in their first, 2003, paper. It was one of the central problems they highlighted. Mann simply ignored that so he could pretend his critics were constantly changing their story, dropping arguments as those arguments got rebutted. These authors then repeat his story without doing the slightest thing to verify it, apparently not even reading the abstracts of the papers they discuss.

      Anyone with a free hour can see these authors have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. That’s as long it might take them to read my summary of this part of the hockey stick controversy:


      I hope people will forgive the self-promotion. I don’t like doing it, but that short eBook conclusively shows these authors have no business publishing on this matter with how wrong the things they say are. And if anyone doubts that, I’d be happy to send them a free copy so they can verify it (though that’s only 99 cents less than they could get it for by that link).

      Heck, those authors claimed the Wegman Report was published in a peer-reviewed journal but later retracted! They clearly haven’t done the slightest bit of actual research.

      • Yup. They’ve just spewed out a bunch of garbage to justify rationalize cherry-picking inconvenient “Dissent” as “Epistemically Detrimental”. Like I said, Climate Lysenkoism.

        Here’s how Daily Kos summarizes it:

        So dissenting from a hypothesis with no real world impact is not inherently bad (because why would you bother faking criticism of an unimportant hypothesis), whereas dissenting from a hypothesis involving dangerous conditions may be bad faith and done to protect a particular party. If the dissent isn’t up to par regarding academic standards and practices, then it may be biased and is therefore epistemically detrimental. If it’s defending an actor engaged in some activity producing conditions that scientists hypothesize to be bad (like tobacco or fossil fuel industries) against a threat to the public, and if the public and producer face different risks, then it’s a bad faith criticism and not advancing scientific understanding.

        The conclusion is that attacks on climate science are likely “epistemically detrimental,” meaning they work against the advancement of science. This is a very fancy way of saying that they’re not helpful critiques (which is the essence of peer review) but more along the lines of political denial. Without spelling it out, the authors explain the difference between the work of actual skeptics and psuedoskeptic deniers.

        Like I said, Climate Lysenkoism.

      • AK, thanks for drawing attention to this paper. I doubt I’d have looked at it based solely on the short description it has in the main post.

        You might be interested to know I’ve e-mailed the authors to draw their attention to problems in their paper. I don’t know if it will accomplish anything, but I think it’s important this not go completely unanswered. I’ve posted the e-mail I sent. You can see it here:


      • AK, thanks for drawing attention to this paper.

        You’re welcome. You should thank our hostess as well, as I probably wouldn’t have noticed it without her link. OTOH, I’m virtually certain somebody would have followed that link and made an indignant comment. Just luck that I was off work today, and had time to actually dig through that garbage, rather than leaving it to somebody else.

        Social Responsibility.

    • That philosophy of dissent paper is a pip. The key framing issue is a supposed $10K payment by the American Enterprise Institute to any scientist who could undermine the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Track down their reference, a 2007 letter from AEI to four Senators who had attacked the institute on this issue, and you read a complete denial by AEI’s president that any such thing had happened. In fact, they paid lots of people for research on climate issues who agreed with the IPCC, and focused primarily on optimal policy assuming IPCC projections were accurate. The letter they cite goes on to completely refute the premise for which they were citing it. Hilarious. (They have a backup reference from….Michael Mann.) You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Heh, they said ‘Principle Component’.

    • That paper is unbelievably awful. The author is a philosophy academic at Judith’s own university. As Brandon says, he appears to have read Mann’s book, believed every word of it to be true and then regurgitated it with some naive opinion about good and bad.

  15. The article on Apple solar I thought to be very interesting. It seems to reinforce some of what AK has been pointing out for some time know. I’m sure there is still ample room for criticism but I found the article very heartening.

    • Thanks ordvic. Here’s some more interesting stuff:

      Fuel Cells Power Up: Three Surprising Places Where Hydrogen Energy Is Working One of those places is Wal-Mart. In addition to “putting panels on the tops of its big boxes, with more than 100 Mw of capacity installed.”:

      In February, Plug Power announced a deal to supply 1,738 hydrogen-powered forklifts and associated infrastructure to Walmart. Although Plug had been around since 1997 and had never seen a profit—explaining why its shares sank from nearly $1,500 in 2000 to 15 cents in 2013—over the course of the next two weeks, the company’s stock nearly tripled in value.

      “If you have a big distribution center and have several dozen forklifts running, you’ll see productivity gains using fuel cells,” said Keith Wipke, who manages fuel cell research programs for NREL. A fuel cell forklift can be refueled in a minute or two, a small fraction of the time it can take to swap out a battery. Fuel cell forklifts offer another edge, too: While the battery-powered forklifts degrade in performance as their charge winds down, fuel cell forklifts run at full power until empty.

      And this: Tweaking Bacteria, Scientists Turn Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel

      A few years ago, Daniel Nocera pioneered an “artificial leaf” that—just like the real thing—uses only the sun and water to produce energy. He touted the silicon cell as a breakthrough that could allow every home to become its own power station.

      His compelling invention, a cheap wafer-thin device, attracted lots of publicity but hasn’t quite taken off. The leaf works well, Nocera says, but there’s a key flaw.

      “The problem with the artificial leaf,” Nocera says, is that “it makes hydrogen. You guys don’t have an infrastructure to use hydrogen.”


      Enter Nocera’s latest creation, a collaboration with biologists at Harvard University and detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday. The researchers created a specially engineered bacteria that can convert hydrogen (from the artificial leaf or another source) into alcohol-based fuel.


      Nocera says his team also solved a problem that long bedeviled researchers working with bacteria and solar energy: The bacteria die. Keeping them alive requires high-voltage current, making the process far less efficient.

      The culprit was known to be a type of molecule called reactive oxygen species, but the surprise lay in where they were coming from. When water split, the reactive oxygen species were coming out of the hydrogen side of the water splitting, not the oxygen side.

      “We were shocked,” Nocera says. “That confused us for a while.” By pinpointing that problem, the Harvard researchers were able to produce fuel much more efficiently.

      There are always nay-sayers…

      Aside from the energy needed to grow the microbes and eventually extract the fuel, Turner says, any system that needs carbon dioxide must get it from the atmosphere to be sustainable. “That,” he says, “will be a very energy-intensive process.”

      He needs to talk to the USNavy.

      • SolarCity’s Hawaiian study reveals grid regulation potential of inverters

        Results of joint study with NREL and Hawaiian Electric will see Hawaiian utility more than double grid’s daytime minimum load to 250% thanks to role of inverters.

        A groundbreaking study by solar leasing company SolarCity, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Hawaiian Electric has explored the potential of solar inverters to act as junior grid regulators, and found that the technology holds the key to overcoming transient load rejection overvoltage (LRO) concerns.


        [I]n tackling these limitations, inverter testing carried out at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) revealed that most inverter technology possesses the capability of safely managing distributed energy on to the grid, finding that a typical inverter could act as a proxy “junior grid”, thus overcoming the technical barriers that have limited DG penetration in Hawaii and elsewhere in the U.S.


        “The majority of inverters can meet the requirements [of managing grid feed] via a simple software or firmware update,” he said. “The overall lesson learned from this research is that inverters are going to be one of the key ways of providing grid stabilization features in the future.


        Gilligan also referred to the recent remote retrofit of 800,000 microinverters on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu – carried out by Enphase in a single day. The upgrade saw the U.S. microinverter specialist access remotely their installed microinverters’ two-way data-over-powerline link via the cloud, and simply upgrade the software installed in each to the new parameters.

        Yes, and when those inverters also have modular flow batteries behind them, addition of new distributed power will be able to increase system stability. Assuming appropriate rate structures can be worked out.

      • Planning Engineer

        Inverters are great things. Not sure what’s new here except maybe more use with residential which would raise costs for someone where they just can lean on the system at low penetration levels. Better inverter control definitely provides voltage benefits and can solve voltage based problems. Some are concerned with utilities surrendering/sharing voltage control responsibility with third party wind farms. I think it’s worthwhile and critical to their success as they will be unnecessarily crippled on their output capability if they only are allowed to operate at constant power factor mode instead of voltage control mode. Big issue with big consequences. Utilities have to change some, I’d expect that to be fixed everywhere there may be roadblocks. Demonstrated success should push to cooperation.

        That said, the article is misleading. Voltage is only ONE of the stability problems from solar. They allow solar to more close
        Y mimic conventional generation in a limited way, addressing a limited set of concerns. Inverters don’t do as good a job addressing or impacting other stability concerns. They are a stability answer not THE stability answer. Conventional synchronous generators have other neededben fits like inertial mass and provide speed control. See http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/ERSTF%20Concept%20Paper.pdf

        I do suspect microbes will play a huge role in our future.

      • Inverters don’t do as good a job addressing or impacting other stability concerns. They are a stability answer not THE stability answer. Conventional synchronous generators have other neededben fits like inertial mass and provide speed control.

        And reading the linked article I find two key bullets:

        •     Voltage Support

        •     Frequency Support

        I’m not sure what the issue is with “smart” inverters and frequency support. AFAIK they use a standard technology based on pulse width modulation, which should allow complete arbitrary control of phase, as well as voltage. Given appropriate communication bandwidth (with the central load-balancing system), and batteries to support high current draw when slightly out of phase with the line, I would expect they could provide a very good simulation of a rotating mass.

        What am I missing here?

      • Planning Engineer, I am not a scientist, but your comment about inverters intrigued me. I don’t know what an inverter is (except in nursery school language).

        I have a very good split system home airconditioner (Daikin) called the Daikin Inverter. One of the best things about it is that my electricity bills barely change when I am running it. Indeed, running it for long periods (eg overnight) is cheaper than running it in short bursts.

        I’d really appreciate a comment which explains inverters for idiots, but slightly beyond the nursery school level.

        From where I am sitting, inverter technology delivers much more than the vast majority of real and imagined “energy saving” technologies.

        Thanks in advance. :)

      • Planning Engineer

        AK – I dont know a simple explanation to provide here, but there is a huge difference between the frequency support provided by synchronous machines and electronic inverters being able to make current and voltage oscillate. In terms of the grid all generators in the eastern interconnect rotate at the same speed + or – <cycle (1/60th of a second) but can't get out of whack by as much as a cycle or the system tears apart. Electronic emulation follows the oscillations but does not support/lead/bolster them. Machines have inertia and work in synchronism, not just speed matching of waves.

      • Planning Engineer

        Johanna – I don’t know that I can beat Wikipedia without a lot of thought. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_inverter

      • planning Enginner

        AK – I hate to answer a question by saying basically “trust me it’s complicated”. I am working on something on the transmission system but it would not get that detailed. The more steady state performance of the two looks similar especially across the range of seconds. For dynamic stability analysis very different. The texts on this subject are thick, expensive, hard to follow and costly. If I could do it in a paragraph-that would be something, Here’s a link to an paper dealing with some concepts, less complicated than many – but unfortunately not likely too helpful. http://web.stanford.edu/~gorin/papers/TSG_2014.pdf

      • Maybe better words come from what I know directly (the complex math does not stick with me as it once did). .What I know most directly is that the models for rotating machine performance and inverter performance are very different. Each machine is different and just based on that overall performance in stability simulations vary. When I replace machine generated power with inverter injected power the results are less stable. The reason are what I’ve tried to articulate. Kind of like two cars breaking similarly on a dry road with slow at low speeds in a straight line. But on ice at higher speeds while turning ABS or an expert driver will do a much better job.

      • @Planning Engineer…

        I dont know a simple explanation to provide here, but there is a huge difference between the frequency support provided by synchronous machines and electronic inverters being able to make current and voltage oscillate. […] Electronic emulation follows the oscillations but does not support/lead/bolster them. Machines have inertia and work in synchronism, not just speed matching of waves.

        Well, I know I do have a tendency to assume systems have features that they obviously (to me) need, just to find out that no, they don’t. Based on my own (decades old) work with inverters for aircraft, I would assume that the pulse width control could be arbitrarily adjusted to produce output with frequency and phase appropriate for the desired effect on the system. Assuming a “smart” controller, which wouldn’t have been available in the ’70’s when I worked with them.

        The more steady state performance of the two looks similar especially across the range of seconds. For dynamic stability analysis very different.

        When I replace machine generated power with inverter injected power the results are less stable.

        Yes, I suppose a standard inverter, even with batteries behind it, would be unable to respond to an oversupply from the grid beyond diverting all the PV (or whatever) power to the battery. In fact, to make it work the way I was supposing, I guess you’d pretty much have to have a full battery-backed frequency regulator, with an extra input for PV, rather than just an inverter. I’m not sure how much the upgrade from inverter to frequency regulator would add to the cost, assuming the battery to be there in either case, but it seems like the sort of electronics that might be at least partly subject to “Moore’s Law”.

        According to this article:

        In the group of “ancillary services” provided in the open market management of the grid, frequency regulation has the highest value. Frequency regulation is mainly provided by ramping (up and/or down) of generation assets. This typically takes minutes rather than seconds. Electricity storage has the capability for doing the job in milliseconds, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has suggested millisecond electricity storage should have a value of at least twice that of 20 minute assets.


        By nature, frequency regulation is a “power storage” application of electricity storage. It has been identified as one of the best “values” for increasing grid stability and is not considered “an energy arbitrage” play such as storing wind energy at night for day use. It typically costs between $10 and $60 per megawatt hour.

        I’m guessing this price refers to the actual amount of energy stored over some period, rather than net capacity or average storage. I don’t know if, at this sort of price, purchase or lease of regulating equipment by the homeowner (along with batteries and PV) could be turned into a win-win situation or not. Or perhaps it’s supplied by the utility, built into the same system with the meter?

        BTW, I also found this thesis, which I’ve just started reading. It’s helping me ramp up my understanding of how the system works.

      • Planning Engineer

        Hat’s off to you AK, you are grappling with the ideas on the leading edge.

        One thing you might note is that there are two (at least different types) of frequency concerns. Your links are good for frequency control (P#5 and 6). What I was talking about was frequency disturbance performance (P#9 on this link http://www.nerc.com/comm/Other/essntlrlbltysrvcstskfrcDL/ERSTF%20Concept%20Paper.pdf ) I think it will be easier to achieve the frequency control but the challenges of frequency disturbance response is what I worry more about. Will electronic technology be able to provide pseudo inertia? Some think maybe some maybe not, but probably the right question is when (and/or when at what price).

        I tend to talk about today’s capabilities and the near term horizon, so don’t extend that to be overly pessimistic about what may work down the road.

        Good luck, it’s hard to find good materials. Finding a published paper like you identified is about as good as you can do without significant resource investment.

      • […] AK, you are grappling with the ideas on the leading edge.

        Yes. That’s what I do. And I do it here because, IMO, too many people on both sides of the “CAGW” debate are projecting decades out based on today’s technology. What I try to do is ask (and offer potential answers) “how are projections based on today’s technology likely to be wrong 2-5 decades down the road?” That being the time-frame involved in any real changes expected from even the most drastic “solutions” offered by extremists.

        Let me blockquote a paragraph from page 10 of your link, addressing Frequency Disturbance Performance:

        There are also concerns with fast reconnection after a fault, particularly for distributed resources. In general, wind and solar plants are often able to return to service faster than thermal plants because of their electronically coupled minimum available disturbance ride‐through capability. Supply from these resources may be interrupted more often because of minimal ride‐through capability, but the reason they can return more quickly is because they are not dependent on complicated thermal and mechanical systems, such as boilers. On the BPS, System Operators may elect to control these resources and use their quick‐start functions to support reliability. However, distributed resources typically lack System Operator control and visibility, so they may reconnect and compromise the reliability of the BPS. Efforts are underway to require disturbance ride‐through from distributed resources in the future through the IEEE Standard 1547 revision process. This effort supports future BPS reliability and will prevent further degradation of the overall resources with this capability. [my bold]

        Here’s the sort of place where my assumptions can lead to communication failures. I would have assumed that, as the “information highway” rolled out over the last few decades, similar technology would have been used to allow general control of grid resources at a much higher level than what I’ve seen in my recent research.

        OTOH, if the “IEEE Standard 1547 revision process” works well and quickly, it’s perfectly conceivable that within, say, 5 years homeowners wanting to get rate advantages from “renewable” resources (or ancillary resources such as storage) will be required to use equipment that allows automated sub-second control to “use their quick‐start functions to support reliability.

        Perhaps I’m looking too far ahead, but IMO people who are serious about distributed tech such as roof-top solar should be looking to support good and quick “IEEE Standard 1547 revision process”.

    • Do you think Apple did that because the company is so kind and is concerned about the planet or do you think there was some kind of pressure from the government?

      The plant will, supposedly, produce only 130 MW with a 2,900 acre (12 square kilometers) footprint – when the sun shines. By comparison, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power produces around 1,100 MW all day everyday, 18,000 GW hrs annually, on only 960 acres.

    • Planning Engineer

      Inverters are electronic devices ( of various sophistication) that covert direct current to alternating current. Often when the feed into a grid, they just follow the grids waveform, and use it to drive the waves they produce.

      • They are also the second most expensive element in a residential solar array and are pretty surprisingly low tech devices. Newer inverters have a lot of potential to improve the price performance curve. One can hope…

    • The wiki article you cited was all about batteries, converting AC to DC and so on. No help at all about how my wonderful home airconditioner works.

      Have I missed something?

      • Johanna,

        I hope you’ll post on the new Denizens thread and tell people about your background.

      • johanna,

        You may have done it already, but maybe you could look up inverter air conditioner.

        Your wonderful home air conditioner probably has a very cunningly designed and manufactured thing called a scroll compressor in it, as well as a fixed speed conventional compressor.

        The clever thing thing is that the scroll compressor can be made to run slow or fast, providing small or large amounts of cooling or heating to keep the temperature even.

        The inverter is the thing that takes your ordinary electricity and inverts – or converts – it to a different form that can be easily manipulated to give a variable speed drive to a scroll compressor, for example.

        I’ve simplified things as bit, but you should notice less vibration, less noise, and smaller electricity bills.

        The initial Wikipedia entry may not be entirely correct, mainly by omission, but following some of the links gives more complete information.

        Hope this helps, and I hope I haven’t simplified things too much for the technical experts’ tastes.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Thanks, Mike. That makes more sense.

        I always get annoyed when people moan about the impact of home aircon on the grid. I can attest that mine, which works a treat even if it is 40C outside, has hardly any effect on my bills. Whoever invented inverter aircon deserves a medal!

      • Planning Engineer

        I read the question too literally without figuring what Johanna really wanted to know. I don’t think her wit conditioner even has an inverter. Some marketer probably just liked that theDalkin Inverter sounded better than the Dalkin really good and efficient compressor,

      • Planning Engineer

        Air not wit.

      • I dunno. Inverting is a pretty good work-out for the wit in need of conditioning.

      • Variable speed compressors convert AC to DC and then back to quasi-sinusoidal AC to drive the compressor. It is more efficient than simply switching the compressor on and off.

        In Queensland peak demand is on summer afternoons driven by AC. System capacity – and therefore capital costs – is determined by peak demand.

        I didn’t buy into this because twittering on about how nice air-conditioning is – is not really the point. But the usual Flynn flummoxing – the ostentatious embroidering of commentary beyond all rhyme and reason – always deserves correction.

      • Rob Ellison,

        Thank you for reading my comment.

        I’m always happy to learn from those more knowledgable than myself. Where precisely am I wrong? Obviously you believe you have far greater technical knowledge than myself, and I admit I may have simplified things a bit much for someone like yourself.

        Or do you think that Johanna should not be allowed to seek answers?

        The blog is Climate Etc., after all. Maybe you could chastise Judith Curry for allowing comments you consider irrelevant. That’s a joke, in case you don’t realise!

        Thanks in advance for educating me.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Planning Engineer

        The air conditioner does have an inverter. My bad for not reading Mike closely enough on the first pass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioner_inverter

      • Thanks guys. What clever technology!

        From the Wiki link on inverter airconditioners:

        “The additional electronics and system hardware adds cost to the equipment installation but can result in substantial savings in operating costs.[1]”

        Oh yeah. Mine was top of the range in terms of price when I bought it, but it has more than paid for the difference in running costs and performance.

      • Seriously Judy? This is my third attempt to write this.

        The girlish techno gushing? ‘Thanks guys. What clever technology!’

        The patronising male techno superiority?

        ‘Your wonderful home air conditioner probably has a very cunningly designed and manufactured thing called a scroll compressor in it, as well as a fixed speed conventional compressor.’

        It is all horrendously politically incorrect.

        The way of saying very little with much cliched ornamentation? Speaks for itself.

        The inverter runs a variable speed motor – who reduces electricity usage by 30% or so. Simple and almost ubiquitous in modern residential air conditioning. It doesn’t have two compressors – btw

        He asks me where he went wrong? Let me count the ways of his scientific eccentricity. Allowing such wild narratives to proliferate in your little sociological experiment – as i have said before – is
        not a point in your favour.

      • ‘Girlish techno gushing’ is unacceptable when directed at a commenter. ‘Saying very little with much cliched ornamentation’ is not a useful statement. These kind of statements are unnecessary and contribute to an unpleasant vibe at CE, as noted by many of the Denizen comments. Keep your comments substantive – provide counter arguments and evidence, not gratuitous insults.

      • Rob Ellison,

        “VRF systems benefits from the advantages of linear step control in conjunction with inverter and constant speed compressor combination, which allows more precise control of the necessary refrigerant circulation amount required according to the system load.” – course notes – ISO 14001 and ISO 4001 certified organisation – current as far as I know.

        I must apologise to Johanna. If her air conditioner is a fairly recent purchase, it may not have a fixed speed compressor as well as a variable speed scroll compressor. Mine did. Technolological improvements allow the use of a scroll compressor by itself, in many cases.

        As to being horrendously politically incorrect, you are probably correct. I believe in free speech, for a start.

        Once again, many thanks for your comments. It gives me solace to know that you think my comments worthy of consideration and reply. It’s my pleasure.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Rob Ellison, on a blog where all kinds of pie-in-the-sky technologies that are allegedly The Next Big Thing for energy efficiency are constantly being raised in the comments, I don’t regard expressing delight at one that actually delivers as “girlish enthusiasm.” Nor am I embarrassed about asking dumb questions about how it works.

        I am old enough to remember when decent home airconditioning was expensive to buy and inefficient to run. And I am grateful that people here are prepared to take the time to explain to me how something that only the very rich could afford when I was growing up is now widely available, due to better technology.

  16. Tontb
    If you get this would you ask Mosher or Zeke to look at Paul Homewood Paraguay three stations that had cooling turned to warming via adjustments? Does BEST use those stations and what do they show?


    • Scott, several of us have. BEST adjustments are not as severe as GISS. You can fo to BEST, plug in the names, and look for yourself. Ditto for GISS. Homewood even posted how use GISS.

    • Scott

      Just saw this comment. I have asked Mosher numerous times on the Berkeley thread. Seems these changes are just an anomaly due to the methods used in calculating

      We are at a bit of a stalemate on this as I believe in his good faith but it wont need too many more examples of changes before the questions start again from third parties.

      I suspect this will run and run but as yet no one had delivered a knock out blow on the other side. Me? I’m sitting on the fence until I see what else transpires. I get the feeling its still very early days on this matter.

      • tonyb
        thanks for the reply. I too don’t think Mosher or Zeke are part of a conspiracy. But the Paul Homewood Paraguay, Arctic and the Australian controversy re BOM changing cooling trends to warming trends make the arguements seem like they bypass each others points. JoNova and Marahosy both seem to have come up with examples down under that attribute adjustments to station moves that are not documented. Plus the POTUS statement of warming based on .01 degree C increase when vast areas of Africa, Asia, the oceans and the Southern Hemisphere are estimated at what accuracy? then to come up with such a precise number that happens to document warming right before the state of the union address seems too convenient. Still lots of science work to do before massive response to an uncertain projection.

        Still would like Zeke or Mosher to respond to the stations in Paraguay and Australia adjustment basis. I would prefer simple averaged temp records without adjustment and a separate discussion of what was done with why.

      • Scott

        See the debate here which ends at the moment with my reply to AC Osborn who asked much the same question as you



  17. You often do this temperature plots with actual numbers.

    Can you look at the stations in Paraguay, the Arctic and Australia for a couple fo sets to compare to BEST?


  18. Curious George

    Michael Pollan is an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

    I like farming experts of that kind reforming farming..

    • Curious George,

      Not looking at the source, do you mind sharing the issues you have with content?
      Here’s why I ask. It seems that land use/ag practices are something that can satisfy everyone, no matter if it is intended as mitigation of CO2 or not. This seems to this reader to be an area that can be implemented with alternative benefits. Since we taxpayers are investors in farming anyway (fairly bilaterally), is this not an area we can remove from contention? Wasn’t it Freeman Dyson who indicated increasing biomass all by itself may be net beneficial? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

      • Curious George

        Overall the author has some sense, but – quote: “We need a lot more vegetarians than we have. There’s no question that the amount of meat we’re eating – nine ounces per person, per day in this country on average — is one of the most significant parts of one’s climate footprint. And we need to reduce it because the rest of the world wants to eat meat the way we do.”

        Not even Hitler (a vegetarian himself) did want to turn most of population into vegetarians – but then he had his own ideas how to handle a population explosion, which is the real problem. Not even mentioned in the article.

        Good farmers always took care of their soil, and produced biomass. I fail to see even a spark of original thinking there.

      • Curious George,

        Thank you. Found this:
        Includes wild and factors todays sheep/cattle vs. wild bison in past. Net once human population included I approximate as equal. But, this is U.S. only.

        Then if we factor energy production: http://seco.cpa.state.tx.us/energy-sources/biomass/manure.php

        Maybe there’s a net positive.
        The “original” thinking is to modify from monoculture.
        Maybe there’s a net positive.
        The “original” thinking is to modify from monoculture. “Ecosytem” farming isn’t done much, and no-till can be done more. Add a methane power plant at feedlots, and viola`.
        Low hanging fruit, all. But sellable, I’d say.

      • Hi, Danny. I have owned a dairy farm since 1985, so all this gets up close and personal. Monoculture is BAD. Allows evolution of crop pathogens. No till is only possible with GMO crops because of needed weed supression otherwise supplied by traditional plowing, cultivating, and even hoeing. (‘Roundup Ready’ GMO soy, corn, cotton are just versions not killed by the potent herbicide glyphosate.) Ten bad weeds have already evolved resistance thanks to monoculture/ no till. Farming gets anyone up close and personal with Mother Nature and Darwin. See my first rather dense ebook Gaia’s Limits for many details.
        As for biomass and biofuel conversion pros and cons, see those two chapters in the same book. Or abridged essays in the last one.

      • Rud,

        Farming in the family and in my blood (twice removed) since early 1700’s in Ky. Tough business for rugged folk. Cousins still in it (Hay and used to be tobacco). Did not know that’s all “roundup ready” meant. Thanks.
        Do issues with monoculture improve with rotation? I thought there were seed drills that could plant corn in no-till/no-plow fields using detrious for cover/mulch and that could be effective. Are those strictly GMO?
        Loved the suggestion about local (residential) gardening. Best cantelope and broccolli ever, back at my house. Compost, compost, compost.

      • Hope this threads. YES rotation helps. My farm is all fairly narrow contours because of hilliness. We typically do a 3-2, different rotation on each contour about 10 meters wide. Start with 3 years alfalfa, the first year being an oat or loose spring wheat cover crop but no alfalfa harvest. Second year, three alfa cuttings. Third year depends on winter burn (snow cover), but usually 2 alfas; if lucky 3. By then burdock and other weeds are taking over. (alfalfa is a legume, so adds nitrogen to the soil.)
        Plow it all under that fall. Some erosion potential that winter, so plowing furrows have to follow land slope contours carefully. Harrow those contours in the spring. Plant GMO corn or soy. Spray with glyphosate. Now, the weeds are gone and insect pest grubs are much reduced by starvation (plus we use Bt corn second planting year to finish off root grubworm if planting a second contour year in corn). That fall, harvest but no till soy or corn. Next spring, plant either GMO corn or GMO soy using no till planters (behind a 180 hp tractor costing $200k. Weeds are starting back, but no need for another glyphosate treatment, just supplemental fertilizer (our prime nitrogen is just a manure spreader).
        Then back to the beginning. Farmers know these things, or are busted.

    • Caught the potential sarc. He is not a farmer. I sort of am.
      He has written, and I have read, three books on food production and cooking. The first is very interesting, and the third is fun. But if you want real farmers to feed the world and prevent millions (actually billions) from starving to death, better forget his more romantic Berkeley notions aligned with Alice Waters locovore restaurant. See upthread for the caloric grain carbs to meat protein thing in J2’s ethanol comment.
      If you really want a primer on all that stuff, read the food chapter of my first book Gaia’s Limits. But read the preceding two chapters first for needed context. Take the data (which just is, much from FAO), and do your own figurations. That is in part why that firstebook was written. Bit of a data slog, and needed better editing. Live and learn.

      • Curious George

        I actually read The Omnivores Dilemma, but my fair lady refused to wade through it. I learned a lot about the business side of growing crops and cattle – but that is not how I want to live, and the best practices are developing really fast, now that we know about the underlying genetic code. Journalism? Yes, and a good one. Science journalism? No way.

      • Rud,
        Any thoughts about the tall grass prairie reatoration in the upper midwest along with bring back the buffalo ? As an upper mid west farmer have you seen the discussions? They project using tall grass perennials to store carbon in soil with bufalo herds as base food as opposed to monoculture wheat and free range cattle. the plan is huge herds naturally roaming free relatively range. Evovled for the climate and naturally restore the range. lots of articles and books.

      • Aarrghh, ‘Buffalo Commons’. Do I have to read all that again? Hmmm, it’s been awhile, mebbe so. I’ll go lol an gawk with fur.

      • Corn-fed buffalo is better.

      • Kim, does have an attractive meme visual with restored plains with tall grass and wildlife roaming. I buy free range cattle and don’t like the crowded antibiotic dosed feed lots. Pretty pictures of the huge open areas. Get you point though about the recycle but it competes with raising everyones fuel costs and dotting the farmland with isolated windmills that are net energy consumers.

      • Scott & Kim,

        Let’s leave it where it is. Net +/- as before if ya add in humans: http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/news/2011/wild-ruminants-burp-methane-too
        You don’t wanna stir up some big ole’ debate or something do ya?

      • Scott, other than Ted Turners Montana spread, mostly a pipedream. Would have to consolidate too many individual farm holdings and have to little productivity. In my area, these range from about 100 to 600 acres, most around 250. For something like envisioned, probably a minimum of 10000 acres would be needed for all natural grazing (no supplemental feed) of a herd of 100. Buffalo roam (litterally) and the fencing to contain them is incredibly expensive. We have one character in the next county over who tried raising buffalo for a while. Rich mans hobby. Switched to limosin cattle. I’ll stick with our 300 Holsteins.

      • Rud,
        thanks for the field farmer response. There are a couple. One in Flint Hills Kansas and one Sheyanne Montana, 70,000 acres http://www.ransomcountynd.com/index.asp?Type=NONE&SEC=%7B05B67B83-EC26-4A5B-855F-43D5D61CE444%7D but not too much heard lately about Buffalo commons herdsnand tall grass restoration.

      • Rud,
        this is the one I was thinking of, the Charles Russel park in Eastern Montana. http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Wildlife/Bison-Restoration.aspx so this seems more productive than much of the collection of small farm holdings.

  19. Matthew R Marler

    “The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism in Politicized Science Debates” – excellent new paper by @mcnisbet et al. [link] …

    I am always in favor of more knowledge, but when scientific disputes arise (Nic Lewis vs Marotzke and Forster), what exactly are journalists supposed to do? Likewise, when a huge majority of academic scientists think that the “other side” is not in “good faith” and should not be covered by journalists at all (avoid “false balance”). In this debate about CO2 and warming, truly knowledgeable scientists are among the culprits who have produced the polarization.

    Nicholas Wade, an excellent science journalist who has published in Science Magazine, wrote about false and exaggerated claims in dietary science for decades before winning much respect from academic and government scientists. Bjorn Lomborg was vilified by academic and government scientists who did not even address his arguments.

    I don’t see those authors’ recommendations being helpful in the least. What’s needed in the CO2 debate is persistence by all parties for decades, with as much attention to scientific details as possible.

    Also, AAAS sponsors “Congressional Fellows” and such, opportunities for scientists to work with Congressional Staff in Washington DC on the science related to policy decisions. That’s in addition to the testimonies that Congress takes from scientists. Congress receives an enormous amount of scientific advice, and yet there are persistently members of each party who say idiotic things and get caught up in fads (thimerosol, for example).

    How would their advice help journalists in the Booker-Delingpole catastrophe? Politifact did a better job than Fox News, but not by learning more science — they did it by contacting a variety of scientists, including one quoted by Booker. They didn’t have to learn about Bayesian hierarchical modeling in regression with change-points. I am not sure what they should do with regard to the Romps et al claim that a 1C increase in mean surface temp would lead to a 12% +/- 5% increase in cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the Eastern US; study up on the thermodynamics of atmospheres and the hydrologic cycle?

  20. MP: We certainly need to mitigate the amount of carbon and methane and nitrous oxide that agriculture adds to the atmosphere, but we can do much more than mitigate, because we can use agriculture to sequester large amounts of carbon. In fact, a third of the carbon in the atmosphere today was originally in the soil. Not in the form of fossil fuels but in the form of soil carbon.

    RE: So you’re saying farming can recapture carbon in the soil?

    MP: The body of science telling us exactly how to do it is still fairly undeveloped. There’s lots of experimentation going on, but farmers can show you that a patch of soil over there used to be exposed rock, and now there’s six inches of soil. Much of that is carbon.


    There are fairly obvious ways to go – and building soil carbon is a no brainer.

    e.g. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=8765&section=news_articles&eod=1&gclid=CjwKEAiAgfymBRCEhpTR8NXpx1USJAAV0dQy82yeOoXBiTL0KGpgDf-bwxa1I778i2Kl3mA1tZFXghoCyPHw_wcB

    As is conservation and restoration of ecosystems – and reducing black carbon – for many reasons that have nothing to do with greenhouse gases.

    Instead the focus is on fossil fuels – the minor part of the issue of emissions – for which the rational response is energy innovation.

  21. Intensive agriculture, steel frame housing, the decline of newsprint etc etc…Once it becomes uneconomic to hack away at the local biomass the stuff grows back alarmingly and makes its own rules for fast success and domination. Nature couldn’t care less about concepts like “pristine” and “wilderness”. You then have to manage regrowth, which means spending lots of money to fund actual conservation. You also have to find ways to exploit regrowth since you can’t just keep conserving, controlling or suppressing.

    One of the strangest effects of mass Greenism is a general blindness to regrowth and its consequences. A huge acreage of land can be turning back to forest and many only see the tree cut down near a roadside. People fuss and fiddle over community tree plantings and don’t grasp (or don’t want to grasp) that an overgrown back yard or abandoned farm is a tree planting, and probably a more efficient one. The trick is to make your planting more efficient and useful than the overgrown yard or farm.

    • ‘We consider that Ryan et al., Flannery (1990 & 1994) and Rolls (1981) over-emphasise the role of past Aboriginal burning in determining the structure and species composition of Australian vegetation. A majority of the scientific literature on climate change and Aboriginal burning supports the position first suggested by Clark (1983) that Aboriginal burning may have affected the rate, but not the main direction, of changes in the nature of Australian vegetation during the Pleistocene. At the height of the last ice age, 18 000 y.b.p., temperatures were lower and annual rainfall was half of what it is today (Dodson 1991). Such climatic conditions led to a retreat of rainforest and wet sclerophyll eucalypt forests to refugia and much of south-eastern Australia would have been dominated by grassy woodlands or grasslands until conditions changed after the ice age ended (around 10 000 y.b.p.). Eucalyptus forests and rainforests expanded again after that to more or less their current distributions with minor permutations due to fluctuations in rainfall over the last 6000 years. The extreme climatic change of the last ice age may also be the primary cause of the
      extinction of the megafauna (Horton 1982, Wright 1986) rather than hunting and altered fire regimes as proposed by Flannery (1990, 1994) (see the discussion on Flannery’s hypotheses below).’ https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/58037/Cun5Ben285.pdf

      Regrowth is good and a little fire not bad.

  22. David L. Hagen

    Green & Armstrong’s Forecast: No significant change
    By applying a scientific approach to forecasting, experts Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong find:
    “The Golden Rule of Forecasting requires that forecasters be conservative by making proper use of cumulative knowledge and by not going beyond that knowledge. The procedures that have been used to forecast dangerous manmade global warming violate the Golden Rule. . . .We found that there are no scientific forecasts that support the hypothesis that manmade global warming will occur. Instead, the best forecasts of temperatures on Earth for the 21st Century and beyond are derived from the hypothesis of persistence. Specifically, we forecast that global average temperatures will trend neither up nor down, but will remain within half -a-degree Celsius (one-degree Fahrenheit) of the 2013 average.”
    Forecasting global climate change: A scientific approach
    Climate Change: The Facts

    • David L. Hagen

      Download the full book at: Climate: The Facts

      • David, thanks for the links. To avoid confusion there seem to be 2 different but overlapping books titled “Climate Change: The Facts”. Both are worth reading.

    • David L. Hagen

      Climate Change: The Facts 2010, and now 2015
      Thanks Mark for finding the difference.
      Climate Change the facts Edited by Alan Moran Introduction by John Roska
      Copyright © 2010 Institute of Public Affairs. ISBN: 9780909536718 (pbk.)
      Authors: Sinclair Davidson, William Kininmonth, Nigel Lawson, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Christopher Monckton, Alan Moran, Garth Paltridge, Ian Plimer, Alex Robson, John Roskam, Willie Soon, Richard Tol

      Climate Change: The Facts [Kindle Edition]  Dr John Abbot (Author), Dr Robert M. Carter ~ Rupert Darwall ~ James Delingpole (Author), Dr Christopher Essex ~ Dr Stewart W. Franks ~ Dr Kesten C. Green ~ Donna Laframboise (Author), Nigel Lawson ~ Bernard Lewin ~ Dr Richard S. Lindzen (Author), Dr Jennifer Marohasy ~ Dr Ross McKitrick ~ Dr Patrick J. Michaels ~ Dr Alan Moran(Author), Jo Nova (Author), Dr Garth W. Paltridge ~ Dr Ian Plimer ~ Dr Willie Soon (Author), Mark Steyn (Author),Anthony Watts (Author), Andrew Bolt (Author), Dr J. Scott Armstrong (Author), Dr Alan Moran (Editor); 309 pages, Stockade Books (January 11, 2015), Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

      Climate Change the Facts Steynonline.com Climate Change: The Facts will be available in paperback direct from the SteynOnline bookstore (in March)
      A new book in which I have a chapter: Climate Change the Facts WUWT

  23. ‘Gofman, J. W., Lindgren, F., Elliott, H., Mantz, W., Hewitt, J., Strisower, B., Herring, V. & Lyon, T. P. (1950) The role of lipids and lipoproteins in atherosclerosis. Science (Washington, DC) 111: 166–171.”

    Yet another UC Berkeley scientist whose 1950 contribution to identifying cholesterol in the blood ends up as a food fad consuming trillions of dollars for no net benefit for the US nor the world population either. Ivory tower arrogance leading to no peer review papers allowed to be published that showed no benefit for restricting dietary cholesterol. No research funding for scientists who had a “different” (this is not denial really as these times were too close to the real holocaust to label a scientist a “denialist”) point of view.

    “Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support dietary restrictions,” said Robert Eckel, the co-chair of the task force and a medical professor at the University of Colorado.

    The current U.S. guidelines call for restricting cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams daily. American adult men on average ingest about 340 milligrams of cholesterol a day, according to federal figures. That recommended figure of 300 milligrams, Eckel said, is ” just one of those things that gets carried forward and carried forward even though the evidence is minimal.”

    The 20th Century US population benefited from city natural gas heating, widespread electrification, public health infrastructure, improve dentition and improved infectious disease management with vaccines and antibiotics. These health benefits led to increased life expectancy and more people dying of arteriosclerotic heart disease AT AN OLDER AGE. We grew from infection disease deaths into our next programed health issue of heart disease as we are growing the increasing cancer health issue right now and will in the future encounter neurological disease at yet a later age.

    Does this nutritional recommendation reversal based upon an urban myth which is in turn is based upon academic pronouncements remind you of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming story we are currently writing?

    • Does this nutritional recommendation reversal based upon an urban myth which is in turn is based upon academic pronouncements remind you of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming story we are currently writing? …

      No, not even remotely.

      • JCH

        I am so glad that you are not reminded of the CAGW story as it would meant that you had moved a smidgen from you entrenched warmist POV.
        It would also have meant that you had read Gofman 1950 and in your mind had made a comparison to Mann’s hockey stick. It would also mean that you had read the article from which Robert Eckel’s comments stem.

        In short, it would have meant that you had informed yourself about the one in order to compare it to the other.

        C’est la vie

      • “Does this nutritional recommendation reversal based upon an urban myth which is in turn is based upon academic pronouncements remind you of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming story we are currently writing? …”

        Yes, it do.

      • My viewpoint is not entrenched. It’s just not moved by stupidity.

    • “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”
      Redd Foxx
      US comedian (1922 – 1991)  

    • JCH

      Maybe I missed it. Did you read the article by Gorman (1950) and the recently linked up above Eckel’s commentary?

      I know I can lead a horse to water, but I can’t make them drink, and in this case, think.

    • A green region is one which buys its fossil-fuel power from a non-green region.

      That said, it’s possible to buy fossil-fuel power from a green region.

      Good girl Norway would prefer not to touch the stuff for fear of losing the green stamp teacher puts on her wrist…but she’ll sell you lashings of oil, gas and, yes, even coal outside of school hours. Hey, she didn’t get rich selling musk-ox scarves.

      Then there’s good girl Netherlands, home of Shell and super-funnel for (and heavy consumer of) Russian or anybody else’s fossil-fuels. Green as you please!

      Gawd, don’t you just YEARN for some adults?

      • On a roll, mosomoso.

      • Steve, our Green Betters here in Oz are just in lurve with Norwegian renewables. However, if you tried to put another dam on an Australian river they’d shriek. They’d ask what sort of world we want to leave to the grandchildren of some frog with unusual spots.

        Instead, more than one Australian capital city has a half-million-a-day, coal-power-gobbling desalination plant – unused! All to do with “living rivers” and “unending drought” (which promptly ended).

      • It’s much worse than that. I was consulting for Brisbane Council at the time – on a report on alternative water supplies for Brisbane. You can hold rainwater back – increase infiltration – pump from groundwater – build ponds – recycle sewage. All that provides useful amounts of water for lots of reasons – if not exactly potable – and reduces demand. It was a project doomed to failure. I swear – at one stage they had 100 people in a room for a couple of days. I spoke one sentence the whole time – at $2000/day. God I was cheap in those days. At the end it was written up by an intern and – as far as I could make out – was about peak oil.

        But there is not just one reverse osmosis plant – there are several. And 200 km of pipes pushing water to the supply dams in a system no one wanted and has been used. I suggested smaller plants on the lower Brisbane River feeding directly into the supply system to reduce demand from the dams. Ultimately cheaper than pipeline and pumping costs.

        I think many of the greenies running council imagined they were getting sewage out of the bay. Not remotely true – the pollutants in the waste stream would simply be more concentrated. If you really want to get rid of sewage effluent – and I can see that – pump it over the range to the Lockyer Valley food bowl. Without reverse osmosis.

    • Ouch.

  24. David L. Hagen

    Study: Global warming skeptics know more about climate science

    a forthcoming paper in the journal Advances in Political Psychology by Yale Professor Dan Kahan. . . .
    The study asked 2,000 respondents nine questions about where they thought scientists stand on climate science.

    On average, skeptics got about 4.5 questions correct, whereas manmade warming believers got about 4 questions right. . . .
    Kahan says that if global warming believers really want to convince people, they should stop demonizing and talking down to their opponents, and instead focus on explaining the science.

    “It is really pretty intuitive: who wouldn’t be insulted by someone screaming in her face that she and everyone she identifies with ‘rejects science’?”

  25. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    – Jewish Virtual Library quote.

    Surely no democratic State would use its powers to suppress dissent, would it? Surely there would be no political, economic, or military consequences if CAGW turned out to be erroneous?

    I wonder.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  26. Pingback: Basic Factual Errors in a Paper on the Hockey Stick Debate | Izuru

  27. People who want to make a serious study of climate change need to study what happened in 1940. A dramatic change in climate occurred in 1940. Before 1940, global average temperature had been rising at a rate of 0.15C since 1910. This all reversed in 1940 and temperature fell just as dramatically. Why? (see my website underlined above). This data was never properly analysed by the IPCC and has dogged their results ever since. This shows that climate change due to CO2 is not a continuous process, but ios an on/off process. Nowhere is this error more evident than in their numerous models,

  28. This post has a seemingly innocuous line in it:

    Can dissent in science be epistemically detrimental? [link]

    But the paper it links to is beyond bad. The paper tries to create a narrative where evil “climate change deniers” are attacking science in order to push non-scientific agendas. That includes “deniers” like Steve McIntyre, who has never expressed any real doubt about global warming.

    But the paper doesn’t just smear named individuals based on nothing. It creates an entire narrative based upon things which are untrue, often obviously so. Some of the errors are basic errors suggesting the authors simply didn’t understand things (like claiming the Wegman Report was published in a peer-reviewed journal then retracted), but others show they didn’t even try to look at the things they criticize.

    It appears the authors simply read Michael Mann’s book attacking his critics, assumed everything he said was true, misunderstood some of it and used the result to write a paper. Their entire paper is predicated upon a narrative largely divorced from reality.

    I’ve e-mailed the authors to express concerns about this. You can see what I said here:


    • Just checked. Boy, you are onto something here. Nail them.

    • “…we articulate a set of sufficient conditions for epistemically problematic dissent in general, which we call ‘the inductive risk account of epistemically detrimental dissent’.” – Biddle, Justin and Leuschner, Anna

      Since these people like to lead in with ham-fisted, see-it-coming tobacco references, I’ll return the favour. I suggest Biddle and Leuschner follow their true destinies. Let them take jobs selling harmful or useless products like cigarettes or energy drinks by bewildering the public with pompous gobbledegook.

      God there are some cheap-jack drongos getting doctorates these days.

      • 1st academic sheeple: The secret of becoming a good
        academic sheeple is ter appear not ter be one.

        2nd academic sheeple: I don’t follow. How do I do this?

        1st academic sheeple: Well, f’r’ instance, when yer write
        a – support – the – consensuss – paper, yer hafta’ phrase
        it in post – moderne jargonese aimed ter confuse, bemuse
        and impress the plebs by yer cleverness.

        2nd academic sheeple: Oh, yer mean phrases like
        ‘transgressing bounderies,’ ‘transformative hermaneutics’
        ”epistemically problematic dissent’ ‘n such?

        1st academic sheeple: That’s precisely what I mean..

      • By gad, I think you’ve got it.

        Now get back to harrowing clods and peeling acorns, like a good serf.

      • Terday’s Sunday!

      • I liked the informed discussion of ‘Principle Components’.

      • kim, I was going to make a remark about that, but it seemed too petty. I was trying to be as non-judgmental/offensive as possible.

    • ‘We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom), or a tipping point.’ http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0907/0907.4290.pdf

      Speaking as a climate catastrophist (in the sense of René Thom) – things are probably worse they we can imagine. Generally speaking there is widespread dissent from the idea of radiative forcing. Extreme outliers like Flynn and Cotton come to mind. People like that are generally why I prefer the term climate catastropist to skeptic.

      Generally a more sophisticated observer finds more nuanced criticisms of the calamitous science. There are more than enough to go on with. The real conservative backlash – however – has to do with ineffective, inefficient and just plain wrong-headed policy prescriptions. It is certainly not as Biddle and Co. assume – not all about ‘human consumption of fossil fuels’, Quite obviously.


      To which can be added the important population, black carbon and conservation dimensions. It we ever got to serious and practical proposals from these people things could go swimmingly. I wish they would stop misconstruing science and delaying action.

      • Huh! I did a search on the term, excluding anything with the word “climate”. Best I can boil it down, the term appears to usually apply to “confusing the issue with too much information”.

        “We know the varmint’s guilty! Hang him! We don’t need no stinkin’ trial!”

  29. The Paul Mathews paper is excellent. It led me to Jonathan Abbot’s “My Personal path to Catastrophic AGW skepticism” and associated comment string at WUWT which I found enormously interesting and inspiring.


    • D for Denizens.

      Say, Dockter Lewandowski,
      while yr skeptic-warmist survey’s
      have already been refuted re
      adherence to conspiracies,
      Jeff Id’s and Judith’s denizens’
      lists contribute to enlightening us
      on why faked-moon-landings-etcetera
      were found to be more popular
      by some within the warmist tribe.
      Yr tested engineers and science PHD’s,
      it seems, are not so easily deceived
      as these, by weird-scare-mongering

  30. Questions for climate scientists – inspired by a political opinion piece:

    1. Do you accept that climate science attributes, with high confidence, most/all warming since 1950 to the presence of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, primarily CO2?

    2. Do you accept that there have been periods in the past, like the medieval warm period and the Roman warm period, when the climate was hotter than in the 20th and 21st centuries?

    3. Do you accept that IPCC AR4 in 2007 said it was not likely CO2 emissions would warm the world by under 2 degrees celsius, but just six years later in AR5 they showed AR4 was actually wrong and it was going to be under 2 degrees (in fact only 1.5%)?

    4. Do you accept that the rate of global warming between 1980-1998 is attributed by climate science to rising man-made greenhouse gas emissions primarily CO2, is the same/similar rate of warming that happened between 1910-1940?

    5. Do you accept that the rate of global warming between 1998-2014 is nil i.e the statistical differences between years can be measured in hundredths of a degree, there has been a ‘pause’ in the rate of warming?

    6. Having accepted that warming can occur in the absence of CO2 emissions i.e natural (medieval and Roman emissions extremely negligible), similar rates of warming can occur in both low (1910-1940) and high emissions periods (1980-1988), no warming at all can occur in the highest emission periods (1988-2014), and research is actually lowering the likely amount of warmth to be caused by CO2, isn’t it reasonable to expect climate science to explain those warmings pre-1950 so that the post-1950 warming high confidence attribution can be justified?

    7. Do you accept that climate science does not specifically explain each pre-1950 warming period or rates of warming, and that by default they are all attributable to nature, natural processes?

    8. Do you accept that warming in the presence of CO2 is basic greenhouse physics and therefore the absence of warming while emissions are higher than ever must mean that some other process is gazumping the CO2 warming effect?

    9. Do you agree that climate science not only failed to predict >decadal pauses in warming while CO2 emissions were growing, but failed to acknowledge it in the IPCC AR4 report of 2007 and only belatedly focussed on it in AR5?

    10. Do you accept that climate science is not settled as to what processes can account for a pause in warming in the presence of high emissions?

    • Hey, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:J%27accuse…!
      Qu’est ce que c’est peu solide!’

    • I am not a climate scientist but I can answer your questions and point out a bunch of logical gazumpas.

      1. Yes, most of the warming since 1950 is man-made primarily due to CO2.
      2. Yes in general, but in the specifics to the Roman and Medieval Warm periods, those have not been proven to be warmer than now. See Loehle 2007. You have to go back further in time to find periods that were actually warmer than today.
      3. Are you referring to IPCC projections for warming by 2100 or what, and typo at the end, the unit for temperature is not %.
      4. Yes, but do you accept that rates can be independent of cause, and that rates at higher temperatures can mean something stronger must be causing the same rate?
      5. No, most indices give a warming rate from 1998 to 2014 to be positive, with the sole exception being RSS and the range is from 0.111 per decade to -0.052 per decade. The main point being that you don’t achieve statistical significance with short time periods. Also to achieve statistical significance with small trends takes longer time periods. And I have never seen a definition of what a pause is, can you provide one?
      6. Pre 1950 low CO2 warming are explained in the literature to some extent, since they are mild (ie MWP and Roman warm period), but it is easier to justify warming at higher temperatures. The no warming since 1998 is pure pants on fire.
      7 I do not think human caused warming started in1950, I believe there is evidence it started much earlier, the Law dome CO2 evidence that CO2 started rising much earlier.
      8 Yes, over short periods, natural and man made sources of cooling can compete with human caused CO2. There is some evidence that man made cooling due to forest regrowth and aerosol emissions have limited the temperature increase due to only CO2.
      9. Since decadal pauses do not pass statistical significance testing, the omissions in AR4 and reluctant admission in AR5 don’t mean much, considering recent temperature measurements.
      10. Yes, I think that the processes that could cause a pause in warming are well understood, yet data is not as robust. A better measurement of global aerosol measurements would be in order.

      I think you have been GISH galloped by an op-ed piece and could spend some time actually reading AR4 and AR5

      • Thanks for the answers, Bob.

        I like Prof Curry’s week threads cos they always jog the grey cells which helps to focus my thinking about climate change science.

        The answer to all 10 questions is simply yes, BTW.

        2. yes it warmer in Roman and medieval periods. You can’t ignore Hannibal’s alps trek and you can’t ignore grapes in York. Just deal with it.
        4. Just say yes. Why try to spin the issue to the questioner? Classic misdirection.
        5. You say no but your words mean yes. And in 10 you agree there’s a pause.
        6. You are asserting that pre-1950 warming causes are known and the pause doesn’t exist. Talk about pants on fire.
        10. Yes, you agree there’s uncertainty. Here we reach a meeting of minds.

        Ignorance of history, science that’s walking back CO2 effect, uncertainty about natural processes – that’s the state of climate science today.

        I’ll try another 10 questions next week.

        And pls don’t presume I am unfamiliar with AR4 and AR5. I am familiar – just not impressed.

      • 2 You want me to give you addresses of vineyards near York that are producing wine now? That is just local anyway, we are talking about global temperature changes, anyway I heard it was pretty icy when Hannibal crossed the alps.

        4 It is just plain physics that it requires more energy to heat things that are at higher temperatures, so the rates of change may be equivalent, but the energy necessary to produce the recent trends is higher. You are pointing to a trivial coincidence without fully understanding the underlying physics.

        5 Still the point you fail to recognize is the statistical significance of short period trends of low value. The pause remains ethereal and not statistically significant, you have to deal with that.

        6. You need to provide evidence that the MWP and Roman warm periods were actually warm, ie temperature reconstructions of a global nature. None that I have seen show they were warmer than now. Perhaps you have access to ones that do show that.

        And no, we don’t agree on uncertainty, especially if you think the evidence for a pause is robust.

        Still, last question, can you define what the pause is?

        You know, the answers can not be all yes because we don’t know what the temperature will be at the end of the 21st century and how that compares to the MWP and Roman warm periods.

      • It is just plain physics that it requires more energy to heat things that are at higher temperatures, so the rates of change may be equivalent, but the energy necessary to produce the recent trends is higher.

        The net energy required to heat something by a certain amount is the same regardless of the starting temperature.
        However, I’ll give you that, due to the power of 4 relationship in the S-B equation, more input energy is required to heat something at a higher temperature.
        But, as the temperature difference is around 0.5K, the required difference in energy input amounts to around 0.75% – hardly anything to write home about.

      • Phatboy,

        Do try to keep up, you are flunking


      • Ok, add on another 0.02% then
        You’re really clutching at straws now.

      • Phatboy,
        I would advise using percent with caution.

        Doesn’t show chops.

        But the forcing that caused the 1910 to 1940 warming was not strong enough to cause the 1970 to 2000 warming.

        1364 watts * the surface area of earth/4 * 0.02% is still a big number

      • No Bob, it’s 0.02% of the amount of forcing which raised the temperature by around 0.5 degrees

        Think before you write

  31. I came across this article titled Should Unprovable Physics Be Considered Philosophy? at
    There Is Still No Physics Above Science
    which references Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics published in Nature.
    “The answer, according to the current paper, lies in a simple question. What observational or experimental evidence is there that would convince a theorist that their theory is wrong? If there is none, then the theory is not a scientific theory.”

    • Would be curious if any of the commenters, or our hostess for that matter, have thought about “what observational or experimental evidence is there that would convince [them] that their theory is wrong?”

  32. Re: Geoengineering. In 2007 my company filed a patent application for a method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere by using the power from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor to bring deep ocean nutrient up into the mixed layer of the ocean. Increased photosynthesis would create a marine ecosystem which would export carbon to the deep ocean in the form of skeletal and fecal material. As a spin-off there would a huge increase in commercial fisheries sufficient to pay for the initial installation costs. This is the oceanic equivalent to irrigation on land with none of the risks associated with other forms of geoengineering. We approached venture capital companies and entered Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge.

    No-one was interested. It soon became obvious that climate change is really about guilt and redemption, not about fixing the problem. See http://www.ecofluidics.com/

    • Dr. Strangelove

      65 distinguished economists in the Copenhagen Consensus listed the world’s top problems worthy of investment. Climate change/geoengineering did not make it to the top ten. Deworming of schoolchildren and reduction of salt in processed foods are of higher priority. Apparently the world’s top economists are more concerned that your potato chips are too salty than saving the world by geoengineering.

      • 65 distinguished economists in the Copenhagen Consensus listed the world’s top problems worthy of investment. …

        It’s easy to find 65 economists whose brains have paused.

      • Dr. Strangelove

        The 65 eminent economists include four awardees of the Nobel Prize in Economics and mostly professors and doctorates of economics. Still not convinced that making your potato chips less salty has greater benefits than stopping climate change?

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      the Armageddon of unintended consequences

      • To say the climate is so complex that we can’t understand it or understand it completely, is also to say that artificially changing it will necessarily lead to unpredictable changes.

        Not “necessarily”. And there’ll be “unpredictable changes” no matter what. Always have been.

        To me a relatively stable climate with as little human influence as possible is much more preferable

        No more agriculture then. No dams, no draining swamps, no nothing. Could it simply be hatred of your own species?

        Oh, and good luck with “relatively stable”.

    • Yes to it being about guilt and redemption, but the stymie is that releasing fossil CO2 is the safest, most easily reversible sort of geo-engineering we might possibly undertake. That’s not yet to mention cost-effective and efficient. Oh, let’s bring in socially, economically, and politically beneficial, too, as all gentle warming is.

      Guilt and redemption under false pretences. Let’s bring in the theologians on this one.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        here I sit in a Mid-Atlantic state
        experiencing the most extreme winter conditions I can recall
        following one of the most pleasant summers in a good while
        after the ‘hottest year on record’
        good thing I’m only 12 years old

      • I think geo-engineering the earth’s climate (e.g by CO2) could also lead to unpredictable changes which could include negative outcomes of varying degrees.To say the climate is so complex that we can’t understand it or understand it completely, is also to say that artificially changing it will necessarily lead to unpredictable changes. To me a relatively stable climate with as little human influence as possible is much more preferable

      • OOps! This goes here.

        To say the climate is so complex that we can’t understand it or understand it completely, is also to say that artificially changing it will necessarily lead to unpredictable changes.

        Not “necessarily”. And there’ll be “unpredictable changes” no matter what. Always have been.

        To me a relatively stable climate with as little human influence as possible is much more preferable

        No more agriculture then. No dams, no draining swamps, no nothing. Could it simply be hatred of your own species?

        Oh, and good luck with “relatively stable”.

      • Did you not see the part about “as possible.” We have to eat don’t we? So should we minimize the environmental impacts from agriculture? I think yes. Do we have to continue to increase CO2 emissions year by year. I think the answer is no

      • Not “necessarily”. And there’ll be “unpredictable changes” no matter what.

        So you are telling me you think we can know exactly or even approximately what the climate is going to be like when (and if) CO2 levels reach say 700 ppm and the magnitude of the cascading effects on ecosystems, sea level, land and sea ice, flooding, droughts, wild fires, hurricanes etc..

      • Joseph, look to the last couple of degrees of warming. There’s your cascade, but it’s of benefits, the Human Carbon Cornucopia.

        Or mebbe just visit your carbon confessor. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      • We have to eat don’t we? So should we minimize the environmental impacts from agriculture? I think yes. Do we have to continue to increase CO2 emissions year by year. I think the answer is no

        It’s possible to do without agriculture: if you get rid of most of the species. It’s possible to stop increasing CO2 emissions: if you prevent most of the world from improving its lifestyle.

        So you are telling me you think we can know exactly or even approximately what the climate is going to be like when (and if) CO2 levels reach say 700 ppm and the magnitude of the cascading effects on ecosystems, sea level, land and sea ice, flooding, droughts, wild fires, hurricanes etc.

        Nope. I’m telling you that we don’tknow exactly or even approximately what the climate is going to be like”. Period, end of sentence. It seems plausible that increasing CO2 past 500ppm or so would produce significant changes, but AFAIK all the paleo evidence suggests warmer=more stable.

        Letting CO2 increase too far is a risk. But shutting down the Industrial Revolution is a huge cost for what’s actually a very minor risk, when it comes to real down-sides for human civilizations.

        There are solutions that can probably prevent your “700 ppm and the magnitude of the cascading effects” straw man without really impacting the cost of energy, or roll-out to developing populations. Coal is cheap, but gas is fast. Given appropriate local politics, small systems can be rolled out within 6 months or so, less time than it would take to build the local distribution system.

      • if you prevent most of the world from improving its lifestyle.

        I don’t know why you say that necessarily follows from reducing CO2 emissions.

  33. They have their own taxing agendas. Human resourcefulness, geo-engineering or nuclear solutions et al don’t come into it.
    Power’s the name of the game.

  34. Planning Engineer

    The “Perverse Incentives” link on SRP correctly identifies net metering as a subsidy of rooftop solar. However the author accuses SRP of going too far in recovering costs. I’m not sure that’s the case.

    It’s should be clearly seen as a subsidy if conventional customers pay anything more than they would if the system did not provide backup. Similarly (and since there are monopoly benefits) it would be a subsidy if backup customers paid more than the cost of any potential independent backup system. If both groups benefit from the arrangement such that everyone’s costs are below if they operated independently ,it should be open to debate to what degree the benefits “should” be split.

    Net metering results in conventional customers paying more than on their own backup service typically paying less than the incremental cost to serve them. My reading of SRP’s approach is that they are just trying to limit the costs to traditional customers so they don’t subsidize, but they are still willing to charge solar only incremental costs.

    I think you can make the argument that since installing solar is a public good, the cost of providing backup to solar should be kept at a minimum such that you only collect the incremental cost of what is needed to provide service. If you give solar a bigger break than that, improper price signals will encourage a death spiral and the significant loss of conventional customers will force the backup cost to skyrocket for solar with attrition of the traditional base. On the other end it could be argued that the system was built for traditional customers and that they should see some benefit from the provision of extra services such that they see a cost reduction from what the incremental cost of today’s system would be on top of the backup system. There are fairness arguments that could be made on any points between those two extremes.

    Unfortunately today the arguments are often centered way outside this band of fairness. I’m ok if people what to argue that conventional customers should subsidize solar. But it’s a challenging argument because with solar subsidies money goes from poorer households to much wealthier households. Additionally arguing for subsidized solar backup costs, you have to concede that there are risks of collapse from distorted price signals. Unfortunately you do not see commonly see arguments around net metering framed in terms of the value of subsidizing solar, but rather attacking the “unfairness” of the proposed tariffs.

    I haven’t seen anyone yet make the argument that conventional customers should benefit what so ever from providing backup service to solar installations. Here’s a modest proposal. Make the charge is slightly above incremental so that you will have solar households pay some minimal amount that prevents the poor from subsidizing the wealthy,prevents the risk of a death spiral for maintaining facilities that are not supported, while still providing a great cost benefit to solar households (maybe that’s not until when and where the technology can really pay it’s own way). It should not seem unreasonable to make a case for backup service to work as any other utility service and “help” with the bottom line. It is certainly premature to challenge the motives and fairness of utilities who are not even asking solar customers to “help” their bottom line in token ways. I can’t think of any other businesses where trying to look out for your core customers is seen as problematic.

    • Jack Smith, TX

      I installed my PV system, (6.7KW) for $24k = $3.58 Watt, in 2012. No tax credits, no grants, 100% my money. The only thing that makes my system cost effective is net metering at the retail rate. Simply put, if you stop both net metering and tax credits you will freeze residential solar immediately. The world needs a storage breakthrough to level the playing field.

      • Planning Engineer

        What you’ve said Jack is absolutely true for most locales. The net metering is needed to enable residential solar. That’s not the same as saying it is fair, right or workable n the long run, With growth we will reach. point where that subsidy model is not sustainable. Affordable storage will help, but T’s cost will be a factor and best case it’s only a part of the solution.

      • Silicon pennies from the poor schoolchildren to build a monument to government folly. A lantern to beckon darkened souls.

      • Jack Smith, TX

        Speaking of price signals, last year the PUC voted to let ERCOT double its cap for wholesale electricity rates, an increase that will jump from $4,500 per megawatt hour to $5,000 per megawatt hour on June 1 2014; to $7,000 MWh on June 1, 2014; and to $9,000 MWh, effective on June 1, 2015.

        Since I have generated over 4 Megawatts of surplus electricity into the grid since I went online I sure wish I could be paid at that rate during peak demand!

      • Curious George

        Jack – you probably mean 4 MWhours.

    • Net metering is patently unfair to low income people. Those residential solar installations should be charged a ready-to-serve charge for the backup power provided the grid plus a charge for the additional costs of managing the instability to the grid those installations impose.

      • Forgot to add, cancel the net metering and end the tax subsidies.

      • Pastime of the poor,
        Copper stripped grossly by weight.
        Cu says ‘see you’.

      • Jack Smith, TX

        At the edge of the grid (i.e. your home) the instantaneous power fluctuations are 100 times larger than the smooth power curve of my solar array. How about we charge retail customers a micro peaking charge every time their demand spikes 400% when their HVAC or electric water heater kicks on? If you really care about grid stability we should just let the utilities control when your your hot water heater or A/C can connect to the grid.

  35. from “The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism in Politicized Science Debates” we have:

    ” In recent years, other nonprofit media organizations such as Mother Jones, The Nation, Grist.org, or InsideClimate News have built up sizable online audiences and received prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize. Yet these foundation-funded media operations also raise questions about the boundaries between journalism and advocacy …
    (bold mine)

    Taken together with “Long List Of Warmist Organizations, Scientists Haul In Huge Money From BIG OIL And Heavy Industry!” and “Feel good folly of fossil fuel divestment” we see hypocrisy on a merry go round.

  36. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry

    Judith Curry’s link some weeks ago: ”Is there a creativity deficit in science?” http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/09/is-there-a-creativity-deficit-in-science ; excerpt:

    ‘There is no more important time for science to leverage its most creative minds in attempting to solve our global challenges. Although there have been massive increases in funding over the last few decades, the ideas and researchers that have been rewarded by the current peer-review system have tended to be safer, incremental, and established. If we want science to be its most innovative, it’s not about finding brilliant, passionate creative scientists; it’s about supporting the ones we already have.’

    As far as I am aware, there is ‘a creativity decifit’ in the complex climate science. Even though there is appropriate knowledge available much enough, researchers have not been able to create any kind of working synthesis, whether or no there is any way to control the recent global warming. The one-sided focusing of IPCC on the ideological belief in anthropogenic warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions has replaced duly cross-disciplinary approaching, that is one of the main qualifications to find all potential factors essentially influencing climate warming. Even any other of one-sided focusings on the climate problem may be an obstacle to a working solution needed; only by chance an one-sided alternative can make a working solution be possible.

    According to my interpretation, for instance, Judith Curry and Eija-Riitta Korhola have meritoriously expressed their creativities by being striving for a working solution of the present, complex problem of climate.

    I appreciate Judith Curry’s endeavour to lessen the uncertainty of climate sensitivity. For instance she has replaced the highly uncertain, hypothetical temperatures based on climate models by using temperatures based on empiric observations. Already this makes the climate sensitivity be about half of the result assessed by IPCC scientists.

    Regardless of whether or no man-made CO2 emissions control global warming, by using pragmatic logic, Eija-Riitta Korhola has proved that the actions based on the Kyoto Protocol do not work; they are merely disastrous.

    I understand that Judith Curry and Eija-Riitta Korhola are striving for a target where the interface between politicians as decision-makers and climate scientists as due researchers is understood by both sides well enough. The content of the target is not yet known sufficiently well. ‘If we want science to be its most innovative, . . . ; it’s about supporting the ones we already have.’ Judith Curry and Eija-Riitta Korhola belong to ‘the ones we already have’. In addition that they can support each others, we all should support them.

    In my opinion, they have to scrutinize themselves what is the real share of anthropogenic CO2 in the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere, and what is the real share of atmospheric, total CO2 increase in the recent global warming. In my view, Tom V Segalstad and Murry Salby are right, as they state that the anthropogenic share of the recent total CO2 content in atmosphere has been only 4 % at the most. In addition, Scafetta says that the climate sensitivity is lower than 1C, and accrding to Lindzen it is 0.5C or less. Cripwell, Wojick and Arrak have stated that the climate sensitivity is so minimal that it can not be distinguished from zero.

    I have expressed views of my own on the share of anthropogenic CO2 in the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere, and on the share of increasing CO2 content in atmosphere on global warming e.g. in my comment http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 :

    a) ‘The present temperature plateau’ proves that a trend of global warming does not take place, although the content of CO2 in atmosphere is even exponentially increasing.
    b) The recent increase of CO2 contentent in atmosphere has been controlled by natural warming of sea surface, especially on the areas where sea surface CO2 sinks are.
    c) The anthropogenic share of the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere is about 4 % at the most. Even this 4 % has been caused mainly by the warming of sea surface on the areas where sea surface sinks are.

  37. Judith, thanks for a wonderful smorgasbord of articles this week.

    The one about Native Americans still struggling to get basic services was sobering.

    The one about the sleazy back-pedalling of the medical establishment about cholestrol was gob-smacking. There has been plenty of evidence (not least the Finnish men’s study 40 odd years ago) that reducing dietary cholestrol intake, if anything, makes people’s outcomes worse. But as we have seen in climate “science”, evidence was steamrollered by vested interests. A similar load of nonsense surrounds salt intake.

    And, I note that they are still hanging on to the idea that “fatty meats” are bad. There is not a shred of evidence for that proposition. What it means is that it is too embarrassing to admit that they were utterly wrong about cholesterol and diet, so they are gradually backpedalling while saving the skins of the perps.

    It really irks me, because one of the great joys of my old man’s life was his breakfast boiled egg. After he had a heart attack, it was verboten, instead he had to eat cereal, which he hated. It may seem like a small thing, but whether you start the day with something you like or something you hate because of junk science is a big deal. And, I’m sure that he was not the only one in that situation.

    He also was told to give up liverwurst, which is a sort of poor person’s pate, very rich in Vitamin B, for the same reasons. So, two of the best things in his diet were banned because of junk science.

    I loathe these social engineers masquerading as scientists. How come they never ask us to give up anything unpleasant?

  38. Why doesn’t someone do a psychiatric analysys of why there are supposedly still alarmist truebelievers, despite the obvious facts that

    – government both funds ‘science’ alarmism and stands to benefit handsomely from public belief in it
    – government-funded climate ‘scientists’ to this day refuse to see anything wrong with what Climategate revealed