Week in review – politics and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

US politics

Billionaire InvestorTom Steyer launches effort to keep climate deniers out of the White House [link]

Here’s How Tom Steyer Will Attack GOP 2016 Hopefuls on ‘Climate Denial’ and Koch Ties [link]

Tom Steyer challenges Koch brothers to climate debate [link]

Rand Paul announced he is running for president — and he’s a climate denier. [link]

@RandPaul’s enviro and climate record [link]  …

Enviros Already Labeling Rand Paul A Global Warming ‘Denier’ [link]  …

(Maybe) Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on climate change [link]  …

UNFCCC/IPCC

Evaluation of Paris Agreement pledges received so far: Tracking INDCs – Climate Action Tracker [link]  …

Japan to pledge 20% CO2 cut [link]

Reality Check: Japan To Build 40+ New Coal Power Plants [link]

Three myths about international climate talks, [link]

If UNFCCC #COP21 talks break down, it could have global economic, political, and security impacts: [link]

In-depth interview with potential new IPCC chair @JPvanYpersele [link]

Former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer defends coal finance; declines to back divestment [link]

India 

Narendra Modi: India Won’t Bow To Western Pressure On CO2 Emissions  [link]

Greenpeace India suspended for encouraging “anti-development campaigns.” [link]

Here are nine ways to deal with Delhi’s air pollution—but you may not be able to afford any of them – Quartz [link]

Energy/water/food

Building the 21st Century Grid: Distribution Automation and Network Efficiency [link]

Report: 2015 could be a record year for the greening of U.S. energy [link]

What the Shell mega deal says about the planet’s energy future [link]

A closer look at why fracking is splitting environmental groups apart: [link]

The Energy Market Faces Creative Destruction[link]

1 MW of wind = 103 tonnes steel, 402 tonnes concrete, 7 tonnes fiberglass, 3 tonnes copper +  [link]

What desalination can & can’t do for California.  [link]

Kathmandu: a city within sight of glaciers struggles with water crisis [link]

Shellfisheries: time to prepare for ocean acidification [link]. …

Policy analysis

@PeterGluckman  essay on science, scientists, public and trust. [link]

Get em young, make em green [link]

Development banks agree definition for climate finance, which will help guide green investments [link]

Climate campaigners should make more compromises. Pragmatism often delivers progress; idealism rarely does. [link]

Is #GameOfThrones a #climatechange parable? [link]

 

 

 

435 responses to “Week in review – politics and policy edition

  1. daveandrews723

    The term “climate denier” is one of the most dishonest, corrupt phrases of our times. Anyone who uses it in an attempt to influence debate and policy should be held in contempt by anyone with half a brain.

    • Yes, I don’t know anyone who denies the climate exists. OTOH, I know plenty of alarmists who deny the pause. Also that there’s no strong evidence connecting “extreme weather” with Co2. I think we should call them weather deniers.

      Denial as they occasionally say in 12 Step gatherings, ain’t just a river in Egypt..

      • ==> “I think we should call them weather deniers.”

        Oh. I’m so deeply offended. I’m so upset. PG’s comparing people to holocaust deniers. It’s McCarthyism. It’s Lysenkoism. It’s “skeptunism.”

      • Skeptics: We don’t trust you.

        Alarmists: We’d just as soon deny you exist.

        Skeptics: OK, OK, now we trust you.
        ==================

      • One great thing about the ‘denier’ label is that it instantly labels the user as ignorant. The obvious response, ‘What is it that I deny?’, then rapidly establishes just where the ignorance roams most freely.
        ======================

      • The obvious response, ‘What is it that I deny?’, then rapidly establishes just where the ignorance roams most freely.

        I realise that’s an obvious response, but I don’t know why it’s a clever, or suitable response; although maybe you do have a point that it does rapidly establish where the ignorance roams most freely. Not that I’m in favour of labelling people as “climate change deniers” but I’m pretty sure that those who do so are not suggesting that the person being labelled denies that the climate changes. I’m pretty sure there’s an implicit “anthropogenic” in there and that this is pretty obviously what is intended.

      • David Springer

        http://www.populartechnology.net/2015/01/who-is-and-then-theres-physics.html

        Classic. Twenty years a physicist. Produced one published paper. I bet alcohol figures into that equation.

        But then Kenny discovered blogging and gets to see his name in lights every day through even the worst hangovers.

        Way to go, Kenny.

      • Naw, kiddo, it’s the explicit ‘catastrophe’. I don’t even mind an implicit ‘catastrophe’ so long as you can recognize doubt about it.
        ========================

      • “I’m pretty sure there’s an implicit “anthropogenic” in there and that this is pretty obviously what is intended.”

        …but the word is just too big for Super-Intelliegnt Warmers to use, so they just drop it, like a difficult college class.

        Andrew

      • but the word is just too big for Super-Intelliegnt Warmers to use, so they just drop it, like a difficult college class.

        Or, maybe, they’re giving the Super-Intelliegnt (sic) Skeptics too much credit? :D

      • Actually, there is some meat in your reply, Ken. I think you are beginning to realize the limitations of the confusion of the rhetoric around ‘denier’ and whatever that implies and explicates.
        ===============

      • “Or, maybe, they’re giving the Super-Intelliegnt (sic) Skeptics too much credit?”

        So the Super-Intelliegnt Warmers are miscalculating? Sounds like a pattern.

        Andrew

      • Joshua (April 12 11:23 am) “Oh. I’m so deeply offended …… McCarthyism …….“.

        +1

      • Classic. Twenty years a physicist. Produced one published paper. I bet alcohol figures into that equation.

        What?

      • David Springer

        Watt?

    • David Wojick

      Relax. Name calling is a time honored political tradition in America. Part of the fun of politics. Wear the badge with honor.

      • Amen.

        Progressives have been calling those who disagree with them racist, sexist, homophobes, insane, denier, anything they can think of to keep low information voters from listening to any dissent from the progessive blob consensus..

        The problem many around here have is they they are former members of that same ‘consensus’ and have used those same epithets, or believed in them at least, for most of their lives (or at least thought they were exempt as ‘moderates’, ‘independents’ and ‘libertarians’). When they finally dissent on a single issue, they are shocked! shocked! to be on the receiving end.

    • should be held in contempt by anyone with half a brain.

      Lol. That pretty much sums up the opposition.

    • If only those poopyheads would stop calling us poopyheads everything would just be great!

      • Wow you never disappoint do you?
        Sooo predictable have you become.
        It used to be funny sometimes, now it us just boring.
        Unfortunately (for the rest of us).

    • You are a Climate Denial denier!

      …and the beat goes on.

      To me one of the first determinative indications I have of an intellectually bankrupt position is the use of pejoratives and ad hominem.

      As I view the self avowed “skeptics” who spend considerable time “debunking” less popular viewpoints or contrarian positions, I notice a large portion of the debunking appears to involve a high amount of personal attacks and other belittling remarks.

      Curiously, these “skeptics” often attack the people who are truly skeptical of the existing paradigm and have given reasons for being so.

      • Some will go to their grave proud of marginalizing skeptics. What a Hell of a life to have lived.
        =============

    • “The term “climate denier” is one of the most dishonest, corrupt phrases of our times. Anyone who uses it..”

      Is talking about themselves, so don’t take it personally.

    • Plenty more ad-homs, ladies and gentlemen, step right up!

      • AK’s emissions of twaddle

        AK, I’d urge you to read how to avoid “Emissions of Twaddle”. Read, carefully and with a willingness to learn, “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air”. The main point of the book is to teach people to do their own reality checks and back of an envelope calculations to compare options on a properly comparable basis. That is something your comments continually fail to do. They are all irrelevant nonsense because they don’t compare options to meet requirements on a properly comparable basis.

        For example, you advocated for:

        1. Ridiculous solar powered pumped hydro on Hoover Dam – I showed you it is not viable now and highly unlikely to ever be viable. That applies to probably all solar pumped hydro, at a scale that is large enough to make any significant contribution to global GHG emissions reductions.

        2. You posted links to insignificantly small pumped hydro sites in France – 0.6% of France’s electricity

        3. You posted photos of floating solar panels – generating 0% of Japan’s electricity

        4. I replied by posting a photo of a 40 year old nuclear power station in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and quoted that, “in the past hour, Nuclear reactors contributed 70.2% of Ontario’s electricity, 95.6% of Ontario-generated electricity was carbon free, and Nuclear reactors contributed 73.4% of Ontario’s carbon-free electricity.” Your response was to post cartoons which show you cannot admit when you have clearly lost an argument and showing signs of extremist REligious zealotry.

        5. I gave you figures of nuclear generating 70% of Ontario’s electricity and 80% of France’s electricity while your solar panels were generating ~0% of the electricity in the countries you picked your examples from.

        You provide no context for your options analysis and no authoritative sources for your figures
        You invariably don’t state the basis for comparison and don’t compare all options on the same basis.
        What date are the numbers compared for?
        What currency and what base year are used for cost comparisons?
        What learning rates are using for projections and what’s the basis for those projections?
        You don’t include all relevant costs, such as system costs, in your comparisons – a major distortion.
        You include many “Ifs’, which are nothing more than baseless and biased hopes and wishes

      • This new post, posted on BNC yesterday is very relevant and applicable to your behaviour

        Is Renewable Energy looking like a ‘new religion’? http://bravenewclimate.com/2015/04/14/is-renewable-energy-looking-like-a-new-religion/

      • As far as I can tell, all your arm-waving bluster boils down to “I don’t like the answer you got!”

      • Projection

      • As far as I can tell, all your arm-waving bluster boils down to “I don’t like the answer you got!”

      • Repetitive projection

      • Repetitive projection

        Actually, I didn’t realized you’d broken the threading (at least, AFAIK none of my comments got deleted). So I thought I’d forgotten to link it to your comment.

        From the “Is Renewable Energy looking like a ‘new religion’?” link:

        I would argue not, because in its environmentalist (not fundamentalist) form, a nuclear-friendly advocacy does not seem to meet any of the criteria Martin outlines above for religiosity. In this ‘doctrine’, no energy source is demonised — the argument is instead that all energy sources ought to be weighed fairly on their merits and demerits, on the basis of irreligious laws of nature (and market forces!).

        To quote Joshua: LOL!

      • AK,

        First, I didn’t break the threading – another example of your baseless assumptions demonstrating you inherent dishonesty.

        Comment by Mark4asp

        It doesn’t make sense to call renewable energy a new religion, because it’s part of a package containing:
        * environmentalism
        * climate change obsession
        * renewable energy

        RE is much better understood as part of a political project. Like many previous political projects, it doesn’t need to make sense. The trick is to offer something apparently new, while being as imprecise as possible over the practicalities. As CC damns us, RE is the salvation. It’s the fanaticism of the RE believers that draws comparison with religion: their ability to dismiss the usual rules of debate (economics, CBA, practicality, …) on energy matters. All political extremes show similar fanaticism. No one really argues from the evidence in politics; not even mainstream parties.

        RE offers something apparently new, it’s the environmentalist’s heaven to their climate change hell. Heaven and hell are just metaphors here.”

        Describes your zealotry to a T.

      • Peter Lang…

        Whenever I use the term “renewable energy” I always put it (or at least the “renewable” part) in “scare quotes”.

        Another mark of fanatics, especially religious fanatics, is that they lump all their enemies, by which the mean anybody who disagrees with them, into a single class. A certain “conservative” here lumps everybody who disagrees with him into the class of “progressives”. Many of the CAGW fanatics, especially the ones who demonize “capitalism” and “corporations”, call anybody who disagrees with their agenda “deniers”.

        Unlike those like Barry Brook, who argue that “all energy sources ought to be weighed fairly on their merits and demerits, on the basis of irreligious laws of nature (and market forces!)”, you demonize those who support taking a fair and honest look at the economics of solar power.

        You close your eyes in denial of the obvious (to “those with eyes to see”) exponential increase in install-base, and drop in cost, of solar PV. You use 5-10-year-old market analysis as “biblical pronouncements”. You use arm-waving bluster and obviously distorted estimation methods to “prove” a point that’s obviously wrong.

        Having watched the MacKay TEDx talk, I see a parallel between his demonstrations (WRT solar power, not “renewable energy”) and my frequent reminders that, if solar power is to power our civilization, the amount of surface it’ll require would be comparable to that dedicated to agriculture.

        The fact that you lump me with those who don’t think about these problems, rather than with the MacKays, just points up your religious fanaticism over nuclear power.

      • Another mark of fanatics, especially religious fanatics, is that they lump all their enemies, by which the mean anybody who disagrees with them, into a single class. A certain “conservative” here lumps everybody who disagrees with him into the class of “progressives”

        +1

      • What are modules going for now? 40 cents a watt? They’re going to be cheaper than wallpaper soon.

      • Thomaswfuller2,

        What are modules going for now? 40 cents a watt? They’re going to be cheaper than wallpaper soon.

        The cost of the modules is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost of energy that meets requirements – i.e. is fit for purpose. The cost of energy includes the system costs. Furthermore, to make a large contributions to reducing gobal GHG emissions, renewables would need to provide a large proportion of global electricity generation. That is not possible at the moment and most electricity system practitioners suggest it is highly unlikely to ever be possible (Remember that per capita energy consumption will continue to grow as it has over the past 200,000 years, from 8 MJ/d to 900 MJ/d now).

        Can I urge you to background yourself on my comment son this thread. I and others on this and other threads have consistently shown that renewables cannot provide a large proportion of global energy (or electricity), are not fit for purpose, cannot meet requirements and the electricity they produce is hugely expensive.

        Denying the relevant facts is denial!

      • Peter, I know a fair bit about the subject. Obviously there’s always more to learn–but that might be true for more than one party to this conversation.

      • You keep telling me that, but your comments demonstrate your beliefs are not based on rational or objective analysis. You don;t seem to understand how options analysis.

        The Greenpeace, WWF, FoE people also think they know lots about the subject too. But its not based on objective, rational analysis. It;s mostly strawman arguments.

        Your many comments have demonstrated your beliefs and wishful thinking are not based on sound, objective analysis.

        Instead of responding to my comments by telling me (several times so far) you know a lot about the subject, why don’t you instead demonstrate it by addressing what is relevant and can be substantiated by authoritative sources, not using what if’s, wishful thinking and ideological beliefs?

        Focus on what is important and relevant (not all the down-in-the-weeds exceptions): options analysis using current costs and projections using authoritative sources.

        But please background yourself on my comment sin this thread before getting into a discussion.

      • Your snide remark :

        but that might be true for more than one party to this conversation.

        is pathetic and typical of the avoidance tactics so commonly used by RE advocates.

      • Thomas Fuller,

        Once again, before entering ito a discussion of energy and GHG emissions policy options analysis – e.g. regarding solar v nuclear energy whcih is ehat this discussion has been about – can I urge you to background yourself on my comments on this thread. I and others on this and other threads have consistently shown that:
        – renewables cannot provide a large proportion of global electricity supply,
        – are not fit for purpose,
        – cannot meet requirements
        – the electricity they produce is hugely expensive
        – therefore, they cannot make a large contribution to reducing global GHG emissions,
        But nuclear power has demonstrated it can:
        – supply a large proportion of a modern industrial economy’s electricity
        – is fit for purpose
        – meets all the requirements
        – can be cheap
        – can reduce the emissions intensity of electricity by up to 90%
        – is the safest way to generate electricity

        The contrast is stark

        Only deniers would deny these important, relevant, strategic level facts.

        Denying the relevant facts is denial!

      • The reason I won is that you have no valid retort to the important relevant points, so you want to divert the discussion with silly, irrelevant comments, snide remarks and advocacy for your ideologically based beliefs.

      • So I guess all those satellites using solar power are offerings to the gods.

      • AK –

        I don’t use caps.

      • Joshua…

        You said it. I shouted it.

  2. Yvo de Boer confronts his dissonance. And that of so many others.
    =========

    • Quite so! Interestingly, prior to the “official” release of AR5 WGI, the now former Figueres figure had declared, during the course of a Nov. 2012 trip downunder:

      That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone, […] I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.

      Nonetheless, in the midst of last September’s hoopla in N.Y.C., de Boer did provide a few notes of reality, including (my bold):

      In a sense, this is a good opportunity to take the climate process out of its coma, from a political point of view, and re-engage political leaders. But Paris is still quite far away.

      It’s also worth recalling that – unlike Pachauri, Achim Steiner and now declared Pachauri-wannabe candidate, van Ypersele – in the days after Climategate 1.0, de Boer’s comments approximated those of a voice of reason:

      [de Boer] said that the stolen e-mails looked “very bad” and were fuelling scepticism, but said the media scrutiny was not unwelcome. Mr de Boer said: “I think it’s very good that what is happening is being scrutinised in the media because this process has to be based on solid science. If quality and integrity is being questioned, that has to be examined.”

      Too bad that the investigations pursuant to Climategate, for by far the most part, failed to heed de Boer’s advice.

  3. “Tom Steyer challenges Koch brothers to climate debate”

    Haven’t read the piece, but my guess is the Koch boys will take him up on that, eagerly, at which point he’ll pull a Cameron and run away like a baby rabbit.

    • It’s a short piece that says he challenged them last year:

      The Kochs ended up declining last year’s debate invitation, and a spokeswoman said the brothers “are not experts on climate change.”

      One of the Kochs ought to take him up on it. Usually it’s Steyer’s side refusing to debate. If they’re not going to do it, perhaps both sides could send representatives to debate.

      • Danny Thomas

        Maybe each side could fund a set of scientists and…………oh wait…………never mind.

    • I really would like to see an open public debate, of the science behind the alarmist viewpoint. Ideally, a public re-creation of the meeting called by Steve Koonin for the APS climate statement review in Jan ’14, to discuss and debate the science. I have read the entire transcript twice. John Christy comes across as very credible to me, as well as Judith. I thought Ben Santer’s argument on aerosols from small volcanic eruptions to be reason for the pause was weak, he seemed to be grasping for anything to support his models, rather than just fess up that they have done poorly to date.

      Can anyone here tell me if the following chart can be (or perhaps has been) fact checked?

      I think getting this chart out into a public debate (assuming it can be fact checked) along with some of John Christy’s charts from the Koonin APS meeting, is the best thing that could happen to this whole climate debate (war). Who in their right mind can look at the chart and with a straight face say that the science of cagw is settled?

      • You have to put that in the context of longer periods like this where the models do OK.

      • The debate is over, joe. The alarmists gave up debating after this:

        http://www.npr.org/2007/03/22/9082151/global-warming-is-not-a-crisis

        “In this debate, the proposition was: “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis.” In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.”

        The green team led by Gavin Schmidt got creamed in front of a sympathetic audience. And this was before Climategate, when climate science still had a facade of credibility. They have audio at the link and I believe you can still find video of the green team getting their clock cleaned on youtube, unless the Google truth police have removed it.

        And Jim D is highly correct and polite. The models do OK, if you don’t expect them to have any useful predictive value.

      • Jim D: Your charts do not help your credibility one iota. They tell an average joe that nature is in charge and the models are just listing in the wind. The next few years are critical. IF temps continue flat or, heaven forbid, enter a downtrend over the next 5 years, an average joe will want remunerations for damages inflicted, along with perhaps a head or two on a spit.

    • When fools divest, angels rush in.
      ===============

    • David L. Hagen

      The Dirty Secret of Obama’s Carbon Plan

      Taking one-third of U.S. coal-fired power plants off the grid by 2020 simply isn’t workable. Here’s why. . . .
      The North American Electric Reliability Corp., a nonprofit oversight group, has said the EPA plan could constitute “a significant reliability challenge, given the constrained time period for implementation.”
      These concerns are driven in large part by the planned retirement, mostly thanks to the EPA’s carbon plan, of about one-third of America’s coal-fired power plants by 2020. This represents enough generating capacity to supply the residential electricity of about 57 million Americans. That’s a lot of power being taken off the grid in a very short period. . . .
      the 2020 interim targets are simply not achievable. . . .
      Beyond that, two safeguards should be added to the plan. First, it should include a mechanism to deal with reliability issues before a state’s plan is implemented. . . .
      Second, the EPA should incorporate a reliability safety valve that would operate throughout the compliance period if unforeseen events—such as tornadoes destroying a wind farm or extreme cold weather—require coal plants to operate at unanticipated levels. Owners of these coal plants need assurance that they will never be penalized for keeping the lights on.

      Highest priority – KEEP THE LIGHTS ON.
      Second – Ensure transport fuels.

      Third – Ensure enough global warming to prevent the next ice age.
      Last – control global warming.

  4. Another article on rich people backing Republicans is this one.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/politics/hedge-fund-magnaterobert-mercer-emerges-as-a-generous-backer-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=0
    Robert Mercer. However, after reading this I was thinking he has a multi-million dollar train set? Really? This is how the 1% lives.

    • OMG! Little jimmy has found ANOTHER article on rich people backing Republicans. He has never found an article on rich people, or big corporations like GE, Apple, Google, and the worst corporation in America Comcast-NBC going all in for the Democrats. Little jimmy doesn’t know about the biases of the 97% Democrat Hollyweird entertainment industry and mainstream media that is worth untold $BILLION$ in favorable PR to the Demos. You can’t even put a value on Candy Crowley helping Obama in the pivotal 2012 Presidential debate. Our nagging little jimmy hasn’t heard that the wealthiest zip codes vote for the Demos. He never heard of George Freaking Soros. I just kidding, jimmy. I am sure you know all about that stuff. You are just too much of a partisan drone to go there.

      • Don

        Not having a dog in this particular fight I googled to see which party had the wealthier backers

        “We can’t make a final call on whether or not Reid was right in saying the Democratic Party “doesn’t have many billionaires.” We know that both parties have billionaire backers. In 2012, the advantage went to the Republicans. So far in 2014, the Democrats have the edge in terms of public donations to outside spending groups. But this is far from a full picture because of current donation disclosure rules.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/jun/23/do-many-billionaires-support-democratic-party/

        I was shocked by the expenditure by each of the parties and the manner in which money is used to lobby for prestige, power and influence. .

        Politics in the US might be better if the funds permitted for campaigning and buying influence was drastically reduced. The role call of US Presidents in recent decades is not an inspiring one to your allies. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush for 2016? Really?

        tonyb

      • The Supreme Court allowed large donations as a matter of free speech, as long as you don’t coordinate with a particular candidate. They figured this won’t look like quid pro quo corruption. But they end up supporting Super PACs with campaigns trying to quash opposing candidates, and this results in pushing their own candidates into line with their thoughts too, otherwise they don’t get far. Climate change is just one of many litmus tests where they have to follow suit, and you get bland Republicans who all think alike down the line on every issue. No room for independence or representing your own electorate on their main concerns. This is the problem of big money in politics.

      • It’s not necessarily going to be Jeb Bush and Hillary, Tony. We hope for better choices. Do you think that money restrictions in Great Britain results in better leaders being elected? Does France have limits on political spending? I would bet they would better off just putting the richest citizen in charge.

        The biggest problem we have in the U.S., especially at the state and local level, is the one hand washes the other relationship between the rich public employee unions and the Democrat pols. The unions fund the Democrat campaigns and the Democrat winners more than repay the unions’ investments by sustaining lavish spending on very generous pay and goldplated benefits for the gubmint employees. It’s not surprising that this has put many states and cities on the fast track to bankruptcy. We got a guy like Scott Walker Gov. of Wisconsin, who has been successful in fighting this insidious game in a Democratic state. At the moment, he is my choice for Republican candidate for POTUS.

      • In 2008, when Al Gore bragged that he had a three hundred million dollar(that’s $300,000,000 for the numerate) from ‘internet and anonymous donors’ for his climate alarum fund, even Andy Revkin blanched.
        ===============

      • Well joey, blue states are starting to turn to Republican governors and state legislatures to solve the problem of Democrats funded by rich public employees unions negotiating the contracts with the same rich public employee unions. But you knew that.

        We can always count on little putzy joshie to play his little gotcha by taking a quote out of context and smarming the speaker:

        “Oh come on, Joseph. Do you really doubt that the biggest problem we have in the U.S. is public sector unions?”

        You know I was talking about the biggest problem in politics, josh-u-a. Of course, the Demos’ one party dominance in many jurisdictions that results from the rich public employee union-Democrat pol partnership has created vast areas of the country where poverty and crime chase out the honest and productive tax paying folks, which leads to more poverty and crime.

      • But you knew that.

        The only thing I know is that you are are full of it, if you believe that employee compensation is anything but a minor problem in the context of government spending. Either that or you have been watching too much Faux News.

      • The little ignorant joeys, joshies and jimmys don’t know fiscal and economic reality from Shinola. Google “unfunded pension liabilities”. Or just go with what they say in salon and huffpo.

        Scott Walker keeps winning elections in heavily Democratic Wisconsin. People are waking up. Next stop could be the White House. Oh, what consternation and panic that will cause among the little ignorant socialist drones.

      • http://www.seiu.org/a/publicservices/fact-check-on-public-sector-pensions.php

        FACT CHECK: Are unions the driving force behind underfunded public pensions?

        The internet is full of unsubstantiated claims about how local, state, and federal employees who belong to public employee unions are pushing states into fiscal crisis. Yet as research published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows (see graph below), there is zero correlation between the degree of state employee unionization and how well-funded state plans are.

        State Pension Funding Unionization Rate

        Budgetary factors quite unrelated to the level of public employee unionization are the main factors in how well states pre-fund their pension obligations. And unfortunately for public sector workers, many states have not kept up their end of their end of the bargain. For example, in Illinois, the state has set aside just over half (54 percent) of the amount required to pay workers’ benefits statewide, and the state’s five pension funds are $54.4 billion short.

      • Nice one, joey. The SEIUnion is a good source for data on how the unions are running states and cities broke across our great land. Hey, ain’t very blue Illinois another state that has recently elected a Republican governor to solve the big problem of the Democrat-public employee union partnership? Notice a trend here, joey?

      • The SEIUnion is a good source for data on how the unions are running states and cities broke across our great land.

        No correlation between unionization and underfunded pensions. Complain all you want but that’s the facts, Don. You have nothing to refute it..

      • how the unions are running states

        Prove it, Don! Put or shut up..

      • To get a sense of where this country is headed, brake the next flight to Detroit – the poster city for democracy policies and union corruption.

      • The amazing thing after all those resources rich alarmists are still unable to convince common folk to stop emitting CO2.
        Al Gore has flown his private plane all over hell and back to tell the poor to stop flying around the globe so much.
        He has ridden tens of thousands of miles in his black SUVs to tell his lessors to reduce their carbon footprint.
        Now it’s HilLIARy’s turn
        What’s not to trust.

    • The biggest problem we have in the U.S., especially at the state and local level, is the one hand washes the other relationship between the rich public employee unions and the Democrat pols. The unions fund the Democrat campaigns and the Democrat winners more than repay the unions’ investments by sustaining lavish spending on very generous pay and goldplated benefits for the gubmint employees. It’s not surprising that this has put many states and cities on the fast track to bankruptcy.

      Oh come on, Don. Do you really think the difference between what these employees should be paid and what they are actually paid is responsible for our budget problems? What about the compensation in solid red states?

      • One nice thing about a multitude of states to try out social and political solutions is that bad ideas can be shown to fail and good ideas can be shown to work, without endangering the whole United Corpus. We will follow Wisconsin’s future fiscal results with great, but budgeted, interest.
        =================

      • Don says: ==> “The biggest problem we have in the U.S., especially at the state and local level, is the one hand washes the other relationship between the rich public employee unions and the Democrat pols.”

        Joseph says: ==> “Oh come on, Don. Do you really think the difference between what these employees should be paid and what they are actually paid is responsible for our budget problems? ”

        Oh come on, Joseph. Do you really doubt that the biggest problem we have in the U.S. is public sector unions?

      • The warp is creating adversarity between the public and its servants.

        Solve that ‘minor’ problem and a lot of big problems will fade. Like the drought of other peoples’ money.
        =============

      • ==> “We will follow Wisconsin’s future fiscal results with great, but budgeted, interest.”

        Indeed we shall.

        Thanks God Wisconsin is addressing the biggest problem we have in the U.S.

        http://www.salon.com/2015/02/24/scott_walkers_economic_mess_how_worker_wages_were_gutted_in_wisconsin/

      • Note that the little petri dish of Wisconsin is experimentally constrained by the need for budget balancing. Thank Gaia the real Federal world has no such constraints.
        ===========

      • Can we follow the Kansas experiment too?

      • Many little petri dishes have to balance their budgets. Jim D, the money ran out. The need for experimentation has come because of that.

        Can we follow the California experiment, too?
        ============

      • Have I read that Kansas is funded for 27% of their public service employees’ pensions’ obligations? I wonder what I’d read for other states.

        The fiscal foreseeing are getting desperate.
        ==========

      • OMG! The bluest states are turning to the Repubs to rescue them from Democrat-public employee union insolvency:

        http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/05/politics/midterms-governor-2014/

    • Hi Don –

      How are ya’, but?

      ==> “You know I was talking about the biggest problem in politics, josh-u-a.”

      Here’s what I choose to believe, Don. I choose that you’re not a stupid person. As such, I choose to believe that you really don’t think that you can reduce the complicated cause-and-effect relationship between myriad factors that influence the American economy and/or American politics, determine that “biggest problem” being public sector unions. In fact, I choose to believe that know that even isolating the net benefits and costs of public sector unions on the politics or economies of any particular state is incredibly complex and not easily quantified.

      So I choose to belief that you just throw out really ridiculous arguments like those you’ve thrown out in this thread, it isn’t really a deep reflection on your beliefs, but more likely an attempt to get people’s goats and to satisfy some reflexive desire you have to demonize people who are different than you or who hold political views that are different than your own – as you do when imply judgment of tens millions of people as being dishonest and not productive tax payers.

      And that’s why I love you, Don. Because you never fail to amuse.

      Just the way I roll, I guess.

      • Sorry – typo there; that should have been “how are ya’, bud”

      • ==> “You are entitled to live in your little left loon fantasy world, joshie. How is your little stepson doing? Still not really clean? Has your team of legal eagles got him on the dole, yet?”

        We have another application pending. Still don’t know yet. I think there’s about a 50/50 chance he might get SSI on this iteration of the application process – looks like SSD is out of the question.

        BTW, he’s not little and he’s not really my stepson. He’s clean in the sense of not using heroin. Still in the methadone program and working towards having his dosage reduced – which is a good thing. It’s possible that once he gets adjusted to the lower dosage, we can start working on the anti-anxiety and other ways that he “self-medicates.” The highest priority at least for now is keeping him off of the heroin (in other words, keeping him off of the streets and out of jail). But the mental health issues and the long-term cognitive damage due to years of drug abuse make it all slow-going. Look up “harm reduction” in case you’re interested.

        Anyway, thanks for asking, Don. Your concern is touching.

      • Joshua

        Your support is commendable

        Tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        H/T Josh and Don (et al as applies). Those are tough works.

      • Thanks, Danny. Joshie and I are just trying to do our part to help those less fortunate in society. I am not sure about joshie, but I been there. I grew up in a housing project in Detroit. I don’t know what would have happened to me, if I hadn’t been advantaged by being white and having an aversion to drugs acquired by observing my neighbors self-destruct. I attended the same H.S. as Dr. Ben Carson, for what I believe was one year while he was there. I didn’t go to school much, so I don’t remember him. Check this out:

        http://www.christianpost.com/news/ben-carson-defines-himself-and-makes-big-impression-at-nan-convention-in-nyc-pastor-a-r-bernard-says-hes-a-leader-137228/

        There is audio of Dr. Carson’s speech to Al Sharpton’s flock on page 2. The Dr. is a man of substance and courage. His story is compelling.

      • Danny Thomas

        Don,
        Dr. Carson does indeed seem to be a man of substance. Certainly strong enough in science to be a world class neuro. but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the evolution issue. In other words, I’m skeptical. I’m not really enamored of any current candidates but have yet to make a decision. If he’d run again, I look pretty hard (again) here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.

      • Judith, is being very schoolmarmish today. We are discussing politics her, Judith. It gets a little real and rough sometimes.

      • The problem is when you belittle individuals and call them insulting names.

      • Don

        Wasn’t it Carson that RLs was singing the praises of a few weeks ago here?. I think at the time they were hoping he would stand as a presidential candidate but I haven’t heard any more of that.

        I guess he will be out gunned by Clinton or Bush (I don’t know what party Carson was expected to stand for)

        tonyb

      • Sorry, Judith. I’ll try to belittle and insult more surreptitiously. I’ll study joshie’s methods. You do realize he belittles and insults you incessantly?

      • I am more tolerant of insults/criticisms of myself, than of other commenters. Joshua has had a fair number of comments deleted in recent weeks

      • My impression is that Carson is considering running as a Republican, Tony. He would be fine with me, but don’t think he has much of a shot. Maybe V.P. ?

      • David L. Hagen

        curryja
        Thanks for cleaning up after Joshua & Don.
        Limiting to 3 posts/day would help concentrate the mind.

      • curryja | April 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm |
        I am more tolerant of insults/criticisms of myself, than of other commenters. …

        Judith – it reflects well on you, that you allow more leeway to those who critique and criticize you than those who criticize others. It does bother when some take advantage of your blog to insult you. It’s your blog and I support you however you choose to run it, but consider that when you allow insults to stand (ven or maybe especially when directed at you) this may support/encourage a more generalized atmosphere for similar insults directed at others.

      • From these quotes it appears Carson believes in socialized medicine, which means he actually does have a brain in his head, and it looks like he would be eager to serve on Obama’s death panels:

        Criticism of health insurance companies

        In a 1996 interview, he said that he found the “concept of for profits for the insurance companies” absurd. He continued, “The first thing we need to do is get rid of for-profit insurance companies. We have a lack of policies and we need to make the government responsible for catastrophic health care”.

        Views on end-of-life care:

        In 1992 Carson wrote that aging and technological advancement will eventually lead to many people surviving their 100th birthdays. He questioned the merits of prolonging life, citing the fact that “up to half of the medical expenses incurred in the average American’s life are incurred during the last six months of life”. He discussed the “dignity of dying in comfort, at home, with an attendant if necessary” and stated, “Decisions on who should be treated and who should not be treated would clearly require some national guidelines”.

      • “I am more tolerant of insults/criticisms of myself, than of other commenters.”

        I know that, Judith. Commendable? I guess. Except I have a feeling that a lot of doo-doo gets slung around, because others are taking up for you in your absence.

        Mr. David H., I appreciate that you are here to do some serious consciousness raising, or whatever. I occasionally find your comments interesting, even if they are tepid and predictable. I would happily deny my insatiable need to spammingly participate here, if little joshie would wise up and get out of town. We should have a vote on it. Would you take time out of your busy schedule to count coconuts for us, David H.?

      • Don I do appreciate the support. I agree, i will start deleting posts that pointlessly and repetitively insult me. Note JimD is not in the group of people that insult me and does not deserve to be insulted

      • Hear! Hear!

      • PE –

        ==> “Judith – it reflects well on you, that you allow more leeway to those who critique and criticize you than those who criticize others. It does bother when some take advantage of your blog to insult you. It’s your blog and I support you however you choose to run it, but consider that when you allow insults to stand (ven or maybe especially when directed at you) this may support/encourage a more generalized atmosphere for similar insults directed at others.”

        FWIW, in my observation while some folks here do insult Judith in the comments, those occasions are fairly rare and they are vastly outnumbered by the number of comments insulting other commenters who have criticized Judith’s arguments (not to mention for any variety of other reasons). I think that’s interesting because it suggests that (1) they think that Judith needs some kind of defending, (2) they think that launching insults comprises some kind of actual defense for Judith’s arguments, (3) they think that Judith’s arguments don’t merit due skeptical diligence and (4) they think that trying to defend Judith’s arguments by insulting other commenters brings some kind of net benefit to the blog.

      • ==> “Don I do appreciate the support. I agree, i will start deleting posts that pointlessly and repetitively insult me. Note JimD is not in the group of people that insult me and does not deserve to be insulted”

        It would be helpful if you would clarify what the difference is between insulting you and criticizing your arguments, if you think there is a difference.

      • Joshua, many of your comments fall in the category of pointless and repetitive, if not insulting, and self-declared (over at ATTP) trolling.

      • Judith –

        I looked briefly though a couple of the most recent threads to see if there are any that are of the sort that I’m frequently told are equal to insulting you.

        Do you think this one insults you:?

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/07/draft-aps-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-691117

        How about this one:?

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/07/draft-aps-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-691848

        Or this one?:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/07/draft-aps-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-691622

      • I think that would be an improvement, Judith. Jimmy insults our intelligence with his incessant huffpo BS and dogmatic IPCC filibustering, but I will try mightily to go easy on him. I am willing to sacrifice to lessen the grief that comes with hosting a blog that welcomes all types of riffraff :)

      • ==> ” Note JimD is not in the group of people that insult me and does not deserve to be insulted”

        Now there’s a fascinating bit of logic. It suggests that you think that some people do deserve to be insulted.

        By past performance, where you deleted my (non-insulting) responses to people who insult me, but don’t delete their insults, I get the impression that you think that I “deserve” to be insulted. Is that the case?

      • Why don’t you grow tf up, Joshua. Are you really going to show Judith a bunch of cherrypicked comments and expect her to tell you if they are insulting? Nobody has to dredge through your dreck to know that you are continually insulting Judith. Now rush over to ATTP and complain about how you are treated here. Really, why don’t you just stop it.

      • Don –

        ==> “Why don’t you grow tf up, Joshua. Are you really going to show Judith a bunch of cherrypicked comments and expect her to tell you if they are insulting?”

        Despite how often the charge is made, I rarely insult Judith and if/when I do I am more than happy to apologize when it is pointed out to me.

        I picked that list because, as I said, they are the types of comments where I criticize Judith’s arguments harshly and as a result, I am told that I’m criticizing her.

        ==> “Nobody has to dredge through your dreck to know that you are continually insulting Judith. ”

        Heh. If it happens as much as you say, it should be very easy for you to provide some examples. And indeed, if you equate criticizing Judith’s arguments with insulting her it would be very easy to find examples.

        If I wanted to show an example of where you insult commenters because it happens in practically every comment you make. Please, show some comments where I come anywhere near close to the constant name-calling and insulting that you engage in so frequently.

      • Sorry. I meant to type…

        I picked that list because, as I said, they are the types of comments where I criticize Judith’s arguments harshly and as a result, I am told that I’m criticizing insulting her.

        ——————

        For all of the people who complain in these threads about how I insult Judith constantly in every thread, I’m sure that some of y’all could easily come up with examples.

      • If the discussion were only directed at the content, or substance of each comment then personal insults cannot be deemed to have occurred. Jim D IMO is firm (maybe too firm?) in putting across his POV but he always polite and to my knowledge, has never responded in kind to the many insults thrown his way by some sceptical commenters. Joshua’s point is taken – no-one deserves to be insulted.

      • Your comment is too long. I ain’t reading it. Look, you cause about 30% of the rancor around here. I hate to be the one to say what everybody is thinking, but when you were in moderation it was quite pleasant.

        Why don’t you turn over a new leaf? Try being more like Jim D.

        That’s all I have for you now. I am putting you back on ignore. You know I can live without your silliness for long stretches of time. I might make this one permanent. For Judith’s sake. You should ask her to put you back in moderation.

      • BTW –

        This subthread is a perfect example of the pattern I talked about. I criticize Judith’s arguments and folks apparently think that insulting me in response will defend Judith or improve matters in some way.

        I think that for a skeptic, Judith’s arguments should not be considered above criticism.

      • “Joshua’s point is taken – no-one deserves to be insulted.”

        And we all will take joshie’s instruction on insults.

      • ==> ” Look, you cause about 30% of the rancor around here. ”

        Classic. You fill up thread after thread with insults directed towards me (not to mention JimD and willard), and you want to blame me for “causing” the rancor.

        Please remember, Don, “conservatives” are in favor of personal responsibility.

      • Just a reminder; I am scrolling on by. Let somebody else deal with your foolishness.

      • ==> “I am scrolling on by. Let somebody else deal with your foolishness.”

        That’s a wise choice, Don. I commend you on taking responsibility for your own actions.

      • Interesting Joshua.

        I don’t think you directly insult Dr. Curry much. (Unless such things get snipped before I see them?) I do wonder at the standard you seem to hold her to. You are generally critical of her posts and ready to point out her potential bias, which is commendable to an extent. Do you ever acknowledge her accomplishments in defying her own biases? I’d have thought you’d have found the fact that Dr. Curry tolerates such criticism from you to be praiseworthy. Surely there are other examples? Instead, sometimes in my view your criticisms come across like something out of a comic strip:

        When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles. When I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

        Obviously all of this is merely my impression.

        Regards sir.

      • Oh. Dune, comic strip, what’s the difference. :)

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “I don’t think you directly insult Dr. Curry much. (Unless such things get snipped before I see them?)”

        Sometimes despite my intention to avoid things like judging motivations or allowing criticisms of arguments slip into judging people, I do mess up. But I do try to be conscious of that tendency and to control for it. I rarely go for direct insults, and I try to be accountable when someone points out when I’ve stepped over that line. Anyway, by a large measure, the bulk of the comments of mine that Judith moderates out are non-insulting comments in response and directed to the endless stream of insults (toward me or climate scientists) – and not towards her. So I don’t think it’s a matter of you not seeing insults towards her because she’s deleted them.

        Take a look at the previous comments of mine that I linked in this subthread – which I think typify the kind that generate a constant stream of insults directed my way because readers consider them to be insults to Judith – and let me know what you think. Are they insults? Do they step over the line? If so, be so kind as to explain why you think so. I’m convince-able, and will take your feedback under advisement.

        ==> “I do wonder at the standard you seem to hold her to.”

        It’s a good question. Why do I hold Judith to the standards that I hold her to, and am I consistent across various ideological demarcation points? Leaving aside for now the reality that whether or not I have a double-standard does not really speak to whether Judith does, Mosher likes to speculate that I hold those that are closer to the boundaries of my own ideological frames (in some respects) to a higher standard because I find them, perhaps, more threatening in a sense. Or maybe his argument is that I am more critical of those who have “strayed from the reservation” because I view them as some sort of traitor? I don’t think ether’s true or describe what’s going on – but they’re interesting possibilities (and they do speak to some common human behaviors). Some have argued that I’m critical of Judith because I’m a misogynist – that’s also an argument that I think is wrong and not a particularly interesting possibility. But the bottom line is that I don’t doubt that as a general tendency, I’m going to be more critical of arguments that I’m in disagreement with than arguments that I’m in agreement with.

        I think that a lot of what seems like an uneven standard in my comments comes from where you see me interacting. When I do hang at other sites I often point out very similar patterns of biased reasoning to the ones that I comment on here. I’m aware that my tone is often more mocking here, but while it isn’t an excuse I’m sure that part of the reason for that is the non-stop hostility that I receive in response here. I adopt a similar tone at other sites to those who react in a similarly hostile manner (if you wanted to bother, try searching for my comments at ATTP in exchange with Steve Bloom or Peter Jacobs among others).

        ==> “You are generally critical of her posts and ready to point out her potential bias, which is commendable to an extent. Do you ever acknowledge her accomplishments in defying her own biases?”

        When I first came to this site, it was because I heard Judith talking on the radio about how “tribalism” influences and biases scientists and because I was impressed with her openness in addressing that phenomenon. I was surprised at the time with how closed some of the commenters were at this site, to exploring the impact of that pattern across the board and mostly engaged with the other commenters. However, IMO as time has passed Judith’s arguments have been less and less focused on bias in general, less focused on bias on the “skeptical” side and less even-handed in criticizing bias on the “realist” side. As such, give my main area of focus, I have found more to be critical of in Judith’s arguments in a kind of parallel development.

        ==> “I’d have thought you’d have found the fact that Dr. Curry tolerates such criticism from you to be praiseworthy.”

        Hmmm. Yes, Judith does allow a fairly large # of comments that are critical of her or critical of her arguments to remain. That’s a good thing, although I don’t generally praise people for doing what I think should be a baseline behavior. However, on the other side, IMO she rarely engages with criticism in good faith, which is disappointing. IMO, that would be praiseworthy, and that is the bar that I use, personally, to evaluate a blog owner’s moderation policies.

        ==> “When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles. When I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”

        I’m not getting how you’re saying that applies here as a characterization of my criticisms of Judith’s arguments. First, I accept Judith’s right to determine what does or doesn’t moderate – it’s her blog, she’s got the hammer. By definition, if I am here I accept that landscape and that I don’t get to “ask” her for freedom. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t criticize what I consider to be a double standard in her moderation, or capricious moderation. And I don’t take away (or advocate for taking away) anyone else’s freedoms.

        ==> “Obviously all of this is merely my impression.”

        I appreciate reading your impressions as a check against my own – particularly as unlike many people I encounter in blog comment threads, you take the time to acknowledge where the line exists between impressions/opinions and facts. In the end, I come here to have my viewpoints challenged and it would be nice if more people here would do so in a substantive manner.

        ==> “Regards sir.”

        Back at you.

      • scroll…scroll…scroll and scroll
        getting very tedious
        scroll scroll some more
        whew!

      • Joshua
        I wish I could talk to you one on one or less publicly. I have some appreciation for you and some frustrationas well. I debated where to post this or not, but looking at this thread, I thought it might be worthwhile. It’s my perspective and I don’t want to debate it point by point. If it doesn’t connect – let it go. It’s usually best not to offer unsolicited advice and I apologize for that and it almost never helps anyone. But you have a better ability than many to grapple with criticism and I’m optimistic today and will be happy if any piece connects here and helps you become a little bit more effective at encouraging needed and worthwhile dialogue in a less antagonistic manner. If everyone agrees with everyone else on this site it would be pretty boring.

        It bothers me most when people I admire and mostly agree with are rancorous and insulting with their critiques of others. For example, it bugs me when people call you “Joshey” or belittle you apart from your ideas and approaches. I’d ask anyone reading this to stop that crap. I expect that outside this forum I would agree with you a lot more than I do here. I appreciate that many of your efforts as well intended, you do look for points of agreement and you are generous with your time in covering not only the main message but many sub points in great detail. From my perspective this distracts from the main point and plus I don’t have that much time (or I am not as generous with my time as you).
        But I do think you bring a lot of it on yourself. The most disappointing thing is you have been inappropriate and insulting with Judith at multiple points in the past. That’s my biggest concern and why I avoid you on days that are already challenging enough. I see your analysis of why you might do that. Don’t know if it’s correct or not – but maybe you should at least recognized it’s counter-productive if you have bigger goals than harassing Judith Curry.

        The most frustrating thing (and probably a big source for the anti-Josh sentiment) is when you take a person’s statement and fault it for being incomplete. For example this:
        Me ==> “Cities need to be evaluated based on their own set of challenges, not compared willy-nilly with one as the standard and the other as the one needing improvement.”
        Joshua ==> “Hmmm. Well, no doubt the evaluations need to be made with a realistic application of context. But that doesn’t mean that general principles can’t be applied. There are some general principles …”
        I would hope most reasonable people would not think that I was denying “general principals” could be applied. Every argument that anyone makes can be countered with some bit that is not included in the current argument. To continually do that is pedantic and annoying. In the above it seems to me like you are implying that I am in denial, opposed to, or unaware of general principles in this area. I’m looking for a middle ground and I know what you’d have a differing take on where that middle ground should land, but it seems like a poor rhetorical trick to mention the other balancing side as something I’ve somehow ignored because I did not make it explicit.

        I’m happy in discussions if I can get your main point and hope you get my main point but after that I let a lot of stuff go. But since I’m digging down here and to see how the focus gets distorted – let me add that in that same discussion you came up with the “reductio ad absurdum rhetoric accusation”. Now I think I was using a direct analogy. It may be absurd to suggest Wisconsin is lacking in environmental responsiveness because they use more energy in the winter for heating that Arizona. To me it’s about as absurd to suggest that Atlanta should be adversely compared to the City of Barcelona in terms of public transportation based solely on their population. (And the author of the original piece, unlike the poster I was responding to would likely agree- that seemed to be the point in his original article not the cited regurgitated modified article referenced by the poster.) So I don’t’ think there was a lot of “reductio” going on there anyway. I was trying to help you get out of the ideological bubble where anything promoting “green ideas is good despite the illogic, by comparing this particular bit of nonsense it to something you may be able to see as inappropriate. It worked in that you could see the later as But even if so, if I was getting more extreme in my comparisons, while that is sometimes listed as a fallacy when done in certain forms, it can be a good and valuable form of argument. http://grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/Reductio-Ad-Absurdum.htm I don’t want to get side-tracked quibbling on this blog because you misidentify and do not like my rhetorical devices. I have broad interest and I might find further discussion on this with you worthwhile in some other forum, but it’s not worth the space and audience of Climate Etc.

        I’m sure this is tiring and maybe that’s my point, it all gets tiring. I’d suggest you might be better regarded if you would: pick your battles, attack what you see as wrong, not so much what you think is incomplete (because every readable statement is incomplete), or ill-stated, or ill-argued. You might be better off if you assumed more commonality, instead of challenging people and going on a long drawn out search for potential points of agreement- this is often indistinguishable from pedantry and trolling. As for responding to insults, I’m agnostic on that one. When one person gets personal and ugly, they look bad. It’s hard not to respond to that, but when it becomes back and forth (with sarcasm and taunting) it’s a pissing match that no one can win. All that said I think you have a role here. I just think you could play your hand better.

        Please, please, please don’t break this down and respond point by point. If you want to offer me advise I’ll read it, but no reiterations.

      • Joshie is his real name. And he is here to stalk Judith, because it makes him feel important.

      • PE –

        Thanks for the thoughts. I’ll take a look and get back to you later. From a quick look, even if I don’t think that (all?) your criticisms apply more generally, at least you’re presenting something of a road map for reasonable exchange of views with you going forward. I can’t expect good quality of exchange going forward if I don’t take seriously criticism offered in good faith.

      • Joshua, the key point is this. I have seen you comment very sensibly over at ATTP. Then you remark over there that you are trolling at CE. You know how to behave, please stop trolling. You do have something to contribute to the dialogue here.

      • > Note JimD is not in the group of people that insult me and does not deserve to be insulted.

        There goes Don Don’s theory that he’s only here to bully Joshua.

      • And lest I forget, thanks for reading, Don. I can’t tell you how much it reads to me.

        And you too, Springer – although I do wish that you would post your comments under your real name rather than a s*ckp*ppet. Don’t forget your many comments, Springer, that someone’s a coward if they post comments under a pseudonym.

      • Joshua,

        Thank you for your thoughtful answer, and for not becoming defensive about my inquiry. Your response speaks highly of you.
        Please disregard the quotation at the end, I see that that line of thought isn’t particularly relevant. And my apologies for my terse response, my free time in the immediate nowness unexpectedly evaporated.

      • We are trying to clean up the blog here, Willard. Please endeavor to emulate your bland behavior in your previous life, when you were a respected academic plowing the fields of some land where esoterica was the major crop.

      • > We are trying to clean up the blog

        If that was the case, you’d be gone years ago, Don Don.

        I’d rather say you, not your royal “we”, are playing the ref. More precisely, you are negotiating the terms of your protection. For instance, you already transmuted “don’t insult otters” into “don’t insult our (i.e. your) intelligence with Huffpo BS”, which some may argue is just another ad hom of your own very We. While Judy seems to appreciate your support, it does not seem to come cheap.

        I advise against the “pointless” justification, BTW. Vanitas vanitatum and all that jazz.

      • Joshua,
        I’m sorry I overlooked this:

        Take a look at the previous comments of mine that I linked in this subthread – which I think typify the kind that generate a constant stream of insults directed my way because readers consider them to be insults to Judith – and let me know what you think. Are they insults? Do they step over the line? If so, be so kind as to explain why you think so. I’m convince-able, and will take your feedback under advisement.

        Given what I see, you do a fine job of providing criticism without resorting to insults. I will add that I’m particularly impressed by your ability to conduct a reasonable discussion (with me, for example) while under ad hominem fire from someone else, often on the same sub-thread. I doubt I could match that although I certainly wish I could.

        An aside, Planning Engineer says much I might agree with, but

        Please, please, please don’t break this down and respond point by point. If you want to offer me advise I’ll read it, but no reiterations.

        FWIW, I appreciate it when you do this with my comments, it helps me understand what you’re specifically responding to at each point more clearly.

        Alright, lunch is over, back to work with me.

      • “Joshua, the key point is this. I have seen you comment very sensibly over at ATTP. Then you remark over there that you are trolling at CE.”

        Asking trolls not to troll is probably not going to have much effect, Judith. A lot of people don’t like you. Some hate you. Believers in climate catastrophe feel a need to punish, belittle, discredit you for straying from the consensus reservation. You “testify for the Republicans”, damn your eyes. My guess is they got your chair taken away. You are a target. I don’t think the trollers want to engage in honest discussion here. You don’t owe them anything. JMVHO.

      • You are not getting in the spirit, Willard. Take a deep breath and think about how you want to be remembered.

      • Joshua – thanks for your response here. I appreciate it.

        And for Joshua and Mark Bofill – My “Please, please, please” request was for this specific posting. The practice can be very helpful and appropriate in some instances.

      • Joshua,

        (Spoiler: nothing of any particular importance here. I made it a point to get back to your comment because I feel that recently I’ve had to cut and run every time a conversation has come up and didn’t want that trend to continue. But I don’t have anything urgent to say.)

        I think that a lot of what seems like an uneven standard in my comments comes from where you see me interacting. When I do hang at other sites I often point out very similar patterns of biased reasoning to the ones that I comment on here. I’m aware that my tone is often more mocking here, but while it isn’t an excuse I’m sure that part of the reason for that is the non-stop hostility that I receive in response here. I adopt a similar tone at other sites to those who react in a similarly hostile manner (if you wanted to bother, try searching for my comments at ATTP in exchange with Steve Bloom or Peter Jacobs among others).

        I find this perfectly reasonable, and in light of the discomfort I experienced when I initially began communicating with you on CE, and me drawing nothing like the fire you draw at that, I can say that this ought to have occurred to me without being told.

        Leaving aside for now the reality that whether or not I have a double-standard does not really speak to whether Judith does,

        I am not interested in whether or not you apply a double standard as a method of attack or judgement against you. As it happens I already respect your character, but even if I didn’t your character really doesn’t concern me either way, none of my business. It would be rude of me to presume you’d care to discuss that, as far as I’m concerned. I thought to point out that it would increase the persuasiveness of your argument, in my opinion, if you’d occasionally acknowledge Dr. Curry’s virtues along with expressing criticisms. It’d make your criticisms more effective in my view. But having read your thoughts on why you take a mocking tone, I understand and absolutely can’t say I blame you, and will admit I’d probably do much worse than you were I in your shoes.

        Cheers.

      • There’s a nice bridge I would like to sell and this looks like a good place for an ad:

        Nice bridge FOR SALE
        San Fran to Oakland
        Sturdy, survived last major quake almost intact
        Repairs completed, more or less*
        Will take $1MILLION down, and a dollar a week

        *as is

      • Don,
        Huh? Oh. Do you mind? I’m trying to turn young Skywalker here to the Dark Side.
        Where was I again?
        Oh. something..something..Darrk Side..something..something…Destiny…something

        It’s not as easy as it looks you know. And all those big oil dollars I collect from the Empire only go so far to help.

      • Is this about the bridge, Mark? I know you wouldn’t fall for that:)

        I gotta go now. I am having a sign made up and have to pay the man:

        PLEASE DON’T PET THE TROLLS!

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “I am not interested in whether or not you apply a double standard as a method of attack or judgement against you. As it happens I already respect your character, but even if I didn’t your character really doesn’t concern me either way, none of my business.”

        Right. And that’s why I’m interested in good faith exchange with you and that’s why I extend the same thinking w/r/t the arguments that you present. If there were an occasion where I felt that you were applying a double-standard, I feel quite confident that we could assess that and maybe I’d be wrong for any variety of reasons (for example, because of my own blind spots) or maybe you’d see something from a perspective that you hadn’t considered before. And I’m going to guess that you know it’s pretty weak sauce to try to assess someone’s character merely on the basis of blog comments anyway.

        ==> “I thought to point out that it would increase the persuasiveness of your argument, in my opinion, if you’d occasionally acknowledge Dr. Curry’s virtues along with expressing criticisms. It’d make your criticisms more effective in my view.”

        Would it make my criticisms more effective with you? My guess is that you know that whether or not I acknowledge Judith’s virtues doesn’t really impact my criticisms of her arguments. So see – here’s the thing. I don’t particularly care what Don or jim2 or Peter Lang or tim56 or kim or Springer or etc. think of my arguments because there would be no point in my caring about that. They aren’t interesting in good faith exchange with me. So I’m wondering if you’re speculating about some hypothetical effect that my praising Judith for her virtues might have on some theoretical and persuadable denizen who doesn’t actually exist.

        So I’m still trying to figure out what you said. Are you saying that if I sung Judith’s praises it would make a difference for you when you evaluate my arguments? ‘Cause that would be a reason for me to do that; I do care about having an impact on the thinking of people who are interested in good faith dialogue. Or are you saying that I should for some reason be concerned about what people whose opinions not only do I not care about (because of how they judge me), but who would be impossible for me to reach anyway because they reverse engineer about my character because I have different positions on any variety of issues than they have? (BTW, I do respect Judith and I do think that her focus on quantifying and foregrounding uncertainty is important and I do think that the constant impugning of her motives, intelligence, etc., are not only unwarranted and distasteful, but only evidence of poor critical reasoning on the part of the people who engage in that speculation).

        One last piece. I consider this all to be a kind of social experiment. As such, I’m not actually that interested in talking about the specific situation at this blog per se, but I’m more interested in exploring how my specific situation might serve as an example of dynamics that play into the larger communicative environment where people are exploring polarizing issues. So that’s why I think this convo is interesting. And along those lines, when I look around this blog I see relatively little good faith exchange between anyone who have strongly divergent views. But I do feel that some folks stand out, like you or John Carpenter or PE or Peter Davies and most of the time tonyb – maybe a few others – as people that I, at least, can engage with in good faith exchange. I’d be interested in other examples that maybe I’ve missed. What might be interesting is to try to consider what sets those dynamics apart. I hear that you hang at Lucia’s a bit. Do you see more good faith exchange of views among people with strongly divergent perspectives there than you see here? If you ever read ATTP, i’d be interested in your take on what takes place over there.

        Gotta work for a while now. I’ll check back later tonight or tomorrow.

      • Joshua,

        Would it make my criticisms more effective with you? My guess is that you know that whether or not I acknowledge Judith’s virtues doesn’t really impact my criticisms of her arguments.

        This is why I care about rhetoric to some extent, and to communication and people skills. It matters how people perceive one’s arguments, sometimes it determines whether or not they listen at all.

        A trivial example. Until I actually took the trouble to talk with you, I dismissed what you said without even attempting to follow it closely enough to understand it. For example, when you’d use the term “skeptic” in scare quotes, it did not occur to me that your reasons for doing so might be any different than the numerous examples I’ve seen where this usage was intended solely to mock. My impression now is that you use the quotes because many who identify with a certain viewpoint on AGW use the term skeptic and use it without regard to it’s actual meaning. There is no apparent malice in doing this, it’s merely an attempt to communicate a difference clearly. In fact I have adopted the usage myself.

        Why do people not read you carefully? Obviously I can’t know for sure. I have an idea (which I generalize from my own reactions, possibly in error) that it is easier to dismiss someone who appears to lack balance in the viewpoints they express. It’s easy to think, ‘OH, Bofill doesn’t REALLY believe that, he’s just using it as a device to attack Anders because he’s a tribal enemy’ when all I do is attack Anders. Were I to give Anders his due, this easy out becomes disrupted somewhat. It’s not entirely rational. I think it’s part of our ‘picture logic’ heuristics.

        Another trivial example, I listen to you carefully because you have been unfailingly polite and respectful in our conversations. Your points would be no less valid if expressed with derision, but I would have been far less likely to examine them. I would be far less likely to concede their validity, because doing so would seem to validate your derision. This is not logically so, but perhaps such are the follies of the human psyche.

        These are all pretty obvious trivial negative examples. Some converse cases might also be true. I’m not lying to you when I express respect. Obviously, as you point out, we don’t know each other merely because we exchange messages on some blog. To the extent that your words paint a consistent picture of a person, I find admirable things in the image, regardless of whether or not it’s a true selfie. I’m not lying about that, but I need not trouble to say so. In fact, there are several disadvantages to doing so, but the chief benefit I find in honestly giving you credit is that it makes it easy for you to listen to me and consider my words without demanding that on an emotional level you sacrifice self respect to do so.

        Is this manipulation or communication?

        I would like to say I’d listen to you the same way, regardless of the communication devices you employed, but I doubt that would be so.

        Thanks Joshua, as usual, you provoke interesting things to think about.

      • Joshua,

        I hear that you hang at Lucia’s a bit. Do you see more good faith exchange of views among people with strongly divergent perspectives there than you see here? If you ever read ATTP, i’d be interested in your take on what takes place over there.

        I’m a climate refugee from Lucia’s in a sense. :) I’m extremely fond of the Blackboard, but her climate blogging has winded down. Times were, you could have a good discussion there. We went a thousand comments in a pretty civilized discussion with Neal King from SkS once. Seemed like a pretty decent fellow. I think one probably still could have a decent discussion at the Blackboard. I always ended up doing too much homework over there though, trying to follow what everybody was talking about. I’m not a physical scientist, just a software engineer. The work was both a plus and a minus. All this said, food fights did happen there.

        ATTP, yes I read it. I’m unwilling to express my honest opinion because I’m sure I’ve got some unjustified hostility mixed in with whatever legitimate observations I might produce, and I’d just as soon not run my mouth without careful review.

      • A final point Joshua (cause I’m posting too much and I don’t want Dr. Curry to moderate me. :) ) regarding good faith.

        I don’t particularly care what Don or jim2 or Peter Lang or tim56 or kim or Springer or etc. think of my arguments because there would be no point in my caring about that. They aren’t interesting in good faith exchange with me. So I’m wondering if you’re speculating about some hypothetical effect that my praising Judith for her virtues might have on some theoretical and persuadable denizen who doesn’t actually exist.

        I sincerely believe that but for dumb luck, we would not be having a good faith exchange. If I had misunderstood only one or two of your ideas or even idioms, like the scare quotes early enough in our discussion, I might have drawn the conclusion that you were engaging in bad faith. Heck, look at me even today. The quote I used was completely inappropriate, based on an uncharitable and negative preconception about your position that had no basis. You had the grace to ignore it, but this could easily have triggered a crisis of bad faith.

        Because once one party decides the other is harboring bad faith, the other party is likely to notice and respond in kind. It becomes a crisis, or at least a breakdown. Even if it is realized that a mistake has been made, it’s hard for us to back down. We’re rational animals, but we are animals. Our intelligence serves us, but it’s not all there is that governs us. It’s easier to stay on the attack once the mistake is made, and then the attacks become a reinforcing feedback cycle.

        I suspect that many who exhibit ‘bad faith’ have never taken the trouble to try to understand what you’re really getting at. Maybe Don was right, and I’m naive, but it hasn’t been my experience that people in general aren’t willing to meet me halfway, even when my ideas are strange and different, hey, even when I’m dead wrong, so long as I take extreme care in how I communicate with them. I think. :/

        Night all.

      • Dr. Curry and all the regulars here have been reading Josh’s gotchas and subtle misrepresentations for a long time. It’s great you two have hit it off, but the rest of us already know what Josh says and how he says it. We don’t misunderstand what he says. I find his general tactics despicable and I know I’m not the only one.

      • Well Mark, it could be that you are a better reader, more perceptive, luckier or just an all around better human being than Don or jim2 or Peter Lang or tim56 or kim or Springer or etc. or et al or ad infinitum and thus you are able to see that our joshie is a font of good faith. It could also be that the wisdom of the crowd is dead on in this case and joshie is a troll. Do you think that Judith is being dishonest here:

        “Joshua, the key point is this. I have seen you comment very sensibly over at ATTP. Then you remark over there that you are trolling at CE.”

        I don’t have any interest in seeing those ATTP clowns embrace and slap each other on the back so I haven’t read it myself, but I don’t doubt that joshie goes over there to brag to his fellow travelers that he is trolling grande dame heretic Judith’s blog and they enjoy a good chortle.

        So you have on the one hand joshie being more than willing to talk the ears off a billygoat to convince anyone slightly receptive that he is conversing in good faith, out the other side of his mouth he is a self-confessed braggart troll. Is that a mixed metaphor, Mark? Am I making myself understood?

      • That’s what I’m talkin bout, jim2. You beat me to it with an economy that is refreshing among a thread of too many eyeglazing 9 inch long comments. We need an ignore feature.

      • Jim, Don,

        I see that my last paragraph and the claim

        I suspect that many who exhibit ‘bad faith’ have never taken the trouble to try to understand what you’re really getting at.

        was poorly thought out. Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I withdraw this claim.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “I sincerely believe that but for dumb luck, we would not be having a good faith exchange”

        I doubt it. My guess is that you would have asked me about my use of those scare quotes and we would have discussed it. I don’t think it is a matter of dumb luck. IMO, your approach to these discussions is fundamentally different from that list of denizens I gave above, and very many others (and indeed, most blogospheric combatants on the other side of the great climate divide). There are others here that share certain attributes of your approach – like those other denizens that I listed above.

      • Mark –

        There are some other comments that you made above that I think are quite interesting and will respond to. No time right now. Please check back again later.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “Another trivial example, I listen to you carefully because you have been unfailingly polite and respectful in our conversations. Your points would be no less valid if expressed with derision, but I would have been far less likely to examine them. I would be far less likely to concede their validity, because doing so would seem to validate your derision. This is not logically so, but perhaps such are the follies of the human psyche.”

        My point is that I have been polite with you because you’ve been polite with me, and demonstrated that you are interested in respectful exchange.

        ==> ” but the chief benefit I find in honestly giving you credit is that it makes it easy for you to listen to me and consider my words without demanding that on an emotional level you sacrifice self respect to do so.”

        And you have demonstrated that, and I am interested in respectful exchange with you. It seems like a realistic and worthwhile goal.

        Here’s the thing – I haven’t seen you ranting and raving about how people who are different from your are “incapable of critical reasoning,” or “know nothing about economics,” or morally depraved or indifferent to millions of poor children in Africa starving, blah, blah, blah. Therefore, I have reason to believe that just because in some ways I could be considered as a “progressive,” I should therefore be dismissed. I see no reason to attempt to engage with people who, as a basic starting point, would dismiss what I had to say.

        ==> “Is this manipulation or communication?”

        Probably some combination of both – perhaps that combination is a necessary part of good faith exchange.

        ==> “I would like to say I’d listen to you the same way, regardless of the communication devices you employed, but I doubt that would be so.”

        That’s entirely understandable to me, and I didn’t mean to be suggesting that I would expect it to be otherwise or that I don’t act similarly in response to the communicative style of those I’m engaged with.

      • You’re not actually the Joshua I was talking to, are you.

      • Springer –

        ==> “You’re not actually the Joshua I was talking to, are you.”

        How’s it goin’, bud?

      • PE –

        Don’t know if you’ll catch this, ‘specially with all that s*ckp*ppetry from Springer going on… Anyway..

        I get what you’re saying about the back-and-forth of point-by-point response. It’s a problem. On the other hand, as Mark points out, sometimes it’s the least worst way to exchange views.

        I guess my main response is that you have said more than once that I “insult” Judith. I don’t think I do, and from my view, you are more than likely reacting defensively to criticism of her arguments. Admittedly, often times my criticism comes in a snarky form – but that doesn’t equate the criticism to insults. So not sure where to go with that.

        I am reluctant to draw conclusions about what is relatively more, or less, counterproductive in these discussions. If you have some formula for demonstrating the difference, as these discussions play out and not in some theoretical way, I’d love to see it.

      • Joshua,

        Possibly so. While I have more than a handful that I “know” without the sock puppets I still get a lot of of the participants here confused anyway. (Before that mess, I thought Springer was a good contributor.) My ability to participate and monitor varies from day to today and week to week. (I haven’t figured out how to monitor sub threads without rechecking or flooding my inbox). My exposure to everyone is more limited than most of the regulars, so I really don’t know where I am. At least some people who seem very well grounded are very harsh on you. Maybe they are insufficiently patient, maybe I am overly naïve or ill educated. I don’t judge them, but I will do my best to give you a chance as well.

        Here’s my take on Judith and I may be old fashioned thinking the host, just for hosting a forum deserves some consideration. Also I may confuse snarky comments, taunts, insults and sarcasm. They all seem disrespectful and inappropriate for a host who puts herself out there shorthand they seem like insults to me. When there were links around some personal info (very sketchy) relating to Judith’s business – I thought your challenging comments were snarky, inappropriate and made more than what the info warranted.

      • PE –

        ==> “When there were links around some personal info (very sketchy) relating to Judith’s business – I thought your challenging comments were snarky, inappropriate and made more than what the info warranted.”

        I know that is off-base. I have always said that Judith’s business interests are irrelevant to her science. I’ve said so here and at “realist” sites. Someone’s work should be judged on it’s own merits. When someone tries to judge “motivation” or validity of science on the basis of business interests, the only think it tells you is that the “judge-er” is engaged in motivated reasoning. It tells you nothing about the person being judged.

        Again, you have never seen me challenge anything about Judith’s science based on her business. Hasn’t happened.

      • PE –

        As for snarkiness towards a “host.” Yeah, I have a different take on that. Judith deals out the snark just as she takes it. I see no particular problem with that.

        Judith is subjected to, I think, “unfair” criticism about her motivations and about her expertise. IMO, that is a different sort of issue. For me, still, it doesn’t matter so much as an issue of propriety (why I put ‘unfair in quotes”), as what it tells me about the reasoning of the person who is making that kind of criticism. No one who doesn’t know Judith, personally, is in a place to judge anything about her motivations. And because people disagree with her about interpretation of the science doesn’t warrant, IMO, judgements about her expertise. People reason differently about science for a variety of reasons – assuming that it’s because they lack knowledge or expertise, particularly with someone who as acquired Judith’s credentials, almost always seems like weak sauce to me.

        But here’s the thing – that runs both ways, IMO. And that makes the constant ridicule of climate scientists and impugning of the motivations of climate scientists that we see in these threads just as “wrong” as when that faulty thinking is directed towards Judith. What I look for, personally, is for people who rise above that obviously fallacious brand of reasoning and who judge-it even-handedly when it appears.

        When I see Judith applauding that sorts of behavior when it comes from “skeptics” (I could name, names, but I would rather not), then it certainly lessens any sense that I have of “unfairness” when she is subjected to criticism, although that doesn’t mean that when she us subjected to criticisms of her motives or expertise that it is any less fallacious.

      • motivations of individuals participating here and fairness regarding treatment of scientists and commenters aren’t particularly important considerations, frankly. These are boring topics. Lets talk about science and policy, and some of the reasons that we end up fooling ourselves.

      • Joshua, it doesn’t matter. Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt that your entirely specious claim it never happened is correct.

        And who would believe that anyway?

        See, I did it right there. Proved my point. It is the perception that it happened that really matters. Because then the truth is malleable, which is good when dealing with a prissy ankle biter like you!

        As usual, my policy is to never read your comments. But sometimes you force me to break my own rule. That doesn’t mean I am weak and you are strong. Even though you force me to read your comments, I am way tougher than you are. Not that it really matters, because my even stronger policy is to never respond to one of your comments that you have admittedly, with your pathetically meek little methods, forced me to read.

        Now, there are some minor exceptions because sometimes you powder puff me into responding even though I never do. I you continue to do this, I’m going to tell my mommy.

      • And PE –

        Sorry, but I’ve got to respond to one more point, directly, because I think it is instructive:

        ==> “(Before that mess, I thought Springer was a good contributor.)

        In addition to a long-standing habit of filling his comments with insults, Springer, actually, has impugned Judith because of her income stream. It’s rather ironic that you made that comment about judging me for doing so (when I haven’t) while indicating that you’ve also misjudged the attributes of Springer’s contributions).

        I don’t doubt that the reason for your errors there is most strongly explained by a lack of general familiarity of what goes on here in the day-to-day food fight. If you had spent more time observing, most likely you wouldn’t have made the error. But on the other hand, I can’t offer for consideration that the error you made might also be partially explainable by the biases that you bring to evaluating the evidence presented along the tribal aspects of these discussions.

        I am not impugning your motives there. I have no doubt that I make similar mistakes in my observations, partially explainable by the same kinds of biases. Again, my impression is that you take an evidence-based approach to formulating conclusions – but we are all inclined towards biases like confirmation bias, particularly when we are identified with “positions” in polarized contexts.

      • JCH –

        ==> “As usual, my policy is to never read your comments. But sometimes you force me to break my own rule”

        I can’t count the number of times I’ve read that being said when it wasn’t unintentionally ironic.

        Cracks me up every time.

      • JCH –

        Geez. Those triple-negatives get me every time. But you got my point.

        Sorry for ruining the Poe! I should have just enjoyed it in silence.

      • Dr Curry,

        motivations of individuals participating here and fairness regarding treatment of scientists and commenters aren’t particularly important considerations, frankly. These are boring topics. Lets talk about science and policy, and some of the reasons that we end up fooling ourselves.

        My apologies for contributing to a digression.

        Joshua, catch you on some other thread then.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “…and some of the reasons that we end up fooling ourselves.”

        I thought that’s what we were talking about.

      • :) I was talking about all sorts of stuff. How and why I thought bad faith exchanges occur, the ways that the manner in which we express ourselves can affect a perception of good/bad faith, even whether or not I thought a good conversation could be had at the Blackboard.
        Our host appears to be saying ‘move on’, I’d hate to abuse her hospitality.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “Our host appears to be saying ‘move on’, I’d hate to abuse her hospitality.”

        Fair enough. I respect that and I’ve got no problem with moving on…

        But I did want to point out that the comment that you quoted reflected positively on the topic that you and I were discussing, IMO (why people fool themselves).

        As for others who are obsessed with my motivations, her comment would suggest moving on, I agree.

        Either way, I enjoyed the exchange. Look forward to others.

      • > Is little joshie a self-confessed braggart troll, or ain’t he?

        Where have you read this confession, Don Don?

      • I am sure you know that I didn’t say I read it, willy. I haven’t seen little joshie contradict Judith. He wouldn’t pass on that, if he had any justification real or contrived. Did you delete it to shield your little troll colleague? It’s really sad that a man of your former stature should stoop to these games, willy. Think about your legacy.

      • BY ALL THAT’S HOLY, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

      • Really Judith?

        You mention that I called myself a troll as if it were some kind of “gotcha,” and Don picks up on it and mentions it more than once, and you delete the comment where I make it obvious that I’ve done so many times sarcastically and mocking of the subjectivity and self-serving nature of how people thrown around the “troll” label?

        Here, once again, a link to where I call myself a troll. What do you make out of that? Why don’t you link to my comment over at ATTP, where you’ve mentioned that I called myself a troll so I an explain.

        In the meantime, here’s just one of the times I’ve done it here at Climate Etc.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/12/01/the-legacy-of-climategate-5-years-later/#comment-652402

      • You are a prizewinner, joshie. What we have no reason whatsoever to doubt is that Judith (distinguished professor) observed you (anonymous blog character) telling your little buddies at ATTP that you were trolling CE. That makes you a self-confessed braggart troll.

        Don’t know what you are so upset about. It’s not like we weren’t on to your schtick long time ago. Yet, you get all huffy and try some Gruber crap on us. You show us a comment on this blog that you want us to believe proves that you didn’t brag about trolling CE to your buds on ATTP. You grossly overestimate your cleverness, joshie. If you were really smart you would just lay low for a while and pretend this didn’t happen. But I am guessing you will go with the usual nine paragraphs of whinging BS. I’ll get you started =============> Th..th.thh..thanks for reading Don.
        I love you Don………….ad nauseum

      • Don,

        You show us a comment on this blog that you want us to believe proves that you didn’t brag about trolling CE to your buds on ATTP.

        If Willard were around he could probably explain the difficulty in proving a negative. It would seem easier for you to prove that Joshua did brag about trolling CE, than for Joshua to prove that he didn’t (impossible, I think). Of course, that would require you backing up what you say, which would then make it tricky.

      • Hi Don –

        How ya’ doing, my friend? I hope you’re having a good morning.

        Anyway, I’m actually not sure what Judith is getting at here. I have certainly called myself a troll on a couple of blogs – RPJr.’s, here, ATTP, KK’s – perhaps a few others. Of course, there’s also the question of whether I have said that I troll (verb), in the sense of an action, as being distinct from self-describing as a troll, as a noun. I think that might be what Judith was referring to as I recall one time saying something about posting comments here to annoy people – -a comment that she probably read in passing and probably can’t quote.

        Well, I think it’s plainly obvious that sometimes I post comments here to annoy people or to get a reaction – such as when I talk about how much I lurve you. So I guess that could reasonably be called trolling behavior, and certainly that might have been what I was referring to in the comment that Judith has referenced.

        But that does not describe all my comments here by a long shot, and I hardly stand out from the crowd here in that I post comments to annoy or get a reaction. My god, man, just look at your own comments in any thread where you’ve been active. Take a look at your exchanges with JimD, where in exchange after exchange he makes a comment about the science with no flavor of personal focus and you make comments to annoy him and he responds with a comment about the science with no personal flavor and you make comments to annoy him and he responds…well, you get the point.

        I think that’s what Judith was going for when she said that JimD didn’t “deserve” to be insulted – because he consistently rises above the juvenile behaviors that I, along with many others here, sometimes engage in. If I’m right, then to extend Judith’s logic I’d say that there are very few posters here then, IMO, who would not “deserve” to be insulted. Fred, probably at the top of the list, but he’s long gone. Pekka. JimD. PE. Mark Bofill. John Carpenter. There are others also. And further, if I’m guilty of tolling in that sense, then the term of “trolling” could be used to describe a great deal of the activity here,

        So what does it them mean to say that I, as singled out from the crowd, “troll” here at Climate Etc.? Unfortunately, Judith tends to not stick around to talk these issues out. She tends to make that sort of broad comment that doesn’t engage in context and thus, IMO, doesn’t lay the groundwork for discussion (like when she talked about her insight into “expertise” but wouldn’t respond to requests that she clarify her scientific approach to the topic or the objective criteria that she uses to measure expertise).

        Now Judith obviously reads at least some of my comments at ATTP, so then why didn’t she mention the times that she’s read me disagree strongly with commenters who impugned her motivations or her expertise? Why didn’t she mention the context related to my comment about being a troll or the act of trolling?

        And Don, those where rhetorical questions. No doubt, you’ll likely respond with some juvenile comments that are intended to annoy me – but just so’s you know, I have no expectation that you’ll actually discuss the issues from a perspective of good faith exchange.

      • Last post on this topic (joshua you get the last word here). Lets move on and talk about substantive issues, not personalities

    • Google analytics helped Obumbles get elected. Now this:

      (Reuters) – Likely 2016 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has hired a Google executive to serve as her chief technology officer, a person familiar with the campaign’s planning said on Wednesday.

      Clinton hired Stephanie Hannon, Google’s director of product management for civic innovation and social impact, to run her technology operations, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/08/us-usa-election-clinton-digital-idUSKBN0MZ1TF20150408

    • From the article:

      The Guardian story, by highlighting the fact that some of the Clinton Foundation’s donors have been maintaining bank accounts in Switzerland, has focussed attention on its sources of financing rather than its makeover or its philanthropic activities. Among the donors named by the Guardian were the British retail mogul Richard Caring; Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate who appeared earlier this week at C.G.I.’s annual winter meeting, in New York; and Jeffrey Epstein, a New York financier who was jailed in 2008 for soliciting prostitution from underage girls. According to the Clinton Foundation’s donor database, Giustra and charities linked to him have donated at least fifty million dollars. In 2006, Epstein gave twenty-five thousand dollars, the Guardian said. Other donors to the foundation who were identified as clients of H.S.B.C.’s Geneva office included Eli Broad, the Californian entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Denise Rich, whose former husband, the fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich, was pardoned by Bill Clinton just before he left office, in 2001.

      http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/hillary-clinton-money-issues

    • From the article:

      The financial success of the foundation, which funds charitable work around the world, underscores the highly unusual nature of another Clinton candidacy. The organization has given contributors entree, outside the traditional political arena, to a possible president. Foreign donors and countries that are likely to have interests before a potential Clinton administration — and yet are ineligible to give to U.S. political campaigns — have affirmed their support for the family’s work through the charitable giving.

      The Post review of foundation data, updated this month on the group’s Web site to reflect giving through 2014, found substantial overlap between the Clinton political machinery and the foundation.

      Nearly half of the major donors who are backing Ready for Hillary, a group promoting her 2016 presidential bid, as well as nearly half of the bundlers from her 2008 campaign, have given at least $10,000 to the foundation, either on their own or through foundations or companies they run.

      The Clintons have relied heavily on their close ties to Wall Street, with donations from the financial services sector representing the largest share of corporate donors.

      And many of the foundation’s biggest donors are foreigners who are legally barred from giving to U.S. political candidates. A third of foundation donors who have given more than $1 million are foreign governments or other entities based outside the United States, and foreign donors make up more than half of those who have given more than $5 million.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clintons-raised-nearly-2-billion-for-foundation-since-2001/2015/02/18/b8425d88-a7cd-11e4-a7c2-03d37af98440_story.html

    • … And who do you think funds Democrats? Trees? Unicorns? Is it all $2 dollar donations from little orphan children saving their allowance? I don’t know if it’s Spring fever or the rise of another Presidential election cycle, but your comments are going further and further afield.

      Never ceases to amaze me how a bunch of rich Democrats spend millions and millions to convince their base that it’s the other side that has all the money. And boy do the foot soldiers eat that crap up. How gullible can you be?

  5. WRT the deslaination link, as well as the fracking issue, Texas: From Shale Boom To Water Revolution

    Texas is famous the world over for two things on a massive scale: oil and droughts. Now the slick but dry state is becoming famous for water: that precious element that both resolves the drought problem and also makes it possible to pump more oil out of the ground.

    […]

    As NASA predicts a decades-long ‘mega drought’ later this century, next generation water processing technology coming from within the oil industry promises not only to help solve Texas’ drought problem by accessing and desalinating brackish and slightly salty water sources deep under the dry Texan surface, but to go one step further by desalinating ocean water and turning dirty water into potable water.

    While conventional desalination technologies only recover about 35% of fresh water from a gallon of seawater, new Dutch technology brought to Texas by a local company recovers approximately 97% of the fresh water at an economical cost. At the same time, the new technology uses no chemicals, rendering it quite possibly the ‘greenest’ water processing technology in operation today.

    […]

    This is a win-win situation for all water end users, and environmentally, there are no snags: It’s a green process all the way, with absolutely no chemicals or filtration involved. And not only is the new technology providing all of Mentone’s drinking water—its entire operations are run on solar power energy.

    The Salttech systems can be manufactured to process as many gallons of water per day as is needed, according to STW Resources Holding Corp, which has the exclusive license for this technology not only in the US, but also in Canada, Mexico and Central America.

    For the oil industry, this is a breakthrough technology that could save it untold sums of money by reclaiming the massive volumes of precious water used in drilling and fracking and also processing produced water that accompanies oil and gas production.

  6. “Get em young, make em green”

    Should be “get them young, make them progressive.”

    The “green” agenda of centralization of control of the energy economy in the state is just one facet of the indoctrination of the captive audience of young minds full of mush. From socialist/Keynsian economics, to race theory, to deconstructionist history, the left moved in full force into the educational establishments of the west. Once they saw in the 60s that their beloved Marxist revolution was never coming to pass in the wealthiest, most just, most powerful, most generous society in human history, they decided to turn the schools and universities into the largest re-education camp ever.

    And so far it has been a resounding success…for them.

  7. Carly Fiorina: ““I’ve never negotiated a nuclear deal, but I’ve negotiated plenty of deals, big deals, and when you want a good deal you have to be willing to walk away from the table,”

    As a community organizer, President Obama uses shaming others to obtain changes in behavior.. He assumes the moral high ground, using his bully pulpit, and launches divisive broadcasts, aimed at those he wishes to whittle down to size. An Imperial Presidency fits his modes operandi.

    Negotiating a deal, like Lyndon Johnson did, requires respecting the parties involved, having a clear set of priorities already in mind, being prepared for the unexpected and communicating one’s issues as priorities.

    When Carly Fiorina was asked about first California and subsequently USA leading the world by example: “Do we really think the Chinese are going to follow our lead on this? No, because they’re focused on their own economic self interest,”

    Know one’s enemy first before making plans to defeat them.

    • John Vonderlin

      RiHoo8,
      Using a quote from somebody that has this excerpt on their Wikipedia page might not bolster your assertions very well: ” ….although the stock lost half of its value throughout her tenure.[1] In 2002, the company completed a contentious merger with rival computer company Compaq, which made HP the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer.[2] In 2005, Fiorina was forced to resign as chief executive officer and chair of HP following “differences [with the board of directors] about how to execute HP’s strategy.”[3] She has frequently been ranked as one of the worst tech CEOs of all time.”

      • John Vonderlin

        If she were such a great tech CEO, then she wouldn’t be running for President :)

        If Obama were such a great community organizer, he would have resolved most of Chicago’s problems :)

        IMO, the job of President is a place setting around which to gather subordinates of high or higher skill than one’s self, or, as we presently have: subordinates whose main requirement is to sing from the same hymnal irregardless of skill or lack there of.

  8. There is a widespread belief that more than 20 years of international climate negotiations have been a waste of time…

    Well, Guv’mnt Motors did halt production on the Volt ’til ’16 to peddle the unsold inventory but, HEY! We now have government-subsidized Tesla’s for the wealthy that run on rare earth metals from China.

  9. A Greenhouse effect has cooled the climate of Almería

    Do you suppose this might be the solution for California’s water problem? Greenhouses could very much facilitate water recovery. Air conditioners/condensers could recover most of the water used in agriculture, powered by solar panels between the crops.

    I could imagine setting up the financial system for favorable investments that would

    •       Add substantially to the value of the enclosed land;

    •       Improve the yield while reducing the cost by excluding many pests and airborne weed seeds;

    •       Recover most of the water, while perhaps (through regulatory change) guaranteeing the owner access to enough to make up the (unrecovered) difference.

    Just a thought.

    • John Vonderlin

      AK,
      Unfortunately, I don’t think this would help much as the crops that are suitable for greenhouse growing use only a small portion of the water used in California. Alfalfa, almonds, rice, cotton other tree crops, and other forages use the vast majority. When you consider that agriculture only produces about 5% of California’s GDP while using a large majority of its water, (actual percentages are being hotly debated using “combat accounting”) I think the answer is clear. That is, change the crops grown and/or where they are grown if at all(almonds use twice as much water in the southern valley as they do the northern), increase the amount of future storage capacity (above and below ground), and make sensible water conservation the ethos of every strata of Californian society.

      • So you’re saying they couldn’t just cover them with a high layer of plastic sheeting, and recycle the water with air conditioners/condensers? Might be more complex than that.

        Almonds and other tree crops might be a problem, but if you put greenhouses where they’re now growing alfalfa(!), “other forages”(!), rice, and maybe cotton, I’ll bet they could make enough more money to justify and change, and amortize the changes.

        Frankly, I strongly suspect cotton could be grown in greenhouses, although it would take some mechanization, and perhaps a reduction of the cost of the greenhouses from current. I’m not thinking of standard greenhouses, but monsters that cover an acre at a time. They’d probably have to switch to fuel-cell powered ag equipment, though. I suppose a change like that would take too long to help with the drought.

      • And don’t dump several hundred million gallons if water into the San Fran bay to save a non native fish.

    • Danny Thomas

      AK,
      Don’t tell Peter I mentioned this, but might be a solar panel farm too.

      • Yeah, I’ve been thinking about cheap, transparent PV for greenhouse roofs. They seem to be using glass right now, but based on how it works, my guess is it could be done with plastic sheeting.

      • Hi danny

        Almeria in southern spain has numerous solar farms. See picture 4th down and three across.

        http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=almeria+solar+farms&client=safari&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=IcQqVZW1G8jdaLP9gdAP&ved=0CEsQ7Ak&biw=1024&bih=672

        I suspect that many of the images in the greenhouses photo are likely to be solar farms

        Tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        I’m no fan of the farms. But secondary use on rooftops, greenhouses, etc. where a dual purpose land use is utilized I think I can live with.

      • Lots of solar farms in Imperial Valley. But there’s plenty of room for solar where it doesn’t impact farms.

        OTOH, given the need for diverting water to people, perhaps solar farms would be a better choice than alfalfa(!).
        Of course, if floating solar could be made cheap and salt resistant, there’s the Salton Sea. Lots of room there. (And lots of room right up the hills for pumped hydro storage to balance it, assuming that could be made cost-effective anywhere but at existing dams.)

      • Danny Thomas

        AK,
        One thing I’ve not recalled seeing you mention is facing the dams themselves with solar. No matter how it’s done, dual purposing seems better to me. Stand alone farms on land reduces alternative uses (ag or habitat). The sea water choice is intriguing as it may have a duel use (cooling as effectively albedo), and may provide marine wildlife shelter. Just tossing those thoughts out for your consideration.

      • One thing I’ve not recalled seeing you mention is facing the dams themselves with solar. No matter how it’s done, dual purposing seems better to me.

        Well, I don’t have a problem with it, but I doubt the area is enough to matter.

        Remember that in order to generate enough energy from solar for full consumption, it would be necessary to cover an amount of the same scale as used for agriculture. (1/5-1/25, depending.)

        Stand alone farms on land reduces alternative uses (ag or habitat).

        True. Although if the panels could be supported high enough, on poles, the land underneath could be allowed to go feral. If you’re using tracking, especially 2-axis, the most cost-effective coverage would be 20-50% zenith AFAIK. (That means with the sun at zenith, the panels block 20-50% of the light. That’s more cost-effective because they don’t shade one another except when the sun’s very low anyway.)

        I’ve seen some technology under development for that, but nothing’s on the market yet.

        The sea water choice is intriguing as it may have a duel use (cooling as effectively albedo), and may provide marine wildlife shelter.

        Also cheaper, probably. Certainly with fresh water, properly protecting the panels without adding significantly to the cost might be a substantial challenge. Then, again, it might not.

        In addition to reducing evaporation, under some circumstances floating solar would be able to reduce algae growth and eutrophication. That ‘s a big problem for the Salton Sea, although I don’t know if growth is sunlight-limited or nutrient-limited, and in the latter case it probably wouldn’t matter until the coverage got very big. The Salton Sea has around 950 square kilometers of area, so covering, say, 800 of them might provide a solar capacity (at 20% efficiency) of 160GWatts. (For comparison, the total generating capacity for California in 2013 was 78.133GWatts.)

        If you use pumped hydro to balance that (daily, not seasonal), at 25% capacity and 80% (1-time) round-trip efficiency, it would add up to 280,512GWHrs, which compares well to the max of 218,690GWHrs generated in 2006. It would be a really major project, though. Perhaps throw a dam across the Salton Creak near Canyon Spring, at the 2000ft level, it would be 300 meters (1000 feet) high, about the same as the highest dams in the world. Don’t know where the water would come from, but the reservoir (salt?) would be a good fraction of the size of the Salton Sea itself.

        If we could do Hoover dam in the 30’s though, we (the US) could probably to that today. It would require hundreds of pump/generators, and a really big 20-25 kilometer-long tunnel. But I can tell you one thing, with that kind of power floating around, there’d be no trouble diverting a little for desalination.

      • Danny Thomas

        AK,
        I guess I’m still thinking a bit more niche and you’re thinking grander scale on the dam application.
        On farms, hell, ya might as well put in anything industrial as they’re just unattractive. But if we can use the same land twice that might be different.
        For the water versions, make sure Capt. D can maneouver his boat around and catch some fish.
        Yours and Peter’s work I find educational. Thanks for sharing.

      • For the sake of nitpicking nuclearphiles, the biggest nuclear power plant in the world is the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (currently shut down due to seismic concerns) at 8GWatts (7,965 MW). It would take 20 of these to match the nominal 160GWatts of solar mentioned above, or 4 with a similar amount of pumped storage to above (to even the load).

        Keeping in mind that the Salton Sea is on the San Andreas Fault, seismic concerns seem warranted. Also for big dams.

      • I would let the free market find ways to supply the water.

        What “free market”? Do you have any idea how badly the “market” is regulated, and infested by “public-private entities”? Many of those regulations are (supposedly) intended to “protect” us from the predations of too-free cooperation by market players. Others are just (IMO) carryovers from when there wasn’t any real “Public”, just various levels of private government. Including “incorporated” city-states (usually acting under a charter from some long-dead king or prince), local and regional warlords, the “Church” (sometimes united, sometimes itself broken into local satrapies, for a while split into two, and eventually fragmented into several pieces with various, different relationships with “temporal” powers), and various bands of ruffians more or less associated with somebody with more formal power.

        The fact that a “public utility” is owned by private investors doesn’t make it “free enterprise”, and its activities aren’t that conducive to a “free” market.

    • Spoken like a true central planner, AK. Me, I would let the free market find ways to supply the water.

      • I would let the free market find ways to supply the water.

        What “free market”? Do you have any idea how badly the “market” is regulated, and infested by “public-private entities”? Many of those regulations are (supposedly) intended to “protect” us from the predations of too-free cooperation by market players. Others are just (IMO) carryovers from when there wasn’t any real “Public”, just various levels of private government. Including “incorporated” city-states (usually acting under a charter from some long-dead king or prince), local and regional warlords, the “Church” (sometimes united, sometimes itself broken into local satrapies, for a while split into two, and eventually fragmented into several pieces with various, different relationships with “temporal” powers), and various bands of ruffians more or less associated with somebody with more formal power.

        The fact that a “public utility” is owned by private investors doesn’t make it “free enterprise”, and its activities aren’t that conducive to a “free” market.

      • Of course I know how “un-free” the market is. But still, the free market with reasonable rules is a very good thing. I hope we can get back to it someday.

        Also, I was thinking about hyrdo in general. If the rate payers had to pay for the Hoover dam today, what would it do to their electric bill.

        Maybe one of the economists who knows how nuclear power plants are amortized, and the other costs, how much would it add the the cost per kwh?

        Here’s an exercise for a nuclear plant. I suppose a dam could be treated in much the same way.

        http://www.nirs.org/neconomics/nuclearpowerplantelectricitycostslusk.pdf

  10. Pingback: Week in review – politics and policy edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  11. The Steyer versus industry thing is going to be interesting. Illinois was supposed to get the “futuregen” clean coal plant that included carbon dioxide sequestration along with hydrogen production. Sequestration on its on is too inefficient and expensive, but when combined with waste management, sequestering CO2 could be a better option than the mount trashmores and piles of petroleum coke along side the Detroit River. Instead of shipping trash to someone else’s back yard, coal/petcoke/trash gasification and combined cycle electrical generation could provide a solution to a number of issues. Waste Management even has prototype plasma gasification that can virtually eliminate known pollutants including heavy metals (think low grade nuclear waste).

    So the “visionary” Steyer could be killing the golden ecological egg laying goose.

  12. Denial refers to the dominance of anthropogenic effects in climate change, a 95% certain position of the IPCC. However, it is a bit more subtle than this because they don’t deny the dominance of humans in the forcing change which is near 2 W/m2, and they don’t deny that the climate is changing in the same direction as that forcing change, but they do deny that these things are related to each other. It is very nuanced, and just seems a bit political.

    • Denialactually refers to the refusal to go along with a socialist agenda supposedly justified by the “urgent need to deal with climate change”. The people who use it are just pretending it “refers to the dominance of anthropogenic effects in climate change, a 95% certain position of the IPCC.

      It is very nuanced, and just seems a bit political.

      Pot:Kettle:black.

      • They support both the forcing and the observed climate change aspects of the science, but not only don’t want to put 2 and 2 together, but deny that you can even do that. Very subtle.

      • […] but not only don’t want to put 2 and 2 together, but deny that you can even do that. Very subtle.

        Like Roger Pielke Jr.?

      • What’s subtle about your argument is that your 2 and your 2 don’t necessarily make my 4. Neither you, nor anyone else knows how much of the warming is attributable to man. Never forget that the more we have contributed to the warming the sadder we will be when our pitiful little aliquot of CO2 is exhausted.
        =============

      • It is somewhat exceptional forcing at the same time as exceptional warming effects. Denial says it is just a coincidence.

      • By Gaia, Jim D, this is not an exceptional warming event. Tear that false, crooked icon off your wall.
        ================

      • Denial says it is just a coincidence.

        Like Roger Pielke Jr.?

      • The best response is in your own response, Jim D. If this is an exceptional warming event, how cold would we be without it?
        =============

      • AK, I haven’t seen Pielke, Jr. say that the IPCC is probably wrong on its human attribution, but if you can find a quote to that effect, that would be evidence. He doesn’t study the science himself, so I don’t think he would have said this.

      • @Jim D…

        AFAIK he’s never “denied” any of the things you mentioned. But he’s often called a “denier”. Why? Because his position is inconvenient to the socialist agenda you’re pushing.

        Thus my point above. Despite your statements, the word is actually used for many whose opinions are just inconvenient to your political agenda.

      • Jim D: It is somewhat exceptional forcing at the same time as exceptional warming effects. Denial says it is just a coincidence.

        Doesn’t everyone know by now that the land use changes and CO2 increases have occurred coincidentally? And coincident with a warming due to other “natural” causes? Perhaps you would prefer “concurrent” to avoid the connotation of “lack of causation” sometimes carried by “coincident”? With multiple concurrent changes in a set of potential agents, it is certainly rational to point out that no one of them can be clearly identified in the record of temperature change.

      • Matthew Marler, you have apparently decided for yourself that exceptional forcing does not with much probability lead to the exceptional warming we have had in the last century. That is your choice as long as you realize that is what you are saying with some certainty here.

      • What that probability is, Jim D, is most of the argument, and your certainty in attribution is misplaced.

        Honestly, it’s almost like you miss half the argument. That’s no rarity for anyone, but why be deliberate about it?
        =========================

      • kim, yes, probability in favor of a connection or against. That is your choice how you weigh that probability. It’s two simple facts.

      • You try to make it all or none. That is missing well more than half of the argument.
        ============

      • Jimd

        Do you mean the whole of the last century, even that first half where warming was strong but enhanced co2 minimal?

        Tonyb

      • Tony! A completely unfair question. He’s all tangled up in these sensitivity and attribution curves. Let him get his hands free first.
        =======================

      • Kim

        Jimd is a nice guy so I vote that he should be allowed to withdraw his 1.53 post and write something where it isn’t so easy to point out its contradictions.

        Tonyb

      • Jim D: That is your choice as long as you realize that is what you are saying with some certainty here.

        How much do you not understand about the difficulties of attributing cause when there are concurrent changes in multiple potential causal agents.

      • I’ll just say it again. You can attribute forcing to anthropogenic effects, and it is about 2 W/m2 (much larger than any recent solar or volcanic effect), and Lewis isn’t the only one who makes this attribution. The IPCC does. You can agree that there has been a lot of warming at the same time as this forcing. However, you (skeptics, we’ll call it) seem to be almost sure that these two are not related to each other and that there is no causal connection between these particular forcing changes and the observed global temperature changes. Why? How? Is it somehow more acceptable that forcing changes related to the sun and volcanoes can affect global temperatures? Forcing is forcing, anthropogenic or not.

    • C’mon, JD, you know that the confidence in that attribution is not well founded.
      ================

      • The 2 W/m2 forcing attribution is agreed to.

      • In the physics lab. Go discuss with Ken Rice.
        ===========

      • kim, check with Lewis on the 2 W/m2 anthropogenic forcing. In fact he says it is even larger if anything.

      • Jim D: The 2 W/m2 forcing attribution is agreed to.

        I am glad that you mentioned that. Building on my previous conjecture, a 0.9C increase in temperature at the surface ought to have produced changes in the upward fluxes from the surface of almost 3 times what I presented, for a sum of about 17 W/m^2. That can’t have been driven by a 2 W/m^2 increase in surface forcing, even if you add in the conjectured “water vapor feedback”. Granted my model for the increase in upward flux is not agreed to, no one else has presented a better computation of that flux change (that I know of; some are inferred from changes in the hypothetical “equilibrium”). I expect that other people will soon do so. I think that the Romps et al and Laliberte et al Science papers have started the final unravelling of the case that anthropogenic CO2 has caused much of the warming since 1880, or since 1950.

      • There’s no point, Kim

        You know Jiminy Doodlebug will just move (rotate) the goalpost, never to answer a direct question directly. He relinquished credibility long ago

        Personally, I think Judith C should classify all the topics listed in the opening comments of this thread under the more general classification of “humour”

    • Climate hysterics seem to be in denial that:

      1. observed warming is lower than the low end predicted rates
      2. The models have failed in meaningful ways ( Hot Spot, albedo, rate, … ).
      2. Climate adversity has always occurred, for reasons that have nothing to do with global energy balance.
      4. The imagined effects of warming have not transpired ( largely because global average temperature is just not an important term to climate, certainly not at the rates we observe ).
      5. Humanity certainly did OK during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, which had hotter northern summers for millenia. Again, temperature wasn’t all that important.
      6. Carbon dioxide enhances plant growth, crop yield, and drought tolerance.
      7. More people die during the cold season than the warm season.
      8. Rates of forcing have declined from their peak and are likely to decline further.
      etc. etc.

      Hysterics are hysterical precisely because they are deniers.

      • In the long run, the injection of man’s pitiful little aliquot of CO2 will be understood as a tremendous boon for the biome and for the earth. We will someday wish we had more to give.
        ===================

      • I have a specific definition of “denier” that I have stated. It is this denial of a connection between two scientifically accepted things that are happening at the same time. It applies to almost 100% of Republicans in congress, but few people outside. For the purposes of moving the discussion forwards we have to get people to see how nuanced their own view is. What would it take for them to see this connection?

      • JD, it is not scientifically accepted that we are in an exceptional warming event. Please, you know better than to argue that.
        ================

      • Jim D: It applies to almost 100% of Republicans in congress, but few people outside.

        It would be a shame if all the Democrats in Congress were credulous hysterics, given that the case for a strong role of CO2 in raising the global mean temperature is so full of holes. Maybe they are, but most voters put CO2 near the bottom of their list of 15 most important problems.

      • kim, 0.8 C is four standard deviations when compared to millennial scale perturbations according to Lovejoy. I call that exceptional. But maybe that is another area of denial. It looks a bit forced to me.

      • 0.8 C is four standard deviations

        Things can be statistically significant and yet totally unimportant.

      • Like the amount of anti-depressants found in fish.

      • Your question is forcibly begged.

        So how cold would we be without the exceptional forcing of AnthroCO2?
        ================

      • TE, yes, some people prefer to think it is just a coincidence that we get such a perturbation just when the forcing kicked in. They can consider for themselves why they have that preference given that basic physics explains the connection quite well.

      • So if man has dragged the earth out of the coldest depths of the Holocene, how long can we keep dragging?
        ================

      • Much better for us if the earth rebounded naturally from the coldest depths of the Holocene, even if the bounce is a dying cat flounce.

        Will our CO2 aliquot stop or delay the next glaciation? Is it strong enough? Doesn’t seem to be.
        ===============

      • > Hysterics are hysterical precisely because they are deniers.

        The history of the concept of hysteria’s a bit more complex than that:

        Hysteria is undoubtedly the first mental disorder attributable to women, accurately described in the second millennium BC, and until Freud considered an exclusively female disease. Over 4000 years of history, this disease was considered from two perspectives: scientific and demonological. It was cured with herbs, sex or sexual abstinence, punished and purified with fire for its association with sorcery and finally, clinically studied as a disease and treated with innovative therapies. However, even at the end of 19th century, scientific innovation had still not reached some places, where the only known therapies were those proposed by Galen. During the 20th century several studies postulated the decline of hysteria amongst occidental patients (both women and men) and the escalating of this disorder in non-Western countries. The concept of hysterical neurosis is deleted with the 1980 DSM-III. The evolution of these diseases seems to be a factor linked with social “westernization”, and examining under what conditions the symptoms first became common in different societies became a priority for recent studies over risk factor.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480686/

        It’s always nice to see Denizens rediscover the old classics.

        Please, do continue.

    • Jim D: Denial refers to the dominance of anthropogenic effects in climate change, a 95% certain position of the IPCC.

      People who use the word “denial” often confound the effects of human action: deforestation, CO2, urbanization, industrialization, CFCs and so on. Jim D does in that comment. There is a solid scientific basis for thinking that the effects of land-use changes are much greater than the effects of CO2 increase, and will not be reversed by reduction in CO2 emissions. Reforestation has taken place, natural and human-managed, and has had observable effects, such as the regrowth of the ice cap of Mt Kilimanjaro. One of the actions that should be taken before the adoption of CO2-reduction schemes of dubious efficacy would be increased large-scale reforestation and afforestation in many parts of the world.

      • Deforestation and land-use come under the heading of anthropogenic climate change, and you would be surprised that people even deny it when you include those. Some fraction of the forcing change comes from these. Not a large fraction, but some. It is not ignored.

      • Jim D: It is not ignored.

        It is ignored by people who claim that CO2 reductions will reverse some of the temperature increase since 1880. Or reverse the temperature increase since 1950; indeed, the era since 1950 is the era of greatest deforestation (though the US and Canada have experienced net reforestation since 1950.)

      • Reforestation and stopping deforestation are prominent parts of the goals.

    • David Wojick

      Disagreement (as with the IPCC) and denial are two very different things. Denial is predominately a term used when the facts being denied are obvious but too painful to accept. Look it up. Skepticism of AGW claims is not denial, far from it. So denial is an abusive term and deliberately so. It is designed to denigrate skeptics.

      • Excellent post, and well said. It’s maddening to watch the consensus faithful repeatedly denigrate and attempt to marginalize their perceived opponents while failing to grasp what the disagreement is even about.

        Sure, it’s certainly easier to pontificate when you oversimplify things into black and white categories. But you shouldn’t be shocked when your arguments fail to gain traction with the populace at large.

      • > Skepticism of AGW claims is not denial, far from it.

        AGW’s the claim, and it’s so well established we can call it a fact. This fact implies we ought to stop dumping CO2 like there’s no tomorrow. Denying AGW and refusing to face its main implication looks a lot like denial.

        All David Wojick has against this is more shirt ripping.

      • willard, ” Denying AGW and refusing to face its main implication looks a lot like denial.”

        Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

        I believe the current term is climate change and the “deniers” deny CAGW. I don’t know of anyone that “denies” that climate changes or that man has had some impact on climate. My “handle” includes 0.8 +/- 0.2 C which is a fair estimate of the “no feedback” or “all things remaining equal” sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 equivalent gases.

        So since I believe there will be some impact but beyond the very basic radiant physics we have no clue how much, I suppose I am a “:denier”.

      • Gotta say, I’m with David here – and kind of confused by willard’s argument.

        Calling someone a “denier” in common language implies that they are “in denial” – not willing to face something that they actually know to be true (i.e., in “denial” about a drinking problem). If you don’t actually know someone, and aren’t in a position to assess their deeper motivations and beliefs, it seems to me that using the term isn’t based on objective assessment.

        The term is meant to denigrate, just are the long list of terms that “skeptics” here use to refer to “realists” (Lysenkist, neo-McCarthyist, warmunist, blah, blah, blah) but don’t seem to have any objection to. What’s particularly beautiful is that “skeptics” (including Judith) call “realists” “deniers” in these threads, and I can’t recall seeing a “skeptic” object to its use in those circumstances.

        Sameolsameol.

      • > Gotta say, I’m with David here – and kind of confused by willard’s argument.

        The argument is quite simple. One does not simply accept AGW and then deny that we need to stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere like there’s no tomorrow. No Denizen can claim ignorance on that one. At best Cap’n can try to play squirrel with his:

        I don’t know of anyone that “denies” that climate changes or that man has had some impact on climate.

        which (a) throws in a strawman (“but climate changes”) (b) forgets about skydragons and elected officials (surprising, since Goldlocks need them) and (c) ignores the main implication of AGW.

        ***

        > Calling someone a “denier” in common language implies that they are “in denial” – not willing to face something that they actually know to be true (i.e., in “denial” about a drinking problem).

        I agree, although we must also accept that the term has evolved to become a term used in debates like creationism, historical revisionism, HIV, and more recently climate change. There are older usages. Here’s one old instance where Tyndall (!!!) gets accused of denial of the soul:

        https://books.google.com/books?id=cuMHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA5&dq=&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

        ***

        > If you don’t actually know someone, and aren’t in a position to assess their deeper motivations and beliefs, it seems to me that using the term isn’t based on objective assessment.

        This is false for three reasons. First, “objective assessment” is self-contradictory. Second, personal acquaintance does not warrant motivation assessment. Third, all that is needed is public self-avowal.

        In a nutshell, the concept of denial works the same way as the concept of motivated reasoning or the concept of cultural cognition. You disregard one for epistemological reasons, you disregard the other. In both cases, speech patterns are the main evidence we have.

        ***

        > The term is meant to denigrate, just are the long list of terms that “skeptics” here use to refer to “realists” […]

        So can “skeptics” or “realists” with scare quotes. They’re not called scare quotes for no reason.

        Any label can be used to denigrate. Denigration is the result of speech act. It works within discourses, recurring speech patterns, and specific situations. It does not require “common language” meaning to operate. It does not even require intent: think social conformism.

        More importantly, denigration is a two-way street between bullying and victim playing. It indicate asymetric roles played in many dominance behavior. These games can be observed in all social mammals. Humans may be the only specie where roles and the dominance relationship can be reversed.

        ***

        To sum up. There’s nothing special about the D word. One does not simply label in a conversation, but then evidence shows that not all Denizens are engaged in conversations. Take Cap’n’s recent:

        I believe the current term is climate change and the “deniers” deny CAGW.

        Witness how both victimization and denigration (“CAGW” is clearly a denigrating term) can be done at the same time.

    • I am sure you could supply the scientific methodology of calculating that 95% certainty position on anthro dominance ……..because it would really not be a good example if it was just a politically calculated opinion……..That would make your position untenably hypocritical.

      It would be twice as unfortunate if they used models as their basis that anthro was the key driver. Since the models have done so well with cause and effect, I am sure all the pause excuse papers were just for fun and not related to climate processes that didn’t actually match the models.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – I asked many times, I ask again: How does IPCC determine a 95% certainty?

      • Well, technically, it’s the other way around. The attribution study is essentially a hypothesis testing scenario. What they’ve really done is pose the hypothesis that we can explain more than 50% of the warming since 1950 as being due to non-anthropogenic influences. The study then shows that there is less than a 5% chance of this being true, and hence they reject it at the 95% confidence level. Therefore they’re not really claiming that there is a 95% chance that it is anthropogenic, they’re claiming that there is less than a 5% chance that it can be non-anthropogenic. Given that there are really only two influences (anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic) this is a technicality but is still what – as I understand it – was done.

      • Danny Thomas

        ATTP,
        This is one I’ve never gotten my head around. What was the cause of all the warming prior to, what shut if off and/or indeed sent it towards cooling (the %110 discussion). It’s a challenge for me to accept w/o that understanding. Jim indications prior to 1950 was a solar event but not from when and not what led to earlier.
        I just don’t buy that we have it all figured out especially since the pause has occurred, Pacific is warmer, Atlantic not so much, Arctic yes all while CO2 has increased as it has.

      • David Springer

        wild a$$ guess

      • The positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and a dominance of El Nino events over La Nina events look to be likely culprits. That involves a fair percentage of the Pacific Ocean surface. Sprinkle a little extra sunlight, and you get a spike.

      • Danny thomas, “Jim indications prior to 1950 was a solar event but not from when and not what led to earlier.”

        It is a little more interesting. The 1910 to 1940 rise was attributed to solar and aerosols using older solar data like Lean et al. 2000 which has been revised and is still being revise. The aerosols were mainly black carbon if I remember correctly and since then albedo darkening aerosols, which should include dust from erosion, are being considered a stronger climate factor than initially. The 1945 to 1976 “grand hiatus” was attributed to aerosols, man made of course, with 1950 selected as the time when man made climate influences overwhelmed all natural influences.

        One of the skeptical points was that “climate science” is an immature field meaning there are a lot of revisions being made and many more should be expected. However, “natural variability” is still considered to only be possibly +/- 0.1 C of influence, the same value determined with the older data. If natural variability is larger, say 0.2 C, then 50% of the “warming” since 1950 could be natural internal variability.

      • Danny,
        If you consider all the external forcings (aerosols, Sun, anthro) then in fact you can develop a simple model that largely explains the warming since 1880. Between 1920 and 1940, the change in external forcing was quite large (anthro + solar), between 1940 and 1960, it was quite small, and since 1960, it’s risen quite rapidly. So, you can broadly explain the warming since 1880 as being externally forced, with an internal variability contribution on top of that. That’s fairly simple, but it largely works.

        Something to bear in mind is that the 1950 date was not chosen because it’s when we think the anthropogenic influences started. It’s a date from we have sufficient information to do an attribution study and also a date from which we might expect anthropogenic influences to dominate. Prior to this, other external forcings (solar for example) had a similar magnitude to the anthropogenic forcings.

      • Danny Thomas

        ATTP,
        I can be comfortable that man has caused changes (heck, we always change our environment) but the attribution issue fully eliminating alternatives (or contributive) when we don’t understand the causes from prior to say 1700 (or I’ve never seen it broken down). But we do know it’s warmed and suddenly all that stopped (or even cooled) as a result of CO2 then suddenly that shift occurred to the oceans some +/- 20 years ago? Ummm. I’m not there.

        In my neophytic view, I start with a continuation of what been the “long term trend” (keywords in the discussion on this I’m sure we can agree) then go from there. If we’re changing attribution from on source to the other, then for me we have to be able to define at least one.

      • Here’s the deal, Ken. You can fit all those assumptions into a Procrustean Bed and produce your explanation of the temperature record. With only a little less certainty about the manner of the sun’s action and with a little less certainty about the effects of CO2, I can fit the record and see a sixty year oscillation around a rising trend(of unknown cause, I think solar) and find very little CO2 effect at all.

        We don’t know who is right, yet, and won’t know until the arrival of the traveler, who, paradoxically is already here, just shiftily immeasurable as yet.
        ===============

      • find very little CO2 effect at all.

        If your model finds very little CO2 effect, then it’s almost certainly wrong.

      • Phil Jones heself told me that three times in the last century and a half the rate of temperature rise has been the same, and only in the last of these was CO2 also rising.

        Only in the last quarter of the last century was the correlation between temperature rise and CO2 rise good, not before, and not since.

        Perhaps the greatest example yet of the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc logical fallacy, perhap not. Probably only partly so, because I’ll concede some warming from anthroCO2.
        ================

      • Danny,
        I’m not entirely sure that I understand your issue. In a broad/simple sense, our current understanding is that there are two basic mechanisms to drive changes. There’s internal variability (or internal forcing) and external forcings. Internal variability would normally be associated with variable ocean cycles (ENSO, PDO, AMO). External forcings would be the Sun, volcanoes, anthropogenic.

        Our current understanding is that internal variability cannot drive long-term changes, but instead drives short term variability that typically averages out on decadal timescales. The shorter the time interval, the bigger the effect. We can see 0.2 – 0.3 degree C variability on annual timescales, but wouldn’t expect to see anything much bigger than 0.1 degree C variability on timescales longer than about a decade. So, it’s very difficult to find physically plausible explanations for internal cycles/variability driving long-term change (there is one exception to this that I know of, but I’ll explain that later if you wish – or my understanding of it, at least).

        Longer-term changes, however, are typically associated with changes in external forcings. For example, the little ice age is thought to be associated with enhanced volcanic activity (which cools through adding reflective aerosols to the stratosphere) and reduced solar insolation. Milankovitch cycles are thought to be associated with an orbital trigger (changes in our orbit around the Sun) that starts a reduction in the NH ice sheets producing some initial warming that releases CO2 into the atmosphere which then produces more warming and driving further reduction of the NH ice sheets.

        Our recent warming is associated with an anthropogenicall-driven increase in atmospheric CO2 that has produced warming of about 0.85 degree C since the late 1800s. During the early 20th century, however, there was a contribution due to incresed solar insolation. The latter half of the 20th century has seen a reduction in solar insolation so that the net effect of the Sun over the last 100 years or so is much smaller (by a factor of about 20) than the anthropogenic influence.

        I don’t know if that is any clearer, but that’s my understanding of the basic picture.

      • Danny

        The non co2 warming from 1700 was the most rapid in the instrumental record and surprised even Phil Jones

        This from a 2005 paper by Jones and Briffa about the very warm period noted in old records and especially CET;

        ” The year 1740 is all the more remarkable given the anomalous warmth of the 1730s. This decade was the warmest in three of the long temperature series (CET, De Bilt and Uppsala) until the 1990s occurred. The mildness of the decade is confirmed by the early ice break-up dates for Lake Malaren and Tallinn Harbour. The rapid warming in the CET record from the 1690s to the 1730s and then the extreme cold year of 1740 are examples of the magnitude of natural changes which can potentially be recorded in long series. Consideration of variability in these records from the early 19th century, therefore, may underestimate the range that is possible.”

        The biggest Hockey Stick in the CET series from 1659 (and there are several) is the period noted in the article and not the modern period.

        The quote is from;‘UNUSUAL CLIMATE IN NORTHWEST EUROPE DURING THE PERIOD 1730 TO 1745 BASED ON INSTRUMENTAL AND DOCUMENTARY DATA’. Jones and Biffa. Revised version published 2006.

        http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-006-9078-6

        They do indeed note that CET and other sources indicate a series of mild years in the 1730s, with the period 1729–1738 only 0.3C below the average for the last ten years before publication. But then came 1740, when temps plummeted 2.4C to give the coldest year in the entire series, famine in Ireland, and featuring the coldest May and October in the record. .

        tonyb

    • Re: 95%. I think it is because the forcing change is so large, it is very hard for the earth to not warm as much as it has with that much forcing.

      • Hardly hard, Jim D, she can do it with a flick of her little cloud finger.
        =================

      • Even with no feedback, a forcing in excess of 2 W/m2 accounts for more than half the warming. You have to assert not only negative feedback but something else doing the warming instead to be a skeptic. That’s just the numbers. They are 95% certain that this negative feedback/mystery warming combo is not happening. The skeptics, on the other hand, have placed their bets on it.

      • It is mysterious, this millennial scale warming and cooling, but you mistake its mysteriousness for absence.
        ==========================

      • That doesn’t fit Jim D.

        Using giss:

        and CO2:

        We can see that since 1940 there has been a .6 rise in temps, and a co2 rise from 310-390 (number are rough estimates).

        From 1900-1940 there was .45 rise in temps and a co2 rise 295-310.

        Based on a number of 40% of the way to a doubling of co2, and using the 3.7 watts per doubling estimate, that is actually 1.5 watts forcing not 2 watts as you stated. Using the base estimate of 1.2 degrees of direct forcing from a doubling of co2 (seen it as low as 1, but i’m generous), that works out to .48 degrees of direct forcing from 290 ppm to now. Out of a GISS increase of about 1 degree. So now we work out about 50% man made.

        But now since the co2 raised so little during the first 40 years and so much after, we can say that for a co2 increase of 15 ppm, there was a 30-40 year warming of about .45 degrees. Since we can use your 1.5 watts forcing for 100ppm, there was .225 watts CO2/anthropogenic forcing during an temp increase of .45 degrees. Or anthro.co2 was responsible for .19 degrees of .45 degrees. So we can say .06 degrees warming was anthro and the rest was natural, or that .39 degrees of warming can happen naturally during a period as short as 30-40 years. It wasn’t CO2 forcing that had not happened yet, that is 100% for sure.

        Using that number, we no longer need CO2 to provide more than half of the post 1940 warming, since we can confidently say that the initial warming could not have been caused by non-existent CO2 forcing. It can follow that we can make a rough estimate using historical data, that natural forcings could have caused nearly .8 degrees warming over the time period covered. Until you can adequately say why the pre-co2
        warming happened and didn’t happen again, your simply taking it on faith that CO2 is responsible. And faith is not something I am a big fan of.

        Please check my math, just in case. It gets worse with other temp series, but the alarmist crowd really love the diverging GISS.

      • “Or anthro.co2 was responsible for .19 degrees of .45 degrees.”

        This line should not be in there. Need an edit feature.

      • Brandon C, how about if you use the AR5 number of 2.3 W/m2 forcing since pre-industrial, or Lewis’s number somewhere around 2.8 W/m2? I don’t think Lewis did the non-anthro skeptics any favors by increasing the forcing when it comes to attribution. With his (I think high) forcing you get nearly 0.8 C even with no feedback, meaning all the warming is anthropogenic. I tend to go with lower forcings and positive feedbacks, but the result is the same for attribution. Since 1950, CO2 alone accounts for 1.36 W/m2 which gives over half the warming since then even without feedback. That is ignoring the net positive effect of other GHGs minus aerosols. You can only bring it below half if you go for a much stronger aerosol effect than AR5, but the skeptics went the other way for some reason.

      • Jim d

        I use the base 3.7 watts per doubling, and we are around 40% of that. Simple, but enough to make the point. But it is irrelevant since almost no forcing existed from co2 during a temp increase of .45 in 30-40 years. No dancing around that makes it go away. I can show, using alarmist data, that natural variation can cause large temp changes over short periods independent of co2. As a starting point you have to show that the more recent warming was not caused by what caused earlier warming. Going back further just adds another warming event with no co2 forcing as well.

        Saying that co2 can account for almost all of the warming, does not follow logically since it did not cause .45 degrees warming from an increase of about 15 ppm. And you have nothing to back up the assumption that early 20th century warming forcings did not repeat in later warming. there are plenty of spots to logic check your narrative. Any theory creates a series of logic chain events that must be there. If they are not, your theory is wrong. Find what is missing or wrong and correct it. There are too many assumptions being given a free pass simply to support a theory.

      • Brandon C, you have chosen 1910-1940 which is a period from a solar lull like today’s (1910 was a local temperature minimum) to a mid-century solar max, and it is not a good period to attribute to CO2 alone because we know the sun was doing something fairly significant in it. Conversely since 1950, if the sun has done anything, it has reduced, so this is a better period to check for CO2 effects, and also the CO2 signal should be stronger because 75% of emissions occurred since 1950. The warming since 1950 has also been 3 times more than in 1910-1940.

      • The warming since 1950 has not been “3 times the 1910-1940” that contradicts the GISS graph, so please back that one up.

        My math says .6 is not 3 times .45. That is a ridiculous statement that isn’t supported by the data. Not even close. Not even remotely close. Even the slope of the warming events is almost identical.

      • OK, the CO2 part of the warming has jumped 3 times since 1940. However, the warming from 1870-1940 was about 0.2 C so it depends where you want to start from. It is easiest to take the whole period with a forcing change of 2.3 W/m2 and a rise of 0.8-0.9 C. This avoids the issue with starting points, and using short 30-year periods that you might want to cherrypick. Whatever the sun did in this period, it is very hard to get the anthropogenic portion down to 0.4 C with 2.3 W/m2 of forcing. The IPCC attribution with their 95% confidence was for the period since 1950, so sticking to that, you will have an even harder time with your numbers.

      • Also tsi kept rising until the 60’s, but temps stopped rising 20 years before. Tsi does not correlate well with temps during most of time. And the aerosol excuse has lost alot of credibility in light of papers that actually check it. So there is additional forcing from co2 for 30 years that does not show up.

        It is all asking peopleto put too much faith in assumptions and models.

      • ” the warming from 1870-1940 was about 0.2 C so it depends where you want to start from.”

        You can increase and decrease the trend all you want with cherry picking, but my point still stands that a significant warming event happened independent of CO2 in the early 1900’s. It was actually a warming event of .45 in 30-40 years, stretching out the time period doesn’t change the slope of the short term event. And that event was mostly natural.

        The solar excuse looks fine for a few years, but then you need to take into account the fact that TSI stays higher than early 1900’s level. It essentially plateaus for 40-50 years, a period that saw a lot of warming. How much forcing and accumulated energy was cause by that prolonged solar maximum? It only dropped down to early 1900 levels after 2000, right when the temps plateau. It really depends on whether you accept that a sustained TSI maximum could cause a significant temp rise, and CO2 helped, or does TSI has to be rising to cause any increase. But using your solar excuse, aerosols must have stopped the TSI effect from 1940-1975. But TSI was still high when aerosols reduced, so there should have been a warming period caused by the higher TSI, even if you assume TSI has to be rising to produce warming. Since there was no increase in temps during the last 20 years of TSI rise to the peak of 1960’s. There needed to be an adjustment to match TSO once the aerosols stopped masking it.

        To date we have not seen anything that would make any reasonable scientist think that CO2 is having an effect greater than it’s 1-1.2 direct forcing. All the “heat is in the pipeline” garbage is nothing but throwing out fudge factors to try and deflect from failed predictions. What about the “heat in the pipeline” from a 50 year sustained solar maximum?

      • Jim D

        I do get your point about using the whole period and all that. But it misses what I am trying to point out. I am using my example of picking a short warming period, to try and understand what the natural range of changes could be said to be. Adding in the whole series doesn’t do anything to inform that specific goal. What is the expected range of natural warming?

        Using the total “the whole period with a forcing change of 2.3 W/m2 and a rise of 0.8-0.9 C”. Needs a caveat, since we can figure out that some of the warming is natural, possibly as much as half, using TSI. There is also no reason to think that if a rise to solar maximum caused that .4 warming in 30 odd years, that a prolonged solar peak would not cause any warming. Which bring us back to how much warming can be expected in reality from a doubling. There is no reason, outside of failing models, to think CO2 will cause much more than 1-1.2 warming. Since the historical data does not require any positive feedbacks to reach the observed effect.

        For the record, I feel that we can make a statement “co2 has caused .4-.5 warming in the last 100 years”. But that also doesn’t ring any alarm bells, since there is no 2 degree warming in that effect, let alone 3-7. You and me arguing about how much natural warming was in the .8-.9 of the last 150 years, only lowers the effect of CO2, and accepting your numbers does not cause the predicted 2+ warming. It still comes down to positive feedbacks. Will they finally show up in the future as the models predict, or more accurately described as assumed? Or are the positive feedbacks only in the virtual world, and the real world will continue as it has in the last 150 with no need for them to explain the changes? So far there is nothing but models to suggest a problem, and they are not doing well against reality.

      • The TSI change you show translates to a solar forcing change of 0.2 W/m2 in the whole period. Remember that we are comparing this with CO2 forcing changes of 1.8 W/m2 in the same period, so it would indicate that CO2 is somewhat dominant. Since 1950, the IPCC has a total forcing change of 1.7 W/m2, with the solar contribution somewhat negligible compared to the sum of the main factors, GHGs and aerosols. While a change of 0.2 W/m2 focused in one or two decades does show up in the trend, such as in the 1930’s, it isn’t much in the big picture against a steadily increasing GHGs forcing that has been recently rising at 0.3-0.4 W/m2 per decade.

  13. A dose of reality:

    http://climateanswers.info/2015/03/in-defence-of-pragmatism/

    “Many green groups are warning that this year´s summit, in Paris in December, is the last chance to save the world. They said the same about the 2009 Copenhagen conference. Paris 2015 might deliver legally-binding targets for greenhouse gas reductions, but probably will not, because each one of the 192 country members has a veto. Even if Paris 2015 did deliver a new protocol, President Obama would be unable to get it ratified by the US Congress. The Clinton/Gore administration signed Kyoto in 1997, but did not submit the protocol to Congress because they knew it had no chance of acceptance. And climate change is an even more polarising issue in US politics today than it was 15 years ago.

    But let´s take our hypothetical scenario a stage further. Paris agrees a new protocol, and the US Congress ratifies it, so that all the main global greenhouse gas polluters have legally-binding reduction targets. Would this solve the climate problem? Sadly not, because the targets would not be enforceable. I have asked many experts in international climate policy for examples of a government substantially changing its energy policy in order to comply with its legally-binding Kyoto Protocol target. I have yet to be given one.”

    The greenie climate crusaders are not going to get the drastic reduction in fossil fuel energy use that they demand. They need to get real, if they want to save the planet. Drop the stoopid hysterical opposition to nuclear power and fracking. Natural gas and nuclear are the practical and possible means of reducing CO2 emissions.

    • Well, Don, it will be an amusing charade. The greatest conglomeration of alarmists ever gathered, in Copenhagen, listened to the fat Chinese lady sing of her sorrow at the failure of the shakedown of the developed West, crescendoing to the finale, denouncing Obama for his neo-colonial manipulations.

      This new drama will have a similar plot, but the works are becoming grand.
      =================

    • 2015 was the last chance to build resilience and plan for how this solar minimum will be effecting weather and climate through the next ten years.

    • Curious George

      Every time you save the world, you file a notch on the gun.

    • Is it denial if i’m less concerned about climate change than i am about potential solutions?

  14. I am glad that the science and technology week in review is separate from the policy and politics week in review.

  15. Did climate change mitigation cause Malia Obama’s “asthma attack?”

    http://grist.org/news/whats-worse-than-burning-coal-burning-wood/
    http://www.pfpi.net/carbon-emissions

  16. Did Tom Steyer indirectly contribute to Berkeley Earth?

    In 2013, Steyer gave a $500,000 donation to the Energy Foundation.
    In 2013 and 2014, the Energy Foundation gave two grants of $50,000 each to Berkeley Earth.

    Unlike the $150,000 grant from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation in 2011, the Energy Foundation’s $100,000 came with conditions that aren’t explained on the Berkeley Earth website.

    (Of course, these grants pale next to the $800,000 in grants from an “anonymous foundation.” So much for “transparency.”)

  17. From the “Creative Destruction” link:

    If non-subsidized solar and battery technology become cheap enough for widespread consumer use, then presumably they will be even cheaper for industrial utilities, owing to economies of scale. In that case, buying solar-generated power from Dominion or another power company would involve far less hassle than installing your own solar panels, batteries, inverters, and so on.

    Indeed. Not only are utilities building and buying solar power fields, but the technology is rapidly evolving, in concert with still-dropping prices: Top Chinese Manufacturers Will Produce Solar Panels for 42 Cents per Watt in 2015

    The cost of producing a conventional crystalline silicon (c-si) solar panel continues to drop. Between 2009 and 2012, leading “best-in-class” Chinese c-Si solar manufacturers reduced module costs by more than 50 percent. And in the next three years, those players — companies like Jinko, Yingli, Trina and Renesola — are on a path to lower costs by another 30 percent.


    That’s this year!. And what about installed? Why solar costs will fall another 40% in just two years.

    It’s been one of the big themes at the World Energy Future Conference here in Abu Dhabi. Solar, and other technologies such as wind power, are no longer more expensive than traditional fossil fuels in many parts of the world. Indeed, they are cheaper.

    […]

    So here’s a summary of what Deutsche Bank’s Vishal Shah, one of the leading and best connected analysts in the industry, says about the future of solar module costs. Much of it is focused on the rooftop market, but many of the learnings are the same for utility scale. And, in any case, most of the solar installed in developing countries with no grids will be distributed solar, and the big turning point in established energy markets in the arrival of parity for rooftop installations. (All $ are $US)

    Deutsche notes that total module costs of leading Chinese solar companies have decreased from around $1.31 a watt in 2011 to around $0.50/W in 2014. It says this was primarily due to the reduction in processing costs, the fall in polysilicon costs and improvement in conversion efficiencies.

    That represents a fall of around 60 per cent in just three years. Deutsche Bank says total costs could fall another 30-40 per cent over the next several years, with the greatest cost reductions are likely to come from the residential segments as scale and operating efficiencies improve.

    Looking at that picture, notice the figures for combined Racking, Other BoS, Installation, and Sales. 25¢+30¢+55¢+50&cent=$1.50 out of a total $2.90. What if they could be combined to a total of 10¢ by 2017?

    This seems doable, for utility-grade floating solar panels with factory-installed floatation. Just unstack them from the shipping container, drop them in the water, latch them and plug them together. Simple stuff that could be done by an industrial robot. It wouldn’t even need feet: it could be floating.

    The design of the floatation support would have to be a bit clever, but there’s plenty of expertise in that among suppliers of packing support for shipping. Inversion technology is already available (retail on-sale) for 10¢/Watt. The panel prices in that picture show a cost of 50¢/Watt in 2017, though the link above already shows them being built for 42¢/Watt today.

    But let’s leave the manufacturers some profit, 50¢+10¢ (for the inverters)+the same 12¢ for “other” comes out to 75¢/Watt for installed floating PV by 2017

    Perhaps a little aggressive, but it seems to me that $1.00/Watt for installed floating PV is doable. Likely that California will take the lead, and they have plenty of reservoirs, behind existing hydropower dams, where added solar could go without the need for new transmission facilities. In fact, since much of California’s hydropower is currently used as peaking power (due to the need to conserve water), this new solar could probably fit right it.

    Perhaps the aggressive decarbonization goals aren’t so impossible after all.

    • India Plans World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Project (50 MW)

      India’s leading hydro power generator National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) is planning to set up a 50 MW solar photovoltaic project over the water bodies in the southern state of Kerala. Renewable Energy College will provide assistance to the company for implementing the project.

      Under the contract with NHPC, Renewable Energy College will provide technical know-how and assist in the installation of the proposed floating solar power plant. The approximate cost of the project would be about $64-72 million. The equipment required for the construction of the project will also be sourced by the College.

      […]

      Solar panels will be installed on floating platforms which will be anchored firmly to avoid undulation of the panels around the surface of the water. Capital cost for this floating installation is approximately $1.18 Million per MW with power generation cost of Rs 7 ($0.13) per unit. These projects may also qualify for subsidies granted by the state and central government as part of their solar policies.

      There are some curious issues with this story. Assuming a presumed capacity of 50MWatts, the “approximate cost of the project” of “about $64-72 million” actually works out to $1.28-1.44 “Million per MW”, or $1.28-1.44/Watt. This is still pretty good compared to the $2.66/Watt predicted above for 2015. Seems well on track for $1.00/Watt installed floating PV by 2017.

      • Cost of energy with all system costs included ($/MWh)?

      • What would be the cost of electricity providing 1/2 India’s electricity; i.e. about 450 TWh per year?

      • Simple reality check:
        nuclear = ~$5/W average
        Solar = $2.66 / 15% = $17.73/W average
        Add storage (factor of 2 to 10) = $35 – $177/W av
        Add system costs $$$ ?
        Say solar 7 to 50 times the cost of nu clear to provide 50% of electricity (if it’s even possible which I doubt)

      • Cost of energy with all system costs included ($/MWh)?

        They don’t say, but this one does: Brazil Announces Huge 350 MW Floating Solar Power Plant

        According to reports, Brazil’s energy minister Eduardo Braga recently announced his government’s intentions to begin a series of pilot tests of floating solar power plants on hydroelectric dam reservoirs within a period of four months.

        A 350 MW pilot project is being planned at the Balbina hydroelectric plant in the Amazon. The electricity thus generated is expected to cost between approximately $69 and $77 per MWh.

        But with a South American project, I’d be a little skeptical of their numbers.

        No sign of pumped hydro at Balbina Dam, but:

        The Cantareira reservoir system, which serves more than nine million people in the state, is only 5% full. At the Alto Tietê reservoir network, which supplies three million people in greater Sao Paulo (South America’s largest city), water levels are below 15%.

        So they might consider it if they could do it for 30-40¢/Watt.

      • AK,

        You haven’t learnt a thing About how to do reality checks, have you? Read “Sustainable Energy – Without the hot air”: http://www.withouthotair.com/

      • I’ve skimmed through. Badly out of date, and I suspect you’re reading what you want to see in it rather than what it says. But who knows?

      • Simple reality check:

        Solar = $1.00/25% = $4.00/W average
        Add storage@25¢/25% = $1.00/W average
        Total for solar+storage = $5.00/W average. Peak capacity 4-8×Average.

        Nuclear = $5.00/W baseload
        Add storage@25¢/50% = 50¢/W average
        Total for Nuclear+storage = $6.00/W average. Peak capacity 3×Average.

        Key Assumption: storage is pumped hydro installed only at existing dams with suitable afterbay.

      • Modified “Simple reality check:”:

        Nuclear storage option, 25¢/50% Capacity Factor = $5.50/W, not $6.00. Playing around with numbers, decided nuclear didn’t need as much storage as Solar, failed to retrofit to the total.

        Solar capacity factor at Arizona is given as “18.9%”. That is, 20%. I usually use 25%, assuming (the possibility of) 2-axis tracking, but in this case the need for low cost probably puts on too stringent design constraints for tracking.

        So, $1.00/20% = $5.00/W. Adding the $1.00/W (average) for storage yields $6.00/W average. 50¢/W more than nuclear.

        Given how thoroughly both numbers are swagged, though, I don’t see how either could be taken out of the running.

        And floating solar power can be deployed in a few months. I doubt nuclear can match that.

        OTOH, given the need for load balancing, there are probably tight limits to how much “low-hanging fruit” there is via installing new pumped storage at existing dams. I’d guess that somewhere between 4GW and 20GW, the price will start to go up, due to the need for new dredging, pipes and pump-houses, dam improvements, etc.

      • AK

        I’ve skimmed through. Badly out of date,

        No it’s not. You’ve clearly missed the point. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about how to do reality checks so you don’t continue to mislead your self and mislead everyone else who doesn’t have the time or ability to check the total nonsense you keep spewing out.

  18. michael hart

    “[Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi also accused the world of double standards by lecturing India about the environment but refusing to sell it the fuel needed for nuclear power.”

    A fair amount of Western denial going on there, methinks Fortunately, Modi has a delightful answer to the denialists:

    “On Monday, Modi suggested using traditional methods such as switching off street lights on full-moon nights to save on energy and cut emissions.”

    lol.
    There’ll be a Moonlight Sonata playing in Paris.

    • “On Monday, Modi suggested using traditional methods such as switching off street lights on full-moon nights to save on energy and cut emissions.”

      That will probably be the only mitigation scheme they will all agree on, during the big Paris junket. When are they going to hold one of these soirrees in Detroit?

  19. David L. Hagen

    Fish or people first?
    Bone-dry California dumps water to ‘make fish happy’

    Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., is working feverishly to reverse federal and state policies that give fish and rivers priority over people in the distribution of water during the worst drought in California history.
    “They don’t believe that our policy could be so breathtakingly stupid as to dump millions of gallons of precious water in the middle of a drought to adjust river water temperatures.” . . .
    “But those are the policies. They are being carried out. As our reservoirs now near empty, people are beginning to focus on that finally.”

    • John Vonderlin

      David,
      Tom McClintock’s framing of this issue is so far from reality it is sad. Southern Cal has a tradition of ridiculous water usage considering they are essentially a desert. They now want to “steal” every last drop of water from us here in the north of the state. Maintaining water flow in our creeks and rivers to sustain riparian environments is more important than keeping their thousands of golf courses, heavily-landscaped mansions, water-hogging export crops etc lush. It also serves the critical purpose of preventing brackish water from intruding into the water systems of numerous Delta cities, already a problem because of the drought.
      With agriculture using a large majority of our accessible water (10% for almonds, 15% for alfalfa and other forages) I’d suggest that allotting a small amount for ecosystem maintenance, including the Delta Smelt, is just common sense. I’m sure the big donors for the often whacky, arch-conservative Mr. McClintock would disagree. Let me assure you: It ain’t gonna happen.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks for filling in issues. Compare:
        With Just 6 Delta Smelt Left, Controversial California Fish Species Faces Impending Extinction

        Delta smelt used be common throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin estuary until its water was diverted to supply the 25 million people and farmers who live in the area. Invasive species and changes in water salinity and clarity also played a role in the smelt’s decline. They were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1993 and a recovery plan was established in 1996. The average population between 2000 and 2006 was 353 fish. That population crashed to just 25 fish the following year. The species has never recovered.

        How much is attributable to “invasive species” and how much to water?
        With 6 left, does it make much difference?
        I’d rather save the rhino.

      • John Vonderlin

        Hi David,
        As with many environmental issues, the smelt are just the fulcrum of power that is used to accomplish a goal. The goal in this case is to try and stop the degradation of the Delta region. Already in trouble in the best of years, the multi-year drought is accelerating its decline. I’m a pragmatic environmentalist who tries to balance the multiplicity of societal needs against those of the ecosystems we live in. Many of the multi-national corporations that are using their bought political power to protect or improve their bottom lines, their quarterly profit margins or their stock price are not very interested in long term issues or the balancing necessary to accomplish a healthy and sustainable situation in all arenas.
        As to the Scientific American article you linked to. Note they have a disclaimer about it being their opinion and that it was written by a Fish and Wildlife Service employee, not a scientist. He is widely inaccurate that there are 25 million people living in the area. He also fails to mention that there are not just 6 Delta Smelt left. There were six fish caught in this year’s trawling samples. The actual number of surviving fish is unknown. History is replete with species thought to be extinct that were later found to still be around.
        I don’t dispute their numbers have crashed, for a great number of reasons, including non-native species, toxic runoff, water pumps, etc., Perhaps, the aquarium route is the more viable preservation route. But that water Mr. McClintock wants for his thirsty county is going to stay in Northern California. He knows it and is just pandering to the Southern Californians that don’t want to sacrifice their profits or lifestyle choices.
        Here’s an excerpt that encapsulates why McClintock is showboating:
        “In February, urban water consumption increased 2.3 percent in the South Coast region compared with February 2013. The region includes Orange County and has 56 percent of California’s residential water customers.
        Some Orange County districts saw increases of more than 30 percent. Water use statewide dropped 2.8 percent.”
        I say let the little piggies pound sand.

      • I’m with John V. on this one. The Delta has been abused for a century: urban development and pollution, ag. runoff, constructing dams and levees, and the great big water sucking projects to send water 350 miles to So. CA where they have made no effort to conserve. If we need the smelt to save the Delta, so be it.

        They should start building their desal plants now. ITMT, they can lose the green lawns and outdoor swimming pools. They can also pound sand.

  20. David L. Hagen

    Greens steal livelihood from Indians
    Indian coal economy has suffered because of EPA regs, tribes say

    “The EPA clean power program is creating problems for Crow Nation,” said Darrin Old Coyote, Crow tribal chairman. “The EPA did not consult with Crow Nation, did not consider the economic impacts on Crow Nation and did not provide a less obtrusive alternative.”
    A year ago, the EPA rolled out plans to cut carbon pollution from power plants.

  21. Danny Thomas

    Tom Steyer’s following candidates with trucks full of oil barrels and taking Arks to Florida. I can foresee how this might turn in to an “availability cascade” for the other side. Any one taking bets?

  22. “Greenpeace India suspended for encouraging “anti-development campaigns.” ”

    Kudos to the Indians. We need to start doing this in the US. An anti-Luddite movement. Cool!

  23. “Emissions of Twaddle” – Costs and viability of renewable energy and pumped hydro energy storage – Reality checks and common sense

    There was some discussion about solar powered pump hydro energy storage versus nuclear power in last week’s WIR- Policy & Politics edition. The links and comments below may be of interest.

    David Mackay, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, wrote an excellent book Sustainable Energy – Without the hot air; html version here: http://www.withouthotair.com/. The Preface says:

    What’s this book about?

    I’m concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle – twaddle about
    sustainable energy. Everyone says getting off fossil fuels is important, and
    we’re all encouraged to “make a difference,” but many of the things that
    allegedly make a difference don’t add up.

    Twaddle emissions are high at the moment because people get emotional
    (for example about wind farms or nuclear power) and no-one talks
    about numbers. Or if they do mention numbers, they select them to sound
    big, to make an impression, and to score points in arguments, rather than
    to aid thoughtful discussion.

    This is a straight-talking book about the numbers. The aim is to guide
    the reader around the claptrap to actions that really make a difference and
    to policies that add up.

    (http://www.withouthotair.com/c0/preface.shtml)

    I often out the table on p335 which lists GHG emissions intensity of electricity generation (some of the figures are a bit out of date). Notice that Denmark (with the most wind generation in the world) is 10 times higher intensity than France (with the highest proportion of nuclear power). Germany’s (with high proportion of wind and solar) is 7 times France. The contrast is stark. Nuclear is more effective than renewables at cutting GHG emissions.

    Regarding pumped hydro, France is interesting. It has suitable topography and hydrology in the Alps for hydro and pumped hydro. The existing pumped hydro schemes play an important role in providing peak power in France and using cheap off peak nuclear power for pumping. You can see the power generation proportions by energy source here in real time. http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique-en (Select a day where you can see all or most of the full 24 hours, or select a week or a month, or whatever time period you want from the calendar). Note that pumping occurs for a few hours in the early hours of the morning. Pumping is using cheap off peak power when demand is low and then the water is released to generate power at times of peak demand when power prices are highest. Even with ideal conditions for pumped hydro it contributes only a tiny proportion of electricity generation and no substantial new capacity is being added or has been for decades. Common sense should cause people to ask themselves: if pumped hydro is not being built in France, where site conditions are near ideal and 75%-80% is generated by reliable, low cost, baseload, nuclear power, why would we believe it is viable with high cost solar power? The point is that a common sense reality check suggests pumped hydro is not viable for storing energy generated by solar power.

    This may also be of interest: “ Pumped hydro energy storage – do the mathshttp://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/

    • Peter

      David is no longer at DECC

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._C._MacKay

      However I endorse your enthusiasm for his book which realistically portrays our energy options

      Tonyb

    • Thanks Peter. It’s hard to think of what would be a better pairing for pumped storage than a heavily nuclear system. I had never made the connection that the French Alps would provide opportunities for a marriage between pumped hydroelectric and nuclear. But it is a good argument that (assuming rational decision making) France would be a prime candidate for more pumped storage and a test of the economic potential.

      • Reality check:

        The link provided by AK of four pumped-storage hydro-electric power station in France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Pumped-storage_hydroelectric_power_stations_in_France shows:

        1. The first was commissioned in 1935 and the last in 1987. Despite all the financial and regulatory support for “green energy” little new pumped-storage hydroelectric is being built. A common sense reality check suggests they are not economically viable to build now, even with low cost baseload off peak power – so ridiculous to advocate using solar powered pump storage.

        2. Total generating capacity of the four power stations is 3720 MW – i.e. about 6% of France’s nuclear capacity and 3% of its total generating capacity.

        3. Grand Mason Dam is the only one of the four listed that gives the annual generation. It shows the capacity factor is 9%. However, I expect that would be comprised partly from pump storage and partly from surface water flowing into the dam. This suggests average capacity factor for pumped storage of less than 10%.

        4. Assuming 10% capacity factor, pumped hydro generated just 0.6% of France’s total electricity generation and just 0.8% of the electricity generated by France’s nuclear plants in 2014. The pumping is done (mostly) in the early hours of the morning when demand is low and the nuclear plants are generating around 80% of the electricity.

        5. The reality is that few new pumped storage hydroelectric plants are being built. They are very few viable sites available, and low cost baseload power supply that provides low cost power at night is being squeezed out by regulations and subsidies favouring high cost renewable energy.

      • The link provided by AK of four pumped-storage hydro-electric power station [sic] in France […]

        You’re so eager to (“counter-“)attack me that you walk right into traps I never intended to set for you (like Wilbur). The takeaway, for me, was that those stations were built, or upgraded, for nuclear, and thus demonstrated the value of pumped hydro combined with nuclear(especially then, with no other credible storage technology).

        But…

        Renaissance for Pumped Storage in Europe

        Consulting company ecoprog anticipates more than 60 new pumped-storage plants with a total capacity of about 27 GW will be built in Europe by 2020, with the market particularly booming in Spain, Switzerland and Austria. The main reason for this growth is the development of renewable energy throughout Europe, including intermittent sources.

        Many European countries are planning, constructing or upgrading pumped-storage facilities to deal with the growth of renewable energy and the related increasing share of intermittent electricity sources, such as wind and solar. Pumped-storage plants are uniquely situated to help integrate intermittent renewables because these plants can store electricity to balance load and can react quickly to changing grid conditions.

        In April 2011, consulting firm ecoprog published results of a survey, The European Market for Pumped-Storage Power Plants. This report includes a detailed analysis of all essential trends in constructing and operating pumped-storage hydro plants; a differentiation of the current and future market volumes by country up to and including 2020; a description of about 170 pumped-storage plants currently operating, which represent more than 90% of the installed capacity in Europe; and a list of more than 50 new projects either under construction or being planned in the region.

      • You’re so eager to (“counter-“)attack me that you walk right into traps I never intended to set for you (like Wilbur). The takeaway, for me, was that those stations were built, or upgraded, for nuclear, and thus demonstrated the value of pumped hydro combined with nuclear(especially then, with no other credible storage technology).

        You so eager to defend you beliefs and try to avoid admitting your ideas about energy are ridiculous you walk into traps I never intended to set for you.

        1) I’ve already pointed out to you in a comment on last weeks thread that pumped-hydro was economic in the 1970s and 1980s to take baseload power from nuclear plants at night and store it for use during peak demand periods. Dinorwig in Wales is one example of a pumped hydro storage scheme built specifically for that purpose (I worked on site on the underground cavern design during construction for a short period in 1979).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorwig_Power_Station

        2) you made a whole pile of nonsensical assumptions and interpretations from the Tantangara-Blowering pumped hydro scheme. All that showed is how totally ignorant of the subjects you keep posting about. You also demonstrate you have a closed mind not willing to question or challenge your cult beliefs, and can’t be coached.

        3. You continue to advocate for solar powered pumped hydro, no matter how blatantly obvious are the facts demonstrating it is not within an order of magnitude of being viable now, there is no persuasive evidence it could ever be viable. You cannot admit when you are wrong no matter how obvious the evidence.

      • you made a whole pile of nonsensical assumptions and interpretations from the Tantangara-Blowering pumped hydro scheme.

        So you say. But you’ve consistently failed to actually state even one of your claimed “pile of nonsensical assumptions and interpretations”. I’ve repeatedly asked you to do so. I don’t claim to understand your mind (if any) or its products well enough to be sure I’m using said products right. In fact, when I first posted my comment I said

        Is this what you’re talking about, or have I done something wrong?

        Your response?

        It’s hopeless. You don’t have sufficnet understanding of the subject, you don’t know how to do the most basic of reality checks, you avoid what’s relevant and argue about trivial details.

        Perhaps. Or perhaps you found the results “inconvenient”, and denigrated my estimate, which was based on yours, before you actually looked at it. Or perhaps you don’t care about anything but whether the results support your hobby-horse.

        If there really is anything to your denigration beyond my estimate’s “inconvenient” nature, now’s your chance to put up or shut up:

        I’m from Missouri. Show me!

      • No, AK, its for you to put up or shut up.

        I’ve provided many examples from authoritative sources of costs of solar versus nuclear and all show that solar is around 2 to 5 times more expensive by 2030 and 2050 (and thise are using optimistic learnignrate assumptions for renewables and none for nuclear). I’ve provided references for everything I’ve stated.

        The Tantangara-Blowering pumped hydro scheme is well explained – as demonstrated by the discussion on the thread amnd the fact that thread has remained amongst the top 10 hits on BNC over the past 5 years.. The issue is that you don’t read the links provided so you don’t understand. However given that you have no background in the subject (energy), I am persuaded you wouldn’t understand any way.

        You also repeatedly demonstrate you are not debating in good faith. You demonstrate you have no intention of trying to understand. When the evidence is blatantly obvious you cal it a strawman; meanwhile using strawman techniques yourself continually.

    • Study concludes hydroelectric pumped-storage development should expand in Germany

      Germany’s pumped-storage power plants have a combined capacity of about 7 GW. The study indicates there is potential to add to nearly 24 GW of capacity by building pumped-storage plants in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia.

      […]

      “Within the context of the energy transition, the scientists of RWTH examined the role of pumped-storage power plants (i.e. large power stores),” according to the study. The research measured data for two scenarios: one for 2030 with a 60% share of renewable energies in power generation, and one for 2050 with an 80% share.

      […]

      “Pumped-storage plants would offer important systems services, especially for control reserves, but also for the provision of secured outputs,” Andreas said. “In this way, pumped-storage systems can make a contribution to the success of the energy transition.”

      Voith said, “The study concluded that, within the scope of the energy transition, pumped storage plants not only store and re-feed surplus electricity from renewable energies, but due to the plants’ extremely flexible operation, these power stations also make a significant contribution to supply quality and provide guaranteed outputs.”

    • French power prices are low ONLY because the French government heavily subsidized and still subsidizes electric power. The EU investigated and found illegal subsidizing.

      France must to this day sell excess power at night to other countries (primarily Italy) to avoid reducing the nuclear plants’ output each night and increasing again each day. Only with the Italians’ cooperation is this possible. As above, France has also been found in to be illegally subsidizing its power prices. Finally, even with vast subsidies, France charges its customers between 50 percent and 100 percent more (essentially double) for electric power compared to prices in the US. This is hardly a roadmap for anyone else to follow. Indeed, no other country follows France in building so great a share of nuclear power on its grid. After 40 years from the Oil Embargo, if it were a good idea, surely some other country would have done so.

      see my Article 11 of 30 articles on Truth About Nuclear Power, “Following France in Nuclear is Not the Way to Go” at

      http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part.html

      • It’s always interesting to watch “libertarians” rave about the centralized energy policies and government subsidization of nuclear power in France.

      • You have absolutely zero proof how much money the French government has in its government owned nuclear power plants. If the government built the, they government probably didn’t hobble itself like the US government hobbles nuclear companies here.

        You are blowing smoke.

      • Roger Sowell,

        You are distributing misinformation, cherry picked factoids without context or relevance.

        Please state the subsidies per TWh provided to nuclear power compared with solar, wind, other renewables and. of you want to with coal and gas electricity generation. The figures need to be made equivalent – e.g for sam country and over the same time periods, e.g.: 1 year, and/or 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 decades. If you can’t do this, you should retract your comment and delete your disinformation nuclear scaremongering.

        For your information, France has near the cheapest electricity in EU and near the lowest GHG emissions intensity of electricity in EU. See slide 10 here and nice the irony in slide 14 (which is what you are doing):
        http://canadianenergyissues.com/2014/01/29/how-much-does-it-cost-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-a-primer-on-electricity-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change/
        http://image.slidesharecdn.com/ecerpmatrixpresentation-150107095405-conversion-gate01/95/electricity-generation-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change-10-638.jpg?cb=1420646347

      • Peter Lang,

        You have been writing disinformation for quite some time about nuclear power plants. The facts are as I have stated. France, as anyone can see, has NOT been followed by any country in producing as great a share of total power. No country follows France, with Ukraine next at only 46 percent, and South Korea at 29 percent of domestic electricity produced by nuclear power. (2011 IEA ). In fact, world-wide, nuclear power produces just 11.7 percent of all electricity (2011 IEA ). If nuclear power was truly a better technology, one would expect that the past 50 years would have observed country after country abandoning coal and natural gas and building nothing but nuclear power plants. Clearly, with only 11 percent or a bit more in world electricity share after 50 years, nuclear power is not the best choice.

        Here is the truth about French nuclear plants: after the worldwide increases in crude oil price in the 1970s, France chose nuclear power rather than high-priced imported oil or relying on other countries for natural gas. France has, in the intervening years, subsidized its power prices, reluctantly privatized a portion of the electric industry, developed nuclear technology that it desperately subsidizes to sell to other countries, exports low-balled subsidized power to neighboring countries in an attempt to maintain high nuclear plant operating rates, and recently was the object of an investigation for anti-trust by the EU related to power prices. Clearly, following France in nuclear is not the way to go.

        You can read the summary of the 30 articles on Truth About Nuclear Power at

        http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-30.html

        Refute those facts, if you are able.

      • Roger Sorwell,

        You dodged my question. Why did you do that? Don’t you know the answer, or don’t you want to admit to it?

        The rest of your comment is irrelevant to the question I asked. It’s as usually, a pile of cherry picked, out of context, irrelevancies.

        The fact is that nuclear power provides the least cost way to make major reductions in global GHG emissions. You cannot refute that with defensible evidence, can you?

        And you know as well as I do why the accelerating nuclear roll out was stalled. It was because of the activities by anti-nukes like you whose actions caused governments to implement excessive regulations that raised the cost of nuclear power by a factor of about 4 by 1990 and by probably an other fact of 2 since then. There is a great deal of authoritative studies and documentation for that . Are you unaware of it or doesn’t it suit your agenda to admit it?

      • Roger Sowell,

        In case my question wasn’t clear, here it is again (slightly reworded to make it clearer for you):

        Please state the subsidies per TWh provided to nuclear power compared with solar, wind, other renewables and. if you want to, with coal and gas electricity generation.

        The figures need to be properly comparable – e.g comparing same country, same time periods, same economic factors, etc. To avoid cherry picking, provide average cost of subsidies per TWh for the technologies over several durations, e.g.: 1 year, and/or 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 decades.

      • Peter Lang,

        I am very familiar with the subsidies for various forms of electrical power generation. Are you? Why do you not admit that nuclear power is the most heavily subsidized of ANY power source? Are you cherry-picking your data, to suit your agenda?

        Here is a brief summary of nuclear power subsidies, with more on this at my blog and with ample documentation.

        US nuclear power plants enjoy massive subsidies. In fact, no nuclear plant would be built without the subsidies. Forms of subsidy include construction loan guarantees, almost complete liability relief from property and human injuries due to radiation disasters, relief from most construction lawsuits, a form of a carbon tax that shuts down their coal-based competition, and legislation to force rate-payers to pay for nuclear power plant construction before the plants are completed. In fact, the US Price-Anderson Act provides that nuclear plant owners carry insurance for only $300 million in damages, and each operating plant must contribute another $100 million toward anything above the $300 million covered by insurance. The federal government pays anything above a stated amount, presently about $10 billion. In effect, the nuclear power plant owners have almost zero liability due to insurance and government indemnity. They pay only the insurance premium plus $100 million for each reactor. This cannot be conducive to a safe operating regime – if there are zero consequences, why would nuclear plant owners try to operate safely?

        Your other points in favor of nuclear power are equally false.

        see “US Nuclear Plants Are Heavily Subsidized” at

        http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-13.html

        and “Price-Anderson Act Gives Too Much Protection to Nuclear Plants” at

        http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-25.html

        You inquire if there is a power-production technology that can reduce CO2 emissions. A better question is, Why would anyone want such a technology? It is abundantly clear that atmospheric CO2 has no relationship to average temperature on the Earth’s surface.

        But, to continue the discussion, the answer is “of course there is and are such technologies.” The ultimate energy sources for the near and far future societies will NOT be nuclear, for the obvious and stated reasons of poisoning the planet with plutonium, plus unaffordable high costs of nuclear power. The future energy sources will be very low-cost, reliable, and have zero emissions of any kind – particulates, sulfur, ash, mercury, radioactivity, water vapor, CO2, Nitrogen oxides. The future energy sources will be primarily of four technologies: hydroelectric, onshore wind and offshore wind coupled to shallow-ocean pumped storage hydroelectric, solar where insolation is economically sufficient, and ocean current generation. Other non-fossil and non-nuclear technologies are also being developed including cellulosic ethanol and engineered algae.

        For more on nuclear plant subsidies, note that the UK’s Hinkley Point proposed nuclear plant is heavily subsidized, causing intense criticisim. Note also that Russian and French nuclear vendors provide their customers with below-market financing and other subsidies – just to obtain the sale.

      • Roger Sorwell,

        I am very familiar with the subsidies for various forms of electrical power generation.

        In that case, why didn’t you answer my question? Why do you keep avoiding answering.

        You keep telling me how much you know, but then dodge answering what should be a straightforward, simple question if you did know …. unless of course you don’t want to admit. I expect the latter

      • In answer to Peter Lang’s question:

        The costs of wind subsidies are extraordinarily high—$52.48 per one million watt hours generated, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By contrast, the subsidies for generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear power are $3.10, from hydropower 84 cents, from coal 64 cents, and from natural gas 63 cents.

        This from an oped in the WSJ by Phil Gramm.

        I’ve checked the number directly from the EIA web site.

      • Roger – an appeal to your own authority is double fallacious reasoning.

      • Roger says; “In fact, the US Price-Anderson Act provides that nuclear plant owners carry insurance for only $300 million in damages, and each operating plant must contribute another $100 million toward anything above the $300 million covered by insurance. The federal government pays anything above a stated amount, presently about $10 billion. In effect, the nuclear power plant owners have almost zero liability due to insurance and government indemnity. They pay only the insurance premium plus $100 million for each reactor. This cannot be conducive to a safe operating regime – if there are zero consequences, why would nuclear plant owners try to operate safely?”

        Maybe I am missing something, but there seems to be a math discrepancy in your story. You claim that the fed govt picks up claims over $10 billion, while the nuclear plant peeps pay for $300M insurance and another $100M. There’s a big gap there, Roger. Can you see it?

        According to Wiki Price-Anderson works like this here:

        “The Act establishes a no fault insurance-type system in which the first approximately $12.6 billion (as of 2011) is industry-funded as described in the Act. Any claims above the $12.6 billion would be covered by a Congressional mandate to retroactively increase nuclear utility liability or would be covered by the federal government.”

        You seem to be way off, Roger. And don’t you think that the owners of nuclear reactors try to operate safely, because they don’t want their plants to blow and cause them to be sent to prison? Do you think the operators of nuclear plants are stoopid people, Roger? Are you aware that nuclear plant licensing, construction and safety is highly regulated?

        http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/organization/nrrfuncdesc.html

        Try to catch up, Roger.

      • Don Monford,

        Thanks for your explanation. What Roger Sowell continually does is cherry pick numbers, take them out of context and write them with advjectives to make them sound big and scary. What he fails to do is to provide them in context and properly comparable with the alternatives. If he converted all the costs to cost per MWh supplied and compared them with those for renewables, he’d find that renewables are 2 to 5 times the cost of nuclear. That’s the main point of comparison Roger Sowell doesn’t mention.

      • To “jim2” – re “Roger – an appeal to your own authority is double fallacious reasoning.”

        You are quite wrong. My blog articles are carefully and amply documented with credible sources. If you look around, you will find that many, many credible attorneys, engineers, and scientists cite their own work.

        If you can find any credible evidence to refute my statements, please advance such evidence.

      • For Don Monfort, re “Maybe I am missing something, but there seems to be a math discrepancy in your story. You claim that the fed govt picks up claims over $10 billion, while the nuclear plant peeps pay for $300M insurance and another $100M. There’s a big gap there, Roger. Can you see it?”

        What you are missing is that the US presently has approximately 100 nuclear reactors in operation. The number varies as one after another shuts down due to steadily losing money year after year. Therefore, the $100 million for each reactor is multiplied by the 100 reactors still operating, to provide the $10 billion.

        Quoting the Price-Anderson Act:

        “Any damages exceeding that ($300 million insurance) amount are to be assessed equally against all covered commercial reactors, up to $95.8 million per reactor (most recently adjusted for inflation by NRC in August 2004).Those assessments would be paid at an annual rate of no more than $10 million per reactor. According to the NRC, all of the nation’s 103 commercial reactors are currently covered by the Price-Anderson retrospective premium requirement.

        “Funding for public compensation following a major nuclear incident would therefore include the $300 million in insurance coverage carried by the reactor that suffered the incident, plus the$95.8 million in retrospective premiums from each of the 103 currently covered reactors, totaling $10.2 billion. On top of those payments, a 5 percent surcharge may also be imposed, raising the total per-reactor retrospective premium to $100.6 million and the total potential compensation for each incident to about $10.7 billion.

        “Under Price-Anderson, the nuclear industry’s liability for an incident is capped at that amount (about $10.7 billion), which varies depending on the number of covered reactors, amount of available insurance, and an inflation adjustment that is made every 5 years.”

        I hope this helps you “catch up.”

      • Roger,

        All you numbers are irrelevant because they are not presented on a comparable basis, and not compared with the other available alternatives to generate electricity that is reliable, fit for purpose, and (if this is a goal) low emissions.

        Until you do there is not point in debating the numbers.

      • Roger Sowell,

        reality Check
        Do you accept that nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity in terms of fatalities per TWh (based on 60 years and 15,000 reactors years of operation of civil nuclear power plants)? http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html

        Given this, nuclear would be the least expensive to insure if all technologies were rated equally on the risks of fatalities.

        The actual costs of nuclear insurance are a trivial cost of electricity from nuclear power plants. If you don’t believe me, then produce the numbers you are using (per TWh for the electricity generation technologies you are comparing)

      • Roger – that money isn’t spent until … well … it’s spent. Not much actually has been spent for all those nuclear reactors.

  24. Can someone point me to a debunking article for this: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html Seems to me this cant even be done without major assumptions.

  25. I just noticed an update in my email box on how CA plans on meeting it’s AB 32 goals-
    “Governor Brown has called for California to adopt a 2030 greenhouse gas
    (GHG) emissions target to inform policy setting and program development.
    The California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Independent System Operator commissioned Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) to evaluate the feasibility and cost of a range of potential 2030 targets along the way to the State’s goal of reducing GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

    E3 conducted the analysis, with support from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), using the E3 California PATHWAYS model. Enhanced specifically for this study, the model features detailed representations of the buildings, industry, transportation, and electricity sectors, including hourly electricity supply and demand. Also represented, but with less detail, are non-energy GHG emissions and energy demand from the water sector and the agriculture sector.”

    https://ethree.com/documents/E3_Project_Overview_20150406.pdf

    https://ethree.com/documents/E3_PATHWAYS_GHG_Scenarios_Updated_April2015.pdf

    Interesting comment/assumption on page 74- “Additional renewables built for and absorbed by flexible grid electrolysis to fuel FCVs””

  26. @PeterGluckman
    “In the debate over climate change the central allegation of the skeptics is that the science saying it’s real and a serious threat is politically tinged, driven by environmental activism and not hard data. That is not true and it slanders honest scientists.”

    That is paramount to suggesting that a challenge made with hard data, slanders the scientist. Talk about precious.

    “The culture and structures of science thrive on that skeptical and constructive debate but it does us no good to confuse this with our obligations to the public. In the media, this confusion is often manifested in the drive to find a contrarian view in order to present a false ‘balance’ in a putative debate, completely disregarding any overarching scientific consensus and emphasising instead the uncertainties. Here, the media are seeking controversy and we need to work with them to end this practice.”

    They are the false balance as they disregard the uncertainties. Any media that refuses to present the full case, as with the BBC, should be called to account, especially as it breaks their own charter.

  27. On utilities and regulation, California should be interesting over the next few years. To some extent, where California goes, other states follow. At the moment, it looks like a snake-pit.

    On the one hand, there are apparently at least three state and federal criminal investigations involving former and current commissioners of the main regulator and also the regulator itself, the CPUC. Possibly illegal back-channel dealings between commissioners and utilities etc etc.

    On the other, comments like these from the new CPUC chair following last weeks $1.6B penalty decision against the biggest energy utility, PG&E, for the possibly criminal mismanagement which led to it blowing up San Bruno.

    http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/D8E5C7F1-A0A1-48C3-A80B-7FEDC84F9529/0/PresidentPickerCommentsonPGESafetyCultureandEnforcementTheory.pdf

    “[PGE] did not make the connection among its high level goals, its enterprise risk management process and the work that was actually going on in the company. We think that this failing is a product of the culture of the company – a culture whose rhetoric does not match its practices.”

    “The panel listed a number of issues contributing to this dysfunctional culture, including excessive levels of management, appearance-led strategy setting, insularity and an overemphasis on financial performance.”

    “Despite major public attention, ongoing CPUC investigations (OIIs) and rulemakings (OIRs) into PG&E’s actions and operations, including the investigations we voted on today, federal grand jury, and California Department of Justice investigation, continued safety lapses at PG&E continue to occur.”

    [Chart showing annual violations history, with PG&E massively out-numbering its peers and growing hugely in 2013. But looking at it, I wonder how much of this is because PG&E is more under the political spotlight and increasingly so, compared to others …]

    “Here’s our bind: we are now reaching the upper end of the range of fines and cash penalties that the CPUC’s economic studies, cited in these just-adopted decisions, argue that we can make the utility pay without raising the cost to borrow capital, and thus raise costs to ratepayers.”

    “Do PG&E Board directors or executive officers feel CPUC sanctions directly? Is there any one with authority within the company who is accountable for our fines and penalties? What mechanism holds them accountable? The CEO who held that position at the time of the San Bruno incident, and during cuts in funding pipeline replacement and inspection programs, retired with a reported $38 million bonus. The President of PG&E at the time of the San Bruno incident is still the president. ”

    “Is the organization simply too large – spread across a sizeable portion of a large state, and encompassing diverse functions such as both gas transmission and gas distribution, as well as electric service – to succeed at safety?”

    The chair is proposing studies of the effectiveness of PG&E’s safety culture and possible changes to penalties and remedies (including, by inference, SarbOx-type liabilities for executives).

    – These comments obviously focus on safety issues but I think fairly reasonable to extrapolate to other aspects. If a utility suffers from “excessive levels of management, appearance-led strategy setting, insularity and an overemphasis on financial performance” with respect to safety it’s probably screwed up in general.

    – PG&E is the biggest energy efficiency player in the US, in $$$ terms, at least residentially (which is what I look a – I’m on the board of a residential EE technology company). What is the actual effectiveness of this activity; what are the quality of he reported savings metrics; to what extent is there only an “appearance-led strategy”. If the CPUC has in fact to some extent been a captive of PG&E and other industry players in the past, what trust in the reg process to produce good visibility and good outcomes for EE programs?

    – How much better are things at the other big CA investor-owned utilities and generally around the country?

    Everything might be too entrenched for meaningful reg-driven change but I guess when dysfunctionality rises to a level where you start blowing people up, political pressures become intense. On the other hand, there’s a bunch of disruptive forces bearing down on the utilities and maybe they’ll overtake reg changes …

    • Every commissioner on the California Public Utility Commision has been appointed by Governor Jerry (Moonbeam) Brown. The president of the commissioners was the Governor’s Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy for many years. PG&E does what the Commision tells it to do, and since they make money in every scenario they don’t care or are smart enough kiss Gov. Brown’s … The deck is stacked. We are hosed.

      The President of the CPUC, from their website:

      http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/aboutus/Commissioners/Picker/index.htm

    • johnvonderlin

      Szilard,
      Very cogent. As an owner of a nice chunk of P.G. & E stock and having wondered about the strange sight of the mysterious giant blowtorch of the broken pipeline as I was driving out of the Santa Cruz mountains one night I’ve been horrified as this story has unfolded the last few years. As the subject of numerous talk shows I’ve listened to in the ensuing years I second your summation of the situation as a “snake pit.” I too worry about how common the malfeasance and cozy, revolving-door relationships we’ve discovered are throughout the industry. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a home anywhere near a major feed line. And sleep sounder knowing mine isn’t.

  28. Rich liberals supporting Democrats.
    From the article:

    April 8, 2015 Deep in Silicon Valley, where the free market reigns and the exchange of ideas is celebrated, a subset of tech workers are hiding their true selves. Working as programmers and software engineers, they don’t want the stigma that comes with revealing who they really are.

    They’re the tech company employees, startup founders, and CEOs who vote for and donate to Republican candidates, bucking the Bay Area’s liberal supremacy. Fearing the repercussions of associating with a much-maligned minority, they keep their political views fiercely hidden.

    “It’s a liberal echo chamber,” Garrett Johnson, a co-founder of Lincoln Labs, which was started in 2013 to connect the right-of-center outsiders in Silicon Valley, told National Journal. “People have been convinced that Silicon Valley is reflexively liberal or progressive. And so their response is to conform.”

    Silicon Valley has long been a bastion of liberalism. Since George H.W. Bush won Napa County in 1988, Republican presidential nominees have lost every county in the Bay Area. In 2012, President Obama won 84 percent of the vote in San Francisco to Mitt Romney’s 13 percent and raised more for his reelection campaign from Bay Area donors than from those in New York or Hollywood. Political donations specifically from tech workers follow that trend: Google employees collectively gave $720,000 to Obama in 2012, versus $25,000 for Romney. Crowdpac, a nonpartisan political analytics firm, found that between 1979 and 2012, tech companies have overwhelmingly favored liberal candidates.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/gop-silicon-valley-20150408

  29. Naturally, environmentalists don’t want no stinkin’ desalinization plants!
    From the article:

    Once dismissed as too expensive and harmful to the environment desalination is getting a second look. A $1 billion desalination plant to supply booming San Diego County is under construction and due to open as early as November, providing a major test of whether California cities will be able to resort to the ocean to solve their water woes. “It was not an easy decision to build this plant,” says Mark Weston, chairman of the agency that supplies water to towns in San Diego County. “But it is turning out to be a spectacular choice. What we thought was on the expensive side 10 years ago is now affordable.”

    http://science.slashdot.org/story/15/04/12/1214237/california-looks-to-the-sea-for-a-drink-of-water

    • Desal – Yep, that’s where the water is! In our local itty bitty city by the sea enviro-wackos teamed-up with a gaggle of other special interests to take desal off the table. The two biggest issues were the global warming that the energy use of desal would cause and the price. Cheapskates, water wasters, and environuts joined hands. Kumbayah! It will be back soon.

      • John Vonderlin

        Jim2,
        So renewables at crazy high prices are bad, but water at $2,000.00 an acrefoot is good? Affordable is an elastic word that even encompasses “absurd” apparently.
        “The San Diego County Water Authority has agreed to buy at least 48,000 acre-feet of water from the plant each year for about $2,000 an acre-foot. An acre-foot equals about 326,000 gallons, roughly enough for two families of four for a year. The authority has made a long-term bet that those costs — now double those of the most readily available alternative — will eventually be competitive. But it still means the authority will pay more than $3 billion over 30 years for only about 7 percent of the county’s water needs.”
        If the Authority is paying 2K what do you suppose their price will be to consumers after they pay capitalization costs, all their high salaries, Cadillac benefits for early retirees, lifetime healthcare, etc?
        Then what happens when the rains return (unless you actually believe the alarmists that say Climate Change will keep them away forever in California despite the historical record ) and water drops back to its normal price of about $140 an acre foot. Oh that’s right, by then the architects of this plan will have taken early retirement at 90% of their salaries and will be enjoying life while their constituents are stuck paying a penny a gallon for decades. Be skeptical, be very skeptical.

  30. Although the author here did not mention “climate change” the applicability to climate science is all too obvious.

    View story at Medium.com

  31. Danny Thomas

    OT of politics, but I’m assuming caused by G.W. :http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2015/apr2015/apr2015.pdf

  32. Reality Check: Japan To Build 40+ New Coal Power Plants
    http://www.thegwpf.com/japan-to-build-40-new-coal-power-plants/

    If solar PV is so much cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear supplied electricity, why isn’t japan building solar power stations and pumped hydro instead of coal? Perhaps AK can explain why the economists and engineers have got is all so wrong.

    • Solar Panels Floating on Water Will Power Japan’s Homes

      Clean energy companies are turning to lakes, wetlands, ponds, and canals as building grounds for sunlight-slurping photovoltaic panels. So far, floating solar structures have been announced in, among other countries, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Italy.

      The biggest floating plant, in terms of output, will soon be placed atop the reservoir of Japan’s Yamakura Dam in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo. When completed in March 2016, it will cover 180,000 square meters, hold 50,000 photovoltaic solar panels, and power nearly 5,000 households. It will also offset nearly 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. (Since the EPA estimates a typical car releases 4.7 tons of CO2 annually, that’s about 1,700 cars’ worth of emissions.)

      […]

      So, why build solar panels on water instead of just building them on land? Placing the panels on a lake or reservoir frees up surrounding land for agricultural use, conservation, or other development. With these benefits, though, come challenges.

      […]

      To make sure the platforms could withstand the whims of Mother Nature, Ciel et Terre’s research and development team brought in the big guns: a wind tunnel at Onera, the French aerospace lab. The company’s patented Hydrelio system—those polyethylene “frames” that cradle the solar panels—was subjected to very high wind conditions that matched hurricane speeds. The system resisted winds of up to 118 miles per hour.

      […]

      “Earthquakes have no impacts on the floating photovoltaic system, which has no foundation and an adequate anchoring system that ensures its stability,” says Eva Pauly, international business manager at Ciel et Terre. “That’s a big advantage in a country like Japan.”

      […]

      For now, companies are aiming to build floating energy sources that conserve limited space, are cheaper than solar panels on terra firma, and are, above all, efficient. Ciel et Terre says that since its frames keep Kyocera’s solar panels cool, the floating plant could generate up to 20 percent more energy than a typical ground system does.

      • The RE zealots are just as loony now as they were 30 years ago. 30 years agon they were claiming that solar was baseload capable than and cheaper then nuclear power – if the stupid government would just give them a bit mor money to demonstrate it.

        Zealots are always the same – immune to rational analysis, they continually restate their beliefs (based on nothing bu belief)

      • AK,

        You didn’t give any relevant facts, such as

        Q1. what proportion of Japan’s electricity is projected (by the relevant government agency) to be supplied by your solar power on ponds by 2020 or 2030?

        Q2. What’s the cost of the energy ($/MWh) with all system costs included?

        Q3. How does it power any homes at night, let alone 5000 homes?

        Q4. You didn’t mention solar power pumped hydro. Why not? Have you realised how ridiculous it is, but don’t have the intellectual, personal or professional integrity to admit it?

      • Floating Solar – A Crazy Big Idea?

        The Williston Reservoir behind BC Hydro’s WAC Bennett dam is far larger at 410,000 acres, so 10% solar coverage there would generate 13,500 GWh a year – the same as the dam itself.

        What about ecological impacts? A floating solar array would darken the water beneath, so fish might not hang out beneath it, but it would also cool the water, helping to offset the warming we are causing by our use of fossil fuels and discouraging algae growth. The arrays would also reduce evaporation, enabling more water to be stored.

        What about the practical aspects? The floating panels can rise and fall, but the large flat area has a calming impact since it sucks the momentum out of any waves. In Japan, the panels are designed to be able to stand up to a typhoon. The angle of the panels is low, so they will not be caught by the wind. They have not yet been installed on lakes that freeze in winter, but if they were, it would need a platform that allowed ice to form underneath, lifting the solar array above it.

        So is this crazy, or not? If you find yourself instinctively dismissing the idea, do at least first visit Ciel & Terre’s website at http://www.ciel-et-terre.net, and see the photographs and videos of installed systems. This is not a hypothetical proposal.

        If you still doubt that it’s possible, check out the video from Mark Bennett, a fruit farmer in Berkshire, England who installed a Ciel & Terre 200 kW floating solar system on a 3-acre man-made lake. It took only a week to install the 800-panel system, and they needed no tools or heavy equipment. You just clip the platform’s plastic units together, attach the solar and float them out onto the water. In terms of installation speed per kW, it’s seven times faster than a rooftop installation. They wash the system twice a year using a brush and water from the lake.[5]

      • Pumped hydro installations close to the “Yamakura Dam in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo.”:

        Shin-Takasegawa Pumped Storage Station 1,280 MW

        Imaichi Dam 1,050 MW

        Kazunogawa Pumped Storage Power Station 1200 MW Planned: 1600 MW

    • Pickering power station:
      4000 MW, 40 years old, reliable power, nestled happily in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada’s largest city

      Locals making use of the slightly warmed cooling water as it exits the plant:

      Nuclear is currently supplying 70% of Ontario’s electricity and 95.6 % of Ontario-generated electricity was carbon-free. Nuclear reactors contributed 73.4 % of Ontario’s carbon-free electricity.

      How do your solar ponds compare with that?

      • AK, that’s typical of your way of responding each time you lose out on an argument. And, oh boy, do you lose out every time!!!

        BTW, you haven’t answered the questions above about the solar ponds you are advocating. I presume that means you can’t answer – as usual.

        Tell me, what proportion of Japan’s electricity did your solar ponds generate yesterday?

        What proportion of Japan’s electricity di they generate from 7 pm to 7 am?

      • Floating Solar Panels Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, Growth and Forecast 2014 – 2020

        Over the years photovoltaic systems have been successfully deployed on land and in free space to generate energy. These commonly used solar energy systems have two weaknesses: cost associated with the solar cells fabrication & maintenance and requirement of vast land area. These challenges are recovered by the new floating solar panels systems. In past few years, a myriad of solar systems have been installed on rivers, canals, reservoirs, ponds and oceans; augmenting the global market for floating solar panels. The leading companies in the solar market struggle to find land to install solar panels, and hence deploying solar panels over the industrial water basins or on the rivers will give a win-win situation to them. Countries with scare land space such as Singapore, which has population of around 5.4 million in 2013 and 714 square kilometers of total land area demands floating solar panels thereby, embellishing the global floating solar panels market.

        This report is a complete study of current trends in the market, industry growth drivers, and restraints. It provides market projections for the coming years. It includes analysis of recent developments in technology, Porter’s five force model analysis and detailed profiles of top industry players. The report also includes a review of micro and macro factors essential for the existing market players and new entrants along with detailed value chain analysis.

        A bargain at $4315.50.

      • You gave no units, so, since my question asked for cost of energy ($/MWh) I presume that’s what you are trying to answer, but once again demonstrating your lack of training or experience in energy.

        $4315.50/MWh. That’s about 500 times the cost of nuclear. Thanks for playing.

        You still haven’t answered the 5 questions above. I expect you don’t understand them, or you realise if you answer once again you’ll demonstrate your ignorance?

    • Japan has a tremendous solar PV feed-in subsidy – nearly 25 cents per kwh.
      To be fair, Japan also has extremely high electricity rates because it has to import nearly all of its fossil fuels: 26 cents per kwh.
      So, it isn’t surprising the all manner of funky solar PV projects will be viable in Japan because the feed-in tariff is literally double that of the electricity cost itself. It is actually higher, because 26 cents per kwh represents the retail cost of electricity; the wholesale production cost of electricity is probably half of the retail price or less.
      Or in other words, solar PV is being subsidized at 3x or more the rate of all other electricity production – even in a nation which imports all of its fossil fuels.

      • Thanks ctue. Thst’s useful information. It’s another example confirming that solar is very high cost now, not viable now without huge susbsidies, so unlikely to be sustainable as it’s penetration increases and the higher prices consumers have to pay for electricity would be come prohibitive and highly visible. The realistivally achievanble rate of cost reduction is unlikely to get solar down to being competitive with fossil fuels or nuclear. And, once we remove the impeediments to nuclear, the cost can come down (over time) by virtually an unlimited amount – e.g. fuel utilisation can be increased by nearly a factor of 100 for fission, and then there’s fusion.)

        BTW, FiT at 25 c/kWh and retail price of electricity at 26c/kWh suggests that real cost of solar (with all system costs included) would be perhaps 4 to 5 times the cost of fossil fuel generation. Generation cost is probably 20% to 25% of retail electricity price, transmission and distribution 50% and retailing metering etc around 25% to 30%. Then there’s the added system costx caused by intermittent, unreliable electricity supply:
        http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/reports/2012/system-effects-exec-sum.pdf

        http://www.energyinachangingclimate.info/Counting%20the%20hidden%20costs%20of%20energy.pdf

      • Furthermore, at high penetration, (e.g. 50% globally), which is what would be required for solar to have a significant contribution to reducing global GHG emissions, a huge amount of energy storage would be required. Sufficent storage to enable solar PV to provide baseload power would triple, quadruple or more the cost of solar power. Therefore, solar power may be an order of magnitude more costly than nuclear at sufficiently high penetration rates to make a major contribution to reducing global GHG emissions..

      • Peter,
        Solar PV does have its place – but that place isn’t as primary generation at the society level in any but the most unusual circumstances.
        Solar PV in Hawaii has been wildly successful in terms of adoption – because Hawaii’s electricity prices are even higher than Japan’s. However, the effect of this has been to literally destroy the grid: Hawaii is now on its 3rd generation of battery tech to try and offset the solar production curve mismatch vs. the use curve. I shudder to imagine what the cost of multi-megawatt lithium battery farms will be.
        It seems to me that it would be far cheaper to replace the literally last century oil burning electricity plants in Hawaii with coal or natural gas – it is because of those which is why Hawaii has such ridiculously high electricity costs.

      • Solar doesn’t have to take off today. It just needs to continue doing what it’s doing and by 2075, when we really need it, we’ll be okay.

      • c1ue,

        Solar PV does have its place – but that place isn’t as primary generation at the society level in any but the most unusual circumstances.

        If it is not subsidised I’d agree.

        However, the entire reason for the enormous support given to renewables is because their supporters believe they can make a significant contribution to reducing global GHG emissions. They cannot and they are distracting us from focusing on policies that could substantially cut global GHG emissions, provide cheaper energy that meets all requirements and as a result improve productivity world wide. That lifts people out of poverty faster.

        Given that I live way ahead of you guys, and the Sun has done down, I’m off to bed.

        Can I urge those who may be interested to have a rational and constructive discussion on solar and nuclear power to background themselves on my comments on this thread, so I don’t keep going over ground already covered.

      • Thomas Fuller,

        Solar doesn’t have to take off today. It just needs to continue doing what it’s doing and by 2075, when we really need it, we’ll be okay.

        It almost certainly can’t, for reasons already covered.

    • Mr. Lang, the first year the U.S. burned more oil than coal was 1964. You can be patient with solar, you know.

      • It’s not sustainable. All the major improvements in human well being have been as a result of an increase in energy density of fuels and reduction in costs. Nuclear power has almost unlimited resources and almost unlimited potential for cost reductions. progress is thwarted by those who think they are ‘Progressives’ – e.g. those advocating for hugely costly technologies like wind and solar.

      • There are effectively no progressives in Texas, and we have more windmills than rattlesnakes. Well, I exaggerate, but we have a ton of windmills.

      • I don’t call policies which destroy innovation and reward old technology, policies which lead to patient development of solar.
        These policies reward companies for massive marketing, sales and lobbying budgets as opposed to creating better products, and the consequences are severe since a solar install is both horrifically expensive and is intended to last for 20 years.
        The oil to coal switchover in electricity power generation was not actually a switchover – ongoing increases in electricity demand were built with successively better technology even as the old plants kept running. Because of this, the oil plants weren’t idled until the 1970s when oil prices jumped.
        However, barring another moronic mandate like forced EV adoption, US electricity demand will continue to be flat to falling as it has for the past decade. Combine this with the fact that solar PV cost is all up front – it means that replacement of existing solar PV installs won’t occur for decades, which in turn yields massive disincentives for innovation.
        Note that the capital profile for solar PV is also radically different than for fossil fuels: a large part of fossil fuel electricity production cost is the fuel cost – this is why we’re seeing replacement of coal with natural gas now. This dynamic does not exist for solar PV or wind – these are dominated by capital costs which in turn are heavily affected by subsidy levels, either construction or feed-in tariff type.
        Lastly, I’d note that the CAGW consensus is attempting to radicalize public opinion for a switchover ASAP. Neither they nor a constructive alternative energy switchover can wait for 2075.

  33. If temperature and Arctic ice continue their stagnation until summer ’16, I doubt climate will be a top issue. You’d have extreme weather left as a topic but no democratic climate advisor worth their pay would suggest debating this. Climate change will be represented in a small way in energy issues the parties will say pretty much the same thing. My prediction anyways…

    • David Wojick

      Unfortunately I think climate change is now established as a permanent major issue, like gun control.

      • Uh, you mean ‘fortunately’. I would call it the most major issue ever, but that would be wicked, and hyperbole does not become me.
        =============

  34. I was wondering if anybody has used the Mohr fossil fuel projections to estimate CO2 concentration, and thereafter estimate surface temperature using a set of climate sensitivity ranges?

    http://energybulletin.dev.postcarbon.org/node/53509

  35. This blogger, Steven Goddard (aka Tony Heller), seems most aware of the seriousness of worldwide deception disguised as consensus science:

    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/experts-say-that-ocean-acidification-killed-flying-insects/

  36. Via Yahoo search: site:judithcurry.com Joshua
    returns 2760 results. This isn’t complete – I’d have to download all comments and apply some filtering to be thoroughly accurate, but this is a quick and dirty way to measure trolldom.
    What does this 2760 results mean? In context:
    site:judithcurry.com curryja returns 2430 results. Or in other words, Joshua blathers more than the owner of the site.
    site:judithcurry.com “Peter Lang” returns 1200 results, “Jim D” returns 1370 results, and “c1ue” returns 187 results.
    The classic definition of the troll – besides the use of common insults and other rhetorical strategies to drive up emotion and reduce coherent thought levels, is sheer volume.
    Certainly volume itself is not a guarantee, but volume does allow very quick and easy inspection to determine content quality.
    In the case of Joshua, extremely unimpressive.

  37. RE Game of Thrones and climate change:

    Some people have way too much time on their hands if they are blogging about this. It is a bit worrisome that pop culture is being confused with real science issues. Although to be fair, Game of Thrones exhibits greater science understanding than most alarmist climate scientists. It at least gets the most likely future shift in climate – an ice age.

  38. “http://www.technologyreview.com/view/536621/how-a-troll-spotting-algorithm-learned-its-anti-antisocial-trade/”

    If you think this isn’t going to be used to increase confirmation bias on every new climate article that comes out you’re missing where our future is heading….. Scary.

  39. Me, I’m waiting to see everybody’s taxes for the last 10 years.
    College transcripts, birth certificates, marriage licenses, police rap sheets, driving record, medical history, all official government emails etc.

    I heard some of these items may not be turned over.
    That’s too bad.

  40. Danny Thomas

    David,
    You owe me nothing but please, for the sake of the blog let’s not stoop to this.

    Regards,

  41. Why The Buzz Around Floating Solar PV?

    We have said this before: floating solar is the new exotic solar these days.

    From Australia, to India, to Japan, to Korea, to the US, and now Brazil, everyone has been announcing floating solar pv power projects in all shapes and sizes.

    The reason these countries are in such a rush is bcause floating solar PV technology offers a number of advantages:

  42. The Saudi’s complain about the US while they open their spigots wider. This is good for my tribe and it’s delicious.
    From the article:

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries published a stinging critique on Monday of oil-producing countries that had refused to follow its lead in holding back supply in an effort to boost prices.

    “Yet, when it comes to the supply of petroleum, there is a stubborn willingness of some non-OPEC producers to adopt a go-it-alone attitude, with scant regard for the consequences.”

    In comparison, non-OPEC production “led by the U.S. and Canada” surged by 6.3 million barrels per day in the same period, the body said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102582093

    From the article:

    Factors cited for bearish fundamentals include a jump in Saudi production to 10.3 million barrels a day and daily exports reaching 7.5 million barrels in March, a time when demand is typically softer. The output increase, between 700,000 and 1 million barrels a day since mid-February, could be very bullish particularly if the increased exports make their way into the already oversupplied U.S. market.

    “Amidst much speculation over Saudi motivation, a simple, rational argument is that the Saudis are finally coming to terms with the structural changes afoot in the oil market, namely weaker demand and U.S. shale, and are pursuing their goal of revenue maximization which works along side favorable geopolitical outcomes for the kingdom,” they wrote.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102581572

    • […] a simple, rational argument is that the Saudis are finally coming to terms with the structural changes afoot in the oil market, namely weaker demand and U.S. shale, […]

      Or perhaps they’re getting while the getting is (still) good: due to competition from solar, most of the fossil “reserves” are going to be left in the ground. So their best bet is to sell as much as they can before the price gets too low to be worth pumping it out of the ground.

    • While they are making hay while there’s still hay to be made, I’m doubting they are worrying about solar. They are probably worried about their enemy, Iran, pumping more oil courtesy of Obumbles, though.

  43. Submission to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines:

    “To: Committee Secretariat
    From: Pat Swords, BE CEng FIChemE CEnv MIEMA,

    I would like to take this opportunity to make a submission to your Australian Senate Committee. I am actually an Irish citizen, while I have worked very extensively Internationally, I have not actually been to Australia. However, I am both a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Chartered Environmentalist and extremely familar with the legal, technical, financial and environmental problems associated with wind energy.

    As an attachment to this Submission I would like to include two documents for your consideration. The first is a very recent article in the Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, entitled: ‘In sowing the wind, how Ireland could reap the whirlwind’ – a case against Irish wind development(s). The article is also free for download at the link below:
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02646811.2015.1008847

    What the article explains in its abstract is:

    On 1 July 2010, Ireland gave an ambitious pledge to convert a significant share of electricity generation from conventional to onshore wind generation. This pledge was designed to support a legal obligation to reach a 16 per cent share in renewable energy consumption by 2020. More recently, buoyed by the apparent success of the initial policy, the Irish Government indicated its intention to explore the potential for a wind generated electricity export market. However, problems are evident that threaten these ambitions as Ireland’s wind policy and most of its commercial wind developments (namely those constructed before 2011) are open to legal challenge for having breached EU law. Although the case law that supports this proposition will be considered solely in relation to the threat it poses to Ireland’s wind policy and developments, the jurisprudence has broad-ranging implications for renewable energy across the EU, and for environmental lawyers and policy-makers in all 28 of the EU’s Member States.

    In other words, as the Article written by some of the foremost legal experts in Ireland concludes, “what is apparent is that a large potential for lawsuits exists”. Indeed, the article references the work completed by myself in bringing a legal case successfully against the EU at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) legal tribunal in Geneva, which found that the EU had failed in its renewable programme to provide the necessary information to the public and ensure active public participation in decision-making. Which is also a breach of Community law.

    It is increasingly clear that the population of rural Ireland are not going to stand by and have more than three thousand wind turbines and several thousand kilometers of new high voltage lines built around them, for a programme which is completely dysfunctional and unnecessary. As such there are an increasing amount of legal cases now entering the
    Courts, despite the very high financial barriers to access to justice. Indeed, the only reason as to why the EU’s renewable programme has proceeded as far as it has, is that time and time gain the necessary legal procedures related to assessment and democratic accountability were by-passed. Simple populism and slogans triumphed the legally required evaluation and public participation in decision-making.

    Sadly, when one looks at the balance of what has been achieved with the more than €600 billion of capital investment in wind turbines and solar panels to date in the EU Member States, then the answer is essentially squat zero. More information on this can be found at the article below and attached prepared by myself and entitled “Clean energy, what is it and what are we paying for?”
    https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/clean-energy-what-is-it-and-what-are-we-payingfor/

    Regards
    Pat”

    See the two attachments to his submission (Submision No 253 here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Wind_Turbines/Wind_Turbines/Submissions )

    • 75% for planning approvals in Ireland last year ended up in the Courts, essentially none for wind farms have been granted in 2015 to date. People are starting to exert their rights.

  44. Solar/Nuclear parity by 2020?

    I’ve been doing some “reality checks” regarding costs of new energy generation and load-balancing, in the context of the constantly reducing price of solar generating capacity. I suggested that by 2017 installed solar capacity might well be under $1.00/Watt (peak capacity).

    I actually got a figure of 75¢/Watt, but backed off to a dollar because that just seemed too unlikely. But subsequent research discovered an actual project, in India, with a projected cost of “$1.28-1.44/Watt.” So, projecting to 2020, and making some plausible (but admittedly speculative) assumptions about technology, I can see true parity for dispatchable, grid-friendly solar power with current nuclear technology.

    Storage Assumptions:

    In a previous thread, I did a rough estimate of the cost of installing new pumped storage facilities at Hoover Dam, assuming no need to add transmission facilities, dams, long-distance tunnels, or pipes.

    This yielded an estimate of ~28¢/Watt with equal pumping and generating capacity. To aid in rounding, I’m going to lower that to 25¢/Watt, which seems reasonable given economies of scale.

    Now, I’m going to make some more “futuristic” assumptions, based on existing projects for underwater lower reservoirs. Since I’ve already used the Hoover Dam/Lake Mead complex as an example, I’ll go with that.

    I’ll assume a 100-meter head for power storage, equivalent to very low water. I’ll assume a 200-meter depth for the low-pressure vessels containing the lower reservoir, given that the maximum depth of Lake Mead is around 180 meters. I’m going to store the water in the lower reservoir in long cylindrical “pipes”, 10 meters in (inside) diameter and 100-1000 meters long, sufficient to ignore the issues of end-cap costs. (For purposes of preliminary “reality checking”.)

    For daily balancing, I’ll assume that a Watt of power, average must be balanced by 50,000 Joules of energy, equivalent to a little under 14 hours. A cubic meter (metric ton) of water dropping 100 meters yields 1,000,000 Joules, enough to balance 20 Watts. The 10-meter pipe, then, with a cross-section of about 80m^2, can balance 1600 Watts (average)/running meter.

    The “pipe” will be constructed of curved rectangular sections 1 meter by ~1.26 meter, ID, thus using 25 sections for the full circumference. The cost of one section, then, will be sufficient for balancing 1600/25=64 Watts. If the total cost of the lower reservoir is 50¢/Watt, and half of that goes for “pipe” sections, each section would cost (no more than) $16.00.

    The total pressure of the 200-meter depth would be 200 tons/m^2, ×5 meters radius = 1000 tons compressive force the section must resist. It also must be able to resist transient instabilities, to prevent collapse.

    For example, many composites have compresive strength above 1000 MPa, equivalent to 100,000 tons/m^2. Thus, a 1cm thickness would be sufficient to resist the pressure, but would likely require some external structural support to prevent collapse.

    Alternatively, many very inexpensive materials could probably be found to support that force with a 10cm thickness, which might not require external structural support.

    Costing Assumptions

    As mentioned above, I’ve assumed 25¢/Watt (average) for the pump/generating component of pumped storage, and 50¢/Watt (average) for the lower reservoir. This will be submerged in Lake Mead, out of sight but proximate to the pumping/generating stations. I’m assuming 80¢/watt (peak) for installed floating solar power.

    Given a 20% capacity for solar power (typical for Arizona), every Watt of average solar power will require 5 Watts peak, at a cost of $4.00/Watt (average). For solar power, this adds up to 4.00+0.25+0.50=$4.75/Watt (average).

    For Nuclear, assuming $5.00/Watt (peak) and a 91% capacity factor yields $5.50/Watt (average). We’re going to add storage for half that, at 37.5¢/Watt (average), for a total of $5.875/Watt (average).

    The difference, slightly over $1.00/Watt (average), I’ll allow for unexpected expenses relative to solar, which is new technology, compared to traditional nuclear technology.

    While hardly “proof”, this estimate suggests that, with appropriate underwater lower reservoir technology, floating solar PV with pumped hydro storage might well reach cost parity with nuclear by 2020.

    The key question, of course, is whether the pipe sections could be mass-produced with an installed cost of $16.00 each. This represents a pretty standard engineering challenge, to which, IMO, the answer is yes.

    • Well, I notice I clicked the “Post Comment” button before I should have. Seems I forgot to divide by my capacity factor in pricing the “pump/generating component of pumped storage”. That should be

      25¢/Watt (peak) for the pump/generating component of pumped storage, for an average cost of $1.25/Watt (average).

      Retrofitting my numbers:

      Given a 20% capacity for solar power (typical for Arizona), every Watt of average solar power will require 5 Watts peak, at a cost of $4.00/Watt (average). For solar power, this adds up to 4.00+1.25+0.50=$5.75/Watt (average).

      For Nuclear, assuming $5.00/Watt (peak) and a 91% capacity factor yields $5.50/Watt (average). We’re going to add storage for half that, at 87.5¢/Watt (average), for a total of $6.375/Watt (average).

      That takes up half of the “contingency”. I wonder if there are any other mistakes?

    • Don’t get scared when your estimates look too optimistic. With solar, they usually are not.

  45. Lets assume that humans are causing some portion of the warming we have seen since 1850.

    Has anyone seen what the proposed solutions are to this and a cost benefit for each solution?

    I would like to see (if someone can point me to it) three scenarios analyzed:
    1. Humans caused all the warming – what are the solutions and what is the cost benefit for each.
    2. Humans caused 1/2 the warming and the other 1/2 is natural variation – what are the solutions and what is the cost benefit for each.
    3. Humans caused none of the warming, it is all natural variation – what are the solutions and what is the cost benefit for each.

    I get the sense that most skeptics are at 2, but most consensus types are at 1. I get the sense that not many people fall into 3. But I have not seen any proposed solutions for 1 or 2, and an exploration of what impacts (costs) the proposed solutions would have on the world.

    My sense is that for 1 the costs would be greater to slow down the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, but that for 2 our efforts would have 1/2 the results (i.e. might not matter as much).

    What would the cost be of generating all the baseload power needed worldwide with nuclear power? Over say the next 30 years? If over the next 30 years every new power plant built was nuclear, and as the coal and natural gas power plants aged, they were replaced with nuclear? Has anyone run the numbers on that yet?

    I ask because nuclear is the only power source I am aware of which can replace 100% of our baseload power needs, which doesn’t require backup power (like solar and wind), and which is non-carbon generating.

    So it would make sense to run the numbers on a 100% nuclear solution.

    If someone could point me to such an analysis I would greatly appreciate it.

  46. Peter, if you rig the rules of the game so that only nuclear fits the definition of ‘fit for purpose’, then only nuclear is fit for purpose. You win. You also create a conversation-free zone. Happy?

    • Thomas Fuller,

      Peter, if you rig the rules of the game so that only nuclear fits the definition of ‘fit for purpose’, then only nuclear is fit for purpose. You win. You also create a conversation-free zone. Happy?

      I’ve already detailed the requirements of electricity system in a comment above – clearly you haven’t backgrounded yourself before entering the debate and making silly, irrelevant comments that demonstrate ignorance of the subject.

      Your comment is a typical example of the avoidance tactics used by ideologically driven advocates. You can’t debate the relevant points so you make silly, unconstructive, irrational comment instead – many examples in your comments above (I pointed out some of them; would you like me to list them?).

      Your comments have made it clear you don’t understand what’s relevant. I want you to acknowledge you have nothing substantial and relevant to offer, or acknowledge the important, relevant points I summarised – or demonstrate errors, starting with the most important and relevant ones.

      The contrast is stark between nuclear and solar to provide low cost, fit for purpose, electricity at a proportion that can make a large difference to global GHG emissions (which is the sole reason for this debate).

      Only deniers would deny these important, relevant, strategic level facts.

      Denying the relevant facts is denial!

  47. Realism and Solar Power

    Many advocates of solar power manage to ignore, or dismiss, the implications in terms of real surface requirements. People like Martin Nicholso and David MacKay propose taking a good look at the requirements:

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against renewable energy. I’m just concerned that RE devotees, who genuinely believe that we can supply all our energy needs from RE sources alone, consider carefully this excellent work from MacKay which suggests that using RE sources alone will not be the case for most countries. The laws of physics are against it.

    There are, however, some hidden assumptions built into this sort of analysis that ought to be exposed to the light.

    For instance, “most countries” have an international dependence involved in their energy economies that amounts to “globalization”. Britain, for instance, has had a “globalized” energy economy for over a century.

    We have “conservatives” who take the current system of nation-states for granted, ignore “globalization” and dismiss “renewable energy” because a country like England/Britain would have trouble depending on solar (or especially wind) energy within their borders.

    We have “renewable energy” advocates who ignore the very real energy economics (“physics”) of their distributed energy (without “capitalism or corporations”) ideal, in their enthusiasm.

    We have a large number of people who don’t really fit into those categories, but are often lumped there by polemicists and other fanatics advocating for their hobby-horses.

    What I want to do is drop the arguments based on nation-states, and look at the World’s energy economy, in terms of solar requirements. Tom Fuller thinks “Humans will use 3,000 Quads by 2075.” That’s good enough number to start with. Roughly equivalent to 100 teraWatts average.

    According to MacKay, solar can yield a net 20Watts/square meter. If we simply divide 100 teraWatts by 20 Watts w get 5×10^12 square meters. Dividing that by 10^6 (1 million) square meters in each square kilometer, that yields 5×10^6, that is 5 million (5,000,000) square kilometers.

    For comparison, here’s a bit from Wiki:

    Under the FAO’s definitions above, agricultural land covers 33% of the world’s land area, with the FAO’s arable land representing less than 1/3 of that or about 9.3% of the world’s land area.

    The specific agricultural areas around the globe as of 2009 were:[7][8]

    •     Arable land: 13,812,040 square kilometers or 5,332,860 square miles

    •     Permanent crops: 1,484,087 square kilometers or 573,009 square miles

    •     Permanent pastures: 33,556,943 square kilometers or 12,956,408 square miles

    There are some important differences, however. Most of the world’s agricultural land was chosen because it was a good place for plants to grow. Irrigated deserts are an exception, but most of it.

    But while currently solar power installations are being put close and convenient to their local demand, that’s not really necessary. “We” could pick areas out to sea, where little grows and there’s nobody to be inconvenienced. It wouldn’t require using land close to densely inhabited areas, especially existing cropland.

    Of course, there are a lot of technological issues that will have to be addressed before open-sea floating solar power is feasible, much less cost-effective. But, like the recently cost-effective inland still water floating solar power, it’s almost certainly coming.

    Along with the pumped storage (if necessary) using lower reservoirs submerged under that same sea, and effective transmission technology.

    So while the problem of area, and national territory, cannot be ignored, it’s not a show-stopper. Just requires some clear thinking.

  48. Peter, if you rig the rules of the game so that only nuclear fits the definition of ‘fit for purpose’, then only nuclear is fit for purpose. You win. You also create a conversation-free zone. Happy?