Week in review – policy and politics edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

UK elections

The UK election results explained for non-UK readers: [link]

UK climate minister Ed Davey dumped by voters. [link]

CAMERON – ‘We’ll scrap funds for windfarms’ [link]

Useful round up of energy & climate reactions to election from @CarbonBrief, including guesses for Secretary of State [link]

The Guardian: What does Cameron’s election win mean for the #environment? [link]

UK election results:  Climate campaigners need to be more radical [link]

On the failure of predictions of the election outcome  [link]

US presidential candidates

Overview: Republican candidate views range from accepting science but rejecting US approach to fight it (Fiorina) to outright denial (Carson). [link]  …

Gov. Chris Christie: “I think global warming is real…And I do think human activity contributes to it.” ‘The question is what we do to deal with it’  [link]

“Fiorina Takes Shots At Environmentalists And Cronyists Before Presidential Announcement” [link] http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/02/fiorina-takes-shots-at-environmentalists-and-cronyists-before-presidential-announcement/

Lindsey Graham: Gore “trying to make [AGW] a religion…his solutions will destroy the economy” [link]

Ben Carson: “To use climate change as an excuse not to develop our God-given resources makes little sense.” [link]

Here’s how Bernie Sanders, the greenest presidential candidate, could get even greener [link]


Watch What Happens When Tribal Women Manage India’s Forests [link]

On the battle between local and central government for Canada’s climate future.

University of Western Australia cancels Bjorn Lomborg’s contract after backlash [link]

Policy analysis

Maurice Newman: The UN Is Using Climate Change As A Tool Not An Issue [link]

CATO: While the EPA may not have “quantified” “reduced climate effects” of the new regs, I did [link]

The Breakthrough Institute: A high-energy, low footprint planet. [link]

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

  1. Peter Lang

    [repost on appropriate thread]

    Sweden regulatory impediments to nuclear progress

    The quote below was posted a few days ago. It is an excellent example of the sorts of policies that are massive disincentives to the development of nuclear energy. Policies that have made nuclear far more exopensive than it should be are ubiquitious throughout the developed countries, but only the USA and EU can take the lead on unwinding the mess. USA is by far the most capable of taking a leading role. One of the most significant causes of nuclear being much more expensive than it could and should be is regulatory ratcheting – it has increased the cost by a factor of four up to 1990 and probably doubled that since to a factor of eight. Here’s a recent example from Sweden (all countries have their own version; in Australia federal legislation bans nuclear power).

    Dr Staffan Qvist from Uppsala University:

    To their credit, the greens of the current government have come up with a quite clever way to phase out nuclear. The law allowing new-build still stands but has been rendered moot due to the implementation and subsequent increases in a nuclear-specific tax called the “effect tax” (separate from the tax paid to finance the repository). It’s a tax of about $25000/MW-thermal of installed power per year, to be paid monthly, even if the plant is not in operation. It is thus completely disconnected from electricity production, and is only levied on nuclear. The extra tax of $100m/year per large reactor, on top of all other taxes, plus the heavy subsidy of construction of large amounts of un-needed wind and solar and the dumping of cheap coal on the European market means that at current electricity prices some of the nuclear plants are “economically uncompetitive”. The government then claims that nuclear “can’t compete in the market”, nuclear proceeds to decommission itself, without any law imposed for this and any settlement payments.


    • Maybe Sweden could stop incinerating uber-rich Norway’s waste. Turning oil to money to put an incinerator in a needy neighbour’s back yard makes perfect sense to me, and Sweden’s incinerators are beauties.

      Nonetheless, it’s hard to figure how both parties consider themselves so very green. But the whole idea of green is how you seem, and maybe Swedish nukes just don’t SEEM right.

      Still, as long as there’s plenty of cheap oil, gas and coal burnt elsewhere it will be possible to play green games, whether as exporter (Norway), funnel (Netherlands) or electricity consumer. Big Oil is getting proficient at green games played against its main competitors, coal and nukes.

      For electricity games, the guy in the black hat does the burning, the guy in the white hat buys the power. And White Hat, as well as getting all snooty about fossil fuels, can be as anti-nuke and back-to-the-80s as he pleases. For now.

      Green games! Enjoy! But try not to break the civilisation.

  2. Peter Lang

    It seems Germany is beginning to realise the folly of its “Energiewende” policy:
    “Energiewende” Takes A Massive Blow…Top Green Energy Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”! http://notrickszone.com/2014/12/09/energiewende-takes-a-massive-blow-top-green-energy-proponent-concedes-blunder-with-ugly-consequences-huge-blow-to/#sthash.aP54nNTI.KuP2jyb2.dpbs

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

  4. Someone was wondering how many government programs subsidized energy. You can search here:


    • Peter Lang


      Can you give a big picture summary? How many agencies in total are subsidising energy and how many subsidising climate related studies? What’s the total funding and what’s the total subsidies for energy?

      • I get 212 hits on the word “energy” in the text or subject. I just don’t have enough time to go through them all.

        But, the link might be a start if someone has some time on their hands.

      • BTW – the advanced search option allow one to narrow the results better than the general search.

      • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) even gets funding for climate change, $616 million. It’s preposterous the amount of mission creep so many of our government agencies have.

      • The DHS budget I posted comes from I believe a 2012 budget. It could be more or less for the current year.

      • A good source for research to get a holistic view of climate funding would be to research Obama’s ‘Climate Resiliency initiative”. This is the initiative that charged the DHS to develop a climate change strategy. BTW, the $616 million is the 2016 budget. Sorry for the waffle on budget years.

  5. From the article:

    Managers of massive pension and endowment funds from California, Texas and North Carolina made clear their contrasting views on global warming and portfolios at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles last week.

    “We are a small government state. I am not employed to express my personal opinion about things like this with other people’s money,” said Britt Harris, chief investment officer of the approximately $133 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas. “I am employed to maximize their return.”

    The comments came the same week that New York University’s senate voted to divest the school’s $3.5 billion endowment from fossil fuel-related stocks, and the Church of England said it would cut more than $18 million in thermal coal and oil sands holdings from its multibillion dollar pension portfolio.

    Read MoreChurch of England blacklists these fuel investments

    Janet Cowell, North Carolina’s elected state treasurer, speaking alongside Harris at the Milken event, said she, too, had to stay out of the debate on climate change and sustainability.

    “Britt was talking earlier that he wasn’t elected to solve climate change and he’s from Texas, so that’s probably a good stance,” Cowell said on the institutional investor-focused panel. “North Carolina [is] a conservative state, so don’t start talking about sustainability or social impact.”


  6. RE Cameron. Get the popcorn, this should be fun to watch.

  7. The Cato item shows several degrees difference between global emissions scenarios and this makes a good case for the effectiveness of global action versus global inaction.

    • Peter Lang

      Jim D. Wrong! Temperature is not a measure of damage or benefit. To make a valid case for global action you need to justify it on the basis of net costs and benefits.

      • No, my point is correct that global policies are quantifiably much more effective at keeping temperatures down than local ones done alone.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        Your point wasn’t about politics. The point you made that I responded to was:

        The Cato item shows several degrees difference between global emissions scenarios and this makes a good case for the effectiveness of global action versus global inaction.

      • The point was about scenarios and scenarios are about policies.

      • Peter Lang

        What’s that gobblidigoop saying Jim D. Policies should be rational and based on rational analysis not cultist beliefs, as you seem to be arguing. Rational means the benefits will exceed the costs. Your first comment that I replied to demonstrated you haven’t managed to understand that yet – after all this time blogging on CE.

      • Did you even look at the Cato piece? I was commenting on their numbers. You can disagree with them, but it’s the IPCC numbers too for global mitigation effectiveness.

      • Jim D,

        I’m not digressing, you Let me remind you what your comment said, wrongly:

        The Cato item shows several degrees difference between global emissions scenarios and this makes a good case for the effectiveness of global action versus global inaction.

        Your comment is wrong, for the reason I explained in my reply to that comment. You have not addressed the substantial point I made in my reply to your comment – you’ve dodged it.

    • Danny Thomas

      Jim D,
      Bottom up approach of Canada is a seemingly good model from which to take guidance. This entire conversation is and has been largely one that relies on big government. Skeptics have an interesting perspective where the issues are “where is the individual responsibility and action.” Folks jet around for conferences attempting to implement policy on others all the while not being willing to change personal habits.
      Right here, you talk of “global action vs. global inaction” and yet one can see the vacillations in political choices taking place across this planet. My CAGW buddy has told me as recently as last fall “we have the votes”. Well it doesn’t appear he does in the U.S. Congress or British Parliament. I’ve been unsuccessful in convincing him to move to the middle in order to make progress. It’s a move, if the problem has an real urgency, that I suggest be made.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        (This will likely be out of order as I forgot to click the notify me).

        I comment on Canada due to Dr. C’s link: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/05/08/why-canadas-provinces-are-fighting-the-feds-on-climate/

        So again, why not bottom up?

      • I’m a fan of bottom up, e.g. adaptive governance http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo8917780.html

      • Danny Thomas

        Thanks for that link. Is it readable?
        This would be an MOOC I could maybe enjoy.

      • The book is very readable, I highly recommend it

      • Danny Thomas

        Thank you! Wonder if Jim will join? :-)

      • Does it count as bottom up if the majority of the world’s population want an international treaty on climate stabilization?

      • Danny Thomas

        Giving odds?
        And what does it matter if there is one or not, from the standpoint of a bottom up approach?

      • Jim D,

        I guess. How many written requests have you accumulated so far?

        Who do you intend giving them to? The UN World Government?

      • Actually the INDCs are effectively a bottom up approach for the UN. Rather than have goals dictated to them, each country says what its best effort can be. There is more promise for this tack than Kyoto type accords. A similar thing is happening in the US with the EPA leaving energy plans to the States rather than dictating them. It is a new approach that is taking hold. I support it.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        So I’ll take it that you’re not giving odds on an international “global” treaty, then. That’s sounds like an “educated” choice and one that makes sense to me. If there really is concern of addressing a need then as an approach bottom up is the only one I’d choose.

      • You can call it a treaty or an agreement, but that is what the INDCs are for. I think this approach is generally supported too. Polls show 72% in the US in favor. This is not controversial out there in the public. They’ve seen enough evidence. Action is needed.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        Yea. Uh-huh.
        “The Benenson Strategy Group (not exactly a middle of the road pollster: http://www.bsgco.com/insights, states they share “core values” and will be involved in the Clinton campaign) conducted the polling for the environmental organizations Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists, and surveyed 1,000 expected voters.”
        “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose President Obama signing an international agreement committing all countries to address climate change by reducing their carbon emissions?” (That’s quite a question).
        Then: “Demonstrate that the U.S. is willing and ready to work with any country that’s ready to work with it (73%).” So if no political “consensus” then no deal?
         51% of 2016 voters say they would be more favorable to their Congressperson if they supported an international agreement, and just 17% would be less favorable.
         Conversely, 46% say they would be less favorable to their Congressperson if they opposed an international agreement, while only 19% said it would make them more favorable.

        Think I’d go bottom up if it was a real concern. And in fact, it’s my area of choice with a focus on land use.
        Wish ya the best of luck with your choice if different, but as far as “risk management” goes think mine is less “risky”.

      • I still don’t know what you mean by bottom up if it is not the INDCs, or the States choosing how to do their energy mix. I say this is bottom up by my definition.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Bottom up doesn’t involve a UN based entity. States, if truly allowed to address things independently would be an example. Individual actions are also.

      • The UN framework helps set comparable targets and to compare notes on how successful various countries are with their targets. This allows for later adaptation when it is seen what is working and what isn’t. It also allows for peer pressure when some countries are perceived to be beholden to their fossil fuel industries more than global climate or their public interest (and some are).

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D

        Does it count as bottom up if the majority of the world’s population want an international treaty on climate stabilization?

        You wouldn’t get 1% of the world’s population to support “an international treaty on climate stabilization” if it is going to damage their economy. You couldn’t get 70 million people (1% of world population) to support it. There wouldn’t be that many rich inner-city elites sufficiently irrational to support it.

      • Peter Lang, the poll in support stands at 72% in the US. I don’t know about other countries, but the US is generally regarded as one of the more resistant ones.

      • Don Monfort

        That’s a faux poll, yimmy. Indistinguishable from a pole. You aren’t fooling anybody with that huffpo crap. Everybody knows that if the folks have to pay a few more dollars, or shekels, or yuan, or whatever for energy, they ain’t going for it. Paris will be a bigger flop than Copenhagen.

      • Danny Thomas

        Thanks for this link.
        Paris seems to be the supposed “Jerusalem” creating summit but from this observers view there are a number of countries out there who will be the headwinds against the no fossil fuels ideology and they will not go against their own self interests. It’s just not going to happen, and they are big oil players. So it’s my belief that the orientation not focused on alternatives (land use, transportation, urban planning {also known as adaptation}) is simply misguided.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        Peter Lang, the poll in support stands at 72% in the US.

        That’s an irrelevant poll. It does not address what I said. In case you didn’t read that far (first two and a half lines) I’ll repeat it for you:

        You wouldn’t get 1% of the world’s population to support “an international treaty on climate stabilization” if it is going to damage their economy.

      • About using polls, especially polls generated by institutions or media outlets that have a demonstrative political viewpoint; you can get any answer you want from a poll, I know because I’ve been involved in structuring polling parameters on various occasions. Demographics, including race, age, gender, political persuation; geographical diversity; the way questions are framed; how questions are framed; how many people are polled, and a myriad other logistics can sculpt the response of a poll. You can literally get any answer you so desire from them. I question the veracity of most polls based on my experience. Polls have become a methodology to sculpt public opinion. I would never trust any poll the HuffPost publishes because of the extreme partisan views and base.

      • The Benenson Group are the pollsters the HuffPost sites. I was pretty sure what I would find with just a little digging. See some of their resume below:

        • Joel Benenson, who was Obama’s pollster — and helped him hone his message against Clinton in 2008 — is on board as Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster.
        • John Anzalone and David Binder will work with Benenson as top pollsters; Anzalone may focus on early states. Both are also alums of Obama’s orbit.

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/hillary-clintons-power-players-116874.html#ixzz3ZlfjxdUq

    • David L. Hagen

      Jim D. To make your case, you have to show that the benefit to cost ratio is comparable or better than common commercial and government expenditures. Even with the high IPCC estimates, benefits are far lower than costs, bringing climate policy at the bottom of the list of desirable action, as quantified by the Copenhagen Consensus. See:
      The Nobel Laureates Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World 2016-2030, Apr 20, 2015, by Bjørn Lomborg
      With the much lower climate sensitivity shown by Lewis & Currey as further constrained by reduced aerosols, benefits are further cut in half or more. Your advocacy makes no economic sense. Its far cheaper to adapt.

      • I can only go by the mitigation costs in WG3 (0.06% per year annualized) and those are very small compared to GDP growth rates, or even the noise in GDP growth. Given the higher risks and uncertainties of doing nothing, this seems like an easy choice. Remember, the uncertainty grows in proportion to net CO2 emissions.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        Mitigation costs would exceed benefits for all this century and beyond – refer to Nordhaus DICE 2013 (the most widely cited model used for assessing abatement costs and benefits of mitigation policies) and look at the costs and benefits throughout this century. And recognise that the inputs used in the default analyses lean on the CAGW alarmist’s side e.g.
        ECS = 3.2
        Damage Function is high (and further inflated by 25% to get the alsrmists off his back)
        Particpation rate assumptions are optimistic (Nordhaus’s term), in fact rediculously unrealistic.

      • The larger costs are always going to be adaptation, and these only get larger with less mitigation. That is where your balance is. Not costs and benefits.

      • Jim D,

        what on earth are you talking about. It seems you simply have no clue. It’s just blabber. The costs of mitiigation with the policies being advocated so far greatly exceed the benefits throughout this century.

        If you believe this statement is incorrect, demonstrate that the benefits of mitigation exceed the costs over time periods that are relevant for a policy to be sustainable.

        Refer to the red line on this chart and demonstrate it is wrong:

      • Costs are for adaptation. Less adaptation means less cost. Less climate change means less adaptation. It is not that hard to understand.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D
        You are dodging the issue – mitigation costs versus benefits. That’s what your comment was about and what I responded to. Adaptation has no effect on temperatures which is what your comment was about.

      • You keep assuming that there are benefits, which is a mistake. It is costs in direct proportion to the degree of climate change.

      • Peter Lang

        Costs are for adaptation. Less adaptation means less cost. Less climate change means less adaptation. It is not that hard to understand.

        Your statement is wrong it contains no quantification. It’s not to difficult to understand that huge net costs for mitigation that make little change to the climate will not make any significant change to the costs of adaptation. That is not too hard to understand.

        Economically rational adaptation (i.e. the benefits exceed the costs) is good.

        Mitigation policies where the costs will exceed the benefits are not sustainable and not justified. That is the case with the policies that have been advocated to date. Mitigation is not economically rational with the policies proposed to date.

        Ir’s not that hard to understand.

      • Peter Lang

        Gees, Jim D, I thought you had more understanding of climate policy than you do. Benefits are climate damages avoided. Mitigation is intended to reduce climate damages (and reduce the amount of expenditure on adaptation). That’s the expected benefit of mitigation. Clearly you haven’t read anything on the policy aspects. Here’s a primer for you:


        Here’s lesson 2:

      • More climate change is more costly than less climate change. That is for sure. Reducing climate change is not actually that costly according to WG3, as I have mentioned before. We have to move off fossil fuels anyway, and the sooner the better. Also you have to examine how you evaluate costs because GDP does not quantify the true human cost, since it devalues those in poor countries in proportion to GDP per capita. You could lose the whole of Africa for only a 3% global GDP loss, for example. Think about how you judge costs.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        More climate change is more costly than less climate change. That is for sure. Reducing climate change is not actually that costly according to WG3, as I have mentioned before.

        Unfortunately, you don’t understand what you are talking about. You’ve just demonstrated – with your comment about, in effect, there are no benefits of mitigation – you haven’t any understanding of what you are reading. Why don’t you read the two links I gave you instead of blogging away in ignorance?

      • Peter Lang


        WG3 projects abatement costs and benefits out hundreds of years, calculates the discounted net benefit-cost per period (e.g. year, decade, etc), and sums that to estimate the discounted net benefit-cost of the abatement policy in today’s dollars. Note that it is summing projections out hundreds of years. The assumptions used in making the projections have much greater uncertainty than the projections of GHG emissions and temperature changes.

        People will not support policies that damage their economies over periods as short as one or two election cycles. And there will always be international conflicts and opt-outs by counties where the pain exceeds the gain. So, it is unrealistic to believe that any policy can be sustainable if it will damage countries’ economies in the short term.

        Clearly, over the short term, mitigation policies proposed to date are very high cost. Nordhaus’s DICE 2013 and RICE 2010 (the regional version) show that mitigation policies would be highly damaging throughout this century.

        So, the WG3 analysis is highly misleading. It is theoretical and based on assumptions with huge uncertainty and summing the projections for hundreds of years. Instead, look at the red line in the chart in my previous comment which shows the discounted net benefit-cost per 5 years. The net benefit is hugely negative throughout all this century. No policy options is positive for 75 years, let alone 5 years (which is the absolute maximum you could sustain the CAGW rhetoric given the obvious to everyone economic impacts of the policy).

        Therefore, mitigation policies that are a net cost over the short and medium term have negligible chance of succeeding. It is not rational to advocate for them. If you want to advocate for mitigation, you should be advocating for policies that have a high probability of being widely supported. To be supported sustainable, they must be economically beneficial for all countries over short and medium term.

      • JimD

        What climate do you consider ‘normal’ and how does each region of the world attain that nirvana of a climate that suits them best?

        Most of us here in the UK would welcome a warmer climate-something from the warmer years of the MWP would be nice. Those in California might prefer the wetter years of the mid 20th Century. Parts of Africa might like varying periods from the past that were less extreme than now (a green Sahara anyone?) whilst Australia might decide its highly variable climate might be best drawn from short intervals from the last two hundred years which most favoured European settlers.

        So, what is ‘normal’ climate and can we set a universal date as to when it was ever achieved ‘globally?’ Or should we set a variable timescale according to the ‘best for us climate’ experienced over the last thousand years, which is likely to vary wildly according to where in the world you live?

        Which is the normal’ year you want to set the clock back to for your part of the world? Perhaps others here might like to give their own preferred dates for best ever climate?

      • Not that I’m a coolist or Coming Ice Age theorist, but it amazes me that people think a global cooling, even a slight one, wouldn’t bring grave problems to eg Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The belief that a warming world is a drier world is hard to budge. Believers find a drought in SoCal or Australia and think the world will have April Showers once the naughty warming stops. Doesn’t work like that.

        Egypt’s Old Kingdom dried up due to cooling; the end of Late Bronze Age cultures and the disruptive migration period AD were coolings. The LIA whacked China and the Ming around for centuries. It’s not an automatic thing, and life goes on anyway, but coolings have been unfavourable overall to civilisations.

        Just cop the climate you’ve got, people. There’s mostly bad news about the other.

      • The larger costs are always going to be adaptation, and these only get larger with less mitigation. That is where your balance is. Not costs and benefits.

        Unless increased CO2 is a net benefit for at least a century, in which case mitigation not only bears the direct cost but also the cost of less CO2.

      • You keep assuming that there are benefits, which is a mistake.

        Sounds like dogma, not objective analysis.

        Honestly, I haven’t read much of the IPCC on the subject – much of it seems quite speculative nonsense.

        I did try to enumerate for myself these things with all the uncertainty contained, of using fossil fuels.

        Benefit – use of the energy in the first place.
        Benefit – likely increased crop yields
        Benefit – likely reduced water use of crops
        Benefit – likely increased growing seasons
        Benefit – reduced crop loss due to killing frosts
        Benefit – increased area of sufficient growing season
        Benefit – uncertain – reduced human mortality? ( from reduced cold )
        Benefit – reduced frequency and duration of snow/ice/cold economic harm
        Benefit – reduced overall heating/air conditioning ( borne out by NOAA )
        Benefit – likely increase in precipitation over land ( available water )

        Detriment – increase in flood potential from increase in precipitable water
        Detriment – sea level rise

        As for detriments, the increase in flood potential has to be considered with the increase in available surface water from precipitation ( can’t have one without the other ) and this happens from winter to summer anyway – CO2 effect would be much less than the winter-summer difference.

        Also, sea level rise attributable to AGW is a few inches per century – practically negligible impact at 2100. And as Dr. Curry points out, ALL SLR is local anyway.

        What else?

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        For further benefits, see 55 Benefits of CO2

        Ross McKitrick An Evidence Based Approach to Pricing CO2 emissions

      • On the downside, just looking at the evidence from the world now that has a variety of climates, human health/longevity and GDP per capita both correlate inversely with warmer temperatures.

      • David Wojick

        Jim D, I am sure the historians and economists will be thrilled to learn that you have determined that the modern development of nations can all be explained by climate differences. Perhaps a Nobel in econ. Just kidding, this is the stupidest historical argument I have ever heard. Do you even realize what you are saying? It is almost as stupid as the future benefits EPA claims by projecting avoided economic damages for the next 300 years from today’s CO2 emission cuts. But then you and EPA think alike.

      • On the downside, just looking at the evidence from the world now that has a variety of climates, human health/longevity and GDP per capita both correlate inversely with warmer temperatures.

        Is that why retirees move to the Sun Belt?
        Is that why the last two fourth quarter GDP in the US have declined, ascribed to winter weather?
        Is that why the Mesopotatmian Era corresponded to the Holocene Thermal Maximum?

        Don’t mistake the undeveloped economic conditions for temperature.
        Humans die more readily from all causes in winter and less frequently in summer.

  8. The UWA/Lomborg debacle is sick.

    Looking for some comments from our Aussie buddies. Seems like you’re trying to outdo studpid American universities.

    • Well that is a weird situation. I happen to like Lomborg – he doesn’t argue against IPCC WG1 findings, but questions the priority of focusing on mitigation and argues that we should be investing in research into new energy technologies. I don’t really understand why he is such an object of hate amongst the ‘greens’. That said, $4M is a lot of money, and it seems that this whole thing was a surprise to the rest of the university. But even so, its not like $4M goes into Lomborg’s pocket, presumably the university researchers would benefit. So frankly I think this whole thing was very poorly managed, and a loss for UWA.

      • I like Lomborg as well (even if I don’t agree with him on some things) and think that just about any university would benefit from having one of his centers on campus.

        Besides attracting significant research funds, it would also provide a fantastic opportunity to expose students to real world considerations and trade offs. Oh, silly me! That’s why they reneged.

      • The lack of due process made it obvious it was a partisan poltical-stunt.

        That Lomborg was happy to go along tells you plenty about him….

      • “I don’t really understand why he is such an object of hate amongst the ‘greens’”

        Perhaps it boils down to the fact that he is an impediment to the gung-ho mindset of “we have the answers, we know what to do, our approach is chock full of benefits, the discussion is over and it’s time to move.”

        A couple times I’ve asked detractors what they don’t like about Lomborg and strangely (I’m not sure why and how) I get the answer back that “he’s not a climate scientist and he’s outside his area of expertise.” No sympathy for the perspective that he is an economist and that he is not out of line with the IPCC.

      • Michael speaks of a lack of due process in this case which, presumedly never occurs in relation to research funding for climate change studies that have left wing bias as their starting points.

      • David L. Hagen

        Lomborg makes the most economic sense in the whole climate debate.

      • > A couple times I’ve asked detractors what they don’t like about Lomborg and strangely (I’m not sure why and how) I get the answer back that “he’s not a climate scientist and he’s outside his area of expertise.”

        I’m not sure why and how either, but start here:


        You’re welcome.

      • “Peter Davies | May 9, 2015 at 10:38 pm |
        Michael speaks of a lack of due process in this case which, presumedly never occurs in relation to research funding for climate change studies that have left wing bias as their starting points.”

        From this, it seems Peter is for due process,but in the interests of tribalism, won’t speak out on this instance, but rather says – ‘but someone else did it too’.

      • “aplanningengineer | May 9, 2015 at 10:30 pm |
        …couple times I’ve asked detractors what they don’t like about Lomborg and strangely (I’m not sure why and how) I get the answer back that “he’s not a climate scientist and he’s outside his area of expertise.” No sympathy for the perspective that he is an economist and that he is not out of line with the IPCC.”

        That’s the funny thing about Lomborg – many of his cheerleaders seem to think he’s an economist.

        He’s a political scientist…whatever that is.

      • Judith,

        Lomborg’s role was not primarily about climate change. it was to give Australia good, economically rational and well justified advice about how to make best use of its aid dollars. $4 million would be well spent if it avoided even a small proportion of the massive waste of Australia’s aid expenditures on poorly directed, ideologically conceived and instigated, aid programs.

        It’s a total disgrace that the Left has got total control of academia, school teachers, and the media in Australia.

      • “willard (@nevaudit) | May 9, 2015 at 11:10 pm |

        > A couple times I’ve asked detractors what they don’t like about Lomborg and strangely (I’m not sure why and how) I get the answer back that “he’s not a climate scientist and he’s outside his area of expertise.”

        I’m not sure why and how either, but start here:


        That brings back memories.

        My favourite was the review of Lomborgs book stemming from a complaint about deliberate misrepresention or some such.

        The review cleared Lomborg….i a bach0handed kind of way.

        I’m parapharsing from memory but it went something like this ; Lomborg is so completely out of his depth with the subject matter, that there could be no surprise with the multitude of gross errors errors contained within.

        That is, the poor guy’ s completely incompetent, cut him some slack.

      • “The 2014-15 Budget will support a sustainable, affordable and accountable aid program that invests $5 billion each year to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and enhance stability in our region, the Indo–Pacific. It will be stabilised at $5 billion in 2015-16, thereafter increasing annually by CPI.”

        $4 million is less that 0.1% of the aid budget. Lomborg’s rational advice could easily save many times the $4 million for the Australian Consensus Centre.

      • aplanning engineer, The Konsensus hates Lomborg, but it’s easy to see why. Lomborg was right. Unforgiveable sin…

      • > $4 million would be well spent

        With $4 million, one could either fund the Lomborg Collective Climate Consensus Climate Schtick, or help these guys:

        Over half a million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in Australia. Despite their pre-eminence as our continent’s first inhabitants – or ‘first Australians’ – too many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live with ongoing and extensive injustices and poverty. Caritas Australia is working in partnership with our First Australians to support self-determination and foster Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led solutions.


        What should we do?

      • Somebody provided a link to THE LOMBORG-ERRORS WEB SITE. Being curious, I went searching for actual “errors”, plowing through a mess of self-gratifying bloviation such as here (“About deliberate errors”)

        It has been richly documented that Lomborg´s claims are often erroneous and misleading. When his book `The Skeptical Environmentalist´ was reviewed in 2001/2002, it got favourable reviews in newspapers and other lay journals where readers were impressed by the amount of technical details, notes and references. But in Scientific journals, not least Nature, Science and Scientific American, the reviews were very negative because specialists were able to see that many of Lomborg´s claims simply were not true. Likewise, the more recent book by Howard Friel, `The Lomborg Deception´, documents many errors, especially in Lomborg´s book `Cool it´. And here at the Lomborg-errors web site are listed a total of more than 500 errors for the two books, some of them minor errors, but others are gross and severely misleading. To this may be added the manipulated and misleading outcomes of the Copenhagen Consensus conferences.

        The page goes on for over 20 paragraphs, without once providing an example of an error. This is a classic framing technique: many of the “choir” will simply take his conclusions for granted, without digging in. Most of those who dig in will probably come to the actual “errors” when they finally find them, with strong preconceptions.

        After a good deal of searching, I finally found a document with some meat: The complaint to The Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty, DCSD. Dated February 20th 2002. After almost 3 pages of bloviation, including plenty of pushing of his own credentials, Kåre Fog finally gets to the complaints. The first (presumably most important, or one of them) goes as follows:

        Lomborg says (p. 110): ”Globally, the overall area covered by forest has not changed much since 1950, as can be seen in Figure 60.”, p. 111: ”Globally, forest cover has remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century.”, and p. 115 right column: ”But as we have pointed out, there has not been a decline in global forest area during this period”. These assertions that the world’s forested area is of constant size are accounted for by new plantations in the tropics and overgrowing of open land zones in the temperate zone, especially Russia. But this is contradicted by FAO.

        FAO writes: ”Net deforestation at the global level was estimated at approximately 9 million hectares per year and gross global deforestation at approximately 13.5 million hectares per year”. The difference between net and gross loss is accounted for by plantations and overgrowing of areas. FAO’s table 1 shows that the annual net loss of 9 Mha constitutes 0.2% of the world’s forest area. The figures also show that the net loss is equal to two thirds of the gross loss. Thus, the gains far from outweigh the losses. This is further elaborated on in the report’s table 3.

        Lomborg has read FAO’s report. He probably also has seen table 3, since he uses certain figures which in the whole text are only found in one place – immediately below this table, on the same page. And his text is in direct conflict with FAO’s report, including table 3. Lomborg does not mention this conflict at all, except a small remark at the top of page 112. Thus, I have to conclude that Lomborg is speaking in bad faith, and that his text is deliberately misleading.

        The following “breach” is equally silly. (I didn’t bother wasting time going farther.)

        How is a net loss/gain of 0.2% not “remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century”? If, in Fog’s opinion, such a tiny change is somehow not “remarkably stable”, why doesn’t he explain why not? Even if some such explanation exists elsewhere, how can he accuse his target of “speaking in bad faith” without even a caveat referencing such explanation elsewhere?

        The only conclusions I can reach is that this entire complaint, indeed the entire effort to discredit Bjørn Lomborg, including the linked website, is nothing but a hit-piece empty of any real substance.

      • > The page [http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/deliberate.htm] goes on for over 20 paragraphs, without once providing an example of an error.

        This claim is misleading at best. First paragraph:

        [I]n Scientific journals, not least Nature, Science and Scientific American, the reviews were very negative because specialists were able to see that many of Lomborg´s claims simply were not true. Likewise, the more recent book by Howard Friel, `The Lomborg Deception´, documents many errors, especially in Lomborg´s book `Cool it´. And here at the Lomborg-errors web site are listed a total of more than 500 errors for the two books, some of them minor errors, but others are gross and severely misleading. To this may be added the manipulated and misleading outcomes of the Copenhagen Consensus conferences.


        The only conclusions I can reach is that Denizens ought to read harder (H/T BartR).

      • The only conclusions I can reach is that Denizens ought to read harder (H/T BartR).

        Why should they? If all these “errors” are so bad, why hasn’t somebody gone to the trouble of providing lists with links?

        Why don’t you, rather than telling everybody to go search on their own? I did, and what I found was highly unimpressive. I stopped wasting my time.

        I’m from Missouri: Show me!

      • [I]n Scientific journals, not least Nature, Science and Scientific American, the reviews were very negative because specialists were able to see that many of Lomborg´s claims simply were not true.

        Scientific American” isn’t a “scientific journal”, it’s a left-wing propaganda journal. As for “Nature,” it’s owned by the same people.Science” doesn’t seem to be, but even here most objective readers will see a bias. Anyway, book reviews by biased scientists chosen by the editors (or editorial staff) are hardly proper documentation of “errors”. And links weren’t even provided to them!

      • > Show me!

        It has been shown that AK’s claim that “The page goes on for over 20 paragraphs, without once providing an example of an error” was misleading at best.

        It has also been shown two years ago that Lomborg reiterated already corrected misrepresentations under oath:

        This should suffice to reach three conclusions:

        First, that Bart R’s claim:

        (1) Dr. Nordhaus in Feb. 2012 rejected the same use of DICE as Dr. Lomborg makes as incorrect.

        has been substantiated.

        Second, that The Copenhagen Consensus’ analysis runs against what Nordhaus considers ELEMENTARY COST-BENEFIT AND BUSINESS ECONOMICS.

        Third, that Nordhaus’ criticisms of the Sweet Sixteen is relevant to Lomborg’s testimony made under oath, contrary to Tar Baby’s song and dance.



        That AK’s a right-wing ideologue:

        “Scientific American” isn’t a “scientific journal”, it’s a left-wing propaganda journal.

        doesn’t need to be shown.

      • As the above comment shows, nobody has found anything substantive wrong with Lomborg’s work.

      • Lomborg differs from a lot of the skeptics here in agreeing with the IPCC WG1 science and ranges. He also favors putting lots of R&D money into green energy solutions like solar and wind energy and storage methods to make them practical, but says nothing about by when he wants to replace fossil fuels, which is where he differs from the timelines proposed in effective mitigation scenarios. He is also in favor of R&D for geoengineering like injecting sulfates in the stratosphere to increase the reflectance of the earth or finding ways to remove CO2. He used to be in favor of a carbon tax, but lately is against it, as far as I can see.

      • > [N]obody has found anything substantive wrong with Lomborg’s work.

        “Substantive” signals special pleading and moves from the undefensible “without once providing an example of an error” to “substantively wrong” (paraphrasing).

        That Lomborg misrepresented Nordhaus’ work suffices to show that this claim is misleading at best. Lomborg also misinformed the Congress. Both misdeeds seem substantial enough.


        A water well in Africa costs 7,000 USD and serves 2,000 persons:


        $4 million AUD is around $3,2 million USD.

        Should we dig more than 450 water wells in Africa and provide fresh water to 900 000 Africans, or should we invest in the Lomborg Collective Consensus Claptraps?

      • Willard:
        A third choice would be to build nine 100-kW wind turbines.

      • Steven Mosher


        as willard points out “substantive” is special pleading.

        Looking a the web site her refered to, you can see another example

        “A few claims have been modified slightly in response to comments, but none has been modified in any essential way.”

        folks do this all the time.

      • as willard points out “substantive” is special pleading.

        Well, I’m still trying to find an example of some “error” that appears “substantive”. The linked site didn’t, and what insubstantial claims of “error” I found required massive searching through fluffy rhetoric.

        “A few claims have been modified slightly in response to comments, but none has been modified in any essential way.”

        folks do this all the time.

        Of course. Nobody seems to want to debate whether there’s any substance to Fog’s charge that Lomborg “misrepresented” FAO’s “0.2% of the world’s forest area” by calling it “remarkably stable”. That sort of fluff was all I could find in as long as I was willing to keep searching through self-referential fluff.

        So, instead, I’m challenging somebody who thinks that site has something to offer: show me a substantial “error”! So far, all I’ve gotten back is more fluffy rhetoric.

      • That Lomborg misrepresented Nordhaus’ work suffices to show that this claim is misleading at best. Lomborg also misinformed the Congress. Both misdeeds seem substantial enough.

        More fluff.

        What did Lomborg say, what did Nordhaus say, and how did it “misrepresent” it? If you aren’t prepared to simply set it down in writing, can you provide a link to that specific information, or are the only links available more repetitions of the vague charge that “Lomborg misrepresented Nordhaus’ work”?

        Where’s the BEEF?

      • Lomborg […] favors putting lots of R&D money into green energy solutions like solar and wind energy and storage methods to make them practical, but says nothing about by when he wants to replace fossil fuels, which is where he differs from the timelines proposed in effective mitigation scenarios.

        Well, I generally agree with him. And I strongly disagree with your definition of “effective mitigation scenarios.” Scenarios based on trying to impose linearly increasing “mitigation” aren’t going to happen, and wouldn’t have the claimed effect if they did.

        OTOH, given the tendency for all sorts of technological development to follow (roughly) exponential growth curves, Lomborg’s approach is highly likely to be successful. Timelines aren’t necessary, in fact they’re nothing but an excuse for ignorant bureaucrats to meddle.


      • This is yet another example of the establishment squashing dissent. Something Dr. Curry has been writing about for a long time now.

      • > can you provide a link to that specific information […]

        Of course I can. I already did. Reading harder is not an option.

        Here would be another one, this time exploring Bjorn’s half-truths about subsidies in one if his WSJ editorial:

        Lomborg’s conclusion that subsidies by Western countries don’t matter is simply wrong.



        All this is of relative importance compared to the facts that hundreds of thousands children die every year from diseases a mosquito net could prevent, and thay a mosquito net costs 5$ a piece:


        What would you choose: millions for more material for WSJ editorials by the Lomborg Consensus Collective, or thousands to save lives of thousands of children in Africa?

      • Willard –

        The link in that earthtrack article to the Harvard study on the cost of coal didn’t work.


      • Here would be another one, this time exploring Bjorn’s half-truths about subsidies in one if his WSJ editorial:

        Actually, your link points to a statement of differences of opinion between (among?) various “economists”, professional or otherwise.

        And the commentary leads off with:

        Perhaps a quibble, […]

        The fact that you (or “dkoplow”) don’t agree with Lomborg’s rhetorical interpretations of subsidy details is hardly relevant to charges that “Lomborg misrepresented Nordhaus’ work” or “misinformed the Congress.” As far as I can tell from the fluffy garbage you’ve linked (so far), Lomborg expressed a different opinion from Nordhaus, perhaps under oath to Congress.

        You still haven’t provided any information what of Nordhaus’ work Lomborg is supposed to have “misrepresented.

        Show me the BEEF!

      • Lomborg argues that the right answer is to help the current poor now, since they are poorer than their descendants will be, because they are more easily (cheaply) helped and because in helping them one is also helping their descendants


        The first is the threat of a false dichotomy. Arguments from opportunity cost crucially rely on the idea that if a given project is chosen, then that choice forecloses some other option. But this is not the case in Lomborg’s version. Helping the poor and mitigating climate change are not obviously mutually exclusive. . .

        Second it is not clear even that the two projects are independent of each other, in the sense that they are fully separable opportunities rather than necessarily linked and perhaps mutually supporting policies. . . .

        Third, it is not clear that the opportunity that Lomborg wants to emphasize is really available.


        We could invest in a guy who exploited the poor most of his career, or we could invest in the poor. What should we do?

    • Mark, problem for me is that Lomborg is a warmist and in-on-the-game. My dream is to retire the entire klimatariat: mullahs, moderates, lukies…the lot.

      When this is achieved, people truly interested in the physical world and climate will still be able to enquire, but it will be more like dentistry and less like the Fourth Crusade.

      • I get it mosomoso. I would like to see your dream come true. Your dream is my fantasy. Maybe Lomborg can help us not wreck the entire world economy in the near term so that reason will prevail.

        By the way, we drank a great bottle of 2006 Two Hands “Coach House Block” Shiraz with our steak this evening.

      • I guess if we can’t just do things by reason and with thrift we’re stuck with the Lomborgs. He’s better than the rest, I guess.

        Stay on that steak and red wine diet. It’s good for the planet to have merry, well-stuffed humans. They make better conservationists than the planet-savers because their starting point is appreciation.

      • mosomoso, Lomborg is a (somewhat) warmist who correctly advocates that there are far more important issues, with far greater returns and benefits to human welfare, than GHG reductions. I heard him talk at UQ several years ago. I don’t think that he’s over-impressed with the CAGW story, but that rather than fight on that front, he’s sensibly said, “Okay, but look at all these other pressing issues where we can get enormous benefits, predominantly for those in poorer countries.” That undercuts the Green-left claims that we must act against warming to benefit the Third World.

    • It is a reflection, not only on how Universities operate but also on how a noisy minority can subvert research from sound and objective issues to that of normative and flaky left wing memes.

    • Peter Lang

      Mark Silbert,
      I’m an Aussie and I totally agree with you. It’s sick. Its as if our uni’s want to return to pre-Enlightenment.

      • i’m an Aussie, and I totally agree with UWA……hysterical pearl-clutching about the end of the Enlightenment notwithstanding.

  9. I hope the guys at CATO sent Gina McCarthy a copy of their results.

    • David Wojick

      EPA is well aware of those numbers. They are why the EPA benefit analysis is based half on avoiding global damages over the next 300 years from near term emissions (based on the social cost of carbon modeling and all other countries enacting the same or greater measures) plus the conjectured health benefits from shutting down a lot of economical coal fired power plants. The tiny temperature reduction from US actions alone is not part of the equation. EPA is very good at what it does.

      • So I guess t has nothing to do with CAGW.

      • I seriously doubt that Gina McCarthy is aware of any climate figures. She as much as confessed ignorance before Congress.
        All of EPA’s proposals are based on two false assumptions:
        1- Warming is bad and dangerous and expensive.
        2- Humans are responsible for most of the “measured” warming over the past ~70 years.

    • David L. Hagen

      Senator Coats of Indiana responded in part:

      The EPA’s New and Existing Source Performance Standards for carbon dioxide emissions will effectively prevent construction of any new coal power plants, and will shutter many existing coal plants. Over 80 percent of Indiana’s electrical power comes from coal-fired power plants. By discriminating against traditional fuel-sources, this rule would hurt Hoosier and American business, cost jobs, and increase energy prices. These proposals will cause a half-trillion dollar reduction in Gross Domestic Product and a loss of $75 billion in annual investments in directly related industries, such as refineries, power plants, and manufacturers.

      Unilaterally rejecting fossil fuels is not a wise or fiscally sustainable policy. Coal provides 40 percent of electricity generation in the United States and the recent shale boom is providing cleaner-burning natural gas at historically low rates. These low electricity costs promote business investment and enterprise. To maintain these price levels and our competiveness, we cannot hastily replace fossil fuels through bureaucratic fiat to pursue an overly aggressive environmentalist agenda.

  10. Lomborg: my letter to the Australian:

    Bjorn Lomborg has made a great contribution to public debate and development of policies which best serve human welfare, particularly for those in poor countries. He is an excellent writer and speaker who has the capacity to bring together great minds to deal with pressing issues of our age.

    It is a savage but not surprising indictment of Australia’s academia that the opportunity for Lomborg to make a contribution at a new centre at an Australian university has been met with such hostility and negativity from those not fit to lick his boots (“Uni backs out of $4m Lomborg-led research unit,” 10/5). Lomborg’s sole failing in the eyes of his critics is in fact something that universities everywhere should foster – the ability to look at things with fresh eyes, to impartially assess the evidence, and to come up with innovative ways of helping humanity.


    • Oh, the inhumanity.

      Graspers miss out on government largesse.

      I’m sure if it’s so terribly important, the ‘skeptics’ here will pool their sheckels and fund it themselves…..

      • This is classic trolling and one thing is certain, left wing hacks never fund anything from their own pockets.

      • Michael, we have a ridiculously over-extended academic sector in Australia where people get largesse for nonsense activities, Lomborg’s centre was to focus largely on how to get the greatest benefit for recipient countries from overseas aid, an area in which he has great expertise.

      • Michael,

        Would you agree, then, the loony Left should pool their sheckels and fund climate research, renewable energy and the propaganda outlets like the ABC, and SBS themselves?

      • Would you agree, then, the CAGW catastrophists should pool their sheckels and fund climate research, renewable energy and the propaganda outlets like the ABC, and SBS themselves?

      • Guys,

        I’m not the one whining about $4mill……

      • Either Australians could spend $4 million funding back slapping reports to be regurgitated in the Murdoch social network, or they could make sure their CEOs won’t ever need to brave the chill of an Australian winter night:

        More than 680 business leaders from across Australia braved the chill of a winter night on Thursday to participate in the first national Vinnies CEO sleepout.

        The initiative, which was held in all the capital cities except Hobart, raised in excess of $2 million for homelessness.


        Canadians can’t bear the thought of an Australian winter night. They might be biased. Still, that’s half the price of a Consensus gig.

      • “genghiscunn | May 10, 2015 at 12:36 am |
        Lomborg’s centre was to focus largely on how to get the greatest benefit for recipient countries from overseas aid, an area in which he has great expertise.”

        Then I’m sure you can show us the results of Lomborgs “great expertise”.

    • Peter Lang


  11. Has any Government stated what the minimum CO2 concentration should be to sustain life? Or is that unimportant?

    • David Wojick

      Why would they do that? According to AGW it will take many centuries of zero emissions just to get back to the mythical preindustrial optimum of 280 ppm, which presumably sustained life.

    • Yes, of course, you are right.

      I had forgotten the desire of Governments to prevent us returning to the abundant life of previous eras associated with elevated CO2 levels. They prefer, for some bizarre reason, to maintain the relative near desert conditions which presently apply.

      We evolved to presumably take advantage of conditions created by Nature. I am happy to go with the flow.

  12. From the article:

    Appearing on FBN’s Cavuto Friday night, MRC President Brent Bozell argued that the news media are losing the trust of the American public because they’ve become more “marginalized” and “radicalized” during the Obama years, deliberately ignoring news “if it harms the narrative of the left.” …
    BRENT BOZELL: Yeah, isn’t it incredible that their response to being marginalized is to be even more marginalized. They’ve become so radicalized. We’ve seen something in the last two years that I frankly hadn’t seen before: This — since 2008, I should say — this commitment, this deliberate commitment not to report news if it harms the narrative of the left. This is not one example, this is not two examples, I can give you 20 examples. As a matter of fact, you and I have talked about this many times on your show. They are deliberately not reporting news.


    • Another bit from that piece:

      The broadest problem created by intricately wrought regulatory mazes is that, in an effort to spell out all the contingencies, they lose sight of the overall goal and thereby make matters worse. A particularly chilling example is offered by the 1979 Kemeny Commission’s postmortem on the Three Mile Island partial meltdown, which concluded that when “regulations become as voluminous and complex as those regulations now in place, they can serve as a negative factor in nuclear safety.”

    • patmcguinness

      They think the agenda of their ideology is more important than truth, than market share, than balance and than fairness.

      Just as agenda driven science led us to the abuses of the IPCC,
      agenda-driven journalism leads to abuses in journalism.

      I learnt this long ago when I read how a TIME magazine environmental reporter admitted to getting into journalism as her avenue for activism.
      Just as radical Bill Ayers (yes, Obama’s pal in Chicago) was a radical who went into academia to radicalize the next generation, so too we have eco-activists in the ‘newsroom’ spinning news for the ’cause’.

      I frankly find the biases in the science of CO2 and AGW far less egregious than the media biases and abuses around it. The latter is the real hype machine.

    • From the article:

      Conservative Voters Give Pollsters Politically Correct Answers . . . and Then They Vote

      by JOHN FUND

      May 10, 2015 7:00 PM The website of Nate Silver, the American polling expert, surveyed all of Britain’s public-opinion surveys on Election day in Britain and declared that the chance that David Cameron’s Conservatives would win a majority of seats “was vanishingly small when the polls closed — around 1 in 500.”

      But that is precisely what happened, leading Nate Silver to write a piece titled “The World May Have a Polling Problem.” He listed the errors that overtook “probably the four highest-profile elections of the past year, at least from the standpoint of the U.S. and U.K. media”:


    • From the article:

      As recently at May 4th, Republican Sen. Sessions felt compelled to respond to multiple attacks by the cheap labor, open borders-loving editors at the Wall Street Journal. One has to wonder just what kind of business people there are at the WSJ, as the latest attacks since seem to indicate Sessions remains living rent free in their anti-working class American heads.

      Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)80%
      is responding to two recent Wall Street Journal editorials critical of the Alabama lawmaker’s position that high immigration rates are harmful to American workers, specifically those in tech fields.

      In a letter to the editor, Sessions pointed to the publication’s April 25 article “Scott Walker’s Labor Economics” and its April 27 follow up “The Sessions Complaint” in which The Journal took both Walker and Sessions to task for arguing that immigration policies should be determined based on what is good for American workers.


  13. In 2007 Czech President Vaclav Klaus realized AGW as world tyranny that engulfed planet Earth: http://tinyurl.com/5z4j6g

    Now an Australian politician says the climate change story is NWO fraud promoted by the United Nations


  14. The Australian Government is about to announce it has reached an agreement with the Opposition that will mean wind energy has to increase by about a factor of three by 2020 – a threefold increase in 5 years!

    In-principle deal struck on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

    The government and Labor have reached an in-principle deal on the Renewable Energy Target that should be cemented early next week.
    At a meeting in Melbourne today Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler agreed on a large-scale RET target of 33,000GWh.
    A deal is subject to cabinet and shadow cabinet approval and the backing of their respective partyrooms.

    The in-principle agreement ends months of deadlock over the future of the RET scheme, which currently has a large-scale target of 41,000GWh.
    A review of the scheme every two years by the Climate Change Authority will be maintained under the terms of the agreement put on the table today.
    Mr Hunt said a large-scale RET at 33,000GWh would produce a 23.5 per cent renewable energy target.

    Regulations around small-scale solar schemes will remain unchanged.
    Federal cabinet last night agreed to seek a deal with Labor after a growing push for a deal at 33,000GWh from its own ranks, with several backbenchers publicly speaking out in favour of that level. The government last month issued a ‘final offer’’ on the RET that would see the large-scale target to 2020 reduced from 41,000GWh by 2020 to 32,000GWh.
    However, Labor backed a Clean Energy Council compromise at 33,500GWh. More recently, the CEC has signalled it would consider 33,000GWh amid growing support within the Coalition backbench for a deal at this level.

    Business groups including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia are calling for a deal on the RET at 33,000GWh.
    When the RET was originally implemented with bipartisan support, it was established at 41,000GWh, representing 20 per cent of electricity in 2020. However, falling electricity consumption meant the 41,000GWh target represented a larger share, prompting calls for it to change to a “true” 20 per cent.

    The government and Labor have faced calls from both the renewables sector and energy-¬intensive industries to resolve the impasse.
    The stalemate has led to a collapse in investment in renewable energy and concerned energy-intensive industries, particularly the aluminium sector, which will pay $80 million in RET charges this year unless it receives a full exemption from the scheme in any deal between the parties.”


  15. On the failure of “expert” predictions of the UK elections, from the article:

    “Other possible explanations for the surprise election results and the apparent failure of the expert predictions are as follows:

    This is just a short-term fluctuation – a hiatus, or pause, in the Labour vote – that the models cannot be expected to predict correctly. The experts have much more confidence in their projection for the 2100 election. (HT David)

    The raw data from the election results is not reliable, and needs to be adjusted by the experts. After suitable UHI and homogeneity adjustments have been applied, the results are in line with the expert predictions, and Ed Miliband is declared the new Prime Minister.

    More funding and bigger computers are urgently needed, so that we can get more accurate predictions.

    The missing Labour voters are hiding at the bottom of the oceans.

    Finally, Feynman’s rule applies again:

    Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    • Re Philip Tetlock’s study of expert predictions. To
      that long list of failed predictions, from the Reverend
      Mr Malthus, Club of Rome, Joseph Steiglitz, Stephen
      Shneider, Jim Hanson et Al, now add the UK Elections
      pundits. Will these failed predictors, in view of their errors,
      be less confident in future? I hesitate ter predict …

      • Beth

        There are eerie parallels with climate science in as much the UK Labour party (and the EU on numerous other matters) constantly wail that they failed to get their message over clearly. Well they did, which is precisely why they were rejected.

        In order to get dodgy points over you need to obfuscate and confuse….


      • Well, at least Ed Miliband might now find employment by taking up the lead role in “Wallace and Gromit – the stage play”.
        He might need to shave his head tho’ ;-)

      • Agree Tony,

        ‘Obfuscate and confuse,’ and ‘gate-keep’ and ‘dumb down.’
        In education, ‘progressive’ social values rule – they’re the
        education number one goal.

  16. The Conservative-led UK coalition government undertook a faster path to restoring its fiscal position post-GFC, a choice of “austerity measures” which was widely condemned by other leaders and international institutions. Result: economic and employment growth in the UK is well ahead of other Western countries, and, to the great surprise of almost everybody, the Conservatives have won a clear majority at the election rather than losing power to a Labour-led coalition. A day later, Leftists were protesting against austerity measures. Ah, well.

  17. Jim D,

    Sorry to be avoiding the threading, but you said less climate change is better than more climate change.

    So it’s better that the climate of California stays as it is at the moment, or do you want other areas to stay drought ridden instead? The good folks of Siberia or the Sahara might appreciate a fair degree of climate change. Have you asked them?

    Its a bit late to stop the Antarctic becoming a frozen arid desert, but I suppose you’ll just blame that on Nature. Why do you think restoring the biodiversity of Antarctica is worse than leaving it as it is?

    • Your current choice is the climate and it variability over the time of human civilization or something more similar to the Eocene, basically an iceless hothouse with high sea levels. Six W/m2 may not sound much, but seasonal temperatures shift by several standard deviations when all the previous variability in recent millennia (MWP, LIA, etc.) has been well within one standard deviation. We are only about 25% of the way to that final state so far.

      • If CO2 emissions peaked last year, probably never see 2x CO2 and certainly none of those scenarios.

      • So, if you are right, all those people who said it would collapse the global economy were wrong? Why am I not surprised? Actually the growing green economy is just as vibrant as the black one, and the main workers are more local too, not places like Canada and Saudi Arabia, so it is a direct injection of cash into our communities. They were so wrong on the economics. How do you explain that?

      • Well, the slowing of emissions in the developed world are multifactoral.

        In the US, free market economics led to the improved production of natural gas, a factor which much of the rest of the world will enjoy.

        Businesses always had an incentive to be more efficient with energy because it is a cost – cost reductions improve profits. But government meddling didn’t have to intervene. Remember when Congress mandated compact florescent light bulbs ( CFLs)? Even back to my childhood days, businesses used florescent lighting.

        But the largest factor is good news/bad news as far as economic impact.
        Populations are falling in the developed world. This is good in that no government had to mandate anything ( our less than esteemed science advisor didn’t see his forced sterilization plan ). Economic development led to reducing human footprint.

        On the other hand, declining and ageing populations means less growth ( macro-economics ) and fewer taxpayers to support an older generation.
        In this sense, it has taken economic slowdown to achieve some portion of CO2 emission reduction. That’s why ‘Secular Stagnation’ has become a meme. Some imagine this means greater global conflict going forward.

  18. I like to use a bang for the buck method to make investment decisions. When I think about this, I see improved mass transportation, urban design, and investments in third world

  19. Republicans should campaign for a US mitigation plan. This would take leverage away from NGOs and world government wannabe types-basically the people causing the alarmism. The framework already exists for the most part, it’s called the State Dept. The funds would be tied to services and wouldn’t be cash hand outs like current financial aid provided by the US. Get clean gas/coal and solar/wind backers, make it bipartisan and give it a catchy name. Tea and scones in Berlin…

  20. David Wojick

    Conjecture presented as fact:

    This may also be “secret science” where the data and code are not public.

  21. Gov. Chris Christie: “I think global warming is real…And I do think human activity contributes to it.” ‘The question is what we do to deal with it.

    Almost there.

    ‘The question is what we do to deal with it.’ -to-
    ‘The question is, does it matter?’ and I think he’s got it.

  22. Voter rejection of UKIP mirrors the party’s failure to re-appoint Viscount Monckton as its climate spokesman , opening the election to the Greens and the Monster Raving Loony Party.

    • Russell

      As the Presdent and only member of the UK’s ‘a plague on all your party’s ‘ party,’ in all fairness I must point out that UKIP were the third largest party by votes cast. By the vagaries of this particular election they polled three times as many votes as the SNP but only got one MP as opposed to some 50 by the SNP.

      The Greens were nowhere.

      Interestingly the Conservatives are said to have spent some 16 million pounds during the whole of their election campaign compared to the republicans and democrats who each spent some 600 million on their campaign.


      • ‘a plague on all your party’s ‘ party’ Snappy acronym there, Tony, APOAYPP. Almost as good a Tnyb. Some further work needed before you launch it.

      • I work on the basis that if I hope to get a big grant from the EU ( or anyone) that long acronyms look more impressive than short ones.

        However i take your point. How does the acronym for the ‘ Carbon reduction action party’ sound to you?


  23. My favourite UK political commentator, Janet Daley (American, long resident in UK), one of the very few to expect and predict a Conservative win, on why the pollsters got it so wrong:

    “… Somehow we have arrived at a point where the conscientiously held beliefs and values of the majority of the population have become a matter for secret shame. The desire to do as well as you can in life, to develop your potential and expect to be rewarded for it, to provide your family with the greatest possible opportunity for self-improvement and to do that on your own without being dependent on the state – these are the assumptions that seem to have become so unacceptable that identifying with them is beyond the pale, or at least so socially outrageous that it is not worth the ignominy of admitting to them.

    “The Left has so dominated the conversation and so noisily traduced the “petit bourgeois” values that guide the lives of what used to be called the “respectable working class” that, ironically, it is only the most socially confident who can openly embrace them. The very people whom Labour needs to attract (and which it did attract when it had re-invented itself as New Labour) are once again being bullied into hiding their true attitudes and opinions.

    “So they prevaricate and evade when asked how they will vote because they are intimidated by the condemnation of the Left-wing mob, or else they just are not self-assured enough to make the moral case (even in their own minds) for their choice. But when they reach the sacred solitude of the voting booth, they do what they know must be done for the sake of their own futures, and that of their families, and even of those the Left insists are being disadvantaged – because they genuinely believe that dependency is a bad thing and that self-determination is a social good.

    “In the end, what does the Left (and its army of media friends) accomplish by all this activist pressure on public opinion? In a circle of mutually congratulatory agreement, the liberal establishment may demonise the social attitudes of the majority until they are blue in the face. They may succeed – as indeed they obviously have – in making ordinary people afraid to utter their real views. But there is a dreadful price to be paid: if you browbeat people into withdrawing from the debate, then you will never know how robust their convictions are – until it is too late and you have catastrophically lost an election, or staked your professional credibility on unsound predictions.

    “This is the danger of the activist trap. As I said last week, if you are surrounded by a crowd of people whose opinions are identical to yours then together you can make a great deal of noise. But what you don’t hear is the silence of those outside the crowd. If parties of the Left are ever to become electable again, they will have to stop shouting and listen.”


    Some might find parallels in the alleged CAGW and UWA cases.

  24. richardswarthout

    Is the globe confronted with, not one, but two “wicked problems”? The two problems amplifying each other; a perfect storm? One, discussed often by Dr Curry, is the wicked problem of climate change. The other, my contribution, is the wicked problem of the soul (see note).

    Note: There are several definitions for the word soul. For this comment I use the following Webster’s definition: The quality that arouses emotion and sentiment.


  25. The British election may seem like a move to the right, but there were several underlying factors that show that this was not what happened.
    First Labour gained a couple of more seats from the Conservatives than they lost to them. The biggest Conservative gains were from the centrist LibDems who had been their coalition partners, but abandoned their centrism and lost seats in both directions (a flight from their version of the center). Labour lost mostly to the Scots Nationalists, who themselves are quite left-leaning and owe their strengthening to repulsion by the Conservative policies of the last 5 years. Now Cameron’s two big challenges are to keep the UK in the EU and to keep Scotland in the UK. The first is mostly against his own right wing, and the second is against leftist Scotland, so he is fighting on both flanks here. A departure from Europe could make it more likely that Scotland would want to break off just to stay in Europe.

    • The average British Conservative is probably slightly to the left of the average American Democrat.

      • Peter

        Agree with your analysis. I would imagine I would be a democrat if I were American but could not bring myself to vote for Obama, the latest in a series of poor presidents. The new prospects don’t look much more inspiring


      • David Wojick

        Pesky freedom loving Americans.

      • Tonyb,

        Don’t give up on us yet. Hillary is an anachronism. I can almost get excited about Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. I can live with Jeb Bush. Ted Cruz gets it wrt CAGW. If we elect Rubio/Walker/Cruz/Bush we could end up with Judith Curry as Science Advisor to the President. Something worth pondering.

      • There will be 15-20 Republicans running who all don’t like each other but are pretty much clones on all the major policies, except Jeb who does seem to have a mind of his own, and will therefore likely win the nomination the way Romney did last time and McCain the time before. The clonishness is of course imposed by the funding hoops they have to jump through to even get to the starting line. Independent thinking is frowned on by the Republican paymasters. Too unpredictable when in “power”.

    • Jimd

      The lib dems would be considered left of centre not centrist which is why so many of their members were annoyed by a coalition with the Tories and ultimately punished their party for doing so . Labour are also to the left of centre. The Scottish nationalists are even further to the left than any of the national mainstream parties.

      There was a distinct lurch to the right in England and Wales and a distinct lurch even further left in Scotland.I would remind you that in the referendum last year there was a deCisive vote to stay in the union . The scots are heavily funded by the English. Many of us would like to see them given fiscal independence within the union. Their leftist statist
      Policies would quickly show them once again that socialism doesn’t work.

      As regards the EU, most of us would be quite happy to remain in the trading organisation we believed we were joining but not in the political union that tries to dictate our every move that the EU has become.


      • I only realized in the last few years just how socialist the Scots are. They are more akin to the Scandinavian countries in that regard. Cameron has his work cut out trying to keep them happy while making his promised cuts to social programs.

      • richardswarthout


        Frank Luntz, a Yank who studied the UK electorate has an interesting take on why the polls were so wrong.



      • Jimd

        The scots used to be a bastion of enterprise, free trade and self reliance. I think the change to greater socialism probably relates to devolution of power when not only did they get their own parliament but also over generous funding from central government enabling them to fund services the rest of the UK doesn’t have.


      • Richard

        The commentator mentions people ‘Turned off by the political process’

        I think this is spot on. We are fed up with career Politicians who have never had a real job and the interminable speeches and analysis that goes with every election. It is way overdone.

        My wife and I decided to go to Austria for a ten day holiday to avoid all the hype but timed it to return for the actual vote.

        In contrast to the boredom of the election campaign the election itself was exciting and riveting theatre that kept me up to 5 am to watch the results.

        However, there was one factor that was not mentioned which has been termed the ‘shy conservative’

        They tend to keep their opinions to themselves and in some respects are embarrassed to be seen to be voting for a party that might be seen to be less socially acceptable than socialists. Consequently they get overlooked.

        There is a parallel here to climate in as much I think there are far more sceptics than ever show up in polls. However A disbelief in agw is akin to saying you murder polar bears whilst laughing as island nations disappear beneath the waves. Therefore you might express agreement with the notion publicly whilst disagreeing privately.


      • richardswarthout


        It may have been in the 1980s in the US that the term “silent majority” was coined. Appears to be an Anglo-American behavior. Also Anglo-American is the distrust of politicians; the winning candidate in the US in 2016 will be the one trusted the most. I think.


      • Tony, Jim D: “The Scots used to be a bastion of enterprise, free trade and self reliance.” Most still are, but they don’t live in Scotland. It was disgraceful that Scots living elsewhere in the UK were not allowed to vote in the referendum – there would have been a huge anti-separation vote if they had been.

      • The separatist movement is left-driven and became more vociferous with a Conservative government that didn’t care about the same things as they did. Under the previous Labour government there was no talk of separation. This election will make that divide worse.

      • Well, Jim D, I’m half Irish, quarter Scottish, quarter Northumbrian (with Viking ancestry) and was born near the centre of England, so I have at least a little dog in this fight. I think that most Scots (who are ex-pats to Scotland, but in many cases live elsewhere in the UK) would not favour separation – you are talking about those north of the border who are heavily dependent on funding from Whitehall yet adopt profligate policies – an abuse, a bit like Tasmania’s stance in the Australian Commonwealth. The Westminster government might get few Scottish votes north of the border but probably get a lot in Britain overall. That indigenous left bias has been what has got Labour many election victories, their chance of ever forming a majority UK government has been shattered by the SNP dominance.

        Rebuild Hadrian’s Wall (but to the north of Northumberland) and cut them loose, I say. (While letting Tassie federate with Antarctica.)

      • JIMD

        Sorry, but you have got it completely the wrong way round. It was the previous Labour administration that granted the Scots devolution in 1998 despite warnings of where it would lead-demands for independence.

        As by far the largest party in Scotland at the time-Scotland was one of the Labour heartlands where they weighed votes rather than counted them-they thought they would be able to control their fiefdom by way of patronage and grants and projects and so cement their position forever.

        Gradually the Scots demanded more and more. You are right of course that this election will make things worse as the right leaning UK Govt is confronted by the left leaning Scottish govt additional concessions.

        However, things change and this may be the high point for the Nationalists. It is not that many years ago that the Tories were the biggest party in Scotland. They still command some 18% of the vote there so are not insignificant

  26. David L. Hagen

    Ben Carson, 2014
    He shows great common sense. The importance of being responsible, use existing and develop new energy resources, and not be swept away by alarmists.

    Whether we are experiencing global warming or a coming ice age, which was predicted in the 1970s, we as responsible human beings must be concerned about our surroundings and what we will pass on to future generations. However, to use climate change as an excuse not to develop our God-given resources makes little sense. Expanding our wealth of energy resources, as well as encouraging the development of new renewable energy sources, would provide an enormous economic lift with obvious benefits, but it also would bolster our role as a formidable player in the struggle for world leadership.”

    If we don’t get a balanced budget amendment soon, there won’t be any revenues left for climate science or education. Carson highlights

    In January 2009, our public debt was $11.9 trillion. Now, it’s more than $18 trillion. Interest payments on the debt now total about $250 billion, the 3rd single biggest item in the federal budget.

    Carson makes

  27. Good news, Brits! BBC reports:

    Green groups and low-carbon firms have welcomed the appointment of Amber Rudd as the new head of the energy and climate department, Decc.

    Many will be sighing with relief that David Cameron did not choose one of the more climate-sceptic candidates at his disposal.

    Ms Rudd is convinced of the threat of manmade climate change. She acknowledges uncertainties in the science, but says the risks are so huge that precaution is essential.

  28. I think this is politics. Someone needs to contact Ralph for his proof of his idi-ot-ic allegation. From the article:

    Archaeologists face a race against time to protect the collection of so-called Chinchorro mummies, which date back as far as 5000 BC, after their preserved skin began turning into black slime.

    For the first 90 or so years after their discovery, the amazing collection which includes mummified foetuses, hardly deteriorated.

    But in the past few years museum staff noticed the skins of dozens of the 120 exhibits were turning into a black sludge.

    He contacted Harvard scientist Ralph Mitchell, who specialises in finding out why relics disintegrate.

    His probe, using DNA tests over months, concluded germs eating the mummies were common microorganisms that had multiplied significantly in the last decade de to higher humidity levels as a result of global warming.


  29. This would also apply to the “smart” grid. From the article:

    A panel of security experts, including from IBM, LogMeIn and formerly RSA, warn that IoT security is a growing threat because device makers haven’t baked in security. IT security staffs are already inundated with safeguarding internal infrastructure and cloud-based resources, so guarding against a slew of new threats is likely to be overwhelming. LogMeIn’s Paddy Srinivasan says most Internet-of-things OEMs “barely even have IT staff,” so they aren’t capable of developing rigorous security even if they wanted to. IBM’s Andy Thurai says most companies are rushing technology to market to try to monetize you as much as possible, and they aren’t even willing to give you a cut for the data you supply. Regulations may help, but probably not enough and definitely not soon.


  30. David Wojick

    The US House Natural Resouces Committee held a hearing this morning on “The Obama Administration’s CEQ Recently Revised Draft Guidance for GHG Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change.” John Cristy testified, among others. See http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=398484&utm_src=email