President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

by Judith Curry

The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital.

Excerpts from the White House press release on the Clean Power Plan (as cited by WUWT):

The Clean Power Plan is a Landmark Action to Protect Public Health, Reduce Energy Bills for Households and Businesses, Create American Jobs, and Bring Clean Power to Communities across the Country

We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged. The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the West to record heat waves – and sea level rise are hitting communities across the country. In fact, 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the first 15 years of this century and last year was the warmest year ever. The most vulnerable among us – including children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and people living in poverty – are most at risk from the impacts of climate change. Taking action now is critical.

The Clean Power Plan establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants. We already set limits that protect public health by reducing soot and other toxic emissions, but until now, existing power plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States, could release as much carbon pollution as they wanted.

The final Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, 9 percent more ambitious than the proposal. By setting carbon pollution reduction goals for power plants and enabling states to develop tailored implementation plans to meet those goals, the Clean Power Plan is a strong, flexible framework that will:

– Provide significant public health benefits – The Clean Power Plan, and other policies put in place to drive a cleaner energy sector, will reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent in 2030 compared to 2005 and decrease the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog and can lead to more asthma attacks in kids by more than 70 percent. The Clean Power Plan will also avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths, lead to 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children, and prevent 300,000 missed work and school days.

– Create tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring grid reliability;

– Drive more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies than the proposed rule, resulting in 30 percent more renewable energy generation in 2030 and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy.

– Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020-2030;

– Give a head start to wind and solar deployment and prioritize the deployment of energy efficiency improvements in low-income communities that need it most early in the program through a Clean Energy Incentive Program; and

– Continue American leadership on climate change by keeping us on track to meet the economy-wide emissions targets we have set, including the goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

KEY FEATURES OF THE CLEAN POWER PLAN

The Clean Power Plan:

– Provides Flexibility to States to Choose How to Meet Carbon Standards: The final rule provides more flexibility in how state plans can be designed and implemented, including: streamlined opportunities for states to include proven strategies like trading and demand-side energy efficiency in their plans, and allows states to develop “trading ready” plans to participate in “opt in” to an emission credit trading market with other states taking parallel approaches without the need for interstate agreements. All low-carbon electricity generation technologies, including renewables, energy efficiency, natural gas, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, can play a role in state plans.

– More Time for States Paired With Strong Incentives for Early Deployment of Clean Energy: State plans are due in September of 2016, but states that need more time can make an initial submission and request extensions of up to two years for final plan submission. 

– Creates Jobs and Saves Money for Families and Businesses: Under the Clean Power Plan, by 2030, renewables will account for 28 percent of our capacity, up from 22 percent in the proposed rule. Due to these improvements, the Clean Power Plan will save the average American nearly $85 on their energy bill in 2030, and save consumers a total of $155 billion through 2020-2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes.

– Rewards States for Early Investment in Clean Energy, Focusing on Low-Income Communities:  Under the program, credits for electricity generated from renewables in 2020 and 2021 will be awarded to projects that begin construction after participating states submit their final implementation plans. The program also prioritizes early investment in energy efficiency projects in low-income communities by the Federal government awarding these projects double the number of credits in 2020 and 2021. 

– Ensures Grid Reliability: In addition to giving states more time to develop implementation plans, starting compliance in 2022, and phasing in the targets over the decade, the rule requires states to address reliability in their state plans. The final rule also provides a “reliability safety valve” to address any reliability challenges that arise on a case-by-case basis.

– Continues U.S. Leadership on Climate Change:Taken together these measures put the United States on track to achieve the President’s near-term target to reduce emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and lay a strong foundation to deliver against our long-term target to reduce emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The release of the Clean Power Plan continues momentum towards international climate talks in Paris in December, building on announcements to-date of post-2020 targets by countries representing 70 percent of global energy based carbon emissions.

– Sets State Targets in a Way That Is Fair and Is Directly Responsive to Input from States, Utilities, and Stakeholders: 

– Maintains Energy Efficiency as Key Compliance Tool: In addition to on-site efficiency and greater are reliance on low and zero carbon generation, the Clean Power Plan provides states with broad flexibility to design carbon reduction plans that include energy efficiency and other emission reduction strategies. 

– Requires States to Engage with Vulnerable Populations:The Clean Power Plan includes provisions that require states to meaningfully engage with low-income, minority, and tribal communities, as the states develop their plans. 

 

Today’s actions also build on a series of actions the Administration is taking through the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the dangerous levels of carbon pollution that are contributing to climate change, including:

– Standards for Light and Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Earlier this summer, the EPA and the Department of Transportation proposed the second phase of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which if finalized as proposed will reduce 1 billion tons of carbon pollution. 

– Low Income Solar: The initiative will help families and businesses cut their energy bills through launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems and sets a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020.

– Economy-Wide Measures to Reduce other Greenhouse Gases: EPA and other agencies are taking actions to cut methane emissions from oil and gas systems, landfills, coal mining, and agriculture through cost-effective voluntary actions and common-sense standards. At the same time, the U.S. Department of State is working to slash global emissions of potent industrial greenhouse gases, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

– Investing in Coal Communities, Workers, and Communities: The Plan provides dedicated new resources for economic diversification, job creation, job training, and other employment services for workers and communities impacted by layoffs at coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

– Energy Efficiency Standards:  DOE has already finalized energy conservation standards for 29 categories of appliances and equipment, as well as a building code determination for commercial buildings. These measures will also cut consumers’ annual electricity bills by billions of dollars.

– Investing in Clean Energy: In June the White House announced more than $4 billion in private-sector commitments and executive actions to scale up investment in clean energy innovation.

JC comments

I haven’t seen a lot of reactions yet, but here is a good article: Obama’s Clean Power Plan faces tough legal scrutiny.

Here are some questions I received from a journalist, and my responses:

How have you seen President Obama¹s messaging on climate change evolve over time?

In President Obama’s first term, climate change was barely mentioned; now we see addressing climate change as the major initiative of his second term. The first rationale he used to build public support for reducing CO2 emissions was an economic argument in context of the social cost of carbon. The second rationale was public health impacts. And more recently he has tried to make a national security argument.

Do you think Obama¹s messaging about climate change is true to the science?

Well the one thing you don’t hear President Obama mention is how much his proposed emissions reductions will reduce global warming. My recent Congressional testimony cited the following numbers for President Obama’s commitment to the UN: It has been estimated that the U.S. INDC of 28% emissions reduction by 2025 will prevent 0.03oC in warming by 2100. It has been estimated that the U.S. INDC of 80% emissions reduction by 2025 will prevent 0.11oC warming by 2100. And these estimates assume that climate model projections are correct; if the climate models are over sensitive to CO2, then amount of warming prevented will be even smaller.

The economic argument is rather dicey; economic impact models are far more uncertain even than climate models. The social cost of carbon estimates made by the White House require assumptions out to the year 2300 for drastic CO2 reductions to be cost effective.

The public health arguments are even weaker. CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with asthma. Extreme weather events are not increasing with increased CO2; extreme weather events are dominated by natural climate variability. Particularly in the U.S., extreme weather was substantially worse in the 1930’s and 1950’s.

– Do you think reframing ghg and climate change as public health and economic issues are the only way Obama and the EPA could write a rule that would pass legal muster?

I can’t comment much on the legal muster aspect, although I am aware of numerous existing and forthcoming legal challenges. Trying to sell this plan as economic and public health issue is a ploy to develop political will for President Obama’s preferred energy policies.

Since late last year, it seems like Obama has been talking more and more about climate change, and its effects on health and the economy. Do you think Obama is reshaping the way the public views climate change?

The Republican Party for the most part remains opposed to President Obama’s climate/energy policy. For the first time ever, it appears that climate change and energy policy will be an issue in the forthcoming Presidential campaigns and election. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

406 responses to “President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

  1. Good answers! I was writing so I kind of tuned out the speech at the time he was speaking. Thanks for posting it.

    • Asthma doubled as coal use decreased? Incredible! Absolutely incredible!

      • It’s a good thing I wasn’t listening to that while he spoke. I would have induced a bad fit of wheezing from laughing so hard while I fell off my seat.

      • Coal use increased in most of the last 30 years. Maybe the very recent decrease will show up in the health statistics later. We’ll see only if the decrease is given a chance to persist for any significant length of time.

      • JimD’s graph on coal consumption starts in 1965 and ends in 2012.

        Obama’s 2015 speech referred to the three decade period, 1985-2015.

      • John F. Hultquist

        There is an interesting article
        “Something in the Air” by Melissa Pandika
        Much about the work of Kari Nadeau
        Discover Mag: September 2015
        Central CA valley towns
        pollution is mostly from diesel exhaust from trucks, cars, tractors

      • We warmed out of the little ice age. Global warming did happen. It was just like the warming out of a cold period into the Roman Warm time. It was just like the warming out of a cold period into the Medieval Warm period.
        Warming and increased CO2 did make most all the green things on earth grow bigger and faster with less water. That did naturally create more pollen and stuff that many are allergic to. That did naturally increase Asthma. That did naturally increase the food supply for life on earth that depends on the green things that grow better. There are more people who have asthma and there are more people who do not have asthma. There are more people because there is more food for all. Life is really good because earth is warm and CO2 is higher and the green stuff we depend on is growing better with less of the precious water that we also depend on.

    • “In President Obama’s first term, climate change was barely mentioned; now we see addressing climate change as the major initiative of his second term. ”
      Not a great mystery. Faced with overwhelming real world problems about which he’s unwilling or unable to do anything (except make them worse), he’s decided to tackle a problem that likely doesn’t even exist.

      A pretend problem with pretend solutions. Both pathetic and horrifying.

      (aka pokerguy)

  2. One hardly knows where to start. Asthma has increased as air pollution has decreased. Speculations around the hygene hypothesis. Obama is?/ was a smoker. This stuff will be resolved by the 2016 election. Make your vote count.

    • Agreed! Obama is FOS!

    • The articles I’ve read speculate the most likely causation of asthma attributed to hygiene too. I saw the CDC has a rising trend of instances of asthma, but nowhere close to doubling. The American Lung Association has deaths attributed to asthma mostly declining.

      • First question has to be is it increased incidence or increased diagnosis? See thyroid cancer………

    • Reducing other traditional air pollutants has increased PM2.5

    • The asthma thing is so totally idiotic I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would propose it. On one pint alone of many, my worst symptoms are triggered by snow mould. Therefore warmer weather with less snow is good for asthma. Methinks our dear president has a guilt complex about his smoking and looking for a scape coat.

      • I think it’s based on an experiment carried out in a prestigious UK university. They put their subjects in a sealed chamber hooked up to a 5 gravity centrifuge, spun it up, raised the chamber temperature to 40 degrees C and increased the CO2 concentration to 50,000 ppm. After five minutes’ exposure the experiment had to be suspended because the subjects started gasping and vomiting, proving conclusively that CO2 causes asthma.

    • To quote the CDC “the percentage of the US population with asthma increased from 3.1% in 1980 to 5.5% in 1996 and 7.3% in 2001 to 8.4% in 2010.”

      Of course, the progress made due to regulation of air pollution had its major effect in the late 1960s/early 1970s, but coal power plants remain a major source of fine particulates (PM2.5) that cause asthma.

      • Right.

        That’s why people in those cold Northern states don’t get asthma and people in the warm Southern states get lots of asthma.

        Oh, wait…

        And why Texas, that uses the most coal fired plants has so much asthma.

        Oh, wait…

        (percent adults with asthma per CDC):

        Eli, your job at the Ministry of Information awaits.

      • Texas is big, Turbulently educated one. Not as big as the half of Alaska, but still.

        CDC’s words are also good, from your own link:

        Federal, state, and local health officials can

        Track asthma rates and the effectiveness of control measures so continuous improvements can be made in prevention efforts.

        Promote influenza and pneumonia vaccination for people with asthma.

        Promote improvements in indoor air quality for people with asthma through measures such as smoke-free air laws and policies, healthy schools and workplaces, and improvements in outdoor air quality.

        Please leave “What about” stuff to Tony, Turbulently educated one.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I’m glad they have finally pinpointed what causes asthma. It was coal all along. I imagine those lack of exposure to allergins deniers will be properly ostracized from polite company. Have they gone back to adjust the costs of smoking? It appears a 50% reduction in smoking has caused a 100%+ increase in asthma.

      • Please leave “What about” stuff to Tony, Turbulently educated one.

        Oh, we don’t like looking at data, especially if it contradicts our made up beliefs, do we?

      • Danny Thomas

        Eli R,
        Um, there may be even less understanding of “asthma” than climate: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-are-asthma-rates-soaring/

        “But the short answer to the question of why asthma has increased, according to Pearce, von Mutius, Rodrigues and many others, is, “We don’t know.” Pearce, in particular, wonders whether modernization in general or westernization in particular may play a role. “There is something about westernization that means people’s immune systems function in a different way,” he says. “But we don’t know what the mechanism is.””

        Just so we don’t paint with too broad of a brush.

      • Most asthma is caused by junk in dirty carpets. My suggestion to Americans is to switch to French style wooden parquet floors, or enforce stricter rules to have the domestic help vacuum very thoroughly. It also helps to use the Japanese custom and leave your shoes by the front door.

      • http://www.catf.us/fossil/problems/power_plants/

        Right.

        Clean Air Task Force? Any unseemly assumptions in their model?

        Have a Death and Disease from Public Parks to compare it to?

      • Playing “what’s up” games should not be conflated with “looking at data” games, turbulently educated one.

        If you care so much about data, why don’t you delve into states like North Dakota?

        Start here:

        http://www.catf.us/resources/factsheets/files/Children_at_Risk-North_Dakota.pdf

      • Fernando

        Deity their wooden floors asthma is still a major health problem in France

        http://www.irdes.fr/EspaceAnglais/Publications/IrdesPublications/QES138.pdf

        I wonder if the stuff that used to live in carets now lurk in beds and curtains

        Tonyb

      • SMosher: Lot of coal in East Texas, lot of oil in West Texas.

      • Hard for anyone to argue for coal ( unless their economy depends on it ).
        Nat Gas is cheapest so it’s a no brainer.
        And that’s what was happening anyway ( gummit: me too )
        But why do we need to make up threats?

      • eli

        it makes more sense to talk about what gets into the air.

        some thorny issues about exposure times.

        i need to read more and comment less

      • For steam turbines you can use coal, natural gas, or residual oil.

        The price of coal varies a order of magnitude based on location. Shipping is the largest factor in cost. Shipping is a big factor in gas prices.

        If you are spitting distance from an open pit mine, coal will always be cheaper. If a major gas pipeline goes by your power plant – gas will be cheaper all things being equal.

        In between this extremes it depends. In the New York City area gas and coal are about equal per MMBTU, gas turbines will have a cost advantage (higher efficiency). Steam turbines will probably use gas because they are being pushed to lower emissions.

  3. One good thing that comes out of this is much greater public awareness of bureaucratic overreach. Between the courts and Congress, especially with a Republican president, new legal limitations may well be placed on the scope of bureaucratic regulation.

  4. Asthma? a couple of degrees C causes asthma?

    • well the game they are playing is that ozone and soot from power plants do play a role in asthma. If you get rid of CO2 (presumably by shutting down coal power plants etc) then you will also get rid of ozone and soot. Watch the pea hiding in the thimble or whatever

      • It’s more complicated than that. Soot is not the problem, it’s the nano particles that the cilia in the lungs don’t remove and the even finer ones that pass the blood-brain barrier.

      • Soot is a stronger forcing than environmental toxin.

      • Horst, “It’s more complicated than that. Soot is not the problem, it’s the nano particles that the cilia in the lungs don’t remove and the even finer ones that pass the blood-brain barrier.”

        In the Caribbean and southeast, Saharan dust is a major asthma factor. That dust contains a variety of molds, bacteria, fungi etc. that might be the main culprits. Indoor air quality also has mold, bactieria and fungi issues primarily related to air conditioning maintenance and water leaks. PVC out gassing may also be a large part of the problem with a portion of the population.

      • Watch the pea hiding in the thimble or whatever

        ?

      • Ozone and fine particulates play a role in health, not only in people with asthma. It is the details; i.e. concentrations and source that matter. The difficulty stems from epidemiology studies and the instrument(s) used to query the population. There is also the co-minling of sources with cigarette smoking.

        If I were to choose the priority on which sources to limit:

        1) cigarette smoking; primary and second hand smoke

        2) diesel engines

        3) industrial sources

        When reading about coal fired power plants and respiratory particulate emissions, one reads much about Southeast Asia and not so much about US plants. In addition, the literature is a bit dated meaning data is on older power plants with older technologies; i.e. in the 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990’s. There is also the issue that EPA’s renewal of operating license process made retrofitting pollution control technologies unprofitable as the life of the coal fired power plant would then be extended.

        Constantly referring to “old’ plants to be shut down reflects a culmination of regulatory stonewalling with failure to act on the part of EPa.

      • Reply to Dr. Curry ==> The EPA posts graphs of national averages of air quality metrics here: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/index.html

        Particulate matter: (soot)
        http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/index.html

        Ozone:
        http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/ozone.html

        All measurements downtrending in all timescales shown, all metrics below the National Standards.

        The same is true for Lead, NO2, SO2 and CO.

        Thus, the President seems way off-base with his claims.

    • As a PhD Genetic epidemiologist who has asthma, has kept up on the literature, and examined the problem very carefully all I can say is…..climate change has caused/aggravated asthma is like full moons and sunspots cause bipolar disorder. I just can’t believe he’s still saying that!

      • fulltime

        I had episodes of fairly serious asthma until 1998 when I had a minor operation which used anaesethetic. It completely disappeared from that time. No doctors seem interested but there must have been some linkage.

        tonyb

      • I’ll bite. Asthma is not one disease. It’s kind of like saying “sore back” in reference to the lungs. Rather it is a bunch of diseases which all have the same symptoms. Some forms of asthma are linked to hang chronic infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae in the lining of the bronchial tubes and if you had a course of antibiotics with your surgery that might have cured it. Another cause of asthma is a chronic infection of the sinuses sending dead stuff into the lungs when you breath. If your sinuses were fixed that would explain it. And for some of us it’s just our genetics give us hyper-reactive lungs. The reason doctors are not interested is its very hard to treat and what works like a miracle in one patient will fail miserably in another. All you can do is shrug and move along. This is why Obama used asthma as his hook to get people to tackle climate change I guess. It’s such a puzzling nonspecific kind of disease you can attribute it to anything and there are lots of irritatingly nonspecific miracle cures like yours out there too.

      • full time

        Nothing to do with any of that. No antibiotics, no sinuses or anything. I had a detached retina. I had anaesthetic. I took my puffer into the operating theatre and have never used it since. Some 17 years.

        tonyb

      • Wow well good for you! I can’t explain it though.

      • “Wow well good for you! I can’t explain it though.”

        so much for science.

        if a science cant explain everything its useless

      • bedeverethewise

        Maybe your asthma is hiding in the deep ocean, that would explain your asthma pause.

        Asthma pause? There is no pause, your asthma is real and it’s worse than we thought.

      • The false claims and false choice rhetorical narratives from the administration is a problem. Lawyers and amicus curiae might debunk this, part of the purpose is to rile up public opinion. There needs to be a timely rebuttal of such distortions and rhetorical propaganda, which is what this really is.

  5. – Ensures Grid Reliability: In addition to giving states more time to develop implementation plans, starting compliance in 2022, and phasing in the targets over the decade, the rule requires states to address reliability in their state plans. The final rule also provides a “reliability safety valve” to address any reliability challenges that arise on a case-by-case basis.

    It’s not really ensuring Grid Reliability, but rather saying we will slow down mans make exceptions when we think we have to so we don’t cause too great a harm, as we pass off the responsibility for reliability to the states to solve in some way that we have not figured out ourselves.

    • Right, the “plan” is going to somehow ensure grid reliability and electric affordability. The “affordability” part seems to be pegged at a reduction in the “average” electric bill of $85 per year. That is going to be a neat trick, probably slight of hand like in Germany where industry electric rates dropped while the residential sector rates sky rocketed.

      The plan or pan (sic) seems to required continued low nat gas prices (EPA gave fracking a clean bill of health) and the elimination of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants. I saw no mention of nuclear.

      • “a reduction in the “average” electric bill of $85 per year” as in “If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan?”

      • Best quote so far that I’ve seen comes from Obama nominee FERC Commissioner Tony Clark:

        “Whatever EPA believes are the environmental benefits of this regulation, it cannot be said that it will be easy or inexpensive. Such is the stuff of unicorns and leprechauns. For if EPA’s energy vision was the most reliable and affordable means of providing power, we would not need the rule. Engineering experts, markets, utilities and their regulators would already be choosing these resources without EPA dictates. No amount of political posturing changes that fact.

        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I don’t usually get this excited – but that’s good!

      • Pardon the bad form (not my first time) or replying to myself but one more (self serving) quote from the commissioner:

        .Though EPA officials are writing these regulations, EPA officials are not responsible for ensuring reliable, affordable power. That task falls to America’s utility regulators, engineers, and operators. I am concerned there is an assumption that these dedicated experts will get the job done simply because they always have before. They are the best in the world, but no one should think reliability and affordability are slam dunks, lest we deny the science of electrical engineering. Make no mistake, this work is extraordinarily difficult and it will be even more so should this regulation come to pass.”

      • I am concerned there is an assumption that these dedicated experts will get the job done simply because they always have before.

        Reminds me of a scene from “Atlas Shrugged”. (The book, I never watched the movie but suppose it’s there, too.)

    • I do think low natural gas prices have the potential to lower electric costs considerably. the sleight of hand may be having more beneficial natural gas mixred in with the EPA plan than in the base case they are comparing it too. Natural gas benefits if not offset by a bunch of mandatory costly intermittent “clean” solar and wind could give the U.S. an incredible opportunity to benefit from abundant low cost power. If the EPA mix does prove to basically let us keep power costs in the range iwe are seeing now, that may be a huge loss from where we could have been.

      Decreasing power costs (from natural gas) may be a challenge for some sectors the utility industry (maybe more so than “clean” energy because utilities can get into that business) but it would be a challenge that provided benefits to individuals, businesses, industry and the economy.

      • Plan,

        Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the USA is rich with a diverse portfolio of fossil fuels. Hence, we should have cheap and reliable energy for industrial, domestic, and transportation uses. This was not true in the early 1970s. The current high cost of electricity and transportation fuels in California is entirely due to self-inflicted wounds. Obama now is going to hamstring the rest of the nation via the unelected EPA. He can get away with it only if we “hunker down and take it like a mule in a hailstorm”.

        H/t LBJ

      • Justin- I don’t think you are wrong. I’ll expand on what you said. Pre 70s newer plants tended to be more efficient and adding load brought price reductions. People got discounts for using more energy. Cheaper and cheaper electricity seemed to be the future, Nuclear was going to help that trend, Then the 70s and fuel prices and construction cost became higher than most would have though, and the growth in load raised costs for all, diversity of fuels provided a bit of a hedge. Pre fracking it looked like fossil fuel,costs and increasing construction costs would cause prices to keep increasing, that made renewables look more attractive. The seeming abundance of fracked gas is a game changer on its own that pushes the timing for renewables out (absent regulation). The new plan seems to want to mix the savings we could have with the costs for for rrenables That are high and call the program a near wash,

  6. Umm, Judith? “In President Obama’s first term, climate change was barely mentioned; now we see addressing climate change as the major initiative of his second term.”

    The first major legislation pushed by the President was Waxman Markey. It was only after it failed that the issue sank beneath the waves for a couple of years.

    • Waxman Markey was defeated early in Obama’s first term

      • David Wojick

        Yes but it was the biggest climate change legislative initiative to date, so not “barely mentioned.”

      • well it was an effort that mostly preceded the Obama admin, as far as I recall, and it was not pushed further by Obama 2010+

      • Well, the Guardian thought O was less on the case than Bush:

        Probably convenient to take advantage of an existing trend: nat gas cheaper than coal. But that’s not the case in India. Less and less of this is a US issue.

      • Obama knew that the Waxman Markey foolishness was not popular with the electorate. It needed Republican votes to barely pass a heavily Democrat House and died a quiet death in the Democrat Senate. Obama did not expend any political capital to get a bill climate passed. He did next to nothing on climate, until all of his elections were over. Same game he played with amnesty. He has some other stuff up his sleeve.

    • Algore put together a $300 million campaign team with staffers all over the country. Along with all the huge budget environmental special interests, they mounted a massive political effort — the largest, most expensive such effort in American history.

      A big deal that failed spectacularly.

  7. Where is the data coming from that Obama uses that describes asthma rates doubling in the last 30 years?

    The American Lung Association doesn’t have a 30 year study, but they have 10 year tables between 1999-2009. In most instances they’re showing declining rates. I’m not seeing causation attributed to climate change in the various articles I’ve reviewed; hygiene seems to by among the highest suspects. It appeas to hit the poor disproportionately.

    10-year tables start on page 8.
    http://www.lung.org/finding-cures/our-research/trend-reports/asthma-trend-report.pdf

    • There’s a lot more evidence for the idea that smoking by a pregnant woman (including second hand smoke) causes epigenetic changes in the fetal genome that affect the fetus resulting in asthma. I do note. though, that many researchers studying asthma have embraced the latter meme as a way to get more grant money to their eternal shame. “If climate change happens, there will be more plants making pollen, pollen causes asthma in those with allergies to pollen, therefore climate change causes asthma, therefore you need to be giving me more money to study asthma.” One can say anything in a grant application. If this is working for asthma researchers seeking grants, I predict the next thing will be cancer researchers claiming climate change causes cancer.

  8. Useful perspective here: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/08/obamas-new-power-plant-regulations-are-modest-still-big-deal

    “That’s nice, but by the end of this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the power sector’s emissions will already be down 15.4 percent from 2005 levels — about half the anticipated reductions in just a decade, and before the plan goes into effect. In other words, even under the strengthened plan, the rate of decarbonization is expected to slow over the next 15 years.”

    • David Wojick

      Yes, the war on coal is not new and major power plant conversions and closures have been going on for some time. This stupidity does not make the new CO2 rules sensible, quite the contrary.

    • Just setting the precedent that the federal government should regulate carbon emissions from power plants is a critical first step, and if it survives court challenges and congressional temper tantrums it will likely lead to further cutbacks in the future.

      As a libertarian, the thing I find most distressing is that it comes from the bureaucracy. If it came from Congressional action, IMO it would be unexceptional. But it sets a far worse precedent than “that the federal government should regulate carbon emissions from power plants”.

  9. View from here, i.e. that of a Canadian with absolutely no vote and no voice on US matters, is that Obama must be one of the most ill-informed US Presidents evaaaah – and on far too many issues, IMHO.

    Failing that, perhaps he’s just a verrrrry slowwww learner. One only has to look at related matters and events on the other side of the Atlantic (where the reality tide is turning, albeit perhaps more slowly than one might hope) in order to conclude that one I have long viewed as the ’empty suit who pretends to walk and talk like a man’ is far too concerned with his “legacy” than with the well-being of the citizens to whom he should be accountable.

    Further, it is with some dismay that on this side of the border, I see that – following the motto that imitation is the greatest form of flattery – Trudeau Jr., in his campaign to become Canadian Prime Minister, is doggedly following in Obama’s empty-suited footsteps.

    • Thanks for your perspective. You nailed it. I’ve always referred to Obama as Jimmy Carter part deux. Turns out that is an insult to Jimmy Carter. Ugh.

      • PS – to all my fellow Americans, here is a hint: when a candidate talks about the gas that could be saved if everyone just checked the inflation of their tires, that candidate is the definition of an empty suit.

      • Right-on Ken. I agree 100% because no successful engineer that I know is ever concerned about efficiency. How the frig do you think we ever got to the moon. Was it by flying a ship eating high on the hog? Absolutely, in your Disneyland dreams of unlimited growth. Please pass the caviar while the developing world eats cake. Buurrrppp

      • Ken D.

        “I’ve always referred to Obama as Jimmy Carter part deux. ”

        He’s Carter/Nixon hybrid.

    • I am so worried about getting Junior J in power I actually volunteered to help the Harper campaign. My NDP founding father back from the CCF days Grandfather must be rolling his grave.

      • I also volunteered. And am glad that I did so prior to learning of the (disappointingly less than impressive) candidate in my riding.

        Perhaps because we were first generation immigrants from the U.K. (more years ago than I care to remember!), we had no family “tradition” of particular political support. Which is not to say that this did not lead to some interesting (and sometimes even heated) discussions at the family dinner table, over the years:-)

        All three of the major political parties have received my vote at one time or another. Needless to say, this excludes the greens – and/or their imitators of late!

        But I do so long for the pre-soundbite (and definitely pre-tweet!) days when most political candidates – of all stripes – knew what they were talking about.

        My recollection is that – for the most part – they did so with some reasonable measure of credibility and intellectual honesty, rather than propelling their voices forward via far too frequent use of (often meaningless, inarticulate and/or inane, IMHO) buzzwords and/or phrases of the day, month or hour. On both sides of the 49th parallel.

      • I’m very lucky. My candidate is a man of integrity with real environmentalist training in fisheries biology and not the climate change credo. He is also not innumerate and understands stats, a refreshing change in a politician. My major complaint about Harper is why is this guy a back bencher and not in cabinet? My family is fourth generation rabid socialist and union people. I am the family shame and black sheep. My daughter is voting green.

  10. Prior to Karl Et al, many of his statements on temperature would have been unsubstatiated. Now the desired altered data sets have become an obvious tool to help achieve the goal.

    I used to chuckle at the graph Dr. Spencer put up some time ago on models vs. observations (the observations must be wrong). How ironic that they changed the observations.

    It is disturbing to watch someone in that position orchestrate altered and untruths via the power of edict.

  11. stevefitzpatrick

    I can’t say I am surprised by Mr Obama’s efforts. I can say I am surprised he has not been laughed down. Aside from the Kumbaya aspect of it all, I can see nothing his plan offers except destruction of capital. Of course, destruction of capital may be what he has in mind….. Crafty Devil.

  12. Did he say if the tens of thousands of jobs being created by his new decree will be shovel ready? I am looking forward to the $85 a year we will save in 2030. Add that to the $2500 a year we are saving from Obamacare and we can buy a sweater, per family. We will have to share.

    • Maybe we should invade another country to satisfy your destroyed ego rather than stop defecating in our own nest.

      • Very odd talk, horse grabby. You are not from around here.

      • Horst,

        Wag the dog! That always works…

      • I see Horst has already gotten tired of posting easily disproven ‘factlets’ and has reverted to namecalling. I also see that by his choice of insults he is just another jealous foreign green/socialist. The ‘defecating in our own nest’ thing was especially telling. Maybe next you should call us all ‘reactionary’ and ‘capitalist running dogs’. You will however need to pick one tense and stick with it, no more trying to pretend you’re one of us.

  13. (multi)Cross-posting faux pas or no, here is today’s chart via WUWT from

    It is completely logical – nuclear and renewables are expensive – shifting to them will send more of your income to electric utilities.

    • te, “It is completely logical – nuclear and renewables are expensive – …”

      That seems to depend more on who does the accounting. With the US NRC considering expending nuke operation licenses to over 60 years, the real cost of nuke (assuming continued safety which also depends on who does the accounting) the average retail cost of nuke should be around 12 cents per kwh.

      Of course, none of this seriously addresses transportation fuels.

      • …assuming continued [nuclear power] safety which also depends on who does the accounting.

        Well, not much to discuss there…

      • mwgrant, “Well, not much to discuss there…”

        Linear no threshold modeling – the largest advancement in political science since the lobotomy.

      • richardswarthout

        Captain

        A few years ago there appeared to be promise for fuel cell autos, and direct nuclear-to-hydrogen conversion. What say you?

        Richard

      • Oh you can’t transport transportation fuels. Pipelines are evil.

      • Hej, captnD2 usw.

        I’m a little puzzled with your linear no threshold modeling comment, but presume it is a response to routine public/worker exposures as a perceived issue by some. Routine exposure is not a concern for me. Instead to me the biggest issue would probably center around containment in major accidents–involving higher individual and population doses–where material properties have been compromised,e.g., from embrittlement and cracking. Of course the industry does not have it head in the sand and is sensitive to this but in light of the aging facilities it is always appropriate to ask where we now stand in that regard. This assures controversy.

        (It is a twist also that the science used in pursuing answers/solution will probably rely very heavily on modeling. Good and bad.)

        Below is a link to 2011 article on America’s aging reactors you might find interesting. It frames things nicely and it has a mildly optimistic but to me still reasonable tone, though I retain a bias for concern about human and institutional factors–not as a deal breaker but never getting enough attention. [Advocates can wear blinders.] The 1975 Browns Ferry fire [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browns_Ferry_Nuclear_Power_Plant ] has etched a strong bias in me. And then the recent WIPP debacle does not help (thought it is WM and not power generation). Still I think that we need nuclear power and the question is how best to proceed.

        http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2011/09/life-begins-at-40.cfm

      • richard, “A few years ago there appeared to be promise for fuel cell autos, and direct nuclear-to-hydrogen conversion. What say you?”

        Fuel cell costs still have a way to go, but aren’t that bad. H2 production from “sustainable” sources has a long way to go. Right now reforming of natgas or liquid petroleum is the most cost effective way to use fuel cells. You can call that a “bridge” if you are a fan of fuel cells. Graphene and nanoparticles could “revolutionize” fuel cell design. Ballard/Plug power had some cells in the $1000 per kw range.last I checked, for package handling equipment.and most of that cost is in the PEM.

        The “bridge” though doesn’t fit the greenie game plan unless of course they need it for their political purposes. Since coal based synfuels are the Great Satan, FutureGen got hammered.

      • mwgrant, US nuclear power is extremely interesting. Most of the components are so grossly over built that the bulk of any plant can have a useful life of 100 years or more. Penetrations seem to be the biggest problem and as long as they are accessible they can be upgraded and repaired. Since most are accessible, power companies have spent money and improved the efficiency and licensing life of plants to over 40 years. The 40 year estimated life was based on amortization not observation so the NRC anticipates some plants may be licensed for 80 years with many getting 60 years.

        Since 1990, improved refueling times, increased efficiency and “up rating” of the existing plants has increase US nuclear output by about 29 new AP1000 equivalents worth of energy despite plant closures. That is about the same real energy as the entire wind farm program.

        The NRC reports don’t appear to be all that biased. There have been “football” sized voids in pressure vessels that have needed repair after 30 years of operation. Those “football” sized voids though are often in beach or basketball thick slabs of steel.

        If the greenies sexed up nuclear as much as they bash coal, there would be a totally different ballgame to watch.

      • The 40 year estimated life was based on amortization not observation so the NRC anticipates some plants may be licensed for 80 years with many getting 60 years

        A point made clear in the article. The article also did a nice job on obstacles that must be addressed. I think that this likely be done–albeit imperfectly–because necessity will drive it. We will not turn out the lights.

    • Nice chart, TE. I doubt it will be seen much beyond WUWT and CE, why would the major networks risk informing the public; too bad.

    • Steven Mosher

      The lesson is that shifting will not kill your economy.

      • Steven Mosher

        The lesson is that shifting will not kill your economy.

        Small sample size–at least I wouldn’t assume representativeness at this time–and the games are still in play, so I would not take that lesson to heart. Also I have got to ask, “What! No odds? we are certain?”

        cheers
        mwg

      • Steven Mosher

        You are right. small sample size. but that just limits confidence

        Given that, all the empirical data suggests it wont kill the economy

        if your prior belief was that it would kill the economy, the data you got suggests it wont.

        So, lets increase the data and try.. god hates uncertainty lets reduce it

      • But the clock is there, isn’t it. Interesting stuff, uncertainty…

        but that just limits confidence

        Yep. IMO the time to roll the dice in nigh. I can live with that. There are many rolls to be made.

        if your prior belief was that it would kill the economy, the data you got suggests it wont.

        ‘suggests’ is the operative word and it needs a qualifier.

      • Steven Mosher: The lesson is that shifting will not kill your economy.

        Has anyone said that it would “kill” anyone’s economy? In my readings the message is that increasing the cost of electricity will reduce the rate of growth of the economy, “harm” the economy, “hurt” the poor, and “increase death rates” in heat waves and cold snaps. It might also increase death rates due to the installation, operation, fueling, and maintenance of the electricity generating facilities. Even California with its declining GDP per capita and companies moving out of state and expanding out of state does not have a “dead” economy.

      • Matthewrmarler,

        Steven Mosher: The lesson is that shifting will not kill your economy.

        Your response to Mosher’s comment is spot on. Steven Mosher simply doesn’t understand economic matters, or doesn’t want to – another sign of his often displayed motivated reasoning.

      • H Matthew and Peter,

        I suspect many people use hyperbole here from time to time to telegraph a thought or concept efficiently. That is how I took ‘kill the economy’ and do not take Steven to task for that. More crucial in my opinion is does the chart really ‘prove’ anything at this point in time? e.g., economies will not be severely damaged? IMO the answer is no, things are too much in a state of flux and are certainly still unfolding. Besides another way to take the comment could be that the lesson [as ‘understood’ by some parties] is that shifting will not damage/kill economy [and that is debatable.]

        In any case there are lot of ways to skin a chart and the chart is the interest.

        Just my perspective. Regards,

        mwg

      • Steven Mosher

        mathhew.
        yes people have suggested it will kill the economy.

      • Steven Mosher

        yes mw

        its funny to watch people walk back their “alarmism” about harms
        on all sides

      • yes people have suggested it will kill the economy.

        Yes, exaggerations come from both those advocating and resisting policies.

        Advocates make up all kinds of scare stories that sound plausible but are ridiculous. Opponents make up exaggerated effects about depressions.

        The chart above indicates renewables make electricity about three times more expensive, but that’s not the end of the world ( Though Germany, at the top of the list actually has high costs AND increased CO2 emissions – neat trick ). Governments impose obstacles(byzantine tax codes, for example ), and businesses find ways around government obstacles. Then, businesses induce government actions to hammer their competitors.

        It’s just all very inefficient and does stiffle growth and inovation. But it does not kill it.

      • When considering that most of the EU is still going through massive austerity measures, and having only just initiated QE thereby diluting what is already highly leveraged fiat currency; it’s rather odd that someone can with a straight face say that EU economies are out of the woods.

        Killing an economy is a euphemistic term meaning harming, or slowing down an economy. The EU s squeaking by. Germany is massively subsidizing it’s alternative grid. When an economy barely chugs along with slightly over 2% growth it doesn’t take much to slip back into recession.

        There is no empirical data “that suggests” a massive restructuring of our energy infrastructure won’t hurt the economy. It’s all unchartered territory, a guess. The U.S. continues to accrue massive debt yr/yr. The Federal Reserve has several trillion of debt on its balance sheet that it needs to figure out how to deleverage. There’s little ammunition that the Fed has left to mitigate another disastrous black swan event to the economy. The economy continues to be run on a credit card. Anyone that says the economy is turning around is a fool, the jury is still out.

      • It’s just all very inefficient and does stiffle growth and inovation.

        TE, where is the evidence that it stifles growth and innovation?

      • TE, where is the evidence that it stifles growth and innovation?

        If there is a business making a widget and the cost of the widget increases due to more expensive energy, what happens to research on the widget? Focus is diverted to reducing energy costs, not improvement of the widget.

      • what happens to research on the widget? Focus is diverted to reducing energy costs, not improvement of the widget.

        Or they could slightly raise the cost of the widget or other measure to spread the costs. I want proof that it will stifle growth and innovation (in the overall economy), not speculation.

      • Steven Mosher: yes people have suggested it will kill the economy.

        Right: “people”.

    • Turbulent Eddie,

      It is completely logical – nuclear and renewables are expensive – shifting to them will send more of your income to electric utilities.

      How do you conclude from that chart that nuclear is expensive. It seems to me that the countries with the highest proportion of nuclear have the lowest electricity prices. And that conclusion is clearly shown in Slide 14 here: http://canadianenergyissues.com/2014/01/29/how-much-does-it-cost-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-a-primer-on-electricity-infrastructure-planning-in-the-age-of-climate-change/

    • Mr Turbulent, that scatter plot should be normalized to account for the cost of natural gas and the fraction provided by hydropower. Or it should only include nations with a mix similar to Germany and Denmark. For example, I think Spain has very high cost imported natural gas, so it’s comparable.

    • I think this is a better graph from the same article:

      It illustrates the relative costs for various electricity sources.

      Ref: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/31/european-renewable-energy-performance-for-2014-fall-far-short-of-claims/

  14. Would recommend the states take a similar approach to that was taken to the immigration issue. FIle a consolidated lawsuit in a Federal Court that has shown itself to stand up to executive overreach and get an injunction in place and let it play out in court. Judge Andrew Hanen anyone?

  15. David L. Hagen

    Obama’s coercive plan is the economically ineffective. The Nobel Laureates economic evaluations show Research into new sustainable fuel is the most cost effective route – Germany’s subsidies are the most expensive.

    Bjørn Lomborg: the climate-centric agenda is squeezing out other issues

    What Lomborg claims will be most effective in combating climate change is for governments to develop new technologies. If $100bn were invested annually in research and development, Lomborg estimates there will be a cost benefit return of $11 for every dollar invested. He contrasts this to a focus on a carbon tax, which he says will provide a return of just 0.02% if it was the main policy instrument for seeking to keep within a 2C temperature rise.

  16. Obumbles has been a horrible President. I hope we can avoid electing Hillary (if she stays out of prison) just because she’s a woman. Electing Obumbles just because he’s black was a huge mistake.

    Charles Payne (http://www.foxbusiness.com/watch/anchors-reporters/charles-payne-bio/), Ben Carson, or a host of other eminently qualified black men would have made a great President. We just got a loser.

    • As a Canadian I never quite got this voting for the guy just to prove you’d vote for a black guy even if he had no experience and no qualifications and a pretty questionable background, but whatever, it’s your country.

      • It’s a little less than half our country. Romney was right about the 47%. And it’s not too hard to get another 4%, for the win. Obama types could be the norm in the future. Demographics.

      • I so sincerely and deeply hope that isn’t the case.

      • Fulltime,
        “As a Canadian I never quite got this voting for the guy just to prove you’d vote for a black guy even if he had no experience and no qualifications and a pretty questionable background”

        One white couple, with whom I am very close, said they were going to vote for him in 2008 because “…it is time.” I was dumbfounded. A relative, conservative and racist, said he was voting for Obama in 2008 because “Republican speculators drove up the price of gas” and in 2012 because Obama extended his unemployment benefits for a total of almost two years.

        Everything he did in the past – the Chicago politics, community activism with ACORN, the liberation theology church – was strong evidence he was going to do what he has done, and it is not good.

      • Don,

        You might be right. Consider Greece and Venezuela.

    • http://us-presidents.insidegov.com/stories/3995/ranking-modern-us-presidents#7-bill-clinton

      Well, if we stick to modern presidents Carter is last in this list.

      Obama is in the running to beat Carter.

      Obumbles has been a horrible President.

      He seems dedicated to worsening his record. I don’t believe he will improve to horrible.

  17. With electricity prices being cheaper by 2030 as the CO2 emissions are reduced, the skeptics are going to give up on their climate science arguments, and almost all without exception will become some kind of energy price expert to deny that a price reduction is even possible. Same people, different hat.

    • Jim D: With electricity prices being cheaper by 2030 as the CO2 emissions are reduced, the skeptics are going to give up on their climate science arguments, and almost all without exception will become some kind of energy price expert to deny that a price reduction is even possible.

      That is almost a testable proposition. All you need to add would be a list of particular skeptics and exact quotes of their specific assertions. Plenty of “skeptics” advocate increased production of natural gas in the US, and predict that such increases will reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the cost electricity. I interpret your comment as predicting that electricity from wind farms and solar farms will be cheaper than electricity from natural gas, even if production of natural gas is not stifled by a bunch of new regulations.

    • JimD

      Here in the UK we were told prices would be some £100 cheaper by 2030 by using renewables. It turns out the calculation was done on the bass of forcing up fossil fuel prices three fold whilst assuming renewable prices would halve.

      This is only part of the equation as your fuel prices will also need to rise. We pay the equivalent of $7 dollars per gallon for our gasoline. What do you pay?
      tonyb

      tonyb

    • With electricity prices being cheaper by 2030 as the CO2 emissions are reduced, […]

      Based on Obama’s behavior, we have no reason at all for confidence that his plan will achieve that result. After all, his track record on the “experts” he listens to is abysmal.

      Personally, I think there are ways it could be achieved, but I see no sign of understanding what it would take (IMO) in his plans, or “science”. Or yours.

    • “With electricity prices being cheaper by 2030 as the CO2 emissions are reduced”
      How on earth did you arrive at that statement?

    • JDs prediction of massive construction of LFTR reactors by 2030 is a little optimistic.

      People aren’t that smart…

      and it will take more time. We could have really cheap LFTR power by 2040.

  18. I don’t know about Obama’s motivations but the Dems are ringing the warming bell to rile up the starry-eyed true believers for the next election.

  19. Yeah, but right now German and Danish electricity prices are 250% higher than the US and France. Lacking a miraculous breakthrough in Green Tech hard to see how that changes

  20. The US pledges economic suicide; China and the rest of the world agree that’s a good idea. Brilliant. Too precious for words. Obama commits to destroying the US energy grid. China agrees not to stop him.

    In fact the die is cast already. The energy plan filed for the Paris Conference increases Chinese GHG emissions by 72%
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/chinas-emissions-per-unit-of-gdp-fall-by-34-but-rise-by-72-in-absolute-terms/

    The Russians, Poles, Indians (if they even show up), Canadians, Hungarians and probably the Aussies will follow the Chinese. Meanwhile, the Germans are locked into a Coal Spine for their base load capacity for years to come. (And will certainly miss CO2 reduction targets)

    So heroic US actions are largely unilateral. If the GOP is smart (a dubious assumption) they’ll make the Obama Plan and Hilary’s One Better Plan a key voting issue next year. Since US electric power rates will rise to meet German levels ( ie 2.5 times higher) and the grid far less stable, I can see the attack ads right now.

    And of course no CO2 plan is worth anything unless gasoline prices are jacked up in parallel to discourage driving. Great platform to run on. Especially since polls show Global Warming is a very low priority among voters.

    • It will be like the “death panels”. It doesn’t have to be true to be effective, just made-up scary with enough people shouting and screaming from the same talking points page. The Republicans are turning this into an art form.

    • Canadians have an election end of October. If Harper stays in we stay the course on not following Obama. If Justin Trudeau gets in, he’s a dippy yuppy version of Obama and we will following Obama dancing along the daisy strewn path with unicorns and daisies into insanity with the Muslim Brotherhood playing the music for us as we go. The NDP I am less certain about. They have never actually been in power and while the provincial versions inevitably go for big government, heavy taxes on businesses, and endless deficit spending, the NDP at the Federal level has always played it rather mainstream and not socialist.Of course they have never been in power.

    • I’m not sure about the 72%.

      Too many Chinese are choking to death.

      The 72% is probably a negotiating position to extract concessions out of the US.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-19/here-s-what-china-closing-coal-power-plants-means-for-emissions

      About 1/3 of the new coal generation replaces old generation and the new generation is more efficient. If China built all of its 360 planned coal plants it should only increase Chinese coal emissions about 39%.

  21. @maksimovitch1

    “The fly in the ointment.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007JG000499/full

    Broken link… could you re-post it correctly, please?

  22. “– Requires States to Engage with Vulnerable Populations:The Clean Power Plan includes provisions that require states to meaningfully engage with low-income, minority, and tribal communities, as the states develop their plans.
    – Low Income Solar: The initiative will help families and businesses cut their energy bills through launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems and sets a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020.

    – Investing in Coal Communities, Workers, and Communities: The Plan provides dedicated new resources for economic diversification, job creation, job training, and other employment services for workers and communities impacted by layoffs at coal mines and coal-fired power plants.”

    Does the elephant in the living room really care about global warming, asthma, or carbon emissions?

    It prefers to disprove the laws of thermodynamics with a legacy of: Energy is free. We’ll all break even on this. And, we get out, owing absolutely zero.

    Although, the zeroth law may still hold up in Paris, this December.

    • I would really love for someone to explain just how this will work:
      “Low Income Solar: The initiative will help families and businesses cut their energy bills through launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems and sets a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020”

      Off hand it seems like subsidizing people to get access to subsidized power. How can that reduce overall costs?

  23. From today’s Wall Street Journal …

    A Clean-Energy Breakthrough
    The EPA’s new rules will fight pollution and climate change, and they are good for the American consumer.

    By Fred Krupp
    With the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan now final, the era of unlimited carbon pollution from U.S. power plants is finally coming to an end. That’s excellent news, because climate change has put us in the race of our lives—and the countries that move the fastest toward clean energy will be the most competitive, create the most jobs and have the healthiest air. It’s a race to the top, and the Clean Power Plan gives the U.S. a better chance of winning.
    Mr. Krupp is the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-clean-energy-breakthrough-1438642705

  24. Judith,

    Thank you for this post. I was in disbelief about how the US president could be so blinded b y ideological belief. Can’t he hear people telling him he’s being misled by his adviser. Doesn’t he listen. he has a tin ear t world leaders advising him on international relations and has a tin ear to rational people advising him to stop lying about BS climate change consequences – like asthma.

    Your responses to the journalist’s questions are excellent. I especially liked these two responses:

    The public health arguments are even weaker. CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with asthma. Extreme weather events are not increasing with increased CO2; extreme weather events are dominated by natural climate variability. Particularly in the U.S., extreme weather was substantially worse in the 1930’s and 1950’s.

    … Trying to sell this plan as economic and public health issue is a ploy to develop political will for President Obama’s preferred energy policies.

    He’s being misled by his advisers and ideological backers like John Holdren and Chu. He’s be beholden to group-think and herd-mentality. He’s not wise enough to seek independent advice and weigh it.

    He’s the worst US President in my lifetime and has done enormous damage to international security. He’s wasted enormous US prestige internationally.

    • Peter Lang,

      “Can’t he hear people telling him he’s being misled by his adviser.”

      Obama isn’t being fooled by anybody. He is a hard core progressive. He is acting on the progressive gibberish views on economics, foreign policy and social policy he was taught since he was a toddler. He is a mediocre intellect who is a shining example of just how effective propaganda is when you start it when they’re very young. He grew up surrounded by communists, socialists, and America haters. He governs based on his own beliefs.

      The sad thing is that all that was out there for voters to learn, had anyone cared to tell them. He said he was going to shutter the coal industry. He said he was going to make electricity prices sky rocket. He said he was going to start the process of imposing socialized medicine on the US. As a state senator in Illinois, he voted against a law that tried to outlaw infanticide after a failed abortion. He said he was going to radically transform the United States.

      He said all this long before he was elected president. John Holdren is not the problem. Valerie Jarrett is not the problem. Barack Obama is the problem.

      • Thanks GaryM. You know far more about his history that I do. I was giving him the benefit of th doubt. I was lso giving the US electors the benefit of the doubt too, because they usually do a pretty good job of electing there presidents, on balance. The worl’s has become a far better place thanks to a great extent over the past 70 years or so to the USA. But this US Presidned has wasted a hell of a lot of good will around the world over just 8 years. I doubt it can ever be recovered. I believe it has likely to be the Presidency that started the decline of the US influence – sort of like the decline of all the past great empires. hen countries and their people get too fat and comfortable, the decline begins. Obama has started the long slow period of decay (relative to the rapidly growing Asian economies) for not just the USA but also for UK, Canada, EU, Australia, Japan. He’s Nero II

      • I would have to agree with @GaryM completely.
        Obama is a student of Marcuse, flip the power structure.

        In one president we went from any hope of an integrated society to an eternally and hopelessly divided one. His choice. I guess he didn’t really believe in racial harmony; he went straight for the power.

      • GaryM: He said all this long before he was elected president. John Holdren is not the problem. Valerie Jarrett is not the problem. Barack Obama is the problem.

        I agree with you. This is all in accord with his presidential campaigns.

      • “Sigh” all this was sadly obvious before the first election.

        Yet he was still reelected.

        While you folks are right about Soetoro, the average American doesn’t have the discernment to pick a good president. And the choices they are given are not always winners.

    • He is not being misled by bad advisors. Taking down the USA has been his plan from day one. He’s done exactly what he always wanted to do. He never hidden his agenda. That’s why I was so flabbergasted when people ran out and voted for him.

    • Obama is driven by an internal voice – he is not being misled by anyone. He is clearly, IMO, in possession of the dark triad of personality traits narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. He IS the community organizer on his resume, he WAS profoundly influenced by “Rules for Radicals”, and he DOES want to fundamentally change America. He cares deeply about his legacy and we are watching him write it.

      Whatever people saw, heard, or projected upon Obama, he told us what he was going to do. Democracy contains within it the seeds of it’s own destruction – stoopitity, ignorance, greed, bias, racism, tribalism, and the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, demographics. Please let me be wrong!

      • You could have just said he was a progressive. It takes a lot fewer words.

      • PA,

        Yes, you are correct. Not all progs have the dark triad of personality traits and nor do they all care more about their legacy than they do the wishes of appx. 50% of the people.

      • Not all progs have the dark triad of personality traits and nor do they all care more about their legacy than they do the wishes of appx. 50% of the people.

        Well, the progs like to take away rights, like the right to bear arms, freedom of speech, freedom to use your property as you see fit, etc.

        And progs don’t seem to care what non-progs think.

        I don’t see the claim that Soetoro is any different than any other prog as having merit.

      • The Skunk has bloomed early in Boulder Creek!

      • Horst,

        Skunk will only get better with global warming! You know that!

  25. Charcoal burning ushered in the Bronze age and it remained a very important component of industrial development until supplanted by steam/coke/coal in the 8th and 19th century.

    http://www.ukagriculture.com/countryside/charcoal_history.cfm

    In turn the convenience of gas and oil helped fuel the industrial revolution further. In short, one technology becomes supplanted by another if it has benefits of efficiency or price.

    Unfortunately modern renewables (in the UK) do not fulfil that criteria. We can all see motionless wind turbines-often when most needed on cold sunless windless days, and we are all aware of the exponential loss of solar power once the peak hours of the peak summer months have passed.

    With name plate capacity being completely different to actual capacity renewables (in the UK) are not yet ready to supplant existing fuel sources including nuclear. To try to do so will raise prices and reduce our reliable generating capacity. Perhaps in 20 years they will have a place, along with tidal energy.

    However, until then, unless we want to bankrupt our industries and consumers renewables can not be a prime component of our annual energy mix.

    However we DO need to factor in security of supply-buying gas or oil from Russia or the Mid East is not a good idea, introducing uncertainty whilst providing money to regimes that don’t like us.

    So whats not to like about renewables…in due course…

    tonyb

    • Tonyb,

      Of course you are correct but the left is shouting over you to fire up the party faithful. It’s all about power, political power, fueled by money.

    • Entered this following in the microgrid topic at a time when posters were very active. Seems appropriate to tonyb’s mention of charcoal initiating the bronze age.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Readers might find a “column” by my friend John Bartlit, who worked at Los Alamos National Lab, “enlightening” about the rise and fall of energy technologies and the ingenuity of the human race and industries in adapting to the necessary changes. It will be interesting to see how future generations cope with their problems. Most of us, of course, will never know. In fact, it would be of interest to know just how many of those posting of “Climate, Etc” would even make it to 2050! Not likely that I will.

      http://www.lamonitor.com/content/illumination-risky

      • Joel

        Thanks for that.

        Gaining access to Britain’s mineral wealth to improve their ability to create metals was one of the reasons for the Roman invasion of Britain.

        Julius Caesar, father of the Industrial Revolution…

        tonyb

  26. David L. Hagen

    Reduce plant food or Redress impending fuel scarcity?
    Why reduce plant food (CO2)?

    the past 150-year increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration has resulted in mean yield increases of 70% for C3 cereals, 28% for C4 cereals, 33% for fruits and melons, 62% for legumes, 67% for root and tuber crops, and 51% for vegetables. . . .
    Today in Holland, for example, growers produce crops, vegetables and ornamentals in glass greenhouses with air enriched to as much as 1,000 ppm CO2 during daylight hours, experiencing yield enhancements on the order of 20 to 40% for this multi-billion dollar industry.. . .

    The Pied Piper of Washington is misleadingly diverting our focus to a molehill and persuading us to spend a mountain of resources on it.
    The greatest danger of Obama’s power plan is that it diverts our attention from the Mt. Everest of impending global constrained fuel supplies. Fuel growth insufficient to meet economic needs and then inevitable declining fossil fuel supply are the greatest threat to modern economies.
    The US Dept. of Energy’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) already forecasts US oil production to max out about 2020!
    Robert L. Hirsch recently commented on the current oil situation: Déjà Vu With a Twist?

    . . .As in the mid-1980s, it is conceivable that Saudi might maintain high oil production for many years, forcing oil prices to remain around $40-50 per barrel, possibly lower. If that were to happen, the US and world tight light oil enterprise would be decimated, a number of deep-water and expensive frontier projects would be suspended or canceled, and heavy oil production in Canada and Venezuela would falter, to name just some of the obvious. Rigs would be idled and could eventually be scrapped; a large number of service contracts would be canceled; people throughout the industry would be laid off and seek employment outside the industry; and royalties would be lost. US GDP would be negatively impacted, and U.S. oil imports would increase, negatively impacting the U.S. balance of payments. . . .
    A number of analysts believe that the world is close to the onset of world oilproduction decline, often called “peaking.” In a worst case scenario, the onset of decline could start after 2015, when U.S. and world high-cost oil production capability will have been significantly degraded, making catch-up much more difficult than it might have been just a year ago. . . .
    PPS. Rarely in human history has one country had the ability to inflict such a large impact on the economies of so many other countries with just the turn of a valve.
    PPS. What might happen if the house of Saud is overthrown and unfriendlies take charge of the Saudi oil valve? Before the onset of decline? After the onset of decline?

    Why are we not debating why Obama is diverting our attention in the face of Saudi oil plays decimating US high cost oil industry?

  27. Sadly, as I have mentioned many times before, climate change is the perfect liberal cause since progressives can blame everything on it and use it to push for even greater government intervention. The MSM will not do any kind of critical analysis but will simply parrot Obama’s points and do it in such a way to make him look like he is some kind of an authoritative source. Gollywood and our indoctrination (aka, educational) system will fall in lock step and the general public will absorb the message in an osmotic way. While I have little faith that republicans can govern effectively, I am very concerned that electing a democrat in 2016 will be the final nail in the coffin for this country. With the continued expansion of executive branch overreach going unchecked by an effectively neutered Congress and unquestioned by the MSM/Gollywood/treachers, etc, the next democrat to take office will simply continue to follow Obama’s example.

    Many good points are raised on this blog, but the effect does not even rise to the level of being a pimple on an elephant’s behind. I speak routinely to friends, relatives, and other acquaintances about AGW and the level of ignorance on the topic is breathtaking. One unfortunate reality is that the effects of Obama’s plan, if carried out, will be largely insidious and the impacts will be felt slowly over time but will make the effects of Obamacare appear benign in comparison. Progressives and the MSM will find ways of blaming conservatives and the general public will continue to be fooled.

  28. Ridiculous on two fronts. Front one even if global warming were correct his measures would do nothing to stop it.

    Number two, global cooling rather then global warming is likely to take place going forward.

  29. The increase in global temperature anomaly per decade is of the order of 0.1-0.2 degrees. A decrease of 0.03 degrees in this from a policy in one nation over a decade, from 2015-2025, is 15-30%. (Yes, Eli knows that this is apples to strawberries, but it is equally wrong to assume that the new US policy is the last word and that no other nations will follow this course.)

  30. Pingback: Climate Scientists Rip Apart EPA’s Global Warming Rule – Daily Caller | News Feed

  31. In all seriousness, however, we see now why science based regimes are evil. Science can be molded to support any viewpoint desired (with the proper glossing over and shoving it down the throat).

    • I beg to differ.

      I think the problem is that too many endorse inductivism. A 500 year old scientific method.
      “Inductivism is the traditional model of scientific method attributed to Francis Bacon, who in 1620 vowed to subvert allegedly traditional thinking. In the Baconian model, one observes nature, proposes a modest law to generalize an observed pattern, confirms it by many observations, ventures a modestly broader law, and confirms that, too, by many more observations, while discarding disconfirmed laws. The laws grow ever broader but never much exceed careful, extensive observation. Thus freed from preconceptions, scientists gradually uncover nature’s material and causal structure.”

      The method may sound good, and many are fooled to believe it is.
      The whole IPCC report is a grand monument over inductivism.
      Karl Popper however, demonstrated that inductivism was utterly flawed.

      Karl Popper was the master mind behind the moderns scientific method – the empirical method. Simply put:
      1 A hypothesis is proposed. This is not justified and is tentative.
      2 Testable predictions are deduced from the hypothesis and previously accepted statements.
      3 We observe whether the predictions are true.
      4 If the predictions are false, we conclude the theory is false.
      5 If the predictions are true, that doesn’t show the theory is true, or even probably true. All we can say is that the theory has so far passed the tests of it.

      Except from step 1 – have you seen many signs of this method being employed by IPCC and the climate change proponents?

      The empirical method is characterized by: Precise definitions, avoiding ad hoc changes and severe testing. As phrased by Karl Popper in the book: The logic of scientific discovery:

      “what characterizes the empirical method is its manner of exposing to falsification, in every conceivable way, the system to be tested. Its aim is not to save the lives of untenable systems but, on the contrary, to expose them all to the fiercest struggle for survival.”

      Karl Popper warned about the following unscientific actions, and ruled them out from the empirical method:
      “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system can ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”

      Have you seen any of this by IPCC and the climate change proponents?

      So please – don´t blame it on science.
      Blame it on people being ignorant of the modern scientific method – the empirical method. Blame it on lack of scientific integrity.

      Here is a link to the brilliant work by Karl Popper. Enjoy it – first part is easy reading. (And download it before it disappears)
      http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

      Even though I prefer the original, here is a pretty good attempt to present it in short:
      http://patrick.maher1.net/270/lectures/popper1.pdf

      PS I think Maher made a mistake however, in stating that: “Popper thinks science and everyday life can proceed without using induction.”
      Popper did not say that, he did not exclude inductive reasoning from making ideas – you can do whatever you like – it is the testing which is important.
      A theory is merited by the severity of the test it has survived. As phrased by Popper: “From a new idea, put up tentatively, and not yet justified in any way—an anticipation, a hypothesis, a theoretical system, or what you will—conclusions are drawn by means of logical deduction.”

      Best regards
      Science or Fiction
      (Prefer to be anonymous to avoid harassment.)

  32. The spin on the Obama proclamation over here is
    ‘look at what saint Barack is doing, setting an example to lead the world. Why can’t we do it too?’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33774890

  33. While some of you like to be very active in Judith’s blog postings and post every minute or so, I suggest that the blog monitor put a time limit, or better yet, a how often you can post. It would be nice to see 10 different posters listed in the “most recent comments”! At times, even when the postings have been very active, like now and yesterday on this subject, the “most recent comments” list was dominated by a few posters. Yesterday, 1 poster had ~7 of the 10 slots. How about it, blog monitor, can such a restriction on the amount of posting that a person make before other have added theirs be added to the control parameters? Such a restriction would not be necessary if posters would only comment IF their name was NOT in the “most recent comments” or the last comment on any blog topic was, say, 15-minutes before they wished to blog! I doubt that those monopolizing the postings will do it on their own! But it would be a common courtesy!

    • I tried setting up a restriction of 20 comments per day, but it didn’t work. I periodically check, and if someone has more than 5% of recent comments, i put them in moderation to slow them down a bit

      • Putting in a restriction that a blogger can ONLY show in the most recent list ONCE should be an appropriate moderation without your having to be the villain. Bloggers would still be able to add MANY postings. They would just be more considerate of others to post too.

      • David Wojick

        I just made a single, simple comment (3 below this one) and it went into moderation.

      • I think a 15-minute hiatus is sufficient between postings. Posters will give more thought to what they are posting. Verbal blow-by-blows that degenerate into name calling, etc over a few minutes will be eliminated. Postings should become pithier. I would hope that Judith would want posts that provide something meaningful for her and others to chew on. She has indicated that they should be civil at any rate! Interestingly, the posting of my two previous on this thread were 39 mins apart and yet were 1st and 10th in the “recent comments”. A 15-min pause seems quite appropriate.

      • bedeverethewise

        A limit of 20 per day would be a great idea, it would certainly slow down the professionals.

    • Joel,

      Good idea Joel! Maybe you should be the arbiter of salient speech (AoSS). I think some people post in clusters because of their schedule. Personally, I see no current harm and I enjoy the occasional quip – it isn’t necessary for every post to be a gem. IAC, the blog belongs to Judith to run as she pleases.

      • Should I interpret AoSS as ASShole? Seems the general inference. Yes, Judith can run her blog as she pleases; which could include forbidding any of us (you, too) from posting. Now that you made an effort to put me in my place, you can get back to postings to others.

      • The AoSS implication is clear. My translation in a response went to moderation, which is why you wrote it AoSS (o is the hole in it). “Yes, Judith runs the blog. She can run it as she please and exclude anyone she wishes, for that matter; even you and me. On with your postings on other matters. Your effort to put me in “my place” is acknowledged.

      • Joel,

        Of course not, the “o” is not capitalized because you do don’t capitalize of, the, to, and, at, etc. Perhaps “referee” would be better, then the title would be “RoSS”. My sincere apologies – I did not intend to upset you so much.

  34. Natural gas was killing coal long before this:

    It’s a pretty good ego move for gummit types: announce a policy that follows what the market is doing already to appear less feckless.

    That’s what China did, announce plans for cuts when they knew demand was already falling:

    • China’s GDP growth has slowed in recent years. How do they know demand will continue to fall (please cite your source)? Why have they been investing so much into renewables over the past decade?

    • https://marketrealist.imgix.net/uploads/2015/05/China-steel-production1.png?w=660&fit=max&auto=format

      China is closing the Peking power plants (all 4) and steel demand is flat (0 increase in production).

      The cement says it is an economic hiatus.

      The China growth rate has slowed to a pathetic 7% (annualized). The IMF forecast appears to be pretty close.

      What does this mean for CO2?

      Global Emissions in 2013 and 2014 were about the same and 2015 will probably be about the same as well.

      The annual atmospheric CO2 increase in 2015 could be the lowest since 2008 despite a global 12% increase in emissions. Before China’s free market reforms global CO2 emissions were growing about 10%/decade. It looks like we are back to 10% or less per decade.

    • David Wojick

      That boom in gas fired capacity was primarily due to the looming regulatory pressures on coal fired power. I covered this for Electricity Daily at the time. Markets respond to visible government threats.

      Keep in mind that over regulation of fracking for natural gas may be next, driving gas prices back up to historic norms. That will be rough.

  35. Moving the goalpost to 2030 allows for the demonstration full scale demonstration of SMR’s and inital demonstration of Gen IV nuclear initiative reactors before any action must be taken.

    If anything Obama has hidden a ‘back down’ inside of what appears to be a n ‘increase’.

    • Harrywr2, could you please explain for other readers on “Energy Matters” the rule of thumb for Pacific NW that the ratio of hydro to wind capacity needs to be at least 2 hydro to 1 wind. Were the units GW or GWh? The blog post is titled “How much wind and solar can Norway’s reservoirs balance?” The blog site is called “Energy Matters”. It is run by two academics and they have excellent posts and excellent comments. I can’t post the link because I don’t know how to copy and paste with this I pad thingy I am trying to use.

  36. We are told the plan will be costfree, so all should benefit.
    Why then this sentence:
    – Requires States to Engage with Vulnerable Populations:The Clean Power Plan includes provisions that require states to meaningfully engage with low-income, minority, and tribal communities, as the states develop their plans.

    • Vulnerable populations.
      Wow. No sci fi writer ever had this kind of imagination.

      “The disproportionate and discriminatory impacts that climate change will have on vulnerable populations make climate change one of the most significant environmental justice issues of our time”

      Yeah, Cultural Marxism is a conspiracy theory.

      http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/vulnerable-populations.pdf

    • Just to indicate how many will be challenged by increased energy and food prices:
      “(January 2013) Economic security is out of reach for a growing number of working families in the United States, according to a new analysis of 2011 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The number of low-income working families rose from 10.2 million in 2010 to 10.4 million in 2011, representing nearly one-third of all working families.”
      (I provide no reference since the exact numbers are not important.)
      If energy prices increase significantly, so will food prices and other consumer goods. I think the macroeconomic term is cost-push inflation as a result of supply-side shocks.

    • “The Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI®) 2006-10 measures the social vulnerability of U.S. counties to environmental hazards.”

      http://webra.cas.sc.edu/hvri/products/sovi.aspx

      “In order to better meet the Agency’s responsibilities related to the protection of public health and the environment, EPA has developed a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN. It is based on nationally consistent data and an approach that combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports.”

      http://www2.epa.gov/ejscreen

      • I have been commenting a lot and I´m afraid I getting pretty close to being put in moderation by Judith Curry. Anyhow this is the last comment:
        Holy moses what a waste:
        “SoVI® is a valuable tool for policy makers and practitioners. It graphically illustrates the geographic variation in social vulnerability. It shows where there is uneven capacity for preparedness and response and where resources might be used most effectively to reduce the pre-existing vulnerability. SoVI® also is useful as an indicator in determining the differential recovery from disasters.”

        “In SoVI® 2006-10, seven significant components explain 72% of the variance in the data. These components include race and class; wealth; elderly residents; Hispanic ethnicity; special needs individuals; Native American ethnicity; and service industry employment. “

  37. My reaction is:
    – I agree with Judith emphasis on the fact that the administration does not address how much improvement in temperature this Ex order would result in, and the minuscule improvement in temperature it would be. So this is mainly political and for the president’s legacy, as a political achievement not a gift to humanity.
    – The public doesn’t understand well that global temperature is dependent on the global trajectory of temperature forcing, e.g., CO2 global mean temperature and therefore the implied measure being used of “global” mean atmospheric CO2 such as Keeling / MLO. I.e., improvements in US emissions indeed has miniscule effect on global warming …
    – in fact U.S. emissions levels have been dropping – while Chinese + other developing countries continue to climb. So we need to fix the real problem which is not U.S. emissions.
    The $$ valued health benefits are based on : 1) models of climate trajectory assuming AR4 or some such range of global temperature projections which are not reasonable and include overly sensitized forcings and this be challenged 2) the US basis for the social cost of carbon has be raised multiple times in recent years in anticipation of just this legislation … it is also based on modeled benefits on health and environment…. these also must be challenged; 3) there also have been already significant improvements in the environment and further improvements have asymptotic characteristics i.e., of diminishing returns …l doubt and would bet the extrapolations are more “linear’ in behavior / characteristic and therefore greatly overstated.
    Furthermore, you won’t see any reference to both the changing views in climate sensitivity and uncertainty in the data/model/forecast.
    The Supreme Court has applied the Chevron doctrine in cases involving the Clean Air Act i.e., giving deference to the administration in how it applies the Clean Air Act in promulgating regulations that purportedly / ostensibly “improve the climate.” This is also known as a blank check. The weakness and danger of legal challenges to these Executive Orders is when the Supreme Court rules on the challenges it effectively turn them into case law. I believe challengers should think hard about this and consider whether not challenging but waiting until a sunnier day to overturn Executive Orders or to a day when the balance in Legislative and Executive offices would allow passing real laws that permanently address the issue.

  38. President Obama is not a rational thinker nor apparently listening to any rational thinker advisors, if he has any. I get a very sick feeling when I see how decisions to implement his Clean Power Plan, with massive potential impacts and disruptions to US companies and their employees, are made with such little justification. I assume he will invoke the EPA’s fraudulent Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) calculations to economically justify implementation of his The Clean Power Plan. To protect our nation from this irrational type of thinking, Congress needs to take a very close look at how the EPA has used the current state of climate science to compute SCC and justify enormous economic impacts and risks to our nation’s power grid with The Clean Power Plan.

    What specific problems (deviations from normal) is our President trying to solve in terms of What? Where? When and How Much? is occurring? How confident is he, or should he be, about the true root cause(s) of these problems or imagined potential problems? Where are the “trade studies” that evaluate the range of possible solutions to these problems and recommend a course of action that provides a high confidence solution//mitigation to the specified problem for lowest cost? Is CO2 emissions control actually the best option at our disposal to mitigate the imagined problems considered for the SCC calculations?

    These are the kind of questions from rational thinking, problem solving and decision making processes we NASA employees were taught during the Apollo Program, where we enjoyed tremendous success in achieving our goals in exploring the unknowns of manned space travel. Thinking that the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) controversy could use some of these skills learned and honed at taxpayer expense during our long manned space careers, some of us retired Apollo Program veterans formed the all-volunteer The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) research team to perform an independent evaluation of this issue. We have published our findings on our website: http://www.TheRightClimateStuff.com and at several climate related conferences, eg.

    Our methodology and conclusions regarding sensitivity of surface temperature to doubling CO2 levels in the atmosphere are based on climate data (not un-validated climate simulation models) and are similar to those published in (Lewis and Curry 2014) and other recent publications focusing on use of actual data to determine climate sensitivity to CO2. Those conclusions do not suggest we have an immediate climate problem requiring immediate high-impact and disruptive action, prior to achieving a more certain understanding of the issues we have concerns about.

    • Harold,

      You are spot on! Surely you remember the “unscrewable pooch” – the current doggy is climate science.

    • No, the best thing would be a carbon tax. Every economist on earth agrees with that. Most agree that the tax should be offset by reductions in other taxes such as social security, medicare, etc. Sadly, there is little chance of that happening.

      • A carbon tax is a stupid idea that wouldn’t solve the problem, and would make a host of new problems. It’s a good thing it doesn’t have much chance of happening.

        It’s also a socialist Trojan Horse.

      • wascally wabbit. “No, the best thing would be a carbon tax. Every economist on earth agrees with that. Most agree that the tax should be offset by reductions in other taxes such as social security, medicare, etc. ”

        Yeah, Yeah, that’s the ticket. Tax carbon to reduce SS and medicare so the minions can pay for Obamacare while we end global asthma and save the “average” electric customer 85 bucks in the process. Next up an organic chicken in every pan.

      • > A carbon tax is a stupid idea that wouldn’t solve the problem, and would make a host of new problems.

        That explains why economists agree with it.

        Go team!

      • Willard

        Warning. Question being posed…

        Are you suggesting the economists should be seen as a source of authority?

        ‘During a briefing by academics at the London School of Economics on the turmoil on the international markets the Queen asked: “Why did nobody notice it?”

        Professor Luis Garicano, director of research at the London School of Economics’ management department, had explained the origins and effects of the credit crisis when she opened the £71 million New Academic Building.’

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/3386353/The-Queen-asks-why-no-one-saw-the-credit-crunch-coming.html

        tonyb

      • That explains why economists agree with it.

        Nope. There are plenty of other approaches that are equally stupid (or more) and would cause just as many (or more) problems that they don’t/wouldn’t agree with.

        If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

        That explains why economists agree with it.

        Partly.

        IMO.

      • Eli,

        A carbon tax would solve WHAT problem?

        In rational thought processes, one must first clearly state the PROBLEM (deviation from normal that also requires a definition of normal), define the problem in terms of specific What?, Where?, When? and How Much? statements. With the PROBLEM adequately specified in terms of answers to these questions, you should have enough data to prove root cause of the deviation from normal. With root cause(s) of the PROBLEM clearly understood, you can begin to develop alternative courses of action you might take to eliminate or mitigate effects of the problem. Then you can study and choose which of these alternatives would provide an optimal solution, considering the Pros and Cons of each alternative solution.

        This is the way our government defined PROBLEMS and developed effective solutions to those PROBLEMS as we explored the unknowns of manned space travel. I see no such rational thought processes being applied to the postulated climate problems that some believe will occur due to continued unconstrained use of fossil fuels.

      • > Are you suggesting the economists should be seen as a source of authority?

        Actually, I was suggesting that AK’s claim was underwhelming. This claim does not cohere with the economists’ agreeement about a one-page solution that Denizens raise concerns about on a daily basis. Usually, substantiating these concerns imply a more orthodox view on economic matters.

        However, since Denizens try to second-guess climate scientists, I don’t know why they shouldn’t also raise concerns about economics. This would be a welcome development, and might change Vaughan’s opinion on what Judy’s has become. Go team!

        As I am sure you can see, that suggestion does not rest on what I think about authority.

        ***

        > Question being posed…

        Real questions are asked, TonyB, but you sure know how to pose with questions.

      • Willard

        I don’t think me posing would be a pretty sight…

        tonyb

      • Eli writes-
        “No, the best thing would be a carbon tax. Every economist on earth agrees with that. Most agree that the tax should be offset by reductions in other taxes such as social security, medicare, etc.

        and

        Harold asks- “A carbon tax would solve WHAT problem?”

        My response- A carbon tax would generate needed revenue for the USA. There is a substantial risk of severe economic issues as the US population ages and our economic expenses rise over the next 10 years. If the US does not either vastly cut expenses (unlikely) or increase collection of revenues, there will be an economic issue

      • Replacing social security and medicare taxes with a carbon tax essentially assumes that the carbon tax is unavoidable- Eli does not want to defund Social Security, he wants a net-zero impact. But the point of a carbon tax for AGW purposes is to encourage Americans to avoid it by using less carbon. So if this reduces emissions, it bankrupts social security and medicare.
        I and many other conservatives don’t automatically reject regressive taxes. Several have proposed a gasoline tax increase and make a good case economically. But we do reject regressive taxes that are:
        1. billed as a means of accomplishing something (GHG reductions) but designed not to accomplish their goal- like Eli’s suggestion.
        2. Designed to have a disproportionate impact. This would be a revenue transfer from areas where nuclear, natural gas and public transport are not available to those where it is. Basically it’s Indiana residents paying the social security taxes for New York City residents.
        3. Designed to reduce domestic industry. Anything made or business located in the US uses energy. If you want a regressive tax for revenue purposes, do what the Europeans do and tax consumption (VAT).
        4. Being vague about benefit matters. Some variations actually reduce emissions – a gasoline tax increase would do it, a tax increase per ton of coal would do it. Of course, then people get out their calculators and find out the tax has to be really high yield any noticeable emissions reductions. And you won’t pass a really high one (Al Gore’s campaign for president included a promise to lower gas prices- prices were high at the time). People also look harder at alternatives- they aren’t going to be content that AGW activists tax coal and block functional alternatives like natural gas and nuclear.

      • Jeff

        Regardless of what a tax is called in the USA, all of the funds go into general revenue. Personally, I think the USA is likely to implement a value added tax system since it is an effective means to collect revenue while hiding from the general populace how much they are being taxed. My basic point it that Americans want the services that government provides ( care for elderly ) but do not want to pay what those services cost. It is the same, or similar to the behaviors of many individuals who improve their lifestyle by living on debt…until they can’t anymore.

      • Hi Rob,
        I like the VAT for precisely the opposite reason. Sales tax appears on your receipt, the stores will tell you something costs $10 and then tell you to pay $12.50 “with tax.”
        In other words, everyone will have to pay for the services they say they want and they’ll be reminded every day how much that costs. Right now, politicians promise all the services but say “the rich” will pay for them. In reality, they borrow the money.
        By the way, you’re one of the few people willing to agree that the federal government will keep the revenue from a carbon tax. Most of the activists in this country promise a “revenue neutral” carbon tax. When they start the discussion by making a promise nobody believes (revenue neutral), the whole thing goes downhill from there.

      • Jeff

        Remember the US federal government does not use a sales tax. A rebate of a fuel tax would both reduce revenue generation AND the ability of the tax to reduce consumption

      • Hi Rob,
        Sorry if I haven’t been clear.
        I don’t support a carbon tax- refundable or not – based on the reasons I listed above.
        I’m aware that the US doesn’t have a general sales tax. I suggest that if the government must get more money, that it do so with a sales tax (a VAT) because that is a tax that everyone pays and forces people to pay for the stuff they want. (I believe they will want less stuff if they have to pay for it).
        The US does have a fuel tax. It’s 18.4 cents/gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. I’m not suggesting either a gas tax increase or rebate. What I’m saying is that, if you want to use taxes to reduce emissions a gas tax increase would do it. It would be more effective in reducing emissions than a refunded carbon tax and would be more transparent.
        Activists here avoid the gas tax idea for a couple of big reasons- 1. it would have to be really big to have any noticeable impact on emissions so it would be really unpopular. 2. it’s transparent, everyone in the country would be reminded every day just how much they’re spending on global warming. (Which means they just might ask someone to prove it.)

  39. daveandrews723

    The liberal mainstream media will, once again, be useless in calling attention to the misrepresentations made by Obama on CO2 and asthma. They are not only biased, they are incompetent. CO2 is what he and the EPA are trying to regulate to control “global warming”, but they conflate CO2 with carbon in order to make their argument appealing to the uninformed on a “health” level.

  40. WSJ has a nice editorial on the plan. Focuses on whether EPA has the authorization for CCP under the CCA. Almost certainly not. Tribe’s brief covers the legal details.

    • ristvan: Tribe’s brief covers the legal details.

      Tribe is another man without an alternative theory of global warming who is not without influence.

      • MM, if you have not read the brief, well worth it. Breathtaking the twisted EPA reasoning concluding CCA 111(d) gives them authority. Turned congressional intent upside down.

      • “who is not without influence.”

        he doesnt have a pen and a phone.

        Still, the power to go to court should not be underestimated.
        Too bad he is missing the killer argument an alternative theory would have given him.

        That is the point.

        The lack of an alternative theory has MARGINALIZED skeptics and those who would help them.

        Here is what you would have to prove: you’d have to prove that HAVING an alternative theory would get you nothing.

        Lets face it.

        Choose the path you think is better.

        A) No alternative theory
        B) Alternative theory.

        Which path would make you more successful in fighting obama in
        congress A or B
        Which path would be better when fighting the EPA
        Which path is better if you end up in court.

        In all cases I find no appeal in going to war without full battle gear.

        Your going to war. do you a want a gun with bullets or just the gun.

        Again skeptics refused to bring bullets to war. That’s my simple point.

        However, since I said it, even reasonable people are forced by a strange logic of opposition to disagree with the obvious.

        without that theory… you are marginalized. who wants to go to war with liberals where your number one team player is a liberal.

      • Steven Mosher: Still, the power to go to court should not be underestimated.
        Too bad he is missing the killer argument an alternative theory would have given him.

        That is the point.

        Ah.

        You are backing off your original point. No one denied that having a better theory would be useful. You wrote that without one there was no possibility of having influence.

        It would be really useful to have a better theory than the consensus view. That is why I wrote some time ago that work on the development of GCMs is worthwhile: if a GCM can be developed to have a track record of 30 years ahead predictive accuracy, that would be really useful. I wrote the same of WebHubTelescope’s csalt model, which I called “live”. If it ever demonstrates predictive accuracy, it will be useful. My calculation of a low surface climate sensitivity might be useful, if the details in the derivation and in the papers that I cited are confirmed by future research.

        I think that we all have always been in agreement that a better theory would be useful. You’d have saved us all a lot of time had you written that from the start.

      • Steven Mosher: without that theory… you are marginalized.

        Oops, now you are backsliding to what you wrote before. Neither Tribe nor Inhof is marginalized. Obama has the phone and pen, but he could not get his laws through Congress even when it had a Democratic majority. He is close to being “marginalized,” depending on the outcomes of the court cases.

      • SM, i have proposed an alternative theory. In two books and many posts, including debating Monckton at WUWT on his simple equation, and in a previous guest post on it here to which Monckton also responded.
        So that you can stop dishing up that logical nonsense, implicitly saying you are ‘superior’ because a BEST team member, here is my alternative theory in a nutshell even you can crack open.
        1. CO2 is a GHG, and the ‘grey earth’ physics says its ECS is 1.1-1.2. I use 1.2 simply because Lindzen does. So, everything about CAGW depends on Hansen’s speculated (1988) positive feedbacks.
        2. The century plus observational feedback studies give something on order of ECS 1.7 (e.g. Otto, Lewis and Curry, and many more cited is essay Unsettling Science). Not a CAGW problem worth solving with expensive renewables and drastic economic disruptions. So China and India and… Are not buying what UNFCC, IPCC, and you are selling.
        3. The discrepancy between observed ECS ~1.7 and modeled 3.2 is ‘simple’ to explain. Models cannot do convective cells due to computational limits on grid cell size. Essay Models all the way Down. Therefore they get at least the following wrong because of erroneous parameterization that inherently incorporate natural variability into a ‘CO2 control knob’ assumption: water vapor feedback (UTrH, ‘adaptive iris’), cloud feedback. In terms of Bode f feedback models, the water vapor vapor feedback is about 0.25, not 0.5. Observational evidence includes most UTrH measurements (bias corrected radiosondes, sats, and now also occluded GPS), observed modeled precipitation discrepancies, the new paper inputing an ‘ adaptive iris’ into a climate model and coming out closer to observed ECS, and the famous missing modeled tropical troposphere hotspot (Christy’s APS testimony, which you recently elsewhere denied was true). Commented on in previous threads. E meaning, of course, effective not equilibrium climate sensitivity since neither observation nor models (thanks to computational limits) can really run that out. Amusing side observation. In 1937-8, steam engineer Guy Callendar in the UK first calculated and had published at the RC an ECS of 1.7. The Charney estimate and Hansen are not just wrong. Its worse.
        You have already chosen on which side of history’s judgement you sit. My personal opinion, you sit on the wrong side.
        Take your own advice to read more, comment less?

      • Steven Mosher
        You indicate that Obama and your government simply will simply refuse to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever, unless an alternative theory is provided.

        In accordance with the modern scientific method, the empirical method, falsifying experiences are sufficient to discard a theory. Even though there are no better theories. You cannot put a medicine out on the market before tests has shown that it provides a cure, and do no harm. Even if there are no alternative medicine.

        Even in basic logic principles falsifying experiences are sufficient to suspend judgement. If no position is defended by a good argument, or if two or more positions seem to be defended with equal strength, one should, in most cases, suspend judgment about the issue.

        It is pretty clear that the medicine proposed by the President will do harm to the people of the United States through increasing energy costs and the consequences thereof, in particular the low income families, and there are a lot of low income families in the United States. It is totally unclear if the medicine will do any good. At least – the President should suspend judgement about the issue.

      • At WUWT,
        “Steven Mosher July 27, 2015 at 10:13 pm
        we do both science and strategic analysis.”

        ..and it’s not always obvious when strategy isn’t being mixed with science.

        Which means you aren’t doing science.

      • JCH, read your link. A basic problem for you is, Larry Tribe is the foremost constitutional law scholar at Harvard University. And has been for forty years. And he is otherwise a flaming liberal. Just, he thinks the Constitution is more important than any ideology or political bent. He taught me that was its main purpose. Tripartite balance of powers, further differentiation in Congress concerning the legislative power, much more subtlety everywhere, all brilliant. Not to mention the ten firat amendments that swiftly followed. Have you,even read the Federalist papers arguing for its adoption? Yet more brilliance and ‘Congressional Congress’ intent.
        I agree with my teacher. After a long time not being certain.

      • Steve, there have been tons of alternative theories. None of them fit the facts some of them were amusing.

      • > Not a CAGW problem worth solving with expensive renewables and drastic economic disruptions.

        How this is supposed to follow from Sir Rud’s (or rather Dick’s) theory (or rather an hypothesis) is far from being obvious.

      • It depends on whose facts you use.

      • The parallels between the “Nibiru” alarmists and climate alarmists are amazing.

        If Nibiru was a $1.5 Trillion dollar cottage industry like climate alarm we would be fighting the same battle:

        1. No sightings: NO ONE HAS EVER SPOTTED THE 0.618 W/m2 for 22 PPM THAT THE IPCC CLAIMS IS THERE.

        2. Every year it is the same disaster claim

        3. With Nibiru they claim disaster from star charts that are years old (it would have already hit). With climate change they whip out their pens and mark up the trend to be whatever they want it to be.

        4. Nibirusites make predictions all the time just like climate changers and neither is right.

        5. Nibiru have hoaxes pictures, climate changers have hoaxed paleo reconstructions. models, and RCPs.

        CAGW is no more likely than Nibiru, and deserves no more science or mitigation funds than Nibiru.

      • The problem for you is all lawyers can be lose.

      • The lack of an alternative theory has MARGINALIZED skeptics and those who would help them.

        This is nonsense.

        Demonstrating a theory to be incorrect does not require an alternate theory.

        We know that any theory of global warming predicting a warming rate of anything more than 1.7C per century is contraindicated by observations:

        But what may be more important is your reference to a group: ‘skeptics’
        This means you at least identify with one group: those who are not ‘skeptics’

        But being a member of a group is the first pre-condition to groupthink.

        Are you suffering from groupthink?

      • > Demonstrating a theory to be incorrect does not require an alternate theory.

        In that sentence, the concept of incorrectness is undetermined. Too bad it sounds like the operative word. This claim therefore fails functional correctness.

        Only replacing a theory does replace a theory, and only another theory can replace a theory.

        It’s not that complicated.

      • “We know that any theory of global warming predicting a warming rate of anything more than 1.7C per century is contraindicated by observations”

        How does that make sense? You don’t think the rate of warming will increase over time even though the rate of change of radiative forcing will?

      • I don’t suppose the theory that the sensitivity is lower would suffice as an alternate theory. How is the theory of high sensitivity doing these days?

      • Steven Mosher

        “I don’t suppose the theory that the sensitivity is lower would suffice as an alternate theory. How is the theory of high sensitivity doing these days?”

        current theory allows for values from about 1.5 to 6.

      • Steven Mosher
        Which test has falsified random variation (internal variability, natural variation)?

        This what IPCC did:
        They relied on the model under test to say that what they observed was not compatible with the simulated result of natural variation.

        “The spatial pattern of observed warming differs from those associated with internal variability. The model-based simulations of internal variability are assessed to be adequate to make this assessment.”
        (Ref: contribution from Working group I to the fifth assessment report by IPCC, page 869)

        This method is both logically and scientifically flawed.

      • Willard | August 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm |
        “> Demonstrating a theory to be incorrect does not require an alternate theory.

        In that sentence, the concept of incorrectness is undetermined. Too bad it sounds like the operative word. This claim therefore fails functional correctness.”

        What are you talking about?

        Are you trying to tell us that statement A can only be wrong if there is a statement B and B is right?
        Hence statement A can be either right or wrong depending on whether there exist a statement B and statement B is either right or wrong.
        You seem confused.

      • PA,

        “2. Every year it is the same disaster claim.”

        It Changes every few years. Now it’s asthma! :(

      • > What are you talking about?

        The concept of correctness. You know, Fiction, the operative word in Turbulent’s purported “demonstration” that AGW is “incorrect.” Demonstrating incorrectness sounds cool, but means very little unless the concept of theory correctness gets specified.

        Unless you know what Turbulent’s talking about, Fiction?

      • You don’t think the rate of warming will increase over time even though the rate of change of radiative forcing will?

        The rate of radiative forcing has decreased since peaking around 1979:

        What makes you think the rate of radiative forcing will increase?

      • <iYou know, Fiction, the operative word in Turbulent’s purported “demonstration” that AGW is “incorrect.”

        Imagining things again?

        GHGs likely induce AGW, though natural fluctuations continue.

        If one assumes AGW is significantly greater than natural variability, then:

        AGW at the high end is wrong.(4.5 C per doubling)
        AGW at the mid range is wrong.(3 C per doubling )
        AGW at event the AR4 LOW END is wrong( 2C per Century)

        AGW causing more ‘intense storms’ is wrong (Manabe and Hansen)
        AGW causing more drought is wrong ( satellite sensing of vegetation )
        AGW causing more intense tropical cyclones is wrong ( ACE )

        Certainly there are benefits of AGW.

        At what global temperature would detriments exceed benefits?

        No one knows because rational discussion is impossible.

      • Rud

        Great comment back to Steve on the need for an “alternate theory”.

      • Science

        ‘Steven Mosher
        Which test has falsified random variation (internal variability, natural variation)?”

        There is no such “test”

        The first thing that skeptics need to do is to construct a TESTABLE NULL.

        “natural variation” is not testable. you need a number.

        put another way “random variation” is what is left over after you have explained things. It is not the explanation, it is the ABSENCE of explanation. It explains nothing. it causes nothing. its a residual

      • > Imagining things again?

        I wish I could, Turbulent One, but I have no idea what “demonstrating the correctness of a theory” can even mean.

        However, I imagine a world where meteorological studies includes one or two courses in basic epistemology.

      • Perhaps we ought to include some theory of rationality too:

        No one knows because rational discussion is impossible.

        A simpler hypothesis is that no one knows because the future is never what it’s supposed to be. This hypothesis is of little interest anyway, since the idea what we need to know any of this falters on the observation that AGW contains risks and that we might need to act upon those risks.

        We already do, actually.

      • “The rate of radiative forcing has decreased since peaking around 1979:”

        You aren’t including the effect of Aerosols, particularly SO2. Also, even if the rate of change of radiative forcing were constant, you would still expect more warming over the next century compared to the last since it takes time for global temperatures to approach equilibrium with respect to a change in radiative forcing.

        “At what global temperature would detriments exceed benefits?”

        Tol 2009 suggests around 16 C.

      • “The rate of radiative forcing has decreased since peaking around 1979:”

        You aren’t including the effect of Aerosols, particularly SO2.
        AR5 significantly reduced estimates of forcing from aerosols

        And estimated aerosol forcing is changing very slowly.

        Also, even if the rate of change of radiative forcing were constant, you would still expect more warming over the next century compared to the last since it takes time for global temperatures to approach equilibrium with respect to a change in radiative forcing.

        Earth appears to be very near equilibrium at the top of the atmosphere:

        You mean increases in OHC. But ECS is a useless concept especially for policy, because earth is never in equilibrium ( surplus for six months, deficit for six months seasonally, subject to internally forced surpluses and deficits over long time scales ) and ocean changes are very slow, both in and out, that’s why they are such beneficial buffers of climate.

        “At what global temperature would detriments exceed benefits?”
        Tol 2009 suggests around 16 C.

        I would suggest that even suggesting is highly speculative.

      • > Tol 2009 suggests around 16 C.

        I smell Gremlins:

        Adam Marcus reports that an influential paper from 2009 on the economic effects of climate change was recently revised because of errors and omissions in the data.

        […]

        In any case, I think Tol needs to get his story straight: in one place he said the qualitative conclusions did not change; in another place he points to some changes and say they are relevant for policy.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/05/23/the-gremlins-did-it-iffy-curve-fit-drives-strong-policy-conclusions/

      • TE

        ‘You mean increases in OHC. But ECS is a useless concept especially for policy, because earth is never in equilibrium ( surplus for six months, deficit for six months seasonally, subject to internally forced surpluses and deficits over long time scales ) and ocean changes are very slow, both in and out, that’s why they are such beneficial buffers of climate.”

        Policy makers, not you, decide what it useful for policy

        ECS is very useful for policy. If I told you that the ECS was .0001C
        per doubling of C02, you would not argue that the earth never reaches equillibrium. you would use this as evidence that a policy of “burn baby burn” was justified.

        If ECS was 100C per doubling.. likewise that would be useful information depite the fact that the real system “never” reaches equillibrium.

        Effective equillibrium is the concept you want.

      • I’ll continue to believe ~16 C is global optimal temperature until better evidence gives a better value. You guys can scoff at this if you wish, but its based on evidence and is better than having no value, or assuming that pre-industrial temperatures were somehow optimal.

      • “Steven Mosher
        You indicate that Obama and your government simply will simply refuse to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever, unless an alternative theory is provided.”

        1. No. that;s not what I argued
        2. There is no such thing as falsification.

        In accordance with the modern scientific method, the empirical method, falsifying experiences are sufficient to discard a theory.

        1. Again, no such thing as falsification.
        2. you can disguard a theory for any reason you like
        3. You can continue to use a theory that is at odds with facts because
        all theory is.

        Theories are confirmed or disconfirmed.

        pragmatically people will continue to use flawed theories until better ones come along.

        Let me repeat my argument.

        Skeptics would have more power if they had an alternate theory.

        Simple.

      • Steven Mosher | August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm |
        I was unprecise, my question should have been:
        Which test has falsified that the observed variation is random variation (internal variability, natural variation)?
        Then I think it is quantified.

        IPCC found random variation worth testing, and marginalized it in the argument for their proposition. But – the test was logically and scientifically flawed. Ref. my comment above at | August 5, 2015 at 4:09 am |

        However – as you said – random variation is not the explanation.

        The proposition (explanation) is that global warming
        (or climate change, climate disruption or whatever it will be called next – however it is defined)
        is in all majority caused by increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        A principle in logic is that the burden of proof is on those putting forward a proposition explaining what is observed.

        Isn´t your requirement to put forward an alternative theory therefore an argument having the form of a logic fallacy called: Arguing from ignorance?
        Defined as: Arguing for the truth of a claim because there is no evidence or proof to the contrary or because of the inability or refusal of an opponent to present convincing evidence to the contrary.

      • > Isn´t your requirement to put forward an alternative theory therefore an argument having the form of a logic fallacy called: Arguing from ignorance?

        Not at all, it’s called inference to the best explanation. I’m sure Popper hinted at something like that somewhere. There’s a reason why the title of one of his work starts with “Conjecture,” after all.

        Arguing from ignorance would be to argue that AGW should be replaced by God-knows-what.

        Thank you for playing, Fiction.

      • Steven Mosher | August 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm |

        “There is no such thing as falsification.”

        Here are two brilliant minds who thought there is:

        “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
        Albert Einstein (Need no presentation)

        “the empirical method shall be characterized as a method that excludes precisely those ways of evading falsification …. what characterizes the empirical method is its manner of exposing to falsification, in every conceivable way, the system to be tested.”
        Karl R. Popper
        (It is a great disappointment to me that I have to present Karl Popper. However – Karl Popper was the master mind behind the modern scientific method – the empirical method)

        You really need to educate yourself in modern scientific theory – the empirical method.
        Maybe you should take the advice from Rud:
        Take your own advice to read more, comment less?

        I recommend you to buy the book: The logic of scientific discovery – by Karl Popper. It may become your best investment ever.
        http://www.amazon.com/Logic-Scientific-Discovery-Routledge-Classics-ebook/dp/B000OT7WLC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1438817289&sr=1-1&keywords=popper

        Enjoy some Popper. First part contains the essence – it is soothing and easy reading. Here is another link – as long as it last:
        http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

        I prefer the original (To avoid mistakes in interpretation), but here is a presentation for the lazy:
        http://patrick.maher1.net/270/lectures/popper1.pdf
        ( PS! I will not engage in a discussion about inductive reasoning – it is very well covered by Popper – but Patrick Maher made a mistake in stating that: “Popper thinks science and everyday life can proceed without using induction.” Popper did not say that, he did not exclude inductive reasoning from making ideas – you can do whatever you like. Here is a phrase which illustrates that: “From a new idea, put up tentatively, and not yet justified in any way—an anticipation, a hypothesis, a theoretical system, or what you will—conclusions are drawn by means of logical deduction.” A theory is merited by the severity of the test it has survived. Hence – the empirical method does not depend on inductive reasoning.)

      • Steven Mosher | August 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm |

        Oh yeah – by the way – the anticipation that Steven Mosher might be familiar with the modern scientific method – the empirical method developed by Karl Popper – was just falsified, the idea was proven to be wrong.

      • Steven Mosher

        Science

        “Oh yeah – by the way – the anticipation that Steven Mosher might be familiar with the modern scientific method – the empirical method developed by Karl Popper – was just falsified, the idea was proven to be wrong.”

        1. Popper did not invent the method.
        2. The history of science is littered with people who were successful
        because they refused to “falsify” a theory based on disagreement
        with observations.
        3. The response to data not matching a theory is underdetermined
        by the facts on hand. When A theory and fact differ ( they always do)
        you are left with one of three pragmatic choices.

        a) accept the difference as small– call it “noise”
        b) reject the data and do more tests.
        c) Adapt the theory to account for the difference.

        The problem is this. A theory can be seen as a large collection of statements joined by math and logic. from that body of statements you extract a hypothesis to test. When that hypothesis fails to match your experiment ( there are always at least slight differences) you have no
        way of telling what exactly is wrong. Do you have bad data? or do you have bad theory ( see the hunt for neutrinos as a great example). If you
        decide that you have bad theory then you have a problem, not an answer. Your problem is which part of the theory is wrong?

        a) did you extract the hypothesis correctly from the theory.
        b) is the theory missing statements?
        c) which one ( or several) of the statements is wrong.

        Lets use climate theory as an example. It contains and relies on math and logic. It contains and relies on known physics. Do you falsify the theory as WHOLE? is all of it wrong? or just part? which part? how do you tell which of the 1000s of statements is wrong?

        Popper tried to articulate a way that science SHOULD BE DONE. His normative statement is decidly non empirical. if you build a philosophy of science empircially and scientifically, you’ll see that the history of science is punctuated by examples of key discoveries that were made because people refused to throw out theories in total. An empirical view shows science progressing without merely tossing out bad theories. What happens in fact is quite different.

      • > I recommend you to buy the book: The logic of scientific discovery – by Karl Popper.

        No need to read that stuff from the thirties. Go for the Postscript, written 50 years later. Start here:

        http://www.amazon.com/Realism-Aim-Science-Postscript-Scientific/dp/0415084008

        Welcome to the Internet.

      • Steven Mosher | August 5, 2015 at 11:01 pm |

        I think you now illustrate another of Popper´s points. Popper warned about the following.

        “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system can ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”

        Because of travel – I will not be able to respond any further in quite many hours. But, I think here is enough to judge by, or chew on for a while, for those who are interested.

      • @ristvan: 2. The century plus observational feedback studies give something on order of ECS 1.7

        Observation gives TCR. Why do you claim it gives ECS? You’re ignoring that heat uptake by the ocean delays reaching equilibrium by centuries.

      • Mosher : Skeptics would have more power if they had an alternate theory.

        Sure. But that skirts the issue :-

        Group A says “we understand it, it works like this, the models and measurements concur”.

        Group B says “no we don’t understand it, you are just pretending; the the models and measurements are at odds. and we dont even have all the necessary measurements”.

        Would you suggest group B now come up with an alternate pretence ?

      • > I think you now illustrate another of Popper´s points.

        Moshpit’s not illustrating the point (there’s only one) behind Popper’s quote, but this one:

        In the epistemology of science, confirmation holism, also called epistemological holism, is the view that no individual statement can be confirmed or disconfirmed by an empirical test, but only a set of statements (a whole theory).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_holism

        Sir Karl’s quote rather shows that his falsificationism omits this aspect of both scientific norms and practice.

      • Steven Mosher

        S or F

        Willard or I can go on like this forever. Been doing it for years.

      • Punksta –

        Group A says “we understand it, it works like this, the models and measurements concur”.

        Group B says “no we don’t understand it, you are just pretending; the the models and measurements are at odds. and we dont even have all the necessary measurements”.

        Consider an alternative:

        Group A says – “We have a reasonable understanding that there is risk involved. Of course there are uncertainties, but here is our estimate of the probabilities w/r/t that risk. It makes sense to plan accordingly.”

        Group B says – “Your argument that the ‘science is settled’ doesn’t hold up. Obviously, your claim of absolute knowledge and complete understanding is part of a worldwide hoax to destroy capitalism – through such methods as ‘adjusting’ temperature data so as to hide any uncertainties. We can’t think of any other explanation, so that must be it.”

      • Joshua

        And to help you avoid avoiding the question, again, herewith a short restatement :

        If Group B is of the opinion that the claimed explanations and assements are plainly not what they cracked up to be, should it
        (a) be honest and just say that ? or
        (b) put forward its own pretence to rival the pretence of Group A ?

        Again, try hard to stick to the question, and answer (a) or (b). It’s not a trick (do-you-still-beat-your-wife type) question.

      • Punksta –

        I would definitely go with A.

        FWIW, I think that Steven overstates his case. That said, he does have a point.

      • Steven Mosher | August 6, 2015 at 10:28 am |

        “Willard or I can go on like this forever. Been doing it for years.”

        Ok, I am sure you can. I don’t have to go on, I have made my main points, and even got them illustrated too.

        However, I will not look closely into your replies. I have several issues with them – I just need some time to work it through. I believe that this thread will be dead before I am able to respond properly.

      • “However, I will not look closely into your replies.”
        Should have been:
        “However, I will look closely into your replies.”

      • Mosher : Skeptics would have more power if they had an alternate theory.

        Sure. But that skirts the issue :-

        #########################

        THAT IS MY ISSUE. dont expect me to focus on anythings else.

        “Group A says “we understand it, it works like this, the models and measurements concur”.

        1. That is not what group A says.
        2. That is not what I would say.

        Group B says “no we don’t understand it, you are just pretending; the the models and measurements are at odds. and we dont even have all the necessary measurements”.

        Would you suggest group B now come up with an alternate pretence ?
        ##################################################
        Yes. If group B wants to HAVE ANY POWER or any say, or any
        influence, then their best option is to come up with something better.

      • Demonstrating a theory to be incorrect does not require an alternate theory.

        There is no such thing as a “correct” theory. There are only theories that fit the facts better than others. If you don’t have an alternate theory you can’t knock the prevailing best theory off its pedestal, regardless of how bad you might claim it to be.

        We know that any theory of global warming predicting a warming rate of anything more than 1.7C per century is contraindicated by observations

        In the 18th century, any theory of human travel faster than a galloping horse was contraindicated by observations. The 20th century saw the internal combustion engine invalidate such inferences drawn from observations made in the 18th century.

        In the 21st century we are seeing CO2 rising at over 0.55% per year. This fact invalidates inferences drawn from observations made in the previous century while CO2 was rising at less than 0.5% per year.

  41. I wonder how much longer this assault on prosperity will be tolerated. The proof that CO2 has no effect on climate and identification of what does cause climate change are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

  42. From the article:

    All This for .01 Degrees Celsius?

    Given the facts, I can’t help but wonder: Did policymakers ever take Economics 101, or a course in how to read a chart?

    When I see simple questions that can raise doubts, if not outright debunk all this, it’s like watching the opening from the old Twilight Zone series: “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36771

    • Hmph, anuther of them Great Leap Forwards that
      aren’t!

      The Clean power Plan will :
      # Cost more in energy because renewables are
      demonstrably inefficient. In Oz, fer example,
      carbon abatement, (minimal) through wind energy
      costs $50-$100 ton.

      # Lose real jobs in a false and fading economy.

      # Impose on people’s liberties from above with
      authoritarian activist large scale policy leaps
      that control human options.

      #I increase taxes, squandering the people’s
      money based on visionary utopian (diistopian)
      projections.

      # Weaken a former great democracy by bleeding
      the economy and trammeling human innovation.

      # Make the US and free world less safe in a world
      of significant international threats

      …Not healthy.

  43. Goodbye jobs, hello “Progressive” utopia. (Progressive – an auto-oymoronic word). Thanks Obumbles.

    From the article:

    UPDATE 3-Big U.S. coal miner Alpha Natural files for bankruptcy
    Tom Hals
    Monday, 3 Aug 2015 | 12:18 PM ET
    Reuters

    Aug 3 (Reuters) – Alpha Natural Resources Inc, one of the largest U.S. coal companies, became the latest in the hard-hit industry to seek bankruptcy on Monday.

    The move comes as President Barack Obama is expected to unveil tough new measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

    Alpha blamed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy on tougher regulatory standards and policies that favor renewable energy, as well tumbling prices for its coal.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/03/reuters-america-update-3-big-us-coal-miner-alpha-natural-files-for-bankruptcy.html

  44. I have a comment in moderation. (I was good, I promise :)

    • The above is a chart showing how TAN (solar ETF) correlates with USO (WTI front month).

      • Jim2,

        What does that mean?

      • Basically, it means when the price of oil is low, investors value solar at a lesser value. Ramifications include if a solar company wanted to float an IPO, it wouldn’t get as much money, generally speaking. Also, wouldn’t want to buy the stock of one if oil price is low.

  45. Redistribution piece:
    “Monday evening, government and industry continued to pore over the hefty, 1,560-page document. Based on initial gleanings, Wolk said some favorable elements include the flexibility granted to the states to achieve the emissions targets, the ability for interstate and intrastate trading of energy credits, and an incentive for renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts that benefit economically disadvantaged communities.”

    Colorado likes State Rights :)

    “Several states sued to stop the plan as it was proposed last year. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, citing concerns about potential job losses and an unrealistic set of goals and timelines, on Monday said she may join them.”

    http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_28578987/clean-power-plan-wants-colorado-cut-co2-emissions

    • ‘ Monday evening, government and industry continued to pore
      over the hefty, 1,560 page document.

      Such a waste of productive time ( and energy,) tsk!

      • Such a waste …

        Agreed, beth … but perhaps it’s just a “trick”™ the authors/proponents have picked up, since it’s worked so well for the IPCC … well, it did for a good number of years ;-)

    • nickles,

      “…the ability for …trading of energy credits, and an incentive for energy …efforts that benefit economically disadvantaged communities.”

      I smell two rats – a corruption rat and a political rat. Money will be made and politicians will get elected and we will get stiffed.

      • I wonder if Obama even cares if some states refuse the plan, because the progressive states will accept and get their minority money.

  46. When wishing for accelerated plant growth, be careful what you wish for. Recent studies have shown that CO2 strongly stimulates production of certain allergens such as those produced by poison ivy and ragweed.

    Poison ivy:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/103/24/9086.full

    “In this 6-year study at the Duke University Free-Air CO2 Enrichment experiment, we show that elevated atmospheric CO2 in an intact forest ecosystem increases photosynthesis, water use efficiency, growth, and population biomass of poison ivy. The CO2 growth stimulation exceeds that of most other woody species. Furthermore, high-CO2 plants produce a more allergenic form of urushiol. ”

    Ragweed:

    http://www.chgeharvard.org/sites/default/files/resources/pollen_wayne_epsteinpdf.pdf

    “Objective: To study the direct impact of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations on ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) pollen production and growth. Results: A doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration stimulated ragweed-pollen production by 61% (P = 0.005).”

    More about asthma and ragweed allergy here:

    http://asthmaandallergies.org/asthma-allergies/ragweed-allergy/

    It is striking that in neither the original post nor the 247 responses thus far, not even the slightest mention been made of these widely publicized studies in this thread. Instead the thread seems dedicated to denying the existence of any possible causal connection between CO2 and allergens.

    Evidently Climate Etc. has a knee-jerk response to any suggestion that rising CO2 may be hazardous to human health, namely “rubbish”. I therefore see no alternative to simply discounting Climate Etc. as merely yet another pseudo-scientific climate blog.

    • Vaughn Pratt: Thanks for your addition of psuedo-science to the blog mix.

      OK, increasing CO2 = more pollen, etc. We can stipulate that there has been an increase in pollen per plant due to CO2.

      Of course, these increases are minor compared to increases due to landuse changes and the international transport of plant species. I’m am shocked and appalled you didn’t cite the world famous study below that shows that the problem with increasing asthma is multi-factorial across numerous dimensions, with CO2 being but a minor player.

      http://www.aacijournal.com/content/pdf/1710-1492-4-3-130.pdf

      Your particular brand of psuedo-scientific conclusions leads to straining at gnats while letting camel’s pass. This can be actually worse than the denizens do-nothing brand of psuedo-science because of the lost opportunity costs of adaptation.

    • Vaughn Pratt,

      Yes, CO2 is beneficial to plants in general.

      And how many plant species do we have on earth?

      And why do we have extra studies about Poison Ivy and Ragweed?

      Maybe because those plants are disagreeable to humans and the authors are looking for scary headlines???

      Shill Science.

      • KenW,

        You ask a great question: “And why do we have extra studies about Poison Ivy and Ragweed?”

        Answer: For the grant money. If you want your work to get funded, because you have to pay the rent, you better put “CO2” or “global warming” in the grant proposal.

    • VP – Maybe spend a little time studying this site as well – http://www.co2science.org/. You appear to follow the typical progressive mindset that there are only negative aspects to increased levels of Co2, and likely that using coal and fossil fuels in general is net negative despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Are there negative aspects to using fossil fuels and increasing levels of Co2? Absolutely, but the pros far outweigh the cons and that this fact is so blindingly ignored by progressives, the media, gollywood, teachers, etc. is simply appalling and a good reason why they are not to be trusted.

    • bedeverethewise

      perhaps you should look at the asthma rates among the Amish, they are exposed to the same CO2 levels as the rest of us, and they are probably exposed to more poison ivy and ragweed, yet their asthma rates are lower. This supports the hygiene hypothesis and not some desperate reach for a “possible causal connection between CO2 and allergens.”

      I find the Amish lifestyle very interesting. For all those who believe that CO2 is evil and who desperately want to “take action now”, the solution is right there in front of them. The Amish show the way to live a healthy, sustainable, peaceful lifestyle. The only downsides are that the lifestyle is probably only sustainable for millions and not for billions and it is really, really hard work. And another downside is that the lifestyle leaves little time for non-farming types of activities like doing scientific research, medical research, climate blogging, etc.

      • @bed: perhaps you should look at the asthma rates among the Amish, they are exposed to the same CO2 levels as the rest of us, and they are probably exposed to more poison ivy and ragweed, yet their asthma rates are lower. This supports the hygiene hypothesis

        Agreed. The hygiene hypothesis is very plausible, not only for asthma but some other allergies such as peanuts and cat dander. But not for contact dermatitis due to poison ivy, to which AFAIK the Amish are just as susceptible as the rest of us. (I wish it were otherwise, I had a decade of exposure to poison ivy on our semi-rural Massachusetts property with no ill effects, yet later suffered very badly from poison oak in California.)

        The only downsides are that the lifestyle is probably only sustainable for millions and not for billions and it is really, really hard work.

        Agreed.

        @Barnes: Maybe spend a little time studying this site as well – http://www.co2science.org/.

        If those contributing to the IPCC report are the pseudoscientists while the Idsos (Sherwood, Craig, and Keith) responsible for co2science.org are the true scientists then your recommendation is very timely.

        @KenW: Yes, CO2 is beneficial to plants in general.

        Indeed, just as carbohydrates are beneficial to herbivores in general. (Whereas herbivores get their carbohydrates from plants, plants get their carbohydrates from CO2 and water via photosynthesis and the Calvin cycle.)

        However if you want to argue that doubling CO2 makes plants healthier, you should first ask the more general question, does doubling carbohydrate intake improve health?

        @HG: We can stipulate that there has been an increase in pollen per plant due to CO2.

        News to me. The experiments I cited were for the effect on ragweed of a doubling in CO2, which only dealt with ragweed and moreover is not going to happen for quite a while yet. I have no idea whether there’s been an “increase in pollen per plant due to CO2” to date, though I’d be very interested in any information you have about that. Biology is not my area and I don’t know enough about it even to qualify as a pseudo-scientist, let alone a scientist.

      • V Pedantic: Lets throw in grasses. For the eurotrash import to California, what factor has the most influence, a tick up in pollen per plant from CO2 or the fact that it’s an invasive species brought by man and increased in range by landuse? You really should study up on biology because you seem to have difficulty separating wheat from chaff.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25372614

      • @H Grouchy: what factor has the most influence, a tick up in pollen per plant from CO2 or the fact that it’s an invasive species brought by man and increased in range by landuse?

        From my perspective out here in western North American, obviously the former. Your example of timothy grass as a European species invading eastern North America has had nowhere near the impact on hayfever in the US as the main species of ragweed native to the US, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Of the top ten, ragweed heads the list whereas timothy grass doesn’t even make it onto the list:

        http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/pollen-library

        Moreover very little timothy grass has invaded western North America (note that the experiments on timothy grass you cited were conducted on the east coast). Ragweed is the big concern out here, timothy grass isn’t even on anyone’s radar.

        In the eastward direction, as an invasive species ragweed has heavily infested France and Italy, and Switzerland is nervously anticipating the same fate:

        http://www.ambrosia.ch/uploads/tx_adbwmerkblaetter/taramarcaz_2005_ragweed_progression_and_its_health_risks_02.pdf

        As the article points out, “up to 50% of all cases of pollinosis [in North America] are related to Ambrosia pollen”. A little further on in the article, “In the colonised areas [of Europe], ragweed becomes rapidly the main allergen as it is in North America and more recently in the French Rhône-Alpes region.”

        Ragweed is that bad. It’s not the triviality you’re trying to make it out to be.

        You really should study up on biology because you seem to have difficulty separating wheat from chaff.

        Matthew 7:5.

    • We used to call this a SPIN back in the old days. Anything can be spun. Science, for instance.

    • Danny Thomas

      Dr. Pratt,

      Not sure that a quite fair perception: https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/03/president-obamas-clean-power-plan/#comment-722658

      Repeating this portion: “Just so we don’t paint with too broad of a brush.”

      According to the associated study (if a couple years old), a reasonable scientific evaluation exists: “we just don’t know” (yet?).

      Jerking one’s knee can apply both ways, eh?

    • Vaughan,

      Sharpening your skills at nit picking?

      The asthma link to CO2 specifically or climate change generally runs from extremely weak to laughable. Your point that increased plant growth could be expected to lead to increases in various pollens, while most likely correct, is also irrelavant.

      • Not sure you can discount Vaughan’s observation that Judy’s Denizens have a knee-jerk response to any suggestion that rising CO2 may be hazardous to human health, namely “rubbish” as mere nit-picking, TimG.

  47. Climate denialists have their own version of ‘cli-fi’

    When NPR produced a short radio segment on April 20, 2013, a new buzzword was was born and the English-speaking media took notice. Everywhere you look via Google searches, from the New York Times to the Guardian, with dispatches from Reuters and the Associated Press also chiming in, the cli-fi term that NPR reported has found a niche among headline writers and literary critics.

    But the cli-fi meme didn’t really begin in 2013, although that’s when the mainstream media first took notice via NPR and subsequent follow-ups in the New York, the Guardian, and The Washington Post.

    One must go back to March of 2009, when a rightwing blogger and climate skeptic going by the pen name of Paco, first posted a scathing, sarcastic look at what he deemed as “cli-fi” — the climate fiction of people like Al Gore and James Hansen.

    Paco (a pen name) of Paco Enterprises, who by himself coined his iteration of the ‘cli-fi’ term on his blog as a humorous and gently mocking term to describe the books and essays and documentaries of climate activists such as Al Gore and James Hansen, does not hate climate activists or scientists who say they believe in global warming. He just find them good and ripe fodder for satire and sarcasm.

    For Paco, cli-fi means ”climate fiction” and by ”climate fiction” he means to say that the facts and figures and charts and arguments in Gore’s work and Hansen’s work are pure ”fiction” and not ”scientific” at all.

    http://pacoenterprises.blogspot.tw/2011/08/one-would-have-thought-it-impossible.html

    Just as sci-fi is a term that Paco understands to mean “science fiction” movies and novels about space travel and gigantic squids wrestling on the Moon, he has turned his coinage of cli-fi into a mocking term to tear into the science-based work of Gore and Hansen and mock their work as mere fiction about climate, since as Paco maintains, global warming is a hoax and pure hogwash.

    So from March of 2009 to sometime in 2011, for three years, Paco blogged about cli-fi as a mocking term, even posting a photoshopped photo of Al Gore and calling him ”Cli-Fi Man.” Paco created such phrases as “The Church of Cli-fi” and “Cli-Fi Thuggery.” And each time he posted a blog about these terms, his fellow denialists posted comments applauding the way he was mocking climate activists like Gore and Hansen.

    Paco’s blog fell silent on the key word of ”cli-fi” in 2012 and he has not posted anything new using the cli-fi term since then.

    But if you follow his blog in the coming weeks and months, especially as the Paris climate talks are set to begin in late November, I am sure Paco will do some more “cli-fi” posts soon. In fact, in a recent email to me, after I spent years trying to find and contact him, he sent me a very nice “nice to meet you” letter and he noted that will very likely be posting more about his version of “cli-fi” soon. Stay tuned.

  48. Question to all politically sussed Americans :

    What are the chances of Obarmy’s scheme actually happening ?

    • IMO there’s a good chance something similar, but with a few key changes, will be implemented by Congressional action.

    • It most likely depends on who wins the 2016 election. If Billary, or one of the thin skinned RHINOs, then it has a better chance of surviving in some form. If a republican with a bit of sense and a smidgeon of courage, then it will be likely be abandoned.

    • The largest impacts are natgas and phase out of already obsolete coal plants, so pretty good. Since the EPA gave fracking a clean bill of health as far as water quality goes.

      So warm and fuzzy states can install wind and solar if they like and other states can install natgas.

      I didn’t read the entire document, do appreciate the extra nap time, but since 2005 was picked for the baseline year, nuclear uprates and efficiency improvements plus a hand full of new nuke plants should out perform the “sustainable” part of the plan. So the Obummerians will take credit for a lot of stuff they opposed initially.

      Since Germany has increased coal power using the “option” of carbon capture, the US coal industry could take the same approach should natgas prices increase. With low natgas prices though, Nuclear, Coal and “Sustainables” will all have a hard time doing anything major.

      In any case, thanks to the natgas boom and a third of “global” nuclear, the US is in pretty good shape in spite of politics.

    • It will likely be shot down by SCOTUS based on Tribe’s reasoning. A number of states were preparing to sue. There are three independent grounds for finding it unconstitutional. 5th amendment, 10th amendment, and separation of powers (congress never intended CCA 111(d) to confer this regulatory authority to EPA). The last is best, because EPA is using a novel statutory construction in contravention of previous SCOTUS rulings.

      • ristvan
        thanks for the links to Tribe. But SCOTUS does not shoot down progressive agenda items no matter what the clear language says. They change the language on the fly to what they think it should have said if it had been said like they think it should be. If that makes sense.

        Tribe is interesting. He reasons and uses the law but we are in an Alice in Wonderland arena. Words mean what SCOTUS wants them to mean.
        Scott

    • The largest impacts are natgas…

      Why natgas ?

  49. Life thrives when the planet is warmer, and thrives when the climate is warming. Furthermore, the planet is in a cold-house phase – and well below its normal temperature of the past 0.5 billion years. Those who believe in catastrophic human caused global warming haven’t made a persuasive case that GHG emissions are more likely to do more harm than good. There is no persuasive case to implement policies that will raise the cost of energy.

    • It always comes down to the precautionary stuff. The only counter to this is opportunity costs (and some other weaker ones), by which time your playing defence and losing the argument.

  50. Tend to forget about the rest of the sources of emissions.
    Electricity may be the largest single category, but it’s still less than half of total.
    Heating,cooking,industrial, and transportation go in total:

    • Beta Blocker

      Turbulent Eddie: We tend to forget about the rest of the sources of emissions. Electricity may be the largest single category, but it’s still less than half of the total. Heating,cooking,industrial, and transportation go into the total:
      .

      .

      President Obama’s stated 2025, 2030, and 2050 emission reduction targets as applied to the above graph of United States CO2 emissions would produce these approximate numbers:

      2005 Baseline….: 6.0 G-tne (2005 Emission Baseline)
      2013 Emissions..: 5.5 G-tne (2013 Emission Figure)
      28% by 2025……: 4.3 G-tne (1.2 reduction from 2013)
      32% by 2030……: 4.1 G-tne (1.4 reduction from 2013)
      80% by 2050……: 1.3 G-tne (4.2 reduction from 2013)

      One estimate from recent Congressional testimony is that the Clean Power Plan falls roughly 40% short in achieving President Obama’s 2025 target for US carbon emission reductions.

      That additional carbon has to come out of the 3.2 billion tonnes of 2013 C02 emissions which come from sources not associated with the production of electricity — transportation, chemical processing, etc.

      We can play as many games as we might like to with alternative CO2 reduction strategies and alternative scenarios for the future mix of carbon and non-carbon energy resources.

      But what it comes down to is that President Obama’s targets cannot be achieved without very significant and painful energy conservation measures.

      The most effective and economically efficient way to enforce those energy conservation measures would be for the US Government to put a stiff price on carbon and to take actions which directly constrain the supply and availability of all carbon fuels.

      If the overriding objective is to achieve President Obama’s emission reduction targets, regardless of any other considerations, it isn’t going to happen any other way.

  51. David Wojick

    Regarding the so-called revenue neutral carbon tax discussed at length above, I have never understood the concept. If you increase the price of, say, my fuel, then rebate that amount back to me by adjusting my other taxes, I have no reason to use less fuel. Raising the price does not decrease usage if the increase is rebated back to the purchaser. If it is not rebated back to me then it is a real tax increase, so not neutral.

    • One question to ask when considering taxes to dissuade a behaviour is,
      ‘what if it works?’

      If the thing you’re taxing stops being used entirely,
      the taxes drop to zero and you have to find something else to tax.

      Of course, Europe taxes the be-jeezus out of oil but still has internal combustion engines. CO2 might be the same.

      Whatever happens, people and businesses respond to taxes ( this is rational behaviour ). Doing so might mean much greater drives for efficiency – more machines and fewer human employees? Or, further off-shoring of energy intensive industry.

    • You miss the point. you pay the higher taxes but the rebate is spread out among the people who did not pay the taxes. This is rob the people who work and pay their way and give it to the people who do not work, but who do elect the people who give them our tax money.

    • It’s called budgeting. Within one’s income one reallocates purchases to maximize value.

      • eli: What they are trying to say, but don’t know it or understand it, is that a carbon tax is a regressive tax. Even the weasel will admit this.

        Also, whenever some says “revenue neutral” most people know that’s a lie, like the claim that all that lottery money will pay for Cadillac public schools.

        With taxes, Mosher’s theory of you gotta have a better theory is wrong. If you want to put forward a new tax, the first rule is not to call it a tax. The second rule is to have a cut-out collect it. The third rule is to have no publicly available printed or electronic record of it’s collection.

      • Horst,

        “The second rule is to have a cut-out collect it.”

        Please explain.

        ” The third rule is to have no publicly available printed or electronic record of it’s collection.”

        ACA:

        Obama: “It is not a tax”
        Supreme Court: “It is a tax”
        Obama: “ok. I’ll take it.”

      • By a cut-out, I mean a third party, like an increase in corporate tax (but call it a fee) that is then passed to customers via increased prices

      • “With taxes, Mosher’s theory of you gotta have a better theory is wrong.”

        you dont HAVE to have a better theory.
        If you want to be taken seriously, you better have one.

      • Danny Thomas

        Bloodletting works great for treating pneumonia, Steven.

        “Louis’ first study of the topic was of the use of bloodletting in pneumonia, selecting 77 patients with a very similar form of pneumonia. After determining the timing of onset, duration and frequency of death rates of the disease, Louis then analyzed the timing of the bloodletting as either early (1–4 days since the start of the illness) or late (5–9 days). Based on these patients, Louis found that those who were bled early recovered earlier than those bled late, but also died at greater rates. Based on his findings, Louis concluded bloodletting was only a valid use in the late stages of disease. The ultimate impact of Louis’ studies on the practice of medicine is hard to evaluate, as the practice of bloodletting was already beginning to decline when he published his results.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Charles_Alexandre_Louis

        (I see no alternative theory offered, yet I suggest that he was taken quite seriously)

      • Wayback Wednesday?

        “Perhaps the blank-check aspect of the Clean Air Act cannot be avoided. The law will mandate what experts agree are sensible goals, and incorporate efficient ways of achieving those goals; the cost will follow. But Congress, the Administration and environmentalists should come clean and point out who will ultimately cough up the money. Twenty-two billion dollars to $100 billion would buy a lot of research on breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. That’s a significant trade-off – one that ought to be considered since the direct cost could be $90 to $450 a person a year.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/06/opinion/who-pays-for-the-clean-air-act.html

      • you dont HAVE to have a better theory.
        If you want to be taken seriously, you better have one.

        Theory about what?

      • I had a better theory of taxes. Eliminate the corporate income tax. But the politicians and/or voters are sticking to their theory and the tax remains. So best theory we have is, the continuation of the corporate tax. I’ll predict that until a sea change in congress occurs, my theory will not be the best theory we have. The ones seemingly most qualified to have a theory, Economists may agree with my theory (WAG 33%-67%), but they are not listened to. They get treated like climate skeptics.

      • @HG: By a cut-out, I mean a third party, like an increase in corporate tax (but call it a fee) that is then passed to customers via increased prices

        Such a corporation cannot increase prices and remain competitive if their competition has avoided that corporate tax/fee by doing things differently.

      • Steven Mosher

        danny

        a medical practice is not a theory.

        you know seriously guys this is not that hard.

        Choose

        A) a skeptic with no alternative theory
        B) a skeptic with an alternative theory
        C) a skeptic with a better alternative theory.

        Choose.

        Now given a free choice you would all choose C. ask yourself why.
        instead you choose A and argue that this is all you have to do.

        Ask your self why skeptics get so excited when somebody ( say Willis or David Evans ) comes of with an alternative “concept” . They are really theories… kind of a theory fetus.. Skeptics get really excited when
        somebody looks like they are coming close to doing B. why is that?
        Its because you tacitly know that the job of science is explanation.
        you know that criticism is not enough. its only the beginning.

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        “a medical practice is not a theory”. Know that questions are not your favorite, but what then is a “medical practice” especially one in the more immature state of the science of the 1800’s?

        And a follow up, what are of study would you then consider “theoretical” so when I go looking for an example (cause I think you’re wrong on this one Mr. Mosher) I’ll know where to limit my search.

      • ““a medical practice is not a theory”. Know that questions are not your favorite, but what then is a “medical practice” especially one in the more immature state of the science of the 1800’s”

        a medical practice is exactly what the words mean. it is a behavior
        that doctors or other perform. A THEORY is a collection of statements
        in math and logic that quantify over entities and that are used to understand the past and predict the future. A PRACTICE is a behavior.
        A Theory is a collection of statements.

        And a follow up, what are of study would you then consider “theoretical” so when I go looking for an example (cause I think you’re wrong on this one Mr. Mosher) I’ll know where to limit my search.

        remember what you are looking for.

        A) A person who ONLY and ALWAYS criticized theories and
        never offerred his own.
        B) he must be notable, central, recognized, powerful.. Not
        marginalized.

        Think of it this way. If I asked for the opposite you’d have no problem.
        The FACT that you have to ask for help tells you that you are wrong.

        It is easy.

        Do you want to be a guy with no replacement theory or one with a replacement theory? Answer OF COURSE you want a replacement theory. Just tell the truth and stop struggling to find a counter argument.

      • Here is relevant quote from Karl Popper (Realism and the aim of science):
        “But although critical reasons can never justify a theory, they can be used to defend (but not to justify) our preferences for it: that is, our deciding to use, rather than some, or all, of the other theories so far proposed. Such critical reasons do not of course prove that our preferences is more than conjectural:
        we ought to give up our preference

        should new critical reasons speak against it, or

        should a promising new theory be proposed, demanding a renewal of the critical discussion.”

        I would say that both are already present.

    • This isn’t rocket science. “Revenue neutral” does not mean everybody gets the same amount back as they put in. It means that on average people get the same amount as they pay in. However, those who have a higher carbon footprint than average will pay more in taxes than they get back in rebates while those who have a lower carbon footprint than average will pay less in taxes than they get back in rebates. This incentivizes people to reduce their carbon footprint. I’m really not sure what part of this is so complicated!

    • David Wojick … neutral carbon tax … I have never understood the concept.

      Yes you end up with the same spending power, but the relative price of carbon vs all-other goods has changed, and can thus be expected tp change your mix of choices.

      By how much is another whole question.

  52. On President Obama’s Clean Power Plan of August 3rd 2015.

    The basic premise of this plan is irrational. The “clean power” in its title is an oxymoron. This nefarious plan is also built on lies that are in need of being exposed. I will handle some of these and then topple the entire pseudo-scientific edifice.

    [1] Blaming the doubling of the incidence of asthma within the last 30 years on climate change is a complete lie. That is because from 1979 to 1997 there was no warming whatsoever. This takes off half of the thirty year period of asthma creation. Those years were hiatus years when no warming took place. IPCC with whom Obama is in bed today shows a fake warming in these years they call “late twentieth century warming” which does not exist. That is a scientific fraud they need to support in order to get a fictional warming that caused asthma rates to double. They must be made to pay for this scurrilous lie. There was a real warming in 1998 and also from 2001 to 2015, at most 15 years, nothing like 30 they claim. I demand that the administration publicly take back the allegation of asthma caused by global warming and punish the originators of this fantasy.

    [2] Here is another claim: “…Extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the West to record heat waves – and sea level rise are hitting communities across the country. In fact, 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the first 15 years of this century and last year was the warmest year ever.These droughts, wildfires and heat waves have happened and still do happan as part of normal weather events and do not qualify as caused by global warming. That threat of sea level rise is bogus and satellite measures of sea level rise are in low millimeter ramge, not 5 or 9 meters as their favorite pseudo-scientist, James Hansen, predicted for us on July 26th. A twenty fold acceleration of sea level rise is needed for his imaginary future sea level rise to happen, and I can personally guarantee that it wont happen. It is quite true of course that the first 15 years if the century are the wearmest ever. But 2014 was nt the warmest -1998 was. Unfortunately his climate asvisers have no idea what the climate is actually doing. James Hansen was first to notice 21st century warming and quickly claimed it for carbon dioxide greenhouse effect. He was wrong of course. If you don’t know whast you are talking about you are not entitled to the automatic assumption that the warming is hunan-caused like he did. The true story of global temperature since 1979, the beginning of the satellite era, is as follows. First, there were El Ninos present which are never caused by greenhouse warming and can be ignored. Second, there was no steady warming at all from 1979 to 1997 because all that time was taken up by a hiatus I referred to above. Third, the only steady warming since 1979 was a short step warming that started in 1999, in three years raised 21st centurt temperatures up by one third of a degree Celsius, and then stopped. Physics tells us that it is entirely impossdible for greenhouse warming to start up without addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and we know from the Keeling curve that this did not happen. It is even more impossible to stop greenhouse warming because this requires that all carbon dioxide molecules must be removed from the air. Hence, the warming observed is real but certainly not part of any greenhouse warming and cannot be blamed on humans. The public must be told about that.
    [3] “The Clean Power Plan establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants.” That is a bald-faced lie perpetrated upon the American people. You ought to fire the guy(s) who dreamed up this farie tale. He is not stupid but simply vicious viper in your nest. But first, learn proper English. Carbon dioxide is not a “pollutant” but a normal component of the atmosphere. It is our food because plants use it to produce the food we eat. And last but not least, carbon dioxide does not cause any global warming. It is incapable of producing greenhouse warming when added to the atmosphere. How so if Arrhenius proved it in 1896? His “proof” was observation that carbon dioxide gas in the laboratory absorbed infrared radiation and thereby became warm From that he jumped to the conclusion that atmospheric carbon dioxide must do the same. He calculated its warming power in the atmosphere to be about 5 degrees Celsius. That is known as sensitivity today and indicates how much warming you get when you double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Five degree sensitivity turnedf out to be too high and expectations by now have been scaled down to 1 degree Celsius. Even this is too much according to Hungarian scientist Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi. He has been concerned with the fact that the atmosphere is not pure carbon dioxide but a misture of greenhouse gases and others. MGT, his greenhouse theory, differs fom Arrhenius in being able to handle more than one greenhouse gas at the same time. According to MGT, carbon dioxide and water vapor, both greenhouse gases, establish a joint optimal absorption window in the infrared whose optical thickness is 1.87. This value is obtained from radiosonde measurements. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb, just as Arrhenius says. But this will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as this happens water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, the original optical thickness is restored, and no Arrhenius warming takes place. That being the case, no amount of doubling CO2 can increase the temperature which makes the true sensitivity simply zero. Thus, addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not cause any warming. This means that greenhouse warming is impossible. And with it dies AGW, an artificial cinstuct used to justify the existence of IPCC. Releae of carbon dioxide into the atmoshere clearly does not warm the world and all measures instituted for emission control of such imaginary anthropogenic warming are worthless. The movement to create legal and regulatory barriers to anthropogenic global warmic is irrational and harmful to our economy and health. The task ahead is to identify and dismantle all such irrational laws and regulations. The harm done to individuals and organizations by these wrongly conceived control measures must be cmpensated for. There are laws according to which individuasls who identify wrongly conceived governmental actions are entitled to a share of the money saved by stopping such operations. These should apply to those individuals who idemtify wrongly conceived governmental climate control actions whose cessation will save the government and the public large sums of money. Arno Arrak.

  53. The wrote: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the first 15 years of this century

    We just came out of the Little Ice Age. We are supposed to be warm now, just like this same phase of the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods. It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it. Temperature is still well inside the same bounds it has been inside for ten thousand years.

    CO2 just makes green things grow better with less water.

    • Plus some keep changing the temperatures of the past. Those pesky observers could not read thermometers.

      Same for ocean SSTs. Much better now with canvas buckets and wood buckets for SST temps in mark 11 manual readers to .01 degrees. Argo and buoy thermocouples are so much more inaccurate the glass thermometers dipped in buckets.
      Scott

  54. Judith Curry
    Have you considered to enable threaded (nested) comments up to more than 3 levels deep? I think It is a huzzle to keep track of the arguments.

    • Science or Fiction:

      I see via your own blog that you appear to be fairly new to the blogging scene – and particularly to this blog. A courteous and conscientious newcomer – pseudonymous or not – to a blog would take the time to explore the archives prior to attempting to instruct the blog-owner on such matters.

      Your preferences aside, perhaps it has not occurred to you that your “suggestions” may well have been tried – and abused – in the past. Hence the current structure.

  55. Increases in asthma are caused by increased use of tylenol to control fevers in children.

    • There is that correlation.

      It would seem that if PM2.5 were there primary culprit that there should be a significant reduction in asthma cases in NYC since 1973. If smoking (second hand smoke) is the “cause” NYC should also be showing another significant reduction. Unfortunately, linear no threshold modeling fans tend to avoid such studies.

      • There have been since the mid 60s, but it is picking up again as particulates and ozone increase. Having been a young bunny in NYC during the 50s and 60s, Eli noticed the largest change when people stopped heating with coal. It was simply amazing to see the change in color of buildings as the black coal dust was scrubbed off.

      • Eli, “There have been since the mid 60s, but it is picking up again as particulates and ozone increase.”

        The Bronx is considered an asthma “hot spot”. Coal fired power generation in NY decreased by more than half since 2005 while asthma trended upwards. Also declining are manufacturing and waste incineration. Truck traffic which increases with container shipments among other things, is one of the primary particulate and ozone sources.

        Nationwide thanks to threats of regulation and natgas, coal fired power production hasn’t increased, but asthma cases have increased, so which source of particulates and ozone is the villain?

        As you noted though in China, just like 50s New York, residential coal use is a major problem. The Chinese are lagging the West by about 50 years in air pollution regulation with a considerably larger population. Some areas even use coal with fairly high arsenic content as a special ingredient in the local bar-b-que. That should make China a pretty fair coal related health barometer. China has about the same nationwide asthma rates and there is not much difference in “hot spot” rates.

        So basically your little big apple reminiscing is about as “scientific” as your polar bear expertise.

      • Oh and a btw, Containers are often shipped by rail for long haul and delivered locally by semi tractor and moved around at the yard by POS yard goats.

        “The Port of LA processes almost eight million containers each year, which requires the goaty services of 16,000 diesel trucks. These trucks use industrial engines, which aren’t subject to the same emissions regulations as the tame automotive diesel engine that powers your VW Golf. The pollution they generate is a serious problem, both locally and regionally. The drivers spend a lot of time idling, and getting in and out of the trucks to deal with paperwork, which means they are exposed to lots of acrid engine fumes. The twin Ports are a major source of air pollution – by some estimates, they are responsible for 40% of Southern California’s air quality problems. There’s a plan in the works to double the capacity of the nearby rail yard, which would mean some 32,000 trucks fouling the fair air of the Golden State.”

        https://chargedevs.com/features/find-your-ninche-balqon-corporation-targets-short-haul-drayage-tractors/

        One of those regulatory loop holes doncha know.

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  59. Mosher running around perpetually asking for an alternative theory just means he’s not really interested in an alternative theory… past, present or future. Imagine a vacuum cleaner salesman asking for a demonstration head to head with competitor models. Do you think for a second he’s going to say his competitors are better? He wont sell many vacuum cleaners if he does that.

    Andrew

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  61. Rejecting my login,

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