Week in review – energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Indonesian pledge suggests no increase in emissions to 2030 [link]

Challenges to China’s plans for cap and trade [link]

China visit underlines climate change’s dodgy value [link]

Pope Francis: why Congress needs to act on climate change/environmental issues [link]

Is the pope changing minds on change? Not yet, says survey. [link]

Michael Kelly: The forthcoming Paris meeting on climate change will be setting out to build a modern Tower of Babel [link

President Obama in Rolling Stone interview: “We will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair.” [link]

Lomborg:”Both for the entire world & amongst the worst-off, climate comes 16th out of 16, after 15 other priorities” [link]

Nordhaus on the Pope & the Market [link]

Emissions from melting permafrost could cost extra $43 trillion by the end of next century: [link]

No climate change impact on insurance biz: Warren Buffett [link]

Farmer’s court case obliges Pakistan govt to act on change [link

“At L.A. summit, (maybe Democratic presidential candidate) Biden says it’s time to ‘end debate’ on climate change” [link]

Can new climate finance numbers clear the fog around US $100 billion goal for UN commitment? [link]


I entirely agree diesel pollution in cities is a problem. Brought on by CO2 panic.

Which other cars fail to meet pollution safety limits?

Who caught VW cheating diesel emission standards? EPA? State regulators? Nope, an NGO and academic scientists. [link]

Demonizing diesel [link]


A cleaner, greener way to store solar and wind energy [link]

Renewable electricity overtakes coal for first time in UK 

Claim: Tesla competitor can drive 373 miles on 1 charge

Colorado Supreme Court to Make Historic Ruling on Bans

The German coal conundrum [link]

New at Ensia: Solar power is booming in India. Will it reach the people who need it most? [link]

How will this sleek new power plant affect future action? Q&A on carbon lock-in 

World Survey: People can’t imagine life without cars. Also think automakers doing a good job cutting emissions


We’ve Missed the Entire Point About GMO Food — A Farmer Explains Farmer perspective on GMO crops. [link] …

Reinventing plastic for the circular economy [link]  …

125 responses to “Week in review – energy and policy edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – energy and policy edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Obama: [If we don’t do something about climate change now,] “We will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair.”

    If Obama has his way, we will condemn our children to a world they can’t afford to live in.

  3. The pope is not high on my list of people to listen to for science advice. Then again, not many scientists are either in this intellectually-corrupt scientific/political environment.

  4. Amazingly the same people who decry Bergoglio’s war on abortion, war on contraception, war on divorce, war on family lives for the clergy, war on homosexuality, war on altar-boys etc think that his wars on capitalism and carbon are the stuff of genius.

  5. Here’s something that caught my eye this week:


    Mr. President, I accuse your administration of violating the laws of thermodynamics in favor of steering subsidies to those who have been political contributors, or wield political or economic power. Mr. President, the Pope is now visiting our great country and he has met with you and our Congress. Mr. President I do expect you will investigate what went on under you as it relates to Bloom Energy and Kior. Mr. President if Mr. Biden, Dr. Chu, Al Gore, John Doerr, Colin Powell, Collin O’Mara and others have caused harm to the environment and defrauded our population, I expect equal justice will be served.

    Bloom Energy is an amazing scandal and Lindsay Leveen has won an award for investigating it.

    • KIoR was and may still be an interesting way to turn biomass into liquid ttansportation fuels. Khosla has lost over a hundred million of his iwn fund money, and together with Gates threw another $100 million at it to try to fix the iptime and yield problems innthe first scale plant. The prototype worked well enough to apparently justify the investment.
      Bloom never made sense. The reliability and costnproblems of SOFC have been known since the early 1990s. Using perovsikes rather than platinum catalyst has been known since 1993. I possess a lab scale working perovskite SOFC. The cheapest and best waynto make electricity from natural gas is CCGT, which even has about the same thermal efficiency as high temp SOFC. I know several ‘smart’ Chicago private equity types who lost serious money on Bloom in the mezannine rounds. How they took in over a billion is reminiscent of Solyndra.

      • >Khosla has lost …

        Indeed, he lost the Martin’s Beach case. He’s a Bloomin a hole. I smelled a rat the first time I saw him pitch his miracle black box magic machine to some fawning news show (60 minutes?) “reporter”. The circus guy had it right – a sucker born every minute, even faster now.

        Californians don’t like egomaniacal billionaires trying to bogard the beach. Access, it’s the law.

        Khahuna Khosla loses Martin’s Beach case:


  6. Regarding the absurd $100 billion a year climate fund pledge, it looks like Obama may not get the first $0.5 billion from Congress, which could sink the Paris talks. One can only hope. See http://planetark.org/wen/73684
    The Republicans finally have a big lever.

  7. The ‘Etc’ article on GMO corn, soy, and canola points to the enabling use of the herbicide glyphosate. Decades of use indicate that it fairly safe (nontoxic) for animals,including humans. Itmis strongly aborbed by soil, so what is not absorbed by weeds is bound and imobile (little runoff, leaching…). It is decomposed by soil microbes. The estimated soil half is about 1.5 months (depends on soil conditions). The big negative has been overuse of glyphosate and the resistant GMOs. Has enabled emergence of resistant weeds, some of which are real nasties. About 10 millions US acres are now infested. Means no till has to be abandoned for plowing, and expensive spot applivation of much more environmentally harmful and more toxic herbicides.

    • What about glyphosine and 2,4-D now that Dow has approval?

      • 2-4 D is an older, more harmful herbide. But it and 2-4D proof GMO will be used where glyphosate rsistance has emerged from overuse. What the farmers in my nexk ofmthe woods wantnto know is whether rotation between the three herbicides can long term prevent resistance. Cause no till is really better for the soil and its organisms.maybe only plow once every 3-5 years. We only chisel plow and harrow when rotating from corn/soy to alphalfa for that reason.

    • More importantly, while the author of that article says he is a farmer – he fails to mention that he is a big *organic* farmer. Or in other words, the FUD he spreads in the article directly benefits his primary business.
      From ForrestPritchard.com:
      “On harvest day, when five tractor-trailer loads of grain reaped a meager paycheck of $18.16, he realized his family’s farm must radically change course. The following season, he devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

      Twenty years later, his farm Smith Meadows is one of the oldest “grass finished” farms in the country, and sells at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC.”
      What’s really sad is if in fact the economic argument was valid, then the need for such scaremongering would go away. In reality, what Mr. Pritchard appears to have done is re-orient his farm’s output from feeding the masses (of animals likely) to the 1%. Nice work, but hardly one which should be spread throughout society.

    • bedeverethewise

      Reading the comments under that GMO article is rich. Full of bizarre conspiracy theories and anti-science rhetoric. Would be fertile ground for someone researching conspiracy theories and anti-science belief systems, for real this time.

  8. Emissions from melting permafrost could cost extra $43 trillion by the end of next century

    It is simply mind-boggling that economic projections across two centuries are taken seriously by anyone, let alone published in serious journals.

    • EPA is basing the Clean Power Plan regulations on the so-called social cost of carbon calculations, which go out 300 years for their projections of the economic damage from today’s emissions. Absurd indeed. Government out of control.

      • A post on the social cost of carbon is coming soon, I have some good stuff :)

      • The social benefit of carbon is clear; greening, warming, and enriching.

      • You neglect to include the costs of using phased photonic space weapons against the Free Carbon rebels in 2238 AD, which turned into a big political and economic scandal in 2243 that tanked the hover-house market. Trillions in assets had to be written off, which rippled into the Orbcomm collapse of 2247, which is how a pair of Jamaican transvestites ended up buying the entire global Interweb infrastructure for only fifteen dollars in 2252 AD.

        If only someone had gone back and read the detailed projections written in 2015, it all could have been easily prevented.

      • I want to read the whole novel, George.

  9. “What Exxon know about global warming, and when they knew it”

    Its super ironic.

    in 1977 Exxon does some science. They conclude c02 will warm the planet

    Clearly industry funded research is bogus

    Next, they conclude that we have 5-10 years to act.


  10. Climate policy is partly to blame for hackable cars. The more lines of code, the higher the chance of a vulnerability.

    Hidden in Code

    Software has made cars better. In fact, without software innovations, automakers could not meet tightening emissions standards in the United States, said Mr. Gerdes, the Stanford professor.

    When a new car is stopped at a light, or in gridlock, for example, its engine might rev without prompting from the driver. That might feel like unintended acceleration to the driver, but inside what Mr. Gerdes called “the chemical plant” in your car, tightly controlled reactions are taking place. The internal emissions system has realized that the catalyst is getting cool, and if it gets cool, it won’t be as effective at reducing emissions. So the brains of the car command the engine to rev, creating hotter exhaust that keeps the catalyst warm.


  11. “Demonizing diesel”

    I am no fan of diesel for passenger car use. I also have little sympathy for VW as it seems that it made a systematic effort to circumvent the regulations which its competitors were laboring to meet.

    Be that as it may, we are rapidly entering an era when anyone may be demonized at any moment, at the whim of regulators, NGOs and a complicit activist press. Almost every facet of your life is subject to regulations which are obscure, often conflicting and enforceable at the whim of unelected and unimpeachable bureaucrats. Meanwhile, a few weeks of coordinated effort by an activist press can destroy decades of hard-earned goodwill, no valid scientific or engineering basis required.

    Do not think that you are immune just because you or your industry is not in the cross hairs today… it could always happen tomorrow.

  12. President Obama may leave us a Mid East power vacuum FUBAR
    I’m almost positive Gaia can take care of herself
    just my opinion

  13. Speaking of the blind leading the blind … errrr … I mean science-based policy, from the article:

    The quality of baked goods and processed foods is slated to take a hit over the next few years, since the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that trans fats will be phased out of the foods we enjoy. But a new study has exposed the trans fat worry as junk science-based.

    Trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that are solid at room temperature. Some are natural and some are manmade. They have been long been a key ingredient in products like margarine, doughnuts, microwave popcorn, cookies, coffee creamers, ready-to-use frostings and much more. Trans fats help make products creamy and have a much longer shelf-life than their alternative, lard.

    Where did the trans fats scare come from? As it became obvious in the 1990s that the health scare over dietary saturated (animal) fats was entirely bogus, a couple of Harvard researchers decided to shift the scare over saturated fats to trans fats.

    Walter Willett and Albert Ascherio thus began a crusade to demagogue trans fats. They published a number of studies and then published reviews of their own studies condemning trans fats as a cause of heart disease. The studies were readily embraced without question by the food nanny establishment, which never misses a chance to scare us about the food we eat.


  14. Regarding VW…

    Modern diesel emissions are pretty close to zero, when the emission control systems are functioning correctly. You will not see smoke or soot from a post 2010 truck, bus, or car. NOx control is effective, and the vehicles all have some form of On Board Diagnostics.

    What VW has admitted to doing is using “cycle sensing” to detect the well-determined patterns of the emissions test, then applying a different set of emission control parameters during that cycle. Simply having “two sets of books” for on and off cycle operation is a huge violation of both the spirit and the letter of the regulation. This is exactly what the heavy truck manufacturers were accused of…and admitted…in the late 1990’s.

    In addition, it appears that VW is also is in extreme breach of any reasonable set of business ethical principles, at the core of which is the injunction to do business within the law at all times. It is profoundly disappointing to see Volkwagen AG in the dock for such egregious offenses, and it implies a level of arrogance that I would not have thought possible in a professional management team.

    Whatever emerges from the global VW conglomerate will, at the end, look much different. It will be bloody, and deservedly so, in my view.

  15. So a junta pope who advanced his career while conservative Archbishop Romero lost his life to a right-wing junta, along with a community organiser POTUS who was one of the guys pressing for unsustainable loans before GFC, have opinions on how I should live now and what life will be like for later generations?

    Let’s start with no more junta popes or community organiser presidents.

  16. I strongly disagree with Nordhaus that the bureaucratically invented and imposed “market mechanisms” – like carbon pricing – are in fact real market solutions. And certainly not the least cost way to reduce global GHG emisisons.

    However, I do believe China is being very smart. they see the west has adopeted a new religion – the eco religion- it is swallowing us, and they are going to sell us all the goodies we think we need. Irt will also make cheap nuclear power and power the developing world. The USA is leading the dumb western world into economic oblivion.

    The best solution is explained in my last section “a better way” here: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

    • Peter Lang,

      “An example of what could be achieved would be if the USA (and IAEA) removed the impediments to nuclear power that are causing it to be far more expensive than it could and should be. This act alone could unleash innovation and global competition leading to cheaper, safer and more reliable electricity for the world.”

      You get a +1,000,000 as well.

      • This could trigger hyperinflation in pluses. You might need 10 million to buy a loaf of bread. Though both posts are deserving of support.

      • As a serf I ain’t got no patience with ‘will ter power’
        philosoffies, thinkin’ yr a god with a get outta jail
        pass or behavin’ badly because yr think there’s no
        god ter set limit. Set yer own limits and try, flawed
        human, ter live up ter them as best yr can Yer got
        choices, hey, yer can follow Socrates or Hegel ‘n

        H/t. Parable of the Good Samaritan and the
        Greek tragedians.

      • Peter Lang, Mosomoso, Faustino, Beth,

        Y’all confirm my ongoing affinity for things Australian. Not the least of which is telling us Americans where to get off.

        If I were a bit younger ( I’m 68 now) I would probably emigrate to the land of Oz. The wine, the beer, the food, the beaches……………

    • Ditto the pluses. It appears Germany’s Merkel and Obumbles are in a race to see who can deep 6 Western Civilization the quickest. At the moment, she’s ahead I believe.

      • The current Weekend Australian has a long article “Why the West wants to lose,” by John Carroll, professor emeritus of sociology at La Trobe University. It’s a condensed version of a recent Quadrant article. Well worth a read.


      • Faustino

        The Apathetics living in the Vortex beg to be released, by death, from their catatonia at the hands of the lusty barbarian. “Kill me! Kill me!”, they plead. He gladly complies. This was all foretold in Zardoz:


      • Devils dangle utopia, deliver dystopia, and kidnap the children. Besides neglecting the she camels pregnant with young.

        H/t A. C. Clarke, ‘Childhood’s End’.

      • Kim,

        Welcome back. There was a tear in the fabric of the universe, but it has been mended.

      • Faustino,

        Thanks for the Quadrant link, I almost read the whole thing. That Nietsche was a weird little dude. I think people envy the rich because they have a lot of money. They envy the powerful because they can mate with a lot of really hot, I mean, bilaterally symmetrical mates. The rich and powerful don’t sit home posting on blogs on a Saturday night. I envy the rich and powerful. Anyway, if you are gonna get all filosofical about it you might as well read “Straw Dogs” by John Gray. The biggest myth is that we are special and we aren’t animals. We aren’t and we are. That’s what they call the dualistickal nachur of humans. Should I hunt with that dude or club him and take his mate? Decisions, decisions …

      • Merkel is making Obama look an amateur. She has not thought all this through. I think her people are just realising the enormity of what she has unleashed.


      • Interesting article by Carroll although it feels a but like he is trying to pull himself up by his bootstraps explaining from a secular standpoint how secularism fails society.

        I think he misses a lot, such as Freud’s stated purpose was to undermine Western society.

        Germany accepts immigrants to its own demise quite simply due to the reeducation and theHolocaust industries guilt machine.
        Similarly America flounders due to the guilt pushed by the replacement of Jesus with Martin Luther King in the American psyche as the new patton saint if cultural guilt.
        The West has been systematically undermined and demoralized by those who set out ti do just that. Protestant nations have fared the worst as their religion was more easily hijacked into a massive guilt trip.

  17. Philip Tetlock’s book titled “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction” is of interest. Jason Zweig reviewed it in the 9/26 WSJ. Among other conclusions:
    “superforecasters,” have above-average—but rarely genius-level intelligence. Many are mathematicians, scientists or software engineers
    The most careful, curious, open-minded, persistent and self-critical—as measured by a battery of psychological tests—did the best
    “What you think is much less important than how you think,” superforecasters regard their views “as hypotheses to be tested, not treasures to be guarded.”
    Most experts—like most people—“are too quick to make up their minds and too slow to change them”
    experts are paid not just to be right, but to sound right: cocksure even when the evidence is sparse or ambiguous.

  18. A Caricature of Climate Change Characters:

    METHANE HYPER-ALARMIST – Arctic Methane death spiral/bomb adherents – “total human extinction in 2 decades flat”

    COLLAPSE HYPER-ALARMIST – Subscribe to most extreme scenarios of die-off from runaway warming, but also doubt renewables capable of maintaining industrial civilization based on net energy / EREOI analysis – no solution. Also believe in collapse from peak oil & financial collapse. Extreme pessimists – Heinberg, people around the Post-Carbon Institute…

    ALARMIST – destruction of human civilization and many species within decades to hundreds of years, maybe unlivable planet farther out with runaway warming. Most enviro NGOs, activists, and some activist scientists – Mann, Trenberth, Rahmstorf et al.

    IPCC REASONABLE / GUARDED ALARMIST – serious risk of massive economic consequences to society if global avg temps go over 2C; reliance on model projections as predictions, emphasizes positive over negative feedbacks, tightly involved in decarbonization and renewables policy making and advocacy.

    LUKEWARMER – Warming is real, CO2 is a GHG, humans are contributing to some of the current warming, how much exactly is debatable, and if it stays under 2C there will be more benefits than problems; grumbles about high cost of renewable energy. [Your name here?]

    SKEPTIC – Disputes the “catastrophic” projections, wide range of eclectic objections to different aspects of radiative forcing theory, models, the politicized process of UN/IPCC, fossil fuel friendly, capitalism is fine and good, socialists are evil, usually but not always Republican/right wing. [Your name here?]

    ULTRA-SKEPTIC – Disputes the consensus GHG radiative forcing model and the astrophysics 33K blackbody theory of GHGs; thinks the whole thing is a giant “watermelon” plot – green on the outside, red on the inside. TallblokeTalkshop, Principia Scientifica…

    GAIAN RADICALS – concerned about ever growing, criss-crossing human impacts on the planet, against the Growth Machine, but sees the anthro/industrial CO2 narrative as too simplistic/mechanistic; informed by a vision of nonlinear emergent self-regulating dynamics, power of negative / cooling feedbacks, maybe point to disruption of large scale biotic patterns as another possible source of weather and climate change (ie industrialism interfering in the biosphere’s ability to normally self-regulate). Makarieva/Gorshkov, maybe Dorion Sagan, possibly Peter Bunyard, … myself for sure.

    Just caricutures. I find myself wobbling across many of these from week to week…

    • Do you have a link for that?

    • This is a pretty good rough taxonomy, not a caricature.

    • These are fun and there’s merit in some of the testable postulates listed.

      However, the first step toward group think is choosing a group.

      To the extent possible it is best to remain a free-agent, willing to test and repeatedly re-test every assumption.

    • A completely self-serving taxonomy…exaggerating the views of many s/he disagrees with, and conveniently leaving out many questionable beliefs of those who s/he’s aligned with ideologically.

    • I found this: Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:

      Illusion of invulnerabilitybelief that models can predict future climate states.
      Collective rationalizationAdhering to aerosol theory to excuse model failings even though subsequent aerosol effects are analyzed to have been less and less. Adhering to Urban Heat Island to rationalize the belief that there is otherwise no global warming, even though satellite and sea surface measurements indicate warming.
      Belief in inherent moralityHoughton invoking Christian beliefs. Pope Francis appealing to authority.
      Stereotyped views of out-groupsAlarmists and Deniers
      Direct pressure on dissentersblogs? firing state climatologists? Congressional inquiries? Call out the deniers?
      Self-censorshipblogs of all perspectives, IPCC lack of reports on the benefits of CO2? lack of reports on the benefits of warming? lack of reports on the benefits of climate change?
      Illusion of unanimity97%?
      Self-appointed ‘mindguards’‘Real Climate’? ‘Rapid Response’ teams?

    • No surprise there, it is being legislated away. When natural gas runs out in the future, then what. Technology is available for “clean coal” by conversion into liquid fuels and syn gas, why is U.S. government not promoting them.

    • Goldman Sachs has been wrong before…e.g., the forecast for the BRICs economies… how many of those have taken off or are not now in trouble. Normally “peak something” refers to depletion of reserves in the ground. Goldman is talking about peak demand … because of government intervention and mainly in China. HOWEVER, China’s emissions from fossil fuels are around 80% from coal; and around 65% of PRIMARY ENERGY CONSUMPTION and ELECTRICITY GENERATION are presently from coal. Converting this over to, e.g., natural gas requires linking up with enormous natural gas supply sources and installing massive infrastructure development/changes. The only way China can begin to approach this stated goal is to install massive numbers of nuclear power plants. I think the current talking is political ping – pong diplomacy (a Kissingerism) talking with little chance of coming close. Has anyone seen an analysis of China’s future energy supply in terms of how much coal based power generation will switch over when and by what it would be replaced?

  19. The piece by Michael Kelly is so forceful and well written.

  20. So is the one I have been reading lately.


    Love what you read about and you will remember.

  21. Wasn’t there meant to be a link on the Schellenberger commentary on the Exxon story? Presumably this Twitter explosion: https://storify.com/MichaelBTI/the-exxon-climate-denial-myth

  22. Another ICN story on US oil companies and climate. Basically they are resisting calls even from their own shareholders to do something, especially Exxon. This is a completely different path to European oil companies.

    • stevenreincarnated

      It sounds to me like votes were cast. That would indicate the company is not resisting the will of the shareholders but enforcing it. No doubt the results were rigged and there was a 97% consensus to take action. We need to investigate!

    • JImD

      Not the Huffington Post again, a source which I give as much credence to as I do The Guardian who coincidentally share the same emoting reporter Kate Sheppard.


      • If I looked at Republican sites, I would probably see the criticism that the Pope is not a scientist (and presumably shouldn’t be listening to them either), or that he is a lefty with all this talk about the poor and vulnerable, and therefore shouldn’t be trusted on his concern for them which is just political. Meanwhile the Republicans get on with things important to them, like voting against proposed US money for poorer nations affected by climate change.

      • The poorer countries are affected by corrupt political environments and a lack of abundant, affordable, and reliable energy. If you want to help them, help them build infrastructure that will enable them to cook with electricity from coal instead of dung. Simply giving other governments money helps those in power, not the poor, and it makes blind ideological f00ls feel good about themselves while they actually cause more harm.

      • Yes, the money should be used for resilience, adaptation, clean energy, and all these require significant cooperation with the advanced countries, whether it is the US, UK, Germany, Japan, France or China.

      • Jim D,

        Can you name 5 countries negatively impacted today by climate change?

    • Poodle skirts make a comeback.


      When the time is right, Jim D. She will be up to buying you your own robot. Your ethical future is here already and you don’t even know it yet. It’s free to boot, what will go wrong do you guess?

    • The U.S.-China agreement is a practical one: if the world’s two biggest emitters can cut emissions, so can everyone else. And everyone else is trying. China’s announcement overshadowed the news that Indonesia and South Africa — two other major emerging emitters — also put forward climate targets this week, bringing the total number of countries that have done so to 72.

      Jim, I think this an important point that “skeptics” completely ignore. The climate change problem can only be solved on a global scale. And while any particular country’s contribution to the total reduced emissions may be small, if you add all the contributions, it becomes very significant. And the fact that both China and the US are starting to lead I think will be an important catalyst for more action.

      • They are upset about how small the effect of the CPP alone is through 2030, so it looks like they would like that this broader effort is more effective when taken together, and then they won’t argue about lack of effect any more (perhaps). It’s all about global agreements to gain an accumulative effect of many small policies. The US at less than 5% of the global population can’t do it all by itself. You have to consider what the other 95% is doing but now they have a common direction to go on emissions.

      • Burial insurance by the week has a long history. AGW should go that route.
        Everyone wants a nice funeral. It is very affordable from what I have heard.

      • If you add all the countries proposed contributions, and assume ECS=3C, it is very difficult to get the prevented warming by end of 21st century to be more than 0.3C (stay tuned, papers are being written on this topic). And this assumes that everyone is actually going to deliver on their promises (which is not what we saw with the Kyoto Protocol).

      • I don’t know about your analysis but these negotiations are not the final work emissions reduction. This is going to be a ongoing process.

      • Nothing less that the total collapse of the developed world will do, eh?

      • jim2 from now on I am going to ignore your drama queening, k?

      • As you wish.

      • You are confused, joey. Skeptics know that it would take a global effort. We also know it ain’t happening. You jokers have failed and all indications are that you will continue to fail.

      • JC is also concerned that it just isn’t enough yet. In fact, Obama has said as much in the Rolling Stone interview. These INDCs are insufficient, but they are a start. Even if everyone did what the US does, 80% by 2050, you still end up with more than 500 ppm in 2100, and it only stays below 2 C with a low-end sensitivity and not too much added effect from the other GHGs. He says after getting the agreement structure in place in Paris, it is just a matter of turning the dials. For those suggesting low-end sensitivities, the limits are actually easier, but still necessary.

      • As for JC’s 0.3 C, that depends heavily on the BAU assumption. If BAU gets us to 700 ppm, and the policy keeps us at 500 ppm, its effect is about 1.5 C using 3 C per doubling.

      • The calculations are made for temperatures at end of 21st century. This additional impact happens in 22nd, 23rd centuries.

      • The “climate problem” from the point of view of this “skeptic” consists of the usual headaches, namely flood, fire, cold, heat, drought, storms (1930s anyone?) with the chance of added big problems: Laki or Tambora scale vulcanism (due) or a Bond Event (due?) which makes much of the world cooler and drier. The usual stuff is always with us, the added stuff might hold off till it’s the problem of a less fetishistic and more pragmatic generation.

        For entertainment now, we have China’s expressions of concern and firm intentions to set a definite date for expressions of more concern and more firm intentions. They’ll toss the West a bone or two to keep the HuffPo and Guardian enthusing, maybe some sort of “price” on “carbon”. If the EU can keep the carbon price in the toilet imagine what some expert Chinese fakery can do.

        I’d still prefer adults in charge…but that’s just me.

      • 700 ppm gives you a 4 C warming, 500 ppm gives you a 2.5 C warming. Going the way we are with population growth and per capita CO2 growth due to development on top of it, 700 ppm is the path we are on unless the energy source is significantly altered.

      • Joseph, “Jim, I think this an important point that “skeptics” completely ignore. The climate change problem can only be solved on a global scale.” Many of us think (a) there’s no problem and (b) if there were, it would be best approached by continual strengthening of our economies rather than weakening them in pursuit of futile attempts to control an ever-changing climate. That will leave us best placed to face whatever future befalls, with or without renewed warming.

      • One possible confusion is that the reductions proposed by the INDCs are relative to emission rates earlier this century, and these are therefore only relative to flat emissions at those levels through the rest of the century, which is already far below BAU given the population and development pressures through 2100. Business as usual should not be taken to be the flat 2005 level of emission, for example. We should be comparing a drop with a rise, not with a flat emission rate.

      • The calculations that I have seen have been relative to RCP8.5 or RCP6

      • If that is the case, they are not projecting keeping it anywhere near 500 ppm in 2100 (which is 3 W/m2). I would like to see their numbers for CO2 amounts in 2100 because that implies a steady or growing emission rate instead of a reduction, which is not the policy. RCP2.5 was intended to be a policy example, and there is definitely a large difference between that and RCP8.5.

      • well, the climate commitments are for 2030, and the big ones (like U.S. 80% reduction) are for 2050. This is different from RCP2.5

      • RCP2.5 is basically the 450 ppm, 2 C. target. While the INDCs may not achieve this with 2030 commitments, with 80% reductions by the major emitters by 2050, that gets us to 500 ppm for 2100 even if 20% rates are allowed from then on. Using the 30% without the 80% rather misses the point of the 30% which is supposed to be a stepping stone, not a stopping point.

      • You mean the climate change problem fabricated through data manipulation, deception, a complicit media, and a gullible public? Or, are you actually thinking we can stop climate from doing something it has been doing for roughly 4.5 billion years?

      • The so called Ipcc scenarios are stationary,they neither capture policy initiatives for constraint or large emission reversals due to foreign policy initiatives.


      • What’s the money capture program looking like?

      • Always winners and losers in climate change, with winners predominating over losers in a warming change, and losers predominating over winners in a cooling change. One solution is to welcome warming and prepare for cooling, meanwhile addressing the misfortunes of the losers and not neglecting the she camels pregnant with young.

      • Joseph, you write that climate change is a global problem. Yet 5 countries will account for 60% of emissions in 2040. Is it a global problem or one that is specific to China, the U.S., Japan, Russia and India?

      • The only way to make meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions is to go nuclear, in a big way. The little lefty-loon greenies hollering about CAGW will throw themselves under the treads of the bulldozers to stop that. The left side of their little brains don’t know what the right side is doing.

        It’s amusing that the little fanatical secularist lefty-loons have recently pinned their hopes on the peripatetic preacher of populist peronista pap. The old slow talking dude with the big pointy hat and the gas guzzling entourage.

      • kim, I guess the winners for sea-level rises will be the ones who sell their coastal properties to some unaware dupes.

      • The Empress Naivety dismisses jim2 for being a lowly drama queen.

        Kinda like the pot calling the Ming vase black.

  23. Yet another Canadian is out to get sued by Michael Mann. I guess we just don’t know when to shut up. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/conrad-black-on-climate-alarmists-and-other-discarded-relics

  24. “Renewable electricity overtakes coal for first time in UK [link]”

    I don’t trust their renewable generation figures, and big deal, during cold winter nights with high air pressure over the UK and no wind or sunshine, it’s all about the gas and coal backup.

  25. 1984 much? From the article:

    Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a system that can predict the “psychological status” of users with smartphones and hope to private companies to bring the invention to the market.

    The technology appeared on a list of NIH inventions published in the Federal Register that are now available to be licensed by private companies. The government allows companies to license inventions resulting from federal research in order to expedite their arrival on the marketplace.

    The system uses smartphones to ask people how they are doing mentally during the day and based on the results can “deliver an automated intervention” if necessary.

    “The NIH inventors have developed a mobile health technology to monitor and predict a user’s psychological status and to deliver an automated intervention when needed,” according to the notice published Wednesday. “The technology uses smartphones to monitor the user’s location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day.”


  26. Another week, another meh! oil market.

    OIL 45.40
    BRENT 48.35
    NAT GAS 2.604
    RBOB GAS 1.3905

    Somewhat more exciting, from the article:

    On Wednesday, one trader bet more than $5 million that the US Oil Fund ETF (USO) would fall back to all-time lows. Specifically, the trader bought more than 80,000 November 13.5-strike put options for $0.65 each.


  27. bedeverethewise

    Well, that’s it we’ve finally done it, climate change has gotten so bad that the moon just went dark. A few hours ago it was a big full silver moon and now it’s gone dark. And we humans are to blame. We should have listened to the experts, this is worse than we thought, we should have listened!

    At this point, it’s every man (or woman) for himself (or herself). I’ll see you on the other side.

  28. Your sustainable energy quota?

    If Everyone Gets Electricity, Can the Planet Survive?
    The United Nations has set conflicting goals for 2030: combatting climate change while providing energy to all.

    Recognizing the development impact of electricity access, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has championed the idea of “modern energy access” for all, involving universal electricity and clean cooking fuels like natural gas. The IEA claims that the additional electricity consumed by the newly connected (alongside the gas used in clean cooking) would add just 0.7 percent to global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2030. In large part that’s because the organization suggests energy for all would add just 1.1 percent to global energy demand.

    That’s possible only because the proposed consumption levels are so low. Rich countries use a lot more electricity than poor ones: According to 2011 World Bank data, the United States consumes 13,240 kilowatt hours (kWh) per person per year, while Ethiopia consumes 56 kilowatt hours per person. The IEA suggests that 500 kWh a year for a newly connected urban household is sufficient, at least for now. This might be enough to operate a floor fan, a small refrigerator, a small TV, a couple of mobile phones, and two light bulbs. But a new large fridge in the United States can consume 500 kWh all by itself. A freezer could similarly bust the IEA household budget. And even in a comparatively chilly place like Vermont, central air conditioning for a household uses an estimated 1,125 kWh a year. Electric heating can add another 1,000-plus. Add in washing machines, fans, lighting, and a television, and usage increases further. And that’s just in the home. If developing countries are going to get richer, healthier, and more educated, schools, hospitals, factories, and offices need to be powered. According to World Bank data, no country in the world with an income per capita above $10,000 has electricity consumption below 3,880 kWh per person per year. That’s nearly eight times the IEA target for a whole household.
    If low- and middle-income countries were to reach an average electricity consumption of 3,880 kWh a year per person (and many are already above that level), global electricity production would have to climb 60 percent. Were they to get to one half of U.S. levels, electricity production would rise 130 percent.

  29. In one of my Open University modules relating to climate it makes the following points about “The politics of denial” why do deniers deny?
    1) business are against regulation that impedes economic efficiency.
    2) motivated by pure self interest.
    It goes on further to say “Denial of science is a political strategy”.

    I still trying to workout how offensive course material can get before one says enough is enough

  30. “By giving equal coverage to unequal views media reporting has misleadingly left readers with the impression that there is a genuine scientific debate on the causes of climate change. Somewhat ironically, therefore, the result of ‘balanced reporting’ is ‘biased reporting’.”

    Red rag to bull. Where have I put my blood pressure tablets?