Lomborg: Impact of Current Climate Proposals

by Judith Curry

Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. – Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg has a new paper out in the Global Policy journal, Impact of Current Climate Proposals:

Abstract:  This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C. All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.

Full text of the press release (see original for the figures):

Research Reveals Negligible Impact of Paris Climate Promises

A new peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg published in the Global Policy journal measures the actual impact of all significant climate promises made ahead of the Paris climate summit.

Governments have publicly outlined their post-2020 climate commitments in the build-up to the December’s meeting. These promises are known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).

Dr. Lomborg’s research reveals:

  • The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is miniscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
  • Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.
  • US climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F) by 2100.
  • EU climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.053°C (0.096°F) by 2100.
  • China climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
  • The rest of the world’s climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.036°C (0.064°F) by 2100.

What does this mean for the Paris Summit?

Dr. Lomborg said: “Paris is being sold as the summit where we can help ‘heal the planet’ and ‘save the world’. It is no such thing. If all nations keep all their promises, temperatures will be cut by just 0.05°C (0.09°F). Even if every government on the planet not only keeps every Paris promise, reduces all emissions by 2030, and shifts no emissions to other countries, but also keeps these emission reductions throughout the rest of the century, temperatures will be reduced by just 0.17°C (0.3°F) by the year 2100.

And let’s be clear, that is very optimistic. Consider the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, never ratified by the US, and eventually abandoned by Canada and Russia and Japan. After several renegotiations, the Kyoto Protocol had been weakened to the point that the hot air left from the collapse of the Soviet Union exceeded the entire promised reductions, leaving the treaty essentially toothless.

The only reason Kyoto goals were almost achieved was the global 2008 recession. Moreover, emissions were shifted from one country to another. The EU, the most climate-engaged bloc, saw an increase in its emission imports from China alone equaling its entire domestic CO₂ reductions. In total, 40% of all emissions were likely shifted away from the areas that made promises.

Negotiators in Paris are trying to tackle global warming in the same way that has failed for 30 years: by making promises that are individually expensive, will have little impact even in a hundred years and that many governments will try to shirk from.

This didn’t work in Kyoto, it didn’t work in Copenhagen, it hasn’t worked in the 18 other climate conferences or countless more international gatherings. The suggestion that it will make a large difference in Paris is wishful thinking.”

What should countries do instead?

Dr. Lomborg said: “Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.

The Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project gathered 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates, who found that the smartest, long-term climate policy is to invest in green R&D, to push down the price of green energy.

Subsidizing inefficient renewables is expensive and doesn’t work. The IEA estimates that we get 0.4% of our energy from wind and solar PV right now, and even in optimistic scenarios the fraction will only rise to 2.2% by 2040. Over the next 25 years, we’ll spend about $2.5 trillion in subsidies and reduce global warming temperatures by less than 0.02°C.

Copenhagen Consensus has consistently argued for a R&D-driven approach. Fortunately, more people are recognizing that this approach is cheaper and much more likely to succeed –including the Global Apollo Program which includes Sir David King, Lord Nicholas Stern, Lord Adair Turner and Lord John Browne.

You describe a 0.05°C reduction, but the UN Climate Chief, Christina Figueres, said Paris could lead to a 2.7°C rise instead of 4°C or 5°C. Why?

Christiana Figueres quote: “The INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the INDCs.”

Dr. Lomborg said: “That entirely misrepresents the world’s options. The 2.7°C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7°C.

That way of thinking is similar to telling the deeply indebted Greeks that just making the first repayment on their most pressing loans will put them on an easy pathway to becoming debt-free. It completely misses the point.

Figueres’ own organization estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO₂ in total. To limit rises to 2.7°C, about 3,000Gt CO₂ would need to be reduced – or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments (see figure below). That is not optimism; it is wishful thinking.

UNEP

The UNEP has just published its Emissions Gap Report.  Carbon Brief has an overview article Look beyond emissions gap to see full force of climate pledges, says UNEP report.  Excerpts:

Climate pledges submitted to the UN reduce the emissions gap between current action and what is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with social and political effects that reach far beyond their impact on aggregate emissions.

That’s the optimistic conclusion of the latest UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report, published this morning. Nevertheless, it confirms that the collective ambition of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is “far from enough”, leaving a “very significant” emissions gap in 2030.

Like last week’s report, UNEP concludes that the INDCs represent a real increase in ambition, compared to the policies in place before the pledges were made.

Some of the INDCs include both conditional and unconditional elements. However, even if fully implemented, the INDCs would leave emissions on an upwards trajectory in 2030, UNEP says.

A gap of 12-14 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent remains between emissions in 2030 and the cost-effective path to staying below 2C, it concludes. The 2C limit is the internationally agreed goal for avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

The chart illustrates why UNEP says current pledges are “far from enough”, leaving an emissions gap in 2030 that “will be very significant”. It says the INDCs, if fully implemented, would put the world on track for warming of around 3-3.5C by the end of the century.

Though this initially seems at odds with the 2.7C of warming by 2100 expected by the UNFCCC report, the difference comes down to how confident we can be in staying below those thresholds. Carbon Brief explored these differences in more depth last week.

So, there’s broad agreement — and, in fact, there has been for well over a year — that the aggregate impact of climate pledges in advance of Paris will fall short of securing the below-2C goal.

What’s interesting about the emissions gap report, however, is that UNEP seems keen to emphasise the indirect, positive impacts of the INDCs.

The reports says:

The social and political effects of the INDCs and the processes undertaken at national level transcend the aggregate effect they are estimated to have on total global greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030. The preparation of the INDCs has in many countries incentivized exploration of linkages between development and climate, as well as development of new national climate policies, and can be seen as an important step in a transition towards low carbon economies.

JC comment:  Wow, all this effort and spending for social and political effects. This brings to mind the Keystone pipeline affair in the U.S., and an insightful article in Vox What critics of Keystone campaign misunderstand about climate activism.  Excerpts:

Plenty of people of good faith, even those who share a concern over climate change, are skeptical of, or at least puzzled by, the Keystone campaign. They all have versions of the same question: why this? It doesn’t seem like that big a deal in terms of carbon emissions. So why so much angst and organizing, so much wearying persistence, over this?

Read the article, there are some insights into the politics of all this.

Carbon accounting

Carbon accounting, Gt of C and CO2, is not something that I have personally been keeping track of.  My go-to person on this is Mits Yamaguchi, who sent me the appropriate links in IPCC and UNFCCC reports. Here are the main salient points:

IPCC/AR5/WG1/SPM p. 27 states:

Limiting the warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions alone with a probability of >33%, >50%, and >66% to less than 2°C since the period 1861.1880, will require cumulative CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources to stay between 0 and about 1570 GtC (5760 GtCO2), 0 and about 1210 GtC (4440 GtCO2), and 0 and about 1000 GtC (3670GtCO2) since that period, respectively. These upper amounts are reduced to about 900 GtC (3300 GtCO2), 820 GtC (3010 GtCO2), and 790 GtC (2900 GtCO2), respectively, when accounting for non-CO2 forcings as in RCP2.6. An amount of 515 [445 to 585] GtC (1890 [1630 to 2150] GtCO2), was already emitted by 2011. {12.5}

The UNFCCC Report says (page 18):

According to the AR5, the total global cumulative emissions since 2011 that are consistent with a global average temperature rise of less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels at a likely (>66 percent) probability is 1,000 Gt CO2. Considering the aggregate effect of the INDCs, global cumulative CO2 emissions are expected to equal 54 (52.56) per cent by 2025 and 75 (72.77) per cent by 2030 of that 1,000 Gt CO2.

JC reflections

When I first saw Lomborg’s paper, I was surprised by the numbers he cites for the U.S., since they are somewhat smaller than the ones I have been citing (from Chip Knappenberger):

  1. The U.S. INDC of 28% reduction of emissions below 2005 levels by 2025 will prevent 0.03C in warming by 2100.
  2. Reducing U.S. total emissions by 80% by 2050 will prevent 0.11C in warming by 2100

The second, longer term reduction is not included in Lomborg’s analysis, for the following reason (cited in the paper):

For the following analyses we need to make assumptions about the longer-term promises. When for instance the EU promises to cut its emissions by 40 per cent in 2030, this is already very far away. Promises of what will happen in 2050 (80 per cent reduction in both the EU and the US) or promises for the G7 to entirely decarbonize by 2100 are not as much actual policies but more political hand waving. Thus, for this paper, I will investigate policies that have practical political implications soon and have a verifiable outcome by 2030, but not policies that promise actions only or mostly starting after 2030. Of course, policies that can be evaluated by 2030 will still impact emissions long after 2030, and hence affect the temperature trajectory all the way to the end of the century.

When I queried Lomborg specifically about the U.S. numbers, he provided this comment:

Also, note that a reduction by 80% in 2050 will cost the US about $1.2 trillion annually in lost GDP if politicians pick all the smart solutions (carbon tax etc).  This is according to the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum 24, which ran 12 scenarios on 6 models to estimate the cost.  This is 3.8% of GDP in 2050, and experience tells us that if politicians don’t do the smart thing, the cost will at least double (so about $2.4 trillion annually or 7.6% of GDP).  Seems somewhat unlikely.

Lomborg also emphasized this point:

But when Figueres and IEA talk about 2.7°C, they’re assuming that we will cut a bit in Paris, but right after 2030, we’ll reduce emissions dramatically.

Lomborg’s  ‘optimistic’ global warming reduction of 0.17C is consistent with a statement in the MIT Energy and Climate Outlook 2015:

Assuming the proposed cuts are extended through 2100 but not deepened further, they result in about 0.2C less warming by the end of the century compared with our estimates, under similar assumptions, for Copenhagen-Cancun.

So, I suspect that other economists will conduct similar studies and make different assumptions, maybe changing the net result even by as much a factor  of two, given the range of possible assumptions to make in all this.  But increasing the prevented warming by even a factor of two still puts this in the noise of what we could even detect against natural climate variability by the end of the 21st century.

Update:  ThinkProgress has a critique of Lomborg’s paper [link]

All of these calculations are being made with the MAGICC model, assuming an ECS of 3C.  My rationale for thinking that the ECS is lower than this value is described in this previous post Climate sensitivity: lopping off the fat tail.  The impact of a slightly lower climate sensitivity (2.5C) is described in this recent post on the paper by Kaya and Yamaguchi in this recent post  The uncertainty of climate sensitivity and its implication for the Paris negotiations.  Lower values of ECS means even less warming is prevented by emissions reductions; it also means that the 2C target is in reach.

Lomborg’s paper is the first one published on the amount of warming prevented by the INDC commitments.  I imagine that we will see many more analyses on this from economists, but I don’t see how the basic conclusion will change — the Paris INDC commitments  will prevent a very small amount of warming by the end of the 21st century.

276 responses to “Lomborg: Impact of Current Climate Proposals

  1. Pingback: Lomborg: Impact of Current Climate Proposals | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. The Masque of Paris nigh.
    =================

    • Take off that mask!

      Masks, like the spots and stripes of
      tigers or leopards lurking in the undergrowth
      may be a cover up for sinister intent,
      for a Macbeth, say, who smiles and smiles,
      yet may, behind that smiling mask, be
      a damned villain waiting for nightfall*
      to carry out an undercover event.

      Just as likely though, wearing a mask
      may be concealment for a shrinking self,
      the donning of a protective covering
      like the turtle and the whelk, or as in classic
      drama, putting on the mask of an Achilles,
      now there’s a way for an un-heroic actor
      to become a here, just for one day.

      *Paris.

    • GOOD NEWS ! I understand this conference paper on “Geoethics: The principles of ethics in Natural Sciences,” will also be presented in Paris.

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283641399_Geoethics_the_principles_of_ethics_in_Natural_Sciences

  3. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    Looks like the projected temperature increase, Lomborg calculated look more an more like the yellow hole in a snow bank.

  4. It seems like the whole Paris summit (and for that matter may previous similar gatherings) can be summed up by the “Politician’s Syllogism”, whichis a logical fallacy of the form:

    We must do something
    ‘This’ is something
    Therefore we must do ‘this’

    Even though ‘this’ won’t actually sole the problem for which something must be done

  5. Jeremy Poynton

    I’m sure he’s right, but as the UN have made abundantly clear on more tha none occasion, this is not ABOUT climate change. Climate change is just a means to an end.

    • Jeremy P
      You are right. Christina Figueres clearly stated that herself. Fighting the pseudo science of climate warming is a skirmish on the flank. Main battle is political

  6. Bad predictions from unreliable science highlights a failed policy effort. Resolution is achieved by condeming the false science prophet

  7. Pingback: Estudio publicado en Global Policy: Acabar con la democracia y arruinarse por menos de dos décimas de grado centígrado | PlazaMoyua.com

  8. Paris : The haughty get naughty for naught.

  9. Isn’t 0.17C a statistical irrelevancy?

  10. After a climate pause of ~20 years, the climate models have gone astray by 0.8C. These 20 years comprise the first 20% of the touted hundred years after which the planet should be running a temperature of between 4C and 6C higher. So, if the models have failed dismally and completely for these first 20% of the 100%, how can we trust them for the rest, the other 80%?

    • al_e:

      Hence the urgency of Paris. They need to lock in the loot ($100B/yr) now so they can thereafter claim credit for the slowdown they currently deny but which they will soon claim is the result of INDCs.

      Their climatology may be contentious but their political science is incontrovertible.

    • Simple. Bias adjust the forecast

    • “… the climate models have gone astray by 0.8C.”

      Actually, it’s worse than that. The TRENDS have gone wrong by that amount. The ABSOLUTE temp is WAY worse and always has been.

  11. We are spending a 100 trillion dollars on an irrelevancy.

    • Worse, we are spending a trillion dollars to demonize Carbon Dioxide, an almost universal boon to mankind. But, my goodness, how we are getting our money’s worth; the poor people held in durance, the manipulators of the people enriched and empowered, the market engine of prosperity and aspiration sold down the river to a meaningless slough of despondent economics, the mass of the people chained up with unnecessary guilt and bowing, backs broken, to a false narrative, to which science and reason have been sacrificed.

      We could do even worse, and have, repeatedly.
      ==============

    • Curious George

      Correct. It is all about taking you and me to the cleaners. Who cares if a climatology gets totally corrupted in this financial scheme.

    • We are obsessing on a metric that has no value to society.

  12. So optimistically then, we can reduce global warming by 0.17 C by 2100.
    IF
    – if everyone sticks to agreements
    – the models start to make any sense

  13. Apparently, no warming for 18 years or so.

    The Climate Conferences are obviously the cause. After a slow start, the Conference effect overwhelmed the greenhouse effect.

    Regular conferences will be required until 2100 or so, to keep the warming at bay. A small price to pay, to avoid boiling seas, flatulence and boils.

    Cheers.

  14. “All of these calculations are being made with the MAGICC model, assuming an ECS of 3C.” This is an estimation and nobody can confirm this figure with any certainty. And of course the natural variation can play its own game, amplifying or inversing any “anthropogenic” trend. Who knows? Nobody!
    In any case there seems no Armageddon in the pipeline and any money spent to “control” the climate would be better spent to improve the conditions of the people suffering, not from climate disruption but from lack of energy, food, clean water and health care. We know nothing about what the future will hold for mankind, but we know that people are suffering right now all around us.

    • The perps haven’t checked the roadsigns to note that their road of good intentions is headed toward a rough passage.
      ================

  15. When economic historians write about all of these current machinations in 2120, they will ask “How could so many people be fooled for so much of the time?”

    Their answer will be “Because they wanted to be.”

    • Guilt and fear have been the levers. Man does have a vast capacity for both, perhaps a need, but I doubt the want.
      ===================

    • cerescokid | November 10, 2015 at 5:33 am | Reply
      When economic historians write about all of these current machinations in 2120, they will ask “How could so many people be fooled for so much of the time?”

      Their answer will be “Because they wanted to be.”

      To quote Gwynne Dyer, “Although you can fool all the people only some of the time, and only some of the people all the time,… in a multi-party democratic system, that is usually enough.”

      Global warmers are in the “some of the people all the” camp.

  16. You have to look at what trajectory we will be on by 2030. A downward trajectory at even a modest 0.5 GtCO2 per year in emissions saves us 2450 GtCO2 by 2100 compared to a conservative BAU upward trajectory at the same rate. This already saves 1.5 C in warming. The key to these policies is to see what gradient we are on after 2030 and project those, not assume we just stop doing anything relative to BAU growth at 2030 which is a very poor assumption. The policies lead to a growing divergence in emission rates from BAU that does not stop at 2030. For each 1 GtCO2 emission rate per year divergence we save 1.5 C, but it is more effective if we can get them to start diverging before 2030.

  17. Urgent and drastic action on climate change is required in the form of a full out assault on the eco terrorists waging the war on fossil fuels and world prosperity. Paris will most likely be a dismal failure, but pols and the msm will continue to preen about as though something was accomplished but far more action is still needed.

    Romm’s critique would be laughable if it were not for the (legion of?) dedicated followers who take his drivel seriously, some of which will pop up on this thread shortly, I am sure. He actually thinks china can be trusted (or any of a number of other countries for that matter) and apparently missed the memo on china’s unreported emmissions.

    Maybe the assault has been started by lamar smith and will be joined by an exxon countersuit.

    If ovomit, the epa, and the other eco terrorist groups have their way with the energy sector, it will make the effects of ovomitcare and other lib policies appear benign in comparison.

  18. All this talk about science, yet so evidence-free. Either anthropogenic CO2 is the main driver of temperature, in which case activists have no real idea how to prevent the dramatic temperature increases they are so afraid of (how to make countries pay a huge price for marginal gains), or it is not (in which case we continue to live with natural variations in temperature and many other conditions, and an increase in CO2 is almost certainly a good thing on net).

    I like Judith’s comment that the main goal of activists is now to achieve social and political effects–not to make any known or predictable change in the world’s climate, or anything like that. Fortunes are spent so that “we” can be good people, and we have a simple test to identify good people: they agree with us.

  19. The chief effect of an active mitigation policy is to make global warming permanently true. Either trend will prove it.

  20. Pingback: Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. – Bjorn Lomborg | MERCIAR BUSINESS CONSULTING

  21. Lomborg thinks he can estimate, to two decimal points, the future climate? Or he just thinks it’s okay to give figures to two decimal points (but optimistically) referring to future climate because it’s how you have to talk when you’re a scientist and everyone else does it? You’re humble and uncertain, but to a decimal point or two?

    And he wants to make green energy so cheap that we’ll all rush to it? Huh? Even nukes aren’t cheap. What on earth is he talking about? Why didn’t the rest of us think of that? Maybe because we acknowledge that we rely utterly on fossil fuels and need to modernise and exploit fossil fuels far more responsibly while staying out of the sea lane wars and pipeline wars which really are threatening to heat the planet. None of which will be helped by tipping more trillions into white elephants.

    Nope. Not buying. It’s bunk. Just dismantle the climatariat: warmies, New Maunderists, lukewarmers, optimists…the lot. (And all this international agreeing and urging and promising and signing is starting to get creepy. If it really is all about global government I’d prefer if the players looked and sounded like James Bond villains, not Belgian bus conductors.)

    • “Lomborg thinks he can estimate, to two decimal points, the future climate?”

      no. dont be ignorant.

      • No, more likely he just serves up a lot of numbers for the sake of looking numerical. He doesn’t mean them. It’s like some restaurant where nobody eats the garnish but you have to have the garnish.

        Anyway, on to the more serious business of obliterating the climatariat…

    • James Bond villains?
      I could offer a couple of candidates for the role of Colonel Rosa Klebb.

    • “Just dismantle the climatariat. ”

      What is that? There seems to me largely a consensus on climate change at every level of society. Scientific consensus, political consensus and societal consensus. Every corporation, school, church, community organization, politician, scientist, journalist, media organization has something to say on environment/climate and most of them accept the general premise of the concensus view. I could probably go to my kitchen cupboards and find some environmental/climate mini message on a good deal of the packaging. Its every where in society, exactly what do you plan to dismantle?

  22. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    “Lower values of ECS means even less warming is prevented by emissions reductions; it also means that the 2C target is in reach.”

    Indeed; if ECS is under 2C per doubling, as estimated empirically, then passing 2C is a long way off.

    And Longborg is right, the solution, if one is needed, is to develop technology to lower the cost of non-fossil fuel based energy (and lower cost nuclear power is the obvious place to start). The solution is never going to be forcing people into energy poverty; no ammount of green politics will succeed at doing that. Those heading for Paris are wasting their time…… and other people’s money….. chasing a fantasy.

  23. “…but I don’t see how the basic conclusion will change — the Paris INDC commitments will prevent a very small amount of warming by the end of the 21st century.” – JC.

    Well, that’s quite simple- they won’t leave out large chunks of reductions in their analysis so that they get the low result that they want.

  24. Dr. Curry — Its hard for us laymen to keep up with all studies and their assumptions. By your last statement in today’s blog post, can we assume that you disagree with scientists like Dr. Molina that “Fast Mitigation” can make a significant difference?

    • I think that anyone who believes that a “Quick Fix” on climate change is possible, such as “Fast Mitigation”, has been watching far to many Star Trek films.

    • Fast mitigation – usually referring to methane and black carbon – are easier to reduce rapidly than CO2. How significant is ‘significant’? Well, the same sort of modeling exercise would be needed to see on what time scale ‘significant’ benefits would be realized, but I suspect that focusing on short lived gases/particulates would provide a small but early reduction in warming.

      Several years ago I had several posts on this.

      • And this is Dr.’s Molina, Ramanathan, Hayhoe, etc. point — that “fast mitigation” can give us additional time (I’ve seen ~30 years) to (A) better understand the climate science; (B) come up with cost effective engineering solutions.

        If one subscribes to other theoretical sensitivity estimates on climate, the added time would be even greater.

      • But from the material I’ve read on “fast mitigation” it generally includes CO2. A show stopper.

      • If you consider that whatever caused Roman and Medieval Warm is causing this warming, then warming will proceed the same way it always has and changing GHG will have little or no effect.

        The warm periods have less ice on land and lower albedo and a slower rate of dumping ice into oceans. This does cause more snowfall and a halting and reversal of the warming, always.

  25. I don’t know how Dr. Lomborg does his economic analysis, but he has constantly made one statement that is absolutely false — that for every incremental amount of Renewable Energy (e.g., solar & wind) placed in service, that there is additional costs with the need to also install an equal amount of fossil backup.

    With this statement, Dr. Lomborg is not applying engineering concepts of an integrated grid — e.g., the flexibility afforded by advanced natural gas combined cycle generation (that can be used for base, intermediate, peaking load), availability of hydro, how a market economic dispatch works, ELCC (effective load carrying capability), etc.

    If Dr. Lomborg is applying this assumption on “backup” to all Renewable Energy, his economics are just wrong. Again, the issue should be penetration levels and whether Renewable Energy projects are following sound engineering economics.

    • I agree Lomborg did not consider the impact of an integrated grid. Do you have a percentage of renewables that need no fossil energy backup? It may be so small that it can be ignored.

      • Hank — Its impossible to answer your question. It depends on the integrated electric utility system. As I’ve stated, a system (say in New England) with lots of new shiny natural gas combined cycle units and the availability of Canadian hydro will have much more flexibility with Renewables than a system without these characteristics.

        And by the way, most often the decision on new NGCC was to replace aging base load coal units — not to provide backup for peaking Renewables.

        The issue here is penetration levels — where decision makers must always follow sound engineering economics.

    • Stephen Segrest:

      Could you link to the sources of your criticisms?

      Reading some of Lomborg’s writings, I’m not sure he makes exactly the claims you assert.

      For example:

      Many will say, “But at least we cut CO2.” That is true, although the reduction is perhaps only half of what is often touted, because the back-up power needed to smooth intermittent wind and solar is often more CO₂-heavy. Moreover, we pay dearly for these cuts. In 2013, the world produced 635 TWh of wind electricity and paid at least $28 billion in subsidies, or $76 per avoided ton of CO₂, and likely twice or more than that. When the estimated damage costs of CO2 are about $5 per ton, and a ton of CO2 can be cut in the European Union for about $10, we are paying a dollar to do less than 7-13 cents of good for the climate.

      • Lomborg says,

        “Many will say, ‘But at least we cut CO2.’ That is true, although the reduction is perhaps only half of what is often touted, because the back-up power needed to smooth intermittent wind and solar is often more CO₂-heavy. Moreover, we pay dearly for these cuts… the estimated damage costs of CO2 are about $5 per ton, and a ton of CO2 can be cut in the European Union for about $10, we are paying a dollar to do less than 7-13 cents of good for the climate.”

        Hmmmm…sounds like sound engineering economics…hey, that sounds like somebody or maybe it’s an echo echo echo…

    • With this statement, Dr. Lomborg is not applying engineering concepts of an integrated grid — e.g., the flexibility afforded by advanced natural gas combined cycle generation

      Well, the solar/nat gas combo seems positive, but that is fossil fuel back up to solar.

      FWIW, if you read Lomborg, he is actually a vocal proponent of solar.

      With more and more devices having integrated battery storage ( think iPods and the like ) solar would seem to be more and more effective.

      Where I get off is whether there’s a calamity.

      We are carbon based life forms that benefit from CO2.
      Humans anyway, evolved in the tropics, warmer would seem to suit us.
      Temperature varies a lot anyway, so hyperventilators can relax.
      And contrary to memes. warmer climate appears to be less extreme.

      • Exactly. Shouldn’t we determine that there is an actual problem before taking any expensive, immediate, and radical action to reduce fossil fuel use? Evidence supporting co2 as THE control knob does not exist. Increased levels of co2 would in fact be beneficial.

    • Wind Blowing Nowhere – Again
      A central tenet of wind power advocates is that the wind is always blowing somewhere and thus on a regional scale intermittency becomes smoothed out. This is one of these half truths. If one is to have turbines at all, it is of course sensible to have them geographically dispersed as this most certainly helps to smooth out highs and lows in the wind. But it is not the day to day vagaries of the wind that matters but the extremes of wind blowing everywhere at once and worse still, wind blowing nowhere. It is when the wind is blowing nowhere that back up is needed and the physical low points reached defines the amount of backup that is required.

      This is a theme we have covered often on Energy Matters. In January this year Roger Andrews had a post called Wind Blowing Nowhere that summarised a year of wind data for seven European countries and showed categorically that geographic dispersion does not smooth wind significantly on a pan-European scale. Hubert Flocard has shown similar. And yet the myth of wind being smoothed by geographic range just refuses to die.
      http://euanmearns.com/wind-blowing-nowhere-again/

      • An NREL has a study done which shows just the opposite (than what you state) on U.S. projects. I’ll look for the link when I have time (but I could provide 10’s of studies from NREL, EPRI, MIT, and they would mean nothing to you).

      • Well, it isn’t that wind is stable. After all Texas actually had a calm caused outage. But you can integrate renewables into the grid. Someone with an engineering degree and only one hard constraint can make a system work.

        In the 60/70s we had little or no demand side throttling, generation had to meet demand. Smart Grid/renewables are turning the paradigm upside where the generators run uncontrolled and the user’s power is throttled. If 20% of the grid is renewable and you can throttle 20% of user demand the system will work.

        We used to think that users were important and provided dispatchable generation. The renewable advocates impose dispatchability on the consumer because they can’t control their high cost renewable generation, and impose greater cost in the rest of the grid, then act like they have done something clever.

        Smart people who care about the public build nuclear/coal/gas/oil/hydro – dispatchable generation.

        People who want feel good about themselves because they are just sooooooooo green, where style points are the most important consideration, public be damned, go renewable.

    • Stephen Segrest | November 10, 2015 at 8:43 am | Reply
      I don’t know how Dr. Lomborg does his economic analysis, but he has constantly made one statement that is absolutely false — that for every incremental amount of Renewable Energy (e.g., solar & wind) placed in service, that there is additional costs with the need to also install an equal amount of fossil backup.

      Well, this is sort of true. If you operate other assets in a more expensive less optimum way, bury the distribution link upgrades in a half a trillion dollar “Smart Grid” project, and ignore massive subsidies, renewables make sense.. if you don’t look too closely. As long as they are under 18%, and you can throttle enough demand, it may be possible to be cover them with existing grid assets and not disrupt the grid much.

      However it does require that you slap a control knob on your customers, so you can treat them like a light with a dimmer switch, and control their electricity use.

      Replacing nuclear with renewables unquestionably increases emissions.

      • I’m just shaking my head — no one hear at CE voicing opinions today seems to know what a economic dispatch is, or have visited a large regional grid control center (that NASA would be proud of).

      • Following the theme of most comments today — one would have to believe that U.S. Electric Utilities, Independent System Operators, Regulatory Commissions either (A) just don’t know what they are doing; or (B) have been taken over by Al Gore types.

        More conspiracy theories here at CE.

      • Stephen

        I don’t know the context of your current points but I am not against appropriate renewables but they do have some glaring shortcomings especially if misapplied .

        Here in the UK last Wednesday on a very mild evening the grid had to bring in emergency measures by paying industry vast sums of money not to use power.

        The prime cause was that being evening the solar farms weren’t working and as the wind wasn’t blowing our windmills weren’t turning. We are very close to being unable to generate enough power because we have retired so many conventional power stations and expect renewables to take up the slack.

        The other problem here is the use of solar in a country which gets only 1700 hours of sun annually and where the light levels outside of the peak summer months are quite low.

        Until the great problems of storing power from renewables when they are producing a surplus are resolved they will not come of age

        Tonyb

      • Why don’t you tell us how much wind and solar power these large regional grid control centers have managed to effectively and economically integrate into their grids and how much it is costing consumers? California is increasingly mandating the use of renewables and it’s already getting expensive for electricity consumers.

      • Tonyb — I really don’t know much about the EU. I do feel knowledgeable about most of the U.S. (other than CA). If the UK is not following sound engineering economics — then decision makers are flat wrong. If UK Politicians are making engineering decisions, this is flat wrong.

      • Don’t ask him practical questions, Tony. He’s the Gruber of power generation engineering economics. In theory, renewables solve the alleged CO2 problem, everybody gets the power they need when they need it, and we are surely going to save money.

      • SS,

        ” I really don’t know much about the EU. I do feel knowledgeable about most of the U.S. (other than CA). ”

        Really? You are a man of engineering but you aren’t familiar with the biggest chunk of data – EU and CA – from the renewables experiment?

        I’m starting to feel dirty picking on you.

      • I will try to help him out, justin.

        CAISO is the grid operator in CA:

        http://www.caiso.com/Documents/FlexibleResourcesHelpRenewables_FastFacts.pdf

        CAISO says “In California, energy and environmental policy initiatives are driving electric grid changes.” Politics rule, not market forces and engineering economics. Pass the cost on to the consumer.

      • Stephen Segrest | November 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm |
        I’m just shaking my head — no one hear at CE voicing opinions today seems to know what a economic dispatch is, or have visited a large regional grid control center (that NASA would be proud of).

        As usual you are kind of right and kind of wrong.

        To build out smart grid is half a trillion dollars. End user control, bidirectional grid ties, higher capacity grid ties, high voltage lines to nowhere, etc. are expensive.

        But If you can draw power from any direction over a larger area the risk of renewables creating a supply problem is significantly reduced.

        But all this is pretty expensive. Renewable advocates seem to think style points are more important than cheap power. That expensive power makes the US less competitive doesn’t seem to matter to the well heeled renewable advocates. Al Gore can afford to use 16+ times the power of the average USian. The people driven out of work by expensive renewable energy would probably disagree.

      • For all of you so called “Experts” to be correct, there should be hundreds of lawsuits filed in the U.S. (say by Industrials) that Electric Utilities, Independent System Operators, and State Regulatory Commissions are not following and implementing to date, least cost engineering economics.

        This should be really easy for you “Experts” — Where are the gazillion number of lawsuits in the U.S.?????

        OK while I’m not real familiar with California, lets talk California to date. CA currently has about 4% solar and 8% Wind. Can you point me to either (A) the lawsuits filed against the ISO, or the (B) specific engineering analysis (e.g., using modelling like GE system planning models) that this current 12% penetration level has not followed sound engineering economics??

        Granted California has what looks like very aggressive prospective R.E. targets. But targets can be (and hopefully will be) modified if in the future ifthe engineering economics just don’t work.

        Next, people (like Mr. Monfort) should recognize who has and is writing about the potential “Duck Curve”. Its not CATO or Heritage, its the CA ISO!!!!!!! They are stating their arguments why California is leading the U.S. in new orders of combined cycle natural gas units — Its all about grid flexibility.

        To all the “Experts” — In current planning, I guess you want CA to be ~90% dependent on natural gas? And I guess you don’t like the flexibility argument of combined cycle units either.

        And finally, do you “Experts” even know what an economic dispatch is?

      • Stephen Segrest | November 10, 2015 at 9:43 pm |
        For all of you so called “Experts” to be correct, …

        OK while I’m not real familiar with California, lets talk California to date. CA currently has about 4% solar and 8% Wind. Can you point me to either (A) the lawsuits filed against the ISO, or the (B) specific engineering analysis (e.g., using modelling like GE system planning models) that this current 12% penetration level has not followed sound engineering economics??

      • PA — Your example is ridiculous and reflects no engineering economics. You’re not a serious player. And by the way, I believe Texas will have more renewables than TX by the end of 2015.

      • I believe that TX will have more renewables than CA by the end of 2015 (by percentage).

      • Lawsuits? He is hysterically hollering about lawsuits. We have to show him lawsuits? Irrelevant BS.

        I just schooled little ss on CA, after he admitted being clueless, and now he is an expert. Are we supposed to be surprised that CA is leading the U.S. in new orders for combined cycle natural gas units?

        CA buys more of almost everything. We got a lot of electrical appliances here. The fancy ones from Germany. We got those freaking Teslas that nobody living in the sensible states is buying. And we have a left-loon greenie governor and state legislature who are ramming uneconomical unreliable greeny energy down our throats. Of course CAISO has to buy a lot of gas generating units to back up the intermittent greeny crap. And we are supposed to sue the government over that? They make the laws, clown. We can only move out.

        We thought you were going to put your math where your mouth is and show us some of your expertise. Instead we get hysterical arm waving about lawsuits. Very amusing.

      • Mr. Monfort is a perfect example of Dunning–Kruger effect. He never adds any technical discussion — just hot air (that always mean spirited).

      • What is technical about lawsuits, little ss? You do a lot of talking in generalities about engineering economics and grid this and grid that, but you don’t shed any light.

        We are ignorant, unless we have visited a large regional grid control center (that NASA would be proud of.) WTF is that all about?

        What you don’t get is that renewables penetration in the power market ain’t about rational engineering economics. It’s greeny politics.

        Try to pay attention. And stop the foolishness.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Britain and the EU in general are perfect examples where the ideology of being ‘green’ has overtaken the practicality of the renewable systems and a failure by them to acknowledge the current state of technology.

        We are a sophisticated and mature industrial nation. Our geographical position means that in winter and the shoulder months we get limited sunshine and our light levels can be low. My area has around the highest sun hours at some 1700 per annum.

        So we are by no means a sensible candidate for solar energy as a substantial plank of our energy policy.

        The geographical position that provides our winter mildness and often overcast position is very often accompanied by long periods of windless conditions. So, as last week, we derived no power from either wind or from sun. However we have retired lots of perfectly good power stations in order to meet our renewables obligation and our co2 emissions targets.

        Hence the extreme lack of conventional power generation which renewables are supposed to increasingly compensate for. Our Govt emergency measures to compensate for possible lack of power is to distribute hundreds of large diesel generating setts around the country and to pay large companies to shut their factories down.

        A train ride from say Geneva to Zurich will reveal the same problems in Europe, this time caused by high mountains blocking out sun, out of the summer months, rendering the hosts of solar panels that can be observed useless.

        I believe in renewable horses for courses. Our own best bet is likely to be from wave and tidal power as Britain is an island with nowhere further than 70 miles from the ocean. This isn’t a solution that would work in Switzerland of course.

        Renewables can not come of age until their surplus power achieved during their optimum conditions, can be stored.

        Personally, (and this idea isn’t popular here) I am in favour of a well funded cooperative CERN type 10 year programme in order to discover new energy technologies, refine existing ones and develop storage technology.

        So whatever the engineering considerations of renewables, the impractical manner in which they have been applied in real world conditions, together with their cost and lack of certainty of supply, does not make them a system that advanced countries should currently seek to develop as a major part of their energy plans.

        tonyb

      • Tonyb, I see where Russia and Qatar, both competing to supply England with gas at a time of soft prices, are becoming even bigger investors and influence buyers around London.

        What with natural wind, natural sunshine, natural woodchips from the USA and natural gas from such pleasant regions to the east, you lot are an example to coal-rejectionists everywhere. Pity about the bills and the geopolitics.

      • And finally, do you “Experts” even know what an economic dispatch is?

        I don’t claim to be an expert, and I don’t know what you mean by “an economic dispatch”. So I did some digging with Google, and found this, which focuses on curtailment. I also found this report from which I’m blockquoting key findings from the executive summary:

        •       In the largest markets for wind power, the amount of curtailment appears to be declining even as the amount of wind power on the system increases. Curtailment levels have generally been 4% or less of wind generation in regions where curtailment has occurred. Many utilities in the western states report negligible levels of curtailment. The most common reasons for curtailment are insufficient transmission and local congestion and excessive supply during low load periods.

        •       Definitions of curtailment and data availability vary. Understanding curtailment levels can be complicated by relatively new market-based protocols or programs that dispatch wind down or limit wind generation to schedules and the lack of uniformity in data collection.

        •       Compensation and contract terms are changing as curtailment becomes of greater concern to solar and wind plant owners. Increasingly there are negotiated contract provisions addressing use of curtailment hours and there is greater explicit sharing of risk between the generator and off-taker.

        •       Automation can reduce curtailment levels. Manual curtailment processes can extend curtailment periods because of the time needed for implementation and hesitancy to release units from curtailment orders.

        •       Market solutions that base dispatch levels on economics offer the advantages of creating transparency and automation in curtailment procedures, which apply equally to all generators.

        •       Curtailed wind and solar resources may provide ancillary services to aid in system operations.

        •       A variety of solutions is being used to reduce curtailments: transmission expansion and interconnection upgrades; operational changes such as forecasting and increased automation of signaling; and better management of reserves and generation.

        Overall, it would appear that there is substantial opportunity for improvement as better technology and financial management are implemented.

        One of the most interesting technologies involves rapid response electrolysis, in which extra energy from wind/solar is fed to a high-pressure electrolyser when the grid can’t accept it. The resulting hydrogen can be added directly to the gas distribution system for small penetration levels, or converted to methane using ambient CO2 extracted from the atmosphere or sea surface.

      • A PDF of the slides from the above presentation may be found here

      • Stephen Segrest | November 10, 2015 at 11:31 pm |
        PA — Your example is ridiculous and reflects no engineering economics. You’re not a serious player. And by the way, I believe Texas will have more renewables than TX by the end of 2015.

        Huh?

        The only concerns about power are:
        1. Reliability
        2. Cost.

        I do not give a rat’s *ss about “style points”. I want my power to be reliable , cheap, and “style-points-free”.

        Germany, England, (indeed much of Europe), California, etc. would indicate that from a style-points-free perspective renewable energy is stupid.

        Idiotic concepts such as “social cost of carbon” are needed to justify renewable energy. CO2 is beneficial. Calling the effects of CO2 a “cost” is yet another example of liberal new-speak, like calling entitlements an “investment”. It is the old “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery” meme.

  26. CO2 = P * E( e, f )

    where CO2 is CO2 emissions
    P is population, and
    E are Emissions per person, a function of efficiency(e) and fuel choice(f)

    It is somewhat ironic that the UNEP and its child, the IPCC, were established by the now notoriously wrong Paul Ehrlich crowd which used to worry about P, but now seem obsessed with f above.

    But even if there were magic conversion of f, P can cause problems in a multitude of other ways, so focus on f is the least effective response.

    Fortunately, economic development means slowing and soon falling P, making all of this a ridiculous waste of time. But it also means the pointy heads of Paris are being destructive by standing in the way of economic development.

  27. I had to laugh at Judiths comment about the effort put into this. The fact is that estimates of the temperature rise by 2100 appear to be wildly beyond any reasonable scientific possibility (we have 30% CO2 in and close to 50% of the change must therefore be in and it is all of 0.5C. so another 200ppm will produce at most 0.5C . That’s the laws of CO2 not my guess. All the “feedbacks” are included as we have 70+ years of experience with pumping this CO2 in and we’ve seen it all. 0.5C is all we are going to get to 600ppm and another 200ppm would produce almost no temperature rise after that.)

    The predictions of effects of temperature rise are among the worst science I have ever read. These predictions are so flawed they make the climate models look like time machines. Predictions of Sea levels, storms, food production are impossible to believe. So, the consequences are doubly unbelievable because we’re not getting the temperature rise but even if we did the predictions themselves are even worse science.

    Lastly Lomborgs projections of cost of meeting the emissions goals or reductions are based on models and also on fixed technology assumptions presumably. If the cost of solar falls as expected over the next 10 years according to much more accurate and steady falls in the prices of solar and the known science in the pipeline it is likely we will have a net gain of GDP and other factors from switching to solar.

    I wonder if Lomborg has estimated the cost savings of the millions who wont die from fossill fuel use if we reduce them?

    Prediction is a hard business to be successful at and it seems that the only reason people continue to make these predictions is because nobody seems to care when they miss. If someone would keep tract of all these missed predictions it would make these kinds of scare stories a lot less interesting.

    • “I wonder if Lomborg has estimated the cost savings of the millions who wont die from fossill fuel use if we reduce them? ”

      What deaths are they EXACTLY, not estimated or Modelled?

      • The ones dying today. The issue I’ve had with fossil fuels that people don’t talk able it is that it is a dirty business. People die finding the fossil fuels, mining the fuels, transportation, refining, distribution, use and secondary use. Millions die every year from all these things. It’s a horrible business. I don’t think 1 person will ever die from global warning but every year millions die from fossil fuels anyway. Those are real deaths today and they will not go away.

      • Construction and agriculture are actually more dangerous. Should we stop growing food?

        Here are the actual numbers, by industry, from the USBLS, see chart #3:

        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

      • Logic – one flaw in your logic is that renewables, that being wind and solar, are not possible without fossil fuels, from cradle to grave. Fossil fuels are needed to power the machinery used to mine the raw materials for their manufacture, transport, assembly, maintenance, decomissioning, and for backup for those times when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.

    • Many people today and tomorrow and the day after that will die through lack of access to the infrastructure and goods that a cheap and reliable source of energy brings. Should we be advocating policies that perpetuate that?

      • I honestly don’t think any country will limit itself in energy. Most of the poor will do whatever they need and blame the rich countries. The rich counties will have many options. The waste of money will demonstrate itself in rich countries by differentiating those who made the wrong decisions about these things. This also isn’t obvious what the right choices are. Technology change is making these decisions a lot more complicated.

    • “I wonder if Lomborg has estimated the cost savings of the millions who wont die from fossill fuel use if we reduce them? ”
      Can you please provide us with tangible proof, peer reviewed reports, or other means of knowledge showing the number of deaths due to fossil fuel use?
      Also provide us with how many lives have been saved by cheap energy?
      Let me tell you one single fact: Refrigeration, which is powered by electrical motors energised by electrical power produced by coal, oil and gas has saved more lives than all the medicine in the world.
      Hospitals run on hydrocarbons including:
      Food factories
      Combine harvesters, tractors and all farm machinery that produce food for the world
      Trains and ship that transport food across the oceans
      Medicine factories
      Annual COP jamborees

      • And don’t forget that 6-10X more people are dying from extreme cold globally than from extreme heat right now.

      • Here is one study that may touch both sides of your challenge.
        http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/newsplus/air-pollution-killing-3-3-million-people-a-year/
        I agree that fossil fuel use has made a tremendous positive impact while at the same time creating negative impacts via air pollution (not from CO2). Here is where you need to distinguish between types of fossil fuels (e.g., relatively high polluting coal vs other less polluting fossil fuels).

        Now it’s time for you to supply some peer reviewed work.

      • al_e,

        “Trains and ship that transport food across the oceans”

        International commodity trading is an effective risk-reduction strategy for coping with crop failures.

        If CAGW is real and significant and if it causes local crop failures and if farmers are unable to adapt within a reasonable time period then international shipping will be vital. That will not be the time to throw away good diesel engines in the name of fist ™ mitigation of black carbon.

    • Estimates of annual deaths from air pollution from fossil fuel use are in the millions http://bit.ly/1M5VR5b This does not include deaths in mining transportation or refining. It’s a dirty business.

      The argument that solar and wind only work in the day or intermittently is absolutely correct but local production of solar combined with batteries will absolutely have a massive impact on the grid demand. I am also a big believer in nuclear and fusion is looking like it may happen. The first large scale fusion reactor is being built now that may prove this technology feasible. Which technology wins I don’t know but we are in a period of exponentially increasing technology. It is inevitable what we think is possible today will be vastly different than what we can do 20 years from now. That is even true with fossil fuels where we have seen frakking have a major impact on the “peak-oil” hypothesis.

      The point is predicting things like what we can do or how we do it 50 years from now is ridiculous.

      All these predictions of the consequences of temperature rise are the most ridiculous. They can be seen to be absurd with the most cursory analysis. In the last century deaths from natural disasters of all types is down 98%. That’s right, 1/50th of what they were in 1900. Increased technology from early warning, rapid response, better building codes, better medicine and on and on has reduced massively the impact of nature. Further improvements will continue this massive assult on the consequences of natural disasters. Whether they were to double or triple would make no difference compared to our ability to handle them. On the other hand we have no evidence frequency or severity is increasing at all. So, the argument that we will suffer from global warming is poppycock. First we’re not getting the temp change they claim will cause problems which even if we got it wouldn’t cause the problems they state. In any case the problems if they were to occur are so trivial and mitigated already it is not worth the paper to print about them.

      Altogether natural disaster deaths today is a small fraction of deaths from almost any other cause. Air pollution alone is reasponsible for millions and millions every year in premature deaths. Yet we worry about nuclear reactors which by any measure has produced nearly 0 deaths / year worldwide for decades while providing a large percentage of all energy production.

      The cost of solar in particular are declining rapidly and will pass the cost of fossil fuels in 5 – 10 years. A natural progression to more solar is inevitable and desirable and natural. It will not impact global warming deaths because there will be virtually no global warming and the deaths predicted are absurdly ridiculous even if we were to get some warming. Even the IPCC admits that under 2C there is a net benefit from increasing temperatures. I wish we would get 2C but we are unlikely to get 1C ever. The benefits are much higher than they suggest. It is likely a 1C increase will save millions of lives and increase wealth to all. The IPCC doesn’t admit numerous well known positive consequences from any increase in temp and CO2 and they still show that under 2C the consequences are still more positive than negative. They’re wrong about the 2C but it is irrelevant because we aren’t going to get 2C under any scenario.

      To get to 2c for instance will require temperatures to climb at an extremely accelerated pace for the next 85 years without pausing again. We have no reason to believe such a scenario especially as there has been 0 rise in the last 20 years and even over 75 years of massive co2 production only 0.45C or less (depending on your source) The effect of CO2 declines logarithmically so the next 200ppm will have even less impact. To get the additional temperature rise to get to 2C requires a religious argument of miracle to suddenly expect temperatures to take off when they haven’t in a non-stop ever increasing way that they have never exhibited and for which there is no basis to predict will happen. The models are indefensible from any mathematical or scientific basis and their predictions are as unscientific as you can possibly be.

      • The usual “premature” death statistics rolled out whenever fossil fuels are attacked. Eighty year olds with emphysema who might have lived another two months, maybe, who probably would have died 30 years sooner without abundant inexpensive energy.

    • logiclogiclogic | November 10, 2015 at 10:46 am | Reply
      I had to laugh at Judiths comment about the effort put into this. The fact is that estimates of the temperature rise by 2100 appear to be wildly beyond any reasonable scientific possibility (we have 30% CO2 in and close to 50% of the change must therefore be in and it is all of 0.5C. so another 200ppm will produce at most 0.5C .

      You have been listening to too many koolaid drinkers. We will never hit 600 PPM.

      According to CDIAC global annual carbon emissions were:
      1. 2.45 GT (1959)
      2. 5.03 GT (1977)
      3. 10.1 GT (2013) (this includes the chinese underestimate 1GT CO2 or 0.272 GT carbon).

      From the Mauna Loa data, CO2 AROI (annual rate of increase) has been close to 2.0 PPM for about 40 years (it went from 1.7 to 2.2) in the face of a more than doubling of CO2.
      1. (1x emissions) From 1959 to 1964 the CO2 level increased 0.73 PPM/Y (from 315.97 to 319.62 PPM).
      2. (2x emissions) From 1977 to 1982 the CO2 level increased 1.53 PPM/Y (from 333.78 to 341.44 PPM), 209% of 1959 or a 109% increase.
      3. (4x emissions) From 2009 to 2014 the CO2 level increased 2.2 PPM/Y (from 387.37 PPM to 398.61 PPM), 143% of 1977, or a 43% increase.
      4. The average rate of increase was 2.06 PPM/Y from 2000 to 2005 with 2000 emissions = 2.76 X the 1959 emissions.

      The last 50% emissions increase caused the 2.06 PPM/Y CO2 AROI to rise 0.14 PPM/Y to 2.2 PPM/Y. Applying global warmer trend logic, 20 GT/Y of emissions will give us a less than a 2.9 PPM CO2 annual rate of increase.

      At 20 GT per year the world runs out of fossil fuel in 38 years, and if we don’t double emissions the rate of CO2 increase will decline as it has in the past when emissions have plateaued.

      Doesn’t matter what we do. CO2 will peak under 500 PPM and will be in the mid 300s in 2100. If we stopped using fossil fuels today about the only difference is the 2100 CO2 level will be in the lower 300s – much lower than we want it.

  28. Dr. Lomborg points out the downside of Western academia’s having prostituted it’s soul to push AGW theory: its credibility in science been sacrificed on the altar of global warming. What could be worse than to discover that, after doing everything possible that was said would have an irreversible negative impact on global climate, humanity’s contribution to a change in the rate of global warming is nevertheless undetectable by the very science that predicted disastrous climate change by now; and, instead we understand that despite having no disenable impact whatsoever, humanity is still guilty for doing whatever it does. The global warming establishment has become the ISIS of science, rounding up the productive for the crime of living.

    • “Dr. Lomborg points out the downside of Western academia’s having slutted it’s soul to push AGW theory:”

      Fixed that for you.

  29. There’s much more work to be done than what they’re proposing in Paris. It’s going to take some economic pain before we can truly get green energy properly viable

    • But ‘green energy’ isn’t necessary.

      Global warming is ( by definition of the theory of RF causing it ) already slowing down ( ten year trend RF growth peaked in 1979, ten year trend in CO2 based RF growth peaked in 2007 ).

      Population will soon be falling in most countries and is aging rapidly.

      Population slowing and technology accelerating will reduce global warming without even trying.

    • Curious George

      The “global warming” is only an excuse – by the way, as weak as it is, it is marketed extremely efficiently. The real goal is a redistribution of wealth.

    • I believe we will get green energy but NOT because of environmentalism. The technology change is inevitable. If you read the literature there is leaps made all the time and the rate of progress in all science is exponential. It is inevitable we will discover other sources of energy that are more sustainable and cheaper and safer to produce regardless of all these scare tactics. I think inevitably the environmentalists will cry that they saved the world when in the end it just comes down to economics. We will only use these “renewable” technologies in quantity when they are economic and that won’t have anything to do with “sacrifice” but good old capitalistic greed and desire to make money. If it were the other way around and somehow we discover a really inexpensive super high density but dirty energy source I am sure we would use it (or someone will) to gain competitive advantage.

      Nobody can expect really for nations and peoples to sacrifice their well being for some lofty dreams about a non-existent problem that they have been scared into believing. Maybe this seems overly cycnical but when you are talking about something so crucial to life and prosperity as energy you can’t afford to do anything else. Sure there will be exceptional cases like there are exceptional dictators who cause exceptional pain, some nations will be led down a path to self-destruction or at least partial self-destruction.

      The environmentalists claim credit for things that all people would consider rational. Do we want to preserve animals and land? To me it is not “environmental” or “socialist” to save yourself from terrible air pollution that kills. Nobody wants to die from air pollution. Nobody wants to breathe crappy air. Nobody wants food that is dangerous or to kill off the animals.

      Anybody who likes to live in pollution, to cause extinction of animals, to eat food tainted with cancer producing or dangerous elements is simply mentally sick. That’s not capitalism or right wing. That’s simply stupid and evil people who care nothing about themselves or anyone else and in my honest opinion it describes mentally disturbed people.

      However, the left and environmentalists want to paint themselves with a brush of being the “good” guys when what they suggest is frequently just as crazy as people who don’t care about having a clean environment.

      I worry that environmentalists will once again try to claim that they made solar or prevented global warming when these things would have happened or not happened anyway. So, even if we still put up massive CO2 for decades and temperatures go nowhere or go up miniscule amount they will claim success anyway by saying that the small increase in temperature was because of their pushing us to solar or they invented solar when in fact they were completely wrong about the timing of solar or the amount of global warming we would get. It will take some long tooth old guys to remember that they said temps would go up 3 degrees by 2100 not 1 degreee. They will forget that solar didn’t become mainstream until it was economic to do so. They will take the credit when the simply natural thing that happened from sheer common sense had nothing to do with their crazed claims or agendas.

      • logiclogiclanglogiclogic.

      • Logiclogiclogic

        ‘Sure there will be exceptional cases like there are exceptional dictators who cause exceptional pain, some nations will be led down a path to self-destruction or at least partial self-destruction.’

        The UK, Europe and the US seem to be suffering this pain right now.
        The EU is run by ‘exceptional dictators’ already and if the UN has it’s way
        with ‘global governance’ we can all expect to be similarly served.

  30. Timely paper, even if ‘just’ MAGICC model projections. Shows the technical futility of COP21. The political failure will likely be more spectacular. The West won’t pay (GCF ‘extortion’ of $100 billion /year), the rest won’t play (cut emissions). Putin, Xi, and Modi are attending, and their positions are already clear. Obama knows he cannot constitutionally deliver any binding commitments, and that his CPP is also constitutionally challenged. Should be quite a circus.

    • Back in may 2007 I wrote an article on the tiny temperature reductions the UK govt would achieve with The legally binding climate change act designed to drastically reduce co2 emissions.

      The figure was a reduction of two thousandths of. Degree at a cost of 32 billion pounds by 2100 according to lord Stern

      https://judithcurry.com/2011/05/26/the-futility-of-carbon-reduction/

      What i find interesting is that I highlighted the concerns by business at the extra costs and the likely restrictions on power generation due to a reliance On green energy

      Both predictions have come true as the steel industry has collapsed in the last month followed by a large tyre manufacturer all citing high energy costs as their main problem. Just last week emergency measures had to be taken to protect our power supplies as on a mild november evening the solar panels weren’t working and the windmills had stopped turning.

      Anyway, I didn’t believe the likely temperature reduction figures initially but after running the article and getting various comments I contacted a dozen of the leading climate scientists to ask their opinion.

      Half of them had never even bothered to do the calculation the remainder broadly agreed with the figures.

      The cost and the resultant temperature reductions seem pointless even assuming co2 is having the impact claimed. It seems even more pointless when it is realised that basically the west is a bystander as the rest of the world ramp p up their co2 emissions.

      Tonyb

      • pointless to the fifth power.

      • Tonyb,

        “…as the steel industry has collapsed in the last month followed by a large tyre manufacturer all citing high energy costs as their main problem.”

        What has been the reaction of the public to that data?

        JW

      • Justin, as the Greens are just as left-wing as the unions, the representatives of most of those actually losing their jobs prefer to blame a lack of government subsidies instead of increasing energy costs. It’s easier politically, especially as the evil Tories are currently in power.

        The rest of us in the UK have got so used to various heavy industries shutting down over the last few decades that it all just seems inevitable. If a cause is mentioned, it is usually Chinese overcapacity, which I think personally is more to blame than the energy prices. At the moment, even if energy in the UK were free Chinese dumping would undercut many UK steel products.

        There’s an irony here – heavy industry leaves the UK, which helps us meet self-imposed emissions targets, then screw-ups in foreign central planning combine with increased domestic energy prices to create a further vicious circle of industrial depletion.

        You just know that once the dust has settled some idiot bureaucrat is going to start sounding off about how well the UK has cut its emissions, and brow-beating other countries for not following our virtuous lead. The whole thing saddens me immensely.

      • Justin

        Brits are used to high energy costs in our private lives so will know that it will impact on industries-and their jobs- also. I guess it won’t fully hit home until a large high pressure system sits over us in the winter and we can’t even access our high priced energy as a significant component of it, expensive solar and wind, stop working for days or weeks at a time thereby causing power block outs.

        It is a situation just waiting to happen as the Govt do not see the folly of retiring grown up power stations in favour of their petulant, immature and uncooperative off spring- renewables-that work when God smiles on us…

        tonyb

    • Curious George

      Nice to note that IPCC uses MAGIC, not science. Oh, gosh, I omitted a C.

    • Rud, I’m sure you saw what happened at the University of Missouri. If COP21 fails as it probably will, they will just find other Alinskyesqe methods to get what they want. They will continue to do that until the tribe on the other side of these issues coalesces and begins to use those tactics against them. Due to Obumbles use of those same methods, State governments have gone more and more to Republicans – the only bright spot I see in this disgusting mess.

  31. tonyb
    Have the US said thanks for shutting down your industry so we can compete better. If Germany continues self destruction with energy and immigrations that eliminates another competitor. Too bad China and India are too smart but luckily in the US the congress and Senate can drag their feet until power shifts to a more rationale regime. Hopefully ISIS does not get us first.

    We just decided we don’t want safe oil transportation in pipelines but can continue rail car shipping in Buffet trains. Can’t take oil from dangerous Canada vs Venezuela and Iraq or Iran, our dear friends.

    But always look for your comments. Best wishes to you personally.
    Scott

  32. People should read the Romm criticism. Sure its splattered with the usual bile but it also seems to make some important points that make some of Lomborgs assumptions look difficult to defend.

    • What I saw in his critique is heavy reliance on countries, like china, actually meeting their targets. He also bases his assimptions on model projections, which we should know by now, are more than a little flawed.

  33. Pingback: The Height Of Temperature Folly | Watts Up With That?

  34. So, how do all the temperature adjustments fit into this puzzle?

    Last year was the warmest on record by 2 hundredths of a degree with a 38% chance of being accurate.

    This year Karl et al adjusted the temp by .12 by using historic ship engine intake temp measurements instead of the specifically designed ARGO buoy data.

    If we consider the full impact of adjustments over the last 30 years to current and past temperature data sets (exactly what is that number anyhow), what is the actual unadjusted temperature and how will that be interpolated moving forward?

    I do see anthropogenic global warming, but it is mostly via the adjustments made to data sets by a small subset of humans.

    Just sayin, you can adjust one way or another to suit the political need at any given time. That has become very obvious in the US. Will we see global cooling to suit the politics in 2030 or 50 or 2100?

    Temperature is such a finite thing, no?

  35. Lomborg’s proposal to make green energy cheap is preposterous. Both wind and solar are intermittent and there is no technology presently available to store the amount of energy needed regardless of cost.
    Also using an ECS of 3 is clearly high in light of recent studies.

  36. I am fascinated by the continuous display of how the same data can be used by well-meaninv, intelligent, educated people to come to opposite conclusions. Lomberg is said by Climate Progress to be so completely wrong that his first premise, about China not honouring its “committments” (which I would agree likely) that the OTHER false assumptions are mere also-rans for why the paper should be retracted.

    We do not have dialogues about our social problems or concerns. We have parallel monologues. Al Gore is explicit on this – as is his friendly mouthpiece, Bill Nye. But …. is it not also true on other issues? The refugee problem right now? The Canadian First Nation social “crises”?

    But parallel monologues don’t explain the “black-is-white” conclusion discrepancy. That, I can’t figure out EXCEPT that it must be rooted in base assumptions. I certainly see the Climate Progress thinking has positive, even more-will-happen-than-expected assumptions in reading the INDCs, while Lomberg has the historical not-even-what-they-said expectations in mind.

    I sure wish there were a study on why the same data can provide backup for opposite conclusions. The only OTHER thing I can suspect is that we think we are looking at a technical issue, hence the technical data is crucial, but an analysis would find that the actual issue is NOT technical, but social philosophy. That within the Gore-Climate Progress analytical flowchart, there is a mislabelled Y/N junction, one that should be labeled “does this achieve our goal of ‘greening’ society?”

    Does anyone else find this same bizarreness?

  37. Lomborg’s paper is the first one published on the amount of warming prevented by the INDC commitments.

    I’d argue that it isn’t event the first. All Lomborg has assumed is that we continue increasing emissions beyond 2030, and hence that we end up – by 2100 – emitting almost as much as RCP8.5. Well, I doubt that increasing emissions beyond 2030 is somehow consistent with the INDC commitments.

    • Lomborg’s rationale does seem to make no sense. It would be as though an agency had goal for 100% literacy by 2030 and then assuming 2031 everybody forgot what they’d learnt.

    • The 0.2 K delta T in 2100 is for the post 2030 emissions held at constant levels.

      • If you’re referring to Lomborg’s paper, then this is not true. Simply look at the figures. Lomborg’s assumptions are, typically, that emissions rise after 2030, even in his optimistic scenario.

      • aTTP:

        Lomberg actually says:

        In the supplementary information, I also contrast the results with two unrealistically optimistic scenarios, one assuming ever higher reductions with the optimistic reduction rate extended throughout the century and one assuming a complete cessation of emission increases.

        And from the Supp:

        Figure S3. Annual global emissions, RCP8.5, the optimistic global INDC policy, optimistic extended global INDC assuming constant emission reduction rate forever, and a constant cap of global emissions at 2016 level.

        These two extra scenarios will lead to a significant further temperature reduction by 2100, as seen in Figure S4. The temperature increase by 2100 if the INDC emission reduction rate is extended forever will be 0.65C lower and 0.47C lower than the optimistic global INDC policy. Keeping global emissions constant at 2016 levels reduce the temperature increase in year 2100 by 1.16C.

      • These scenarios are actually much more likely than the one he highlighted, because his one assumes at 2030 we snap back to BAU emission growth again and no one (except him) predicts that. Once the reduction process starts, it continues through 2100.

  38. I also don’t think this is correct

    Lomborg’s ‘optimistic’ global warming reduction of 0.17C is consistent with a statement in the MIT Energy and Climate Outlook 2015:

    The MIT Energy and Climate Outlook 2015 does say

    Assuming the proposed cuts are extended through 2100 but not deepened further, they result in about 0.2°C less warming by the end of the century compared with our 2014 estimates.

    So, it’s relative to their 2014 estimate, not relative to RCP8.5. Their 2015 estimate is

    Global mean surface temperature increase ranges from 1.9–2.6°C by 2050 (relative to the 1860–1880 mean), and 3.1–5.2°C (central estimate 3.7°C) by 2100.

    which seems to be about 1oC less than RCP8.5 and more consistent with what Joe Romm is saying in his post about the INDCs.

  39. I wonder, what would Lomborg’s work look like if done versus RCPs other than 8.5?

  40. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12295/pdf

    Wiley seems to have messed up with the pdf. It has two page 4’s and no page 3.

  41. The long march begins with the first step. Who said that? Oh wait.

    The question is, do we want that march?

  42. Engineering science demonstrates CO2, in spite of being a ghg, has no effect on climate. Identification of the two factors that do cause reported average global temperature change (sunspot number is the only independent variable) are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com (97% match since before 1900). Everything not explicitly included (such as aerosols, volcanos, non-condensing ghg, ice changes, etc.) must find room in the unexplained 3%.

    The last 500 million years of substantial CO2 with no sustained temperature change is also evidence CO2 has no effect on climate. This is documented in the analysis linked above and also in a peer reviewed paper at Energy & Environment, Volume 26, No. 5, 2015, 841-845.

  43. Chip Knappenberger

    Judy,

    “When I first saw Lomborg’s paper, I was surprised by the numbers he cites for the U.S., since they are somewhat smaller than the ones I have been citing (from Chip Knappenberger)”

    Seems to me, considering our US baseline emissions scenarios are a bit different, our temperature rise averted numbers are *very* similar. Lomborg gets 0.013C, 0.031C, and 0.11C for the temperature rise averted from CPP, USINDC (28%) and US80% reduction, respectively. My numbers (in the same order) are 0.018C (http://www.cato.org/blog/002degc-temperature-rise-averted-vital-number-missing-epas-numbers-fact-sheet), 0.03C (https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/15/hearing-presidents-un-climate-pledge/) and 0.106C (http://www.cato.org/blog/current-wisdom-we-calculate-you-decide-handy-dandy-carbon-tax-temperature-savings-calculator).

    Pretty darn close, no?! (again, the differences can be traced back to US baseline emissions assumptions as well as IPCC scenario employed).

    -Chip

  44. “All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100”

    “The United Nations was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.”
    — Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General from 1953 to 1961

    0.17°C is nowhere near Hell.
    United Nations is way out of line.

  45. Question: Would the US, EU, etc. get more bang from their environment buck by helping developing countries build more efficient coal burning plants than trying to tweak already relatively efficient fuel use? (That is, relative to the fuel use in developing countries.) After all, countries in Asia are building 500 new coal fired power plants this year with many more to come in the future.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/03/us-asia-energy-power-idUSKCN0SS0IF20151103#j6MtZrhckoeKIEcA.97

  46. Lomborg’s paper contains many flaws. The most glaring problem is that he completely ignores the following Chinese government INDC commitment

    – To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early

    This Chinese INDC commitment is the biggest single CO2 reduction commitment item anywhere. Read it yourself on page 5 of the English section of the Chinese INDC at http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/China/1/China's%20INDC%20-%20on%2030%20June%202015.pdf.

    Peaking means reaching a high and then reducing, but Lomborg’s graph for China does not show a reduction in Chinese CO2 emissions after 2030. It shows a hefty increase.

    Lomborg states he excludes modelling this commitment and justifies the omission by saying that the CO2 peak of 2030 means the action comes after 2030. This is a fatally flawed statement. To peak CO2 by 2030 the Chinese have to peak coal use by 2020 – it takes that long to turn around the Chinese economy – and outside the INDC they have indeed publicly committed to this 2020 target too.

    Further, at the peak the growth rate has to be zero (or it would not be peak), and in the run up to 2030 you can measure whether China is peaking or not – particularly if they manage to beat the target. So Lomborg has no rational grounds for omitting this particular target from his paper.

    If you include this single Chinese target it blows all of Lomborg’s miniscule numbers out of the water.

    The current indications are that the Chinese may have peaked coal already in 2013, as 2014 is lower and what 2015 figures we have are down by about 8% on 2013. If this is the case then China is likely to peak total CO2 emissions around 2025, which comes well within the timescale that Lomborg should have been considering.

    So Lomborg’s paper is fatally flawed and should be withdrawn because it leaves out the single biggest swinger in the whole temperature reduction equation.

    • Isn’t it interesting that whether we’re successful in reducing carbon emissions enough to slow global warming doesn’t depend on what we in the West do – which is negligible – but only on what China does?. Of course, they have been underestimating their carbon emissions for years. Let’s hope they continue building the nuclear plants that we refuse to. And if they don’t build all those plants and retire their coal utilities, maybe their economy continues to slow and they can save the world from over-warming by sliding into a massive and permanent recession. Wouldn’t that be great for the planet?

      • There are a few reasons why China (and later on India – but they have more time) is the big swinger in all this.

        Firstly they have many more people (1.3 bn plus) than the USA and Europe combined.

        Secondly they are still developing.

        Thirdly, Europe and the USA are developed economies already. So sophisticated enough to work out that energy efficiency saves money. And rich enough to do something about energy efficiency. In the case of Europe most of it has been deliberately targeting CO2 emissions for some time, independently of what the USA or anyone else does. Particularly Germany, of course.

        The other interesting perspective is to separate out how the world got here from where it is going with CO2 emissions.

        UK where I live is responsible for the most CO2 increase per person already in the atmosphere, and USA is responsible for the highest total CO2 increase already in the atmosphere. Combined with the rest of Europe, that is pretty much how we got where we are. But there is not much either can do about the impact of historic emission, only make sure they are not the problem in future.

        By contrast China (and later India) will be the largest emitters in the future, so what happens by 2100 depends mainly on them – but only because Europe (mainly deliberately) and the USA (perhaps mainly accidentally) have already taken actions to reduce.

      • peter davies

        when looking at the co2 emissions balance sheet it must be remembered that here in the UK, thanks to fossil fuels, we have contributed probably the most of any nation to the common good from better medicines, wealth trough industry, sewage/water technology, the English language, The rule of law, literature and the arts amongst others.

        Why should we contribute towards this 100 billion dollar green slush fund? surely the nations using our historic contributions in their own societies should be paying us and other western nations as they have us to thank for their growing standard of living?

        tonyb

    • Peter, I hope that reduced coal consumption is not just an indicator of economic slow-down. There seems to be an eerie concurrence of the two.

      Of course, while Western nations fiddle with their domestic CO2 control knobs China will go on making all that stuff we want, in good times or bad. As will S Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, India etc etc…not to mention some new player who is sick of the domain, the plantation or the great people’s collective and wants to try the real juice.

      Meanwhile, the climate and the hot bubbly guts of our planet will do whatever they were going to do anyway. Let’s just hope the next Bond Event and next Laki-scale eruption don’t come together. It’s not the climate disasters I dread so much as the climate solutions.

      • Mosomoso (nice name!), your point is interesting too.

        China has had a reduction in its growth rate – down from a longer term average of 8% per annum to around 7% per annum at present. The 8% reduction of coal use is the balancing term between (what we would still regard as) strong 7% growth, and energy efficiency and power generation shifting to lower CO2 output sources (e.g. replacing coal with gas in Beijing).

        There is a case for saying the 1% economic growth reduction has hit some big CO2 emitting industries harder than most, but there’s no doubt those are still growing in absolute terms, so the Chinese must really be doing things which actually do reduce CO2 emissions.

        In the medium term the Chinese seem to be planning on a slightly reduced growth rate – 6%? (apparently there’s a new 5 year plan due out soon). This is because of a natural shift from exports (making stuff USA and Europe cannot make so cheaply) to internal domestic spending as the primary source of Chinese economic growth.

        Whatever they are doing right now to reduce CO2 emissions, there is definitely more to come, because they are setting up regional and national carbon taxes and carbon markets over the next few years. Why? Because it’s the most economically efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions. They have tried a few local experiments on this, but nothing big enough until now that it would have made a noticeable difference to overall CO2 emissions. So they really are serious about this stuff. Of course it helps if you can shoot or imprison anyone who tries to disagree or buck the party line…..

      • Peter, so far China have been global experts in making firm commitments to come to strong resolutions to make definite dates to make firm commitments to come to strong…But I won’t go on. I wish them well, and, like the rest, I need all that stuff they make. If they are fudging and faking their CO2 emissions (like I would do with a compliant, self-hating Western media), I hope they don’t take any advice from VW.

        As a total skep I’m happy if the Chinese burn Australian coal, and as a conservationist I think it’s great that they are building new and much more efficient coal power gen. Australia still wastes its coal in ageing clunkers, but Australia is green, which has somehow become the opposite of conservationist.

    • And, as always, it comes down to supporting international agreements. The only way China is going to make an effort is if they see that everyone else is. Same for India.

      • Jim D, I don’t think that will be a major factor for either country. They will do what they think is best for their country and maintaining power/re-election.

      • richard verney

        This claim is frequently made, but no one explains why it should be so. Jim, why should China act just because the US or other developed nations are so doing? Why suppose that they will simply behave as lemmings.

        In fact, it is far more sensible to let others test the water, to see whether it is safe to drink the kool aid (that is why in the past, leaders had tasters to check whether their food was poisoned and that they wanted to check that they were not drinking from a poisoned chalice), and so it would make far more sense for China to first see what impact these cut backs have on the US and Europe before deciding whether to join the party.

        If it appears that these cut backs castrates the industrial base and leads to economic ruin, China will not join the party but will watch on enjoying the rise in its own fortunes and the folly of the West.

      • It will be interesting to see if Paris/INDCs can survive the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The TPP is bad enough at first reading. Just wait until the international trade lawyers get through with it.

        The US economy could end up between a rock (Paris) and a hard place (TPP).

      • As to why China would be more likely to act if others did, I think every country has some opponents with the same straw man argument as the US Republicans, who say loudly that going it alone is worthless, so that is why a widely endorsed and well explained international agreement is needed, and it takes away that argument against unilateral action by an individual country.

    • I now have a twin on CE and he makes a lot of sense! From now on I am Peter M

    • Peter, how do you reach this conclusion? “To peak CO2 by 2030 the Chinese have to peak coal use by 2020 – it takes that long to turn around the Chinese economy…” Hopefully, they will do this, but it does not seem necessary in order for them to fulfill their commitment. It seems that to fulfill the commitment Chinese CO2 emissions can increase every year up to 2030 but not beyond. Also, it would seem possible for the peak to be a plateau. That is, it doesn’t appear that emissions have to fall after 2030, just not increase. Fortunately, other realities (see below) probably will lead to Chinese emissions peaking prior to 2030.

      To me the primary goal of the Chinese Government is for its leaders to stay in power, and at least two things probably have to happen for that to occur. First, the terrible local pollution has to be curbed. This winter is shaping up to be a particular problem, and this will prompt the government to do more to combat local pollution. Generally, a side effect of curbing local pollution is a reduction of CO2, allowing the government to take credit on the global stage for CO2 emissions reduction. For me the local pollution problem is the main reason China is tackling CO2 emissions. Second, the economy has to continue to grow. For the last several decades this has taken precedence over environmental quality. However, now both the economy and the environment have to share the spotlight because enough Chinese residents have become wealthy enough to demand a cleaner environment. Economic growth in China has slowed to around 7%, but this means China’s economy will only double in size about every decade instead of the previous doubling every seven years or so. So, from an economic point of view, it’s like getting another China every decade. And when you stop and think India wants to emulate China’s economic success. What is that going to mean for CO2 emissions? To me it makes the US 28% reduction commitment pale in comparison.

      • gjw2, I don’t disagree with anything you say. However, for the leaders to stay in power long term (with the usual 5 year turnovers) they have to keep an increasingly well informed population reasonably happy. Being able to breathe the air is all part of this, and the leaders themselves probably have to go outside in big cities from time to time too.

        Also, just a flight of fancy for a moment. You are an all-powerful Chinese leader suddenly, and probably pretty patriotic too. Assuming you think you’ll be toppled if you are seen to be corrupt, what do you do? Well there’s no big downside to trying to do what you see as the right thing for the Chinese people medium and long term – your name might go down in the history books as a good leader then. It’s not incompatible with staying in power, and may even help at some point.

        As for coal peaking in 2020, look at the following chart : http://www.usfunds.com/media/images/frank-talk-images/2015_ft/Jul-Dec/Consensus-We-Havent-Seen-Peak-Coal-Use-in-China-09152015-lg.png

        The forecasts all disagree, so most if not all of them have to be wrong! But that isn’t the point. The point is that none of them show any rapid changes of direction – the change in growth or reduction in coal is all very gradual. So everyone doing the forecasting thinks it takes China a long time to first stop coal use rising and then to get through the plateau and get it to drop.

        Now relate this to a commitment to peak CO2 in 2030 in an environment where the economy is still growing at 6% per year. You will still need to be installing more electricity generation and expanding energy use (e.g. making cement for new buildings). Some of this can be done with electricity from renewables, but it’s a tall order for all the energy growth to come from this by 2030 – only 15 years, and no-one knows how to make cement efficiently from wind or solar power yet. China is a huge country and it just takes time to do anything – whereas in a smaller country you can move much faster. Maybe 2040.

        So you will inevitably be using more gas (half the emissions of coal). But to peak CO2 you have to be reducing coal use by at least half the rate at which you are using more gas, or CO2 will be increasing again. Thus you have to have coal use on a significant downward trend by 2030 or you are not going to meet your 2030 CO2 emissions targets. That means going through a peak (plateau) much sooner than 2030, and 2020 is the figure the experts seem to pick. If someone had said 2022 I would have difficulty arguing with them. But if someone held out for a 2025 coal peak it’s fairly obvious from the chart that it would be a little late to hit the 2030 targets. Anyway, the Chinese themselves think 2020 is a good year to aim for to peak coal. And although Chinese coal statistics are not yet very good and are constantly being revised, it does look like they might have already peaked early (2013), which, if it were true, would give them a sporting chance of hitting a CO2 emissions peak of 2025.

        Needless to say the Chinese are putting effort into improving the coal and other energy use statistics. They are not the only government organisation to have problems tracking things, by the way. The UK Office of National Statistics is always revising financial numbers as data comes in slowly, and they have been at it for a lot longer than the Chinese equivalent. USA similarly.

      • China has been driving growth with debt financed capital investment in underutilized factories, bridges and roads to nowhere, ghost cities, biggest in the world shopping malls with no shoppers, etc. Google “China bubble”. The biggest misallocation of resources in world history. Socialists and pseudo-socialists are smart that way. The bubble is going to burst and projections of China CO2 emissions will be revised. In the meantime they are still piling into coal power plant construction:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/world/asia/china-coal-power-energy-policy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

        Short China. You’ll make a lot of money.

      • Don, I thought China’s growth was driven by foreign investment (e.g Apple). And after the recession that investment dried up somewhat.

      • gjw2: Generally, a side effect of curbing local pollution is a reduction of CO2, allowing the government to take credit on the global stage for CO2 emissions reduction.

        How so? Reducing pollution requires installing a lot of add-on exhaust scrubbers and such which reduce total power output a little, necessitating the burning of more coal to maintain output and economic productivity. It’s worth it (at least judged by American health and pollution discussions and decisions), but it is an increase in cost and consumption. Isn’t that so?

      • You are wrong as usual, yoey. Capital investment financed with debt:

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-11/worlds-biggest-bond-bubble-continues-burst-china-suffers-more-defaults

        And Tyler, who knows his dookey, does not go into local government debt, or off the books private debt owed to shadow banks. There are a lot of bubbles to burst in li’l ole Red China. Don’t sweat Chinese CO2.

      • Don, doesn’t foreign investment enable you to finance your debt? Wouldn’t a decrease in foreign investment which we have seen in the past few years affect economic growth and the ability of to pay off their debt?

      • There are a lot of bubbles to burst in li’l ole Red China. Don’t sweat Chinese CO2.

        I have heard all kinds of economic forecasts that turned out wrong. Why should take this one any more seriously? And it always possible that some bubble could lead to a slow down in economic growth, but then in five years or so they are back to high growth and energy demand increases. But it is just difficult to predict in the first place.

      • Peter wrote, “Now relate this to a commitment to peak CO2 in 2030 in an environment where the economy is still growing at 6% per year. You will still need to be installing more electricity generation and expanding energy use (e.g. making cement for new buildings). Some of this can be done with electricity from renewables, but it’s a tall order for all the energy growth to come from this by 2030 – only 15 years, and no-one knows how to make cement efficiently from wind or solar power yet. China is a huge country and it just takes time to do anything – whereas in a smaller country you can move much faster. Maybe 2040.

        So you will inevitably be using more gas (half the emissions of coal). But to peak CO2 you have to be reducing coal use by at least half the rate at which you are using more gas, or CO2 will be increasing again. Thus you have to have coal use on a significant downward trend by 2030 or you are not going to meet your 2030 CO2 emissions targets. That means going through a peak (plateau) much sooner than 2030, and 2020 is the figure the experts seem to pick.”

        Nuclear offers another solution to the problem. According to an article Professor Curry listed in the most recent “Week in Review” China plans on building 100 nuclear facilities over the coming decade. They anticipate 150 gigawatts from nuclear by 2030. It’s my understanding China looks to build nuclear power plants at home and abroad.

        By the way, thanks for the coal use graph. I see two of the projections indicate basically a plateau by 2020. The other five show at least modest growth with some showing substantial growth.

      • Here’s why China’s economic slow down or outright decline is inevitable:

        It’s a story that is shared by most of the developed world.

        Of course, India, African Nations and some other Asia/Pacific nations are still growing and developing.

        But CO2 emissions are falling for much of the world.

        In fact, according to the EDGAR database ( and IEA for China’s recent peak ), of the leading CO2 emitters, the bolded countries are the ones past peak CO2:
        China(2013)
        United States(2005)
        EU28(1990)
        India
        Russia(1990)
        Japan
        Korea
        Int. Shipping
        Canada(2005)
        Brazil
        Indonesia
        Saudi Arabia
        Mexico(2012)
        Int. Aviation
        Iran(2005)
        Australia(2011)
        Turkey(2012)
        South Africa(2005)
        Ukraine(1990)
        Taiwan(2010)

      • You need to do a little homework, yoey. Learn the difference between an investment and a loan. Look up the net foreign direct investment related to China.

        You got inflows of capital and you got outflows. China has made large foreign direct investments. You are interested in the net.

        I am very sure you will find that net foreign investment in China is not in the same ballpark as the $30 trillion corporate debt bubble discussed in the article. And China does not have to repay foreign direct investments, yoey. That’s not one of their problems.

        You shouldn’t take any economic forecasts seriously, yoey. You would need some basic understanding of economics, before economic forecasts would be meaningful to you.

        Good luck!

      • But foreign investment is related to economic growth and in the article you posted it states that economy is causing them to not be able to pay their debts.

      • Here’s the quote, Don.

        hanshui, reeling from China’s economic slowdown and a shareholder campaign to oust Zhang, said it will fail to pay 2 billion yuan ($314 million) of bonds due on Nov. 12, making it at least the sixth Chinese company to default in the local note market this year.

      • I didn’t say that foreign investment is not related to economic growth, yoey. I pointed you to the analysis you needed to do to disabuse yourself of the goofey notion that foreign investment has driven China’s growth. You haven’t done any of your homework. I am not going to spend any more time trying to educate you, yoey.

      • I wrote, “Generally, a side effect of curbing local pollution is a reduction of CO2, allowing the government to take credit on the global stage for CO2 emissions reduction.”

        In response matthewmarler (MTW) wrote, “How so? Reducing pollution requires installing a lot of add-on exhaust scrubbers and such which reduce total power output a little, necessitating the burning of more coal to maintain output and economic productivity. It’s worth it (at least judged by American health and pollution discussions and decisions), but it is an increase in cost and consumption. Isn’t that so?”

        First, I am not an expert in cleaning up coal-fired power plants. My general statement was based on projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions that also reduced local pollution. While the above statement by MTW may be true, it represents only one way to reduce local pollution by impacting coal-fired power plants. Below is a quote from an IEA publication on cutting CO2 emissions and local pollutants in existing coal-fired power plants in China.

        “As the world’s largest consumer of coal, China stands at the forefront of both the challenges and opportunities offered by efficiency improvements. In response, China is undertaking a major national energy efficiency improvement programme, which includes improving the thermal efficiency and environmental performance of its existing coal-fired power plants. This programme offers the possibility of reaping the benefits of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lower coal consumption and thus lower operating costs, improved air quality and reduced water usage. It is also an ideal opportunity to showcase the benefits of improving energy efficiency to a global audience.” (Executive Summary)
        https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/PartnerCountrySeriesEmissionsReductionthroughUpgradeofCoalFiredPowerPlants.pdf

        By the way, improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants isn’t the only way to reduce local pollution while cutting CO2 emissions. Examples include, reducing electricity use via activities such as adopting improved lighting (CFLs, and LEDs), fuel economy standards, road freight logistics, switching from coal to other, more efficient, fossil fuels, etc.

      • I am laughing.

        You guys who say we can predict the climate or even that nobody knows the future.. are all pontificating about economic projections and forecasts.

        too effin funny

      • Spain attempting to lead the world in clean energy
        transformation, committing 571,138 euros for each
        ‘green job’ subsidized and loss of 110, 500 jobs
        elsewhere. Heh, should have heeded the Don.
        (Rest of the EU ain’t doing too well either.)

        If the doom-sayers genu-inely believed that AGW
        was an existential threat they could’ve gone nuclear,
        but they didn’t. Guess it was never really about cli-sci
        -based-on one-tree-hockey-stick-selecting-or-over-
        heated-model-projecting-or-missing-hot-spot-over-
        looking-or-bucket-theory-of–ocean-warming-or-that
        -BOM-land-temp-data-homogenizing … was it?

        http://www.windaction.org/posts/26329-gabriel-calzada-alvarez-speaks-to-the-u-s-congress-about-green-jobs#.VkQkDGeKpkp

      • We assume you meant:

        “You guys who say we can’t predict the climate or even that nobody knows the future.. are all pontificating about economic projections and forecasts.”

        Well, I predict with a high level of confidence that humans will continue to take pleasure in acts that often lead to procreation. Medical technology will continue to advance and more diseases will be conquered. Population will grow. The new folks will want to eat, wear some sort of fashionable clothing, heat and cool their abodes, get around town in some sort of motorized vehicle, take vacations, etc. That ain’t hard to figure out. I am waiting to be convinced that we can predict the climate with a high level of confidence.

      • Mosher

        I might buy what you’re peddling if it has ever been demonstrated that “all other things being equal” was an achievable state. Just like in economics, no one will ever get there.
        Unless, of course, you live in a test tube or academe. There is an infinite number of intervening variables, not to mention the ubiquitous unknown unknowns. Determinism has gone the way of white belts, powder blue leisure suits and Tony Bennett’s voice.

        Who’s zoomin’ who.

      • I am laughing.

        You guys who say we can predict the climate or even that nobody knows the future.. are all pontificating about economic projections and forecasts.

        too effin funny

        Try laughing at yourself as well.

        Implicit in your prophecies of doom are huge assumptions.

        But as for economics, they are ( by first principles of macroeconomic equations ) determined by demographics.

        And demographics, as they say, are destiny.

    • Peter Davies | November 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      Lomborg’s paper contains many flaws. The most glaring problem is that he completely ignores the following Chinese government INDC commitment

      Well, yeah.

      There are two issues:
      1. Future Emissions
      2. % of future emissions that will accumulate in the atmosphere.

      It seems likely both will be lower than are commonly predicted.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-13/china-s-carbon-emissions-drop-for-the-first-time-since-2001

      Although China was lying about their emissions by about 1 GT/Y of CO2 (0.27GT of carbon) in 2014 the emissions they were lying about were about 2% lower.

    • Peter Davies: If you include this single Chinese target it blows all of Lomborg’s miniscule numbers out of the water.

      How much? Reading your post, I get the “semi-quantitative” idea that it changes Lomborg’s conclusions a little bit.

      So Lomborg’s paper is fatally flawed and should be withdrawn because it leaves out the single biggest swinger in the whole temperature reduction equation.

      At most, you make a case that someone, perhaps Lomborg, should add in some more scenarios and thus enlarge the paper by about 2 pages inclusive of a new table.

      • matthewrmarler, the figure I have seen from the Chinese peaking CO2 emissions in 2030 is a reduction by 2100 of 0.4 degrees C. That’s quoted by Joe Romm in http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/09/3720613/lomborg-misleads-paris-climate-pledges/. He says it came from Climate Interactive.

        Since Lomborg quotes a pessimistic case of 0.05 deg C reduction for the totality of INDC pledges he analyses, the single Chinese pledge beats that by a factor of x8, and beats Lomborg’s “optimistic” case (which in fact is deeply pessimistic with the assumptions he has made) of 0.17 deg C reduction by a factor of x2.3. Add in other commitments and you would more than double those factors to get back to Climate Interactive’s total of a 1 deg C reduction.

        The problem Lomborg would have in adding more scenarios is that he has gone to great lengths to exclude the big reductions. Putting them back would invalidate his conclusion that the reduction in warming from the INDC commitments is not worth having!

      • Peter Davies: The problem Lomborg would have in adding more scenarios is that he has gone to great lengths to exclude the big reductions. Putting them back would invalidate his conclusion that the reduction in warming from the INDC commitments is not worth having!

        That may be so, but an extra page or two of text and and extra table, including his explanation of why he thinks the most optimistic scenario is highly unlikely would be sufficient. The paper is not “fatally flawed” and at most needs revision.

        Joe Romm isn’t necessarily wrong in every case, but his figure, from Climate Interactive, should be double-checked. It’s not likely more credible than Lomborg’s evaluation.

    • China’s use of coal now and in the future is primarily a function of the price of coal.

  47. Curious George

    China “To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early.” This blows all of Lomborg’s miniscule numbers out of the water. Your math is refreshing.

  48. Pingback: The Height Of Temperature Folly | Daily Green World

  49. Pingback: COP 21–We Should Focus On What We Can Measure | The Lukewarmer's Way

  50. “Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. – Bjorn Lomborg”
    Curious statement.
    The impacts of the Current climate policy promises will have very detectable impacts in less than a decade and they will continue for many decades if left unchecked.
    As he says, not on the climate, but on the lives and well being of both the rich and poor nations and their people.
    In reality most of this is hand waving, Governments go by feel and the feeling at the moment is self indulgent concern for moral ideas,not people.
    Paris will go ahead, restrictions will follow, then the consequences will hit and the mood will go nasty. Pity those scientists then, abandoned by their politicians.
    We can only hope that the pendulum does not swing too far back by trying, thanks Judith, to slow the current swing and reduce the back swing.

  51. Clearing up, I came across my lead letter in The Australian 25 September 2007. Not much has changed in eight years! I could re-submit it:

    Climate change is the natural condition of the Earth. Several questions must be answered before policy decisions are made to attempt to modify the rate of change.

    Is the Earth really warming at an unusual rate? If so, is this a problem and what are the costs and benefits of climate change? What is the cause of any change and can policy-driven human actions significantly affect the rate of change and the level of global temperature? What are the costs and benefits of such actions? Are they worthwhile?

    Clearly, no one can decisively answer all of these questions. All policy proposals are based on a high degree of ignorance and uncertainty, which should be recognised. Yet none of the questions were addressed in Alexander Downer’s piece (“Solutions to climate change lie ahead, not in Kyoto,” Opinion, 24/9). It would be better to focus our efforts on developing a clearer understanding of climate change than on pursuing ad hoc and disparate measures, many of which clearly will not be cost-effective.

    [Downer was the Minister for Foreign Affairs 1996-2007.]

  52. A little over 3.5 years ago, I decided to investigate how on Gaia’s green earth the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’s ever-growing army of NGOs came to have (what appeared to me to be) such an inordinate influence on the decisions and directions of the UN.

    In no small measure, I was left with the distinct impression that (the now primarily shadowy) Maurice Strong was bound and determined to lead this (once respected**) body far, far astray from its original intent and mandate.

    ** Perhaps it is also worth noting that it was 40 years ago yesterday, i.e. November 10 (as Hillel Neuer has reminded us) that the UN began its descent from its erstwhile – and/or putative, depending on one’s perspective – noble goals by declaring that “Zionism is racism”.

    Interestingly, Strong’s UNEP was never part of the UN’s original mandate. Nor – to the best of my knowledge – has it ever been incorporated into the UN’s mandate, except via (the also unincorporated) ECOSOC.

    For those who might be interested in the creeping growth and influence of ECOSOC – and the concomitant ascension of the power of NGOs in the multifarious UN processes – I would recommend the work of Professor Peter Willetts.

    YMMV, but I found Willetts’ extensive work over the years to be quite enlightening. He certainly makes far more sense than anything we are likely to see and/or hear from Chistiana (aka Tinkerbell-cubed) Figueres.

    But I digress … Willetts’ most recent (i.e. 2014) graph of this ascension of the power and the (self-appointed?!) glory of NGOs can be found at:

    http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/p.willetts/NGOS/NGO-GRPH.HTM#graph

    Here’s a radical thought: Perhaps it’s long past time to hit some “reset” buttons.

    Or perhaps it’s time – as some have suggested, on occasion – to abolish the UN and its ever-growing, self-serving and inept bureaucracies and trillion $ dreams and attempted drains on world economies (or – at the very least – what’s left of ’em!)

    • Hilary, I’ve long wondered if Maurice Strong is in China rightly advising them or being advised of his rights.
      ===================

      • Kim, I’m inclined to think that Strong might have been a better person if those in China had advised him of his “wrongs” …

        Beginning with his “partnership” with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan, aka Mr. Oil-For-Food (and current leader of TheElders and its cast of recyled UN has-beens and wannabes).

        For the youngsters amongst us, here’s an interesting piece on Strong – from 1997 – by respected writer Ronald Bailey**

        ** Bailey has a (relatively) new book out, btw: The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century . Read the reviews – including a not so great one from Pielke Jr. – here.

        But I, for one, am glad he gave “top billing” to Matt Ridley’s:

        Ronald Bailey sets out factually and simply the unassailable, if inconvenient, truth: that if you care for this planet, technological progress and economic enterprise are the best means of saving it.

        Good enough for me to add to my “must read” list!

        Not that I expect it to give me much (if any) hope for much needed reform at Strong’s far too polluted former UN home base … and … uh… StrongHold;-)

  53. Who do the rest of us get to RICO for the onerous world government being created? Who do the rest of us get to RICO for the onerous national governments being created? We are and will suffer significant and demonstrable damages.

    • We are and will suffer significant and demonstrable damages.

      Yes! You are and you will.

      Not because of Man-Made CO2, but because of wrong actions to correct a natural cycle that you cannot change. You reap what you sow.

  54. Lomborg says, “The 2.7°C comes from the International Energy Agency…..”

    Wrong, it comes from The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) which claims to be “an independent scientific analysis that measures government climate action against the globally agreed aim of holding warming below 2°C of warming. It is produced by four research organisations: Climate Analytics, Ecofys, NewClimate Institute and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.”

    http://climateanalytics.org/what-we-do/climate-action-tracker

    The idea that these are four independent research institutes is as much a deception as the VW affair. The CAT operates from the same Berlin address as Hare’s Climate Analytics and they even use the same telephone number.

    Climate Analytics was started with funding from the German government by former Greenpeace International political director, Australian Bill Hare, at Potsdam in 2008. He is a named author of the UN GAP report. He has been embedded at Potsdam since 2002 and was still speaking for Greenpeace as late as 2008, if not later and was, probably still is, active in the Climate Action Network. He was a co-author of the AR4 Synthesis Report. His PhD is an honorary one from Murdoch University in Australia.

    He was originally an activist with the Australian Conservation Foundation and he was pushing for 1.5 degrees and a carbon budget, talking of unburnable fuels etc as far back as 1997. He has been a Lead Author for IPCC, even whilst still officially working for Greenpeace. He has used basic computer models for years to produce MAGICC scary scenarios.

    He is still involved with Potsdam, and took some Potsdam staff with him to Climate Analytics, so already two “independent” institutes are part and parcel of the same set up, although CA now has offices in Berlin.

    Kornelis Blok is Managing Partner at Ecofys. He is not a climate scientist and neither are his team at Ecofys. He has been a Lead Author for IPCC. In 2009, Ecofys was part of a parent company called Econcern, which went bust along with 27 associated eco companies under the company banner, including Ecofys International BV.

    Then we have the New Climate Institute, set up by Niklas Hoehne about a year ago. He was Director of Energy and Climate Policy at Ecofys for 13 years and prior to that worked for UNFCCC. Six of his founding partners also were at Ecofys with him. Neither Hoehne nor his partners are climate scientists, even though Hoehne has been a Lead Author for IPCC. They are policy advocates.

    So we see that the “four european research groups” turn out to be essentially one body with four heads and they are pushing policy upon the rest of us, based on a flawed paradigm.

    The 2 degree figure is meaningless and has no scientific basis. It was first floated by economist William Nordhaus in 1977 and was picked up by Potsdam’s John Schellnhuber in 1995 and adopted by the EU in 1996. Encouraged by support from Angela Merkel, it has become a mantra with no meaning.

    The aim of Paris is to get Son of Kyoto, with global energy taxation, administered on behalf of the UN, by the global corporatist financiers pushing The New Climate Economy, with Stern, Edenhofer, Soros and major financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, JP Morgan et al in the vanguard. With global stagnation and low general investment, they see this as the new wealth generator. AGW is the false rationale. Who wouldn’t want to save the planet?

    https://www.db.com/cr/en/concrete-caio-koch-weser-presents-new-climate-economy-report-findings-in-israel.htm

    Caio Koch-Weser, who was on Ban Ki Moon’s “High Level Climate Finance Panel” after Copenhagen, along with George Soros, Lord Stern, Christine Lagarde, (now IMF chief), says:

    “Over the next 15 years, USD 90 trillion will be invested globally in energy systems, cities and land use sectors. The nature of these investments will affect the strength of economic growth and society’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change. …….. “sustainability and innovation are essential ingredients for future prosperity and the wellbeing of society”.

    Much of the money washing around goes to “consultants”, as in this description of the risks of emissions trading:

    http://www.aon.com/risk-services/environmental-articles/article_carbon-credit-ins-part1.jsp

    “Emissions Trading Up Close”

    “……..it takes a lot of money to validate, register, monitor, verify, and certify a carbon offset project on both compliance and voluntary markets. A small-scale project faces anywhere between $40,000 and $200,000 in total transaction costs, which in turn, can represent over 40 percent of the total value of a certified reduction.

    This high cost is another major point of contention, and also why to date most offset projects have been coordinated with large corporations, which in places like India and China receive the vast majority of carbon offset finance.

    One of the central difficulties involved in the commodification process of carbon offsets is the fact that for every offset project, consultants have to create a unique storyline describing a hypothetical world without the project, and then assign a number to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with that imagined world.”

    This is from AON, who are offering offset insurance in case claimed offsets are rejected for failing to comply with the rules and money has to be handed back.

    The poor will not benefit from controls on fossil energy, the climate will hardly notice, but those already rich will become much richer.

    • “Over the next 15 years, USD 90 trillion will be invested globally in energy systems, cities and land use sectors.”

      Is that 90 trill for fast mitigation, climate change tackling, climate solutions, climate adaptation, developmental agility (“agile” is the hot Australian buzzword), resilience, anti-fragility…or is it just for massive white elephant breeding programs? I can never tell.

  55. Wind and solar growth means more back up electricity needed, warns IEA
    The world will produce electricity less efficiently in the future, thanks to the rapid growth of intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
    The International Energy Agency warns in its World Energy Outlook 2015 that the world will have to add more generation capacity “than is globally installed today, while average utilisation rates … go down because of the need to integrate variable renewable technologies”.
    Lower capacity utilisation rates are associated with lower efficiency. In a world electricity market in which renewables such as wind and solar energy provide more than half the increase in generation capacity between now and 2040, back up capacity – in the form of coal, gas, hydro or nuclear baseload capacity, or batteries – will be required to switch on when intermittent renewables don’t work.
    The IEA says in the World Energy Outlook – which also gives a more subdued outlook for coal than in last year’s report – that countries may have to pay baseload suppliers to maintain standby capacity for these occasions.
    It says such countries will have to consider “appropriate market mechanisms that can generate the necessary investment in generation and grids”.
    Britain’s electricity market already has a so-called “capacity market” which provides payments to baseload generators for this purpose. Germany, with a higher share of intermittent renewables in its electricity mix than Australia, is warily considering similar market mechanisms.
    Such payments are unpopular in Britain because more often than not they go to a coal or other fossil fuel generator.
    Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Matt Zema​ warned last month that recent price volatility in South Australia, which has the highest share of renewable energy of any state, would have caused blackouts if not for his agency’s intervention in the SA electricity market.
    Mr Zema said the problem could get worse as other states followed SA’s example and increased their renewable energy generation as a share of the total.
    Ensuring stable electricity supply to societies and industries that depend on energy as never before is an emerging challenge for electricity markets because of the rapid growth of non-hydro renewable energy.
    http://www.afr.com/business/mining/coal/wind-and-solar-growth-means-more-back-up-electricity-needed-warns-iea-20151110-gkvfi4

    • To support the variable generation from wind and solar you don’t need more fossil fuel generation, you just need to keep what you have at the moment.

      The times when wind and solar generation cannot meet demand are going to be something like 20 to 40% of the time, and probably in Australia would come outside the daytime availability of solar power. During these gaps wind and solar would probably still provide on average around 50% of the power demand. So the fossil fuel use would be required to provide something like 10 to 20% of the power generation, so CO2 emissions would be down to 10 to 20% of the levels compared with using fossil fuel generation all the time. With significant hydro and other storage you can do better.

      Since this coal and gas generation tends to exist already there are no new capital costs, and the fuel costs are approximately going to follow the use. If you have to provide new generation then do it with gas because the capital costs of this are much lower than that of wind and solar, so the backup capital cost probably adds no more than 10-20% of the wind and solar capital cost at the moment. As wind and solar get cheaper this percentage for backup will rise, but the total cost comes down, of course, as does the average cost of electricity generated.

      • > During these gaps wind and solar would probably still provide on average around 50% of the power demand

        How, when the “gaps” ares caused by no sun (ie. night) and no wind

        Are you serious ? Experience in both South Australia and the UK in the last fortnight have demonstrated the lie ino your propaganda

        [Please don’t bother with “better battery technology” – any millenium now, I expect]

      • ian18888, there are a few things to bear in mind.

        Firstly in a hot climate like Australia, then the peak demand is likely to occur during the days from air conditioning. Fortunately most of the really hot days are also sunny so there will be plenty of wind power for most of the day to drive this air conditioning. There may be a period towards the end of the day when it is still too warm, but the sun is going and there is little solar power. But it’s not for much of the day. If you have wind power near the coast then you often get winds travelling onshore towards the end of the day which help too.

        So mostly if there is going to be shortage of power it’s going to be night, early morning or evening, and probably outside peak demand times.

        if you have a sufficiently wide distribution of wind turbines you rarely get no wind at all. Here’s a typical graph of the shape of wind speed versus probability at a single location – http://www.wind-power-program.com/Images/wind_statistics.htm/Histogram%20of%20wind%20speeds%20with%20photo(600×411).JPG. ignore the actual values and just look at the shape.

        Power output goes with the cube of the wind speed. I cannot find a chart of power output versus number of observations for a wind turbine – but it would be skewed rather more towards the lower output power (supporting your first thought). But this would be for a single location only.

        So what you tend to get is less wind than you need to meet electricity demand from wind alone rather than long periods with no wind at all. How much less depends on how you much wind you have installed and how independent the wind is in the different locations it is installed. If it is highly correlated across all locations you have a problem – when you cannot meet demand the average shortfall is going to be more than 50% of the demand. Probably you are talking a 65-70% shortfall

        However, if the wind is relatively independent at the different locations (more likely in a larger geographic region) then the wind is likely to be blowing somewhere and average shortfall is going to more closely approach 50% of demand. For an equal split between two locations with completely independent wind speeds following a Rayleigh / Weibull distribution (e.g. north Europe/North Sea plus North African coast) the figure is very close to 50%.

        Mostly you would try to disperse the wind generation as much as possible, if you have a choice, or have connectors between different windy regions to get around this particular issue.

      • @ Peter Davies

        There are well-maintained Aus websites recording exact supply and demand in relation to wind on an hourly basis, State by State

        Your waffle bears no relation to these data

        But, I know, any millenium now …

      • Ian18888,

        As far as I know there is not yet a region in Australia where the wind power capacity is sufficiently large to match the peak electricity demand. Most likely the lastest turbines are not installed in all these places either. These will have a larger rotor diameter to generator maximum capacity ratio, and the hub heights will be around to 100m mark. The effect of this is that they can generate at lower wind speeds, and the capacity factors tend to be higher purely because the capacity relative to the wind energy available is lower. This also lowers cost but means you must space them further apart.

        My analysis is based on some simple playing with the straight Rayleigh/Weibull distribution in a Java program.

    • Looks like Germany is going to have to adopt payments for so called “capacity market” as well.

      Bleeding To Death…Germany’s Largest Power Company E.ON Loses Whopping $7.8 Billion…Collapse Accelerates
      http://notrickszone.com/2015/11/11/bleeding-to-death-germanys-largest-power-company-e-on-loses-whopping-7-8-billion-collapse-accelerates/

  56. Australia asks Saudis to invest in renewable energy

    Australia has invited Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries to put their money into wind and solar farms Down Under as the new government in Canberra declares it is “open for business” on renewable power investments.
    The move is part of what Greg Hunt, Australian environment minister, says is a “significant change in tone on renewable energy” after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seized the leadership of the ruling centre-right Liberal party in September from Tony Abbott.
    snip
    Mr Abbott’s departure is one of two significant political shifts in big fossil fuel-producing nations that have boosted hopes for the new global climate treaty due to be finalised in Paris next month.
    The other came in October when Canadians voted for a new centre-left government led by Justin Trudeau.
    Mr Trudeau claimed Canada became a “pariah” on climate change issues under Stephen Harper, his Conservative party predecessor, who pulled Canada out of the Kyoto protocol climate treaty in 2011.
    In Australia, Mr Turnbull may struggle to meet the high expectations climate change campaigners have for his government.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3d41f412-86cb-11e5-9f8c-a8d619fa707c.html

    • I don’t think Saudi Arabia would mind funding Australia’s wind power industry so long as the cost is rolled into the cost of oil Australia buys from Saudi Arabia. But, what then is the gain to Australia?

  57. Bjorn Lomborg kicks butt! Along with Matt Ridley, Nigel Lawson, Benny Peiser, Richard Tol, Indhur Golkany, Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen, Bob Tisdale, Judith Curry (most of the time),, Roy Spencer, John Christy, both Pielkes, and numerous other independent minded men and women of integrity.

  58. brentns1,

    You wrote –

    “In Australia, Mr Turnbull may struggle to meet the high expectations climate change campaigners have for his government.”

    Why do you think anybody really cares what a looney bunch of people who believe that they can stop the climate from changing? Or did you really mean a looney bunch who believe CO2 is evil? Or maybe a looney bunch who believe that CO2 created warming after sunset?

    Warmists believe all sorts of nonsense. Why anybody should care about their mad “expectations” is beyond me. On the other hand, politicians are popularity contest winners. Ability and intelligence are not prerequisites – as can be seen every day.

    Cheers.

    • @Mike Flynn

      Mike, that snippet is not mine, but an expression of opinion from the author of the article I linked to.

      However the Warmist Politicians like Turnbull, get their social license from the warmist rabble agitators.

      The real dynamic can be illustrated (In Canuck context) by the following short clip
      Forecast Earth In Depth: David Suzuki, Part 2

      Notice the dynamic in play. Gore in 1988 tells Suzuki not to expect action (at that time) from the politicians. Gore tells Suzuki to proselytize the CAGW faith until enough gullible people get conned and demand action from the politicians.
      Then the politicians will respond to the apparent “demands of the people”

      That is exactly what the process has been.

      cheers
      brent

      • Brent
        ..and so began the circle of deceit. The rabble roused greenies and twitterati of the left continue the ‘con’ for their own political ends or for personal ‘savior-of-the-planet’ gratification so that the EU/UN are “forced” to continue to fund greenery. This is so that the browbeating of governments can continue from the ever fatter green blob…..

      • brentns1,

        Many sorries. Wrote fulsome apology. Forgot to hit “post”. Vanished!

        Better late than never, I hope.

        Cheers.

  59. This is just bad science.
    The suggested forecasts of carbon emissions after 2030 does not make any sense at all.

    Take for instance figure 5 under EU 2020 policy.
    EU has promised to reduce the emission by 40 percent below the 1990 emission by 2030.

    In the so-called “pessimistic 2020”, the forecast is that the carbon emissions from EU will abruptly increase from 2030 after this promise has been fulfilled. The “optimistic 2020” says that the carbon emission will increase only slowly after 2030.

    How can anybody believe in a forecast like this?
    After all, we do not expect any population boom in EU. Do anybody really think that EU will throw away renewables and gas and return to coal from 2030?

    The most plausible development in carbon emissions in EU, given the premise that they have successfully fulfilled the promise of a 40 percent reduction from 1990 2030, is that they will continue to drop after 2030. In an optimistic scenario they would drop quickly, in a more pessimistic they should also drop, but less quickly.

    In Lomborg’s forecast, the so-called “optimistic 2020” is in reality more pessimistic than most people would consider realistic. The other forecasts are similar.

    I respect Lomborg from his other contributions, but this was disappointing.

    • Jan

      I think a more interesting question to be asked is that assuming we follow the expected carbon reduction plans now enshrined in EU law, by say 2030 will we still have access to ‘cheap’ energy available 24/7, or will consumers and business be periodically rationed when the renewables aren’t delivering at the expected rate, say during winters when demand is high and energy production from wind and sun can be low.

      Currently relying on renewables for only 10% of our energy nearly caused big problems in the UK last week as both sun and wind refused to co-operate. What happens when renewables account for say 80% of our energy needs and the wind and sun refuse to play ball as a prolonged cold spell hits Europe?

      tonyb

      • You have a good point Tony. 80% renewable requires a lot of storage capacity. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is currently the only viable alternative, but it is expensive.

        We will probably reach 80% renewable in the distant future, but it will not happen in 2030, and most probably not in 2050 either, even for the most developed countries.

        To de-carbonize the electricity sector globally in this century we need to use nuclear power.

        /Jan

      • Jan,

        PSH (pumped storage hydro) is not that expensive. Capital costs are around 20-25% per MW of the cost of wind power. See http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2014/ph240/galvan-lopez2/

        It can add less than 10 cents per kWh when it is used frequently, which it would be in the 80% wind/solar generation scenario. The round trip is efficiency is pretty reasonable too, at around the 70% mark.

        The big issue is whether there are enough suitable geographic locations.

        In Europe there are some interesting sums. Here’s a very crude calculation for you.

        Norway has around 80 TWh of hydro capacity when the reservoirs are full, but has no pumped storage as yet. Without building any more dams or lakes the Norwegian schemes could mostly be converted to pumped storage, probably providing half of the current hydro capacity (which you do not lose) as pumped storage, so call it 40 TWh of storage. Europe uses around 8TWh per day of power. Assuming 20% renewables generation gap, with an average power deficit of 50% of demand at this time (4 TWh/day) and some of this is 5 or 10 day gaps, you need 10 x 4 TWh/day capacity = 40 TWh / day. And Norway potentially could provide this.

        Norway is probably only 50% of the pumped storage hydro potential in Europe, so on a rough first cut the sums would work for Europe using PSH – it could plug the gaps in renewables generation if enough tunnels, generator capacity and transmission lines were to be installed.

        Re-using Norwegian hydro infrastructure has its problem. The locals do not like new transmission lines ruining their wonderful views, though they o not mind a huge new dam if their is a road running over the top which lets them get somewhere useful much more quickly. But to a first order just recycling hydro water levels much more quickly in existing hydro lakes does cause a major ecological problem.

      • Sorry that should read ” just recycling hydro water levels much more quickly in existing hydro lakes does NOT cause a major ecological problem.”

      • Thanks for the very interesting perspective you bring in Peter. I am actually a Norwegian myself so I am aware of the potential in our mountains, but I think there is a lot of resistance in the population for pumped storage of this scale.

        The transmission lines to the large population areas in Europe are also quite long and that adds to the losses.

        However, PSH can be built everywhere where you have a hill and space enough to make two quite large reservoirs. I think several areas in the continental Europe are usable for that.
        /Jan

    • Jan Kjetil Andersen:

      Lomberg discusses his choices in the paper and examines the results of what he regards as unrealistically optimistic scenarios in the supplementary material.

    • richard verney

      Jan

      “How can anybody believe in a forecast like this?
      After all, we do not expect any population boom in EU”

      ////

      If you had made that statement a week ago, it would have been obviously wrong.

      Europe is presently facing the prospect of substantial inward migration. IT may well take in about 10 million people from the Middle East and Africa over the next 10 years. Only a month ago, Germany said that it would take 800,000 people for each of the next 5 years, and that alone is 4 million. It will not end after 5 years, and if past events are anything to go by, the figure of 800,0000 will probably be exceeded.

      It has just been confirmed that Turkey’s accession to the EU will be fast tracked. there are probably about 10 million Turkish people who would like to make a home in the main heartlands of Europe.

      So these two sources alone would suggest an inward population rise of 20 Million is a lot of people. It is about 4 Norways, or 2 Swedens.

      This means that over the course of the next 15 to 20 years, Europe will have to build the equivalent of the infrastructure of 4 Norways, or 2 Swedens just to accommodate those people. Just stop and think about the building work required and the amount of concrete an steel that will be used in the construction of that infrastructure, and this is very CO2 intensive, and of course these people will require energy for their day to day lives.

      Thereafter, these people have a birth rate of about 4 per couple so by 2035 Europe will be beginning to see the impact of this birth rate. This is very apparent from the UK, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10509723/UK-population-could-hit-132-million-warn-official-figures.html

      QUOTE

      “Only weeks after the Office for National Statistics predicted that the UK will have 10 million more people within the next 25 years, it published new estimates showing that the true figure could be four million higher.

      The dramatic upward revision suggests the population of Britain could rise from its current record level of 63.7 million to just under 78 million by 2037.

      On the same projection it could reach and as much as 132 million by this time next century.
      UNQUOTE

      Sweden also has seen an increase in its population of about 10% in the last 10 to 12 years, but I do not know what its projections are.

      The upshot of all of this is that there will be a significant rise in population within the next 25 years and this will continue to trend over the course of this century.

      AND what is happening here is that Europe is importing say circa 20 million who currently produce on average about 5 tonnes of CO2 per head and will turn those people into people who will be emitting 10 to 14 tonnes of CO2 per head. And that is only their ongoing consumption of coming to a developed consumer orientated country, it does not take account of the infra-structure much of which will need to be built from scratch in very quick time to accommodate these people.

      The influx of people in these numbers (and the required infrastructure needed to be built to accommodate them) means that it is quite impossible for Europe to adhere to the pledges with respect to CO2 emission reduction through to 2030, let alone to expect that in the absence of some ground breaking new technology, that significant emission reductions will continue to the end of this century.

      Europe has not taken account of migration and the impact that will have on its CO2 emissions. Whether the very unfortunate events of last week alter the picture, I do not know, but at the time that Lomborg published his paper, it was obvious that Europe had no prospects of scaling back emissions post 2030.
      , .

  60. The evidence is profound. CO2 is not a pollutant and has no effect on climate.

    Calling CO2 pollution is science incompetence. Calling it carbon makes it sound more ominous and distracts from attending to possible real atmospheric pollutants from coal such as particulates, NOX and sulfur (as the Chinese are experiencing, especially with the smog in Beijing. The US uses precipitators to remove these real pollutants).

    Evidence CO2 has no effect on climate & Identification of what does (97% match since before 1900) are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    • I’m guessing you didn’t read the post and have nothing constructive to add.

      • There is only one complete and exact computer of global climate and that is the planet itself. By definition it complies with all laws of nature.

        Einstein said “No amount of experimentation can prove I’m right but only one experiment is needed to prove I’m wrong”.

        That one experiment which demonstrates to be wrong the theory that change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide causes climate change, was run on the planet computer and the results are archived in the Vostok ice cores which have been extracted from Antarctic glaciers and also CO2 and temperature trajectories for the last 542 million years as estimated using proxies.

        Estimates of CO2 level and average global temperature trajectories for the current ice age and also for the entire Phanerozoic eon (the last 542 million years) are extant.

        The only science that is required is realization of the computational mandate that temperature change is in response to the time-integral of the net forcing, not the instantaneous value of the net forcing itself.

        If CO2 was a forcing, average global temperature would respond to the time-integral of it (or the time-integral of a math function of it). The data demonstrate that the temperature does not respond this way so global climate change must be caused by something else.

        The analysis at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com addresses this and also identifies the two factors which explain (97% match) the average global temperature trajectory since before 1900.

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