Week in review – politics and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.


Paris attacks could scramble upcoming #climate summit plans [link]  …

At Paris, the United States Finally Has a Chance to Be a Climate Hero [link]

John Kerry: Paris climate deal will not be a legally binding treaty [link]

Paris climate deal must be legally binding, EU tells John Kerry [link]

Die Klimazwiebel: Paris: binding or non-binding? [link]  …

Bluffer’s guide to COP21 Paris climate talks: [link]  …

Only $10 billion so far for Green Climate Fund , when $100bn a year was promised. [link]   …

UNEP: Climate pledges an ‘historic step’ towards decarbonisation, but emissions gap remains [link]

Why Are INDC Studies Reaching Different Temperature Estimates? [link]

As we prepare for Paris #UNFCCC #climate talks, what’s changed since Copenhagen [link] …

The ‘deal to save the world’ is going out of this world… French astronaut to carry Paris climate deal in to space [link]  …


Is #Pakistan’s target-free #INDC the world’s worst #climate plan so far? [link] …

India Is Caught in a Climate Change Quandary [link] …

Analysis: China is building #coal plants it doesn’t need [link]

Greenhouse gas emissions per capita are falling for many major economies [link]


Here are the facts behind President Obama’s decision to reject the #KeystoneXL pipeline [link]

.@GinaEPA on Obama climate rules: “Legally, it’s very difficult to undo these.” [link] …

Worth reading on U.S. position in Paris climate talks [link]

What #KeystoneXL fight was really about. [link]  …

Misc policy

In praise of intellectual uncertainty: the benefits (?) of leaping to conclusions [link]

The key to political persuasion [link]

The Onion:  ‘Seek funding’ step added to scientific method [link]

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

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

  2. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your efforts to restore society’s contact with reality (sanity).

    From discussions on ResearchGate, it appears the whole false edifice of an imaginary Big Bang, Dark Energy, , Dark Matter, etc. will have to go.

  3. If history is any guide the terrorist attacks will be followed by stock market crashes. The world leaders are going to look pretty silly talking about a low priority issue amidst the chaos. Obama already made a fool out of himself proclaiming ISIS was contained earlier in the day on Friday. His legacy may end up worse than W.

  4. The Onion: ‘Seek funding’ step added to scientific method

    Doesn’t sound like humor. More like a regular news story.

    • CO2 is able to control the temperature and sea level of earth and CO2 can be regulated by an agreement in Paris.

      You know, that really is humor. It is Nothing like honest news.
      Cut the alarmist funding, that is what is needed.

  5. David L. Hagen

    Paris Attacks Were an ‘Act of War’ by ISIS, Hollande Says

    “France, because it was foully, disgracefully and violently attacked, will be unforgiving with the barbarians from Daesh,” Mr. Hollande said on Saturday, adding that France would act within the law but with “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.”

    “We, your German friends, we are so close with you,” said Ms. Merkel, dressed in black. “We are crying with you. Together with you, we will fight against those who have carried out such an unfathomable act against you.”

    Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, meeting on Saturday in Vienna with Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats to discuss the crisis in Syria, said the attacks highlighted the urgency of the talks. “It is more necessary than ever in the current circumstance to coordinate the international fight against terrorism,” he said.

    More have been killed by ISIS than by climate change!
    Will this rearrange international priorities?

    • French aircraft attack ISIS so ISIS attacks the French. Given the levels of enthusiasm and commitment shown so far, I would bet that ISIS would win. Throughout France, a majority of new births are to Muslim women, most of whom live in a sort of semi-Sharia, their earnings exploited by their fathers, brothers, and sons. Before long, Arabic will be the dominant language in France. Add to that the “refugees” from Syria, 80% of whom are mature but young men. I expect that in my lifetime there will not be enough hard working young French to manufacture the aircraft that the French employ against ISIS.

    • The old policy saw…
      Defend the realm
      and its outer edges,
      maintain the grainary
      emergency reserves
      – else-wise yer lose
      the Mandate of Heaven.

  6. France can not guarantee the safety of the 40000 delegates and 100 leaders that will descend on Paris, an event that will be greatly complicated by climate anarchists looking to cause trouble with mass demonstrations and causing confusion and fear by wearing black masks.

    The event needs to be postponed or held as a series of virtual conferences.

    The pr coup that terrorists will gain by targeting a UN sponsored event such as this is far too good an opportunity for them to pass up.


    • Actually, I was told many years ago (in a comment at a blog I don’t trust, couldn’t find that comment when I went looking last year) that the Islamic terrorists and climate fanatics were actually cooperating. The commenter (who claimed to be a climate activist of some sort) didn’t say in what, but I could guess then and can guess now.

      OTOH, it’s quite possible that the “Islamic terrorists” referred to were some Al Qaeda affiliate, in which case I suppose it’s perfectly possible that ISIS would be very happy to mess things up. Despite a partly shared agenda, AFAIK they aren’t really on the same page.

      • Are you seriously suggesting that terrorists are having Detailed conversations with climate activists? Seems very far fetched. Have you a shred of evidence?


      • Only the claim in a blog comment that I’m highly skeptical of.

      • Ak

        Mind you, if you want a conspiracy theory about the situation try this one from the ever reliably looney Ecologist



      • @Tonyb…

        Also, “having Detailed conversations” isn’t necessarily needed. If there is a general agreement in principle, certain targets might be considered off-limits because they may advance a shared agenda (item).

        This is all very vague, IMO seguing directly into the semantics of “conspiracy”. I would define the word as applying to any actions/decisions taken with (the same/shared) spirit. (Kim defines is as “breathing together”, but IMO that drills too deeply into the ancient meaning of spiritu(s).)

        Using the root “spirit” in the sense of, say, the “spirit of scientific inquiry” or the “spirit of defending traditional cultural values”, we can reasonably see both the Islamist and the Socialist opposition to modern Western Industrial (free-market) capitalism as sharing a common enemy.

        Not that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, but that “the enemy of my enemy is my temporary ally

        This way, the claimed cooperation makes sense, but certainly doesn’t need any more than the occasional aside reference in various speeches. And, IIRC, there have been some mentions of climate in some of the guff coming from some of the Islamist factions.

      • AK, “there have been some mentions of climate in some of the guff coming from some of the Islamist factions.” Not surprising, they are media savvy and know which buttons to press. A way to divide and weaken their perceived enemy and perhaps gain the assistance of “useful idiots.” Massive “move-faster-on-climate-change” demos in Paris including an anarchist element would provide great cover for a terrorist.

      • f aka gc
        based on fridays events “cover” doesnt appear to be one of their major priorities.

    • If France cancels, Daesh ‘wins’ in PR–look how mighty we are.
      If France doesn’t cancel because Burgeot can be perimeter guarded, Daesh can just attack outside the perimeter. But they could also infiltrate more suicide bombers with ‘credentials’ via NGO’s. And could have already cached arms and explosives inside the perimeter- 40000 people needs big spaces, and you cannot check and recheck every janitors closet. And janiorial/ other services and support work is the sort of stuff unskilled Muslim immigrants take up.
      This whole situation adds another dimension of likely failure to COP21. Obama cannot constitutionally commit to anything binding, only the Senate can. And he cannot commit to funding the GCF, only the House with consent of the Senate can. And neither will happen given the present congressional makeup.

      • Add to all that the fact that the delegates will be very aware of the possible danger they are in. It’s very hard to concentrate properly and carry on the finer points of a negotiation if you are continually looking over your shoulder

        Presumably they will also be travelling into Paris every evening for their hotels and restaurants making them highly vulnerable.


      • Obama cannot constitutionally commit to anything binding, only the Senate can.

        Actually, AFAIK he can commit to anything that involves specifying his constitutionally legal actions as president. Which would include all sorts of “executive directives”, especially to regulatory bureaucracies.

        Congress would only be able to override such directives with legislation that the president signs or Congress overrides his veto.

        This leaves a lot of latitude. Much of it grey area that the Supreme Court would have to decide. And guess what…

      • AK, any executive order can be repealed or amended by another executive order. Or by an Act of Congress in some but not all cases (Presidential pardons and the Clinton furor being an example). That is one reason why the 2016 election is so important. But as for legally binding treaties and government expenditures–the two things I cited, the Constitution is clear. Treaties Article 2 section 2.2. Revenues and expenditures Article 1, section 7.1

      • Tony, “It’s very hard to concentrate properly and carry on the finer points of a negotiation if you are continually looking over your shoulder.” You are overlooking the fact that, like IS, many COP21 attendees are zealously pursuing a religious crusade; they might be happy to be martyrs for the cause.

      • AK, any executive order can be repealed or amended by another executive order.

        I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’m skeptical. If the president orders an agency of the government to make a promise in the government’s name, can a later president always renege on that promise? I’d guess there are some grey areas, depending on the details of the legislation under which the agency was set up.

        But you’d certainly know more about that than I would.

      • > If France cancels, Daesh ‘wins’ in PR–look how mighty we are


        I suspect that is a prime reason for the timing of the atrocities in Paris. The attention of western MSM is concentrating on the imminent COP21, so maximum publicity, fear and panic are absolutely guaranteed

      • Curious George

        I have such a fear that 4100 best people on the planet (40000 delegates and 100 leaders) may be putting themselves in danger for the sake of the rest of us. Imagine a nightmarish scenario should we have to live without them.

      • While nothing is certain, COP 21 should be fine with most Islamist crazies. Only the craziest crazies could object.

        Climate alarmism favours Big Oil over coal but pushes the price of all fossil fuels higher and adds new demand at a time when other factors are repressing oil and gas prices. After all, domestic coal power is not supplanted by wind and solar but by gas, oil and imported coal power. (Check out “wind-miracle” South Australia’s gas and diesel bill, on top of its electricity imports from brown-coal burning Victoria.)

        Ruinously expensive renewables are the new burden of the old First World, while the new First World of Asia – they’re the guys who make all your stuff – make flimsy promises and mumble pieties on the subject of emissions. What’s not to like in all that if you are a nutbag Islamist?

        At a time when the West should be doing everything to maximise domestic energy you have a POTUS hostile to Keystone, coal and nukes. Coal, LNG and uranium rich Australia can’t wait to become one of Gaia’s basket cases. Britain incinerates American forests for its electricity and has to wonder if Russian gas or Qatari gas will be the better geopolitical decision in this naughty world.

        I’m sure there are jihadis crazy enough to attack COP 21, but the shrewd one will clap it along, maybe even hand out free kebabs to the delegates.

      • AK,

        While our President’s most likely legacy will be his historic attack on the Constitution, Rud is correct. As long as there are SC judges willing to stand up and support the Constitution, anything Obama commits to can end with his term.

      • Paris climate deal to bind or not to bind – Obama plan
        to by-pass Senate Review.

    • Tony,

      I personally think you are over reacting.

      The conference itself should be fine. They’ll jack up security measures and it may be a bit more inconvenient for the delegates. One aspect that may get cancelled is the NGO planned demonstrations. Those are a bit more difficult to ensure security.

  7. WaPo – the benefits (?) of leaping to conclusions: my post:

    “Here is a case where increasing uncertainty may have a catastrophic downside — preventing us from saving the planet.” Is it rational to think that “the planet” is under threat if warming resumes? Is it rational to think that costly emissions reductions which might reduce any warming by a small fraction of a degree is a better approach than increasing our capacity to deal with whatever future emerges by pro-growth, pro-innovation, pro-enterprise, pro-trade policies?

  8. David L. Hagen

    Boom in Trafficking Nepalese Children
    The devastation of Nepal’s earthquake has caused a 500% increase in the rate of children trafficked out of Nepal, especially from the hardest hit earthquake areas.
    India has been economically starving Nepal by blockading fuel into Nepal for the last two months, allowing only about 10% through recently. Hospitals have about run out of medicines and India appears to be causing more harm to Nepal than the Earthquake.

    Nov 12, 2015- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concerns over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border. . . .“Acute shortages in fuel supplies continue to impede planned deliveries to earthquake-affected villages in Nepal,” said Dujarric, adding that: “Humanitarian organisations urgently require fuel to maintain operations and deliver food, warm clothing and shelter materials to high altitude areas that will soon be cut off by harsh winter conditions.”

    Why not use “climate change” to cover up India’s tyrannical coercion and starving the poor?

  9. WTI oil closed near $40 this week. The huge overhang of world-wide inventory finally took its toll. IIRC, Rud predicted an oil price over $85 and I no more than $75. So far, it hasn’t even gotten close to $75.

    Not tooting my horn because near-term oil prices require a fortune teller given it’s central role in our lives. So many things can affect the price of oil.

    It’s probably easier to predict the longer term price because, eventually, we will run out of cheap-enough oil. We have to.

    • Jim2, that was for the end of 2016, not 2015. Rig counts are down as expected. But the fracked well decline curves need more than 18 months to really kick in. Meanwhile, Russian development of the Yamal giants has been indefinitely deferred and the announced pipeline construction halted, as has a lot of deepwater (Brazil) and new Athabascan capacity. North Sea severely pinched. My view remains that this is all going generally according to Saudi plan. The GCC also don’t give a toss about Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela.

      • “My view remains that this is all going generally according to Saudi plan.”

        With all due respect–the Saudi plan with respect to oil prices is just business. The Saudi plan with respect to other issues is far more complex.

      • RS, I was only speaking about oil.
        Surely there are many other Saudi interests not going to plan. Yemen and Syria come to mind. BTW, have you ever been there and interacted with their officials? I have. Almost all sharp and western trained. The five prayer sessions per day thing was, I admit, a bit disruptive to my western long session negotiating style.

      • I’m not so sure, given the missed predictions that shale oil would be more expensive that it now is, that Saudi Arabia’s plans are going great for them. They are losing a ton of money keeping the price of oil down. I think they may be doing it to hurt Russia and Iran as much as to hurt the US.

      • Rud

        I grew up in the Kingdom

      • RS, Insala.

      • The oil found in the tight zones, such as the Bakken and the Eagle Ford, isn’t commercial to develop at current prices. Oil fields are heterogeneous, company managers can be optimistic, some can be crazy fools. This tells me RI is right, overall, we won’t see profitable developments in the two main targets until prices reach at least $60, which implies prices will rise beyond that point. At this point, it’s better not to drill, or to drill wells but leave them unfracked, unless there’s a need to gather performance data.

  10. What #KeystoneXL fight was really about. [link] …

    “It’s to change culture.”

    “They seek to remove the social license enjoyed by fossil fuel companies.”

    As the activists applaud themselves in curtailing energy extraction, they miss the point: such a victory comes at a cost. The cost is on the backs of 2 BILLION people who live on <$2/day.

    These well-off activists have yet to walk in the shoes of those whose life has no choice for living differently; no resource for alternative life style and life expectancy; no hope for the future. Hope has been cut off at the knees by activists who suffer neither the consequences of their behavior nor their attitude. Shame on them.

    For 1 C of temperature, 2 billion people are sacrificed, for….symbolism.

    Now, if I were a mean spirited kind of guy, I would like Gore, Schmidt, Mann, Hansen, Trenberth, and a host of others who support this human genocide (did I really say that? genocide), to share a meal, over an open fire, where rice is a limited meal, and where bamboo shelters against the ravages of the elements, and then ask their hosts to sacrifice 4 more children to the cause to which they are so committed, preventing the warming of the world by 1 C.

    I am afraid the afore mentioned activists would not be persuaded by such an experience, as their belief is so strong, their commitment so encompassing, their blindness so great, they would miss the symbolism of their actions.

    To save the world, 2 billion people have to be sacrificed now and 2 billion people into the future for it is the children, nay, the grandchildren who perish. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    • Dung cakes, on the wall.
      My fingers ache, and that’s not all.

    • Curious George

      That article in Pacific Standard by Lucia Graves is really something. She quotes Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University: “Keystone alone could give us the better part of a half a degree celsius of warming.” Very Mannian. She has no bells to ring.

      • Mann doesn’t know much about heavy oil. That type of crude has its own somewhat isolated market. If the Canadian oil sands were. “choked back” by an imposed pipeline bottleneck to 3 million BOPD it could help Canada’s economy. But the market will be fed by the Venezuelans using supertankers. As it turns out, Venezuela is in a huge mess right now, but I have estimated it could undertake a huge capacity expansion and peak at 8 mmbopd (this would take decades). The limits on heavy oil production aren’t set by greens goofing around with pipelines. They are set by markets.

  11. US COP21 negotiating position: trust but verify. Obama’s personal negotiation of transparency at Copenhagen.
    That will work about as well as I can throw a haystack on the farm. Lets see, did we not just learn that China under reported coal consumption by 17%? Strains credulity that anyone in the US gov would think that China, India, and Russia are going to let UNFCCC auditors verify? But then, Obama and Kerry have said and done some very silly things.

    • But then, Obama and Kerry have said and done some very silly things.

      Certainly very silly if their goal(s) is/are as actually stated.

      OTOH if their real goals are different, and the stated goals are just a rationalization they trust the MSM not to examine later, perhaps what they’ve done isn’t quite so “very silly”.

    • Whenever you’re faced with an explanation of what’s going on in Washington, the choice between incompetence and conspiracy, always choose incompetence.

      Charles Krauthammer

      • The third alternative is disagreement with what you think. Consider that as well. Disagreement with you is not the definition of incompetence. Come to think of it, agreement with you might be the definition (just kidding, sort of). All this mud slinging is worse than useless.

    • rud, if you believe Iran will cooperate with nuclear inspections, you’ll believe anything.

      • It’s OK, Michael; the Persians will do their own inspecting. Obama and Kerry really pulled a fast one on them there, gittin’ ’em so co-operative.

      • Faustino, I do not. Think Obama was snookered yet again. Iran has apparently already halted centrifuge dissembly on some pretext.

      • “Iran has apparently already halted centrifuge dissembly on some pretext.”

        Presumably we know this sort of thing because of the existence of inspection?

      • H, no. They announced it themselves, reportedly to appease internal hardliners. The UN guys did not get to inspect the historical site. What they got was a report of an Iranian inspection. Joke.

      • A neutron bomb might shed some light on the nature of the site.

  12. China is building #coal plants it doesn’t need

    Standard greenpeace math challenged nonsense.

    The capacity one needs is enough energy for the hottest/coldest day of the year, overcast…with no wind.

    China is going to need something on the order of 2,000 GW of dispatchable capacity. Just like in the US…2/3’s of that will be intermediate load and peakers running less then 50% of the time.

    • The underlying logic was a bit far fetched. Local governments needing jobs/development ‘overspending’. But you know, even in China all power plants are on large regional grids that have to be managed as such. And even at the new ‘slower’ rate of development (only 7% per annum) China will need 40% more coal units in the next 5 years. Most generation now is coal (820 GW) or hydro (300GW). After 3 Georges, not a lot of hydro left in the next 5 year plan. So they need about 115 GW of new USC coal in the next 5 years. The individual China units are larger than average, about 800 MW each. For reference, the only US USC, Swepco’s Turk in Arkansas, came on line in 2012 at 600MW. So at China’s larger average, they still need 144 new coal units by 2020. No way are they overbuilding.
      Another demonstration that green logic is both fact and arithmetic challenged.

      • The underlying logic actually is not far fetched. Gross industrial over capacity is the reality in China. Economic growth by willy-nilly capital investment is over. Greenpeace understates that problem. It worse than they think.

        About the only reliable economic stats that you get from China are the electricity usage numbers that come from China Electricity Council. I watch them closely, as I got a lot of money bet on the bubble bursting:


        China should stop adding new coal-fired power plants: State researchers
        Reuters Nov 6, 2015, 01.54PM IST

        BEIJING: China should slow down its expansion plans for coal-fired power plants to take account of an expected decline in demand from energy-intensive industries such as steel and cement, said researchers at government-backed think tanks.

        The world’s biggest coal consumer has seen a boom in construction of coal-fired plants, increasing new capacity by 55 percent in the first six months compared with the same period last year, according to the China Electricity Council.

        It also approved 200 gigawatts of new plants in the first half of 2015, exceeding the total approvals in the previous three years, said Yuan Jiahai, a professor at the North China Electric Power University.

        Expected production cuts by industry could mean a severe oversupply of coal-fired power, he said.

        “If it keeps on growing with no control, the oversupply troubling the steel and cement industries would be even worse for the power sector,” said Yuan.

        China’s steel sector currently has 300 million tonnes of surplus capacity.

        Coal consumption by cement makers and steel firms will see coal use peak by 2016, according to the think tanks.

        Coal consumption by power stations will likely peak by 2020, their research found.

        Growth in coal consumption is already falling and could be the slowest in 30 years in 2015, said Miao Ren, a researcher at the Energy Research Institute.

        The institute operates under the Chinese government’s top planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission.

        Miao said overall energy consumption would rise only 1 percent this year, compared with an average of 4.3 per cent growth in previous years.

        China’s GDP is expected to grow 7 per cent this year, down from 7.3 percent in 2014.

        Thermal power plants are set to cut operating hours by nearly 400 hours this year as the economy slows.


        China should stop adding new coal-fired power plants: State researchers
        Reuters Nov 6, 2015, 01.54PM IST

        BEIJING: China should slow down its expansion plans for coal-fired power plants to take account of an expected decline in demand from energy-intensive industries such as steel and cement, said researchers at government-backed think tanks.

        The world’s biggest coal consumer has seen a boom in construction of coal-fired plants, increasing new capacity by 55 percent in the first six months compared with the same period last year, according to the China Electricity Council.

        It also approved 200 gigawatts of new plants in the first half of 2015, exceeding the total approvals in the previous three years, said Yuan Jiahai, a professor at the North China Electric Power University.

        Expected production cuts by industry could mean a severe oversupply of coal-fired power, he said.

        “If it keeps on growing with no control, the oversupply troubling the steel and cement industries would be even worse for the power sector,” said Yuan.

        China’s steel sector currently has 300 million tonnes of surplus capacity.

        Coal consumption by cement makers and steel firms will see coal use peak by 2016, according to the think tanks.

        Coal consumption by power stations will likely peak by 2020, their research found.

        Growth in coal consumption is already falling and could be the slowest in 30 years in 2015, said Miao Ren, a researcher at the Energy Research Institute.

        The institute operates under the Chinese government’s top planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission.

        Miao said overall energy consumption would rise only 1 percent this year, compared with an average of 4.3 per cent growth in previous years.

        China’s GDP is expected to grow 7 per cent this year, down from 7.3 percent in 2014.

        Thermal power plants are set to cut operating hours by nearly 400 hours this year as the economy slows.

      • Sounds like a good time to invest in coal.

    • https://marketrealist.imgix.net/uploads/2015/07/Part-3.png

      Less than 50% utilization of coal plants is unusual in what way?

      Greenpeace as is typical of eco/regressives seem to be about as reliable as “The Onion” as a source of information.

    • Energy fer when the sun don’t shine and the wind
      don’t blow. Here’s some Policy insanity…


  13. Gina McCarthy’s comments – also known as whistling past the graveyard.

  14. Here is an interesting confusion. Peabody Coal has agreed to say more about the business risks it faces from climate scare policies, which are large, but the greens interpret this to mean the risks it faces from climate change per se. Not sure how this will be enforced.
    Exxon is next in line for attack.

    • David Wojick:

      The NY AG is essentially arguing that any climate regulation that MAY be passed must be disclosed in SEC reports or else you could face ruinous state litigation.

      For several years, Peabody (along with Exxon and every other publically traded company) has included boilerplate language about the potential for future regulations or tax code changes to significantly impact profits, stock performance, etc.

      The NY AG has determined that generic warnings are no longer sufficient to avoid litigation, particularly (or perhaps exclusively) those who find themselves politically unpopular in certain zip codes.

      Example from the Peabody settlement: In March 2014, Peabody hired an outside consultant to calculate the impact on US coal demand of a $20/ton carbon tax. The NY AG apparently wants this specific hypothetical printed in the annual 10-K report.

      According to the settlement:

      …Peabody and its consultants actually made market projections in the ordinary course of business of severe impacts from certain potential regulations and did not disclose its market projections to the public.

      Questions include when, precisely, does the duty to disclose arise? If management does not think the particular regulatory risk likely to occur in the next several years, must they “reveal” it anyway? If the regulatory risk is estimated to arise only in the event of a single political party’s control of Congress, should that also be mentioned? And how should these principles be applied to, say, pharmaceutical companies?

      What appears be a more clear-cut performance standard is the settlement’s discussion of Peabody’s “disclosures” relating to IEA energy scenarios and coal consumption projections. If Peabody was, in fact, only “revealing” the positive aspects of IEA projections (the “Current Policies Scenario”), an argument could be made they have a duty to discuss matters more fully (the “New Policies” scenario or the coal-killing “450 Scenario”). Simply stating that future policy changes could impact coal nagatively is no longer good enough.

      Since Peabody produces and markets coal, carbon regulations have an outsized impact on company performance. In contrast, Exxon produces, markets and refines mostly oil and gas. Many existing and potential carbon regulations actually enhance the performance of (especially) gas producers and marketers at the expense of coal.

      The Exxon investigation will be interesting, to say the least.

      • Opluso: I agree with your analysis. For example, is Peabody now supposed to disclose the potential impact on their business of every IEA and IPCC emissions scenario? Perhaps they should, just to show how damaging this scare might become.

        But my point was that some of the statements imply that Peabody must now say how its business might be affected by climate change, not just by goofy climate change policies and regulations. Is that in fact the case, given this agreement? If so then they should include a new little ice age, which might well increase their sales dramatically. That might be fun.

    • Dr. Curry — on the same theme, an article in the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

      What I especially learned: What a caliphate is and its importance.

    • This is all you need to know about the utility of this clown’s goofy “ignore the terrorists” strategy:

      “In the 1980s and 1990s, he said, terrorist campaigns targeted at dictators in the Arab world killed “several tens of thousands of people”. And governments, in their overreaction to the threat, responded by killing tens of thousands more.

      Not a single regime was overthrown in this period. Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad, Hosni Mubarak, and others remained in power for decades.”

      The dictators remained in power, because they used any means necessary to eliminate the terrorists.

      • Did you see the end of the article?

        “This is not going to emerge as a global threat,” Dyer insisted. “Whatever happens in the Middle East, rather as in the case of Las Vegas, will remain in the Middle East.”

        During a subsequent question-and-answer period, Dyer was asked if terrorism isn’t such a concern, what truly frightens him?

        “Climate change, climate change, climate change,” he replied.

        What a putz!

      • Dwyer lost credibility a long time ago.

        The Atlantic article is much better.

    • This article is badly wrong. The author needs to look at all the thwarted attacks too. The problem is large and growing.

    • David L. Hagen

      Beware Apocalyptic Islam
      Thanks Judith
      Unfortunately Dyer provides only conventional military wisdom and seriously overestimates “climate change” as a risk. He fails to understand the foundational purpose of Apocalyptic Islam. See Joel Rosenberg’s publications. e.g., slamic Extremists Are Trying to Hasten the Coming of the Mahdi

      To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. . . .
      Today, President Obama and members of his administration still refuse to use the term “radical Islam,” even as Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, candidly admits that the West is engaged in a “third world war” against Islamic terrorism. Abdullah adds that, at its core, “this is a Muslim problem. We need to take ownership of this. We need to stand up and say what is right and what is wrong.”. . .
      The most serious threat we face in the Middle East and North Africa is no longer radical Islam but apocalyptic Islam. We face not just one but two regional regimes whose rulers are driven not merely by violent political ideology, or by extremist theology, but by apocalyptic, genocidal eschatology, or End Times theology. . . .
      The first is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The second is the Islamic State, or ISIS. The leaders of the former are Shia. The latter are Sunni. Both believe that we are living in the End of Days as predicted in their ancient prophecies. Both believe that any moment now their messiah, the Mahdi, will be revealed on Earth as he establishes his global Islamic kingdom and impose sharia law. Both believe that Jesus will return not as the Savior or Son of God but as a lieutenant to the Mahdi, and that he will force non-Muslims to convert or die. What’s more, both believe that the Mahdi will come only when the world is engulfed in chaos and carnage. They openly vow not simply to attack but to annihilate the United States and Israel. Iran and ISIS are both eager to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. Both believe that the Day of Judgment is coming soon, when they will be either rewarded for their actions or condemned to hell for eternity. And both are receiving relatively minimal international opposition. Consequently, both believe that Allah is on their side, that the wind is at their back, and that victory is both assured and imminent. . . .
      The leaders of ISIS believe in committing genocide now, and for them simple swords and AK-47s suffice. The leaders of Iran are preparing to commit genocide later and so are investing enormous sums of time and money on their nuclear program. . . .
      the greater threat to the United States, Israel, and our Arab allies is now posed by the forces of apocalyptic Islam, those who seek not simply to attack us but to annihilate us in order to hasten the coming of their messiah.

      Until the West recognizes these totally different motivations, it will fail to deal with them. Vote for statesmen who understand and will effectively counter this apocalyptic Islam.

    • An interesting perspective, but one which entirely leaves out the forces unleashed by Western corporations seeking profits out of building/supporting “the hammer” as well as Western politicians waving the red shirt. Then there’s the whole Saudi Arabia/Qatar stirring the pot vs. Iran issue. And ISIS arising due to US post-Hussein actions.
      Also amusing how a military guy is so worried about climate change.

    • The Gwynne Dyer article is right on. It matches what Scheuer wrote. But most American politicians don’t read Scheuer. They prefer to go bomb and invade, which is exactly what Osama wanted.

  15. “The scale of the terrorism is tiny compared to its presence in the media,” Dyer continued. “Really, we should, as much as possible, ignore it.”

    Bush played right into Bin Laden’s hands by going so hog wild after 9/11. Certainly going into Iraq was as boneheaded as it gets. The NSA will one day swallow us whole.

    That said, I don’t see how we can just ignore attacks such as we just had in Paris. There’s not much doubt in my mind….(unlike climate alarmists I’ve at least some doubt about most complex issues)….that Obama’s responsible for the current situation by allowing ISIS to grow unimpeded.

    Somewhere between the polar extremes of Obama and Bush, a workable strategy exists…

    (aka pg)

    • By scale the number of children killed in school shootings is quite small. Or the number of black churches shot up by white racists Or the number of bakers that won’t cater gay weddings These types of things should all be pretty much ignored.

    • I remember saying a year ago that Isis was a huge threat that dwarfed any concerns on climate change. I seem to remember Jimd was very dismissive of this view point and took the Obama line of least resistance

      These guys need to be cleared out urgently before they become impossible to budge and have tentacles all over the world


    • The Ecologist article seems to be based on pure conjecture and a heavy dose of discounting the ideological fervor of ISIS as well as logical guerrilla military tactics against France. The simple fact that a major attack against COPS21 itself would have been far more effective as a climate treaty deterrent seems to be dismissed.

      However, this entire line of thought does raise the image of an elephant in the room — why haven’t these groups (ISIS or al Qaeda) blown up Saudia Arabia’s oil export capacity? If The Ecologist’s “follow the money” analysis has any explanatory power over ISIS’ tactics in Iraq/Syria, then surely “following the money” from Saudi coffers (both official and unofficial) to terrorist groups might reveal some interesting bedfellows.

    • Curious George

      Is there still time to move COP21 to Raqqa, where? Syria? ISIS?

    • Curious George

      Is there still time to move COP21 – or at least most of attendees – to Raqqa?

      • No chance, which is not to say it couldn’t be postponed a few months. . Perhaps a smaller one could go ahead in a mix of Face to face and online.


      • In this day and age, they can have a virtual meeting. Of course, they would have to settle for virtual prostitutes.

      • In a way it has already blown up in their faces. The Masques of Paris are off, no one is getting what they want, a postponement, or rearrangement may be just what the doctor ordered.

    • Crispin Tickell
      The man who ‘invented’ Global Warming

      Son: Oliver Tickell

    • Prince Charles Blames Syria Civil War on…Global Warming

      “The market system is not functional,” insisted the chairman, Sir Crispin Tickell, incidentally, one of Prince Charles’ most trusted advisers

    • Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that’s an outcome that would suit ISIS – which makes $500m a year from oil sales – together with other oil producers.

      1. It’s all about me/us.
      2. If we fail to reach an agreement, it’s ISIS’ fault, not ours.

    • When the she-camels, pregnant with child, are neglected.

    • From this excellent article:

      “…the unholy marriage that now exists between the nihilistic youths drawn to anti-modern, anti-Western death cults like ISIS and the anti-modern, anti-Western death wish of the West itself. Terrifyingly, horrifically, they are complimentary.”

      They are the two sides of the same coin.

      As Ms. Bardot once noted, in one of those comments from common folk that are pregnant with meaning, ” the churches are empty but the mosques are full.”

      For the more erudite, “the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”


  16. From the article:
    1. Strict gun laws clearly stop mass shootings.
    2. ISIS is a JV team.
    3. “We have contained” ISIS, as Obama declared on Good Morning America just hours before the attack.
    4. We have nothing to worry about by allowing 100,000 Syrian refugees into the America.
    5. When Obama proclaims a war is over, the war is over, regardless what the enemy thinks.
    6. The police are the problem.
    7. Islam has nothing to do with these attacks.


    • “5. When Obama proclaims a war is over, the war is over, regardless what the enemy thinks.”

      Obama’s sneering certainty concerning issues he’s got completely wrong is a thing to behold.

      • A failed community organizer with no practical experience really isn’t the best choice for president.

        I’m not sure even clues by the container-ship-full would help him.

      • When did Obama say the “war is over?” And what “war” was he referring to when he said it?

      • “The “Global War on Terror” is over, President Barack Obama announced Thursday”


      • jim2 | November 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm |
        “The “Global War on Terror” is over, President Barack Obama announced Thursday”

        “On November 12, Barack Obama announced the US was surrendering in the war on terror and that a request for terms had been sent. ‘The war is over’, he declared triumphantly”

      • “Deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon,” he said. “So that’s the current threat: Lethal yet less capable al-Qaida affiliates. Threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them.” – Obama

      • Is that when the genius said that ISIL is JV?

      • If the US military waged all-out war, ISIS would be less than JV.

      • This from the article: “The “Global War on Terror” is over, President Barack Obama announced Thursday, saying the military and intelligence agencies will not wage war against a tactic but will instead focus on a specific group of networks determined to destroy the U.S.”

        He didn’t say we were going to stop confronting and trying to eliminate Al Qaeda. The whole “war on terror” concept was flawed from the beginning, because if you are going to declare war on terrorism as a tactic, the war would never end. Did you even read the article.

      • PA, if you call that “surrender” you are dumber than I thought.

      • I feel sorry for you, Joseph, that you feel you have to carry water for Obumbles. It’s militant Islam that’s the enemy here. He won’t say that, though. Islam is certainly NOT a tactic!!!

      • The first terrorist to be identified is an Algerian, which is no surprise if you know much about the history of Algeria and France.

      • From the article:
        “Religion in Algeria is dominated by Muslims at about ninety-nine percent of the population.”


      • You think you are going to tell me something about Algeria? Haha.

      • So what is your point? The Algerian owed the French some payback bloodletting? He wasn’t born at the time of the Algerian war and his parents may well have been on the French side. You do know that the smart Algerians wanted to remain connected to France and fought the rebels. We often wonder whose side you are on.

      • Joseph | November 15, 2015 at 6:54 pm |
        PA, if you call that “surrender” you are dumber than I thought.

        People on the left have this really goofy viewpoint on terrorism that inhibits any discussion of the subject.

        They believe terrorist are criminals that can be handled by police action.

        No matter how many times this fails they will keep claiming it is true.

        The attempts to try terrorists in the US have on the whole been a joke.

        Unlawful combatants captured by the military are war criminals, and should be treated like it. Just hold a court martial and hang them or return them if there isn’t enough evidence.

        Soetoro is sort of right about the “global war on terror” which has been about as successful as the “war on drugs”. However after that he goes back to his usual incoherent policy mumblings and goes off into the ditch again.

        He really wants to treat terrorism as a police problem and try them as common criminals in civilian court and that is really pretty clueless. I guess that container-ship load of clues hasn’t arrived yet.

      • My son is 30, and he was in grade school during the Algerian civil war.

      • I said what I meant to say, it is no surprise the terrorist who has been identified is an Algerian. Algeria and France have a long history. There is a large Algerian population in France, and there is a radicalized Algerian element that includes some of the most vicious fighters on the face of the earth. They will do anything.

        It is possible this entire attack came from Algeria. It is also possible it came from ISIS.

        With the help of France, centrist Algerians fought off the radicalized contingent in Algeria, so the dead enders may have joined ISIS. They hate France.

        Right now, the public information is insufficient for the public to make a determination.

      • JCH, “With the help of France, centrist Algerians fought off the radicalized contingent in Algeria, so the dead enders may have joined ISIS. ”

        I thought they went al qaeda, right now ISIL or whatever is fighting al qaeda, the talleban, hezbollah, kurds, russia, US, france and pretty much anybody they run into.

      • Dolt. French-Algerian war ended 1962. And no one has expressed surprise that a terrorist is Algerian. Nobody would be surprised if the terrorists are Egyptian, Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni, Chechen, etc., etc. We would be surprised if just one of those motor truckers turned out to be an agnostic.

      • Large numbers of Algerians travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Russians. Our country helped train them. When they returned to Algeria they were radicalized. They won an election, but the Algerian military intervened. This was followed by a prolonged, incredibly brutal civil war.

        In the 1990s you uninformed, vapid individual.

        While my wife worked in the Algerian Sahara, they said around 150,000 Algerians were killed in the fighting.

        France assisted the moderate Algerians in a number of ways. They were very quiet about it, which is one reason why the moderates have prevailed… so far. But I have no doubt people like you who cannot think very well and don’t know much at all could figure out a way to undo it.

      • I will admit that I don’t read your BS all that carefully, dolt. So you are saying that because of the history between the French and Algeria, you are never surprised that it’s an Algerian who commits an act of terrorism in France. Happens often, does it? And this incident could be a delayed reaction to the Algerian Civil War. Well, let’s see:


        I see three incidents from 1994-96 committed by Armed Islamic Group (Algerians). Carlos the Jackal did more than that by himself. Various Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hezbolla, Angry Armenians and domestic goons like ETA, Corsicans and Bretons are far more likely to have committed terrorist acts in France than Algerians. Why don’t you stop the foolishness?

      • http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/05/21/-Only-remnants-of-terrorism-left-in-Algeria-minister-.html

        All of the terrorists involved in the recent attack could be Algerians.

        It would be unlikely that all would be Iraqis, or all Syrian, or all Egyptian, etc. So far one apparently is Algerian. Maybe none of the rest are. I do not know.

        Did you know that before… you know-it-all, blowhard skumbag? No, you didn’t.

      • You are getting angry. I know why you conjured up the French-Algerian history angle. Here some some other folks, who see the Paris slaughter as retribution for France’s colonial misdeeds:


      • They believe terrorist are criminals that can be handled by police action.

        Would you call drone strikes in Pakistan or our actions in Iraq against ISIS examples of police action? What more do you expect to be done?

      • Your ability to ratchet up your already high level of cluelessness is truly astonding Joseph.

      • Yes tim, the little fella is a dunce. Obama got a good grilling from the usually tame lap dog press corp, today. Why hasn’t he done more to get ISIS? Well, he scornfully replied that he has been real tough on the terrorists (who have nothing to do with islam) with his “robust” strategy of pinprick airstrikes and advisers. Yeah, he admitted that the Paris massacre is a “setback”, but his “robust” strategy has been working out just fine. Hey, they just gave France some important targets to hit that our people had not gotten around to bombing.

        The reality is that until Putin’s manly intervention showed him up for a wuss and the Paris massacre put the heat on his lame buttocks, the leader of the Free World and defender of Western Civilization had done very little to annoy ISIS. He sent our pilots into harms way with rules of engagement that were so restrictive that they came back 75% of the time without dropping their bombs. The ISIS dudes just watch them fly around in circles most of the time.

      • Right, Don, let’s just bomb indiscriminately. Who cares if civilians are killed. After all, their lives mean a lot less than those of westerners, right?

      • I see Judith took down my comment, yoey. No need anyway. Everyone can see that you are lying about what I said.

      • Don

        Did you see this?

        From this article at Iceagenow.info:


        “During his commencement address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, President Barack Obama warned that it’s a “dereliction of duty” to deny the existence of climate change”

        Perhaps it has a different meaning over there but in the UK dereliction of duty is a court martial offence. Is he seriously saying that coastguards are not allowed to be sceptical or there is a risk to their job?


      • He is doing exactly that, Tony. The alarmists like to point out that the military is on board with the “CO2 is the greatest threat” BS. That’s because senior officers know they will be purged if they don’t enthusiastically toe the party line. Making the military green and safe for the LGBT crowd is more important than defeating ISIS and hindering Russian and Red China hegemony ambitions. The real soldiers and the serious people in the intelligence community are literally wondering if Obama is on our side. They have a similarly dim view of Hillary.

    • Jim

      I happen to know where you can get another half a million Syrian refugees.

      Just contact amerkel@whathaveidone.com


      • Tony, I have a thought. Perhaps humans, having evolved in relatively small groups, can’t handle the governing of larger groups. Perhaps they become too isolated from the “common man” and come to believe that they are in fact a special sort of human. One with the greatest wisdom, knowledge, and the greatest of good intentions – and that they and only they know what is best for mankind.

      • Or perhaps merkel just didn’t think it through. She has form on this over Greece.


      • richardswarthout


        The West does not know the mind of radical jihadists or the minds of their many sympathizers. I recommend reading “111 Questions on Islam” by Samir Khalil Samiir, S.J. I also recommend “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” by Eric Hoffer.


      • Tonyb,

        What do you make of this? http://www.thegwpf.com/britain-to-end-pursuit-of-green-energy-at-all-costs/

        I seem to recall Amber Rudd singing a different song just after the past election. On the other hand she indicated a desire to consult Lord Nigel Lawson to get his views.

        I find Lawson to be very perceptive and convincing. Do you think he has convinced Amber Rudd as well?

      • Mark

        Amber Rudd appears to be a pragmatist who, I would imagine was shaken at what happened here a week ago when on a very mild evening Govt emergency energy measures had to be utilised as, with some 1.5% leeway, we came very close to major black outs. Those measures consist of paying lots of money to industry to stop working and the use of large diesel generating units around the country to provide emergency power.

        She has now suggested we need some 25 new power stations, something we all could have told her 5 years ago.

        The govt is shutting down perfectly good generating capacity because it is not as green as the wind and solar installations that, at 5.30pm on Wednesday, were not working. Solar having this distressing tendency not to work at night and wind farms having the equally baffling failure not to generate power when the wind isn’t blowing.


    • Transcript: Tony Abbott’s controversial speech at the Margaret Thatcher Lecture
      Tony Abbott tells Europe to shut its borders

      The recently ousted Prime Minister implores Europe to follow Australia’s lead and bar asylum seekers from entering.

    • I used to laugh at Bush et al’s whining about “terrism”. The key is to focus on the enemy and not on the techniques they use. Problem was Bush never grasped what was driving Osama and his followers.

      • richardswarthout


        Respectfully, the Bush administration Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) was a compressive strategy that recognized the nature of the enemy; it was not a war against al Qaeda. Perhaps not fully grasped was the massive build up of intelligence operations.


      • Fernando,

        “…Bush never grasped what was driving Osama and his followers.”

        Which was (is)?

      • This has to morph into a war against radical Islam if the West is to ever dissuade Muslims from Jihad. And, yes, innocent civilians will have to die in order for it to be effective – for it will have to be waged against the militant Imams and their close followers. That can’t be done surgically.

      • richardswarthout


        Good question. I tried to find the answer right after 9/11 and read several books. There can be no denying that many groups in the middle east and Africa get their strength and power by feeding off hatred toward the west.


      • richardswarthout


        I think you’re right. General Jack Kean, retired vice chief of staff of the U.S. army, said essentially the same. He also said however that defeating radical Islam must be done from within; the president of Egypt has already spoken out against the cancer within Islam.


  17. Some are reporting the Syrian passport was a fake. Guess we’ll have to wait and see for sure.

  18. Here is a reporter’s editorial in our local paper today:

    Roger This: Science And Politics Mix It Up
    (may not auto hyperlink as it does not end with htm(l)

    Frankly, what this shows is that the multitude of folks doing the stuff earlier either did not know what they were doing or that the “adjuster(s)”, he/they being some who did do some of the earlier stuff!, “manipulated” past and recent data disproportionately. Reading the “NEW” evaluation, in the graph, shows that the last 15 years is NOT significantly different than the past 50 years which, to my understanding, has never been deemed a reason to cry “wolf” regardless of what the level has been! Only “catastrophically dire” since the mid 1990s when the computer models began to say it twas!!!!

  19. From the article:

    The ADAPT workshop (6th international workshop on adaptive, self-tuning computing systems) is trying a new publication model: all papers have been submitted via Arxiv, are now publicly discussed via Reddit, and will then be selected by a Program Committee for a presentation at the workshop. The idea is to speed up dissemination of novel ideas while making reviews more fair and letting the authors actively engage in discussions, defend their techniques, fix mistakes and eventually improve their open articles.


  20. In praise of intellectual uncertainty item has this comment: ” If we want people prepared for the work of life and of living together, we should encourage lessons in the art of skepticism. When searching for solid answers, the best place to start is with solid questions.”

    Scepticism IMO is simply the development of an independant thinking capability. We need to follow our own thought train and not hitch ourselves to other peoples’, because influence and popularism are too often the product of MSM and not of rational concensus of opinion.

  21. The Onion…add seek funding …scientific method…

    Entertaining article about energy:


  22. Mark Steyn’s recent essay: http://www.steynonline.com/7293/the-barbarians-are-inside-and-there-are-no-gates

    Thank you again Judith Curry for leading me to Mark Steyn.

    • Steyn gives me hope. If as he calls it with his usual trenchanv wit, the clogged toilet that is the DC justice system ever gets around to actually holding this trial, meaning to finally get Mikey M. up on the stand so Steyn’s attorneys can skewer him good and proper, it will gladden the hearts of skeptics the world over. We’re lucky to have him…

      • > … the clogged toilet that is the DC justice system ever gets around to actually holding this trial …

        Admittedly I have a bias against trusting authority (this very much includes judges), based on a quite long lifetime of experience, but it is my view that the DC Court circuit has absolutely no intention of **ever** deciding anything concrete here

  23. Dr Curry and Denizens,

    I have just finished reading George Friedman’s “The Next Decade”, a follow on from is fascinating book “The Next 100 years”. He is a geopolitical scientist and his “really big picture” view makes pretty remarkable and fascinating reading.

    In “The Next Decade” he tackles the issue of climate change in chapter 13, which is headed “The Technolgocial and Demographic Imbalance” where he argues that changing demography is going to outpace even the incredible technological advancements we have become used to, leading to a crisis.

    It is very concise and ruthlessly logical. Eg. Speaking of the failure of the 2010 Copenhagen summit “For people to balk [at political solutions such as were proposed] is not irrational. They are measuring a certainty against a probability. The certainty is that their lives would be significantly constrained by such reductions in consumption, which would lead to widespread economic dislocation. The probability – which is questioned by some – is that climate change would occur with equally devastating results.”

    His driving point is that our energy consumption must necessarily increase dramatically to solve the coming demographic problems, and that even unconstrained fossil fuel use will struggle to keep pace, and that there is no new technology ready to replace it – and certainly not renewable energy on the scale required.

    I don’t personally entirely agree with this assessment, but I find it an interesting perspective from the very big picture point of view that nation states behave predictably given a certain set of initial conditions, and pretty much the same irrespective of who is in charge. These are forces much larger than an ephemeral ideology. He often argues that the only logical course of action is hypocrisy, but that power without a moral framework is self destructive.

    In any case, I highly highly commend it Dr Curry and the Denizens. It’s a truly fascinating perspective, and one that makes our current logger heads over climate change look both inevitable and juvenile.

    • Writing about the future must be very hard because its so difficult to predict! H/T Yogi Berra. Anyone’s guess is as good as it gets because we all know how bias and overconfidence affects so much communication these days.

      • Well way back in the early 2000’s he predicted Russia’s recent antics, among some other things. But getting a few predictions right is not what is interesting, it is the ‘big picture analysis’ and putting things into perspective that I find very interesting. I really recommend his stuff. I am sure you won’t agree with everything but it won’t fail to have you fascinated.

    • The most important thing I know for sure about the future is that thrift and persistence, whether practised or not, will continue to be the primary economic virtues. In 3015, thrift and persistence will still be the primary economic virtues. Ditto for 4015. They achieve what nobody ever planned or thought possible, because they invest first and most heavily in the only free and unlimited resource: human ingenuity. All your research billions, subsidies, think tanks, committees and universities, however worthy, can’t give you…

      This guy!

      Not much safe space for Soichiro.

      • mosomoso,

        Next thing you’ll be trying to tell us that intelligence does not increase with salary!

        Surely the more people are paid, the smarter they become?

        Who could possibly come up with anything new without monetary inducement?

        Only in America!


      • Mike, our future is likely being shaped right now by some hungry, horny, restless dropout with money problems, acne problems, girlfriend problems and a bad diet. One day he’ll just be a boring philanthropist who endows universities or catteries, but right now he’s on fire.

        He’s in a garage or basement somewhere. Trouble is, we don’t know who he is or what he is going to do. He doesn’t know.

      • mosomoso,

        Only joking, of course.


    • Mr. Friedman’s views on the future are similar to the climate models espoused by the IPCC: unverifiable, but severe problems in the short term.
      I’m also amused how a supposed “private CIA” was unable to protect even its own data in its very short existence.

    • There won’t be unsconstrained oil use. We can’t find much anymore. We are down to scraps, sardines, and very tough leather.

    • agnostic,

      ‘ “It is very concise and ruthlessly logical. Eg. Speaking of the failure of the 2010 Copenhagen summit “For people to balk [at political solutions such as were proposed] is not irrational. They are measuring a certainty against a probability. The certainty is that their lives would be significantly constrained by such reductions in consumption, which would lead to widespread economic dislocation…” ‘

      Yep, people are not stupid. In fact, even greenie libs in the US don’t turn off the AC or ride bikes to work.

    • Jim D,

      Any fool can talk about the future. Any fool can listen, and believe.

      Which one are you?


      • Jim D,

        I’m not sure why you think I like them. Any fool can talk about the future. Gullible fools are likely to believe, rather than take the trouble to think for themselves .

        I no longer need to ask which sort of fool you are.

        Obviously, I will apologise if you give me reason to do so. Do you are to try?


      • Maybe you prefer things about people. Carson, a leading Republican presidential hope, gave a now normal stream-of-conscience reply to a climate change question and via evolution got to the fundamental question of “gravity – where did it come from?”.
        More fun reading here.

      • Carson and some rambling thoughts on climate change.

      • Jim D,

        I prefer neither one nor the other. I wonder why you assume I have a preference.

        Do you have a particular problem with asking?

        I presume this is a peculiarly Warmist intellectual deficiency. I am interested in your perspective. Why do you assume that you know what others might desire? Do you feel you possess an innate ability to read the thoughts of others?

        As some Warmists appear to suffer from shared delusional disorder, I can only suggest that you seek treatment. On the positive side, many people suffering from delusional psychosis are otherwise normal.

        Please do not feel as though others are persecuting you unreasonably. It may just be a symptom of your condition.


      • At the other extreme from Carson’s ramblings is this thought-provoking interview between the BBC’s Roger Harrabin and Richard Tol (linked via JC’s Twitter above). Neither have views that the “skeptics” would like. It is clear that Tol believes in the science, but not in his perception of the IPCC’s solution. Anyway Harrabin is a sharp guy on this subject, and had Tol on the ropes in a few spots. It’s a long read, but worth it.

      • According to this, the House Science Committee changed its rules in January to give Smith unilateral power to issue subpoenas, and with the count under him now at six, it is already more than in the Committee’s history.

      • Elections have consequences, yimmy. Of course if the Demos controlled Congress, there would be no oversight of the Obama apparatchiks running the federal bureaucracy.

        There would be no need for subpoenas without the stonewalling, yimmy. Eventually it will all come out in FOIA actions. Judges are not tolerating hiding things from the folks. Do you think that government sighentists have a right to hide things that the Secretary of State doesn’t enjoy, little yimmy?

        Chairman Smith has the right and obligation to do what he is doing. If the people who voted for Republican control of Congress don’t like it, they can kick the Republicans out.

        Eat your heart out, yimmy.

      • jimd

        I read the transcript of Tol/harrabin. I will listen to the actual programme on the radio this evening as nuances don’t come over in the transcript.

        Having said that, Tol came over as confused and as schizophrenic as he does when he comes to CE. By that I mean he makes some very good points then seems to contradict or corrects himself.

        Mind you he is an economist who are hardly the most credible or coherent of people. In my pantheon they fall below even estate agents.

        I will report on the interview once it happens, as the spoken word might give a different context and message to the written word.


      • Years ago I forgave Richard Tol, for he once thought the science was settled.

      • Jimd

        The programme was ok and had about a dozen separate interviews including one congresswoman from the US obviously included to give sceptics a bad name. Why do you US voters vote for these people?

        Richard Tol was fine, certainly harrabin didn’t have him on the ropes. Tamsin Edwards spoke well. All in all quite interesting but with the slant that harrabin always has.

        You do know about his activist background whereby he got the BBC to turn away from their brief to be impartial when it comes to climatechange?

        I don’t know if you can get it on Internet radio. The programme is called ‘changing climate’ and it’s on BBC radio 4 at 8pm on Monday. It was the first of a three part series coincidentally finishing at the time of the Paris continent.

        Equally coincidentally, for the first time in its 150 year history the Met office has in the last week started giving names to storms in the manner of the US and hurricanes. Nothing to do with aris of course


      • Don, Smith changed the rules to do what he is now doing which is unilaterally issuing bunches of subpoenas rather than through consent from his committee. If people can come in and just change the rules to give themselves more power, what’s next?

      • Elections have consequences, little yimmy. The people put the Republicans in charge of Congress. No matter how much you clowns whine, the majority get’s to rule the committees. Get over it.

      • Don M, OK, remember that when Obama gets his way with the UN agreement and climate policy. Yes, elections matter, especially the Presidential one that trumps (so to speak) the others.

      • tonyb, yes, the Radio 4 program was available on the internet, and I heard it. Actually I recommend it. You may think they chose the wrong Republican, but actually Marsha Blackburn is typical, and she is on the energy committee, so she reads up on this stuff. I like the way Harrabin ended it. Basically “Do you believe in evolution?”, “No”, “Thank you for your time”. It was clear he was not going to ask her any more on science after that. In fact he should have started his interview with that question.

      • Jimd

        Glad you caught it. I thought it was Ok. As I have said to you before I suspect that I would be a democrat not a republican but that doesn’t excuse the very poor Democrat president you currently have.

        Roger Harrabin has had an agenda for years which has now become BBC policy

        He is a biased green activist not an unbiased BBC interviewer. The BBC is supposed by charter to be unbiased but Harrabin ensured their climate change coverage suited the views of the green groups he supports.


        So you need to listen to his programmes through that prism, but as I say I thought this particular programme was ok

        Did you say my link to Obamas comments to the US coastguards? What do you think?


      • tonyb, Harrabin did not do or say anything that I would consider activist on this program. He just let the people use their words and put in occasional scientific ideas that dispute certain points. He played Tol against Ridley on beneficial climate change, and let Marsha speak her mind only correcting one blatant falsity. He played another scientist against Tol’s statement that Europe would be comfortable with a 3 C rise. Now that you know what Republicans consist of, and would not want to be part of it, you still only seem to view Obama through their eyes. Read the US mainstream news, or perhaps watch the BBC, and you will have a different story.

      • My other comment is in moderation. Anyway, on the coastguard speech, view it in context. Actually the military is already fully engaged in planning for climate change from a security perspective, and it would be plain negligence if they were not. There is nothing wrong with a statement put like that.

      • From U.S. CONGRESSMAN Blackburn:
        “Congressman Blackburn opposes President Obama’s Clean Power Plan that will weaken America’s energy security and raise the price of electricity for hardworking Americans. She knows the EPA is willing to implement this scheme without conducting proper cost-benefit analysis and in spite of Congress’ expressed opposition. Marsha Blackburn will continue to fight against the EPA’s bureaucratic overreach and to restore Congressional authority. She knows that cheap and reliable energy is crucial to restoring our economic strength. Energy makes the American way-of-life possible. Without it, we cannot work a computer, power manufacturing, operate an ultrasound machine, or even drive to work. She knows we need to pursue clean, economical and responsible energy options that ensure we have access to the energy we need – including natural gas, nuclear, and coal. We should not allow ourselves to be hamstrung by the environmental lobby that pushes winners and losers at the expense of the American people.”


      • It’s best to fact check everything JimD says. Then you will see the twist.

      • Marsha Blackburn made a wrong statement on Radio 4. You can fact check it all you like. Harrabin picked it up immediately.

      • Fox News probably lets her get away with statements like that, but thankfully not the Beeb.

      • If the BBC grilled Hillary on just about any subject on science, I’m guessing she would look like a moron also. What is it with you people? You have no sense of balance. The media are leftists and go out of their way to make conservatives look bad while pitching soft balls to the likes of Clinton. This is really disgusting. And you guys just buy into their BS.

      • comment stuck in moderation

      • JimD

        I view Obama and Clinton as both very poor. I also view many of the Republicans as quite strange AND poor. That is not to say every Democrat or every Republican is poor or strange, but enough to make me look at your system and wonder how such a large nation can put forward such poor representatives with such regularity.

        I can not see how anyone can give a free pass to their party just because it is THEIR party.

        Sometimes you need to step back, look and listen to what they are saying. Is it REALLY OK for Obama to say someone would be in dereliction of duty for having a different opinion? Scary.

        Obama is a blowhard and Clinton has verged on the reckless and the near criminal. I despair at the likes of Trump, but understand his attraction is that he is NOT a politician and speaks as he sees it.

        Any chance you can clear out the current list of Republican and Democrat hopefuls and start again because unfortunately they impact on us in the rest of the world?


      • Most of the politicians have confused ideas about climate as do the scientists; they’re a little better at energy policy, marginally, as are better the engineers, magically and magnificently.

      • Heh, the alarmists are wronger in their confusions.

      • Yes little yimmy, Obama free from facing another election is making international commitments and changing or ignoring domestic laws with abandon. And your lot are cheering him on. The courts will put a stop to some of it and POTUS Trump will erase the rest.

    • Jim D | November 16, 2015 at 6:51 am | Reply
      Talking of the future.


      If global warming was so obvious or damaging global warmers wouldn’t have to lie about it.

      Global warmers are much more ignorant and dishonest than skeptics. And they win for pure stupidity. It is much easier to find damaging quotes and video from global warmers than skeptics.

      Global Warming Idiots Sign Petition to Lower the Temp of the Sun

      Perhaps it would useful to go back to discussing the data and quit playing this game.

    • Jim D:

      You really need to find an alternative source to the HuffPost. Arianna’s roots are politically conservative and her fortune came from an oil empire. Thus, as with Exxon, nothing she ever touches can be trusted by someone like you.

  24. Jim D,

    Sorry. Care rather than are.


  25. INDC factsheets & stuff:

    • The INDC 2030 per capita emissions projections are all over the place, including big reductions and big increases. Strange stuff.

  26. It’s been hotter and it’s been colder not that far back. (Migration opponents, except for those in suddenly isolated Britain after the Storegga Slides, would have totally hated that 8.2 kiloyear event.) And be careful of which ancient or event medieval seaports you choose for sea level checks. You might be wading…but you might also be on bone dry ground.

    You call this climate change? This is a safe space.

  27. Say what you will about Mark Steyn, but the man has a real penchant for words:


  28. From the article:

    Over the weekend, researcher Scot Terban came across the new website of Al-Hayat Media Center, the media division of Daesh (aka ISIS/ISIL), in a post on Shamikh forum (a known jihadi bulletin board), ‘someone had posted the new address and instructions for reaching it,’ writes CSO’s Steve Ragan. The website hosts the usual anti-Western iconography, as well as songs (Nasheeds) and poems for mujahids in various locations. Terban has mirrored the website and its files; he says he plans to publish more details in the coming days. ‘Over the years, there have been several claims made that Daesh had propaganda and recruitment hubs on the Darknet, but no one has ever published proof of those claims or explored how the propaganda machine operates in public,’ says Ragan.


  29. From the article:

    Hacker group Anonymous have apparently responded to the attacks on Paris by posting a video declaration of war against the terrorist group that calls itself “Islamic State.”

    In the as-yet-unverified video, posted on YouTube, a spokesperson wearing the group’s signature Guy Fawkes mask, said the group of hackers would use its expertise to wage “war” on the militant group.


  30. The UK’s coal plants are to be phased out within 10 years. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Frankly, it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon-intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations. “Let me be clear: this is not the future. We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.”


    Cost-benefit analysis, anyone? “Environmentalists say nuclear and gas power are not the cheapest form of energy in the long run. Not only are renewable energies cleaner, they say, but because there are no fuel costs – the sun and the wind are free – then ultimately these technologies offer better value for money.” So we just compare the fuel costs and ignore everything else? Pissant economics.

    • Faustino, the good news in that article is that Rudd seems to be saying gas and nuclear should be the replacements for coal, which is more realistic than pushing solar/wind.

      More good mews is that some greens do support nuclear. Mark Lynas is one and his documentary on nuclear power (Pandora’s Promise) is something I recommend to my friends who are ignorant about the safety of nuclear power.