Iatrogenic (?) climate policy

by Judith Curry

So, is the climate ‘cure’ worse than the climate ‘disease’?


Definition of ‘iatrogenic’:

Iatrogenic: Due to the activity of a physician or therapy. For example, an iatrogenic illness is an illness that is caused by a medication or physician.

The seriousness of iatrogenic illness, and even death, is highlighted in a recent medical journal article A new, evidence based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care.

An issue of serious concern, but why am I talking about iatrogenics on a climate blog?

This ‘iatrogenic’ post was triggered by a series of tweets on Nov 13 by Nassim Taleb, summarized below:

  • Iatrogenics kills between 300,000 and 700,000 pple/year in US. The “bullshit” treatments are more often delivered by a doctor
  • Benefit of homeopathy: harmless pacebo & waiting/preventing marginal patients frm overtreatment/iatrogenic intrvtion 
  • RupertRead: Homeopathy is nonsense. It ‘works’ because its practitioners manifest a caring attitude to their patients, and give them plenty of time.
  • Superstitions can be rational if 1) harmless, 2) lower your anxiety, 3) prevent you from listening to forecasts by economists & BS “experts”
  • Many surviving popular treatments are harmless and “distract the patient while nature does its job” (Voltaire)

It was the ‘forecasts by economists and BS experts’ that triggered my linking of iatrogenics to climate policy.

In the absence of an existential threat or ‘ruin’ from human-caused climate change (see previous post), climate policies should be judged on a cost-benefit basis, with the added complexity of multi-generational discount rates, and in the presence of massive uncertainty in projections and assessments.

So, is the climate ‘cure’ being organized by the UNFCCC worse than the climate ‘disease’?

Lomborg op-eds

Bjorn Lomborg continues to hit hard, with an op-ed yesterday: Romm critique of COP21 deeply flawed.  For context, see last week’s post Lomborg: Impact of Current Climate Proposals.

Of greatest relevance here is his op-ed in the WSJ:  Gambling the world economy on climate.  Excerpts:

The U.N.’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres, says openly that the aim of the talks is “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”

But before ditching that economic model, it’s worth considering how much progress it has brought.

For one, life expectancy in the past 150 years has more than doubled, to 71 years in 2013 from fewer than 30 years in 1870. Meanwhile, billions of people have risen out of poverty. One and a half centuries ago, more than 75% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, consuming less than $1 a day, in 1985 money. This year the World Bank expects extreme poverty to fall below 10% for the first time in history.

It is telling that U.N. officials provide no estimated costs for an economic transformation. But one can make an unofficial tally by adding up the costs of Paris promises for 2016-30 submitted by the U.S., European Union, Mexico and China, which together account for about 80% of the globe’s pledged emissions reductions.

There is no official cost estimate for Mr. Obama’s promise to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. However, the peer-reviewed Stanford Energy Modeling Forum has run more than a hundred scenarios for greenhouse-gas reductions and the costs to gross domestic product. Taking this data and performing a regression analysis across the reductions shows that hitting the 26%-28% target would reduce GDP between $154 billion and $172 billion annually.

The EU says it will cut emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Again, there is no official estimate of the cost given, which is extraordinary. The data from the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum suggests hitting that target would reduce the EU’s GDP by 1.6% in 2030, or €287 billion in 2010 money.

Mexico has put into place the strongest climate legislation of any developing country, conditionally promising to cut greenhouse-gas and black-carbon emissions by 40% below the current trend line by 2030. The Mexican government estimates that cutting emissions in half by 2050 will cost between $6 billion and $33 billion in 2005 money, but that is many times too low. Peer-reviewed literature, supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the EU, suggests that by 2030 the cost would already reach 4.5% of GDP, or $80 billion in 2005 money.

China has promised by 2030 to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions, per unit of GDP, to at least 60% below 2005. Using the data from the Asia Modeling Exercise we find that hitting this target will cost at least $200 billion a year.

So in total, the Paris promises of the EU, Mexico, U.S. and China will diminish the economy at least $730 billion a year by 2030—and that is in an ideal world, where politicians consistently reduce emissions in the most effective ways.

Experience tells us that won’t happen. For instance, policy makers could have chipped away at emissions efficiently with modest taxes on carbon, or by switching electrical generation to natural gas. Instead many countries, including the U.S. and those in the EU, have poured money into phenomenally inefficient subsidies for solar and biofuels, which politicians go for like catnip. The EU’s 20/20 climate policy—the goal, embarked upon in 2010, to cut emissions 20% from 1990 levels by 2020—is the clearest example of such gross inefficiency.

The cuts on the table in Paris, then, will leave the global economy, in rough terms, $1 trillion short every year for the rest of the century—and that’s if the politicians do everything right. If not, the real cost could double.

All of these high-flown promises will fail to accomplish anything substantial to rein in climate change. At best, the emissions cuts pledged in Paris will prevent a total temperature rise by 2100 of only 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a peer-reviewed study I recently published in Global Policy.

If nations formalize their planned carbon cuts in Paris and then stick to them, Ms. Figueres’s economic transformation will indeed happen: But it won’t be a transformation to be proud of.

JC reflections

Business as usual in terms of the energy sector expects a slow transition away from fossil fuels over the 21st century – all other things being equal, people prefer clean energy; and fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive to extract.

The UNFCCC seeks to radically accelerate this transition, all to the effect of preventing a few tenths of a degree of global warming in the 21st century, with the climate  ‘benefits’ of these reductions being realized in the 22nd and 23rd centuries.

Any benefits of the UNFCCC emission reductions assumes that we understand how the climates of the 21st – 23rd centuries will actually play out, and that these climates will be dominated by human-caused greenhouse warming.  The CMIP5 climate model simulations not withstanding,  the IPCC admits that they don’t have confidence in the size of the CO2 effect:

No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement of values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.

It seems most economists didn’t get this memo (including AR5 WG3), since they continue to use ECS = 3 C.  Lower values of ECS imply that it is much easier to stay within the 2C ‘danger’ limit:

It is difficult to see how the UNFCCC policies make economic sense, and I suspect that there are unforeseen adverse impacts to (economies and human well being) of this attempt to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.  I have not seen an estimate of the opportunity cost of spending a trillion dollars a year on alternative energy, as opposed to dealing with the more urgent human development needs (although perhaps Lomborg will be writing about this).

I use this quote in some of my presentations, I’ve forgotten the source at this point (Obersteiner?):

Key climate policy dilemma –  Whether betting big today with a comprehensive global climate policy targeted at stabilization will:

  • fundamentally reshape our common future on a global scale to our advantage. OR
  • quickly produce losses that throw mankind into economic, social, & environmental bankruptcy

In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using chemotherapy to try to cure a head cold, all the while ignoring more serious diseases.

461 responses to “Iatrogenic (?) climate policy

  1. Pingback: Iatrogenic (?) climate policy | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Fossil fuels are what makes the lives we live possible. The favored alternatves – wind and solar – can not stand on their own without fossil fuels. It is obvious to any clear thinking individual that the “cures” being proposed are far worse than the “disease”. Those advocating for elimination of fossil fuels completly ignore the enormous benefits we have realized from their use. Even the most evil of all – coal- is vastly net beneficial. The true deniers are those who sent this reality.

    • .. Are those who sent this reality.

      Fat fingers much…

    • Do you remember DC Comics Bizarro world, named Htrae? (Earth spelled backwards.) This whole issue is beginning to fit such a world but it appears to need to have things turned upside down in addition to backwards. Climatologists have begun to place their faith in economists and economists have begun to trust the “science” of climatology and politicians are placing trust in those erstwhile groups whose proclamations are beginning to resemble the ramblings of alchemists and astrologists.

      • I’m an economist, and most of the economists I know think that alleged CAGW and proposed “solutions” are nonsense.

      • @ Faustino

        I’m an geologist, and most of the geologists I know think that alleged CAGW and proposed “solutions” are nonsense

        The difference between us seems to be that you advised various Govt Ministers and found they didn’t listen, which surprised you. I advised various Govt Ministers and was very unsurprised to find they didn’t listen

        I’m extremely aware (as are politicians) that the vast bulk of the populace is scientifically illiterate and mathematically innumerate … further, they don’t care that they are, so they believe everything the MSM tells them, including 7 contradictory things before breakfast

      • I’m a geologist and an engineer and I agree with Faustino and ianl8888 – i.e that alleged CAGW and [especially that the] proposed “solutions” are nonsense

      • America’s iatrogenic climate policy woes began when the NRC pointed to coal as a workaround for the Arab Oil Embargo.

        It worked after a fashion , at least in national security terms :

        Strip mining from West Virginia to Wayoming soon turned the Energy Crisis into The Oil Glut. and provided a windfall for lobbyists that continues to flow down the gutters on both sides of K Street to this day.

      • Russell Seitz | November 20, 2015 at 12:48 am |
        It worked after a fashion , at least in national security terms :

        Renewable energy cripples the US mining sector, gives windfall profits to China, a huge boost to the Chinese manufacturing sector, makes us more overdependent on Chinese technology, and worsens the US balance of payments making US even more indebted to the Chinese..

        Now, whether it is really bad depends on the net effect on the US trade balance… But that is likely to be negative as well because renewables are most likely replacing coal and causing more oil/gas to be burned.

        Renewable energy looks really stupid from a national security standpoint.

      • I’m an economist
        ≠===========
        How reliable are 50 year economical forecasts?

  3. One problem I see is whether proposing catastrophe from the climate cure is any more rational than proposing climate change as a catastrophe.

    If we believe in the ingenuity and resilence of humans/communities/societies then why cant we imagine that the imposition of climate cures wont itself be the spur to innovation which will overcome that challenge as well. For example presumably Lomborg does not factor in the unforseen innovation that will most likely materalise once low-carbon scenario’s are ‘forced’ onto society.

    I agree with JC that all cost/benefits should be on the table, but most likely that leads us away from both extreme, climate disaster or ecomomic meltdown

    • human1ty1st | November 18, 2015 at 9:32 am | Reply
      One problem I see is whether proposing catastrophe from the climate cure is any more rational than proposing climate change as a catastrophe.

      Huh? Really? You are going to go with that?

      The climate cure is wasteful, expensive, dangerous (in that it cuts food supplies), and self defeating (the windmills and solar farms raise the temperature).

      Even the IPCC admits more CO2 mitigates the claimed effects of more CO2:
      Important advances in research since the SAR on the direct effects of CO2 on crops suggest that beneficial effects may be greater under certain stressful conditions, including warmer temperatures and drought.

      There isn’t a case for climate catastrophe. But the effect of renewables on European power costs indicates the harm from the “Climate cure” is real.

      • PA I get the points you make about the possibility of no real disease and a cure that is hurting now but this is from JC favoured quote at the end of the post.

        “quickly produce losses that throw mankind into economic, social, & environmental bankruptcy”

        Such statements seem as over-stated as the climate catastrophe meme.

      • http://theconversation.com/the-unpalatable-truth-about-bio-fuels-hunger-and-political-unrest-134
        The unrest in the Middle East in the last half decade is due to biofuels.

        So it is pretty easy to project more economic carnage from other green measures.

        Unless we make most green policies felonies (and burning food for fuel should be a felony) the economic carnage will continue.

        Claiming collapse may be a bit overstating it… we might be able to manage just long term economic stagnation. But green policies are unquestionably harmful and don’t produce any obvious benefit.

      • Before we had biofuels, the corn was rotting on the ground because we didn’t have enough silos to store the grain.

        In the 90s I drove past a 25 million bushel grain storage facility every day, but there was always grain stored in huge plastic tubes on the ground because the silos were all full.

        Biofuels as a green measure is one of the biggest myths around, it was a right wing conspiracy to sell more grain.

      • bobdroege | November 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm |
        Before we had biofuels, the corn was rotting on the ground because we didn’t have enough silos to store the grain.

        Well, I’m from a farming background so I have some sympathy for creating artificial demand for US agricultural products, an artificial demand that has doubled corn prices and increased US and global food prices.

        I’m not sure what your point is? If you double the price of corn, which turning half the US corn to biofuel has clearly done, you will create pent-up demand and always be able to profitably sell the product…

        As long as you don’t give a rat’s *ss about anyone but the farmer it is a great system. Of course you will increase erosion and runoff etc. because marginal land is used and the soil never rests etc. etc. but that doesn’t seem to be a big concern of yours.

        After all the world’s hungry can eat wheat or rice or something etse… oh they went up as well because they are substitute goods…

        Oh, well, sucks to be poor.

      • PA; “Oh, well, sucks to be poor.”

        I guess it depends on who you ask:

        http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/02/15/rich-or-poor-whos-happiest-and-why-it-matters/

      • ordvic, I went to India in 1972 because there was so much unhappiness and dissatisfaction in fairly wealthy Europe (including in my own life), and I’d been pulled back from the brink of suicide by a girl who’d learned a lot of wisdom in five years in India. I spent some time in Bihar, one of the poorest states, with an extreme climate – one of the hottest places on Earth in summer, cold winds in winter. In the immediate past there had been floods, droughts, famines and epidemics, there was a dreadful indenture/land rent system by which the peasantry were always beholden to the rich landholders, etc, etc, and serious strife – the Railways Minister was blown up with many others while I was there, the Chief Minister arrived for a meditation course in a fleet of armoured cars. But the people seemed happy, they were very open and welcoming, they had all of this suffering but just got on with things. Such a contrast to the West. Ultimately, happiness depends on our own reactions, not on external factors.

      • So then, generally it sucks to be poor and there are a few specific examples that show it may also suck to be wealthy. While the poor might feel their lives would improve with more wealth, the rich would not feel better with less wealth, though the rich frequently give the impression that they would feel better if the poor were not allowed more wealth.

      • PA,

        A couple of things, one the corn In the US is sold as a commodity, first come with the cash gets it.
        Second, the point was that those in the Middle East were not buying it then and they aren’t buying it now.
        Third, those who own the ground should be able to do with that land what they want, typically central US land where corn is grown, is where the farmer can make the most money growing corn, so they grow corn. Fourth, doubling the cost of corn, doesn’t double the cost of food, the cost of the corn is only a small part of the food price.

        Actually, its the farmer’s I don’t give a rat’s ass about, but the middle east is way more complicated than “The unrest in the Middle East in the last half decade is due to biofuels.”

        Even if we were a bunch of left wing liberal do-gooders, I doubt that Assad would have let us feed all the people in Syria when the drought hit and their crops failed.

      • Bob

        The drought was not unprecedented but the size of their population was. Up from 4 million in 1960 to some 22 million now.

        Tonyb

    • To paraphrase a well known proponent of IPCC dogma:
      we have to offer up disaster scenarios, or no-one will listen.

      Sadly enough, those who would like to see sensible policies that steer human activities towards both economic prosperity for all and minimal harm to the environment need to battle those who would place human life below environmental concerns. As such, to get the middle road solution that the vast majority want (IMO), the political path requires a battle between two extremes, both compromising to the middle. Environmental extremists are pushing economically harmful solutions, so getting where we need to be requires a polar opposite extremist side too – without that, we’ll end up where we appear to be going with Paris: significant damage and lost opportunity costs with no significant benefit.
      Does anyone really want that?

  4. We must study the natural climate cycles of the past and determine if whatever caused them did quit working. The only way out if this disaster that is happening all over much of the world is to understand the real regulators of temperature and sea level. Understand what caused the amazing stability of the past ten thousand years.

    Understand what did cause this:
    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page85.html
    Prove that whatever caused this has stopped working.

  5. Piecemeal trial and error reforms,
    not grand theory design, works best,
    ’twas ever thus. Consider what the Euro,
    has wrought … a machine from Hell.
    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2015/07-08/machine-hell-euro-wrought/

    • Good essay, and I really like that merry name, Stuttaford.

      The word euro sounds ugly in every language. And it’s a different ugly in each. Abolish it.

      Oh, and cancel Belgium.

    • beth, Matt Ridley’s new book “The Evolution of Everything” is pertinent, and worth a read. Quick picks: “Economic evolution is a process of variation and selection, just like biological evolution. … Exchange has the same effect on economic evolution. In a society that is not open to trade, one tribe might invent the bow and arrow, while another invents fire. The two tribes will now compete, and if the one with fire prevails, the one with bows and arrows dies out, taking their idea with them … Trade makes innovation a cultural phenomenon … Instead of relying on your own village for innovation, you can get ideas from elsewhere.” Perhaps more later, Ridley stresses how unplanned economics based on individual expressions of preference far out-perform directed economics.

      • I shall read it, Faustino.
        Evo-lu-shon,
        that’s how it goes,
        with Naychur ‘n ideas,
        arrows ‘n toes.

      • I think Ridley’s fundamental point of the exchange of ideas is profoundly right, but, as ever, dogmatic adherence to one concept doesn’t hold water. There are endeavours that make sense on scale that can’t be managed by private enterprise. Think about space exploration, the LHC, or the artistic equivalent, the BBC. Some endeavours that are ambitious and pursued simply for the sake of knowledge and innovation can’t be attempted with anything less than the sort of resources that state or a multitude of states can bring to bear.

        And private enterprise benefits from it. Think of technology and developments that the space exploration has driven, or the formats and programming the BBC developed which were adopted by commercial broadcasters. There is a place for collective effort whose prize innovation and exploration rather than profit.

      • @agnostic2015 You mentioned space exploration which SpaceX is doing at one tenth the cost of NASA. I can’t figure out why you mentioned the BBC because its private competitors are doing a pretty good job.

  6. Primum non nocere.
    ==============

  7. if an case can be made for overhauling the energy infrastructure and the industrial development model then it should be made on its merit and it should be made transparently and truthfully without resorting to fearmongering.

  8. Julian Simon’s work has demonstrated that over long periods of time human ingenuity greatly improves the human condition. There is no reason to believe that the same process won’t continue over the next 50 or 100 years. Additionally, technological advances over the long haul, should make dealing with any potential negative climate change a trivial problem.

    A large portion of the people advocating carbon dioxide controls are simply using the global warming issue as an excuse to impose policies that they would want to implement controlling the economy irrespective of whether or not there is a global warming risk.

    JD

  9. In his Romm article, Lomborg admits in his graphic that the INDCs save over 1000 GtCO2 even relative to his redefined BAU scenario, which does not match with the low temperature effects he keeps coming up with. 1000 GtCO2 gives you at least 0.5 C, and that is without even trying to do any more beyond 2030, which is Lomborg’s invented scenario. In reality, a lot more will be done to reduce emissions in the 70 years after those first 15 years, and several thousand more GtCO2 can be saved, so this could easily be several degrees of effect.
    As Figueres says, fossil fuels have had their time, and now we are already moving beyond. The 21st century will see a new industrial revolution in the energy sector, and a steady decline in emissions throughout the century that Lomborg, for all his talk about focusing on innovative energy technology doesn’t see.
    As the debate shifts, it is now arguing about reducing emissions more quickly or less quickly, but anyway reducing them as quickly as possible in some sense, so we at last have people on the same page in this.

    • Jim D: as quickly as possible in some sense,

      That’s a good one! Lots of people have advocated restructuring the energy economy as fast as makes economic sense, as judged by and carried out by the markets. A 50 to 100 year time line is probably as fast as can be carried out while making economic sense. It is only the government mandated and enforced “faster than the market will do it” divestment from fossil fuels that is opposed. If the people about to meet in Paris could read from that page, the debate would be over.

      • A 50-100 year timeline is all it needs to reduce emissions by several thousand GtCO2. This is the point, and that is worth several degrees. I think people can be on board with this timeline if they knew its effect.

      • Lose the plot and lose the mandate,
        heaven’s that is.The Chinese knew it,
        Merkel does not.

      • Jim D: A 50-100 year timeline is all it needs to reduce emissions by several thousand GtCO2.

        For that timeline, government coercion and taxation are not needed.

      • Paris pushes more to a 50-year timeline than 100-year one, and some urgency is needed to succeed with the 2 C limit driving that.

      • “some urgency is needed to succeed with the 2 C limit driving that.”

        Well… doing nothing will give us peak energy in 2030-2040 and sometime around 2060-2070 CO2 levels will top out.in the under 500 PPM range.

        Even the IPCC 2.0°C ECS only gives us about 0.5°C Where is the other heat coming from?

        Further – the real IPCC “low confidence” limit is 2.5°C

    • “fossil fuels have had their time” Let the market – the sum of preferences of all individuals – decide, not politicians.

    • Figueres has it wrong in the sense that a move away from fossil fuels will be driven more by market forces rather than her autocratic-central-planning distopia. As Dr Curry wrote above, we think the switch will happen, but the timing is uncertain. I haven’t seen a validated model, but intuition tells me efficiency and a light touch of non fossil fuel technology R&D are worthwhile.

      The EU has a delicate energy security situation, it may benefit from a more aggressive stance.

      But the USA seems to have enough resources to get by for a couple of decades. Therefore it may benefit more from point forward urban and infrastructure planning and investment.

      • Yes, the question now is only quicker or slower? Should the US lead and sell or lag and import in all these new industries?

      • Jimd

        When I said all that at WUWT they were not happy bunnies. There is some stuff that shouldn’t be burnt

        Tonyb

      • Jim D: Yes, the question now is only quicker or slower? Should the US lead and sell or lag and import in all these new industries?

        How much damage can governments do by forcing the pace? Why should Americans manufacture under govt duress products that will not sell overseas?

      • How much damage have they done “forcing the pace” with fossil fuels? Invest for future demands, not to cling to the past. If you don’t like governments subsidizing industries, look where it goes, and see if you still have the same opinion. This is an interesting litmus test for you to see where you really stand on this opinion. Food for thought, at least.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fossil-fuel-subsidies_5643dd87e4b045bf3dedc2d9?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

      • Jim D, subsidies for energy – by kilowatt/hour
        http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Great-Fossil-Fuel-Subsidy-Myth.html
        Coal is 69 cents/MWh. Solar is $280.42/MWh.
        Not even close.

      • Since fossil fuels absorb four times more government subsidies than renewables, not subsidizing fossil fuels would save 80% of their subsidy payments at apparently very little expense to energy. Why are they even still doing it?

      • jimd

        Please clarify your definition of the word ‘subsidy.’

        Our UK govt extracts many billions in tax from the oil industry and it is confusing to learn that in the US they apparently pay the population to consume the energy they use.

        tonyb

      • Jim D | November 19, 2015 at 9:25 am |
        Since fossil fuels absorb four times more government subsidies than renewables, not subsidizing fossil fuels would save 80% of their subsidy payments at apparently very little expense to energy. Why are they even still doing it?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies
        On March 13, 2013, Terry M. Dinan, senior advisor at the Congressional Budget Office, testified before the Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives that federal energy tax subsidies would cost $16.4 billion that fiscal year, broken down as follows:
        Renewable energy: $7.3 billion (45 percent)
        Energy efficiency: $4.8 billion (29 percent)
        Fossil fuels: $3.2 billion (20 percent)
        Nuclear energy: $1.1 billion (7 percent)

        The initial premise is grossly dishonest. Renewables consume more scarce resources, produce more pollution (CO2 is not pollution), produce unreliable power, and waste far more land than conventional energy there yet are massively subsidized at great cost to the taxpayers. Why are they even still doing it?

        There should be a surtax on renewable energy and the costs of making it dispatchable should be pushed on to the producers. Why would anyone let uncontrollable energy on the grid?

        Further the renewable subsidies are credits (tax payers paying the company) where the fossil fuel subsidies are by and large deductions (less tax being collected).

        If you assume taxes are wrong… Then the fossil fuels are just being treated more fairly but renewable energy is still wrong because you are stealing from the taxpayers.

        http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/u-s-energy-subsidies-wind-and-solar-have-no-argument/
        And then there is this:
        But when you look at the subsidies on an energy production basis, the disparity becomes stunning (or scandalous from a taxpayer viewpoint). Wind’s 5.6 cents per kilowatthour is more than 85 times that of oil and gas combined. And solar … would you believe 13 times that of wind, making the disparity north of a thousand times?

        The renewable subsidy per kilowatt-hour is insane. The renewable energy subsidies, if nothing else, should be cut to parity on a kilowatt-hour basis with fossil fuels.

      • Jim D, so you knew what I said already, and still posted what you said? Sorry, but you get partisan points. You are trying to win, not to inform.

      • Producers get so much from the government that they can pay utilities to take their power and still make a profit.

        Sweet quote. Renewable energy subsidies are almost the definition of insanity. These subsidies are indefensible, as is current renewable energy.

      • JD is very sharp, widely informed, hopelessly partisan and fearfully frightened of our anthropogenic future.
        ================

      • kim is often dull, spottily informed, hopelessly curious and foolishly unafraid of our anthropogenic future.
        ================

      • I linked to the article about relative funding because someone, perhaps everyone above, said government funding is damaging, as though any government funding is damaging. Do they think it was damaging to subsidize fossil fuel companies? It was just a point to ponder for those who want to generalize that way.

      • Do they think it was damaging to subsidize fossil fuel companies?

        JD, “sigh”, I know you mean well, but this is an apples and grapefruit comparison. Credits and deductions are two different things.

        The renewable energy credits can exceed 100% of the value of the product. You can pay someone to buy the product and make money. This leads to things like the Ivahpah natural gas issue which looks like a scam (they are burning natural gas at 35% of output). The high level of subsidy is so distorting it guarantees corruption and creates a market place run by government fiat. These subsidies are a straight handout from the government to renewable energy producers.

        The oil “subsidies” are common tax allowances in the mineral extraction field..

      • Jim D: How much damage have they done “forcing the pace” with fossil fuels?

        Short answer: In the US, little to none; in OPEC countries, sometimes quite a lot. I see that some other have directed you to more details.

        I would not claim that US tax policy is ideal, but the fossil fuel industry benefits from tax credits, depreciation and depletion allowances that apply to most other industries. Outright subsidies have gone more preferentially to other energy industries. The contrasts are especially great when they are expressed per GW-hr of energy actually generated, and solar and wind are especially bad..

      • Tony inquires of little yimmy dee:

        “Please clarify your definition of the word ‘subsidy.’”

        Little yimmy dee will have to consult the Huffpo Dictionary of the Dogma and get back to you. He will have to go back to HQ. They keep it locked up.

      • I can just link the same article again. People can interpret subsidies any way they like but they need to read this to get a clue.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fossil-fuel-subsidies_5643dd87e4b045bf3dedc2d9?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

      • jimd

        here is the original report by an activist think tank in the UK whose funders include numerous activist green groups (and others)

        http://www.odi.org/publications/10058-production-subsidies-oil-gas-coal-fossil-fuels-g20-broken-promises

        The oil industry pay vast sums in taxes which keeps many economies afloat. The renewables industry is a substantial net drain. How you can read this report and accept its premise at face value is surprising

        tonyb

      • Maybe they are right that G20 countries propping up dying industries is a waste of government money that is better spent on the building the replacement new industries. That is a very understandable position given the amounts of public money involved. G20 countries include Russia and Saudi Arabia, who could well have those priorities, so it is a believable statement, but we don’t know the breakdown by country.

      • There is a breakdown of how much each country spends on national subsidies for fossil fuels ($9 billion for the UK), but we don’t see how much they spend on renewables.

      • jImD

        The UK govt currently subsidises renewables by £7.5 billion a year which was estimated to spiral to £9billion by 2020.

        As a result the govt has just announced substantial cuts to renewable subsidies.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/11718594/Green-energy-subsidies-spiral-out-of-control.html

        The renewables industry is some 20 times smaller than fossil fuel and the tax breaks for the latter are normal business expenses, with a special one for the North Sea to try and get the last of the retrievable oil.(and placate the Scots)

        The Uk Govt gets some £60 billion a year in taxes from the Oil industry

        So by any criteria an industry 20 times bigger than its competitor with a net income some £69 billion greater does not look like its subsidised to me.

        Through its climate change Act the UK govt was the first in the world to put in place the subsidies for renewables and having now realised their expense and shortcomings is now reining back on them,. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine we are in an expensive energy deficit.

        Hence why our energy secretary just last week announced that we needed to build 25 new gas fired power station.

        I am not against renewables as you should know by now, but they are a very immature industry who can not replace fossil fuel or nuclear at present.

        The article you cited is demonstrable nonsense Jim

        tonyb

      • So, the UK are struggling to balance the budget, the poor can’t afford their fuel bills you keep saying, but they hand out billions to the fossil fuel companies who it appears are already doing well enough with their profits to pay lots of taxes. Something doesn’t quite make sense there.

      • JImD

        Perhaps you haven’t had the time to properly read the material I provided?

        Normal business expenses on equipment and other criteria are accessible to all companies, including those offering renewables. Fossil fuel companies aren’t excluded from something every other business can claim.

        Fossil fuel companies provide tens of billions of pounds more to the UK exchequer than do renewables, as the former actually pay vast amounts of tax whereas the latter don’t.

        I look forward to the day when renewables can make a worthwhile and taxable contribution to our energy supplies. That day wont come until the laws of physics are suspended and wind turbines can generate with no wind and solar can operate without light or sun. Their value to the energy mix will dramatically increase once they can use a good storage system to circumvent the laws of real time physics.

        tonyb

      • Depends on your priorities. Billions could also alleviate winter fuel bills for the poor, but the current lot in power see those people more as a nuisance.

      • Sure, the poor, but the British are changing because expensive and unreliable electricity is destroying industry in Great Britain.

        Better stick to physics. You appear naive and passionately partisan on this issue.
        =======================

      • From my perspective people in favor of funneling public money to already profit-making energy companies are the partisan ones.

      • JIMD said

        ‘From my perspective people in favor of funneling public money to already profit-making energy companies are the partisan ones.’

        Precisely how much public money is being funnelled that is using a tax scheme unique to the fossil fuel industry?

        tonyb

      • You’ve got the funnel backward.
        =========================

      • This is going nowhere. They are taking their money and throwing part of it back at the fossil fuel companies who don’t need it, by the looks of it. Or maybe the fossil fuel companies have winners and losers, and the money is only being given to the losers. Not enough information.

      • Jim D: People can interpret subsidies any way they like

        That will never do. The differences between tax credits and subsidies from tax collections are serious. American fossil fuel companies pay far more in taxes than they receive in subsidies, and the tax credits reduce their tax bills somewhat.

      • Jim D: From my perspective people in favor of funneling public money to already profit-making energy companies are the partisan ones.

        Where in the US is public money being funneled to already profit-making energy companies? Wind and solar farms perhaps, or Siemens and GE for their manufacture of turbines?

      • From Jim D:

        “but they hand out billions to the fossil fuel companies ”

        Jim, they don’t “hand out” billions. The energy companies pay tens of billions into the tax system. Deductions allow them to keep a bit more than they otherwise would pay.

        Let’s say you make $100,000 / year. You would have to pay ~ $33,000 to the government in taxes. However because you have a mortgage and other “deductions” you are allowed to make use of, you are able to reduce your tax burden to $13,000.

        I make maybe $25,000 / yr. I have a couple of the deductions you have and can reduce my taxable income to under $15,000. At that point I may not have to pay any tax and in fact qualify for Earned Income Credit and a few other government assistence programs. To the point that I receive checks from the government totalling $25,000 / year.

        Now, who is being “subsidized”?

      • The little time waster won’t give up. $BILLION$ in subsidies to BIG FOSSIL is settled science. He don’t have to prove it.

      • Once again, I linked the article because people were saying the government should not be subsidizing industries. They may retract when they see fossil fuel industries get more of the subsidies, or maybe they hold to their ideal that the fossil fuel industries should go it alone. I still don’t know because there never was a precise response to this, so let’s just leave it as being a rhetorical question.

      • This is just another errant alarmist meme. The bulk of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide benefit the poor, cutting the end market cost for them.

        It’s not just errant, it is backwards, like so many other dissonant alarmist memes.
        =============================

      • Cheap solar panels help the poor too. What would be the difference?

      • Jim D: “Cheap solar panels help the poor too. What would be the difference?”

        In point of fact Jimbo, the subsidies for solar panels are paid by the poor, driving them into fuel poverty and being responsible for a number of excess deaths every winter.

        But hey, what does that matter to a little virtue signaller like you, when you’re SAVING THE PLANET?

      • That would be your Tory government screwing up their implementation. There are ways to subsidize the poor for fuel costs instead of the indirect route of giving the money to the industries providing fossil fuels, if the poor is your main concern, but I suspect it isn’t.

      • “That would be your Tory government screwing up their implementation.”

        Actually Jimbo, it was the Labour government that screwed up the implementation by setting excessively high rates for solar electricity from the subsidised installations – thus benefitting those who were rich enough to be able to afford the up-front costs, at ther expense of the poor, naturally.

        The Tory government has improved matters by drastically reducing the subsidies, much to the disgust of the Green alarmists.

        So as usual, you’re wrong, because you relied on your Lefty prejudices instead of actually looking to see what the facts are.

      • Last I checked the Tories are still in power, people are still concerned about fuel bills for the coming winter, and the Tories won’t be reassuring them because they have done other things to show they don’t consider any form of welfare to be a good thing. Austerity for the poor is their policy.

      • So Jimbo, along with all your other astonishing array of talents, you’re an expert on British politics now, are you?

        On yer bike, kid!

      • I keep up from time to time. It is where I grew up.

      • In a way, we would miss you a little if you got mad and took your disingenuous foolishness some where else. But we would save ourselves a lot of ill-spent time.

      • Isn’t it remarkable that solar panels so far have benefitted the rich, the connected, and the crooked. Solar energy, so far has harshly punished the poor with revenue splurged on feed-in tariffs instead of helping them.

        That said, off grid poor would be benefitted by cheap solar panels, if you could find an off-grid region not run by warlords or robber barons.
        ===============

    • Well…. gee, where do we start.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=32
      1. Takes 2.5 degrees to get to the IPCC “low confidence of harm” level
      Important advances in research since the SAR on the direct effects of CO2 on crops suggest that beneficial effects may be greater under certain stressful conditions, including warmer temperatures and drought..
      2. 1000 GT CO2 is 272 GT carbon. 40% (the amount currently going into the atmosphere) is 108 GT carbon with 2.13 GT/PPM that is about a 51.2 PPM increase in the CO2 rate.

      3. The highest defensible ECS forcing level (mild joke) is 2°C. Using higher ECS values is being silly just to be silly. The ECS could be as low as 1°C.

      4. 2 * ln (451.2/400) /ln(2) = 0.35°C.

      Don’t see the issue. The amount emissions staying in the atmosphere is going to be in the 35-37% range in 2020 from current 40% and might be as low as 30% in 2030. Using the IPCC ECS and 40% CO2 added to the atmosphere gives a solid upper bound to the temperature increase of 0.35
      °C.

      But you are projecting we burn 1/3 of the remaining fossil fuel by 2030 (3000 GT CO2 fossil fuel reserves). By 2070 fossil fuel will either be completely gone or horribly expensive – and either way we won’t be burning a lot of it. The worst you can project is a 1°C increase from 550 PPM CO2 in 2070 (when we run out), and then the CO2 level starts dropping at 5 PPM per year. By 2100 the CO2 level will be under 500 PPM (it will be closer to 450 PPM)..

      There is no earthly reason to reduce emissions at all. More CO2 is beneficial. Now that we know disaster is averted we can take that placebo, lean back, and enjoy life.

      • PA, great, so we run out by 2100 anyway. Problem solved. Do you ever wonder why you are the only one making this argument?

      • 1. We run out in 2070 not 2100 (you misread).
        2. Other people do make the argument – you don’t listen to them either.
        3. Yes the problem is self solving. Only foolish people solve self solving problems, or people who are incapable of solving any other kind.

      • You are therefore against exploiting tar sands, exploring the Arctic for more oil, and for closing coal pits, all of which could take emissions into the next century, and that is great. You are almost an environmentalist. Congratulations.

      • Other people do make the argument – you don’t listen to them either.

        Who else is making this argument?

      • Straight from one of the GWPF favorites

        ” According to my latest calculations, it’s sort of around 1.1 degrees of warming relative to pre-industrial, so that’s …”

        Richard Tol on the boundary between net benefits and negatives for the amount of warming vs preindustrial.

        Another one leaves your tribe

      • Joseph | November 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm |
        Who else is making this argument?

        Huh? Really? Goggle “peak [insert name of fossil fuel here]”

        Jim D | November 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm |
        The price trajectories make it inevitable. Within decades fossil fuels will be the more expensive option for many purposes.

        Fossil fuel is going to be the more expensive option “within decades”, yet we are going to keep burning more it??? Really?

      • By 2070 fossil fuel will either be completely gone or horribly expensive – and either way we won’t be burning a lot of it.

        I haven’t seen the argument made that we don’t need to do anything about climate change now because fossil fuels are going to run out by 2070. Who else is making that argument? And don’t tell me to Google it.

      • Joseph | November 19, 2015 at 11:16 am |
        By 2070 fossil fuel will either be completely gone or horribly expensive – and either way we won’t be burning a lot of it.

        I haven’t seen the argument made that we don’t need to do anything about climate change now because fossil fuels are going to run out by 2070. Who else is making that argument? And don’t tell me to Google it.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-04-24/-peak-fossil-fuels-is-closer-than-you-think
        Peak fossil fuel in 2030.


        http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Fossil_fuels_global_production
        Peak fossil fuel at 2030.

        http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/peak-oil-in-an-era-of-fossil-fuel-abundance

        The only people thinking we have unlimited fossil fuel are global warmers and they are just plain deluded. You obviously don’t read much, articles on peak energy are everywhere..

        We got about 20 years while fuels are available and cheap. Need to put a lot of nuclear in the ground to avoid relying on resource wasteful, expensive, unreliable, land wasting, polluting, renewables.

        20-30 years from now we will have sensible renewables that make sense to deploy. The current renewables are a sick joke.

        And fossil fuels won’t “run out” by 2070 per se but the use will decline gradually after 2030 so the net effect is the same as going full bore to 2070. The CO2 level will rise to somewhere between 460 to 480 and at that point the declining emissions will meet rising absorption and the CO2 level will start falling again.

      • Those hydrocarbon bonds were far too lovingly formed to destroy just for the energy within them; we need them for structure, to clothe and house us, and to keep our stuff in.
        ====================

      • You didn’t answer my question. Who is making the argument that we don’t need to act to reduce our CO2 emissions now because we are going to run out fossil fuels? Can you answer the question?

      • Joseph | November 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm |
        You didn’t answer my question. Who is making the argument that we don’t need to act to reduce our CO2 emissions now because we are going to run out fossil fuels? Can you answer the question?

        Well, I’m sort of in a sweet spot.

        There are lots of people in the “CO2 doesn’t warm/Not pollution camp”.
        http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2009/10/07/scientist-carbon-dioxide-doesnt-cause-global-warming
        http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/fred-singer-closing-in-on-fact-co2-doesnt-affect-global-temperature.html
        http://debatewise.org/debates/455-co2-does-not-cause-global-warming/
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/29/carbon-dioxide-doesnt-cause-climate-change-thats-the-claim

        There are obviously lots of people the peak energy camp.

        There are lots of people in the “warming is good we don’t need to do anything camp”.

        I’m sort of unique in that I can put two and two together. There is nothing wrong with burning fossils fuels. More CO2 is beneficial to the planet up 1200 PPM. The synthetic argument about global warming was created to con people into discontinuing their use and denying themselves the benefit of more CO2. I am just fine with burning fossil fuel until the cows come home and would subsidize it to maintain about 10 GT/Y of emissions.

        However I noticed this:
        .https://i.imgur.com/kmbVysf.png

        And between the fact that the atmosphere appears to be hitting a saturation point (can’t drive CO2 higher easily) and the limited availability of fossil fuels (peak energy), there isn’t any way to achieve over 500 PPM. Period. And the CO2 level will be closer to 400 than 500 in 2100.

        CAGW needs about 800 PPM with the IPCC 2.0 °C ECS to hit 2.0°C. That isn’t happening. At the loony bin 4.5°C IPCC ECS that no sane person thinks is credible it takes 550 PPM to hit 2.0 °C. Not happening.

        So there you go, no disaster. The eco/regressives (the p is silent) can go off to perform another good deed.

      • Chart for previous post plotted from CDIAC/ESRL that demonstrates the start of atmospheric CO2 saturation.

        Post 1959 cumulative emissions in GT plotted against CO2 level in PPM

      • I’m sort of unique in that I can put two and two together.

        Exactly you are by yourself. No one is and no one will make that argument, And so when you said the following to Jim, you were wrong, right?

        Other people do make the argument – you don’t listen to them either.

      • @Joseph

        No, PA is not making the argument on his own. There are plenty of others such that I have read, and I agree with him too. Especially about renewables which I completely agree with him. The whole push for “renewables” is utter madness if you sit down and do the sums. I consider myself a genuine environmentalist, and renewables are extremely harmful to the environment. Only small scale nuclear – thorium or fusion – is going to come close to touching our energy requirements in the future with an ageing population and a developing third world.

        Incidentally I have an interesting graphic showing the development of fusion that has been tightly following moores law I will post later today.

      • agnostic2015 | November 20, 2015 at 2:53 am |
        No, PA is not making the argument on his own. There are plenty of others such that I have read, and I agree with him too. Especially about renewables which I completely agree with him. The whole push for “renewables” is utter madness if you sit down and do the sums. I consider myself a genuine environmentalist, and renewables are extremely harmful to the environment. Only small scale nuclear – thorium or fusion – is going to come close to touching our energy requirements in the future with an ageing population and a developing third world….

        1. Thank you.
        2. Concur completely. Small scale liquid metal or liquid salt coolant based reactors is the way to go. The potential for serious reactor incidents with nuclear energy stem from using a high pressure water based coolant. More localized generation should improve grid resilience. With some careful planning if one of the small scale fusion technologies pans out they can replace the small fission reactors at end of life and for new deployment.
        3. http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/solar/can-organic-solar-cells-reach-old-age1
        Organic solar lifetimes and efficiency are improving. Organics can harvest higher energy photons and will be clean and cheap. They have the potential to be integrated with building cladding. The ability to generate energy from building or vehicle exterior surfaces is a “killer app”.

    • In what exact sense have fossil fuels “had their time”? The only reason there is lots of wind and solar is because of green pressure groups and government subsidies. There would be barely any wind and solar power in place without them and they don’t work at all without back up fossil fuels. The claim that we are on the way to a renewable energy landscape is a pipedream–haven’t you seen the news from UK recently about their near blackout?

      • The price trajectories make it inevitable. Within decades fossil fuels will be the more expensive option for many purposes. Combustion engines will be a thing of the past, as Figueres says, sooner than you think.

      • From Jim D,

        “Combustion engines will be a thing of the past”

        And I’ll assume you are envisioning replacement by all electric? (Then again, being Jim D, you might actuially believe that Flintstone era vehicles are a practical solution.)

        So where will the electricity to charge these vehicles come from? Moving our transportation infrastructure away from fossil fuels will greatly push the demand curve on electric generation.

      • Combustion engines will be a thing of the past, as Figueres says, sooner than you think.

        I very much doubt it. The way solar PV is coming down, not to mention the new technologies coming out of the lab, the cheapest option will be to use solar energy to create fuel from ambient CO2 and hydrolytic H2.

        Batteries are coming along, as is H2 storage, but IMO the Solar→fuel branch will grow fastest. H2 might work with fuel cells for some restricted environments (e.g. warehouses), but for regular passenger cars, batteries and even H2 storage with fuel cells aren’t going to be able to compete with cheap hydrocarbon fuels created from solar energy.

        IMO.

      • AK sees solar/wind being used to create hydrocarbons for use in cars and/or as a form of storage. H2 per se is not likely because it leaks like crazy and explodes if you look at it funny. I assume he envisions gasoline then, but each step of such synthesis uses up some of the energy and is not simple. Why has no one even tried? That might be a hint.

      • H2 per se is not likely because it leaks like crazy and explodes if you look at it funny.

        I assumed likewise ’till I looked more closely. But Walmart and Belgian grocery chain the Colruyt Group feel otherwise.

        I assume he envisions gasoline then, but each step of such synthesis uses up some of the energy and is not simple. Why has no one even tried?

        Actually, a number of groups are working on the problem.

        It won’t be cost-effective until the cost of solar PV comes down by a factor of 10 or so, but IMO that’ll happen.

    • People talk in terms of markets. Yes, exactly, new industries will develop, and we hope that our countries can lead this just to get into that growing market in a major way. Government investment can even help the fledgling Teslas out there, otherwise we will find that China and Germany, and other countries where government makes the new industry a priority, will lead the way over those who discourage moving away from fossil fuels like Russia. It is a new world in the market out there, and if you are not making what people are buying globally you will be on the sidelines. Remaining competitive in new technology. Important point.

      • Tesla loses $20,000 on an operating basis per car, yimmy. How many do you think they would sell and how long would they stay in business without benefit of $BILLION$ in subsidies?

      • So you are against the US supporting its own industries against global competition. Understood. You keep saying that.

      • Explain how supporting money losing businesses that will disappear without government subsidies is helpful to our country, yimmy. Did government subsidies paid for with taxpayers money and debt help Solyndra invent PV and Tesla invent the electric freaking car?

      • Yes, Jim, government intervention to support non-viable companies leads to lower productivity, lower economic growth and fewer jobs, and diverts entrepreneurs’ energy into government lobbying rather than coming up with new and attractive products and services. I know many, many cases of damaging government interventions, I can’t offhand think of any with positive outcomes. I’m speaking as an insider here who counselled against many interventions which I had demonstrated could never be viable, which government supported and which failed. No winners at all. Our Bureau of Industry Economics once assessed the 15 major Commonwealth Government interventions, 13 were failures, for two it was too early to be definitive. Read Ridley’s book. Apart from the project failures, there is a high deadweight loss in government support schemes, in some the admin costs were 45-50% of total funding, meaning that projects backed needed to have twice the rate of return of unbacked projects. It doesn’t work, Jim, no contest.

      • Don – That article on Tesla is seriously screwed up. Most of its problems are dealt with in the first several comments (before they veer off into discussion of the Iraq war).

      • Do – not – subsidize,
        naychur tells us ‘improvise,
        markets foster enterprise,
        ignore both and yer stagnatize.

      • OK, Pat. I read the first comment. I hope Nevada gets lucky. I am betting against it. Don’t like the Tesla business plan. What are they going to do next, go into the tire business? Upholstery? Those little air fresheners that hang down from the rear-view mirror? They will make up for the $20,000 they lose on each car by making their own parts? The subsidies that keep the whole game going will keep coming? The American public will fall in love with electric cars? Right.

      • Read on, Don…

      • I imagine that years from now, when future generations have chosen their energy sources (their business, not ours) the sight of countless clapped out wind-turbines and blistered solar panels, far too hard and expensive to remove, will be as comical as the empty shell of Burj-Al-Arab, a lump of seriously dated kitsch, sticking out above the deserted Dubai coast. The difference is that at least Dubai will have produced something worth consuming. At least we’ll be able to look back on petroleum and coal and know they were part of human advancement.

        As to what replaces what we have now…not our affair. There is stuff we can know about the near future. I know of several Australian cities which would be better off constructing and coal-powering underground metro networks instead of continuing to swell traffic with Teslas and Priuses and fixie hipster bicycles. (But that would be conservation, and we’re far too green for conservation. Why not clog the traffic with another cycleway or light rail? So green, and we all get to waste and suffer more equally.)

        You don’t push into the future with committees and intellectuals and marching band salesmen like Musk. You just end up pulling the future out of shape, because you spent all its dough. Duh.

        Oh, and abolish the climatariat. (Did I already say that?)

      • I have already done my homework on Tesla, patty.
        Don’t need to read uninformed yammerings from a bunch of anonymous clowns. There’s no mystery to building batteries and electric vehicles, patty. No barriers to entry for those with $BILLION$ to throw at it.

      • Jim D,

        Did you catch the comment regarding Tesla sueing the Danish government over plans to phase out the electric car tax credit over the next 5 years? Once gone, a Tesla at today’s price will more than double. That is sure to do wonders for sales figures, don’t you think?

        Of course if there is anything I’m confident of, it is the ability of Teflon Jim to let this bounce right off and continue to offer up fact free argument for how a forced march into renewable land will bring us all sorts of economic benefits.

      • It’s still a little early for every one to have a Tesla, I think. It’s just a high-end market so far, and those people would just buy them in the US and ship them if it paid.

      • Little yimmy is right. Tesla is a little too expensive for the average greeny. They are buying tons ( meant tens) of the less expensive Chevy Volts. Last time I looked, GM was losing about twice as much per car sold as Tesla. Fortunately for GM stockholders, it’s still a little early for every one to have a Chevy Volt. If those glorified golf carts ever catch on, GM will go broke in a quick hurry.

      • I often wonder what the point of having a conversation with Jim D is. Particularly when he regularly offers up gems such as”they’ll just buy them in the US and ship them back”.

        Because as we all know, there is a huge market involving individual buyers purchasing cars in one country and shipping them back to their home country.

        There must have been left over Teflon when Jim was getting fitted for that body suit. So they poured it into that vast cranial cavity atop Jim’s shoulders.

      • timg56 | November 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm |
        I often wonder what the point of having a conversation with Jim D is.

        Why do people skip stones off a pond?

      • timg56, I answered your comment when you were concerned Danes would stop buying Teslas. I said something reassuring to help you, and you seem disappointed instead. Hard to figure out. On a related topic I heard Norway have more electric cars per capita than globally by a factor of ten. Why? Incentives. Not just cost reductions, because they are still not cheaper, but they can use the car pool lanes, and that made a big difference.

      • Little yimmy yammers:”timg56, I answered your comment when you were concerned Danes would stop buying Teslas.”

        You are being somewhat harsh with the little fella, tim. I understand yimmy’s rationale. Just because the gubmint in Denmark is going to take away their electric car tax credits doesn’t mean the Danes won’t buy those pretty Tesla cars in the U.S. (where state and federal gubmint tax credits are very generous) and pay just a few thousand dollars extra to ship them home. Hey, some enterprising Dane could buy a whole boatload of cars and set up a bootleg Tesla dealership back home. It’s going to be really hard to stop the Danes from getting their Teslas. Did I leave anything out, yimmy?

      • Don, yes, in this case shipping is a small fraction of the price, and in addition by telegraphing the increase in price, they have guaranteed a boom in Tesla sales in the near term. In short, Tesla will not be affected by Danish policy.

      • Very clever thinking, yimmy. You are certainly correct that when the Danish tax credits are no longer available the shipping from the U.S. will be relatively a pittance compared to the price of that glorified golf cart that almost nobody would buy without sizable gubmint subsidies. Did you consider the fact that Danish taxpayers will not benefit from U.S tax credits? Thanks for playing, yimmy.

      • As you said, they can buy second-hand cars from US owners. No need to be concerned for Tesla, Don. They’ll get by.

      • I didn’t say anything about 2nd hand cars, yimmy. The reality is that only Danes with a lot more money than brains will buy Teslas, without hefty gubmint subsidies. There must be at least a dozen of those clowns.

        Tesla loses $20,000 per car. They would be losing a lot more if not for gubmint subsidies and the sale of gubmint mandated BS zero-admission credits to other car companies that sell millions of real cars. Without a lot of gubmint help, Tesla is busted.

        Can Tesla count on POTUS The Donald and the Republican Congress to keep pouring the gravy? Can little boutique Tesla compete with the shiny electric beauties coming from VW-Porsche-Audi, GM, BMW et al.? Will having a sliver of a small slice of the car market pie ever result in profit? Is there any way imaginable that Tesla is worth nearly 30 $BILLION$?

        The short answer is: Short Tesla, yimmy!

    • Jim D: “reducing them as quickly as possible in some sense”

      In your dreams, Jimbo!

    • @JimD Lomborg has shown elsewhere that only a reduction of 30,000Gt would make a significant difference. 1,000Gt is an expulsion of wind from the nether regions in a gale.

  10. Carbon dioxide levels have risen inexorably since the 1700s. Yet despite this, climate sensitive indicators of human and environmental wellbeing that carbon dioxide affects directly, such as crop yields, food production, prevalence of hunger, access to cleaner water and biological productivity, and those that it affects indirectly, such as living standards and life expectancies, have improved virtually everywhere. In most areas they have never been higher, nor do they show any sustained signs of reversing. ~Freeman Dyson

  11. Medicine is an inexact science.

    Econtalk: Perhaps Preventing Prevention is Prudent
    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/11/perhaps_prevent.html

    In his newest book, Risky Medicine, physician Robert Aronowitz calls into question many of the health care norms we’ve adopted in our lives, including PSA tests for men and routine mammograms for women. In an unusual twist for EconTalk listeners, perhaps, Aronowitz suggests, the biggest problem in health care isn’t too little information, but too much.

  12. The point is that the proposed emission cuts have almost no effect, c.f. Lomborg and MIT. Worse, the technologies proposed to make the cuts (especially wind and solar energy) have no effect on emissions. Udo: “Calculating emission reduction by multiplying wind/solar energy input to the grid with typical fossil fuel generator emission is large scale fraud”.
    Some people feel good by doing stupid calculations.

  13. ‘iatrogenic’:

    Good word, We already have had plenty of discussion about “unintended consequences” and “gaps in the knowledge”; maybe this will raise awareness in people who up til now have acted as though there were no actual cost to rapid divestment from fossil fuels.

  14. The discussion is largely over except for rent seekers. As the Chinese master building each successive nuclear power plant design they will export them and achieve an economy of scale Western nuclear power companies only dreamed of.

    China to build two nuclear plants in Venezuela

    • Nukes should be being built everywhere. If these green palookas were serious about the problem with CO2 they would be howling to have them built. Get rid of the absurd red tape surrounding nukes and get bthem built.

      Cheap power, easy to use and as reliable as anything built by man. No venting to atmosphere of any by-products and the waste easily disposed of.

      I’m a big fan of nuclear power.

      • Yes, and the waste can be reprocessed, leaving even less waste. Even Dr. Hansen, in his book about his grandkid’s storms, says so.

      • It’s not the red tape, it’s the construction expense and the lead time to build a nuclear plant vs a natural gas plant. Nuclear loses this battle big time.

        I have done 3 initial crits so I might know of what I speak.

      • Nukes are too dangerous. It is the hubris of the scientist to think they can make then safe.

      • neversubscribedtobeginwith <

      • bobdroege – part of the problem is regulations as Lang has said. Also, what with it so hard to get all the approvals to build one, we don’t keep our nuclear construction infrastructure at top efficiency. So, that means delays when something isn’t built right in the first place.

        Govmints the problem, not the solution.

      • Part of the construction expense is due to regulartory burdens. There is actually such things as nuclear grade dirt and rock.

        Another part is the fact we no longer have the capacity to manufacture many of the components of a nuclear plant.

      • Although bob is correct regarding cost compared to gas turbine plant. Hell the price of NG is driving utilities operating existing nuclear plants to shut them down.

    • This should be a concern. Given population growth, resource constraints, pollution, and demand for water you can expect that the solution will ultimately be nuclear fuel reprocessing. Some people don’t like that, but history doesn’t care.

      Every location on earth will require a constant supply of clean fresh water. Processing and moving water requires energy. Cleaning dirty water requires a source of water that can be dirtied, hence reprocessing water is not sufficient. Desal is on the horizon. Solar panels make very dense shade but trees are better.

  15. David whitehead

    On what basis does Dr Curry aver that extraction of fossil fuels will become more expensive. So far they have done exactly the opposite they have become much cheaper to extract, refine and transport. Thaht is what has been the main driver of their increase penetration and the ability of a large proportion of the Earth’s population to afford them and benefit so much from their use.

    • On what basis does Dr Curry aver that extraction of fossil fuels will become more expensive

      I’m not in the industry, but I do follow Jim Chanos:
      “On Tuesday, Mr. Chanos walked through the reasons why he believes the business model for “the revolutionary technology” of fracking that underpins the U.S. shale revolution will crumble. The high cost of pulling oil from the ground, he argued, means that it would take far more than a modest recovery in prices for the business to make economic sense.

      “With depletion rates so high, maintenance capital costs to keep production constant are pretty much much larger than people think,” Mr. Chanos said.

      Discovery and extraction costs for oil are squeezing big oil companies, just as Chanos has wagered.

      Now, natural gas seems to be different – but nat gas is lower CO2 than coal/oil.

    • When Jimmy Carter informed the citizens of the US that conventional natural gas was in trouble, he initiated a survey of unconventional sources of natural gas. And the rest is the history.

    • DW, for natural gas we are good for many decades.
      For oil, see two of my previous guest posts here, or any of several books referenced therein. The present price is an artifice of a Saudi engineered price war and won’t last another 18 months if you know anything about rig counts, decline curves, and the cost of bringing large new conventional discoveries (Brazil subsalt, Yamal) on line. Or read any of several essays in ebook Blowing Smoke, foreword by Judith.
      Coal has been studied by U.T’s Patzek and Caltech’s Rutledge. I would recommend David Rutledge’s extensive presentation materials as starter fare concerning coal. They are available on his Caltech website.

    • David whitehead | November 18, 2015 at 10:39 am | Reply
      On what basis does Dr Curry aver that extraction of fossil fuels will become more expensive. So far they have done exactly the opposite they have become much cheaper to extract, refine and transport.

      Huh? Cheaper? Really?

      On what basis does Dr Curry aver that extraction of fossil fuels will become more expensive. On the basis that she is honest and informed of the facts.

      The statement that fossil fuel production cost (oil in this case) is decreasing is simply untrue.

      As conventional reserves decrease the price will rise. Saudi Arabia is forcing the short term price down to get a higher intermediate price by forcing expensive production/exploration to be shut down..

  16. Superb post, Judith.

    It is both tragic and very telling that the two numbers that will be avoided like the plague in Paris are the dollar cost and temperature effect of the carbon reduction schemes under discussion.

  17. Richard Verney

    In a word, the answer to your question is: YES.

    Further, and herein lies the real problem, the cure is not a cure since presently there is no policy response being proposed that will achieve a real reduction in global CO2 levels. Renewables do not reduce CO2 since they are not despatchable and require 100% fossil fuel back up generation, and carbon trading and the like merely out sources where high energy intensive industries are based, not how much CO2 is produced.

    This is why even if all countries were to adhere to their Paris COP21 pledges, at most the forecast temperature rise would be reduced by a measly 0.17degC, and in all probability significantly less than that amount.

    The only way to curb CO2 levels is either to go completely nuclear which would provide all energy needs other than for the car and aeroplane, or to simply cut back the western life style so that we emit per capita no more than Africans living in mud huts. In other words turn back the clock so that we all live as our forefathers did in the 1700s with accompanying poverty, reduction in life expectancy, high infant mortality, high risk of death in labour/childbirth, no central heating/aircon, no fridge, no electric or gas cookers, no TV, no computers, laptops, mobile phones and the like etc.

    Should we wish to maintain a late 20th century/early 21st life style (or improve on that) we will be emitting ever more quantities of CO2, and the only way that that can be curbed, with the present state of technology, is widespread nuclear energy production. there is presently, no other solution.

    Perhaps if we had not wasted all the trillions of dollars on Climate Science but instead put that money in R&D we would by now have a suitable and safe form of energy production which can meet all our needs, without emitting CO2 and which does not have the safety issues that surround nuclear fission.

  18. Judith,

    It’s been interesting to watch the evolution in your views over the past few years.

    Your lead in:

    “So, is the climate ‘cure’ worse than the climate ‘disease’?”

    is spot on. We had a pretty good idea of what the destructive side effects of the proposed cures are, but we don’t know for sure if we have the disease or even if the disease has serious negative consequences. Some would even argue that the disease (CAGW) doesn’t even exist.

    • Actually, I have been using this in my presentations since my first uncertainty monster presentation.

      • I guess I am sensing that you are becoming increasingly convinced that the proposed UNFCCC cures are likely to be ineffective and are unwarranted given current and evolving understanding of the nature of the “disease”.

        “In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using chemotherapy to try to cure a head cold, all the while ignoring more serious diseases.”

        Another excellent analogy. While some may accuse you of advocacy for expressing these views, it is important for you to state them as unambiguously as possible.

        The harm done to patients from applying inappropriate medical treatments is very real. The harm that will be done to people if the UN and their Green mafia enablers succeed with their current agenda will be very real as well.

      • well, i am asking questions, not advocating for anything other than asking tough questions about climate policies. Even the most slanted advocacy group can’t spin the INDC commitments into a substantial reduction of the projected warming in the 21st century, or to bringing us anywhere close to the mythical 2C.

      • The only reason Judith is accused of advocacy is that perhaps she and definitely other skeptics have leveled that accusation at certain climate scientists. The devil is in the details and I’m pretty sure the skeptics are right about some of the other scientists. The warmists are just trying paint her with the same brush. I don’t buy into it.

  19. None of this has anything to do with science, CO2 or CAGW. There are people out there, and more than a few, who don’t like capitalism, the U.S. or industrial society generally. In CAGW they have found the perfect club: There will always be a hurricane someplace. There will always be a drought someplace. There will always be a flood someplace. Do temperatures fail to rise? Well, you have to wait til 2100 to see the effects. And, amazingly. they are winning.

    History will struggle to understand how we did this to ourselves. And that history will be written in Chinese.

    • Great comment. 100% correct.

    • Agreed.

      Except the Chinese bit.

      • Chinese did not bite. They just know how to negotiate with naïve EU and US politicians. That is why they continue to build massive coal infrastructure. Eventually they may get around to cleaning their air a bit but for now they give lip service to the green blog and take the money and industry hove to the new empire.

        “We promise to start reducing in 30 years”

        “You go first”

        Popeye with I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today could not have said it better.

        We may wake up or may not. Lots of countries have collapsed due to leadership miscalculations. We may or may not be next.
        Scott

      • Yep, most of the planet is not Chinese and their population will top out soon. Chinese women will have lots of mating options and will likely choose to have careers and very very small families. Then there is the problem of the language. China has done a great job with it but it is cumbersome and difficult to learn. English has a big lead as an international business language. Btw, I studied Chinese, thinking, back in the 70s, it was the language of the future. My physics professor and mentor, herself Chinese, told me, while eating Chinese food with a fork, that the people of China will learn to speak English. She considered it a distraction for me. History has proven her correct.

        I still like Mandarin and I haven’t given up …. someday I will be fluent. I will also get that jet pack and flying car.

      • scotts4f,

        “Popeye with I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today could not have said it better.”

        That was Wimpy. He was too light for heavy work and too heavy for light work. ;)

      • justin, that must be the origin of the Wimpy bars which sprang up in the UK from the 1950s, in a feeble attempt to emulate US hamburgers (except it might have been Wimpey).

      • I am not convinced US and EU negotiations with the Chinese were naive. US and EU negotiators needed a political tool to be used at home and they got one. It is citizens in the US and EU that are naive.

    • The delicious irony, of course, is that it is capitalism that has increased human living standards, reduced population, and improved the environment!

      The Ehrlich types were grossly wrong, doubled down and are down doubly grossly wrong!

      • Matt Ridley argues not capitalism per se but free market economics; don’t have the quote to hand as I didn’t postnote the book as I went through, but he makes a good case. (The Evolution of Everything – how new ideas emerge.)

    • I agree with bob droege on this one – the predictions of China becoming the dominate power globally are way over blown. China has so many intrinsic problems that they will be lucky not to hit a deep depression.

      Unfortuantely if/when they do, they will take a good part of the world economy with them.

  20. Richard Verney

    I do not want to make a political point about migration, and the troubles facing the middle East and Africa, but unfortunately it is relevant to this issue.

    In Africa and the middle East people living there on average emit about 4 to 6 tonnes of CO2 annually, whereas in Europe the average per capita is about 12 to 15 tonnes.

    Now Europe is facing a migrant crisis which involves millions of people, and it appears that Europe is about to allow tens of millions of people from the middle East and Africa in to it homelands. Germany, alone, suggested that it would take 800,000 per year for the next 5 years.

    This is going to have a significant impact upon whether Europe can adhere to its pledges since if it allows say 10 million people to live in its homelands there will need to be a massive infra-structure programme building new homes, schools hospitals, shops, railways, roads, mosque, reservoirs for drinking water, electricity generation stations etc etc to accommodate these people. This will involve the emission of much CO2 especially since cement, and steel are CO2 intensive industries. So over the next 10 to 15 years there will be considerable CO2 emissions dealing with and creating the required infra-structure.

    But then that is not the end of the issue. Europe will be taking say 10 million people who annually emit some 4 to 6 tonnes of CO2 annually and changing them into people who emit 12 to 15 tonnes annually. So suddenly Europe will be adding considerably to global CO2 emissions because of this transfer.

    And this too is not the end of this issue. Germany wants Turkey to join the EU. It has recently pledged that Turkey’s accession will be fast tracked. If and when Turkey gets accession to the EU, there will be a further influx of people into the EU since may be at least 10 million Turkish people will wish to make a better life for themselves by living in the central European homelands. Now turkey has a very mixed poverty level, but again it is likely that Europe will once more have to embark upon a massive infra-structure programme to accommodate these Turkish people which will again occasion massive amounts of CO2 emissions. And once more Europe will be tuning may be up to a further 10 million people who may on average emit say about 5 to 8 tonnes of CO2 annually into people who will emit 12 to 15 tonnes of CO2 annually.

    So whilst say 20 million people are not such a high percentage of the population, it will have a significant impact upon CO2 emissions from Europe since there will be an immediate need for much CO2 intensive new infra-structure building and thereafter there will be an extra 20 million people emitting on average an extra 6 to 9 tonnes of CO2 annually.

    Migration alone will mean that there is no way whatsoever that Europe will be able to adhere to its pledges. It has not considered the demographics and impact of migration into its homelands.

    • Yep. It is interesting to read Ayan Hirsi Ali on this subject.

    • Some years ago I opposed the “debt forgiveness” movement, arguing that it gave perverse incentives and removed the need for poorer countries to address the real issues causing and maintaining poverty. Today I read that many of the debt-forgiven countries once again have massive debt, e.g. “Mozambique was one of the biggest beneficiaries … with its debt slashed from 86 % of GDP in 2005 to 9% in 2006 … now 61% of GDP.” Incidentally, I recall reading some years ago that if all the aid given to Mozambique had instead been invested to generate an income stream, per capita income would be about five times what it is post-aid. The current migrant stream is in part due to failed policies towards Third World countries, which are being exacerbated by CAGW emphasis on non-fossil fuel power for TWC’s.

      • > … arguing that it gave perverse incentives and removed the need for poorer countries to address the real issues causing and maintaining poverty …

        So who successfully argued for it (debt “forgiveness”) ?

      • If the Turks hadn’t been stopped, what might Europe look like now? Would we have had The Enlightenment?

      • no one outside of the EU political elite wants Turkey in the EU. Its an Asian nation with only 10% of its land mass in our continent.

        Much of central Europe was subjugated by the Ottomans for 300 years and of course they destroyed Byzantium.

        Trouble is no one learns history these days, least of all our politicians.
        Climate note; We have the climate records of the byzantine empire. Interesting reading.

        tonyb

      • Justin

        This article describes how Europe would have looked

        http://www.historytoday.com/geoffrey-woodward/ottomans-europe

        It is an amazing thought that the eastern roman empire, in the form of Byzantium , was destroyed by the ottomans just 40 years before America was discovered.

        Tonyb

      • tonyb
        Thanks. Always enjoy the history lessons.

        We shall see if the West rouses itself in time. Almost like Lord of the Rings trilogy from England. The rise of dark powers seeking to overwhelm the lights of the west.
        Scott

      • Scott

        Putin apparently believes he is re creating the holy roman empire

        http://www.westernjournalism.com/onward-christian-russian-soldiers-putin-believes-resurrecting-third-holy-roman-empire/

        As such he may see dealing wth Isla+ in the form of isi# as part of that quest but it is difficult to unravel his thoughts

        Tonyb

      • Putin is trying to resurrect the Soviet Empire, KGB style.

      • The very large police operation in Paris today took place at st Denis which is about 1 mile from le bourget where the climate conference is to take place.

        Tonyb

      • Ignoring the nature, activities and connections of Erdogan is very much like the way climate alarmists ignore or explain away past and present events which don’t the overarching “narrative”. A less Kemalist Turkey connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is everything you don’t want if you are European. The swarms of genuine and mock refugees are supposed to be appearing spontaneously, like a scene from Camp of the Saints. In fact, it takes organisation and money to get that many moving so quickly and efficiently. Maybe powers like Turkey and Qatar have decided if you can’t join ’em, lick ’em.

        Western technocrats who decided some years ago that the main black-hats would be Shiite and Hezbollah are a bit like warmies who see climate as a console of buttons and levers they just have to pull and push at the right times. Assad is their super-baddie since he said no to a Qatari-Turkey pipeline. Now Australia’s newly non-elected PM is learnedly explaining to us the genuine Sunni grievances which gave rise to ISIL.

        God save us from a caliphate and from our own intellectuals.

        Oh, and abolish the climatariat. I always like to add that.

  21. Curious George

    “Before ditching that economic model, it’s worth considering how much progress it has brought.” The model has not been designed by a committee, it is a product of a natural evolution. We are more likely to replace it with something much worse than with something a little better.

  22. Well lets suppose, for arguments sake, the fossil fuel reductions are made and there is breakthrough technologies in renewables. Then where would we be? The reductions would still be too miniscule to save the Planet? So besides economic devastation and an unnoticeable affect on carbon shouldn’t we give it the ole ‘college try’? Rolling Stones: “so if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need.” Or NOT!

  23. There are two realities at play that are universally ignored in the debate over climate change and “sustainable” development:

    1) Climate always changes, all by itself, without any influence from human emissions. If humans are successful at eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, climates will continue to change. There is no guarantee that changing human consumption habits will create the desired change in global climate variation.

    2) Human impact on the environment is a function of level of consumption multiplied by population. Reducing greenhouse gas production while increasing human population and level of consumption will result in increased damage to the biosphere and accelerated reduction of available fossil fuels. Economic manipulation and IPCC obfuscation will continue to distract the populace and their government representatives from the sources of the problem and potential, effective solutions.

  24. David L. Hagen

    Stealing $1 trillion/year – all for a noble cause
    We are told that the “noble cause” of stopping “climate change” must be achieved at “negligible” cost – or whatever cost is needed.
    Now we get glimpses of $1 trillion/year, probably $2 trillion/year in reality.
    For what? Few recognize the author of this deception.
    Should we not explore the alternatives?

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
    I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

    John 10:10

  25. Judy, you say, correctly, that “climate policies should be judged on a cost-benefit basis, with the added complexity of multi-generational discount rates, and in the presence of massive uncertainty in projections and assessments.” The UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd disagrees with you. Announcing that the UK’s coal plants are to be phased out within 10 years she 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.”

    Environmentalists also disagree: “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?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34851718

    • There is no way wind and/or solar energy can ever replace fossil energy. Unless there is a severe reduction of world population…or a disappearance of Western civilization. Perhaps that’s the plan.

    • Faustino, the averge retirement age of coal plants in the US is 48 years. The fleet average age is 42, and roughly 1/3 of coal generating capacity is over 42. So, the plants reach yhemend of their economic lives. The utility choice is what to replace them with. Nuclear (foglte 3 and 4) are bidgeted for over $4000 /kw cap ex and takes 7 years to construct. Runs about 30% thermal efficiency, and the US has no spent fuel solution. USC coal (Turk) is $3000/kw, takes 4 years, and that cost assumes using low cost, low sulfur, low ash Powder River basin sub bituminous to minimize scrubbers. Is 42% thermally efficient (Turk actual). Nat gas fired CCGT costs $1200/kw, takes three years on a greenfield (two if replacing an existing station at the same location, runs 58-61% efficient, and can load follow from 40% to 100% of capacity at ramp rates of 50MW/minute ( meaning you don’t need as many high cost peakers on the grid). The economics are a no brainer if you have reliable secure natural gas supplies, at any cost below about $8-10/mbtu.
      Amber Rudd is right that 50 year old coal plants shoild be retired. Whether they should be replaced by 3G nucs, USC coal, or CCGT will depend on UK specifics. UK has, nd can use, France MOX recycling. UK has coal, but I don’t know the quality specifics. UK would have abundant cheap shale gas if they would just get fracking.
      But given renewables feed in preferences and fracking uncertainties, nobody will invest in CCGT yet. Absurd artificial policy created situation.

      • Or just let the utilities decide what to replace them with. Naw. That’s too much freedom, too simple, and doesn’t create jobs for bureaucrats.

      • Thanks, Rud. My check found that the UK has only seven coal-only power stations still in use, dating from 1963-1974 (so 41-52 years old). The first CCGT power station was 1991. I’m obviously out of date on this. A few biggies in there – 2000-4000 MegaWatt.

      • Rud,

        China is building nuclear plants in 5 years at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of similar sized plants in the USA http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/china-building-nuclear-plants-u-s-quietly-closes-them/

        The cost of nuclear power in the developed countries has been increased by a factor of about 8 by regulatory ratcheting. IAEA has also been forced to ratchet up regulations so that cost are well above what they would have otherwise been in the developing countries too. See Grubler’s Figure 3 here: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/TransitionstoNewTechnologies/06_Grubler_French_Nuclear_WEB.pdf

      • Clarification:

        “The cost of nuclear power in the developed countries has been increased by a factor of about 8 by regulatory ratcheting.”

        The Grubler Figure 3 I linked shows only about factor of 5 increase from 1970’s to late 1990’s. My statement about a factor of 8 increase due to regulatory ratcheting is based on Bernard Cohen’s analysis showing a factor of four increase from the beginning to 1990. I doubled than on the assumption the costs impacts of regulatory ratcheting has continued to this day and I assumed a further doubling since 1990.

        We should also recognise that if not for regulatory ratcheting the cost of nuclear power would likely have declined at about 10% per capacity doubling, consistent with other electricity generating technologies over the past century.

      • Faustino

        It must be remembered of course that our coal plants are ageing as the building of new ones has been considered blasphemy for some 20 years so there is no new young blood coming along

        Of course, what is not considered is how long it takes to build alternative power sources. We should have been building a steady flow of SOMETHING over the last two decades but haven’t (apart from windmills and solar farms)

        The last being an oxymoron in our climate. The Romans cottoned on to our relative cloudiness two thousand years ago

        tonyb

      • “oxymoron”? Carbondioxy morons I fear.

  26. Dr. Curry

    I read the Lomborg article in the WSJ yesterday and wondered to myself if it would appear in Climate Etc. It has, and thank you. I wondered if the world’s Movers and Shakers” who may read the WSJ regularly, would internalize Lomborg’s message: costs to decarbonize our global economy with current and near future technology far exceeds any real or imagined benefit. Would said M&S consider altering their approach to being good stewards of their charge, performing due diligence and implementing strategies that would come to the bottom line in their life-time? Let’s hope so.

    About Iatrogenic injury and disease, I have some credentials. Whatever the disorder, I recall with a shudder, my intervention was less than, what shall I say…expected. At the time, what I did or didn’t do seemed like the right thing to do.

    The crux of the matter comes down to making the appropriate estimate of what is wrong and what are the risks. There are at least two components to this issue: hand off; i.e., “do no harm”. Or, jumping in with both feet before the problem is characterized. If the diagnosis is itself benign, then Taleb’s admonishment, using homeopathy as a guide, watchful waiting would seem appropriate. Your illustration:

    “In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using chemotherapy to try to cure a head cold, all the while ignoring more serious diseases.”

    goes to the matter of too much, too soon, results in too bad.

    The third component, ignoring other and more serious diseases relates to opportunity lost costs. Having spent a fortune on what is trivial, no longer having the resources to respond appropriately and decisively to a real threat.

    A caveat: I entered into my iatrogenic issue because I had paid attention to what I was being told and not to what I could see and touch. Listening to the patient is important and valued, it can be, however, misleading and harmful unless confirmed by appropriate data.

  27. Hi Judith Curry,

    Could you please provide a link to the following? I would greatly appreciate it.

    “However, the peer-reviewed Stanford Energy Modeling Forum has run more than a hundred scenarios for greenhouse-gas reductions and the costs to gross domestic product. Taking this data and performing a regression analysis across the reductions shows that hitting the 26%-28% target would reduce GDP between $154 billion and $172 billion annually.”

  28. “In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using chemotherapy to try to cure a head cold, all the while ignoring more serious diseases.”

    That’s the goal. Lefties want to destroy free enterprise/capitalism. Global warming is just the latest excuse. The excuses change. If it’s cold, the excuse is global cooling. If there’s a hurricane or drought or snow or no snow — doesn’t matter. Their proposed “solution” is always the same. The goal never changes.

  29. In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using x-ray fluoroscopes to fit your shoes.

    http://io9.com/5843183/when-x-rays-were-given-in-shoe-stores

  30. Thought provoking post. For me, this is the key point:

    “….  I have not seen an estimate of the opportunity cost of spending a trillion dollars a year on alternative energy, as opposed to dealing with the more urgent human development needs…”

    If that is unknown, the proposed “solutions” are reckless.

  31. «The U.N.’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres, says openly that the aim of the talks is “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.»

    Dear Christina, have you ever heard about the precautionary principle?

    «The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.
    The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.»

    Has it ever occurred to you that United Nations is pushing both a policy and a whole range of actions on the public. A range of actions which is potentially harmful to the public. A range of action which might cause cost push inflation, general price inflation, energy poverty and more general poverty. All of which will hit the poor hard. Cost push inflation can be caused by a so called supply side shock. A shock in the form of reduced energy supply or higher costs for production of energy – which in turn will cause increased energy prices – which in turn will cause general price inflation.

    And – may I please see the risk evaluation behind your personal plan to change the economic development model? Are you having a personal agenda here? You have not been elected in accordance with the principles for human rights you know. You have been put in a powerful position, by people who agrees with you. With great power comes great responsibility. Your personal ideas doesn´t seem anything near responsible to me.
    Do you really think that your ideas are without risk for the public?

    You are the one promoting action here. The precautionary principles goes for you to. Unless you are a hypocrite off course.

  32. Pre-Paris talking heads videos just released:
    http://www.iisd.ca/2015/08/28/paris-knowledge-bridge-unpacking-international-climate-governance/.

    Bring in the clowns.

  33. “The UNFCCC seeks to radically accelerate this transition, all to the effect of preventing a few tenths of a degree of global warming in the 21st century, with the climate ‘benefits’ of these reductions being realized in the 22nd and 23rd centuries.”

    My solar cycle model shows Maunder length solar minima from the 2090’s and from around 2200. No doubt people living then will be looking back in astonishment at the superstitions of CAGW, and how they forgot that cold is always worse than warm.

  34. Another super article Dr. Curry!

    As an ex-engineer I mostly sit on the sidelines for the climate debate, but it is hard to refrain from commenting on the horribly-inefficient and risky technologies which are being rolled out in a forced march.

    I am all for R&D and building small batches of trial devices. Trial runs are often the only way to prove life-cycle costs and discover unexpected “gotchas”. Multiple development iterations lead to improvement and sometimes those “aha” moments of genius when dirty hands meet engaged minds.

    But today we have politicians, social “engineers”, and profiteers leading a charge without a sound understanding of what it is they propose. Its like a family member telling a loved one to plunge into cancer treatment without knowing the losses and risks inherent with treatment…. or even knowing for sure if the patient has cancer!

    We are rolling out row upon row of huge windmills before we know if they will have a 5, 10, 15, or 20 year life span. All the while, the pollution, energy and CO2 costs are front-end-loaded. Just as a fast-growing company can have severe cash flow problems due to up-front capital outlays, the up-front CO2 “flow” is negative for these devices. Not to mention the diversion of funds which might be occupied otherwise for education, defense, other more productive capital investments. Not to mention the destruction of capital assets which are performing quite well for society, but for the dispute over CO2 emissions. Not to mention the noise pollution. Not to mention the miles of service roads cut through forestland and along ridge lines.

    We are lining highways with PV cells at latitudes which will make payback virtually impossible, by either monetary or environmental standards. Will these become the blight of tomorrow? Highly likely if science can deliver practical and safe nuclear generation within a few decades, for instance. And then we would also have to pay to clean up the mess.

    In business, there is a saying: “ready, fire, aim”. But that is not quite as cute when you are spending someone else’s money. Now we just have to make the politicians understand that it is someone else’s money!

    • “Not to mention the diversion of funds which might be occupied otherwise for education, defense, other more productive capital investments.” Or, better still, tax cuts, which leave more spending decisions in private hands, including those of individuals, who will have different priorities from government.

      • Of course you are right, Faustino.

        I assumed that money unneeded by government would remain with the taxpayer, but you know the old joke about what happens when we assume.

      • Faurstino,

        Your contributions to CE are enormously valuable. I suspect many people are learning from them. Of course there are others who don’t like the message or don’t have sufficient background to understand what you are explaining, so they just dismiss them and don’t read them. I hope you will continue because I get a great deal out of your comments – and your rare posts, such as this excellent post – ‘The cost of tackling or not tackling’ AGW https://judithcurry.com/2012/09/12/the-costs-of-tackling-or-not-tackling-anthropogenic-global-warming/

      • Thanks, Peter, although my self-assessment is much more modest. And, no, that’s not a prompt seeking further praise! Beware a posting hiatus, though not of 18 years – I’ll be in New Zealand for four weeks from Sunday, communing with the sheep no doubt. (Any NZ posters here will no doubt tell that I can have more intelligent conversations elsewhere. Mmmm …)

    • Curious George

      An old joke from a communist country:
      – Joe, please tell our commission who were the fathers of our magnificent system.
      – Dr. Marx laid theoretical foundations and Dr. Lenin built the actual state.
      – Excellent. One remark, though: they were not doctors.
      – I wondered myself. A doctor would try it on animals first.

  35. Does the doc prescribe based on lacking information?:http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34859398

    Link to the work in “appears in journal Nature” 4th para down from the top.

    • Danny Thomas,

      I’d really like to see the results of the modelling predicting when the Himalayas will return to sea level. That should cause a spectacular rise in sea levels.

      Of course, this assumes that some other part of the crust doesn’t rise and cancel out the effect of the Himalayas sinking.

      Maybe need to spend a few billion on more models. Bugger. Is there no end to it?

      Cheers.

  36. Apropos of not very much, but –

    “Tesla has threatened to take the Danish government to the European Union Court after the country announced plans to phase out electric-car tax breaks.

    The government last week agreed to phase the tax support for electric cars out over the next five years, which will see the price of both battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids skyrocket.

    Tesla will be particularly hard hit, with its Model S P85D jumping from its 875,000 kroner ($A182,870) price today to 1,807,000 kroner ($A378,000) in 2020, when the tax break no longer applies.”

    Private enterprise at its “finest”?

    Sue a government to keep propping up your uneconomic company, with taxpayer funds. Grand. US entrepreneurial talent at its best. It would be nice if the proponents of green power, electric vehicles and so on, could actually pay for all their grand ideas with their own money.

    Oh well, I suppose I’m sounding a little cynical. Sorry.

    Cheers.

  37. Neither the sun nor the wind are sending invoices. So who gets this trillion and what exactly are they doing with it to “slow” the warming? Who will keep them accountable for how the spend the money?

  38. Hmmm. Interesting post

    In the absence of an existential threat or ‘ruin’ from human-caused climate change (see previous post), climate policies should be judged on a cost-benefit basis, with the added complexity of multi-generational discount rates, and in the presence of massive uncertainty in projections and assessments.

    Yes to making decisions on the basis of cost-benefit analyses, but recognize the enormous uncertainties given the cascading effects of the uncertainties in: natural variability proportion of climate changes, climate sensitivity, emissions rates, damage function, participation rates, discount rates, etc.

    Multi-generational discount rates – I’m not convinced this is valid. It seems to be justified by ideological beliefs and moral arguments of some (immoral to others). What is the evidence for ‘multi-generational discount rates’ having been applied historically? What is the evidence that the low ‘multi-generational discount rates’ being advocated are actually used in real world policy options analyses for making decisions between competing policies for best use of taxpayers funds? In Australia and New Zealand the default discount rates used by government for policy options analysis between, for example, different electricity generation technologies (e.g. low emissions and high emissions) is 10%, i.e. about twice as high as in the Nordhaus DICE-20913R model (default parameters) used for the global average discount rate. And, recall that discount rates are much higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

    So, is the climate ‘cure’ worse than the climate ‘disease’?

    Definitely yes. The red line in the chart below is the closest to being achievable (but probably none are achievable). The cumulative net benefit to 2100 is -$32.7 trillion (2010 US $).

  39. Judith, you say, “Business as usual in terms of the energy sector expects a slow transition away from fossil fuels over the 21st century – all other things being equal, people prefer clean energy; and fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive to extract.” While everyone wants clean energy, we sometimes lose focus on other, but nonetheless, important products from oil and natural gas that will get increasingly more expensive and scarce as the production is curtailed.
    Each year approximately 7 billion barrels of oil are processed in the US. From less than 5% of this we produce about 100 billion lbs. of plastic, making plastic the most abundant finished product that emanates from oil or natural gas. Plastics come from the monomers produced in the refinement of oil. Cracking breaks these monomers into the most important feedstocks that permeate almost every facet of our daily lives, e.g.
    Ethylene
    Propylene
    Benzene
    C4
    Toluene
    Xylene
    Almost all of the plastic in the world is made from these important feedstocks, most notably nylon, styrene and ABS, as well as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is estimated that more than a million products are made from these feedstocks, such as 80% of all pharmaceuticals, carpeting, cars, toys, tools, nylon parachutes, golf balls, surgical gloves and gowns, disposable pens, car interiors, tires, computers, phones, coatings for electric wire, 60% of all of the plumbing in an average house, the interiors of every refrigerator and freezer, battery cases, just to name a few. This is just from the top end of fractionation. At the bottom end we make asphalt to cover hundreds of thousands of miles of road surface each year. Wonder how many economists put this in their models? Just sayin.

    • Curious George

      Bob, right on – but in these cases the oil is not used as a fuel. By the way, burning fuel is a horribly inefficient way to extract energy – usually close to 70% of energy is wasted. We should develop efficient uses, e.g. fuel cells.

      • CG, yeah, you can’t get any of these products from a windmill. I just scratched the surface with the products I mentioned. Imagine how miserable our lives will be if the alarmists get their way and make these miracles scarce and more expensive.

      • Us alarmists are trying to get the world to stop burning them so that you will have the feedstock for your precious nylons.

      • cap6097: CG, yeah, you can’t get any of these products from a windmill.

        Not economically or in high volume at the present time, but the feedstocks for plastics have been made via electric-powered catalysts operating on H2O and CO2 — and sewage.

        As with energy, there is no need for humans to run out of plastics. There are the resources to make them and some known technologies, it’s just that decades more work is required to bring down the costs of high volume production.

    • You’re exactly right, Bob. The people slamming oil are id-e-uts.

      • They make 100s of millions of guitar picks from various plastics. Ain’t a single one that can replace one made from a sea turtle.

        100s of millions are sequestered when they’re lost.

      • JCH,

        Great for recycling and allows for making them from numerous sources: http://www.pickpunch.com/

      • Lol. The problem is, I learned on equilateral triangle tortoise shell, so I’ve never adjusted to the teardrop shape. They look not quite pointless to me, but point deficient.

        They used to make picks out of nitrocellulose, which burns like a fuse. Players would stick both their spare pick and their cigarette in the strings on the headstock, and inevitably a cig would lite off a pick and scorch a hole in the finish. Common sight in vintage guitars.

        Terrorist could buy up 100s of thousands of antique picks and make a bomb.

        During WW2 they make the glass for fighters and bombers, think gunner turrets, from milk. That stuff actually makes a pick that approaches tortoise shell. There is also a carbon-based medical plastic that approaches tortoise shell, but only if you polish the holy crap out of it. It’s what I use.

        It is interesting that tortoise shell has no real equal. One animal on the face of the earth. Now protected.

      • JCH: “Terrorist could buy up 100s of thousands of antique picks and make a bomb.”

        Likewise billiard balls and table tennis balls, not to mention cinematographic film.

        Of course, any true chemist can extract potassium nitrate from a dung heap, much of the gunpowder used by the Navies of both France and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars was obtained like this.

      • We already knew that it was turtles all the way down.
        =============

      • http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscellaneous/1139/turtle-shell-vs-faux-turtle-shell-picks/12700

        Gee… apparently genuine picks make an audibility better sound. Who knew?

        There seems to be a higher purpose for sea turtles than just swimming aimlessly in the ocean.

      • It’s the sound, but it’s also the way they interact with the strings. Plastic gets hot and becomes more flexible… right in the middle of a tune. Tortoise stays consistent. It seems like its lubricated. So you can plays faster, with more power, and then they sound better. It’s also very stiff and resistant to breaking. The stiffer plastics beak at those same thicknesses.

        And then, the stuff is naturally beautiful, so they made combs and hairpins and cigarette cases, etc. out of it just so people could have beautiful things. It was one of the first “plastics”.

        Poor sea turtle stood no chance. Same with rosewood. Best sound, and also unbelievably beautiful. They cut almost all of it down.

      • JCH,

        While interesting (and informational – thanks for that) what is your point about guitar picks?

        Plastic picks suffer in comparison to turtle shell and rosewood picks – ok.

        So now what?

        My takeaway is two fold.

        First, thanks to modern chemistry and fossil fuels used as feedstock, millions of people can take up guitar playing. The alternative would be either a limited number of people allowed to play or extinction of turtles and rosewood trees. (Probably both eventually.)

        Second, there may (or may not) be a market for someone who invents a better guitar pick material. (Which will likely be hydro carbon based.)

    • Bob,

      /sarc on

      But Bob, what you don’t realise is that using synthetic trees harvesting CO2 from the atmosphere, the CO2 can be extracted, compressed, and used to grow real trees under controlled conditions. Specially designed grow lights will be used, using power from solar cells.

      These trees can then be subjected to highly scientific pyrolysis, using heat from burning the trees. Excess heat from the burning can be used to drive steam engines to generate electrical power for lights used to keep the solar panels producing electricity at night.

      Combined with electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, using the surplus electrical power, all your plastics, drugs, fuels, lubricants and so on, can be produced at little cost, without using filthy, dirty, nasty chemical fossil fuels.

      All I need is a billion or two, to iron out a couple of very minor problems – this should only take a few weeks, months, or years. What could possibly go wrong? It’s all very green and renewable!

      Don’t listen to the critics of my wonderful plan. They are all funded by Big Oil. It’s a well known fact!

      /sarc off

      Cheers.

    • Bob,

      Can you get the products you mention from sea water – using the processes described in the US Navy Research report discussed here:
      Zero emissions synfuel from sea waterhttp://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/
      This and other reports, e.g. by Audi, estimate gasolene/petrol, diesel, jet fuel and can be potentially be produced for US$3-$6/gallon using existing large scale production technologies.

      • Peter, the papers you cite deal with production of straight chain hydrocabons. You could theoretically produce a couple of small feestocks such as ethylene but the cyclic hydrocarbons such as benzene, xylene, and toluene would require expensive chemistry. Also, remember the prices quoted in the paper you cite deducts CO2 capture, which is not being done at this time.

      • OK, thanks for that.

      • Also, remember the prices quoted in the paper you cite deducts CO2 capture, which is not being done at this time.

        No it doesn’t.

      • The Navy costed the production of jet fuel at sea. But they neglected to include the cost of energy for the carbon capture process. I used the PARC research to estimate it and include it in the Navy costings. I arrived at $1.78 per litre. I was also able to calculate the cost of just the carbon capture part of the process at about $114 per tonne of CO2.

      • AK, read closer. From the paper, “The Navy costed the production of jet fuel at sea. But they neglected to include the cost of energy for the carbon capture process. I used the PARC research to estimate it and include it in the Navy costings. I arrived at $1.78 per litre. I was also able to calculate the cost of just the carbon capture part of the process at about $114 per tonne of CO2.”

      • Audi – diesel from CO2 and electricity
        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2015/04/30/is-audis-carbon-neutral-diesel-a-game-changer/

        Key points for the estimate of cost per tonne of diesel:
        • Hydrogen: $1,176 (but 50% higher for the process they assumed)
        • Electricity = $55.20
        • Thermal energy: $90.35
        • Total: $1,322 (to $2,000)
        • 1 tonne diesel – 352 gallons
        • Cost per gallon: $3.76 (to $5.43)

        These are within the range estimated by the US Navy for producing jet fuel from seawater and nuclear power on board nuclear powered aircraft carriers (i.e. $3-$6 gallon). However this is the cost of the feedstocks only. We need to add “several more dollars per gallon” for the capital cost and O&M costs of the processing plant and then distribution costs.

        For comparison, “the current spot price of diesel in the U.S. is under $2/gal.

        Points I noted and questions:

        1. The article says:

        This is also $17.25 per ton of carbon dioxide captured, which is much lower than other numbers I have seen — especially considering they are proposing to extract the carbon dioxide from air.

        1. $17.25/t cost of extracting CO2 from air is about 2% of the $1000/t cost a friend sent me a couple of years ago for my critique of this post on “CO2 sequestration in Antarctica”: https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/24/a-modest-proposal-for-sequestration-of-co2-in-the-antarctic/#comment-233330 . (Unless I’ve misunderstood something). The email included this:

        * A paper came out in December last year on thermodynamic limits to the energetics and the cost of direct air capture of CO2, and operational experience with industrial separation processes. While the thermodynamic limit is about 20 kJ/mol CO2 for air extraction, actual processes use around 400 kJ/mol. A cost of ~$1000 per tonne was estimated. […] The paper is here (free): http://www.pnas.org/content/108/51/20428.full . A summary is here: http://arstechnica.com/science/2011/12/carbon-capture-and-storage-too-expensive-for-all-but-powerplants/

        2. Natural gas is used to heat the steam. That makes it not renewable and also a CO2 emitting process.

        3. Hydrogen production comprises 90% of the total cost of synfuel production (i.e. $1,176 / $1,322). The cost estimates assume hydrogen at $4/kg ($4,000/tonne) based on an NREL report. However, estimates for the cost of hydrogen from high temperature nuclear reactors are around half the cost, e.g.:

        The economics of hydrogen production depend on the efficiency of the method used. The IS cycle coupled to a modular high temperature reactor is expected to produce hydrogen at $1.50 to $2.00 per kg.

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Non-Power-Nuclear-Applications/Industry/Nuclear-Process-Heat-for-Industry/

        Therefore, using hydrogen from high temperature nuclear reactors could halve the estimated $3-$6 per gallon estimated cost of diesel and jet fuel.

        4. A point near the end of the article provides an important reality check”

        If everything works as hoped, they will then need to scale up again to something in the 100 to 1,000 barrel per day range. These scale-up steps are like gates that must be successfully passed, and historically most seemingly promising processes fail to pass through those gates for various reasons. As a result, one should never take too seriously a cost estimate for fuel production from a commercial plant when the data is derived from experiments at a much smaller scale.

        I am surprised the author didn’t consider the option of using high temperature reactors to produce the hydrogen.

      • @Bob, PA…

        No, you two need to read your own quotes more closely. Morgan said the Navy didn’t add the “cost of energy for the carbon capture process” in their accounting (because, presumably, they were assuming a nuclear-powered platform as a given).

        But Morgan costed it at “$1.78 per litre.Including the cost of the energy. For simple CO2 removal, e.g. for sequestration (or use replacing methane from sea-floor clathrate), it was “about $114 per tonne of CO2.

        But note the following:

        But if we don’t insist on running these processes on an expensive ocean-going platform, the cost drops to $0.79 per litre for synfuel and $37 /tCO­2. The costs are rough and there are a number of caveats, but this is surprisingly low. To put it in context, the American Physical Society recently reviewed carbon capture from air, and “optimistically” costed it at about $600/tonne.

        Morgan even included a table of various costs for fuel production and CO2 extraction, based on various different energy cost scenarios, using the USNavy’s capital and operating expense assumptions, of which he does, however, say:

        The Navy estimated the capital cost of the carbon capture process at $16m for a 715 tCO2 per day plant. Unfortunately no justification is offered for this cost, so I am unable to check it, and it seems quite low. I have used this cost as given, but it may underestimate the CO2 capture cost.

      • AK – you might be comparing apples and grapefruit.

        I believe they are extracting the CO2 from seawater. There was a 114 times higher concentration figure mentioned and the removable by splitting water into acid/base streams in one of the articles

      • AK – you might be comparing apples and grapefruit.

        Nope. Even Morgan agrees:

        There is substantial equilibration between ocean and air on a timeframe short enough to be relevant to climate. There is a complicated tradeoff between marine and climate impacts of CO2 emissions, but it appears carbon capture from either reservoir would be beneficial.

        I’ve done some research into the settling time for that equilibration: its about a year, IIRC.

      • I understand that more than half the cost of the synfuel produced is due to the cost of producing hydrogen by hydrolysis. High temperature nuclear reactors can produce hydrogen at very much lower cost than by hydrolysis. I understand the cost of the synfuel could potentially be more halved if the hydrogen is produced by high temperature nuclear reactors.

    • When you read the startling histories of Hudson Bay and Siberia, or reflect on the two million koala pelts exported from Australia in just one year of the 1920s, you realise just how hard it was for humans to stay clothed and warm before the advent of synthetics. The reason I won’t have the words “natural” and “organic” applied to my spread is my respect for the chemical industry and the miracle of oil-based synthetics. (I guess I would qualify as “organic”, but I don’t want some ponytail’s permission to be that way.)

  40. Very interesting, like the medical analogy.

    Ok, Im reading Adam Smith. Most state regulations are ‘bought’ to decrease costs to one sector at the expense of another.
    If Adam applies here, who is who and who wins under climatarianism?

    • My guess to my own little riddle: third world wins, western civ loses.
      And then the real Jesus, peace without laws, etc…..

    • We all lose, growth, productivity and innovation are all lower. The Third World will lose if the First World impoverishes itself.

      • Once referred to as the trickle-down effect…
        henceforth the cascade-down catastrophe.

      • trickle down catastrophe, ha ha.

        Yes, perhaps Smith does not apply and it is not a redistribution at all but just an ideological return to the stone age…..

      • Some young child asked me recently what was wrong with returning to the times when every one had to spear their own rabbits in order to eat, and I looked at her fondly and replied ‘There aren’t enough rabbits.’
        ============

      • kim

        or as some in the environmental industry might say, rather than not enough rabbits, there are too many humans.

        tonyb

      • Heh, we’re living off of electric rabbits.
        ====

      • tonyb,
        Your comment up thread about fossil fuel taxes in US misunderstands the situation. Big oil has some tax breaks for depletion an investment but in general they pay lots of taxes. Roughly .8 $s per gallon times 42 or $33 bbl times 12,000 mm bbls per day.Exxon and Chevron are at the top of tax paying corporations in the US. This is from memory so the numbers are rough.

        ristvan, you always seem to have the facts at the tip of your fingers, what do you think?

        Scott

      • Scott

        Sorry, it was British irony. Jimd made a sweeping statement on subsidies that seems impossible to justify therefore I was using irony in order to try to get a response from him

        Tonyb

      • tonyb
        I am the one that is sorry. I love it when you use British irony or sarcasm, just too naïve to recognize it on a scan through comments. Most times the best response to jimd is to laugh. I admire your patience and ability to engage in discussions with trolls on the blog. You are one to take seriously so when you say something I try to respond. But I am happy to see the irony, sarcasm and humor.
        Scott

      • @scott4fs

        JimD is not a troll. He can be exasperating in his adherence to what are illogical conclusions based on anything remotely resembling objective analysis, but he nevertheless stimulates some very interesting responses from commentators and he is heroically tolerant of some extremely rude and provocative comments he receives.

    • If anyone becomes bored, I highly recommend the chapter ‘Conclusions of the Mercantile System’.
      Yeah yeah yeah Smith may be dated in some ways, but it struck me:
      1) how fragile the free trade dynamics are to various regulations
      2) how easily said regulations can be used to rob from one group and give to another.
      3) The modern world must be rife with such contrivances.

      Essentially the manufacturing lobby (in Great Britain I believe) was able to get massive bounties, drawbacks and duties on raw materials (no exporting raw materials, or duty on such exports, bounties on the import of raw materials, cutting off of the hand of anyone exporting raw wool, etc..) such that all raw products used for manufacture were cheap and the results of manufacture were ‘dear’, or expensive.

      Given the ideological craziness of the Climate crew I can see that perhaps this is not the angle the regulators are working on, but, then again, WHO benefits financially from the various taxes on carbon??? I be a little surprised if someone powerful didn’t.

  41. Steve McIntyre

    I was up at 4:15 am this morning driving my daughter to the airport. Driving home, I was flipping radio stations and heard Paul Ehrlich being interviewed on Coast-to-Coast, a bizarre conspiracy theory talk show that turns out to be on in the middle of the night on one of the talk radio channels here. A strange – or perhaps not so strange – hangout for a professor. Ehrlich was promoting his new book saying that human population had to be reduced to 20-25% of its present population and that such reductions were needed to respond to climate disruption.

    • My observation is that when an intellectual or professor of some type goes on Coast to Coast they have generally “jumped the shark’.

    • “Coast to Coast”

      Aliens, ghosts, zombie apocalypse, catastrophic global warming… Paul Ehrlich…a perfect fit.

    • “Ehrlich was promoting his new book saying that human population had to be reduced to 20-25% of its present population and that such reductions were needed to respond to climate disruption.”

      That is just as nutty as any jihadist and yet where is the MSM?

      • I don’t get why he isn’t laughed at by the MSM.

        Then again, if he’s appearing on “Coast to Coast” maybe it’s a sign he is.

        What I find surprising is the Pope listening to advice from people who hold views similar to Ehrlich’s – i.e. that the planet has a limited carrying capacity and therefore global population needs to be dramatically reduced.

        Notice how they never actually provide plans or methods for the reduction they swear is necessary? (Though I do believe Ehrlich once advocated for forced sterilzation of women in the Third world.)

        Also notice that for someone who has argued for so long that the planet is over populated, Ehrlich hangs around into his 90’s? One would think that were he a man of his convictions, he’d contribute personally to his goal of reducing global population and check out.

        Unlike the signers of our Declaration of Indepedence, who pledged their lives, their liberty and their fortunes – under a very real and credible threat to all three – people like Ehrlich give up nothing.

    • Ehrlich was promoting his new book saying that human population had to be reduced to 20-25% of its present population and that such reductions were needed to respond to climate disruption.

      Well, gee, no surprise.

      http://www.c3headlines.com/global-warming-quotes-climate-change-quotes.html

      <i<Quotes by H.L. Mencken, famous columnist: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." And, "The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it."

      Quote by emeritus professor Daniel Botkin: “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”

      Now to Mr. Ehrlich:
      Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

      Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer.”

      In Mr. Ehrlich’s view humans are a disease to be removed.

      Global warming has nothing to do with CO2. It is about control and reducing the population to just low enough that the elite still have groundskeepers.

      The hard core global warmers could do with some involuntary confinement in a controlled setting.

    • Steve, have you read the history of the IPCC? I’ve only found the surface stories – Maurice Strong and UNEP enlisting the ‘Club of Rome’ of which Ehrlich was a member. Evidently much of the motivation was to use the scare of global warming to achieve his now grossly erroneous ideas.

      The irony to me is that Ehrlich believed capitalism was the evil which had to be slowed to slow population ( for which they wanted to use CO2 as a proxy ).

      But now it’s evident that the economically developed nations have both falling populations and falling CO2 emissions! These incompetents are actually working against the environment by aiming to slow economic development.

      In the 1970s, population ( and CO2 ) growth rates were exponential.
      But now, even the NYT has taken Ehrlich to task for his erroneous doom saying.
      And we have development and technology to thank.

  42. Ehrlich was promoting his new book saying that human population had to be reduced to 20-25% of its present population

    I think an empirical approach is already in place.

  43. Can anyone explain how the ocean surface, 3C warmer than the troposphere, can ‘uptake’ CO2 generated heat out of the troposphere and thus ‘delay’ warming of the troposphere, as the IPCC says it will?

    Not only is LWR absorption by the sea either minimal or so insubstantial that it cant cause warming, according to what I have been able to read, but the fact the sea is already warmer means it cant take heat from the air.

    Thus in terms of the troposphere, where we actually live, the TCR and ECS are one and the same thing, and since the troposphere responds to a solar forcing by warming 15 C or 20 C every day, in a mater of hours, there is no reason to assume that the troposphere responds any differently to a CO2 forcing and reaches equilibrium in a matter of hours.

    Therefore CO2 sensitivity is much lower than is bandied about and is most likely about 1C (given the earth is a grey body) for x 2.

    Any ideas anyone?

      • Thanks for the reminder. The skin layer; where believers in the skeptic religion deny miracles.

      • The thread describes a nice theory. Semi-submerged probes would have to be deployed for about a decade to measure water and air temperature before the necessary information would be available to estimate the CO2 warming, since the theory requires the near surface air temperature to increase. Without this information the warming could be anything from nothing, to a lot.

      • Absurd. With current technology, the mechanism cannot be measured. They’ve tried and tried. The oceans have progressively warmed, which is what Minnett’s explanation indicates will happen. It keeps happening.

      • The oceans have progressively warmed,

        Except where they’ve progressively cooled for 35 years:

      • They should look somewhere around Indonesia for a proxy for what the ocean temperature’s have done through the Holocene.
        =============

      • JCH | November 19, 2015 at 10:52 am |
        Absurd. With current technology, the mechanism cannot be measured. They’ve tried and tried. The oceans have progressively warmed, which is what Minnett’s explanation indicates will happen. It keeps happening.

        Huh? Really?

        If scientists can’t prove it is happening… maybe it isn’t happening.

        If CO2 is warming the ocean, the theory says the air/water differential is higher and the surface layer temperature gradient is steeper. I believe this is the testable prediction from the theory.

        If the theory doesn’t make a testable prediction then I guess the theory is useless and the default hypothesis is more CO2 doesn’t make a lot of difference.

        If we subsidize fossil fuels to drastically increase emissions we can shorten the time needed to do the research.

      • The bank balance has progressively gone down, at which time the bankrupt argues except where it went up. Hilarious.

      • Deep Oceans have COOLED:

        I REPEAT: Deep Oceans have COOLED!!!

      • OHC keeps going up. Test passed.

        You can believe what you want, the skin layer defies scientific instruments.

      • From memory, Wunsch says he cannot prove the abyssal oceans cooled, and the other guys cannot prove the abyssal oceans warmed. I believe he found warming in some ocean basins, and cooling in others, and a net cooling overall. Unlike TE, I accept Wunsch found net cooling.

        And it makes no difference anyway.

      • Your comments on guitar picks are interesting. The rest is BS.

      • If CO2 is warming the ocean, the theory says the air/water differential is higher and the surface layer temperature gradient is steeper. I believe this is the testable prediction from the theory. …

        That may be a theory that is out there, but the theory is the skin layer of the water is progressively, because of the increase in ACO2, inhibiting the release of heat from the oceans. Water versus water.

      • AND AS SOON AS THAT IS GONE?

        After the last El Nino peaked and crashed there was talk of a so called pause (not recognized until 2005). While I don’t believe in a pause per se (just a lower 60 year trend line), If you make a trend line on UAH AFTER 2007 it looks like a flat downward slope:

        http–woodfortrees.org-graph-hadcrut4gl-from2007-to2015-plot-uah-from2007-to2015-plot-uah-land-from2007-to2015-trend-plot-hadcrut4gl-from2007-to2015-trend

        But even since 1999 the trend line is SLOWLY UP.

        What happens when El Nino blows off it’s surface heat? Add to that a solar minimum by 2019? It’s lights out for warmists of all flavors.

      • unsubscribe >

      • TLC, It’s free and your on the list and we can’t remove names.

      • The current predicted and observed size makes this the SMALLEST sunspot cycle since Cycle 14, which had a maximum smoothed sunspot number V2.0 of 107.2 in February of 1906.

      • That wasn’t my point. I said; “While I don’t believe in a pause per se (just a lower 60 year trend line),”

        There was a crash from the peak in 1998-1999 period after the El Nino blew off:

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/to:1999/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/to:1999/trend

        The next upward step may not take place if SI doesn’t cooperate!

      • JCH: Unlike TE, I accept Wunsch found net cooling.

        And it makes no difference anyway.

        Why does it make no difference when prominent warmers have asserted that the deep ocean must be warming?

      • This graph shows some of the same things:

        1. flat after 2005.

        This was caused by anomalously high winds that resulted in a very cool Eastern Pacific from the equator (La Nina dominance; complete absence of El Nino) to the waters off Alaska (actual negative PDO index numbers).

        Will the Kimikamikaze wind come back, and when? Nobody knows. Held has an interesting post about it.

        In past the GMST has gone up sharply when the PDO is strongly positive, which it now is. Why do you think La Nina is going to continue the pause?

        We have the highest monthly anomaly in the instrument record with a napping sun, so I doubt you are going to get much help from a somewhat sleepier sun.

      • JCH: The bank balance has progressively gone down, at which time the bankrupt argues except where it went up. Hilarious.

        You are asserting what has yet to be supported by evidence. “Where it has been cooling and by how much” are evidence against the “bankruptcy” that you are asserting.

        The skin layer; where believers in the skeptic religion deny miracles.

        What does that mean?

      • I don’t know who you mean? There was a paper that said there was abyssal warming. A small amount. later there was a paper that said their wasn’t.

        Trenberth was talking about layers that are moved around with and interact with ENSO, and in general, the abyssal ocean does not interact with ENSO. Certainly nothing like 0-500 meters.

      • “We have the highest monthly anomaly in the instrument record with a napping sun, so I doubt you are going to get much help from a somewhat sleepier sun.”

        We just had a double peak in the solar cycle to go with the El Nino.

        Don’t discount the sun!

        paraphrasing Vaughan Pratt paraphrasing some previous blogger on another site:
        “it’s the sun stupid!”

      • because of the increase in ACO2, inhibiting the release of heat from the oceans.

        You may want to check with the IPCC about that – they say surface net radiance decreases for most of the oceans with 2xCO2:

      • Unlike TE, I accept Wunsch found net cooling.

        I didn’t write anything about OHC at depth, I only cited NASA GISS that SSTs haven’t warmed and have cooled for large portions of the oceans.

        But it is a good point – no reliable data of sufficient coverage to indicate what’s happening below 2000m and only Argo for a relatively brief period. Difficult to assess what’s actually happening.

      • The miracle would be that a very very thin layer of water at the very surface of the oceans could stop the heat from gobkazillions of atomic bombs from leaving the oceans.

      • The miracle would be that a very very thin layer of water at the very surface of the oceans could stop the heat from gobkazillions of atomic bombs from leaving the oceans.

        Or, the miracle is that heat comes from the atmosphere ( it is a top down process ) and jumps through the surface in large areas, to heat the depths without heating the surface.

      • Miracles indeed!

        Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

        You’ll need some miracles after 2020.

      • Actually I suspect JCH to be more right and I’m more wrong (maybe not 100%). I just want to be on the record to cover my bets. With Moshers bet starting in Jan 2014, three years of hot temperatures should put me in a nice position for 2019.

      • Paughan Vratt | November 20, 2015 at 8:00 am |

        “The confounding factor is that UV plays a large role in atmospheric chemistry and the models don’t look at changes in chemistry. Changes in chemistry effect the production of ozone and nitrogen compounds, the lifetime of CFCs, and probably cloud formation. Bacteria in the atmosphere, for instance, work as nucleation sites for water droplets. UV produces ozone by busting up O2 in atomic oxygen which is then free to combine into O3. Ozone kills bacteria thus it reduces nucleation sites and presumably cloud formation. The net effect of clouds is cooling as is demonstrated by largely cloudless deserts having higher mean annual temperatures than moist climates at the same latitude. So there you have an explanation why increased UV during high solar activity can increase surface temperature more than the corresponding decline in visible and infrared works to reduce it.”

      • Perhaps that’s ‘compounding’, but it may be confounding too.

      • Compounds the effect, confounds the scientists.
        ================

      • Or, the miracle is that heat comes from the atmosphere ( it is a top down process ) and jumps through the surface in large areas, to heat the depths without heating the surface. …

        Willis said ARGO is not set up to capture Piekle’s complaint, so he kept rubbing that lamp. This is nothing.

      • Well, if the heat’s gone deep it ain’t coming back soon, so you can quit strumming that lamp.

        It’s my understanding that Josh Willis agrees with Pielke Pere that ARGO should have the capability to have detected transitting heat, but didn’t.
        =================

      • Nobody ever has claimed heat is going to surge up out of the abyssal ocean. Nobody. That claim is an invention of skeptiOZ, a fantasyland filled with men made of straw.

      • Miracle:
        1.a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

        The divine agency works outside of the Obama administration.

      • No, he said ARGO was not looking for it. Why would it? He said it was possible it could be teased out of the data. There was no “should have” in what he said. But nice try. You’re a good smearer, but not a great one.

        Maybe by one of those skeptics that Steve Mosher keeps saying need to do useful science instead pulling the same siouxpid rabbiocy out of their hats could analyze the data. One of them could take the ARGO data and analyze it and write a paper. One of them could do that. Haha.

        I doubt Josh Willis would waste his time as he was obviously implying that the answer is already obvious to anybody greater than a halfwit. So an enterprising skeptic could embarrass him.

      • Nobody ever has claimed heat is going to surge up out of the abyssal ocean.

        Right.

        And only buoyancy deniers would claim that heat would surge downward into the deeps to begin with. But they do exist.

      • Where? Not Trenberth. Not Gavin. Where?

      • JCH, if the missing heat is in the deep until the world chills, and we really need it, then all this hullaballoo about dangerous surface heating would be seen for the bollocks that it is, but I only wish it were there instead of outbound in space.

        It beggars belief to assert that the data to proof or disprove transit of missing heat is in ARGO and that no one is investigating for it. It was looked for, and not found.

        Pull yourself together, JCH, these are not up to your usual standard.
        ===============

      • What beggars belief is that you folks are able to puff the absurd into a talking point that people actually believe has significance.

        The when the heat comes out of the abyssal ocean it will be ike kold and freeze the holy krap out of any surface dwellers. It’s not going to solve your extremely odd concern for people who might still inhabit the earth thousands of years from now.

      • JCH
        Sometimes wearing tight cowboy hats have strange effects. Have you checked that?

      • JCH:

        The miracle would be that a very very thin layer of water at the very surface of the oceans could stop the heat from gobkazillions of atomic bombs from leaving the oceans.

        Except that heat leaves the surface by mechanisms other than radiation as well.
        And because surface layer is very thin, it doesn’t hold a great deal of energy – energy which is very quickly removed by the slightest of ocean breezes or turbulence – not to mention evaporation.

    • Can anyone explain how the ocean surface, 3C warmer than the troposphere, can ‘uptake’ CO2 generated heat out of the troposphere and thus ‘delay’ warming of the troposphere, as the IPCC says it will?

      Well, the ocean surface isn’t 3C warmer all the time nor everywhere.

      Wintertime polar air masses are much colder and heat does emerge from the oceans quite rapidly, causing tell-tale cloud formations in satellite images:

      But summer time air masses heat up faster over land than oceans and reverse the process.

      There is a net heat transfer from ocean to land in winter, and,
      from land to ocean in summer.

      In the longer term +CO2 environment, it would seem that heat absorption would occur in the oceans, but that also would depend on diffusion rates, because in general, the warmest waters float and resist mixing:

      • TE
        So at this time, as a real scientist, one might say there is not enough data from ARGO to make firm statements about heating and cooling in the abyss and for the upper 700 m the ARGO float data coverage is just beginning to be relevant to models and future predictions.?

        Scott

      • TE
        So at this time, as a real scientist, one might say there is not enough data from ARGO to make firm statements about heating and cooling in the abyss and for the upper 700 m the ARGO float data coverage is just beginning to be relevant to models and future predictions.?

        Here’s what I wonder: IFF polar ( let’s say just Antarctic ) deep(er) water formation increased, much of that would go below 2000m. Wouldn’t equatorial waters flow further poleward to fill the void? And might the cold water be lost from the balance ( because we don’t measure much below 2000m ) but the 0-700 and 0-2000 depths indicate warming?

        Things such as this might be occurring, no?

  44. As people may already know, I’m a huge fan of Robert Rapier (Wall St. Journal, 60 Minutes, etc. fame).

    For many of the most vocal C.E. commentors on energy & engineering — it would be beneficial for them to bloviate less (especially constructing absurd straw-men arguments) and to read/listen more of Robert Rapier.

    Robert’s latest video:

    • Not sure what your point is. IMHO Rud Istvan’s ebook “Blowing Smoke” is a much better source of information on most things energy and climate.

      • Many commentors here at CE have also historically commented on Robert Rapier’s Blog — where Robert has disagreed with them.

      • This Rapier guy is right, Mark. Our ancestors never should have based the Industrial Revolution on fossil fuels. What were they thinking? Look at the predicament that they have got us in. Pollution, refuse, obesity, the vast television wasteland. We could have been sharing idyllic lives down on the farms with our plow horse and oxen friends.

      • Again — Robert Rapier writes often in the WSJ (not your bastion of liberalism and socialism) and has been on CBS 60 Minutes — along with many, many other professional venues.

        As usual, Mr. Monfort’s “Framing” is just shallow and incorrect.

      • We know you little game, stephy. You trot out Huntsman and Rapier as alleged conservatives and we are supposed to fawn and fall in line. Your framing is lame and ludicrous. Try something else.

      • He’s a former O&G guy that graduated from TAMU. So far so good.

        The fact that he’s been on CBS 60 Minutes really thrills me.

        His comments in the video were pretty ho hum basic stuff.

        Looks like he came out of the closet and went GREEN in 2009 and strikes me as a bit of a self-promoter trying to cash in.

        I’ll stick with Rud.

      • Mark Silbert — I certainly don’t believe there is anything wrong in you wanting to stick with Rud. Rud is a very smart.

        The point I’m making is that there can be other opinions on energy issues based on solid engineering and/or market thought — not because one is a socialist or liberal.

      • That is trivial BS, stephy. Stop insulting us. It won’t get you anywhere.

      • SS,

        Let’s not forget the message of Judith’s post.

        “It is difficult to see how the UNFCCC policies make economic sense, and I suspect that there are unforeseen adverse impacts to (economies and human well being) of this attempt to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.  I have not seen an estimate of the opportunity cost of spending a trillion dollars a year on alternative energy, as opposed to dealing with the more urgent human development needs (although perhaps Lomborg will be writing about this).

        I use this quote in some of my presentations, I’ve forgotten the source at this point (Obersteiner?):

        Key climate policy dilemma –  Whether betting big today with a comprehensive global climate policy targeted at stabilization will:

        fundamentally reshape our common future on a global scale to our advantage. OR
        quickly produce losses that throw mankind into economic, social, & environmental bankruptcy
        In 50 years, we may be looking back on all this as using chemotherapy to try to cure a head cold, all the while ignoring more serious diseases.”

        There is a reason that we find ourselves in a situation where we could potentially lose the resilience provided by a diverse energy supply – policies that make it unfeasable to build anything but nat gas, wind, and solar and force the premature closure of nuclear and coal plants. NGOs like the Union of Concerned Scientists and the NRDC are at the tip of the spear. Meanwhile, real issues like air and water pollution, watershed destruction, habitat loss, poor and inefficient transportation infrastructure are ignored while greedy pigs feed at the public trough. Those are just the first world problems. Third world problems are much more deadly. Carbon credits anyone?

      • Perhaps what we need is a Union of Unconcerned Scientists to give us good advice instead of the UCS which doesn’t.

      • Stephen Segrest,

        Most of us here at CE understand that there are a range of opinions on energy and climate change and that they don’t all align on a left/right axis in spite of what some activists would try to have us believe.

        If you enjoy Rapier, go for it. You suggested we/I take a look at him as a potential go to sage. I looked. I am not impressed. I have a background in this stuff. He strikes me as a scheister. Just sayin’, for what it’s worth.

  45. Most of the most vocal here at C.E. just come here to fight and “frame” everything as CAGW. There are lots of reasonable mitigation paths that can be implemented:

    (1) Fast Mitigation (methane, black carbon, HFCs, smog) — that Dr. Curry has written favorably about.
    (2) Renewable Energy decisions based on sound engineering economics (e.g., penetration levels) and/or circumstances (e.g., Africa that lacks T&D infrastructure).
    (3) Energy Efficiency, especially how engineering giant ABB discusses this — e.g., coal super critical units.
    (4) Land/Agricultural Practices — e.g. terrestrial sequestration.
    (5) Foreign Trade Incentives to Developing Countries such as Vietnam (as discussed by Conservative, Jon Huntsman).
    (6)Research & Development — including tax credits to solar energy as long as solar’s price keeps doing what its doing.

    • Keep making sense, but why does Jon write in Mandarin?
      =============

      • Maybe because in a “big picture” of “self-interest” and “wins/wins” Mandarin makes more sense. Look at the Chinese trade deal (i.e., financing) in Asia. Look at China’s international deals on nuclear power plants (latest being Argentina).

      • Heh, the Chinese have a Tibetan pine tree temperature reconstruction untouched by the hand of Mann, and it’s long been my opinion that the Chinese understand that mild warming is good for the Middle Kingdom. Of course, they partake of the shakedown of the guilt ridden West, for so long as it pertains for them.

        Then what?
        =========

      • Look at the Red China thugocracy’s corrupt piratical mercantilism and the brutal repression of it’s citizenry of one and a half billion human beings.

      • I’ve long wondered if Maurice Strong is there rightly advising them or being advised of his rights? Was Huntsmen sent there to lie for his country? That cliche, by the way, which belabours the obvious, pissed of James the First or Sixth or whatever.
        =============

      • Kim — As usual I’m gonna have to Google some stuff, as I have no idea (initially) what you are talking about. This is what makes you the most interesting person on this blog — agree or disagree with you, I almost always learn something.

      • You have to make a decision, stephy. Who do you love more? Huntsman, or Rapier? You are entitled to only one guru.

    • Well, the problem with discussing global warming is that up to 2.0°C or more it is beneficial. Above that for a degree or two it becomes a debate. Above that the consensus is it is bad. With “CAGW” scenarios far in the future drastic action is obviously not beneficial or needed.

      The current renewables, energy efficiency, etc. have basically taken CAGW off the plate.

      “Clean solar” , “Extinction-Free low-resource Wind”, LFTR (compact nuclear), battery technology, and energy efficiency research all make sense as “win-win” mitigation.

      Win-win mitigation that makes sense regardless of CO2 considerations is the sensible path.

      • Paleontology shows no upper limit to the benefits of warming. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life.

        On the other hand, paleontology always shows the immediate detriment to the biome of cooling.

        Choose wisely, my friends.
        ==============

    • Stephen Segrest: Most of the most vocal here at C.E. just come here to fight and “frame” everything as CAGW.

      I think that you are wrong about that, but a lot of examples with exact and complete quotes might support your case. The “C” only comes into play when writers urge urgently for urgent measures in order to avoid catastrophe.

      About these two, hardly anyone disagrees: Renewable Energy decisions based on sound engineering economics; Energy Efficiency, especially how engineering giant ABB discusses this — e.g., coal super critical units. Is anyone in the Obama administration supporting those? They for sure are not getting a big push in California.

      Jon Huntsman has been superceded by TPP.

      And lastly, why terrestrial sequestration [of CO2] unless CO2 is expected to have catastrophic consequences; that’s the way you are “framing” it.

      Hardly anyone opposes R&D in principle; the debate is over which and how much. In California, to take one case, tax credits are a boon to the wealthy, the cost being born by everyone else.

      • “In California, to take one case, tax credits are a boon to the wealthy, the cost being born by everyone else.”

        California is an experiment in progress, I mean, er uh, a progressive experiment.

    • Stephen Segrest, did you leave nuclear power off the list on purpose?

      • Matthew You can go back and check — I’ve always been very pro-active for nuclear power. In my post above I even referenced China’s approach to trade on nuclear (latest being Argentina) as a type of win/win approach that Huntsman talks about.

        And yes, Obama is supporting these type of approaches. Google for example your question on super-critical coal units — you will see that the U.S. and other Developed Countries have agreed to finance these high efficiency units in Developing Countries.

      • Mr. Segrest has been pretty reasonable about nuclear. In fact he is pretty reasonable period, just a little more “rah rah” for renewables than is my taste.

        SS would you have any objections to increasing nuclear to 25% of the energy mix and how high does the nuclear share have to be before it becomes counterproductive?

      • PA — I don’t have any ubiquitous world wide percentages on any demand or supply side option.

        With education and experience in Utility System Planning, I do believe nuclear needs to be significant in the U.S. if for no other reason than fuel risk diversification (e.g., a balanced generation mix portfolio for base, intermediate, and peaking loads).

        NRDC has a worthwhile overview of U.S. natural gas over-dependence at: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/rating-the-states-on-their-risk-of-natural-gas-overreliance?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=fb&s_src=socnet&s_subscr=facebook#.Vk6CbtKrTs1

        (Note: I of course disagree with NRDC’s last slide recommending only renewables and efficiency).

    • Stephen,
      I think you’ll find more than one of us are on board with at least portions of your list.
      For myself, the energy efficiencies, land use practices, and I’d strongly consider voting for Jon Huntsman were he running again this term.

      Some of the other portions I’ll state that I think can wait, but are not excluded (yet?) nor included (yet?).

    • SS, we need a really good reason to commit resources to “mitigate.” We don’t have that reason. So, don’t waste time and money on it. We have enough real problems to solve without chasing unicorns.

  46. Where would renewable energy be without global warming?

    My feeling is a lot of the parallel technologies–batteries,pv–would be about where they are now. Pollution and greedy capitalists would spur research. Adoption wouldn’t be as big (why would it?). And on and on…

  47. Ms Curry,
    Citing an editorial from a Rupert Murdoch-owned paper as though it represents fact does not advance your claim of independence. Rather, it shows your bias.

    I have recently been in discussions with economists about the Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 “the population bomb”. The general view among economists is that not one of his predictions came to pass. This was a group of rather non-ideological economists, and in their view, the rate at which we run out of natural resources doesn’t matter, because the economy and technology will find a way to adapt to minimize the impact.
    But if the rate does not matter, then surely accelerating the rate also does not matter either, right?

    You focus on scare tactics of the left, but then cite pure scare tactics from the right about a 1% reduction in GDP from curbing co2. Of course, regardless of the claims of the fanatical ideologues of WJS, nothing of the sort is going to happen. Profit motive will rush to fill the energy demand with many new technologies.

    • For the record, i do not filter the articles that I mention based upon the venues in which they are published or who owns the publishing press (in most instances I have no idea, and I certainly don’t keep track of which papers are owned by Rupert Murdoch, and I don’t pay enough attention to all this to know why someone would object to Murdoch).

      I refer to articles that I find to make an interesting, insightful, or provocative argument. Often the articles are written by people that I know (or know of), other times I encounter the article in a more random way (spotted on twitter, or somebody sent me an email).

    • What might bring you some cheer is that a good slice of the Murdoch press in Australia, especially news.com.au, is very much of the shrieking green left. A hot spell or some heavy weather is neatly fitted to the dominant alarmist narrative in a way that would be the envy of even the Guardian and NYT.

      Sydney is having some hot November days at last, and I can assure you the “records” are about to tumble according to our obedient media. (If they don’t tumble, the subject can be changed next day to Miley Gaga or whatever.) Concerning population, there are definitely far too many non-refugee humans according to our MSM. As for the superlative and almost limitless Permian black coal which is the foundation of our (and their) prosperity…they couldn’t hate it enough! And Rupert, like the rest of the MSM, lets them preach Chicken Little stuff you wouldn’t even read on HuffPo.

      With the great bulk of the MSM staying properly on-message for Paris, I wouldn’t worry about one or two hold outs like WSJ. You need that for realism, don’t you?

    • Dan B,

      You seem to have some holes in your understanding of market mechanisms by this comment: “Profit motive will rush to fill the energy demand with many new technologies”

      For the “profit motive” to appear, you have to drive the cost of meeting energy demand from existing technologies higher first. This can happen naturally – increasing scarceness of resources/supply or it can be artificially driven. Climate change is viewed by many as an example of the latter method.

      • I agree, for profit motive to generate technological innovation, there first would need to be a rise in energy price. And yes, it can be natural or artificially driven. My point is, you cannot argue that we’ll be fine if it’s naturally driven (as most right-leaning and centrist economists do) but if it’s artificially driven this would be a disaster. there is no magical amount of fossil fuel in the earth that is just right so that if it runs out naturally, it won’t be an issue.

        I remember in a debate a number of years ago, GW Bush argued that “alarmists” overstated the damage climate change would cause. Why? Because people, the economy, and technologies adapt. I actually think he was right. I think we overstate the harm that AGW will cause (with the exception of sea-level rise, which will be hugely expensive to adapt to), and we also overstate the cost of avoiding AGW.

        Finally, since none of us truly know the rate of innovation and adoption of new technology, any estimate of cost of moving from fossil-fuel based economy is full of some very large assumptions. Could it be 1% of GDP? I highly doubt it, but i can’t say it’s impossible.

    • (wouldn’t post 5 hours ago, try again)

      Dan B, I have a high regard for Murdoch. This article “Free market is a fair market” is IMHO a good indication of him, worth reading:

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/push-to-regulate-press-ill-conceived-murdoch/story-e6frg996-1226613315639

      Murdoch’s The Australian is by far and away the best newspaper in Australia, with a great variety of high quality staff and contributors. And his papers here have editorial independence. The Aus accepts dangerous AGW and supports measures which I regard as silly to deal with it. In terms of facts, The Australian is the best source in the Australian media, and its editorials are fact-based. As Judith says, her lining to or citing a source does not indicate her agreement with/ acceptance of what the material says, but if it’s an Oz source, it will represent the facts of the matter.

      I speak as a former journalist who left the profession because, on the whole, I found it very dishonest, the saleable story was more important than the facts. That’s not the case with The Australian.

      • “The Australian is by far and away the best newspaper in Australia”

        It’s certainly the best national daily, no argument there.

      • i think debating rupert murdoch per se is a bit off-topic. i made my point and Dr Curry responded, and i will let it go at that.

  48. My biggest concern with respect to Paris is that everyone is trying to meet this 2 C target. But what is the basis of the 2 C target? As far as I can tell there isn’t any good scientific or economic basis for the 2 C target. Rather, the 2 C target was arbitrarily chosen 20 years ago by some German scientists. Since then people have tried to dogmatically justify the 2 C target, such as trying to claim that we shouldn’t go over 2 C because it was never 2 C warmer than pre-industrial times during the Pleistocene (but by that logic, we never had satellites or cars during the Pleistocene so should we get rid of those as well?), trying to argue that going above 2 C will cause Antarctica to deglaciate (James Hansen seems to be the main culprit responsible for this belief; but if you look at the arguments of James Hansen, he just looks at CO2 concentrations that existed during the beginning of Antarctica deglaciation 34 million years ago, never mind the fact that the correlation between warming and CO2 will be higher for warming that is initiated by changes in CO2 concentrations than warming that isn’t, and the fact that the continents have moved considerably and today’s continent arrangement results in a colder climate) or they have to pretend that some magic tipping point exists just above 2 C and that we need to avoid it (even though all our understanding of the magnitude of the feedbacks suggest that runaway global warming is not possible for the next billion years so no such tipping point exists).

  49. Climate mitigation iatrogenics has always been a big part of my arguments against the proposed government “solutions” for AGW. Being a libertarian I find it interesting that Bjorn Lomborg of leftist persuasion argues this point against some of the proposed AGW government solutions. I suspect as I have heard Lomborg imply previously that he is not against government action of this type – as a libertarian would be on principle – but that he sees other government involvements that he much prefers over AGW. Of further interest is that Lomborg points to government and the politicians running them as being less than reliable in sticking to their policies and promises on AGW solutions. It makes me wonder how he keeps his leftist view of government – unless he thinks the AGW problem is somehow unique.

  50. “Whether betting big today with a comprehensive global climate policy targeted at stabilization will ………… quickly produce losses that throw mankind into economic, social, & environmental bankruptcy”

    I just wonder whether JC’s favoured quote isnt as over-stated and exaggrated as the climate catastrophism. “economic, social & environmental bankruptcy”. Really? What happened to the innovation and ingenuity to turn a problem into a profit?

    • What happened to the innovation and ingenuity to turn a problem into a profit?

      I’m sure there will be more than a few people at Paris looking to profit from our problems.

      • Right, especially governments (and politicians), because everyone wants to hear that they may have to pay more for energy to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. It’s such a winning message.

    • humanity,

      “What happened to the innovation and ingenuity to turn a problem into a profit?”

      Do you really expect government beauracrats and NGO’s to be innovative and ingenius? They may know how to profit from a problem – by creating a role for themselves, one paid for by someone else. The one area where they might show ingenuity and innovation is in creating problems that don’t exist inorder to profit from them.

  51. simon abingdon

    Lift the poor out of poverty through cheap E=mc2 energy, then provide them with the benefits of education and the world’s population will automatically drop and stabilise.

    The two E’s; Energy and Education. Nothing more is needed.

    • How did you know this was going to happen?

      http://www.cnet.com/news/lasers-cool-liquid-for-the-first-time-ever/

      There is still plenty of good stuff that will get a patent.

      • Arch Stanton,

        Because I read the paper “Laser-Cooling of Liquid Water by the Ar–Xe Laser Radiation I.V. Kholin, D.A. Zayarnyi* a few years ago.

        Maybe the American researchers did too.

        Mind you, the Russians cooled some water with a laser, and measured its temperature over time with a thermocouple. Obviously not nearly as high-tech as the Americans. Maybe they didn’t get big enough grants to buy a lot of expensive computers and equipment.

        Only joking, but it shows that breathless headlines are occasionally a bit misleading. “Lasers cool liquid for the first time”. Really?

        Cheers.

  52. Why worry? Scientists say the most likely impact of melting Antarctica ice is a 10 cm sea level rise by 2100; i.e, of no consequence. There is said to be a one in 20 chance of 30cm or more (context: I’m 181 cms tall).

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34859398

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature16147.html

    So nothing to “cure” here.

    • “Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.”

  53. Perhaps human1ty1st has confused crony capitalism with laissez faire capitalism.

    • “Sigh”. Eco/Regressives (the “P” is silent) believe that capitalism without government corruption is wrong. If they don’t have control and get their cut it must be bad seems to be the theory.

      They despise laissez faire capitalism and impose crony capitalism at every opportunity.

  54. And that WSJ op-ed is just another great example of the problems with Lomberg – we have a ‘political scientist’ playing economist.

    And not doing it very well.

    His first point about LE is wide of the mark. It’s not wealth that has had the greatest impact, but public health measures and education.

    • It’s not wealth that has had the greatest impact, but public health measures and education.

      Socialist dogma.

    • He uses one estimate of poverty by the World Bank, but not this one for some reason. Does he believe the World Bank, or only when it is convenient?
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/world-bank-climate-change-poverty_563f712ce4b0b24aee4aa2f8?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

      • You are quite a bean counter when you want to…

        Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

        MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen: ‘Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best and even modest warming is mostly beneficial.’ – ‘When someone says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period.’

        Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer: ‘Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. We are being led down a false path. To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?’

        Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore: ‘We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science.’

        Read more: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/19/scientists-declare-un-climate-summit-goals-irrational-based-on-nonsense-leading-us-down-a-false-path/#ixzz3s2TRA3pc

        but the big truth in nature is it’s always about eating the weakest first, Jimmy D.

      • They wheeled out the usual crew for this.

      • They’ve been at it for awhile. Why don’t they go away?
        ===============

    • It’s not wealth that has had the greatest impact, but public health measures and education.

      And that public health funding and education come from… national wealth!

      The irony of how wrong IPCC policy is comes from the original concerns about population growth, which was asymptotic in the 1970s. But now Ehrlich and the like are laughably wrong in their doom. The developed nations have falling fertility and falling population:

      And if CO2 is really a problem ( though carbon based life forms appear to like it ) emissions are similarly past peak in the economically developed versus the undeveloped:

      Capitalism saves the world ( including the environment ).

      Socialists are wrong again.

      • But this is exactly the contradiction you are falling into: Capitalism solved the CFC problem, and without much pain, the ozone layer has come back. Capitalism solved all of the perils of overpopulation that some warned of. Capitalism made our rivers swimmable again with no noticeable impact on gdp. but for some reason, it can’t solve reducing burning of fossil fuels?

        Does that mean that when fossil fuels run out naturally, we’re doomed to economic collapse?

      • Dan B: “Capitalism solved the CFC problem, and without much pain, the ozone layer has come back.”

        Heh, you haven’t checked it recently, have you?

      • Dan B. I think the jury is still out on whether or not limiting CFCs helped the ozone hole. It seems to vary naturally.

        The capitalists who survive this century, and prosper, will have gone to nukes.

        The key to your question is that these other things aren’t as dominant in our society and economy as cheap energy. Cheap energy is the engine that has allowed your three(my two) problems to be ameliorated.
        =========================

  55. Just received this email which might be interesting for anyone wanting to splash the cash in London/. My system had intelligently labelled it as SPAM!

    REDUCED PRICE

    We are contacting you regarding the Planning for Climate Change Conference which we are running in London on 21/12/15. Details can be found here, Facebook, and Twitter, and details of the current speaker line up can be found here.
    Delegate fees are as follows
    Delegate – full rate: £180 plus VAT (total of £216).

    Student/Researcher Delegate – reduced rate : £90 plus VAT (total of £108).
    (If you are interested but cost is an issue, then please let us know and hopefully we can come to an arrangement)

    For every place that is booked we are offering a FREE 12 month e-subscription to the Journal of Planning for Climate Change, details of which can be found here.

    Alternatively if you are not available for the December Conference, we are beginning to plan for the next Climate Conference which will take place in London on Thursday 2nd June 2016. If you would like to reserve a place at this conference all we ask at the moment is that you pay a refundable 20% deposit now and the rest of the amount before the event in June.

    If you are interested in this please do not hesitate to contact us at info@planforclimatechange.co.uk and we will make the necessary invoicing arrangements

    To unsubscribe from future emails please unsubscribe here.

    Planning for Climate Change Team

    86-90 Paul Street

    LONDON EC2A 4NE

    United Kingdom

    —- —-
    tonyb

  56. The forecast this winter for the Midwest, South and East is for lots of cold air due to global warming; lots and lots of snow is possible due to climate change.

    • Wag
      The science is settled.

      Global warming creates colder temperatures and more snow. Plus soon to be the start of Little Ice Age II. It will be fun to see the powers walk back on their predictions of snow will be a rare event, children won’t know what it is.
      Scott

      • Scott

        Knowing how interested you are in sea levels I thought you would enjoy this snippet which relates to the research I am doing to extend CET through the 13th Century.

        The comment comes from John Kington of CRU in his recent book

        ‘A more settled climate with warmer drier summers and colder winters appears to have set in during the 10th century …with more frequent continental and anti cyclonic types, a series of severe droughts occurred later in the century. With the melting of glaciers sea levels rose, including that of the north sea. In about 1000AD for example the sea came up to Norwich, which today is 30km from the coast via a Danish type fjord inlet. Water levels seem to have been as high as they were around 400AD’

        You remember that around 400AD was the period I reached in my first article on sea levels which I noted as a high water mark?.

        I don’t know if you are aware that the Vikings were so successful as their relatively shallow draft ships wee able to sail up European rivers which were at historically high levels?

        tonyb

      • tonyb
        I enjoy your historical evaluations. 400 AD was the historic variations in sea level part I? I am currently in the coast in SF and am interested in sea level that was so low all SF Bay was a river valley and land extended to the Farallon Islands currently 26 miles out in the pacific ocean. I was in the US Navy in San Diego and impressed by the terraces in stages in land that formed from old beaches due to wave actions when the sea levels were much higher. Just fascinating natural history.

        I enjoy the Duggar land illustrations’ from your sketches. I remain astounded by the lack of historical context from the science is settled team and hope logic and professionalism eventually recovers to put perspective back into the communications.
        Scott

      • Scott

        Was it the San Clemente coastal terraces that you saw?

        http://www.neckers.siu.edu/pinter/pdf/CoastalExercise.pdf

        Tonyb

      • tonyb
        Thanks for the link
        Lots of features like that along the coast.

        See;
        belowtheboat.com

        San Diego to LA.

        dramatically shows terraces under water not yet eroded like the hills.
        Scott

    • I’m sorry it’s too hard for you. Redbirds can improve.

  57. Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

    Read more: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/19/scientists-declare-un-climate-summit-goals-irrational-based-on-nonsense-leading-us-down-a-false-path/#ixzz3s3PejQju

    • Still whistling, long may they toot.
      =========

    • Ordvic

      I don’t know the ins and outs of this but to balance the NOAA story here is a response dated 19 th November to Lamar smith from Eddie Johnson at the appropriate congress committee.

      http://democrats.science.house.gov/sites/democrats.science.house.gov/files/Ranking%20Member%20Johnson%20Second%20Letter%20to%20Chairman%20Smith%20on%20NOAA%20Subpoena.pdf

      Hopefully this might be one of the stories that Judith features in week in review when both sides can be properly examined. Sceptics are too quick to cry conspiracy or fraud so let us objectively look at the to and fro of this matter before coming down on one side or the other

      Tonyb

      • It’s the whistleblowers they need to worry about, the ranking member probably doesn’t know anything and is just doing his job as a shill for his side.

      • The letter is interesting, but the Dems and Reps do not agree on what is a legitimate purpose, or on the implications of government ownership of the NOAA communications network. The letter cites a Union of Concerned Scientists “joke” about the climategate emails, as if those emails contain no pertinent information. Well, UCS is at least as biased as anyone in politics, and whereas the Dems probably appreciate their support in this instance, I doubt that the Reps pay them any mind at all.

        I can see how this might make an interesting feature, but it is going to boil down to how much evidence is needed for a “legitimate” Congressional subpoena, and how many votes from the committee are legally required. The answer in practice will probably depend on how much of a penalty the committee members expect to suffer from their constituents in Nov 2016 for their public positions.

      • Matthew

        Reading the letter myself I was coming down strongly on the side of NOAA but there was a sour note with The claim that ‘climategate was debunked’ and Also the mention of the union of concerned scientists. I googled Michael haern and his work and he seems to be something of an activist.

        I still veer slightly towards NOAA being innocent as I would equate them with the MET office who I would be astounded to learn if they had been cooking the books.

        No doubt others will dip in and I might learn something, as I say I know little about this matter or the obvious machinations of the political parties involved.

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb:

        Ms. Johnson is the “Ranking Member” (i.e., senior Democrat) of the Committee. The points she raises in her letter would seem to deflect criticisms based upon the timing of the Karl publication.

        If all Chairman Smith seeks is evidence that Karl, et al., wanted to publish sooner, rather than later, then the entire episode would seem to be a waste. Even if evidence exists that political appointees were also anxious to see rapid publication of Karl’s Pause-Killer Paper it is hard to get too excited about that unsurprising situation.

        However, if Smith’s sources have pointed him toward unusual or controversial decisions regarding data manipulation, or political interventions, then it would seem more appropriate to push strongly for documentation.

        Regardless, one hopes that Chairman Smith’s investigation is not a quixotic effort to confirm that scientists at NOAA disagree with him on climate change.

        Kent

      • If NOAA is innocent, there is nothing for them to fear – just hand over the documents and answser the questions – all will be well.

      • Tony, keep in mind that ranking Democrat member political partisan Eddie’s role in the drama is that of the scheister defense attorney.

        The committee majority has the Constitutional right to investigate what they choose to investigate, without the approval of the minority. Multiple Supreme Court decisions have upheld this broad power. Of course the minority always hollers and tries to obstruct when their ox is being gored. We call that politics over here. Elections have consequences.

      • tonyb: I still veer slightly towards NOAA being innocent

        The US government has ownership and Congress are the stewards. What all the legal implications are I do not know, but Congress usually wins these fights if the executive branch is consistently unpopular with the voters.

      • “Ms. Johnson is the “Ranking Member” …”

        Well off-topic, but anyway…

        I recall talking to staff of my own MP, who made a comment along the lines of “… I don’t know why they call them ‘honourable'”, to which I replied “Neither do I. But they also call them ‘members’, which I find singularly appropriate”. We both had a giggle.

    • From the article:

      n the letter, Smith wrote that a whistleblower informed the House committee that the NOAA rushed the June climate study to publication despite concerns from scientists at the agency who felt the study was not yet ready.

      “Information provided to the Committee by whistleblowers appears to show that the Karl study was rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of NOAA scientists, ignoring established and standard NOAA scientific processes and potentially violating NOAA’s scientific integrity policies,” he wrote. “NOAA employees raised concerns about the timing and integrity of the process but were ignored.”

      The congressman added, “Because the Karl study was apparently prematurely rushed to publication, the timing of its release raises concerns that it was expedited to fit the administration’s aggressive climate agenda.”

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/lamar-smith-noaa-rushed-climate-study

      • Jim2

        It all seems extremely partisan from both sides to me.

        Is the Smith request founded on genuine scintific interest or just mischief making ? Is the response reasonable and measured?

        I dunno

        Tonyb

      • I see the spokesman for the union of concerned scientists in the letter is michael halpern who has a degree in Sociology and communications so not sure he is a good authority on climate science matters.

        Is he a brother to Joshua halpern our very own Eli Rabbett?

        Tonyb

      • “Is the Smith request founded on genuine scientific interest or just mischief making ? Is the response reasonable and measured?”

        Don’t forget the NOAA whistleblowers. If we are supposed to hold scientists in high esteem and deem them as particularly trustworthy, we can’t expect the oversight committee to ignore the NOAA scientists that “raised concerns about the timing and integrity of the process but were ignored.”

      • I think that Michael Halpern is Eli Wabbette’s brother Wee-wee Wabbette.

      • climatereason | November 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm |
        Jim2

        It all seems extremely partisan from both sides to me.
        *******************************************************
        I’m a bit surprised that you would say that. Given the questionable adjustment by Karl of ARGO float data using ship data would supply a scientific motivation for investigation. And if Smith indeed is communicating with a whistle-blower, then that’s a damn solid reason to continue.

        Besides that, IMO a Congressman should be welcomed if not obliged to investigate any arm of the US Federal government on behalf of the tax payers.

      • Jim and don

        Let’s see if the mysterious whilstleblowers have any substance to their claims, which as far as I can tell, seems to revolve round the paper being rushed.

        Tonyb

      • tony, I suspect urgency is just one symptom, the disease is that Karl is wrong, and I suspect the whistleblowers are upset about that. Urgent but right would be no problem.
        ================

      • Don’t let Eddies the scheister bamboozle you, Tony. It ain’t just about rushing:

        “Information provided to the Committee by whistleblowers appears to show that the Karl study was rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of NOAA scientists, ignoring established and standard NOAA scientific processes and potentially violating NOAA’s scientific integrity policies,” he wrote. “NOAA employees raised concerns about the timing and integrity of the process but were ignored.”

        That is right in the wheelhouse of the Congressional oversight committee. NOAA is obligated by the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions to co-operate with the investigation. Government sighentists have no immunity.

  58. Has real climate forgotten to renew their domain?

    Tonyb

    • Gee…

      Would you really get climate information from a scientist that lets their domain name expire?

      That isn’t terribly competent.

      It isn’t like the registrars don’t send you enough badgering notices.

      • Usually any email address that has been around that long fills up with spam. Or gets replaced, and somebody forgets to update their registration info.

        It’s pretty common.

  59. Curious George

    The protest by the group Fossil Free Stanford, demanding divestment in fossil fuel companies, has intensified into an action involving alumni, staff and esteemed faculty members such as biologist Paul Ehrlich and computer scientist Eric Roberts.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_29140602/stanford-warns-students-possible-sanctions-while-protest-expands

    • When fools divest, angels rush in. Do you have any idea how cheap coal is in the ground, now?
      ================

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