Climate policy: Fake it ’til you make it

by Judith Curry

The economic models that are used to inform climate policy currently contain an unhealthy dose of wishful thinking. Technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the air are assumed in the models that avoid dangerous climate change – but such technologies do not yet exist and it is unclear whether they could be deployed at a meaningful scale. – Tim Kruger

I’m in the midst of a really interesting discussion on twitter with Silvio Funtowicz, and he pointed me to a superb article published last April in the Guardian (that I somehow missed), written by Tim Kruger.  The title is Abandon Hype in Climate Models.  Excerpts:

Most of the modelled emissions pathways limiting warming to 2 °C (and all the ones that restrict the rise to 1.5 °C) require massive deployment of Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). This involves growing biomass which is used to generate power and geologically sequestering the carbon dioxide produced. While the constituent steps of this process have been demonstrated, there are but a few, small, examples of the combined process. 

There is a distinct lack of evidence to determine whether BECCS is technically feasible, economically affordable, environmentally benign, socially acceptable and politically viable at a material scale. Technically, there are serious doubts about the ability to sequester the vast quantities of carbon dioxide that are implied in the models. Economically, without a substantial carbon price, the costs would be much higher than competing power-generation technologies. Environmentally, growing such volumes of biomass would have profound effects on biodiversity. Socially, the use of land for BECCS would restrict agriculture – contributing to substantial increases in food prices; while politically, the issue seems so toxic that the Paris Agreement carefully avoided mentioning negative emissions at all. 

For a technology to be deployable it needs not only to work, but also to possess a social licence to operate. For example, that Germany possesses the technical ability and financial means to build new nuclear power plants is not in question, but lacking the social and political will to do so makes the point moot.

Yet to model what you want to happen, rather than what there is evidence could happen, is to lose the thread of reality. It is redolent of a defeated leader issuing orders to armies that have long since ceased to exist – not so much vision, as delusion.

Should modellers be able to model what they like? Of course. Scenarios allow us to undertake useful thought experiments that provide us with the means to assess potentially novel approaches.

Some will defend the use of these technological imaginaries in IPCC scenarios by arguing that without them hopes of avoiding dangerous climate change are forlorn and that this would generate a degree of despair that would undermine the will to act.

But that is not the role of models. “Fake it ‘til you make it” may work as a tactic, but it is a lousy strategy. As the dust settles on the Paris Agreement and policymakers face up to the challenge of achieving the ambition set out by their leaders, we need to reflect on what actually needs to happen. Policymakers can only hope to develop realistic plans, if the basis on which they are making those plans is itself realistic. While the boundary between ambition and delusion may be not be entirely sharp, the inclusion of negative emissions amounting to 600-800 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent to 15-20 years of current annual emissions) is clearly more than a stretch goal. For this reason, negative emission techniques should be excluded from the mitigation scenarios used by the IPCC unless and until there is sufficient evidence to warrant their inclusion and then only on a scale that is demonstrably realistic.

On the basis of such a comprehensive assessment, policy makers will then have to make an explicit decision either to invest in the necessary research, development and demonstration of the technologies or to explain how they propose to meet their ambitious targets without such interventions. Policymakers cannot be allowed to hide behind the vague language of the Paris Agreement (“achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases”).

In the absence of comprehensive research and indications of political feasibility, it seems prudent to exclude from the models what is currently magical thinking. Only by undertaking research will it be possible to determine whether today’s science fiction could be transformed into tomorrow’s science reality.

JC reflections

Nail — you have been squarely hit on the head.

There simply is no conceivable pathway to reducing CO2 concentrations (through emissions reductions or carbon sequestration) on the timescales put forth by the Paris Agreement.  Until policy makers factor this into their plans, what they are doing is an extremely expensive and potentially dangerous scam.

Policy makers need to put forward more realistic plans for dealing with climate change that are technically, economically and socially viable.  And while they’re at it, they can invest in understanding natural climate variability, so we can develop more realistic scenarios of how the climate might actually evolve over the 21st century

340 responses to “Climate policy: Fake it ’til you make it

  1. also a distinct lack of evidence that fossil fuel emissions can even be detected in the carbon budget amid the uncertainties in natural flows
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2654191

    • I agree. Truth is indelibly recorded in exact rest masses of the ~3,000 types of atoms that comprise all matter: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Dawning_of_Truth.pdf

    • Meh. That paper couldn’t make it past peer review, and hasn’t.

      It has a bunch of problems. Chief among them: the uncertainties in carbon flows from one year to the next are not independent of each other, which means that the total uncertainty over time doesn’t grow with the square root.

      Which means that even if the flows in any given one year are uncertain, we can still determine the human contribution over multiple decades to a much better certainty.

      An analogy would be to point out the uncertainty in Earth temperature coming from natural variation. Say that’s, I dunno, 0.1C in any one year. If you incorrectly extend that variation out over time by assuming that the variation is independent from year-to-year, 0.1C this year, 0.1C next year, etc., then the total uncertainty grows over time with the square root of (years*0.1). Eventually, this model would tell you that natural variation could make the Earth’s temperature colder than absolute zero, or hotter than the Sun. These are both clearly incorrect, and the reason you got this wrong result is because the variation in one year is not independent from the variation in the next. Your mathematical model had incorrect assumptions.

      C’mon, man, read and understand the paper. Don’t just accept it uncritically.

  2. Robin Guenier

    The lack of a “conceivable pathway to reducing CO2 concentrations … on the timescales put forth by the Paris Agreement” is not improved by said Agreement’s permitting “developing countries” (responsible for about 65% of global emissions) to prioritise “economic … development and poverty eradication” over CO2 reduction, merely encouraging them to “move over time towards … emission reduction or limitation targets”: https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/16/cop21-developing-countries/

  3. “Economically, without a substantial carbon price, the costs [for BECCS] would be much higher than competing power-generation technologies.”
    The straightforward way of saying this is “Economically, the costs [for BECCS] are much higher than competing power-generation technologies. But if we impose a substantial tax on competing technologies, those can be made even more expensive than BECCS.”

  4. This article is along the lines of Paul Pfleiderer’s point about models misused by claiming policy relevance for a model which is purely theoretical (bookshelf). Climate models are a case in point of what he calls Chameleon models.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/cameleon-climate-models/

  5. As well as Tim Kruger, the co-authors of the article Oliver Geden and Steve Rayner deserve a mention. Both very smart and thoughtful people.

    • Robin Guenier above points out the weakness of the Paris agreement in regard to developing countries, linking to his article on this from a few days ago.

      Richard Tol has an interesting new draft paper
      https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps-96-2016.pdf&site=24
      that also draw attention to its lack of teeth:
      “The Paris Agreement discarded legally binding emission targets…
      the Paris Agreement obliges countries to have a climate policy – but the word “intended” signifies that climate policy is aspirational, while the words “nationally determined” specify that these aspirations are set by individual countries rather than through international negotiations.”

      • Curious George

        When Obama single-handedly “ratifies” it, what practical implications will it have?

      • Robin Guenier

        George: it’s interesting that, when (if) the Agreement is fully ratified and becomes a treaty under International Law, the developing countries’ exemption will be confirmed as binding. Not quite what Western negotiators
        intended.

      • CG and RG, COP21Paris is not a treaty under US law. A treaty requiring 2/3 Senate approval was defined by Jefferson in 1805 as ‘immutable but by mutual consent’. It is also not a Pact requiring simple Conressional enabling majorities (Pacts have opt outs). Obama claims it is an Executive Agreement. The Constitution recognizes these in three areas: pursuant to presidential conduct of foreign policy (e.g. Recognizing a foreign government), pursuant being Commander in Chief, pursuant to obligation to faithfully up hold federal law. Obama claims it is this last, and he is upholding the Clean Air Act under the abominable Mass. v EPA sue and settle SCOTUS ruling. Unfortunately, he is probably right.

      • Robin Guenier

        ristvan: I’m no expert on US law, but suspect that’s a good analysis. However note that the key Article 4.4 was changed at the last minute from the original “Developed country Parties shall continue taking the lead by undertaking economy wide absolute emission reduction targets” to “Developed country Parties should” (etc. as before). Apparently the thinking was that for the US to accept a moral rather than legal obligation would somehow obviate the need for Congressional approval. And it seems China instigated the change: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/12/china-rescues-us-from-paris-climate-deal-typo-fiasco/. Interesting.

      • RG, most think it was the US, for the reasons given. Shall is Pact (since there is an opt out). Should is Executive Agreement. Or so I learned at Harvard Law. Obama probably did also.

      • > Apparently the thinking was that for the US to accept a moral rather than legal obligation would somehow obviate the need for Congressional approval.

        This contrasts with the thesis that West most basic aim is that powerful emerging economies should be obliged to share in emission reduction.

        Unless we’re willing to extend Murica’s exceptionalism, which is still possible.

      • Robin Guenier

        ristvan: thanks – very helpful. Whether it was the US or China that was responsible, there was a last minute redraft. Odd that such an important matter should have been overlooked. And the report that it was China that noted the problem is especially interesting.

        Willard: not so. US negotiators always intended that its obligation should be one that would avoid Congressional approval (see ristvan’s explanation). Their basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should accept at the same or a similar obligation. They failed: emerging economies are under no obligation to reduce emissions.

      • > US negotiators always intended that its obligation should be one that would avoid Congressional approval.

        From your own link, Robin:

        The problem? One word: shall. The issue? Whether the US and other developed countries would be signing up to a UN treaty that would legally bind them to make specific greenhouse gas cuts.

        That was always a US red line. Cross it and a hostile US Senate would have eaten the treaty for breakfast.

        http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/12/12/china-rescues-us-from-paris-climate-deal-typo-fiasco/

        Arguing that the West’s basic aim is something that would always cross a US red line looks suboptimal to me. You’re only way out is to argue that Murica’s so exceptional that every country should follow “shall,” but not Murica. While this may cohere with the history of Murican foreign policy, it doesn’t represent the West POV.

        You’d have better chance arguing that all this may have been a typo, as the author you cite insinuates.

      • Robin Guenier

        Willard – it seems you didn’t read my comment above:

        “US negotiators always intended that its obligation should be one that would avoid Congressional approval. Their basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should accept the same or a similar obligation. They failed: emerging economies are under no obligation to reduce emissions.”

        Get it now?

      • Robin,

        Your comment above is weaker than the thesis of your previous essay, and this thesis is contradicted by the source you yourself cited. I too can quote myself:

        > Apparently the thinking was that for the US to accept a moral rather than legal obligation would somehow obviate the need for Congressional approval.

        This contrasts with the thesis that West most basic aim is that powerful emerging economies should be obliged to share in emission reduction.

        At least acknowledge that your actual position is weaker than the thesis of your previous essay.

      • Willard, you said: “your actual position is weaker than the thesis of your previous essay.”

        No so. As you say, my thesis was that the West’s most basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should be obliged to share in emission reduction. US negotiators tried to achieve this by having such economies reclassified as “developed” rather than “developing”, thereby putting them on the same footing as the West. They failed.

      • > As you say, my thesis was that the West’s most basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should be obliged to share in emission reduction.

        Let’s put that into a thesis:

        [T1] West’s most basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should be obliged to share in emission reduction.

        Compare with your rewriting of this thesis, above:

        [T2] Their basic aim was that powerful emerging economies should accept the same or a similar obligation.

        To see why T1 and T2 are different, consider your take-home from the report you cite:

        [T3] For the US to accept a moral rather than legal obligation would somehow obviate the need for Congressional approval.

        Assume T3 – T2 can still be true, but not T1.

        Your reading of “obliged” can’t include moral obligations if we accept how we read “shall” in our previous discussion.

        If US wanted a moral obligation all along, why the hell would you quote Davey’s “binding commitments to reduce emissions from all countries“?

        I hope it suffices to show why I smell a pea and thimble game from your part.

        Due diligence,

        W

      • Well, Willard, you’re certainly trying hard. Thanks for that.

        But, given T3, both T2 and T1 can be true: contrary to your assertion, “obliged” does refer to a moral obligation. That’s because it refers, not to an absolute obligation to reduce emissions, but to an obligation to share whatever is undertaken by developed countries. And that, because of US insistence (with, it seems, a little help from China), turned out to be a moral obligation: “should”, not “shall”.

        And that insistence, reflecting the US position from the outset, overrode the EU’s clearly stated wish: see for example the Davey quotation. The European position and the EU’s eventual negotiating failure are demonstrated here: LINK

        Note for example these extracts:

        “If there is not a binding accord, there will not be an accord,” French President Francois Hollande said in Malta while attending a European Union-Africa summit.

        A day earlier US Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear the United States would not sign a deal in which countries were legally obliged to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

        Earlier Thursday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, also in Malta, described his US counterpart’s remarks as “unfortunate”.

        Hollande (and Fabius) lost. Kerry won.

        And note this:

        Washington has consistently said it would not commit to CO2-reduction targets within an international framework, but that it would accept legal obligations for other provisions.

        You see Willard: this is something the US wanted all along. But what the US didn’t want was that powerful emerging economies would end up with neither legal nor moral obligation to reduce emissions. Yet that’s what it got: in the end, both the US and the EU lost.

        Due diligence – correctly executed.

        R

      • > [G]iven T3, both T2 and T1 can be true: contrary to your assertion, “obliged” does refer to a moral obligation.

        T3 assumed a moral interpretation of obligation, Robin. Hint: “for the US to accept a moral rather than legal obligation”. My point applies however you interpret “obliged,” as long as you interpret it the same way in all cases. Even when “obliged” is legal, T1 implies T2, but T2 doesn’t imply T1 – It’s quite possible to accept “same or similar” legal obligations without being legally “obliged to share in emission reduction.”

        You need to admit that T1 is stronger than T2, not because of the nature of the obligation, but because of its scope. Sharing a moral or a legal obligation is a tad weaker than being morally or legally obliged to share in emission reduction. One could accept T2 as West’s most basic aim, but not T1. I reject both, but am way more sympathetic to T2.

        ***

        My point regarding the interpretation of “obligation” is related to the evidence you provided for the West’s basic aim. For instance:

        Western negotiators had intended that Paris should have a very different outcome. Hence this statement in 2014 by Ed Davey, UK Secretary of State responsible for climate change negotiations:

        Next year in Paris in December … the world will come together to forge a deal on climate change that should, for the first time ever, include binding commitments to reduce emissions from all countries.

        I’m not sure in what way you could consider a moral obligation as a binding commitment. As Sir Rud said, only “shall” is Pact.

        Do you?

        If “should” implies a binding commitment, then the Paris Agreement commits the West to reduce GHGs emissions, Pact or no Pact.

        ***

        Reading back our previous exchange, I just noted an important typo.

      • “Should” implies “Shall?”

        Sorry. This Willard response is just unavoidable. I’ll resist more in the future.

      • > “Should” implies “Shall?”

        Of course not, Daddy.

        Read more, comment less.

      • Willard, somehow my reply was misplaced. It’s after dogdaddyblog and then Judith C – immediately below this.

      • Got it, Robin.

        I replied there.

    • thx, somehow i didn’t spot that, I’m a fan of both

    • Willard, it’s simple:

      1. The US wanted a non-legally binding reduction obligation (“should”).

      2. The EU wanted a legally binding reduction obligation (“shall”).

      3. The US view prevailed.

      4. Both wanted the reduction obligation to apply to powerful emerging economies – that was their basic aim.

      5. They failed to get it.

      My article is about 4 and 5.

      PS: I’m sure the US (unless Trump is elected) and the EU will consider themselves morally obliged to take action.

      • It’s even simpler than that, Robin: you’re now stuck with with interpreting the Paris Agreement as a “non-legally binding reduction obligation” for developed countries, when you were previously talking of an agreement the West intended should include GHG reduction commitments from all countries.

        Murica’s so exceptional it’s larger than the West.

        Unless by commitment you simply mean a non-legally binding obligation?

        ***

        Let’s track back a bit. You quote Kerry:

        If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions –- remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions -– it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.

        When Kerry speaks like that, that’s because he has a “non-legally binding reduction obligation” in mind, no doubt.

        I’m willing to dismiss this as feel-good political talk, but it implies we don’t take this as a testimony for some West basic aim that plays a part in a contrarian counterfactual.

      • Willard: yes, the Paris Agreement imposes a non-legally binding obligation on developed countries. And, yes, the West’s basic aim was that the Agreement should include an emission reduction commitment from all countries. The EU wanted that commitment to be legally binding and the US wanted it non-legally binding. The US prevailed. Unfortunately for both the EU and the US, what was agreed in Paris didn’t apply to all countries – i.e. they failed to achieve their basic aim.

        Yes, Kerry certainly had a non-legally binding obligation in mind when he made that statement – probably unhappily, but unavoidably in view of the US historic opposition to a legally binding commitment: LINK.

      • Robin,

        If the US prevailed and required a “should” for themselves, then it can’t ask developing countries for a “shall,” unless it can convince them that it’s as exceptional as its historical foreign policy. And if Europe (strangely represented by an UK guy in your quote) wanted a “shall,” then there’s no obligation that can be seen as a mutual aim for the West.

        The Paris agreement got the US and Europe GHG reduction commitments. I still doubt that your two quotes suffice to prove that absolute reduction commitments was West’s most basic aim. It goes against the Convention framework. The Copenhagen Accord barely acknowledges the 2C target.

        I rather like George Monbiot‘s way of putting it:

        By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.

        George’s not John Kerry or that other UK guy.

        ***

        Oh, and it seems that the US and China just ratified.

      • One man ratified his own one man agreement. Earthshaking. A miracle.

      • Daddy sure can keep a promise.

      • Taking easy potshots are not attempts to engage ideologues.

      • So now Daddy’s farewell:

        Bye, forever.

        only applies to engaging, which, in Daddy’s world, corresponds to asking two rhetorical questions and beating his chest.

        He’s one of yours alright, Denizens.

        Go team!

      • I learned while on night ambushes to make no noise nor show any light lest Charlie pop me. Sophistry, inanities, misdirection, half-truths, et al are like loud, explosive expulsions of lit gas from alarmists neither regions.

        Willard, you, AK, JimD, JCH, Mr. “Wandering in the Weeds” Mosher and others can just consider me Charlie skeptic. I don’t need to prove anything. And you guys can’t.

        Consensus? IPCC authority? Ask LBJ how overwhelming strength worked out for him against Charlie. All Charlie skeptic has to do is hang in there until facts overcome the politics.

        We sang a little ditty in the land of the mud, the blood and the beer. It was set to the tune of “Poison Ivy.” It had a refrain: “Late at night while you’re sleepin’ Charlie Cong comes a creepin’ along.”

        Cuddle up with your models. They will keep you safe through the night. There really can’t be that many Charlie skeptics out here in the dark, can there?

      • dog, you’re that Japanese soldier that was found defending an island long after the war ended.

      • Ya, Jim D. But he got on worldwide TV and became a national hero.

        Looking around, it is arguable that losing a real war to the U.S. has some upsides.

      • I prefer this old story, Jim D.

        Daddy’s camouflaged threat is of little concern to anyone who accepts that Nature bats last.

      • Both LBJ and “old story” illustrate hubris.

        Charlie skeptic is a pacifist.

      • charlieskeptic

        On second thought, Willard, I’m so sorry if I have triggered you.

      • You’re not Charlie, Daddy, and AGW’s not LBJ.

        You’re Daddy. You can call me Wee Willie.

        This is a blog.

        We are commenting on a blog.

        It’s supposed to be fun.

        The only losing move is not to play.

        Next time, keep the chin up.

        PS: The threat is driven by Charlie’s bandwagon.

      • charlieskeptic

        I’m having fun! Look up.

      • charlieskeptic

        There seem to be many hopping on that bandwagon.

      • Sophistry, inanities, misdirection, half-truths, et al are like loud, explosive expulsions of lit gas from alarmists neither regions.

        Pot:Kettle:Black

      • Willard: “ If the US prevailed and required a “should” for themselves, then it can’t ask developing countries for a “shall” ”.

        Agreed. That’s why it didn’t. And the US persuaded the EU to abandon its insistence on “shall”.

        The mutual aim was that powerful emerging economies should be subject to the same emission reduction obligation as the West. They failed to achieve that.

      • > There seem to be many hopping on that bandwagon.

        Almost 97% of 97% of 97% of 97% a few more times, Charlie.

        I’ll drop the “skeptic” if you don’t mind. If you insist, I’ll call you CharlieContrarian.

      • charlieskeptic

        Cook could do another study?

        A rose by another name.

  6. Tim Kruger writes:

    While the boundary between ambition and delusion may be not be entirely sharp, the inclusion of negative emissions amounting to 600-800 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent to 15-20 years of current annual emissions) is clearly more than a stretch goal.

    This sounds like a job for Team Mosher’s unicorns, or Martin Luther’s God — the deus ex machina, the potential absoluta — who brings the stage and all the characters into being and moves them about at their will.

    In the final act they will intervene to save the chosen, the select — the true believers in God in Luther’s case, and the true believers in CAGW in Team Mosher’s case.

    • dogdaddyblog

      Shucks, Glenn! You beat me to it.

      I imagined Mr. Mosher riding a unicorn, wandering in climate model weeds. Just think of the amount of fairy dust he would kick up.

      Dave Fair

  7. As an ordinary sod trying to understand, I find it difficult to see where science or effectiveness is anything but an afterthought in international climate change policy.
    Wool over the eyes of the public, faking it through the next election cycle,
    until the global framework is solidified and the nation states wake up one day without their pants.

  8. stevefitzpatrick

    “Until policy makers factor this into their plans, what they are doing is an extremely expensive and potentially dangerous scam.”

    For example, see Mr. Obama’s energy policies: useless, wasteful, and yes, even dangerous.

  9. Good article. CCS fails for three separate reasons. Cost ~2x nuclear (comparing Kemper to Voglte 3 and 4). Parasitic power loads of ~30% based on the saskatchewan experiment on unit 4 at Boundary Dam. Lack of sufficient proximate storage geology, as the failed Decatur IL program proved (goal was 1 million metric tons CO2 per year).
    There is no way the world can come close to what warmunists demand for emission reductions. But it doesn’t matter, because the warmunists are wrong about sensitivity, wrong about attribution, and wrong about imagined catastrophes. Except for the now rapidly cooling 2015 ElNino blip, there has been no warming this century. Arctic summer ice has not disappeared. SLR is not accelerating. The planet is greening from CO2 fertilization.
    Imaginary catastrophies averted by imaginary CCS: Warmunist religion in a nutshell. Just nuts.

    • Curious George

      Rud, thanks, a nice summary. There are two natural processes that sequestrate carbon: a deposition of limestone or dolomite, and a deposition of coal or peat or methane hydrate (maybe even oil or natural gas.)

      • And it is a good thing that humans recycle fossil fuels and subduction zones recycle carbonates into andesic volcanos. Else photosynthesis shuts down for lack of CO2 and everything starves to death.

    • Imaginary catastrophies averted by imaginary CCS: Warmunist religion in a nutshell. Just nuts.

      Sounds rather clever to me, if they can pull it off.

      After all, how could you lose if the looming catastrophe is imaginary? Even if only a portion of your grandiose plans can be implemented, you could plausibly argue (grading on the standard political curve) that the catastrophe was averted by your policies.

      • They aren’t going to pull this off. The 2016 US AG nonsense shows how desperate they have become to silence skeptics , a sure sign they know they are losing. Copenhagen was their best shot and it failed. Paris everybody knows is a joke–voluntary national commitments with the developing world excepted. Meanwhile, the long predicted catastrophes are no where in evidence; every year that passes is another where Mother Nature makes further mockery of past warmunist projections. UNFCC’s Figueres was outed long ago on her real agenda for socialism and wealth redistribution. Most folks (California and Oregon excepted) are now noticing that renewables are very expensive and very intermittent. Sun doesn’t always shine, wind doesn’t always blow, and warmunists have no grid storage solution.

  10. “it seems prudent to exclude from the models what is currently magical thinking.”

    Well, there is a lot of magical thinking built into the models, from unrealistic emission scenarios that disregard proven fossil fuel reserves, to made up sensitivity values from overestimated aerosol forcings and underestimated solar forcings, and made up feedbacks.

    If all that is excluded models will have little to show except a huge uncertainty.

  11. I agree, I see too many efforts to “combat climate change” by addressing an unknown, which has not been identified much less quantified. What could possibly go wrong.
    It seems to me that if you want to remove carbon from the atmosphere, you should be looking at the technology that has worked since the beginning; plant communities.

    Cut trees, make a durable good, grow more trees.

    What if the the attempt to draw down carbon rapidly from the atmosphere has profound effects on climate? Oh my!

  12. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    “There simply is no conceivable pathway to reducing CO2 concentrations (through emissions reductions or carbon sequestration) on the timescales put forth by the Paris Agreement. Until policy makers factor this into their plans, what they are doing is an extremely expensive and potentially dangerous scam.

    Policy makers need to put forward more realistic plans for dealing with climate change that are technically, economically and socially viable. And while they’re at it, they can invest in understanding natural climate variability, so we can develop more realistic scenarios of how the climate might actually evolve over the 21st century.” –Dr. Judith Curry

  13. And, if we assume the weather in 2050 or 2100 — and, by extension the climate during that period — remains as unknown today as it has always been and, if we also agree that climate change is not getting reversed or slowed or accelerated by anything we have done or will ever do or even can do, imagine the massive futility of engaging in efforts to sequester CO2.

    • I refer to Mayan human sacrifices for the same reason; we must control the climate, and this is the way……must….appease…..the….gods…..

  14. The Arctic ocean sequesters more than 20 times all annual anthropogenic emissions each year. It will absorb all the CO2 that is delivered to it by jet streams in the upper atmosphere. Maybe we should require all international flights take a great circle route. Even then, I don’t think it would make a detectable difference in the measured CO2 concentration in the Arctic.

    • Yet all the CO2 in China won’t turn the AMO cold…

    • The Arctic ocean sequesters more than 20 times all annual anthropogenic emissions each year.

      The Arctic ocean sequesters carbon, and the oceans currents carry that cold water to other places, where they heat back up and release the CO2 again.

      And.. so what? You can’t look at one natural sink and ignore the other side of the equation, the natural sources. They go hand-in-hand, inseparable.

      • BW. The main ocean sink is not Henry’s Law in physical chemistry (temperature dependent partial pressure equilibrium of pCO2 and atmospheric ppm, which Gore got wrong). It is biological carbonate formation by carbonate forming algae like foraminiphors and coccolithophorids. Miles thick sedimentary limestone and dolomite formations are indisputable geophysical proof. And if tectonic subduction zones did not continually recycle some of that via andesic volcanoes back into the atmosphere for photosynthesis, you and everything else on Earth would already be long dead of starvation. So far, the additional human recycling of fossil fuels has been quite beneficial to C3 plants; Earth is greening.

      • Curious George

        We know very little about natural sources of carbon. There may be abundant diamonds 300 km down; there may be carbon steel deep below. Kilauea volcano emits estimated 10,000 tonnes a day of CO2. We know less about the center of the Earth than what we think we know about the center of the Sun.

  15. The authors overlook one point. If you consider the models used in IPCC AR5, and you multiply the carbon price by the amount of negative carbon divided by GDP — then you find a total carbon capture and storage subsidy around 10% of GDP. In other words, the CCS industry will receive a subsidy that is comparable to the health industry (in the OECD). Unlike health, CCS is labour-extensive and has no immediate benefits, so it is hard to see how this would work politicallyl

    • Richard Tol; “so it is hard to see how this would work politicallyl”

      Do you mean politically with scientists or lay people and politicians. I would assume the later?

      Isn’t the real answer as pleaded by James Hansen to go nuclear? That being regardless of political ramifications?

    • > it is hard to see how this would work politically

      That may not be enough: let’s fake that it’s inconceivable until it becomes a self-fulling prophecy.

      Go Team!

      • There are two things that need to be done. First, taxes need to be raised by a dime a dollar on average; or other government spending needs to be cut by one-third. Second, that money needs to be handed over to multinational companies.

        Either would be a hard sell for even the most gifted politician.

      • David Wojick

        An especially hard sell since not needed to be done. Selling what is needed is hard enough.

      • Maybe we could create government owned corporations, something like the “People’s Planet Cooling Corporation” to put away CO2 using geoengineering, painting roofs white, and killing all the cattle on earth.

      • “People’s Planet Cooling Corporation”

        Start a war on cold

      • Donkey: Alright people, let’s do this thing. Go Team Dynamite!
        Pinocchio: But I thought we agreed we’d go by the name Team Super-cool.
        Gingerbread Man: As I recall, it was Team Awesome.
        Wolf: I voted for Team Alpha Wolf Squadron.
        Donkey: Alright, alright, alright. From henceforth, we’re all to be known as Team Alpha Super Awesome Cool Dynamite Wolf Squadron.

        From Shreck the Third.

      • Technological progress has nothing to do with. There is a certain amount of carbon that needs to be captured and stored, and the only reason to do so is to avoid climate change.

      • Technological progress has nothing to do with [it].

        Over the next decade or two you may be right. But if the timing of future warming is further away than current pessimistic projections, then technological progress could have a lot to do with it*.

        * “It” being sequestering carbon or removing CO2 from the atmosphere through engineering technology.

      • Richard, I do admire your work and appreciate your perspectives.

        But the one thing I do question in your cost-benefit assessments is your acceptance of claimed adverse impacts. Mind you, global average temperature is rising and would appear to be likely to continue to rise. But global average temperature is not well correlated with most weather or climate phenomena.

        However, the IPCC claims all ilk of adverse effect ( extreme temperature, increased drought, increased flooding, increased hurricane intensity, etc. ), none of which are corroborated. The IPCC probably falls into these claims because these are weather events which cannot be predicted on climate time scales and most prominent advocates of action ( Hansen, Schmidt, Schneider ) and many IPCC authors lack an education in meteorology.

      • Technological progress has nothing to do with.

        Technological progress has everything to do with the price/cost.

        What if it costs only 1/100 what you’re assuming by the time it really gets going? What do your models do then?

      • For instance, here’s an article about a brand new pilot plant:

        Once the Zurich plant is up and running later in the year, Climeworks hopes to extract somewhere between 2 and 3 tonnes of C02 from the atmosphere daily. That sounds like a lot, but it only adds up to the equivalent emissions of about 200 cars annually (900 tonnes), and is a drop in the ocean compared to the 40 billion tonnes or so of carbon humans put into the atmosphere every year. This means Climeworks’ strategy will only make a serious impact if the technology rolls out at a significant scale.

        […]

        But to truly scale, carbon capture will have to be economical, and right now the biggest catch might its be price. At around US$600 per tonne, Climeworks’ system isn’t an inexpensive way of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, and this is the key factor that makes critics think carbon capture might be more of an illusion than a realistic strategy to fight climate change.

        OK, they get 2 tons/day and need to remove, say, 32,000,000 tons/day at break-even. That corresponds to a 16 million-fold increase, 24 doublings.

        Let’s assume that, for each doubling, the cost is reduced by 15%. 0.85^24×$600/ton=~$12.14(12.1396304839)/ton (calculator). Assume that a market can be created for ambient-sourced CO2 that doubles every year, by 2040 the cost would be around $12.14/ton.

        What does your model say about that?

      • My model says that Climeworks would end up having to pay me to deliver it CO2. I love speculative math.

      • @AK
        I see your point. Note that the models from which I took my numbers, assume rapid technological change. Indeed, that’s what the opening post is about: Are these models too optimistic about technological change? I believe they are.

      • Ahem…these models seem to assume an almost endless supply of fossil fuels can be delivered at more or less reasonable prices. We have no evidence for it. The models should include sensitivities for oil and gas availability, which should become critical after say 2035. They also need to include the resources the industry uses to meet demand. As we run out of conventional sources we have to move on to unconventionals, which require much more steel, energy, and people.

        I keep reading articles by “experts” from Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley, the IEA, etc, and all of them miss the fine grained detail. Right now we are seeing a price war between Sunnis and Shiites, a side scenario in a broader war sparked by the USA invasion of Iraq and obama’s meddling in Syria. But that price war won’t last forever, both sides are running out of steam, and very soon we will see prices begin a gradual ascent (with ups and downs) towards $150 per barrel in today’s dollars. By 2035 third world countries will run into a brick wall unless they use more coal, and coal supplies also have limits. This tells me developed nations need to go nuclear.

      • @fernando
        Reserves and, more importantly, resources are of course included in these models.

      • @(((Richard Tol))) (@RichardTol)…

        Note that the models from which I took my numbers, assume rapid technological change.

        But did they apply Wright’s “Law” in calculating the cost of any particular technology at any point in time?

        My guess is: no. IMO it would be almost impossible to include the effects of “learning curve” combined with more routine “supply&demand”. As far as I can tell, this would be a system with highly non-linear responses to tiny changes in learning percentage and other factors affecting the positive feedback loop.

        From a policy perspective, IMO, a search for ways to increase the growth rate of a desired technology without serious side-effects (collateral impacts) would be much more productive than simple nay-saying based on unwarranted simplistic assumptions.

      • For example, one way (not my favorite, but perhaps closer to how people are already thinking) might be to use carbon credits, but in a totally different way than currently.

        Suppose you require that for every ton of fossil CO2 dumped into the air, the dumper is required to purchase and redeem carbon credits amounting to a certain fraction of a ton.

        The only way such credits could be acquired is by sequestering CO2 in an approved and inspected manner (equivalent to current industrial or agricultural processes), or buying them from somebody who had.

        The fraction (of a ton burned) increases exponentially, starting at, say, 1/1000 (0.1%) and rising by 25% each year. This would amount to roughly doubling the demand for sequestration services every 3 years.

        At the beginning, the price would be very high, but the fraction would be so low that the impact to fuel prices (already offset) would be almost insignificant.

        The high price would nurture new industries, which could benefit from Wright’s “Law”/learning curve while producing immediate profits for successful investors. The growing market, and expectation of continued growth, would incent new investment in existing and innovative processes.

        One additional modification might involve allowing an equivalent fraction of fuel produced entirely from ambient carbon (no fossil tractor fuel, etc.) to be added instead of sequestration-driven credits.

        This could potentially drive the exponential growth of production capacities for Power→Gas/fuel, which could potentially maintain the value of near-term investments in infrastructure for them.

      • (((Richard Tol))) (@RichardTol) said:

        @fernando
        Reserves and, more importantly, resources are of course included in these models.

        It seems like these models leave out something very important: the human factor (e.g., politics, economics, society, culture, etc.).

        The human factor deals with billions of individual human beings and how they interact with each other. This is infinitely more complex, chaotic and unpredictable than anything physical systems — like the climate or weather — do.

        Did the models include events like this?

        Australian State To Permanently Ban Onshore Gas Fracking
        http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?hpf=1&a_id=146395&utm_source=DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=2016-08-30&utm_content=&utm_campaign=feature_4

        Or this?

        Oil Discoveries At A 70-Year Low Signal A Supply Shortfall Ahead
        http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/146393/Oil_Discoveries_At_A_70Year_Low_Signal_A_Supply_Shortfall_Ahead

        Explorers in 2015 discovered only about a tenth as much oil as they have annually on average since 1960. This year, they’ll probably find even less, spurring new fears about their ability to meet future demand….

        That’s a concern for the industry at a time when the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that global oil demand will grow from 94.8 million barrels a day this year to 105.3 million barrels in 2026. While the U.S. shale boom could potentially make up the difference, prices locked in below $50 a barrel have undercut any substantial growth there….

        Global inventories have been buoyed by full-throttle output from Russia and OPEC. They’ve flooded the world with oil despite depressed prices as they defend market share. But years of under-investment will be felt as soon as 2025, Bjurstroem said. Producers will replace little more than one in 20 of the barrels consumed this year, he said.

        Global spending on exploration, from seismic studies to actual drilling, has been cut to $40 billion this year from about $100 billion in 2014, said Andrew Latham, Wood Mackenzie’s vice president for global exploration….

        Kristin Faeroevik, managing director for the Norwegian unit of Lundin Petroleum AB, a Stockholm-based driller that’s active in Norway, said it will take “five-to-eight years probably before we see the impact” on production from the current cutbacks….

        Ten years down the line, when the low exploration data being seen now begins to hinder production, it will have a “significant potential to push oil prices up,” Bjurstroem said….

        “That’s a scary thing because, seriously, there is no exploration going on today, ” Per Wullf, CEO of the offshore drilling company Seadrill Ltd., said by telephone.

      • Toward the Development and Deployment of Large-Scale Carbon Dioxide Capture and Conversion Processes by Zhihong Yuan, Mario R. Eden, and Rafiqul Gani Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2016, 55 (12), pp 3383–3419 DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03277

        In light of the depletion of fossil fuels and the increased daily requirements for liquid fuels and chemicals, CO2 should indeed be regarded as a valuable C1 additional feedstock for sustainable manufacturing of liquid fuels and chemicals. Development and deployment of CO2 capture and chemical conversion processes are among the grand challenges faced by today’s scientists and engineers. Very few of the reported CO2 capture and conversion technologies have been employed for industrial installations on a large scale, where high-efficiency, cost/energy-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness are three keys factors. The CO2 capture technologies from stationary sources and ambient air based on solvents, solid sorbents, and membranes are discussed first. Transforming CO2 to liquid fuels and chemicals, which are presently produced from petroleum, through thermochemical, electrochemical, photochemical, and biochemical routes are discussed next. The relevant state-of-the-art computational methods and tools as a complement to experiments are also briefly discussed. Finally, after pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of the currently available technologies for CO2 capture and conversion, ideas and perspectives for the development of new techniques, opportunities, and challenges are highlighted.

  16. JC wrote:
    And while they’re at it, they can invest in understanding natural climate variability, so we can develop more realistic scenarios of how the climate might actually evolve over the 21st century

    That should happen first. There is no real data that shows there is or ever will be a problem, there is only climate theory and model output that indicates any problem.

    • And climate theory is far from settled. Feedbacks (clouds). Attribution ( natural variation). Adaptive Iris (drying tstorms, cirrus). Ocean thermal inertia (Trenberth nonsense)….

  17. I have to say I agree with the article and JC’s reflections. The US msm has had a lot lately about Australia where they seem to be struggling with similar issues of policy promises and politicians. One “bloke” made a comment that “trying to get sound environmental policy commitment out of a politician is like playing chess with a duck, they just poop on the board then waddle around quacking like they won the game”. He sounds frustrated. To paraphrase the Kruger excerpts, Policymakers who cloak themselves in vagueness while pointing fingers elsewhere is a lousy strategy, and from reflections “what they are doing is an extremely expensive and potentially dangerous scam”. A question, if such behavior didn’t “work” for them, why do they keep doing it and getting positions of power? Chameleon? Just trying to stay informed.

  18. “And while they’re at it, they can invest in understanding natural climate variability, so we can develop more realistic scenarios of how the climate might actually evolve over the 21st century”

    Which is what they should have done in the first place as much regional climate change is dominated by ocean modes. And if they had discovered early on that ENSO and the AMO function as negative feedbacks to solar variability, the conclusion on CO2 would have been that we need more of it.

  19. I’ll confess that I’m not the best read person on this subject, but I was under the impression that consensus and IPCC types were telling us that CO2 emissions must be reduced by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and that geoengineering and CO2 removal schemes were unreliable techno-fixes.

    • They are rapidly learning that renewables are intermittent and don’t work without nonexistant grid storage. So now its on to CCS which equally doesn’t work—but they haven’t figured that out yet.

      • Fortunately, we probably don’t need to do anything.

        It would appear that global fertility will reach replacement rate sometime within the next decade:

        So, it would appear likely that total population will begin falling within the next three decades and emissions will certainly fall with the population.

        Radiative Forcing is a function of CO2 concentration which is a function of CO2 emissions. And the ten year average rate of forcing due to CO2 is already declining:

        This is all without (purposefully) changing energy sources or capturing carbon. But add to the trends a natural proclivity toward efficiency, an aging population and commensurate slower growth, and declines in CO2 are inevitable.

        While it hasn’t, and won’t be stopping soon, we’ve already passed peak global warming.

    • Thank you for the link to your web site. It will take me a while to go through it all though, I’m old and slow, but I’m willing to learn however long it may take.

      • Judith

        I just had a read and thought this would make an Interesting article here , but before I posted it you had already chipped in. Impressive!

        The energy budget diagram in particular is very complicated. I don’t know if Rud could make something of it as the diagram and article look very interesting but it all needs a simpler interpretation

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, I’ll take a look and get back.

      • Tonyb, first read reaction. I could find no immediate glaring logic or math flaw, but also have not worked everything out for myself yet to be sure. The ‘quantization’ is fascinating, but I need to give more thought as to how and why that would be true and not coincidental. I kmow how it came about in particle physics, but want to brush up before thinking about possible analogs. My main concern re GHE is that the data is Ceres based, so mostly spans a period (this century) when no GHE was observed! So their data contains whatever natural variations are root causes– I suspect oceans, which are not part of their model but are important for ASR warming.
        There is no doubt that CO2 is a GHG. It is very likely IMO that cloud feedback is close to zero (the two hemispheres almost identical albedo despite very different circumstances and temperature profiles is one supporting observation) while Clausius-Clapeyron strongly suggests (but does not prove) that WVF should be something positive. So their decadal stability conclusion that this paragraph is wrong could be some artifice of the observational period rather than some logic flaw in the argument.
        This definitely deserves guest posting for wider exposure. Perhaps in bites. And one energy budget diagram (Stephens 2012 would be my preference) suffices for a guest post (s).

      • Rud

        Glad you took a good look st it. It does look interesting but is already a complex proposition not helped by being spread around various subjects.

        The graphic in particular is very difficult to get a handle on. I wonder if it started life a a poster? It needs the author standing next to it going through each section!

        Yes, let’s hope we see it as one or more guest posts.

        Tonyb

    • p.s. I am working to format a guest post for Miklos, but very busy at the moment

      • dogdaddyblog

        Dr. Curry: Please find the time. This needs a wide audience. Maybe a joint posting with WUWT?

        A quick reading of the paper is mind-blowing. I will spend more time on it, but the numbers seem to track.

        Dave Fair

      • Harry Twinotter

        “Maybe a joint posting with WUWT?”

        Good idea, get it out to a wider Conspiracy Theory audience. WUWT is good for that type of propaganda.

      • Harry Twinotter,

        What do we have here, another unicorn theorist?

      • Steven Mosher

        Don’t waste your pixels on cranks who think ecs is zero.
        Seriously judith

      • Don’t waste your pixels on cranks who think ecs is zero.

        Also, don’t waste time on anyone who thinks that ec will ever occur, or that ecs is a significant calculation.

      • 1. § Global warming is the consequence of more infrared absorption in the atmosphere by more CO2. More absorption means less escaping surface emission in the “atmospheric window”.

        Could be a communication issue, I suppose.

        Global warming” is a myth, and I suppose that means different mythical definitions can’t be clearly distinguished.

        But AFAIK most proponents of “global warming” would define it as the tendency of the planet to increase temperature in response to the raising of the “ERL”. The latter also being a myth, of course, but mostly because it’s such a simplistic representation of something that actually exists, and can be rigorously defined.

        Still, like Wegener, he may well have got hold of something important, even though some of the details were wrong. (IIRC Wegener’s mechanism had continents drifting over sea-floor crust, where the latter would dive under the leading continental edge and emerge from under the back edge. The evidence against that emergence was, and is, overwhelming.)

      • re ECS and EGS:
        From the corresponding paper:
        “our study says nothing about the equilibrium climate sensitivity; it only suggests that the equilibrium greenhouse sensitivity is zero.”

        re global warming:
        I put it into quotation marks, to refer to the concept. But please read the whole 1. §, not only its first sentence. … Or even the whole article (only 74 § …)

      • “From the corresponding paper:
        “our study says nothing about the equilibrium climate sensitivity; it only suggests that the equilibrium greenhouse sensitivity is zero.”

        re global warming:
        I put it into quotation marks, to refer to the concept. But please read the whole 1. §, not only its first sentence. … Or even the whole article (only 74 § …)”

        here is a hand.

        is that clear?

        try this.

        The other day a fellow emailed me with his proof that 1=2.
        pages.

        I replied. laconically.

        wrong.

        He demanded that I show him his error.

        I replied 1=2

      • SM, you did not read my comment caveats. The observational data they are working from as posted has NO observational GHE. Mostly true fact. Pause, and all that. They found this to be true in their analysis of the published constants derived from same observations. So far, so good.
        That was my main reservation about validity of longer time perspectives, clearly posted above. Your ill tempered dismissal of a major serious effort to understand climate dynamics does you no credit. He never asserted 1=2. You did. Without having done the preliminary homework I did. Why not vet the math yourself, English major?

      • re “1 = 2. wrong.”

        You are right.
        What about 1 = 1 + 0.0000000001?
        Wrong.
        And this?
        Circles = Ellipses.
        Wrong again.

        But what if the eccentricity is very small?
        If there is a dynamics?
        If there is a non-zero transient greenhouse sensitivity, even a great one, which goes back to zero after some time, because of constraints, stabilizing feedback, or the work of a principle like the least action?

        Is it a valid scientific effort to analyze the published data?

        In the very first (Easy) section, I tried to keep the length of the text on two screen pages. Constructive comments are welcome.

      • > But what if the eccentricity is very small?

        That wins you a guest post at Judy’s.

  20. Interesting observations by Mr. Kruger, not that I understood those 70+ words sentences.

    Bertrand Russell put it more succinctly
    “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

  21. Seems somebody missed a memo re CCS.

    Not only is carbon capture possible on commercial scale, it has been operating for more than one year in San Antonio, Texas.

    It is not CCS, but carbon capture and mineralization.

    http://www.expressnews.com/business/business_columnists/david_hendricks/article/Look-in-the-sky-it-s-lower-emissions-6746540.php

    • It captures only 15% of its CO2 emissions.

    • RS, you are apparently not very versed in high school level physical chemistry. Sky Mine uses NaOH (Drano) to precipitate soda ash from an aqueous plus CO2 medium. The classic high school experiment was to take a plastic quart bottle of carbonated ‘soda water’, pour out maybe half, add a teaspoon of Drano through a funnel, and quick screw the bottle cap back on tight. The bottle collapses rapidly as the CO2 is consumed and the outside now uncompensated by pCO2 air pressure crushes the bottle.
      NaOH is made by electrolysis of salt water. NaOH and Chlorine are two of the highest volume basic chemicals made industrially. Guess what. The electricity needed to make the precursor NaOH when produced by fossil fuels almost exactly produces what Sky Mines (company is Skyonics) sequesters. Actually, a bit more due to thermodynamic losses. So only way this works is if the NaOH electrolysis electricity comes from nuclear. But then just build nuclear and be done with it. Is to my delight the 6th example in the Details chapter of The Arts of Truth ebook, example number 76 in total of the opposite. Gives all the stoichiometry and chemical energy equations, with footnotes for those that did not pass high school chemistry but still willing to learn.
      Your lovely picture is a consequence of $26 million of utterly ignorant DoE grantsmanship. Total waste of ‘climate’dollars. Skyonics claimed it was economic because they would use cheap off peak electricity to make NaOH. Yes, but that does not solve the basic chemistry problem their foolish scheme cannot surmount.

      • Well, well, Ristvan, you just might learn something in all this. Despite your sneering tone above.

        I happen to be a chemical engineer who worked several years in the chlor-alkali industry and know pretty much all one need know about chlorine and caustic production economics, extraction of CO2 from a furnace flue gas, and converting the CO2 to a useable carbonate. We extracted CO2 from flue gases and made carbonates for decades in the chlor-alkali plants.

        A bit more knowledge, actually, than your “high school chemistry experiment.”

        The fellow that started Skyonic is also a chemical engineer, and has a patent on the process. (you could look it up).

        Also, as proven to you and others on this blog many times, nuclear power is by far one of the most expensive forms of electricity production on the planet.

        The beauty of a Skyonic plant is the electricity can be obtained in off-peak hours, the caustic stored for later use, so the incremental cost is essentially fuel cost and a bit of water treatment chemicals. No need to build more power plants, whether as natural gas, coal, or anything else. It works even better when the night-time excess electricity is from wind power.

        An additional beauty of a Skyonic plant is the sale of a useful chemical product, actually several products including the bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid, and common bleach. The net energy of the system is close to zero, as the competing industrial plants that produce those chemicals will reduce output.

        Don’t be too proud to learn something, and admit when you are wrong, Ristvan.

        The future is here, it is wind power, solar power, batteries in grid scale, dying off nuclear power, and coal power dwindling as economic supplies are rapidly burned up.

        If the government is so stupid as to declare CO2 a menace in the atmosphere, smart and enterprising chemical engineers such as Skyonic’s CEO and President, Joe Jones, have a proven technology to make a profit from that stupidity.

        Perhaps we will hear less and less, and eventually, nothing at all about “there are no commercial processes for removing CO2.”

        What is it that E.M. Smith says? Oh yes, an existence proof is hard to refute.

      • RS, you have yet to post any chemical engineering that might refute my post. You cannot, because it is irrefutable. You appeal to authority, I appeal to the fundamental laws of physical chemistry. I agree you can make the chemistry work; said so above. I disagree that it can net sequester CO2 absent nuclear electricity. Also said so above.
        I gather you did not enjoy the Skyonics example in the published 2012 ebook; and probably did not even bother to read it with the references. I stand by it until you can produce a valid counter analysis. Blathering posts appealing to authority without data and references do not count. You should easily be able to refute if my highnschool level chem/math is wrong, as you claim to be a chlor-alkalai chemE expert– which I am not.
        I call BS. Prove me wrong. Show your work. Skyonics may have a patent; my ebook also analyzes in detail two mistakenly issued patents on equivalents to perpetual motion (US7034935) and the holy grail of grid storage (US 7466536). Your assertions do not refute my basic Skyonics CO2 analysis. Please provide your refuting ChemE data. I will bet you cannot, cause it isnt there. You are just perpetuating a CCS scam.

      • I think sky onions could work in Germany, where they like giving huge subsidies, and they pay consumers to use the electricity surges from the gazillion wind mills they are building. The key is to get a very high subsidy which allows the sky onions plant to work say 5-10 % of the time, and then sit idle waiting for the wind to blow hard in the evening.

      • Well, well, Ristvan, you just might learn something in all this. Despite your sneering tone above.

        He won’t. Notice how he didn’t even bother to fully read your post.

      • Ristvan, how does your foot taste?

        Here are some facts:

        Skyonic plant is working as intended.

        Existing markets for its products are huge.

        Conventional manufacturers reduce their production and energy consumption.

        Skyonic uses cheap or free off-peak power for caustic production. Conventional manufacturers use higher-priced power.

        No new power plants are required.

        No risky CO2 storage underground is required. The CO2 is chemically converted to sodium carbonate and bicarbonate. CO2 will not explode out from the carbonate form.

        I hope you, Ristvan, can understand what I wrote. I stayed away from the details of chemistry, but if anyone cares to plow through that, Jones’ patent is available online.

        And the patent is valid, the plant that is based on that patent is working.

        Or, Ristvan, you can continue to make disparaging comments and further embarrass yourself.

        When you have an expert with the education and experience weigh in on a topic, you might want to listen.

      • Roger Sowell, what eventually happens to the byproducts (bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and bleach)? Could they break down in water where they would eventually reenter the atmosphere as CO2? Thanx…

      • Roger,

        You haven’t proven anything about nuclear power here, other than your bias against it.

      • Roger:

        I think the problem here is that you are talking about economic “success” and Rud is talking about net CO2 reduction. Cheap (or free) power may be great for economic success, but as long as the power comes from fossil fuels there is no net reduction in CO2, you are just moving the generation point.

      • For timg56,

        I don’t have to prove anything about the economics of nuclear power. The facts speak for themselves.

        It is hopelessly uneconomic.

        Just today in the US, the Nebraska utility announced the mid-October, 2016 closure date for its nuclear power plant. The plant is closing due to unacceptable financial losses. It is losing money.

        UK’s planned fiasco at Hinkley Point C is expected to cost nearly $10,000 per kWe and is widely publicized to have a huge subsidy for power sold.

        France cannot finish the plant at Flamanville due to questions about brittle steel in the reactor.

        China has a critical shortage of qualified nuclear builders and inspectors but build them anyway and hope they don’t melt down too soon.

        Nuclear is a disaster, based on the facts.

        See my blog and Truth About Nuclear Power for dozens of nuclear power facts.

      • > nuclear power is by far one of the most expensive forms of electricity production on the planet.

        The innermost beauty of “but nukes” reveals itself when Freedom Fighters keep arguing for the statistest energy of all.

    • This discussion is obviously an exothermic reaction.

      The protagonists are viewing the same process from different perspectives. RS says the chemistry works and RI says the physics prevents net CO2 removal.

      A full life-cycle analysis of the Skyonic process would be interesting to see. “Off peak” solar would require the addition of storage batteries while nocturnal winds would need to cooperate with the production schedule to avoid at least supplemental nuke/fossil sources of electricity. However, Skyonic says its process requires 30 percent less energy than amine-based processes. And Texas has a surplus of wind generating capacity. So the economics may be strongly competitive even if one ignores the carbon question.

      But, of course, the big question is carbon capture. In that regard, it seems certain that expanding this process to large-scale electricity generation (up from the comparatively tiny carbon source of cement production) would overwhelm the economy’s demand for these chemical products. So isn’t this discussion a tempest in a cement teapot?

      • Skymine is producing baking soda, hydrochloric acid and bleach claiming that most of their carbon reduction is putting manufacturers of baking soda, hydrochloric acid and bleach out of business. Consolidating chemical manufacturing with cement production doesn’t sound as “groundbreaking” as sucking CO2 out of the sky, but combining processes with one power source to increase efficiency is a good way of getting things do.

        However, exactly how much baking soda, hydrochrolic acid and bleach are we going to need?

      • btw, this is a fairly typical argument that happens when wannabe polymaths bent on saving the world get involved. The climate change activists hatred of coal is a lot like the FoodBabe’s hatred of chemicals she cannot pronounce. With secondary processes like using waste heat to dry municipal waste (sterilize) prior to recycling you have increased the efficiency of both processes. Then you can add the sterilized but not profitable waste to the combustion cycle and recycle what is worth recycling. Ash blended with compost, sand and some charcoal reduces the need for straight fertilizing.

        Now the wannabe polymath will shout this cannot be done! Done all the time when regulations allow engineers to give it a go.

        Ash though is a “big” problem because a good activist can find an increase of 1 or 2 parts per billion of some toxin and keep the plant in court for a decade or so. All the while outsourcing real pollution to some third world nation with squat of regulation.

        Skymine, backed by “big” chemical and “big” oil might be able to stealthy get things done by confusing the polymaths.

      • However, exactly how much baking soda, hydrochrolic acid and bleach are we going to need?

        The standard electrolytic process for creating straight chlorine gas (Cl2) also creates sodium hydroxide (NaOH). By diverting that NaOH to carbon capture (ambient or stack), capture can take place with negligible additional energy use.

        The market for chlorine gas is not only huge, but can reasonably be expected to expand as more of the world demands safe drinking water.

        There is a process (using bipolar membranes) that can separate NaCl into NaOH (Na+) and HCl (Cl-). It uses much less energy than electrolysis, but I doubt there’s that much market for HCl. That process is still in lab/pilot mode (AFAIK).

        The standard process also creates hydrogen (H2) which can be burned to recover 50-70% of the input energy, or used with CO2 to produce methane, which can be fed into the existing infrastructure with an energy round-trip efficiency of ~30%.

      • AK, “The standard process also creates hydrogen (H2) which can be burned to recover 50-70% of the input energy, or used with CO2 to produce methane, which can be fed into the existing infrastructure with an energy round-trip efficiency of ~30%.”

        I believe that is called “synfuel” which is scary to ClimateBabes. Perhaps we can call it skyfuel and confuse them.

      • Skyonics issued patent does not repeal the physical CO2 chemistry you have yet to refute. I provided the high school chem experiment proving the chemistry works. The simple chemE problem is CO2 net sequestration in the absence of nuclear electricity producing Drano.
        My second ebook also cites at least three other issued US patents that constitute the equivalent of ‘perpetual motion’, while pointing out why: see US6024936, US7379286, and US7466536. Each another separate example of the Arts of Truth. You really need to learn more physics and physical chemistry before opining here against my research. You only display both your ignorance and your biases.

      • Curious George

        Roger, I’ll reproduce here the full text of your reference:
        “It took awhile, but the first-of-its-kind plant built by Austin-based Skyonic Corp. is up and running, bringing to life the dream of profitable carbon capture.”

        Is it really the best data you have?

    • RS, it’s hard to believe you think this SkyPie thing can compete with this:

      Freeport began as the original location of Dow’s U.S. Gulf Coast presence in the 1940s. The site was selected because of its strategic proximity to seawater, natural gas reserves and salt domes, and access to a large harbor that provides waterway loading and procurement capability. Chlor alkali production began at the site in 1944, with brine mining and hydrocarbon operations at nearby Stratton Ridge commencing in 1948. Today, Freeport is Olin’s largest chlor alkali vinyl site.

      https://www.olinchloralkali.com/en-us/Locations/Freeport-TX

      • For jim2, one would think so, right?

        The competing issues are these: (I’ve been in that Dow Freeport complex several times, as disclosure. What I did there is confidential, though).

        First, Dow at Freeport makes market-grade caustic, meaning at least 50 percent strength. That requires energy-intensive evaporation. Skymine uses dilute caustic without the evaporation step.

        Second, Dow at Freeport has huge economy of scale, but Skymine is much smaller. Skymine capital costs per ton of product are therefore higher.

        However, Dow must transport its caustic to market, but Skymine is onsite and has no transportation costs.

        Third, Dow uses onsite cogeneration to provide electricity and steam, but Skymine purchases grid power mostly in off-peak hours and prices.

        Fourth, Dow has had decades to engineer and fine-tune its operation at Freeport, Skyonic has built their first commercial-scale plant.

        Skyonic will have much room to optimize and reduce capital costs and perhaps operating costs in future plants. Next generation plants will likely be larger, if anyone is still running coal-fired power plants, that is. Those are shutting down in record numbers in the US.

      • I wonder how the costs/benefits would work out for solar-powered sky-mine on-site at water treatment plants with no grid access?

        Sodium bicarbonate would be easy to ship.

      • It appears they have only one customer so far. We’ll see how it works out.

    • For David Jay, re August 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm |

      “I think the problem here is that you are talking about economic “success” and Rud is talking about net CO2 reduction. Cheap (or free) power may be great for economic success, but as long as the power comes from fossil fuels there is no net reduction in CO2, you are just moving the generation point.”

      The industrial chemicals and commodities markets are huge, so it is almost pointless to try to quantify gains and losses in CO2 emissions from various power plants that use different fuels (or none at all), then various carbonate production processes with their own efficiencies and economics.

      In the ideal market, with a static demand over time, a new low-cost entrant will drive out the highest-cost producer. It remains to be seen if Skyonic’s San Antonio plant can compete long-term.

      It is also unclear how much of Skyonic’s plant’s power input is from renewable wind power. It may very well be wind power, with the night winds that blow in Texas.

      On the other hand, incremental electrical production is usually from gas-fired power plants, usually CCGT. A night-time load such as Skyonic’s plant would allow the CCGT to produce a bit more power, moving it slightly upward on its efficiency curve.

      All this is very site-specific and certainly not easy to quantify.

    • For afonzarelli, re August 31, 2016 at 10:54 am

      “Roger Sowell, what eventually happens to the byproducts (bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and bleach)? Could they break down in water where they would eventually reenter the atmosphere as CO2? Thanx…”

      The answer of course depends on the end use for the products. HCl does not produce CO2 on its own, and neither does common bleach.

      The bicarbonate can break down and release CO2 into the atmosphere, for example if it is used in baking breads. Bicarbonate is also fed to cattle to improve their digestion. Whether that forms CO2 in gaseous form or remains dissolved in a liquid, I don’t know.

      So, to answer the question you posed, “could they…eventually reenter the atmosphere as CO2?” the answer is yes, the CO2 in the bicarbonate could do, under some conditions.

    • This document should silence the critics, even Ristvan, although the chemistry and engineering economics may be a bit above his ability to grasp (note this is real inorganic chemistry and serious chemical engineering, not some Drano-in-a-bottle high school chemistry experiment).

      http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1027801

      Title: “SkyMine® Carbon Mineralization Pilot Project – Final Phase 1 Topical Report” (2011)

      This report includes a “comprehensive carbon life-cycle analysis” that was prepared by chemical engineers at Skyonic and professional chemical engineers at a noted Engineering, Procurement and Construction firm, Ford, Bacon and Davis. The carbon life-cycle analysis begins on page 83 and extends over the next 20 pages.

      In a nutshell, using simple words so that Ristvan can follow along, the Skymine plant is a net-negative CO2-producer. Skymine plant in San Antonio produces approximately 150,000 MTPY of sodium bicarbonate. The existing production method of sodium bicarbonate that mines trona (a mineral) and from that produces sodium bicarbonate, reduces output by that 150,000 MTPY.

      By producing sodium bicarbonate in a Skymine plant, and leaving the trona in the ground, all consumers get their sodium bicarbonate but the world has less CO2 in the atmosphere. Trona is a stable mineral that does not spontaneously decompose and release CO2.

      The Skymine plant uses approximately 30 percent less energy than the trona mining process. In addition, the trona mining process burns coal, so it is more CO2-intensive than the Skymine plant. The Skymine plant uses grid electricity, mostly at night, that has incremental power from a CCGT plant. Skymine plant also uses low-grade waste heat from the cement plant.

      The CO2-negative attribute increases as more renewable power sources on the grid are used to power the Skymine plant.

      To make the plant even better on an energy basis, the byproducts Chlorine, hydrogen, and bleach all are produced at much lower energy consumption than commercial, existing operating chlor-alkali plants. This is discussed in some detail on pages 85-86.

      Dr. Judith Curry, surely this patented technology in an actual, operating plant is deserving of its own blog post here. I will have a post on my blog shortly.

  22. I love this line:

    “Some will defend the use of these technological imaginaries in IPCC scenarios by arguing that without them hopes of avoiding dangerous climate change are forlorn and that this would generate a degree of despair that would undermine the will to act.”

    Yep, we are all spineless wusses, afraid of not only our shadow, but everything else. Woe, woe, woe, nothing but despair, disaster and depression to look forward to.

  23. Why does it matter if the emission pathways models rely on magic and pixie dust? The GCM models they rely on are crap at prediction. Meaning they really don’t know how much carbon needs to be sequestered.

  24. Ya’ll fell for the trap.

    1. Substitute 1.5C for 2.C
    2. Reject the notion that negative emissions technology will advance as
    fast as other technologies.
    3. Exempt developing countries.

    the there is only one solution.

    de growth

    • Nope. SM, you should read up more. You are surprisingly shallow in many areas related to CAGW. Re #2:
      CCS is subject to physical and chemical laws. On those grounds alone, it will fail unless adjacent to depleted nat gas fields of unusual geology and groundwater. Do you know why the Decatur IL experiment failed? They were injecting into a deep sandstone formation. Well, those are not dry; they are saturated with briny formation solutions. And the CO2 plus brine salts formed ‘scale’ (hard carbonates) that plugged the sandstone pores in weeks around the injection well. Chemical failure. Google can educate you here.
      Now go find a ‘dry’ depleted gas reservoir, or one without brine underlying the remaining gas cap. Good luck with that.

      • rud,

        CCS is subject to physical and chemical laws. On those grounds alone, it will fail unless adjacent to depleted nat gas fields of unusual geology and groundwater.

        I agree!!. CCS has negligible prospects of making a significant contribution. It suffers from requiring engineering in rock at depth. The failur of Hot Fractured Rock Geothermal (HFR) and Engineerered Geothermal Systems (EGS) to achieve their promise are a relevant analogue.

    • C’mon, Moshpit – you should celebrate that for once Judy agrees with Kevin Anderson about something.

    • Mosher:

      the there is only one solution.

      de growth

      Your suggested solution is dead wrong. That solution has no chance of succeeding.

      The solution that will succeed is the opposite of what you advocate: maximise economic growth for the whole world – especially the poorest countries and remove the mass of impediments that are preventing them from getting cheap low emissions energy to replace fossil fuels.

      The faster the world develops the faster resiliance will improve, energy technology transitions will happen, and the negative environmental impacts of energy use will reduce.

      • Peter, nice idea, BUT, it ain’t going to happen… Economic policy is such that economies world wide are deliberately held to slower growth than what you are suggesting. The u.s. federal reserve sets interest rates so that the unemployment rate is deliberately held high at no less than 4% here in the states. And how the u.s. goes the rest of the world inevitably follows as a consequence. The reason that they do this is to keep inflation low and to foster greater economic stability. (the former reason i think is dubious, the later may have some merit) Poverty is built into the system and has been since WW2. It ain’t likely that will ever change…

      • “Your suggested solution is dead wrong. That solution has no chance of succeeding.”

        Its not my solution.

        read harder..

      • Your comment doesn’t make sense. Go to classes and learn to write English!

      • Everything after the word “trap” was a line of logic he was attributing to the “trap”.

        He was describing tendentious pseudo-logic intended to “prove” the need for “de growth”, which was the point of the “trap”. (By the trappers, not by him.)

        I didn’t have any trouble understanding it, but then it fed into my own (confirmation) bias. And he’s admitted he wrote it with me in mind.

        Hope this helps.

    • John Carpenter

      De growth is a non starter with expanding population

      Solution, population contraction

      • That’s what environmentalists want. Problem is none of them want to volunteer to be the first to go. You can always lead the way John.

      • that will be the other trap..

        Like I said this path of argument is a trap

        AK gets it.

      • AK gets it.

        That’s because I’ve always regarded “global warming” as primarily a stalking horse for socialist agenda(s).

        It makes a better stalking horse when it’s a real problem. Or at least a real risk. (The risk is the problem.)

        And of course, nobody seems to want to think about the other risks of digging up all the fossil carbon and dumping it into the system.

      • > That’s because I’ve always regarded “global warming” as primarily a stalking horse for socialist agenda(s).

        Another scientific comment.

      • OR, mosh, we could humbly recognize that human emissions (for whatever reason) don’t effect the carbon growth rate anyway… The CO2 growth rate has indeed been tracking with temperature since the inception of the MLO data set well over have a century ago. It would be incumbent upon policy makers to at the very least to wait and see if this correlation continues to hold true going forward. If the future is anything like the past (half century), we have nothing to worry about because there is nothing we can do about it anyway…

      • “have a century” should read “half a century”

      • > It would be incumbent upon policy makers to at the very least to wait and see if this correlation continues to hold true going forward.

        Until when?

      • Until the correlation finally breaks with reality. It hasn’t done so for well over half a century, so at this point there’s no real reason to think that will change…

      • > Until the correlation finally breaks with reality.

        You’ll only accept AGW when GW will stop correlating with CO2?

      • I can’t recall…

        http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/clinton-told-fbi-couldnt-recall-key-details-26-times/

        why it makes any difference when you won’t even remember why anyone would vote for her now, will you?

      • It’s a neat trick. If CO2 rises as temperature rises, AGW must be wrong. And if they don’t rise together, then AGW must still be wrong.

        It’s probably just easier to say “there’s literally no evidence that could change my mind”.

      • “OR, mosh, we could humbly recognize that human emissions (for whatever reason) don’t effect the carbon growth rate anyway…

        too funny.

        wait I know we emit carbon… and unicorns remove it!!!!

        then some unknown leprechaun

        emits carbon as well and thats why concentrations go up..

        Unicorns and Leprachauns

        What can we do?

        A simple test

        switch all coal to Nuclear. we will save lives and test your crazy notions

      • Mosh….that graph you show is BS……ther vertical scales were adjusted to make seem as though the amount co2 caused the ppm increases…..

        5.5E9 tons is equivalent to 1ppm…..the area under the blue line is the total weight of co2 emitted. So about 22 x 40 = 880 btons. The increase in ppm is 5.5E9 btons/ppm x 70ppm = 385 btons…..

        So where did this 500 btons go?

        The sinks converted it to carbonates.the increase in the ppm is pretty linear. …therefore in 1970 the sinks were removing about an extra 9 btons. Now they are removing an extra 20 Btons above pre industrial levels…which is more than we were emitting in 1970.

        In addition to this 880 btons we burned….we also cut down an unknown godly number of trees releasing how much co2…….

        Are you sure that you can tell me that the burning of fossil fuels is the sole reason for co2 increase……professor Salby may have a valid point

        So what happens to the sinks when we reach 500 ppm………maybe the sinks start absorbing an extra 40 btons/ yr…..and man is unable to increase the co2 levels any higher

      • There is one other thing….if the amount of trees we cut down is greater than or equal to 385 btons…..which I don’t think is unreasonable then we don’t have to cut down co2 emissions…..all we need to do is not cut down trees. ….and it will stay at 400 ppm

      • The correlation is simply because the natural sink is less effective when it is warmer, so more of the emissions stay in the atmosphere in those years. This is quite easy to understand for most people.

      • This is not is what is happening though….it is clearly warmer today than in 1970…,,, but the sinks have responded by removing more co2

      • > Are you sure that you can tell me that the burning of fossil fuels is the sole reason for co2 increase…

        What’s the sound of a deaf unicorn who farts in a wood where nobody hears?

        Don’t cut trees, kids – make sure we never hear.

      • The other factor is that the removal rate depends on how far from equilibrium the CO2 level is. It is getting farther, so the removal rate gets higher. Think of it like a relaxation term to a CO2 level at the surface. Natural processes often have this relaxation time scale characteristic. As it is, nature can’t keep up with the emission rate. It’s time scale is longer than the emission addition time scale. However, year-to-year variations impact the natural sink’s time scale, which is why there is a correlation between the sink and temperature,

      • Ok…found a figure for deforestation…..between 2000 and 2005.. About 3 btons/yr.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/stop-deforestation/deforestation-global-warming-carbon-emissions.html#.V8ofEIY8KK0

        Let’s estimate 80 btons between 1970 and 2010…. That bumps up the current sink increase to about 23 btons/yr. ….the increase in ppm is about 1.5 ppm/yr……x 5.5 is about 8 btons /yr……so the figures are jiving

        That leaves a deficit of about 8 btons/yr……if we conserve about 15% energy usage….and not deforest……ppm will not increase……

      • Simple question James..

        BUT FOR our emissions would c02 levels be higher or lower?

      • Well mosh….it would be hard to argue that the increase to 400 ppm is not caused by the industrial revolution. But I think that somewhere around 50 percent is due to the burning of fossil fuels. The rest is due to the other man made factors

    • Ya’ll fell for the trap.

      Not me.

      I know the whole “sequestration won’t work/is too expensive” meme is a straw man. Just like “BECCS” is a red herring.

      • AK, your ‘faith’ in technical progress everywhere is sadly misplaced. You need to read more history of science, and more histories of technical progress. Even maybe my peer reviewed article on a new productivity paradigm, SMJ 13: 525-527 (1992).

      • Gains are likely to be highest in newer products or technologies with rapidly expanding markets, low accumulated experience, and immature process and product technologies. The larger the base of existing economic activity, the less likely these conditions are to prevail in equivalent proportion to overall economic activity, and the more likely the negative drag of complexity.

        Precisely! And ambient CO2 extraction are brand-new and very “immature process and product technologies

        We have found only one unifying explanation. Simultaneous doubling of labor productivity, asset productivity, and complexity is an automatic consequence of halving cycle times, or equivalently doubling throughput rates. […] Heuristically, if everything is twice as fast then complexity is not a problem when doubling basic product variety.

        And replacing human reflexes with “smart” automation could well improve speed. This will especially apply to the early parts of manufacturing ambient CO2 extraction equipment, as prototype and pilot designs are replaced by more easily manufactured designs as a result of experience.

        IMO there’s a tendency in people who think in “formulas” to neglect the broader picture: in this case “experience” doesn’t just apply to routine workers on an assembly line, but to the whole industry, including its academic R&D component. Holistically.

      • Yes AK..

        I made that post with you in mind.

        Me… On c02 removal.. Just call me a fan of the singularity
        we aint seen nothing yet.

        Still, it makes sense to place a hedge bet ( carbon tax ) and reserve that for adaptation and accelerating the acceleration of technology.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Dedicating Federal tax revenue to a particular purpose. Ha!

      • Still, it makes sense to place a hedge bet ( carbon tax ) and reserve that for adaptation and accelerating the acceleration of technology.

        There might be better ways to pay for “accelerating the acceleration of technology.

        As for adaptation: since there’s no way to distinguish effects of “AGW” from existing levels of extreme events, why not forget about a carbon tax and just call it “foreign aid”?

        It’s my guess part of the US’s success during the Cold War was the amount of industry within the US that was funded by government “foreign aid” that came home to buy. Just a guess, mind.

        But I can certainly imagine China gearing up for something like that right now.

      • > I know the whole “sequestration won’t work/is too expensive” meme is a straw man.

        You keep using that word, AK.

        What you seem to mean is red herring.

        OTOH, your ““sequestration won’t work/is too expensive” meme” is a straw man.

        That’s not what the authors say.

      • > As for adaptation: since there’s no way to distinguish effects of “AGW” from existing levels of extreme events, why not forget about a carbon tax and just call it “foreign aid”?

        One abides by the “polluters pay” principle.

        The other does not.

      • That’s not what the authors say.

        That, in effect, is what SM said.

        One abides by the “polluters pay” principle.

        According to my proposal, that would be “double jeopardy”.

      • > That, in effect, is what SM said.

        Then you fell for his straw man.

        The authors do not exclude “today’s science fiction” forever – they argue against positing magical can openers.

        If we want to dispute that argument, we could either contest the requirement they impose, or we could provide the evidence they claim is lacking.

      • If we want to dispute that argument, we could either contest the requirement they impose, or we could provide the evidence they claim is lacking.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/30/climate-policy-fake-it-til-you-make-it/#comment-807837

        See also the thread above.

      • Thanks for the citation, AK.

        It goes in the right direction, since it gives a ballpark:

        Our results show that technological progress is forecastable, with the square root of the logarithmic error growing linearly with the forecasting horizon at a typical rate of 2.5% per year. These results have implications for theories of technological change, and assessments of candidate technologies and policies for climate change mitigation.

        That’s the only time they mention climate change mitigation in the text, however, which may indicate that there’s still lots of work to do before meeting Geden et al’s challenge.

        Your citation also points toward a review of the lichurchur, which is always nice to have.

    • the there is only one solution. de growth

      Completely wrong.

      Economic growth correlates with increased energy efficiency, and,
      economic growth correlates with decreasing fertility.

      Increased energy efficiency means decreased CO2 per capita.
      Decreased fertility means decreased number of emitters.

      There is only one solution: increased economic development

      • BTW, this, not climate science, is the crux of the matter. And this is why the subject is so political.

        It is the implied back end(gummit doing something about agw) that motivates people ( emotionally ) to consider all else. Implied, of course, is that global warming is a problem that even needs fixing. But those that buy the (unproven) postulate think that governments have to do something.

        I think that the secular factors ( population decline and economic development ) will already change future CO2 and that governments would only worsen the problems ( I’m from the gummit, I’m here to help ).

      • BTW, I had the impression that you were Liber-topian. Was I mistaken?

      • TE
        Thanks for you input. You cheer me up which is unusal on the web.

        The developing would and reduction of poverty, plus clean water and sewage treatment will greatly improve the lives of millions. Maybe billions of humans. When economic sources of energy become available, what ever the source many lives will be improved.

        In the meantime rich California and other states can go forward experimenting with distributed solar and improving panels for cost and life cycle. Wind as well but it kills too many raptors. Study I saw documented 10% death per year of golden eagle population in Altamant pass area. But improvements are continuing.

        Coal remains a substantial source in the world and NOx, SOx and Hg emissions are greatly reduced. So with population natural reduction and concern with clean water and sewage, provision of electricity for cooking over wood and dung fires, and other developed world improvements the woruld is on an upward trajectory. Carbon emissions are a distraction which natural evolve away.
        Scott

      • I guess you missed the sarcasm.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Mr. Mosher, not all of us can differentiate sarcasm from Wandering in the Weeds.

      • sorry doggy

        I like to throw AK some slow curveballs so he can hit it out of the park

        makes the game more fun

      • Mr. Mosher, thank you for your unstinting efforts on behalf of the Special Olympics baseball players, when you are not out Wandering in the Weeds.

        You are right; it is fun watching some players trying to tie their shoes in the infield.

  25. JC

    Nail — you have been squarely hit on the head.

    I disagree! The underlying premise is that GHG emissions need to be controlled. Despite me asking repeatedly, no one yet has provided convincing evidence and argument demonstrating that GHG emissions are doing or will do more harm than good.

    Policy makers need to put forward more realistic plans for dealing with climate change

    Why? Is AGW, or GHG emissions harmful? If so show the evidence – in Net economic damage to the planet.

    Note for Alarmists: there is no point saying the IAMs say so or SCC so estimated $37/t CO2 or whatever unless you can show the empirical evidence to calibrate the damage functions used in the IAMs or other models. Read what IPCC AR5 WG3, Chapter 3 has to say about the empirical evidence used to calibrate the damage function.

    • PL IMHO you have hit the nail on the head!

      On the other hand JC has come such a long way from where she was that she needs to be cut some slack.

    • That wasn’t my first impression. Sounds more like he was trying to make a point to a hostile audience. Use terms like realistic in a piece in the Guardian. Those guys give me apoplexy. This week they threatened my coffee. Call ‘em like you see ‘em.

  26. OK, he neglected to say what his preferred option and scenario for 2100 was. Does he want the BAU 700 ppm and rising at that stage or a stabilized climate at <500 ppm which is achievable without BECCS with a serious effort along the lines of the IPCC 2 C scenarios? We don't know. Maybe his indication is he prefers to abandon BECCS as a possibility for this century, so no one should even try. Is that it? He made absolutely no recommendations. Nuclear? Renewables/Storage? Just give up on everything?

  27. Svante Arrhenius wished for a warmer world. Judging from plant growth in Antarctica, so do most plants.

    Plants love CO2 – it’s their food source, after all.

    The world seems to have stopped warming for the last few years, or at least has slowed.

    The answer is obviously to produce more CO2, producing more food and better growing conditions for the plants on which we depend.

    Seems logical to me.

    Cheers.

  28. This might be a lot easier than you think. If they genetically engineer the plankton to convert the co2 to carbonates faster….they would probably have a significant advantage over the plankton now because of the increase co2 levels. They could just increase the carbon sinks appreciably.

    • “If they genetically engineer the plankton to convert the co2 to carbonates faster…”

      It may not be necessary to engineer anything.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894903/

      From the article:

      “Every indication so far suggests that marine phytoplankton have the potential to evolve in response to global change, both by sorting standing variation in fitness and by using de novo mutation. The statement that large phytoplankton populations can evolve on timescales of years or decades is not surprising…”

      • I’m sure they could evolve pretty quickly…..but is that evolution going to include increased rates of co2 conversion. …there is evidence that the sinks have been increasing…..probably more plankton….not sure if there are getting more efficient. …..seems like we could do this…..

  29. Better technology will emerge – all we have now will be outdated

    • yes and faster than many of you think

      • So…

        Have you reversed your position on “stuff”?

      • It doesn’t look like Kurzweil is a full-bore, card-carrying member of the techno-utopians’ club.

        RAY KURZWEIL: Not every technology progresses exponentially. It’s specifically information technologies, their price performance and capacities progress at an exponential manner. (minute 00:05:07)

      • He’s wrong. Many other technologies (although you could say that the knowledge/learning required is informational).

        Not all, though. And most of the non-IT technologies have a smaller growth rate than Moore’s 18-month doubling.

      • > most of the non-IT technologies have a smaller growth rate than Moore’s 18-month doubling.

        The paper you just cited makes a connection between Moore and Wright laws.

      • The singularity man. When will you become immortal Kurzweil? Do your accelerating technology faster. I want to become the Terminator in my lifetime

      • The paper you just cited makes a connection between Moore and Wright laws.

        Yes, and it’s one I would cite* if challenged on saying Kurzweil’s wrong. But it also shows significantly slower cost decline (growth) rates for most technologies.

        Solar PV, for instance, shows a 5-6 year halving of cost. Kurzweil has repeatedly discussed the exponential deployment growth of solar (2-year doubling), but I noticed with this video that he doesn’t seem to mention the price decline. IMO that’s a mistake on his part.

        * If I hadn’t already cited it multiple times in these threads.

  30. Geoff Sherrington

    People with no experience in the cost and feasibility of moving the immense tonnes of CO2 that are being discussed should tone down their arguments. Just handling those tonnes that prefer to be gas, not convenient solid or liquid, makes the CCS concept improbable to impossible at this time. You can’t do a simple scale up from a tonne a day to a million tonnes an hour. Gas compressors are currently far too small, making them bigger takes engineering to new levels where it cannot be assumed that there will be success.
    Many schemes that try chemistry to convert CO2 to carbonates etc have a circularity of logic of energy flow that approaches perpetual motion wishful thinking. Natural gas is a popular energy source because it takes out so much energy that it leaves residues in a low state requiring massive energy input to reverse.
    It is turtles dreaming all the way down.
    Solution – go back to go, do honest assessments of the GHG hypothesis instead of wishful thinking, do as Peter Lang stresses and calculate damage functions honourably. A possible outcome is that it will be found adequate policy to do nothing.
    Geoff.

  31. Harry Twinotter

    Dr Judith Curry.

    “There simply is no conceivable pathway to reducing CO2 concentrations (through emissions reductions or carbon sequestration) on the timescales put forth by the Paris Agreement.”

    Your opinion – now would you like to give us some facts and figures?

    You political and ideological bias is on show again.

    • I’m sure the unicorns can click their heels three times and make all that wonderful carbon sequestration come true.

      Don’t you believe in magic?

    • Political and ideological bias? She used to be one of them, but jumped ship! The very fact that she did bail demonstrates that she’s motivated by the science not any ideological bias. Is it too much to ask of you to be polite to the host(ess) of a blog? (And Dr. Curry, is it too much of a blog visitor to ask that you DELETE insulting comments directed at the host?)

      • not any ideological bias…

        Yeah, hangin’ out with Lamar Smith, Ted Cruz, and the NOAA whistle blowers… lol.

        Go to your church now and pray for the salvation stadium wave.

      • Again, more shallow analysis from JCH. Is it too much to ask that you be polite, too?

      • Harry Twinotter

        afonzarelli.

        “And Dr. Curry, is it too much of a blog visitor to ask that you DELETE insulting comments directed at the host?)”

        Dr Curry may censor my comments or block me if she wishes. It is her blog so it is her prerogative. No skin off my nose, it won’t change climate science and the scientific evidence for AGW one little bit.

      • Harry Twinotter said:

        Dr Curry may censor my comments or block me if she wishes. It is her blog so it is her prerogative. No skin off my nose, it won’t change climate science and the scientific evidence for AGW one little bit.

        Hate to break it to you, Harry, but,

        climate change science empirical evidence for AGW

        And I’ll leave it up to someone else to try to figure out what “scientific evidence” means.

    • Since when do swimming rodents know what to do with facts and figures?

    • Read my 1000 + blog posts and then get back to me.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Oooohh! The arrogant Twinotter B-Slapped!

        Before a bunch of Nervous Nellies get their Panties in a Wad, realize that I don’t care that Sob Sisters Gossip about me.

        Come on! Whip me with that Domatrix PC Flail. I’ll Swoon with Palpitations and Vapors.

  32. Pingback: Climate policy: Fake it’til you make it | Horizon 2020 Funding

  33. Unicorn, O’ Unicorn!
    I think about you in the morn’
    I post about you late at night,
    To make the climate science right!

    Andrew

    • The unicorn theorists (Harry Twinotter, Steven Mosher, brandonrgates, Willard, etc.) that believe that magical beings can make things happen in the physical world has precedents that go back hundreds of years in the Western tradition.

      Música y liturgia
      https://musicaliturgia.wordpress.com/

      Then there were the Salem Witch Trials.

      CAGW skeptics, however, would like to see some physical, empirical, and forensic evidence that demonstrates cause and effect — and beyond a reasonable doubt — before we condemn fossil fuels to death.

      • Trolls are real. Monsters invoking magical creatures because they can’t explain things like the wiggles on a temperature graph.

        That’s what climate science is these days.

        Anyone else think we can do better?

        Andrew

      • Harry Twinotter

        Glenn Stehle.

        “CAGW skeptics, however, would like to see some physical, empirical, and forensic evidence that demonstrates cause and effect — and beyond a reasonable doubt — before we condemn fossil fuels to death.”

        Plenty of scientific evidence is available for any true skeptic who wants to go look. Not to mention the views of the majority of climate scientists who also access such scientific evidence.

      • “Plenty of scientific evidence is available for any true skeptic who wants to go look.”

        There isn’t. I looked.

        Andrew

      • Harry Twinotter said:

        Plenty of scientific evidence is available for any true skeptic who wants to go look. Not to mention the views of the majority of climate scientists who also access such scientific evidence.

        There’s that term “scientific evidence” again.

        Can anybody tell me what “scientific evidence” means?

      • That you even have to ask may explain why you persistently mistake those who argue from evidence backed by physical theory with religious zealots.

      • brandonrgates said:

        That you even have to ask may explain why you persistently mistake those who argue from evidence backed by physical theory with religious zealots.

        “Evidence backed by physical theory”?

        There you go with your loopy, upside down “logic” again.

        Most philosophers of science would argue that theory should be backed by the evidence, and not vice versa.

        You are, nevertheless, confirming something that many have already concluded: that too many climate scientists manufacture evidence so that it backs up their theory.

      • > Most philosophers of science would argue that theory should be backed by the evidence, and not vice versa.

        Our Man from Mexico strikes again, a thunderous lightening bolt that destroys a typo with straw man:

        Norwood Russell Hanson (August 17, 1924 – April 18, 1967) was an American philosopher of science. Hanson was a pioneer in advancing the argument that observation is theory-laden — that observation language and theory language are deeply interwoven — and that historical and contemporary comprehension are similarly deeply interwoven. His single most central intellectual concern was the comprehension and development of a logic of discovery.

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

        Evidence too needs to be backed up.

      • willard,

        Do try to keep up.

        The issues you are pointing out have already been covered on this thread:

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/30/climate-policy-fake-it-til-you-make-it/#comment-808120

        Neither rationalism nor empiricism offer fool-proof methods of gleaning scientific truths.

        That’s why we fall back on a third method: dialogue. Just what do you believe all that publishing of theory and evidence in scientific journals is about, anyway?

        Dialogue, as we have observed, unfortunately has its warts too. We see this in the scientific journals, which have become so irredeemably corrupt, partial, and biased.

        And if the CAGW extremists were to get their way, they would force dialogue to disappear altogether. Fortunately, for at least the time being, they did not get their way:

        How the Exxon Case Unraveled
        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2016/08/31/how_the_exxon_case_unraveled_390368.html

        The Wall Street Journal piece is behind a paywall, but here’s an inteview of the author that isn’t behind a paywall:

        http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000547352

      • > The issues you are pointing out have already been covered on this thread: […]

        And then our Man from Mexico links to the comment to which I respond and in which we find the usual claptrap about theory and evidence, with the contrarian conspiration that scientists fabricate evidence as a bonus.

        You just can’t make this up.

        Theory and evidence go hand in hand. A “dialogue” if our Man from Mexico, who’ll soon rediscover Hegel, wills.

      • “CAGW skeptics, however, would like to see some physical, empirical, and forensic evidence that demonstrates cause and effect — and beyond a reasonable doubt — before we condemn fossil fuels to death.”

        This is too funny.

        Glenn. Science doesnt work like a court room.

        1. There is no person severing as Judge. There is only the canon,
        what has been accepted.
        2. There is no single prosecutor
        3. There is no defense attorney
        4. there is no presumption of innocence.
        5. there is no standard of reasonable doubt.

        if a court room operated like science… 10 lawyers would come
        in and speak to a crowd of hundreds of other lawyers.
        Those 10 lawyers would each bring a suspect or group of suspects
        and present a case which assembled all the evidence they could muster
        to show why it is more likely than not that their client committed the crime.Nobody would be charged with defending that client. It would be 10 guys saying “MY CLIENT DID IT!” ..

        The skeptic is the guy who walks in and says “None of you eliminated unicorns”

        And the scientists would say..

        Go find a unicorn!!. bring it to court. prove a case against it. Until then
        BUG OFF. you dont belong here. you have no standing. We dont listen to
        philosophical skeptics, we have a job to do. you want to have a voice..
        Bring us a damn SUSPECT. This is our court, our rules, you have ZERO say in the matter. You want dialog? start by writing a paper.

        next.

        A personal hint.

        Understand the battle field.

        You have absolutely zero chance on the philosophy playing field.

      • Steven, you could say the same thing about shamanism.

      • All one has to to do is note that Mosher’s long-winded non-response is decidedly lacking in the cause and effect (scientific) evidence that is the issue.

        He did sneakily slide in ‘Unicorn’ a couple of times, though.

        What a clown.

        Andrew

      • Nobody would be charged with defending that client.

        That’s what contrarians are for.

      • Steven Mosher,

        The only thing that is “too funny” is how you and your ilk spend so much time on this forum, and for no other end than to make a bunch of damned fools out of yourselves.

        Does your unbridled arrogance and sense of superiority — both intellectual and moral — know no limits?

        But of course it’s all a bluff, compensatory in nature.

        Hay gente que es puritita mula, y se cree caballo de carrera, as the Mexican saying goes. (There are people who are pure mules, but believe themselves to be race horses.)

        Where’s your interest in particiating in a real horse race? Kip Hansen has repeatedly offered you the opportunity:

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/29/refocusing-the-usgcrp/#comment-807866

        It looks like it’s time for you to either put up or shut up.

    • “scientific evidence”

      In AGW circles, “scientific evidence” is anything that can be used to promote your position (even if its faulty).

      That’s why Warmers tend to look like used car salesmen.

      Andrew

      • I still think Hannah Arendt said it best:

        [I]t is true that without Kant’s unshackling of speculative thought the rise of German idealism and its metaphysical systems would hardly have been possible.

        But the new brand of philosophers — Fichte, Schelling, Hegel — would scarcely have pleased Kant.

        Liberated by Kant from the old school dogmatism and its sterile exercises, encouraged by him to indulge in speculative thinking, they actually took their cue from Descartes, went looking for certainty, blurred once again the distinguishing line between thought and knowledge, and believed in all earnest that the results of their speculations possessed the same kind of validity as the results of cognitive processes.

        — HANAH ARENDT, The Life of the Mind

      • dogdaddyblog

        Thanks to Dr. Curry’s blog, we get Agrippan, Cartesian, Academic and Pyrrhonian Skepticism, all applied to CAGW fallacies.

        Of course, Pyrrhonian Skeptics are as rare as hens teeth around here.

      • dogdaddyblog

        I pick methodological skepticism.

  34. Thermageddon economic scenarios are impossible: before the economy can have grown that enormously, the thermal recession will already have kicked in. Unless, of course, high temperature is not damaging at all for economic growth, but that would imply there isn’t a climate problem, isn’t it?

  35. Found this article about California leading the way on Tim Kruger’s topic. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-biomass-closing-20160101-story.html
    I thought in his summation he says something about comprehensive research and indications of political feasibility. Maybe we won’t see any from California.

  36. Mr. Kruger says:

    “For a technology to be deployable it needs not only to work, but also to possess a social licence to operate.”

    This is scary. Ignorance has a trump card.

    • Unfortunately, if a nation is burdened with an intrusive government, it becomes the case that a ‘social license’ is needed to operate. The solution is small government.

      • So…

        You think anybody who wants to should be allowed to play GM games with random bacteria?

      • AK that is exactly what nature itself does all the time with influenza virusses: trial and error.

      • The probability map of mutation space is much more fixed than what a mischievous semi-informed human could come up with.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        We have reaced a distressing level whereby people discussing new technology and methods are saying “We should not try to introduce this because it would be too hard to regulate.”
        Oh what a sorry state this is. It carries the assumption, proved wrong time and again, that faceless regulatory bureaucrats are collectively wiser than groups of free enterprise individuals.
        Geoff

      • > the assumption, proved wrong time and again, that faceless regulatory bureaucrats are collectively wiser than groups of free enterprise individuals.

        That collective wisdom can’t be expressed better than the slogan of some of them: drill, baby, drill!

        I thought you said you were here for the science, GeoffS.

  37. And the comments at the Guardian are quite… partisan.

  38. I saw the thread coming down and got ready to duck, but I don’t have to. Looked this up on Google:
    Scientific evidence is evidence which serves to either support or counter a scientific theory or hypothesis. Such evidence is expected to be empirical evidence and interpretation in accordance with scientific method.
    Everybody’s right. Hurray. But it doesn’t mention models so round two coming up. “Ding”.

    • But it doesn’t mention models so round two coming up. “Ding”.

      Go (re)read Kuhn.

    • Interesting.

      1) Empirical evidence.

      Two problems with empirical evidence:

      a) “Studies of everyday reasoning show that we usually use reason to search for evidence to support our initial judgment, which was made in milliseconds. But I do agree with Josh Greene that sometimes we can use controlled processes such as reasoning to override our initial intuitions. I just think this happens rarely…”
      https://www.edge.org/conversation/moral-psychology-and-the-misunderstanding-of-religion

      b) “What science and the quest for knowlede are after is irrefutable truth, that is, propositions human beings are not free to reject — they are compelling. They are of two kinds, as we have known since Leibniz: truths of reasoning and truths of fact.”

      “[A] fact, an event, can never be witnessed by everyone who may want to know about it, whereas rational or mathematical truth presents itself as self-evident to everyone endowed with the same brain power; its compelling nature is universal, while the compelling force of factual truth is limited; it does not reach those who, not having been witnesses, have to rely on the testimony of others, whom one may or may not believe.” (Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind)

      2) Interpretation in accordance with scientific method.

      For empiricists, that opens the door to just about anything and everything. It’s a manifesto of what Stephen Toulmin called “the victory of Rationalism.” Hobbes and Hume must be rolling over in their graves.

      So how about those “mathematical models” that “it doesn’t mention”? Arendt blasted mathematics as being “the non-empirical science par excellence.”

      • And yet she held up mathematical propositions as self-evident truths. Oh look …

        It was mathematics, the non-empirical science par excellence, wherein the mind appears to play only with itself, that turned out to be the science of sciences, delivering the key to those laws of nature and the universe that are concealed by appearances.

        … you’re reading creatively again.

      • °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        And yet she held up mathematical propositions as self-evident truths.

        There you go, making stuff up again. Arendt did not “hold up mathematical propositions as self-evident truths.”

        What she said is that “rational or mathematical truth presents itself as self-evident to everyone endowed with the same brain power.”

        Arendt is merely describing Cartesian philosophy, or rationalist philosophy. This is not the same as endorsing it.

        As Michael Allen Gillespie explains in The Theological Origins of Modernity, Descartes “was convinced that anyone who is freed from the prejudices of the world and uses his good sense will arrive at exactly the same conclusions he did.”

        Empiricists, however, made no such assumptions. They were much more skeptical about the human ability to reason. Montaigne, for instance, believed that there “would be a flowering of human multiplicity, because he did not believe that any two human beings would ever reason alike.” (Gillespie) This is one of the reasons why empiricists believe that hypotheses (or theory, which is derived from human reasoning) must always be put to the acid test, constantly verified by empirical methods and testing, and can never become fact.

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        [HANNAH ARENDT] It was mathematics, the non-empirical science par excellence, wherein the mind appears to play only with itself, that turned out to be the science of sciences, delivering the key to those laws of nature and the universe that are concealed by appearances.

        … you’re reading creatively again.

        You very conveniently omitted, however, the passage that follows that, where Arendt writes:

        [I]t became axiomatic for Descartes…that there existed “a fundamental accord between the laws of nature [which are concealed by appearances and deceptive sense perceptions] and the laws of mathematics”… And he actually believed that with this kind of thinking, with what Hobbes called “reckoning with consequences,” he could deliver certain knowledge about the existence of God, the nature of the soul, and similar matters.

      • > Empiricists, however, made no such assumptions.

        Our Man from Mexico would be surprised:

        Scottish Common Sense Realism, also known as the Scottish School of Common Sense, is a school of philosophy that originated in the ideas of Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, James Beattie, and Dugald Stewart during the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment. Reid emphasized man’s innate ability to perceive common ideas and that this process is inherent in and interdependent with judgement. Common sense therefore, is the foundation of philosophical inquiry. Though best remembered for its opposition to the pervasive philosophy of David Hume, Scottish Common Sense philosophy is influential and evident in the works of Thomas Jefferson and late 18th century American politics.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Common_Sense_Realism

        All D does is to propose a rational method to make sure our common sense works properly.

        Descartes bashing is racist and wrong.

      • °°°°°willard cites:

        Though best remembered for its opposition to the pervasive philosophy of David Hume, Scottish Common Sense philosophy….

        So you have found a school of philosophy in opposition to empiricism, and you believe you’ve found your silver bullet to slay empiricism?

        If things were only so simple and clear cut.

        °°°°°willard says:

        Descartes bashing is racist and wrong.

        “Racist”?

        Doesn’t that go without saying?

        A sine qua non of leftist thinking is that anyone who dares challenge its version of truth is, axiomatically and inescapably, a “racist”?

      • Glenn, your’s is a most important point. The more vile the epithet, the more willing are progressives to brand their opponents with the term. That such epithets are contrived is lost on the “willfully ignorant.”

        Whipping up the mob’s emotions is an effective tactic. Overuse can lead to bad things, though. Evidence the French Revolution and Black Lives Matter. Riots are often a reflection of deliberate provocation by those who benefit in the short term.

      • > So you have found a school of philosophy in opposition to empiricism, and you believe you’ve found your silver bullet to slay empiricism?

        Our Man from Mexico strikes again, this time with a rhetorical question that implies David Hume, the father figure of empiricism, is not an empiricist.

        ***

        > anyone who dares challenge its version of truth is, axiomatically and inescapably, a “racist”?

        No, only the constant strawmaning of Descartes which abounds in the anglosphere and that has been promoted by popular philosophy writers. Borrowing what Nelson Goodman once said, Descartes will bury them all.

        Descartes and scepticism go hand in hand. He’s contrarians’ shadow, in Jungian speak. Deal with it.

      • “Descartes and scepticism go hand in hand. He’s contrarians’ shadow, in Jungian speak. Deal with it.”

        Do you have empirical evidence of that?

      • Evidence about Descartes’ methodological skepticism:

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

        (Also, search for “methodological skepticism” on this thread.)

        Evidence about the contrarians’ dubitations:

        http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

        When Descartes enters a bar, it’s to meet his friend Mr. T.

      • Capt,

        “Descartes and scepticism” may indeed “go hand in hand,” but as the Wikipedia link willard furnished reveals, when Descartes used the word “skepticism,” he meant something the 180° opposite of what others mean when they say “skepticism”:

        Cartesian doubt is a form of methodological skepticism or scepticism associated with the writings and methodology of René Descartes (1596-1650).[1][2] Cartesian doubt is also known as Cartesian skepticism, methodic doubt, methodological skepticism, Universal Doubt, or hyperbolic doubt.

        Methodological skepticism is distinguished from philosophical skepticism in that methodological skepticism is an approach that subjects all knowledge claims to scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims, whereas philosophical skepticism is an approach that questions the possibility of pure knowledge.

      • > [W]hen Descartes used the word “skepticism,” he meant something the 180° opposite of what others mean when they say “skepticism”:

        Our Man from Mexico strikes again, this time (1) arguing by assertion about undetermined others, (2) armwaving some unspecified doctrine of skepticism, (3) oblivious to the fact that the opposite of methodological skepticism is affectionately called dogmatism in philosophical circles, and to top it all (4) quoting two kinds of skepticism without distinguishing the two.

        Well played!

      • Hmm, one link has some authority and the other nothing. Oddly, the second seems to be a generalization which is the finest of straw, coming from someone accusing another of using straw.

        I was hoping for a bit more meat.

        >Arendt blasted mathematics as being “the non-empirical science par excellence.”

        Let’s take financial modeling which is commonly used by environmental activists, Dana Nuccitelli or example whose field is environmental science.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jun/13/how-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-creates-jobs-grows-economy

        If his model is right, that would be 65 billion a year with an extra 140,000 jobs per year. We currently are averaging about 3.3 million per year people added to the population and 65 billion is about 0.1% of GDP. So despite all the hoopla, Dana is realistically saying the carbon tax will do nothing significant. He is presenting it like it is the greatest thing since sliced bread though. Unfortunately, financial modeling is a bit iffy but does involve mathematics.

        It this a fair example of what this discussion is supposed to be about?

      • > the second seems to be a generalization which is the finest of straw

        All the lines are documented, Cap’n, you’ll have a tough time doing more than just using the word “straw” for the sound of it.

        ***

        > I was hoping for a bit more meat.

        Ain’t we all. Even vegans, it seems.

      • Glenn Stehle,

        What she said is that “rational or mathematical truth presents itself as self-evident to everyone endowed with the same brain power.”

        It is a rare breed who would claim 2 + 2 = 5.

        This is one of the reasons why empiricists believe that hypotheses (or theory, which is derived from human reasoning) must always be put to the acid test, constantly verified by empirical methods and testing, and can never become fact.

        With which I mostly agree, though not because “empiricists” said it. Thus you should be able to understand my consternation when the likes of, say Peter Lang, argue that without the damage function we can make no rational decisions about CO2 emissions. Going a step further, you might as well understand why I’m not at all a fan of the “The Science is Settled” meme.

        You very conveniently omitted, however, the passage that follows […]

        … which doesn’t attack the use of mathematics to address physical questions.

        “Irrefutable truth” is what we want. Limited perception and cognition are what we have. Thus (unless God) the best we can hope for is to become less ignorant and/or wrong.

      • “All the lines are documented, Cap’n, you’ll have a tough time doing more than just using the word “straw” for the sound of it.”

        Oh, so you have some data showing you figured out exactly what the “consensus” skeptic opinion happens to be, I must have missed that. Looks like an opinion piece to me.

        Oh, what! Perhaps you are anonymously arguing from authority?

      • > Oh, so you have some data showing you figured out exactly what the “consensus” [contrarian] opinion happens to be,

        This “consensus” presumes that contrarians need to be coherent with one another, Cap’n. That’s obviously false.

        I seek to include in my Matrix *all* the contrarian lines of attack. (Matrix, line – wink wink.) If you know any that I missed, with a link that I could cite, I’ll add it. I’ll even acknowledge your contribution in the Colophon.

        Did I miss any?

      • That the typical alarmist isn’t very familiar with the principle of scientific doubt? Science will eventually find an answer but excuses generally just delay progress.

      • > That the typical alarmist isn’t very familiar with the principle of scientific doubt?

        Search for “dogmatic” in level 5:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/we-won/

        If that does not suffice, a published citation would be nice.

      • dogdaddyblog said:

        Glenn, your’s is a most important point. The more vile the epithet, the more willing are progressives to brand their opponents with the term.

        Besides “racist,” another epithet the CAGW faithful invoke ad nauseaum is “denier.”

      • brandonrgates said:

        Glenn Stehle: You very conveniently omitted, however, the passage that follows […]

        brandonrgates: … which doesn’t attack the use of mathematics to address physical questions.

        Sure it “attacks the use of mathematics to address physical questions,” that is if one reads the paragraph in its entirety and not in snippets. What planet do you live on? The same one Willard lives on?

        The abuse, overuse and over reliance of and on mathematics is a theme that runs thoughout Arendt’s ouevre.

        If one has any doubts where she stood, there’s this from The Human Condition:

        With the rise of modernity, mathematics does not simply enlarge its content or reach out into the infinite world to become applicable to the immensity of an infinite and infinitely growing, expanding universe, but ceases to be concerned with appearances at all….

        When Descartes’ analytical geometry treated speace and extension, the res extensa of nature and the world, so “that its relations, however complicated, must always be expressible in algebraic formulae,” mathematics succeeded in reducing and translating all that man is not into patterns which are identical with human, mental structures….

        Now the phenomena could be saved only in so far as they could be reduced to a mathematical order, and this mathematical operation does not serve to prepare man’s mind for the revelation of true being by directing it to the ideal measures that appear in the sensually given data, but serves, on the contrary, to reduce these data to the measure of the human mind, which, given enough distance, being sufficiently remote and uninvolved, can look upon and handle the multitude and variety of the concrete in accordance with its own patterns and symbols. These are no longer the ideal forms disclosed to the eye of the mind, but are the results of removing the eyes of the mind, no less than the eyes of the body, from the phenomena, of reducing all appearances through the force inherent in distance.

        Under this condition of remoteness, every assemblage of things is transformed into a mere multitude and every multitude, no matter how disordered, incoherent, and confused, will fall into certain patterns and configurations possessing the same validity and no more significance than the mathematical curve, which, as Leibniz once remarked, can always be found between two points thrown random on a piece of paper. For if “it can be shown a mathematical web of some kind can be woven about any universe containing several objects…then the fact that our universe lends itself to mathematical treatment is not a fact of any great philosophcal significance.” (Bertrand Russell) It certainly is neither a demonstration of an inherent and inherently beautiful order of nature nor does it offer a confirmation of the human mind, of its capacity to surpass the senses in perceptivity or of its adequateness as an organ for the reception of truth.

        The modern reductio scientia ad mathematicam has overruled the testimony of nature as witnessed at close range by human senses in the same way that Leibniz overruled the knowledge of the haphazzard origin and the chaotic nature of the dot-covered piece of paper.

      • Don’t need a cite, all the information is right here. Just look at what people, including yourself, chose to dispute and how often they question their own beliefs.

        I provided an example of Dana using sales instead of science. I believe Dana is part of the team, perhaps you disagree. There might be a science to marketing, but it precludes doubting your own product, in public at least. Dana tends to abuse, math, modeling and “science” to make a political point which is exactly what this conversation is supposed to be about.

        You get into sales mode like every other human. You pick your evidence and form your opinion just like any other a$$hole. Questioning your own opinion, and the opinions of your “team”, is kind of the point and when you just get more adamant about making your point without introspection, you make mine.

        It is nice you picked a true Scottish example of realism :)

      • > Don’t need a cite, all the information is right here.

        Sure, Cap’n. I’m sure you’d appreciate if for every contrarian line I’d simply say Source: the Internet.

      • Glenn Stehle,

        [quoting Arendt] The modern reductio scientia ad mathematicam has overruled the testimony of nature as witnessed at close range by human senses in the same way that Leibniz overruled the knowledge of the haphazzard origin and the chaotic nature of the dot-covered piece of paper.

        Thanks, that’s more like it. Hence your conclusion: Teh Modulz are Stoopid. The proof is missing a few steps, but that’s par for this course.

        I might sum it up thus: One does not simply combine epistemologies. I rather suspect this passage along with the previous quote(mine) are opening arguments leading to a synthesis wherein mathematical abstraction and human experience of physical reality need not clash so violently.

        That’s only a hunch, based on a synthesis of my own thinking which undoubtedly contains its own flaws and omissions. You’re not alone in wondering whether I’m actually from another planet.

      • brandonrgates said:

        I rather suspect this passage along with the previous quote(mine) are opening arguments leading to a synthesis wherein mathematical abstraction and human experience of physical reality need not clash so violently.

        Right. This is yet one more example of your loopy, upside down “logic.”

        When CAGW true believers “actually took their cue from Descartes” and “went looking for certainty” (Arendt), that’s not exactly laying the groundwork for “a synthesis wherein mathematical abstraction and human experience of physical reality need not clash so violently.”

      • Glenn Stehle,

        I get it that maximizing uncertainty is a primary aim of climate contrarianism, manufacturing it if need be. So is manufacturing double-binds:

        1) Everyone knows that we can’t make rational decisions without certainty.
        2) We can’t go looking for it using math because … Descartes thought he could prove the existence of God given enough time to write out the formulae.

        This may be yet more of my upside-down logic, but it occurs to me that people looking for ignorance will likely find it. I’m almost tempted to declare the science settled and stalk out of the room in a the self-satisfied glow of hubris, but that would be against my religion.

        In the meantime back in the real world Teh Modulz don’t agree with each other, and any intellectually honest and remotely objective observer would not be claiming that CAGW True Believers have, to a (wo)man, declared that this state of affairs proves much of anything other than something which is already axiomatic: there really is a great deal more forward-looking uncertainty that rearward.

        I submit to you that rational people understand the best way to reduce uncertainty absolutely is not to build more Modulz, but to stop cranking the control knobs of the real system with reckless abandon.

  39. “to model what you want to happen, rather than what there is evidence could happen, is to lose the thread of reality.”

    that seems to be the m o of climate scientists.

  40. Intermittent Renewables Can’t Favorably Transform Grid Electricity
    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/08/31/intermittent-renewables-cant-favorably-transform-grid-electricity/#more-41152

    We are already encountering major grid problems, even with low penetrations of intermittent renewable electricity: US, 5.4% of 2015 electricity consumption; China, 3.9%; Germany, 19.5%; Australia, 6.6%.

    In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today. There are too many costs outside building the devices themselves. It is these secondary costs that are problematic….

    Leaders around the world have demanded that their countries switch to renewable energy, without ever taking a very close look at what the costs and benefits were likely to be….

    Let’s look at some of the issues that we are encountering, as we attempt to add intermittent renewable energy to the electric grid.

    Issue 1. Grid issues become a problem at low levels of intermittent electricity penetration.

    Issue 2. The apparent “lid” on intermittent electricity at 10% to 15% of total electricity consumption is caused by limits on operating reserves.

    Issue 3. When there is no other workaround for excess intermittent electricity, it must be curtailed–that is, dumped rather than added to the grid.

    Issue 4. When all costs are included, including grid costs and indirect costs, such as the need for additional storage, the cost of intermittent renewables tends to be very high.

    Euan Mearns finds that in Europe, the greater the proportion of wind and solar electricity included in total generation, the higher electricity prices are for consumers.

    Issue 5. The amount that electrical utilities are willing to pay for intermittent electricity is very low.

    Issue 6. When intermittent electricity is sold in competitive electricity markets (as it is in California, Texas, and Europe), it frequently leads to negative wholesale electricity prices. It also shaves the peaks off high prices at times of high demand.

    Issue 7. Other parts of the world are also having problems with intermittent electricity.

    Issue 8. The amount of subsidies provided to intermittent electricity is very high.

    CONCLUSION: Few people have stopped to realize that intermittent electricity isn’t worth very much. It may even have negative value, when the cost of all of the adjustments needed to make it useful are considered.

    Energy products are very different in “quality.” Intermittent electricity is of exceptionally low quality. The costs that intermittent electricity impose on the system need to be paid by someone else. This is a huge problem, especially as penetration levels start exceeding the 10% to 15% level that can be handled by operating reserves, and much more costly adjustments must be made to accommodate this energy.

    Even if wind turbines and solar panels could be produced for $0, it seems likely that the costs of working around the problems caused by intermittent electricity would be greater than the compensation that can be obtained to fix those problems.

    If we continue to add large amounts of intermittent electricity to the electric grid without paying attention to these problems, we run the risk of bringing the whole system down.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Electrical engineers might answer this.
      How does one dump excess electricity?
      As in when a windmill is producing more than can be sold.
      In old bush camps we had, with a diesel generator, there was a dummy load of a big bar of iron in a drum of cold water. This could be brought in when demand dropped heating the water. What, if any, is the equivalent in Windy World?
      Is there a risk of windmill damage and destruction if it tries to produce to an open circuit?
      Geoff.

      • Storage does not answer the original question: What happens when there is overgeneration instantaneously?

        VERY, VERY, VERY simply, the generator speeds up uncontrollably, increasing the alternating current frequency of the electrical output. It must be separated from the electrical system quickly, lest overfrequency (and other bad stuff) damages other system components. Or, as indicated previously, additional power-consuming “load” must be placed within the system really fast.

        Germany tries to dump periodic excess offshore wind production onto neighboring countries, causing severe problems and costly adjustments to their systems. But, what the hey? It’s all for Gaiea!

      • I should also note that other generation plants on the electrical system could cut back on their generation in response to “renewable” overproduction. That’s the politically-favored method to screw up the physical and economic operation of the whole system.

      • Storage does not answer the original question: What happens when there is overgeneration instantaneously?

        That wasn’t the original question.

        Rapid response electrolysis is capable of responding fast enough to handle wind turbine changes.

      • In fact, AFAIK, in almost all mature grids, there’s enough rotating inertia to keep things running until RRE can respond, either up or down.

      • Oh, I forgot – A windmill “generating into an open system” would speed up to its eventual dynamic destruction, without emergency shutdown measures. Such destruction of existing windmills would make good overall economic sense.

      • Geeze, AK. Imagine that the addition of large amounts of unpredictable wind generation to a system could overwhelm the “inertia” available and online. Someone is going to have to pay for any additional “inertia” needed, meaning non-producing assets in the system.

        Take a gander at the excess costs engendered to the German and Danish systems.

      • Imagine that the addition of large amounts of unpredictable wind generation to a system could overwhelm the “inertia” available and online.

        That also doesn’t have anything to do with the original question, which was (paraphrasing) what about when there’s more wind energy than demand?

        Someone is going to have to pay for any additional “inertia” needed, meaning non-producing assets in the system.

        What makes you think they’re non-producing?

        Aren’t you familiar with the ancillary services market? If not, why not do some research rather than asking silly questions?

        Anyway:

        The second motivation for active power control by wind turbines is the potential to increase the profitability of wind plants by enabling participation in ancillary service markets. A recent study by Kirby demonstrates a potential for wind plants to “increase their own profits by providing regulation” [30].

        C. Industry Activity in Support of APC

        The various active power control requirements laid out by grid operators have motivated technological development by wind turbine manufacturers. These developments have been made at both individual turbine and wind plant scales. Technologies to provide response in all of the inertial, primary, and secondary time scales have been developed at the individual turbine level. For example, Siemens has patented a method for dynamically modifying an individual turbine’s active power output in response to grid frequency deviations on time scales similar to inertial and fast primary responses [31]. Methodologies for monitoring power available in the wind and maintaining a specified amount of active power in reserve are patented by both Mitsubishi [32] and Vestas [33], respectively. In another patent, participation in primary and secondary regulation is achieved by using blade pitch control to specify a percentage of available power as an active power reserve, which can be changed up or down in response to grid frequency fluctuations [34].

        Methods for providing active power control of entire wind plants have also been developed. Performing active power control collectively across a wind plant is intended to provide faster response and recovery to grid frequency deviations than can be achieved by performing active power control on individual turbines separately.

        […]

        Two Danish offshore wind plants, Horns Rev and Nysted, serve as examples of the current state-of-the-art of the industry. Both facilities are outfitted with active power control systems capable of responding to TSO power set-point commands and automatically responding to fluctuations in grid frequency [2]. They have several available operating modes to provide APC, as described in Section IV.

      • When the wind is blowing they have the potential (Notice that word crops up a lot?) to provide ancillary services. Plan ahead for when the wind blows and you can plan ahead for any potential ancillary services. As an ex-power system engineer, I just might be able to opine as to planning ahead.

        Makes a really bad investment less really bad, potentially.

      • When the wind is blowing they have the potential […]

        And when the wind isn’t blowing they’re not an issue.

        Plan ahead for when the wind blows and you can plan ahead for any potential ancillary services.

        And when the wind isn’t blowing, you can use the rotating inertia (notice the lack of “scare quotes”) from CCGT.

      • It would be great to plan ahead for providing CCGTs when I plan ahead for when the wind won’t be blowing. Where do I get the money to pay for them?

        In the past I would use CCCTs, then I could use diesel to run the little suckeres when gas wasn’t available. Operating in Alaska is a real pain for people who know everything.

      • It would be great to plan ahead for providing CCGTs when I plan ahead for when the wind won’t be blowing. Where do I get the money to pay for them?

        Have you compared the capital costs of CCGT, wind, solar, and COAL?

        AFAIK most of the cost of CCGT is fuel. (And, AFAIK, CCGT can be bought as flex-fuel at a small premium.) So, CCGT and wind (and maybe even solar, even in Alaska) with the “renewables” paying for themselves in reduced fuel costs.

        Point is, wind will soon be able to compete in ancillary services with CCGT or coal, and compete with the fuel price for CCGT.

        Operating in Alaska is a real pain for people who know everything.

        Well, as I said above, AFAIK, CCGT can be bought as flex-fuel at a small premium.

        But I could also point out that we’re talking about major world markets here, not smaller, unique, markets like Alaska. I know there are people with “one size fits all” perspectives, but not me.

      • Who said I only operated in Alaska? Gee, maybe I did operate in your “major world markets.” Who would know?

        I just can’t successfully argue with anyone that knows everything about planning, finance, design, construction, economical operation and maintenance of entire electrical generation, transmission and distribution systems. While I may have actually worked in each and every one of those areas, managing some, what do I know? Might I be senile?

        AK, this is a waste of our time. Go out and finance some stuff. Operate it. Make it cost competitive. The proof is in the pudding. Maybe is not will be.

        Best of luck in your brave new world.

  41. Dr. Curry: You and your readers may be interested in this link:http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28825/

    Regards, John Workman
    john.workman@aggiemail.usu.edu

  42. Oh look:

    Tim Kruger is a James Martin Fellow at Oxford University and manages the Oxford Geoengineering Programme.

    Teh Goggle yielded up this piece in Nature (not paywalled):

    As evidence of climate change piles up and pessimism grows over climate negotiations, discussion of geoengineering — deliberate large-scale intervention in Earth’s natural systems — is rising up the agenda. In the succinct Can Science Fix Climate Change?, climate scientist Mike Hulme focuses on a proposal to cool Earth by injecting aerosols into the stratosphere to reflect solar radiation. He provides a lucid counterpoint to A Case For Climate Engineering (MIT Press, 2013) by David Keith, a leading proponent of research into this approach.

    Hulme believes that deploying stratospheric aerosols is wrong-headed — undesirable, ungovernable and unreliable. He devotes a chapter to each.

    On undesirability, Hulme explains that although the approach would reduce global temperatures, it would also have significant side-effects, such as changing local rainfall patterns. But Hulme compares the downsides with the climate of today, rather than with that of a climate-changed future. This is the equivalent of condemning a drug for having side-effects in healthy people before even considering whether the benefits would outweigh any side-effects in the ill. He thus avoids sullying himself with the consideration of what would constitute the lesser of two evils — a climate-changed world without stratospheric aerosols, or one with them.

    This is a bit bonkers — presumably we give drugs to sick people, not healthy ones. That nit aside; doctor tells me of a painful but finite treatment process which will cure what ails me, or offers me a drug with unpleasant side effects which will keep my fever down so long as I take it, but which won’t do anything to address the root cause of my disease nor any of its other symptoms — some of which could also be quite harmful.

    Which course of action do I prefer:

    1) The painful but finite cure?
    2) Ongoing palliative care which only relieves one of several symptoms?

    • You don’t have a clue if this “treatment” will result in only one of the two outcomes you list. Tunnel vision at its best.

      • Tell it to Kruger; he’s the one pre-selling powerful analgesics which haven’t even seen a clinical trial, much less passed one, to “treat” alcoholics’ hangovers in lieu of urging them to drop the bottle and head to rehab.

        I can’t be sure the rehab would take, but I’m pretty sure the only way to be a drunk is to drink.

  43. Gen IV nuclear was never envisioned to be deployable at scale until the mid 2020’s. Without the ‘walk away’ safety features embedded in Gen IV designs global full scale nuclear power deployment won’t be politically possible.

    Fake it until you make it is indeed the only viable current option to mitigate alleged man-made global warming.

    The Chinese know this and have the necessary R&D demonstration projects in the pipeline to begin large scale deployment in the mid-2020’s.

    • Oh my. An ocean phenomenon, with global impact, which might stave off “catastrophe”, if only temporarily, allowing people more time to prepare, has failed to materialize giving us less time than we might have had. And you are happy. To each their own.

      • Time to prepare? Prepare for what? James E. Hansen’s hoax? You don’t need time to prepare for a hoax.

      • Prepare for future uncertainties. A disastrous earthquake on the West coast is coming. Follow the trembler swarms they have been having. La Nina impacts the weather. Severe weather, piled on disaster gets to catastrophe. Cascade effects. I see more than a few catastrophes looming in the future and people need time to prepare. Laugh if you will, I’m an old worry wort. Hansen is certainly opinionated and outspoken. I believe him to be sincere. Why would you say Hoax. USGS is trying to raise awareness of the signs of a pending earthquake catastrophe on the West coast. Insurance companies are pushing policies in California, Oregon, and Washington. Do they know something we don’t? Is that a Hoax? Would a strong La Nina have a helpful effect? Maybe, maybe not. There will be catastrophes, what’s wrong with being prepared?

      • My house was built in 1929. It’s apparently well prepared for the weather. Recently survived a hail storm that killed zoo animals at the bottom of the hill.

      • Followed your suggestion and checked a bit about non La Nina year weather patterns. Increased precipitation in the US southwest, more numerous and severe storms, and more Pacific hurricanes. Hardly conditions for me to stop worrying. After wildfires and drought, they get mudslides, flooding and earthquakes. Sorry about your zoo.

  44. How the Exxon Case Unraveled (go here and click on the link if you don’t have a subscription.)

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation of Exxon Mobil for climate sins has collapsed due to its own willful dishonesty. The posse of state AGs he pretended to assemble never really materialized. Now his few allies are melting away: Massachusetts has suspended its investigation. California apparently never opened one.

    […]

    In an Aug. 19 interview with the New York Times, Mr. Schneiderman now admits this approach has come a cropper.

    […]

    But we haven’t finished unless we also mention the press’s role.

    The “Exxon knew” claim, recall, began with investigative reports by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times, both suffering from the characteristic flaw of American journalism—diligently ascertaining and confirming the facts, then shoving them into an off-the-shelf narrative they don’t support.

    We have since learned that both the L.A. Times (via a collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism) and InsideClimate News efforts were partly underwritten by a Rockefeller family charity while Rockefeller and other nonprofit groups were simultaneously stoking Mr. Schneiderman’s investigation.

    […]

    Prof. Curry… Does this deserve a post of its own?

  45. Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  46. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #239 | Watts Up With That?