Shifting sands of the climate debate

by Judith Curry

Insiders are out; and outsiders are becoming the insiders.

There is much angst among the climate activists and scientist advocates about the Trump presidency, his public statements, and his Cabinet appointees — it doesn’t look good for their preferred energy policies and funding for their preferred research topics.  A relatively calm and objective summary of the concerns is provided by David Victor in e360.

On the other side of the climate debate, there is jubilation:

In terms of the shifting fortunes of insiders versus outsiders, this is starkly evident in Trump’s Cabinet appointments and transition teams.

EPA

The hackles of climate activists and scientist advocates  were raised by the appointment of Myron Ebell to lead the transition team for the EPA.  Worst fears were realized by the nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

A relatively sane article on Pruitt and the EPA appears in the National Review.

DOE

DOE is currently the hot button, with rumors that Rick Perry will be selected as Secretary of DOE. Recall that in a previous campaign for President, he campaigned to abolish the DOE.  You may be unaware that Texas has much more renewable energy than California, something that happened while Perry was governor.

The biggest outrage is associated with a list of questions sent by transition team to DOE.  At the WaPo, Chris Mooney et al. are alarmed by a memo sent out by the Transition Team at the Department of Energy “Trump transition team for Energy Department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings“.

Willis at WUWT does a good job of looking at the questions sent the DOE. In summary:  they want to know who went to the UNFCCC COP meetings, which are political meetings (hard to imagine a good rationale for govt scientists to attend those meetings).  They also want to know which DOE employees contributed to the IWG Social Cost of Carbon Report – a report that is a travesty, IMO.  Overall, the questions sent to DOE look to be relevant and insightful

OSTP

OSTP is the Office of Science and Technology Policy, under the directorship of ‘Science Advisor’ John Holdren. For information, go to their website.

The alarm associated with OSTP is summarized by this tweet: New Trump DOE transition team lead calls 4 elimination of @whitehouseostp, nat’l lab privatization, applied R&D “beyond constitutional role”

The article of concern is this report from Heritage:  Science Policy Priorities and Reforms for the 45th President.  The article is well worth reading and  makes some very interesting  (and surely controversial) points. One of the key recommendations is to eliminate the OSTP, in favor of specially appointed committees as needed.  After the egregious role that Holdren played in politicizing climate science, I suspect that Obama’s OSTP did more harm than good, and that there are better ways to approach the general objectives of science advice on security and competitiveness to the White House.  Note, I have heard absolutely no discussion about Trump’s intent re OSTP.

Changing their tune

There is a group of scientists, environmentalists, policy makers, politicians and journalists, from both sides of the climate debate that seem to be changing their tune, towards a more rational center ground.  Some examples:

Grounds for optimism

There are grounds for optimism for a saner, effective climate and energy policies:

JC reflections

The sands of the climate debate are surely shifting rapidly, with major implications for those who are active in the public debate — scientist/advocates on both sides, environmentalists and the libertarian think tanks, the media, and policy makers and politicians.

One side stands to lose a massive amount of influence in the public debate, whereas the other side is potentially ascendant (to the extent that this issue continues to have political saliency).

I have hopes that climate research will be a winner in all this, with more openness and transparency and allowance for diversity of perspectives and funding for a broader range of research topics.

I expect that climate and energy policy will be a winner in the Trump administration relative to the Obama administration. Any solutions will come from innovations in the private sector and state and local governments — not from federal decrees or U.N. proclamations.

It will certainly be interesting to see how all this plays out, in terms of the scientific research agenda, media reporting, private sector investments, and public policy.

462 responses to “Shifting sands of the climate debate

  1. David L. Hagen

    Breakthrough Energy private investors focus on Energy & Climate
    POWER PLAY: Bill Gates and investors worth $170 billion are launching a fund to fight climate change through energy innovation

    Bill Gates is leading a more than $1 billion fund focused on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation.
    The Microsoft co-founder and his all-star line-up of fellow investors plan to announce tomorrow the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, which will begin making investments next year. The BEV fund, which has a 20-year duration, aims to invest in the commercialization of new technologies that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in areas including electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial processes, agriculture, and energy-system efficiency.
    “Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” says Gates, who is serving as chairman of BEV and anticipates being actively involved. . . .

    See Breakthrough Energy http://www.b-t.energy/ and its Landscape pdf

    • Curious George

      I applaud Bill Gates for investing in clean energy. As long as he invests his money, not my money.

    • It is interesting to review the areas they outline on the landscape section of their web site. It is a pretty useful compendium of the issues that innovation could address in this area. Better than what typically comes out of public agencies.

    • A lot of venture capitalists and Silicon Valley mavericks (including all members of Gates’ initiative) have already invested heavily in “clean-tech” in the last 10 years. There is no reason to believe that Gates’ initiative will make any difference. On the other hand: as long as it’s not Government money they are welcome to invest it as they see fit.

      • 9 times out of 10 they write off the ‘investment’ against taxes and you make up the difference in reduced benefits like social security and medicare cuts. Feel better now?

      • David L. Hagen

        jacobress The average time for an energy industry innovation to make a major change is more than 40 years. You dismissal of the Gates’ initiative is naive.

      • Curious George

        David, please document your 40 years average. There was hardly any “energy industry” in 1870, so you probably take an average of 3, maybe 4, numbers.

      • charlieskeptic

        Jacobress, are you aware of the sausage principle?

        That’s where you take a slice of government spending, small to others, large to you? Since it means a lot to you, you expend effort and political support (money) to make the (relatively) small spending that accures to your benefit happen.

        Since it is a relatively small expenditure compared to otherwise vast Federal spending, others do not object. But the beneficiaries are all on board! Gates? Exxon? NGOs? Other crony capitalists?

        Until you ultimately run out of OPM. Then we all suffer the economic consequences.

        With the climate hustle, taxpayers and energy consumers are the first to pay. But, worse, the lost economic opportunities are cumulative. Keystone, Dakota Access, offshore drilling restrictions, fracking bans, NIMBY, etc. It adds up to lower standards of living for all of us that have to work in real jobs. Moving jobs offshore, anyone?

      • There is more to these Gates and Trump meetings that is much more interesting…

        Trump suggested that Microsoft founder Bill Gates, could possibly help censor parts of the online world. “We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet,” Trump said. “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way.”
        “Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech,’” he added, dismissing the objection with an arm wave. “These are foolish people.”

        Well at this point I have to agree with Trump. He won fair and square with the greatest landslide victory in US history so what ever he does he will have the complete support of all loyal Americans.

      • David L. Hagen

        Curious George See Bill Gates

        You’ve noted that the energy industry spends 0.23 percent of revenues on research and development, compared to 20 percent for pharma and 15 percent for IT, and you blame the long lag between invention and impact in energy on those paltry investments. Is there any way to change that?

        You can look at history and ask yourself, “Who do you think were the greatest energy innovators of all time?” I think Charles Algernon Parsons5 [the inventor of the steam turbine] was really incredible. I think Rudolf Diesel6 [the inventor of the diesel engine] was also incredible. Go and look at how much money they or the company they worked for made. Diesel committed suicide because he thought he was going bankrupt. Parsons made basically nothing. During the first 20 years after you invent a new energy technology, as [Vaclav] Smil7 likes to remind us, the deployment that takes place, with very, very few exceptions, is quite modest. So the incentive for the inventor is most reduced where the adoption cycles are greater than 20 years.

        Market penetration rates of new energy technologies 2006

        The analyses show that the exponential penetration rates of new energy technologies may vary from 4 up to over 40%/yr. The corresponding take-over times from a 1% to 50% share of the estimated market potential may vary from less than 10 to 70 years.

      • Bill Gate’s best investment of his innovation fund would be to set up benchmark prizes which would in practice act like matching grants for inventors to raise venture capital with the prize as the investor pitch for the early return on their investment.

        Historical example: Orteig Prize led to the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic, which led to the birth of commercial aviation.

      • Curious “David, please document your 40 years average. ” They started doing the first Fracks in the 1950’s

      • It is rare that a field is completely solved in 10 years. I bet you oil and gas technology in 1950 was not dominating 2000 rig, refinery and distribution activities.

  2. So when do you take over at NOAA Judith?

  3. Lot of 3rd party opinions hoping for a silver lining. Professor Curry, please watch this C-SPAN video from the actual people who will be making the decisions as it pertains to climate change and renewable energy policy.
    Staring Lamar Smith (R-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Gary Palmer (R-Ala.)
    December 8, 2016:
    https://www.c-span.org/video/?419785-1/congressional-republicans-discuss-climate-energy-policy

    These people are not interested in some kind of middle ground. They have the power. There Will be Blood.

  4. An interesting survey of the new Trumpian landscape. It seems from transition teams and appointments announced so far (eg EPA, DHS, HHS, Interior, CoS) that he is starting to do pretty much what he said he would, and putting in place people who can get it done. But there is a very long row to hoe against so many entrenched interests. The first 100 days should be telling about how the swamp draining will go.
    The post election MSM spin gyrations are dizzying, and further eroding any shreds of credibility they had left. WaPo’s Mooney on DoE transition team questions was particularly over the top. That you found e360’s Yale wailing ‘relatively calm and objective’ says it all, really.

    • The slide in journalism started a long time ago when the corporate owners of media outlets determined their news depts. had to be profit centers. Robbed of being true journalists and fueled by an increasingly liberal, progressive university system producing people who want to influence the news rather then report it, we have today’s MSM.

      Hopefully what we are seeing now is the veil coming off and the public seeing them for what they have become.

  5. Interesting to see Stephen Chu touting fracking, but despite the fact that he and others of a more liberal slant see value in fracking – much of the public are convinced that fracking causes massive harm relative to any benefits it might provide. They are clueless about how fracking reduces energy costs for the USA. This disconnect suggests to me that while we might see changes in the power structure, the public stance on environmental issues may not sway much.

    I wonder how long it might take and what kind of “evidence” or (or change in “official recognition”) it would take for a change in perspective to happen in our schools and general society.

    • The whole ‘fracking causes harm’ (e.g. groundwater contamination) is classic ‘fake news’. It is a complete fabrication by alarmists, and utter geological nonsense. EPA had ‘suspicions’ in SW Utah based on activist complaints. The monitoring wells it drilled to check have themselves contaminated groundwater in some places there.
      The deepest water well in SW Utah is 750 feet (all have to be registered and tested by Utah Department of the Environment). The fracking is of the Niobrara shale, which in that area of the Unita Basin is ~8000 feet down, about 1.4 miles of solid rock away from any useful groundwater aquifer. All such O&G wells are at least double cased in concrete and steel for at least 1000 feet down to insure there is no groundwater contact or contamination. That is industry SOP. The actual fractures produced by fracking have a typical horizontal radius of 300 feet, less in the vertical (because the horiizontal bedding planes in the shale preferentially fracture). So the enviro activist fear of water contamination is absurd on its face.

  6. I am a liberal who will be glad for saner policies on these issues.To Obama was very vocal and who instigated new policies in this regard, I do not accept that he believed the world would come to an end if nothing was done to stop the CO2 “problem”. Proof of this is his tacit and direct support of oil and gas production in the US. He used “Climate Change” to energize people toward renewable energy, when his real goal was to become energy independent. Would he have gone public with the latter, it would have been received unenthusiastically, to say the least. But he was successful in that we are well on our way to being energy independent.

    While he was at it, he worked hard at ridding the nation of health-harming coal. For the US, it is time. It did its job of being a key ingredient to our growth. But it remains the fuel that allows developing nations the fastest and surest way to grow, all things considered and sad to say.

    • Actually the real proof Obama doesn’t believe in what he says is his new home. It’s right on the water in Hawaii.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      qwaezee | December 12, 2016 at 2:59 pm |

      While he was at it, he worked hard at ridding the nation of health-harming coal. For the US, it is time.

      I’ll have to disagree, q. Modern coal plants are not “health-harming”, you’re thinking of the 1970s. Coal is and remains a clean and very viable fuel for everyone, despite its demonization by carbophobes.

      And that’s good news, because the worlds largest store of fossil-fuel energy is not in Saudi Arabia. It’s the Powder River coal deposit in the US.

      w.

      • WE, plus many.
        You omitted two Powder River details. 1. It is near surface and thick, so cheaply strip minable. 2. It is low sulfur/ash, so low emissions scrubbing cost.
        Only better coal on the planet is in Australia–maybe. That argument boils down to sub-bituminous versus bituminous thermal coal heat values per ton or whatever, and shipping costs to wherever. Meh, both US and Australia win. Not a bad outcome.

      • Willis,

        Coal can be very clean stuff indeed –

        “Says Phoebe Snow
        about to go
        upon a trip to Buffalo
        “My gown stays white
        from morn till night
        Upon the Road of Anthracite””

        – 1920 or thereabouts.

        Coal, in the form of jet, is used in jewellery, and has been for thousands of years. Hardly dirty or filthy, it might seem.

        Coals ain’t coals, of course. To a Hansenite, all coal is evil. Produces CO2 when burnt. So do diamonds. Evil, but prettier than evil black jet jewellery.

        Just having a laugh, of course. Electricity produced by the action of wind or Sun can power an electric chair. Horse for courses. Even life is fatal in the long term. Maybe a rational approach is to enjoy it while you can.

        Cheers.

    • How does your “liberal” view account for this link quaezee: https://www.barackobama.com/climate-change-deniers/#/

      It implies Obama is either a fanatic or a charlatan on the climate issue.

  7. > One side stands to lose a massive amount of influence in the public debate, whereas the other side is potentially ascendant (to the extend that this issue continues to have political saliency).

    I absolutely agree with your observation about the shift in influence, Dr. Curry. I wouldn’t, however, question the continued political relevance because my view is that pro-mitigation political lobbies aren’t simply going to let it die on the vine. As well, I expect the Trump administration to experience foreign diplomatic pressure — either directly or by way of bodies such as the UN — to NOT back out of the Paris agreement, etc.

    [note: small typo in your comment, it s/b “extent” not “extend”]

    > I have hopes that climate research will be a winner in all this, with more openness and transparency and allowance for diversity of perspectives and funding for a broader range of research topics.

    I don’t. My expectation is that the incoming administration wants to slash budgets and cut programs. For some perspective, here is what’s at stake according to the GAO through FY 2014:

    I’d think that $2 bn/yr science budget authority would be first on the chopping block even though it’s only about 20% of the total. My reasoning is that there are industry interests — and JOBS JOBS JOBS — at stake behind $8 bn/yr technology budget.

    IOW, I don’t think it’s a good time to be an academic right now, particularly not one doing any kind of theoretical or empirical research related to climate.

    I’m mindful however that what Trump said to get elected does not necessarily translate into what Trump will do — same as any other politician. However, he appears particularly capricious, fickle, volatile … essentially wholly unpredictable compared to any modern US president I can think of.

    So. We shall see.

    • Brandon

      Yes, what trump says and what he does after his currently unfocused views have passed through the prism of agencies and advisers could be two different things.

      As far as pressure on the US goes regarding Paris, I do wonder how many countries are sufficiently committed to the agreement to put diplomatic or commercial pressure on america to toe the line.

      The UK, surely the ring leader of the climate world with its legislation compelling ever lower carbon emissions, will be reluctant to exert pressure as we hope to come to a trade agreement with America following Brexit.

      Italy is in no position to exert pressure. Merkel might try, as she is miffed that she is no longer Americas no one ally. Australia won’t . China? Surely not when they currently have a free pass to do what they want until 2030

      So where do you see this pressure coming from?

      Tonyb

      • Hopefully Tony, Theresa May will use Trump’s withdrawal on the emissions front to scrap the UK emissions act – the most expensive, ill-researched, thoroughly idiotic piece of legislation ever foisted on the UK public.

      • Tonyb,

        > The UK, surely the ring leader of the climate world with its legislation compelling ever lower carbon emissions, will be reluctant to exert pressure as we hope to come to a trade agreement with America following Brexit.

        I reckon that also depends much on where Theresa May stands on the issue itself. To my eyes she sends mixed signals, from shuttering the Department for Energy and Climate Change in July but promising in September to ratify the Paris deal by the end of the year. I think it’s fair to say climate change isn’t a key issue for her, and in a post-Brexit post-Obama Trump administration that she’s not likely to champion it.

        > Italy is in no position to exert pressure.

        Certainly not at the moment as they’ve got a freshly-minted PM in Paolo Gentiloni replacing the ousted Renzi … and elections coming in February. With as much coastline as they’ve got, they certainly have some incentive, however.

        > Merkel might try, as she is miffed that she is no longer Americas no one ally.

        She was who I was most thinking of, and by extension the EU as a body for her influential stature within it.

        > Australia won’t.

        Yeah, they’re sort of all over the place on the issue.

        > China? Surely not when they currently have a free pass to do what they want until 2030

        I’m not sure you’re giving enough credit to the Chinese for the ruthlessly shrewd manner in which they engage in both international trade in particular and diplomatic relations generally.

        Probably the first thing to recognize is that they worked Obama’s over to reach the deal with him they did — *even though* they were already disposed to do it in response to internal pressures over the acute issues they have with coal-fired smog.

        Secondly, they were already leading the world in absolute terms in R&D and deployment of renewable energy sources. Why?

        Because thirdly, they’re *truly* smart: They don’t outright reject AGW risks, and they see what anyone with eyes should see: an incredibly vast global growth market for alternative energy, including nuclear fission.

        Fourthly, since it appears to be Trump’s intention to bust them up over trade relations and currency valuation, they’re going to be looking for bargaining chits, including ways to exert diplomatic pressure on the US …

        … especially if they think the US withdrawing from Paris would negatively affect the global market for renewable technologies they’ve been long positioning themselves to lead in providing once a global agreement to do so on a schedule was in place, and on terms which were largely favourable to them — which the Paris deal is.

        > So where do you see this pressure coming from?

        The EU lead by Germany, possibly China and (less, perhaps) India but also a fairly large swath of the developing world over which you glossed.

        And, like I said in my original post, the UN.

      • Brandon

        You underestimate how much merkel is hated by many European states for descending into madness over the migrant question and then expecting other states to pick up the pieces. So I doubt if the EU as a whole will be enthusiastic to take on trump although a few individual state might make noises.

        India? Why would they?

        China? As I say, they would be complete hypocrites and recognised as such if they try to Exert pressure when they have done nothing concrete themselves.

        The developing world? Most are far too small or too reliant on trade to kick up much of a fuss.

        I suppose it partly depends on whether trump alienates other countries but if he doesn’t whyWould they kick a trading,political, economic amd military giant that may be roaring back into action after being asleep for eight years?

        Tonyb

      • China may try (why wouldn’t they do whatever they can to cripple US production), but they have other priorities to deal with and other pending fights with Trump

      • > You underestimate how much merkel is hated by many European states for descending into madness over the migrant question and then expecting other states to pick up the pieces.

        Perhaps, Tonyb. I’d hope it comes down to how relatively costly those European states see the migrant question — a short-term problem — relative to the long-term costs of unmitigated emissions. I can’t see, e.g. the Dutch or Belgians spitting in Merkel’s eye on principle over migration with SLR being such a perceived threat to them.

        > So I doubt if the EU as a whole will be enthusiastic to take on trump although a few individual state might make noises.

        Noted. We shall see.

        > India? Why would they?

        Because they don’t see the world through your eyes, perhaps? Let’s try looking at it through theirs via mine.

        Yes, until fairly recently they’ve been more about poverty reduction by way of investing in traditional energy and infrastructure … but *unlike* you, they don’t dismiss IPCC ARs out of hand. For another thing, they surely recognize that while China (not them or the US) is the single largest absolute emitter, the US is still (by far) the number one *cumulative* emitter.

        From their perspective, the argument has long been about the expected future damages of developed world emissions which did not directly contribute to their domestic economy. And that issue featured prominently at COP21 in Paris … because the Indian delegation purposefully made a tremendous amount of noise about it. Their argument — in which they had much support from other developing nations — was: Screw you guys if you think we’re going to dramatically reduce emissions without a significant amount of foreign aid from the countries who have vastly outstripped our own cumulative emissions.

        So no. I don’t think having come this far that they want the US to back out of the Paris deal, and I don’t expect India go quietly into the night if Trump does so.

        > China? As I say, they would be complete hypocrites and recognised as such if they try to Exert pressure when they have done nothing concrete themselves.

        lol. You’re not going to do well arguing that kind of moral case with the Chinese — they’ll make chopsticks out of you. And bollocks that they’ve done “nothing concrete”; they lead the world in spending on development and deployment of non-fossil energy technologies. I’m not just talking about big hydro, but wind, solar and nuclear. And they have plans to ramp all of them.

        > The developing world? Most are far too small or too reliant on trade to kick up much of a fuss.

        Individually perhaps. You keep overlooking the UN, which is charted — amongst many things — to be a place where smaller countries can lobby together in negotiations against larger and more influential ones. I understand cooperative action toward a common goal engaged by multiple countries can be a difficult concept for Brexiters and alt-right libertarians in the anglosphere to wrap their heads around (or perhaps more like it, not reject with ideological revulsion), but it’s not such a foreign concept in pretty much most of the rest of the world.

        You’re also conflating whether countries will apply pressure with how effective or not that pressure would be. Thus far my arguments have been about my expectation that there will be pressure, from where and why, and that’s it.

        > I suppose it partly depends on whether trump alienates other countries but if he doesn’t why Would they kick a trading,political, economic amd military giant that may be roaring back into action after being asleep for eight years?

        Could you have possibly loaded that question any more than you have? Right off the bat, I didn’t realize the US has been “asleep” for the past eight years.

      • > China may try (why wouldn’t they do whatever they can to cripple US production)

        Mmmm, yes and no, davidelang. They don’t want us crippled — we’re a major trading partner, and they own a tremendous amount of our public debt.

        > but they have other priorities to deal with and other pending fights with Trump

        Indeed. And my argument is that they will use any leverage they can in those fights.

      • The Climate Green Fund was established in conjunction with the Paris Accord to give grants to underdeveloped nations to fight climate change. It is presently at a little less that 10 billion. The US is the largest contributor with 3 billion. This fund is slated to grow in 3 years to 100 billion per year. Seems like a lot of incentive for a lot of people both pro and con http://www.greenclimate.fund/partners/contributors/resources-mobilized

    • Brandon,

      I’m curious as to what sort of pressure the UN can bring to bear on the US.

      Besides saying bad things about us in their press conferences.

      • > I’m curious as to what sort of pressure the UN can bring to bear on the US.

        We’ll find out, timg56. I would say much depends on the EU and China.

      • The EU is a busted flush, no longer capable of saying boo! to a goose.

        Even China will tread carefully.

      • I agree. China will push back, but the EU has more problems than it can deal with on its own.

      • > The EU is a busted flush, no longer capable of saying boo! to a goose.

        The EU never was, and certainly is now not all about the UK, catweazle. My read is that Merkel literally cannot wait to show you the door. Mind that you don’t let it hit you in the posterior on the way out.

        > Even China will tread carefully.

        Comes down to who needs whom more I suppose, and who Trump picks for key cabinet positions like Secretary of State. I had been thinking if Trump went for Romney, there would be a chance that China wouldn’t run circles around the incoming administration, but it seems that Romney isn’t going to get the slot.

        China is NOT going to let Trump treat them like sycophantic underlings in one of his gilded boardrooms. I really really want to see him try, just for the lulz.

        We shall see.

      • I am constantly amused by those who have no clue about how business works, except from some skit in a Socialist propaganda film. I am sure you can make a living as a cartoonist with your misconceptions of how business works, but do not think we have to worry about Trump listening to those who have never been in a board room, never negotiated a business deal, and think that Business owners are Government dictatorial tyrants.

        But here’s a clue for you. Government makes the laws. Successful businessmen work within the framework created by government. But they do not get to set the rules.

        Might help you to understand that. If your hatred can allow you some rational reasoning.

      • Foreign affairs doesn’t seem to be your strong point. What Merkel thinks of the UK is no longer relevant. She is facing her own problems. And if you think Germany prefers UK outside the EU, then economics ranks up there with foreign policy as not your strong points. German citizens are starting to tire of Germany propping up the sad sack economies of the south.

        As for China, they have already been played by Trump right out of the gate. He takes a call from the President of Taiwan and China has a spaz attack, going so far as to threaten the US. He couldn’t have gotten a better response if he had scripted it.

      • Brandon

        I said America had been asleep for eight years but that was merely paraphrasing the leader article in the Sunday times this week, a cheer leader for Obama in the past. It reckoned the US had lost a lot of influence, had been weak on foreign Policy and allowed Russia and china to kick sand in its face.

        A strong (and moral) America is Essential to the west so I hope trump can reverse your international fortunes.

        As for the EU, they have other things to worry about than picking a drawn out fight with America over climate change as many countries, especially east European ones, are fairly indifferent to it and the UK now has other fish to fry.I think it’s high point of alarmism has been reached,whether that is merely a temporary lull or more permanent, the next few years will tell.

        Tonyb

      • Brandon

        This talk of the united nations and your belief that it might be the vehicle to rein in trump regarding climate policy encouraged me to look at how much money America contributes to it.

        It seems to be around 8 billion dollars a year

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/06/16/america-pay-way-too-much-for-united-nations.html

        I have no idea of trumps position on the UN but it is in parts a hugely bloated inefficient and corrupt organisation although it does of course carry out some good work as well.

        I do wonder if the UN might be in line to be emasculated in some way in which case it’s ability to censure America might be limited

        Tonyb

      • > Foreign affairs doesn’t seem to be your strong point.

        Let’s test that, timg56. When Theresa May was first elevated to PM, I recall Merkel going on record as saying that she did not want May to drag her feet on triggering Article 50. I can’t find it now, but there’s this:

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-08/merkel-s-deputy-says-brexit-taking-far-too-long-in-nudge-to-may

        German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Brexit is taking “far too long” and maintaining the U.K.’s ties to the European Union won’t be easy.

        Gabriel signaled concern that extended uncertainty implied by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s timeline for starting Britain’s exit from the EU by the end of March might cause economic damage, though “we’re not experiencing a strong impact” for now.

        “The general insecurity is the biggest problem,” Gabriel, who also is economy minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, told foreign reporters in Berlin on Thursday. “In our estimation, the process is taking far too long.”

        It’s not clear that Gabriel is speaking for Merkel here, but I don’t think it’s a terrible assumption. Then there’s this:

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-12/eu-calls-for-brexit-talks-swiftly-after-article-50-draft-says

        EU governments will be asked to “proceed swiftly” in authorizing the opening of the negotiations once May triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally start the withdrawal, according to a draft of the EU statement read out to Bloomberg.

        Here are two other, older articles:

        http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-triggers-eu-power-struggle-between-merkel-and-juncker-a-1100852.html
        https://www.ft.com/content/e2a56790-4511-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1

        These paint out Merkel to be less hawkish on Brexit than many of her EU counterparts, and particularly with other factions inside Germany.

        > What Merkel thinks of the UK is no longer relevant.

        That’s a load of crap.

        > She is facing her own problems.

        That’s true, but hardly makes her position on Brexit irrelevant. As well, according to the articles above, Brexit may somewhat compound her problems by creating further divisions amongst her spheres of influence.

        > And if you think Germany prefers UK outside the EU, then economics ranks up there with foreign policy as not your strong points.

        lol. Since the UK has decided to leave, what Germany wants or doesn’t want is pretty much a moot point now. No special insight into economics or foreign policy required to follow that logic. What Germany would have wanted appears split to some extent, see the links above. Here’s what the WSJ was reporting in October:

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/german-chancellor-angela-merkel-pushes-tough-line-on-brexit-1475763309

        Ms. Merkel’s warning signals that Germany is unwilling to make big concessions although it is one of the most sympathetic EU members toward the U.K. “We have to make sure our interests are coherent here so that we won’t be put under pressure constantly via European industry associations to, in the end, allow full access to the internal market even if all freedoms aren’t respected,” she said, to loud applause.

        She also repeated her warning that there wouldn’t be any talks with the U.K. over its exit before the formal process had begun. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May this past weekend had said she would trigger the official mechanism for transitioning out of the bloc by the end of March.

        > German citizens are starting to tire of Germany propping up the sad sack economies of the south.

        Starting? Those kind of stories go back nearly five years in my memory.

        > As for China, they have already been played by Trump right out of the gate. He takes a call from the President of Taiwan and China has a spaz attack, going so far as to threaten the US. He couldn’t have gotten a better response if he had scripted it.

        If you say so. What it looks like to me is a ham-fisted breach of diplomatic protocol on an extraordinarily sensitive issue with a major trading partner. I don’t see foreign relations as being anywhere near the same game as playing Interwebz Tough Guy trying to get people’s goat. For one thing, I don’t think potentially *armed* spaz attacks are very amusing. YMMV.

      • > I said America had been asleep for eight years but that was merely paraphrasing the leader article in the Sunday times this week, a cheer leader for Obama in the past.

        Link to the article so I can read it and form my own impressions, Tonyb?

        > It reckoned the US had lost a lot of influence, had been weak on foreign Policy and allowed Russia and china to kick sand in its face.

        Which isn’t being “asleep” in my book. Debates on his foreign policy within Obama’s cabinet and circle of advisors has been … robust … if not fractious. I guarantee you he wasn’t snoring through it. One of his main antagonists throughout that process was his own Secretary of State in Hillary Clinton, who is far more hawkish on foreign policy than Obama … who isn’t exactly a dove, but neither does he jump at opportunities for military action like his predecessor did …

        … under whose watch, you’ll note, cost the US a lot of goodwill amongst our historical allies. Which I consider a loss of influence. I do NOT think it’s coincidental that Iran and N. Korea both became more emboldened to develop nuclear weapons while Dubya, Cheney, Rummy, et al., were off adventuring in the oil sands of Iraq in the name of protecting “freedoms”. It still makes me howl with horrified laughter. But … I digress.

        I too have been a cheerleader for Obama in the past, and still am. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being critical. I thought — and still think — he botched it with the infamous “red line” speech. One does not simply issue ultimatums and fail to carry them out when the conditions are breached. That’s the sort of thing which emboldens the Putins of the world to be territorially expansionistic (Crimea) in addition to openly assisting with direct military action the object of the unenforced ultimatum (Assad).

        Probably could have been played better. How? I’m not sure except to say that Obama didn’t do as good a job of leaving his options open as he might have when he delivered the red line speech.

        > A strong (and moral) America is Essential to the west so I hope trump can reverse your international fortunes.

        It boggles my mind that anyone can see Trump as any sort of moral paragon. Especially when they can spot Hillary’s obvious amorality in an instant. Partisan politics is such a fertile environment for near-absolute brain damage in the form of compartmentalized thinking.

        > As for the EU, they have other things to worry about than picking a drawn out fight with America over climate change as many countries, especially east European ones, are fairly indifferent to it and the UK now has other fish to fry.

        Of course they do. Even I understand that climate change isn’t the *only* issue the world is facing. Where I believe your thinking is in error is that you judge what the EU will do by your *own* priorities, which very obviously does NOT include climate change.

        My *one* prediction here is that it will remain a politically relevant issue on the world stage, and that political pressure will be applied on the US should Trump back out of the Paris deal. That’s it. I don’t know how much of a “priority” will be placed on that pressure, or what the results of it will be, only that I believe that attempts will be made to apply it.

        > I think it’s high point of alarmism has been reached,whether that is merely a temporary lull or more permanent, the next few years will tell.

        Mmm hmm, that’s what I’ve been saying too … time will tell.

      • > This talk of the united nations and your belief that it might be the vehicle to rein in trump regarding climate policy encouraged me to look at how much money America contributes to it.

        No Tonyb, that is NOT my belief. My belief, again, is that pressure will be applied, with the UN being one likely entity to apply it. I don’t know what effect that will have on Trump — he will surely attempt to shrug it off — but I am not sure what he’ll actually do or be able to do.

        Thus, I’m deliberately adopting an agnostic position on what may or may not happen when the pressure I anticipate is applied.

        > It seems to be around 8 billion dollars a year [Fox News: America, we pay way too much for the United Nations]

        Shades of Trump’s statements about NATO on the campaign trail …

        … which went over real well with our allies. This is a long-running point of partisan contention between Dems and Repubs.

        > I have no idea of trumps position on the UN but it is in parts a hugely bloated inefficient and corrupt organisation although it does of course carry out some good work as well.

        Trump’s position on the UN is probably the easier to take on of the two topics you raise …

        … or not. Full of mixed signals he is.

        In general, my impression is that Trump does not like being constrained from doing whatever he wants, and he bitterly lashes out against criticism no matter how significant or trivial. Which doesn’t bode well in my mind for his relations with the UN.

        I’m guessing that’s considered a virtue amongst many of his supporters.

      • One does not simply issue ultimatums and fail to carry them out when the conditions are breached. That’s the sort of thing which emboldens the Putins of the world to be territorially expansionistic (Crimea) […]

        I seriously doubt Putin had a choice with Crimea. If he hadn’t gone in, he’d have been out. Just like that. Despite his popularity.

      • Brandon

        Sorry, but the Sunday times is pay walled which is why I didn’t link to it.

        I deliberately inserted the word ‘moral’ as in the past america has generally been a force for good by combining strength with a strong moral ethos.I didn’t say that I believed for a moment that trump was a paragon of moral virtue. I have been expressing my disbelief that you guys put him forward as a candidate let alone elected him but I do not have any great fear that he will prove to be as disastrous as some think.

        If America is to become great again, it needs to combine strength and morality, time will tell if the trump administration manages to pull off that trick.

        As for the EU I can only give you my judgement based on my experience of this extraordnary organisation that is curently negotiating with turkey, Albania , kosovo, Montenegro for membership and is allowing Ukraine visa free travel against the express wishes of the dutch.

        The UK has always been the leader of climate change, the east Europeans are ambivalent, Italy has other things to worry about as does France which has extended its state of emergency.

        Eu states won’t take kindly to being bullied by merkel over the subject.

        It will be interesting to see what the UN does which is why I raised the question as to what trump might think of spending 8 billion a year on the organisation.. It could do with very severe pruning as nepotism and corruption are rife with many parts of it being led by very Inadequate people because it is ‘buggins’ turn. Which is not to say that there aren’t some excellent parts to it but it DOES cost a lot of money to run.

        Let’s wait and see if trump does do anything drastic on climate change and then we can see what sort of effective sanctions are developed to force America to change its position.

        Tonyb

      • charlieskeptic

        Tonyb, I believe many of your observations are spot on.

        Standing back a bit, I thing geopolitical and economic heavyweights such as Russia, India and China are playing a shorter game than that which is being played by the U.S. and EU. Climate is a prime example. Although East European, Kashmir and South China Sea adventures are obvious realpolitik candidates.

        Western policy pronouncements are that climate change mitigation measures are economically rational. The other players obviously disagree, and are unwilling to commit to binding mitigation measures.

        One question I would ask our betters is: If climate mitigation makes such economic sense, why would we have to force others to make binding commitments in international agreements? Would they not do so on their own without us?

      • Brandon

        Sorry, but i hadnt seen Your 2.03 when I just replied. Will have a read.

        Tonyb

      • Brandon.

        Ok, now read your post. As I say, time will tell on pressure via the EU or the UN and that will depend on trumps final position on climate change so let’s jump that hurdle first before we speculate.

        I am a believer in a strong NATO. It has kept peace in a dangerous world but it needs to be united and prepared to act. Trump does have a very good point about freeloaders. We are one of only 3 or 4 countries that spend the agreed amount on defence. Virtually every EU country, including Germany spend less than they should and in some instances FAR less than they should.

        Of the two organisations I would vote to keep NATO intact whereas the UN could stand a lot of pruning.( but not abolishment)

        Tonyb

      • Curious George

        The world would be such a sad place without the UN. I remember Colonel Ghaddafi lecturing the U.S. on human rights.

      • Brandon said:

        No Tonyb, that is NOT my belief. My belief, again, is that pressure will be applied, with the UN being one likely entity to apply it. I don’t know what effect that will have on Trump — he will surely attempt to shrug it off — but I am not sure what he’ll actually do or be able to do.

        Well, the US successfully ignored the Kyoto agreement, although lots of pressure and scorn was applied. That’s a precedent Trump could cite.

        What I suspect (and hope) he’ll say is that he’s going to reduce CO2 via fracking and nuclear, not renewables, and that the US will therefore once again reduce emissions more than the EU.

      • > Sorry, but the Sunday times is pay walled which is why I didn’t link to it.

        Fair enough, Tonyb.

        > I deliberately inserted the word ‘moral’ as in the past america has generally been a force for good by combining strength with a strong moral ethos. I didn’t say that I believed for a moment that trump was a paragon of moral virtue.

        I didn’t say you had. :)

        But this “I didn’t say what you think I implied I said” rhetoric can become a tedious game. I did think you were *implying* that Trump was holding himself up as a moral paragon. I stand corrected.

        My *opinion* is that we make a lot of grand statements about being a force of good in the world, but our actions often suggest otherwise. Supporting details for this opinion are lengthy. Suffice it to say, I don’t exempt the Obama administration from this critique. At the same time, I thought the W. Bush administration was far worse.

        > I have been expressing my disbelief that you guys put him forward as a candidate let alone elected him but I do not have any great fear that he will prove to be as disastrous as some think.

        Even accounting for my benefit of hindsight, I wasn’t terribly surprised by Trump’s nomination. I didn’t think his early successes in the primaries were flukes. But early on I was saying, “good, he’s not electable, Republicans are giving this one to whomever wins the Democratic nomination.”

        Boy, was I ever wrong — with the caveat that Hillary *did* “win” the popular vote by over 2.5 million.

        I’m making few predictions about how Trump will perform. Most I can say at this point is that indications are that he’s even less qualified and more potentially dangerous than W. Bush was, and I thought his administration was a disaster.

        > Eu states won’t take kindly to being bullied by merkel over the subject.

        I’m curious: does Merkel ever do anything you don’t consider bullying?

        > It will be interesting to see what the UN does which is why I raised the question as to what trump might think of spending 8 billion a year on the organisation.

        Reuters is asking similar questions.

        The breakdown of the numbers for US contributions are (billion USD/yr):

        1.19 UN “core” fund
        2.24 UN peacekeeping operations
        —-
        3.43 total US contribution.

        Presumably the $4.57 billion difference is for other UN programmes outside the core and peacekeeping budgets.

        > As I say, time will tell on pressure via the EU or the UN and that will depend on trumps final position on climate change so let’s jump that hurdle first before we speculate.

        Pretty much every post I’ve been writing has ended with or contained the statement: we shall see. I don’t mind speculating about the future so long as everyone is clear that it’s just speculation. As I said earlier, I’m laying down markers on things to watch out for.

        > I am a believer in a strong NATO. It has kept peace in a dangerous world but it needs to be united and prepared to act.

        Making unity and preparedness to act contingent on member countries meeting some arbitrary level of “fair share” of payment might tend to undermine both unity and preparedness.

      • > Well, the US successfully ignored the Kyoto agreement, although lots of pressure and scorn was applied. That’s a precedent Trump could cite.

        And the rebuttal is that comparing Paris to Kyoto is apples to oranges, Roger K. Namely because Kyoto didn’t attempt to set emissions targets for the developing world. China and India both being signatories for the Paris *could* be a key difference.

        But again, I’m only arguing that pressure will be applied from somewhere if Trump attempts to back out. I’m being deliberately mum on whether it will be effective or not.

        > What I suspect (and hope) he’ll say is that he’s going to reduce CO2 via fracking and nuclear, not renewables, and that the US will therefore once again reduce emissions more than the EU.

        I would not at all be unhappy with that outcome. That said, just as I think anti-nuke arguments are way overblown, so do I think anti-renewable arguments are.

        Reducing emissions by any means at a rate greater than the EU (without putting a pinch on energy supply at the same time) without significant subsidies and incentives would be a really neat trick.

      • Brandon wrote:

        And the rebuttal is that comparing Paris to Kyoto is apples to oranges, Roger K. Namely because Kyoto didn’t attempt to set emissions targets for the developing world. China and India both being signatories for the Paris *could* be a key difference.

        The difference is not as great as that between apples and oranges—it’s more like that between tangerines and oranges. The emissions targets for China & India are so weak as to be almost as light as those of Kyoto. (More likely to cause those countries to apply pressure to the US are the subsidies that Paris promises them.)

      • > The emissions targets for China & India are so weak as to be almost as light as those of Kyoto.

        Neither China or India were bound to any targets by Kyoto, Roger K.

        > More likely to cause those countries to apply pressure to the US are the subsidies that Paris promises them.

        I’d say certainly likely. :-)

        Try this:

        Facing a saturated domestic market and fierce competition in European and US markets, Chinese companies are now advancing into Africa with a full range of commercial activities along the production chain, including the export of wind turbines and solar panels, the development of new equipment manufacturing facilities, and the financing and construction of new renewable energy generation facilities such as wind and solar farms.7 China’s increasing engagement in the promotion of renewable energy projects in Africa seems to have gone almost unnoticed; but how significant is this engagement, what form does it take and how can it best be explained?

        […]

        In the past decade the Chinese government has shown increased commitment to promoting a low-energy-intensive and low-carbon economy. The expansion of renewable energy is a central part of this strategy.9 As China’s renewable energy industries grow, Chinese green technology companies are starting to assert themselves in international markets and low-carbon collaboration and assistance are increasingly becoming features of the country’s foreign cooperation strategy.10 At the fourth Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2009 the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced 100 clean energy projects across Africa, including some small-scale projects focused on solar energy.11 At the fifth FOCAC meeting Downloaded by [Weill Cornell Medical College] at 10:13 25 July 2016 Third World Quarterly 3 in South Africa in December 2015 China pledged US$60 billion for a variety of areas of China–Africa cooperation, including renewables and technology transfer. China’s role as a promoter of renewable energy development in Africa can offer it valuable recognition as a contributor to global efforts towards the mitigation of climate change and can serve to reaffirm its position as a lead nation among developing countries, protecting vulnerable countries from the impacts of global warming and fostering their economic growth and development in the process.12

        And this dated from 2013 but with similar themes.

        In short, China has an interest in those countries promised subsidies … getting them.

    • However, he appears particularly capricious, fickle, volatile … essentially wholly unpredictable compared to any modern US president I can think of.

      This seems like a good point in time (and thread) to roll out the 0.5 version of a point I’ve been thinking about.

      In the past, persuasion was about speech. Rhetoric. After the invention of writing (or perhaps not until the phonetic alphabet), it became possible for experts to write out beforehand what a politician (or other “rhetorician”) could say. (E.g. Ancient Athens.)

      With the printing press, and newspapers, it became possible for a politician to publish the text of a speech, and see it distributed much more widely than his own speaking.

      By the time national politics started in the US, this process was established and almost all political speech in the US was built on the assumption that its real impact would come via print (newspapers).

      But what changed this wasn’t the Internet, or even Twitter. It was Youtube. Now a politician can talk the way Mr. Trump does, directly to the brains of his audience, without the intermediary of the press. Unlike Lincoln, whose Gettysburg Address was printed and analyzed in the newspapers, the Trump campaign was based around speeches that everybody could hear for themselves.

      You might ask why this didn’t happen with radio, or TV? Because the established Press was always the gatekeeper. They could impose their own standards of written speeches, traditional since before the Revolution, on politicians, and by excerpting from their speech make somebody who talks like Trump sound foolish.

      But it isn’t foolish as George Lakoff explains.

      Personally, I hate George Lakoff. Not despise, because I respect him for his great scientific understanding of language and how it works. But I hate him because he mis-uses his scientific understanding, twisting it to a socialist agenda that, IMO, represents an existential threat to Humanity.

      But I certainly find anything he says worth paying attention to. We’re all just lucky that the leftist loons are too dumb to.

      And with Youtube, Trump and everybody else can now talk directly to the folks you might meet in a working-class bar, without the noodlicks of the Press intervening and playing gatekeeper.

      Cry a million tears, Lakoff!

      • > But what changed this wasn’t the Internet, or even Twitter. It was Youtube. Now a politician can talk the way Mr. Trump does, directly to the brains of his audience, without the intermediary of the press. Unlike Lincoln, whose Gettysburg Address was printed and analyzed in the newspapers, the Trump campaign was based around speeches that everybody could hear for themselves.

        It’s an elegant argument, AK, and I don’t disagree with you in principle — I’ve made similar observations and arguments in the past for how the Internet, blogs and –now more than ever — social media over the Internet have radically changed the face of public political discourse in my lifetime. Perhaps it’s just me having early-onset curmudgeon syndrome, but I’m dubious that the change has been for the better.

        That all said, we’ve had two full 8-year presidential administrations where independent punditry by way of blogging, and direct interaction between pols and the public (and all the possible combinations thereof) have been technologically possible. So there’s some basis for comparison.

        Noting that public to public interactions have enjoyed similar … enhancement … for over the past two decades, there’s another basis for comparison.

        My *opinion* is that Trump is qualitatively different from Obama and W. Bush, and not in a good way. This isn’t about partisan ideology. No, I don’t like his positions on issues — when I can determine what they are — and that’s one major part of the problem I have with him. The guy is shifting sand in a way that Obama could only dream of being.

        ***

        Let me put it to you this way. Had the two candidates in the general election been you and Trump, I would have voted for you in a hot instant, and without a second thought. Why?

        Because even though I often (mostly?) do not agree with your positions on issues, you know how to make a rational argument. (I don’t think you always do it, but I can say that you know how.) And you don’t shift around like a windsock every time the breeze shifts. You’re not prone to emotional outburst. Apart from your partisan sniping at “leftist loons” who “are too dumb” to warrant your attention, you don’t engage in the same sort of demagoguery and blatantly xenophobic pandering to the alt-right wingnuts that he does.

        To sum up, I think it should be a joke that you’d have made the better candidate — you’ve no experience that I’m aware in governing. But then again, neither does he — no, owning many many large business ventures isn’t governing. Even if he did, just the way the guy talks about things (jabbers, really) indicates a temperament and intellect wholly unsuited for his (expected) elected position.

        I actually *miss* Dubya by comparison. Which is really saying something coming from me.

        There’s f*ckall I can do about it now, of course, other than lay down markers for otters to watch for. And hope for the best … or not-worst as the case may be.

      • “My *opinion* is that Trump is qualitatively different from Obama and W. Bush, and not in a good way. he appears particularly capricious, fickle, volatile … essentially wholly unpredictable compared to any modern US president I can think of. I’m mindful however that what Trump said to get elected does not necessarily translate into what Trump will do — same as any other politician.”
        Having your cake and eating it. If he is all you say he is then obviously you have nothing to worry about, he won’t do it.
        On a lighter note I find your recent comments otherwise elsewhere and here very sensible.
        I think Climate science in general is going to find itself under siege and underfunded because it has thrown itself in with AGW. So much good that could be done with it will take years to recover from it’s flirtation with antiscience.

      • Actually, I think your analysis is fairly accurate. But you stopped short of the conclusion. It is for those reasons that Trump was elected (different and unpredictable). It will be an interesting 4 years.

      • > Having your cake and eating it. If he is all you say he is then obviously you have nothing to worry about, he won’t do it.

        Clever, angech. However, I don’t subscribe to the notion that what I don’t know can’t hurt me whenever politicians are involved. And Trump scares the p!ss out of me for the very reason that it’s not clear to me he even knows what he’s going to do tomorrow.

        Just the way it is. If at the end of four years he’s been benign as Obama has been, or — hope of all hopes — delivers on the parts of his platform about which I can agree (and there are several), I’ll gladly eat crow.

        > On a lighter note I find your recent comments otherwise elsewhere and here very sensible.

        Thanks. This election put the zap on me for a number of reasons. One major one is that it reconfirmed my long-held feeling that while I agree with what much of the Democratic party says it stands for, they’re either not really serious about doing it or just too incompetent to get it done.

        > I think Climate science in general is going to find itself under siege and underfunded because it has thrown itself in with AGW.

        I think it’s already been under siege. The eight years of W. Bush come to mind. Trump could mark the point where the horde broke through the gate and sacks the castle.

        Why I think that of course differs from your reasons …

        > So much good that could be done with it will take years to recover from it’s flirtation with antiscience.

        … which is so sweeping and polar opposite of my view that I just don’t feel like getting into it with you.

      • “And Trump scares the p!ss out of me for the very reason that it’s not clear to me he even knows what he’s going to do tomorrow.”

        Of course it’s not, Gates.

        Trump lives in the real World, whereas you live in a World that you perceive filtered through your superior, self-satisfied, smirking unjustified self-elected “elitism”.

        It is never going to be possible for you to know what trump is going to do tomorrow, you are not mentally equipped for it.

      • So Brandon you think that not knowing things when politicians are involved is possibly a bad thing, yet are afraid of Trump (who is not a politician by trade) because he may be winging it.

        You can’t see the contradictions in that logic?

        Rather than continuing to hold to a characterization of Trump put forth by MSM, try looking at what he is doing so far with an open mind. The questionnaire to DOE is strong evidence he is picking people who are very competent. He has the Chinese worried to the point of going straight to bullying, he has the Democratic party peeing themselves trying to come up with any strategy, which gets us Russian influencing the election meme’s and he has the MSM whining about how non-transparent he is because he went to dinner with family and friends without telling them.

        Judith used to have a phrase about putting one’s big boy pants on. Trump not only wears big boy pants, he has the entire suit. You don’t need tailored suits, but at least consider a change from short shorts and sandals. Crying about the election results is so 3 year old.

      • “try looking at what he is doing so far with an open mind”

        Heh, Fat chance!

      • > You can’t see the contradictions in that logic?

        Trump became a politician when he ran for office, timg56. That’s he’s now been elected to office pretty much officially makes him … a politician.

        > Rather than continuing to hold to a characterization of Trump put forth by MSM, try looking at what he is doing so far with an open mind.

        I don’t even need Breitbart to read Trump’s Twitter feed. Yet I read Breitbart. How’s that for an open mind?

        > The questionnaire to DOE is strong evidence he is picking people who are very competent.

        There’s more to competence than asking questions. Skipping over your other boilerplate partisan talking points …

        > Crying about the election results is so 3 year old.

        …. to this particularly ironic instance of 2nd grade playground taunting.

        I call criticizing elected officials whom I did or did not vote for my right — if not duty — as a citizen. Any patriotic Freedom Fighters who bravely fought in the trenches of online discussion fora for 8 years protect the Republic against a Kenyan-born closet Muslim ought to be able to understand this principle. Even Trump himself should understand my argument here, hmmmm?

        Same for anyone who criticized Obama over more salient (and not wholly manufactured bullcrap) issues.

      • “Having your cake and eating it.”

        Eating your cake and having it too.

        Fixed that for ya.

      • Brandon said:

        I actually *miss* Dubya by comparison. Which is really saying something coming from me.

        Here’s a funny bumper sticker / slogan-button I’ve dreamed up: “Come back Dan Quayle, all is forgiven.”

      • > Actually, I think your analysis is fairly accurate.

        Hey, I’ll take it, philjourdan.

        > But you stopped short of the conclusion. It is for those reasons that Trump was elected (different and unpredictable).

        I can certainly agree with you on different. I’m not so sure about unpredictability — there are a number of things I get the sense that Trump supporters have been clearly expecting him to do (or at least attempt) — e.g., deporting illegal immigrants, dismantling Obummacare, prosecuting Hillary — about which he’s been either softening or sending some mixed signals since the election. Not the good kind of unpredictable in my book, which I would more consider holding things close to the vest and leaving options open.

        Then there’s also “loose cannon” unpredictability. There’s a difference between being constructively disruptive and flying off half-cocked, the latter being more his pattern in my view.

        > It will be an interesting 4 years.

        Oh always is, innit? Even so, I do think it will be particularly interesting.

      • Unpredictable? He already has the MSM chasing their tails, trying to claim he has gone back on promises before he has even taken office. I suspect we have 4 years of that coming. And while some may not like what he does, it is rapidly becoming apparent no one, except Trump, knows what he will do.

        And I do find that greatly amusing. But you are welcome to make predictions (limit them to the first year so we can revisit the predictions in a timely fashion). If you are even half right, I will half concede the point to you. LOL

    • I don’t think it’s a good time to be an academic right now, particularly not one doing any kind of theoretical or empirical research related to climate.

      That is the problem of getting into fashionable scientific fields. It is the equivalent of participating on a stock market bubble. Fun when it booms, not so much when it bursts. They’ll have to recycle. We are always saying that of the low working class when they loose their jobs, but it appears is a bigger problem when it happens to high income people. I think not.

      • > That is the problem of getting into fashionable scientific fields.

        I’m not sure holding researchers to account for not predicting a Trump-like administration is your best strategy here, Javier.

        I of course need to be mindful that until Trump actually does something, this is all so much talk.

        > We are always saying that of the low working class when they loose their jobs, but it appears is a bigger problem when it happens to high income people. I think not.

        I’m not sure who “we” are supposed to be. However, Trump did run on a platform of bringing prosperity back to the working class in the US, roundly placing the blame on a powerful and rich political elite on *both* sides of the aisle.

        You’ll pardon me if I find that rhetoric a bit tough to swallow, given that Trump is quite rich and powerful in his own right … and that he’s further loading up his cabinet with well-heeled individuals the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country.

        But. We shall see.

      • brandonrgates,

        I’m not sure holding researchers to account for not predicting a Trump-like administration is your best strategy here, Javier.

        I understand you wear your US politics glasses all the time, but I don’t live in the US, don’t vote in the US, and quite frankly don’t give a damn about who is your president.

        There’s always been fashionable scientific areas. They come and go. At a time it was plant genetic engineering. Everybody was thinking it was going to be big with a lot of money invested. They were going to make all sort of crops highly productive in difficult conditions and resistant to every known plague. By the time people went through Ph.D. training and postdoc the expectations had watered down and money was scarce, so it was very difficult to get a good position. I know about 10 examples like that that I have seen personally. Fashionable science is dangerous for taking career decisions. If one just happens to be in a field that becomes fashionable, by all means one should take advantage of it.

        Climatology has been a lot more fashionable with a lot more money and for longer. The bubble is bigger. Those that do not have already a good position might have a hard time. But that is the nature of things. Governments and companies can change their focus of interest very fast, while scientific training in a discipline takes years.

      • charlieskeptic

        Javier, there have been snippets of information over time in the climate blogs about the status of people in the academic climate field. A recent one dealt with the problem people in their 30’s had with finding new careers when they ran out of opportunities in the climate postdoc arena.

        Grant money runs the whole merry go round. Whole academic departments depend on a percentage of grant funds (overhead and administration). Why do you think Penn State and East Angelica whitewashed Mann and Jones in Climategate?

        If the Trump Administration does not include the lavish funding for all sorts of inane “climate” studies in the Administration’s Budget, how successful do you think the NGOs and green politicians will be in adding line items for such ridiculous crap? It is one thing for politicians to “pass on” others’ budget requests, but to actually put your ass on the line is another entirely.

      • > I understand you wear your US politics glasses all the time […]

        … especially when the topic is a major US political event, Javier.

        > Governments and companies can change their focus of interest very fast, while scientific training in a discipline takes years.

        In the meantime, physical reality cares nothing about anyone’s opinions on fashionability.

      • In the meantime, physical reality cares nothing about anyone’s opinions on fashionability.

        Physical reality is that Hadcrut4 global anomaly has fallen by 0.5°C since February.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/plot/

        According to Gavin Schmidt of NASA, El Niño only contributed 0.1°C to global warming. If he is right we have suddenly reverted 0.4°C of global warming.

        In the end physical reality matters little. It is what we make of it. People look at the same graph and some see dangerous global warming, while others see climate change as always has taken place.

      • brandonrgates,

        You wrote –

        “In the meantime, physical reality cares nothing about anyone’s opinions on fashionability.”

        Indeed. Nobody has yet managed to increase a thermometer reading by putting CO2 between the thermometer and a heat source. Nobody.

        Physical reality. It might be fashionable to believe otherwise. Fashion is bizarre and irrational from time to time. The necktie, extensive tattooed protestations of everlasting love by young people, white lead makeup, cod pieces, belief in a CO2 GHE . . .

        You might believe in a GHE. You just can’t actually describe how it works, measure it, or demonstrate it. Just like caloric, or phlogiston. Fashionable Cargo Cult Scientism.

        Cheers.

      • > In the end physical reality matters little.

        That’s certainly consistent with your narrative on fashionability in science, Javier.

      • > People look at the same graph and some see dangerous global warming, while others see climate change as always has taken place.

        And otters can see both at the same time.

        Since logical matters don’t seem to matter much, no wonder physical reality doesn’t matter in the end.

  8. Lomborg also had an op-ed in the Times of India this weekend.

    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/india-trump-and-climate-change-there-may-be-unexpected-opportunities-that-lie-ahead/

    When it comes to climate change, many environmental campaigners are alarmed. This is understandable: Trump has sent mixed signals, and we have much to learn about the new administration’s plans. But there is cause for hope, and even a potential opportunity for India.

    Climate change is real and mostly man-made. While in the past Trump has questioned the science, since the election he has acknowledged that “there is some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

    Trump said on the campaign trail that he would drop the Paris climate change treaty. While he has said subsequently, “I have an open mind to it,” it appears very unlikely that the US will fulfil the carbon cutting promises that were made under President Barack Obama.

    This is far from the world-ending event that some environmentalists suggest. In fact, it offers an opportunity for other nations including India to step in and help lead the way with a smarter approach.

    Even if it were to survive, the Paris treaty by itself would do very little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, CO₂ emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 2°C…

    But the demise of the Paris treaty offers a compelling opportunity to tackle global warming smarter.

    Climate economists have found that a much more effective way to tackle global warming comes from investment in green R&D. If we can make green energy cheaper than fossil fuels we will encourage everyone across the world to switch.

    This would also help India, which the IEA expects will still pay more for solar and wind electricity in 2040 than the average generation cost of electricity in the entire system.

    That is why the demise of Paris could shift the focus to the much more important promise of doubling R&D.

    In fact, a panel of Nobel laureates for Copenhagen Consensus found that we should increase R&D six-fold, to reach at least $100 billion a year.

    India well knows the need for cheap power, and is positioned to be part of a technology-led response that would provide a real solution to this challenge.

  9. Excellent summary. Mooney’s diatribe on the questionnaire was irresponsible and very misleading. It is exactly what you would and should expect when there is a change in leadership at the top. Reminds me of due diligence surveys for a major acquisition. You need to know who is doing what and why and at what cost for what benefit.

  10. “Gates acknowledges that investing in energy is harder than investing in information technology: “People think you can just put $50 million in and wait two years and then you know what you got. In this energy space, that’s not true at all.”

    ****Gates has learned that energy is much harder than IT, and requires much more capital. Good that he can learn.

    “But he adds that it’s an uncrowded investing field. ”

    ****And then he has this amazingly foolish idea. It’s as if Exxon, BP, Chevron, Statoil, Sasol, et al haven’t been investing billions for decades. Oh well, a fool and his money are soon parted. See Khosla, Vinod.

    • Don’t mind the fund since it is their own money. They will likely find it very difficult. Silicon Valley VC’s including but not limited to Khosla have collectively lost several billion dollars already on ‘clean energy’ speculations like Range Fuels, Coskata, KiOR, Sapphire Energy, Bloom Energy, and various flow battery startups. The only ‘new’ energy thing I am aware of is my recent guest post speculation on Fisker Nanotech and a lithium ion capacitor. But Fisker is already funded. Perhaps they want to fund TransAtomic Power (molton salt fission spun out of MIT). But Gates already put big money into TerraPower (traveling wave reactor) only to run into the NRC wall. When he pivoted to China with TerraPower, he discovered the Chinese were investing in pilot scale molten salt, leaving Terra dead in the water.

  11. RE the Endangerment finding – I would think this should be very doable, seeing as how there is very little actual evidence beyond model output supporting a risk to human health.

    Then there is the fact that the EPA failed to follow its own processes in coming up with the finding. They essentially pointed to the IPCC report and said that is all the proof we need.

    • Timg56, a CAA endangerment finding follows a process form prescribed by the CAA. If the form was not followed, redo is easy because the findingnis ‘illegal’ . If it was followed, a redo is very hard and subject to court challenge ad infinitum by greenies. The CAA process form does not tell the EPA what evidence to use or how to weight it, only that there should be some, and IPCC unfortunately probably suffices.
      Easiest way is to amend both CAA and CWA. The former to redefine the completely circular definition of a pollutant to exclude CO2 and naturally occurring methane. The latter to make it clear federal authority does not extend beyond navigable waterways, with all else up to individual states.
      There is time, since both CPP and WOTUS have been stayed by SCOTUS while litigation proceeds, on grounds they are both likely unconstitutional. Pruitt as a former state AG will be in a good position to sort the best steps to take once he becomes EPA head.

      • Informative as always Rud. As I remember EPA failed to follow their own process. It was called on it by their own Internal Auditor. Which fell on deaf ears in an Obama administration.

      • The EPA finding was based on an emissions pathway slightly more aggressive than RCP8.5. As you know I have been writing about the rcp8.5 problems since 2014. The thought line I use isn’t very popular because it does imply energy efficiency and other measures enhance long term national security. This puts me on the fence, I thnk global warming is a minor problem, but I think securing future fossil energy supplies will become harder and harder over time.

        Again, I support measures to make everything more energy efficient because it’s going to enhance security. A side benefit will be reduced emissions, and this allows me to meet Al Gore halfway. And I don’t have a problem reaching an understanding with an opponent if it saves me the hassle of having to bury a hatchet in his head (figuratively speaking, of course).

        An so, one more time, I suggest the EPA finding can be defeated by pointing to their emissions forecast, and showing how emissions are barely increasing in recent years. This of course creates a different damage function. And it knocks out the “clean power plan”. The key is to redo their work, use a series of models with a wide range of climate sensitivity parameters…you know what to do. The question is whether I can make you take the bait. I’m retired in Spain and I’m not about to go to DC to talk to Trump. Anyhow, until now nobody seems to be paying attention.

      • Fernando, you may be right, dunno. And proving it is wrong would be part of undoing the endangerment finding on a factual basis. Problem is, it will get court challenged for sure. Courts defer to agencies in matters of fact finding. So now you have Obama EPA versus Trump EPA ‘he said, she said’. Much cleaner to fix the enabling statute definitions whilemin control of both houses of Congress and be done with it. Regards.

      • charlieskeptic

        Well, Rud, refusal to defend a suit could affect its outcome?

      • Ristvan, by repeating the procedure one would have a much sounder basis to change the law. I see so many holes and gaps in the work done by the EPA I’m really curious as to what the answer might be.

        I’m also wondering if Tillerson may not soon be opening Trump’s eyes about what’s really happening to the world’s oil and gas resources. If you drill down into exxon’s energy outlook you will see I’m fairly aligned with ther vision, and both of us are parsecs apart from the rcp8.5 world.

  12. One could also say, What debate? It has been years since climatists were willing to. Now, they will have to make their case to incoming skeptical managers. I say fine, that is the debate they would do when they were the powers that be.

    Amazingly, these long-entitled activists are blind to the opportunity now presented to them. For many years, climate alarmists have refused to debate the science of their position, declaring that the “science is settled.” People like John Christy suggested that there could be at least a little funding for “red teams” to present the counter view to IPCC consensus science. All was for naught when true believers were in power.

    Now there will be round table discussions at the highest levels of powerful departments and agencies, such as Energy, Interior, NASA, and EPA. If the incoming powers-to-be are uneducated in climate science, let those concerned about global warming make their case, show their facts, convince skeptical people through reason and persuasion. It is now time to put up or shut up. It is exactly the wrong time to be appealing to emotions and trying to stir up craziness. Moral indignation and trash-talking the other side is the opposite of engaging in discussion and debate over what is claimed to be an essential issue of our times.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/unforeseen-climate-debates-coming/

    • Oops, ” I say fine, that is the debate they would NOT do when they were the powers that be.”

    • +100

      Hopefully these debates/discussions will occur. It seems a natural thing to do as CAGW alarmism has driven so much non productive over reactive policy.

      I am going to be hopeful until there is reason not to be.

  13. I especially liked your summary. As I was reading the article, my thoughts were that the “shakeup” would have the effect of bringing out the best in science on both sides, where ever that may lead. I still hold out hope that is what will happen. No more of the monkey shines we have seen over the past 20 years (hiding data, adjustments with no basis in reality, radical claims with no basis in the science, etc.).

    We will see what it brings. Perhaps the reaction of the Warmist side is just too much believing in their own hysteria? It sounds like it at this point.

  14. Concerns of warming are irrational. A warmer world has more atmospheric water vapour, and reduces temperature extremes and variability. The water vapour component of the greenhouse effect lowers the average surface temperature of the sunlit side of Earth, because of its absorption bands in the solar near infrared.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/earths-surface-temperatures-using-hemispherical-rather-ulric-lyons?trk=pulse_spock-articles

  15. Those who live by government subsidies (green energy) can easily die when the next administration shows up. The nuclear industry would also do well to remember that warning. Concentrate on being competitive; if you cannot compete, you deserve to be on the dung heap of bad ideas.

  16. Judith said “they want to know who went to the UNFCCC COP meetings, which are political meetings (hard to imagine a good rationale for govt scientists to attend those meetings)”
    The DOE are not all scientists of course. They have many involved in planning and implementing energy policy, and the subject of COP is highly relevant to them.

  17. All I want, is to get some reliable credible temperature data. So either get some decent ground stations – and place them to remove the urban/rural heating problem (which means controlling vegetation for miles around) and/or get some polar orbiting satellites so we have 100% satellite coverage OR satellites + detailed accurate measurements of part of the global to act as a reference calibration area to improve accuracy of satellites.

    AND … let’s depoliticise the science… let’s separate forecasting from data gathering so we never again have a group like NASA who were tempted to change the temperature to suit their failed models, rather than properly admitting the models were wrong and then working out how to improve (as that’s how science progresses).

    As for the IPCC – get rid of every activist – and pay the people who attend, because if you pay peanuts – you just get those with a political reason for being there.

  18. Left out of the “shifting sands” discussion is the gorilla in the desert, the Precautionary Principle. So long as policy makers can invoke the United Nations Rio Declaration, Principle 15, 1992 (Precautionary Principle: Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.), the rush headlong in the wrong direction to convert to renewable energy sources that are not ready for commercial use will continue unabated. Climate science results will simply be by-passed because of the ever-present small uncertainties inherent in all predictions. The umbilical cord connecting policies and the precautionary principle needs to be completely severed.

    We can only hope that Trump team will recognize the absence of urgency to take actions that are not supported by reliable climate models and the need to rethink how to proceed with an integrated climate research program in the future. The only settled conclusion regarding climate science is that scientists now have neither the technology nor the database to forecast long term global climate accurately enough to effectively guide energy policy decisions. The government is on the verge of committing U.S. taxpayers to spend trillions of dollars over decades based on the mere suspicion that a future problem might occur and the unsupported belief that a possible non-issue can and should be mitigated by massive, globally coordinated efforts to control the environment of the planet.

    • > the rush headlong in the wrong direction to convert to renewable energy sources that are not ready for commercial use will continue unabated.

      Along with the deployment of Saddam’s WMDs and the payment by Mexico for the upcoming wall.

  19. I understand trump has decisively won the Wisconsin recount. This is likely to embolden him as the faint hopes the democrats have of ousting him disappear. I think he will bring in some very dramatic policies in his first two weeks as president, amongst them a substantial refutation of the Paris deal.

    Tonyb

    • As of a few hours ago, the recount was 95% complete and HRC had picked up a grand total of 26 votes. Trump won by 22000. Michigan was stopped and Pennsyvania never started. Steins request wa s rej cyed by State courts and her appeal,to federal court failed for 6 different reasons.
      Now the losers are trying to corrupt the electoral college process, whichnis quite clear and well established on a state by state basis. I am not too concerned even ifmone or two electors do go rogue. There is one so declared on Facebook from the Dallas Texas area.

    • Tonyb, instead of blowing over as everyone expected, this latest thing on the Russian involvement in the elections seems to be snowballing, largely because Trump is attacking the CIA for bringing this information to Congress.

      • Mostly because the MSM/fake news keeps pushing a distorted and lying version of it. Lying by omission (in the better cases), but still fundamentally fake.

        It’ll blow over. And take a bunch of the remnants (if any) of the MSM’s credibility with it.

      • I think the CIA will have issues with telling Trump about any of their methods of obtaining information on Russia, because they know he has friends like Tillerson and Manafort who will blab to Russia. It’s a real problem.

      • charlieskeptic

        Arrant nonsense, Jim D.

        You would have us believe those individuals are traitors?

      • The CIA will be looking at all these people with ties to both Russia and Trump very closely, if they are doing their job. Putin could also flush out informants by feeding them false information and seeing what gets to Trump. He could fall for some tricks like that.

      • charlieskeptic

        Why don’t you direct some of that paranoia to “settled” climate science, Jim D?

      • I am saying that Trump is ill-advised to get on the wrong side of the CIA.

      • charlieskeptic

        I would suggest it is the other way around.

      • If Trump doesn’t trust his intelligence agencies, it is a tough situation for national security. This sort of thing happened just before 9/11.

      • If Trump doesn’t trust his intelligence agencies, it is a tough situation for national security.

        He’ll trust it much more when he has is own people in charge, instead of Obama appointees.

        This sort of thing happened just before 9/11.

        No. It didn’t.

      • Show us your proof that Bush did not trust the Intelligence agencies before 9-11.

        Jimd- wrong again.

      • “I am saying that Trump is ill-advised to get on the wrong side of the CIA.”

        TITTER!

        You’re funny!

      • He just hasn’t thought it through.

      • You just haven’t the first clue, have you Jimbo?

        Trump’s thought processes are as far above yours as they are above a goldfish.

      • He tanks casinos, defrauds people, goes back on promises, but you have this blind optimism in him. Very touching.

      • Tanks Casinos? LOL! You really are clueless. So where is the Sands Casino today? Where is the “Desert Inn”? You have no clue about business! Casinos do not last forever!

        4 Chapter 11 Bankruptcies out of 527 companies. And how many companies have you started JimD? Much less run?

      • Atlantic City was a disaster area of his own making. It is one thing if old casinos can’t keep up, but brand new ones? Expensive error.

      • Such “good” advice from someone who has thrown everything including the kitchen sink at him? ROFL! With advisers like JimD, he needs no enemies!

      • JimD is throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will stick. His descent into outright conspiracy theories would make me a spy for Russia since I collaborated with a Russian Programer 25 years ago. He has NO evidence. He cannot even get his facts correct, instead spreading falsehoods and outright Iies.

        It is evident he is part of the compassionate left that wants to destroy those who do not believe as he does.

      • Yea, like Hillary when she sold 20% of the US Uranium to the Russians? When she set up the honey pot with no tracking for the Russians? Or her raping husband who was paid MILLIONS by the Russians?

        LOL! JimD is so cute.

      • Jimd

        Are you seriously saying those two people you name will in effect become spies and give sway secrets?

        Hillary did not exactly set a good example with her blatant refusal to follow the rules. Was her server was one of those hacked?

        Tonyb

      • They are friendly with Putin. He can make use of them even in cunning ways.

      • charlieskeptic

        Paranoia, much?

      • No, I think Trump is going to be a stooge if he never criticizes Russia for anything, and the CIA should consider the blab factor too when briefing him.

      • charlieskeptic

        Like when Obama and Clinton did their “reset” thing with Putin?

      • The reset was with Medvedev.

      • charlieskeptic

        Haw, haw, haw! You think it wasn’t Putin?

      • At that time, Putin had not yet changed the constitution so that he could return, so there was hope, if only temporarily.

      • charlieskeptic

        I knew you were a fool or a paid CAGW troll. With this latest exchange, I now know you haven’t a clue about geopolitics, either.

      • ..so it wasn’t Putin, and your mistake, anyway…

      • He was PM – he was the rasputin. Even Obama acknowledged that, SO you are calling Obama clueless now? LOL!

        Why not insult your mother while you are at it!

      • The reset was not with Putin in fact.

      • Yea, right. Unfortunately NOT. Putin has been in power the whole time. Just his job title changed. And you think you know ANYTHING about Russia? LOL! Wrong again.

      • Whoops! There goes Georgia and the Ukraine! 4 more years and the rest of Eastern Europe would be under Putin’s heel again!

      • charlieskeptic

        Oh, and there is no problem with Obama giving Putin Syria, as well as the Crimea, Ukraine, etc.

        Fear the future: Trump is so going to spread his legs for the Cossack! Why, they even got him elected U.S. President! A Russian hacker is mightier than a whole world of elites and MSM!

        It is going to be 24/7 “Horrible Trump” from the losers for 8 years.

      • Actually, AFAIK, intelligence agencies are always nervous about spilling their secret methods and humint to politicians, because there’s always the risk of it getting into a speech by a politician with different values and agenda.

        Not different with Trump that I can see.

      • None have financial interests in Russia and China like Trump. He is more vulnerable.

      • None have financial interests in Russia and China like Trump. He is more vulnerable.

        Grasping at straws.

      • There is a reason a President should have no conflicts of interest.

      • More grasping at straws.

      • You seem to think it is fine when the President and CIA don’t trust each other. I think it is a sign of trouble to come. Nixon was in a similar situation with the CIA when he came in.

      • You seem to think it is fine when the President and CIA don’t trust each other.

        Clueless again.

        I’ve always suspected you’re just trying to waste my time. Are you really so dumb I need to draw you a picture?

      • I gave my thoughts, but I still don’t know where you stand on Trump’s relationship to the intelligence agencies. Anyway, I am not really interested in your opinion on that, so I will stop trying.

      • Anyway, I am not really interested in your opinion on that, so I will stop trying.

        Scared I’ll draw another picture?

        I know. Denial is much more comfortable.

      • Whatever picture you are drawing is coming up as a blank, or perhaps that is your picture.

      • Whatever picture you are drawing is coming up as a blank, […]

        Denial. It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

      • No, but if you cannot comprehend it, that is all you see.,

      • He said nothing about Obama. And you have said nothing about Trump and the CIA. Probably because you know less than that.

      • EVERY President has had conflicts of interest! Only dead people and androids do not! That has to be the worst statement you have made yet! And you have made some doozies!

      • This is going to be useless, but I have to ask.

        Show us your evidence of his “financial Interests” in Russia. Hard facts, not your lame conspiracy theories again.

      • Atta boy Jim, lets get that Red Baiting program going again. Maybe we can channel Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, Roy Cohn, and Tail-Gunner Joe for a command performance and even reconstitute the House Committee on Un-American Activities. For real intrigue an updated version of the Pumpkin Papers might be arranged. What great times they were. We worried if the fluoridation of water was a Commie plot and even changed the name of the Cincinnati Reds to Redlegs so as to not taint the team and city with any Pinko associations. My favorite show then was “I Led Three Lives”. Do you think Michael Moore would be interested in producing a sequel? Kind of an ironic twist.

        Since the American public has lost its patience with Liberals using the Big 4 “isms” as ad hominems, that strategy appears to no longer have any currency. So on to the Big Red Bear Scare.

      • Based on America’s recent past, perhaps there will be a bi-partisan committee and they will look at Trump’s Russian connections, especially before the election. Emails may be involved. What did he know and when did he know it? As you know, it just needs the questions to be asked for the public to think something is there. It’s not pretty, but we are used to all this now.

      • Will they look at Hillary’s

        LOL! You miss the stick in your eye trying to find a mote in another’s!

      • charlieskeptic

        A bi-partisan committee, just like the Benghazi Committee, Jim D?

      • When it comes to the question of Russia hacking for Trump, the intelligence isn’t sound. The evidence is circumstantial. The FBI doesn’t think the evidence is strong enough. This is more politics from the Dimowits. They, along with some never-trumpers like RINO McCain, have been trying to de-legitimize the election since Trump won. They are fighting for their political life because Trump will be at least partly successful at what he has promised. From the article:

        The FBI is not sold on the idea that Russia had a particular aim in its meddling. “There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals,” said one U.S. official.

        The murky nature of the assessments is maddening many lawmakers who are demanding answers about the Kremlin’s role in the presidential race. The FBI, under Director James B. Comey, is already under fire for dropping a bombshell letter days before the election on the discovery of new emails potentially related to the Clinton private server investigation. The emails proved irrelevant to the case. On Saturday, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called on Comey to resign, saying the FBI director deliberately kept quiet evidence about Russia’s motives before the election.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-and-cia-give-differing-accounts-to-lawmakers-on-russias-motives-in-2016-hacks/2016/12/10/c6dfadfa-bef0-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.4024331b0042

      • Jim D
        I think you are right.
        I can think of no other organization on the planet better equipped to understand the ins and outs of ‘involvement’ in the elections of other countries than our friends at CIA.

      • From the article:

        The FBI has not yet said whether the RNC was targeted. Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC and incoming White House chief of staff, denied that the committee had been hacked.

        The FBI has gone after Russian hackers before, The New York Times has reported. But because it is a law-enforcement agency, it is required to produce more concrete evidence of criminal wrongdoing than the CIA, which is tasked with producing intelligence analyses.

        Even so, Democrats at last week’s hearing were apparently frustrated by the FBI official’s reluctance to say that the hacking campaign had been designed to hurt Clinton and boost Trump.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-cia-russia-hacking-2016-12

      • Well, if there’s a consensus, it must be right. From the article:

        The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

        The Washington Post’s “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” cites unnamed sources “briefed on the matter” that “intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.” The Post article cites an unnamed senior U.S. official that the “consensus view” of the intelligence committee is that Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/12/11/the-battle-over-russian-hacking-is-over-the-legitimacy-of-the-trump-presidency/#4cacf1d16ed7

      • @Jim2

        I agree that the data is nebulous. I work in computer security and trying to figure out after the fact who hacked something is extremely difficult, you are relying on logs that the attacker may have tampered with to hide their tracks. In most cases, the hackers are not stupid enough to hack from an IP address registered to them, it’s too easy to take over other systems (renting a botnet if you don’t run one yourself) and make the attacks from there. The only way you can really know is if the attacker admits it.

        saying that the attackers used malware ‘consistent with’ the Russians is meaningless, one thing about malware, the targets of any attack have a copy of it, and can tweak and re-use it. People I work with have their full time jobs being to disassemble malware found on systems to figure out what it does, tweaking it is trivial by comparison.

        It would be been incompetent for the Russians to NOT have hacked Hillary’s e-mail. Same thing goes for the DNC and Trump.

        But there’s no evidence that wikileaks got their info from Russia as opposed to from some kid in a basement somewhere. As to why the leaks were one-sided, it could be that the person leaking the stuff had a particular axe to grind, or it could be that there was just far more ‘juicy’ stuff on one side. (or good enough security to keep the leakers out on the other side)

      • These accusations of Russian influence were known to the public prior to the election.
        He won anyway.
        This is simply a propaganda meme designed to give political cover to the Electoral College and encourage those willing to nullify the state vote tally.
        Why not ask the CIA to verify and clarify the substance of it’s communications to the White House and Congress
        Good luck.

      • It’s not to do with what the public knew, but more about why Trump isn’t interested in it being Russia or in investigating those ties and motives.

      • davidelang,

        The CIA’s ability to detect bad guys might not be as good as they claim.

        Edward Snowden, anyone? Or a few others, which CIA, NSA etc, refuse to confirm or deny. Most people will have something on their computer which refers them to their systems administrator for help, from time to time.

        Everyone knows the sysadmin is the most ethical, honest, and upright person in the whole organisation. Yeah, right!

        I’m with you about uncertainty. Kevin Mitnick demonstrated the power of social engineering. I’m sure lots of people still tape their login and password underneath their desk drawer. Some just put it on a post-it under an in tray.

        Facts, rather than guesses or suspicion, are needed. Maybe Mr Trump wants to see some facts, before expressing an opinion. Who knows?

        Much speculation – little hard fact. Who would go to war on a suspicion that someone had weapons of mass destruction – somewhere? No rational person.

        Cheers.

      • Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that Russia did hack the DNC and Podesta. What’s getting lost in the noise is that it wouldn’t matter had the emails been about Chelsea’s wedding and yoga class.

      • They were probably upset at the quality of the emails they got.

      • Russia wouldn’t be Russia if they didn’t try to “interfere” with or “influence” our elections. It’s just what they do.

        Hillary didn’t go a crazy when she found out they were creating and manipulating environmental activists groups to muck with our and Canada’s politics and infrastructure development. Nor for Poland.

      • But Trump doesn’t think it is Russia.

      • Yeah, probably Russia. And a few other institutions. Probably not the only event.

        I think we can be pretty confident. It’d be just like Russia to leak email about democratic knowledge of Russian manipulation of environmental activism knowing that we already know about them, just to throw us off.

      • And people need to get away from this “because, Russia,” meme. Russia is a adversary or sorts. But more so competition. Just because Russia wants something doesn’t mean it’s bad. We can have a healthy, competitive relationship, or an antagonistic, adversarial, hostile one. Actually, we have both, all the time. Depends on the context. Our relationship with Russia is complex.

      • Our relation with all foreign governments is complex, even with “allies”. nations do not have “friends”, merely common interests that cause brief alliances for the purpose of attaining those interests.

      • So Jim, exactly how did they influence the election? There is no evidence they hacked polling stations.

      • The FBI launches *another* e-mail investigation related to Hillary ten days prior to the election: NOT political.

        The FBI doesn’t find anything sufficient to recommend indicting Hillary and closes the investigation a week before the election: political.

        The CIA identifies the Russian government as the source of the DNC e-mail hacks after Trump wins the Electoral College lottery: political.

        I couldn’t make this up.

      • There was not “another” investigation. It was the same one, just new evidence.

      • JimD,

        I did technical work for the US Intelligence Community back in the ’80s and ’90s. I am also co-inventor on various patents involving computer technology.

        I actually know a bit about the technical side of this stuff.

        The US Intelligence Community does not know that Russia hacked the DNC.

        Read carefully the MSM reports: it’s weasel-worded. Some people (not all) in the Intelligence Community are pushing a political agenda, just as happened in the disastrous WMD fiasco (yes, I, and any knowledgeable person, knew the WMD stuff was fake before we went into Iraq).

        You want to pretend that it is settled that Russia hacked the DNC? It’s a free country — say what you will. But you will fool no one with any relevant technical knowledge.

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • I guess we can conclude the neocons do navigate quite easily from left to right to left to wherever they think they will be more effective inducing the USA to assume a warlike, aggressive, imperialist, and futile foreign policy.

        I’ve always seen Hillary Clinton as a neocon golem, now that she lost and Trump shows he’s an independent thinker, the neocon controlled media and political machine are going into full attack mode. And I sure wish mr trump lots of luck and hope that he defeat them. They are the clearest danger to the American people.

      • Jim D

        If you have confidence in our intelligence agencies you need to read the histories of the CIA and National Security Agency. Since Truman there are examples of mucking up things andletting down Presidents. It has not always been incompetence. They have incredible restrictions on their methods and operations. Many of their conclusions are probabilistic
        determinations and circumstantial in nature. We know how that works.

        Calling anything from them a slam dunk is a stretch. Oh, wait..been there… done that.

      • It is not snowballing. It is being pushed because the recounts did not work. Hillary is using every means at her disposal to call into question the election, after promising she would do no such thing! It is not the first time in history that a loser has broken a promise,. But then it is Hillary and it would be easier to list what promises she has kept (other than the Corleone promises.)

      • “He’s hiding this stuff with his tax returns for obvious reasons.”

        (Sighs wearily) If your rumors and innuendo are true then why hasn’t the CI of the IRS already arrested Trump? If the criminal activity is on the tax returns then the CI knows about it and if the criminal activity is not on the tax returns then your rumors and innuendo are just more bunk.

      • It is not criminal to owe Russian oligarchs money, just a conflict of interest that he would need to resolve, but first reveal.

      • “It is not criminal to owe Russian oligarchs money, just a conflict of interest that he would need to resolve, but first reveal.”

        Why does he have to *reveal* this when you already *know* he owes this money. How much money does he owe and to whom?

      • No one knows how much. That would be interesting. Is it millions or billions? Makes a difference.

      • “When you owe the bank a little –
        The bank owns you
        When you own the bank a lot –
        You own the bank.”

      • That becomes a partnership with the oligarchs. I wish we knew. Don’t you?

      • “No one knows how much. That would be interesting. Is it millions or billions? Makes a difference.”

        Or – equally likely – it’s nothing at all.

        Do you not realise how badly your desperate attempts to smear
        Trump by inventing non-existent character flaws reflect on you personally?

        Clearly not.

      • What’s he hiding his taxes for then? That was one of the favored theories based on some evidence. There could be other reasons too.

      • What’s he hiding his taxes for then?

        Probably just to keep his opponents distracted.

      • The billion dollar break that he failed to hide was a doozy. Is there more like that?

      • The billion dollar break that he failed to hide was a doozy.

        How do you know he didn’t leak it himself? It impressed his base.

      • You are impressed by financial incompetence requiring a major tax forgiveness?

      • “What’s he hiding his taxes for then?”

        You can’t eat your cake and have it too, Jim. If he is “hiding his taxes” this is a crime and since you acknowledge he is filing tax returns this would be an effort to defraud the U.S. government. Given no such charges have been brought against him it is more than just a tad disingenuous to assume he is “hiding his taxes”.

        Further, if he is “hiding his taxes” and for whatever reasons only you knows about this while the CI of the IRS seemingly knows nothing, then whatever it is you are hoping to find by Trump revealing his tax returns will be for naught since he is, in your world, “hiding his taxes”.

      • I only ask because presidents-elect have always had their taxes out in the open. It helps with trust, and the converse inspires the opposite for obvious reasons.

      • “I only ask because presidents-elect have always had their taxes out in the open. It helps with trust, and the converse inspires the opposite for obvious reasons.”

        Nope. Certainly not before 1913 and I have no idea how long it was after that year that your cherished tradition of revealing tax returns began and I’m not willing to do the research on that since it is clear your hyperbole is beyond the pale with that remark, brother.

        I don’t know about you, but my parents always taught to me to respect others and not be rude. Of the many things they instilled upon that was rude was asking people how much money they make. They always made clear it was just none of my business how much money other people make and my only business was how much money I make, an increasingly dour situation thanks to a Leviathan regulatory state.

      • Trump is rather out there with how much money he says he has. He’s not shy or modest about it, only about the evidence for it. He brings this on himself. That, with his history of fr@ud, makes him fair game.

      • > I don’t know about you, but my parents always taught to me to respect others and not be rude.

        Where does stealing private correspondence and putting it into the public domain fit on the politeness spectrum, Jean Paul?

      • “Where does stealing private correspondence and putting it into the public domain fit on the politeness spectrum, Jean Paul?”

        Somewhere near using an unaccountable organisation such as the IRS to persecute and harass Republicans perhaps, Danny Boy.

        I assume you don’t have a problem with that because harassing Republicans is – in Dannyworld – fully justified, right?

        In any case, technically it wasn’t private correspondence, it was government correspondence, so was paid for by the taxpayer and stored on the taxpayer’s hardware.

        As a matter of interest, whare on that spectrum does boasting that you got a rapist off a charge while knowing they were guilty all along?

        Again, I suppose the fact it was Hillary who was boasting gets her a free pass in Dannyworld?

      • “Where does stealing private correspondence and putting it into the public domain fit on the politeness spectrum, Jean Paul?”

        I’d say it is pretty damn rude, since you’re asking. It is also illegal which is why people like Assange are hiding in embassy’s constantly in fear for the life, they’re not just thieves, they’re rude!

        That said, and I’m assuming you mean Hillary’s private server being hacked, since she had that tied to government documents your question is not as clear cut as you would like it to be. The public tied to a private server is different than just a private server for private use only.

        P.S. I’m afraid I won’t have much time to give our other discussion the thoughtful analysis it deserves and may not find that time tonight. If not tonight, I should have the time tomorrow. I do, ridiculously, have enough time to make these pointless posts to our brother Jim for a few more minutes.

        It’s good to see you.

      • > I’d say it is pretty damn rude, since you’re asking. It is also illegal which is why people like Assange are hiding in embassy’s constantly in fear for the life, they’re not just thieves, they’re rude!

        Check.

        > That said, and I’m assuming you mean Hillary’s private server being hacked, since she had that tied to government documents your question is not as clear cut as you would like it to be.

        It was really dumb of her to have done that, and deserved getting thwacked for it.

        > The public tied to a private server is different than just a private server for private use only.

        The DNC server hackings are completely not cool in my book, no matter who did them.

        > I’m afraid I won’t have much time to give our other discussion the thoughtful analysis it deserves and may not find that time tonight.

        No worries Jean Paul, I just couldn’t help bust your balls over here a bit. I’m mainly salty that none of the alleged bad actors here saw fit to be fair and balanced in releasing moar dirt on any Republican shenanigans. ;-)

      • Thus far all reports I have seen use the same agitprop techniques used during the 2002-2003 Iraq WMD campaign. Agitprop techniques have been codified and were used at the Bush pentagon in cooperation with the NY Times, Fox, CNN, and other media to lie to the American people about the supposed existence of WMD in Hussein’s arsenal.

        When I read carefully through the material we see now, I see the same redaction techniques. If pay close attention, these reports are given pseudo authority by quoting unnamed officials, and liberally sprinkling them with IF, IT IS SAID, IT APPEARS, etc. This allows the orchestration of a propaganda campaign based on smoke and mirrors.

        By the way, this type of well organized, coherent, stream of falsehoods may be historical, but I personally only became aware of it when my job positioned me overseas in places where I had access to private intelligence and information from non USA media sources. I was also authorized to exchange information and review briefing documents used by private intelligence services for their clients (in other words, I was a primary confidential source). Having been in the trenches, I can say I definitely have seen the USA media, presidents, senators, secretary of defense, Secretary of State, guys like Bolton and others lie brazenly. Fox lies but they go about it in a fairly straightforward fashion. CNN lies are structured carefully. The NY Times is easy to tear apart if you know where to look. But they have a lot of poorly deserved credibility.

        Given the viciousness of the ongoing Russia/Trump campaign, this has to be driven by very mighty forces indeed. It is clear to me they are desperately trying to undermine any future moves by Trump/Tillerson to reach an entente with the Russians. And those who benefit range from oligarchs like Khodokorvsky to the Chinese to the neocon establishment and the Saudi Royal radical faction (the ones who finance jihad).

        This is a bit off topic, but since you used the thread to discuss the elections and ongoing efforts by radicals such as Stein to undermine the political system, I felt I would chip in some thoughts.

      • Hmmmm. Incovenient:

  20. And From the Los Angeles Times yesterday:
    – – “California’s climate fight could be painful — especially on job and income growth” – – –

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-climate-fight-20161108-story.html

  21. What are the chances Gavin Schmidt is out at GISS? Will NASA finally go back to raw data over adjusted data?

    • Warming increases with raw data

      • Yep, ACORN adjustments on rural temp records in Oz
        create a warming trend orright … Darwin, Amberley,
        Rutherglen …

        https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/the-australian-temperature-record-revisited-part-4-outliers/

      • Warming increases with more heat.

        Cheers.

      • Yep, ACORN adjustments on rural temp records in Oz
        create a warming trend orright … Darwin, Amberley,
        Rutherglen …

        this is Alt-geography

        Australia doesnt matter to the global record.

        get rid of adjustments and the record will warm.

        period.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Australia is roughly the same size as the US. Obviously, according to you, the US also doesn’t matter to the global record.

        Antarctica is a little larger, but I suppose it doesn’t matter to the global record, either.

        Maybe you could tell us what countries do matter to the global record? Only those where temperature manipulation and creation aren’t so blatantly obvious, perhaps?

        And who might you sell your “reports” to? To whom do you “report”?

        Complete nonsense, desperately seeking respectability and a buyer. Astrologers and psychics sell their wares on a regular basis. Are you jealous?

        Maybe nobody cares about your reports. Facts are facts, fabrications and reanalyses quite useless. Predictions based on physics, under set conditions, may be useful. Predictions of the future state of a chaotic system, based on wishful thinking, are useful if suckers believe you, and keep giving you money.

        Warming during the last 100 years? Given seven times the population, creating at least seven times as much heat per capita, it would be a mighty surprise if thermometers were unable record this increase in heat.

        Taken into account with increase in the amount of insolation by reducing particulates, albedo changes, and so on, a couple of K or so might be reasonable. More in places with greater heat concentration, less in other places. Less than 0.7% in absolute terms overall.

        You might fall into a state of absolute funk. I’ll just keep cool, and carry on.

        Cheers.

      • Flynn I would Start with Africa

      • charlieskeptic

        My God, Mr. Mosher has it! We all start Wandering in the Weeds in AFRICA! What insight!

      • “Flynn I would Start with Africa”

        Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me!

        Plenty of scope for making stuff up Kriging and Mannipulating where there are hardly any reliable temperature measuring facilities, right?

      • Steven Mosher,

        According to the World Meteorogical Organisation –

        “Because the data with respect to in-situ surface air temperature across Africa is sparse, a one- year regional assessment for Africa could not be based on any of the three standard global surface air temperature data sets from NOAA- NCDC, NASA-GISS or HadCRUT4.”

        I can see why you’d start with Africa. Enormous scope to fabricate records. Who could possibly show you were wrong?

        If Africa is your starting point for reliable records, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have difficulty selling your reports – at least to any person of sound mind. Maybe you could sell them to NOAA, NASA, or HadCRUT.

        They seem to be a bit short of data. Maybe you could interpolate or create some of the missing data for them. Tell them you’re a scientist.

        Cheers.

      • John Carpenter

        The tedious trend continues, unabated and as predicted, despite not knowing what the future holds and wholly consistent with the past.

      • John Carpenter,

        You’re right of course. Facts keep right on keeping on, no matter how hard to try to wish them out of existence.

        Cheers.

  22. As with most change agents in the political arena, there needs to be some house cleaning to re-establish a platform on which to build a new paradigm. Regarding climate change, there seems to be no one Department where completely defunding it would lead to the change desired. Hence, a survey of the budget process for all agencies may be required.

    Climate change ideology, at least the catastrophic variety has literally metastasized through out the bureaucratic structure of the Federal Government. To implement the forces of change, the first priority should be looking for key words in grants, budget justifications and memos including code words that convey the catastrophe is upon us now. Words like urgent; imminent, unprecedented, words to the effect that we can’t wait for all the science to be done, Government needs to act immediately. The precautionary principle on steroids.

    Once the ideology within the budgets of various agencies is observed, then prioritization of specific agencies, policies, and workforce needs can be done. To reduce the hassle of employee union litigation, simply eliminate wholesale divisions and categories, reassigning those necessary roles and responsibilities to other agencies. Employees who have had their jobs eliminated can compete for other job in the Federal Government which already has a reduced work force. Hiring would be mindful that there would no longer be jobs in catastrophic climate change. Buggy whip makers need not apply.

    I know I am being mean spirited, and I do not really expect agencies to expose themselves to budget cuts and man/person power reductions willingly. Probably some climate change egregious regulations may be eliminate in a 4 year time span; however, the real culprit, that if eliminate would make lasting change for the science of climate change, would be the elimination of the Endangerment Finding. A long term perspective, ie, 8 year project may be successful. Eventually finding a Federal Judge to make a ruling to pass onto the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit Court may need to be bypassed some way.

    The Federal bureaucracy has grown through the ages in spite of good intentions to restrain it. This bureaucracy has seen all this posturing before and the Civil Service is designed to obstruct massive policy changes by eliminating jobs.

    It would be neat to combine all relevant workforce into a single climate change agency and then eliminate the agency altogether through the budget process.

    Just thinking aloud.

    • > I do not really expect agencies to expose themselves to budget cuts and man/person power reductions willingly.

      I actually do. Not willingly on the part of the established employees, but willingly on the part of the new management being put in place.

      Trump is not appointing people who are interested in building empires in government, he is appointing people who understand cost-benefit analysis (either from the private sector or from the military) and people who have had to suffer under the hands of the agencies that they are now going to be directing.

      If this isn’t a recipe for cutting back on the power of these agencies, I don’t know what is.

    • In a saner world, recognition that real climate warming does exist but is very unlikely to be catastrophic would stimulate discussion of pre-adaptation, where fixing the vulnerabilities to today’s climate would include an extra margin to deal with tomorrow’s, would top the agenda of the new administration.

      Saner world, anyone?

  23. It’s the pools of quicksand which drown all critical scientific thinking that need to be drained.

  24. Settled science has no fear of a new administration: E still equals MC-squared; Gravity is still 32.2 ft/second-squared; and E= IR (volts equals amps x resistance). There are literally thousands of other forms of settled science.

    The fact (as amply evidenced in Dr. Curry’s post above) that climate scientists (at least some of them) and climate activists are in a tizzy tells us all we need to know about how certain, how settled, man-made global warming is.

    Go hit a golf ball; or shoot free throws; the forces acting on the ball in either case are settled science,

    Global warming either is real or it isn’t.

    Pick one.

    • There was or wasn’t an LIA. Choose.

      • Steven,

        If US government agencies start to adjust down temperatures, BEST is going to find itself as the odd one out. Any plans for that? Is BEST going to mimic the adjust down or is it going to claim it is the only correct database and keep the warming coming?

      • ” Is BEST going to mimic the adjust down or is it going to claim it is the only correct database and keep the warming coming?”

        It was adjusted, up, it can be adjusted back down again.

        Nothing that a bit of Mannipulation with some of Mosher’s patent AlGoreithms can’t fix.

      • “If US government agencies start to adjust down temperatures, BEST is going to find itself as the odd one out. Any plans for that? Is BEST going to mimic the adjust down or is it going to claim it is the only correct database and keep the warming coming”

        We will keep doing what we do.

        1. Take the raw data.
        2. Apply the best validated methods we know for prediction and correction.
        3. Report the answer.

        1. take the raw data.
        2. Select the best stations we can find. make no corrections
        3. Apply the best methods.
        4. Report the answer

        1. Take all the raw data
        2. Make no corrections
        3. Apply the best methods.
        4. Report the answer

        compare all three of the above and report.

        The thing is this.

        You dont have to look at any temperatures to know its getting warmer.

      • I’m leaning towards using a boilerplate reanalysis to estimate energy changes from the top of the atmosphere down to 300 meters below sea level over the last 50 years. Have you considered that alternative?

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “You dont have to look at any temperatures to know its getting warmer.”

        Exactly so. Dogma of the Warmist Church of Scientism. Facts are not necessary to the faithful – it’s getting warmer, so looking at temperatures is pointless. Believe!

        Why do you bother with fiddling with historical temperatures, then, I wonder?

        Cheers.

      • And they are out of the gate!

      • Adjusted or unadjusted data.

        Choose.

        No credible result can be had with adjusted data.

        No credible engineer would dare use adjusted data; he obtains new data that requires no adjustment. Personal bias creeps into adjusted data. Things that engineers build fall down, catch fire, or explode when adjusted data is used.

        If you climate scientists have any hope of restoring (or obtaining) credibility, start by using data that requires no adjustments.

      • Apply the best validated methods we know for prediction and correction.

        Alas BEST’s “best” methods surreptitiously distort and suppress the multi-decadal variations of greatest impact during human lifetimes in favor of bogus trends,

  25. Some thoughts on OSTP in a Trumperian world. The linked Heritage critique is essentially three fold. 1. The Congressional Act creating OSTP provides only a vague ill defined charter. 2. It is now a large bureaucracy. 3. It is politicized.
    Rather than abolish (it has been around in some form since WWII and has at times played an influential role in executive branch thinking), reform by sharpening its charter and slimming it down. In Washington, especially the White House, everything is politicized; live with it. Sharpened charter should deal mainly with science gaps and underlying ‘conflicts/ uncertainties and how to address both as chief executive. When I was head of Motorola global strategy, I worked closely with the CTO. Together we had significant influence on the CEO and Board. We identified scientific gaps in displays and in permanent (no voltage) memory, and got the Board to approve CEO recommendations to fix both. Those were multi year, multi hundred million dollar, hundreds of people R&D commitments.
    A US science gap example is underinvestment in 4gen nuclear at all federal levels (national labs, DoE, NSF) compared to China. A conflict/uncertainty is CAGW imbalanced climate research; the IPCC charter is expressly only AGW. Yet the attribution problem is essential to understanding the data that informs energy policy. So up climate science study of natural variation and cut back the AGW model nonsense. Independent OSTP advice like that, independent of Cabinet/Agency inputs, is IMO a valuable counterweight to bureaucratic inertia. OSTP can always set up special temporary study panels on specific topics. God forbid the President having to get directly involved in such details himself.

    • Rud, I’ve nominated you to Trump’s suggestion box to be his Science Advisor, and I like what you’ve said here, with one exception: “the IPCC charter is expressly only AGW.”

      To me, that’s a stretch. Implicitly, ^determining the man-made contribution to warming^ does not rule out studying natural-variation contributions to warming. Those words could charitably be interpreted to mean that by studying natural variation and then eliminating it, the man-made contribution could be deduced.

      • Effectively, this has been interpreted to address only AGW. I have heard from IPCC authors that have tried to deal with natural variability in a meaningful way, and they are told that the charter is to focus on AGW. In principle, ‘detection’ of AGW requires a signal above and beyond natural variability, but in the latest two IPCC reports, detection and attribution have been merged into a single process (that doesn’t make much sense, IMO)

      • Yeah, there’s hardly anything in AR5 on natural variability…

        Chapter 5.4 Modes of Climate Variability

        Chapter 8: Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing

        Chapter 9.5
        9.5 Simulation of Variability and Extremes
        9.5.1 Importance of Simulating Climate Variability
        9.5.2 Diurnal-to-Seasonal Variability
        9.5.3 Interannual-to-Centennial Variability
        9.5.4 Extreme Events

        etc ad nauseum

      • Thanks for the education, Judy.

  26. “…eliminate the OSTP, in favor of specially appointed committees as needed”

    What is urgently needed for decisions regarding the Paris Agreement is a committee to provide an authoritative answer to the question: “Assuming BAU, when will the GMST reach 2°C (above 1850 levels)?”

    This requires both an assessment of the TCR and a choice of RCP (and perhaps a reliable model) . I would expect an objective inquiry to find that 2° is highly unlikely this century, even if no Paris climate policies are implemented.

    • “Assuming BAU” is a very tall order. As a matter, having a hard wired business as usual case is utter nonsense. It has to be a fully dynamic system simulation.

      • Simply means “make no assumptions regarding Government interventions to suppress emissions:. With a TCR of 1.2 and RCP4.5, the mean temp will NEVER get to 2°C according to Table 12 WG1 of AR5.

      • The ongoing evolution of the oil and gas industries as well as evolving competing technologies would indicate the market would take us to an rcp5 type outcome.

        For example, the only large oil producing “shale” formation which seems to be very competitive is the Permian Wolfcamp and nearby zones. We are now in a pretty decent position to see the end of the Bakken Three Forks, as well as the Eagle Ford.

        The gas picture is much brighter in the USA, but it’s easy to see there’s a limit. And overseas the picture is much grimmer. Just like Saudi Arabia was given the geólogy to create Ghawar and other giant fields, and that Russia ended with the Cenomanian super giant gas reservoirs, the USA lucked into world class very low quality but supergiant gas reservoirs.

        I really would like to see a much more serious effort to build an ensemble of possible outcomes and emissions pathways based on market forces, and different amounts of state interference in the market, just to see where these “BAU” cases will land. My preferred case continues to point to 630 ppm peak co2.

  27. Pingback: | thePOOG

  28. Calvin Coolidge managed to reduce the size of the US Government, and no solid scientific knowledge was jettisoned in the process.

    That was the “Roaring Twenties”, all kinds of solid scientific advances where accomplished (mostly with private dollars). And all kinds of unproven hypotheses remained unproven without any taxpayer dollars.

    Lots and lots of hypotheses where proven and exploited with no taxpayer dollars at all. That was about the time that Philo Farnsworth invented the “modern TV” (since replaced by LCD’s, LED’s etc.). Radio made great advances, etc. etc. etc. Most all of it done with no “help” from the government.

    In contrast after decades of government funding for “climate science” the community can’t even agree on the equivalent of Ohm’s Law, I.E: the exact value of the ECS…..

    If we have to wait for the “climate science” community to solve anything we are in bad shape.

    Cheers, KevinK

    • Curious George

      What a darling Dr. Holdren is: “renewable energy and natural gas have been cheaper than the more greenhouse-gas-intensive alternatives, particularly coal.”
      The guy who apparently believes this had B. Hussain Obama’s ear.

    • I agree with Holdren and am glad Judith does too. Realistically the policies have already started, industries and governments are already planning on this basis. No point in trying to roll it back.

      • Curious George

        The road to hell is irresistible.

      • Alarmism on your part.

      • Good, it’s time to drop the subsidies for “green” energy anyway … way past time actually.

      • I like Exxon’s carbon tax idea myself. That motivates the correct behavior with a market-based solution.

      • charlieskeptic

        Distort markets to get “correct behavior” and call it market based. Watermelon world.

      • We have a market based solution. It is called the Law of Supply and Demand. And no government or person has been able to change it in history. But they have been able to prevent it from working, such as Venezuela has, which simply leads to a destroyed economy.

        Socialists hate it, but that is the thing about scientific “Laws”. They do not care about the “feelings” of mortals.

      • I don’t know Jim2, I think there is plenty of room for all types of energy subsidies. If we subsidies anything, it should be energy (and water security). Our over dependence on NG is dangerous. We should have a broader baseload supply system and excess NG capacity. I think using as much of other energy as possible for baseload and exporting NG (build capacity for emergencies and for peaking demand, but operate below capacity and sell much of it abroad) would be ideal. Coal, nuclear, solar, wind, and NG for baseload. But NG primarily for peaking and emergencies and export, since it travels well.

      • How do you conclude Dr Curry agrees with Holdren?

      • I would put a choke on LNG exports. That gas has to be used as a geopolitical tool in the neighborhood, and as a means to keep the uk serving as an unsinkable air craft carrier closely allied with the USA.

      • “as a means to keep the uk serving as an unsinkable air craft carrier closely allied with the USA.”

        For the time being.

        And so far, AFAIK we have had precisely one shipload of ethane, as a feedstock for plastics manufacture.

        The change of regime is rapidly removing the obstacles to accessing our own shale gas and oil.

      • I like Exxon’s carbon tax idea myself. That motivates the correct behavior with a market-based solution.

        I don’t. Its “market-based” incentives will take 10-20 years to pay off.

        Great for bit oil companies, who are used to such things, but it could be done faster and cheaper with incentives that stimulated immediate ROI for small, agile, innovators.

        Still, it will likely solve the problem. Just more slowly. And with more tilting the playing field towards big corporations.

      • Jim2 and Others like him are hypocrites. As Senator Grassley says, people like Jim2 want to discuss subsidies in a vacuum of only green subsidies

        And by the way, no matter how many times that subsidies specific only to oil & gas (and not general business tax credits) are cited [as Grassley does]– this means nothing to Jim2 and Others.

      • The problem is what Grassley calls a “subsidy”. He is saying that GAAP defined expenses are “subsidies” for his definition, when they are not. They are expense deductions which all companies take before reporting net profits,. which are taxed.

        Subsidies are monies collected by the government which are then redirected to other entities. Deductions are never collected by the government and are not redirected. They are a cost of doing business.

      • Stephen Seagrest,

        I sincerely doubt that Jim2 and others like him (Libertarian) only want to discuss subsidies in a vacuum of green subsidies. The reason Jim2 focuses on green subsidies here is because it is a green vacuum so to speak (no offense, Dr. Curry).

        If you truly want to discuss other subsidies – although the relevance to this site may be questionable – I suspect Jim2 and others like him (which includes moi) would be more than happy to give you a digital eyeful of what they think of subsidies and how that relates to free market principles.

      • Jean Paul Until you can just simply list all the subsidies that Ron Paul has for years wanted to eliminate, I will not recognize you as a serious player here at CE. From your comment, you are not starting off well as to credibility — nuclear subsidies are not relevant to CE?

      • “Jean Paul Until you can just simply list all the subsidies that Ron Paul has for years wanted to eliminate, I will not recognize you as a serious player here at CE. From your comment, you are not starting off well as to credibility — nuclear subsidies are not relevant to CE?”

        You’re just deflecting. Either you want to have a serious discussion about subsidies or you don’t Libertarian’s (or at the very least the Libertarian Party) oppose all forms of government subsidies and bailouts to business, labor or any other special interest. That includes nuclear subsidies.

        Pompous dismissals are easy to spot for what they are.

    • Holdren says: Just the increase in torrential downpours and the flooding associated with that is so conspicuous, so damaging, that I think anybody that did want to roll back the sensible things we’re doing would find there was a lot of opposition to it.

    • Not sure how you get to “backing off”. He continues to push the increasing floods and storms and sea level rise. I am not expecting him to apologize to Pieke Jr. any time soon.

    • He’s still prevaricating about extreme weather and AGW, I see:

      “People understand that climate change is happening around them. Just the increase in torrential downpours and the flooding associated with that is so conspicuous, so damaging, that I think anybody that did want to roll back the sensible things we’re doing would find there was a lot of opposition to it.”

  29. Also, please note that “Silent Cal” Coolidge had a very different persona than President Elect Donald Trump. I only mention it in case nobody noticed…

    Cheers, KevinK

  30. And oldie but goodie from Silent Cal Coolidge (with inserted comments in parens)

    “there is a standard of righteousness that might does not make right (having control of the OTSP does not automatically make your advice correct), that the end does not justify the means (“Saving the Earth” does not mean you can trample on others God given rights), and that expediency as a working principle is bound to fail (i.e. “adjusting data” to scare people). The only hope of perfecting human relationships is in accordance with the law of service under which men are not so solicitous about what they shall get as they are about what they shall give (the climate science community should have concentrated on giving good solid knowledge, not getting more money). Yet people are entitled to the rewards of their industry. What they earn is theirs, no matter how small or how great (all you yahoos flying around in private jets while lecturing me about driving my pickup to work ring any bells ???). But the possession of property carries the obligation to use it in a larger service…(yes we should all be good keepers of the Earth and leave it in better shape when we depart than when we arrived)”

    Words from “silent” Cal Coolidge, with comments from KevinK.

    • +10 for humor and also to the point

      • Jim2, I was not attempting humor, just observing that someone smart enough to be elected as the President of the USA almost 100 years ago had a pretty good insight on things, climate related or not.

        Anybody that thinks they can “control” the climate if only they have the enforcement power of the government will eventually fail….

    • Curious George

      .. leave [the Earth] in a better shape .. Only a 97% consensus can determine which shape is better.

  31. Jim D,

    You wrote –

    “I am saying that Trump is ill-advised to get on the wrong side of the CIA.”

    I believe that taking out the President Elect with a Hellfire missile in the US is probably not on the CIA’s list of approved activities. Mind you, I have seen the CIA referred to as the Completely Inept Agency, so maybe the CIA thinks it can do any silly thing it likes, without fear of repercussions.

    I was under the impression that CIA employees worked for the US Government, not the other way round. The US seems to be an odd sort of place, if the CIA is running the country.

    Maybe the population should vote for a Government, who could tell the COA what to do. Do you think that would be a good idea?

    Cheers.

    • Don’t give Obummer any ideas. He and his politicized agencies (IRS, CIA, …) are already using their power against conservatives. In this case, the CIA has ginned up some fake news.

    • Trump don’t need no stinkin’ CIA. He has Twitterworld and Saturday Night Live to tell him what is really going on.

      • Jim,

        Trump has the advantage of living in the real world.

        Not one he constructs. Now, your world may be a wonderful place. It just isn’t real.

      • Jimd

        I am no fan of trump but remain open to the possibility of him being a much needed new broom. However, it seems to me that he has a much better idea of what is gong on than Hillary whatshername ever did.

        Tonyb

  32. NASA is another bloated government agency that probably should be moved to Mars. Like the Navy, government agencies employ too many chiefs and too many Indians…

  33. Huffington Post –

    “Indeed, meddling in foreign politics is a great American pastime, and one that Clinton has some familiarity with. For more than 100 years, without any significant break, the U.S. has been doing whatever it can to influence the outcome of elections ― up to and including assassinating politicians it has found unfriendly.”

    The wondrous CIA has a record of incompetence outside the US. Couldn’t even organise the assassination of Castro, or the overthrow of his Government – only 90 miles from the US, and poor to boot.

    Maybe they think that it will be easier to organise a coup in the US.

    Maybe the CIA could employ Gavin Schmidt, and utilise his analytical skills combined with computer modelling of complex situations. It couldn’t make things worse, could it?

    If you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    Cheers.

    • We hear about the spectacular failures, but it is what we do not learn about that causes many to think the CIA is omnipotent. Anything that occurs where there is no evidence apparently is proof the CIA did it.

  34. Federalism “seldom forces anyone to act but consistently opposes action…does not destroy things but rather prevents them from coming into being.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

  35. Felix Leiter, where are you.
    I do not know whether to laugh or to cry, Jim D.
    Is the CIA so inept that it lets the Russians hack Americans High security systems with impunity? [Answer, no]
    Are the Russians so inept that if they hacked them they left enough traces for 17 different US security services to find them? [Answer, no]
    As for “sources” why are they unnamed , why does the director general himself not come out and say it?
    The whole saga seems to have been raised to pressurize Trump into taking Mitt Romney on as secretary of state instead of the Exxon fellow and probably has Republican and Democrat agreement hence the CIA is supported to leak the story about supposed Russian involvement.
    Finally what is all the fuss about?
    If the Wiki leaks were inconsequential it could not affect HRC.
    If on the other hand the e mails exposed serious problems then the Russians should be thanked for exposing the truth about someone who was not deserving of being elected and the CIA should hang their heads in shame that they did not find the problems and investigate them with the FBI as is their role in life.

    • Angech,

      The Russian influence is obvious. Lacking the ability to hack polling stations, they push”fake” news, knowing how gullible a majority of American citizens are, hence large numbers of low education deplorables vote Trump, instead of the obviously enlightened choice of Hillary.

    • Brilliant analysis. A+++. You should have a foreign policy blog, or write for American Conservative Magazine.

    • The Russians can just go and hack our election! So says the Ministry of Love CIA! Well this is scary! It’s time Congress established a Department of Truth to make sure this doesn’t happen again. After all, we’re at war with Russia. We’ve always been at war with Russia ….

  36. 17 different US security services to find them. A bit like American films really, If you have to have one villain you put in 50. Waterworld anyone?

  37. As usual some great verbal combat on Dr Judiths’ website. Being an avid reader of Breitbart news, many of the above erudite bloggers might be interested in reading today’s offering from “Virgil”.
    It is a frightening overview of the possible events to come with the inaugeration of President Trump. It does not auger well for the future well being of that great Republic.
    Saunter over to Breitbart.com/virgil

  38. What Trump needs to do to leave the Paris agreement is not by saying climate change is a hoax but to attack the deal. The deal is terrible for Western society. We have to bear all the costs of co2 reduction where Asia gets a free pass until 2030

  39. Pingback: Donald Trump And The Shifting Sands Of The Climate Debate | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  40. Folks need to understand that it is Congress, not the President, that decides funding levels. The President just asks and is often ignored. What Trump does is probably remove the veto threat.

  41. Re the DOE

    Few people remember that the DOE was created based on beliefs and forecasts that turned out to be wrong. The original enabling legislation said we needed a Department of Energy because a) we were rapidly running out of fossil fuels, especially oil and natural gas; b) as a consequence of this we were becoming increasingly dependent on energy imports–dependence that made us vulnerable to embargoes and political blackmail; and c) so therefore we needed “a strong national energy program.” Even before fracking proved (a) to be quite wrong, we had significantly reduced any possible vulnerability by diversifying our suppliers; much of our oil was coming from Canada and Mexico; a good deal less from the Persian Gulf. In the meantime, the “strong” energy policies we’ve gotten have been crisis-driven (crisis defined down to volatile prices, not embargoes or shortages), and directed toward panacea “solutions.” We have wasted billions of dollars on such “strong” policies as coal-derived synfuels; subsidies for the commercialization of wind, solar and electric cars; and worst of all, the ethanol mandate. There is some useful R&D going on at many of the DOE laboratories, but the rationale for the DOE needs to be rethought and restated in ways that make it sensible for the 21st century. Otherwise it should indeed be abolished.

  42. Just curious whether any of the “skepticsc here, who have been so concerned about the nexus of activism, politics, and science might have any thoughts about the same nexus under the coming Trump administration?

    • Curious George

      Link, please.

    • “Just curious whether any of the “skepticsc here, who have been so concerned about the nexus of activism, politics, and science might have any thoughts about the same nexus under the coming Trump administration?”

      Conservatism – if the Trump regime can be accurately called that – is by its nature a reaction to progressive activism. Untangling the nexus of activism, politics and science is a reaction to that nexus. Reducing the activism and politics that has so mired “climate science” can be accomplished by reducing the funding that spreads it.

      • ==> can be accomplished by reducing the funding that spreads it…. ==>

        By enlisting millionaires who are linked to massive corporations with links to billions of dollars in corporate interests to run organizations that fund and disseminate scientific research? .

        Oh. OK. Thanks for that explanation.

      • Joshua,

        “By enlisting millionaires who are linked to massive corporations with links to billions of dollars in corporate interests to run organizations that fund and disseminate scientific research?”

        You didn’t even try to demonstrate how corporate funding of science is a bad thing. Do you just simply assume everyone thinks Exxon funding science is a bad idea?

        Further, when government spends upwards of $40 billion dollars and virtually all of that research money was spent finding reasons as to why humans are causing warming, it becomes a matter of survival for corporations who are affected by this obviously suspicious game to fund their own science. If you want less of it from corporations you’re more likely to get that by reigning in governments biased funding strategies.

      • ==> You didn’t even try to demonstrate how corporate funding of science is a bad thing ==>

        Nor did I say it was a “bad thing.” I leave the moral assessment to the moralistic

    • Let’s see.

      I saw an interview with Bill Gates on CNBC this morning on energy innovation and Gates’s take on his conversation with Trump vis-a-vis energy innovation.

      The policy is going to be energy innovation.

      If we can deploy non-fossil sources of energy that are cheaper then fossil based energy then who cares if man made climate change is real…except for a few unemployed academics.

  43. Parasites adapt, is the governing sociological principle.

    Science done out of curiosity is what escapes that law.

  44. And there are now reports that the DoE is refusing to answer the questions that require naming specific people.

    Way to lay the groundwork for being eliminated. There are other ways of finding out who attended various meetings, they will just take more work to compile.

    Telling the new boss that you refuse to say who did what work is just a bad idea.

    • davidelang,

      Just who’s in charge of the country here? The DoE, or the CIA?

      Maybe they could take turns being in charge.

      Cheers.

      • charlieskeptic

        Mike, I think you have hit upon something here. Just a couple:

        The Dems voted to go to war in Iraq based on CIA info.

        Obama pushed solar and wind because the DOE said it was a good investment.

        What could possibly go wrong?

    • charlieskeptic

      When I was a manager in the U.S. Department of Energy, everyone wanted their names mentioned in relation to high-profile projects.

      Hiding out would indicate shame.

  45. David L. Hagen

    Trump taps former Texas governor Rick Perry to head the Energy Department he once vowed to abolish?

    Perry, who ran for president in the past two election cycles, is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels, whose production he championed while serving as governor for 14 years. . . .
    “During his time in office, Perry embodied the type of ‘all of the above’ approach to U.S. energy production that many have advocated on both sides of the aisle,” Zelermyer said. “Rick Perry’s Texas was not only a world leader in oil and gas production; it was also a global leader in wind power and renewable energy investment. This approach is a big reason Texas experienced such enormous job growth during Perry’s tenure.” . . .
    The former governor has repeatedly questioned scientific findings that human activity is helping drive climate change. In 2011 during a presidential debate, he compared the minority of scientists who challenged this assumption to 17th-century astronomer Galileo, who was persecuted by the Catholic Church after suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the reverse.

    “The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,” Perry said at the time. “Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.” . . .
    In his 2010 book, “Fed Up!” Perry described the science showing that climate change was underway and caused by humans as a “contrived phony mess,” writing that those who embraced this idea “know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time.” . . .
    Wind power did expand under Perry during his tenure in Texas — from 200 megawatts in 2000 to 14,098 megawatts in 2014, according to the American Wind Energy Association — and he supported the construction of transmission lines nearly a decade ago that helped bring wind-generated electricity to market.

    “He created an environment conducive to economic investment through robust infrastructure and competitive power markets that allowed new technologies to enter,” said Tom Kiernan, the chief executive of the American Wind Energy Association, in a statement. “The Texas model under Gov. Perry’s leadership enabled the growth of low-cost wind energy that made the grid more diverse and reliable while saving consumers money.” . . .
    I think all of these need to be looked at, whether it’s oil and gas, whether it’s the wind side, whether it’s the [Renewable Fuel Standard program] — I think all of them need to be put on the table, prove whether or not these are in fact in the best interest of this country.”

  46. The Podesta hack was done via email phishing. How many kits can one buy on the darknet for that? Russians indeed.

    • We know somebody using a “Fancy Bear”-like method seems to have hacked his email. We don’t know whether this was the actor who leaked his stuff.

      It seems likely that anybody planning a leak would have covered their traces. So the penetration we know of probably wasn’t the source of the leaked emails.

  47. From the article:

    America’s intelligence community is far from unanimous in agreeing with a reported CIA assessment that the goal of Russians hacking political emails was to help President-elect Donald Trump win the November election, according to a Reuters report.

    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said there is not enough evidence to prove the CIA’s contention, according to three U.S. officials whom Reuters did not name.

    “ODNI is not arguing that the agency is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” one official told Reuters. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”

    http://www.westernjournalism.com/report-top-intelligence-agency-disputes-cia-conclusion-that-russia-sought-to-help-trump/

  48. Harry Twinotter

    Dr Curry.

    You are revealing yourself to be more and more politically motivated. If the UN is ignored then how is it possible to have a treaty? I guess the rest of the world will have a treaty, then use sanctions against the US to force it to comply.

    “I have hopes that climate research will be a winner in all this, with more openness and transparency and allowance for diversity of perspectives and funding for a broader range of research topics.”

    So you want anti-science ideas to be funded and promoted? Open and transparent like the fossil fuel companies. Crazy…

    • “I guess the rest of the world will have a treaty, then use sanctions against the US to force it to comply.”

      I suspect the above remark is an answer to this:

      “If the UN is ignored then how is it possible to have a treaty?”

      Since Congress never approved the treaty with a two-thirds vote in the Senate, technically speaking (which would be constitutionally speaking) the president is unable to ratify the treaty. Thus, there is no treaty to speak of for the rest of the world to force the U.S. to comply. There is a Grand Canyon of a difference between an enforceable treaty and a *wink, wink; “binding treaty”.

      • charlieskeptic

        YAY! YAY! YAY! Decarbonization is so socially and economically beneficial, we need a binding international treaty to force us to comply!

      • Or as lawyers say, a “handshake” for an agreement is worthless. If it is not in writing, it is not an agreement

      • “Or as lawyers say, a “handshake” for an agreement is worthless. If it is not in writing, it is not an agreement.”

        Phil,

        Under the law of contracts and handshake will do as long as it was witnessed, as long as follow up correspondence regarding the deal and have a paper trail or digital trail that could serve as evidence in court, and begin performing the agreements. I suspect this is why Obama has been acting as if the deal is binding. His hubris, however, is that without the ratification from the Senate, Obama lacked the necessary authority to make the agreement.

        When other nations make treatise or contracts with us they have to understand they need that “handshake” – failing a stronger commitment – to come from both the president and the senate. Without both it is not a binding contract.

        I have heard some make the argument that because of the Supremacy Clause of Article VI Clause 2 that international treaties “Trump” the constitution, but a treaty can only supersede the Constitution by first meeting the requirements of it. So, Trump can still trump the constitutional trumpers.

    • Sir,

      You should take your salacious talk of Dr Curry revealing herself, back to the gutter with you. Such comments may do permanent damage to my tender sensibilities!

      I suppose it’s better than picturing a motley assortment of balding bearded bumbling buffoons exposing themselves, playing with their “pencils” and big red knobs!

      Oh, the horror!

      Cheers.

    • I guess the rest of the world will have a treaty, then use sanctions against the US to force it to comply.

      And who would that be Harry?

      The Russians? Is Putin going to hear his altruistic inner voice?
      The Chinese? Will they close their factories and refuse to sell us stuff?
      Korea? Japan? ditto
      Will the Indians refuse us access to their call centers?
      The Saudis not gonna sell us oil or buy our tanks and bombs?
      The Iranians will cut off our Uranium?
      The EU? Can they even synchronize a collective Hand Wringing?
      I’ve got it! Venezuela and Zimbabwe! That’ll shame us fer sure!
      Maybe the Guardian will boykott us. Wouldn’t that would be awful.
      Trump must be shaking in his boots. Geez.

  49. “While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community,could press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks…”
    17!
    Not to mention the 3 we do not know about [unknown unknowns] seems a bit too over the top really. Perhaps Trump can compress them into 6.

    • angech: “Trump can compress them [intelligence agencies] into 6.”

      There could likely be some compressing. Trump is pro-simplification. Many libertarians are skeptical (but hopeful) he will downsize federal bureaucracy. If Trump does, he and US founding father George Washington will be the only two to have self-limited or surrendered power.

  50. Bill O’Reilly: Trump Should Accept Paris Climate Agreement.

    I agree, and it should be through a 2/3 senate ratification, maintaining the respect for the Constitution and original agreement with the US senate under Pres. Bush Sr. for ratifying the UNFCCC.

    At the same time agencies need to be depoliticized and reigned in on climate propaganda. Speaking as private citizens on their own time and dime should, of course, be protected under 1st amendment.

    • “I agree, and it should be through a 2/3 senate ratification, . . .”

      If that were done, it would provide a justification to sponsor a multi-topic series of debates on climate change issues for the benefit of senators. And/or the establishment of a science court as a venue in which such debates on supposedly “settled” issues could be held. The public would be able to watch replays on YouTube and PBS.

      • I think the time is ripe for a public forum televised climate debate whether of not the senators debate ratification of the Paris agreement. I would also like to see the Mann v Steyn courtroom televised if Mann ever allows his suit to get there.

        I am always stuck by the prevalence of mult-year exploratory studies on climate that come in with no predictions or pre-established protocols but instead simply mine the data for whatever dangers they can find. Sometimes the later step is twice as long as the study. Science is settled when confirming studies have well-defined protocols and predictions validated. For example, IPCC CMIP5 has no validation procedure in which climate models can be objectively eliminated.

  51. “The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously ”

    The father of Thremageddon himself saying the end is not near.

    Donald Trump could turn out to be a catastrophe, but the way so many establishmentarians are twisting themselves into knots because of his election is priceless.

    Dr. Curry, I hope you sent in a resume. You could have a real, positive impact in research funding, somewhere in NSF, NASA, NIST, or NOAA perhaps?

  52. Holdren: I’ve likened the current situation with respect to climate change to driving a car toward a cliff in the fog and the car has bad brakes.

    This analogy is probably lost on >6 of the 7B people who are not owners of one of the ~600 million cars, passenger vans, SUVs or light trucks in the world today…

  53. charlieskeptic

    Crap! I had no idea that voting rolls could provide the Weed Patches needed to attract Mr. Mosher’s Wandering.

    Just wait until 2020!

  54. My science dream team:
    DOE – Steven Koonin
    EPA – Patrick Moore
    OSTP – William Happer
    NASA – Harrison Schmitt
    NOAA – Judith Curry

    Guess what they all have in common

  55. Question: If the timing of theMontreal Protocol would not have happened on President Reagan’s watch but would have happened for the first time with Obama — would it have passed the U.S. Senate?

    Answer: I don’t think so.

    “The data used is suspect; the statistical analyses are faulty; science debate has been stifled, and the theory has not been validated. The science simply does not support this premature and abrupt removal of CFCs — at great cost to the economy. (Dr. Fred Singer, 2011)

    • Stephen

      As regards the ozone layer some might argue the basic principle has always been suspect. Earlier this year there was a great fuss that the ozone layer was definitely shrinking.here are the latest figures

      https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/

      Look down the left hand column . The season finishes in October. As can be seen, by some measures the trend in recent decades has meant the ‘hole’ is getting larger not smaller or at best is relatively static.

      With today’s science would the protocol have been suggested? I dunno.

      Tonyb

      • Tony — Has there ever been any “Consensus Studies” on CFCs and the Ozone Hole?

        Also, are there catastrophic versus non-catastrophic science arguments with the Ozone Hole?

        Thanks

      • Stephen

        The fact that there is a Montreal protocol illustrates the great concern about the hole at the time with considerable alarmism about the consequences if it was healed.

        Some years ago I asked the two leadimg ozone hole institutes whether or not there might always have been a fluctuating ozone hole as we have only been able to measure it from the 1950’s and they said they did not think it likely but that it was possible.

        Tonyb

      • Tony –

        Do you happen to remember the alarming predictions of economic disaster if we regulated CFCs, and who made those predictions?

      • Curious George

        I happen to disagree with Stephen; during Obama’s first term Democrats controlled everything. Remember that the Protocol was a gift to DuPont, whose patents on freon were expiring.

    • I note you have no information on what the phase-out of R12 has actually cost. Try googling that, I did and don’t see anything on it. Now the EPA is phasing out R22, which is already getting quite expensive.

      So once again, we have an iffy benefit and no cost analysis.

      This is something that will change with Trump if the questions to the DOE are any guide.

      • One thing Trump should do is allow inhalers to contain Freon, etc., again, which made them more effective.

    • From the article:

      The 2015 Antarctic ozone hole area was larger and formed later than in recent years, according to scientists from NOAA and NASA.

      On Oct. 2, 2015, the ozone hole expanded to its peak of 28.2 million square kilometers (10.9 million square miles), an area larger than the continent of North America. Throughout October, the hole remained large and set many area daily records.

      http://research.noaa.gov/News/NewsArchive/LatestNews/TabId/684/ArtMID/1768/ArticleID/11409/Annual-Antarctic-Ozone-Hole-Larger-and-Formed-Later-in-2015.aspx

      • “Industrial chlorofluorocarbons that cause ozone depletion have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol. A chemically driven increase in polar ozone (or “healing”) is expected in response to this historic agreement. Observations and model calculations together indicate that healing of the Antarctic ozone layer has now begun to occur during the month of September. Fingerprints of September healing since 2000 include
        (i) increases in ozone column amounts, (ii) changes in the vertical profile of ozone concentration, and (iii) decreases in the areal extent of the ozone hole. Along with chemistry, dynamical and temperature changes have contributed to the healing but could represent feedbacks to chemistry. Volcanic eruptions have episodically interfered with healing, particularly during 2015, when a record October ozone hole occurred after the Calbuco eruption.”

        http://twin.sci-hub.bz/4dd2c840b3423c54d1c6a803586ef596/10.1126@science.aae0061.pdf

      • Tony Banton

        I saw the Susan Solomons’ article back in August or September. I then contacted NASA themselves, as the claims being made by many-including the BBC -concerning shrinkage, were very premature as the 2016 season had not finished.

        Nasa confirmed their belief in the Solomons paper and that it agreed with their models. They agreed there was still controversy about the subject but not as regards the cause of the hole. They also confirmed the hole might always have been there (sporadically) but if so it must have been caused by the transient eruptions of a volcano.

        I alerted Judith Curry at the time to this paper and felt it would be a good topic for an article once the 2016 season had finished.

        I make no claims as to whether the science is right or not, just that the claims of a shrinking hole seem premature as yet and that the question of its existence prior to being recorded by instrumentation has not been resolved.

        tonyb

  56. Maybe Trump has a trump card. Maybe he’s learned, secretly, that Lockheed has made a breakthrough in its fusion research. That would not only resolve the global warming problem (whatever it is), but also the economic growth problem.

  57. Two tweets where a Canadian Journalist “totally crushes MSM reporter on what’s actually going on” in Syria:

    I’m sure her facts can be checked out, somebody will do it.

    If true, it sounds as though the EU/Obama Administration are totally ly1ng to us about Syria.

    • It’s no secret Obummer wants more “arab spring.” It’s in our best interest to keep Assad.

    • Curious George

      I love your approach to unverified news. “If true ..” – the sky would fall. Watch, it is falling now!

      Mr/Ms Hamosh is suffering from a selective blindness. Both sides behave horribly.

      • Mr/Ms Hamosh is suffering from a selective blindness. Both sides behave horribly.

        Tell us about your recent experiences in Aleppo.

      • Curious George

        Personal experience .. is it what you call an anecdote?

      • Here’s the news story from RT (“Russia Today”, widely considered a Russian mouthpiece): ‘Lies are their agenda’: Canadian journalist blasts MSM Syria coverage at UN event (VIDEO)

        “I’ve been many times to Homs, to Maaloula, to Latakia and Tartus [in Syria] and again, Aleppo, four times. And people’s support of their government is absolutely true. Whatever you hear in the corporate media is completely opposite,” Eva Bartlett, a Canadian journalist and rights activist, told a press conference arranged by the Syrian mission to the UN.

        […]

        Bartlett, who has been covering Syrian events for several years since the outbreak of the civil war, noted that while there are “certainly honest journalists among the very compromised establishment media,” many respected media agencies simply seem to avoid doing a fact-check.

        She then asked her Norwegian colleague to name humanitarian organizations operating in eastern Aleppo. As the Aftenposten reporter stayed silent, Bartlett added that “there are none.”

        […]

        “These organizations are relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR], which is based in Coventry, UK, which is one man. They’re relying on compromised groups like the White Helmets. Let’s talk about the White Helmets,” she went on.

        Members of the controversial group “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib … no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them.” Meanwhile, she noted, “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

      • Curious George

        RT, as you remark, is hardly an unbiased news source. Undoubtedly there are good people in Syria on the government side, and good people on the rebel side. You took your pick. I don’t have enough data to take my pick; I simply refuse to accept your pick.

      • BUSTED! Supposed Syrian Activist Group Feeding News to Big Media Exposed as a British-Run FAKE NEWS Factory

        A story in Alternet yesterday exposes the media offices of something called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria” is actually run by westerners based in Turkey and paid for by the British government.

      • Undoubtedly there are good people in Syria on the government side, and good people on the rebel side. You took your pick.

        No “Danny Boy”.

        I didn’t “pick” What I did was point out some claims that can be checked. If the “White Helmets” videos can be nailed down and verified to contain:

        […] children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.

        …Then we have preliminary verification.

        Your implicit assumptions give away your bias. I’m surprised, I didn’t realize you were a false-flagger.

      • Curious George

        The bombing of the last parts of Aleppo held by rebels is probably a war crime, the UN’s human rights chief says.
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38320647

      • Assuming it’s happening at all. That’s the question.

      • Curious George

        Exactly, Big Brain.

  58. Judith Curry:

    ”I expect that climate and energy policy will be a winner in the Trump administration relative to the Obama administration. Any solutions will come from innovations in the private sector and state and local governments — not from federal decrees or U.N. Proclamations.”

    Even then any solution seems to be challenging. That demands open-mindness, interdisciplinary approach to the climate problem, pragmatic logic to advance towards any scientific solutions, etc.

    The ”federal decrees or U.N. Proclamations” have not stated any evidence in reality on the recent climate warming believed to be caused anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Even there in the Rio conference 1992 was stated that there is lack of full scientific certainty concerning the believed anthropogenic warming. The Paris agreement to cut anthropogenic CO2 emissions is based on the same precautionary principle declarated in the Rio conference – agreeing even with the the unworking CO2 cuts made in accordance with the Kyoto protocol.

    Why the cutting of CO2 emissions according to the Kyoto protocol have not been working, and why the Paris agreement shall not be working? Both of them are based on climate model calculations adopted by IPCC without any due evidence in reality.

    According to pragmatic logic one can easily find several proper evidences in realitity, which can prove that the recent warming of climate has not been caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions; in additon, partly as an repetition what I have told in my comment https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/21/the-real-war-on-science/#comment-826262 I state as follows:

    1) On dry savannas in Africa the surface temperature of clear climate during daytime can reach about 50 C, but during nighttime can cool down until about zero C. However, CO2 content in atmosphere during all the time is the same, which proves that the carbon dioxide as greenhouse gas in atmosphere has no distinguishable influence on climate temperature.

    2) There are geological and recent observations, according which trends of CO2 content in atmosphere follows trends of climate temperature and not vice versa.

    3) In my comment https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 I have proved, that the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has been mainly caused by global warming of oceanic sea surfaces, especially in the areas where CO2 sinks on sea surface are; sea surfaces on the areas of CO2 sinks are warming by lag compared to climate warming. According to natural laws, in this increase of CO2 content in atmosphere there is only about 4% anthropogenic CO2 caused by fossile fuels.

    4) Climate models adopted by IPCC do not work; they can not forecast or hindcast climate temperature trends. As far as I am aware, even the main model parameters chosen during the starting time of model calculations, were based on circular argumentation without any evidence in reality.

    5) As to the climate sensitivity, it so minimal that it can not be distinguished from zero.

    • Lauri:
      “1) On dry savannas in Africa the surface temperature of clear climate during daytime can reach about 50 C, but during nighttime can cool down until about zero C. However, CO2 content in atmosphere during all the time is the same, which proves that the carbon dioxide as greenhouse gas in atmosphere has no distinguishable influence on climate temperature.”

      You cannot lump CO2 in a simplistic radiative forcing way to explain climatic variation. Try consulting a meteorological text book. That is where the answer lies.

      Deserts lie under descending air which warms adiabatically due to subsidence. This a considerable cap of warm air (relative to a DALR) stops convection (the true GHE). And leads to cloudless skies, Surface heat cannot escape to any altitude builds.
      Overnight cooling is confined to a shallow vertical thickness of the atmosphere and is aided by the dry atmosphere (less WV GHE) and dry/sandy soils. This shallow surface inversion is rapidly warmed out soon after dawn and the air-mass temp can quickly climb back to close to the previous days value.

      In Tropical zones, a dampening of this process occurs because of the high humidity and proximity to water. The atmosphere is close to conditionally unstable and on warming during the day can soon convect away surface heat due that instability with the addition of cooling due evaporation, and partial cloudiness.

      “2) There are geological and recent observations, according which trends of CO2 content in atmosphere follows trends of climate temperature and not vice versa.”

      That is the NATURAL state of affairs because of the carbon cycle. It is the orbital characteristics of Earth that is the long-term driver of climate, with NH land masses sensitive to TSI at around 65 deg N. Leading to build-up/melt of snowfield and consequent albedo change, leading to temp change. WV feedback changes due WV bing a condensing GHG and so more cooling/warming. CO2 then also feeds back via ocean absorption/outgassing regulated by SST’s. So, indeed CO2 would normally lag. That it does not is because we have injected extra beyond the biosphere’s ability to sink and it is therefore NOW the driver. CO2 can both lead and lag, drive and feedback, depending on whether it or temp comes first.

      3) In my comment https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 I have proved, that the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has been mainly caused by global warming of oceanic sea surfaces, especially in the areas where CO2 sinks on sea surface are; sea surfaces on the areas of CO2 sinks are warming by lag compared to climate warming. According to natural laws, in this increase of CO2 content in atmosphere there is only about 4% anthropogenic CO2 caused by fossile fuels.”

      No SST’s are warming by lag because of the vast thermal inertia and mixing of the oceans.

      “4) Climate models adopted by IPCC do not work; they can not forecast or hindcast climate temperature trends. As far as I am aware, even the main model parameters chosen during the starting time of model calculations, were based on circular argumentation without any evidence in reality.”

      They do ….

      “5) As to the climate sensitivity, it so minimal that it can not be distinguished from zero.”

      Wrong as well

      Are you saying….

      All Earth scientists are incompetent?

      All Earth scientists are committing a fraud?

      You know more than them?

      It most certain isn’t the latter my friend.

      • Tony Banton,

        Deserts heat during the day due to absorbing energy from the Sun. The hottest places on Earth near sea level are arid tropical deserts, distinguished by a lack of the supposedly most important GHG, H2O.

        The surface of the Moon, having no appreciable atmosphere, gets far hotter than the Earth for the same exposure time to the Sun. Nothing to block the insolation.

        The deserts cool rapidly at night for the same reason.

        You are talking specious nonsense. Nobody has ever managed to make a thermometer hotter by reducing the amount of energy it absorbs. Placing anything at all between a thermometer and a source of heat does not make the temperature increase.

        Anybody claiming that surrounding a thermometer with CO2 will cause its temperature to increase is simply deluded.

        You have no clue whatsoever. You’re in good company, of course. Lord Kelvin believed the caloric theory of heat. I don’t. Many brilliant scientists believed in the necessity for the luminiferous aether. I don’t. Many Earth scientists believed in the fixed nature of the continents. I don’t.

        Foolish Warmists believe in the GHE. I don’t.

        Produce a falsifiable GHE hypothesis involving CO2, and I’ll consider it. Until that time, I’ll continue to dismiss claims of GHE heating as complete nonsense. Wave your hands all you like, it won’t turn fantasy into fact.

        You’re wrong, I’m right. Others can establish for themselves whether the facts support my contention, I’m sure.

        Cheers.

      • Curious George

        Mike, I’ll disagree with you. The effect of CO2 is not that the ground warms faster when the sun shines, but mostly that it cools down more slowly at night. The overall effect is a higher average temperature, but only in the absence of water, as you state correctly,

      • Curious George,

        I agree – sort of! Anything between the heat source and the thermometer acts as an insulator – with varying efficiency, of course.

        Your point about cooling more slowly at night is correct. Of course, the lack of the GHG H2O in arid deserts results in rapid cooling, as well as rapid heating. However, even a gas cylinder full of CO2 at high pressure will be the same temperature before dawn as a cylinder of any other gas exposed to sunlight during the day.

        If GHG levels do not change from day to night, maximum and minimum temperatures will not change, except in relation to insolation changes as the Earth follows its elliptical orbit around the Sun, etc.

        The other problem with the “not cooling as quickly at night” is that the Earth has demonstrably cooled, in spite of four and a half billion years of apparently continuous sunlight. Generally with far higher CO2 levels in the past, I believe.

        Insulators work in both directions. The one way insulator would be a wondrous thing, akin to Maxwell’s demon. Just wrap some around a boiler. It would admit more energy than it allowed out, the water would heat continuously, reach boiling, and drive a steam engine without fuel.

        This is what GHE enthusiasts claim. Objects on the surface getting hotter and hotter. At 0.2 K per decade, all surface water will be boiling in less than 5000 years!

        Rubbish. No GHE. Thermometers react to heat, not CO2.

        Cheers.

  59. Is the inquisition of climate warmers on?
    (From Los Alamos Monitor)
    DOE ‘unsettled’ over Trump request
    http://www.lamonitor.com/content/doe-‘unsettled’-over-trump-request

    A request from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to the Department of Energy for the names of all federal and national laboratory employees working on climate policy has many who study climate change at the nation’s national laboratories unsettled, according to a DOE spokesman.

    The department will not provide individual names to the transition team, but will give all other publicly available information and will continue to stand behind its employees, said DOE Spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

    (JMW) This is still Obama’s presidency, however.

  60. David Springer

    Well I got my wish about Rick Perry becoming Energy Secretary. Trump’s doing everything I wanted with regard to energy. Rick Perry and Scott Pruitt the new EPA head were already comrades. Boom.

    • Yep, a new day has dawned. Now Trump & Co. need to figure out how to oust or nullify L. Graham, McCain, Rubio, and Ryan.

      • David Springer

        Among his super powers is being able to leap over famous senators in a single tweet. Don’t sweat it just sit back and enjoy the show.

    • Curious George

      He should go for a logical way: the original idea of Washington, D.C. was to be in the middle of the states. He should build a new nation’s capital somewhere in Kansas.

      • Yep, then sea level rise won’t disrupt the Federal government. :)

      • Curious George

        I see it the opposite way: we don’t want a “business as usual”. A forced move is a great disruption. Also construction jobs, definitely counted in more than thousands. And getting away from a coastal elite.

        On the other hand, Brazil tried the trick but did not really pull it.

      • While I agree with the reasoning, and would love to get rid of the swamp north of me, I cannot in good conscious, foist the problem on the good people of Kansas or any other Midwestern State.

      • David Springer

        Right after he built the hotel there? Fat chance.

  61. “I have hopes that climate research will be a winner in all this, with more openness and transparency and allowance for diversity of perspectives and funding for a broader range of research topics.”

    I am intrigued by the challenges to my intuition. For instance. While using NOAA data and I look at the current cold and blustery weather across the Great Lakes, I find regions of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan with water surface temperatures of 50 F. Regions of Lake Superior water temperatures of 44 F. When I look at the Great Lakes Ice coverage using Environment Canada Ice Service, I see regions of ice along the shores and bays and waters between islands, 0.5% of ice coverage so far.

    There was a newspaper article, I believe from University of Michigan NOAA funded program whereby the meteorologist was saying that this coming winter was projected to be mild and that because of the heat storage from the hot summer, probably none of the Great Lakes would have ice coverage. Too much heat energy, which the current NOAA water temperatures would seem to suggest as well.

    What I see out my window, the 4.5 acre 12 foot deep lake is now ice covered; not ready for ice fishing nor pond hockey, that won’t be for another month for the ice to be thick enough to be safe, nevertheless ice covered and snow covered. In fact all the small lakes around here are ice covered such that the ducks and geese have had to move on further south.

    My query: how can there be ice cover on the shores when there is so much heat energy in the Great Lakes water system? Almost 20 F difference. I would have expected that with wind (18 knots) and wave (8 foot) action the shore temperatures would be much closer to the center lake surface temperatures. I guess not, unless of course there are issues with measuring lake surface water temperatures. I do know that the buoys in the regions reporting 50 F, have all be taken out of the water and stored for the winter.

    What kind of data am I looking at?

      • JCH

        From your reference:

        “As winter sets in, lakes lose energy to the atmosphere, and water near the surface cools, becomes more dense, and sinks. Warmer, less dense water under the surface will rise to replace this surface water. When the entire lake reaches 40 F, the surface water cools further, dropping below 40 F. Because this water is now less dense than the surrounding water, it will stay on the top and continue to cool.”

        Temperature and density together is the answer; warm water keeps coming to surface as the cooler denser water sinks until 40F. At 40 F, then the surface temperature matches the thermocline temperature.

        Thank you. Helpful.

      • o08

        With the frigid weather of below zero coming it will be interesting to see how the built up heat withstands the onslaught of cold.
        We are getting hit by lake effect snow now and I expect that to continue with the open water for a few weeks.
        I assume you have the NOAA chart

        depicting the % of ice cover for each
        lake.

      • cerescokid

        Thank you for the comment.

        Yes I have seen NOAA’s ice cover charts. Usually, I use NOAA GLER for lake temperatures and Environmental Canada Ice Service for ice coverage. I have gotten use to EC’s presentation and found the NOAA’s ice coverage a day late and a dollar short; ie, blank when EC has data. I had imagined EC and NOAA would have shared same data at same time. Maybe not.

        Anyways, bitterly cold today and another wave of cold over this coming weekend we should see more ice depicted. Lake Superior surface temperature was 41 F, pretty close to the 40 F temperature water column equilibrium allowing more surface freezing; although, Lake Superior being so much larger and deeper having a lot more heat energy stored, usually slower to freeze over completely. Lake Erie, the shallowest has usually been the first to freeze over I have observed.

        On another note, very little wind so the wind chill of -5 F did not result in school closings.

      • We walked to school. When it would get down to 10 to 20 below, my mother would take sympathy and offer to give us a ride. This was back when they used real oil with no fancy numbers. So the car, an Edsel, would never start and then we would walk to school anyway.

  62. You cannot help but be wrong! I think there is a lot that Trump has done wrong. The problem is, I only attribute to him what he HAS done, not what the fake news reported.

    I was not a Trump supporter. But I recognized that he was the only one that could counter the fake news from the MSM, and the intentional fabrications from the democrats. Not because he was smarter than others, but because he was NOT a politician. He showed us how real people, not fake politicians, can win against the establishment.

    And he is going to cause you a lot more heartburn because you still do not get it.

  63. What is he hiding? His taxes are being audited. They have been audited every year. So what is he hiding? What could you tell from his tax returns (facts, not fake news) that all the IRS auditors and attorneys cannot?

    When did you become the biggest expert on US tax laws that you know more than the entire IRS?

    Please tell us the school you went to in order to gain such omniscient knowledge!

  64. Trump’s Top Nominations Signal Push For American Energy Boom
    Benny Peiser, GWPF Newsletter

    President-Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state indicates the next administration will be more focused on energy than perhaps any other in recent U.S. history. The choice, despite hand-wringing from Democratic critics such as former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, sends a clear signal to Congress, policymakers, and the world: Energy will be key to America’s economic growth and revival. –Jim Stinson, PoliZette, 13 December 2016

    North America is turning into one of the world’s biggest energy powerhouses of the 21st century. –The American Interest, 1 December 2016

    [The nomination of Scott Pruitt] signals clearly that Donald Trump will radically change direction on both climate and energy policy, which will have huge ramifications both for the US and also internationally. European countries will think very hard before they decide to go it alone yet again. The US is sitting on a hundred years worth of cheap oil and gas and I don’t see that this is going to change. Trump is in all likelihood going to accelerate that, and any country that thinks they can go green and ignore cheap energy will suffer economically. –Benny Peiser, BBC Radio Scotland, 8 December 2016

    More here: http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=aba6d6351c&e=d3ab024ae2

  65. More fear-mongering from lefties. From the article:

    With the Trump presidency looming, many scientists who studied Bush’s policies are starting a mad dash to preserve climate science that has been made available under President Obama based on fears that it might no longer be publicly accessible. Several professors I spoke to say that officials who work for the government’s science departments are privately imploring researchers outside the government to download what they can now, or risk losing access to it later. NOAA and the EPA did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for NASA told me the agency is “apolitical” and that it is “committed to doing whatever we can to assist in making the Executive Branch transition a smooth transition.”

    If you work for a government agency and have thoughts on the matter or have had discussions about preserving scientific data under Trump, email me: jason.koebler@vice.com, or contact me securely on Signal: 301-412-7324 or SecureDrop.

    Scientists who don’t have to worry about upsetting their future bosses, however, tell a very different story.

    “My expectation and fear is we are going to see round two of Bush,” Robert Paterson, co-director of the Urban Information Lab at the University of Texas’s School of Architecture, told me. Paterson posted about his concerns on a Facebook group for professors called Planners 2040 earlier this month. “The appointments are hostile to climate change, so I think it’s prudent for folks to download the science that’s easily available now, because you may have to file a [Freedom of Information request] later to get it.”

    http://motherboard.vice.com/en_au/read/researchers-are-preparing-for-trump-to-delete-government-science-from-the-web

  66. From the article:

    The transition team for President-elect Donald Trump announced today that they’ve added Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to an advisory team of business leaders known as the Strategic and Policy Forum.

    The 16 person team, brought together about a month ago, is comprised of CEOs bigwigs pulled from across the United States. The plan is for them regularly meet with Trump and share their experience and money know-how with the President-elect, whose own business has filed for bankruptcy six times, as he makes moves on his economic agenda. PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi was also on the roster.

    Noticeably absent from this advisory team are many of the Silicon Valley tech giants like Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The tech world, barring Peter Thiel and cronies, was openly averse to Trump’s harsh rhetoric about immigrants during the campaign.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/en_au/read/trump-critic-elon-musk-now-named-to-presidential-advisory-team?trk_source=recommended

    • I’m not a fan of Elon Musk. I would rather have Paul Allen, Steve Wozniak or Nathan Myhrvold as advisers on tech business. Elon would push for his business interests in solar energy and electric car, a.k.a. subsidies

    • I think Trump may be playing Musk. Musk has gotten billions of welfare from the government. He stands to lose more than any of the other billionaires at the meeting. Keep your enemies closer …

  67. Now we’ve got some claims with substance, even if 2nd hand:

    Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

    Putin’s objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore,” the official said.

    Ultimately, the CIA has assessed, the Russian government wanted to elect Donald Trump. The FBI and other agencies don’t fully endorse that view, but few officials would dispute that the Russian operation was intended to harm Clinton’s candidacy by leaking embarrassing emails about Democrats.

    […]

    “He has had a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, that has been known for a long time because of what she said about his elections back in the parliamentary elections of 2011. He wants to discredit American democracy and make us weaker in terms of leading the liberal democratic order. And most certainly he likes President-elect Trump’s views on Russia,” McFaul added. Clinton cast doubt on the integrity of Russia’s elections.

    I have a feeling some valuable resources are being blown for the sake of Obama trying to discredit Trump.

    • “EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails – they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblowers.”

      Obviously a sneaky Russian plot. The British ex-ambassador was misled into thinking that a KGB spy was really a Democrat whistleblower.

      Foolish Brits. Foolish Wikileaks!

      The whole thing was a crafty Putin ploy – a conspiratorial master stroke to ensure the continued sale of over priced inferior Russian products to dumb capitalist Americans.

      Damned cunning, these Russkis!

      Cheers.

    • Curious George

      We all love conspiracies. Prof. Lewandowsky, where are you?

  68. When you spend decades politicizing a science by demeaning skeptics, using the FBI to investigate skeptics, abusing the power of the AGs’ offices to pursue skeptics, hounding skeptics from their jobs, and even psychoanalyzing the perceived mental disorders of skeptics….well, when you do all that and more, eventually you will lose an election and then you will get crushed.

    That’s how karma.works.

  69. Perhaps shifting sands. More likely quicksand for all who have over-egged their irrational and unscientific views.

  70. Scientists will need to speak up about their research and the importance of scientific integrity — or risk not being heard by the incoming administration, said US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union today.

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/14/13963454/interior-department-secretary-sally-jewell-climate-change-trump

  71. What will it take to prove that AGW theory is wrong in light of the fact that all of the claims this theory has made have failed to materialize, and the most basic premises this theory was advanced on have all not occurred.

    Yet this theory lives on and the pros and cons keep being discussed.

    This period in the climate not unique at all.

    As I have said global cooling is now in progress and ALBEDO trumps everything when it comes to changing the climate. The smallest change will have a significant climatic impact and that is the basis for my theory as to how a solar /terrestrial items which govern the climate, that connection, will impact the climate if solar conditions are extreme enough.

    Solar conditions now in the process of getting extreme in regards to solar quiet.

    We shall find out soon as the climate is at a crossroads but the latest global temperature data is encouraging, temperatures still trending down as shown by WEATHER BELL temperature data.

    I know ENSO effects must be taken into consideration , but I also know ENSO effects not AGW have ruled the climate over the past 30 years, with volcanic activity and atmospheric circulation changes superimposed on this factor against a back ground of high solar activity.

    My bet is by spring global temperatures will be from 0 to +.2c above normal.

    If El Nino should come about going forward (which is possible) global temperatures would rise but not as much as they did with the last one or for that matter the one in 1998.

    OLR another very big climatic factor seemingly tied to ENSO and not CO2.

    It is all going to unfold and we shall see soon.

  72. “Researchers at Germany’s Ludwig Maximilians University, estimate that warming temperatures could add more than 3 million square kilometers (1.15 million square miles) to Russia’s arable land.”

    Quick. Cripple the Russian bear. Stop the planet warming!

    Fools.

    Cheers.

  73. Berényi Péter

    Recall that in a previous campaign for President, he [Rick Perry] campaigned to abolish the DOE.

    DOE should not be abolished, it should be renamed Department of Nuclear Energy (DNE) and its original charter, which restricted it to that field, reintroduced. At the same time its regulatory policy should radically be altered, creating a level playing field for private enterprises wishing to introduce alternative nuclear solutions. That is, Cold War Plutonium factories, also producing some energy as a byproduct and mockingly called nuclear power plants should no longer be favoured by a regulatory framework.

    There are safe &. cheap nuclear alternatives, with a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity, operating at atmospheric pressure, with only inert chemicals in their core, passive cooling on shutdown, resistant to nuclear weapons’ proliferation and producing a hundred times less waste for the same energy output with no long half life radioisotopes in it. Only it is impossible to develop them further under current regulations, so they are not brought to the market.

  74. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #252 | Watts Up With That?

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