The Trump shift

by Judith Curry

A seismic shift is occurring in a number of federal agencies.

Some headlines from Tuesday:

Trump silences scientists at EPA, USDA  A message sent to EPA staff on Monday prohibits staff from creating press releases, blogs, messages, or any social media postings concerning their taxpayer funded work. The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration.

Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts “They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first,” said Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-backed group that has long sought to slash the authority of the EPA.

Commerce nominee Ross promises to protect “peer-reviewed research” at NOAA: “No valid reason to keep peer reviewed research from the public.”  [link]

Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to remove the website’s climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions.

Article 2 of the Constitution

So what is going on?  If you are not familiar with the U.S. constitution, take a look at Article 2, The Executive Branch.  Here is a good Summary. Excerpt of the key section:

Clause 1. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Here the Framers spell out several of the president’s more important powers. First and foremost, he is commander-in-chief of the military. Second, he is the boss of the heads of all the civilian departments of government; the bit here about requiring their written opinions provides the constitutional basis for the cabinet. And third, he has the power to pardon individuals convicted of crimes.

Basically, the civilian departments such as EPA, USDA and NOAA now work for President Trump, with the Directors of these agencies working with the administration to further the President’s policies.

You may ask: What about academic freedom for government research scientists?  Forget about it, it doesn’t exist.  Scientists working in government labs, agencies, etc. work on scientific problems or technologies that further the administrations interests. Does this mean that it is legitimate for them to torque scientific findings in the direction of the administrations interests? No.  Rather, it means that government employed scientists shall now work on projects that are of interest to the Trump administration.

That the Trump administration has different policy priorities than the Obama administration should be obvious to everyone by now.  It seems that climate change is on the ‘hot seat’; I also infer from the attention being paid to the USDA is that GMO’s are on the ‘hot seat.’

These agencies under President Obama were infused with Obama’s ideology, particularly the EPA and NOAA (I know less about the USDA).  Has this led to unethical behaviors in these agencies?  I do know of one example, and I have post planned for Feb 5, stay tuned.

Whither the Trump administration?

The key question is whether the Trump administration’s actions signal:

  • a purge of Obama’s ideology from these agencies OR
  • replacing Obama’s ideology with a Trump ideology.

With regards to climate policy,  here is a good article from Breakthrough:  Climate Policy in the Age of Trump.

431 responses to “The Trump shift

  1. Pingback: The Trump shift – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Pingback: Judith Curry: Government Scientists & The Trump Shift | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  3. The EPA has been worse than the Weather Channel when it comes to propagating global warming propaganda…

  4. Pingback: Alternative facts: Why the constitution gives Trump the power to tell @EPA what to do | Watts Up With That?

  5. Like the big O said, it’s over.

    https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/a-message-in-two-parts-part-one/

    “The war against climate alarmism is over, and we won it.”

    Pointman

    • You got some time to think about it, and remember, Mother Nature bats last.

      • And we have elections every 2 years for the Senate and Congress.

        If he still owns his business empire, he’s in deep doo doo, and if he doesn’t, well he’s in deep doo doo there as well.

        lose the house and senate and he’s toast.

      • You’re right Bob.

      • To paraphrase, it’s no over until the large female sings?

      • Don’t worry, Bob. Unlike Obama, Trump isn’t going to put off everything until his second term. Because also unlike Obama, he doesn’t have to worry about the voters kicking him out of office when he does everything.

      • Mother Nature doesn’t bat.

        She doesn’t even play the game.

        We are all playing in her ballpark however and she is mostly oblivious of us.

        And as it is with a lot of playing venues, the rules and the specifics of the venue can change from place to place and over time. In this case sudden death overtime appears to be going away.

      • David Springer

        You’ve been very consistent in failing to predict Trump’s success. I expect that trend will continue.

      • Even though told repeatedly, the left still has not learned that Trump is not a politician. So yes, they will continue to be wrong because they have no idea what motivates him, and grossly underestimate his intelligence.

    • I wouldn’t be to sure about that quite yet.

    • “Like the big O said, it’s over.”

      Only in the US.
      And only so long as his his Alt facts are tolerated.
      The world has moved on.
      The US is not the world.

      • All one has to do is follow Google Scholar. Asian science on climate science is now ubiquitous, and it looks to be pretty solid work. When Gavin Schmidt posted an article on 2016 being a record warmest year, a scientist from China commented his group had found a similar result. It’s on scholar… details to follow.

      • Tony Banton,

        You’re dead right. the world has moved on. Only Denienrs and Flat Earthers still believe GHG emissions pose a threat to the global economy, or human well being, let alone that they are dangerous or catastrophic for civilisation.

        You really need to see the writing on the wall; get over your irrational, ideological beliefs.

      • “You’re dead right. the world has moved on. Only Denienrs and Flat Earthers still believe GHG emissions pose a threat to the global economy, or human well being, let alone that they are dangerous or catastrophic for civilisation.”

        Thank you Peter for yet again cementing my opinion that those that deny empirical science, because it does not fit in with their world-view and/or profess to rabbit-hole that they know more that the experts, utilising a massive D-Kness, are entirely and irrevocably impossible to communicate with.
        It’s a case of “with one bound they are free” hand-waving illogic at the core of all your reasoning.
        Answer this – though I know it will be QED:
        1) You know that all the world’s experts in climate science are incompetent (and that, bizarrely, you are not).
        2) You know that all the world’s experts know they are wrong yet persist in some fraud.
        3) That it is you that is wrong and that the world’s experts know more than you on the back of ~150 years of observation and theory.

        Then I would suggest you are incapable of separating your massive hubristic DK driven world-view from basic common sense.

      • Asian science on climate science is now ubiquitous, and it looks to be pretty solid work.

        Yes, including this paper from the Chinese Academy of Sciences detailing how climate models are bad and are getting worse.

      • So what? I’m all for modelling nonlinear climate because things are worse than linear thinking like yours realizes. The climate’s ability to cool itself is in serious doubt. The stadium wave came and went completely unnoticed by its authors… because it caused almost no cooling. We’re in a heatwave. The website promises a coming cooling. It’s a con. It’s a CargoCult.

      • If this is a “heat wave” I’m all in.

      • Alt Fact: what a Leftist desperately wants to believe is False. Also see: The Truth.

      • David Springer

        I think you’ll find that without US leadership & engagement the climate change movement, the soft science underlying model assumptions, attribution, physical and economic consequences, will become more and more marginalized as a doomsday cult.

        Given your abject conviction that your own opinions are infallible and anyone who disagrees is incapable of rational discourse, there’s no point in your being here except to disrupt the conversation others are having. You’re a troll in other words. I don’t suppose it would do any good to ask you to troll somewhere else but I do wish you would.

    • Thank you. That gave me a great lift!

    • In terms of positive contributions to the world, Orbison beats climate alarmists hands down.

  6. Like it or not, the new climate policy marks a shift from mitigation, which calls all the bets about ‘climate over’. Now, will the alarmists naturally shift their focus to adaptation (from their own math), or will they go religion? To ask the question is to answer it.

  7. I wonder how much of this is fake news? I notice that Buzzfeed is the source of some of these claims.

    Has anyone actually seen one of these ‘gagging orders’?

    Did Donald Trump really order Badlands to delete its tweets?

    Is the EPA really going to be forced to remove all its climate pages? Parse this sentence from your Reuters link: “The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to remove the website’s climate change page”.
    So Reuters is telling us that that two EPA people told them that their managers told them that they had been told by their communications team that they had been told by Team Trump to remove a web page.

    • I’m guessing it all flows from this memo which seeks to stop any new regulation or contract from tacking effect in agencies where the head of the agency has not yet been confirmed by the Senate.

      <a href=https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/20/memorandum-heads-executive-departments-and-agencies

      That is, the requirements of this memorandum apply to “any substantive action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking,” and also covers any agency statement of general applicability and future effect “that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.

      • In Washington DC, only 4 per cent voted for Trump. One can therefore presume that the vast majority of the Federal public servants in DC are (a) ideologically opposed to Trump (and perhaps Republicans more generally) and (b) support the progressive agenda of more and more public servants interfering and imposing on the rest of the community, which leads to more promotion opportunities and a secure, well-paid career. Redundancies are called for.

      • Faustino

        They also love themselves some huuuge government, as evidenced by 40% making over $100K vs 16% nationally and the median house value of $551K vs $194K nationally. It pays to be at the teet of all teets.

      • Faustino –

        What % of DC residents are government workers of the type you describe?

        Do you know?

      • Faustino –

        And of course, I would also like to know whether you actually know the % of government workers you describe are residents of D. C. .

        Given the basic demographics (e.g, SES, ethnicity) of D. C. compared to the surrounding suburbs, I think there may be reason to question your “vast majority” quantification.

      • J
        Let me take a different slice at what my broader point was. That is money follows power and epicenter of political power is in DC. I will then contrast that areas without power. DC has 142,000 Federal employees. DC Metro has 283,000 Fed employees. The 3 adjacent counties to DC voted 31%, 21% and 9% for Trump. The median US Household Income is $56,000. Those 3 counties have $113,000, $100,000 and $75,000. DC has $76,000.

        The median home value in DC metro area is $407,000. DC median home value is $551,000. I contrast those numbers with Miami $210,000, Birmingham $140,000, Omaha $123,000 and St Louis $90,000.

        But most instructive relates to a Detroit Free Press story I read about the City of Detroit home prices in 2009. I had forgotten reading about it at the time. The article said that home prices in Detroit had made a recovery by 2015. They were back up. Back up to $37,000. A boom was going on. All the way up from the bottom in 2009, when the median home price sold was $7,000.

        Three zeroes. I contrast that with the home value in DC of $551,000.

        Where power lurks, especially political power, money follows. People vote in their own self interest and those citizens in the DC area know it is their interest, with the big incomes and expensive homes to keep the big money government gravy train rolling down the tracks.

      • kid –

        First, my comment wasn’t directed at you, but at Faustino’s argument…

        ==> In Washington DC, only 4 per cent voted for Trump. One can therefore presume that the vast majority of the Federal public servants in DC are (a) ideologically opposed to Trump (and perhaps Republicans more generally) and (b) support the progressive agenda of more and more public servants interfering and imposing on the rest of the community, which leads to more promotion opportunities and a secure, well-paid career. Redundancies are called for. ==>

        Looking past his dubious extrapolation of a trend (or at least agenda) of “interfering and opposing” – which I think is also dubious, extrapolating from the % of D.C. voters who voted for Trump to pass judgement on the political affiliation (and motivations) of the “vast majority of Federal public servants” is, I think, problematic from a logical standpoint, and perhaps a very nice example to illustrate my new favorite word: Apophenia.

        As for your point:

        ==> Let me take a different slice at what my broader point was. That is money follows power and epicenter of political power is in DC. ==>

        I would never even think of disputing that there is a nexus between money and power in our political system, and further, that those with more money had disproportionate power – in more or less a constant and proportional ratio.

        ==> Where power lurks, especially political power, money follows. ==>

        Well of course, but hidden within your aggregation of home values across regions, are potential implications to Faustino’s logic. Despite the home prices you speak about, there are “vast” segments of the D.C. population who have neither much money nor much political leverage. Within that sub-segment of the D.C. population who have abundant amounts of both, I would guess that the % of “Trump voters” and those “opposed to Trump” would be significantly smaller than the implied 96%.

        I dare say that the same logical problem applies to your follow-on comment, if perhaps to a somewhat lesser degree – as your logical also relies on a questionable aggregation. For example, many of the non-Trump voters in the D.C. area are certainly not those who stand to benefit from “keep[ing] the big money government gravy train rolling down the tracks.”

        That is the problem when you lump “vast” numbers of people in order to judge motivation. In reality, I think that when we are speaking at the level of “vast” numbers, motivations tend to fairly congruent across groups, even if beliefs about the ways to best achieve goals differ.

      • Joshua, read carefully. I say nothing about the proportion of public servants in the DC population, but given that 96% of the population voted against Trump, it is a fair presumption that the vast majority, etc.

    • The version I read is there was a tweet ban at NPS started on Friday when inaugural photo issue came up. That ban was lifted on Saturday. On Tuesday an x employee of the Badlands National Park used their account to tweet about climate change. When they discovered the tweets, of their own volition, they took them down. So if that story is correct, there is no ban on NPS tweets unless a new one has been instituted since I read that story. And, nobody can be fired.

      • “Nobody can be fired.”

        That, in a nutshell, is the single biggest problem of the regulatory state.

        Conservatives have finally awoken to the fact that the regulatory state combined with “civil service protection”, means that progressives run the nuts and bolts of this country permanently.

        One of Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees is a proponent of getting rid of “Chevron deference”, the principle that courts should let government agencies define their powers for themselves. Combine that with removing tenure for virtually every government employee (what a stupid idea that was), and we may yet return to government of the people, by the people and for the people.

      • Here is an idea for an interesting study. Identify a series of large private employers that in the aggregate would employ the same number as there are Federal civilian employees. Compile and analyze the termination rate for both groups over a 5 year period.

        Make a side by side comparison of the rate of termination and the resources required to effectuate each termination.

        I think I already know what that study will say.

      • Nothing is impossible for Trump. From the article:

        “Getting permission to fire corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest workers—that’s the absolute showdown,” Gingrich said. He assumes that federal employees’ unions would resist, thus producing, in his words, an “ongoing war” similar to the conflict that engulfed Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker moved to limit public-sector employees’ collective-bargaining rights. After five months of protests, and a failed effort to recall the Governor and members of the state senate, Walker largely prevailed. Gingrich predicts that that chaotic dynamic can be brought to Washington. “You have to end the civil-service permanent employment,” he said. “You start changing that and the public-employee unions will just come unglued.”

        With Congress and the White House under Republican control, it is also possible that some legislative proposals will have a greater chance of passage. Of course, the Senate is almost easily exactly divided between the two parties which will still make passing new laws or repealing old ones a difficult task.

        Making it easier to fire federal federal employees, modifying or removing the “official time” provision from the federal labor relations statute, changing the length of the probationary term for new federal employees, and modifying federal benefits could come under more serious consideration with the new political line-up. (See Worst Case Scenario: Proposed Cuts to Federal Pay and Benefits)

        http://www.fedsmith.com/2016/11/09/federal-government-and-federal-employees-under-president-trump/

      • I don’t know how one fires an x-employee.

      • In his previous job, Trump was firing people even before he hired them, so anything is possible.

      • About Scott Walker’s deal with the public employees. If you want the best health coverage for minimal personal cost, work for the government. Yes this is a generalization. A lot of large companies are moving towards high deductible health plans, I haven’t seen governments doing the same. It’s the taxpayers that are paying for most of the government employees nice benifits. What governments need to do is follow what companies are doing. I’ve learned most of this from doing peoples personal income taxes.

      • > That, in a nutshell, is the single biggest problem of the regulatory state.

        Indeed, what we need is for teh Donald to rule the regulatory state like a reality show. We could stage firing sessions, broadcasted after being edited so that his decisions look rational:

        Trump would often make arbitrary decisions which had nothing to do with people’s merit,” confirmed another Season One editor who requested anonymity. “He’d make decisions based on whom he liked or disliked personally, whether it be for looks or lifestyle, or he’d keep someone that ‘would make good TV’ [according to Trump].”

        Setting up story beats to justify the contestant that Trump ultimately fired required editorial gymnastics, according to the show’s editors. Manipulating footage to invent a story point that did not exist organically is common in reality TV editing, although with The Apprentice, it proved a tremendous feat.

        http://cinemontage.org/2016/10/editing-trump-reality-tv-star-who-would-be-president/

        We could also set up surveys on Breitbart’s to make Freedom Fighters who to fire.

        Only then we would have a true democratic republic.

      • Wait Wait Wait. Willard, are you suggesting that we let the people actually VOTE on who to have as civil servants? And that if the people decide that a civil servants isn’t doing a good enough job, that they can VOTE to replace them with someone more to they’re liking?

        That’s some radical thought, there. Vary scary stuff. Why, people might start thinking they have some say it what the laws are or the direction policy goes.

        Pure Anarchy, I’m sure. ^¿^

  8. Ken White at Popehat has a lawsplainer …

    Quick Cheat Sheet on First Amendment Rights of Public Employees
    When the government is an employer, it’s wearing two hats: government-as-your-government and government-as-your-employer. The government-as-employer can punish employees for things it couldn’t punish them for acting as government-as-government. Which things? It’s complicated.

    https://www.popehat.com/2017/01/25/quick-cheat-sheet-on-first-amendment-rights-of-public-employees/

  9. When you are a fed, you “check your brain at the door” and do whatever the White House and Congress say to do. You MUST follow the law. Period, no exceptions.

    • I agree with the majority of what you posted….but I’d say you’re not required to check brain at the door…lol. You are allowed to have your personal opinion about an issue but you are not allowed to act, speak/ write or behave in way that makes it appear that you are a spokesman for or creating policy for whichever federal organization you work for.

    • Tom Jeff is correct. You don’t check your brain at the door, but you do give up certain freedoms just as you do when you take any job. You have a duty of loyalty to any employer, govt or private, and that would include the duty to keep your mouth shut about your personal opinions.

  10. The EPA.gov website still includes Climate Change
    They even show the “Pause”!
    Enjoy it while you can.

  11. Even we stop paying for government filing cabinets full worthless global warming junk science, many will still believe… if this finding is any indication:

    Fewer Americans rejected astrology in 2012 than in recent years.

    In 2012, slightly more than half of Americans said that astrology was “not at all scientific,” whereas nearly two-thirds gave this response in 2010. The comparable percentage has not been this low since 1983.

    https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-7/c7h.htm

    • I don’t care about trying to convince true believers, any more than I worry that Young Earthers are a serious threat to established evolutionary theory.

      I just want the billions of dollars in wasted money cut off, and the CAGW cult’s ability to stifle debate curbed, so that the scam will be apparent to honest scientists and rational voters.

      Then AGW will become a case study in the corruption of science by politics as predicted by Eisenhower in the less remembered of his two threats facing the post-WWII USA.

  12. It has amazed me, since my days in university in the late 1960s (UCSB — 1966-1971 and all that implies) how ignorant the American people are of the Constitution that forms the basis of our national government. I am, I admit reluctantly, one of those annoying people that carry a copy of it in the inside pocket of each of my suit and sports coats — it is a very short document, and fits in a pocket-sized pamphlet. I offer it to those insisting that “whatever” is unconstitutional or protected by it — hoping that they can point to the clause that says it is so. They usually are quite flustered and almost never know anything whatever about the document itself.

    Most don’t even know the type of government we have in this country.

    The other thing that people don’t know is how little real change can be effected by a President — he is not the new King of the USA. He can effect how the federal government enforces the laws — existing or newly enacted by Congress.

    Most the the changes we will see will be how the Executive Branch (President and his agencies) enforce and apply existing laws — which often have their biggest effect based on interpretations by federal agencies.

    • I believe he will also exert pressure on legislators who oppose him. Twitter, TV, radio, whatever … he’ll be vocal about his displeasure.

    • jim2 ==> Trump’s position is odd — in that he is at his root a Third Party Candidate — who somehow forced himself on the Republicans, whom he doesn’t like either.

      Normally a President is the nominal leader of his party and dictates the direction his party will go in forming new laws and policies.

      In Trump’s case, he has to negotiate with both parties in Congress — a tough job.

      It will be, if nothing else, interesting.

      • For someone his age he’s a real butt-kicker. I think, and hope, he will do well with his agenda. Sure, it’s going to be tough, but what with 17 contenders and one Billary in the dust, he’s already worked a miracle!

      • “…he’s already worked a miracle.” You’re right, his election was a miracle, almost an accident. Lots of those who voted for him did it because they hated Hillary. When you vote in protest, sometimes you get what you ask for.

        He’s a butt-kicker, but he needs to learn the difference between that and being a bully.

        His constituency is very thin and he’s over-read his mandate. Things can turn on him very quickly.

      • You are looking at him the same way that the MSM is, and you are wrong. He is more than an Anti-Hillary vote. he is an Anti-Establishment vote. Had the DNC not cheated and Bernie won, Trump may have lost (as it would have been 2 anti-establishment candidates).

        His supporters are not going to fade away as other politicians supporters would. Unless he succumbs to the establishment (and that is not any specific law or promise).

      • “His constituency is very thin …”

        Wrong!

        The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance.

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jan27

      • David Springer

        Actually his core constituency is about 42% of the electorate. For these faithful he can do no wrong and indeed he has cemented that base by fulfilling a number of campaign promises during his first few days in office.

        A ban on entering the US for foreign nationals from terrorist-supporting nations is one of those promises. And he did it the right way which is to take them by surprise so there is no mass exodus before a deadline.

        It was also a campaign promise, by the way, to take ISIS by surprise instead of telegraphing every move so they have time to work around it. Over and over he talked about the stupidity of warning ISIS of the invasion date of Mosul. ISIS removed all their more important people before the invasion date and left behind expendables and booby traps. The reason for the announcement of the invasion was so that civilians could evacuate. This is counter-productive in the long term because it sanitizes war when only those who volunteer to be in harms way are put in harms way. It makes wars endless and ultimately unwinnable. We repeat in Iraq what we did in Vietnam. Ergo Trump’s admiration of Vladimir Putin who won’t let collateral damage get in the way of winning a conflict.

        To date about another 10% of the electorate is fickle and will turn for or against Trump on a dime. For the remainder there’s little he can do to make them happy in the short term and that is his biggest challenge. These people drank the kool-aid and believe Trump is Hitler.

        There doesn’t seem to be much connection between Trump and success/failure of congressmen as evidenced by very minimal down ballot losses in 2016 and almost certainly big gains coming in 2018 as far more democrat senators are up for re-election than republicans.

      • David Springer

        Actually his core constituency is about 42% of the electorate. For these faithful he can do no wrong and indeed he has cemented that base by fulfilling a number of campaign promises during his first few days in office.

        A ban on entering the US for foreign nationals from terrorist-supporting nations is one of those promises. And he did it the right way which is to take them by surprise so there is no mass exodus before a deadline.

        It was also a campaign promise, by the way, to take ISIS by surprise instead of telegraphing every move so they have time to work around it. Over and over he talked about the stupidity of warning ISIS of the invasion date of Mosul. ISIS removed all their more important people before the invasion date and left behind expendables and booby traps. The reason for the announcement of the invasion was so that civilians could evacuate. This is counter-productive in the long term because it sanitizes war when only those who volunteer to be in harms way are put in harms way. It makes wars endless and ultimately unwinnable. We repeat in Iraq what we did in Vietnam. Ergo Trump’s admiration of Vladimir Putin who won’t let collateral damage get in the way of winning a conflict.

        To date about another 10% of the electorate is fickle and will turn for or against Trump on a dime. For the remainder there’s little he can do to make them happy in the short term and that is his biggest challenge. These people drank the kool-aid and believe Trump is }{itler.

        There doesn’t seem to be much connection between Trump and success/failure of congressmen as evidenced by very minimal down ballot losses in 2016 and almost certainly big gains coming in 2018 as far more democrat senators are up for re-election than republicans.

    • I keep an electronic Constitution (with annotations providing search terms for links to legal overview articles) on my iPad. Comes in handy often. Example Monday’s CREW lawsuit against Trump alleging violation of the emoluments clause Article 1 section 9.8. Annotated Clause Explanation written by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist paper #22, so no constitutional interpretation is necessary. Transacting business with foreign states at market rates (e.g. hotel rooms, leased office space) cannot be an emolument in the constitutional sense. It would have to be well over market to constitute ‘foreign compensation’, and Trump would have to know about that personally to constitute a ‘foreign inducement’. Since his businesses cater to everyone equally, there is no over market rate being charged to or paid by foreign states. Same for two foreign state leases in Trump Tower; just ordinary commercial leases. Since he has decoupled from his businesses, there is no personal knowledge of any future foreign state transactions so even if something was over market, there is no inducement to Trump personally. Legal Research took 10 minutes thanks to the Constitution app.

      • That market rates stuff in your post is just made up, the emolument clause prohibits any payment.

        Turning his business over to his sons is probably evading taxes as well.

      • Citations in support of your opinion Bob?

      • BD, you did not read Federalist Paper 22 written by Hamilton. Par for the course, but just wrong. I laid out a legal roadmap. Younignored and got lost. Pathetic.

      • There is a higher standard than your constitution – The 10 Commandments.
        As David W. Virtue (M.C.S., DD) observed:

        “Trump has broken at least five of the Ten Commandments:

        Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (He has made an idol of money.)
        Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. (Trump goes to church when it suits him politically, or for a photo op, but will do whatever is in his own best interests on the Sabbath.)
        Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Think three marriages)
        Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (He threatens to sue anybody who disagrees with him, but rarely follows through.)
        Thou shalt not covet…his ostentatious lifestyle speaks for itself.

        As for the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Laziness, Wrath, Envy and Pride, I can think of four of these he is guilty of, but let’s not quibble over numbers.”
        http://www.virtueonline.org/david-virtue

        Don’t laugh too hard. Bill Clinton was almost impeached for lying (false witness) about committing adultery. All presidents lie but it matters more about what they lie about. 99.8% of our elected representatives claim to believe in God so there is an underlying tension of morals and ethics that should not be dismissed.

      • Bob, he can keep his businesses, the founders were not required to sell their farms and such. He can’t be impeached for conflict of interest, it is not applicable to the President. And he’s giving all foreign money into his businesses to the fed government.

      • keep dreaming Bob. Fantasy is all you guys have these days.

    • Some of his positions align more with Democrats, such as entitlements, healthcare for all, infrastructure building. However these can’t go anywhere unless the Republicans in power in Congress also sign on to their satisfaction. Even positions that might have a congressional majority through Democrats and a few moderate Republicans can’t get to a vote without a Republican majority putting it up. So on these issues it will be Trump and the Dems versus the Republicans, and nothing will happen. We could get some deadlocks.

      • Jim D:
        I agree, good chance of some deadlocks. More executive orders. The idea of deadlocks are part of the original intent over 200 years ago, in my opinion. I suppose a more limited role for the President was too.

      • The majority party has too much power on what can come up for votes, and in a highly partisan system this leads to deadlock and inaction. If things could be brought up by the minority party, we would be in a much better position to get moderate things done such as infrastructure spending that could draw some Republicans.

      • If you want moderate, make it more fair for 3rd parties. Why is Canada and Europe so wrong with that?

      • Coalitions. Sometimes they work like in Germany or Sweden, sometimes they don’t like in Spain or Italy or Greece.

      • Trump is a 3rd party. There was no place for people to go, so they went to the man in the middle. They were not happy with either party. If there had been a viable 3rd party to vote for and Trump was not its candidate we might have got a moderate. But the rules is, no 3rd parties. The no 3rd party rule, supported by many for many decades backfired. One busted through anyways and that’s Trump. Everything that had kept the 2 parties safe for decades, failed to work. So what do they do now? Make their rules stronger or more resilient?

      • He’s stranded because one branch of government can’t do much by itself. A third party only works with proportional representation, and no one will vote for that or even have a referendum for it.

      • A third party also works if there is ranked-choice voting.

      • Yes, but it can lead to wins for people who had a minority of first-choice picks. It favors the middle too much.

      • Roger Knights

        That’s a feature, not a bug.

      • > A third party also works if there is ranked-choice voting.

        anything that makes vote counting more complicated is only going to reduce the trust in the system.

      • Roger Knights

        Trust in vote-counting hasn’t decline in locations where it has been implemented, like Australia. The initial count could be done by computer, with back-up printed-out ballots (perhaps with one copy for the voter) to serve as a check on the computer.

      • The best system is to use scannable ballots. No on-line computer system is used. The voter should have a voter registration card and picture ID. The ballots should be numbered and the voter sign in on a line with the ballot number. That way no one can vote twice and those ineligible to vote can’t.

      • “…voter sign in on a line with the ballot number…”

        So then you can see who voted for whom and “re-ned-ucate” those who voted “wrong”?

        Seriously, remove the link and I don’t see a problem. That is, you sign for A ballot form, not THIS ballot form.

      • kneel63 – there is no Constitutional requirement for voter anonymity. The detection of voter fraud requires the ability to detection of multiple votes by one person. I believe this is done in Britain. They lock up the documents and these could be destroyed once everyone is satisfied the votes are legal.

      • Eliminating anonymity introduces many more ways for voter fraud to happen, verifiable vote buying, verifiable voter intimidation, etc.

        This is why all free countries separate the act of getting a ballot (which is where voter id needs to take place) from the act of castling the ballot (where anonymity is critically important).

        In theory, you have representatives from competing political parties manning all of the voting locations so they keep an eye on each other to prevent fraud past the point where the vote is cast. This breaks down sometimes, in some areas (Chicago is famous for this), but it works in the vast majority of the country.

        The fact that Detroit had so many places where the number of votes was so different from the number of ballots either shows that the Democrats weren’t seriously trying to cover up their fraud, or that there was an equipment problem of some sort.

        I don’t buy the “scanned multiple times” argument. Every vote scanning machine I’ve seen ‘eats’ the ballot as it’s scanned, so you can’t scan it again.

      • david l – nothing can prevent vote buying. Voter intimidation is against the law.

        Some states have traceable ballots now.

        Each ballot can have a code read by the scanner, thus preventing multiple scans.

        The numbered ballot and signoff for it means someone couldn’t just mark and scan ballots arbitrarily.

        And finally, you have not idea how much voter fraud exists because you have no data. Votes are untraceable.

    • 2/3rds of US adults cannot name the three branches of government.

    • Trump’s constituency is alt-righters and disaffected whites. Trump himself is a narcissist with a 14-word vocabulary and a nanosecond attention span. He is completely out of his element on a world stage.

      The Rasmussen poll is an outlier. At the rate he’s offending people Trump’s favorability rating will be in single digits soon.

      He’s doing a great job picking on refugees, immigrants and other people who can’t defend themselves. When he runs out of victims and takes on established groups, like Congressmen and Senators, including people in his own party, he’ll be picking on people who can push back.

      I’m more than happy to see him dismantle Obama’s climate policies, but he’ll probably manage to screw that up.

      • I’m neither disaffected nor alt-right. What I will admit to is a very level of entertainment from watching Trump get the MSM and progressives twisting and retwisting their skivvies till they will have to be surgically removed.

        I do think he can over play his hand. For example his Press Secretary looks like a case of St Anthony’s School for the Gifted going up against last season’s Cub’s.

        Take the latest uncontrollable spastic reaction to his Ex Order on immigration. A 90 day freeze limited to citizens of 7 nations. It’s not as if he didn’t promise exactly that during the campaign. Yet the reaction is as if the government is already sending folks to concentration camps. I couldn’t help but note the use of the term “detained” by the news organizations. The impression they were trying to give is that American citizens were being illegally held by the government. Not that they were asked to submit to questioning and then allowed to continue on their way. While I don’t know the details of every instance, this is exactly what occurred at JFK.

  13. Three observations. 1. Some of this is normal transition. Stop until you get new policy directions. 2. Some of this is normal SOP. As Roy Spencer pointed out in 2009, Hansen regularly violated NASA media rules. It is bog standard that employees do not interact with media –new or old– except through established channels and with proper media training. 3. Some of this is pearl clutching fake news. Progressives and liberal MSM having a hard time accepting that Trump is now the 45th President and doing exactly what he said he would, at a brisk business like pace. The number of slanted articles in WaPo since Monday morning is very telling. The swamp being drained so swamp critters croaking and squeeling.

  14. The future arrives bearing unexpected gifts.

    I can’t decide what amazes me most …
    The election of DJ Trump,
    or the hysterical reaction to the election of DJ Trump.

    Gaia makes her creatures strong by never allowing them to rest.

  15. Normal change during Administration change:

    “Longtime employees at three of the agencies — including some career environmental regulators who conceded that they remained worried about what President Trump might do on policy matters — said such orders were not much different from those delivered by the Obama administration as it shifted policies from the departing White House of George W. Bush. They called reactions to the agency memos overblown.”

  16. “Does this mean that it is legitimate for them to torque scientific findings in the direction of the administrations interests? No. Rather, it means that government employed scientists shall now work on projects that are of interest to the Trump administration.”

    I wish that there was no torque involved in the scientific findings or justification for administration interests but based on my experiences believe that EPA results are very politicized.

    Even if that were not the case, funding priorities for specific projects does strongly influence policies. For example I was told that when the Obama Administration wanted an air toxics rule there was no problem for EPA to get support to build that case. As soon as the rule went final, the funding dried up. When it came time to respond to comments the funding was not available. No worries, EPA is the final arbiter of whether a comment is correct and needs to be addressed with a rule change. As a result EPA does not have to do much beyond say “because we said so” to justify their responses to rule comments.

  17. Does anyone know if employees of NOAA (like EPA) have also been given a letter that “prohibits staff from creating press releases, blogs, messages, or any social media postings concerning their taxpayer funded work?”

    • Should not have been necessary, as it is not only SOP policy but there is a governing Hatch Act prohibiting politics by fed employees in any ‘official capacity’ guise. Hansen regularly got away with blatant violations. But, the fake news reports only EPA and USDA got direct orders. Who knows or even cares?

  18. Prince’s ‘idiotic’ plan for climate change warnings on TV weather: Charles is mocked for his comments with one MP saying the public doesn’t want ‘propaganda’ forced upon them
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4146460/Prince-Charles-basted-idiotic-climate-change-plan.html

    Weather warning…A violent Twitter storm is sweeping across the Atlantic: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN imagines the forecast after Prince Charles’s comments on climate change
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4150226/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-Prince-Charles-climate-change.html

  19. I can only think of this, for various reasons…

  20. It will be nice not to live in the middle of a navigable waterway again, too.

  21. The US OSTP website is also gone. Perhaps too much climate crap. Here is the archived Obama OSTP page (provided by the Trump website):
    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/ostp

    There is talk of OSTP being zeroed. It has about 135 staffers. On the other hand OSTP might be able to issue a directive saying that Federal agency outreach (press releases, websites, etc.) should reflect the fact that climate science is unsettled regarding the role of humans, or some such. It would not be a quick fix.

    • It will take aome time to clean the web house. OSTP is easy cause in direct WH control. Taking downnis also easier that putting a better version up. There is a lot of NOAA (climate.gov) , NASA, USGS, DoE, EPA, and on and on web stuff that needs to be revised to replace propaganda with some semblance of climate truth. Probably looking at at least a year’s effort based on my experience revising just the top 20 pages of the Motorola website in 1998 (problem is not the top pages themselves, it is all the links to elsewhere that have to be revised also), not to mention lower level staff passive obstruction by indoctrinated fed employee warmunists. A specific example is the PMEL nonsense amounting to academic misconduct comcerning Whiskey Creek oyster hatchery and ocean acidification discussed in guest post Shell Games. Buried in pmel.noaa.gov, a different link than oceanacidification.noaa.gov, which itself links to Seattle Times bs on dungeness crab… Not easy cleaning out the Augean stables.

  22. The man is making it clear who works for whom.

    Liberals/establishment drones don’t understand that they gave Trump an inifinite mandate when they tried to steal the election from him.

  23. I recall JC dismissing as paranoid all the people that started downloading climate data after the election results. I think she owes them apology.

    • Chris ==> Why?

    • Pretty huge gap between your a and z. Perhaps you can fill it in?

    • Web pages are not climate data. They can however, be biased climate propaganda. See comment above on PMEL OA and oysters, then read guest post Shell Games for a specific comcrete example.

    • Chris

      The web page, which is surely only the public window on to official data, may have been moved around, but are you seriously suggesting that the original data itself has been destroyed?

      Tonyb

      • Climate data is only destroyed if it is curated by the hapless Phil Jones, of Climategate fame, who supposedly ‘lost it in an office move’

      • “Climate data is only destroyed if it is curated by the hapless Phil Jones, of Climategate fame, who supposedly ‘lost it in an office move’”

        It was not his to “destroy”.
        It was merely a local record of freely available met data.
        But don’t let that fact ruin your confirmation bias.

      • Ain’t a great example for the ‘guru’ responsible for one of the Big 4 climate datasets to be so careless with his stock-in-trade – and meal ticket – though, was it?

        Only slightly above ‘the dog ate my homework’.

        And if you still want a good giggle at ‘climate science’s complete amateur ineptitude, never forget Harry Read Me!

        The realtime trials and tribulations of an honest ITer trying and failing to clear up the shambolic mess left by Phil and his Phellow Phailures to rise above the chaotic in their ‘record-keeping’ mission. And that’s even before their other attempts to mislead the public.

        https://climateaudit.org/2009/11/23/the-harry-read_me-file/

        Climategate – the gift that keeps on giving!

      • “It was merely a local record of freely available met data.”

        Clearly the refusal to answer FOIA requests because it would break confidentiality agreements is bogus if what you say is true. That’s a serious accusation. Got any evidence?

    • The real concern is that they would leave the data but take down the material that helped to explain It.

      They are doing just that.

      • Yeah, all of the great climate scientists will be lost without those web pages as there is little hope they documented the methodologies anywhere. Sheesh, Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ken. The concern is real. In the past other administrative changes have make it hard for folks who work with the data to get their bearings.. Also some of have code that will break when they shuffle the chairs on the titanic.

        The good thing is this. As of today trumps version of adjusted noaa data is stillama an approved data product.

        Absent any changes it will inherit the blessing of the administration. .

        Ask me about previous dead links and broken crap on government sites.

      • Missed my point. If one is relying on web sites one isn’t much of a professional.

      • Mosher,

        The real concern is that they would leave the data but take down the material that helped to explain It.

        What Mosher’s concern is that they will take down the ideological propaganda (which Mosher want to continue).

      • What Mosher’s concern is that they will take down the ideological propaganda (which Mosher want to continue).”

        No, I suggest that he meant what he said ….

        “….. but take down the material that helped to explain It.”

        No amount of “ideological propaganda”, can be used in a lab to affect the way physics works.
        That is just the usual conflation of ideology with science that exemplifies “sceptics”.
        You can argue the politics my friend but, sorry, physics is immune to that.
        One day “sceptics” may twig.
        Having said that in the US “alt-facts” now rules for a while.
        Meanwhile the rest of the world “gets it” and will move on.
        The universe I live in calls “alt-facts” lies or delusions.

      • No amount of “ideological propaganda”, can be used in a lab to affect the way physics works.

        Yeah right, you don’t recognize physics when you see it, so how the would you know if it affects the way it works or not?

      • If the ‘data’ needs explanation, then it ain’t data. Its an interpretation of data.

        Or, if its been produced by ‘climate scientists’, it is an undocumented, unrecorded ‘adjustment’ to real data..designed to ensure continuous funding of their department.

        See Phil Jones, Climategate, UEA, CRU

      • “Yeah right, you don’t recognize physics when you see it, so how the would you know if it affects the way it works or not?.

        Micro:
        Your idea of “physics” is the pseudo kind of Sky-dragon slayers.
        Oh, and your qualifications for knowing more physics than me or any expert are?
        But feel free to attack me rather than get your head around things that aren’t “alt-facts”, and in the case of GHG science, empirical.
        You will find the definition of “empirical” at your nearest Google.

      • Micro:
        Your idea of “physics” is the pseudo kind of Sky-dragon slayers.
        Oh, and your qualifications for knowing more physics than me or any expert are?

        It isn’t alt anything, it isn’t Sky-dragon, it’s data. The trick is understanding it.

        It’s a temperature controlled regulator. As for my physics, 40 years electronics, antennae, I was licensed by the FCC at 17, I could operate commercial broadcast stations, 17 years of a dozen simulators, including transmission line simulation, worse case analysis of microwave strip line attenuator and switches, and then another also 20 years taking images of galaxies and other deepspace objects. All of which involves sending and collecting photons.

        But the real clue is from analog voltage regulation, you have 2 parallel circuits and the one turns on and off. It’s all simple at that point, and the net radiation and station data clearly show changes in cooling at night.

        Your demands of a linear add of the two forcings is just wrong.
        You ever design a circuit voltage regulator, know how they work? What about switching power supplies, both give clues of how the atmosphere regulates cooling.

        But because you don’t understand you continue to debate facts presented plain as day. You’re out of your league.

  24. As noted by others, Trump is doing what every other new President has done. He’s stopping ongoing activities until he can take more solid control of the behemoth agencies.

    Of course the Lefties will latch on to anything in their desperation in a (vain) attempt to smear Trump.

    Funny!

    • Sounds sort of clumsy.

      • in my opinion, a sound change of tactics. Like repeal and replace Obamacare ~simultaneously. Taking the EPA site down doesn’t change much except give warmunists fodder. Replacing it with a more truthful, less propaganda filled revision does. And that will take significant time because you also have to revise all the embedded links. Gave examples in a subcomment upthread. And have personal experience since I was handed the sr exec responsibility of overseeing the revamp of the MOT website ordered by the Board in 1998. Redoing just the top 20 pages took over a year because of all the underlying links. Team of 20 people internally under a newly hired webmaster (we ‘stole’ the Chicago Tribunes) plus many website contractors. Cost over $20 million. Mot was simple compared to federal government complexity. Mostly just org charts, products, corporate initiatives, investor relations.

      • As one should expect. This is not a case of one group of government bureaucrats replacing another group. It appears that Trump plans to apply practices he is familiar with from the business world. That is not always going to work, or at least will look clumsy until they get a better feel for the environment. I’m ok with it.

    • scott4sf,

      That looks to me a lot like public servants delaying tactics so they can manipulate the end result to try to preserve what they believe is right.

      That is why it is so important to Drain the swamp! And do it quickly.

      • Peter,
        You may be interested in the DOE second Quadrennal Energy Review focused on electricity and transformation of the grid.

        https://energy.gov/epsa/downloads/quadrennial-energy-review-second-installment

        Planning Engineer may be interested as well if anyone can forward this to him.

        It sets a marker as the “high sea level rise ” of the renewable energy initiatives. A joke about high sea level rise. I mean high water mark.

        Scott

      • Scott4sf,

        Thank you for this link. it will take me quite a while to read and digest it all. I went first to chapter IV Ensuring Electricity System
        Reliability, Security, and
        Resilience
        and saw these unsupported, ideologically-driven assertions in the “Summary”:

        … increased risk due to worsening global climate change

        and

        Events with severe consequences are becoming more
        frequent and intense due to climate change, and these events have been the principal contributors to
        an observed increase in the frequency and duration of power outages in the United States.

        plus 37 other unsupported assertions attributing causes to climate change

        All that in the first chapter I looked at.

        When will we get past this Regressive ideological cr@p? Oh, how I hope Trump can save the world from this nonsense!

      • S4sf. I will forward him as multple guest post co-author your link later tonight or tomorrow am. But as he already commented, is probably monitoring this thread.

  25. It’s a Trap! I have to wonder if this is a way to weed out subversive elements… dictate a temporary and seemingly unreasonable policy, wait for the enemy to blatantly violate it, then fire them.

    • Fair bit of that going on. DoE refusal to transition team, NPS tweets, Denver SS special agent in charge posting on Facebook. Makes initial actions by incoming agency heads easy. Line insubordinates 0816 up and fire them. Gets the immediate attention of everybody else.
      His stated goal was 20% RIF in 4 years. Shouldn’t be too hard. Example. DoD back office waste alone $125 billion over 5 years, with 448,000 civilian back office employees in 2016 ( plus 298,000 in uniform and 268,000 contractors. Thats as many back office workers as there are active duty military. Report was commissioned by Assistant SecDef and then suppressed because was so shocking. Bob Woodward at WaPo reported it 12/05/16. Trump digs it out says fix, report back in 60 days on system plans–not hard, just clone or hire ADP that does equivalent employee back office for 620,000 employers in 125 countries, covering many millions of employees.
      Another corner of the swamp to drain.

    • None of this is any different than that which was done under Obama.
      We all remember when Sally Jewell threatened 70,000 of her employees when she said ‘I Hope There Are No Climate Change Deniers In The Department Of Interior.’

      see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/sally-jewell-climate-change-deniers_n_3695153.html

    • Roy W. Spencer,

      Good. Drain the swamp. Purge the Regressives! :)

  26. The key question is whether the Trump administration’s actions signal:

    a purge of Obama’s ideology from these agencies OR
    replacing Obama’s ideology with a Trump ideology.

    I hope it is the former. I hope The Administration will purge all ideological advocacy and do their best to return government funded organisations and to doing honest, unbiased research and providing honest, unbiased advice to government.

    Any speak of climate change (meaning human caused climate change) and of global warming (meaning human caused global warming) is clearly biased and is advocacy for the Regressives’ ideology. It should be purged and any government employees participating in advocacy should be purged too (after appropriate warning of course).

  27. Scientists are planning their own march on Washington

    No word on what hats to wear.

    Somehow claiming science is on one’s side seems as offensive and as much a red flag as appropriating religion.

    • I got a laugh out of that, what scientists are showing up? (Most)Climate scientists aren’t scientists, they’re activists.

      Oh, maybe we can fire all the ones out protesting during a work day!

  28. Pingback: Bits and Pieces – 20170126, Thursday | thePOOG

  29. Geoff Sherrington

    Re: matters about scientists speaking in public.
    Here is a letter of mine published by the national newspaper “The Australian” on 15 Feb 2006.
    Yes, 2006.

    “THERE is an excellent argument for curbing the public statements of scientists like those from CSIRO, a former employer of mine. Scientists, like the public, cover a spectrum of beliefs, some of which are based on emotion rather than science.
    There are greenie scientists in CSIRO and there are honest ones. Human nature being what it is, there are private agendas pushed by CSIRO people that would make your jaw drop.
    An example is the selection of Australian weather recording sites used to construct the temperature measurements of the continent, which play a big part in southern hemisphere weather models. From the beginning, most sites that showed little or no temperature rise or a fall from, say, the 1880s to now were rejected. The few sites selected to represent Australia were mainly from capital cities and under suspicion for “heat island” effects. I could give example after example as it was one of my employment functions to distil the best results from the bogus on many matters related to energy/greenhouse/nuclear etc. I found few truly objective submissions among those masquerading as science.” Geoffrey H Sherrington.

  30. It is going to take time after many pronouncements for we the listening public may be able to discern fake-news from just plain old biased news.

    Dr Curry said she didn’t know a lot about the USDA and how this agency may be producing science. The hint has been Genetically Modified Foods although from an environmentalist worry-wort perspective, the belching and farting of cows may be emphasized as this narrative feeds directly into the vegan diet meme. There are other possibilities including manure/fertilizer runs-off that certainly deserves an environmentalist finger-wagging-at posture using the Lake Erie algae bloom as an example of catastrophic farmer’s disregard for the climate. What may really raise the hackles of some environmentalists and many farmers as well, scaling back the corn to ethanol subsidies leaving grain bins full and the fuel mixture spats very much alive.

    I can see a number of rows to be tilled in the USDA pasture that environmentalists would wish to cultivate and maybe, muzzling the USDA by the directorate of the White House on Governmental activity is yet another step in finding fertile fields for future deregulation.

  31. NASA and NOAA do a lot of monitoring of the earth from satellites and the ground. If Trump stops that too, it will be for fear of what they are showing the public, which is a kind of censorship. These agencies are globally important in this area and neither are easily replaced by overseas agencies.

    • Why fear? Why wouldn’t it simply be because there is no need for the information and scarce dollars are better spent elsewhere or not all all?

    • Jim D

      A picture is worth a thousand words or so the saying goes. The new satellite has sharp pictures of our blue marble and with such imagery, better weather forecasts are in the offing. Good news.

      Did I say that better information was not censorship? nor bias reporting? Only that, as the weather comes in at sharper focus, the climate catastrophe becomes more distant and opaque. What we know now, as opposed to knowing but a few years ago, means we are better at the 3 day forecast. While the 100 year projections are but…speculation at best, devious at worst.

      • Apart from pictures, they use satellites for sea level and keeping track of global water including soil moisture and glaciers. Also methane, CO2 and ozone and other trace gases, pollution haze, sea-surface temperature, vegetation coverage, etc.

      • Jim D

        Does knowing today’s soil moisture content and all that make projections better 10 days out? 30 days out? one year, 10 years, 100 years out? Pray tell me, will we know not only what tomorrow will bring but what will be the weather on my great, great, great grandchild’s birthday be? The seas will rise? that the kinds of storms will pass? the days of darkness and light will be different than now?

        I am amazed at such clairvoyance and look forward to your answer.

      • You don’t know the trends unless you monitor. The first step is to monitor. We already see the glacier mass and sea-level trends, possibly even vegetation and other albedo effects. This matters.

      • Jim D

        I have stood on glaciers that are now gone. My toes bathed at the ocean side. And yet, as I watch a Canadian Sunset, pictures from long ago and now showing the growth of trees and the aging of people, there is no difference to be found. The colors, the clouds, the progression to the blue flicker at sunset are the same, year, after year, after year, the same. It is not only my eyes that see and enjoy each sunset, different and yet the same, others also calling for yet another picture to capture nature’s beauty and uniqueness. I am not assuaged from claiming things are the same even though time passes, the season’s change, and yet, the sky draws our vision to now and the future. Beauty seems to have no timeliness.

        It is hardly worth the labor to dissect each moment when the continuum of time is so broad and seamless, that a moment’s pause is hardly worth noting.

      • Jim D | January 25, 2017 at 10:56 pm |
        You don’t know the trends unless you monitor. The first step is to monitor. We already see the glacier mass and sea-level trends, possibly even vegetation and other albedo effects. This matters.

        Why does it matter? We’re there not trends before we were monitoring them? Did they matter then? Why is it the federal government’s responsibility to monitor these trends? Which article of the Constitution requires and/or authorizes the federal government to do this?

        These are just a few of the key questions we should all be asking of our government, IMHO.

      • Trends matter. Insurance companies and regional long-term planners can’t ignore them.

      • So the federal government should measure these trends for the insurance companies why?

      • Because they can’t do it themselves, of course.

      • > Because they can’t do it themselves, of course.

        First off, just because someone can’t do something for themselves doesn’t obligate the rest of us to do it for them.

        Secondly, they could do it themselves. Private companies build and operate lots of satellites (only a few companies can launch them, but that’s a commercial service)

        There are already commercial companies operating camera satellites (that’s where google gets their imagery for their maps software). Currently the limits on the image quality of these satellites isn’t technical, it’s government regulations.

      • Would you prefer insurance and businesses to come up with their own stats and not use third-party expertise? I don’t know what this argument is about. Governments run the observing stations, gather and share the data. They are best suited to collate it in ways that are useful and take into account how the measurements were taken.

      • Are we having a serious argument here about whether satellites are useful? I hope not. We have serious money invested in them and in the systems supporting them. Are we afraid of what they’ll show? Just because the data has been used improperly by some we should get rid of them.

        Just because Jim D supports it doesn’t mean so-called skeptics have to oppose it. This sounds anti-science to me.

      • “Which article of the Constitution requires and/or authorizes the federal government to do this?”

        ???
        If it is not the government (of any country, not just the USA) to fund basic research then who will do it?
        Without basic research we would be living in caves.

        Anyway… just to play your game: which article of the constitution says that the federal government should NOT do so? See? Easy.

        P.S.: I am NOT a pro-dem or pro-obama, but pro-scientific research, let me be clear.

      • > Anyway… just to play your game: which article of the constitution says that the federal government should NOT do so? See? Easy.

        Yes, that’s easy, the Tenth Amendment says that anything not specifically allowed is forbidden.

        > The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        The US is unique (or close to unique) in this regard. In most countries the Government “naturally” has all power, although it may choose to limit itself and to give some power to the states (or equivalent) and may promise not to do some things. But in the US, the People “naturally” have all power, and through the Constitution have chosen to give some power to the Federal Government.

        This is why they had to claim that the justification for Obamacare was “regulating Interstate Commerce”, if they hadn’t convinced enough of the Supreme Court of this justification, it would have been thrown out as not authorized by the Constitution.

      • Davidlong:

        You said they used interestate commerce to justify obamacare.

        Actually, the Supreme Court found that Obamacare violated interstate commerce.

        They found support for Obamacare under the taxing authority.

        The penalty being found to be a tax.

      • @Richard – what you say is true, however the architects did originally use the Commerce clause as their justification. They really wanted to avoid calling it a tax as they hoped to keep the illusion that Obama was not taxing the middle class (which was already blown away by the stated taxes in the law specifically aimed at the middle class). Once John Roberts rewrote the law to change the “penalty” to a Tax, all semblance of the lie about taxes was stripped away and it became the largest tax increase on the middle class in the history of the country.

        So the original intent was to use the commerce clause, but SCOTUS said that would not fly, so they (SCOTUS) rewrote it to be part of the taxing authority.

    • NASA has new leadership.
      “The Administrator and Deputy Administrator of NASA are the highest-ranked officials of NASA, the space agency of the United States. The Administrator serves as the senior space science advisor to the President of the United States. According to NASA, the role of the Administrator is to “lead the NASA team and manage its resources to advance the Vision for Space Exploration.”
      They have also been exploring the Earth. Which is somewhat poetic. There is greatness in space exploration. But it’s wait, we got problems right here. The Pluto flyby was something. This is cool:
      http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html
      With it’s Ion drive.

  32. I’m happy that climate policy (or rather Obama’s climate policy) is “on the hot seat”, because it deserves to be. It’s the epitome of armageddon science and it deserves whatever ugly fate befalls it.

    That’s the extent of my happiness about the Trump administration. Trump himself is such a loose cannon that I fear whatever “policy” he and his team may come up with. I think we need a national climate policy but I would like to see the science advanced in a rational way, not simply abandoned . We should not become dismissive or hostile, and I see Donald Trump as fully capable of both approaches.

    I was hoping that the new president would give me reasons to be optimistic about his ability to govern and see things clearly from a national perspective. Those hopes have faded but maybe he’ll prove me wrong in the future.

    • I think we need a national climate policy but I would like to see the science advanced in a rational way, not simply abandoned .

      I would like to see policy advanced in a rational way. Science needs to do good, objective science, not advocacy and not policy.

      Science is not what is important for policy. What is relevant is the economic costs and benefits of policies. For this we need valid impact functions and damage functions – so the costs and benefits of GHG emissions and proposed mitigation policies can be evaluated. We don’t have these, so we should not be enacting policies until we do.

      • Peter, my response to Greg Sheridan in today’s Oz:

        No, it is not basic common sense to reduce emissions, for several reasons (“The case against coal is coming apart at the seams,” 26/1). First, if the Earth warms further, the net impact might be positive – for example, with higher CO2, plants grow better and stronger and need less water. Second, the emissions-reduction policies adopted have imposed high energy costs and unreliability, making Australia less attractive to investment, while having negligible impact on future temperatures. Third, we face many present and as yet unknown future challenges: the best way to prepare for them is to increase the capacity and responsiveness of our economy rather than to weaken it. Fourth is the opportunity cost – we should accept the costs of emissions reductions only if they demonstrably provide a better return than alternatives uses of resources. This has never been demonstrated.

      • Hi Michael,

        I think the two Forbes articles linked here would be of particular interest to you: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/25/the-trump-shift/#comment-835559

  33. re blogged from Willis’s blog because, I have little imagination and one person liked what I said:

    I am crestfallen that a Federally employed climate activist may be fired from their job by leaking sensitive information, or, more to the point, releasing information that is contrary to the standard party line espoused by the present administrative honcho. For those in the Federal bureaucracy, previously having had the license to provide press reports reflecting one’s own view of the world and how it works is now being curtailed, seems to be a hardship. Choices are limited: continue to work in a very strange environment which seems to have had an about face of 180 degrees, or, Promising a future bereft of conflict and encouraged by the smooth and eloquent statements of people who are “in the know.” ie, consensus scientists. This is the way things are folks, take it or leave it. This is how it is and is going to be. Follow me or fall off the cliff. Enough said.

    The future seems dark at present what with catastrophic climate change cascading all around us, and not being able to speak, even whimper. Hardly seems fair to have such a turnabout from what was just gloriously a brief 3 months ago, able to espouse my own imaginative thoughts and press release to feed a frenzied media.

    I will really miss the days of climate catastrophe; ie, being free to speculate upon the future unbridled with realism or even worry about stretching what the numbers actually say. I have used, and will miss using the climate catastrophe narrative to further my own vision of what might be. For me, blocking EPA pronouncements and USDA information specials will certainly put a crimp into my own credibility as a provider of “Truth, Justice, and The American Way.”

    I am crestfallen.

    I have just learned, to my chagrin, that bovine farting, but especially belching is bad for all of humanity. I don’t really know how I am going to inform my dairy farmer families.

    I am despondent. Pardon me while I go out to get a Big Mac. Comfort food.

  34. “Myron Ebell, a climate change denier who headed Mr. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team, has drafted a 50-page blueprint for how he could eliminate Mr. Obama’s climate change policies.”

  35. The Climate in Washington just crossed a bifurcation in State space!

  36. On the one hand, skeptics want open access to all the science being done by the government, but on the other hand they don’t want to hear about what the EPA are finding. Go figure. Demand access, don’t demand for it to be hidden because you don’t like certain information going public. That’s a hypocritical position.

    • Actually not at all. People want access to dat from which to draw their own conclusions because they believe some of the “scientists” are skewing the results due to inherent bias.

    • “they don’t want to hear about what the EPA are finding.”

      Evidently, the EPA doesn’t want to hear about what others were finding.
      As in ignored input to the so called endangerment finding.

      • When there is endangerment, the EPA listens. Look at the Flint water case. Not only that, they report it publicly as a government agency should.

      • Where was the EPA when Flint decided to use the polluted water? Where was the EPA on the Gold Mine disaster – oh wait, they were there. They pulled the plug!

      • Republicans in Michigan were trying to save a buck, and it didn’t work out well for Flint. The EPA uncovered what went wrong.

      • Except the ones who tried to save the buck were democrats. Not republicans. It came to light under a Republican governor, but the decision was made under a democrat governor and mayor.

        Want to rephrase your statement? Accuracy is important.

      • Yes, the people who covered up the problem at MDEQ were appointed by a Republican governor. The governor also issued his apology because it was ultimately his fault.

      • Wrong again. The decision was made under a democrat administration, by democrat appointees. It was uncovered under a republican administration. But the democrats bear the responsibility since they are the ones that did the deed.

        Do better research.

      • The Republican governor had it all under his watch. He rightly apologized. People wanted more than an apology because the buck stopped at him. It’s very easy to find the sequence of events, even if you don’t remember the pressure the governor had while it happened.

    • I just want to see the size of the federal Government reduced. Two reasons: current deficit is not sustainable & in far too many instances our lives are over regulated. Each by themselves is reason for reduction. Together they amount to a mandate to do so. That is exactly what Trump plans to do.

  37. EPA Mistakes

    The EPA erroneously asserts Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a measure of “effects on the Earth’s warming” with “Two key ways in which these [ghg] gases differ from each other are their ability to absorb energy (their “radiative efficiency”), and how long they stay in the atmosphere (also known as their “lifetime”).” https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gwps.html

    The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg erroneously overlooks the fact that any effect the ghg might have on temperature is also integrated over the “lifetime” of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere ‘cancels out’. Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, egregiously miscalculates the influence on average global temperature of greenhouse gases. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than is determined by its immediate concentration.

    The influence on average global temperature of a ghg molecule depends on how many different wavelengths of EMR the molecule can absorb/emit. Water vapor molecules can each absorb/emit at least 170 different wavelengths in the wavelength range of terrestrial radiation (p 499 of http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1938ApJ….87..497E/0000499.000.html ) compared to only one for CO2. There are about 30 times more WV molecules in the sea level atmosphere so it is at least 170 x 30 = 5100 times more likely that EMR absorbed by CO2 and thermalized will be reverse-thermalized to water vapor. EPA fails to account for this.

    Thermalization of all absorbed radiation and the complete dominance of water vapor in reverse-thermalization explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Terrestrial EMR absorbed by CO2 is effectively rerouted to space via water vapor with the result that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

    Identification of the three factors, in an equation which matches average global temperature (98% 1895-2015), is at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

    • Dan:
      “explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. ”

      Quite, quite bizarre my friend.
      Constantly repeating your pseudo-science does not make it correct.
      It matters not what WV does in the lower atmosphere re thermalisation of LWIR, as that said LWIR still has 10’s of miles to go before it escapes to space. And as you should know, WV is scarce at altitude.
      Also do try to think of what would happen it the Earth’s atmosphere had just WV as it’s sole GHG.
      You obviously know it condenses?
      And that that process is dependent on temp/pressure?
      Therefore atmos WV concentration is function of temp?
      That it condenses as a solid at temps (well as low as -40 in the atmosphere) but for the sake of argument – 0C?
      Now what happens when you have snow on the ground?
      To albedo?
      To the water cycle re evaporation.
      What would happen over NH land-masses FI over the course of just a few years?
      To the feed-backs of that consequence.
      It’s been done for you.
      Though of course you will not accept it…..

      https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Lacis_la09300d.pdf

      Also CO2 has absorption bands that WV has not in the terrestrial LWIR spectrum, notably one at the Earth’s ave temp of 15C at ~15 micron and one at 4 micron….

      Please note: have told you I don’t “converse” with sky-dragon slayers.
      There are no “Sky-dragons” and you certainly haven’t slain one.

      • “explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate”

        The above reference to radiative forcing considerations indicates the clear significance of CO2 to global energy balance and thus to global mean temperature.

        The insignificance is that of global temperature to climate or the biosphere.

        Climate ( precipitation, storms, clouds, winds, and in part, temperature ) is determined by the general circulation. The general circulation is not determined by global mean temperature but rather by gradients of temperature. It’s conceivable that some change in gradients would be forced by RF, but these would appear insignificant in the context of natural variability of circulation, which itself changes gradients.

      • Just like you don’t accept the physics from ground level showing water vapor regulating surface temps, not co2.
        It’s all consensus science, are you a denier Tony? Or maybe a bit weak on your radiative physics?

        Do you see how Min temp follows dew points?

        Unidentified cause of exponential cooling rate
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL019137/pdf

        Well I identified it.

        But you don’t understand the physics, now that’s a laugh!

      • The above reference to radiative forcing considerations indicates the clear significance of CO2 to global energy balance and thus to global mean temperature.

        Except it isn’t. The forcing are not linearly added together, it is a parallel circuit (in actuality it’s multiple parallel circuits), and they do not directly add.

      • “Just like you don’t accept the physics from ground level showing water vapor regulating surface temps, not co2.
        It’s all consensus science, are you a denier Tony? Or maybe a bit weak on your radiative physics?”

        FFS micro:
        I’ve said many times to you that you are merely teaching me to suck eggs.
        I spent 32 years observing the power of WV in the atmosphere to modulate surface temps.
        That is however irrelevant in the effect that CO2 adds in ADDITION to that.

        How on Earth would NWP suites work if they did not model atmospheric humidity? (should be rhetorical – but seems not)
        Don’t you think meteorologists would have noticed? (rhetorical).
        Co2 attenuates LWIR to space in areas that WV does not.
        Do try to understand that things are not mutually exclusive in meteorology/climate and multiple cause/effects take place.
        You do not get to eliminate CO2 from the GHE because it’s effect at the surface is overwhelmingly more apparent due to it’s concentration varying from bugger-all to 100% !!.
        IOW, use critical thinking.
        Oh, and not a denier (usual back is white hand-waving rabbit-hole DK’er comment), just someone who observed the GHE as caused by WV in the atmosphere for 32 years and for the latter 20 of them used algorithms to predict that effect, passing on that information to, among others, RAF jet pilots.
        FFS again.

      • That is however irrelevant in the effect that CO2 adds in ADDITION to that.

        Except it isn’t added, that what the whole nonlinear thing you seem to not understand.
        Oh course co2 impacts desert cooling, it just is irrelevant as deserts cool more at night than anywhere else. But for the rest of the planet water vapor regulates any co2 away before cooling slows.
        That’s what you are ignoring, water vapor is what controls and regulates cooling not co2.

        Look, do you agree in that net radiation going out, as rel humidity goes up over about 70% the cooling rate slows.
        Can you agree that is true?

      • due to H2O’s concentration varying from bugger-all to 100%

      • “Except it isn’t added”

        Ymicro:
        Yes it is …. as in an effect ON TOP OF the GHE of WV. Because it acts greatest in places that WV is scarce
        And also at wavelengths that WV does not – 4 and 15 microns (more thoroughly that does H2O).

        “that what the whole nonlinear thing you seem to not understand”.
        Eh? What has that to do with acting greatest in spaces/places that WV is scarce, AND being an addition to WV in the places it’s GHE takes place?

        “Oh course CO2 impacts desert cooling, it just is irrelevant as deserts cool more at night than anywhere else.”
        No, it is not irrelevant.
        It’s the opposite of that.
        Without CO2 in the atmosphere deserts would get colder at night.
        The lack of WV is the chief reason why deserts cool greatly at night.
        The air is dry and the WV GHE is minimal THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE VERTICAL TROPOSPHERE.
        There are additional cooling drivers – sandy soil. Still air. Low anticyclonic subsidence inversion.
        But any air-mass that is dry will radiate copiously to space, just less so with the added CO2 fraction.

        “But for the rest of the planet water vapor regulates any co2 away before cooling slows.”
        That’s what you are ignoring, water vapor is what controls and regulates cooling not co2.

        Again no, as above.
        Also H2O condenses.
        CO2 does not.
        Therefore CO2 controls WV.
        Ergo CO2 controls the GHE.
        Without it (and CH4, O3) the Earth would become an ice-ball!!

        “Look, do you agree in that net radiation going out, as rel humidity goes up over about 70% the cooling rate slows.
        Can you agree that is true?”

        Locally yes.
        But it will never be at high humidity vertically for long (and certainly not on the global surface), and there is still emission at some point above cloud.
        How else do you think satellites can measure the temp at the top of cloud at terrestrial values.
        By your logic cloud tops should be minus a zillion (think about it) you are saying that H2O is in TOTAL control of heat loss as in a no go ceiling when air is saturated (if I read you correctly). No – LWIR gets through but it is delayed in doing so, and the GHE of CO2 is in parallel to that.

        The GHE acts through the entirety of the trop. There is a path-length term in the B-L equ. There are CO2 molecules in the way of an LWIR photon exiting to space, with the re-emission of it biased toward the surface until around 7km up (the point at which the Earth’s temp is seen from space …. -18C). Then the bias turns to space. However a molecule of CO2 at the tropopause would still absorb/emit terrestrial LWIR, and is therefore in the chain of attenuation.
        This all acts in parallel to the GHE of WV.
        The Earth’s GHE of a 33C warming is due both WV and non-condensing GHG’s, of which CO2 is the chief. HOWEVER CO2 is the most IMPORTANT because it’s concentration is NOT altered by it’s temp.
        H2O IS.

  38. The reason that this change has been so publicized and seems so stark is that the Obama administration has clearly used agencies for political purposes. And not just on climate change, which some could at least claim is a scientific and not political issue, but also on clearly political issues. For example, this is what the HHS website says in its introduction to Title IX of the ACA (a.k.a. Obamacare) law:

    “The Act makes health care more affordable for families and small business owners by providing the largest middle class tax cuts for health care in American history. Tens of millions of families will benefit from new tax credits which will help them reduce their premium costs and purchase insurance. Families making less than $250,000 will see their taxes cut by hundreds of billions of dollars.

    When enacted, health reform is completely paid for and will reduce the deficit by more than one hundred billion dollars in the next ten years.”

    This is actually on the website in the section of the site which is supposed to be simply a transcript of the law.

    Whether you agree with the above statement or not, this is clearly political opinion at best and partisan propaganda at worst.

    The department of labor website and publications have also become megaphones for Maoist labor ideology.

    Hopefully, the Trump administration will shut this down and purge all opinion and propaganda from what should be non-political publications.

  39. Most of this is fodder. What really matter lies here: https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/612710

    “The report concludes the Defense Department already is observing the impacts of climate change in shocks and stressors to vulnerable nations and communities, including in the United States, the Arctic, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America, officials said.”

    I’d be quite surprised if the DOD becomes an ‘ignore’ when it comes to climate change. Especially since this has already occurred: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-backtracks-on-plan-to-take-down-epa-climate-web-page/

    • Danny

      The much cited CIA report from the early seventies expressed many of the same concerns, but that time about cooling

      Tonyb

      • Tony,

        Indeed. However, considering ‘The Trump Shift’ there are vacillations w/r/t CIA and trust (leadership or not). Actually, on second consideration there is at DOD also. Generals, not so much, but new leadership should address. Suggest we keep an eye on modifications (if any) to this stance as it should be a window on ‘the bosses’ ‘true’ view.

      • Danny

        Perhaps you can resolve something that is a bit of a mystery to me. In the run up to the election various people here were bitterly complaining about Obama using executive orders to push through some of his favourite ideas.

        Trump seems to be using many executive orders as well. Are they a different tape of executive order or are some people here displaying their partisanship with their previous complaints?

        Tonyb

      • Hi Tony,

        Typical politics I’d suggest. Those so against the Obama’s use of EO’s grow silent when Trump utilizes the same tool. According to wiki, Obama wasn’t even close to the prime user. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order

        Trumps ‘contract with America’ said something along the lines that he’d remove the ‘unconstitutional’ EO’s Obama put forth. When I read that I wondered how the ‘unconstitutionality’ would be determined and even if their removal was necessary since they would be by definition ‘unconstitutional’.

        Political theatre. Use of EO’s is a common tool.

        Here is an article you may enjoy. There is another tool which is alternatively available to our President: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/24/executive-order-vs-presidential-memorandum-whats-difference/96979014/

        Recalling the complaints about alternative issues, you’ll find a similar response. Debt (appears we’ll ‘front’ the funds for some wall), Gang of 8 vs. Border Fence Act of 2006, Obamacare exchanges (or not?). Just politics. Gotta take it seriously, not literally. :)

      • “Are they a different tape of executive order or are some people here displaying their partisanship with their previous complaints?”

        Difference is Tony, Obama’s Executive Orders were GOOD Executive Orders, while Trump’s Executive Orders are BAD Executive Orders.

        It’s very subtle, you need to be a Snowflake to understand.

        I’m sure Jimbo or one of his fellows can explain it to you in detail.

      • One example of poor EO planning is to implement a hiring freeze considering those who staff the V.A. (Veterans Affairs) Medical/Hospital system are government employees. But that’s a fairly easy fix. Just add to the exclusion of those needed for ‘public safety and military’.

        Pens and phones use can lead to differing results.

      • @ClimateReason (TonyB) – Most of the EOs that Trump has done have been to rescind EOs that Obama created. Those I have no problem with. However the ones that exceed his authority the way the ones that Obama’s did I do have a problem with. So far I can only think of 1. And that one was telling the agencies to back off of the Obamacare penalties. But even that one is not quite the same as he has already started pushing congress to repeal the law. But it is the same in the respect that the law is the law, even if I hate the law.

        I hope he does not keep that up. No point in trading one tyrant for another.

      • re: executive orders, it’s not just the numbers of things, but what they cover.

        Obama issued executive orders that stretched the boundries of the authority of the President. He issued orders telling people to ignore violations of the law.

        So far Trump’s EOs have not done such things. Much of what they have covered is countering the EOs that Obama issued (if not directly cancelling them, significantly restricting them)

        These (and the fact that he’s issued fewer EOs than Obama did at this point in his term) are why Trump supporters are not outraged about him issuing EOs.

        David Lang

      • Obama’s executive orders were usually to protect people, but Trump’s are to attack them. So it is quite a different way to use them.

      • Yea, right. Tell that to Memories Pizza. Tell that to the millions who lost health care. Tell that to SCOTUS who unanimously over turned his decisions more than any other president in history.

        His EOs did not hurt you is what you meant to say.

      • Less people are uninsured than at any time in American history, so you have healthcare backwards. It became affordable. The Medicaid expansion was key. Republicans may want to leave that intact along with many other favored parts like no lifetime limits and preexisting condition discrimination.

      • Less than anytime in history? HOw many were insured in 1940? How about 1900? How about 1800?

        Perhaps you would like to qualify that statement? Anyone can see it is a bald faced fabrication.

        And yes, some people were insured. According to the CBO, 15 million people were insured (net number) at a cost of $2.7 trillion over 10 years. Which works out to $18,667 per person per year. When Obama defined a “Cadillac” plan as costing ONLY $10,500 per person per year. So for merely an 80% premium, we managed to insure another 15 million, leaving 30 million still uninsured. At that rate, we can insure 100% for a mere $60 TRILLION for 10 years. That works out to $6 trillion per year, or 50% more than the current federal budget. And that is ONLY for health insurance.

      • Qualification: less uninsured as a percentage of the population. This is largely because the Medicaid expansion made insurance affordable for people just above the poverty level too.

      • When you make it a law, you find that most people, whether they like it or not, obey the law. That does not make it affordable. It just makes it the law.

        And as the CBO figures demonstrated, you can insure 100% for a mere $60 trillion over 10 years. Of course then you have to find $60 trillion when the private sector was basically doing it (since the cost of the health care did not go down, nor the number of visits to emergency rooms) for basically 0 (the $60 trillion does not include medicare or medicaid – just Obamacare).

        Here’s a good test (since this is a science blog). Why don’t we remove the law that says you HAVE to have insurance and let the people decide. Then we can compare the insured rates. If you can still make that claim, you win. If you cannot, you lose.

      • You go first. Start with automobile insurance. While you’re at it, remove the ‘regulation’ requiring seat belts. Then monitor activity at emergency rooms and associated medicaid expenses. Unless, of course, that work has already been done for you.

      • They made it the law because they didn’t want freeloaders who don’t buy insurance until they need it. Usually Republicans don’t like freeloaders, but these people without insurance cost everyone in the long run. For the same reasons car insurance is law, health insurance should be. Imagine if you didn’t have to pay car insurance until you needed it. It’s like that.

      • About time don’t you think? https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_203.htm

        The top 5 occupations are all in health care. At this rate, it will consume 100% of GDP before the latest generation can retire.

        Your link does not say the industry will disappear, and according to the BLS, it has a long way to go just to get back to where it was before Obamacare.

      • @philjourdan

        > So far I can only think of 1. And that one was telling the agencies to back off of the Obamacare penalties

        even that one said “to the extent permitted by law”

        So he was not saying to disregard the law, just to back off to the extent permitted.

      • One of the arguments re EO’s is that the major ones from O that conservatives complained about were extensions of law and therefore unconstitutional. T’s, on the other hand, have mainly been aimed at actually enforcing existing law that was not being enforced by O. Therefore, there is no blatant over reach which gets conservatives, especially libertarians, upset. Judge Nap (a libertarian), has weighed in on this issue on Fox news along these lines. IMO, Judge Nap will be the first to call out T if he goes unconstitutional on us. (I have only lurked here but felt compelled to add this to the EO discussion. Will wait for the attacks on Faux news that always accompany similar references, esp Twitter.)

    • Danny

      Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit. Voicing a position in public does not necessarily mean how you feel about it in public. Especially in the military they are taught from day one to follow orders. That goes for the military academies to basic training of grunts, of which I was one.

      There were many times in testifying before legislative committees I did my best to represent my agency’s position even though my private views were not the same. You do what you are paid to do, to the best of your ability. At those moments my own thoughts didn’t mean diddly.

    • Danny,

      Perhaps you should learn how government agencies work.

      Civilian management at DoD say climate change is a concern because that is what the boss (the old boss) told them. And when the civilian bosses instruct the military leadership to produce a report on the impacts of climate change using the following assumptions, that is what they do.

      I’ve been a member of the US Naval Institute (USNI) for over 35 years. If you want to get a feel for what naval officers think about climate change as a threat, try reading up on the topic in the USNI’s monthly journal Proceedings. The only thing military professionals care about climate change is how they might tap it for additional funding. Well, actually that’s not completely true. Many are worried that the drive to be politically green is draining money from more important things. The navy’s green fuels program has been a complete failure.

      • TimG56,

        “Civilian management at DoD say climate change is a concern because that is what the boss (the old boss) told them.”……..in public. But what their ‘belief’s’ are in private affects their contributions. Not everyone in the private, nor public sectors can be fully ‘bought’. And if they can, they’re not much as far being a ‘real person’ goes. Thankfully, there are folks willing to stand up for their ‘real truth’ even if counter to the top echelon. Trump has stated specifically he holds respect for those who speak their minds. Surely you wouldn’t be suggesting here that we shouldn’t take that seriously if not literally?

        As far as ‘The Great Green Fleet’ maybe this is all a basket of falsehood: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=95398

        Or alternatively, ‘complete failure’ is excessive hyperbole and could be better stated? Up to you.

        How everything one side states can be arm waved away as ‘hogwash’ (and that’s not intended to take a side as both do it) is ……….what’s the term I’m seeking……..oh yes…….Fodder. I’ll stand by that, thank you.

  40. Here’s a good example of why the swamp needs to be drained.

    In January 2015, Obama directed US DOE and NAS to investigate the health effects of low level doses of ionising radiation. Below I include a quote on what they were directed to do, and following that two links explaing what happened. It’s disturbing.

    20 January 2015

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives.

    The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 (HR 35) directs the two organisations to carry out a research program “to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods.” The study is to be completed within 18 months.

    The researchers must identify current scientific challenges to understanding the long-term effects of ionizing radiation; assess the status of current low dose research in the US and elsewhere; formulate overall scientific goals for the future of US low-dose radiation research; and recommend a long-term strategic research agenda to address and overcome the identified scientific challenges. The US Secretary of Energy must then deliver a five-year research plan in response to the study’s findings and recommendations.

    Continue reading … http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-US-House-passes-low-dose-radiation-bill-2001158.html

    Forbes (January 2017) explains what happened – (these two articles show how corrupt the system is).

    Inconvenient Low Dose Radiation Science Axed Under Obama Administration
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodadams/2017/01/22/inconvenient-low-dose-radiation-science-axed-under-obama-administration/#5bb1c3305566

    Part 2
    Importance of Low Dose Radiation Science Axed By DOE Managers
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodadams/2017/01/23/importance-of-low-dose-radiation-science-axed-by-doe-managers/#c1cf04917a65

  41. … Scientists working in government labs, agencies, etc. work on scientific problems or technologies that further the administrations interests. Does this mean that it is legitimate for them to torque scientific findings in the direction of the administrations interests? No.

    Yet that is almost exclusively what has happened till now, all the while pretending that it hasn’t.

  42. ‘The Trump Shift’?

    “Susan Avery, an atmospheric physicist and former president of the famed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will join the board of the petroleum giant on February 1, the company announced late Wednesday.”

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-exxonmobil-climate-scientist-board.html#jCp

    • In political parlance good use of co-opting. Also nice eye candy.

      • Ceresco,

        Damned if you do and damned if you don’t?

        “Climate advocacy group 350.org dismissed the appointment as “little more than a PR stunt.””

      • I am sure she was chosen for her expertise rather than her looks..

        Tonyb

      • Tony

        Lol. I’m sure you are right. I was using the term in a little broader context though beyond her personal appearance. It looks good on the letterhead and the listing of the board. I’m sure the greens love it. Unless they’re the cynical type.

      • Ceresco & Tony,

        “Unless they’re the cynical type.” Like Bill at 350? Just shook my noggin when I read his quote. Placement of a renowned scientist on the board of the evil demon capitalist entity being met with such a comment as his is amazing. Thinking maybe he should reach out to her and discuss climate and qualifications in addition to positioning oneself in a place of guidance as opposed to not. I’d guess that would be an interesting conversation.

  43. In other news, Dan Rather is re-branding. Amazing how short people memories are.

  44. From the article:

    He used the showy State Dining Room to chat with House and Senate brass on Monday as rain fell outside. On a credenza, an assortment of finger foods were available, including meatballs, shrimp cocktail and sliders.

    Journalists who were allowed into the room captured pictures of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer chatting with Trump. Off to the side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaned over and said something quietly to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

    On Monday evening, McConnell returned to the Capitol and told reporters he enjoyed the president and Schumer trading notes on everyone they knew in New York, their shared home state.

    The State Dining Room was all laughs when a press pool entered to find Trump and the senior Republicans and Democrats seated around a massive table. “We’re about to make a deal,” the new president joked.

    “He’s taking every … opportunity to forge strong bonds with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/donald-trump-white-house-charm-offensive

  45. From the article:

    So Republican officeholders might do well to look closely at their voters, including the many new GOP voters. In 2016, of the 10 states (including the District of Columbia) with the highest median income, nine voted for Hillary Clinton. Conversely, of the 10 states with the lowest median income, nine voted for Trump. We can pause to note that Trump voters themselves are typically not impoverished, and yet, many of them live in relatively poor states, where they find themselves sandwiched in the middle. According to the nationwide 2016 exit poll, Clinton won the poor, as well as the rich, while Trump won those in between.

    And it’s this Middle America, of course, that feels most besieged. As Trump said in his January 20 inaugural address, it’s because of globalization that “the wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.”

    Indeed, the effects of globalization, which have favored the few and hurt the many, are stark: According to a post-election study by the liberal Brookings Institution, the 472 counties that Clinton carried last year accounted for 64 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the 2584 counties that Trump carried accounted for the remaining 36 percent. And the people in those “blue dots” know who’s been good to them. Thus it was, for instance, that Clinton got 84 percent of the vote in the rich globalist citadel of San Francisco and 87 percent of the vote in the equally affluent Manhattan.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/26/pinkerton-fate-obamacare-trump-era-middle-class-wants-will-get/

  46. These are the titans of bureaucracy who have made industrialists quake in their boots.

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/epa-employees-coming-work-tears-trump-win/

    • Sorry for not shedding tears for them shedding tears. When many cities in our state faced unemployment of 20% and the state’s General Fund dropped by 33% and our department’s FTE count dropped by 600 positons, there were lots of people who were dealing that kind of anguish. During those recession years of 1981-82, with tax revenues dropping like a rock, states do what states have to do , they balance the budget and people lose their jobs. In the Rust Belt, for all employees, private and public, this has been a routine part of going to work, or not going to work.
      It’s called reality. Federal employees,since they have no requirement for a balanced budget, have lived in a pampered fantasy world. Of course, they could be part the of cast in La La Land if a sequel makes it to the theaters.

  47. I am happy to wait and see what President Trump does after this period of window dressing. Speculation at this stage seems pointless.

    • Harry

      Good answer. It will take months before we see the full extent of trumps policies and their likely impact.

      Teresa may gave a good speech yesterday. She is no lightweight as regards fighting her corner. Hopefully she will prove a good counterweight to trumps apparent impetuousity.

      Tonyb

  48. Theresa May is probably being advised not to let Trump get her alone in a room, and is also practicing a swift kick to the groin in case needed for tomorrow’s meeting with the American President.

    • My, my, I see where your mind wanders. Did you used to go to the newsstand to get a peak at Penthouse when you were young. Something tells me that she is not his type. Not that there is anything wrong with her type.

      • I think she knows his history, and will be cautious if he asks her to come and see his etchings.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        cerescokid,
        Would have thought a ‘peek’ but in the front trouser region a ‘peak’ might be good choice of misspelling.
        That is, if Jim D is male.

    • I heard he is just going to have a low level lackey go tell the globalist NWO hag to catch the next flight back to the Uk Caliphate ;)

    • You need to stop confusing Clinton with Trump.

    • Yes, yes, we’ve all heard the Leftists rhetoric by now. Trump can’t be trusted alone with a woman, despite being alone with tens of thousands of them before and not have a problem before he ran against Shrillary. Trump can’t be trusted with the Nuclear Codes, despite that we haven’t had missiles targeted and ready to launch on a moments notice in over a decade. Trump can’t be trusted with anyone or anything, ever.

      It’s just to bad all you have to back up your bull is more lefty lies. Because no one believes them anymore but the Faithful.

      • …and now the deplorable immigration ban that targets the main allies in the fight against IS, and the main war-torn refugee country, and doesn’t target any 9/11 hijacker countries where he happens to have business ties. This is unAmerican. Just stop signing stuff without thinking through the consequences.

      • Actually it also does not target the other 180 countries that Trump does not have business in. But I guess you missed that one.

        As well as missing the fact it is the same 7 countries that Obama put a temporary ban on. So you have been in the wrong country for over 8 years now.

      • Obama did not put a ban on all these countries. He increased vetting on them, and they haven’t produced even one act of terrorism on American soil between them probably as a result of that vetting. Trump’s act puts half a million people with these nationalities in America at a major inconvenience of not being able to travel, or if already outside, not being able to come back, and they haven’t even done anything. They are what it is about.

      • I’m so impressed. First it’s Obama didn’t do enough to address terrorism. Now it’s, But let’s use the list from countries Obama considered to be hot spots.” With that kind of thinking we might as well rehire Obama.

      • Yep, they already had extreme vetting too, not that Trump would admit to it. To his supporters this is a new idea of his, and they are asking why no one did any vetting before. Wonderful idea. They also won’t believe the media when they point this all out because, hey, it’s just the media. They’re in a different world somewhere outside of reality.

      • If this is all stuff Obama was already doing, why the outrage from the Left?

      • David,
        Just an equal and opposite response to those furthest right. Politics=tennis. Can’t we all just recognize? Likely the most reasonable are to be found more to the middle.

        My far right representative’s emailed survey today was do you agree with the E.O. My detailed answer is no as conducted and my expectation for him was to be the more experienced and therefore more reasoned one. Betting right now I can guess his response.

      • And David, I tried to remind him that even if ‘only’ 109 were detained some 90,000 were affected. Those too are represented by ‘leadership’ and are indeed humans and not a subspecies. They are predominately beneficial contributing individuals. Somehow that seems forgotten.

      • An how many hundreds of thosands were “affected” by the protests clogging the airport areas?

        As far as I can tell, this sort of thing is perfectly within the responsibilities and powers of the President.

        As a side note, a US Visa is not permission to enter the US, technically it’s permission to enter a port of entry and ask permission to enter the US. So the reasoning of the Judge blocking the EO was misplaced.

      • David,
        Fair question and point. I daresay we know not the actual numbers of those detained, those ‘affected’ by the orders (heck, less toss in their families if we’re in to one-upsmanship), those ‘affected’ by protesters. Or we can recognized that maybe, just maybe there was a lack of consideration for people on both sides. You start and I’ll bet we can find a way to the middle. Currently, there seems little desire towards that end from either side.

      • Vetting isn’t banning. Obama didn’t ban everyone from those countries, terrorist or not. That is where it gets unAmerican, and that is even before talking about going against the Geneva Convention and not accepting any refugees from Syria.

      • Except the SOS said they were not doing that (imagine that). http://www.weeklystandard.com/clinton-calls-for-tough-vetting-of-immigrants/article/2004409

        So you can rehire Obama (other than it is illegal) who does not know who is shooting up innocent people, and is doing nothing about it, or you can try a new way. Unproven, but not the same as “nothing”

      • Apparently this government just let some people in because they had been vetted enough already. It was happening, and the Trump admin thinks it sufficed, contradicting themselves, but then what’s new.

      • Trump did not put a ban either. Just like Obama, he “suspended” visas for a period of time.

        Again, research is not your enemy. If you did more, and stopped listening to politicians who only know fake news, you would not be wrong all the time.

      • Neither did Trump ban anyone. Just like Obama he suspended visas. Just like Obama, it is within his powers as defined by law and the Constitution. However, the YSM did use the word “ban”. Perhaps that is why you are confused? Best to actually go to the source (whitehouse dot gov) to get the actual facts. That way you can be correct

      • It’s a case of need not apply for the next few months too. That is a ban for the duration, and who knows whether they will lift the ban at that time.

      • But the reality is it is not a ban. If your flight is delayed, you have not been banned from flying. Or from your destination. You have merely been delayed.

        I do not recall your objection when Obama did it. Is there a reason you hold the double standard other than irrational animosity?

      • Obama did something in the wake of an attack in the US, while Trump seems to be doing it out of a figment of his imagination.

      • so are you advocating taking no measures to prevent attacks? We should wait until after we are attacked so that the leadership can be again blamed for not having blocked it?

      • They have vetting already. This was because those countries were already on a list for extra vetting. What else do you want? Trump wanted to make it look like he was doing something, but this is just window dressing for his base. No one else is fooled, and a lot of innocent people are affected.

      • We had the Director of the FBI testify to Congress that they had no way to vet people from some of these countries.

      • Yep, I love how the socialist denizens here pan Trump for doing the same thing Obummer did. Very funny!

    • I won a bet by predicting that May would be holding hands with Trump and smiling like the Cheshire cat. It was an easy call.

    • Rule of thumb: if a person isn’t governed by the US constitution neither is that person protected by it.

  49. Judith Curry,
    or anyone who can answer authoritatively (no guesses please), can you please explain the reason for the apparent discrepancy between Richard Tol’s and Scotese’s Regional Temperature Conversion Factors

    Richard Tol, 2013 FUND 3.9, Technical Description, says:

    Regional temperature is derived by multiplying the global mean temperature by a fixed factor (see Table RT) which corresponds to the spatial climate change pattern averaged over 14 GCMs (Mendelsohn et al. 2000).

    p5: https://05f0e81c-a-5f9963c9-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/fund-model.org/fund-model/Fund-3-9-Scientific-Documentation.pdf

    Table RT: Regional temperature conversion factor
    USA 1.1941
    CAN 1.4712
    WEU 1.1248
    JPK 1.0555
    ANZ 0.9676
    EEU 1.1676
    FSU 1.2866
    MDE 1.1546
    CAM 0.8804
    SAM 0.8504
    SAS 0.9074
    SEA 0.7098
    CHI 1.1847
    NAF 1.143
    SSA 0.878
    SIS 0.7517

    Source: FUND 3.9, Tables, p33: https://05f0e81c-a-5f9963c9-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/fund-model.org/fund-model/Fund-3-9-Scientific-Tables.pdf

    Most of the country groups/regions from CAM down (except CHI and NAF) are in the tropics. They have factors of 0.75 to 0.91. However, I understand the tropics warms by only about 1C for a 3C increase in GMST. That suggests the conversion factor should be around 0.33, not 0.75 to 0.91. Likewise, the higher latitudes would warm much more according to Scotese’s chart below; e.g., for a 3C GMST increase the average temperature at latitude 45 degrees would increase by around 4C and the poles from -36C to -7C, i.e. about 29C increase).

    Source: https://www.academia.edu/12082909/Some_thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_from_Icehouse_to_Hothouse

    Is Scotese’s chart roughly correct? If so, what is the explanation for the apparent discrepancy (or my misunderstanding)?

  50. Harry Twinotter

    “Basically, the civilian departments such as EPA, USDA and NOAA now work for President Trump, with the Directors of these agencies working with the administration to further the President’s policies.”

    I am not sure this is correct – does anyone with US constitutional knowledge know? The President has influence of course, but I don’t think the agencies exist at the President’s pleasure.

    • The US has three equal branches of government

      the Judicial Branch (the courts)

      They determine if someone has violated the law (they don’t do any investigation), and if any laws violate the Constitution.

      The Legislative branch (House and Senate)

      They make the laws and set the budgets for the government.
      They can run their own investigation.
      There are some other specifics (impeachment, ratifying treaties, approving Cabinet positions, etc)

      The Executive Branch (the rest of the Federal government)

      The President heads this branch, everything that is done is done as a delegation of his powers)
      The Executive Branch negotiates treaties, but they aren’t binding unless the Senate ratifies them.
      All the The Cabinet consists of is his direct reports (talking in business terms). The Cabinet members are in the line of succession, if everyone higher then them were to get killed, they could become the President.
      The President has other advisors and staff, but they are not in the line of succession.
      The number of Cabinet level offices changes over time (The Department of Education did not exist as a Cabinet level agency before Carter in the ’70s for example)
      Everyone in the various departments reports up to the President.

      Note, this includes the Justice Department, the CIA, the military branches, etc. They all work for the President.

      Congress can pass a law that directs the Executive branch to do something, but that’s almost always in general terms. The Executive branch (i.e. the President and those who work for him) determine exactly how to comply with the law and create the regulations.

      Back around the time of the Civil War, they had the bright idea of trying to insulate the workers of the Executive Branch from political fads and created the Civil Service, with it’s regulations making it so that people had to be qualified to get a job, and weren’t routinely fired every election (this is why it is so hard to get rid of the bad apples). Over time, this has led to the attitude by many that they know better than the elected officials and have a tendency to try and ‘manage upwards’ (apologies for another business term) and force things to be done the way they think they should be, no matter what their bosses say.

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

      David Lang

    • Harry T – see government organizational chart.http://www.usgovernmentmanual.gov/ReadLibraryItem.ashx?SFN=Myz95sTyO4rJRM/nhIRwSw==&SF=VHhnJrOeEAnGaa/rtk/JOg==&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

      And look at the “Independent Establishments and Government Corporations” at the bottom. They all report into the Executive Branch and are thus serve at the pleasure of the President.

      The President’s office is an almost frightenly powerful job, though some jobs are subject to Senate confirmation. All of them, of course, are funded by the Congress.

      • The President’s office is an almost frighteningly powerful job

        The executive branch gets sued for failing to enforce laws all the time.
        The executive branch also gets sued for overstepping it’s legal authority all the time.

        Presidents have some leeway in carrying out the will of congress but it isn’t unlimited.

        The Obama administration lost 44 cases at the Supreme Court and only a fraction of cases ever make it to the Supreme Court.

    • The top 4,000+ senior Federal Employees serve at the pleasure of the president.

      He can fire them without cause, most resign as a matter of decorum after every election.

    • Harry T,

      This is clearly true in the U.S. under our Constitution. Unfortunately many (if not most) Americans don’t know what the Constitution says.

      I am not sure of your nationality, but how does it work where you are?

    • Actually, Harry T, you have insulted our hostess. She obviously has knowledge of the Constitution and has taken the time to try to educate her readers on it.

    • Article II of the US Constitution begins “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

      This means that every department answers to the president, and he can fire any employee whether appointed and confirmed by congress or not. Even employees appointed by a previous president whose terms have not yet expired (like James Comey as head of the FBI) can be fired.

      Most lower level federal employees are covered by “civil service protection” which gives them the right to appeal being fired for non-job related reasons. But they can still be fired.

      A president can avoid those protections through use of control of the budget. If the budget for an agency is reduced, or eliminated, the employees fired or laid off because their jobs have been eliminated do not really have a right of appeal.

      • @GaryM – another tactic that can be used (I witnessed it in a state government) is to eliminate the jobs. Then they are not “fired”, they are “laid off”. They of course get points that puts them in front of others with the same qualifications for federal jobs, but it in no way guarantees they would get those jobs. And if you eliminate enough jobs, the pool of laid off workers will be too large for all of them to even think about being rehired.

    • Ronald Reagan fired a couple hundred air traffic controllers for going on strike and it stuck.

    • Must be one of the 2/3rd’s of Americans who hasn’t a clue about civics.

      • @timg56
        Remember that a lot of people who post here are not Americans, so it’s quite reasonable for them to be ignorant of the nuances of the US system.

  51. I see we have got no further. Am I allowed? I am certainly not entering into any discussion at all. My new policy is not to argue with nitwits lest I be mistaken for one. .

    My feeling is that most 2oth century warming was quite natural – and that there will be a cooling phase over centuries – along with La Nina intensification. I am happy to see it play out. Well – as long as I can.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2017/01/12/an-earnest-discovery-of-climate-causality/

    It means that anthropogenic greenhouse gases may be less influential than believed – but at any rate restoring agricultural soils and ecosystems can mop up vastly more carbon over decades. By then there will be 21st-century energy. So it’s a non-problem – at worst a massive distraction from far more serious development and environmental problems. And the best we can do anyway is globally restore soils and ecosystems. While commercialising 21st century energy sources and reaping trade and productivity windfalls in growing economies.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/

    In Australia we are doing the soil sequestration in a big and growing way at $10-12/tonne. This has far more certain ecological benefits that are well worth it. We may argue all we like about how good carbon dioxide is. Utterly irrelevant. Carbon is much better returned to soils.

    Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss in agricultural soils is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

    https://www.facebook.com/Australian.Iriai/

    • “Am I allowed?”

      Are you kidding? It is always great to hear from you whether you argue with anyone or not.

      Same arguments. Even if we go into a deep freeze there will be those who would say it would have been worse.

    • Chief

      Welcome back; nice to see your face :)

      Mother Earth, and in particular her predilection for carbon rich soils allows those keepers of the soil to flourish. I am concerned about corporatization of farms as their interests are usually short term. I have seen the family farm, particularly when purchasing worn out rental land restored to immense fertility by adding liquid manure, 15,000 gallons per acre initially and 7,000 gallons/acre there after. The problem with family farms are the economics, especially the globalization of crop prices and the person power required to manage same even in the age of GPS guided mechanization.

      Farm price support by US Government in a global economy to provide farm stability is regressive and protectionist distorting food production. Socially aware yet having to remain viable farmers are catering to the farm product with the highest immediate return or continuing producing in the face of a global glut only because of price support (sugar beets). This seems to be a recurrent theme here in the USA memorialized in the late 19th Century by Wm. Jennings Bryant’s “Cross of Gold.” Essentially, issues of currency management.

      Finally, to my point: restoring carbon to soil is the “right thing to do”. I don’t believe there is a way to consistently achieve re-carbonization of soils globally until currency management policies can achieve farm price stabilization. The European Union was a trial in that direction and got mired into a lot of other issues other than currency management. I believe the “Green” movement derailed that effort turning Brussels towards subsidizing high cost energy as a focus instead of multiple country single currency management.

      I look forward to your thoughts and expertise.

    • Chief, nice to see you are still kicking :)

    • Geoff Sherrington

      RIE,
      Agreed soil organic C is important, but this has been known for decades by such people as kelp farmers and others way back in at history as in period paintings.
      More recently, the motivation has included decreasing atmospheric CO2. There are various ways and materials, some more long term than others. The soil retention time of added ‘carbon’ of various chemical forms is dependent on the form e.g. ground coal long, municipal sewerage shorter.
      Geochemically, there is some evidence that a given region of soil, mapped to a type, has an associated innate ability to hold only so much Total Organic Carbon, TOC, a long-used metric. Natural soils man has not farmed for centuries do not approach high TOC under some native pressure from the overall system – they plateau at very roughly a percent C by weight, though ‘good’ soils like those at my Darling Downs birthplace were traditionally deep, black and productive. They are a small part of all our soils.
      Probably management of soils to increase TOC will over decades result in a reversion to the mean, with natural loss of gases, mainly CO2 and CH4. This is against the hopes of some.
      Further, there is not much overall benefit to airborne GHG reduction from forcing C into soils then farming them. It usually gives better productivity (good) but this is by consuming the added TOC into crops carried away for use and their inexorable decay (bad).
      The rate of circulation of C through the soil system is increased by these schemes, but in the longer run atmospheric GHGs are little changed because of reversion to the natural state once the C addition management is ceased.
      There are generalisations in what I have written here and the overall effects in measured detail might carry a tiny net benefit for those wanting GHG reduction. But, it is misleading to promote that artificial schemes to add C to soil will give the earth large new expanses of terra preta soils with large C storage and high crop yields forevermore.

      • We shall see. In Australia we have committed $1.5 billion for verifiable reduction of 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        We have seen. What I wrote was known in the 1970s. Overtaken by wishful thinking, like the revival of windmills and large scale solar, also known to have high failure prospects in the 1970s.
        None so blind as those who do not want to see.
        Geoff.

      • It may be better to focus on 21st century policy.

        And 21st century soil science.

        Not quite sure what your objection is. You think it doesn’t work? I think you are wrong. But unless you have relevant sources – and I am quite willing to consider any relevant science – it’s time for me to call quits on this discussion.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Before you quit, you are coming through as precisely the type of persson that got us into problems by adopting 21st C work on splar panels and wind farms and we know how that proved the earlier work wrong.
        Show me where you disagree with my comments, the scientific parts without belief parts, Rob.
        Geoff

      • Wind and solar is a red herring intended to suggest that I am a rabid catastrophist with a fixation on destroying our energy supplies. It is utter nonsense. You have failed to scan even the front page of my WordPress site.

        Let me quote a bit it for you – just to make it easy.

        I am an engineer, hydrologist, environmental scientist. I have studied climate for 30 years – environmental science, policy and management nearly as long. Economically the world is locked into a growth cycle – despite any and all reservations and interventions. Personally, I welcome a high growth planet. It brings resources to solve people and environment problems. The clearest way to economic growth is markets – and the biggest risk is market mismanagement.

        On climate I am inclined to think that most 20th century warming was quite natural. With a dimming sun and resurgent La Niña activity suggesting a cooling influence this century. It means that anthropogenic greenhouse gases may be less influential than believed – but at any rate restoring agricultural soils and ecosystems can mop up vastly more carbon over decades. By then there will be 21st century energy. So it’s a non-problem – at worst a massive distraction from far more serious development and environmental problems. And the best we can do anyway is globally restore soils and ecosystems. While commercialising 21st century energy sources and reaping trade and productivity windfalls in growing economies.

        Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss in agricultural soils is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

        I am an old man and I dream dreams. What I dream of is seeing a great, global spanning civilisation – nestled in a profusion of nature – forged this century. Populations replanting and replenishing in a triumph of human ecology in the Earthly garden – a sound foundation for our next steps to the stars. Great art and great music flourishing – song and poetry inspiring and amusing. Technologies proliferate and will be directed to the tasks of bringing our lives into balance with the world. The great task of renewing the world and empowering its peoples will bring a resolution that releases immense energies. What seem like dire and insoluble problems of the moment will fade like midnight forebodings in the morning light. It succeeds with vibrant, prosperous and diverse cultures in rich and resilient landscapes.

        So – really – our discussion is over.

      • you dream small :-)

        I dream that we get off this rock and have multiple political organizations around the Solar System (talking about goals for this century)

      • … a triumph of human ecology in the Earthly garden – a sound foundation for our next steps to the stars.

        If you read a little harder you will find that I am a trekkie from way back. :}

      • David Lang,

        I dream that we get off this rock and have multiple political organizations around the Solar System (talking about goals for this century)

        You dream small! :)

        Why constrain yourself to just the solar system? I expect humans will want to explore the galaxy, our universe and then, still not satisfied, travel through black holes to other universes “and return safely to Earth”.

        Perhaps travel in sailing ships using renewable energy – riding gravity waves and tacking to and fro to go hither and thither.

      • @Peter Lang

        I qualified this by limiting the timeframe to the next Century. I think the Solar System will keep us occupied for that long (absent some FTL breakthrough that we don’t imagine yet)

    • Robert

      Where have you been hiding?

      You may not be aware that there is now an annual subscription to CE which you pay directly to me. ..

      Tonyb

      • Cheques in the mail Tony…

      • Yeah I think it’s crazy to allow a few hyper aggressive nitwits – with nothing very interesting to say – to systematically drive away away anyone with any real understanding.

        But don’t worry David – I intend this to be it as far as your concerned.

      • David Springer

        Speaking of hyper-aggressive nitwits do you have anything ON TOPIC to say or did you just miss splattering your personal belief system all over regardless of relevancy?

    • “Am I allowed?”

      For now.

  52. Hmmm.

    Interesting how those so concerned about the politicization of science create euphemisms such as a “Trump shift” to describe combined phenomena like this:

    –snip–
    Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency who want to publish or present their scientific findings likely will need to have their work reviewed on a “case by case basis” before it can be disseminated, according to a spokesman for the agency’s transition team.
    –snip–

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/25/511572169/epa-scientists-work-may-face-case-by-case-review-by-trump-team-official-says

    combined with phenomena such as this:

    –snip–
    On Monday, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who has previously praised Trump’s “stamina” and “conviction,” gave a floor speech in the House in which lauded the president, celebrating his many accomplishments. According to Smith, you may not be familiar with those accomplishments, because the media won’t tell you.

    “Better to get your news directly from the president,” Smith said. “In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”
    –snip-

    Let’s see if any responses raise above the level of “they did it first.” Consider all the comments we’ve seen in the “skept-o-sphere” about “religious” beliefs related to scientific viewpoint….as you think about the Chairman of the Space, Science, and Technology committee saying that the “only” way to get the “unvarnished truth” is to hear it directly from Trump.

    For some related discussion:

    http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/1/27/14395978/donald-trump-lamar-smith

    • Joshua,

      The last I checked, every government agency has always been headed by a political appointee.

      As such, the ‘official position’ of every government agency has always been a matter determined by the political appointees.

      If you had gone over to the Whitehouse website…you would have seen that there is a memorandum to all agencies that have not yet gotten their new politically appointed bosses to refrain from making any statements regarding ‘official positions’.

      The official positions of the EPA where prior to January 20th,2017 were determined by Barack Obama and Gina McCarthy.

      Once President Trumps EPA Secreatary is confirmed by the Senate then I suspect we will have ‘new’ official positions at the EPA, just as we had ‘new’ official positions at the EPA when Barack Obama took office.

    • Red Herring – The EPA does not produce, nor is anything it might produce relevant as the dictate is to use the science available OUTSIDE the agency for agency decisions. So why would an EPA scientist be wasting time producing anything since it cannot be used? I think they call that job fraud.

  53. G’day guys – nice to hear from you too.

    There are lots of different methods of lifting production in cropping systems while reducing increasingly scarce and expensive inputs. It works commercially or it doesn’t work. Conventional cropping has hit a wall with exhausted soils and declining production. Peak food is inevitable unless there are shifts in production systems.

    The ecological restoration of rangelands and forests is an opportunity this century to reverse biodiversity loss and enhance food security.

    Again there are different techniques. In the US it can include free range. bison. In Australia fire is key. And 30% of the land area is under native title.

    Trade is a different matter – and the failure of the US and Europe to ratify the Doha round of trade talks over a long time is a problem.

    http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/post-2015-consensus/trade

    This has necessitated pursuing multilateral trade agreements instead. In an era of an increasingly inward looking US – the real Trump shift – I am afraid the smart money in Australia is on dumping the US entirely in favour of trade with China, Indonesia, India and Europe.

    • “Peak Food”??? Are you kidding?

      There is so much farmland around the world that is underperforming due to the poor capabilities of those doing the farming, that “Peak Food” using just the techniques known today is so far out as to not be something to worry about.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Please be aware that no Australians I have met and had related discussions share the dream time views being expressed here by Rob Ellison. Nor is there much of his slant on the bigger science blogs. MSM I seldom read, been burned too many times.
        Specifically on agriculture, fire is not the answer, it has a minor part to play. Australian yields of major crops have not peaked enough to forecast from noisy data and a big drought just ended. Ag production depends on more than climate, competence and methods. Supply and demand is a big factor for talking peaking. Addition of carbon forms to soil has a deal of reversibility when it is stopped, so that short term benefits often lauded become liabilities unless maintained – at a cost. You have to manage Carbon waste for 1000,000 years, to steal an anti- nuclear propaganda phrase.
        Never heard anything recently about AUST ditching USA trade for the Orient. Never heard that GB did us in the eye over past EU trade, not to any serious degree.
        Rob and I must have different sources. Much of what I quoted higher up was from my direct participation in soil science. These parts just here I have just written are atypical, more unsupported thought than evidence, to match Rob’s style.
        Basically, his wishful belief does not represent dominant Aussie attitudes, which is why I prefer more rigid words based on science.
        Geoff.

      • It is not clear what rabbit hole Geoff is living in.

        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/24/australia-open-to-china-and-indonesia-joining-tpp-after-us-pulls-out

        The ecology of fire? Just an example. Ecological restoration is not remotely all about agriculture.

        https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/adaptation/publications/fire-regimes

        Soil carbon is dynamic – which is a positive. The changed practices will build soil carbon over 30 or 40 years and keep it there while the practices are maintained. Carbon increases productivity and drought and flood tolerance.
        There are huge net economic benefits.

        All this information can be easily accessed from 1000’s of reputable sources.

        Geoff needs to ignore the climate science blogs – all of which leave a lot to be desired – and go straight to primary sources. The idea of appealing to blogs for authority is more than a little ridiculous.

        ‘French president Charles de Gaulle had vetoed British entry twice — first in 1963 and even more brusquely again in 1967. In order to join the community Britain was compelled to sever its remaining Commonwealth ties, particularly in the area of trade. As a result, Britain’s traditional partners faced European trade protections.

        British consumers noticed this change in the mid-70s when Australian butter was replaced by Danish Lurpak spreads on the shelves of their supermarkets. The effects on Australian farmers were far more painful. After Britain had joined the EEC Australian butter exports dropped by more than 90 per cent; the Australian apple trade declined from 86,000 tonnes in 1975 to just 27,000 tonnes in 1990. The economic consequences of Britain’s European ambitions for Australia were severe.

        The psychological effects were even more difficult. In their brilliant book, The Unknown Nation — Australia after Empire, historians James Curran and Stuart Ward recall how shocking it was for British Australians in the early 70s to find themselves traded in by the motherland for Britain’s entry ticket to the EEC. At that time “abandonment”, “betrayal”, and “edged firmly from the imperial nest” were typical expressions of Australian sentiment about the decision of the British government.’

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/books/a-necessary-shock/news-story/3d2549d950c986e1703f6c62be520055

        Little understanding of modern Australian history either it seems

        We need some primary sources Geoff – just like in big boy science.

      • Just to insert a little bit of knowledge here. There is an immense literature on fire in the Australian landscape. It has been fire stick farmed for 60,000 years.

        http://i.unu.edu/media/tfm.unu.edu/page/384/Andersen-et-al.-2012.pdf

    • Chief

      “I am afraid the smart money in Australia is on dumping the US entirely in favour of trade with China, Indonesia, India and Europe.”

      I’d like to take a piece of that action as I believe the historical native speaker English language countries still feel bound to one another and more likely than not will “find a way.” Trade and money policy are integral to the future of a global economy and, as a legacy of the British empire’s spread of the native speaking English language, the Brits of olde could count on this brotherly bond to good effect. We only need to look at Europe’s attempt at forming a single currency and monetary policy to see that money alone is insufficient. Forces and separate customs from within allowed all sorts of competing agendas to sabotage the effort. History I believe, will not be kind to Greens for this break-up.

      I get that the USA like many other countries are becoming more diverse. Yet the legacy language imbues those who need a job at least, will continue communicating in English in all its dialects for the foreseeable future. And, lo and behold, Prime Minister May’s international reach is again across the pond. Winston Churchill’s bust is back in the Oval Office without removing MLK.

      So I’ll take a piece of that Aussie trade action. Pays your money, takes your chances.

      • Britain cut us adrift when it entered the EU. There is no going back. All is not forgiven. This is the new Australia. One in which monetary policy is firmly in hand and has seen low inflation and steady growth since 1993.

        We have focussed on diversifying languages in schools, encouraging business immigration from around the world and building multiple relationships in trade and defence. You may overestimate our nostalgia for the past and underestimate our commitment to the future of the region.

        The only reason we are not a republic is that we are too polite to dump the Queen. We are not too polite to dump King Charles if he ever ascends.

      • Chief

        We dumped King George a while back. No loss.

        Our recent educational attempts at being bilingual has produced children along our Southern border unable to translate an order for a McDonald’s cheeseburger without pickle into an actionable outcome, let alone able to read printed instructions to run machinery. When one speaks Spanish at home, play and mostly in school, the consequence is a high school graduate as an English illiterate and a future job as a hotel maid or lawn maintenance.

        As for Australia, monetary policy for a commodity based economy is dependent upon others, and dependency upon a world’s demand for one’s commodities results in a boom or bust reality. Mitsubishi and Ford have left leaving behind the Holden on wobbly financial footing. What does Australia make? known for? what the world economies want? Agriculture. Iron ore. some wine. Uranium cake? opals? Coal to China shipped through the Great Barrier Reef? Tourism? I am sure I have missed some other commodities.

        There is a lot to like about Australia and Australians in general and, yet, its legacy of appropriation of land at Botany Bay lingers in the halls of Parliament and the social programs of today. The off shore waters are full of potential immigrants bring unskilled labor; not, high tech material at least in this generation. Those immigrants from New Zealand who are both native English speakers and culturally similar to Australians, and yet, they have not been able to make a “go” of it in their own native land and look to Australia as providing any kind of employment.

        I do hope Australia finds an economic identity as my dear daughter has cast her lot with her husband adjacent to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. A bright women. She has ascended the New South Wales administrative bureaucracy in short order. Her USA college degree exceeded her otherwise Aussie peers and may account for her current top management position.

        Maintaining connections with the lingering threads of the British Empire, at least from my view from afar, remains Australia’s near term economic success story.

      • I am surprised and saddened at such ignorance from you. Exports may easily be found online. Although we are proud of our mining and farming – a fair whack of it includes education, equipment, professional services, medicine, etc. Our primary interest in the US is accessing venture capital to turbo charge growth. We quite deliberately got out of cars because we really don’t believe in subsidies and tariff protection.

        One critical freedom is economic freedom. Markets need fair, transparent and accessible laws – including on open and equal markets, labour laws, environmental conservation, consumer protection and whatever else is arrived at in the political arena. We score amongst the best in the world on economic freedom.

        Monetary policy is not rocket science. Interest rates are best managed through the overnight cash market to restrain inflation to a 2% to 3% target. Although few countries in the world can manage that consistently. On fiscal policy – optimal tax take is some 23% of GDP and government budgets are balanced.These nuts and bolts of market management are mainstream market theory and keep economies on a stable – as far as is possible – growth trajectory.

        I am trying hard not to canvass invidious comparisons with the US in any of this.

        As for Botany Bay and as it was Austalia Day recently and as I overthink things a lot. https://www.facebook.com/robert.i.ellison/posts/10208840529072949?pnref=story

      • Chief

        I take no offense at your pointing to my ignorance as that is stating the obvious. I appreciate the Facebook post regarding the social disorder of aboriginal people in Australia as such a plight may be found in our own American Indians as well as the Canadian aboriginal/First Nation People. Much has been tried without striking a balance between dependency and self-guided social control.

        What seems to me, from what you have said, access to accumulated capital and putting that capital to good use in Oz is the prime reason for connections with US. Globally, banks collect small savers/accounts to loan out money at interest rates somewhat higher than what they pay for the saver’s money. Venture Capitalists bundle already accumulated wealth, especially from large holdings like pension funds and wealthy individuals to provide possible very high rates of return, albeit with much more risk. VC seek out enterprises in their nascent form and interview, invest, guide and then sell off that enterprise. VC capital flows where it is permitted, usually flying under the radar, and the sale profits seem to escape much scrutiny.

        This basic capital flow mechanism had led me to ask: what does the world want/need from Australia? What incubator environment exists that can be scrutinized for opportunities? What is the regulatory environment like in Australia that would allow large infusions of capital as well as the withdrawal of such large capital investments?

        Here is where you can help mitigate some of my ignorance.

        Regards

      • I don’t really think you’re ignorant. I was just kiddin’. But why ask me about Australia when you have the CIA?

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html

        It’s about right – although with little to no analysis of underlying factors. Robust democracy, transparent laws, an open economy and fiscal and monetary discipline.

        Will an embed code work? It is an index of economic freedom graphing US and Australian scores.

        http://www.heritage.org/index/iframe/visualize/2016?cnts=australia%7Cunitedstates%7CWORLD.embox{display: inline-block;position: relative;width: 100%;margin: 0px;float: left;font-size: 12px;}.embox:before{content: “”;display: block;padding-top: 100%;}.ratio16_9:before{padding-top: 56.25%;}.emcontent{position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;bottom: 0;right: 0;width:100%;height:100%;}

        We can see that economic freedom took a nose dive in the US with Obama. Time will tell with Trump – but the noises are not encouraging.

        There are three political choices – not two. Progressive, classic liberal and conservative. Progressives think that they can rewrite economic principles – conservatives are an enigma wrapped in a puzzle. They seem to have no principle – but are fiercely convinced that whatever brain fart they have is ordained by God. Both progressives and conservatives seek pure power – with zilch comittment to democracy. Dangerous zealots both.

        ‘Personally, I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it – or, to put it bluntly, its obscurantism. I will not deny that scientists as much as others are given to fads and fashions and that we have much reason to be cautious in accepting the conclusions that they draw from their latest theories. But the reasons for our reluctance must themselves be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs. I can have little patience with those who oppose, for instance, the theory of evolution or what are called “mechanistic” explanations of the phenomena of life because of certain moral consequences which at first seem to follow from these theories, and still less with those who regard it as irrelevant or impious to ask certain questions at all. By refusing to face the facts, the conservative only weakens his own position. Frequently the conclusions which rationalist presumption draws from new scientific insights do not at all follow from them. But only by actively taking part in the elaboration of the consequences of new discoveries do we learn whether or not they fit into our world picture and, if so, how. Should our moral beliefs really prove to be dependent on factual assumptions shown to be incorrect, it would hardly be moral to defend them by refusing to acknowledge facts.’ F. A. Hayek – Why I am not a Conservative.

        Classic liberals measure everything against the principles of freedom devised first in the Scottish Enlightenment – on which the US was founded.

      • Chief

        “Classic liberals measure everything against the principles of freedom devised first in the Scottish Enlightenment – on which the US was founded.”

        I just got off the phone, after a 1 1/2 hour conversation with my California Computer Science son who is headed to India, extending his start-up company’s business opportunities. As at most times, our conversation entered the political arena and he said: “On some issues I am center left and on some issues I am center right. Mostly, I am in the middle.” A millennial’s revelations. Freedom and adventuresome behavior. Not quite the Scottish Enlightenment, nevertheless, encouraging to me at least.

        The freedom to choose. Where will this get us?

    • Welcome back Ellison.
      We need Buffalo in Minnesota grazing on restored prairie that sequesters carbon. After perhaps decades of this, the soil, the land is worth more. The bees are safe and happy. The runoff of soil to rivers is greatly reduced. Annual Spring flooding is reduced. With so much permanant vegitation, I am guessing precipitation levels are increased a bit. The fuel expanded per acre is reduced. Buffalo, it’s what’s for dinner.

    • It is not clear what rabbit hole Geoff is living in.

      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/24/australia-open-to-china-and-indonesia-joining-tpp-after-us-pulls-out

      The ecology of fire? Just an example. Ecological restoration is not remotely all about agriculture.

      https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/adaptation/publications/fire-regimes

      Soil carbon is dynamic – which is a positive. The changed practices will build soil carbon over 30 or 40 years and keep it there while the practices are maintained. Carbon increases productivity and drought and flood tolerance.
      There are huge net economic benefits.

      All this information can be easily accessed from 1000’s of reputable sources.

      Geoff needs to ignore the climate science blogs – all of which leave a lot to be desired – and go straight to primary sources. The idea of appealing to blogs for authority is more than a little ridiculous.

      We need some primary sources Geoff – just like in big boy science.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Rob, I am a primary source myself through years ofvroutine and innovative work non the topic, a method to convert dreamers intovrealists. Why should you be telling mebtobread about my work in the mainstream media that you quote, presumably as you think it a reliable source?
        Geoff

      • Some people just won’t give up. I very politely suggested I thought he was wrong giving the opportunity to beg to differ. There is no point atall in dragging things out to a bitter and twisted end with someone who has no sense of compromise or any notion of civilsed disagreement.

        Instead I got insults, misdirection and not a little intellectual dishonesty. This is a very common but obvious tactic. Not one that gains my respect.

        i have studied biogeochemical cycling for decades and this topic for several years. My real opinion of Geoff’s assertions is very different but I will keep it to myself

        I linked to universities, dedicated research institutions, farmer and indigenous organisations and researchers. Rattan Lal is the foremost global expert. What we get back is Geoff’s appeal to his own authority. Forgive me if I am unimpressed.

  54. …The NOAA report, co-authored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Geological Survey and researchers from Rutgers and Columbia universities, is designed to help U.S. communities prepare and plan for possible consequences of sea level rise. It outlines “six global sea level rise scenarios (low, intermediate low, intermediate, intermediate high, high and extreme) decade by decade for this century.”

    As CBS News reported Tuesday, In the mildest projected scenario, global sea levels will rise by about one foot by the end of this century. In the worst-case scenario, global sea levels will rise by 8.2 feet.”

    • Fake news.

      Not observations.

      worst case an astroid will hit the planet and cause a massive sea level rise to wipe out all the coastal communities.

      a Islamic bomb will take out New York city and poisen 20% of the population of the east coast.

      The sun will flare and wipe out all electronics and communications.

      anyone else?
      Scott

      • One (or more) of several super caldera’s will erupt with possibly catastrophic impacts to world economic and human health, even if it doesn’t lead us into the next glaciation.

      • timg56

        That is a good one. Yellowstone could go at any time.

        Very scared of 10″ sea level rise vs caldera collapse taking out Wyoming and sending a plume to the east coast blocking all sun, killing crops and increasing CO2, NOx and SOx to levels not seen since the siberian massive eruptions.

        Earthquake on an island near portugal dumping half an island in the sea causing huge wave that engulfs the east coast.

        Thanks for playing

        Scott

    • Well, at least they have 1 foot I reality, literally. The one foot low end is just continuation of approximate trends.

      The more urgent issue and more significant is subsidence. In many Asian cities excessive loading, extreme groundwater extraction, tectonics and alteration of natural sedimentation and siltation processes are putting major cities at risk at rates that are 10 times the rate of global sea level rise.

      There are mitigative measures that are more cost effective than anything to do with abatement of CO2.

      Bangkok, Dhaka, Jakarta, Manila, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Tianjin and Semarang all need to address local conditions caused by local activities.

    • Somebody needs to practice their unit conversions. Hell, their multiplication as well.

  55. Where can I find a chart showing average temperature change by latitude for a 3C increase in global average surface temperature?

  56. I’ve found a chart in a PNAS paper by Richard Lindzen: http://www.pnas.org/content/94/16/8335.full

    However, the text explains that the models do not show such a marked difference from equator to poles.

    Can anyone give me a link to an authoritative, similar up to date chart?

      • Jim D,

        Thank you. But that’s not what I am looking for. I am looking for a chart that shows the projected temperature increase at latitudes from equator to poles for a 3C increase in GMST; or better still one that can be used to estimate the change at any latitude for any given in crease in GMST. Scotese’s figure and Richard Lindsen’s both do this, but the results are quite different from the figures used in FUND (see my comment upthread). I want to understand the reason for the discrepancy.

      • What is useful to see is that it is asymmetric until Antarctica and Greenland mostly melt, hopefully a long time from now. This is because of the fast response to sea-ice loss and other snow albedo loss. It tells you that under these conditions, the equator is warming as fast as the global average and the north pole three times as fast.

      • Jim D,

        It’s not addressing my question. Furthermore, providing a chart like this with no information about the source data or how it was compiled is no help whatsoever.

        But, they to understand this – whatever this chart tells you, it does not address my question.

      • It is from GISTEMP which comes with a spatial distribution. It’s just observations.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | January 27, 2017 at 9:50 pm |

        “It tells you that under these conditions, the equator is warming as fast as the global average and the north pole three times as fast.”

        If one region is warming three times as fast as the average it means that an equivalent below average area must exist.

        Where then is the area that is warming below global average?

      • The fast-warming region is quite small in area because the polar latitudes have less area than lower latitudes. Other larger areas like the Southern Ocean are warming less than average.

  57. From the article:

    Clean energy proposal: Harness the power of Paul Krugman’s backfiring market predictions

    Just before and shortly after Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, New York Times super-genius economist and space alien stimulus architect Paul Krugman said that the smart Wall Street money was on Hillary Clinton:

    As a matter of fact, on the night Trump was elected, Krugman predicted a market disaster from which the U.S. (and maybe the world) might never recover:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2017/01/26/clean-energy-proposal-harness-the-power-of-paul-krugmans-backfiring-market-predictions/

  58. As soils degrade and desertify, as agronomic productivity sputters, as food production lags behind the demands, as hunger and malnutrition adversely affect human health and wellbeing, as natural waters pollute and contaminate, as climate warms and species disappear, and as environment deteriorates and jeopardizes the ecosystem services, there will be a growing
    realization among scientists and policy makers that taking soils for granted and depleting SOC pool have been the root cause of the downward spiral.

    If soils and their SOC pools are not restored, crops will fail even if rains do not; hunger will perpetuate even with emphasis on biotechnology and genetically modified crops; civil strife and political instability will plague the developing world even with sermons on human rights and democratic ideals; and humanity will suffer even with great scientific strides. Political stability
    and global peace are threatened because of soil degradation, food insecurity, and desperateness. The time to act is now (Lal 2008b).

    http://globalsoilweek.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/GSW-2012_IssuePaper_Soils_in_the_Global_Cycle.pdf

    I am a little over quoting high science from the world’s most respected sources – only to have it challenged on the flimiest reasoning. Often accompanied by personal denigration. Science doesn’t work like that. Science needs data. Yet even data is blindly rejected if it doesn’t support whatever the favourite narrative is. Of course we may weigh the reliability of data – and question the connections drawn from it. We can only with any reason on founding connections on empirical data – not flimsy logic. But the latter is the way of the climate war.

    Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about
    themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific
    language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not
    questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally
    potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to
    fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.49 Nor is that to
    be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not
    made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to
    pretend that they are.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

    We may call this ‘leading with the wrong sort of knowledge’. Great report by the way – worth a detailed perusal.

  59. Last time the Planet was as cold as it is now (for a multi million year period) was in the Carboniferous and Permian periods. The figure below shows that circulation of warm ocean currents around the low latitudes was blocked as it is today. The Carboniferous – Permian Ice house phase lasted around 50 Ma. The current one has prevailed for around 10 Ma so far. The rapid descent into the current ice house phase occurred when North and South America joined.

    We have a while to wait until the planet gets out of the current ice house phase. Don’t wait up! :)

  60. I’ll leave the last word on this to Rattan Lal – who I quoted above. He is a leading global expert on the topic.

    Alternatively, or as well, you can sign up and see this for free.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/304/5677/1623

    There are many others but we have moved well beyond studies to on ground remediation in many countries. Including the US.

    http://soilhealth.osu.edu/

    There are countless examples – and I have linked to dozens. At some stage the weight of evidence is compelling. It helps if people are are willing to do a basic literature review for themselves.

    I think we have more than reached that stage – but you can lead a horse to water… then it’s time to move on.

  61. The first and third items, gag order and scrubbing climate change from website, appear to be fake news. Suspending contracts and grants is probably true. Congressional dems want to screw around delaying Pruitt’s appointment to head the agency Trump can shut it all down until they do. Fine with me.

    • I’ve so enjoyed Trump’s first week. I realize some of it is symbolic, but it’s symbolic in the right direction.

      • The ‘right direction’? Guessing you didn’t even intend to write it that ‘direction’.

      • Well, Danny. It’s actually in the sane direction, but some wouldn’t grok that.

      • Oddly, a lot of, if not most, Trump supporters think the terrorists are pouring across the borders from these nations unvetted and committing terrorism here. That is their alternative truth for which his executive order would make sense. For the real truth of strong vetting already being done, and no terrorism in the US by people from those countries, it makes absolutely no sense at all. This is for his base. He can fool some of the people all of the time, but to the rest of us it looks like idiocy.

      • Trump supporters think the terrorists are pouring across the borders

        Really? Can you provide a link to the quantitative data supporting that opinion? I have never heard that before.

        And please, no fake news. We need hard facts, not lies from the MSM or opinions.

      • You want me to quote Trump on this, or can you find those quotes yourself? He constantly told his crowds these countries like Syria were just sending these refugees in, and Obama was just taking them. Trump thinks refugees are dangerous and he conveys that to his crowds. He has similar arguments for needing the wall.

  62. This is really interesting, sort of making my points:

    Firestorm over supposed gag order on USDA scientists was self-inflicted wound, agency says http://buff.ly/2k3xHjW

    • Could be the product of a guilty conscience–

      Agriculture and Climate Change

      The Earth’s temperature is rising as a result of increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (see Basic Information on Climate Change from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). If greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue increasing at a high rate (essentially business-as-usual), climate models predict that global warming could increase 4.7-8.6º F above 1986–2005 levels by the end of this century (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report Vol. I, Summary for Policy Makers). While alternative scenarios with lower rates of increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases and temperatures exist, they all call for more frequent and lengthy heat waves in the future. As the Earth warms, currently wet regions are expected to receive more rainfall, and currently dry regions receive less, although there will be exceptions and there is considerable uncertainty on how and how much climate change will affect specific locations. ~USDA

      • Deforestation? 1750? More taxpayer-funded global warming alarmism from the USDA–

        Human activities across the globe—including fossil fuel use, deforestation, and agricultural practices—are contributing to the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Since 1750, land-use change has been responsible for roughly 32 percent of human emissions of carbon dioxide (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Vol. I). (Ibid.)

      • Check out the lead authors of these 100s of pages of taxpayer-funded gov’t climate change propaganda:

        The IPCC AR4 projects that the global average temperature will rise another 1.1 to 5.4°C by 2100, depending on how much the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases increase during this time. This temperature rise will result in continued increases in sea level and overall rainfall, changes in rainfall patterns and timing, and decline in snow cover, land ice, and sea ice extent. It is very likely that the Earth will experience a faster rate of climate change in the 21st century than seen in the last 10,000 years.

        https://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/SAP4_3/CCSPFinalReport.pdf

        AUTHOR TEAM FOR THIS REPORT

        Executive Summary Lead Authors: Peter Backlund, NCAR; Anthony Janetos, PNNL/Univ. Maryland; David Schimel, National Ecological Observatory Network Contributing Authors: Jerry Hatfield USDA ARS; Mike G. Ryan, USDA Forest Service; Steven Archer, Univ. Arizona…

        Chapter 1 Lead Authors: Peter Backlund, NCAR; David Schimel, National Ecological Observatory Network; Anthony Janetos, PNNL/Univ. Maryland Contributing Authors: Jerry Hatfield USDA ARS; Mike G. Ryan, USDA Forest Service…

        Chapter 2 Lead Author: Jerry Hatfield, USDA ARS Contributing Authors: Kenneth Boote, Univ. Florida; Philip Fay, USDA ARS; Leroy Hahn, Univ. Nebraska; César Izaurralde, PNNL/Univ. Maryland; Bruce A. Kimball, USDA ARS; Terry Mader, Univ. Nebraska-Lincoln; Jack Morgan, USDA ARS; Donald Ort, Univ. Illinois; Wayne Polley, USDA ARS; Allison Thomson, PNNL/Univ. Maryland; David Wolfe, Cornell Univ.

        Chapter 3 Lead Authors: Mike G. Ryan, USDA Forest Service; Steven Archer, Univ. Arizona Contributing Authors: Richard Birdsey, USDA Forest Service; Cliff Dahm, Univ. New Mexico; Linda Heath, USDA Forest Service; Jeff Hicke, Univ. Idaho; David Hollinger, USDA Forest Service…

        Chapter 6 Lead Authors: David Schimel, National Ecological Observatory Network; Anthony Janetos, PNNL/Univ. Maryland; Peter Backlund, NCAR; Contributing Authors: Jerry Hatfield USDA ARS; Mike G. Ryan, USDA Forest Service…

      • More on sea level rise (your tax dollars at work)–

        It has also been estimated that a 1-meter increase in sea level would lead to the potential inundation of 65 percent of the coastal marshlands and swamps in the contiguous United States (Park et al. 1989). (Ibid)

    • Yes Wag, this is typical of the thousands of pages that need to be reanalyzed and rewritten to accurately reflect the science. Let’s hope we get 8 years to get it done.

    • Judith,

      Did you see my comment here with links regarding how a senior research er with 3o years experience was fired for apparently stating the truth about what was happening in DOE as a result of instructions from Obama to shut down a program that was giving results he didn’t want to hear: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/25/the-trump-shift/#comment-835559

      The three links I included are:
      January 2015: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-US-House-passes-low-dose-radiation-bill-2001158.html

      Forbes (January 2017) explains what happened.

      Inconvenient Low Dose Radiation Science Axed Under Obama Administration
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodadams/2017/01/22/inconvenient-low-dose-radiation-science-axed-under-obama-administration/#5bb1c3305566

      Importance of Low Dose Radiation Science Axed By DOE Managers
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodadams/2017/01/23/importance-of-low-dose-radiation-science-axed-by-doe-managers/#c1cf04917a65

  63. Define “peers”
    Commerce nominee Ross promises to protect “peer-reviewed research” at NOAA: “No valid reason to keep peer reviewed research from the public.” [link]

  64. This missive on “Overcoming skepticism with education…” shows us USDA-approved concerns about white men adopting a worldview about AGW:

    “Non-White and females also demonstrated higher levels of AGW acceptance and climate change risk perception, respectively. Thus, education efforts specific to climate change may counteract divisions based on worldviews among adolescents.”

    https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/pubag/article.xhtml?id=818270&searchText=subject_term%3A%22risk+perception%22

  65. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed reading this for the first time.

    Although I dislike the idea of putting the lid on “pure science”, the scientific community has been greatly influenced by the AGW crowd and their funding sources. Contrary to popular belief, the science on climate change is not “settled”.

    Milankovich Cycles last about 175,000 years. Within those, there are 21,000 year micro-cycles (due to axial precessions and ellipitcal orbits). We should be near the end of the 21,000 cycle’s warm period. It is a matter of scientific consensus that the Earth was warmer during several episodes of this period. In fact, mega and micro climate cycles seem to be converging — so the planet is due anytime now for a big glacial period.

    This means a major mass extinction, of course, unless… anthropomorphic CO2 and CH4 exerts a powerful enough greenhouse effect to save us from a major extinction. Doubtful. Also, it is more likely that temperatures causes carbon more than carbon causes temperatures. Classic mix up! Lol!

    There are real climate and ecological issues at play. Obviously, humans have an effect. But it’s just really sad and amusing to watch puppets scurry around trying to prevent global warming, totally oblivious to the puppet strings.
    The reality is that it’s hard to think on a geological time scale. But if you do, you realize that it’s far bigger and more complicated than just greenhouse gases.

  66. Already I have been accused of being off topic and talking through my arse. Give me a second while I get over the tragedy. Being off topic is an odd accusation. Most of the discussion is one side or the other swapping brain farts and all insist that it is irrefutable science. And you can follow the freely evolving dialogue – or what?

    Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems.

    We can reverse the losses from agriculture and forestry – as the US has btw – with immense ecological and societal benefits. Just by changing management practices. It is a no-brainer and the world is moving down that path.

    Science starts with data – and you may question the reliability of the data and the validity of conclusions drawn from it. Most discussion in the blogosphere – including here – is purely deductive based on assumptions that rarely hold water.

    There was a discussion on water vapour above – although I couldn’t quite follow the point of it. Drought results in less latent and more sensible heat at the surface. It is possible that this was in part at least the reason for the spike in GISSTEMP last year. Of course it could result from unconscious bias in adjustments.

    It suggests that satellite monitoring is the preferred option going forward. We all know how that goes.

    I have seen this interpreted as the favourite denier dataset confirming global warming last February. Absolutely true if you don’t look too closely. I note that realclimate is insisting there is no pause – suggesting that they have definitively crossed the line into insanity. Here’s the RSS version.

    The blue is the 5 ro 95% range observed. The yellow is the range for hundreds of CMIP runs using various emission scenarios. They are all too hot. Each run was arbitrarily chosen from thousands of feasible solution on the basis of qualitative expectations of the evolution of climate this century. This is not science and models are quite incapable of saying anything useful about climate in 100 years. The latter is perhaps the most certain fact in climate science.

    Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751

    Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

    In what is perhaps the wisest statement in climate science – we are adjured to consider what is theoretically answerable.

    Progressives are exempt from this consideration – they must have anthropogenic and catastrophic global warming to support the progressive agenda – and they will argue any nonsense to keep up the facade. Some scientists have committed too much of their scientific credibility to turn back now.

    There is little doubt that greenhouse gases change the radiative properties of the atmosphere – and therefore the climate of the Earth. Deniers have a blanket problem with this idea.

    We are making changes to the atmosphere. It is making a difference to atmospheric radiative properties. Data from different years has a different spectral signature due to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. Technically the method makes use of photon scattering. When a photon is absorbed by a molecule – the molecule rises to a higher energy state. As the state relaxes the photon moves on – but it can be in any direction – not nominally up from the surface. A space based detector using a narrow aperture can detect changes due to increased photon scattering.

    The difference between times shows an increase in photon scattering in the predicted frequencies. Our emissions of gases are influencing the radiative properties of the atmosphere as predicted. This is the essence of science. The question is how much of recent climate change is anthropogenic? Or how much – in a wildly fluctuating climate system – is natural variability?

    Warming or cooling is always the result of a changed energy budget. The equation is very simple. The change in ocean heat is approximately equal to energy in less energy out.

    Satellites suggest that most late 20th century warning was a result of reduced cloud cover and less reflected shortwave.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI3838.1

    And there are observations showing that cloud cover is closely correlated with decadal changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific.

    http://amyclement.weebly.com/uploads/2/9/3/2/29328519/clement_et_al_2009_science.pdf

    I wouldn’t bet my house on the reliability of the data but it is intriguing. The dedicated modern instruments are more reliable.

    Incoming solar showing the sun coming off its recent peak.

    https://wordpress.com/page/watertechbyrie.com/28

    Outgoing shortwave showing a recent decrease in cloud cover.

    Outgoing longwave showing not much change at all.

    Any warming to February 2016 in the past couple of years. seems likely a combination of the peak of the solar cycle and changes in cloud cover. There is undoubtedly a greenhouse gas contribution but it is too small – and temporary – to see in radiative data. With a temperature rise increased radiative flux from the Earth to space willl kick in proportion to temperature to the 4th power. To again balance the energy budget.

    So where is climate going given that models are pointless – and indeed suggest scientific fraud on a colossal scale? The indications are that both the sun and Pacific surface temperatures are coming off a1000 year high. I think the two are connected. I have a theory I have been working on for a while – although empirical evidence is hard to come by. The Pacific gyres have spun up this century.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2017/01/12/an-earnest-discovery-of-climate-causality/

    Obama hypocritically committed to business as usual in Paris. Gee that’s a problem. Now if you could get Trump to focus on the real issues and opportunities in a world of scientific uncertainty – rather than the usual denier brain farts – there might be some progress.

    I realise that for most of you this will be tl:dr. Again – what a tradegy.

  67. Climate research must sharpen its view

    Jochem Marotzke, Christian Jakob, Sandrine Bony, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Paul A. O’Gorman, Ed Hawkins, Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Corinne Le Quéré, Sophie Nowicki, Katsia Paulavets, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Bjorn Stevens & Matthias Tuma

    (the good guy in bold)

    The 2015 Paris Agreement1 at COP21 has liberated climate research from discussing what is already known — the world is warming and humans are largely responsible. As society aims to limit further warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate research must probe deeper into the unknown.

    • Repeating nonsense doesn’t make it true.

      ‘ Based upon the revised (Edition 3_Rev1) ERBS record (Figure 3.23), outgoing LW radiation over the tropics appears to have increased by about 0.7 W m–2 while the reflected SW radiation decreased by roughly 2.1 W m–2 from the 1980s to 1990s (Table 3.5)…

      In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’

      IPCC AR4 3.4.4.1

      This is one of the most dishonest statements ever made by climate scientists – and that’s a big claim. The equivocal evidence is theoretically irrelevant spot observations of cloud in the continental US. So we don’t know that late century warming was anthropogenic. ‘If true’ it suggests that most 20th century warming will be lost this century.

      The IEA counted up Paris commitments. It amounts to a 3.7 billion tonne increase in emissions to 2030 – at a cost of $13.7 trillion. The US committed to business as usual and announced a triumph. I can’t imagine more egregious and dishonest cant.

  68. “To provide [electricity] in today’s world, an ‘advanced reactor’ must improve over existing reactors in the following 4-core objectives. It must produce significantly less costly, cost-competitive clean electricity, be safer, produce significantly less waste and reduce proliferation risk. It is not sufficient to excel at one without regard to the others.” Dr. Christina Back, Vice President, Nuclear Technologies and Materials for General Atomics, May 2016 testimony before the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the status of advanced nuclear technologies.

    There’s not a huge future for oil, gas and coal – but what future there is needs to unfold according to fundamental economic principles. Prices will rise with demand and scarcity. Fracked gas has decades before it basically just stops flowing. Fossil oil production has peaked and will decline. Increases in liquid fuels will come from other sources. Coal has 60 years reserves at current use. Innovation will drive technology – and markets will freely and rapidly adapt – with higher productivity – to changing technology.

    Over decades at least the use of gas, oil and coal will continue to expand – strongly in the developing world. That’s as it should be. Non-OECD energy growth must occur with the cheapest and safest sources – if we are to grow economies globally and alleviate dire problems in food security, health, education, social services, environment and human rights more generally.

    This has been a staple of sceptic thought for decades. It must be horribly galling – given that they are now repositioning themselves to claim a moral victory. It is really a triumph for everything they loathe. Capitalism, economic growth, cheap and abundant energy.

    Yet the hypocrisy persists. As much in South Dakota as Australia. Much of it aimed at energy development in the developing world.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/10/31/adani-lawfare/

    I have reservations on the potential for wind and solar ever overcoming the intermittency problem and providing cost competitive baseload power. What seems more like is power from the current generation of nuclear engines. There are eight new small modular reactors on a fast track to generic approval in the US – and more than 45 designs under development globally. A version of the high temperature, fast neutron technology was first built in Germany in the early 1960’s, a prototype was run at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the late 1960’s, a demonstration plant is being constructed in China after a decade of running a prototype there. In February 2010, General Atomics (GA) announced a modified version of its gas turbine modular helium reactor (GT-MHR) as a fast neutron reactor – the Energy Multiplier Module (EM2). The project team is led by Dr. Christina Back. The EM2 concept is for a modular, 240-265 MWe helium cooled, fast neutron, high temperature reactor operating at 850°C. The company anticipates a 12 year development and licensing period. GA has teamed up with Chicago Bridge & Iron, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the Idaho National Laboratory to develop the EM2.

    The EM2 is a technology evolution designed to a performance specification that included cost, safety, fabrication, installation and operations that give it outstanding potential to change the energy landscape. The fast-neutron reaction first converts fertile material – including nuclear waste, uranium, plutonium and thorium – to fissile material which then splits under neutron bombardment to produce heat and lighter elements. Inert helium moving through and around the core is heated and drives a high efficiency Brayton cycle gas turbine. Helium is then cycled back through the reactor. Helium – rather than water – cooling enables siting flexibility in a footprint that is ten times less than conventional nuclear plants. The small modular design allows network grids to be developed in place of large and expensive grids shuffling energy across whole continents. A huge cost advantage in regions without existing electricity grids. Or indeed in regions with high penetration of wind and solar electricity generation – where grid augmentation is one solution to the wind and solar intermittency problem.

    High temperature operation enables efficient conversion of heat to electricity. High efficiency – 50% greater than conventional nuclear – cuts costs of power by 40%. Sufficient to make it cost competitive against natural gas generation in the USA at a gas price of $6-$7/MMBtu. Natural gas prices are about half that at the moment – suggesting that a natural gas to advanced nuclear strategy is a feasible energy future for the US. The capital cost is estimated at less than $1.5 billion per modular unit – a far lower investment risk than conventional nuclear plants.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/06/18/safe-cheap-and-abundant-energy-back-to-the-nuclear-energy-future-2/

    We can add nuclear energy to the list of things they loathe. Trump would be well advised to continue with the generic approval process. It is far more fundamental to future prosperity in the US than any wall.

  69. During the last 650 million years the global climate has flipped from icehouse conditions (COOL) to hothouse conditions (WARM) five times. During that time interval, hothouse conditions have
    predominated (70%) and the average temperature has been ~21.5 ˚C, a pleasant, 70˚F.

    https://www.academia.edu/12082909/Some_thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_from_Icehouse_to_Hothouse

    That is, the global average average temperature was 7C warmer than now for 70% of the past 650 Ma. Life thrived during this period.

    It seems to be very difficult to find valid justification for the claims that global warming will be dangerous or catastrophic.

  70. Pingback: The Trump shift | Climate Etc. – Noscibilis et Amabilis

  71. Generally these people exist in a blogospheric echo chamber that is indistinguishable from groupthink. They generally have no exposure to real science and so imagine that the simple memes they know are unchallenged. Questioning the simple memes provokes severe cognitive dissonance. It will all confirm the groupthink but it always ends badly.

    “Answer this – though I know it will be QED:

    1) You know that all the world’s experts in climate science are incompetent (and that, bizarrely, you are not).”

    Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” NASA

    There are many scientists who have a more nuanced view – I can name hundreds. I have seen warming zealots shirtfront distinguished scientists with embarrassingly naive assertions – confident that Darwin was morally on their side.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/10/24/the-alternative-climate-consensus-surprises-are-quite-likely/

    “2) You know that all the world’s experts know they are wrong yet persist in some fraud.”

    Models seem almost certainly a colossal fraud. Can we predict the future with models? Do you imagine we can?

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/10/24/the-alternative-climate-consensus-surprises-are-quite-likely/

    “3) That it is you that is wrong and that the world’s experts know more than you on the back of ~150 years of observation and theory.”

    I’m pretty sure we need a lot more than 150 years.

    Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over the Holocene. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift 5,000 years ago from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance that was identified by Tsonis 2009 as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high El Niño activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). Red intensity then was regularly over 200 – for comparison – 1997/1998 red intensity was 99. The modern period has relatively moderate ENSO variability – and the 2000 year fluctuation suggests that an El Niño activity spike is not due for another 1000 years.

    The question is how much of recent climate change is anthropogenic? Or how much – in a wildly fluctuating climate system – is natural variability? Do you imagine we can tell the difference with any certainty?

  72. When the sun is more active than average El Nino comes to dominate over La Nina due to reduced global cloudiness allowing more solar input to the oceans.

    When the sun is less active than average La Nina comes to dominate over El Nino due to increased global cloudiness allowing less solar energy into the oceans.

    There appears to ba a 1000 to 1500 year oscillation in levels of solar activity hence MWP to LIA to current warm period.

    Full mechanism proposed here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    • If La Niña could dominate, which it cannot, the GMST would make a large drop… as it used to do. It doesn’t. It can’t drop. It will not drop. From 2005 to 2013 La Niña dominance made an ever so brief downward bend of the GMST trend, and then it fell to the ground completely exhausted… like an old fighter who got in a decent combo – thrilled the fans making the loser bets – before getting holy crappo knocked out him.

    • Tessa Vance and colleagues from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC found a proxy of eastern Pacific upwelling in an ice core at the Law Dome Antarctica. A higher salt content – from polar westerlies – is a proxy for solar activity. But also results in changes in the great Pacific gyres and the intensity of upwelling. More upwelling brings rain and cyclones to Indonesia and northern and eastern Australia, drought in the United States of and South America, cooler global temperatures and biological abundance. Less in El Niño conditions and we – in Australia – get drought. The absolute volume of rainfall is roughly constant but where it falls on the planet changes.

      Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD.

      So we are in a position where La Nina dominated most of the past 1000 years and is associated with enhanced westerlies at 65 degrees south and with low solar activity. So we are agreed thus far.

      There is a growing literature on the potential for stratospheric influences on climate (e.g. Matthes et al 2006, Gray et al 2010, Lockwood et al 2010, Scaife et al 2012) due to warming of stratospheric ozone by solar UV emissions. Models incorporating stratospheric layers – despite differing greatly in their formulation of fundamental processes such as atmosphere-ocean coupling, clouds or gravity wave drag – show consistent responses in the troposphere. Top down modulation of SAM and NAM by solar UV has the potential to explain otherwise little understood variability at decadal to much longer scales in ENSO. So again we are agreed.

      But the source of ENSO is variable upwelling in the eastern and central Pacific. The atmospheric/ocean system of triggers and feedbacks varies – usually abruptly with triggers. The trigger for more upwelling I can only imagine is the great ocean gyres. Ocean gyres spin up on the surface currents through winds and planetary rotation. Pressure systems shift polar winds and storms into lower latitudes. High polar atmospheric pressures spin up the gyres pushing cold polar water into the Californian and Peruvian currents. It disperses the warm surface layer facilitating cold upwelling of turbulent deep ocean currents. This sets up wind and current feedback across the Pacific.

      Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006)Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

      A direct physical connection of solar activity to ocean currents seems at least plausible.

      • Hi Robert and thanks for such a well considered response.

        I would firm up on the solar/ENSO interaction by suggesting that ENSO is a result of there being more ocean in southern hemisphere to accept incoming solar radiation.
        Over time, an energy imbalance builds up either side of the equator and for a while the Earth’s rotation holds it in place but at a critical point of temperature and density differential within the waters there is an outbreak of warm water from the southern hemisphere and into the northern hemisphere. That is El Nino.
        The signal is smeared across the Pacific in the manner observed by the Earth’s rotation.

    • I’m a bit stuck on the physical process of coastal upwelling – that is the origin of La Nina.

      • Good video. I can’t get anyone to comment on my new theory. It’s more efficient to warm cool water at the equator than warm water. It absorbs more before evaporating. The water keeps more of the energy it receives. This keeping of more energy goes along with La Nina cooler. Ellison, tinfoil hat theory or not tinfoil hat theory please?

      • ‘When a hot and a cold body are brought into contact with each other, heat energy will flow from the hot body to the cold body until they reach thermal equilibrium, i.e., the same temperature. However, the heat will never move back the other way; the difference in the temperatures of the two bodies will never spontaneously increase.’

        The greater the difference the greater the flow. The 2nd law of thermodynamics. Evaporation is work on water molecules – and is one aspect of entropy.

  73. Watch the 5% rule Ellison. Curry enforces over-posting at over 50 of last 1000 comments. You’re getting close.

    If you’re going to be annoying by not following the topic the annoyance is limited to your noise not being over 5% of the discussion.

    • So far, RIE is not even close; Peter Lang and Jim D are close to the limit

      • I followed the discussion – and annoyance may be limited by ignoring me completely.

      • David Springer

        It’s 44 of the last 1000 as I write this Judith. In 48 hours. Virtually none of them on topic.

      • David Springer

        You’re over Curry’s over-posting limit of 5%. Now at 6.6% of the last 1000 replies.

        Very little if any is on topic which breaks another blog rule:

        4. Don’t grind your personal axes by filling up the comments with extensive posts that are not deemed relevant or interesting in the context of blog objectives.

        This is an important topic to me, Ellison. It’s my country and my president. You’ve made it difficult to wade through the comments looking for topical replies with your selfish insistence that you’re special and should be excused for breaking the rules.

        I’d ask if you have any shame but I already know the answer.

      • RIE, Peter Lang and Jim D each have 67 of the last 1000 comments. This is slightly over the limit, but since the rate of commenting is currently low, I’ll allow it.

        Please make your comments count, and keep on topic.

      • David Springer

        @curryja

        Peter Lang and Jim D stick to topic much of the time whereas Ellison just looks for whatever post is getting the most attention then inserts his own totally off topic hobby horses such as soil conservation.

        Jim D and Peter Lang are usually brief and don’t insert a lot of graphs and pictures while Ellison’s comments are often long diatribes with frequent illustrations.

        Other than number of times their name appears there is little valid comparison between Ellison and the other two.

        Your relaxation of the rules because number of comments are down is ill-conceived unless quantity is your goal instead of quality. Strive for quality and quantity will naturally follow.

        But hey it’s your blog and if you want to continue the decline and carry that over into your Twitter presence that’s your choice but if you really want to self-destruct it’s easier to delete your account and make a clean break.

      • I discussed Obama hypocritically commitment to business as usual in Paris and calling it a triumph. Lies to fool enough of the people enough of the time. I talked US nuclear technology and policy. I pointed out that agriculture and forestry is a net carbon sink in the US. I talked about bison on the Great Plains. I talked restoration of soils and ecosystems both in the US and globally. It entirely relevant to future agriculture and environmental policy.

        “The French Government 4 per 1000 Initiative is a fantastic win, win, win for the planet. By changing agriculture to one that regenerates soil organic carbon we not only reverse climate change we can improve farm yields, increase water holding capacity and drought resilience, reduce the use of toxic agrochemicals, improve farm profitability and produce higher quality food.”

        “Data from leading conservation ranchers in North America indicates that with appropriate grazing management the goal of the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris to increase soil carbon on grazed agricultural land by 0.4% per year can be exceeded by a factor of 2 or 3. With appropriate grazing management, ruminant livestock consuming only grazed rangeland and forages can increase C sequestered in the soil to more than offset their GHG emissions. This would result in a GHG-negative footprint, while at the same time supporting and improving other essential ecosystem services for local populations. Affected ecosystem services include water infiltration, nutrient cycling, soil formation, reduction of soil erosion, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat.”

        “Microbes have fashioned the destiny of our planet for over 4 billion years, and they currently facilitate the day-to-day cycling of all earth’s elemental components flowing between terrestrial, oceanic and atmospheric environments. In efforts to sustain our civilizations over the past 200-plus years, we have employed agricultural practices that exhaust soil carbon resources, a practice that in the past has invariably led to the downfall of many civilizations. Restoring the population, structure and function of microbes in soils of our agroecosystems will begin the process of building soil health, and in turn promote development of mutualisms between plants and microbes towards improving soil fertility and soil carbon reserves while concurrently reducing atmospheric CO2.”

        The French 4 per 1000 soils inititiative now has 50 member countries and is the most promising and exciting approach to date. I make no apology at all. I am not going to make concessions to Springer’s attempts to censor views he neither understands or likes.

        This is an annoying waste of people’s time with petty gripes and animosities. Talk about off topic. And really Springer’s sudden conversion to piously following the rules is amusing. But I want it to stop here and I have asked for his cooperation in detente.

    • David Springer. Maybe you should stop counting comments and be more selective about what you read. It’s a free country, and you’re free to ignore stuff you don’t like.

  74. “But now that President Trump has the job, Musk has shifted his views. He’s joined Trump’s council of business advisors and also has become a member of a Trump administration initiative to create more US manufacturing jobs.”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-elon-musk-is-changing-position-on-trump-2017-1?r=UK&IR=T

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  76. I enjoyed your balance and writing; I’m looking forward to Feb. 5. Thanks for sharing your work.

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  78. At one point, Mr Trump informed Mr Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “this was the worst call by far”.
    Mr Trump’s behaviour suggests that he is capable of subjecting world leaders, including close allies, to a version of the vitriol he frequently employs against political adversaries and news organisations in speeches and on Twitter.

    Yeah we are a bit pissed. There is a reason for our refugee is to stop 1000’s of people dying on perilous journeys by sea. So we made a deal. Almost double our refugee intake – including from Central America – and ante up more hundreds of millions. In exchange for the US taking a 1000 family men, women and children. Quashed in a tweet – leaving us embarrassed, out of pocket and far less willing to do future deals with the US. If that really is the level of regard for the US/Australian alliance – we really don’t need it.

    It often seems that Trump’s views shift randomly from one tweet to the next. But as Jessica Mathews has argued in an essay in the New York Review of Books, there are three core principles in American foreign policy over the past 70 years that Trump rejects: the benefit to the US of its network of military and political alliances, the benefits of an open world trading system for American and global prosperity, and faith in the importance of liberal democratic states for promoting world peace.

    Underlying Trump’s rejection of these principles is a zero-sum view of world; he doesn’t see cooperation as necessary and desirable. In both trade and security, Trump seems to think the advantage to one country always comes at a cost to another country.

    If Trump’s views represented the totality of US foreign policy, we would want to abandon the alliance altogether. He doesn’t, and we shouldn’t. But we do need to regard it with a great deal more wariness and scepticism. Regardless of Trump’s views and actions, we should be doing more to adapt to the new multipolar world order and not rely on Pax Americana to maintain peace in the region.
    The rise of Trump to the US presidency has weakened the foundations of the US-Australia alliance, and Australia should be much more hard-nosed and critical about its potential costs and benefits.

    https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/asia-will-be-testing-ground-australia-us-alliance

    The benefits are less and the costs greater. We are heading south of 50% support of the of the alliance. Twitter diplomacy doesn’t help.

    • Trump doesn’t view the world as zero-sum, he just expects everyone to negotiate in their own best interest.

      If you think that the US foreign policy hasn’t changed for 70 years, you are very sadly mistaken and haven’t really looked at it. The policies have changed significantly in just the last 8 years (Obama was explicitly working to change the policies when he ran for President)

      By the way, the US President is explicitly in charge of Foreign Policy, the State Department works for the President, not the other way around.

      If you are viewing Trump’s opinions as changing from tweet to tweet, you are just missing the motivations. He expects the US to look out for the US first, and Australia to look out for Australia first, and Russia to look out for Russia first.

      This isn’t saying that he is looking only at short-term items either, it’s very possible to be an advocate for your country and still see the benefits of long-term allies and true free trade (as I’ve seen others comment, a 1000 page trade agreement isn’t free trade)

    • Do you happen to have a transcript of the private conversation between President Trump and the Australian Prime Minister?

      The Australian prime minister seems to be of the opinion that the conversation was ‘private’.

      As far as ‘weakening foundations’…any relationship that can be seriously damaged with an intemperate remark in a 25 minute ‘open and frank’ phone conversation is a relationship built on swampland and not worth having.

  79. There lots of reports. And is Trump not able to take tough talk? But then to take it to the twitterverse is offensive.

    The polling in Australia before the election showed 45% would reconsider the alliance under a Trump presidency. He is not making any more friends.

    Times have changed. We are not falling into bed with China – but we do a lot of trade with them. We just want open and fair trade – and we always put it on the line.

    • I think Trump is interested in “Open and Fair” trade as well. That’s just not what we currently have with China and many other countries today, we are open to their products and companies, but they are not open to ours.

      You may be mistaking Trump’s talk about punishing companies that move factories and then import the resulting products into the US for being against Open and Fair trade, when it against something much simpler, the exporting of jobs.

      You may also be mistaking the Mexico problem, where the Government there is encouraging it’s people to illegaly move to the US and send money back, while at the same time being extremely hostile to people illegally moving into Mexico through it’s southern border (including taking those people and moving them quickly to their northern border to push then into the US.

      The withdrawl from the TPP was an official ending to something that was already dead. Even Clinton had agreed that it was bad. In part, it was an attempt by people to implement draconian Copyright policies by Treaty rather than by getting real debate on the issues and laws passed by Congress (and equivalents in other countries).

      I’ve been hearing people bitterly complain about the TPP for the last couple of years in some forums, only to see the cry change to how evil Trump is for withdrawing from it.

      David Lang

      • I really can’t help what Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton were saying. Although I did read where Hilary’s secret plan was to get Obama to sign off and then denounce it after the election but say she was stuck with it.

        The thing that seemed the most upsetting here was that you couldn’t nationalise foreign owned assets. Not that’s even a thing in Australia.

        We have a solid history and shared values. Your constitution is founded on Scottish enlightenment value. We have a legacy of libraries and workers education built by Scottish radicals imprisoned by Britain. We grew tall, strong and healthy and with a contempt for authority. Oh how they complained.

        But the relationship is probably resilient. But we are nobodies lackey. I want Turnbull to tell Trump to f..k off and then tweet it. :)

      • And we really don’t need the US for the TPP.

        ‘Australia’s most important strategic goal ahead of its support for the alliance is to maximise its economic, political and strategic engagement with our nearest neighbours in the Asia-Pacific. On the economic front, that means maintaining a liberal internationalist order, of which free trade is a key component. On the security front, that means comprehensive engagement with all the countries in the region. On both the economic and the security front, we need to maintain constructive relations with China.’

        It’s a new multi-polar world order.

  80. Judith, I look forward to your upcoming post on the 5th, whatever that is.

    What shocked me about this post is how the comment section evolved into a very long food fight!

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