A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals

by Judith Curry

“I think this should be the way forward, translating [overarching climate goals] into ‘policy portfolios’ and then asking policymakers if they are going to do it or not.” — Oliver Geden

A provocative paper has been published in Science:

A roadmap for rapid decarbonization

Johann Rockstrom, Owen Gaffney et al.

Abstract. Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science and can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved, alarming inconsistencies remain between science-based targets and national commitments. Despite progress during the 2016 Marrakech climate negotiations, long-term goals can be trumped by political short-termism. Following the Agreement, which became international law earlier than expected, several countries published mid-century decarbonization strategies, with more due soon. Model-based decarbonization assessments and scenarios often struggle to capture transformative change and the dynamics associated with it: disruption, innovation, and nonlinear change in human behavior. For example, in just 2 years, China’s coal use swung from 3.7% growth in 2013 to a decline of 3.7% in 2015. To harness these dynamics and to calibrate for short-term realpolitik, we propose framing the decarbonization challenge in terms of a global decadal roadmap based on a simple heuristic—a “carbon law”—of halving gross anthropogenic carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions every decade. Complemented by immediately instigated, scalable carbon removal and efforts to ramp down land-use CO2 emissions, this can lead to net-zero emissions around mid-century, a path necessary to limit warming to well below 2°C.

[Link] to abstract.

It’s behind paywall (of course).  Brad Plumer at Vox has a good summary entitled: Scientists made a detailed roadmap for meeting Paris climate goals.  It’s eye opening. Excerpts:

To hit the Paris climate goals without geoengineering, the world has to do three broad (and incredibly ambitious) things:

1) Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have to fall in half each decade. That is, in the 2020s, the world cuts emissions in half. Then we do it again in the 2030s. Then we do it again in the 2040s. They dub this a “carbon law.” Lead author Johan Rockström told me they were thinking of an analogy to Moore’s law for transistors; we’ll see why.

2) Net emissions from land use — i.e., from agriculture and deforestation — have to fall steadily to zero by 2050. This would need to happen even as the world population grows and we’re feeding ever more people.

3) Technologies to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere have to start scaling up massively, until we’re artificially pulling 5 gigatons of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere by 2050 — nearly double what all the world’s trees and soils already do.

“It’s way more than adding solar or wind,” says Rockström. “It’s rapid decarbonization, plus a revolution in food production, plus a sustainability revolution, plus a massive engineering scale-up [for carbon removal].”

So, uh, how do we cut CO2 emissions in half, then half again, then half again? Here, the authors lay out a sample “roadmap” of what specific actions the world would have to take each decade, based on current research. This isn’t the only path for making big CO2 cuts, but it gives a sense of the sheer scale and speed required.

It’d be entirely understandable to look at this all and say, “That’s insane.” Phasing out sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2030? Carbon-neutral air travel within two decades? Cities going entirely fossil fuel–free in the next 13 years? Come on.

And fair enough. None of this is easy. It might well prove impossible. But this is roughly what staying well below 2°C entails — at least without large-scale geoengineering to filter out sunlight and cool the planet (a risky step). This is what world governments implicitly agreed to when they all signed on to the Paris accord.

Rockström and his colleagues argue that future UN climate talks should strive to create a much more detailed decade-by-decade road map along the lines of their Science paper, in order to gain much more clarity on what needs to happen to stay below 2°C.

Of course, it’s possible that if policymakers really grappled with what staying below 2°C entails, they might come away thinking it’s impractical or undesirable. They might decide that maybe we should aim to stay below 2.5°C or 3°C, and just try to deal with the severe risks of a hotter planet, from higher sea level rise droughts to crop failures, that come with it.

But something has to force that conversation. If this 2°C climate goal is going to loom over every international climate meeting, every white paper and discussion, then the least people can do is take it seriously.

JC reflections

Apart from the issues raised in this paper, there are several other elephants in this room:  there is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we would see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).

I think that what this paper has done is important:  laying out what it would actually take to make such drastic emissions reductions.  Even if we solve the electric power problem, there is still the problem of transportation, not to mention land use.  Even if all this was technically possible, the cost would almost certainly be infeasible.

As Oliver Geden states, its time to ask policy makers whether they are going to attempt do this or not.  It seems rather futile to make token emissions reductions at substantial cost.

Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me.  The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies.  Independent of all this, we can reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.


391 responses to “A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals

  1. Pingback: A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. “Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have to fall in half each decade.” Why so shy? Why not cut emissions by 60, 70, 80%. The paper doesn’t say why they stopped at 50% and how they made their estimation.

  3. I agree that this is a valuable explanation of what it would take to achieve the Paris climate goals. The huge changes they are suggesting be made to modern society only make sense if you believe that destroying civilization is necessary in order to save mankind. It astounds me that anyone who has looked at the facts would reach such an illogical conclusion.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nice alarmist meme. Fear mongering at its skeptical best

      • This is a quote from the Opening statement to the Rio Summit 3 june 1992 held by Maurice Strong. The Rio Summit was arranged by United Nations:

        “Over the next 20 years, more than one quarter of the Earth’s remaining species may become extinct And in the case of global warming, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that if carbon dioxide emissions are not cut by 60 per cent immediately, the changes in the next 60 years may be so rapid that nature will be unable to adapt and man incapable of controlling them.”

        Who would you say have been scare mongering?

        The opening statement held by Maurice Strong, an unelected bureaucrat in the United Nations, is well worth reading.

        “This is not a single issue Conference. Rather, it deals with the overall cause and effect system through which a broad range of human activities interact to shape our future. ”

        Ideas about that overall cause and effect system are political by nature. United Nations appears to be a supranational political organization that is far out of line with their charter

      • “The operation was a success but unfortunately the patient died

      • We had to destroy the village to save it. – Vietnam

        Or we could just kill all the people. That would work. But would all the people agree to it?

        Insanity isn’t limited to the insane.

      • Nice alarmist meme. Fear mongering at its skeptical best

        This was the godfather of the IPCC, after all.

        The irony to me is that the anti-development dogma that seemed to prevail among these folks was so demonstrably wrong. It is precisely the technology and advancement of the developed world that has led to energy efficiency, falling populations, and resources for environmental protection that have reduced human impact.

      • “We had to destroy the village to save it. – Vietnam”

        Same goes for the state of Allepo and Mosul.

    • The quote on that picture is an extract from an interview of Maurice Strong ref. Wikiquote-Maurice Strong:

      “What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group’s conclusion is ‘no’. The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      – Maurice Strong, Interview 1992, concerning the plot of a book he would like to write[1]

      If anyone doubt that he was influential on the creation of IPCC – here is some more information about Maurice Strong:
      Environmental Pioneer Maurice Strong Mourned at COP21:
      “He shepherd global environmental governance processes – from the original Rio Earth Summit, Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration to the launch of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.”

      Here are some more takes on Maurice Strong

  4. Joe Crawford

    Population control might be another way to meet the required reductions in CO2. However, to meet the specified time frame, it would take more than simply sterilizing half the population every generation. You might have to bioengineer a new, highly contagious and highly infectious virus, dispersing it to wipe out half the population every ten years in order to meet them both. /sarc

    • Widespread and fanatical adherence to an apocalyptic vision of the future has possibilities.

    • I’ve debated a liberal who argued for exactly that, saying we have to have worldwide agreements for the mass sterilization of young people. I asked why any sane country would sign such an agreement, how any government would have such powers, and why anyone would willingly go along with it, she started arguing that if some countries objected, they would have to be sterilized involuntarily.

      • The western world is already declining to refill its own population……and guess who’s coming in to fill the vacancies?

        Look to Europe today to see N America in the future.

  5. “(T)oken emission reductions at substantial cost”. My soapbox has been-don’t gloss on very the substantial costs. Worse still don’t optimistically claim they are benefits.

    • Beta Blocker

      Anthony Early, CEO of PG&E headquartered in San Francisco, claims California can easily meet its current target of 50% wind and solar electricity by 2030, or even 70% wind and solar by 2030; and that the state has no future need for nuclear power. Hence PG&E is closing Diablo Canyon and is doing so with the state’s enthusiastic blessing and support. Mr. Aplanningengineer, what are your opinions concerning Mr. Early’s claims?

      • They projections seem enthusiastic and overly optimistic. Maybe a breakthrough will happen, I doubt that the steps being undertaken now optimally position them for that scenario in 2030.

      • To his credit he does recognize it will be challenging and notes it will require collaboration between customers and policy makers to support the huge levels of investment. Throw enough money anywhere and you can meet some goals. The concern I’ve noted before is if you upset the balance of economics, reliability and public responsibility with overly high costs, feedbacks may result in worse environmental impacts.


      • Beta Blocker

        Aplanningenginner, it is being predicted by knowledgeable observers that PG&E will probably replace Diablo Canyon with gas-fired generation. If that’s what PG&E actually does, with the state’s approval, the Californians will be cheating on their promise to replace nuclear with carbon-free generation. We should not be surprised if that’s how it eventually turns out.

      • For economics, natural gas has a big edge these days. Some are afraid that a fracking or other gas disaster might cause restrictions leading to high generation costs and justify balancing their supply portfolio. But the pull to natural gas is strong.

      • Beta Blocker

        For profit corporations like PG&E always have to be looking at the bottom line. Mandated and subsidized wind and solar presents profit opportunities that might be easily exploited if cheap baseload electricity from coal and nuclear can be completely eliminated in favor of variable energy resources — subsidized renewables backed by natural gas — which by their inherent variability carry greater opportunity for energy price and supply manipulation, all of it blessed by government policy makers as being necessary to protect the environment.

      • Nuke plants are closing because of gas driven economics. Because of regulatory and relicensing requirements, they can’t compete. As someone who grew up in the industry it is sad. But it is just one of the many impacts of the tracking revolution.

      • David Springer

        California will go bankrupt before 2030 unless it drastically alters course away from libtard politics and spending. Things like its alternative energy plans are a prime example of what’s wrong!



      • Californie-cay-shun … somethin’ similar ocurrin’ in the
        Great Southern Land.

        Adelaide, windmill capital (and blackout capital) of Oz soon
        to be joined by Victoria, (where the serf lives, )closer of
        coal mines’ capital of Oz, now that Hazelwood coal mine,
        provider of more energy than all our wind turbines combined,
        has been shut down. – Vale Hazelwood, hello Dark-Ages.


      • Beth

        Independence day today! Yeah! I am celebrating at a French restaurant and will also drink Italian wine to demonstrate that whilst we like the individual European countries we dislike the EU!

        Will we take a more independent stance on our energy and move away from renewables? Solar power in the UK? Really?

      • ‘Yer health,’ Tony, climate historian of the lo—ng view.

        ‘Context’s the thing whereby
        we may unearth the problem
        situation of the king (and troops,)
        transcending the myopia
        of point of view and the
        opacity of time and space.’Ref, me ‘History’s Chequered History ‘
        with a treasured comment from Max Anacker. bts.


      • Tony, today we are all British!

      • Britain never, never, never shall be slave!

    • I think another risk may be climate/weather. As Tony Brown likes to point out, the near surface global temperature has likely been rising for a few hundred years. The northern hemisphere change is likely somewhat offset by the southern. The north is where most people live and where modern civilization is. The US climate is more chaotic than western Europe. We’ve probably been very lucky weather wise in the US the past 50+ years. What happens if there is reversion to the mean?

      What if wind and solar output drops to near zero for several weeks when demand spikes because of cold?

    • PE,

      The head of the CPUC recently said this: https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/future-of-energy/content?oid=23947026

      “… As a matter of fact, it probably won’t make sense for the electric utilities to sell electricity anymore, or be the only ones who sell it. They should provide the platform, the infrastructure that allows people to use electricity to drive carbon out of their homes, and out of our industry. For a lot of people this will be a big change because they’re going to have to think about their energy use, both in terms of their personal use and their transportation choices. Their means of transportation is going to reshape some of our industries.”

      Mr. Picker and the head of the CEC and CASIO noted this:
      “…That success, however, is accompanied by a new set of challenges. Overgeneration, or producing too much power at certain times of the day when demand for electricity is low, is one of the most significant. And as more renewables are blended into the power mix, the challenge of effectively integrating renewables will grow.”


      Thought you might want the info for your files.

      Residential rates increased for PG&E customer on March 1.
      The E-1 rate schedule look like this:

      Tier Price
      1 0.19979
      2 and 3 0.27612
      4 0.39999

      I was never able to get an answer from PG&E on how effective their efforts have been to the goal of reduction of CO2. Specifically they did not answer my question on the expected and ACTUAL (that old corrective feedback mechanism for those dealing with the physical world) costs to reduce a ton of co2. Have you ever gotten an answer to this question.

  6. Curious George

    Everybody should follow South Australia’s leadership.

  7. How about we just take the roadmap, burn it and stop wasting time-and-money on complete nonsense? Everyone, except the elitist telling everybody what to do, would be much better off.

    • My favorite comment.

      Why I know a flat tax will never pass.

      Too many peoples livelihoods depend on a complicated tax system.

  8. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  9. Pat Michaels was right all along!

  10. Bad news, not possible. Good news, not necessary. And this in Science?!?

    • Curious George

      Warmists want to convert everybody into a subsistence farmer. They offer plenty of words and no examples.

    • AAAS / Science has turned sharply to the left to become almost Nature-west. I receive weekly requests to donate to their public advocacy efforts which I immediate place in my circular file. I have not seen a balanced editorial that clearly talks about climate science and the primary issues of the day. The primary issue is public advocacy.

  11. If you believe in lower sensitivity you gain the same advantage by doing less than this, but you still have to do something significant to reduce emissions, as Judith alludes to.

    • Belief… belief in low climate sensitivity is a religion… likely a CargoCult.

      January 2014… cult sold to US Congress. Since then 2014, 2015, and 2016 became record warmest years.

      And 2017 could be almost as hot as 2016, and possibly hotter. Who was saying that before January 2017? Me. Everybody else was surrendering 2017 as a break in the heatwave.

      And the snake oil salesmen are back at the national carnival of grotesque incompetence, the US Congress, again next week.

      At some point scientists will have to face the fact that the AMO is irrelevant, and that Eastern Pacific cooling has been progressively masking ever greater amounts of AGW since the mid 1980s, which jives with 4 to 6 record/near record warmest years in a row once the ask was off, and we are the cusp of that. It also congruent with the stadium wave concept, just not the one they expected. Waved downward 1985 to 2014; waving aggressively upwards ever since, and there is no sign it is about to stop. Quite the opposite.


      • catweazle666

        “Belief… belief in low climate sensitivity is a religion… likely a CargoCult.”


        Here are the more recent published estimates for climate sensitivity.


        Now extrapolate the ECS and TCR trends out to 2020 or perhaps 2025.

        And for fun, extrapolate them out to 2030…

        It’s you that suffers from Cargo Cult religious delusion, sunshine.

      • The observations are not cooperating with low sensitivities.
        More like 2.4 C per doubling.

      • catweazle666

        “The observations are not cooperating with low sensitivities.”

        Nice cherry-picking, Jimbo.

        Thinking of making some pies, are you?

      • The end dates are the whole CO2 record – 60 years, and this is a period during which 75% of the emissions have occurred as well as 75% of the temperature rise. “Skeptics” usually prefer observations to models. These are them. Lovejoy gets a similar number going back to 1850 with estimated CO2 levels.

      • New record world temperatures were set in the 1440’s, 1450’s, 1460’s, .(every decade in between).. 1930’s, 1940’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s.

        Something must be causing this warming that started in 1950!

    • catweazle666

      “but you still have to do something significant to reduce emissions”

      Not going to happen by 2035.


      In any case, it is appearing increasingly likely that both higher CO2 levels and higher temperatures will be of practically benefit.

      Time to find another apocalyptic fantasy to wet the bed over, Jimbo.

  12. …the president of the United States found himself negotiating with He Yafei, a Chinese deputy foreign minister well known for his exceptional command of English and his willingness to use it to advance his country’s worldview—with sometimes provocative arguments. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy pressed China and India to commit to binding targets on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. China and India announced they could not support a document that imposed specific numerical targets, even on the Americans and Europeans. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg asked Indian officials how they could renounce the very plan they had proposed just a few hours earlier. President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, an island chain that lies in the Indian Ocean about seven feet above sea level, demanded that the Chinese delegation explain how it could ask his country to “go extinct.” Sarkozy accused the Chinese of “hypocrisy,” He Yafei lectured the group on environmental damage from the Industrial Revolution, several NGOs accused Western officials of blocking a deal, and a few journalists accused Obama of selling out Europe by letting China off the hook. Not to be ignored, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez called Obama the devil. A gathering that then – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had hyped as “the most important conference since the Second World War” ended in acrimony and conflicting accounts of what had happened, and with no progress toward any meaningful agreement. ~Ian Bremmer, Every Nation for Itself: What Happens When No One Leads the World (2012)

    • And these are the people who will lead us out of the wilderness.

      Most likely into darkness.

  13. Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science and can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved …

    A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument or syllogism.

  14. Easy solution to the world’s problems: we all move to the oil-rich nation of Norway. Their tiny 5M population has the highest per capita sales of Tesla– they generate all the hydroelectric power they can use and can export the rest along with all of the oil they can pump.

    • I live in Norway and drive an electric car that is heavily subsidized.
      I got free parking and drive in a bus lane.
      I´m a climate hero. :)

      Believe it or not, our hydroelectric power has been sold to Europe in so-called green certificates or something like that. The energy declaration tells me that the electricity that I use to charge my car is about 60% coal, 30% nuclear and 10% hydroelectric.
      Beyond parody.

  15. I’m all for nuclear, not necessarily because of the CO2 reduction benefit, but because 1) safety is much improved, and 2) the problems associated with nuclear waste byproduct will soon have an easy answer. We’re probably within a couple decades from being able to cheaply, safely and routinely travel into space; we can push nuclear waste directly into the sun instead of finding a place to store it.

    • That nuclear waiste may turn out to be an important source of energy. Bill Gate’s Terrapower proposal would use it and not require reprocessing. He thinks he might have a prototype up and running in a few years:


    • Conventional nuclear cannot compete with natural gas in the US. Some advanced nuclear may be able to challenge gas, but that remains speculation, at best.

      In a practical sense, natural gas is a reasonable energy solution in terms of cost and emissions. Very little reason to deploy conventional nuclear units in the US.

      • K, depends on several things. Yes, fracked shale gas is presently plentiful and abundant, at least in the US. But, crude oil for liquid ttansportation fuels may not be for much longer-perhaps only about a decade. Either Fischer-tropsch (Shell’s PEARL complex in Qatar), of the newer and much more economic Siluria Technologies OCM and ETL catalysis can make liquid transportation fuels from methane. In that case, better nuclear for electricity and natural gas for heating and liquid fuel conversion. But I think we have the time luxury of a decade or two to sort out 4th gen nuclear, rather than building out expensive 3rd gen like the Vogtle 3 and 4 bankrupting Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary, while still leaving the spent fuel problem unsolved.

      • Ristvan, what do you think about the possibilities of my idea to simply push radioactive waste towards the sun? Presuming you believe exploiting cheap space travel travel is on the near term horizon (I shouldn’t say my idea, surely others have proposed this obvious concept, I just haven’t seen it described). My anecdotal deduction is we are on the cusp of cheap space travel, at least low orbit access.

      • @mop

        there is always a chance of a rocket not making it to orbit

        but far more important, why throw away a valuable resource? something that’s radioactive in an energy source, we may not be able to use that energy today, but throwing it away means we can’t use it in the future.

      • Mop-Up-Crew …

        How much nuclear waste do you plan to send to the sun? In pounds or kg please.

        The Saturn V rocket was capable of delivering 129,300 kg to Earth orbit and 45,800 kg to the moon. You can see that payload shrinks with distance.

        typical nuclear power plant in a year generates 20 metric tons of used nuclear fuel. The nuclear industry generates a total of about 2,000 – 2,300 metric tons of used fuel per year.
        Over the past four decades, the entire industry has produced 76,430 metric tons of used nuclear fuel. If used fuel assemblies were stacked end-to-end and side-by-side, this would cover a football field about eight yards deep.


      • i think we’ve evolved beyond the brute force requisite of getting into space using a Saturn rocket, ya think? More like flying into space, not too far away I suspect, and cheap.

        A chance for a catastrophic failure is always possible no matter how safe, robust or proven the tech, jet airliners today still crash. But a payload can be protected and wrapped in a reusable heat shield, chutes, what have you, etc, flown over shallow oceans to account for a rarified need for recovery. When flying into space approaches a reasonable cost per pound for payload then I don’t see where exporting nuclear waste is an issue. I believe humans are at an inflection point for cheap low orbit access. The Saturn rocket is Wright brothers stuff.

      • Mop-Up-Crew wrote, “i think we’ve evolved beyond the brute force requisite of getting into space using a Saturn rocket, ya think? More like flying into space, not too far away I suspect, and cheap.”

        You think wrong. If you have any examples of non-rocket movement or plans for non-rocket movement of large payloads into earth orbit, to the Earth’s moon, to Mars or the Sun, please point us to them. “I think” doesn’t work in the real world.

    • The utility companies can store the waste on site until we find a political solution. I for one am ok with any solution, store it in the mountain, reprocess it, whatever.

      However, do the math, once you put something in space, to get it to the sun, you have to remove all the orbital velocity of the earth.

      Easier to slingshot it around the moon and send it wherever.

      But there are isotopes in there that might have uses here on earth.

      • Droege has it correctly about slingshoting it space vs the sun.

        Still doesn’t address pushing it out of a gravity well.

    • It’s been estimated that launching material on the space shuttle costs about $22,000/kg

      Besides the costs, imagine a space shuttle full of radioactive waste exploding in the atmosphere.

      • My premise was based on cheap, safe low orbit space access. How many decades away are we from that? Maybe my estimate of 20 years is premature, but there will come a time. Many things are possible from that point as whaky as they may sound now.

    • I used to think the sun disposal thing was a solution. Pushing anything out of our gravity well is not economical enough to ever be viable.

  16. The sad thing is that the natural pace of innovation coupled with the unshackling of the nuclear power industry would take us to the same destination in 50-75 years with private investment covering much of the cost. It’s the rate of change that is the cost driver in this planning scenario.

    • johnfpittman

      A sadder thing is how long this has been known, and yet it has not started. I guess the saddest thing is that the advocates against CO2 have not realized that they won, and exactly what people said they were willing to pay.

    • This is reality, deal with it.
      Date: Mar. 24, 2017

      It’s not just one thing like regulations. The entire business model needs to be re-evaluated. You think Rick Perry has a clue? Ha!

      • johnfpittman

        Worked at Westinghouse Nuclear years ago, and am supplied electricity by SCANA. Even have fished at the lake that serves VC Summer. The problem has been regulators and the regulations. It has taken about 6 months for even the smallest changes to get approved running costs far above what was planned.At this point, it is regulations. Know some of the engineers and the causes of the overruns and delays.

      • Capitalism actually does pick winners and losers. Do you think the FF industry is pushing to remove regulations from the nuclear power industry? On the other hand I can’t remember ever seeing a media campaign promoting nuclear power. There must be some hidden reason.

        I suggest they go build some nuclear plants in the Middle East where there are few regulations and lots of money. Nuclear power plants make a great industrial base for a budding nuclear weapons program. It was working great for Iran until the UN put some some really harsh regulations on them. Sad.

      • johnfpittman

        If we had the kind of capitalism you imply, I would agree with you. Before the construction started in South Carolina, one of the engineers told me that they were told that another nuclear facility would not be built in the USA. The company and the companies proceeded anyway with the assumption that the realization that nuclear was the only viable option for dispatchable power, would prevail. This was about 2011. I have to admit I am disappointed, considering that mitigation at that time, and at this time, means(t) nuclear. The outcome supports the worst of what the do nothings claim is the problem and why we should not mitigate.

        What you might not know is that SCANA through SCE&G, South Carolina Electric and Gas, is a state mandated monopoly with guaranteed profits. It s not absolute, that is why I stated “state.” They had just finished joint construction of a large NG FF facility with an electric coop. The nuclear units (2) were to be the showcase for them to lead the way in mitigation. It is more than a bit ironic that it was not money, they had the bonds and overruns approved by the state. Perhaps a bit more research on your part would educate you to the problems that nuclear faces in the USA. We are now paying 30% more than the average for this area with the possibility of write off, and further rate increase above those utilities who did nothing.

        This whole episode is why knowledgeable persons should join the do nothings. The advocates don’t want mitigation as much as they want to decide the pathway of mitigation. They are not the same thing.

      • Let me drop the snark.
        John I’m not an expert on nuclear power plants but I do follow the news of the utility sector so I’m not ignorant about it either.
        It seems the industry has a few deep problems with designing/building/operating profitable nuclear power plants. Not every where. Reliable news from China, India is a problem. France, US, England and Japan are better but they prefer to avoid bad publicity and you can’t really blame them.
        So it’s only when something goes really wrong like a emergency shutdown or someone loses a lot of money or property then the public *might* notice.

        Hardest problem to deal with is human error either in judgement or ignorance or worse nefarious intent. With every other type of technology the risk is pretty small, maybe a few hundred dead but with nuclear you just have to include the long tail risk and that could be 100X.

        This is the #1 reason you see so many regulation about anything around nuclear energy. It’s us.

      • More news today.
        “Nuke plant closings may overwhelm Michigan, Ohio towns”

        “For the small, mostly rural towns that are home to 61 U.S. nuclear plants that produce one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, each one has been like the golden goose supplying high-paying jobs and money for roads, police and libraries.
        But those same places and their residents are bracing for what may come next due to the soaring costs of running aging reactors that have speeded up the closings of a handful of sites and are threatening at least a dozen more.

        While the nation’s fleet of nuclear power plants wasn’t designed to last forever, closures are happening earlier than expected because repair costs are astronomical and it’s harder to compete with cheaper natural gas-fired plants and renewable energy sources.

        The former head of the nuclear industry’s trade group said last year that economic pressures have put 15 to 20 plants at risk of a premature shutdown.”

      • Jack Smith,
        perhaps the most accurate statement you have ever posted is “I’m not an expert on nuclear power.”

      • Jack, all forms of energy can suffer as nuclear has when economics change. Part of what SCANA was betting on was a continuation of policies that would have helped make nuclear more economical wrt FF. They were under severe pressure to use wind and solar rather than FF. Though more expensive than FF, nuclear is good baseload. Their strategy was for the nukes to do the main capacity demands and let the FF and hydro trim the fluctuations so that the system was reliable. Wind and solar have been a dispatcher’s nightmare. It is also more expensive.

        Part of the problem is that people in general, or at least reporters think that more time, inspection, and argument make something safer. The truth is that it depends on what the criteria and reasons for the discussion are. Nuclear is a mature engineering application. It should not need so much oversight to cause such overruns. Likewise nuclear fuel and how it operates is very stable and well defined. The idea that power plants can runaway and cause such 100x deaths is a Hollywood fake news. Except for military design, the % of enriched uranium is too low for runaway leading to explosion. People also don’t seem to grasp that in many parts of SC and the world, the granite bedrock has orders of magnitude more uranium and is in contact with groundwater. The amount of radioactive materials in the SC statehouse caused radioactive argon to reach the point that fans had to be installed in the basements due to buildup.

        Large numbers of persons all over the world drink water with known radiation problems. Yet it seems that because it is naturally occurring, it doe not count. Unfortunately, natural occurring radiation bombards flesh the same as does radiation found in nuclear plants.

      • John,
        Give me your best guess as an expert in nuclear power as to when something will change the trend. I’m not asking what will cause the change in the downward trend but when.

      • My expertise in nuclear is very general, though I was a co author on proprietary information about certain nuclear processes. I have specific expertise in that area(s).

        As an environmental engineer and responsible for power generation for decades, and my general knowledge from past nuclear experience, I can question and discuss generalities and basics. An example, I could not get a design engineer to tell me specifically why the VC Summer additions were going to change the nuclear world, just what were the problems they faced. I have been preparing or translating technical information about energy costs and potential future costs for decades.

        Jack unfortunately, when is as as much, or more dependent on, government input than the economics or the engineering. That is why, IMO, it pays for not just Americans, but the world, to hold both the politicians and bureaucrats’ feet to the fire and not just come up with idiotic roadmaps, a table exercise, but to actually start engaging engineers and cost accountants as to what is sensible.

        Some persons such as Pielke, Jr have pointed out the problem, not with just the size of the task, but how such an artificial demand would skew the economics of what it cost. I have not seen any numbers that I find even remotely reasonable for costs of decarbonizing except ones like Pielke. The presentations address energy generation, and sometimes transportation, but few if any account for what doing not only these two, but industry as well. Take just the goal of going to decarbonize home building. Think of all the materials processed, how they are processed, and how raw and finished goods are transported. I don’t think a realistic date of 2040 is doable for meeting half of the goal, much less if electricity generation, automobiles, and other industry were competing for the same goods and services. The costs and disturbance for decarbonizing pervade everybody and everything in the world except true subsistence living. I am NOT talking of tribes, wearing milled garments with rifles and modern knives. I am not sure if there are more than a few ten thousands that even remotely qualify out of about 7 billion.

        A similar problem exists for saying when will nuclear start ramping up.If it was simply a matter of economics, then the cost/risk factors would be determined by the market. This pathway was not chosen. The persons who are the most adamant about CO2 reduction also are often the most adamantly against nuclear.These types of conflicts can only be cured in two ways that I am familiar with, government dictating, or the market is allowed. Regardless, the political aspect has to be resolved first. Note that this is one of the complaints about the roadmap. What the people of the world have supported to date is no where near as to what it will take to actually address this issue, and this includes not just the medium to high ECS, but low ECS as well.

      • +1

      • Jack I posted a response to your question. Don’t know if it is in moderation, or I just screwed up.

      • Basically what I replied was that due to the political side, the “when” is not knowable.

      • So it’s political and not actually the total life cycle costs? Maybe the industry should just drop their propaganda campaign about how green nuclear power is.

        What’s really killing America’s nuclear plants.
        “Nuclear energy produces – by a wide margin – the largest portion of America’s carbon-free power. It is the nation’s safest and most reliable source of electricity. The reality is that every time a nuclear plant shuts down the power that replaces it is less reliable, produces more emissions, and costs more.

        But too few people know this or care. That is what is really driving nuclear energy out of business. The nuclear energy industry has not invested enough in telling people why they should value this important technology.

        The same thing is happening in other countries with established nuclear fleets. If the US nuclear sector falls apart, others will follow.”

        I need a new source of alternative facts because the nuclear industry has stooped to being just another CAGW alarmist. No wonder our right wing politicians are not interested in subsidizing this money hole.

      • Well kiss my grits! Turns out there is a viable business model for the nuclear industry.

        “Westinghouse Shifts From Building to Dismantling”
        March 29, 2017
        “Westinghouse Electric — whose technology is used in more than half the world’s nuclear power plants — is shifting its focus from building reactors to helping dismantle them, the latest sign of the decline of the U.S. atomic energy industry. ”

  17. John F. Hultquist

    Technologies to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere …

    Can anyone explain a way of doing this that makes any sense at the scale required? The cost of doing so would be what? Once “sucked” — what can be done with the CO2? Make Coca-Cola® — residence time 3 months.
    One use of CO2 that has been captured has been to increase the extraction rate from declining oil/gas properties. Oops! Can’t have that.
    Let’s send it to Mars. That will work, I promise.

    • CO2 has never had any adverse climatic effect!

      For what has actually happened to our Climate, Google “Climate Change Deciphered”.

      Everyone on this thread should check it out, especially Jim D and Dr. Curry.

    • David L. Hagen

      John F. Hulquist
      Simple. Convert it to liquid fuel by reacting with hydrogen. e.g. to methanol
      3H2 + CO2 = CH3OH + H2O
      Then methanol can be used in fuel cells, or converted to gasoline and diesel for conventional vehicles. See: David L. Hagen, Methanol: Its Synthesis, Use as a Fuel, Economics and Hazards. Univ. Minnesota, December 1976, 180 pp., 608 Ref., NTIS Publication No. NP-21727 (NTIS best seller for 3 years).
      The rest is a matter of efficiency and scale to bring down the economics of H2, CO2, and the conversion.

    • David L. Hagen

      For comparison:
      Annual Crude Oil Production 2.7 x 10^9 tonnes in 1975
      Annual Crude Oil Production 4.36 x 10^9 tonnes in 2015
      Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide 683 x 10^9 tonnes
      Water Vapor 15,000 x 10^9 tonnes

    • John
      Looking at the head post, there will be a new law passed, you can breath in but you can’t breathe out.

      You can however blow it into another orifice for storage.

  18. JC: I think that what this paper has done is important: laying out what it would actually take to make such drastic emissions reductions.
    This is a nice way of saying that the author has no clue on the practicability of the projected reductions. It just would have to happen.
    I read the full article. It’s storytelling about wishful thinking, all goals, no solution.
    Can we call this Fake Dream?

  19. Moore’s law of stupidity: In climate science, Stupidity will double every two years.

    • Jim2
      I have turned on my modeling computer, I think I can get that down to one year. All I need is my special IPCC rubber and pencil and it should be a done deal.

      I also have a chart that correlates increased education with increasing stupidity.

      • I think you will find the stupidity curve approximates a Hockey Stick, the blade beginning around 1970.

  20. I expect more “skeptics” to shift from the view that we should not start to do anything to it’s too late to do anything.

    • Why is either concept mutually exclusive? It sounds like you haven’t been listening.

      • There is a middle road, which is to at least try, but the “skeptics” have ruled that out as an option.

      • Curious George

        South Australia is trying. And North Korea is Number One.

    • Jim, your use of “skeptic” is totally anti-science.

      • Perhaps they are.

      • Or perhaps people who misuse a word central to scientific inquiry are totally anti-science. Here’s looking at you Jim!

      • …but you were the one who raised that these were not true skeptics, remember? A true skeptic makes no judgment on the truth or not of a scientific statement. These people are more like denying it.

      • Jim, your use of the word skeptic in this reply is at odds with your use of the word in your reply above.

        Oh, and once again you want to put words in my mouth. That’s as lame as can be.

      • Yep, that’s why I use quotes to avoid confusion.

      • Jim, nobody with any respect for science would use the word in that way. You are trolling.

      • OK, I could use a word that is the opposite of accepter, but people complain about that too.

      • Jim, try unbeliever or heretic. They fit those who do not accept the quasi-religious faith of the true believers.

        You are welcome to use the D word without any objection from me providing you say exactly who is denying exactly what.

        Just be careful to help restore the good name of science. That has been the real damage of the alarmist movement.

      • Also unconvinced and dismisser have been suggested. These have subtly different meanings that help those people to know what they really think by choosing one.

      • Sounds good to me Jim. As long as those who claim to have science on their side do not further damage the good name of science.

      • What are you smoking Jim D:
        “A true skeptic makes no judgment on the truth or not of a scientific statement.”

    • Any argument will do.

    • JimD, “I expect more “skeptics” to shift from the view that we should not start to do anything to it’s too late to do anything.”

      I think Hansen had that covered with the various tipping points that have been blown past. His “solutions” required a couple of things that don’t exist yet as well. If only the US was more like China.

      • As I said, at least we should try, not just let the world go belly up.

      • You have tried and failed.

      • “As I said, at least we should try, not just let the world go belly up.”

        I guess Don Quixote was a relative of yours. In the midst of all the cleaver world saving plans there was a simple one that focused on improving land use to retain more carbon and H2O which would have other benefits, renewed focus on plain jane pollution that could be enforced internationally, expanded use of nuclear requiring smarter regulation and a license to kill protestors that are scientifically illiterate, increased focus on energy efficiency well beyond CFBLs and adaption to various things known to happen anyway. Other than that, skeptics got nothing.

        Right now you have inspired moonbeams to protest everything and end of days believers to kill everything. Nice job.

      • Technology will prove you wrong, plus apparently some say we have fossil fuel resource limits too. If Willis thinks we can’t even get to 560 ppm by 2100, that works out to be an average emission rate of only 80% of today’s, so reduction one way or another is in the cards, especially as the population increases 50% too, so that is a big per capita reduction. Luckily we are already starting.

      • “Technology will prove you wrong, plus apparently some say we have fossil fuel resource limits too.”

        Technology is more likely to prove you wrong since you want to limit technology to progressive approved solutions. A simple rural electric initiative in the third world to reduce the use of dung, biomass and low efficiency coal would accomplish more than solarfying the US of A.

      • I expect all of the above is needed.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        “You have tried and failed.”
        That is a necessary and sufficient summary.
        Jim D, please be polite and retract your future comments to important matters.
        This is not a free outlet for your personal views, whose ongoing repetition is tiring.

  21. And when will those fusion reactors become commercially viable?

    Oh yeah, they just need another ten years. That has been the answer since the 80’s. It’s almost funny to look it up every once in awhile.

    Although, the prototypes are very cool looking….like something a James Bond villain would build.

  22. Robin Guenier

    The authors of this paper either haven’t read the Paris Agreement or, if they have, haven’t understood it. The so-called ‘goals’ are so vaguely worded as to be virtually meaningless and, even if that were not so, they have no standing at international law. In contrast, a principal item agreed in Paris and unambiguously enshrined in the Agreement is that the ‘developing’ countries are exempt from any obligation – legal or moral, now or in the future – to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. There are about 140 such countries, comprising 82 percent of the world’s population and all the world’s poorest people – but, in particular, they’re responsible for over 65 percent of global emissions. The only ‘national commitments’ have been made by developed countries. And in practice that means only the US and EU28 – responsible for less than 25 percent of emissions. Therefore, unless the Paris Agreement is radically renegotiated, there’s not the slightest possibility of alignment between national commitments and what the authors believe are ‘science-based targets’.

    The idea that the Newly Industrialised Countries that, led by India and China, insisted on the above exemption might be remotely interested in the proposed ‘global decadal roadmap’ is frankly absurd.

    This may be a rather more practical proposition:


    • Robin Guenier,

      Thank you for this interesting comment. You say:

      The only ‘national commitments’ have been made by developed countries. And in practice that means only the US and EU28 – responsible for less than 25 percent of emissions.

      This is interesting. The IEA recently released a report stating that the carbon price would have to be $190/tonne CO2 to achieve the Paris Agreement commitments. If the carbon price applies to only 25% of emissions, then the carbon price for the EU and USA would have to be $2,280/t CO2 to achieve the same CO2 reduction globally as would be achieved if all emissions globally were priced at $190/t CO2. However, only 49% or EU emissions are priced in the EU ETS and none in USA. Clearly, it is impossible to include all GHG emissions in a carbon pricing scheme.

      If only half the emissions are priced in EU and USA, then only 12.5% of global emissions would be covered by the carbon pricing schemes. The carbon price for EU and USA emitters – that are subject to carbon pricing – would have to pay would be is $8,022/t CO2.

      • https://anglejournal.com/site/assets/files/1727/lang_2.png

        Participants in the carbon pricing scheme would have to pay 3.5 times more than they would if all countries participated and all GHG sources were included. Figure derived from: Nordhaus, 2008, “A Question of Balance” (6), Chapter VI, p118, and Nordhaus ‘Lab notes specification of participation function’ (7), p33

        Source: https://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/

      • Curious George

        “The carbon price would have to be $190/tonne CO2 to achieve the Paris Agreement commitments.” I am looking at Australia’s RET. Where does that money go? After depopulating the whole continent, who will pay it … of course, stupid me, the purpose of the tax is exactly to depopulate the continent, then the emissions will be zero. Buy your tickets to Indonesia tomorrow.

  23. I do not deny that climate change is occurring; but I am concerned about the certainty of the causation attribution. I’m certain that there are portions of climate science that we just do not understand. What if we are missing significant climate drivers that change the causation attribution factors? Where is the analysis of the the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns? How does what we know we don’t know influence the causation attribution factors.

    Let me provide an example of an unknown unknown (as far as climate science is concerned). Most climate scientists claim that there is no strong solar linkage to climate change. Well, what if there were solar forcing functions that have not been considered? Let me identify one solar forcing function that we do not know about, have not considered, we do not know its magnitude, or time scale, and it is not in the climate models (as far as I know – not necessarily a good measure, please correct me if I’m wrong).

    Fluctuations of the Earth’s geomagnetic field induce electrical currents (telluric currents) into all conductive elements of the Earth to varying degrees. This induction affects many human constructed systems in a variety of ways, ranging from no significant effect to highly destructive effects. This influence is well known in affected industries, and engineered solutions provide mitigating capacity to some degree. What is also known is that these telluric currents generate voltages in the Earth that must be compensated for in certain types of geophysical measurements. What is unknown, is the amount of electrical current that is induced in the oceans during solar forced geomagnetic field fluctuations. Any induced electrical current into the conductive oceans will cause energy to be directly deposited into the oceans. Therefore, in the climate science industry, this is an unknown energy deposition and heat generation factor that is not accounted for in the climate models (like I say, as far as I know).

    It should be noted that no single transient geomagnetic disturbance will deposit amounts of energy into the oceans that is capable of influencing climate. However, if there are numerous geomagnetic field disturbances over time, then it may be possible to induce significant amounts of energy into the oceans. Note that if the rate of energy deposition (in general, including telluric effects) even sightly exceeds the overall energy dissipating effects (heat exchange mechanisms such as convection, radiation, conduction, etc.) then the ocean temperatures will increase. Note that there is a daily geomagnetic variation related to daily rotations; this effect is already built into the climate system. However, changes in transient solar dynamics (from Earth’s perspective) that occur on decade or multi-decade scales that increase geomagnetic disturbance rates are not necessarily factored into climate system behavior, and therefore climate changes caused by this phenomenon may seem anomalous.

    It should be noted that not all geomagnetic disturbances from the sun are caused by a tight coupling to the solar sunspot cycle (coronal mass ejections, solar flares, etc.). At a minimum, solar changes that are not tightly coupled to the solar sunspot cycle, such as coronal holes, cause changes in the solar wind that influence the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Therefore, coronal hole related geomagnetic effects tend to smear out the sunspot related correlation, keeping the geomagnetic power induction effect going on well after a sunspot cycle peak.

    It should also be stated that the oceans are thermally massive, and as such are capable of absorbing and storing large amounts of energy (obviously). The overall timescale of absorption and dissipation of that stored energy may cause climate impact temporal delays relative to energy inducing phenomena, due to the somewhat slower dissipation of energy from the oceans. Theoretically, this transient inductive effect should influence high latitudes more than lower latitudes. Clearly, global ocean circulation and heat flow dynamics will distribute any regionally induced heat to other locations in the oceans over time.

    It should also be noted that the solar geomagnetic forcing function varies significantly over a decade time scale, and has even larger average variability over multi-decade, century, and longer time frames. Therefore there are lots of opportunities for the oceans to dissipate the anomalous geomagnetically induced energy over time. This keeps the ocean temperatures moderate with only relatively small variations (no boiling away).

    Let me say it again. We do not understand how this phenomenon influences the oceans, the amount of induced energy, the heat flow, and energy dissipation relationships. We do not understand the climate effects of this phenomenon. It may be important, it may be significant, it may be insignificant. Most, if not all of the geomagnetic couplings and associated dynamics related to climate are completely unknown. Therefore, I claim that we just don’t know enough about this phenomenon to dismiss it!

    First of all, I know that what I am proposing here is overly simplistic. However, we must start looking into this phenomenon as an unknown unknown. I know that a perturbation like this may receive negative attention, and may in fact be dismissed as ridiculous. I claim that until real science is applied to this phenomenon (not by those seeking to advance their own politically correct agenda) we will maintain uncertainty in climate change attribution. Therefore, until we actually, and really scientifically close at least this knowledge gap, I’m going to keep applying my scientific skepticism to overall climate change attributions that are considered to be politically correct.

    Your comments are welcome.

    • Agreed. scientists who study planetary atmospheres pay a lot of attention to the magnetic field. The earth’s magnetic field is massively complex. The connection between magnetic field and earth’s climate is definitely worth studying.

      • Thank you Judith.

        There are likely many more unknown unknowns (from a climate perspective) that need innovation and “thinking outside the box” to find. To that end, we need cross disciplinary ideas to come into the climate debate to flesh out more of the unknown unknowns.

      • I think the effect on ocean currents could be important, changing the “thermal inertia” of the atmosphere over the ocean. I suggested the idea before and magnetic field and CRF could affect ocean currents and currents in magma, causing changes in the probability of volcanic events (ionzing molecules in fluids affecting the impact of magnetic field on currents). Lubos Motl suggested a possible technique to look for solar and CR influence on magma, unfortunately I don’t remember the comment thread or topic that it came up on. A google search of his weblog using my name and volcano/volcanic/magma might hit to it.

        Someone at WUWT also pointed me to an interesting paper that looked at solar activity and volcanic activity. It found a strong, but not statistically significant, correlation (only one or two sigma). I took an adhock look at some volcano and solar metrics, nothing stood out except the maunder minimum; it looked like there was less high VEI activity and more low VEI activity.

      • Oh, when I say “currrents”, I’m thinking fluid, not electrical. So you have magnetic fields subtly affecting fluid dynamics.

        On top of that, cosmic rays flux could affect the chemistry of fluids, making them more or less affected by magnetic field. The sun and earth magnetic fields affects the CRF to varying amounts by type. CRF is assumed to be constant from all directions, but magnetic fields may affect different rays to varying degrees and the general direction which they come from.

      • CRF probably is modulated by the sun and affects the sun’s chemistry/dynamics. If CRF affects earth chemistry, why not the sun?

    • Allan ==> Maybe you could flesh this out and turn it into a full-fledged essay?

      • Hi Kip,

        Are you thinking of just an overview or more of a scientific treatise? I can get into the generalities of the concept using Maxwell’s Equations with some of the formulation reductions needed to accommodate the gross spectral effects, but the problem is much more complex than just that. A simplified small scale modeling effort using a cubical section of an ocean model (using the appropriate boundary conditions) may be suitable to demonstrate that a deeper modeling effort is needed. The full problem really requires some good modeling at a larger scale that includes the full heterogeneity of the conductivity structure of the Earth in order to quantify the induced energy. A much larger scale model would eventually include the heat flows and require the full climate coupling with ocean dynamics.

        The large scale Earth model with conductivity heterogenieties would also help to quantify how much energy is deposited into the Earth’s crust and mantle. There may also be some sort of global effect that is related to these parts of the Earth that are poorly explored, and remains unknown. Climate coupling is unknown and unexplored. The concern here is that additional energy induced into the crust and mantle may have very slow energy dissipation factors, making internal heat build up over longer time scales. Whether that has any effect on plate tectonics or volcanic activity is unknown.

        What the magnitude of these effects is in the deeper Earth structure is unexplored (as far as I know). It could be inconsequential, have minor effect, or be significant. It’s just another unknown unknown.

        I know this idea sounds crazy, but so was plate tectonics back in the day. I’m not comparing this to the grandness of plate tectonics, just the craziness of it before confirmation of it.

      • Allan ==> I think a carefully considered overview of the potential relationships and possible effects would be interesting. as Dr. Curry notes “scientists who study planetary atmospheres pay a lot of attention to the magnetic field. The earth’s magnetic field is massively complex. The connection between magnetic field and earth’s climate is definitely worth studying.”

        I’d like to read why that is so and what those connections might be.

        Space weather, magnetic field, climate — an interesting triad.

    • “Therefore, coronal hole related geomagnetic effects tend to smear out the sunspot related correlation”

      The solar wind geometry with respect to the sunspot cycle appears to fully invert:

    • http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?2003ESASP.535..393S&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf


      Jaroslav StreStlk
      Geophysical Institute AS CR, Bocni 11 1401, 141 31 Prague, Czech Republic, Email: xxx@XXX.xxx


      Volcanic activity on the Earth is described by special
      annual indices available since 1500. These indices have
      been compared with annual sunspot numbers. Volcanic
      activity displays no ll-yr periodicity. Using 2l-yr
      running averages a striking similarity between these
      two time series is clearly seen. Volcanic activity is
      generally lower in periods of prolonged maxima of
      solar activity and higher in periods of prolonged solar
      minima. There is also a similarity between the spectra
      of these two series in the long-period range. Main
      peaks are located in the same periods in both series
      (200-215 yr, 100-105 yr, 80-90 yr). The influence of
      volcanic activity on the climate is indubitable. Annual
      means of surface air temperature display similar longterm
      periodicity as the volcanic activity.


      The narrow similarity between solar and volcanic
      activity in the long-term scale suggests two quite
      different possible consequences:
      a. Solar activity governs the volcanic activity on the
      Earth in long-term scale. Volcanic activity is
      usually higher in periods of prolonged minima of
      solar activity and vice versa. However, the
      mechanism of this forcing is not known. Perhaps
      geomagnetic activity mediates solar influences
      (unfortunately, series of these data are too short). If
      it will be confirnled in the future, then solar
      influences on the climate could be considered as
      being mediated by the volcanic activity, creating
      a chain: solar activity – (geomagnetic activity) –
      volcanic activity – climate changes. Direct solar
      influence on climatic changes is, of course, not
      excluded. But it is difficult to distinguish what part
      of these changes is mediated by volcanic activity
      and what part is direct solar influence. It would be
      also necessary to explain why this chain does not
      work in short-term scale.
      b. The similarity of the long-term course of solar and
      volcanic activity is accidental and is pronounced
      only in the last few centuries. Then long-term
      natural climatic changes would be caused only by
      long-term changes of volcanic activity. The role of
      solar activity would be in this case only apparent
      due to the accidentally sin1ilar course of both
      activities during the last five centuries.
      Nevertheless, some small direct solar influence is
      not excluded. In this case no similarity in shortterm
      scale can be expected and it is not necessary to
      look for an explanation why it is not observed. These two different conclusions mean that the
      investigation of solar, volcanic and climatic changes
      together in a considerably longer period (at least one
      millenium) is very desirable.

    • Also see comments here for idea (couldn’t link directly to comments): http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter

    • Steven Mosher

      “Well, what if there were solar forcing functions that have not been considered? ”

      1. What if there are unicorns?
      2. What if we are just a brain in a vat?

      The simple fact is that GHGs, known solar forcing ,known land use changes, known volcanic forcing explain the trajectory of temperature.

      One doesn’t just suppose an additional cause when none is needed.

      It might be unicorns. It might be force X from planet unknown. It might be anything.

      There will always be gaps. Inventing gods to fill the gaps…that’s wishful thinking

      • @Steven Mosher : would you say that all interactions between solar wind, Earth magnetic field strength and declination angle, water droplet nucleation, and distribution of rainfalls are sufficiently well elucidated that no research is needed in these fields? Or that these are unicorns?

        Aren’t there enough “known unknowns” to be investigated to try to propose and verify possible or potential explanatory hypothesis that could eventually contribute to add a bit to the little that is known about climate mechanisms, in particular all effects that cannot be attributed to the only and ideal culprit, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions?
        And let’s not forget the “unknown unknowns” on which speculative thinking may not have any grasp.

  24. «Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science»

    No. they are not. These goals are political. Even the report by IPCC states that:

    « Background
    The concept of stabilization is strongly linked to the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC, which is ‘to achieve […] stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’. Recent policy discussions focussed on a global temperature increase, rather than on GHG concentrations. The most prominent target currently discussed is the 2°C temperature target, that is, to limit global temperature increase relative to pre-industrial times to below 2°C. The 2°C target has been used first by the European Union as a policy target in 1996 but can be traced further back (Jaeger and Jaeger, 2010; Randalls, 2010). Climate impacts however are geographically diverse (Joshi et al., 2011) and sector specific, and no objective threshold defines when dangerous interference is reached. Some changes may be delayed or irreversible, and some impacts are likely to be beneficial. It is thus not possible to define a single critical threshold without value judgments and without assumptions on how to aggregate current and future costs and benefits. Targets other than 2°C have been proposed (e.g., 1.5°C global warming relative to pre-industrial), or targets based on CO2 concentration levels, for example, 350 ppm (Hansen et al., 2008). The rate of change may also be important (e.g., for adaptation). This section does not advocate or defend any threshold, nor does it judge the economic or political feasibility of such goals, but simply assesses the implications of different illustrative climate targets on allowed carbon emissions, based on our current understanding of climate and carbon cycle feedbacks.” Ref. Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility

    Note that the assessment is not an objective assessment, it is a subjective assessment.

    • Steven Mosher

      That is why he used the word “aligned” and not the word “derived”

      English. Learn it.

      • Exactly what are these goals aligned with then?
        Not science, because there is no scientific conclusion to align with.
        To emphasize what has already been highlighted:

        “no objective threshold defines when dangerous interference is reached… It is thus not possible to define a single critical threshold without value judgments and without assumptions on how to aggregate current and future costs and benefits.”

        Here is my perspective on science.

        I´m still waiting for you to clarify what you mean by science.

  25. Odd echo of Viet Nam War – we have to destroy xxxx in order to save xxxx.

    • Here is another one from generally the same time frame. “Everybody has his own hustle”

      As I recall, I read both quotes in Time magazine. That was before I wanted to throw up whenever I picked up the rag because it had taken such a hard left turn.

      Seems like both quotes are germane.

  26. I’ve heard of the blind leading the blind, but this plan is the dumb leading the dumber. Cut CO2 emissions in half every decade? We have not been able to even REDUCE CO2 emissions, much less cut them in half. Ever.

    It definitely makes me believe in what someone upthread posted as the climate equivalent of Moore’s Law.

    In climate science, the stupidity of the proposed “solutions” will double every two years.

    What I can’t figure out is our hostess’s reason for posting this nonsense. This nutso claim is like saying:

    A one-month round-trip to Pluto by 2100 is no problem. All we have to do is to cut the travel time to Pluto in half every decade!

    Yeah, there’s the ticket. Easy money.

    It’s curious. Everyone knows that you can’t extrapolate a current linear trend a century into the future.

    These jokers are proposing extrapolating an exponential trend a century into the future, and it gets published in Science.

    All that their revolution requires is that we magically invent replacement technologies for energy generation, CO2 sequestration, and transport fuels … oh, and that we do a bunch of stuff that has never succeeded, like decreasing CO2 levels.

    The head post says:

    Of course, it’s possible that if policymakers really grappled with what staying below 2°C entails, they might come away thinking it’s impractical or undesirable. They might decide that maybe we should aim to stay below 2.5°C or 3°C, and just try to deal with the severe risks of a hotter planet, from higher sea level rise droughts to crop failures, that come with it.

    I can only hope that cooler heads prevail.

    The rude truth is that it is highly unlikely that CO2 will double from its current levels, that this will make little to no difference global temperatures, and this whole war on carbon is driven by watermelon ideologists who see it as a way to stop development.

    However, as in the cockamamie plan discussed in the head post, they never get around to noticing that THESE KINDS OF PLANS KILL POOR PEOPLE. They don’t seem to care about that as long as their green energy fantasies are fulfilled.

    Pass …


    • Willis, why do you say that it is unlikely that CO2 will double from its current levels?

      • Good question, Forrest. See here for the details. TL;DR version is that most estimates are not supply-driven, and thus are not constrained by carbon fuel resource limits.


      • Great analysis by Willis, I think the conclusion deserves to be quoted here:
        “Here’s the takeaway message. Using the most extreme of the 16 estimates of future CO2 levels along with the higher of the two TCR estimates, in other words looking at the worst case scenario, we are STILL not projected to reach one measly degree C of warming by the year 2100.

        More to the point, the best bet given all the data we have is that there will only be a mere half a degree C of warming over the 21st century.

        Can we call off the apocalypse now?”

      • Here is CIA estimated TFR compared with the UN 2015 report. There is even more divergence from the medium variant and convergence toward the low variant:

    • Steven Mosher

      The point of a plan is to force the decision.
      Read more carefully.

      As for falling emissions. .As the market kills coal it happens.
      Spent two weeks in the killer air of beijing. Not advised.

      • Steven – the “killer air” of Beijing has nothing to do with CO2

      • I’d expect that as China gets richer, they’ll be adding scrubbers to their smokestacks.

      • The point of a plan is to force the decision.

        No need.

        Emissions have been falling in the US for more than a decade now.
        Global CO2 emission declines are baked in the cake by secular forces.

        We don’t need the roadmap because we’re already on the road. That’s good news for anyone that actually cares about CO2, but bad news for anyone that wanted expansion of government to accomplish it.

      • TE,
        I read your comments with respect and attention. Why are US CO2 emmissons falling dramatically without strong government interference with the free market and Germany is increasing emissions with massive central controls on the energy and manufacturing sectors?

        If you don’t care to take the time, can ;you point us to explanations?


      • Scott, thanks for the setup.

        US emissions are declining because of:
        1. Continuing increases in energy efficiency.
        2. Decelerating population, and
        3. Fuel choices (mostly natural gas)

        These things are close to guaranteed for the globe:
        1. Technology tends toward energy efficiency.
        2. Every year, there are more shrinking countries. And,
        3. Natural gas is widespread

        We are not going to uninvent technological advances.
        We are not going to uninvent birth control.
        We are not going to uninvent fracking.

        This is probably much more predictable than climate.

      • Robin Guenier


        I agree about technological advance and fracking. But globally population is expected to increase substantially: LINK. An extract:

        The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a new UN DESA report.

      • TE,
        thanks. we can always count on you.

        US has no controls over the rest of the world and their population and energy choices. We are so bad at it that when we negotiated a treaty that could not be approved by the senate we got taken.

        We will reduce industry and energy availiblility, raise the cost of energy and destroy our industry and China and India can do something in 30 years.

        I will gladly pay you in 30 years for a hamburger today. As someone in Popeye used to say.


      • Rob, from that report:
        “future population growth is highly dependent on the path that future fertility will take

        Here I have plotted the CIA World Data book estimated TFR (total fertility rate ) versus the UN ‘variants’:

        As you can see, fertility is falling faster than the ‘medium variant’ of the UN, though not quite as fast as the ‘low variant’. These are the 2012 ‘variant’ projections, so I’ll update them with the 2015 numbers. But the continued growth is probably an overestimate, based on the TFR being lower than ‘medium’.

        And certainly, the fact that TFR is already less than replacement rate for the nations accounting for 75% of current CO2 emissions means that CO2 emissions will fall even with growth in the remaining nations:

      • TE,
        Add some uncertainty bars.
        Advances in medicine and health care will alter those trends much like the advances in industrial agriculture did for the exponential growth of humans.
        Check out global estimated life spans, they are getting longer (except white Americans). That also means a lot of older non productive people that will require billions of tons of resources to support.
        Should we plan for this?

      • Advances in medicine and health care will alter those trends much like the advances in industrial agriculture did for the exponential growth of humans.

        That also means a lot of older non productive people that will require billions of tons of resources to support. Older people tend to emit less than younger people and the dependency ratio tends to reduce economic growth, so I don’t think the aging population will increase CO2 emissions either.

      • Robin Guenier


        Well I agree that the US ‘got taken‘. See my reply to jfpittman HERE. I was referring to this proposal: LINK.

      • Robin Guenier

        Very interesting data TE – thanks.

      • A note on that graph of fertility rates and emissions. One important way to look at it is that wealthy countries tend to have low birthrates. And their emissions levels correspond to their wealth.
        There is no way to limit population growth without wealth creation. There is no way to create wealth without access to low-cost, reliable plentiful energy.
        There is no way to address AGW other than through technology that produces low-cost, reliable, plentiful energy.

      • “wealthy countries tend to have low birthrates.”

        “There is no way to limit population growth without wealth creation.”

        “There is no way to create wealth without access to low-cost, reliable plentiful energy.”

        Spot on!
        Economic development reduces environmental footprints!

        This is the irony to me was the argument for constraining economic development when such development has demonstrated the improvements we see.

      • TE
        Not irony but misdirection. The goal is not to reduce global climate temperature but to take control of energy markets. Germany did so and now increased carbon dioxide emissions only demonstrate the result plus
        increased consumer energy costs and de industrialization of manufacturing. Move all the peasants to pre industrial conditions.

        Easier to control the masses but don’t let them know the objectives.

      • TE:
        “Economic development reduces environmental footprints!”

        I’m skeptical.
        Could you show me this place on Google Maps?

      • “Could you show me this place on Google Maps?”

        You need to be relatively rich to care about the environment. Otherwise you’re burning anything that lights in order to survive and having as many kids as you can to gather food and care for you in old age.

        This place

        is much cleaner than this place

      • Fail.
        It’s take tens of millions of tons of resources a year to maintain New York and none of it is extracted anywhere near the city. Besides America has exported it’s environmental impacts to less developed countries while importing economic deflation. That’s why we have the huge trade deficits.

      • Making my point about human impacts on the planet and throwing shade on the rational behind TE fertility charts.

        “Today, what survives on Earth can be determined entirely by human beings. We can alter the genetics of almost any life form and potentially design entirely new ones. According to renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, “In the future, a new generation of artists will be writing genomes as fluently as Blake and Byron wrote verses.”


        “Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.”

      • “It’s take tens of millions of tons of resources a year to maintain New York and none of it is extracted anywhere near the city. ”

        You guys need better coordinators. For the last quarter century, the warm have been urging people to move to big cities in order to combat global warming. Lower per capita emissions.

  27. I fear that ‘resource strategists’ and the like are giving the term roadmap a bad name. As I submitted recently: “At the heart of the strategic challenge (new energy technologies to reduce emissions) is the extraordinary nature of the fossil fuel dowry that humans have been exploiting for around 200 years. While it is fashionable to demonise these fossil fuels, the fact is that they have provided the energy bonanza that led to our present prosperity. Any sustainable energy strategy must start with that fact. It must also recognise that coal, oil and gas are real fuels in the technical sense, that is, stores of energy that can be released by simple combustion processes. It is naïve to expect that these readily extracted and exploited fossil fuels can be replaced entirely and at no extra cost by new energy sources like wind and sun, simply because the need has arisen, regardless of how desperate that need may be.” Anyone can prepare a roadmap without the means to make it credible. And they keep on doing just that.

  28. I guess most of the people that believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) and think that something should be done to stop it are not aware that this implies giving up their entire lifestyles and leading a much simpler life, and that this is accomplished by what could be describe as economic malaise and massive business failure that will drastically diminish expectations, life quality, and longevity for an ample majority. If politicians decide to take that path they better be aware that they are going to lose popular support once their measures start to hit people’s lives and that to continue that path the use of force against their own people, like in North Korea, is going to be necessary.

    The result is that we are living in a great hypocrisy. We receive ample propaganda on CAGW and our governments talk a lot about it, but very little gets done. Everybody knows that climate commitment by a single country or economic region implies economic suicide in the competitive global economy we have built. The most logical path, going nuclear, is fiercely oppose by the same people that are more willing to go farther in the fight against CAGW.

    And the problem is that it is all based on assumptions. Nobody knows if the 2°C increase is real or not or if anything can be done to prevent it. It is very easy to walk out of painful commitments based on shaky assumptions.

    We all know what is going to happen, and how the fight against CAGW is going to fare the minute the economy tuns sour again. And according to the recurrence of economic crises, the next one should take place before anything of substance has been made in our fight against CAGW.

    Until the human population of the planet stops growing, this problem, whether real or imaginary, is intractable, and once the population starts declining, the solution will take place naturally.

  29. David Wojick

    They seem very serious about their plan, so I do not see this as helpful. Just more green nonsense from Sciencemag.

  30. Humans have big brains and can use “science” to manipulate “technology” and will out live almost every other organism on the planet. Even with known finite natural resources we’ll still be the top predator for the foreseeable future.
    So the question becomes what value is the rest of the biosphere?
    So far the answer is not much. Reefs, forests, polar regions, natural water ways are all experiencing the negative effects of 7+ billion people competing for ever higher living standards. We have time to analyze the problem but not the self discipline to alter our behavior when the answers conflict with our sub conscience desires for pleasure, greed, gratification and reproduction.

    I hope Trump doesn’t cancel the NIH BRAIN (Brain Research Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) project. It might be the most important research ever conducted.

  31. Some cities, recognizing the true threat of so called sea level rise was subsidence, have already taken common sense actions to mitigate the threat. In addressing a problem, one first needs to understand the nature of the problem. Subsidence was in their future as soon as the first footings were constructed, well before the gleem of a SUV was in somebody’s eye.

  32. The paper is NOT behind a paywall. This http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6331/1269.full works for me. From the paragraph 2030…2014: “After 2030, all building construction must be carbon-neutral or carbon-negative. The construction industry must either use emissions-free concrete and steel or replace those materials with zero- or negative-emissions substances such as wood, stone, and carbon fiber.” Nobody can imagine how to built something without steel or concrete ( cement). The authors demand in this case: Take wood (???) or stones ( without cement in between??) or fibre. This means: No more building as we know it. This has far reaching impacts on the whole mankind and is the matter of democracy and goverments but not the matter of some climateers. Who gave them the authorisation? Or the other way around: If the society follows these guys the impacht is clear. You can elect!

    • You know, this “paper” shows Science mag has very low publication standards. I wouldn’t have given this a passing grade in an undergraduate class.

      • johnfpittman

        I disagree. This is what has always been necessary if you buy into the damage function and ECS of 3C. It is good to get it on the table, so that the people can understand why so many engineers have been complaining about the unrealistic, political driven agendas.

      • Glad you agree with Kevin Anderson, JohnF:



      • Since Kevin states his basis, yes I agree with him, assuming the basis will be shown correct . As far as what pressures academia has put upon it, my knowledge is limited and dated. I did a few reviews of master and doctoral candidates’ papers. The professor in charge shared with me some of the reasons why 2 that I thought were too poor or really nonconclusive to the papers’ claims would be published and degrees awarded. I am in the position of having to assume with more money and more commercial investment, the pressure to publish has increased as some have claimed.

        As far as other items, such as growth, are misdirected at this time. The example I used was for housing. But to make it carbon free, neutral, even carbon sequestering, means that the whole of our infrastructure has to be nearly the same. The inter-dependencies of transport, manufacturing, infrastructure, and human needs would pose a daunting, perhaps impossible challenge if we had good energy replacement.The closest we have is nuclear. It does not have only political and waste problems, it works best for electricity and steam production.

        IMO, transport, whether one is talking about controlling carbon, political will or blowback, likelihood of success, etc., is the elephant in the room. He stated “The international community not only acknowledged the seriousness of climate change, but demonstrated sufficient unanimity to quantitatively define it: to hold “the increase in … temperature to well below 2°C … and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. But, as the time-weary idiom suggests, “the devil is in the detail” – or perhaps more importantly, the lack of it.” IMO, they did not sufficiently acknowledge the devilish problem, or they would have presented a plan of NG with fracking, and nuclear at much greater levels than they are pushing renewables. At present we have literally almost nothing to address our transport infrastructure problems. The closest is LNG.

        And apparently Kevin agrees, at least in part: “The sheer scale of the BECCS assumption underpinning the Agreement is breath taking – decades of ongoing planting and harvesting of energy crops over an area the size of one to three times that of India. At the same time the aviation industry anticipates fuelling its planes with bio-fuel, the shipping industry is seriously considering biomass to power its ships and the chemical sector sees biomass as a potential feedstock. And then there are 9 billion or so human mouths to feed. Surely this critical assumption deserved serious attention within the Agreement?” He even listed some of the obvious problems with BECCS, even if you assume it is possible.

        What’s not to like with reading something written by someone who is thinking and writing it down as it can be understood and discussed. I just don’t yet buy a 3C ECS. But the day is young. ;)

      • I’m glad you don’t buy an ECS of 3, JohnF. Neither am I. Neither shiukd anyone who pretend to entertain a scientific outlook. But the same applies with the lowest ECS justified disingenuousness can buy:


        The lukewarm playbook may have fun for a while, but I now think it’s time to give it a rest. It is not a matter of buying an option. It makes kings of coal say silly things.

        More importantly, the span we’re talking about in ECS only doubles our response time. This makes the debate mostly irrelevant on decadal scale. What we need to do for the next ten years still matters if it’s for the next twenty years.

        Nuclear should only considered as a necessity. We’ll lose money out of it, and we’ll get more regulations. Not sure why libertarians push so hard for nukes. That wouldn’t be their first inconsistency.

        You’ll never find me defending academia.

      • JFP –

        =={ As far as what pressures academia has put upon it, my knowledge is limited and dated….I am in the position of having to assume with more money and more commercial investment, the pressure to publish has increased as some have claimed. }==

        You may find this interesting:

        And scientists in countries with very strong incentives to publish, such as the United States, didn’t seem to have more bias than studies from countries where the pressure was less.

      • Willard, even though Kevin noted with details the discrepancies between what we are doing and saying, he did not note with details the path forward. It seems he is somewhat oblivious to what you alluded to with “What we need to do for the next ten years still matters if it’s for the next twenty years” and your note about nuclear. Not only do certain paths for getting from point A to point B have problems, they all do, the way Kevin framed it. His use of neutral, and the way the share of CO2eq changes does not address, if success is even possible. The problems inherent to a small CO2 world is why he used, as example, transportation.

        The question is “How do we get from a high carbon world, to a low carbon world, using high carbon technology and infrastructure?”

        Using just transportation and a home as a simplistic measure: Joe has less CO2 credits, he will have to move closer to work. Joe has less CO2 credits, how does he build that lower CO2 home using high carbon processes. Joe has less CO2 credits how does he now get his food located further away. If the solution is for Joe to join high density dwellings which require large CO2 credits for construction, where does it come from? If we get rid of Joe’s house how do we recover the committed CO2, and yet go smaller with CO2.

        The part that is missing in the discussions that I have read are the incremental costs, and incremental investments, that mean the generation length and number of generations to transition result in an exponential increase in cost and risk of failure the shorter the timeline. Not to use incremental costs and investments to use the carbon already committed efficiently, means that the amount of CO2 will have to increase just from time of increased obsolescence alone. The increased obsolescence will also increase costs.

        The question to ask is how will it be determined that it is better to redo Joe’s old home versus a new commitment of CO2 emissions. This question has to be computed for every proposed change. It will be the largest management of change (MOC) problem humans have endeavored to answer. I don’t see persons engaged in that necessary work at this time. MOC to work properly is the devil in the details.

        What we have used in the past was the information of the economic market to tell us how to manage change. Kevin and others are proposing a replacement. The replacement will have to be like the MOC engineers use for PSM, or have to contain information through use that our economy does for us. Either way it will increase expenses, and have its own systemic bias and risk if it can be done. A big if.

      • Thanks, JohnF.

        I think KevinA’s trying to show that our current ways to model CO2 reductions rest on technological assumptions that are not far from magical thinking. Gnome underpants schemes abound. Nevermind Gremlins.

        His conclusion is that our effort to reduce CO2 may very well be underestimated. How to reduce CO2 follows needs to abide by that conclusion. This is where scientists defer to engineers.

        I doubt we seriouly can calculate all that you require. We may need to tentative estimates that would help our heuristics. These in turn do not need to provide us with unique answers. We’ll do as we always do – good ol’ trial and error.

        Meanwhile, AGW will undoubtedly carry risks. These will open reinsuring markets. Without that market, our overall standard of living should falter.

        As you can see, I have little to offer to an engineer-oriented mind like yours. That’s one reason why I should reach out to you. And that even if my other friends told me of enough horror stories in the engeneering industry to doubt it can claim a higher ground in comparison to academia.

        We’re all in it together.



      • David Springer

        Hey Willard,

        Take two EPA regs and call me in four years. You’re marginalized.

      • Willard “His conclusion is that our effort to reduce CO2 may very well be underestimated. How to reduce CO2 follows needs to abide by that conclusion. This is where scientists defer to engineers.” I agree but would point out that engineers, in general, have to design to a specification. Please consider when reading my posts that engineers are not above the fray such that they don’t come with bias, and self re-enforcing mental paths.

        I agree with your statement “I doubt we seriously can calculate all that you require. We may need to tentative estimates that would help our heuristics.” I brought it up along the lines as an absolute to contrast with the reasons I agree with you and Kevin about some of the magical thinking I see. I did it because I agree with you the likely consequence is “We’ll do as we always do – good ol’ trial and error.”

        I find it problematic that the proposals often are a demand system. I do include the carbon tax as a demand system, since there are no real goods, or desired, by the buyer, efficiencies. Demand systems presuppose such things as winners, often vacating the learning part of the trial and error. Worse,other market approaches similar to the proposals, such as SO2 market, had economically close competitor(s). This problem of fuel replacement is compounded by subverting the winner of the good ol trial and error approach which has been a relatively free, free market.

        The problems and opportunity costs with not having a system that communicates, IMO, have been severely underestimated. In my professional experience, communication is the key to successful implementation of goals, policies, especially wrt physical units. These real costs that you, Kevin, and I agree to meeting the proposed goals, IMO, can climb exponentially from either the wrong system, demand for example, or choosing a timeline shorter than what is possible. Further, abandoning the utility of incremental costs and investments, not only drastically increases cost; but that there is the apparent ignoring of the basic fact that increasing costs indicate increasing likelihood of failure. This last point is the most important in my opinion. It indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of what is possible, thus the most likely outcome is the huge cost of failure in terms of both the monies, and the lost opportunities.

    • johnfpittman

      Thanks Joshua, I saw a lead in but not a synopsis.

      I would assume that such is true of scientists wrt ACC, but look how good the last assumption I made was.

  33. Dr. Curry’s comments on the paper are very insightful — the proposal (a fine bit of fruit-cake-ery if taken seriously) provides policy makers with a realistic look at what it might mean to actually, really, attempt to reduce emissions on a massive scale. In full light of day, such an attempt is almost virtually impossible without giving up modern civilization.

    So that leaves us with the question : If not that, then what?

    Curry’s final paragraph is a pretty good summary:
    “Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me. The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies. Independent of all this, we can reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.”

    I lean towards “a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free [or very low emissions] energy technologies.”.

    Of course, the “no regrets” actions — reduce real air pollution, plan for inevitable continuing sea level rise, harden cities and towns to better stand up to hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, forbid building on land vulnerable to flooding — need to be undertaken in a big way starting ten years ago.

    • New energy technologies period. Emissions free is the least of my concerns, because we are running out of fossil fuels, and we are going to feel the crunch within the next few decades.

  34. One would need to address the precautionary principle along with harmonization in order to bring these climate issues, concerns and problems with rules and regs front and center.

    Bruce Moran


    • The precautionary principle as it is formulated in Wikipedia is two sided:
      “The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus (that the action or policy is not harmful), the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action that may or may not be a risk.”

      Environmentalists don´t seem to care much about the possible harms to the public. Environmentalism should not be confused with humanism.

      The policy propounded by United Nations and environmentalists may cause rising prices due to higher energy costs by a mechanism called cost-push inflation:
      “Cost-push inflation occurs when we experience rising prices due to higher costs of production and higher costs of raw materials. Cost push inflation is determined by supply side factors (cost-push inflation is different to demand-pull inflation which occurs due to aggregate demand growing faster than aggregate supply)
      The long-term solution to cost-push inflation could be better supply-side policies which help to increase productivity”
      Cost Push Inflation

      Energy price influences on production costs e.g.: Rising cost of energy will cause rising cost of fertilizer that will then cause rising food prices.

      The policy propounded by United Nations may cause harm to the public, in particular to the poor, by energy poverty and by rising prices on food, fuel, and electricity.

  35. Heartland went by this week without any note from Judith on it. Their “science” panel of Singer, Easterbrook, Soon, conclude it hasn’t warmed since the 1970’s, and if it has, it is the sun and PDO cycles, anything but CO2. Monckton also spouted some unintelligible mathematical argument in his speech.

    • Moncktons talk was huge. If you found it unintelligible, then you had better educate yourself. That is a big problem for your credibility, Jim D.
      He and I have been debating Bode since my guest post here a couple of years ago on his ‘irreducibly simple equation’ (which is further reducible) both here and at his subsequent posts at WUWT. He has finally got all of the math verifiably correct, and gotten rid of his unnecessary sideshows. His mathematically derived conclusion is a no feedbacks ‘simple’ CO2 doubling of 1.16C, or 0.7 with the Happer correction. ECS ~1.6 without the Happer. correction, less with. That foots to observational estimates such as Lewis and Curry 2014.
      It also means all CAGW concerns go away and that the SCC is close to zero or even negative (net benefit). Thats an endgame checkmate.

      • I look forwards to a post by you on this here, because last I saw you trashed Monckton on his paper, so this is a major turnaround. Color me skeptical.

      • When he verifies his idea with an electrical circuit instead of explaining the 33 K greenhouse effect on the real earth (which I doubt he can with his numbers), that is a deviation from the way climate science verifies. First you have to explain the current climate, otherwise you have a non-starter. Monckton has not realized this, and perhaps you can nudge him in this direction.

      • Jim D, I trashed his previous paper because it wasn’t right. I explained the corrections, made them, plugged in onservational reasonable values from his paper, and came out ECS 1.6-1.7, NOT zero or less.
        I applaud the draft of his new paper (essence presented in his talk) because the mathematics is right. (1) The no feedbacks canonical 1.16C is wrong because of a flaw the world’s foremost optical physicist (Will Happer of Primceton) described in 2015. The correct number is ~0.7C because the GHE at the molecular level is not instantaneous, there is about a 1.6 picosecond delay. That means the GHE ‘optical fog to IR’ is less that if the response was instantaneous. (2) The implicit form of the IPCC feedback equation is wrong when translated into the classical classic Bode feedback curve analysis. The forward amplification ‘mu’ is correct, but the backward feedback on source ‘beta’ is overstated. When the math is done correctly per Bode, the beta is small.
        Applying the two PROVEN mathematical corrections for the IPCC AR5 AGW forcing estimates(all sources) and their 1 sigma uncertainty results in a minimum possible ECS 1.3C, a central estimate 1.6C, and most importantly a maximum possible of 1.9C. Cancel the alarm. Out goes the precautionary principle argument.
        In essence, the essential consensus science on ECS has just been proven mathematically wrong using their own equation and values. Corrected ECS corresponds with observational ECS. Thats good.
        There are two corrollaries. 1. CMIP5 is proven wrong in yet another way. (There are at least 3 others I know of: the Christy chart of the tropical troposphere models versus reality, parameter tuning/attribution, absolute rather than anomaly temperature comparisons/phase change of water.) 2. The SCC is negligible.

      • Jim D, the 33K GHE is almost all water vapor (-18C w/o wtaer vapor, +15C with). There is nothing to explain.
        Monckton addresses the CAGW GHE, which is mainly CO2 and its feedbacks. It is built (as we now know in orrectly) on top of the 33K.

      • If it can’t predict/explain the 33 K, it is worthless. Same with him working backwards from 2.25 K that he pulled out of a hat. It has no predictive power at all, meaning it is not science.

      • Jim D, unfortunately for you those here that follow up will realize how hollow your arguments ring. I sincerelynhope many do. You should follow the Army’s first rule of holes: when in one and want out, first stop digging.

      • His method of defining feedback relative to the absolute temperature is worthless. If you add a degree and the feedback adds a degree or more you get a runaway feedback and an unstable climate, as should be obvious, and as predicted by the standard way of doing it with f>1. Under his method, does this give an unstable climate? Feedbacks act to amplify the perturbation and are directly proportional to it not to the absolute temperature, where it is linearly proportional, but not directly, which is why his method goes wrong.

      • Jim D, provide your math and not your mere verbosity. You lost all credibility here when you said just upthread that Monckton was (your own words) “unintelligible”. To you, probably yes. To the rest of us, nope.
        Cause math just is. period. Which was the clear main point of Monckton’s Comstraints talk.

      • The feedback is directly proportional to the perturbation, no? Derive the formula based on that. It is not Monckton’s.

      • “If it can’t predict/explain the 33 K, it is worthless. Same with him working backwards from 2.25 K that he pulled out of a hat. It has no predictive power at all, meaning it is not science.”

        Well, the 33K assumption is based on a questionable thermodynamic assumption that the zeroth law applies to two averages of energy compared to two averages of temperature. If is a bit like saying the average of the intake and exhaust air temperature will equal the average of the energy of the inlet and outlet water. When your argument keeps reverting to a questionable assumption, your logic is toast.

      • captd, the 33 K is the difference between 288 K and 255 K. It is very real and not an assumption, and that difference is because of the atmosphere.

      • JimD, “captd, the 33 K is the difference between 288 K and 255 K. It is very real and not an assumption, and that difference is because of the atmosphere.”

        No, it is the difference between 288K +/- a bit that should be equivalent to 390Wm-2 provided you can ignore a 100 or so Wm-2 and 240Wm-2 +/- a bit that should be the equivalent of 255K. You keep reverting back to a crude at best ballpark estimate as if it is a religious law.

      • captd, sure, you can express it as 150 W/m2 of greenhouse effect too. If you prefer that, fine. Can Monckton’s so-called model produce that number? No, because it is designed to start with the answer and work backwards. See his demo of doing just that at Heartland.

      • JimD, “captd, sure, you can express it as 150 W/m2 of greenhouse effect too. ”

        You can not express it and produce a variety of estimates for Sensitivity as defined as a response to a doubling of CO2 in a number of ways. Current estimates of forcing are ~1.9 w,-2 for CO2, 0.50 for CH4, 0.9 for BC etc. and the “no feedback” sensitivity falls in a range of 0.5C to 1.2C which is lower than the original estimate of 1.5 C degrees. Since all of these are small with respect to 150 W,-2, your dated argument is crapola i.e. irrelevant.

        Manabe even did care much for your argument and mentioned the greenhouse effect could be much larger if you chose another frame of reference. Other than the peanut gallery, the 33C +/- a degree or so, is restricted to cartoons and grade schools.

      • BTW, since “no feedback” sensitivity is an idealization, what would the sensitivity be for an Earth made of pure rock? Since you have No Feedback, the only thing you need to figure out is what impact 70% of the planet being liquid with 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere might have.

      • captd, the 150 W/m2 is different from the sensitivity argument. I mention it because unless you have physics that can explain that 150 W/m2 and give you that 33 K, your physics is not worth much, let alone using it to calculate a sensitivity. It is very important to be able to explain the current climate before going on to the future climate. If Happer has 40% less CO2 effect, I doubt he can explain the current climate with it, and that is the first test. Does he even get close to 150 W/m2 of greenhouse effect?

      • JimD, You keep reverting to an irrelevant assumption built on assumptions. With Rock Earth you would ~340 Wm-2 at the real surface instead of ~160 because clouds, snow and ice disappear. That is 180 Wm-2 redistributed by water in its various phases. You remember the “cloud feedback has to be positive” assumption needed for high sensitivity don’t you. That isn’t working out all that well IIRC.

        When you drop all the idiot assumptions you have actual data that indicates lower sensitivity. If you have to revert to the same assumption every time to get “your” answer you have an ideology, not science. High sensitivity to CO2 is dead Jim, much like string theory.

      • In the real world – the one Jimmy avoids at all costs – the difference in forcing between a glacial max and today is about 25W/m2 as a global average – with a 5K temperature increase. So 0.2K/W/m2. Seems about right.

      • RIE, that is the response to an albedo change. With your 25 W/m2, the forcing goes from 240 W/m2 to 215 W/m2, and you can work out that the equilibrium temperature has to drop by 7 K to balance that out, 255 K to 248 K. Albedo in action. Not to confused with fixed-albedo CO2 forcing that increases the gradient between the top and surface like an insulator.

      • RIE, you change the net energy from 240 to 215 W/m2, and the radiative equilibrium temperature changes correspondingly. Easy to calculate. There was also a CO2 change but that was only about 2 W/m2, worth 1-2 C with feedbacks. It was mostly albedo.

      • If you know the net radiation at the top which only depends on the albedo, you know the equilibrium temperature at the top. This is how we get 255 K for 240 W/m2 at 0.3 albedo. What you don’t know is the change at the surface because that depends on the GHG change. You didn’t say whether your 25 W/m2 was at the top or the surface. When we double GHGs, there is no change at the top unless the albedo responds.

      • The planet is a at about 290K and it’s based on surface data. Albedo is 30% plus or minus – different data sources. Each of these change considerably and change all the time.

        I assume you are thinking there is a 33K greenhouse effect – but it is a solar/albedo feedback in the real world and changes only marginally – some 2W/m2 from a glacial to an interglacial. Then you did some sort of interpolation between a 25W/m2 increase in energy (the albedo forcing) and a 255k base temperature with only Sun and relectance. I assume.
        Beyond that you spiral further into narrative incoherence.

        Changes in temperature –
        whatever the source – depend only on the toa radianive imbalance.

        0.2K/W/m2 is a simple Fermi estimate and seems reasonable. A little less than half 20th century warming. It includes all forcing and all feedbacks.

        It is based on estimates of ice cover at glacial max and temperature proxies. You see the difference between you and me? It is called data.

        There is unfortunately no certainty in 20th century data – we do not know what the natural warming was. Attempts to disentangle the mess are misguided exercises in angel counting at best. Yours an Monckton’s.

      • RIE, there is a 33 K difference between the radiative temperature at the top (255 K) and the surface temperature (288 K). This is entirely due to the atmosphere minus its albedo effect. A non-GHG atmosphere would leave the surface 33 K colder. So, 33 K is a measure of the greenhouse effect in temperature terms whether you like it or not.

    • By the time CO2 doubles and the temperature increases 3 C, we could be in the range of 15-20 W/m2 extra surface downward IR too. Not an Ice Age sized change, but in the ballpark. This is why the glaciers keep melting.

    • You give numbers, but you can’t take them. Water vapor amplified the Ice Ages, and now will amplify the CO2 injection. It works both ways.

    • You didn’t do the calculation. Each degree gives you 5 W/m2 extra downward IR, mainly through water vapor increases on top of the temperature increase itself.

    • 3 degrees is total nonsense – at most warming is 0.087 degrees C per decade and the likelihood of that persisting seems remote.

      Combined radiative/lapse rate water vapour feedback may be a 50% increase at worst – and that is certainly questionable as well.


      Just because a calculation can be done doesn’t mean it is worth doing. And you are more likely to have got a narrative off one of your sites than to have done any calculation at all – or ever to have had an original thought.

      My conclusion on this is that sceptics are likely wrong but more likely to review assumptions – warmists are guaranteed to be wrong and to never question group memes.

  36. I am reminded of those folk that severely curtail their caloric intake for the purpose of prolonging life,
    They are forced to limit physical activity and have trouble staying warm.
    Kinda of drag if it doesn’t work.

  37. “Technologies to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere have to start scaling up massively, until we’re artificially pulling 5 gigatons of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere by 2050 — nearly double what all the world’s trees and soils already do.”

    I hope these people realize that when the atmospheric CO2 drops to 150ppm all the plants on the planet will die and so will everything else.

    • It doesn’t matter. Pulling CO2 out of the air can only be approached effectively via geoengineering, and that’s going to require decades of research and pilots. And thus far they are opposed to it because it doesn’t fit their political agenda.

      • No research needed. Mother Nature invented ocean coccolithophids and diatoms to make carbonate rock. Fortunately she also invented plate tectonics and subduction zones to recycle carbonates into atmospheric CO2, else life would have ceased long ago.

  38. IOW a plan to cut the population by half every decade.

  39. This is ideologically driven drivel. The case has not been made that any policy is needed. There is no valid justification for the premise that 2C warming is dangerous or even will cause overall negative impacts.

  40. Dr Curry: A risk in your strategy of questioning the feasibility of the proposed roadmap is that you may thereby be implicitly affirming its desirability. (At least, that is how it could be spun for political purposes.) Then, of course, you become then vulnerable to accusations of a failure of imagination or courage. The fundamental point, as I understand you and many of your commentators, is that the derivative of temperature change with respect to CO2 is far from known. Moore’s law applies to transistors whose benefit – computing power – is known, and the cost of its development and manufacture limited to the income statements and balance sheets of Intel and its competitors. The proposed “Carbon Law” has a benefit – 2-degree C temperature increase containment – that is undetermined with respect to its the magnitude of its potential causes, and whose costs are massive. I would encourage you to challenge the premise of the roadmap as your primary argument, and make its infeasibility an “oh, by the way”.

    • typo … should read “with respect to the relative magnitudes of its potential causes”

    • William,

      would encourage you to challenge the premise of the roadmap as your primary argument, and make its infeasibility an “oh, by the way”.

      I agree 100%. It’s about time more rational people spoke up and poited out the bleeding obvious – as you have done, clearly and succinctly in this comment.

  41. The global COP21 commitments amount to a 3.2 billion tonne increase in CO2-eq emissions to 2030 at a cost of $13.7 trillion (EIA 2015). Is this paper an example of the growing desperation as they realise that the world has pulled a shifty and chosen a high growth/high energy path – and that the delusional 2 degree target is merely rhetoric?

    To meet Australian 2030 commitments – a 26-28% reduction from 2005 – we need to find about a billion metric tonnes of CO2-eq mitigation. The 2020 commitment is already in the bag due to a couple of factors.


    “The changes since the April 2016 projection reflect lower than previously projected emissions growth across the economy, particularly due to:

    • the announcement in November 2016 of the forthcoming closure of Hazelwood power station in Victoria due to occur in April 2017
    • lower projected electricity demand due to improved energy efficiency
    • lower expected emissions in the land sector, as new data confirms that emissions from land clearing are been (sic) lower than previously estimated
    • improvements in the national greenhouse gas inventory, which have revised historical estimates of land sector emissions – lower deforestation rates and higher sparse vegetation gains have contributed to a revised estimate of 527 Mt CO2 -e in 2015.”

    Hazelwood is an aging brown coal generator – and rising power costs have stimulated energy savings. We have 128 million tonnes credit from our 108% Kyoto target. And some 97 million tonnes abatement mostly from the land sector. We are already 224 million tonnes into the abatement task for 2020-2030. Where is the rest coming from?


    The land use sector that enabled us to exceed the Kyoto target after 2005 – and will continue to evolve ever more creatively into the future. Mostly as projects to rehabilitate degraded landscapes across the Australian continent. Which I am entirely in favour of.

    “By running projects to reduce emissions, businesses, local councils, State governments, land managers and others can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). These units can be sold to either to the Australian Government through a carbon abatement contract, or to other businesses seeking to offset their emissions.

    These projects generate revenue for participating businesses. Other benefits include reduced energy bills, productivity improvement, biodiversity outcomes, employment opportunities for regional and Indigenous Australians.

    The fund provides a broad range of opportunities to reduce emissions across the economy. Over 650 projects have been registered under many eligible activities, including:

    • improving energy efficiency in buildings and industrial facilities by upgrading lights and equipment
    • diverting waste from landfill and using gas from wastewater to generate electricity
    • reducing emissions on the land by protecting native forest that would otherwise have been cleared, savanna fire management, reducing emissions from beef cattle production, or revegetating marginal country.

    The Government has committed $2.55 billion to purchase emissions reductions. Four auctions have been held so far, resulting in 397 projects securing carbon abatement contracts to deliver 178 million tonnes of abatement at an average price of $11.83. This is helping Australia meet its 2020 and 2030 emissions reductions targets. Over $440 million remains in the fund to purchase further abatement.”

    The bottom line is that we need about another 600 million tonnes of abatement at a cost of less than $10 billion – easy peasy. It’s not nearly ambitious enough – when factoring in private expenditure. And we want your used nuclear fuel.


  42. Almost five years ago, I wrote a post in which I had noted inter alia the prescient words of Dennis Prager. In Feb. 2007, Prager’s thoughts included the following:

    it would not be surprising that soon, in Europe, global warming deniers will be treated as Holocaust deniers and prosecuted. Just watch. That is far more likely than the oceans rising by 20 feet. Or even 10. Or even three.

    And here we are, a mere ten years later, with lawsuits flying left, right and centre; not only in Europe, but also in North America – and elsewhere. Not to mention that Facebook and Twitter seem to be jumping on the “censorship” bandwagon. IOW, it is turning out to be, well, far worse than Prager thought!

    More recently during the course of the proceedings of one of the ever-increasing arms, elbows, hands and fingers of the UN’s recycling exercises – and increasingly desperate search for hashtags and/or slogans that will set the world on the “right” path – the following words of wisdom emerged:

    Italy stressed the role of climate change in triggering the European migration and refugee crisis. He called for finalizing the Paris Agreement rule book by the end of 2018.
    During a brief wrap up session on Thursday [March 23], Andrew Steer said the Action Event had started with a sobering presentation on the state of climate science, which showed that it is “here, it is real, and it looks like it is worse than we thought.” However, the plenary session had also brought forth seven sources of hope.


    Good to know that Italy had the decency to acknowledge the “refugee crisis” – the consequences of which are far more pressing, although the knee-jerk attributed “triggering” link is highly dubious!

    OTOH, how very sad that Rockstrom and Schellnhuber’s word salad was not published in time to be taken into consideration during the “extended” proceedings of the above “High-Level SDG Action Event: Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda”.

    Interestingly – albeit perhaps inadvertently – Steer’s “credentials” and/or affiliations were omitted. However, not surprisingly, his pedigree includes:

    President and CEO of the World Resources Institute [… who joined] WRI from the World Bank, where he served as Special Envoy for Climate Change from 2010 – 2012. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Director General at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) in London. […] educated at St Andrews University, Scotland, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University. He has a PhD in economics.

    Even as we type, as I have noted elsewhere (notwithstanding the fact that for some unfathomable reason I have been designated by the UNFCCC’s twitter powers that be as forbidden to see their droppings!) the G20 Finance Ministers have been convened by PIK-nik and yet another “economist” – and obvious product of the decline in education since the mid ’70’s – AR5 WGIII’s Co-Chair, Ottmar “It was never about the climate” Edenhofer:

    [A group comprised of unnamed “experts”] proposes low-carbon growth stimulation through a steep increase in sustainable infrastructure, mobilizing sustainable finance, and adoption of carbon pricing. This would simultaneously achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the experts argue. [my bold -hro]

    Not to mention that Christiana (aka Tinkerbell) Figueres, now happily ensconced somewhere in London, has declared that “Green cities will change the world”!

    In short, IMHO, signals abound that the UN has long been in the process of rolling off the “global warming/climate [whatevers]” bandwagon and onto – in their view – the perhaps more “profitable” sustainable development mantra gravy train.

    Perhaps it’s time – if not long past time – for the real democracies of the world to seriously consider a UN-exit movement?!

    • It is never worse than we thought – just not less troubling.

      The Top UN Climate Change Official is optimistic that a new international treaty will be adopted at Paris Climate Change conference at the end of the year. However, the official, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, warns that the fight against climate change is a process and that the necessary transformation of the world economy will not be decided at one conference or in one agreement.

      “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

      “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.” UNRIC

    • Facebook is a strange company. It does interesting experiments on human behavior. I suspect that they helped Obama get re-elected to see if they could. They couldn’t do the same for Hillary.

      Their potential business depends on advertising, which is saturated. They can only really take share from other marketers. Their big impacts seem to be ‘flash in the pan’;they can produce a big result once, but society adapts and it is not reproducible.

    • I suggest splitting United Nations. Keep what is clearly in line with its charter – Article 1.1

      “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;”

      Everything else should be left to survive on its own – like other political, idealistic, activist, and non-governmental organizations.

      «The primary, the fundamental, the essential purpose of the United Nations is to keep peace. Everything it does which helps prevent World War III is good. Everything which does not further that goal, either directly or indirectly, is at best superfluous.»
      — Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

      “The Utopian attempt to realize an ideal state, using a blueprint of society as a whole, is one which demands a strong centralized rule of a few, and which is therefore likely to lead to a dictatorship.”
      ― Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

      “It can’t happen here” is always wrong: a dictatorship can happen anywhere.”
      ― Karl Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography

      “The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.”
      — Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General from 1953 to 1961

      “You cannot have democratic accountability in anything bigger than a nation state.”
      – Vaclav Klaus

      • Quote for today, an old one but a good one:

        ‘The whole purpose of guvuhmint is to keep the populace
        alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by
        menacing it with a series ofhobgoblins all of them imaginary,’

        R.H. Mencken.

      • Err … make that his brother, H.L. Mencken.

      • ‘The whole purpose of guvuhmint is to keep the populace
        alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by
        menacing it with a series of hobgoblins all of them imaginary,’

        Climate change sure seems like an effective hobgoblin. It’s made more scary because it only lives in the inaccessible domicile of the imaginations of the future, so precise descriptions are not possible.

        I have recently stumbled across the Hegelian Dialectic. Hegel believed framing thesis against antithesis led to resolution of a synthesis. Unfortunately, Hegel also believed most humans could grasp only a dichotomy, so most human response is a synthesis that consists only of the original thesis or antithesis, and not a nuanced understanding.

        Many seem to have taken Hegel’s ideas and used them to describe the evolution of democratic politics ( why in the US, the dichotomy of the two major political parties arose, and why people conceive of them as distinct and opposite, when in reality they’ve grown quite similar ).

        But along the lines of Mencken’s quote, others have noted how politicians use Hegel’s concepts to manipulate the masses. They find some usually frightening idea and pose it as the thesis, and actually invite the antithesis with the notion that original thesis will be scary enough to marginalize any nuanced analysis, or worse, cast the antithesis advocates as traitors would welcome the harm posed by the thesis.

        Unscrupulous politicians would actually stage a ‘false flag’ attack ( or threat ). But even a ‘real flag’ attack can be used to play upon the public’s fears and the media become willing or unwilling accomplices to the politicians ends. The boiler explosion on the USS Maine, the ‘Fire in the Reichstag’, WMD in Iraq may all be examples. And of course, so too Climate Change.

      • Curious George

        Surely the UN does not need a financial support from the US any more.

  43. The topic of a 40-year plan, 100-year plan or 1000-year plan to pilot humankind should invoke the realizations of such necessities by the 1930s intellectuals concerned about technology allowing populations (especially of undesirables) to explode if not brought under rule. The holocaust is but one lesson learned from the bias in extrapolation of only what is known rather than considering the also the known unknowables. Although there are many global problems today they are not as envisioned by those of the 1930s or even of the 1960s “Population Bomb” forecasts.

    Futurists as much as economists are necessary to be consulted if one is even going to attempt a 40-year plan to transform economies into fully recycling, zero polluting form. This will take energy abundance, not scarcity. Nuclear fusion is not a what if, it’s a necessity. If we could create a Moon landing program together and succeed in 10 years we could do the same for fusion.

    Once energy is abundant structural hardening and geoengineering become much more economical, from Lomborg spouts over Greenland to massive artificial island dredging to lower sea levels. All the while, with such mitigation in place, the 2C warming and fertilization effect of CO2 will be enhancements to the environment, not plagues. How can one advocate precautionary principles (bringing CO2 to Little Ice Age levels) putting the global climate primed and ready for cascading glacial advance at any event that puts unexpected levels of aerosols in the atmosphere or causes cooling by other means? Wouldn’t be much better to control GMST directly? How? I can imagine several ways but I know others could find dozens more that are better within 40 years.

  44. Pingback: A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals – NZ Conservative Coalition

  45. What would help is a rough estimate of what size drop in living standards this will entail.
    25% ? 50% ? 75% ? …..

  46. I wonder if the author understood his personal hubris when he wrote “alarming inconsistencies remain between science-based targets and national commitments. ”

    A “science based target” is disconnected from the real world. I don’t think these scientists understand they had better show their proposal’s economic benefits.

  47. So someone finally wants to take the “reality is socially constructed” meme to the test. The whole problem from the outset was not enough people intensely wishing the CO2 to go away.

    Very important paper. Waiting for a more sophisticated follow up about how to form private and public energy circles to improve on wish strength.
    Germans are very good at forming public chains holding hands and wishing for something good. No wonder we are so far ahead with our Energiewende.

  48. It’s good to read wide and far, but Vox sure strikes me as quite ideological and dogmatic and not a source of insight.

    Even so, considering:

    “Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have to fall in half each decade. “

    Assuming that CO2 uptake rates, which are currently around 50% of emissions, remained at constant, this implies an immediate cooling trend.

    Would a cooling trend be more destabilizing of the climate than stasis or a continued warming trend?

    I believe it would. Assuming ( and it’s probably more complicated than the popular assumptions ) that cooling led to increasing Arctic sea ice, gradients would begin increasing ( more intense mid-latitude storms ) on top of increase heat from the oceans ( heat will emerge as the atmosphere cools ).

    Too rapid a decrease in CO2 causes climate change!

    Fortunately, it appears that secular slow declines ( more than 75% of CO2 emissions are from nations with low and falling fertility rates ) are baked in the cake. No climate change scare mongering necessary.

  49. Pingback: A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals | privateclientweb

  50. Actually, Climate Change can be halted, and even reversed, at essentially no expense.

    All that is required is to recognize that “greenhouse gasses” are not the cause of global warming, but that it is caused by the removal of anthropogenic SO2 aerosols from the atmosphere due to Clean Air efforts.

    This is all proven in my post “Climate Change Deciphered”, which can be viewed by Googling the title.

    (In addition, it turns out that the cause and timings of all El Ninos since 1850
    follow the same pattern.of temporary reductions in SO2 aerosol emissions)

    Comments, anyone?

    • Dunno about circulation changes, but it’s certainly worth noting that there is now less SO2 in the US atmosphere than there was before the invention of the automobile. Whatever the past SO2 influences, they’re effectively zero now in the US:

      • Turbulent Eddie:

        Yes, SO2 emissions have been falling in the US and abroad, which is why temperatures have been rising .(when they are not offset by rising emissions in the Far East, La Ninas or by volcanic eruptions.).

        In 2011, Global Anthropogenic SO2 emissions totaled 101 Megatonnes, and have since fallen by an estimated 15 Megatonnes, leading to the higher temperatures currently being experienced.

        Note that Globai SO2 emissions are still around 85 Megatonnes–lots of room for more warming, unless their continued removal is halted.

    • Burl, most lukewarmers believe the IPCC models are tuned too sensitive to SO2 in order to mask over-sensitivity to CO2. Are you suggesting that GCMs are too insensitive to SO2?

      What is the cause of the Quaternary Ice age in your hypothesis? The “consensus” view is that a CO2 diminished due to uptake from exposed limestone from rock weathering after tectonic uplifting. The lower CO2 caused gradual cooling until polar ice albedo positive glaciation feedback loop plunged temperatures, punctuated by Milankovitch caused interstadials and interglacials. If lack of CO2 did not cause any cooling then what did in your theory?

      • Ron Graf::

        Yes, their models far are too insensitive to SO2.

        The IPCC Diagram of radiative forcings, for example, has NO component for warming due to the removal of dimming SO2 aerosols from the atmosphere, which I show happens during every business recession.

        Regarding the Quarternary Ice Age (and probably all others) they were simply preceded by extensive volcanism.spewing dimming SO2 aerosols into the atmosphere.(see the Wikipedia article “Timetable of Major Worldwide Volcanic Eruptions” which discusses the Large Quaternary eruptions on page 2).

        The Little Ice Age can also be traced to volcanic eruptions,

      • “The Little Ice Age can also be traced to volcanic eruptions.”

        Although I think many in the consensus agree that volcanic eruptions accounted for part of the ocean cooling during the LIA, your model would have to show that volcanic activity had steadily increased over the last 50 million years in parallel with GMST decline.

        With Argo robots now taking the ocean temps at depths from surface to 2000m it will be interesting if we get to observe the effects of another major eruption in order to calibrate this variable.

      • Ron Graf:

        You said “Your model would have to show that volcanic activity had steadily increased over the last 50 million years in parallel with GMST decline”.

        The Deccan traps eruptions started about 250,000 years before the Chicxulub asterioid strike of 66 million years ago, and continued for half a million years longer. The shock of the strike would have triggered more volcanism, and more dimming SO2 emissions, so that the Permian extinctions were probably due to extensive glaciation of the Earth.

        Once heavily glaciated, it would not take many large eruptions to maintain the lower temperatures.. (The Mount Tambora eruption in 1815, for example, lowered average global temperatures by 5 deg. C., and its cooling effects lasted for about 5 years).

        Although plausible, the above is largely speculation. However, my model is not speculative, in that it precisely describes what has happened to Earth’s climate over the past 150+ years due to changing levels of SO2, and completely excludes any warming due to CO2.

        This information does need to be acted upon, to avoid ever-increasing warming.

        I fail to understand your interest in the measurement of deep sea temperatures. They have no predictive ability, and simply change in response to changing levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, as my graph shows..


      • I fail to understand your interest in the measurement of deep sea temperatures.

        Deep sea is a relative term. I’m certain your model uses the ocean heat content OHC to bank the volcanic aerosol cooling, like in the 1815 Tambora eruption. But in 1815 we had no direct temperature observations except for Central England Temperatures CET and I don’t see a significant signal there. I look for it in every proxy reconstruction also but that’s a different story.

        I hope you agree that if we have another Tambora or even Pinatubo-like eruption in the next 10 years that Argo sea temperature measurements would either confirm or falsify your model. In that way your model is much more valuable than the IPCC GCMs that can’t so easily be falsified or validated.

      • Curious George

        “In 1815 we had no direct temperature observations except for CET.” You don’t know much, do you?

      • George, I’m open to learning of other reliable instrumental time series operating in 1815. Perhaps you can share your charts and we can compare and contrast with CET.

      • reliable instrumental time series operating in 1815.

        Yeah, I was quite disappointed to understand how few reliable and continuously operating stations are available even from 1915.

        You’ve got US coverage, some Europe, some Japan, and some Australia. That’s it.

        TAVG records are typically a patchwork of transient stations. The stitching together of the anomaly trends assumes that neighboring anomalies and trends of anomalies are spatially coherent. Even if that’s true, the coming and going of stations can distort the spatially weighted means.

      • TE and RG,
        Since 2014 was 0.01*C warmest year with error of 10X of 0.1*C what do you think of the warmest ever Meme? Not counting El Nino years 2015 and 2016.

        also, how much of the increase is due to the estimated Arctic and kriegged temperatures without any measurements but the few Ron showed in his comment above?


      • Curious George

        For more data, see
        The list begins
        Station Name Months Distance (km) Earliest Most Recent
        DE BILT AWS 3688 Inside Jan 1706 Oct 2013
        UPPSALA 3497 Inside Feb 1722 Oct 2013
        BERLIN-TE 3470 Inside Jan 1701 Oct 2013
        GENEVA-CO 3124 Inside Jan 1753 Oct 2013
        ST.PETERSBURG 3108 Inside Apr 1743 Oct 2013
        STOCKHOLM 3086 Inside Jan 1756 Oct 2013
        BASEL BINN 3047 Inside Jan 1755 Oct 2013
        KREMSMUE 2950 Inside Mar 1767 Oct 2013
        BERLIN-DAHL 2932 Inside Jan 1769 Oct 2013
        Trondheim/Va 2918 Inside Jan 1762 May 2011
        MILANO LINA 2909 Inside Jan 1763 Oct 2013
        WIEN (HOHE 2859 Inside Jan 1775 Oct 2013

      • what do you think of the warmest ever Meme? Not counting El Nino years 2015 and 2016.
        The surface/RAOB/MSU are all roughly consistent, so, sure.

        how much of the increase is due to the estimated Arctic and kriegged temperatures without any measurements but the few Ron showed in his comment above?
        Well, the Arctic probably is warmer with thinner sea ice.

        So the GMST probably is higher. To what end? Things seem to be OK today.

      • George, thanks for the link. After clicking on the individual stations to see plots I did not see any bumps for Tambora, which is kind of surprising since if caused the “year without a summer” and supposedly lowered GMST. Here is the plot for BEST from 1800-1850. There is no dip, only a 20-year rise starting from 1812.

        Does anyone else think this is mysterious? Tambora was a 7 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index and was the largest eruption in 2-10K years. It laid down the most concentrated sulfur layer in 5K years. It put 10X the amount of material in the atmosphere than Mt. Pinatubo, the largest eruption in the 20th century.

        Why don’t the surface stations operating in 1815 pick it up?

      • Ron

        I am not the slightest bit surprised at the lack of reaction to Tambora. As I have illustrated dozens of times here, through my research into 1000 years of British climate the effect of volcanoes is very hard to discern. At most they affect a season or two or, exceptionally a year. Many volcanoes seem to have occurred during a downturn anyway and they merely continue that trend, they rarely seem to cause one of their own


      • TonyB,

        Could you help me please? I want to download the average annual air temperature per degree latitude (+90 to -90 in 1 degree increments). I’d like an average centered on year 2000 (e.g. average for 1990 to 2010 for every degree latitude).

        I want whatever is regarded as the best data (no adjustments, no heat island effect). I haven’t followed the debate on temperature data closely and don’t know which sites are regarded as the best: NASA, GISS, NOAA, UCLA, etc. I can get data from NOAA https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl but I think only 1 degree latitude at a time so I’d have to compile 180 downloads. And I am not sure whether or not NOAA is the best data for my purpose.

        Could you advise me on this please?

      • Curious George

        Ron, I just don’t know how to do it – can you get a mean August temperature for years 1800-1830? A bump may be visible there.

      • Tonyb, thanks for commenting. I think I hear you saying that you’ve been perplexed by the lack of volcanic response in the early instrumental record. Considering Mt. Pinatubo (1991) and El Chichon (1982) eruptions show a significant instrumental dip as well as in model hindcasts, isn’t this a mystery to be solved? It seems that looking at other earlier, larger eruptions there is little trace of impact on GMST.
        1815 Tambora (BEST plot 1805-1825)
        1883 Krakatoa (BEST plot 1873-1893)
        1912 Novarupta (BEST plot 1902-1922)
        1963 Agung (BEST plot 1953-1973)
        1982 El Chichon (BEST plot 1972-1992)
        1991 Pinatubo (BEST plot 1981-2001)

        But volcanic aerosols fed into GCMs produce the LIA in paleo reconstructions like McGregor (2015) Oceans2K attribute the LIA to volcanic eruption frequency.

        Climate simulations using single and cumulative forcings suggest that the ocean surface cooling trend from 801 to 1800 CE is not primarily a response to orbital forcing but arises from a high frequency of explosive volcanism. Our results show that repeated clusters of volcanic eruptions can induce a net negative radiative forcing that results in a centennial and global scale cooling trend via a decline in mixed-layer oceanic heat content.

        Either there is something wrong with the early instrumental record or the volcanic cooling hypothesis.

      • Ron Graf | March 30, 2017 at 12:43 am |

        Tonyb, thanks for commenting. I think I hear you saying that you’ve been perplexed by the lack of volcanic response in the early instrumental record. Considering Mt. Pinatubo (1991) and El Chichon (1982) eruptions show a significant instrumental dip as well as in model hindcasts, isn’t this a mystery to be solved? It seems that looking at other earlier, larger eruptions there is little trace of impact on GMST.

        Ron, generally any temperature change from an eruption is 1) local, 2) relatively small, and 3) short-lived.

        In that regard, your claim about El Chichon is wrong. Take another look at your graph. While there is an instrumental dip after Pinatubo, there is no such dip after El Chichon. In fact, after the eruption, the global temperature rose.

        The bogus claim that volcanoes have a huge effect on climate is a result of the equally bogus claim that temperature is a linear function of forcing. You see, if the Forcing Roolz hypothesis is true, then the known and measurable drop in forcing from stratospheric volcanic aerosols MUST have a corresponding temperature drop …

        … except, they don’t have such an effect.

        I’ve written extensively on the subject of the tiny effect volcanoes on global mean temperatures over at WUWT, scroll down for more examples.


      • Willis,

        I agree that El Chichon is inconclusive, short lived and weak. Considering the plot is of a very robust (1980s) 20-year BEST interval, and of land surface, which in every scenario would be more sensitive to atmospheric forcing than SST, is particularly eye-opening.

        1) How do you deal with the argument that forcing must rule at some point? After all, how much heat can the oceans absorb to overwhelm GMST?

        2) On the other hand how does the consensus deal with the discrepancy of lack of traceable GMST deflection due to volcanic forcing? Here is a link to plots of 17 CMIP5 model individual ensembles plotted by Kenneth Fritsch in analyzing Marotzke and Forster(2015). One can see the GMST plotted below ERF in each model. It is practically a direct relationship. Every volcanic eruption event makes a dip in every model. Look particularly at 1963 Agung.

        3) If the models fail on the volcanic forcing test how is that best explained? Is it bad temp data, aerosol data or poorly modeled response to ERF?

        Willis, I am interested in your volcanoes link but it does not work.

  51. John Carpenter

    “To hit the Paris climate goals without geoengineering, the world has to do three broad (and incredibly ambitious) things:

    1) Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have to fall in half each decade.

    2) Net emissions from land use — i.e., from agriculture and deforestation — have to fall steadily to zero by 2050. This

    3) Technologies to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere have to start scaling up massively, until we’re artificially pulling 5 gigatons of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere by 2050 — nearly double what all the world’s trees and soils already do.”

    These are all geoengineering “things”. No need to try and mask the obvious.

  52. “Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have to fall in half each decade.”

    As a reference point,
    US emissions are currently falling at 3% per year

    That means, by a rough estimate of the rule of 72, US CO2 emissions are halving by roughly every 20 years, so we’re not too far off.

    • The part of the citation that is erroneous is ‘have to fall in half each decade’. No they don’t, Schellnhuber. Observational ECS is ~1.6C. And Monckton has a draft paper explaining a math flaw in the no feedbacks 1.16C and a different math flaw in the feedbacks equation that valuemis multiplied by which together say (using AR5 AGW forcings) the ECS is 1.6C+/- 0.3C. Presented Friday morning in DC. By all means look at the YouTube video of his breakfast talk at the 12th Climate Conference. At

      • unfortunately, that is the only talk at where the link isn’t working

      • Go to the WUWT conference summary posted by Andy May, go down to the Jim Lackey comment, and he provides a link that worked for me twice today which I just copied. (I saw it, then saw it again taking detailed written notes for followup). Hope this detour route immediately helps the CE denizens.

      • ristvan, If Monckton is correct that all scientists have been using the wrong equation he is right, it would be huge. But if they used the simplified equation based on temp anomalies for the observation of feedbacks then it seems to me that it cancels out the error. It’s only if the feedbacks were derived on gross temperatures does it make it the degree of a mistake he is claiming. It still may be important in reducing the range uncertainty in the “extreme” studies.

      • As I mention elsewhere, Monckton is wrong because the feedback is proportional to the perturbation, not the absolute temperature. What he is doing is nonsense.

      • As IPCC defines ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity in °C for any doubling of CO2 concentration) as a quotient of forcing ΔF (proportional to log concentration ratio) divided by α (alpha) the sum of all feedbacks (page 920 of AR5 WG1 report, table of feedbacks on page 818), then it is a gross mistake, or worse, because as alpha might be near zero (which is the realm of possibilities), the temperature response would be infinitely indefinite.
        See more details: http://bit.ly/2cR9s8S

      • Michel, I enjoyed your ECS page. You and Jim D are on opposite ends but I think both ignoring the consensus argument which we can than SKS for keeping a reference: https://skepticalscience.com/positive-feedback-runaway-warming.htm

        Non-skeptics argue that Monckton’s electric circuit ignores that climate feedbacks are the sum of dynamic feedback, each with their own range of attenuation or efficacy. The component feedback potentials within the interval of a few degrees of current GMST are the only relevant ones. Ice albedo, for example, has no relevance on an iceless Earth or a snowball Earth. Monckton’s math proof is not the spear to the heart but rather an interesting re-focusing on the uncertainty monster, and perhaps a debunking of Hansen extrapolation of ice age dynamics to calculate current feedback potentials.

      • Ron Graf, I am in line with the conventional explanation by SkS, which is completely at odds with whatever Monckton is trying to do. If 1 C of warming produces 0.5 C of feedback, and that additional 0.5 C produces 0.25 C, etc., you get a convergent sum ending at 2 C. Or, in general, a feedback fraction f converges to an amplification factor of 1/(1-f). Note that the feedback has to be expressed in terms of the perturbation. Any other way makes no sense from the physics perspective. The water vapor feedback responds to the temperature perturbation, not the absolute temperature. For a given relative humidity, you get about 7% more water vapor per degree warming to add to the greenhouse effect.

      • Ron Graf, I am in line with the conventional explanation by SkS…

        Jim D, you are also in line with “climate science denier Judith Curry” with your math deriving an ECS of 2C. We are all three in line together. :)

      • That would be a TCR, not an ECS, For ECS, f is more like 0.66 because of the slow feedbacks, like the ocean temperature that governs the water vapor feedback,

  53. The driving force for policy is long term temperature projection. The story is still unclear, but a lot better that 10 years ago. There is disagreement on climate sensitivity and projected temperatures, so we will continue to have polarization on the policy side. Not science. If the science were more clear there would be no debate. What we see is cherry picking of data and model projections … one side saying no you are wrong because xyz shows that. The paper in Science is a mere extension of that … not really adding to our understanding but a political declaration. Not the way forward. not by building a picture to ram an ideological based policy through.

    • DW, the key policy number for AGW is ECS. If low, no problems. The uncertainty around ECS has permitted a possible CAGW, and thus ongoing alarm such as Schellnhuber evidences. In the past, the debate was observational ~1.6C versus model, with CMIP5 median 3.2C being double. AR5 cited a likely range 1.5-4.5C but no central estimate because of the discrepancy. AR4 said 3C+/-1.5C. Schellnhuber invented the 2C threshold to guarantee alarm about CAGW.
      But there is a very new deveopment outside the CMIP5 models but otherwise inside the IPCC basic climate math. There are two IPCC now proven (in the math sense of proof) mathematical errors. When corrected, IPCC ECS is 1.6C. An endgame. See comments above for references to the breaking news.

  54. Isn’t the easiest solution to all this is to demand the IPCC or any group that supports the decarbonization to produce a viable alternative to fossil fuels? The entire movement has the cart in front of the horse. These groups make utopian vision agendas and then expect everyone else to pay for them and solve the technological problems. If these things can be done, make the IPCC prove it by providing an alternative to Fossil fuels.

  55. Geoff Sherrington

    The paper under discussion claims that the agreement became international law sooner than expected.
    Not being a lawyer, I wondered if this was the case.
    Eminent lawyers here, is the agreement now international law? If so, does this have consequences that you could summarise?

    • Robin Guenier

      Well, Geoff I’m a lawyer – although I don’t claim to be eminent.

      Yes, the Paris Agreement is now international law. As to its consequences, I said something about them on this thread two days ago:LINK. I believe they’re hugely significant – but no one seemed interested.

      You’ll find my views HERE. And those of David Campbell (Law Professor at Lancaster University) HERE. (The latter is behind a paywall – a pre-proof version is HERE.) Enjoy!

      • “We support an agreement that’s legally binding in many respects,” said Todd Stern, the special envoy who leads U.S. negotiations, “including the elements of accountability of the agreement, the requirement to put forward a target, to do it with information that clarifies it, the obligation to report and be reviewed on your inventories and the actions you’re taking in order to meet your target. Any number of rules and so forth—so a whole number of elements that are legally binding, but not the target itself.”

        2 degrees is rhetoric – commitments for both developed and developing nations are voluntary.

      • Robin Guenier

        Robert – you said:

        commitments for both developed and developing nations are voluntary.

        That’s true. But for two reasons there’s a vast difference between their positions: (1) Article 4.4 of the Paris Agreement provides that ‘Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy- wide absolute emission reduction targets‘ whereas developing countries are merely ‘encouraged to move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances‘. Very different. And (2) in any case, Western countries regard themselves as obliged by a word such as ‘should‘ and, as in this case, act accordingly.

      • I went into some detail about Australia’s commitment.


        And it is a global option being pursued by many countries and millions of people.


        Even if global warming was a problem – it isn’t.

      • Robin Guenier

        COP21 is an equal opportunities disaster. For CAGW believers because it means the urgent and substantial emission cuts they believe necessary are virtually impossible – and for CAGW sceptics (in the West) because their countries are embarking on expensive, damaging and pointless emission reduction actions.

      • I have looked at Australian and US commitments – it is not onerous at all. For Australia it is a tiny fraction of the economy and the expenditure can be justified for other reasons.

      • Robin Guenier

        That may be so – but it’s not true of the UK.

      • I was interested, but this has also been discussed before, but not with the detail you provide with the links. Peter Lang and others have discussed some of the aspects. I guess, I assumed that persons understood the bye given to developing nations as defined by the Paris Agreement.

        From the pre-proof version ” Rather, properly interpreted, the PA actually strengthens the permission to emit as much as they see fit to the developing countries which has been the core feature of international climate change law since the opening for signature of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) [3] in 1992.” I mistakenly thought everyone realized this.

        A lot of ink has been pasted about how the USA failed Kyoto. The position of the USA was that until binding agreements on CO2 were part of the accord, the USA would not participate. The part I don’t understand is why so many in did not recognize, and understand the turnaround in US policy implemented by Obama. On another blog, the opinion was that Trump ridding the USA of the PA was not important. I disagree. I did agree that Trump should reverse Obama’s position carefully, even slowly, with respect to being successful in office.

        I have to laugh at the clever wording in the pre-proof “There may be a consensus about climate change but unfortunately the IPCC has never been able to tell us what it is.2”

        Robin, I definitely agree with “And (2) in any case, Western countries regard themselves as obliged by a word such as ‘should‘ and, as in this case, act accordingly.” This has been something that apparently has not sunk in and why I thought Trump should put it to the Senate for a vote. “Should” does typically have legal binding here in the USA.

        I think an article for the discussion of the following two points from the pre-proof would be helpful.

        “”Art 4(4) of the PA provides that:
        Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts, and are encouraged to move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances.””; and

        “”The basic strategy of climate change law under the FCCC has been to distinguish between developed and developing countries [3, Art 4(2)] and to ask both to recognise their ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ to reduce emissions [3, preamble, Art 3(1), Art 4(1)]. Responsibility, both for historical emissions and for making reductions now, has been very much placed on the developed countries [3, preamble] as a matter of ‘climate justice’. We have seen that the FCCC imposed no concrete reductions commitments on either developed or developing countries.””

        A discussion of the legal binding and whether the climate justice part means that in perpetuity the western world will be paying for supposed damages would be appreciated. One does not have to embark “on expensive, damaging and pointless emission reduction actions” in order to have huge expenses. The size of the claimed justice payoff could well dwarf the damaging and pointless costs.

      • Robin Guenier

        jfpittman – you said:

        On another blog, the opinion was that Trump ridding the USA of the PA was not important. I disagree.

        I agree with you. And here’s a proposal about how that might be achieved and, in particular, what the consequence should be: LINK.

      • I agree. I think doing the official notice now, and framing it as a return to the US policy that had US Senate approval in the past, would be a good bargaining point. By linking responsibility to all parties who emit, it also addresses a legal peril of US environmental law.

        In a lot of cases with US environmental law, strict liability applies. Trump should push that either US rids itself of strict liability, or that the US return to the past policy that all CO2 is actionable equally. The easiest by far is to apply liability equitably. That China and India will not like the end of the free ride and economic destruction, IMO, is a good thing. The goal is to get the world to start looking at what is being proposed and just how much sense does it make. Further, not only is it not going to work with the exemptions giving to the defined developing world, but the temptation to cheat, or water down will be irresistible due to the physical impossibility of 35% to make up for 65%. Carbon recapture from the atmosphere doe not occur on the timelines desired.

      • Robin Guenier

        I’m sorry jfpittman but you’ve misunderstood my proposal.

        Read it again. What I believe is necessary goes far beyond a renegotiation aimed at ‘linking responsibility to all parties who emit’. No, in my view for the US to extract itself from the Paris Agreement (or to threaten to do so) could be a way of getting China (by far the world’s greatest emitter) to openly state its view on climate science: does it think mankind is responsible for recent increases in atmospheric temperatures and, if so, can anything be done about it, should it – and by whom? These questions are critical because there’s good evidence that, although China keeps fairly quiet about it (probably because it’s happy to see the emission reduction actions damage the West), it shares the position of some Western scientists that mankind may not be the main cause of recent temperature change. Getting this issue into the open at a US/China summit might well, as I said, lead to a more balanced and sensible global position on climate change.

      • Robin, I don’t disagree, especially about China’s different potential positions. I was looking at the butter down side of what if agreement could be reached. Sorry, if I did not make that apparent.

        I don’t think China and India are going to ever agree about responsibility, or being responsible except as the markets dictate. Look at the numbers relating their goal of energy use compared to US. By the time they reach these goals they will be owing the rest of the world climate justice payments. What I believe is that ‘linking responsibility to all parties who emit’ is the only way to bring China into the discussions. At present, I do not see why China will do anything else but use the PA to get more money and not have to commit to responsibility. I guess I see renegotiating as a tool, not as a result in and of itself.

        The pre-proof version and its listing of what Copenhagen and Paris accomplished versus the claims re-enforced my belief that failure to address climate change was the only possible outcome from the approach that the UN selected. The PA only codifies the failure, the cause goes back to the historical development. I tried to get this across a number of years ago, but like the current conversation, few seem to want to discuss this aspect. That is ok by me, since here in the US, it most likely means we will not spend large amounts of money on virtue signalling.

      • Robin Guenier

        I think we may still be at cross-purposes, jfp.

        My point is that I’m pretty sure China (and maybe India) is sceptical about AGW – genuinely unconvinced that dangerous man-made climate change is a problem. Therefore, as – in its view – it cannot be responsible for a non-existent problem, it would be illogical for it ever to ‘commit to responsibility’. And, again in its view, a need to ‘address climate change’ or questions of ‘world climate justice’ simply cannot arise. My proposal is to get that view into the public domain where it can be honestly and openly discussed.

        The reason BTW that China is keeping quiet about its position on the science and overtly supporting the PA is of course that it sees no reason to stop the West from imposing economic damage on itself if it must.

      • Yes, Robin I can agree with your surmise. Thanks for rewording it. I just don’t know about their opinion. To me, in a way, it was moot if they believe in CO2 endangerment or not, unless the world actually gets serious with what it is going to take. That is why I stated re-negotiating as a tool. But in this case, it is to see if we are any better than what you have surmised is China’s real opinion on culpability. I have my doubts about that once the true size and what it will entail is actually discussed with the public.

      • Robin Guenier

        jfp – you said:

        I just don’t know about their opinion


        Perhaps I can help. I have a lot of evidence: direct (scientific opinion) and indirect (fossil fuel investments – home and overseas). Here’s one of the former: LINK. An extract:

        Ding Zhongli, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (described as “the final word on climate science for the Chinese Communist Party”), has observed that a significant relationship between temperature and CO2 “lacks reliable evidence in science”.

        And here’s one of the latter: LINK. An extract:

        Chinese companies and banks are continuing to drive global coal expansion, as state owned companies, backed by state loans, build coal-fired power plants across the world. This is despite commitments from China’s top leaders to deliver clean energy and low carbon infrastructure for developing countries.

        Hardly the action of a country that believes further emission of GHGs threatens mankind.

      • Thanks for the links.

  56. We have a graph showing GISSTemp with a 21 year running mean (thick black), the mean of 8 models (dashed) and a fitted quadratic (thin black).


    The model results are based on adjusting inputs and boundaries until there is a result that vaguely resembles real world temperature. The reality of models is that solutions evolve in accordance with the internal dynamics of the nonlinear equations at their core – and not as simulations of reality. At least beyond limited timeframes. To my mind we may as well fit a quadratic and be done with it.

    But my point today is sensitivity. We have quite obviously two sensitivities – and these are not TCS and ECS. The latter, indeed, seems a nonsense. It is based on thermal inertia – but the reality is that the oceans warm and cool over seasonal timeframes. Rather than heating the ocean – greenhouse gases prevent some cooling. If I am not mistaken this is another notion from the febrile imagination of James Hansen – an unproven hypothesis like much else in climate science.

    Sensitivity to greenhouse gases is of course equal to the change in temperature divided by the change is forcing. Natural variability sensitivity is dynamic.


    The figure shows solutions of an energy-balance model (EBM), showing the global-mean temperature (T) vs. the fractional change of insolation (μ) at the top of the atmosphere. (Source: Ghil, 2013)

    The 1-D climate model uses physically based equations to determine changes in the climate system as a result of changes in solar intensity, ice reflectance and greenhouse gas changes. With a small decrease in radiation from the Sun – or an increase in ice cover – the system becomes unstable with runaway ice feedbacks. Runaway ice feedbacks drive the transitions between glacial and interglacial states seen repeatedly over the past 2.58 million years. These are warm interludes – such as the present time – of relatively short duration and longer duration cold states. The transition between climate states is characterised by a series of step changes between the limits. It caused a bit of consternation in the 1970’s when it was realized that a very small decrease in solar intensity – or an increase in albedo – is sufficient to cause a rapid transition to an icy planet in this model (2).

    Abrupt climate change is technically a chaotic bifurcation in a complex, dynamic system – equivalently a phase transition, a catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom), or a tipping point. These are all terms that are used in relation to the theory of deterministic chaos that originated with the work of Edward Lorenz in the 1960’s. Lorenz started his convection model calculation in the middle of a run by inputting values truncated to three decimal places in place of the original six. By all that was known – it should not have made much of a difference. The rest is history in the discovery of chaos theory as the third great idea – along with relativity and quantum mechanics – of 20th century physics. It has applications in ecology, physiology, economics, electronics, weather, climate, planetary orbits and much else. In climate it is driving a new math of networked systems.

    ‘Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small…

    Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’ (NAS, 2002)

    Ghil’s model shows that climate sensitivity (γ) is variable. It is the change in temperature (ΔT) divided by the change in the control variable (Δμ) – the tangent to the curve as shown above. Sensitivity increases moving down the upper curve to the left towards the bifurcation and becomes arbitrarily large at the instability. The problem in a chaotic climate then becomes not one of quantifying climate sensitivity in a smoothly evolving climate but of predicting the onset of abrupt climate shifts and their implications for climate and society. The problem of abrupt climate change on multi-decadal scales is of the most immediate significance.

    The source of decadal variability is in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and before we can distinguish anthropogenic from natural variability both the mechanisms and triggers need to be understood. I have an idea it the result of modulation of the polar annular modes by solar UV/ozone induced variations in polar cell circulation – but the math is certainly not simple.

    • Curious George

      “Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause.”

      Theoretically, an abrupt climate change might occur … or did anybody see that happening? (You can model it, of course.)

      • Abrupt changes have occurred many times – and the quote is of course from the US NAS – I suggest you read something on it before embarrassing yourself further.


        Including in the 20th century. This shows that model averages approximate a monotonically increasing quadratic. Data suggests something else entirely.

      • Curious George

        “Abrupt changes [of climate] have occurred many times.” Please show me one example.

      • Curious George

        Younger Dryas: No one knows what happened. At the first glance it does not fit your nice graph of unstability – unless you maintain that it covers factors like a sudden discharge of Lake Agassiz, an asteroid impact, or an eruption of Deccan (or Siberian) Traps. I ran your Google search, did you really wade through all 596,000 results?
        An alternate explanation [of Younger Drys] (Clement et al., 2001) invokes the abrupt cessation in the El Nino -Southern Oscillation in response to changes in the orbital parameters of the Earth, although how such a change would impact regions away from the Tropics remains to be explained. It does not fit, either.

      • The 20th century climate shifts are related to changes in physical systems the Pacific.


        Most of the bigger changes are related to ice sheet feedbacks. It is all abrupt changes in physical systems. Did you imagine it happens by magic?

        In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) the ‘global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

        Cribbing a paragraph or two from the internet doesn’t equate to actually understanding what it means.

      • Curious George

        There are known physical systems exhibiting an abrupt change – like a supercooled water. Suddenly, in a matter of seconds, some water turns into ice, heating the rest of water to a freezing point. There are equations describing a two-state system. Does climate have states? How do we describe them? How long does it take to flip from one state to another one?The fact that you can develop a 1-D model with surprising properties does not guarantee that the model is realistic. It can – and usually does – provide an insight into a particular aspect of a complex system.

        That said, I don’t want to argue with you about technicalities; we seem to be at the same side. My courtesy advice, please don’t provide an advice in a form of a Google query. I’ll provide a link:
        (hurry, yale is now purging inconvenient articles)

  57. Pingback: Mitigation Math: Is Climate Activism Futile? (Judith Curry thinks so) - Master Resource

  58. There are resource limits – well before then prices will spike.


    Someone mentioned fusion.


    Net 450MW for $40 billion. But it has been done – famously in some kids parents’ garage.

    Practical alternatives seem to be wind, solar and batteries – groan – and fast neutron nuclear reactors. I’m betting on nuclear engines.


  59. “Although the Paris Agreement’s goals are aligned with science”. If that’s the underlying premise, then the whole article is built on a lie. And if that’s the core mentality of policy makers, then heaven help us. Blind leading the blind? Sure looks like it.

  60. Pingback: Mitigation Math: Is Climate Activism Futile? (Judith Curry thinks so) | Watts Up With That?

  61. Geoengineering is millennia old. Only hydrologists have a more venerabvle history. We are the world’s second oldest profession.

    “Humanity’s interest in soil quality and functionality dates back to the dawn of civilization (Brevik and Sauer 2015). Moses outlined soil functionality or quality by asking his followers as they entered Canaan around circa 1400 BC by stating, “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? How is the soil? It is fertile or poor? Are there trees or not? Do your best to bring back some fruits from the land” (Numbers 13:18–20).” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fes3.96/full

    The numbers for carbon sequestration are astonishingly large – but the purpose is food security, biodiversity, flood and drought resilience and economic development. It predated COP21 by decades – but was given impetus with the French 4 per 1000 initiative that was launched in Paris. It is a global movement that has gone well beyond science to practices in many countries and by millions of people. You lot don’t seem to have a clue though.


  62. ‘Rapid decarbonisation’ what utter rubbish. Heaven help humanity if the people who believe this stuff ever get their way.
    GeoffW Sydney

  63. Ron Graf:

    You wrote “I hope you agree that if we have another Tambora or even Pinatubo-like eruption in the next 10 years that Argo sea temperature measurements would either confirm or falsify your model”.

    Falsifiable: “designating or of a statement, theory, etc. that is so formulated as to permit empirical testing, and, therefore, can be shown to be false”

    My model, which simply states that the removal of SO2 aerosols, either stratospheric or tropospheric, will cause average global temperatures to rise, has been falsified during every business recession and every volcanic eruption..

    There is no need to wait for another volcanic eruption to test the model.

    (I would point out that the 1991 Pinatubo eruption did not cause any cooling of the sea, since it occurred during an El Nino event whose warming offset any cooling for most of the time that its aerosols circled the earth).

    • Burl,

      I’m not sure I understand most of your arguments. If your model has been falsified it is no longer relevant. If you are saying it has been validated then I disagree respectfully.

      Regarding Pinatubo being offset by an El Nino, that was my point about Argo robots that were deployed in 2005 that now can measure in 3600+ locations dispersed in around the globe below the sea surface where an accurate energy accounting can be made regardless of ENSO cycle. El Nino warms the surface at the expense of cooling the deeper water by overturning less ocean water. When the reverse happens and overturning increases then the surface cools at the expense of heat being taken down to deeper levels. Argo measures most of the dynamic layers.

      • Ron Graf

        By saying that my model had been falsified, I meant that it had been empirically tested. A poor choice of words.

        A better choice would have been to say that it had been validated, as you suggested.

        This validation occurred whenever temperatures increased as Sulfur Dioxide aerosols were removed from the air during a recession, and decreased at the end of the recession as industrial activity .picked up again. This occurred for all 33 recessions between 1850 and the present., a 100% correlation. :

        For volcanic eruptions of VEI6 or larger, with SO2 emissions, average global temperatures decrease, then increase as the aerosols settle out, just as predicted.

        (El Chichon and Pinatubo erupted during an El Nino, so that their cooling was offset by the El Nino warming, and didn’t affect average global temperatures)

      • Ron Graf:

        You had said that if I claimed that my model had been validated, then you would have to respectfully disagree.

        Please give me your reasons for disagreement. Did I overlook something?

  64. David Springer

    Here’s your roadmap. It isn’t from Paris. It’s from Mar-a-Lago.

  65. David Springer

    Windbag Ellison is still over-posting. I guess he won’t be happy until he’s back in moderation. Happy to help him get there.

  66. TonyB, Beth, or anybody,

    Can you tell me an authoritative site where I can download the average annual temperature per degree of latitude from North Pole to South Pole?

  67. I found this awful post on Slashdot spreading climate FUD. I’m wondering who did it as it highlights one of our favs, MM. I wonder if Gleick has a hand in this?

    “One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous “hockey stick” graph is now warning that giant jetstreams which circle the planet are being altered by climate change. Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator.”


    • “This movie gives me an extra burst of hope because I think …it really effectively tells the story of how much hope is out there for transforming our energy system to become much more efficient,” Gore said at the screening, according to Variety. “We are going to win this.”

  68. Can anyone tell me the likely source of the data for this chart?

    I saw it here but it gives no link to the data source: http://www.roperld.com/science/PrecipLatitude_Longitude.htm

  69. hartevanandrew

    And then…even after doing that what are they going to say when the global temp doesn’t stay below 2C? Or goes lower? I for one don’t have much confidence that co2 is a control knob with that kind of precision. Hubris is thinking we understand the system that well.

  70. Same above, typos corrected

    Perusing Brad Plumer’s summary quoted above, people who take it seriously are seriously insane. What goes on in the minds of these people who consider themselves climate scientists is totally foreign to me. If they really act on this, and they will if we let them, it will bring about Maurice Strong’s fondest wish, which is to bring about the total collapse of the Western Civilization. He said that openly but I don’t see any reaction to it from these “climate” scientists. I guess they stand in such an aw of the originator and first leader of IPCC that they do not know what to say or do. Just do what consensus tells you to do and be quiet is all they are required to do to keep their jobs. Or else. And all these apocalyptic demands of the Parisians are for nothing because carbon dioxide is not warming up the world now and it never has. A glance at the geological history graph should make it clear to any person who knows what geologic history is. In case you are actually curios how it works, we start CO2 history in the Cambrian and work our way down to the Holocene. Carbon dioxide was very high in Cambrian (7000 ppm) but since then it has suffered a steady reduction so that by the Holocene it was down to only 280 ppm. That is a 25 fold reduction in 500 million years. And at no time during this period was there any sign of that imaginary runaway warming that these Paris dopes say they are fighting.

  71. An interesting observation.

    Science magazine has an eLetter feature whereby anyone can comment on a published article. (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6331/1269)

    On March 25, I submitted the following:

    “The authors propose a road map for rapid decarbonization, at great expense, based upon the unproven hypothesis that greenhouse gas accumulations are the cause of climate change.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. There has NEVER been any warming due to greenhouse gasses. However, man made global warming DOES exist. It is caused by the removal of anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide aerosols from the troposphere due to Clean Air efforts.

    Climate change can be halted, at essentially no expense, simply by prohibiting further reductions in anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions

    For proof of the above, Google “Climate Change Deciphered”.

    As expected, it was put into moderation: “Thank you for your submission. Below is a copy of your eLetter as we received it. Your eLetter, if accepted, should be viewable within a few days”:

    After review by The Editorial Staff of Science, the post is now viewable.

    This was a welcome, but totally unexpected response from Science. It appears that their editorial stance has changed!

  72. For those interested in the Westinghouse design and the fate of the new nuclear units. Source Bankruptcy Declaration:

    37…. The AP1000 plant is a Generation III+, two-loop PWR with a gross power rating of 3,415 megawatt thermal (MWt) and a nominal electrical output of 1,110 megawatt electric (MWe). The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the “NRC”) initiated its formal review of the AP1000 design on March 28, 2002, approving the original design certification on December 30, 2005. A series of additional revisions to the design were made over the next several years, with the NRC certifying an amended standard plant design and publishing a final rule in December 2011.
    38. The AP1000 design is a radical departure from existing nuclear power
    plants. The primary advantage of the AP1000 is its simplified design and passive safety features. Westinghouse believed the simplified design would make the AP1000 easier and less expensive to build, operate, and maintain, while requiring fewer materials and a smaller footprint to construct. The passive safety features—using natural forces like gravity and convective cooling rather than pumps and valves—mean no operator action is required to assure safety, limiting the risk of severe accidents.
    39. Four of Westinghouse’s new-generation AP1000 reactors are being
    built at the only two new nuclear construction sites currently in the United States—the Allen W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Augusta, Georgia (the “Vogtle Reactors”) and the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station near Columbia, South Carolina (the “VC Summer Reactors” and together with the Vogtle Reactors, the “U.S. AP1000 Projects”). Ground was broken for both sites in 2011, with the expectation that the first reactors were expected to come online in mid-2016.
    40. In addition to the U.S. AP1000 Projects, four AP1000 reactors are currently being constructed in Sanmen and Haiyang, China based on 2007 agreements between Westinghouse and China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. The two AP1000 reactors at 17-10751-mew Doc 4 Filed 03/29/17 Entered 03/29/17 09:07:49 Main Document Pg 17 of 109 18
    Sanmen (south of Shanghai, China), as well as the two AP1000 reactors at Haiyang, were expected to go online in 2013 and 2014. As of the Petition Date, construction at the Sanmen nuclear power plant continues, and the Company expects the first AP1000 unit to come online in late 2017 or early 2018. Similarly, the construction of the AP1000 reactors at the Haiyang power plant are ongoing, and Westinghouse expects the first unit at that location to come online in late 2017 or early 2018.”

    • On the regulatory issues:

      45. In 2008, Westinghouse began work on the U.S. AP1000 Projects in collaboration with the Owners, S&W, and the NRC. However, regulatory changes, including ones stemming from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, led to additional NRC requirements for reactor design and licensing. Between 2009 and 2011, after the EPC Agreements had already been executed, the NRC requested additional design changes to the AP1000. These new requirements and safety measures created additional, unanticipated engineering challenges that resulted in increased costs and delays on the U.S. AP1000 Projects and other AP1000 projects worldwide. These design changes delayed issuance of a combined (17-10751-mew Doc 4 Filed 03/29/17 Entered 03/29/17 09:07:49 Main Document Pg 19 of 109 20) license to start the U.S. AP1000 Projects until early 2012. As a result, the Consortium could not pour the first concrete at the Vogtle and VC Summer construction sites until 2013.
      46. As construction progressed, additional unforeseen challenges regarding the projects emerged. As time passed and delays compounded, disputes arose between the Owners and the Consortium regarding the pace of the projects and which parties bore the ultimate responsibility for cost increases. The Owners and the Consortium alleged claims against each other, and the Vogtle Owners commenced litigation against Westinghouse, S&W, and Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (“CB&I”)—the owner of S&W. Southern, on behalf of the Vogtle Owners, commenced a declaratory judgment suit regarding additional costs deriving from regulatory change, and the Company believed there was a risk that litigation could commence with SCANA as well. The deteriorating situation also created risk of claims between Westinghouse and S&W regarding the allocation of increased costs.
      47. Under these circumstances, Toshiba, WEC, CB&I, and the Owners entered into discussions to resolve the disputes. To resolve existing and potential litigation, WEC considered the feasibility of acquiring S&W. WEC believed such an acquisition would allow the parties to re-baseline the projects and increase the likelihood of their success. Upon completing the acquisition, WEC planned to focus on project management with a newly appointed subcontractor, Fluor Corporation (“Fluor”)—a U.S.-based global engineering and construction company with knowledge and experience in nuclear plant construction—taking on primary responsibility for construction.

      • See the problem here? Humans with nefarious intent AKA terrorist.
        They should have just declared all nuclear facilities military installations and staffed them with with several hundred heavily armed soldiers with a couple of anti-aircraft batteries. Trying to protect critical infrastructure with private sector rent-a-cops is asking for trouble and seems to have led to more regulations.

      • Anyone who has built anything and dealt with officials and regulators knows the problem is that the regulator oversight leads them to practice “defensive medicine” rather than good medicine. There needs to be systemic governors against unreasonable regulation, not just under-regulation.

  73. Jack, you have to believe that there is a realizable risk, in order to be concerned. The real risk posed is financial. Please understand that a large part of the cost of nuclear comes from assuming that the nuclear elements ARE going to be compromised, and action taken.

    The risk management matrix that is typically employed will help determine what engineering, managerial, or even if a response is necessary, that will be employed. One of the real problems is that the market and engineers do not get to decide the nature of the matrix. This can be a good thing, not necessarily true; but it definitely is expensive. If you consider the history of what occurred at VC Summer, the project had lots of over run from the regulators. Delays affect contracting.

    Each delay can have large start up and shutdown costs. Most of the items are custom built. For many of these items, there is a mobilization fee and time window penalties. There were some in the bankruptcy notice I did not include here. I just listed some of the reasons of the cost overruns and not what causes the cost. Just look at the time line and consider having the staffing and support cooling their heels for the number of years of 2008 to 2013.

    One item I forgot to include above is that one of the problems that had to be faced was that the engineers that had done the last working nuclear plants were dead, retired, or had moved on. They had to literally search the world for engineers who had the expertise to be acceptable for completing the design, knowing or able to compute the impact of changes, and knew how to go about building a nuclear plant. In other words all the qualified engineers were near retirement and had to be fairly young when they worked last. They were at the beginning of their journeyman career when the last was completed.

    This is another great reason to join the do nothings. The waste and cost of not keeping a practicing science application going did a lot to increase costs. In 1985, the engineer in charge of the nuclear research I was doing told us that the US was transferring this knowledge base to other parts of the world, and that it would be sorely missed if the US went back to building nuclear units. This aspect of engineering capabilities, and knowledge base necessities has been known since at least the building of the pyramids and is implied by Hammurabi’s code. Yet, we disappeared it. Was not smart, but is costly.

    • JFPitman,

      Thanks you for your informative comments – obviously built on a great deal of valuable built now rare experience.

  74. Let’s take one aspect of the goals, electricity generation, and see how hard it would be to accomplish in the United States. My understanding is that we would have to reduce CO2 from electricity generation by 87.5% by 2050. The United States currently gets about one/third if it’s power from renewable sources (nuclear, hydro, wind and etc.). The United States would have to get about 93% of its fuel from renewable resources in 2050 to achieve an 87.5% reduction.

    Let’s also assume that there is no nuclear in 2050 because of cost and environmental problems (I am not advocating that but simply using it as an assumption). And let’s assume that there will be no technological advances in solar, battery storage or anything else for the next 33 years that would assist in this conversion to renewables.

    So what is the cost if we move to wind with natural gas as the alternate fuel when the wind does not blow? The State of Iowa is currently generating about 36% of their power using wind. South Dakota and Kansas are both above 20%. As far as I know the grids in those states are as reliable as elsewhere in the United States. So the grid reliability issue seems to have been solved.

    But how much are those Iowans paying in extra electricity costs for the privilege of being green warriors? It appears not much. Iowans had the lowest rates in the country and the lowest average rates in the region :


    So the wind mills would have to work 90% of the time (there would still be a little hydo, solar, geothermal, et. al) to meet the goal. So I don’t see why that is a ludicrous goal in the United States.

    And if wind is competitive in the United States it will be even more competitive in the rest of world. The United States is a low cost producer of coal and natural gas where due to the abundance of these fuels and excellent internal logistics.

  75. Pingback: Mitigation Math: Is Climate Activism Futile? | US Issues

  76. Pingback: Dr. Judith Curry Believes the RoadMap to Zero CO2 Emissions Is Infeasible. | Climate Change Sanity

  77. I finally read the article in my paper copy of Science Magazine. It’s pretty vacuous. It is a rough schedule, not a roadmap, with a bunch of extrapolations, calculations based on conjectures. It has no details. I did like the line about inventing a new engine for aircraft — who could quarrel with that?

  78. The elephant in the room remains population. We passed 7 billion a few years ago and are now around 7.5 billion. To the best of my knowledge, the climate change models do not include human breathing. We breath in air with 20% oxygen and breath out air with about 8% oxygen and 12% carbon dioxide. On the most conservative of bases, human breathing contributes around the same amount of carbon dioxide as is attributed to fossil fuels. And that is excluding the emissions from their domesticated animals. Does the proposed 50% reduction per decade also refer to population? I think not!

    • The carbon dioxide humans exhale is part of a closed loop, BIO101? In fact humans are actually a carbon sink since our body is made, in part by….carbon

  79. 2ndusername

    JC’s reflections included:
    > there is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2

    Specifically, which evidence is Judith referring to here? I’m a regular but casual reader of this blog. Thanks.

    • 2ndusername,

      Figure 1 here https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/cato-working-paper-33.pdf charts the mean and 95 confidence limits for 21 estimates of ECS from recent studies of empirical data.

      Figure 1 caption:

      The median (indicated by the small vertical line) and 90% confidence range (indicated by the horizontal line with arrowheads) of the climate sensitivity estimate used by the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon Climate (Roe and Baker, 2007) is indicated by the top black arrowed line. The average of the similar values from 21 different determinations reported in the recent scientific literature is given by the grey arrowed line (second line from the top). The sensitivity estimates from the 21
      individual determinations of the ECS as reported in new research published after January 1, 2011 are indicated by the colored arrowed lines. The arrows indicate the 5 to 95% confidence bounds for each estimate along with the best estimate (median of each probability density function; or the mean of multiple estimates; colored vertical line). Ring et al. (2012) present four estimates of the climate sensitivity and the red box encompasses those estimates. Spencer and Braswell (2013) produce a single ECS value bestmatched to ocean heat content observations and internal radiative forcing.

  80. About China’s coal consumption:

    China’s coal Power generation capacity thru 2020 is scheduled to increase by 19%, see this link from Bloomberg Nov-2016


    Non-fossil-fuel power generation will grow by about 48%: NEA
    Nation’s total capacity to rise 31% to 2,000 gigawatts by 2020

    China’s coal power generation capacity will grow as much as 19 percent over the next five years even as the world’s biggest energy consumer expands use of non-fossil fuels. The country has said it plans to raise natural gas consumption to 10 percent of its total energy mix by 2020 from around 6 percent now.h

  81. Do as Richard st Barbe Baker says. Plant trees plant trees for your lives. That is the answer to climate change. Baker started initiatives to reclaim the Sahara desert – how. ? Planting trees trees and wetlands capture atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions