RealClimate

Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. I already wrote to NEWSWEEK that after nearly 30 years of subscribing to them, I’m seriously thinking of halting it, bec of the Lindzen piece (they’ve had stories on him before that have made me really angry).

    OTOH, they did have a good section on global warming in this week’s edition.

    So maybe that’s the media’s new tact: not have “balanced format” pieces, but have separate pieces from opposing sides.

    The world is getting really schizophrenic…

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 17 Apr 2007 @ 4:52 PM

  2. I read the editorial after Grist posted on it last week. As an informed layman I knew that Lindzen’s opinions about global warming did have some factual support, but were not likely. After reading this editorial it seemed to me that Lindzen had completely gone over to the dark side, where its advocacy first and foremost and scientific facts are to be ignored.

    I also noticed the “lawyerly” worded disclaimer. I wonder who wrote the disclaimer? Was is Lindzen himself, or was it the Newsweek editors?

    [Response: Given that a nearly identical disclaimer ran with a previous story on Lindzen that appeared in the Journal News of Westchester NY, I would guess that the media outlets are being fed this line, rather than arriving at it through their own independent research. -mike]

    Lindzen has been paid money by anti-global warming crowd to act as an expert witness in the public arena.

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:04 PM

  3. It has been my contention for some time that nothing we do right now to lower greenhouse gas emissions will have any measurable, immediate effect on global warming. Sea level will keep right on rising as glaciers melt. Therefore, we should plan for its impacts. Spend billions of dollars rebuilding New Orleans, at a time when sea level is rising, the delta is eroding, and land elevation is sinking? Exactly how does this provide evidence of higher human cognitive function? Short answer: it’s insanity.

    None of this is to say I’m not an advocate of trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the experience of nearly 60 years of life within US culture tells me that public policy doesn’t change overnight. As an engineer, I can also readily see that even if it did, we have an enormous investment in fossil-fueled vehicles and power generation capacity that simply is not going to be replaced quickly. That’s just the financial and technical challenge. Then there’s the challenge of getting Greenpeace activists to understand that Nuclear power is one of the few viable alternatives we have to generating electricity without pumping more CO2 into the environment. Carbon sequestration may help, wind generation and solar power may help, but they are not going to be the whole entire solution. We need to have some rational discussions about costs, risks, and outcomes that are not mediated by head-in-the-sand denialists, nor by starry-eyed idealists (with little practical knowledge of energy infrastructure).

    Comment by Gene Hawkridge — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:05 PM

  4. Other than in demogogic activities, I fail to see how a top-rated professor being asked to consult for oil companies or OPEC or whomever at ballpark going rates degrades his credibility. Maybe his credibility is affected in other objective ways; maybe not. But degradation through association is a silly (though popular) proposition.

    [Response: Perhaps Lindzen shouldn't have raised the issue then, should he? -mike]

    Comment by Rod B. — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:25 PM

  5. I believe elsewhere Lindzen has said agriculture could benefit from climate change. If the last year or two is anything to go by that is not true, shrinking grain reserves being an example. While the global mean temperature and rainfall may increase slightly, the variation within seasons at a local level has made farming more difficult, not less. Drought, floods, windstorms, hail and unseasonal frosts do not help grow food whatever the long term trend.

    Comment by Johnno — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:38 PM

  6. [Lindzen claims that because we don't know what the ideal temperature of the planet should be...]

    But I think it’s possible to construct reasonable arguments about what that idea temperature might be. Suppose we define “ideal” as maximizing biological productivity and livable/arable land for humans, then it seems to me that the ideal is reached during ice ages. Admittedly this is just the opinion of one non-specialist, but consider:

    Colder temperatures mean cold ocean waters at lower latitudes, and these are more productive than warm waters.

    Lower sea level means more of the continental shelf is above sea level, thus more land area (even subtracting what’s under the larger polar caps).

    Changed rainfall patterns mean current desert areas – the Sahara, western North America, much of Australia – can return to being the productive grasslands they were during the last Ice age.

    So I say bring on the orbital sunshades, and cool this planet down :-)

    Seriously, I think it would be good to have some calculations of this sort done, if for no better reason than refuting Lindzen et al.

    Comment by James — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:41 PM

  7. What irks me is warming deniers called skeptics when they distort matters,not using reason and facts but their prejudices for answers.

    Comment by morgan lamberth — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:45 PM

  8. You should send a shorten version of this response to Newsweek. It’s the best way to counteract all the misinformation in this article.

    Comment by Colette Williams — 17 Apr 2007 @ 5:56 PM

  9. I wish someone would take a serious look at what I am working on: An ocean-powered pump (powered by thermal energy stored in the ocean) that brings up cold water and nutrients from 1000-meter depth and distributes them over the tropical ocean surface. Benefits: cooling of surface water and overlying atmosphere, use of dissolved CO2 for photosynthesis so that less CO2 is available for decalcification of ocean creatures, enhancement of thermohaline overturning. Pumping rate is 10 cubic meters/sec. Takes 100,000 pumps to make a measurable response to global warming and fisheries destruction.

    Comment by Richard LaRosa — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:02 PM

  10. re: 5

    I’ve long repeated the “news” that agriculture thrives when this year is like last year. The farmer has a horizon of 2 years. He can only plant this year with last year as his guide. With the increasing variability of weather due GW, agriculture will NOT thrive.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:03 PM

  11. “But concern about human-driven climate change is not because this is the most perfect of possible worlds – it is because, whatever it’s imperfections, it is the world that society is imperfectly adapted to.”

    You guys are killing me, absolutely killing me. I strongly suggest introducing a biogeography specialist or evolutionary ecologist onto the Real Climate Blog team.

    What about the plants, animals, fish and other living, non-human, organisms that we share this Planet with? Their recent evolution has occurred in a world that hasn’t seen the future climates we’re now facing. Any additional warming beyond “what’s in the pipe” is going to be very harmful. In the past, such rapid climate change hasn’t lead to biological adaptation, but rather mass extinction.

    Maybe I’m totally off base, but the above quote makes it sound like Real Climate thinks human society can work independent of the rest of the earth’s life forms or that nature will take care of herself. Am I going to be forced to lump climate physicists, glaciologists, meteorologists (ok, yes I forgot what your day jobs are) with folks like Richard Lindzen when it comes to my opinion of their biological knowledge?

    Comment by Andrew Sipocz — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:13 PM

  12. Andrew, as a reader with a biology bias, I agree; I’ve often wished to see more biologists even as one time invited writers. My _guess_ is that the models don’t yet incorporate the biological feedbacks, and the visits we see are a fair measure of that.

    For example the people studying arctic sea ice levels (who in answer to my question, said they got interest from people studying life affected by the change) are one step away from the ecology folks. The WHOI site is focused on ocean and biology change.

    It’s a gap, but I suspect only to be filled once the climate models require some funded staff who spend their time “here” to participate.

    Hoping I’m wrong and more biology/ecology researchers speak up or email the contact address and ask to get involved (the contact email is under one of the top level buttons, top of main page).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:23 PM

  13. Re #6: james — An interesting proposal, but not quite in accord with the evidence, I fear. Lets pick 30 kya, before LGM. Desert and semi-desert extended continuously from the Sahara Desert to the Gobi Desert and Mongolia. The Mammoth Steppe (open woodlands and steppe grasses) extended from Spain across Europe to Siberia and beyond into Beringia and some of Alaska. Across the Ukraine into Germany to the Paris basin and beyond, the winds blew loess, now highly productive soils as there now is enough rainfall. Similarly the wind blew loess in Northern China. A similar situation existed in North America and in South America the Amazon Basin was savanna.

    Altogether, the picture is not promising for agriculture. For the estimated half a million hunter-gatherers in Africa and Eusasia, life was survivable. As for me, I prefer twentieth century temperatures as being perfect. :-)

    Comment by David B. Benson — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:24 PM

  14. I think it’s great that you guys are tracking the money. In his testimony for the House Science committee, Sheldon Rampton testified on how industry groups pay scientists to be â��neutralâ�� experts who will support industryâ��s contention that their products are harmless, while attacking the science that suggests that there is harm. Rampton documented how the technique goes back at least 40 years to early efforts by cigarette manufacturers.

    His testimony is here:
    http://science.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1752

    One of these front groups has been the Cato Institute which has paid scientists and their own experts to contest the dangers of cigarettes in the 90s and now the dangers of global warming (see Patrick Michaels).

    Roger Pielke Jr. wrote an article for their in-house magazine, “Regulation” which functions like an industry mouthpiece. [edit]

    Comment by Thom — 17 Apr 2007 @ 6:27 PM

  15. The worst part of all this is we won’t even get to the serious impact that this warming has without having a major (nuclear) war. Once things start getting really bad, the worst of human nature will show itself. This will be one for the history books, I can assure you that. I’m going to drink beer, rent the first mad max movie and get ready for the future. With the oil thing going, China being industrialized (as well as India) and the climate changing, something has to give. This is a no-brainer.

    Comment by Paul M — 17 Apr 2007 @ 7:52 PM

  16. To the Editor:

    Richad Lindzen’s article (“Why so gloomy?”, Newsweek International, April 16), which is severely critical of the results of modern climate science, ends with a statement attributed to Roger Revelle to the effect that no action on global warming is required “thus far”. Revelle is honored for his commitment to science for the benefit of society, as well as for his pioneering work in climate science. He wrote articles as early as the 1950s examining the fate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, and its potential impact on climate. He died more than fifteen years ago. So when does “thus far” apply to? To suggest that Revelle would advocate inaction in the face of today’s evidence is unconscionable; to invoke his name in such a way, after denying the credibility of the science he helped found, is an affront to his legacy. Lindzen has no shame.

    cc: http://www.RealClimate.org

    Comment by Pat Cassen — 17 Apr 2007 @ 8:02 PM

  17. Thanks so much to Drs Schmidt and Mann for this article!

    I don’t subscribe to Newsweek, but recently I noticed that both Newsweek and Time had special issues on global warming, so I bought both. I was amazed at the difference in tone of the two magazines.

    Time’s overall message was that anthropogenic global warming is real, the effects are serious and almost entirely negative, but there are things we can do to mitigate and adapt. Newsweek’s was that, well, it looks like maybe AGW is real after all, but it’s not nearly as bad as people would like you to believe. Besides, AGW provides so many benefits and business opportunities, so you should welcome it, not fear it. The Lindzen article seemed especially out there on the credibility index…

    It’s remarkable how people living on the same planet, even in the same country, can live in such completely different mental universes :-)

    Comment by Gerry Beauregard — 17 Apr 2007 @ 8:05 PM

  18. RE “Perhaps Lindzen shouldn’t have raised the issue then, should he? -mike”

    Lindzen knows absolutely that he will be attacked for any services offered to the “bad guys”. Might as well address it. If Greenpeace wanted some scientific facts (in a moment of weakness, probably) and offered you a consultancy, you should take it (in general — I don’t know your specific situation) knowing you’ll present the science as you know it and not degrade your own credibility. Though you can bet the farm that the extreme denialists will blast you to high heavans. And you’ll have to address it.

    Comment by Rod B. — 17 Apr 2007 @ 8:50 PM

  19. “What irks me is warming deniers called skeptics when they distort matters,not using reason and facts but their prejudices for answers. —
    Comment by morgan lamberth ”

    What irks me is proponents when they distort matters, not using reason and facts but their prejudices for responses.

    Comment by Rod B. — 17 Apr 2007 @ 8:55 PM

  20. “[The farmer] can only plant this year with last year as his guide.”

    I was raised in Iowa. That’s a teeny piece of how a farmer plans his next year.

    Comment by Rod B. — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:02 PM

  21. You know, if you share this POV any background will subscribe to the Talking points. Just look at my sceptic bingo contestant on the other thread.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/a-tale-of-three-interviews/#comment-31028

    He slammed Gavin as, only “a modeler,” who didn’t understand the data as he did with a BS in chemistry from decades ago. “Feedback” was an eyebrow-raising code word.

    Personal politics is responsible for this, and the media help by publishing lies with the truth. You decide.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:02 PM

  22. I wonder how many Americans the Canadians are going to allow to migrate to that better hotter climate?

    I guess at the border we’ll either have to swear allegiance to hockey and accept the true dimensions of a gridiron or die by the sword.

    Comment by J.C.H — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:13 PM

  23. re 14: It’s a little off course (but not totally), but… the facts of the tobacco case is that they can cause harm, but are not anywhere close to the magnitude of harm claimed by the ag’iners (I can hear the hysterics now!). Like in the 70s when the gov’t was driving the industry to keep the nicotine up when the tar was lowered. You have the answer: follow the money. A lot of people and gov’ts got filthy rich exaggerating the harm. Maybe the same is true on both sides of the AGW issue…

    Comment by Rod B. — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:17 PM

  24. From what I read and hear, Lindzen’s biggest problem ; undermining his faculty and science repeatedly without remorse. According to him, the fields of Climatology and Meteorology are so low in stature and intelligence, a science he presumably teaches. But he can’t come up with something innovative anymore, like postulating an alternative explanation for GW for instance. Suggesting a counter AGW theory would be better posturing, yet he stands hesitant above the very thin ice he created.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:21 PM

  25. RE #2 & “public policy doesn’t change overnight.”

    There is a possibility for fairly rapid change, but it has to well up from the grass roots, with the top guys either being replaced or bending to meet the folks. In anthropology we call it a “revitalization movement,” a rather sudden change to construct a more satisfying culture, one that reduces serious problems (whether social or environmental).

    Most conversion religions started off as revitalization movements, the American revolution was one, as was the Civil Rights movement & women’s movement, etc. I did a term paper on the hippy movement as a revitalization movement, since I lived in the Sunset Dt of SF in the mid-to-late 60s (next to the Haight-Ashbury), and observed the rapid transformation at both the individual level and societal level. It was as if the pied piper had called that generation (I was sort of out of it, due to several things I didn’t like about it, but there were lots of good things — like “love is more important than war or money”). And I met some hippy hypocrites – couldn’t even practice the kindness & gentleness they preached.

    The point is, there can be a sudden shift in world view & ethos, and even in actual behavior.

    I feel a glimmer of hope today. We had our Earth Day Festival at our campus. The Environmental Club (which had been defunct for 2 years) put it on. A Green Mountain Energy man came & explained how easy it was to shift to 100% wind power, and that the cost was actually a bit cheaper than conventional electricity (I know that since I’m on GM Energy). The club is now talking about organizing tupperware-type parties, showing An Inconvenient Truth, and promoting GM wind energy. There’s lots of positive energy, and as adviser, I’m determined not to let them get burned out.

    It was fortuitous that our city’s Environmental Advisory Board representative came, then met the GM man, and now there’s talk of our city getting on GM Energy, as well as the campus.

    Unfortunately GM Energy isn’t available in most states, but when I was in Illinois, I called them and asked if they do come & there’s a growing demand, how would they meet that demand. They simply told me they’d rent space from farmers for their wind generators, and the farmers could farm up to the base of those. No problem.

    So the main problem is inspiring people to wake up; undergo a “mazeway resynthesis,” sort of like a sudden insight or religious experience, a shift in their world view & ethos to one that addresses the problems of our day with helpful solutions and way of life, rather than making the problems worse; then do something.

    There’s really enough wind and sun in Texas to light up a pretty big chunk of the state, esp if everyone goes onto CF & LED lights. We’ve just gotta start getting off our duffs.

    We also had a Civic Hybrid at the festival, and when I explained how I was waiting for the plug-in type due out in a few years, one student immediately got it: We can drive on the wind!

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:31 PM

  26. Re #11 and #12

    You both misunderstand the point. The point is that just as this the world that humans are imperfectly adapted to, the same goes for ecosystems. This statement does not preclude the fact that climate change will create novel conditions that will affect humans and all other life.

    This is a statement that refers to the adaptation baseline, not future needs for further adaptation/mitigation.

    Comment by Roger Jones — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:37 PM

  27. Re: 17.

    It’s not that remarkable if we consider that even in the same U.S. agency (NOAA) we have the skeptics (NWS) and the believers (everyone else).

    Comment by pat n — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:47 PM

  28. “An effort that is now generally discredited.” Well, I guess you’d know, Lindzen. He sounds exactly like a lawyer (but then, I guess in a sense he is being a lawyer, for people like Michael Crichton), and this was a good job of prosecution. He spends his time dancing around every matter, to the extent that I cannot see how anyone could possibly take him seriously.

    Comment by tico89 — 17 Apr 2007 @ 9:49 PM

  29. Rod, where are you getting these beliefs? Why do you trust your source? Are you quoting Lindzen perhaps? He’s certainly blunt about believing his tobacco isn’t hurting anyone. But I can’t find what you’re posting attributed to him. Where are you getting it?

    Here are a few references that I believe contradict what you believe. I’d like to know your sources and what you read that differs.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1446868
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1448234
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1448228
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1764165
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1124865
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1381023

    Surprise me, Rod? Tell me you took the time to read those, and to look through the references and read a few of the footnotes, before you responded with your opinion?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Apr 2007 @ 10:21 PM

  30. What I want to know is when will people start talking about planning polar cities and towns for the future? Why the silence on this?

    Comment by Danny Bee — 17 Apr 2007 @ 11:16 PM

  31. Lynn,

    You do realize those CFL bulbs contain mercury right? And that hardly anyone recycles light bulbs? (I imagine or hope that you do.) Which is worse? To die from overheating in 100 years or from groundwater mercury poisoning in 10? What about food chain poisoning and the much greater risks of birth defects? I honestly think the CFLs need to be banned, or will be banned when mercury pollution begins to increase again. Otherwise why not start using DDT again.

    There was a big reason why lead and mercury and such are limited in uses for consumers becuase of this type of pollution.
    If anything you should be using LEDs, or those ultra efficient incandescents when they come out. (If they come out.) It is like using paper to bag your groceries. We went to plastic to save the trees. Now we want to go back to paper to save the oil and kill the trees. (Most people don’t recycle paper either.) People forget where paper comes from I guess. The also don’t connect paper to trees to the C02 sinks that we need so badly.
    I am not trying to be crass I was asking an honest question.

    Comment by Jim — 17 Apr 2007 @ 11:29 PM

  32. Jim (#30), very good point (Reuters story here). I hope you will campaign for CFLs to be included in doorstep recycling like I do, and banned from simple disposal.

    In same Newsweek issue I found at least as worrying Arnold Schwarzenegger’s remarks claiming to be making environmentalism sexy, but doing just the opposite.

    He says “[I want to] show that biofuel is not like some wimpy feminine car, like a hybrid. Because the muscle guys, they have this thing: ‘I don’t want to be seen in the little, feminine car’”.

    He lauds biofuel- and hydrogen- powered gas guzzlers at a time when hydrogen is worse than petroleum because of the marginal power station emissions caused (correct me if I’m wrong), and more biofuel use seems to be worse from almost every angle.

    Use corn ethanol, and you contribute to the boom in futures for soya and other crops/prime agricultural land throughout Americas, that will accelerate S.American deforestation. Use palm oil and you directly drive tropical deforestation/peat erosion. Use N.American canola or chicken fat, again you’re using up limited resources so in the long run your demand still means more Southern deforestation.

    Comment by Jim Roland — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:42 AM

  33. I read the Newsweek print issue on global warming (last week’s) and didn’t notice an article by Lindzen in it. Are we sure it was in the print edition? Sometimes they do these as web-only. Or maybe it was in some versions of the print issue and not others? I thought the copy I got was pretty good on the issues actually.

    Comment by Arthur Smith — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:45 AM

  34. Mike’s response to my comment #2: my hunch was that the disclosure was written by Lindzen himself. I would think that editors should make those disclosures based on their own investigation as journalists and not accepting them from the authors of the op-eds without question.

    For Rob B. there are two issues with Lindzen working for oil and other energy companies. First is the oil companies and their allies behavior when it comes to potential regulation. Their actions would, to use lawyerly language, classify them as “bad actors”. In everyday terms, they have been less then honest. By allying himself with dishonest people it is not a stretch to say Lindzen is also being dishonest.

    Second is Lindzen’s actions. Being an advocate is not bad, even the way that a lawyers advocate for their clients is not bad. Scientists have a different code of behavior. As Steven Schneider puts it a scientist should advocate while being true to the scientific facts. Lindzen is not doing this. He is advocating for positions that are not supported by the facts.

    On an off topic note, the apostrophe in O’Sullivan comes across as O backslash ‘Sullivan. I’m not sure why it does that.

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:17 AM

  35. Re point 6 and the optimum cionditions for life on Earth, this is what Jim Lovelock has been saying for decades — Ice ages are good for Gaia, the present “fever” is bad.

    Comment by John Gribbin — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:20 AM

  36. Jim,

    I don’t know about elsewhere, but in California CFL bulbs are considered hazardous waste and must not be disposed in regular garbage. I don’t know how well citizens are complying with this, but here in Yolo County there is quite an educational effort going on the benefits of compact fluorescents and the proper disposal of used bulbs.

    Of course, I’m in a small minority, but when I go shopping I take along my canvas bags and don’t use either paper or plastic for bagging my groceries.

    With proper education, people can be given options to make this planet a little greener. And many will respond.

    Comment by Jim Eaton — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:38 AM

  37. Could some of the climate scientitsts explain how Lindzen gets away with his dismissals of say ice core chronoology? Or how the Iris hypothesis sank without a trace? Or how long his appointment to the Sloan professorship will last (retirement at 70?) And bravo for comments #11 and #12.

    Comment by David Graves — 18 Apr 2007 @ 2:04 AM

  38. re: #30 & #31

    Actually, according to the EPA, if your electricity is coal-generated, CFLs are actually better than incandescents w.r.t. mercury:

    http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf

    Also, of course, batteries and other consumer products have some of the same issues as things with mercury in them, and CA has rules about them also (and so do other places). Of course, products like capacitor-based flashlights not only don’t have batteries … but never have dead batteries.

    Of course, we should keep hoping LEDs keep coming down in price, along with solar panels.

    Comment by John Mashey — 18 Apr 2007 @ 2:11 AM

  39. Re 14:

    Yes, this third party cutout system of using supposedly “neutral” academics for industry purposes is well documented. If a physician wrote a monograph for PhRMA, he would be required to disclose the funding when publishing in JAMA or New England Journal.

    Likewise, Roger Pielke Jr. should disclose any funding he received for writing for Cato. It’s pretty much the same issue with Cato’s “Regulation” serving as advertising for pro-corporate messaging.

    Comment by Paul — 18 Apr 2007 @ 3:00 AM

  40. A US EPA-produced factsheet (via NEMA) on CFLs (indeed, any fluorescent tube) and mercury can be found here

    Comment by P. Lewis — 18 Apr 2007 @ 3:48 AM

  41. All,

    I am amazed how your critique of Lindzen degenerate to the level of peronal attack. In this blog and other places, the claim that Lindzen is paid by industry to present these arguments seem to be repeated without reference to any evidence.

    Can anyone direct me to any documentation of conflicting interests other than the usual “guilty by association” argument of the environmentalists?

    -jona

    [Response: Did you try following the link we provided? And if you don't believe in "guilt by association", then why not have disclosed up front your association with Schlumberger Limited,
    a company that is heavily involved in petroleum exploration. -mike]

    Comment by jona — 18 Apr 2007 @ 4:24 AM

  42. There are interesting developments here in the UK and Europe with respect to energy using products. The European Energy Using Products (EUP) Directive, which is being transposed into UK law this summer, requires (through various specific implementation measures) companies who are placing EUPs on the market to have a technical ecodesign file for their product. When you combine that with the RoHS legislation (which places restrictions on hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, etc) and WEEE legislation (concerned with take-back and recycling etc) there are powerful forces brewing.

    In principle, competitors (and others) can take apart each others product, do analysis on them, and demonstrate with scientific results that the product should not be allowed to be sold. When you add in long-standing competition legislation, the mix starts to get heady, as businesses may begin to compete to be less damaging to the environment or compete to be more “climate friendly” than competitors.

    The EUP legislation is the first that I am aware of that compels companies to ecodesign their products and prove that they have done so. When you add in compliance requirements, such as that of Sarbanes-Oxley, which requires a company to have a single accounting truth for its business, and connect that to having a single accounting truth for GHG emissions disclosure, there are significant implications.

    Businesses which strip out unnecessary costs and eliminate unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions through implementation of high-impact climate change programs are placing themselves in a highly competitive position. A low-carbon world order has the potential to emerge a lot quicker than many realise, especially when one appreciates that time horizons in the corporate world are often measured by the quarter (which is lot less than some of the paleoclimatic timescales discussed on this website!).

    Comment by Michael Gell — 18 Apr 2007 @ 6:04 AM

  43. Re 31, Energy bulbs contain mercury, if disposed of on masse then they could be dangerous.

    Comment by pete best — 18 Apr 2007 @ 6:15 AM

  44. I’d like to see reasonable explanations on why

    Honey bee populations have suddenly begun to decline,

    Could the decline be at least partly due to more doppler radars while the National Weather Service and others claim ignorance as they are on climate change and global warming?

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/04/cell_phones_bees.html

    Comment by pat n — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:13 AM

  45. Gavin & Michael : Re
    “concern about human-driven climate change is not because this is the most perfect of possible worlds – it is because, whatever it’s imperfections, it is the world that society is imperfectly adapted to.”

    Since biologists are clamoring for more representation in RC, perhaps you should invite some philosopher of language to weigh in on the status of the collective noun “society : in that sentence.

    Do you actually assert it to be as singular in fact, as in your usage? Someone of Saul Kripke’s ilk would ask if “society” , as applied to the entire set of states of cultural adoption to world environments , is a rigid designator in the real set- a material entity like a “rhinoceros” ,or rather an idealization like a “unicorn.” Political philosophers might even suspect it shorthand for the entity whose terms of existence some might wish to subordinate to an external ideal of climatic stasis unchanged by human activity. Such folks are as real as rhinoceri, and are called “ideologues.”

    So perhaps Gerry Beauregard (17 )is on to something in remarking: “It’s remarkable how people living on the same planet, even in the same country, can live in such completely different mental universes ” Little wonder the existential status of the term “society ” has given Margaret Thatcher such difficulty- she’s a chemist.

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:24 AM

  46. You do realize those CFL bulbs contain mercury right?

    IIRC, if every incandescent bulb consumed in the US each year were replaced by the appropriate average number of CFLs, the total mercury flow, assuming modern low-mercury bulbs were used, would be less than 1 ton/year. This is considerably less than the mercury being released by coal burning powerplants, which IIRC is somewhere around 50 tons/year in the US.

    Comment by Paul Dietz — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:33 AM

  47. “The lady doth protest too much” is in third person singular. But “thou” is second person singular, so it would be “thou dost,” not “thou doth.” You’re going to offend any Elizabethan Englishmen in the audience.

    [Response: Thanks, fixed. -mike]

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:45 AM

  48. re: 44. Please Pat. There are legitimate concerns about bee populations but to spout such pure speculation without a shred of evidence is highly unscientific. It smacks of a cheap shot and lowers credibility. And it sounds like the actor/wacko Larry Hagman complaining on TV talk shows years ago that he got liver disease (not mentioning his years of drinking of course) or whatever it was due to a new Doppler across the valley from his home. This is a science site, not a conspiracy theory site.

    [Response: Bees and radar are definitely off-topic. No more please. -gavin]

    Comment by Dan — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:52 AM

  49. To dismiss someone because of his foundings instead of his arguments is bad. I also think it is bad retorics because people can (and have) get the impression that people use the founding argument because it is difficult to argue against his points.

    It is also completely unecessary in Lindzen case because it is clear that he is dishonest and say things just for its retorical, desceptive value. Examples are when he compare weather forecast with climate forecast and when he said that it is global warming on, Mars, Tritan and Pluto in a debate about global warming.

    He definitely know that these are no argument for his case but say them anyway just to score points from laymen.

    Seriuosly a MIT professor talking about global warming on Pluto in a debate about global warming on earth… Why dont MIT try to get rid of him?

    Comment by Fredrik — 18 Apr 2007 @ 7:53 AM

  50. [[Richad Lindzen's article ("Why so gloomy?", Newsweek International, April 16), which is severely critical of the results of modern climate science, ends with a statement attributed to Roger Revelle to the effect that no action on global warming is required "thus far". Revelle is honored for his commitment to science for the benefit of society, as well as for his pioneering work in climate science. He wrote articles as early as the 1950s examining the fate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, and its potential impact on climate. He died more than fifteen years ago. So when does "thus far" apply to? ]]

    If I’m not mistaken, Revelle died in 1991.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:07 AM

  51. In the book HEAT by George Monbiot he has devoted an entire chapter (2)to climate denialists and their story. Fred Singer and David Bellamy are mentioned with their story of advancing glaciers along with Exxon and philip morris the tobacco company.

    It compliments a lot of the RC stories quite well. Be well worth a review I reckon.

    Comment by Pete Best — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:10 AM

  52. [[re 14: It's a little off course (but not totally), but... the facts of the tobacco case is that they can cause harm, but are not anywhere close to the magnitude of harm claimed by the ag'iners (I can hear the hysterics now!). Like in the 70s when the gov't was driving the industry to keep the nicotine up when the tar was lowered. You have the answer: follow the money. A lot of people and gov'ts got filthy rich exaggerating the harm. Maybe the same is true on both sides of the AGW issue... ]]

    400,000 deaths a year is harm enough for me. As a libertarian-leaning liberal, I believe in letting people smoke whatever they want to, but that doesn’t mean cigarettes should be marketed to kids, or that cigarette companies be allowed to lie to people about how dangerous their product is.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:11 AM

  53. While it may be sad to see an academic of some repute content in peddling such disingenuous commentary, it appears the world has moved on from such denial. If the topic has made it to the UN Security Council for consideration, it would suggest that the more important opinion formers have been convinced by the science.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,2059654,00.html

    Comment by k rutherford — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:13 AM

  54. [[What I want to know is when will people start talking about planning polar cities and towns for the future? Why the silence on this? ]]

    Because we’re talking about a change in the mean global annual surface temperature of no more than 6 K by 2100. Even with polar amplification of global warming, the poles will still be too damn cold for anyone with sense to live up there. (Inuit, Yakutsk and Kwakiutl don’t live at the north pole, by the way.)

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:15 AM

  55. [[Re point 6 and the optimum cionditions for life on Earth, this is what Jim Lovelock has been saying for decades -- Ice ages are good for Gaia, the present "fever" is bad. ]]

    The hell with what’s good for Gaia. I prefer what’s good for humanity, and covering most of the northern continents with miles of ice is not going to be good for humanity.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:18 AM

  56. Comments 11 and 12 do address an important issue, but it is not exactly the issue this site was set up for. As far as I can tell, Realclimate is for the climatologists to tell us about the evidence for global warming, and of course they will suggest some of the effects it will have.

    What we need now is a website run by ecologists and biologists to educate us on the current status of research on changes in the biosphere due to warming. This is an area of immediate concern, because of our dependence upon natural resources for our food and well being.

    Comment by guthrie — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:19 AM

  57. Re:5

    All anyone has to do to investigate the role of increased CO2 and warmer climates in the projected agricultural future of the world is log into Science Magazine, open the search window and type ‘climate agriculture.’ Plenty of articles are revealed stating the exact opposite. These are recent studies, fairly well covered by the popular media, and they emphatically state the coming climate will not be friendly to agriculture.

    If Lintzen has missed these articles, he’s doing so on purpose. If he knows about them yet continues to state the opposite, he’s BSing his audience.

    Just last week the prediction that the entire southwest will become a permanent dustbowl. If that’s too long to remember, then I have serious concerns for his memory.

    Perhaps Newsweek would consider a rebuttal or letter of concern. Scientific journals publish such letters and responses.

    Comment by Terry Miesle — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:26 AM

  58. If I were a oil company, I would of course hire Lindzen, not RC. That doesn’t make Lindzen arguments right or wrong in any sense. Following those arguments, any scientist paid by Greenpeace is therefore under suspect (again, that they don’t have any economic interest doesn’t make their -Greenpeace- arguments right or wrong).

    On the other hand, #31 (Jim), DDT was approved (again) by the WHO last year 2006 as a fight against malary, what is probably good news if you live in Africa or Asia (you don’t, probably).

    Comment by SebastianDell — 18 Apr 2007 @ 8:58 AM

  59. Jim: “Which is worse? To die from overheating in 100 years or from groundwater mercury poisoning in 10? What about food chain poisoning and the much greater risks of birth defects? I honestly think the CFLs need to be banned”

    That factsheet points out that normal lightbulbs cause more mercury to be disposed of than CFLs because of the mercury content of power station emissions. So if you’re going to ban CFLs to avoid mercury disposal then to be consistent you will also have to ban normal lightbulbs.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:05 AM

  60. My family I in the oil business and I own/have owned a lot of oil stocks.

    If I’m hiring a scientist to help me find oil, I’m hiring RC types. You don’t want somebody who won’t tell you what you don’t want to hear. If I’m hiring a scientist to help me control the future regulatory climate, I’m hiring RL.

    RL is a dry-hole specialist. You hire him when you don’t want to gusher the boat.

    Comment by J.C.H — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:16 AM

  61. Did you guys read the IPCC corrected rapport?
    Is only 80% certainty the new deal or am i as confused as i think i am?
    co2 or not, this earth is hurting.. i suppose… eh, or do i?

    Comment by Marian — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:26 AM

  62. Re #60: The point is not that he won’t tell you what you don’t want to hear. The point is that he would defend your business from a scientist point of view (opposing to attacking your business from a scientific point of view).

    [Response: This only works in the short term. Climate change isn't going to go away, and if your business is in the business of being in business for many years to come, it's better to be shaping the regulatory framework rather than continuing to insist that there is no need for one. -gavin]

    Comment by SebastianDell — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:51 AM

  63. “â�¦doubts about the global scale of warmth associated with the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” date back well over a decade…”
    Just a suggestion but it’d be worth co-opting archaeologists to help provide a more definitive answer. The Medieval World – however you define the period – has been studied and excavated in minute detail, particularly in Europe, but also elswhere, and site surveys include studies of crops grown and vegetation cover, both of which are sensitive to temperature/precipitation changes etc.

    I also agree with the suggestion for a seperate site to act as a clearing house/discussion on ecological/hydrological impacts etc. As examples, the drought prediction for the American SW, species extinction and so on.

    Comment by Tim Dennell — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:58 AM

  64. re #5

    There is a very good overview/outline of the problems associated with the sustainability of food crops in Lester R. Brown’s “Outgrowing the Earth”, including specific descriptions of how heat affects crop yield.

    Interesting stuff. And it pretty much makes a laughing stock of Lindzen’s claims.

    Whenever I run into a denialist making the argument that warming can be a positive thing in terms of greening the earth, I ask them to specify, using Australia as an example. Of course, they usually don’t have an answer because they’re simply parroting a line. But every once in a while you run into someone who actually understands why Australia is a perfect example why the claim of beneficial warming is bogus and they try to avoid it altogether. For details, check out Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”. Quite the eye-opener.

    Comment by J.S. McIntyre — 18 Apr 2007 @ 9:58 AM

  65. But you didn’t comment on my favorite blatant lie in the piece: “Interpretations of these studies rarely consider that the impact of carbon on temperature goes down-not up-the more carbon accumulates in the atmosphere.”

    Do you know of any models that don’t take into account this effect? Maybe like an Excel spreadsheet model that students use for a freshman climate course? Except I think even most of those do…

    Comment by Marcus — 18 Apr 2007 @ 10:53 AM

  66. There is a very good overview/outline of the problems associated with the sustainability of food crops in Lester R. Brown’s

    I get the impression Lester Brown has a history of taking short term fluctuations in agricultural statistics and predicting downturns from them. I suppose he could eventually be correct, but it will be by accident more than anything else.

    Comment by Paul Dietz — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:15 AM

  67. “Here are a few references that I believe contradict what you believe. I’d like to know your sources and what you read that differs.” says Hank in #29.

    I said the do-gooders have extremely exaggersted the harm from tobacco. You refute this by referencing the exaggerators! How do I respond to this? But then you include the other “pile on” — second hand smoke hazards. The initial EPA “study” which triggered most of the laws and regulations on sidestream tobacco smoke, was not only rejected in court, the Federal District judge came just short of charging the EPA with Contempt and Fraud. There was a time (70s) when the consensus (most scientists and govts) agreed that only cigarette tars could cause physical health problems, nicotine was habit forming like caffine but not addictive, and cigarettes might be responsible for 30,000-40,000 lung cancer deaths. But then they smelled money in them thar hills.

    You think govts and activists groups don’t have the capability and uninhibited propensity to make stuff up? (In essence they don’t literally make it up, just take massive editorial license with things they know is not easy to refute: “Tobacco kills 400,000 a year. Prove me wrong!” and next year or so they’ll make it a half-million…) This process is also applicable to AGW on both sides. Unfortunately it’s sometimes required to effect action….

    Comment by Rod B. — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:31 AM

  68. “Their actions would, to use lawyerly language, classify them as “bad actors”. says Joseph in 34.

    And oil companies are bad actors and dishonest because they resist whatever you might want to do to them????

    It’s still guilt through raw association and neither proper nor scientific.

    Comment by Rod B. — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:41 AM

  69. 38, 46.

    That still does not make it OK to use CFLs and throw them away and poison the land. There are other ways to save power and provide lighting such as LEDs and newer incandescents. In affect you kill two birds with one stone. Why bother to use a cure when eventually it will be as bad as the disease? I guess you picked up on only part of my post and did not read the rest.

    Comment by Jim — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:48 AM

  70. re 66

    His description of the problems China is facing, in terms of desertification, the collapse of their grain reserves, and that country’s subsequent forays into the world market to compensate for their agricultural losses over time is rather well documented, as is the discussion regarding how crops behave when subjected to stress such as increased heat are well-documented and thoroughly cited. His observations regarding water issues tend to parallel what we’re hearing in terms of what we should expect in the forseeable future from climatologists.

    The book I noted was rather straightforward in presentation, essentially documenting the state of the overall elements we rely upon to sustain our civilization. Perhaps you saw it differently.

    Comment by J.S. McIntyre — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:54 AM

  71. [Response: This only works in the short term. Climate change isn't going to go away, and if your business is in the business of being in business for many years to come, it's better to be shaping the regulatory framework rather than continuing to insist that there is no need for one. -gavin]

    This is exactly why RL’s stock is going down within the oil industry. There is a growing – no matter how bitter the pill – realization that Al Gore has been/is essentially correct, so the issue is how to still be an energy player in a market where fossil-fuel sales may be capped worldwide in serious ways. That is our probable strategic situation in the future.

    Comment by J.C.H — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:00 PM

  72. #59 ["Which is worse?"] On that point, refineries around the San Francisco Bay are being asked to account for almost 2 tons a year of mercury that enters their systems in crude oil but which cannot be accounted for (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5632439). [bootnote: the Mercury News is the newspaper of San Jose, California, capitol of Silicon Valley, and is a reminder that the town got a big boost historically by mining mercury for use in gold mining and munitions.]

    I can’t say what would be the expected mercury contributions of CFLs being improperly disposed of, but I know that 2 tons annually from refineries sounds like a lot, and at least the CFLs could be collected as hazardous wastes while the 2 tons from refineries is (apparently) just oozing out of the cracks into the watershed. And I’ll bet you even money the oil companies will NEVER fully reveal what’s happening with their mercury. Shades of the tobacco companies…

    Comment by cat black — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:15 PM

  73. And oil companies are bad actors and dishonest because they resist whatever you might want to do to them????

    No, because certain of them, Exxon-Mobile in particular, fund people to lie about the science of climatology and what it tells us about the effect of putting a bunch of CO2 from fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

    If Exxon-Mobile were to say “well, yes, the science is sound but we don’t care” they wouldn’t be accused of being dishonest.

    And those oil companies such as BP who acknowledge reality aren’t being labelled as being dishonest or evil by people who follow the climate change issue.

    Comment by dhogaza — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:17 PM

  74. Re 16.
    [[. . .a statement attributed to Roger Revelle to the effect that no action on global warming is required "thus far". ]]

    Lindzen is probably referring to an unfortunate 1991 article Revelle supposedly co-authored with Fred Singer in Cosmos Magazine. Revelle was in his last year of life. The article is entirely Singer’s. A lawsuit ensued. This link provides Revelle’s side of the story:

    http://home.att.net/~espi/Cosmos_myth.html

    Comment by Paul Middents — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:36 PM

  75. As a paleoclimatology graduate student and Dr. Lindzen’s next door neighbor growing up (he still lives next door to my parents), I decided to meet with him a few weeks ago to hear his thoughts from his own mouth, without the media filter. He insisted that he is NOT on the payroll of any energy company. I asked if he was going to be testifying before congress given the flurry of new committee meetings on climate change. He replied that he does not testify anymore because it costs so much money to fly yourself there, put yourself up in a hotel, and even Xerox your testimony for all the staffers – and you can’t use NSF or any other funding to cover those costs. Not to mention they don’t listen to you anyway.

    I followed your provided links on the subject of Dr. Lindzen’s payoffs, and they all seem to originate with Ross Gelbspan’s book, “The Heat is On”, where he names Lindzen specifically and says he earns $2500 per day for “consulting services”. Does this include testifying before congress? I have not read Gelbspan’s book, but does he cite hard, specific evidence that Lindzen does in fact receive money from energy companies? Just providing a link to what “someone else says” doesn’t make it fact. And the fact that he now adds his disclaimer to public media articles is not surprising given that he is constantly accused of taking their money. Pleading one’s innocence in the face of constant accusations does not make one guilty (just ask a few Duke Lacrosse players).

    It is clear to me that Dr. Lindzen relishes being a naysayer, as he even talked to me about smoking risks being blown out of proportion as he literally chain-smoked through our conversation. And whether or not he is paid by energy companies does not change the fact that much of what he says about climate change is misleading, misdirection, or just plain inaccurate. But I’d like to know if there really is a financial component to his “skeptical” activities, and if he lied to me to my face.

    I’d also like to remind people that “skeptics” are an integral part of the scientific processes – they force us to go that extra mile to prove our hypotheses beyond reasonable doubt and fix any holes in our thinking. I applaud this site for trying to engage skeptics and their claims through the scientific strength of our arguments, and not through personal attacks (even if they are deserved).

    Comment by Erich — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:48 PM

  76. Thanks, Paul Middens. I also think that rather shameful situation is probably what Lindzen is thinking of. I’d have thought he knew better.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Apr 2007 @ 12:55 PM

  77. The ordinary bullsh*t from climate alarmists towards sound critics (Btw Lindzen now believe CO2 affect the temperature could be 1.1 degrees this century, which is a high figure compared to the predictions of many other good scientists with insights in the late discoveries):

    “To the best of our knowledge, the first published attempt to use a climate model and estimated forcing histories to simulate the climate of the past millennium was described less than 7 years ago in this Science article by Tom Crowley, not 10 years ago– (a 43% error ;) ).”

    I’ll now offer the simpliest logic to the most retarrded phony ppl: What was introduced 7 years ago wasn’t at our possesion 10 yeears ago. (And 10 is a perfect number to use in phrases like Lindzens here.)

    Comment by Magnus — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:05 PM

  78. It smacks of a cheap shot and lowers credibility.

    That’s what I thought of Lindzen’s presentation at in 2002 when he used cartoons in downplaying global warming. Dennis Hartman and Ben Santer also gave presentations on global warming in 2002, at the U of M. Lindzen’s comments in Newsweek show he hasn’t been observing real world changes since 2002 in the polar regions and Upper Midwest. Many of the comments at realclimate show Lindzen isn’t alone in his ways and observations and the credibility of material posted at realclimate has been lowered as well, in my view.

    Comment by pat n — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:05 PM

  79. #58, “any scientist paid by Greenpeace is therefore under suspect.”

    I don’t think that would be so. Greenpeace is into many environmental problems, so if GW were found to be a non-problem, I think they’d be very happy, then turn to other real problems. As environmentalists & not scientists, they focus more on avoiding false negatives (thinking GW is NOT happening when indeed it is) than false positives (GW is happening when in fact it is not), which is what scientists try to avoid like the plague (& they do need to protect their reputations, or they’ll be like the boy who called wolf). So environmentalists sound somewhat different from scientists, even though they base their actions on scientific findings.

    I’m an environmentalist. I don’t have any bad motive, or anything to gain by being concerned about GW & spreading that concern. I take the science, and understand that science is erring on the side of avoiding false positives, and therefore may be underestimating the problem. I didn’t wait until 1995 when the 1st scientific study reached 95% confidence on AGW, but started reducing my GHGs back in 1990. In fact I lose time & money & patience being an environmentalist. Aside from personal savings from energy/resource efficiency/conservation (maybe $500 a year), being an environmentalist entails sacrifice and loss. It’s a charity, it’s a concern about the life of the world. I could be doing other selfish things, or climbing the job ladder instead. It’s a labor of love.

    Lindzen and other denialists seem to have other motives, aside from any consultant fees from the fossil fuel industry, some great fear of losing freedom or economic decline if we mitigate GW (without hardly any concern for GW harms at all). It’s a paralyzing STATE OF FEAR, seems to me.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:28 PM

  80. #73 [Cosmos] Thank you for sharing that reference. Good lord, we’re up against a professional syndicate of nay-sayers funded by some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Some day this episode will be written up in history books as evidence that the last days of multinational oil companies were marked by desperate lies and a breathtaking contempt for truth, the hallmark of corporations in general taken to extremes. With luck, that “history” will be written shortly and these blackguarding dinosaurs will be behind us.

    Comment by cat black — 18 Apr 2007 @ 1:59 PM

  81. It is hard to say what the optimum temperature for humanity would be with today’s level of technology and population. Have air conditioning, pesticides, aquiculture and medicines tipped the balance in favor a warmer climate? When society evolved, as you say, there was no practical way to make cold (no refrigeration), or keep pests off plants.

    Have cars and driving made cold weather relatively more dangerous than warmer weather?

    When a statements Lindzen claims that because we don’t know what the ideal temperature of the planet are read though literally flawed need to view not literally but with there most likely meaning.

    If I say my car is full of gasoline do you walk up open the door and see no gasoline come out of cabin and say liar, liar pants on fire?

    Comment by Floccina — 18 Apr 2007 @ 3:54 PM

  82. Lynn (79), I don’t have quarrel with most of what you say. I’m in full support of many environmental causes. Problem is the protagonists often take their cause to ridiculous near hysterical extremes, Greenpeace being typical. (I don’t know what their inner motives are or if they have ‘some great fear of losing’ control, or somethin’….) But I applaud your efforts. My point was much smaller than your rebuttal. Just simple logic which says a person’s (Lindzen’s e.g.) scientific arguments are not refuted just because he might hang with guys you don’t like. At the same token, just because a guy disagrees with you does not mean at all that he has ‘ulterior motives’ or has “some great fear of losing freedom or economic decline”….

    Comment by Rod B. — 18 Apr 2007 @ 4:10 PM

  83. Those “other motives” include not wanting to admit having been wrong.

    Dr. John Tauer, Univ. St. Thomas in psychology, said to WCCO in the Twin Cities:

    That’s because two basic human needs are the need to feel good about ourselves and the need to be right and accurate about our perceptions of the world. This helps create our sense of self.

    “When those two needs do come in conflict, more often than not we end up protecting our feelings about ourselves,” said Tauer. “Even if that means sacrificing our accuracy.”

    http://wcco.com/specialreports/local_story_011193646.html

    Comment by pat n — 18 Apr 2007 @ 4:50 PM

  84. “Finally, we find it curious that Lindzen chose to include this very lawyerly disclaimer at the end of the piece:

    [Lindzen's] research has always been funded exclusively by the U.S. government. He receives no funding from any energy companies.”

    Richard, one thinks thou dost protest too much! A casual reader would be led to infer that Lindzen has received no industry money for his services. … So Lindzen’s claim is true, on a technicality.”

    I disagree. Lindzen’s claim is not even true on a technicality. Consider the second sentence on its own:

    “He receives no funding from any energy companies.”

    To me that clearly states he receives no such money at all. The truthful wording of the second paragraph would have to be:

    “He receives no research funding from any energy companies.”

    So Lindzen’s claim is not even true on a technicality.

    [Response: Well, actually it could be, we don't really know. We know he's taken industry money in the past. Whether or not he is receiving any right now, at this very moment, is difficult to know. He could, again, be right on a technicality. But that's hardly something to be proud of, is it? -mike]

    Comment by Adam Nealis — 18 Apr 2007 @ 4:53 PM

  85. Tried to post last night but without success. As a layperson it is difficult to absorb so much information about so many different potential contributors to global warming.

    Thus I would like to focus on CO2′s role. Can somebody answer a few questions?

    1. Why has surface temperature only risen .6 degrees celsius when CO2 concentrations are so high? What explains the lag?

    2. Is there a general consesus on what percentage of the .6 rise can be attributed to anthropogenic CO2 emissions?

    Thanks and my compliments on a very informative site that , for the most part, avoids personal attacks on those who remain skeptical.

    [Response: Try: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/attribution-of-20th-century-climate-change-to-cosub2sub/ and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/planetary-energy-imbalance/ - gavin]

    Comment by Tim — 18 Apr 2007 @ 5:18 PM

  86. As always, excellent … truly excellent. My discussion was “J’Accuse: Newsweek harbors Global Warming Deniers” (http://www.ecotality.com/blog/2007/jaccuse-newsweek-harbors-global-warming-deniers/).

    You might want to add that Lindzen is not just misleading here but states direct falsehoods. For example,

    ” There is no evidence, for instance, that extreme weather events are increasing in any systematic way …”

    Well, there is evidence. Lindzen might want to contest it, but there is evidence. See, for example: Science Daily’s video “Harder Rain, More Snow: Meteorologists See Future of Increasingly Extreme Weather Events.” (http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006-02-05/)

    Sadly, I don’t expect Newsweek to publish any form of corrective material. Just as they let Fareed Zakaria’s errors to pass through without correction. (http://www.ecotality.com/blog/2007/fareed-zakaria-wrong-facts-drive-wrong-conclusions/)

    Comment by A Siegel — 18 Apr 2007 @ 11:53 PM

  87. The mercury controversy sees bilaterally overblown since whether ou proceed from the 13 tons Hg the EPA reckons was used in fluorescents in 1999 , or down-shift the amount per bulb ( to say 3 milligrams , as is promised ) but increase the number of units to >10 exp 10 as hoped, it still is small change compared to the ~ 100 thousand ton/year geochemical
    flux – and so is the 10 exp 1 or 2 ton coal Hg flux.

    Food chain concentration is more interesting of course, but the background driving wont go down by an order of magnitude whatever the policy.Hot springs are the mildly counterintuitive culprit globally .

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 19 Apr 2007 @ 5:24 AM

  88. [[1. Why has surface temperature only risen .6 degrees celsius when CO2 concentrations are so high? What explains the lag?]]

    Well, 0.8° K, actually…. It would take a doubling of CO2 to raise the temperature 3° K, and the ambient CO2 level has only risen 40% since the industrial revolution began. And some of the increase has been masked by countervailing forces like aerosols from pollution. Now that pollution is being cleaned up (at least in the developed world), the CO2 warming signal will increase.

    On the lag I’ll let the scientists here speak, since it’s not a subject I know much about.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Apr 2007 @ 6:59 AM

  89. #31, Thanks, Jim, for letting me know about CF bulbs. I knew they had something toxic, but not exactly what….so I’ve just been storing them. Not a whole lot, since they last forever & I only started using them in 1990. And to think we used to play with mercury as kids (that beaded quicksilver stuff from broken thermometers), which may have been as bad as those asbestos warmers mom used to place over the burners. I probably don’t have many years left, so I’d better get to it.

    This just points to the basic problem that there is a down side to nearly every good thing (like industrialization), and that we need to address the problems these good things create. I believe nearly everything is doable. We should never tire of finding solutions.

    Our club is about to start promoting CF bulbs, as well as Green Mountain 100% wind power, at our “BE COOL PARTIES,” so we need to find a place to recycle them….And I think our recycling center may handle them (& if not, we can see to it that they do). Then that will get people to go to the recycling center (we don’t have curbside), and perhaps recycle other stuff as well.

    Maybe if Prof. Lindzen gets down our way, we could invite him to a party, and inspire him to get on board. Everything’s doable. There are solutions to every problem.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 19 Apr 2007 @ 11:56 AM

  90. The Publitzer prize-winning author Ross Gelbspan wrote in his global warming expose book (“The Heat is On”) that when he interviewed Lindzen, Lindzen came across as an idealogue, who was not open to established scientific evidence….bizarre, since Lindzen is a “scientist”.

    Comment by richard ordway — 19 Apr 2007 @ 12:14 PM

  91. > Mercury

    Dr. Seitz is correct about the magnitude: mercury release from fluorescent lights is less than that from coal power plants.

    Human activity, though, puts mercury into the air in amounts that fall out and bioaccumulate — far more than natural background does.

    “Methyl mercury is a developmental neurotoxicant. Exposure results principally from consumption by pregnant women of seafood contaminated by mercury from anthropogenic (70%) and natural (30%) sources.”

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1257552

    Think it through. Look it up.

    http://congress.cd-cc.si/icmgp04/?menu_item=programme&menu_level=2

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Apr 2007 @ 2:33 PM

  92. Has anybody qualified done a critique of what was described today here
    as the “Dual Critique of the Stern Review by 14 well-qualified scientists and economists”?

    Comment by Geoff Russell — 19 Apr 2007 @ 8:07 PM

  93. Lindzen said,

    “Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing.”

    Besides the fact that a warmer “less variable” world is likely to be a bad thing for species and industries adapted to, say, four seasons, apparently Lindzen has no problem with writing off the tropics.

    So much for the poor people (who mostly live in the tropics) that his side expressed concern for in the recent East Side debate discussed elsewhere on this site.

    So with regard to species the IPCC report tells that increases in temperatures will likely lead to the following:

    * Approximately 20-30% of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction of increases in gobal average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5 C.

    And then concerning the tropics,

    * At lower latitudes, especially seasonally dry and tropical regions crop productivity is projected to decrease for even small local temperature increases (1-2 C), which would increase the risk of hunger.

    * Increases in the frequency of droughts and floods are projected to affect local production negatively, especially in subsitence sectors at low latitudes.

    * Corals are vulnerable to thermal stress and have low adaptive capacity. Increases in sea surface temperture of about 1 to 3 C are projected to result in more frequent coral bleaching events and widespread mortality, unless there is thermal adaptation or acclimatisation by corals.

    And it’s not that there is not some good news in the IPCC report, but here is the crux of the matter, it’s as if Lindzen read the following statement in the IPCC report:

    * Studies in temperate areas have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure.

    But is completely blind to the next sentence which reads,

    * Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative health effects of rising temperatures world-wide, especially in developing countries.

    As you all say, there is no serious discussion to be found in Lindzen’s piece. I think he justs hopes no one will actually read the IPCC report.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/WG1_SPM_17Apr07.pdf

    Comment by Tavita — 19 Apr 2007 @ 8:07 PM

  94. Hank, what really is the difference? There are better ways to save power using different technologies. (LEDs, high effieciency incandescents.) I was trying to point out that we can’t sacrifice one set of goals that are just as worthy for another set. CFLs are not a panacea for solving increasing power demand due to the side effects with their use. While there can never be a free lunch as everything in life is a tradeoff, we can minimize impacts.

    Some people simply forget things and support the latest “fad” in environmentalism. Take for instance paper vs plastic in the grocery stores, or the power line scares in the 80′s and 90′s when everyone was afraid of EM radiation. Now folks by magnets for their “healthful” effects! (I seen one on someone’s wrist the other day as a matter of fact!)

    On another note. Lynn one other tidbit. You are not using 100% wind power and as long as you use the common electricity grid you never will. What you are doing is helping the power company subsidize a type of power which is then made availble to all users on the grid. Power generation of any and all types is dynamically balanced and provided to service the entire load (People) using the grid at any given time. (Power load changes by the minute 24/7/365 and must be matched exactly to capacity or the grid starts load shedding or it goes down entirely) It is therefore not possible to supply any one set of customers with a unique source of power. Also as wind power generally is only avaiable 35 to 50% and the fact that your lights do not go off 65 to 50% of the time you rest assured that you are not just using wind power. It is an econmic thing, that enables power companies to invest in less profitable sources of power and allow you to contribute. As a whole say Texas uses 1TW and wind creates 2.9GW the power demand on the FF power plants is still reduced as a whole by that 2.9Gw and you are doing some good in an indirect method not a direct one. A direct method in this case would be to erect your own solar/wind equipment and power your own house with it. Expensive, but then you can say without a doubt you are using 100% wind power.

    Comment by Jim — 19 Apr 2007 @ 10:18 PM

  95. re:

    Some “good things” about climate change in Minnesota, excerpts from a Minneapolis Star Tribune article published Nov., 2004, but still said recently on some media stations in Minnesota:

    … records show Minnesota has had eight consecutive Novembers mild enough to play golf.

    Dan Luna, chief of river forecasting at the National Weather Service
    in Chanhassen, said: “It would be hard-pressed for anyone to argue
    that we’re not seeing evidence of warming. ‘Why?’ is another
    question, but we’re just not getting the really cold winters anymore.”

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleontology_and_Climate/message/10495?l=1

    Many people living in Minnesota say fewer really cold winters are a good thing here.

    Comment by pat n — 20 Apr 2007 @ 7:06 AM

  96. [[Lindzen said,
    "Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing."
    ]]

    Then in this case, meteorological theory is wrong. About a year ago I took the monthly temperature anomalies from the satellites since 1979 and divided them at the halfway point. I took the standard deviations of each group, and they were significantly different by F test — with the variation in the later group higher. Empirically, weather is becoming more variable as the world warms.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Apr 2007 @ 7:17 AM

  97. Re: #96 (BPL)

    Did you remove the trends before computing the standard deviations?

    Comment by tamino — 20 Apr 2007 @ 8:33 AM

  98. RE #94, “You are not using 100% wind power…as wind power generally is only avaiable 35 to 50%”

    I also had the same question, but they told me they are supplying the same KWHs of wind that I am using, and that if demand increases they can as needed rent space from farmers, who can farm right up to the base of the wind generators. So, yes, the grid is a big mix of all types of power, and the wind they generate for me might not match the exact times I’m using peak electricity (so Dirty Beer Belching Harry might be using my supply during those times), but they are supplying KWH for KWH used & I’m paying specifically for it. And it’s now cheaper than conventional, a difference I expect to increase, as tax breaks and subsidies are withdrawn from fossil fuels.

    The glitch will come when everyone wants wind power, and potentials have been maxed out (partly because the windy times don’t match peak times — though, of course, it can be stored in batteries, say, hydrogen batteries or some other advanced form we can’t even imagine now). At any rate that just isn’t going to happen within my lifetime (I’m getting old), bec people are really slow to catch on.

    Similar will happen with my free & wonderful reused paper supply. Right now I use discarded library paper (which is very good quality, usually with only “Page Separator” on one side) for nearly all my paper uses, incl Earth Day displays pasted on used carboard (so the other side doesn’t even bleed thru). But eventually others may start REUSING the paper as well, and I may not have my vast supply. I may have to start using paper made of recycled pulp, or even virgin paper. Horrors!

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 20 Apr 2007 @ 9:03 AM

  99. #94 (Jim): “While there can never be a free lunch as everything in life is a tradeoff”

    There is no mercury-energy trade-off between CFLs and normal lamps. CFLs cause less mercury emission than normal lamps as well as much less energy consumption. We could reduce mercury emission still further with a better (and currently more expensive) technology but this is not “kill(ing) two birds with one stone”, it is more like killing two birds with two stones.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 20 Apr 2007 @ 10:09 AM

  100. Re #99, I think Jim’s point is that we should be conscientious about disposing of CF bulbs, so that the mercury does not leak into the environment. Or, as my pastor likes to point out, others’ big sins don’t justify one’s own smaller sins.

    That is your point, isn’t it, Jim? We should never tire to doing right. And should always be open and humble about learning what we are doing wrong, so as to correct it best we can.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 20 Apr 2007 @ 11:37 AM

  101. Re #95: [...records show Minnesota has had eight consecutive Novembers mild enough to play golf.]

    It’s really difficult for me to fathom the state of mind that would regard this as a good thing. (But then, I’ve always thought that the desire to play golf is an unrecognized early warning sign of Alzheimer’s Disease :-)) I imagine that people who enjoy cross-country skiing, or whose ice fishing shacks & snowmobiles fell through thin lake ice, might voice a different opinion.

    In either case, the goodness or badness is just a reflection of personal taste, and so hardly a reason to ignore all the objective effects of climate change.

    [Many people living in Minnesota say fewer really cold winters are a good thing here.]

    If they don’t like cold winters, why don’t they just move to Florida? Much simpler than buggering up the climate for those of us who prefer the current state.

    Comment by James — 20 Apr 2007 @ 12:20 PM

  102. re: #94, #99: Jim

    Lord Kelvin wrote (1883):
    “…when you can measure what your are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind…”

    When we started switching to CFLs 10-15 years ago, we checked out the expected lifetimes/costs and mercury issues, deciding that on the basis of the numbers, that they were good investments, saved energy, and were at worst even-up on the mercury, but probably better, and most likely in the noise. Of dozens of CFLs in this house for a decade, one has failed so far.

    Several of us have pointed at numbers regarding CFLs, mercury, cost/energy/lifetime tradeoffs.

    Could you do the same for LEDs and low-power incandescents? We have windup LED flashlights, but unlike CFLs that are widely available in numerous form factors in our small local hardware store, I haven’t yet seen LED/low-power incandescents as available, nor the data that shows me why they are *now* better than CFLs for general use. Over the longer term I have high hopes for LEDs, but I’d switch over as quickly as sensible if you could actually point me at credible numbers… but emotional pleas without numbers fall under kelvin’s comments.

    At least around here, people know they need to recycle CFLs along with batteries, CRTs, etc; there are regularly-scheduled days to take these in. (At least some) kids here learn this stuff in high school or even middle school.

    Comment by John Mashey — 20 Apr 2007 @ 2:43 PM

  103. re: 101

    Many people come to Minnesota for the money as Lindzen did in 2002 but only for a day or two I suppose. Some come here with the idea of not staying but end up staying longer than they figured. Most people travel to Florida, Nevada, Mexico or other warm climates for a few weeks of vacation in winter or spring, or all winter-spring if they can afford it. For most people, vacation travel and other heavy consumption is not considered a moral issue, not yet anyway, and perhaps never for some.

    Comment by pat n — 20 Apr 2007 @ 6:09 PM

  104. Jim at 32:

    He lauds biofuel- and hydrogen- powered gas guzzlers at a time when hydrogen is worse than petroleum because of the marginal power station emissions caused (correct me if I’m wrong), and more biofuel use seems to be worse from almost every angle.

    I think the Governator is taking a commercial mass appeal approach to the problem. There’s a lot to be said for getting the masses to think of things in other than “My life is going to be miserable, even if my soul feels good doing it” terms.

    As for biofuels, for agro-crop generated biofuels that’s certainly the case, but for thermal depolymerization generated biofuels I don’t see how that’s at all true. Plus, it’s apparently not that far from profitable at current oil prices.

    Anyone know what I’m missing?

    (Oh, I found y’all from another blog. Very interesting web-site — definitely feeding the science junkie in me.)

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Apr 2007 @ 10:27 PM

  105. Lynn at 89 writes:

    Our club is about to start promoting CF bulbs, as well as Green Mountain 100% wind power, at our “BE COOL PARTIES,” so we need to find a place to recycle them….And I think our recycling center may handle them (& if not, we can see to it that they do). Then that will get people to go to the recycling center (we don’t have curbside), and perhaps recycle other stuff as well.

    If you’re looking for a really “sexy” way to push CF bulbs, I’d find electric bills from people who’ve switched. I’d planned on switching over to CFs as the bulbs in my house burned out. Not as a green thing, but as a greenback thing. When I saw how much difference it made in electric consumption I went out and switched the entire house over. The drop in basic electric consumption (without heat or A/C) was about 30% and the payback period from reduced electric consumption on the order of 6 months.

    There are a lot of people, myself included, who are skeptical on the subject of AGW, that aren’t the least bit skeptical about ways to save $$$’s.

    As regards Jim’s response to your post, he’s correct in theory, but I’m not sure that’s what matters. If you’re generator, or whomever is generating, 100% of your KWH used, someone else is likely generating power when the wind isn’t blowing in your part of the world. It’s no less accurate to say you’re getting power from that other source when the air is still in your corner of the world.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Apr 2007 @ 10:56 PM

  106. Why is it that the whole AGW issue has been framed to being two sided. The framing works clearly for the benefit of Lindzen et. al. Media has believed that there are two sides in the argument and both must get their say. I believe the reality is that IPCC stands in the middle. There are many who think this will be worse than IPCC thinks. They are not regarded as a “side” in this debate or they are disregarded by all.

    I bet a careful reframing of the issue and suitable metaphors to strengthen the “alarmists” role would show IPCC as the middleman view and both extreme views as equally distant and scientifically remote from consensus. Currently it seems that the middleman is afraid of being mixed with the alarmists and tries it’s best to make all claims disappear that lead to much worse situation than IPCC has claimed. These claims have no advocate of their own in the discussion, but are integrated as small statistical probabilities in it. This approach clearly also has merits and my suggestion is not without dangers.

    There is naturally a cultural and psychological bias towards dyadic arguments but there are also good metaphors for the left right and middle, where the layman usually believes the middle as the most probable in most discussion. This kind of refaming of the AGW issue is severely damaged if the “alarmists” themselves try to suppress their views as they think IPCC level of warning should be enough to convince people. It is also damaged equally much when RC disregards that side of the discussion and only concentrates on the “serious” side of the nay-sayers.

    It may be that you have fallen victim to the two sided framing of the denialists. IPCC actually stands in the middle and so should RC but in the public view this is not the case. I again recommend reading Lakoff’s book “Whose Freedom” as an excellent guide to framing. And I seriously oppose the view that the framing is controlled by the media. Framing is included in each metaphor you use and you can reframe each topic by switching metaphors and analogues. Any good politician knows this. It is not lying that you need to do, it is selecting efficient metaphors and selecting the frames that you draw from peoples minds to leverage the claims you have.

    Comment by Risto Linturi — 21 Apr 2007 @ 3:26 AM

  107. re 101.

    If they don’t like cold winters, why don’t they just move to Florida? Much simpler than buggering up the climate for those of us who prefer the current state.

    Many people come to Minnesota for the money as Lindzen did in 2002 (but only for a day or two I suppose). Many Minnesotans travel south to warm climates for winter if they can afford it. Travel is not moral issue yet, except for a few.

    Good Question: Are Energy Choices Moral Ones?
    When it comes to morality, energy probably doesn’t come to mind. However, some experts argue that we need to view our energy choices and those about conservation as morals ones.
    Ben Tracy Reports.

    http://wcco.com/goodquestion

    Based on comments from Lindzen, I doubt that he’s given much thought to energy choices being moral decisions.

    Comment by pat n — 21 Apr 2007 @ 7:03 AM

  108. Global warming media duel going on now in the Twin Cities

    KSTP Channel 5 TV (ABC) featured Richard Lindzen last night who said:

    There is ample evidence that the Earth is far less sensitive to increasing CO2 than current models suggest.

    ————-

    WCCO Channel 4 TV (CBS) featured Don Shelby on Project Energy – accurate and helpful on global warming and what we can do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

    http://wcco.com/

    I hope other networks and stations are paying attention to this!

    Comment by pat n — 21 Apr 2007 @ 9:16 AM

  109. >LEDs
    Not there yet. Not efficient (good for spotlight tasks in dark rooms, but see below; the white ones are actually very blue right now). Efficiency is changing fast, very fast.

    >CFLs
    Very efficient. After dark, they can interfere with sleep unless you filter the blue light out. This is getting a lot of attention elsewhere; I won’t digress here; pointers only:

    http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2007/04/more-clotheslines-poverty-and-compact.html

    (fourteenth paragraph, but start at the top, the rest is also worth reading; the first link in _that_ paragraph is to more documenting why there is a problem, how to find the spectra to know which lights interfere with the sleep cycle, and how to avoid the problem cheaply and easily at home)

    http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2007/04/more-clotheslines-poverty-and-compact.html#comment-8923783994015270125
    (a bit more from me in his comments thread)

    Happy to talk more at the site pointed to in that response — let’s not digress in this thread. –hr

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Apr 2007 @ 10:52 AM

  110. Re 109: Hank, re LED lighting. Today I found out that you can actually order candelabra bulbs for chandeliers. These are very efficient and last bloody forever–a really good thing when you have 30 foot ceilings that silly-assed builders seem to love these days. They are not cheap–and that is the main drawback, but they make sense for such applications already.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Apr 2007 @ 12:38 PM

  111. Re: more on The Anchor Duel (#108.)

    WCCO shows multiple coverage on global warming under Project Energy. Last night’s program isn’t there yet. Should be there Monday. On Thursday night, WCCO featured Mark Blaiser of Twin Cities Waste Wise who said:

    Our main goal in Waste Wise is to help business in Minnesota find ways to reduce their waste and find recycling outlets for their materials that can be recycled, … Less waste is smart business.

    It was good.

    http://wcco.com/specialreports

    —–

    KSTP has done little or no coverage on global warming. I taped KSTP News this morning which had a replay of last night Earth Day piece with Lindzen and Patrick Michaels.

    It was bad.

    http://www.kstp.com/

    ——-

    The duel has been no contest so far.

    WCCO is in the majors and KSTP is in bush league.

    More on The Duel at: http://npat1.newsvine.com/

    Comment by pat n — 21 Apr 2007 @ 2:19 PM

  112. You may want to write to Newsweek and request a correction, including a link to this blog. Even if the statement is technically correct (and that is not clear as per the discussion at comment #84) it is highly misleading and therefore worthy of correction/clarification.

    Comment by Crust — 21 Apr 2007 @ 8:39 PM

  113. I am concerned non-expert with grad degree in humanities now slogging through
    Lomborg’s Skeptical Enivornmentalist. Have read Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Which author should I believe? I am surprised Lomborg is not referred to more often if only to refute him. What is his credibility? If no one can answer this question, can someone please tell me where I can get help with answer? Thanks.

    Comment by Mellors — 22 Apr 2007 @ 1:10 PM

  114. Durn! Missed this discussion. Anyway, it looks like the deniers are changing their message. They are beginning to accept that AGW is occurring but they want us to just ADAPT to it rather than take preventative measures. Pretty convienient for the oil companies if you asked me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy#The_evolving_position_of_some_skeptics

    Comment by Ron R. — 22 Apr 2007 @ 10:32 PM

  115. FurryCatHerder (#104), I said “almost every angle”. I’d like to be optimistic about thermal depolymerisation of ‘messy wastes’. However there would seem to be much larger theoretical scope to source agro-fuels (with destructive consequences), so that is likely to have the lion’s share of what the additional demand stimulates.

    If incentives and market conditions caused the level of biofuel use to hit a ceiling guided by an alternative fuels obligation, then the result of driving a 100% biofuel gas-guzzler would become the uptake of an equivalent amount of petroleum, as less blending elsewhere would be required.

    I can’t see what Arnie’s achieving if he’s promoting something that’s not the solution i.e. gas-guzzlers, calling them “the future”, and being abusive about small lightweight/hybrid cars. Instead of breaking with a stereotype he panders to it.

    Comment by Jim Roland — 22 Apr 2007 @ 11:03 PM

  116. James:

    Define ice ages?

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 23 Apr 2007 @ 4:52 AM

  117. I am surprised Lomborg is not referred to more often if only to refute him. What is his credibility?

    His credibility is about zero, and not only on climate science issues.

    He’s a political scientist, with no background in those areas in which he claims scientists are dead wrong.

    I’m only competent to comment on his writings about conservation biology, which are laughable. Given that, I have no reason to trust him on any other science issue.

    When it comes to science, I tend to trust scientists much more than I do political scientists like Lomborg, science fiction authors like Michael Crichton, or young earth creationists like Kent Hovind …

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Apr 2007 @ 5:04 AM

  118. Mellors:

    The built-in search here shows 4 posted articles and about 100 comments mentioning Lomborg.

    Also for what it’s worth, eventually you run out of things to refute. Especially since, like Lindzen in fact, he’s more of a “no big deal-er” than a total denier. Once you’ve said he’s not a scientist, he doesn’t present his material fairly, he selects the most one-sided possible sources for the material, and he substitutes snark for skepticism and study, you’re pretty much done.

    I note they don’t refer to ME either, and I’m not even a serial misleader. It’s so unfair.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 23 Apr 2007 @ 5:05 AM

  119. http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/
    Take a look at “six illustrative examples of errors” and decide for yourself.

    More info and references
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomborg

    I wouldn’t belive Lomborg on anything without checking the references myself.

    Comment by Fredrik — 23 Apr 2007 @ 6:55 AM

  120. [[I am concerned non-expert with grad degree in humanities now slogging through Lomborg's Skeptical Enivornmentalist. Have read Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Which author should I believe? I am surprised Lomborg is not referred to more often if only to refute him. What is his credibility? If no one can answer this question, can someone please tell me where I can get help with answer? Thanks.]]

    The Danish Academy of Sciences was so upset with Lomborg’s book that they voted to censure him in 2003, and declined to review their decision in 2004, if that helps.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2007 @ 7:26 AM

  121. Barton, you might want to triple-check; the info at Wikipedia says
    “members of the Danish and international scientific community accused Lomborg of ‘scientific dishonesty’, although Lomborg is not a trained scientist, and does not claim to be.[1] These allegations were investigated by appropriate arms of the Danish government and in the end, no official charges were left standing.”
    Lomborg on his website, and Lomborg at his recent Congressional testimony say the same, and it’s worth double checking to get that fully right.

    In the recent Congressional hearings, he made quite explicit that he’s a “political scientist” not a “scientist.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Apr 2007 @ 9:24 AM

  122. [[Barton, you might want to triple-check; the info at Wikipedia says "members of the Danish and international scientific community accused Lomborg of 'scientific dishonesty', although Lomborg is not a trained scientist, and does not claim to be.[1] These allegations were investigated by appropriate arms of the Danish government and in the end, no official charges were left standing.”
    Lomborg on his website, and Lomborg at his recent Congressional testimony say the same, and it’s worth double checking to get that fully right.
    In the recent Congressional hearings, he made quite explicit that he’s a “political scientist” not a “scientist.”
    ]]

    Is Wikipedia always right, or can partisans enter data which isn’t corrected for a long time?

    I don’t know what the Danish government did. I know that the Danish Academy of Sciences said Lomborg’s book was bilge. That’s the central fact of importance here, I’d say.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2007 @ 9:54 AM

  123. Barton, to my knowledge the Wikipedia article is mostly correct–and Lomborg certainly doesn’t come off looking good as a result. It appears that wrt the charges of scientific dishonesty, the ministry allowed Lomborg to plead guilty to the lesser charge of willful ignorance. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the whole affair, is that Lomborg seems to be as willing to discard good economics–which he ought to understand–as he is to discard inconvenient physical science.
    WRT Wikipedia in general–it’s pretty good for public figures who are controversial or popular, as any distortions are likely to be recognized by the next knowledgeable reader. Where it tends to fail is for relatively obscure public figures nobody really cares about.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2007 @ 10:43 AM

  124. #122: Will the New York Times do?

    http://tinyurl.com/2jl79z

    And the accuser was not the Danish Academy of Sciences. It was the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty.

    You said they “declined to review their decision” in 2004. What they actually did in 2004 (March 12) was to decline to pursue the case further after they were rebuked.

    http://tinyurl.com/3ymxnr

    Comment by Howard Glick — 23 Apr 2007 @ 10:57 AM

  125. My bad.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2007 @ 11:12 AM

  126. Howard, if you look at the whole sordid affair, Lomborg was hardly vindicated. All the ministry did was question whether he committed his transgressions out of ignorance or with intent–hardly a ringing endorsement. The committees declined to further pursue the matter because they were concerned that it would just add publicity to a bad piece of work. As I said above, the most disturbing thing I find in Lomborg’s work is not that it is bad science–anyone can make an error when they venture outside their expertise. Rather, it is that it is damned lousy economics–a field Lomborg should understand. It appears we are cursed with academics who are more concerned with scoring points than they are with clarifying them.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Apr 2007 @ 11:19 AM

  127. For me, the thing that showed Lomborg up as a charlatan is the way he framed his book. He explained how he had been a member of Greenpeace but now he had seen the light, so making out that he was a repenting sinner. Just the line to take that would go down well with the Christian Right!

    Comment by Alastair McDonald — 23 Apr 2007 @ 11:48 AM

  128. Re #115: [I can't see what Arnie's achieving if he's promoting something that's not the solution i.e. gas-guzzlers, calling them "the future", and being abusive about small lightweight/hybrid cars. Instead of breaking with a stereotype he panders to it.]

    Think about the psychology. Consider the language he uses: “wimpy, feminine car”. Doesn’t it suggest that a car to him is something other than a convenient way to get from point A to point B? That it substitutes for certain… how shall I say this tastefully? …perceived inadequacies in areas that have nothing to do with transportation?

    In that light, biofueled Hummers make perfect sense, allowing the guzzler-drivers to resolve (in their own minds, at least) conflicts about being ‘green’, while still keeping their highly-valued substitutes for masculinity.

    Comment by James — 23 Apr 2007 @ 12:33 PM

  129. #126: I admit to being an admirer of Lomborg. However, my sole intention in Post #124 was to simply point out that Post #120 and #122 were very inaccurate. And thanks to that poster for admitting he was wrong.

    Comment by Howard Glick — 23 Apr 2007 @ 2:20 PM

  130. Re 129

    So, what is it about Lomborg’s work that you admire? And which works, in particular? I’m really curious to know.

    Comment by Chuck Booth — 23 Apr 2007 @ 2:47 PM

  131. Re John Mashey.

    What you said was acutally quite funny!

    [if you could actually point me at credible numbers... but emotional pleas without numbers fall under kelvin's comments. ]

    In affect you say show me the money. Well hell I have been asking that from everyone here wrt to power generation and you know what I get? He3 mining on the moon for fusion power. (Wind ain’t gonna cut it, and the best forms of solar power are still not even close. ei. algae biodiesel, and molten salt solar. MW per unit land area is much too low.) You must see the irony in that! In any case I did an oh so tuff google search “LED watts/lument” that took forever that found this little markety page for you.
    http://lighting.sandia.gov/XlightingoverviewFAQ.htm

    And believe the improvements of which they speak. The one constant in the semicon world has been improvements in the neighborhood of orders of magnitude at least 2-3years. Otherwise PC processors would not be where they are right now.

    Once the LED ball gets rolling they won’t be near as expensive as CFLs or Incandescents as they are churned out by the millions on proven/volume scalable semicon process. So yes I had more than an impassioned plea but I set you up some.

    Comment by Jim — 23 Apr 2007 @ 2:55 PM

  132. Actually James,

    Maybe you should ponder the term “different strokes for different folks.” A lot of people get something out activities and things that everyone else takes for granted. For instance you and your electronic toys at home would not be understood by the average grease monkey either and they would have some choice words about your “nerdiness” or something. I am not saying anything about the stereo typing or if it is right or wrong by whomever (yourself included btw with the implication to the guy’s er midsection.), but alot of people like to have a little power under the hood. Maybe some folks just enjoy driving and perish the thought driving fast! If you ever drove a hybrid, you know a sporty car it is not!

    Comment by Jim — 23 Apr 2007 @ 3:06 PM

  133. In regards to biofuels. Algae biodeisel seems to be a good start for transport fuels. Ethanol or other types of food oils depend to much on current food crops and have a large amount of land use with a big penalty of less energy in the finished product than the energy required to make it. (Ethanol and foodstock based biodiesel is a bad idea, you don’t even break even with what you get out wrt what you put in.) Algae OTOH we have complete freedom to grow as much as we wish, and to site the tanks close to C02 producers. (C02 is required for growth.) Most importantly you get out more than you put in.

    WRT to furrycatherder.

    What I posted was not just correct in theory, but in fact. Electricity is supplied to load as a sum total of generation capacity to the sum total of load. Companies must fill that load any way then can and they do with a myriad of electrical power sources ranging from coal pp, to nuclear, to wind, to hydro. The electricity we all get is a combination of all sources and it is physically impossible to isolate a specific load to a particular source. In any case, I was trying to educate the layman a little on how the power industry works. (I used to work in it.)

    When you buy “wind” power, what in effect is happening is the power company agrees to import the amount of KWHs that you burn from a wind source when it is online. (approx 35% of the time due to wind power variabilities) The net result is an economic shift to different and more power sources by the power companies which is a good thing.

    My primary hope is for energy indepenence not to lower C02 even though both can happen at the same time.

    Comment by Jim — 23 Apr 2007 @ 3:25 PM

  134. [[Wind ain't gonna cut it, and the best forms of solar power are still not even close. ei. algae biodiesel, and molten salt solar. MW per unit land area is much too low.) ]]

    Much too low for what? Compared to what? I know your constant refrain is “renewables can’t do it, gotta have nuclear,” but you should show some evidence once in a while. Assertion isn’t argument.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Apr 2007 @ 3:40 PM

  135. No sh%t.

    I have posted sources in past posts Bart but evidently you don’t bother to read them and I don’t and won’t post them everytime I say something. (I know you don’t bother, especially considering I don’t like nuclear on the grounds of the long life hazardous waste. That guy’s handle is James not Jim) However this time I will point you in a general direction.
    A good exmaple (to me it is one of the most promising technologies as it hopefully looks like it can be scaled to at least a couple hundred MW.) is the molten salt solar plant being built in spain. (Solar Tres, look it up yourself.) It will output 15MW with a storage capaciity of about 16 hourss at 600MWhs (Enough to greet the sun the next day and only in the summer.) with a land area size of approx 10Acres/MW for 150Acers for a 15MW power station, that can only run for 24 hours a day in the summer. Compare that to your average sized nuclear/ff 500 to 1000MW power plant that can run irrespective of sunshine. Yes I know you have to compare the size of the uranium/coal mines, but that also applies to the heliostat resource mining and manufacturing as well and I can’t find those figures.

    In any case until the problems of large scale energy storage and capacity are solved solar and wind power will at best augment traditional power sources and at this state of technology will not keep up with power consumption growth. (Again look it up yourself as google is your friend. I will even help lookup power consumption growth and the rate at which all sources of new power are installed.) Let’s reconvene in five years and the situation should be clearer in this regard. It all points back to the best options you have NOW in regards to AGW and C02 which are Nuclear, Carbon Sequestered FF, and Molten Salt when it grows in capacity.

    Comment by Jim — 23 Apr 2007 @ 4:51 PM

  136. Re #132: [Maybe you should ponder the term "different strokes for different folks." A lot of people get something out activities and things that everyone else takes for granted.]

    Quite true. I was merely pointing out one likely possibility for what some people get from their Hummers and jacked-up pickups. (Which so often have fake testicles hanging from the rear bumpers, making the connection sort of obvious :-))

    Now if their choice of “strokes” had no adverse consequences for me and/or the rest of the world, we could just leave them to it, shaking our heads in puzzled amazement, as I might do at a fanatic collector or sports fan. Unfortunately it does, in ways that include the CO2/AGW connections we discuss here, which makes it my/our concern, doesn’t it? If we don’t try to understand just why it is that some people are so attached to oversized, gas-guzzling vehicles, we’re not going to have much chance of persuading them to make other choices, are we?

    [If you ever drove a hybrid, you know a sporty car it is not!]

    There you’ve run headfirst into the perils of arguing from ignorance :-) In point of fact, I’ve been driving a hybrid (a Honda Insight) for the last four years. I find it quite sporty – and since my car-owning experience takes a pretty straight line from my first Austin-Healey through the CRX I had before the Insight, I think I’m qualified to judge.

    Comment by James — 23 Apr 2007 @ 5:10 PM

  137. I noticed Dr. Lindzen recommended the Honda Insight (two-seater) over the Prius, because they get 60mpg; they just went out of production but they can still be found at Honda dealers as certified used, some with very low mileage. If I needed to drive regularly on pavement I’d look hard at one.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Apr 2007 @ 8:08 PM

  138. Re #135, onshore wind can achieve over 3MW ha-1 of actual standing land, NET of wind variability, according to British Wind Energy Association notes, http://www.bwea.com/ref/faq.html . That is 0.33 hectares/MW or 0.82 acres/MW. Even if we multiplied this by 3 to allow for BWEA optimism and the shadow cast on cropland by wind turbines, still gives us about 2.5 acres/MW in fairly windy locations.

    Also have you seen this year’s findings that all US electricity could be supported by wave and tidal, or its entire energy needs from geothermal for two millenia to come. See my little source file.

    To provide seasonal backup, just keep some combustive plant on standby and a stockpile of biomass to feed in when you need it.

    Comment by Jim Roland — 23 Apr 2007 @ 9:22 PM

  139. Re #137: [...Lindzen recommended the Honda Insight (two-seater) over the Prius, because they get 60mpg]

    Well, he’s wrong about that too :-) Over the almost 4 years & 50K miles I’ve owned mine, I’ve averaged 70 mpg. (The car has an onboard recording function, which I reset shortly after I bought it.) And much of my driving is done in the Sierra Nevada mountains, not exactly the best terrain for high mpg.

    Comment by James — 23 Apr 2007 @ 11:16 PM

  140. Howard, “You said they “declined to review their decision” in 2004. What they actually did in 2004 (March 12) was to decline to pursue the case further after they were rebuked.”

    I just saw that your second link was from a press realise from Lomborg.

    So in the New York times

    “The rebuke is not a formal rejection of the report. Most of the ministry’s criticisms were of the panel’s methods, not its findings. About those, the ministry said the panel had relied entirely on a review of previous criticisms of the book. ”

    Then in Lomborg

    “In December 2003 The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation completely rejected the DCSD finding that “The Skeptical Environmentalist” was “objectively dishonest” or “clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice”. ”

    Thus a critique of the methods is a completely rejection in Lomborgs world. Lomborgs press realise doesn’t agree with reality. See the relevant documents on KÃ¥re’s site and decide for yourself.

    I am also interested in why you admire Lomborg?

    Comment by Fredrik — 24 Apr 2007 @ 3:02 AM

  141. Re: #131, Jim

    1) Thanks for the pointers to the reports. Since those industry roadmaps lay out the (hard) work to do to get LEDs to start to be competitive with CFLs around 2012, I remain supportive of our town’s GHG committee’s recommendations (use CFLs). LEDs will get there eventually, which is nice, since they’re yet another technology much of whose early research occurred where I worked (Bell Labs).

    2) “And believe the improvements of which they speak. The one constant in the semicon world has been improvements in the neighborhood of orders of magnitude at least 2-3years. Otherwise PC processors would not be where they are right now.”

    The quote above is wrong in several ways and readers should not be misled into thinking this happens overnight.

    a) The classic improvement rate has followed the famous “Moore’s Law”: 2X more transistors in 2 years, *not* “orders of magnitude” in 2-3 years. That yields 64X (2^6) in 12 years and 128X (2^7)in 14 years, in density of transistors (but not necessarily speed, and definitely not necessarily lumens/Watt or lumens/$.]

    b) Many of the challenges laid out in the 111-page document Jim mentioned are *very* different in process technology and even basic physics compared to chips in PCs.

    It makes no sense to argue semiconductor roadmaps here, but there’s no semiconductor magic that is likely to suddenly accelerate the evolution of LEDs to be more competitive. It’s like slowing down global warming – there is no easy silver bullet, just a whole lot of hard-slogging work. Again, LEDs should get there, but for consumer applications, it looks like around 2012 is the earliest time to review CFL-vs-LED [according to the OIDA roadmap], and if they don’t make that roadmap, it will be longer.

    Comment by John Mashey — 24 Apr 2007 @ 5:04 AM

  142. Re #139. I believe the Honda Insight achieves its fuel efficiency by having an all
    aluminium body (which makes it very light) so you have weigh up the
    energy/emissions cost of the aluminium against the fuel savings.

    Comment by Geoff Russell — 24 Apr 2007 @ 5:33 AM

  143. John, FYI, Moore’s law is really more appropriately Moore’s Trend. In fact the doubling time for speed/density has ranged from 18 mos. to >3 years. Ultimately, though, it is a reflection of scaling of CMOS (complementary metal on semiconductor) technology–a recipe for shrinking feature sizes on transistors and still having them work. The scaling recipes are approximate, and there are always additional changes that need to be made, and we are always on the verge of a complete breakdown of scaling (ever since the ’80s), yet it’s enough to fuel the amazing growth we see.
    LEDs are a different matter, as they are manufactured using III-V (three-five) compound semiconductors. Progress here has been a bit spotty and comes in fits and starts, but there have been amazing qualitative as well as quantitative advances. I can remember when blue light LEDs were considered impossible, and white light seemed beyond comprehension. 2012 seems reasonble for solid state lighting to come of age, although there are already applications where it’s much more practical. My experience with CFLs is that they aren’t as robust as promised. It’ll be fun to follow the trends and see whether the net trend is toward energy consumption (new processors are real hogs) or power savings. I suspect it’ll be the latter, as we’re reaching the limits of our ability to cool processors into their operating range.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Apr 2007 @ 9:32 AM

  144. Re #142: [I believe the Honda Insight achieves its fuel efficiency by having an all aluminium body (which makes it very light) so you have weigh up the energy/emissions cost of the aluminium against the fuel savings.]

    True, the aluminium body is one factor (though far from the only one) in the Insight’s fuel economy. Total energy cost is not nearly as simple as figuring in the energy cost of raw aluminium vs steel, though. Aluminium is a lot more durable, especially if you live in the northeast, or other areas where salt is used on roads. I expect Insights in those areas will still have sound bodies when their contemporaries are rusted out. Then too, when an aluminium-bodied car is junked, it’s a lot easier and more profitible to recycle the metal.

    One rather sad commentary on modern automotive technology, though, is that even with all the effort Honda devoted to reducing weight, the Insight is still about 300 lbs heavier than was my old steel-bodied Sprite.

    Comment by James — 24 Apr 2007 @ 11:57 AM

  145. re: #143
    Yes, we agree. Given that I’ve spent much of my career designing high-performance microprocessors, doing product strategy using the industry roadmaps, and being Program Co-Chair for the Hot Chips Conference at Stanford this year … there is plenty that could be said, but I didn’t think RC needed a long exposition on chip design and semiconductor device physics, just:

    LEDs will come, but don’t wait for them, expecting magic: CFLs work fine now, and seem to last long enough that their replacements might be LEDs, but that’s no reason to stop replacing incandescents with CFLs. The OIDA (LED) roadmap is as aggressive as the SIA’s (CMOS), and there is plenty of nontrivial work to meet their 2012 and 2020 targets.

    Comment by John Mashey — 24 Apr 2007 @ 12:49 PM

  146. re 143: Ray, Excellent post…

    Comment by Rod B. — 24 Apr 2007 @ 9:22 PM

  147. Re #143

    CMOS = ?

    complementary metal on semiconductor?

    AFAIK, the acronym CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, a triple material sandwich of a conducting metal on an insulating oxide on a semiconductor.

    And with regard to LEDs, in addition, some are (increasingly) now being made from organics/polymers: watch for a TV screen somewhere near you in the next couple of years (ish).:-)

    Comment by P. Lewis — 25 Apr 2007 @ 2:46 AM

  148. #147, #143

    Current CMOS chips are much more complex than a triple material sandwich [they're more like giant multi-layer Dagwoods :-)] and yes, OLEDs (Organic LEDs)are coming as well.

    There were claims by Jim that (a) PC chips had improved by orders of magnitude every 2-3 years and (b) Therefore, that LEDs would also, and implicitly (c) Therefore, one shouldn’t mess with CFLs.

    (a) Moore’s Law (and that *is* what practitioners call it, knowing perfectly well it’s no law of physics or anything else, and it certainly is the best term to Google to find discussions about the topic) gave a trendline of 2X density about every 2 years, not orders of magnitude every 2-3.
    So (a) was grotesquely false.

    (b) Many of the issues/technologies of improving LEDs (and OLEDs) are quite different from those of CMOS, and hence (b) doesn’t automatically follow from (a). Maybe there will be huge breakthrough jumps in (O)LED performance, but the OIDA roadmap lays out very hard work to get there; from decades of firsthand experience, huge jumps in this business are rare. [I've been on panels with photonics computing people, and at Hot Chips, we get photonics papers every year, and not every prediction ahs come true :-)]

    (c) Hence, maybe there are reasons to avoid CFLs, but this line of reasoning isn’t one of them… If I thought LEDs would cost-competitively replace CFLs next year, I’d say wait, but even the aggressive OIDA roadmap doesn’t say that.

    By all means, keep an eye on (O)LEDs and use them where appropriate; just don’t count on magic improvements overnight.

    This has gotten way out of RC turf: better would be Google Groups sci.engr.semiconductor or sometimes comp.arch.

    Comment by John Mashey — 25 Apr 2007 @ 10:07 AM

  149. So I was exagerating somewhat about semicons with “orders of magnitude”. I (have) worked in this field as well. (Mainly with Verilog/VHDL tools, low transistor budget ASICS.)

    I have some heard Moore’s “Law” expressed as Moore’s Curves. Both Trend and Curves are more accurate.

    However some points to note
    in the 50′s the device count on ICs were in the 10s, in the 60s in the 100′s, in the 70s about 10,000, the 80s 100s of thousands, the 90s millions, and in the early 2000′s the counts are in the hundreds of millions. Hence my “order’s of mangitude statement”.
    You were also being a little careful with your own words as I was not speaking about transistor switching frequency but increases gate density which is the primary driver of performance in logic performance as it can do more things at once. There are some caveats to that of course depending on factors such as types of workloads and target performance, but it is generally true.

    Getting back on topic, you kind of ignored my first argument. You suggested for me to stop being idealistic on a forum where all one hears about is idealism, especially in regards to power generation. I find that quite ironic. In any case my personal experience with CFLs is this. I bought 12 of them within two months 6 where dead. So I don’t buy into the whole CFL deal as of yet. In any case the current state of LEDs are 30 lumens/watt which is twice as good as regular light bulbs (15 lumens/watt) with much much longer life, and without the mercury too. Which tradeoffs to make LEDs have approx 10 times long life than CFLs. (100,000 to 10,000 Hours) MTBF OTOH CFLs have about twice as much lumens/watt currently. ( I have read on the web about a 150lumen/watt white led. I will post a link later.)

    Re James

    I am not speaking out of ignorance as I have driven a Prius myself quite often. Drive your insight or prius, then drive a real sports car such as corvettes, mustang GTs etc.etc.
    Hence the statement “Sports Car it is not!”

    Comment by Jim — 25 Apr 2007 @ 12:27 PM

  150. Re #149: [I am not speaking out of ignorance as I have driven a Prius myself quite often.]

    OK, you’ve driven a Prius. It’s a 4-seat family sedan, and (though I have no personal experience) I’d expect it drives like one. So? Does that mean all hybrids do? Even when they’re made by a different company, using different technology and a different body style?

    [Drive your insight or prius, then drive a real sports car such as corvettes, mustang GTs etc.etc. Hence the statement "Sports Car it is not!"]

    I just don’t have the words… You’re seriously trying to claim that those oversized, clumsy pieces of Detroit iron are sports cars? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, really I don’t.

    Comment by James — 25 Apr 2007 @ 2:10 PM

  151. To go way off topic here:

    [I don't know whether to laugh or cry, really I don't.]

    Well you had me laughing until I almost cried!

    Again you think that your opinions (about darn near everything) should have an influence over other people! Sorry to inform you, they don’t.

    Like an Insight is that much different than a Prius! (Prius has more power/torque has an automatic, insight has 1000lbs less weight, five speed and 30HP/200ft/lbs less power, should wash. If I owned a prius I would smoke you in a race!) :)

    [Does that mean all hybrids do? Even when they're made by a different company, using different technology and different body style? ]

    You should watch what you say James, as you have also only driven one type of hybrid, thus we are both just as qualified to comment on them, and we have different ideas on their performance. (See how much more power you have when you floor that little thing when you are already going 80.)

    However considering relatively equal amounts of cash, between a Mustang and the prius/insight er civic. I think the mustang is just a lot more sporty and exciting to drive. I don’t have the money to even fantasize about getting the porsche 911 that I want really bad.(I have two children but I digress.) In any case I have some customers that drive tricked out mustangs and corevettes that make short work of your “real” sports cars on a race track.

    Comment by Jim — 25 Apr 2007 @ 8:17 PM

  152. Re #151: [If I owned a prius I would smoke you in a race!]

    I doubt that, especially if the course included any significant curves. You might look at how Insights do in autocross.

    [...you have also only driven one type of hybrid, thus we are both just as qualified to comment on them...]

    Sorry, but if I may paraphrase, what you said is that all hybrids have poor performance. To back up that statement, you have to have data on all hybrids, whereas to disprove it, I need only find one counterexample. That’s logic :-)

    [See how much more power you have when you floor that little thing when you are already going 80.]

    See how many deer & guardrails you hit when you try going 80 on the roads I usually drive, such as for instance Calif. 49 & 88, and Nevada 431. That’s why I laugh at your definition of sports cars. They’re not about going fast – any idiot can put a big motor in a piece of Detroit iron, point it down a nice straight interstate, and go fast.

    Comment by James — 26 Apr 2007 @ 12:21 PM

  153. The solution for Global Warming, then, is indicated.

    We should all have an incentive to learn enough about the problem to extract a payment from the fossil fuel industry. Once we have sufficiently drained the fossil fuel industry of this learning tax, we can all say: “Problem solved”

    Is there a sign up web site?

    Comment by Matt — 26 Apr 2007 @ 12:59 PM

  154. Yep, the major denial PR firms are doing that right now (grin).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Apr 2007 @ 3:13 PM

  155. James this is getting so far off topic we should drop this. It is a case of subjective opinion about cars from both of us. I only agree that we disagree and to quote a not really smart man, “That’s all I got to say about that.”

    Comment by Jim — 26 Apr 2007 @ 3:36 PM

  156. According to an article in the BOSTON GLOBE, “[Lindzen] said he accepted $10,000 in expenses and expert witness fees from fossil- fuel types in the 1990s, and has taken none of their money since.” This is not inconsistent with what Gelbspan asserts, though it sounds less impressive than “$2,500 a day”. I agree that the funding disclaimer is carefully worded. However, I think the wording was chosen to avoid a technicality and does not mislead the reader about Lindzen’s motivation for speaking publicly about climate change.

    Comment by Greg Rockwell — 26 Apr 2007 @ 11:36 PM

  157. [[We should all have an incentive to learn enough about the problem to extract a payment from the fossil fuel industry. Once we have sufficiently drained the fossil fuel industry of this learning tax, we can all say: "Problem solved"]]

    Mentira. This is right-wing propaganda. The goal is not to raise taxes, the goal is to stop emitting carbon dioxide above what the ecosystem can handle, and the best way to do that is to develop alternative sources of energy and fuel. To portray it as something made up so the government can raise taxes may fit a certain paranoid right-wing worldview, but it has nothing to do with what the issue is actually about. It is a straw man argument. And where I come from, a violation of the Ninth Commandment.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 27 Apr 2007 @ 6:12 AM

  158. Lindzen. If you were him, would you work for these guys? Where do you draw the line between honest scholarship and something less?

    He writes and consults for:
    The Cato Institute (funded by Koch the largest private oil company owner in the U.S.)
    The George C. Marshall Institute funded by Exxon, Coors (nutcase), and Scaife (Gulf Oil.)
    The Heartland Institute where Walter F. Buchholtz, an Exxon exec. is gov. relations advisor.

    OK, you might be desperate enough to write for Cato but here is a really disgusting bit that was lodged on someone’s shoe. Last but not least, Lintdzen’s damning bunch of colleagues at Tech Central Station, a ZOMBIE created by a public relations firm specifically to spread FUD. Tech Central Station publishes distilled venom.

    A friend tells me that you can’t find a funding source that isn’t tainted by some special interest. I think he is exaggerating, but even if that were true, couldn’t you get funding from an insurance robber-baron like J. D. MacArthur?

    Comment by Bob Calder — 27 Apr 2007 @ 2:06 PM

  159. Re #158 — I live in Pittsburgh, Scaife’s home town. Here he is famous for calling a female reporter (from the Wall Street Journal, no less) a “Communist c*nt,” and threatening her life. Nutcase is definitely the word.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 28 Apr 2007 @ 4:08 PM

  160. For Lindzen you can substitute Lomborg, et al. It’s so cookie-cutter precisely because science really is involved, or at least “art” – namely the discipline of public relations. PR de facto holds that reality is malleable and that winning is everything (some modern PR claims to be win-win, but winning is still everything). That’s why you will get an unserious polemic disguised as a serious discussion on trade-offs.

    Occasionally someone has to say that the picture they paint of the history of (in this case climate, but fill in the blank) science is a deliberate falsehood. In no sense did people with a fanatic axe to grind take over the climate sciences and push an (they don’t know what, variously it’s a Marxist, a pagan, a human-hating, a nature-worshipping, a liberal, a Democrat, an anarchist, a radical environmentalist, a doomsayer cult, a whatever-they-have-in-the-templates) agenda. On the contrary. Data came up. Models developed. Some were discarded, others modified. The consensus is numeric and emerged gradually. no one came up with one killer argument for why more emphasis on GHGs has to be placed to account for recent changes in climate.

    Also, it’s a lie, a deliberate falsehood, and not a request for fairness or information, to say scientists get or go after more money for saying big businesses or wasteful habits cause problems. All the money goes the other way, and additional money for climate research is mainly to improve accuracy and get more data. Which is what the PR people claim should be done. Anyone who’s ever been involved with scientific research knows “more data” is a constant request by at least somebody, if not many somebodies.

    Finally, the equating of “research” where people are paid, essentially, to justify a conclusion with real science reflects an economic and to a degree political view of science that’s like a highly partisan-right wing version of the sociology of science gone mad. I’ve read all the critics from Henry Bauer to Paul Feyerabend, and even they never go that far. It’s Potemkin science – noting that science becomes self correcting the more it has to adjust to the rigors of peer reviewed journals, the art of PR says, if a head count of publications is the issue, heck, just have your PR firm issue more journals than those scientists can possibly come up with. and just flood their journals with so many normal looking submissions that you either clog the works in the less discerning journals or have something to complain about with the others. That makes me wonder how people outside the Soviet Union dealt with Soviet biology – did they just disgard it across the board, or did the system work filtering out the bad?

    I think philosophy of science and sociology of science are really important disciplines, as is the study of public interest science. But when that’s what’s involved, it should be stated that that’s the case, and people making a political case shouldn’t essentially repeat stock arguments by rote in the same way to as many locations as possible and delude themselves that they’re helping people in general learn much about the world – or at least the science part of it.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 29 Apr 2007 @ 8:46 PM

  161. The biggest problem we face is related to science and not politics, yet, most bloggers here indulge in the latter. The truth is that we do not know for sure in scientific terms whether the actions of humans is bringing on climate change. But we do know for sure that climate change is occuring. However, putting aside all climate change issues with fossil fuel impacts, our best bet is to act as if we do know for sure, not because of climate change, but because of our standard of living is totally dependent upn a dwindling supply of said fuel. That the dwindling supply of fosil fuels happens to coincide with climate change can be seen as a better driver of public opinion, because the evidence of impending fuel shortages impacts every citizen, while climate change is several miles down the road. We will have to face the depletion of fossil fuels long before climate change, and the science is quite substantive while that of the carbon connection with climate remains unconfirmed even though likely.

    Pandit Nehru once said that “politics and religion are obsolete, and that sience and spiritality should replace them”. Tackling scientific findings in the public domain with politics and religion is not too productive. Let’s stick with science, and the real world: social change occurs at the rate the front of the stomach approaches the backbone. Politics merely chatters along the edges of real change.

    Comment by Del Turner — 29 Apr 2007 @ 9:44 PM

  162. [[The truth is that we do not know for sure in scientific terms whether the actions of humans is bringing on climate change. ]]

    Maybe not, but that’s the smart way to bet.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 30 Apr 2007 @ 6:26 AM

  163. Del Turner wrote: “The truth is that we do not know for sure in scientific terms whether the actions of humans is bringing on climate change.”

    That is not the truth. The truth is that we do know “for sure in scientific terms” (95 percent or greater probability) that the actions of humans — principally the burning of fossil fuels — are rapidly and dramatically increasing the atmospheric concentration of CO2, methane, and other “greenhouse gases”, and that this is causing the Earth to get rapidly and dramatically warmer, and that this anthropogenic warming is causing rapid and dramatic climate change, which is already being observed.

    This is just as firmly established as, if not more firmly established than, plenty of other matters that are commonly, and correctly, regarded as “scientific fact”.

    Del Turner wrote: “We will have to face the depletion of fossil fuels long before climate change [...]“

    We are facing climate change right now. Various parts of the world are already experiencing severe effects from anthropogenic global warming and consequent climate change, and those effects are expected to become rapidly more severe.

    How long it will be before we face “the depletion of fossil fuels” depends on what you mean by “depletion”. If you mean “peak oil” — the point at which global production of inexpensive, high-grade conventional oil peaks and then begins to decline, driving up the cost of fossil fuel energy as the world is forced to turn to more expensive, lower net energy fossil fuels — then that may be imminent.

    But if by “depletion” you mean exhausting fossil fuels as an energy source when we reach the point where it actually takes more energy to extract and refine the remaining fossil fuel deposits than they yield, that may be many decades away. If we continue burning fossil fuels at current rates we will face catastrophic climate change long before that happens.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Apr 2007 @ 8:58 AM

  164. > “… the carbon connection with climate remains unconfirmed even though likely.”
    Where do you get this belief? What is the source you rely on for this belief? Who do you trust on this?
    Please tell us why you make this statement.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Apr 2007 @ 9:51 AM

  165. Just out of curiosity, how many advocates are funded by the Sierra Club and similar organizations? You don’t speak out against them and point out their affiliation with such organizations.

    Comment by Arthur — 1 May 2007 @ 4:23 PM

  166. Arthur, do you seriously see no difference between the stake of billions in profit that the fossil fuels industry has in this game, and the Sierra Club’s commitment to saving the planet, however misguided you may believe they are? Which do you think is the more likely to engender corruption?

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 1 May 2007 @ 4:30 PM

  167. re: Arthur “Just out of curiosity, how many advocates are funded by the Sierra Club and similar organizations? You don’t speak out against them and point out their affiliation with such organizations.”

    The advocates Sierra Club fund usually work directly for the Sierra Club, and they don’t hide what they are advocating or who they advocate for.

    When it comes to science issues that relate to regulation, the environmental groups’ claims have historically been much closer to the facts. Even their opponents admit this, have you read the Luntz memo?

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 1 May 2007 @ 4:49 PM

  168. Arthur, in answer to your question, the Sierra club does not typically fund the research of scientists. They may carry out educational activities that utilize that research, and so may interact with scientists in an effort to understand it, but most climate scientists are funded by their respective governments. It’s their day job.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 May 2007 @ 5:10 PM

  169. Re #161: [The truth is that we do not know for sure in scientific terms whether the actions of humans is bringing on climate change.]

    That depends on just how you interpret “for sure”. I don’t know for sure that jumping off a thousand-foot cliff will kill me, but I’m not planning to make a career of it, even if you offer me enough money to increase my standard of living considerably :-)

    If we want to carry the parallel even further, in this case we’re full-tilt down a nice smooth path, and see a sign warning of a cliff ahead. Trouble is, it’s kind of foggy, so we can’t see just how high it is. Maybe it’s only a couple of feet, but maybe it’s that thousand-footer. Do we keep on running, taking our chances, or do we change course to avoid the cliff, even if it means leaving our smooth path?

    [...our best bet is to act as if we do know for sure, not because of climate change, but because of our standard of living is totally dependent upn a dwindling supply of said fuel.]

    I’m sure that a lot of people here could make a good case that our SoL is not completely, or even largely, dependent on fossil fuels, but let’s skip that, and assume for the sake of argument that your claim is correct. So tell us, please, just what makes maintaining this particular SoL so important that it seems as though you’re asking us to place it ahead of our own survival?

    That sounds a bit snarky as I’ve written it, but I really do mean it as a serious question.

    Comment by James — 1 May 2007 @ 8:20 PM

  170. on Lindzen:

    Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT.

    When he writes an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, or appears in an interview for Newsweek or for TV, or testifies before Congress, he does not relinquish his title. Therefore, he is assumed to speak with the authority that society has invested in the institutions that have bestowed their association upon him to such a high degree.

    When someone with this intellectual authority stoops to making statements within his field of expertise that he knows to be incorrect, he is abusing his intellectual authority. It is also an abuse if he makes statements, concerning matters within his area of expertise, on which he has not bothered to determine the issue of truth or falsehood.

    Accordingly, I have lost all respect for Lindzen.

    Comment by Neal J. King — 1 May 2007 @ 8:23 PM

  171. on Lomborg:

    I have not yet had a chance to read his books, but I have looked over his website, and read some articles.

    I have a major issue with respect to his methodology of analysis, which is independent of the question of his specific knowledge of the different environmental issues addressed in his books. To wit: A central part of his approach is to compare the costs and harms using the Net Present Value (NPV) approach, which discounts all quantities exponentially by the time by which they are delayed.

    NPV is a useful approach for comparing different kinds of financial investments, as it provides a way to put on an equal footing financial behaviors that differ in time. It can be used to address such questions as, “What is a better deal, $1000/yr for the next 10 years; or $800/yr for 5 years, and $1300/yr for 5 years?” The central concept is the “discount rate”, the percentile amount by which a cost is devalued for every year it is put off.

    However, it is far from clear that this approach makes sense when we are talking about potentially catastrophic damage, even if this is scheduled to happen in 200 years. On the one hand, it is not clear that the suffering of our descendants 200 years from now is that much less important than our suffering now; and on the other hand, such a calculation does not give any financial incentive for developing any replacement for the harm; and that second lack undermines part of the motivation for using a discount: For even if we save the money instead of spending it on GW reduction, what are we going to be able to spend it on when “the bill comes due”? A new planet?

    Comment by Neal J. King — 1 May 2007 @ 8:48 PM

  172. I’m not sure where this sits with the general consensus, but the recent observation that live vegetation seemingly produces significant amounts of methane (which has about 22 times the ‘greenhouse’ warming potential of C02) suggests at least one interesting possibility. For example, we have a high level of confidence that atmospheric C02 has been increasing as the direct result of anthropogenic activities – and we know that C02 is required by vegetation, so I make the quantum leap to a correlation between increase in C02 = increase in vegetation = increase in methane = increase in atmospheric temperature = increase in water vapour = even more increase in atmospheric temperature because water vapour is the ultimate and unchallenged king of ‘greenhouse’ gases, and the warmer the air, the more vapour it can hold – and so resulting in feed-back loops and a ‘run-away greenhouse effect’. In this example the significant direct warming is caused by methane from plants, with increased C02 acting mainly as a catalyst. I guess the tricky part (one of them anyway) is sorting out what the balance ends up being. Increased vegetation should result from increased C02, and so suggests that increased vegetation becomes a increasingly larger carbon sink, so the question is whether plants contribute to net warming through their release of methane, or the opposite through their sequestering of C02. This really simplifies things but it makes sense to me. And humans are still the culprit too.

    Comment by Randy Wedel — 3 May 2007 @ 2:34 PM

  173. Dr. Lindzen will be speaking at Furman University, Greenville, SC on May 9th. His talk is not surprisingly on the “Global Warming Alarm.”
    I was wondering what questions you would ask him if you had the chance.

    Comment by Annette Trierweiler — 3 May 2007 @ 10:02 PM

  174. [[Dr. Lindzen will be speaking at Furman University, Greenville, SC on May 9th. His talk is not surprisingly on the "Global Warming Alarm."
    I was wondering what questions you would ask him if you had the chance.
    ]]

    “Dr. Lindzen, before the most recent couple of years topped 1998 for heat, you went around saying global warming had stopped in 1998. You knew as a scientist that it was not proper to extrapolate a trend from eight data points when you had at least 127 available, you knew a stunt like that would have gotten you a failing grade in any college science course, but you did it anyway, knowing it was wrong, knowing it made no sense from a scientific point of view. My question is: Is it worth giving up your integrity as a scientist and as an honest human being in order to be a celebrity and get money from oil companies? I’d really like to know.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 4 May 2007 @ 6:57 AM

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Close this window.

0.539 Powered by WordPress