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  1. Gavin, this post exemplifies why we need RealClimate.org. What you are doing is important. Keep at it.

    Comment by David Randall — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:50 AM

  2. ‘c) the consensus on hurricane/global warming connections has moved from uncertain to ambiguous’

    While some of the other points have problems, I did not see any good counter to the above in your post.

    [Response: But it isn’t a point at all. There is no effective difference between ambiguous and uncertain. Read the IPCC text on the subject. – gavin]

    Comment by Steve Reynolds — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:04 AM

  3. For those of us who on occasion actually hike the Appalachian trail, I’m afraid I will have to start adding a caveat that no, my weekend plans are not a euphemism.

    Comment by Zeke Hausfather — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:18 AM

  4. Thanks for this post, Gavin. It’s been puzzling watching Tom Fuller and everybody over at SF Examiner freak out at this non-event.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:20 AM

  5. Gavin,

    I’ve been monitoring “skeptic” websites and press commentary. In the last few months there has been a lot more talk about climate change, all of it escalating in intensity as well as number of articles (non-scientific of course) and harping on a few points such as Ian Plimer’s book in Australia, the globe-is-cooling mantra etc.

    It’s probably conservatives trying to seize the attack ground in view of a possible pending debate about climate change in Washington, but the chorus of denialist opinion is so coordinated and their “logic” so simple it is convincing many, even among educated people (science PhDs) who cannot be bothered to look deep into things but try to form an opinion based on a few journalistic pieces. We should expect a very hard fight ahead.

    Comment by Konstantin — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:23 AM

  6. Detection and attribution? I detect years of political appointments and attribute that to the environment inside the beltway from 2000 to 2008.

    In the 1990s, I worked at sites closely regulated by the US-EPA, and those folk were smart, knowledgeable, and dedicated. They were as wonderful a group of people as ever populated a regulatory agency. My boss was an ex-EPA guy, and he always worked out a way “to do the right thing”, even when he had to do things that our corporate management did not expect.

    More recent contacts with the EPA have left me less impressed. Let us hope the EPA can be fixed.

    [Response: Let me be clear that my interactions with EPA – over the endangerment review process, with air quality/climate connections – have been extremely positive. I very much doubt this level of non-scholarship is typical of the EPA as a whole. Like most big organizations, I’m pretty sure there is a wide range of competence. – gavin]

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:29 AM

  7. Actually, this post exemplifies why you should read the *draft* report yourself.

    Comment by stroller — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:35 AM

  8. Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

    B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

    Carlin CV
    Joe Romm is also a Physicist. Is MIT insufficient? What about Caltech?

    To be honest, working for the government is a larger shortcoming that the schools or degrees.

    [Response: What’s your point? He isn’t a climate scientist, he’s an expert in environmental economics. How much Earth Science did you get in physics degree in the 1970s? Even now? One might have expected some basic statistics, but even that is not evident in the paper. – gavin]

    Comment by Henry chance — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:46 AM

  9. Consummate dumbassery. Just read the first paragraph of the preface and you’ll see their level of awareness.

    “It ain’t that I don’t hear, I just don’t listen no more”
    Chris Smither

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 26 Jun 2009 @ 10:24 AM

  10. Poor Fuller at the Examiner–he’s got an anonymous source, CEI, and WTF as his sources on this. A reminder for journalists:
    http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0803/full/climate.2008.14.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:07 AM

  11. If you really want to choke and splutter, read Kimberley Strassel in today’s WSJ. The writer Mary McCarthy once said of the American author Lilliamn Hellman “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘a’ and ‘the'”. One does not know where to start with the pack of compostable nonsense–Ian Plimer?

    [Response: Plimer. – gavin]

    Comment by David Graves — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:13 AM

  12. “They call it peer-review, we call it suppression.”

    Comment by David Graves — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:17 AM

  13. The concern is that the EPA might be discouraging dissenting ideas. It’s a dangerous path for a government agency to take no matter how much you agree with their policies or not.

    [Response: There is not going to be any shortage of nonsense any time soon. EPA doesn’t need to start a strategic nonsense reserve just in case. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:25 AM

  14. It’s been puzzling watching Tom Fuller and everybody over at SF Examiner freak out at this non-event.

    Not puzzling at all if you remember there’s a rather crucial vote scheduled for the House today. Just call it the “Wednesday surprise”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:28 AM

  15. Expect Rush and other right wing morons to pick up on this “news” now that Michelle Malkin has jumped on:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/06/26/epa-plays-hide-and-seek-suppressed-report-revealed/

    Note that she doesn’t address any of the bad science – it’s really all about a cover up!

    Comment by inthewoods — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:58 AM

  16. The concern is that the EPA might be discouraging dissenting ideas. It’s a dangerous path for a government agency to take no matter how much you agree with their policies or not.

    So if an economist in the EPA insists the earth is flat, all scientific assessments done by the EPA must include that statement?

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:03 PM

  17. Basic problem is that the EPA is supposed to review all scientific data itself, and the IPCC reports possibly haven’t even been submitted for review. As written in the draft, just accepting these reports at face value is not acceptable procedure. They don’t do this with medical studies, chemical studies, etc. Why should IPCC reports get a special break?

    [Response: Because the level pf peer review they got is vastly more than EPA could do on it’s own. From their guidelines:

    “For the purposes of the Guidelines, EPA recognizes that if data and analytic results are subjected to formal, independent, external peer review, the information may generally be presumed to be of acceptable objectivity.”

    , and from the technical draft:

    “EPA is relying most heavily on these synthesis reports because they… 3)have been reviewed and formally accepted by, commissioned by, or in some cases authored by, U.S. government agencies and individual government scientists and provide EPA with assurances that this material has been well vetted by both the climate change research community and by the U.S. government; and 4) in many cases, they reflect and convey the consensus conclusions of expert authors.”

    and

    “In addition to its reliance on existing and primarily recent synthesis reports from the peer reviewed literature,it also underwent a technical review by12 federal climate change experts, internal EPA review, and interagency review.”

    And you want to replace that with a bunch of blog posts and Miskolczi? Get real. – gavin]

    Comment by MIke — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:05 PM

  18. Hi all,

    Since I’m mentioned here in the comments thread, I hope I can jump in with a few points, such as commenter 14’s hint that Congressional legislative agendas actually impact my editorial calendar are a bit laughable.

    First, after talking with Alan Carlin and the source I cited yesterday, I would advise playing the ball, not the man. Although you may be certain he is wrong–it seems that way from this post–the man is painfully honest and seems to have a lot of integrity. He’s also intelligent. In my conversation with him yesterday I asked him point blank if he felt competent to analyse and form an opinion on climate change issues. He said certainly with regards to the efficacy of general circulation models and climate modelling overall, and that much of the rest of the science was accessible. If you believe him to be wrong, a snarky post like this one here is probably not going to contribute much to the conversation.

    Eventually your ‘team’ will find out that this particular series of events is a microcosm of climate change issues overall. Carlin (and I) don’t believe his opinion was suppressed, as the CEI wants to claim. It’s worse. His six years of research on climate issues was ignored by a bureaucracy that has absolutely no education on climate change simply because the policy was already decided, and no evidence was needed. Your ‘team’s’ failure to engage with skeptics and your insistence that the issues are all settled is killing you in so many ways, that if I were truly a skeptic I would keep silent and watch you continue.

    But I’m not. I’m a ‘lukewarmer’ and as a journalist I’m trying to be fair to both sides. I find it truly bizarre that you (or one of the skeptic blogs) has not yet realized that weblogs are the absolutely perfect mechanism for conducting a proper debate on an issue like climate change, and that you all prefer ragging on each other with posts like this one. But you, like some of the skeptic blogs, seem to know what brings regular readers back, and it seems to be snark.

    I have not used the Competitive Enterprise Institute as a source for any of my reporting. For that matter, Alan Carlin did not provide them with any of the materials that were released publicaly, something I find a bit troubling. If someone would like to be interviewed at the Examiner to respond to Carlin’s position feel free to contact me.

    [Response: Mr Fuller, the thing is with science is that it isn’t just a matter of opinion. I would love to more gentle about it, but the inconsistencies and incoherence of the Carlin submission are painfully obvious to anyone who knows anything about the subject. While Carlin may be a perfectly sincere and well-meaning fellow (and I have no reason to doubt it), that doesn’t make his work credible or interesting. The idea that a blog post on WUWT that doesn’t even deal with attribution overturns all the work on detection and attribution in the IPCC reports is laughable. (And, if you are genuinely interested in the subject, I recommend you read them). Peer review is not perfect, but it is the first level of defense against the tide of well meaning (and not so well meaning) nonsense that people want to push. You also fail to read what you are criticising – please point me to any statement I’ve made on this blog that indicates that I think all questions are settled? On the contrary, our posts are full of discussions of actually interesting uncertainties that are at the cutting edge of research. But that doesn’t mean that every uncertainty that any Tom, Dick or Alan comes up with (for the twenty-seventh time) is interesting. Things that have been looked at for years and addressed multiple times are not a ‘devastating critique’, they are just a waste of everyone’s time. Finally, if I might offer some advice, journalists are rightly wary of sources with vested interests- but if you want to check the credibility of a scientific claim, ask a relevant scientist or two. Relying on partisan blogs is a recipe for being spun.

    As for blogs being good for debate, my experience is the opposite. The amount of regurgitated nonsense, logical fallacies, appalling personal comments and smears against the whole scientific community that pass for argument on WUWT and similar, simply preclude most reasonable conversations on the subject. What is the point in trying to make a logical point if everything one says is immediately dismissed because you’re part of a giant scientific fraud? There is no learning process. You can spend as much time as you like explaining the basis of the paleo-climate constraints on climate sensitivity, only to have the next comment claim that it’s tiny based on an unpublished back-of-the-agenda calculation he read online. The issue is that the science that is understood is uncomfortable for some people and unfortunately they’re much more attached to their prejudices than they are to the scientific method. – gavin]

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:07 PM

  19. Yep, Jim Galasyn, I’m one of those everybodies “over at SF Examiner” who was freaking out “at this non-event.”

    I can’t speak for the other people. My primary concern is that the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) generators were doing their best to fog up the vote today on HR 2454. That’s a tough enough pill for Congress to swallow without adding to the size.

    I took the time to read the last 6 published papers Mr. Carlin has published at EPA and in Symposia. The document up at CEI strongly resembles the *N*IPCC report sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a paper that seems to have been peer reviewed by the, “I like it, don’t you Mr. Co-author” method. Not sure why the resemblance exists.

    Mr. Carlin brings up some very valid points in his previous papers. Perhaps after this tempest in the teapot calms, I can ask Mr. Carlin for what he really attempted to submit… the CEI document being an “early draft” and all.

    By the way, Mr. Carlin’s previous papers seemed to have been about his concern that GHG reduction was not going to be fast or strong enough to handle the problem. He was advocating geoengineering with Solar Radiation Management, something that would be a pretty tough sell politically. I can see why EPA officials might have wanted to avoid the appearance of endorsement for re-engineering the planet’s atmosphere, regardless of the correctness of the position.

    “The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa…”
    -Lazarus Long

    Comment by Larry Oliver — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:18 PM

  20. “So if an economist in the EPA insists the earth is flat, all scientific assessments done by the EPA must include that statement?”

    There are a lot of people out there who don’t view Carlin’s paper as nonsense. The EPA has the responsibility to address internal dissent, not suppress it. If the paper is nonsense they need to explain why it’s nonsense. I don’t know why I have to explain the concept of transparency here.

    [Response: Nobody has suppressed anything. And I’m sure that the public comments that went to EPA cover all this ground and much more. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  21. The document up at CEI strongly resembles the *N*IPCC report sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a paper that seems to have been peer reviewed by the, “I like it, don’t you Mr. Co-author” method. Not sure why the resemblance exists.

    Good catch, Larry!

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:44 PM

  22. I have to applaud this much-more-direct-than-usual-rebuttal. While it seems a good many climate scientists are privately scared spitless, few will speak directly about the state of the environment. Worse, strong rebuttals of the nonsense that has slowed/prevented action for the last couple decades have been largely absent.

    Too many scientists don’t understand that a polite rebuttal is seen by the public as a non-rebuttal. They see it as implying the boneheaded statements and outright lies are still viable since nobody actually said they were boneheaded and full of lies.

    This type of muck work is unfortunately necessary.

    Many thanks.

    Cheers

    Comment by ccpo — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:46 PM

  23. You mention that this document cites Landscheidt – but presumably without a direct reference since i cannot find his name. Can you point us to the reference please.

    [Response: section 2.4.6. – gavin]

    Comment by Bruce — 26 Jun 2009 @ 12:49 PM

  24. Basic problem is that the EPA is supposed to review all scientific data itself, and the IPCC reports possibly haven’t even been submitted for review.

    You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 26 Jun 2009 @ 1:24 PM

  25. such as commenter 14’s hint that Congressional legislative agendas actually impact my editorial calendar are a bit laughable.

    You had this on your editorial calendar before the CEI and WUWT publicized the “scandal”?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    I have no doubt that the CEI timing was intentional, and of course you picked it up and ran with it, just as they hoped the press would do.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 1:41 PM

  26. Eventually your ‘team’

    And using denialist code-words for mainstream climate scientists will do nothing to enhance your credibility ’round here.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 1:42 PM

  27. Tom Fuller says “I find it truly bizarre that you (or one of the skeptic blogs) has not yet realized that weblogs are the absolutely perfect mechanism for conducting a proper debate on an issue like climate change

    Strangest thing, but that statement reminds me of John McEnroe for some reason.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 26 Jun 2009 @ 1:55 PM

  28. In skimming through the draft, what I find most amusingly disturbing is in Section 3, where they claim that human welfare has increased over the 20th century. We could have a long (and probably pointless) debate over just how that’s measured, but one of their claims is that “our general air quality has increased”, as “evidence” of which they present their Figure 3-3, showing a (slight!) decline in ozone levels between 1980 and 2007.

    Anyone wonder what happened between 1900 and 1979?

    Comment by James — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:10 PM

  29. > weblogs … perfect … for conducting a proper debate

    It’s been debated: making science the basis for for policy won!

    http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/images/Poll2_08/6.gif

    Mr. Fuller, are you suggesting web debate to decide science facts?

    Can you suggest an example of success using weblogs to debate science?
    vaccination, homeopathy, evolution, antibiotic resistance, lead, asbestos, tobacco, phthalates, DDT, Alar, zinc nasal spray — or anything else you can point to?

    Pointers, please, to sources you consider reliable?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:18 PM

  30. If you are looking at the same report as me, it opens ‘We have become incresingly concerned that EPA and many other agencies and counties have paid too little attention to the science of global warming….’, later on, unusually for an academic paper, they pose the question what is science?‘, and give a nice Feynmann quote in part response.

    Their own answer to the question ‘what is science’ becomes apparent when one reads the references …

    – Monkton (2008) Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered. How the … did that get in there? Instant credibility destroyer.
    – WhatsUpWithThat – specifically the Basil Copeland/Anthony Watts series of posts on solar cycles [the basis of which was demolished by Tamino].
    – Icecap – including the BS ‘update’ of IPCC AR4 Fig TS26 (which is no such thing)
    – A huge chunk copied out of Gray (2009) published where? On his web page?-
    – Beck’s impossible CO2 measurements
    – Ken Gregory of FOS.
    – Miskolczi – ‘I’ve discovered a new law of Physics’

    ‘Science’ seems to be being done on anti-scientific blogs, self-published web pages, oh and Energy & Environment according to these guys. BTW Grist has a quote from an EPA guy…

    ““Certain opinions were expressed by an individual [Carlin] who is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue,” said EPA spokesperson Adora Andy.

    “Nevertheless, several of the opinions and ideas proposed by this individual were submitted to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding. Additionally, his manager allowed his general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and considered inside and outside the EPA and presented at conferences and at an agency seminar. The individual was also granted a request to join a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to both agency and outside experts, where he has been able to invite speakers with a full range of views on climate science. The claims that his opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.”

    http://www.grist.org/article/2009-06-24-scant-evidence-of-suppression/

    The timimg of this is interesting, no?

    Philip John Clarke.

    Comment by pjclarke — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:31 PM

  31. Contrary to your articles introduction

    “Carlin is a senior operations research analyst who has worked in EPA’s economics office since 1983. He has a doctorate in economics and a bachelor’s degree in physics. He specializes in cost-benefit analysis and the economics of global climate change control, EPA said. The co-author of the report, John Davidson, is an environmental scientist in the economics office who holds a doctorate in physics. Davidson also joined the program in 1983.”

    [Response: Why is this contrary? I didn’t discuss their education. The issue is whether they have any expertise in climate science – perhaps you would care to show me any of their peer-reviewed papers in recognisable climate-related journals? Cost-benefit analysis is not radiative transfer oddly enough. – gavin]

    Comment by stroller — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:32 PM

  32. Michael says:

    There are a lot of people out there who don’t view Carlin’s paper as nonsense.

    Yes, but none of those people are competent in climate science. There are a lot of people who think we never landed on the Moon, too. There are even more who think the Earth is 6-10,000 years old. Doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:38 PM

  33. James, are you arguing against the fact that cheep energy (and the CO2 it causes) and quality of life are linked?

    ‘If you restrict CO2, you restrict human welfare’ may not be a totally correct hypothesis, but it is an idea that absolutely does belong in the debate.

    Comment by Michael — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:43 PM

  34. On a related note — this article from one Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
    published In: Environment & Climate News Publication date: 07/01/2009

    The yahoos of the far right never give up!

    People here reading this piece of slop can have a big laugh. It resembles some of the stuff put out by the anti-evolution crowd.
    ———
    The scientific facts clearly show carbon dioxide is a good thing, not something we should fear.

    CO2 is not a pollutant.

    On the contrary, carbon dioxide makes crops and forests grow faster. Satellite mapping shows the Earth has become about 6 percent greener overall in the past two decades, with forests expanding into arid regions. The Amazon rain forest was the biggest gainer, with two tons of additional biomass per acre per year.

    Certainly climate change does not help every region equally, but careful studies predict overall benefits—fewer storms, more rain, better crop yields, longer growing seasons, milder winters, and lower heating costs in colder climates. The news is certainly not bad and on balance may be rather good.

    CO2 is merely a trace atmospheric gas.

    The world will laugh when we finally understand the pursuit of economic ruin in the name of saving the planet from carbon dioxide has been a terrible joke. It is an unarguable fact that the portion of the Earth’s greenhouse gas envelope contributed by man is barely one-tenth of 1 percent of the total.

    Do the numbers yourself. Carbon dioxide is no more than 4 percent of the total atmosphere—with water vapor being more than 90 percent, followed by methane and sulfur and nitrous oxides. Of that 4 percent, man contributes a little more than 3 percent. Three percent of 4 percent is .12 percent, and for that we are sentencing people to numerous damaging economic impacts.

    Added CO2 increments have less effect.

    The effect of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is limited because CO2 absorbs only certain wavelengths of radiant energy. As the radiation in that particular wavelength band is used up, the amount left for absorption by more of the gas is reduced.

    A simple analogy is to consider drawing a curtain across a window. Much of the light will be shut out, but some will still get through. Add a second curtain to the first, and most of the remaining light will be excluded. A point will quickly be reached however, where adding more curtains has a negligible effect, because there is no light left to stop.
    This is the case with the absorption of energy as more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere.

    Anthropogenic warming hasn’t happened.

    If greenhouse gases were responsible for global temperature increases in recent decades, atmospheric physics require that higher levels of our atmosphere would show greater warming than lower levels. This did not happen during the 1978-1998 period of 0.3 degrees Celsius warming.

    Warming precedes CO2 increases.

    A full 900,000 years of ice core temperature records and carbon dioxide content records show CO2 increases follow increases in Earth’s temperature instead of leading them. This makes sense because the oceans are the primary source of CO2, and they hold more CO2 when cool than when warm. Warming causes the oceans to release more CO2.

    ————–

    This wonderous piece is #1 of 3. I can hardly wait!

    How long until some misguided member of Congress puts it into the Congressional Record? AT that time, of course, it becomes “established truth.”

    Comment by John Burgeson — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:50 PM

  35. They cited Beck????

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 26 Jun 2009 @ 2:55 PM

  36. Gavin, perhaps you could thoroughly prove your point by publishing the annual forecast data from Model E from 5 or 10 years ago and then everyone would be swayed by the accuracy.

    [Response: Sure, it’s all online – what did you have in mind? (bear in mind a well that there are multiple simulations and that weather noise causes substantial spread over short periods of time). – gavin]

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:02 PM

  37. Classic. You hate ad hominem, but…. before going into the arguments you have a whole paragraph about how the authors are ‘unqualified’. That sets the scene.

    And Al Gore, apart from being an Oscar and Nobel prize winner is….?

    All the best. You efforts are commendable.

    [Response: You must have us confused with someone else. When have we ever claimed that Al Gore is scientist? Or cited anything he has highlighted in lieu of going to the actual source? Gore does a very good job at explaining the science and has reached far more people than us poor scientists can. He is also one of the few politicians who actually bother to ask scientists what they think before making a statement (a strategy I’d highly recommend by the way). PS. Ad hom is declaring someone wrong based on who they are, not what they say. Carlin and Davidson are wrong based on what they say. I was also not aware that stating someone is an economist was insulting. Maybe it’s the recession? – gavin]

    Comment by oakwood — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:27 PM

  38. John Burgeson quotes one Jay Lehr, Ph.D @34:

    “Do the numbers yourself. Carbon dioxide is no more than 4 percent of the total atmosphere—with water vapor being more than 90 percent”

    I sure as hell better do the numbers myself because one Jay Lehr can’t do them to get, let alone save his “PhD.”

    John, did you really have to publish that entire string of ridiculous nonsense?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:34 PM

  39. “‘If you restrict CO2, you restrict human welfare’ may not be a totally correct hypothesis, but it is an idea that absolutely does belong in the debate.”

    Well, I am feeling rather warm and sweaty and I think it’s because my rooms hot may not be a totally correct hypothesis, so does that belong in the debate?

    Comment by Mark — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:34 PM

  40. Kevin, #35, what you on about, Beck is a good singer…

    Comment by Mark — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:36 PM

  41. John Burgeson, a plea, asking as one reader to another, it’d be a kindness if you don’t repost nonsense in full text form. It just gets the stuff indexed by Google, making it easier to find and more confusing for people who find it at a site like this. I’m sure that’s not what you intend. A brief excerpt at most and a pointer are enough. Maybe more than enough.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:49 PM

  42. Tom Fuller (18), Gavin was playing the ball in his post, not the man.

    Gavin’s ‘team’s’ failure to engage with self-described ‘skeptics’–in reality ignorant or willfully deceptive proponents of pseudo-science for the most part–stems from having important and very critical work to do.

    It is your desire be ‘fair’ to both sides–one of them with little to zero science to support their assertions–rather than report scientifically supported facts that is truly bizarre and discrediting of journalism.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:50 PM

  43. Tom Fuller has a new post which says RealClimate is rigid and unable to deal with “new facts”:

    Second, the entrenched position of these ‘warmists’ as exhibited, for example, at RealClimate, has really left them in a defensive position. They literally cannot react to new facts unless they fall neatly into the categories defined by their previous pronouncements, and it seems to have them at a serious disadvantage right now, as they have not been able to respond in a reasonable manner to new research results.

    [Response: Sorry, I must have missed something… what new results? If you want really new and interesting results, look at Bart’s recent discussions about aerosols, or Ron talking about dust and hurricanes, but made-up energy transfer theories? lame attempts to correlate solar to anything under the sun? Please. – gavin]

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:52 PM

  44. oakwood (37), do look up the definition of “ad hominem” before you use it again.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 26 Jun 2009 @ 3:55 PM

  45. Gavin, you may have already answered this, but why is “suppressed” in quotes? Was this paper suppressed by EPA or not? If not was it distributed under the aegis of EPA?

    Just an idle curious aside: why is the Chairman of the IPCC never pooh-poohed like other non-climate scientists that issue stuff are?

    You say, “…What is the point in trying to make a logical point if everything one says is immediately dismissed because you’re part of a giant scientific fraud?”

    I’m probably not who you were thinking about, but I can relate to the concern. ;-) BTW, that response to #18 was very astute.

    Comment by Rod B — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:00 PM

  46. Well, I admire Jim Galasyn for taking him on, but it’s clear that Tom Fuller’s understanding of climate science is based solely on an ability to cut-and-paste standard denialist drivel.

    It’s sad that a man like this can get paid for lying.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:08 PM

  47. Sorry, I must have missed something… what new results?

    Gavin, I rather doubt Fuller will be back to read your comments. I think it’s pretty clear he came over here to draw a response that he could attack over on his blog.

    Oh, BTW, one of the reasons he likes skeptics rather than scientists is because they’re nicer, and hardly ever rude. Yes, he actually says that. He’s a regular reader of WUWT so is fully aware of the nice, polite effort Anthony is leading to get Hansen fired (again).

    The man is simply dishonest. Does anyone read the examiner?

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  48. Gavin, you may have already answered this, but why is “suppressed” in quotes? Was this paper suppressed by EPA or not?

    I think it’s more likely the EPA was trying to save the poor bloke’s reputation … or perhaps the EPA’s reputation. It must be embarrassing all around to have someone so ignorant of climate science spewing such nonsense in public.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:14 PM

  49. re: Tom Fuller

    For context, I suggest people visit and review the recent history of Tom’s articles.

    There are of course, good climate scientists here in the SF Bay Area, and a reasonable number of public lectures by serious folks, some of whom are pretty good at explaining things, if somebody actually wants to listen.

    Comment by John Mashey — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:21 PM

  50. >Because the level pf peer review they got is vastly more than EPA could do on it’s own. From their guidelines:

    Probably true, but the peer-review that is conducted by IPCC does not meet the standards of OMB and EPA guidelines. [edit]

    [Response: yes they do and then some. IPCC has four rounds of external review, including by fed. govt scientists and the summaries are approved line-by-line by all signatory governments (including the US). For a fed agency not to accept that as sufficient would be perverse in the extreme. As for the CCSP reports, for at least three of them EPA was the lead agency, and it was the second agency in more. To reject that would imply that EPA was declaring it’s own peer review in-sufficient. Not going to happen. – gavin]

    Comment by MIke — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:22 PM

  51. I’m confused by all of the name calling and nastiness. Okay, you don’t like the guys opinions. You don’t like that he questions things you think shouldn’t be questioned. Is it really necessary or professional to start calling people names and trying to stain their character because you don’t agree with their opinions?

    Less opinion, more scientific process.

    Comment by Richard H. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:27 PM

  52. “Less opinion, more scientific process.”

    Gee, that would certainly be refreshing. If only the deniers & liars would give it a try.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:54 PM

  53. “…….there are bi-decadal periods in climate data and that this proves it was the sun wot done it.”

    Sunovagun, Here comes the Sun again. Sounds like a job for Punxatawny Phil and his brethren. This could be an misuse of Occam’s razor. The cause has been oversimplified to the point of foolishness. They don’t have to be scientists to understand that the higher energy waves of visible light from the Sun can penetrate through CO2,H2O,CH4,NOZ etal in the atmosphere, but the lower energy radiation of infra- red waves,from Earth’s surface, have problems getting back out through these molecules, and a new energy balance has to be established in the form of rising temperature. But it just falls on dear ears.

    Comment by Lawrence Brown — 26 Jun 2009 @ 5:14 PM

  54. Wow, the attacks against Gavin are flying thick and fast over at Fuller’s blog:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m6d26-The-politics-if-not-the-science-is-settled-at-the-EPA-Alan-Carlin-global-warming-and-trouble

    [Response: I love the way that a condemnation of my ad hom tactics is accompanied by a thorough psychological analysis of my insecurities and the conclusion that I must be a “jerk”. Ah the irony! – gavin]

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 5:26 PM

  55. Michael wrote: “‘If you restrict CO2, you restrict human welfare’ may not be a totally correct hypothesis, but it is an idea that absolutely does belong in the debate.”

    It is a deliberate lie, scripted by ExxonMobil-funded propaganda mills disguised as “conservative think tanks”, that is demonstrably false and as such it does not belong in the debate about what to do about anthropogenic global warming.

    It is also utterly irrelevant to the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 26 Jun 2009 @ 5:28 PM

  56. Richard H. wrote: “Okay, you don’t like the guys opinions. You don’t like that he questions things you think shouldn’t be questioned. Is it really necessary or professional to start calling people names and trying to stain their character because you don’t agree with their opinions?”

    Is it really necessary for you to grossly and blatantly misrepresent what Gavin wrote, right here on a comment thread where every reader can easily see what he actually wrote and just as easily see that you are lying about it? Isn’t that a rather silly thing to do?

    Perhaps you should save your lies about what Gavin wrote for some “right wing” blog where the readers won’t bother to check what he actually wrote.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 26 Jun 2009 @ 5:35 PM

  57. SecularAnimist, It’s interesting that you attack my statement asking why it’s necessary to name call and slander when it should be a scientific debate by calling me a liar and saying I’m misrepresenting things.

    It’s kind of my point.

    I’m not trying to start a flame war. In fact the opposite is true. People have different opinions, so what. Relax, state your opinions, listen to the other guys, debate things and call it good. There are going to be differences of opinions, it’s the way the world works. Reaching a compromise and basing decisions on those mutually agreed compromises is the way things need to get done.

    It’s also the scientific way. Look at observations, make up theories, test theories against observations and experimentation, adjust theory, test, etc etc.

    Picking up stones and throwing them at each other helps no one in the long run except maybe the rock seller.

    Comment by Richard H. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 5:51 PM

  58. It’s interesting that you attack my statement asking why it’s necessary to name call and slander when it should be a scientific debate

    There can only be a scientific debate when both sides are engaging in scientific arguments.

    It’s also the scientific way. Look at observations, make up theories, test theories against observations and experimentation, adjust theory, test, etc etc.

    And, after the observations have been shown to be wrong, the hypotheses rejected, etc … to move on.

    So, why do you claim denialists are engaged in a “scientific debate” if they repeat the same tired, debunked claims over and over and over again, just as creationists do regarding the fossil evidence for evolution, the geological evidence that the earth is more than 6,000 years old, etc?

    At some point, you have to accept them for what they are: liars.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 6:09 PM

  59. I love the way that a condemnation of my ad hom tactics is accompanied by a thorough psychological analysis of my insecurities and the conclusion that I must be a “jerk”. Ah the irony!

    I note that commenters at Fuller’s reheat the leftovers of the Realclimate censorship charge. Censorship and intolerence of dissent being two accusations frequently levelled at RealClimate. It used to be said that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery, perhaps having a website dedicated to publishing the comments that didn’t make it onto your blog are the Web 2.0 equivalent?

    Yep, such a website exists, RC Rejects is a site where comments snuffed out by our hosts may get the oxygen of publicity. Since January it has accumulated literally about a dozen such comments, some by people other than the blog owner, Mr RCRejects himself. Here are a collection of his opening remarks to various posts which I think demonstrate a commendable modesty

    “Not a lot of activity last week – two posts only, one from us, another from herbert stencil.”
    “Quite a bit more activity last week, and that is reflected in the site stats as well – quite a few visits. 16 posts, but most of those were put up by me”
    “We had 15 posts last week – most were posted by me, copied from other blogs. However, we had posts from Herbert Stencil and Vernon as well (thanks guys!).”
    “Last week was a relatively quiet week for us. Only two independent posters (thanks guys). ”
    “Things have been pretty quiet while I have been away. ”
    “Things have been pretty quiet here.”
    “Things have been pretty quiet here. Nevertheless, I plan to keep the site open in order to fulfil its primary function – to act as a repository for comments rejected over at RC.”

    This Herbert Stencil sounds a fun guy ..

    Comment by pjclarke — 26 Jun 2009 @ 6:19 PM

  60. Dhogaza, I would really like to understand the science behind the different areas of debate. However, it’s kind of hard to do when all a person gets when they ask questions is, “you’re a liar”. “You’re a creationist”, “You’re a Deniar”. When in fact I’m none of them.

    I am however not going to form an opinion and treat it as dogma. I’d rather try to understand what’s happening to our planet and have the flexibility to look at other peoples opinions and give them the benefit of the doubt. Even though I don’t understand all of the science behind every piece of the climate, I hope I have enough intelligence to make an informed decision.

    I do admit I read anti AGW blogs more often than pro. That’s just because of my personal preference. In fact I don’t think I’ve been called a single name by asking questions on those blogs. Part of what I find frustrating in my attempt to learn both sides of the issues. It’s worse than debating religion at times. It’s hard to agree with a person that just says negative things about others, whether they are right or wrong.

    Sorry. Rant over.

    Comment by Richard H. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 6:41 PM

  61. I just downloaded some of the publications from Alan Carlin and gave them a quick scan.

    I agree with him on some points. Solutions to global warming must be analyzed for effectiveness. For example, The Mathematical Association of America recent held a competition to analyze ethanol. http://www.maa.org/pubs/cmj47.pdf The results are contrary to what politicians would have you believe.

    I also agree that solar radiation management should be implemented to an extent, but it should be considered as a short term remedy until better solutions are found and developed.

    The best solution on the table at the present time is Nuclear power; however, many different policies would need to be changed to deal with waste. The nuclear power option should not expand to the rest of the world, but used by existing nuclear powers. More research would be needed to provide power to other countries.

    Comment by EL — 26 Jun 2009 @ 6:42 PM

  62. oakwood (37) “Classic. You hate ad hominem, but…. before going into the arguments you have a whole paragraph about how the authors are ‘unqualified’. That sets the scene.”

    #44 Jim Eager beat me to the punch. Look it up at:
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adhomine.html

    In order for an assertion to be an argumentum ad hominem it must be either false, materially irrelevant or both. Since the statements about the authors qualifications are both true and relevant — as such statements speak directly to the authors qualifications and authority to make the assertions that they do — then it could scarcely be more obvious that no ad hominem was involved or even possibly involved.

    Comment by Gary Herstein — 26 Jun 2009 @ 6:47 PM

  63. #57 Richard H. Says: “I’m not trying to start a flame war. In fact the opposite is true. People have different opinions, so what. Relax, state your opinions, listen to the other guys, debate things and call it good.”

    This is going to come off sounding harsh. I am not sure what I could have done to prevent that, short of not speaking the truth.

    Richard H., “opinion” is nothing more than barnyard noise: It is the braying of the donkey, the mooing of the cow, the clucking of the chickens, the bleating of the sheep. Why should any thinking person care about infantile nonsense compounded by willfully ignorant drivel? Why should any thinking person care about animal outbursts?

    For myself, I could not possibly care less about “opinion.” I am not talking about your “opinion,” or Fred’s “opinion,” or Ginger’s “opinion,” but opinion in general. Anyone’s “opinion;” it is like wallowing excrement.

    Why is it that, in the hysterical and histrionic rush to defend people’s prescious right to their precious “opinion,” no word gets mentioned about the RESPONSIBILITY to know what one is talking about in the first place?

    I do no care about “opinions.” I care about reasoned conclusions. That means I care about logic, principles, evidence and facts (in order of increasing specificity). “Opinions” belong with their owners until and unless such time comes along as they can be grafted onto something that actually possesses cognitive content.

    Comment by Gary Herstein — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:00 PM

  64. Judging from the tone of the hysterical rush to defend the Examiner’s journalistic scoop of dog s__t, Gavin has wounded some feelings by being insufficiently circumspect in his response.

    Guess what? Contrary to popular stereotypes, a successful scientific career not only requires purely intellectual skills but is also more likely when accompanied by social skills typically described as “alpha” in character. If you’re going to succeed in a competitive environment it really helps to be assertive, self-confident, combative when necessary and unwilling to compromise with incompetence.

    Wading voluntarily into a fight and then crying when you get adroitly smacked down because you’re inherently weak and can’t really land a punch is pathetic.

    I believe the term “panty-waist” is a bit anachronistic and probably not socially acceptable these days, but I’m of an age where that’s what springs to mind when I read some of the wrist-flapping appearing on this thread.

    Hey, “skeptics”, next time remember your box of tissues so we don’t have to hear all this blubbering and snot-sucking when you’re corrected without cosmetics or attention to your sensitivities.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:06 PM

  65. Since I don’t know what Bubkes means, though it seems to get science guys going, perhaps I could ask for help understanding the radiative process and its implications.

    Referring back to 24 November 2005, raypierre describes the overall assumption of the radiative process analysis that concludes with a surface temperature output, saying that the radiating temperature “has to stay the same, since the planet still has to get rid of the same amount of energy absorbed from incident sunlight.” He also makes this the condition at equilibrium, which seems consistent with the balanced condition.

    However, when there is a lot of ice melting is it possible to reach equilibrium? Since the surface temperature would not be allowed to keep up, it seems like there would be a continuing deficit, and the energy of the planet would be increasing. But since the surface temperature is lagging, would not that surface temperature fail to indicate the increased energy of the planet?

    On this basis, it seems like a mistake to expect measurable surface temperature increases that relate to the actual problem. When much of the ice is gone, then there should be a catch up process.

    Ok, now the next problem seems to be that the deep ocean would come into the act, and as the surface temperature began to catch up, as with ocean surface temperature, we should then expect significant hurricane activity, and otherwise increased storm conditions. Though the deep ocean is slow to respond, it would seem that on a long term basis, that would ultimately come into action due to vertical mixing. As the deep ocean keeps surface temperatures from rising, the equilibrium would still be unattained. And the deficit continues. Of course, as the deep ocean takes up the heat, the sea level would rise. And that would seem to be a more rapid rise than we have seen or should expect to see with ice melting.

    So it seems like it might be a mistake to get into a box by predicting imminent surface temperature increase, or even ocean surface temperature increase. These expectations are already getting challenged. On the other hand, actual ice “reserves” would be more meaningful. If the case can be made that present sea level rise is due to ice melting, that would seem like a good indicator of where things were going and how fast. Deep ocean temperature might also be worth measuring very carefully. Is it?

    If anyone has the time to discuss this, I would appreciate it.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:08 PM

  66. Richard H. (60) — There are not two sides; the scientific “debate” was over long ago. You can read about it in “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    Andy Revkin’s review of above

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E7DF153DF936A35753C1A9659C8B63

    Comment by David B. Benson — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:15 PM

  67. Gary Herstein says:

    I do not care about “opinions.” I care about reasoned conclusions. That means I care about logic, principles, evidence and facts (in order of increasing specificity). “Opinions” belong with their owners until and unless such time comes along as they can be grafted onto something that actually possesses cognitive content.

    Could not possibly have been stated any better Gary. The Fullers of the world will never get it however.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:26 PM

  68. However, it’s kind of hard to do when all a person gets when they ask questions is, “you’re a liar”. “You’re a creationist”, “You’re a Deniar”. When in fact I’m none of them.

    Re-read my post, I wasn’t referring to you as a liar.

    I was referring to those whose sites you seem to read more often than science sites.

    You may or may not want to believe that they’re lying to you, but the fact is – they are. And most of them *know* they are. They’re ideologically driven and the truth is unimportant to them.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:32 PM

  69. Nor did I claim that you are a creationist, nor that those who run the sites you seem to prefer to science sites as being creationists (though some are, in particular Roy Spencer).

    I said the *techniques* used are the same as those used by creationists. Right down to one card you played yourself – “I’ve never been called a name on a denialist site”, as though that has any pertinence whatsoever to climate science.

    I will call you a denialist, though. Seems pretty clear at this point.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:36 PM

  70. Michael Says (26 June 2009 at 2:43 PM)

    “James, are you arguing against the fact that cheep energy (and the CO2 it causes) and quality of life are linked?”

    Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am :-) I’ll be the first to point out that it’s by no means a simple or one-to-one relationship, but if tempted too far I might respond with a long list of ways in which cheap energy reduces quality of life. As for instance the Hummer, or power boats & personal watercraft, where the (subjective) increase in quality of life for the people that use them is more than outweighed by the decrease for those who have to live with their effects.

    But to take the specific point I mentioned, what was the average* air quality through 20th century? I would bet that it was highest in 1900 (and increasingly better the futher in the past we look), declined to the mid-70s (when emissions-control laws started taking effect, then the gradual improvement shown.

    *Spatially. Of course you can find locations – New York in 1900, or Mexico City in 2000, that are much worse.

    “‘If you restrict CO2, you restrict human welfare’ may not be a totally correct hypothesis, but it is an idea that absolutely does belong in the debate.”

    Only until it is disproven. Which is easy enough to do, as you may have noticed if you’ve followed recent threads. Energy is not the same as CO2: it’s perfectly possible to get all the energy we really need without burning fossil fuels, the arguments have been about which technologies to use, how much they’ll cost, and how soon they might be brought on line.

    Comment by James — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:45 PM

  71. “Since I don’t know what Bubkes means”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubkes

    Main Entry:bub·kes
    Variant(s):also bup·kes or bup·kus \ˈbəp-kəs, ˈbu̇p-\
    Function:noun plural but singular in construction
    Etymology:Yiddish (probably short for kozebubkes, literally, goat droppings), plural of bubke, bobke, diminutive of bub, bob bean, of Slavic origin; akin to Polish bób bean.

    Comment by Gary Herstein — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:48 PM

  72. Jim, is there something in particular you don’t understand at Spencer Weart’s link? He invites questions from readers. Your questions are so basic that if you haven’t read the Start Here links you’ll just be asking people to do a whole lot of recreational retyping on the questions you ask. No offense meant, but the very basic stuff is well covered. Few of us can retype from memory any better than what’s here.
    Try: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:48 PM

  73. Oh, for Jim also, a handy search tool for word definitions — type
    define: followed by the word (no space) into Google.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Abubkes

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:50 PM

  74. Okay, I’m calling it on Tom Fuller of the SF Examiner:

    Dunning-Kruger Effect

    “The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which “people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it”. They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average… ” — Wikipedia

    DK Hypotheses:
    1) Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
    2) Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
    3) Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
    4) If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

    ref: Dunning-Kruger Effect

    IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Hypothesis #4 is why we all keep doing this.

    [PS: I read the SF Examiner rarely, and then only for laughs. Total joke.]

    cougar_W

    Comment by cougar_w — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:00 PM

  75. dhogaza,

    I am hoist by my own petard as it were. You’re right. You didn’t call me those specifically. I just took it that way, which is my error. My apologies.

    As for being a Denialist. I think of myself as being open minded. Guess it’s a choice of semantics and points of view.

    Cheers.

    Comment by Richard H. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:22 PM

  76. RE: 65

    Hey Jim,

    If you would like to entertain a casual discussion UKWW Forums:
    http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=46 “Climate and Earth Science Chat” are available for informal subject matter discussions. Though not at the quality of expertise found here in realclimate.org, there is also a “Climatic Discussion and Analysis” group for more technical discussions: http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=30

    Sorry to say very few experts come to play anymore. However, a good ruckus will sometimes attract those with a strong technical ability. At worst case we may get a few graduate students that attempt to flatter us with their new found abilities…

    We do not take anything away from realclimate.org. (Rather then bollixing up the threads here with laymen looking to share insights, UKWW offers the opportunity for the average person to explore climate affecting subjects.) As most participants are not professionals there, we try to provide a moderated learning opportunity without the normal, “go get educated then come back to the discussion”. As Dr. Schmidt has suggested elsewhere, sometimes the road gets well worn; yet, UKWW makes for a good stepping stone for when you decide to return to technical discussions here.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:25 PM

  77. Fresh: “House Passes Bill to Address Threat of Climate Change”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/27/us/politics/27climate.html?hp

    This bill is a bit of a punching bag for everybody, not always diagnostic of useful political compromise. All the same, the fact of the vote is historically significant. I’m repeating myself but here’s a moment in time signifying acknowledgment of climate change by U.S. legislators. Late, lacking, possibly misguided, yet I’m still appreciative.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:26 PM

  78. I have had a chance to review some of Carlin’s previous work. What appears at first glance to be an exploration of geo-engineering alternatives to GHG emission reductions turns out to contain a lot of the same anti-AGW pseudo-scientific nonsense featured in his review document.

    http://carlineconomics.googlepages.com/whyadifferent

    Some samples from the above article:

    Introduction Section C: Underlying Theme—Climate Change Science
    is at Best Uncertain

    Although the IPCC claims near unanimity for its conclusions,11 there remain a significant number of skeptics who do not agree.
    [cites Heartland Institute]

    The most prominent alternative to the GHG explanation for GW
    during the Holocene primarily attributes much more significance to solar variability.Advocates argue that changes in the sun’s eruptional activity, solar wind, and magnetic field, among other characteristics, have been major determinants of global temperature here on Earth. Since this has not been taken into account in the IPCC models to date, these models may need to be changed if they are to more accurately reflect reality.

    [cites include: Svensmark, Scafetta. Landscheit in Energy and Environment]

    No wonder his “research” has been “suppressed” by the EPA for six years (as Tom Fuller complains); he is completely clueless.

    By the way, this stuff is right up my alley (I’m the one who wrote most of the above cited SourceWatch article on Friends of Science, and badgered the University of Calgary into investigating FoS’s dubious status as a recipient of “research” funding).

    From where I sit, the fact that an FoS director had major input into a draft EPA document review is very disturbing. I’ll be blogging on this very soon. (Oh, and by the way, I’ve created a searchable version of the Carlin/Davidson document – I’ll be posting that too).

    Big thanks to Gavin and RC for bringing this to our attention.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:29 PM

  79. Re #70 James,

    I guess it depends on one’s perspective, but to me you proved Michael’s point and more. He only says that the relationship between CO2 and energy belongs in the debate. From my perspective, there is a major economic crisis shaping up and this is going to tend to exclude the forms of energy production that require high capital expenditures. Shifting to natural gas sounds good, but there is a good chance this will drive the price of natural gas from a currently non-competitive level to a completely unaffordable level. With these thoughts in mind, the available source of energy, namely coal, very much will tie quality of life to CO2.

    But another approach is to find ways to use a lot less of the fossil fuels that we are now using wastefully.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:33 PM

  80. bubkes (also spelled “bupkis”): of Yiddish origin, meaning emphatically nothing, as in “He isn’t worth bubkes” (literally ‘goat droppings’, possibly of Slavic origin; cf. Polish bobki ‘animal droppings’)

    recaptcha: “Reporter scheming”

    Comment by tamino — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:41 PM

  81. Deep Climate: I’ll be blogging on this very soon. (Oh, and by the way, I’ve created a searchable version of the Carlin/Davidson document – I’ll be posting that too).

    Oh goody, please give us the link when you post!

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:51 PM

  82. Cougar notes the Dunning-Kruger effect:

    4) If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.”

    This is what’s driving me with Tom Fuller. “If he could be turned, he would be a powerful ally.” — Darth Vader, to Emperor Palpatine

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Jun 2009 @ 8:58 PM

  83. As for being a Denialist. I think of myself as being open minded.

    Richard H, are you “open minded” about all science, or just AGW? If you believe the (literally) ‘goat droppings’ of denialist climate science liars, why don’t you believe those who do the same regarding creationism and biology, or medicine and HIV denial, or any number of topics that fit into the set of antiscience?

    Have you asked yourself *why* you’re “open-minded” about some aspects of science, and not others?

    There’s no room for ideology in science. For the application of knowledge gained by science, sure – the view that we should do nothing even though science is right because a 3C rise in global temps by 2100 is less harmful than the expansion of government regulation to reduce CO2 emissions would be entirely consistent with science, and *openly* ideological, for instance. It would be honest, at least, even if it would be immoral as judged by my own moral framework.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:12 PM

  84. I’m sorry, was this a late April Fool’s post?

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 26 Jun 2009 @ 9:28 PM

  85. This is what’s driving me with Tom Fuller. “If he could be turned, he would be a powerful ally.” — Darth Vader, to Emperor Palpatine

    Sorry, I think Fuller is essentially a scam. “Liberal skeptic” on the surface is idiocy. Either you accept science, or you don’t. Without having done research on him, he’s old enough to fit into the traditional big-city liberal that’s been anti-science regarding issues like natural resources conservation, automobile safety (seatbelts, etc). etc. There was a fairly long period in our political history where big-city liberals opposed all such scientifically-backed issues simply because they looked at the world narrowly – we must increase wages for workers and we must maximize the number of workers. Side-effects, be damned.

    As I said above, I don’t know if he’s “like that” or not, but he looks old enough in his photo to have that old-fashioned, labor-über-alles (including science), point of view.

    And … he acts like it.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Jun 2009 @ 10:58 PM

  86. Tom Fuller (#18):
    Watch where you put your money: “Madoff made sure he presented an image of impeccable integrity”.
    Perhaps Carlin himself is sincere and honest and intelligent, and has simply fallen for a pack of lies. Some of the financiers who directed clients’ money into Madoff’s funds were taken in themselves.
    Much of the arguments used –over and over again — by bloggers to refute global warming are obvious hokum. Anyone can post anything on a blog — anonymously. Some bloggers repeat discredited lies created by phony astroturf organizations funded by unlisted entities.
    The ‘suppressed’ document has no ‘new’ data that I could see. Some of the references are far from credible. The real scientists who write this page have seen this nonsense before.
    If you don’t believe me — hey, I’ve got a great fund you can get in on. Put your money in it and you’ll never have to worry about it again.

    Comment by veritas36 — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:11 PM

  87. Re: #70 and the question of ‘restricting CO2′ ‘restricting human welfare’

    The specious reasoning apart the claim is also spurious because as a matter of practice the current debate is less about “restricting” atmospheric CO2 — as has been noted many times here, even an aggressive program that cuts *growth* in emissions will take some time to stabilise atmospheric CO2.

    It will be a long time, if ever, before atmospheric CO2 is as low as it was when IPCC’s 2007 Assessment Report was published.

    The broader composition error persists though. It’s clear that without insolation on the Earth’s surface, life as we know it would be impossible. That’s not entail arguing that every increment in insolation serves us as well as the previous one and that some increments won’t leave us worse off.

    The biosphere is a complex and dynamic system which, in the configuration of the last 13000 years has permitted and fostered human life and development. Seeing what would happen if we start dicking about with one of its important components amounts to a massive uncontrolled experiment in which there is no clear upside and a downside that though imprecisely specified, could be disastrous oir even worse.

    Attempting to stabilise atmospheric CO2 as soon as possible is therefore rational and prudent, especially since mucyh of what one would do to achieve that also carries with it other tangible public benefits that a business as usual scenario would forfeit.

    It’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the contrarian position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 26 Jun 2009 @ 11:55 PM

  88. Tenney (#84),

    Unfortunately it is no joke. Based on the report and the people I am engaging with at Tom Fuller’s blog, I am seriously very concerned about the current state of the communication medium between scientists and the public. If regular people can now just make up their own facts about physics and what is happening with the current climate change, there’s some major issues.

    I cannot offhand think of a more obvious, yet such a successful disinformation campaign as climate change denial. The arguments used have the same intellectual quality as flat earth arguments, yet somehow that has no effect on how they are believed, or the illogical connections drawn from them.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:52 AM

  89. Re: #77

    “here’s a moment in time signifying acknowledgment of climate change by U.S. legislators. Late, lacking, possibly misguided, yet I’m still appreciative.”

    This captures the moment for me pretty well…there’s still a long way to go in the stubborn Senate. Stumbling its way through political deals and compromises among politicians guided by local interests and large entrenched industries, in an environment where most detractors erroneously proclaim profound economic gloom and doom in an effort to frighten the public into submission, the legislation somehow made it past the House. For all of it’s weakness, it’s nice to note that for the first in history, U.S. lawmakers at one part of the national level have made a fairly significant move directly (or indirectly depending on how you view it) addressing carbon emissions.

    Comment by MarkB — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:32 AM

  90. James says: “Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am :-) I’ll be the first to point out that it’s by no means a simple or one-to-one relationship, but if tempted too far I might respond with a long list of ways in which cheap energy reduces quality of life.”

    Like:

    Money spent on fuel isn’t spent on fun.

    Cooling/warming your house because you have made it inefficient isn’t increasing your quality of life, it’s undoing the reduction in quality of life your badly made house is giving you.

    Money spent on external sources isn’t spent in your home economy.

    Pentium 4. cf CoreDuo.

    Comment by Mark — 27 Jun 2009 @ 3:38 AM

  91. Hello again,

    I’ve had a chance to look a little more. I’m not sure about this characterization:

    “Curiously, while the authors work for the NCEE (National Center for Environmental Economics), part of the EPA, they appear to have rather closely collaborated with one Ken Gregory (his inline comments appear at multiple points in the draft).”

    When I looked at a couple of the “inline” comments, they appeared to be lifted from Gregory’s comments at various blogs (e.g. Niche Modeling), so the idea that Carlin collaborated with Gregory probably needs to be reconsidered.

    But certainly Carlin seems to have looked at and bookmarked everything he could find by Gregory, even blog comments. I guess that was the only way to get the most recent science …

    Comment by Deep Climate — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:37 AM

  92. Dear RC, None of you here who have written excellent and informative pieices and responses need to justify yourselves to the WUWT and other blogs of dubious intent. You give up your valuable time and hae put a lot of effort into this site. You have convinced many people who have read the articles and followed the path of the threads responses.

    Simply brilliant work, can’t thank you enough for your patience and email replies too at the contrib address. I have managed to convincingly argue with many a dissenter and ignore their erratic scientific nonsense due to RC (and climate progress to be fair).

    Thanks and as the first climate change bill has just past the house of representatives you can all have a beer on me.

    Comment by pete best — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:41 AM

  93. Jay Lehr says:

    Carbon dioxide is no more than 4 percent of the total atmosphere—with water vapor being more than 90 percent, followed by methane and sulfur and nitrous oxides. Of that 4 percent, man contributes a little more than 3 percent. Three percent of 4 percent is .12 percent, and for that we are sentencing people to numerous damaging economic impacts.

    Wow, the atmosphere is 90% water vapor and 4% carbon dioxide! Um… is it Earth he’s talking about?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:51 AM

  94. Richard H. writes:

    I do admit I read anti AGW blogs more often than pro. That’s just because of my personal preference. In fact I don’t think I’ve been called a single name by asking questions on those blogs. Part of what I find frustrating in my attempt to learn both sides of the issues.

    Why are you trying to learn about a scientific issue by reading internet blogs?

    Why not crack a book? Preferably an introductory climatology book? Try Hartmann’s Global Physical Climatology or Henderson-Sellers and Robinson’s Introductory Climatology.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:57 AM

  95. Calling someone an economist is a real insult … given that the economists failed to predict the Housing Bubble and the recession/depression which followed. Seeking scientific advice from an economist is about as rational as consulting an astrologer.

    http://www.flickr.com/dmathew1

    Comment by David Mathews — 27 Jun 2009 @ 6:54 AM

  96. No ad hominem here. Lots of argument from authority, though. Just as much of a logical fallacy.

    [Response: Unfortunately, you are confused. The fallacy would be thinking something was true purely on the basis of who said it. It is not a fallacy to think something is true because you have other reasons to think that the source is credible (you do this every time you read the news). Thinking that people who study something are more likely to know something about it is perfectly logical. Do you get medical advice from your postman? – gavin]

    Comment by Monica Hughes — 27 Jun 2009 @ 7:05 AM

  97. Re: 93. Pete Best. 27 June 2009 at 5:41 AM

    Thanks and as the first climate change bill has just past [sic] the house of representatives you can all have a beer on me.

    I hope that the beer isn’t carbonated.

    Comment by Jimmy Haigh — 27 Jun 2009 @ 7:49 AM

  98. Jimmy Haigh Says:
    27 June 2009 at 7:49 AM

    I hope that the beer isn’t carbonated.

    I assume that means that we all should stop breathing as well (I’m pretty sure that the CO2 in beer comes from fermentation, just as exhaled CO2 comes from digested food; i.e. from plants that took it from the air). Not so sure about carbonated water/soda.

    Comment by Michael Stefan — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:54 AM

  99. #93 Barton

    Nice catch. It just underlines how careless they are with the science. I have to confess I don’t pay as much attention when they start running those silly claims.

    They read like those jokes that finish up proving by a series of specious steps that all the work of the country is done by one person who is too busy to talk.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:09 AM

  100. This is a little off-topic, but is something that might help folks here demonstrate to their less technically-oriented friends just how clueless Watts is.

    We all (well, most of us) know that Anthony Watts is a serial blunderer. Many of the blunders require some level of scientific/technical knowledge to appreciate. But some of the blunders are at the high-school/college-freshman (non-major) level. Watts’ attempted explanation of the differences between histograms generated from NASA GISS surface temperature data vs. those generated from HadCRUT, RSS, and UAH data is a particularly entertaining example.

    Just go to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/ , scroll down to the histogram discussion, and be prepared to be entertained.

    Just one quick caveat, though: remember that hot beverages and nasal passages don’t mix!

    Comment by caerbannog — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:18 AM

  101. CBS “News” has an all-aghast kind of report of this “suppression” written by Declan McCullagh, who obviously does not understand environmental science OR peer-reviewed studies. The day is too short to track down all the idjits who weigh in whenever there is potential for a flap–thank God for you guys!–and it occurs to me that if I post this here and he ever Googles himself, he might learn something. Or at least learn where to look for better analysis and a more cogent understanding of the facts and issues.

    Comment by Warren Hoskins — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:22 AM

  102. To elaborate on Gavin’s response to #96

    “The fallacy would be thinking something was true purely on the basis of who said it.”

    Oh so true.

    “Thinking that people who study something are more likely to know something about it is perfectly logical.”

    But not always a good assumption either. Myself being a case in point.

    In 2004 the Regional Chief of Ophthalmology told me plainly that there was nothing that could be done for my condition, that I would be blind for the rest of my life.

    Funny now in retrospect. I got another opinion. After back to back operations in 2006, viola! It’s now 2009, 20/25 and 20/30, far from the >20/600 and still going strong.

    So the old adage is correct. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:25 AM

  103. Gavin, obviously one of my personality flaws is that I have a trigger temper. I have a strong belief that the end should never justify the means. Perhaps I have violated this myself in what I wrote above (which I have since moved to the end of this post). I am not going to delete it because I know that, if you think through my comments, you will understand there is an element of truth to them.

    I do not know what you see as being your role and the role of your blog in the AGW debate.

    If it is political – to keep enthusiasm within the ranks of the true believers while Cap & Trade and EPA regulations are being debated, then your approach is succeeding, however it is a political, not a scientific or professional approach.

    If it is professional – to further the understanding and acceptance of AGW, then your approach is not succeeding because it does not give those who question any better understanding of the issues or whose who are wavering any reason to return to the fold.

    I sincerely wish that your site would be the AGW equivalent of the WUWT site and that the public could toggle between the two sides and reach reasonable conclusions with respect to AGW.

    But perhaps that is not your objective.

    [edit]

    [Response: Why people feel the need to speculate on my motives is strange because I frequently express them: The context for most climate science discussions in the media and on the web is mostly missing. I (and my co-bloggers) try and improve that by expanding on what is being discussed and giving insights into what scientists who are actually working on this stuff think. While this is may be ‘political’ in that any public speech is political in some broad definition, it is not partisan, and I don’t opine much on specific policies or legislation. I would like to improve understanding of the science, and your claims notwithstanding, I mostly do – (at least the readers of my book think so!). As for being the counterpart of WUWT – banish the thought from your mind. We are not going to descend to name-calling, or to demanding that people be fired for exercising their rights to free speech; nor will we campaign against legislation because of some imagined existential threat to the republic, nor undertake an investigation into the boiling point of water because we don’t understand a phase diagram, nor focus endlessly on warm weather stories, nor insist that gases that are heavier than air can’t mix into the atmosphere, nor fixate on noise in the climate system in lieu of signal, nor immediately scream fraud whenever something goes wrong in an automated data stream etc. Unlike you, I have no desire to be a populist, nor even popular, and if you don’t like my style, don’t read my posts. – gavin]

    Comment by imapopulistnow — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:13 AM

  104. Funny now in retrospect. I got another opinion. After back to back operations in 2006, viola! It’s now 2009, 20/25 and 20/30, far from the >20/600 and still going strong.

    So the old adage is correct. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

    Did you get another opinion from another doctor?

    The worst of the denialists are saying essentially … don’t believe your doctor when he says the condition of your eyes is what is causing your blindness. It’s not that the regional chief of opthalmology was wrong – the reality is ALL OF MEDICINE IS A FRAUD. Therefore, ask your postman to fix your eyes for you.

    Comment by dhogaza — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:29 AM

  105. cHRIS cOLOSE POSTED: “I cannot offhand think of a more obvious, yet such a successful disinformation campaign as climate change denial.”

    So very true. And in response to Jim Eager and Hank Roberts, that is why I posted the text of the silly article from Lehr (it is now on the Heartland web site). 1000s of people will read it — and believe it. Perhaps just one or two will follow a Google link to this thread and get educated.

    In the meantime, how can we best answer Chris. My posting is one attempt to do this. Obviously not the best one. What suggestions do you guys have?

    Burgy

    Comment by John Burgeson — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:33 AM

  106. Fran Barlow: “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the contrarian position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy.”

    But the free market (at least if external costs are accounted for) is control by the aggregate of human decisions over policy.

    From another viewpoint, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the warmist position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of ‘market’ i.e. aggregate human (as opposed to elitist) control over policy.

    Even worse is the corrupt political control we are now getting with monstrosities like Waxman-Markey.

    Comment by Steve Reynolds — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:44 AM

  107. May I plaintively repeat my request for more discussion of the peer reviewed literature and fewer refutations of flat earth theories ? Realclimate.org has unique strengths in the former area, and I submit that minute examination of excrement spewed by deniers is a terrible waste of resources and time of the many fine climate scientists who write here.

    [Response: You are correct – expect more science soon.. – gavin]

    Comment by sidd — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:44 AM

  108. As I write this, Larry Kudlow is getting his callers riled
    up on WABC (NYC) using this “suppressed” report that he purports
    shows the Sun is the culprit…as the Stranglers sang long ago
    “it’s always the Sun” ;)

    Is WABC immune from legal action ? Why is it that WABC/Kudlow
    can get away with spreading lies on the public airwaves ?

    Comment by Peter — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:52 AM

  109. MarkB (89), “acknowledging” is a slippery term that conveys little of substance. It certainly does not convey understanding. Congress is in fact crafting a bill that 1) is done with the “cut and paste” that you all berate skeptics for doing, and 2) shows little serious comprehension of the problem (and I’m referring to the climate science aspect of it.) Nay, Waxman admits he doesn’t even know what’s all in the bill (though this is common in our legislative process), let alone have solid comprehension of it.

    How is it you know the negative side of the economics of the bill is “erroneous” when all of the economists have little agreement let alone consensus? I would say a 50% increase in my electric bill (determined without knowledge of the many last minute changes), as a single example, while maybe by itself is not necessarily sufficient to turn the freight train, is a negative side that is no where near erroneous.

    Comment by Rod B — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:58 AM

  110. gavin: “We are not going to descend to name-calling…”

    Some words from this post:
    astroturf anti-climate science lobbying group
    just boneheadly stupid
    a ragbag collection, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology

    While I think RC has a lot of good points, completely avoiding name-calling is not one of them.

    [Response: Well in my defense, the first is an accurate description, the second concerns an idea, not a person, and the rest is a colourful précis of the points at hand. I do not recall ever calling anyone a “jerk”, nor telling anyone to “b****r off” which is the kind of name-calling I meant. – gavin]

    Comment by Steve Reynolds — 27 Jun 2009 @ 11:24 AM

  111. Steve Reynolds states:

    Even worse is the corrupt political control we are now getting with monstrosities like Waxman-Markey.

    So true. It really is pathetic the way, even very watered down, it barely passed, thanks to various political games and lies of the powers that be. Hopefully the Senate will have the guts to make it the much stronger bill that it needs to be.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 27 Jun 2009 @ 12:32 PM

  112. Gavin’s very careful in his choice of words; I’d add a hyphen. It’s an

    astroturf anti-climate-science lobbying group.

    Otherwise, he’s pulling his punches carefully. If you don’t know science, you don’t know science education, and you can’t imagine how ignorant and uninformed people are kept by the PR used every day.

    Fuller’s of that ilk. He’s channeling the PR. It’s very sad.

    Read some science. It’ll discourage you, and stir you to action:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=science+knowledge+education+survey

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22public+relations%22+astroturf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 12:35 PM

  113. re: #110

    Well, here I must (very) slightly agree with Steve.
    I didn’t see any obvious trace of astrology in the Carlin/Davidson document, even if it referenced the climate pseudo-science of astrologer Landscheidt. I suppose I could have missed it.

    The rest seemed accurate, if perhaps understated (British-background tends to do that :-)).

    Why understated?

    *We* (in USA) pay these guys’ salaries, and this is the “work” that we get for it… Why do we pay people to do anti-science?

    Comment by John Mashey — 27 Jun 2009 @ 12:37 PM

  114. PS, from the latter search, this looks worth reading in full if anyone has access to the full text. Talk about turnaround:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2007.08.009
    Climate change after denial: Global reach, global responsibilities, and public relations

    “Taking climate change as the 21st century’s major global threat, this paper considers three significant public relations challenges arising from it. The first is how the field can engage with the social equity and ecological dimensions in ways that might enhance rather than diminish the profession’s public reputation. The second is how the discipline adapts to deal with the radical perceptual shifts accompanying the meteorological transformations and possible geopolitical fallout, and the third is the issue of trust – interlinked with emotions, economics, ecology, and neuroscience – as the strategy of eco-catastrophe denial becomes less and less tenable. The paper also considers possible responses to these challenges.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 12:38 PM

  115. 109 Rod B:

    Any chance you could point out a source for your “50% increase in my electric bill” remark a la Waxman-Markey? CBO estimates $175/year by 2020 for the average American family, that number encompassing not only residential utility costs but the whole enchilada. If you don’t mind, please skip trashing CBO as I’m not interested in personal opinions, just steer me to a more authoritative source, if you can.

    87 Fran:

    “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the contrarian position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy.”

    It’s regulation they don’t like, plain and simple. Climate science and consequent policy responses are a target because here we have an archetypal situation where individuals cannot be relied on to make choices that will avoid harming the collective good.

    Would we have an equal population of “skeptics” if the science did not lead to the requirement for legislation? No, because it’s not science or improving human understanding of the world that drives these people. Instead, the prospect of legislation ignites silly, romantic libertarian resistance to rule of law combined with old-fashioned greed and fear of loss of material wealth.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:06 PM

  116. “The human imagination does not do well with large numbers.”

    Robert Haas, quoted at:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html
    ____________________

    “… if the rest of the world is any indication, now might be the time for U.S. politicians to re-engage on the science. One thing for sure: They won’t be alone.”

    Last sentence of a column otherwise copypasting long-debunked PR talking points, quoting Plimmer, claiming the whole world has quit thinking that global warming is a problem, except a few US scientists. That notably delusional claim from a WSJ ‘opinion’ at:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:09 PM

  117. Thanks for the update. Unfortunately, the level of denial, professional and otherwise, is often understated. You mention the 27th time, but the number of repetitions of denialist talking points runs into hundreds if not thousands, and has gone on for decades. As soon as any reasonable rebuttal can be assumed to have been forgotten, the point is brought up again (sometimes the next day). When a good point is made, it is carefully recrafted to mean the opposite of what was said. For example, the “true believers” are now claimed to be all on the scientific side.

    There is a current uptick in activity all over the internet. With the right in disarray, they have more time on their hands and as you said, the current debate in Congress makes it urgent. All those millions the fossil fuel industry has on hand due to its excessive profits are being well spent. The spending is sometimes sneaky; supporting “research” by entities like CEI. These “think tanks” were once called “booking agencies” and the requirements of the press keep the demand for fringe “experts” high. It’s like crafting a press release; if it’s well written, it will just be pushed through.

    Richard Feynman had a circle of friends in Cambridge during his final years, of whom I was one. It is appalling that his statements are frequently cited by denialists. I have a pretty good idea of where he stood (we had many a late night beer) and he would not appreciate being used in this way.

    The denial cohort had the gall to claim that this claim was false because I could not call on him in person. Sick-making!

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:13 PM

  118. Also worth another look:

    http://www.theboywhodeniedwolf.com/2009/04/google-timeline-reveals-triumph-of-denialism.html

    brief excerpt follows:
    ____________________________

    “You can see it with your own eyes – a quick history of global warming news stories.

    Google Search is a tremendously powerful tool for online research. Google engineers devised a way to display search results in a timeline layout. This

    http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/introducing-google-news-timeline.html

    is a great way of visualizing a search term across time. …. the news media – mostly newspapers, have been stuck in relative ignorance for decades, or it suggests that advertiser interests and paid professional PR challenges to science has been wildly successful. It is as if we are stuck in the 1980’s….”
    _______________
    End excerpt (link added)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:22 PM

  119. Monica Hughes has pulled the same trick Tom Fuller pulled – is this a new tool in the denialist bag of tricks or have I just missed it in the past?

    By “same trick” I mean posted some nonsense here, got an inline response by Gavin, and then rather than attempt to hold a rational conversation here has gone over to her own blog, castigated the OP and Gavin’s response to her post, and is running with the “climate scientists are mean therefore …” train of thought.

    Oh, well. The bill passed yesterday, eat it, denialists.

    Comment by dhogaza — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:22 PM

  120. John Mashey pointed to Fuller’s recent columns and reminded us that he’s not someone likely to listen to the scientists.

    Those of you outside the SF Bay Area may think the “SF Examiner” is still a newspaper, and so assume that Fuller is a journalist.

    It’s not. The Examiner does print a very small paper edition, which lacks only perforations to be widely useful on a daily basis.

    Mostly now it’s an online blog-for-dollars opportunity site.

    Can you draw a lot of attention online from the kind of people* the advertisers would like to reach? Pick your area of, many are available (sigh):
    http://www.examiner.com/san_francisco/Become_an_Examiner.html

    “… reasons to write for Examiner.com
    1. Extend the reach of your writing to millions of visitors.
    2. Earn money** generated by your articles….”

    Fuller today has the #2 popular article there. He’s got that niche:

    Why the EPA should have listened to Alan Carlin on global warming
    by: SF Environmental Policy Examiner

    Caveat lector.
    __________________________________________________
    *they read advertising and believe what they read
    ** the more attention they draw, the more they get paid

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:50 PM

  121. re 106 : “But the free market (at least if external costs are accounted for) is control by the aggregate of human decisions over policy.”

    No it isn’t.

    For example, the claim against Exxon for the clean-up bill and punishment for the disaster caused by criminal negligence was reduced on appeal because it was too much.

    Yet Jammie is being done for $1.9Million for sharing 24 tracks, costing 99c each in iTunes.

    If Big Oil had to pay their externalities AND DID SO, then maybe the public collective could be used in a Free Market machine to produce policy.

    But this isn’t possible.

    Comment by Mark — 27 Jun 2009 @ 1:54 PM

  122. RE #119; # dhogaza 27 June 2009 at 13:22 Says:
    “Oh, well. The bill passed yesterday, eat it, denialists.”

    This is a beginning, but it ain’t over yet. The fight is now in the Senate, and there is a chance for the special interests to influence or kill the bill. I would urge all posters in the US to contact their Senators, write LTEs and make clear the urgency of action, NOW!

    A couple of questions arose about the purpose of this blog, and a recent post invited reader comments. I would say that the unique qualifications of the hosts point to three types of posts: in-depth look at recent, important literature, explanation of difficult concepts and refutation of the most visible “contrary” writings.

    The President and Congress are working to do something to reduce carbon emissions. The political process can only succeed with a sound scientific foundation and RC is helping to give the rest of us insight into the scientific literature that provides that foundation, but success also depends on the rest of us speaking out. The special interests have a voice, but so do we.

    Comment by Deech56 — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:12 PM

  123. Hank enlightens us about the Examiner: Mostly now it’s an online blog-for-dollars opportunity site.

    So I’m basically feeding the troll. Damn. Thanks for the heads up, guess I’ll move on.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:15 PM

  124. Valdez payments by Exxon:

    Immediate payments – $300,000,000.00
    direct cleanup – $2,200,000,000.00
    reimbursement to State of Alaska and Federal government – $1,000,000,000.00

    Within one year of the Valdez spill – $3,500,000,000.00 (three and one-half billion dollars) spent.

    The lawsuit judgment that was reduced was for punitive damages.

    captcha – Michael Criteria

    Comment by JCH — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:36 PM

  125. Well, now that I know what Bubkes means, I guess I can relax about not being called names.

    I guess the fact that I studied journalism and worked for accredited newspapers and magazines for most of my adult life isn’t as important as contributing to citizen journalism. Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunites these days.

    dhogaza, I didn’t realize you identified so strongly with the Dark Side. Good to know. By the way, I didn’t continue debating here because it’s not convenient–your moderation policy and uncertain Captcha operations make it difficult to have anything like a real time discussion.

    Some of you seem like perfectly reasonable people. Some of you don’t. Amazingly, I find the same on the skeptic blogs. Hmm.

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:37 PM

  126. Those of you outside the SF Bay Area may think the “SF Examiner” is still a newspaper, and so assume that Fuller is a journalist.

    It’s not. The Examiner does print a very small paper edition, which lacks only perforations to be widely useful on a daily basis.

    Mostly now it’s an online blog-for-dollars opportunity site.

    Huh, and for 90 cities, not just SF. Interesting business model, sign up a bunch of unknown freelancers, throw their shit at the wall, and that which sticks makes some advertising revenue.

    They have a portland “edition” – didn’t even know it exists. Not likely to be too influential, I guess.

    Comment by dhogaza — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:47 PM

  127. This is totally off-topic, but to give you some idea as to how open-minded (to the point of falling out) this “publication” is, the “Portland UFO & ET Examiner” has a great piece up, Why the 4th of July is important to extraterrestrials.

    So I’m basically feeding the troll. Damn. Thanks for the heads up, guess I’ll move on.

    Yeah, more or less, Jim. Might be entertaining to take on the UFO guy, though!

    Comment by dhogaza — 27 Jun 2009 @ 2:52 PM

  128. For the next RC post, how about debunking the notion that the Earth is flat?

    No rational newspaper or person would pay any attention to it at all. Instead, why not post an article on the carbon cycle, and how it relates to schemes to capture carbon from fossil fuels? I mean, beating up on CEI is like a bully taking candy from an infant. You could go back and debunk their “CO2: We call it life” campaign, but why bother? It’s obviously ridiculous.

    As far as hurricane issues, the consensus now is that hurricane intensification forecasts are best done on the basis of subsurface temperatures. Hurricanes that miss those warm cores tend not to intensify, those that do hit them intensify. If global warming warms the oceans, you’ll get more and deeper warm pools (no, it is not due to the “AMO cycle”):

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/operational-hurricane-forecasting

    (They have really good graphic displays)

    This also feeds into the recent post about “globally decreasing winds”, not that it seemed very well supported – but if wind shear is decreasing globally, that would also tend to increase hurricane formation. I wouldn’t bank on that prediction, however, as it is highly uncertain.

    And as far as the Examiner? That would be examiner.com, some coal-oil-rail billionaire’s pet project, isn’t it? They are notable for parroting claims that the oceans are cooling and locked into a “negative phase of the PDO” – but let’s be honest, they picked that up from NASA’s JPL folks…

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-066

    That’s a far more interesting topic to discuss, I think – especially since you’ve got mainstream reporters like Revkin at NYT parroting the claims as well:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/04/wilkins-ice-shelf-collapse/#comment-119101

    Comment by Ike Solem — 27 Jun 2009 @ 3:03 PM

  129. Where can I read the bill as it was finally passed by congress?

    Comment by Tom P — 27 Jun 2009 @ 3:10 PM

  130. Re #72 Hank Roberts,

    Thanks for the comment, but yes, there is something in particular. I have not been able to find an answer in the vast amounts of information. Spencer Weart’s post with Raymond Pierrehumbert of 26 June 2007 is not clear on the basic calculation process referred to by raypierre in the 24 Novermber 2005 post that I mentioned in my previous question. However, I had looked into this some time ago, and it was my conclusion then that the temperature calculation did indeed assume a balance, so limiting my question to a very particular issue:

    Referring back to 24 November 2005, raypierre describes the overall assumption of the radiative process analysis that concludes with a surface temperature output, saying that the radiating temperature “has to stay the same, since the planet still has to get rid of the same amount of energy absorbed from incident sunlight.” He also makes this the condition at equilibrium, which seems consistent with the balanced condition. However, when there is a lot of ice melting is it possible to reach equilibrium?

    I am aware that I am asking a favor with such a question, and would appreciate whatever response is convenient.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 3:16 PM

  131. Tom Fuller says: “Some of you seem like perfectly reasonable people. Some of you don’t. Amazingly, I find the same on the skeptic blogs. Hmm.”

    Ah, yes but on skeptic blogs you’ll find these seemingly reasonable people who think it’s legitimate to debate whether or not it’s cold enough in Antarctica ot make CO2 snow out of the air. And that’s the science blog of the year, mind you. Perhaps you want to check and see how nonsensical that is and then have a good laugh when exploring that thread. There are objective reasons why Gavin says that blogs are not a good avenue to debate science.

    But then, would you expect people here to have any kind of respect for that kind of nonsense? As was pointed to you earlier, there is a lot in science that is not a matter of opinion, or point of view, or whatever nice name the mind manipulators of the world want to use. Nonsense is nonsense. If you can be swayed by nonsense, indeed there is no dialogue possible, or even desirable with you.

    Comment by Philippe Chantreau — 27 Jun 2009 @ 3:37 PM

  132. Re #76 L. David Cooke,

    Thanks for the suggestion about a more casual forum. I will look.

    However, when it looks like there is a disconnect between analysis assumptions and the problem at hand, I am inclined to hang in there (at Real Climate), at least for a while.

    Being dismissed to go study the “basic stuff” is a little like being told that a needed answer in electromagnetics is fully covered by Maxwell’s Equations. (Maxwell’s Equations do indeed cover everything in electromagnetics, but almost never are they actually useful by themselves.)

    Actually my question seems to be at the heart of the “basic” stuff.

    At the same time, there is no real reason why anyone should bother to answer my question. That is up to them. And also at the same time, it is up to me to figure out what that means.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:08 PM

  133. #125 Tom Fuller:

    “Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunites these days.”

    More de-employment opportunities, particularly at “ancillary desks” producing cultural features including science coverage. Science journalism in the mainstream press is undergoing a massacre.

    While it’s true that coverage of policy-related science is infected with the same fake balance degrading other areas of journalism it would be folly to say that firing or reassigning reporters devoted to science coverage thereby does not matter. The public is daily confronted by pressing science-related public policy issues and needs information to take with them to polling places.

    Meanwhile, mysteriously, the fewer resources available for the diminishing pool of journalists to perform their work, the more “balance” we get. These days, “balance” in journalism is a one-word code for “we can’t afford to do it right so we just have to take everybody’s word and let the public try to sort it out”. This is not a good way to add quality of the kind people are willing to pay for.

    Voluntary self-imposed degradation has been overlooked in seeking explanations for the rapid demise of print journalism. Perhaps if publishers had not opened their own veins by focusing entirely on profits newspapers would still be fully staffed, meaning fact checking could be performed, meaning less fake balance would appear on newspaper pages. Perhaps newspapers would then have been remained sufficiently unique and compelling to survive assaults by relatively shoddy online “journalism” and the loss of classified advertising.

    Once again we’re treated to witness a triumph of the invisible hand of the market, in this case a demonstration of auto-lobotomy.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:12 PM

  134. Tom, before you cast stones:

    By the way, I didn’t continue debating here because it’s not convenient–your moderation policy and uncertain Captcha operations make it difficult to have anything like a real time discussion.

    That three-character spam system you have at the Examiner fails very frequently, slowing things down greatly.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:12 PM

  135. Re: Mr. Bullis, ice melting and heat balance

    GRACE shows a few hundred cubic kilometers coming of Greenland and Antarctica every year. 100 cu. km. of ice melting, with a latent heat of 80cal/g gives a deltaQ = 1e21*80*4.2=3.4e23 Joule

    This is small compared to total incident solar radiation. On the other hand, by comparison from Levitus(2008), heat content of the ocean has increased by approx. 1e23J over the last 20 years.

    I hope this adds some illumination, and I also hope I have done my multiplications correctly…

    Comment by sidd — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:19 PM

  136. Jim Bullis, an amateur reader reply:

    During the period of time after an equilibrium begins to change due to a change in a forcing (huge fast CO2 release for example), the planet is not in equilibrium; it is changing until the new equilibrium is reached.

    There are fast feedback changes in some things (e.g. sea ice), and longer-continuing changes in other things (e.g. the Antarctic cap ice; ocean circulation; plankton species frequency and distribution; ocean pH; terrestrial rainfall and erosion). All these have their own time scales and courses.

    Eventually a new equilibrium is reached: the warming trend stops — energy in and energy out balance. That’s assuming nothing else unusual happens after the one forcing change that put the system out of its prior longer term equilibrium.

    Like I said, amateur answer:

    I started with the terms I recalled (which you ought to find in the Start Here and the Weart book):
    http://www.google.com/search?q=charney+climate+sensitivity&

    Then from those results tried searching
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=author%3A%22Hansen%22+intitle%3A%22Climate+Sensitivity%22+

    This result includes many links you may find helpful:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/the-certainty-of-uncertainty/

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/229/4716/857

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1126
    “Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is 3°C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is 6°C for doubled CO2
    for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-
    free Antarctica.”

    Try the RC thread and “sensitivity” in the Search box at top of page.

    This is also a good recent presentation of the various estimates of climate sensitivity and of the amount of uncertainty associated with them — found by doing a Google image search on the terms:

    http://www.emeraldarc.com/?p=120

    You know those people who put long lines of standing dominos out and then tip one and watch the whole string topple in smooth series? This isn’t like that. Imagine filling a gymnasium with one of those long lines of dominos, and then replacing some of the dominos with a mousetrap loaded with a couple of pingpong balls that would fly out into the room and maybe set off another part of the pattern.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:19 PM

  137. Tom Fuller,

    “I guess the fact that I studied journalism…”

    Did you not learn about evaluating sources in journalism class?

    Comment by EL — 27 Jun 2009 @ 4:53 PM

  138. Re #135 sidd,

    Thanks. As someone once said, “When you have numbers, you actually start to know something about a subject.”

    Sure 3.4e23 is probably a lot less than incident solar radiation, but it seems to be meaningful relative to the difference between solar radiation and exiting radiation. Isn’t that the issue?

    OK, so when the ice is gone, should we not expect 4.4e23 Joule (1 + 3.4) in a subsequent 20 year period. That would seem to represent the heat accumulation when there was no ice to counter the difference between incident radiation and exiting radiation.

    Did you mean to exclude Arctic ice? Or is that already included as part of the ocean?

    That illustrates my point, which is that present changes in surface temperature is not a good indicator of what we should expect in the future, and as such, it is not a great idea to make the debate about the observed ocean temperature.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:05 PM

  139. Re: Mr. Bullis, ice melting and heat balance

    I should have mentioned that

    1) total absorbed solar radiation on the order of 1e27J/yr from total incident radiation times (1-bond albedo)

    2)Hansen estimates total imbalance of 0.86+/-0.15W/m^2 for the energy imbalance, which agrees with Levitus estimates for ocean heat increase (Hansen et al., Science, v308, pp1431-1435, 2005)

    Comment by sidd — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:07 PM

  140. I guess the fact that I studied journalism and worked for accredited newspapers and magazines for most of my adult life isn’t as important as contributing to citizen journalism. Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunites these days.

    And, after all, blogs are where the cutting edge of science is done today, too. Blogscience and blogjournalism, together, such an improvement over the older models.

    Comment by dhogaza — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:12 PM

  141. Re #136 Hank Roberts,

    Before I completely follow up on your helpful directions, I want to say thanks.

    Immediate reading seems to be that the “equilibrium” concept is a bigger thing than I had understood it to be from the raypierre discussion. If that is the case, it all gets taken into account in the end. However, on that basis we are on a long transition to equilibrium. This would also support my contention that shorter term temperature trends are not much good for indicating the future problems.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:15 PM

  142. El asks: “Did you not learn about evaluating sources in journalism class?”

    Yeah, but that’s like, hard work, man!

    He already KNOWS what the answer is. He just has to find the proof!

    Comment by Mark — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:21 PM

  143. JCH, Jammie paid 80000 times the cost of the product.

    80,000 times the 2.2Bn cleanup job is…?

    Comment by Mark — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:25 PM

  144. #135 and #139 sidd

    I see I missed the 20 year part, so the ocean heat content should thus be increasing by 1e23 / 20 Joules per year? Does this fit with your intended meaning?

    So your additional information on “total absorbed solar radiation” is interesting, but not necessary to the discussion?

    Now we have the question of how does Hansen treat the ice melting part. If that is handled like Hank Roberts seems to suggest, this might all fit together. It is just that the state of “equilibrium” would occur after the transition to the point where all the ice melted. And the ocean heat increase as reported by Levitus would include the ice effect.

    And once again, if all this is right, we should not expect immediate evidence of global warming in measurements of surface temperatures. They will lag the buildup of CO2 by quite a long time.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:51 PM

  145. Tom P:

    For all legislative info of any kind, the definitive source is the Library of Congress’ THOMAS database.

    It’s House Resolution 2454, found here:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:5:./temp/~bdqcum::|/bss/111search.html|

    It still has to pass the Senate mind you. A second battle looms.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 27 Jun 2009 @ 5:54 PM

  146. Doug B (115), the CBO by design and their admission did not cost out the “whole enchilada.” Their latest assessment was of accounting and not economics; they explicitly excluded potential reductions in the economy (GDP) or negative effects on the labor market (read losing jobs) for example. I’m not bashing CBO which is generally pretty good; they did what they were asked. It’s all of the cherry-picking ballyhoo outside the CBO that I quarrel with.

    Actually I’m the source of my estimate, which is broad brush and back of the envelope. But I’ll briefly go over it to explain it and give you an opportunity to point out any major errors. It also could be off from being based on the bill early in the week which was significantly modified by the end of the week.

    $28 allowance charge for each ton ($30.80/tonne) of CO2 emitted. Current coal costs about $2.30 per million BTUs for average high burning coal, or about $65.50/tonne. (Even though a tonne of coal burned puts out about 2.9 tonnes of CO2, I did some fancy (maybe dubious) calcs regarding the efficiency and requirement to turn coal into electricity and left the emission of CO2 at one tonne for each tonne of coal burned.) I then simply assumed that burning coal is the only cost of providing electricity. So what now costs the utilities $65.50 will later cost them $65.50 + $30.80 = $96.30, pretty close to a 50% increase, to produce the exact same amount of electric energy. The average residential bill in my parts is about $150. Plus $70 to pay for the CO2 charges is roughly $220/month or $840 more per year. And that’s just one piece.

    Comment by Rod B — 27 Jun 2009 @ 6:11 PM

  147. “I would advise playing the ball, not the man.” But that is precisely what Gavin has done, and your failure to notice how effectively Gavin has played the ball has me doubting your ability to understand the science of climate. That you would mistake Gavin’s efforts as ad hominems only furthers my doubts.

    “Your ‘team’s’ failure to engage with skeptics and your insistence that the issues are all settled is killing you in so many ways, that if I were truly a skeptic I would keep silent and watch you continue.”

    Not from where I sit, Mr. Fuller. Your insistence that this is so puzzles me.

    “… and as a journalist I’m trying to be fair to both sides.” It is difficult for me to reach that conclusion from an examination of your recent posts in the Examiner.

    “… I find it truly bizarre that you (or one of the skeptic blogs) has not yet realized that weblogs are the absolutely perfect mechanism for conducting a proper debate on an issue like climate change.”

    Huh? I think RealClimate has provided yeoman’s service in educating the public. Beyond that, science is properly debated by scientists in the forums created for that purpose: the peer reviewed, scientific literature and reviewed conferences. Gavin and other climate scientists have to put up with repeated attacks by those who think they know more than they actually do. I am not at all surprised they do not put up with repeated nonsense for very long, and I applaud them for their perseverance and patience—and the occasional terse response. Gavin’s posting here is to my mind wonderfully effective: only mildly snarky, if at all, but successful in laying these tired claims to waste in short order.

    As far as I can tell, Gavin is entirely right: that draft report contains a number of basic errors that anyone with any credible standing in the climate science community would recognize. You write in your recent column, Mr. Fuller: “Since the ‘warmist’ position seems to be that the discussion cannot be reopened at all costs, it leads to an impasse where the ‘warmists’ tend to look truculent and arrogant, while the skeptics look reasonable and rational.”

    This is not how it seems to me. First, the discussion is taking place in two different arenas. It has been going on in the arenas of science—peer reviewed literature and conferences—for decades, leading to an overwhelming consensus. In spite of that consensus, dissonant views, such as those held by Spencer, Grey, Pielke Sr., and other such scientists, are given a place. The discussion is also going on in the public arena, such as the blogs you mention, and from my vantage point as an academic in the field of education, the scientists of RealClimate are doing an admirable job. The blogosphere has a dismal signal-to-noise ratio, something not found in the above-mentioned academic forums. Frankly, I worry about the number of journalists commenting on climate who appear to have little understanding of the science. I agree with sidd that RC is at its best when it highlights and comments on the science but it also serves a purpose in indirectly exposing the fringe elements as simply pedaling bubkes, especially when such material gains prominence in the media.

    Mr. Fuller, you wrote: “I guess the fact that I studied journalism and worked for accredited newspapers and magazines for most of my adult life isn’t as important as contributing to citizen journalism. Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunities these days.”

    It may not be, but you are not producing much intelligent commentary on climate science, and your defensive comments do not serve you well. Rather, it seems to me you are allowing yourself to be misled, and, sadly, I don’t see much quality journalism in what you are producing. Sorry to be blunt. You also claim that climate scientists are saying “the debate is settled,” as if to say they are claiming all matters about climate change are settled. To echo Gavin, I challenge you to produce any such statements.

    Comment by Charles — 27 Jun 2009 @ 6:51 PM

  148. Jim — yes.

    Aside to Contributors — as Jim’s read both Dr. Weart’s book and the Start Here sections and still missed understanding the lag time, perhaps another look at those texts would help the next reader along.
    It’s one of those concepts so basic that it may have dropped off the simple explanations yet still needs to be part of them. I can’t recall how long it took me to learn this (no doubt watching a pot slowly coming to a boil on the kitchen stove when I was very young). But it’s not intuitively obvious to everyone.

    Jim, common search strings here; it’s often helpful to compare the results from the different search tools (to understand what others may be seeing):

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22global+warming%22+%2B%22in+the+pipeline%22

    http://www.google.com/search?q=“global+warming”+%2B”in+the+pipeline”

    http://images.google.com/images?q=“global warming” %2B”in the pipeline”

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=“global warming” %2B”in the pipeline”

    Personal recommendation (and recommendation to Contributors, unless you have a better explanation in the basic list): Start here:

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/10/06/how-much-warming-in-the-pipeline-part-1-co2-e/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/03/06/how-much-warming-in-the-pipeline-part-ii-abcs/
    the latter points to: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/40/15258.full
    ___________________________
    ReCaptcha: utopian PR
    Sorry Barry! the AI needs more convincing, it appears

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 6:57 PM

  149. Jim, here’s the kind of interaction that makes it impossible to calculate this as a simple number, from basic physical principles, for a complicated planet:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093458.htm

    Journal reference:
    Lenton, A., F. Codron, L. Bopp, N. Metzl, P. Cadule, A. Tagliabue and J. Le Sommer. Stratospheric ozone depletion reduces ocean carbon uptake and enhances ocean acidification. Geophysical Research Letters, 20 June 2009

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jun 2009 @ 7:01 PM

  150. #146 Rod B:

    “…the CBO by design and their admission did not cost out the “whole enchilada.” Their latest assessment was of accounting and not economics; they explicitly excluded potential reductions in the economy (GDP) or negative effects on the labor market (read losing jobs) for example.”

    Boiling that down, what I hear that instead of imagining how things might go, CBO ran the numbers. They did actually mention economic dislocation in their discussion of transitional effects but did not attempt to speculate their way to a numerical conclusion.

    Your original assertion was that your electrical bill would rise some 50%, not that you imagined some undefined harm would befall the economy, but I understand that you were trying to characterize CBO’s work as opposed to bin it.

    “I’m the source of my estimate…”

    I admire that you stand behind your post, but I have to say I’m more impressed by CBO’s report, which contradicts your claim and analysis. For starters, your calculations are too simple. For instance, you overlook that it appears over 80% of allowances will be cost-free to industry even in 2020; in 2020 83% of allowances will be given away, 17% paid for.

    For the curious, CBO report here:

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/103xx/doc10327/06-19-CapTradeCosts.htm

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 27 Jun 2009 @ 7:21 PM

  151. #146 RodB

    We can’t blame the CBO for working with wrong numbers which seem to have been fed to them.

    Maybe your $2.30 per million BTU is right for average high burning coal, but a lot of coal is not ‘high’ burning. It should not matter that much on a BTU basis, but it seems to. A majority of the coal used today is Powder River Basin coal and it works out to cost about $1 at the mine for a million BTU. Adding about 50% for shipping, brings us up to more like $1.50 for a million BTUs. That makes the percentage increase look worse, though the incremental difference may well be what you calculate. The fuel cost for coal looks to be somewhere between 3.35 and $2.65.

    At a cost for natural gas of $4.00 per million BTU this natural gas looks competitive. The outcome will depend on natural gas not going back to the $6 to $12 range. My guess is that the power producers will not tear up their railroad tracks just yet, since these folks have long memories.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 7:58 PM

  152. gavin, I don’t even know why you modellers even bother anymore with sensitivity estimates…according to Tom Fuller at his blog,

    “So the climate model says temperatures will rise by 1 degree and the sensitivity calculation automatically multiplies it by 3.5, and says the temperature will rise by 3.5 degrees.”

    Automatic output. You sneaky people!:-)

    [Response: I wonder what took them so long. It’s in the public ModelE code, search for the subroutine “fix_feedback_factor_to_match_political_agenda”. I guess I’d better look for another job now…. – gavin]

    Comment by Chris Colose — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:04 PM

  153. I am curious. How much Earth Science does one get in Applied Mathematics or for that matter, Astronomy?

    Jim N

    [Response: Hansen’s degree was in astrophysics, not astronomy, and dealt with radiative transfer in the Venusian atmosphere as a function of aerosols and greenhouse gases – pretty relevant I’d say. He has subsequently written hundreds of papers in all the biggest climate science journals and has been hugely cited across the whole field. You cannot be seriously suggesting that Hansen is unqualified to talk about climate science? As for me, I didn’t start working on climate until my post-doc, and subsequently have written over 60 peer reviewed papers in field on subjects as diverse as solar impacts on climate, reconciling paleo-climate data with models, GCM development, atmospheric chemistry, land surface physics, ocean advection, climate of the 20th Century, the 21st century, 6000 years ago, 8000 years ago and 55 million years ago. Your point? – gavin]

    Comment by Jim Norvell — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:12 PM

  154. Journalists have an excellent professional organization: The Society of Environmental Journalists

    They have a fairly extensive handbook and backgrounder to prepare any journalist to cover the global climate destabilization story.

    http://www.sej.org/initiatives/climate-change/overview

    It is an open site, worth reviewing, and I know they are very open to discussing any corrections or kudos.

    Comment by Richard Pauli — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:23 PM

  155. #135 sidd and #144 mine and #147 Hank Roberts,

    Checking the “Synthesis Report” it looks like the ice is not so important as I thought.

    The bigger lag might be caused by the deep ocean cold waters.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:31 PM

  156. Re: Mr.Bullis, Ocean Heat Content, etc.

    Here
    http://membrane.com/sidd/levitus-08-S14.png
    is a graph from Levitus(2008)

    As to Hansen’s models, in the 2005 paper he does say that their climate model “does not include ice dynamics”

    Perhaps you might want to read that paper as well as “Climate Change and Trace Gases”, available in many places, which argues for an albedo flip mechanism and (relatively) short timescales for icesheet response to forcing, based on paleo data.

    Comment by sidd — 27 Jun 2009 @ 8:56 PM

  157. Up to half of my household electric bill charges appear to be delivery charges. That suggests to me that if Rod B’s theoretical utility charges are similar to my actual charges, his calculations of carbon penalties are roughly double or more what they might actually be.

    Comment by Steve P — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:11 PM

  158. My post is up now:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/06/28/epas-alan-carlin-channels-pat-michaels-and-the-friends-of-science/

    It turns out that the whole section on van de Wal’s Greenland ice study was lifted directly from World Climate Report (run by Pat Michaels). Nearly word for word, without attribution (hence the title “EPA’s Alan Carlin channels Pat Michaels and the Friends of Science”).

    Anyone interested in the searchable version of Carlin’s paper can get it here (it’s still very large, though):

    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/epa-doc062509-004-ocr1.pdf

    Comment by Deep Climate — 27 Jun 2009 @ 9:46 PM

  159. Deep Climate does the legwork on the Carlin story: awesome.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:17 PM

  160. As to astrology, Theodore Landscheidt was an astrologer. His papers are extensively discussed in Carlin and Davidson. For more than you want to know google Landscheidt on sci.environment. Nothing is so stupid that it does not come back.

    BTW Landscheidt and Piers Corbyn are soul brothers.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:55 PM

  161. Hi all,

    Charles, sorry you don’t like my work. As for the settled science thing, there’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley/The_science_is_settled

    If none of those qualify as scientists in your opinion, you could probably point me pretty quickly to statements from scientists who reacted in horror to the claim.

    Happy to learn more about the use of sensitivity calculations in climate models, if you can point me to the appropriate link.

    As for playing the ball and not the man, check the title of this post. Check how I’ve been described in this thread–and I’m not even a skeptic.

    [Response: You are confused. ‘Bubkes’ is used to imply that an argument has no substance. It is not an insult, nor directed at you. I’m puzzled you think it is since you are not even mentioned in the post. – gavin]

    (Although I imagine being a ‘lukewarmer’ is probably worse, from your point of view.) Check what’s been said about Alan Carlin–I’ve spoken with him and others in the EPA and I know it’s not true–but it certainly doesn’t seem to bother anyone here.

    Feel free to prove me wrong, or continue to trash me or ignore me as you choose. This kind of thing always serves as sort of a Rorschach test, anyhow.

    For all your claims about being different from skeptic blogs, it seems to me that you’re a mirror image.

    [Response: The fact that you are unable to tell science from anti-science, is unfortunately, a big part of the problem. – gavin]

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 27 Jun 2009 @ 10:59 PM

  162. Richard H. says: As for being a Denialist. I think of myself as being open minded. Guess it’s a choice of semantics and points of view.

    Are you a Christian? What was it that was said about being lukewarm? For semantics to apply, there has to be a small difference in meaning between to ideas/words that are essentially the same. This is not the case. 1. You admit to giving more time to non-scientific writing than scientific writing. 2. You claim you want to understand, but don’t read the science, you read denialist opinions (not science, opinion.) 3. Given there is literally nothing giving support to the anti-AGW theory, how is it you are so confused in your outlook?

    The literature is literally many thousands of papers for vs. a handful against. And those handfuls have so far been flawed in their science and/or assumptions. A good example is the Douglass/Christy (I think it was) work that relies on flawed temp reconstructions, or some such. Here’s a paper: http://www.uah.edu/News/pdf/climatemodel.pdf

    And here’s the RC rebuttal: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/tropical-tropopshere-ii/

    Spencer is another big name in denialist fare. Here’s a good example of the sorts of flaws one finds in Spencer’s work: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/how-to-cook-a-graph-in-three-easy-lessons/

    So, do tell us all what you find so compelling, ’cause it sure as heck ain’t the “science.”

    In sum, you are that sneaky sort of denialist I have described on these pages before, and it is exactly as you self-describe:

    Denialist: I’m not a denialist! I listen to everyone.

    AGW activist/scientist: Ah! Who do you believe?

    Denialist: The Denialists!

    AGW activist/scientist: Ah. I see.

    Denialist: Why? I’m OPEN-MINDED. And they’re POLITE.

    AGW activist/scientist: Ah. I see. So, for you open-minded means listening to anybody regardless of their qualifications or the quality of their work. And science is to be relegated to second place behind blog posts. Is that about right?

    Denialist: I didn’t say that.

    AGW activist/scientist: But that is what you do. Can you name me five peer-reviewed papers that place the science of Anthropogenically-forced Climate Change in any degree of serious doubt?

    Denialist: Uh….

    AGW activist/scientist: I see. But you’re fair and balanced and open-minded.

    FYI, this is where and how your opinions were manufactured for you:

    http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=13459

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/exxonmobil-report-smoke.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=2

    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/denialmachine/video.html

    Cheers

    Comment by ccpo — 27 Jun 2009 @ 11:30 PM

  163. Steve Reynolds #106:

    Quotes me:”It’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the contrarian position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy.”

    Then asserts:

    “But the free market (at least if external costs are accounted for) is control by the aggregate of human decisions over policy.

    Then paraphrasing me, continues:

    “From another viewpoint, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the warmist position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of ‘market’ i.e. aggregate human (as opposed to elitist) control over policy.”

    Let us put aside consideration over whether the term ‘free market’ describes anything that has ever actually existed in human affairs, or could exist, since this discussion exceeds the purpose of this website. Let us allow it to describe roughly what exists now in the advanced industrial countries — the intersection of government policy, the commons with the activities of private investors. It is clear that a good many of the activities take insufficient account of the cost to the commons — externalities if you prefer the economic term — in costing and thus delivering their output. The favoured models of CO2 abatement schemes are exactly consonant with a market based apporach to allocation of public goods, in which the public interest and the managemement of the interest humans have in the commons — here the biosphere — is undertaken by government and the market is left to determine how to deliver these goods most efficiently and effectively.

    So it’s odd that your claim is that we who favour mitigation are opposing resort to market forces. If anything, such is the approach of the other side, some of whom prefer pigovian-style taxes to a global trading regime in emissions. Such taxes could only lead in the long run to subversion of international trade and pander to [protectionist sentiment and porkbarrelling/subsidy. Another approach entails governments favouring specific technologies — building more nuclear plants or solar panels. Need one point out that such plans are farther from market forces than anything mainstream proposals entail?

    One suspects the reasons that contrarians propose such ideas has little to do with the efficacy of the ideas and still less their conformity with ‘market forces’. These reflect a cynical attempt to disrupt effective market-based mitigation efforts, by proposing ideas that have popular appeal but which are unlikely to be implmented precisely because they can be painted as undesirable on one basis or another.

    What is also clear from your text is a theme common in the contrarians’ cultural struggle to preserve existing arrangements of economic advantage — a nebulous angst over governance. You present ‘market’ forces as if they are somehow pure and authentic expressions of ‘aggregate human control’ when theyare, of course, an exercise in the aggregation of *atomistic* human choices made in a context in which the many externalities in which they have an interest are zero-rated as factors in the cost of the goods and services they want. In short, the decisions of individuals in this context persistently deliver them goods that (due to hidden costs) are less valuable than they seem on transfer and thuis suverting the reason underlying their choices in favour of people embezzling the commons.

    It is thus misleading for you and those who share your cultural framework to contrast your preference for ‘market forces’ with the ostensible resistance you see to these in those who favour mitigation. Rather the conflict is between your conception of the scope of market forces and that of those favouring action on mitigation. Yours starts from the proposition that humans have no enduring interest in the health of the biosphere and accordingly that treating it as a repository for industrial waste is not an externality for which the users of this service should bear the full tangible and prospective costs. Such an approach exactly fits the description of a public subsidy, which ought, for you, to be anathema, precisely because subsidies subvert the operation of market forces.

    Ours on the other hand seeks the most efficient means to protect the public interest in the biosphere by making these values transparent in the market, discouraging wasteful resort to this most valuable resource, ensuring that the funds for remedies are raised from those who imposed costs and so forth.

    This is, in embryo, what human control begins to look like in practice, rather than the caricature you offer.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 27 Jun 2009 @ 11:31 PM

  164. Charles (147), a flyspeck but still incredulous. Are you claiming no proponent of AGW has ever said the words, “the debate is settled”?

    [Response: Find a scientist saying it. But also note what ‘debate’ is being talked about. The point being that the whole phrase implies a false binary distinction settled/not-settled that is simply anathema to the whole scientific enterprise of finding ever better approximations to reality. The vast majority of uses of the phrase is as a strawman critique against mainstream science. – gavin]

    Comment by Rod B — 27 Jun 2009 @ 11:50 PM

  165. Jim Bullis, interesting. I got the $2.30 per million BTUs for coal as the near average across the country from EIA stats. Did a conversion to kWhrs (which can be tricky since one can convert the pure units easily, but until efficiency is applied it’s not kWhrs of electricity.) I didn’t play with natural gas which would have some inherent advantages: it’s a bit more efficient; and BTU for BTU emits noticeably less CO2.sappington belize

    Comment by Rod B — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:06 AM

  166. As I feared, my arithmetic was wrong. 100 cu km of ice only takes 3.4e19J to melt (i overestimated by four orders of magnitude in my comment on 27 June 2009 at 4:19 PM)

    Comment by sidd — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:17 AM

  167. Rod B Says (27 June 2009 at 18:11):

    “I then simply assumed that burning coal is the only cost of providing electricity.”

    Bad assumption. In addition to the charges for maintaining transmission & distribution infrastructure that Steve P. mentioned, and taxes &c, you need to multiply your figure by about 0.7, to account for the approximately 30% of US power that comes from nuclear, hydro, geothermal, wind &c. Then there should also be some downward adjustment for natural gas.

    “The average residential bill in my parts is about $150. Plus $70 to pay for the CO2 charges is roughly $220/month or $840 more per year. And that’s just one piece.”

    My average is about $50/month. ($47.40 last month.) So if the increased cost motivates people to take similar steps to what I have (which I don’t think have degraded my quality of life at all), then thanks to the additional CO2 charges they will be paying about $75/month – half what they were paying for the cheaper electricity.

    Indeed, this is exactly what the bill is supposed to do, isn’t? Increase the price so people have an incentive to use less, thereby cutting both costs and emissions.

    Comment by James — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:13 AM

  168. Richard H. (#60)

    Richard, I applaud your clear and sincere efforts to understand this critically important issue. i’m surmising from your comments that your scientific training is not extensive (and I’m implying no disrespect, simply stating my starting point for this comment).

    Your comment:

    “I am however not going to form an opinion and treat it as dogma. I’d rather try to understand what’s happening to our planet and have the flexibility to look at other peoples opinions and give them the benefit of the doubt…”

    encapsulates the quintessential difficulty in the public climate change discussion.

    Here’s the thing. For try as you might, absent many years of coming-up-to-speed study of mathematics and physics, you simply will not be able to understand much of the science underlying the conclusions of the climate science community. There is of course no shame in this, it’s simply a reality of complex science: it requires years of training. No matter how much you try, you will always be susceptible to specific scientific arguments contradicting well-established findings. This is an exercise that can literally be continued forever by the contrarian community, and they know it.

    Your best chance at arriving at an informed conclusion is to give the benefit of the doubt to the bona fide climate science community. Not any one scientist, mind you, but the community. As illustrated by the many, many endorsements of IPCC findings by every relevant scientific society on the planet, based on a mountain of peer-reviewed evidence. This is how we, as a society, must approach complex science. By all means, strive to understand what you can. But when you come across yet another argument from Patrick Michaels, for example, the benefit of the doubt should not rest with him, but with those doing the actual science.

    Comment by robert davies — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:35 AM

  169. #18 Tom Fuller

    It’s good to see you reading in here and I encourage you to do more research on perspectives in RC as it is highly linked to contextually relevant scientific perspectives and data sources from very respected science organizations.

    In consideration of your perspectives I have read I would offer some advice which you may or may not consider:

    It does not matter how ‘intelligent’ a person is, it matters how wise they are. Just because a person can carry on an apparently intelligent conversation based on your perspective does not qualify that person as holistically reasonable in consideration of the relevant contexts, which from what I can tell, you are still not highly aware of as regards climate science. Einstein said “imagination is more important than knowledge”, I would say open mindedness is more important than intelligence. Context is key.

    What you are calling ‘snarky’ is likely merely a recognition of the inadequacy of your understanding of the intents as well as your inability in perspective to reporting on climate based on the relevant contexts of the science of global warming.

    The failure to engage with ‘skeptics’ to which you address is merely the exercising of reason. The skeptic side is making up graphs and using data out of context. You simply have not done enough research to understand this. Chasing phantoms, in this case, merely causes them to split like a virus, attack one phantom and it seems to split into two new phantoms (maybe a poor analogy, but it is late). This of course reasonably disqualifies you from being able to report the relevant news, pertaining to the subject at hand, that of climate change and AGW.

    You see, science is not about both sides, it’s about what survived peer review and peer response and therefore stands to reason based on the evidence (not opinion/rhetoric/or facts out of context). Such level of reasoning is not mere opinion; and if you pit opinion against science and call it fair, then you are merely naive, or ignorant of the relevance of the context.

    Due to your lack of relevant understanding of the science v. opinion, you can ‘only’ try to be fair to both sides, but you can not succeed. What you don’t seem to realize is that your being ‘fair to both sides’ is inadequate to the task at hand due to your lack of understanding of the relevant contexts.

    Your opinion that RC scientists rely on ‘snark’ to bring in readers seems to generate from your general lack of understanding.

    What you consider proper debate is a rhetorical mud slinging fest which would merely waste the time of good scientists.

    It does not matter that you did not use CEI as a source, it matters that you are not well versed in the science of climate and relevant contexts. Without relevant understanding, you simply can not participate in a relevant discussion of the matters at hand, with meaningful relevance in the subject at hand, that of AGW/climate.

    To give you some perspective on opinion vs. science, or what may also be called rhetoric vs. science I would suggest just about any article here in RC or the following links (remember, facts out of context are less relevant or irrelevant):

    http://www.uscentrist.org/about/issues/environment/john_coleman/the-amazing-story-behind-the-global-warming-scam

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/christopher-monckton

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-copenhagen-distraction

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/glenn-beck

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-great-global-warming-swindle

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/henrik-svensmark

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-hockey-stick

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/loehle-temperature-reconstruction

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/ocean-cooling

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/richard-lindzen

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/ross-mckitrick

    #125 Tom Fuller

    Your contributions to journalism, in general, are not the subject. Your contributions to the contextually relevant discussion pertaining to climate science are.

    As to the older model of journalism, I suspect you are referring to when journalism used to report the news. Of course this is an outdated antiquated model as sensationalism has taken center stage with bias and punditry along side performance and editorialization.

    I heartily agree with you, if this is indeed your point, it is not profitable to report the news, but this does not discount the integrity and honor of doing so.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:37 AM

  170. After a review of Alan Carlin’s submission and the rather humbling experience of finding out how little I know about the utilisation of computer models, I have developed what I call Next Generation Questions on Global Warming. If you would like to assist with either the questions or the answers, you would be welcome.

    Thanks in advance for any help that is forthcoming.

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m6d27-Next-generation-questions-for-global-warming

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:49 AM

  171. I am curious as to why you tried to address all of his concerns except the differences in surface and satellite temperature readings?

    If the earth were getting warmer, the readings should be consistent, should they not?

    [Response: Err… they are. And they all show warming. – gavin]

    Comment by Brian — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:49 AM

  172. Sorry, corrected: No doubt what’s going on: the usual suspects are gearing up for the overthrow of the Obama administration and especially it’s changing of the US climate policy. Thus we can witness their usual tactics of psychological warfare, as they get them delivered from their neoconservative think tanks. It’s all about the interests of the military-industrial complexes of the world, which as of today have found their ideal form of regime in the chinese capitalist-totalitarian regime, where no natural science gets to disturb the development of economistic dogmatism. It’s by no accident that a lot of climate sceptics are “economists”: they’re members of the global congregation of totalitarian believers in “the marketplace” driven by monopolistic global firms as Microsoft, Coca Cola etc.

    Comment by Theobald — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:51 AM

  173. Jim Norvell

    Look for mathematicians to eventually play a larger role.

    Comment by EL — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:07 AM

  174. Several comments recently compare climate change denialists with flat-earthers (##16, 88, 107, 128 just in this thread). But flat-earthers are very rare and mostly harmless. How about comparing with the much deadlier HIV denialists? The differences are obvious — HIV denialists are a smaller and more derided group, human deaths are more directly attributable to HIV than to GHGs, the basis for the scientific consensus is different, lifestyle changes and simple fixes play different roles, etc. But so are the analogies, including the shockingly irresponsible conspiracy-theorizing petition-mongering by people with irrelevant doctorates (and the odd head of state) at great public health risk to the world in general and much of Africa in particular.

    Which reminds me of this great idea I have for green energy from “clean coal” treated with lemon juice and garlic. Any takers…?

    Comment by CM — 28 Jun 2009 @ 4:32 AM

  175. John says:

    “What you are calling ’snarky’ is likely merely a recognition of the inadequacy of your understanding of the intents as well as your inability in perspective to reporting on climate based on the relevant contexts of the science of global warming.”

    I would put it at “contempt” myself. Contempt that someone who is supposed to be investigating (this is what sets the professional journalist from the blogger, and the only thing that makes that job wanted in this day and age: so you want to keep it) is merely parroting.

    Contempt that someone who is trying to say they are looking for the truth is merely looking for the story.

    Contempt that they have shown no desire to know what’s going on, just the desire to repeat what is convenient to repeat.

    Comment by Mark — 28 Jun 2009 @ 4:57 AM

  176. Re the reply to 164 by gavin:

    And he and the denialists use that to continue the confusion. When it helps their denial, they say “there’s still lots of debate, therefore it’s not settled. Therefore AGW is not proven”. Then assume when someone gets them on the AGW is not proven that they are saying there is no debate.

    If it helps their and his denial, they say “There is no debate. Anyone who says that AGW is wrong is howled down, they are hounded from their job and they are refused access to the journals”. And hope desperately that everyone forgets the BBC’s request for the story of a scientist refused because of their anti-AGW stance. Not second-hand accounts (“there have been…”) but that scientist who WAS.

    Nobody turned up. Not one.

    But over some things, there IS no debate.

    Human emissions are the majority source of warming in this current climate change and that continued use of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic change too quickly for us to adapt to.

    There’s debate on the specific feedback of clouds, though there’s empirical evidence of a limit to that. there’s debate on whether hurricanes will become more numerous, more powerful, both or neither. There’s debate whether the UK will see colder weather or not.

    And so on.

    But that doesn’t change the big picture view: AGW is real and if not addressed will become a catastrophe for our current way of life.

    Comment by Mark — 28 Jun 2009 @ 5:07 AM

  177. Jim Bullis writes:

    we should not expect immediate evidence of global warming in measurements of surface temperatures. They will lag the buildup of CO2 by quite a long time.

    I get r = 0.87 for ln CO2 and temperature anomaly in the same year 1880-2008 (N = 129).

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 28 Jun 2009 @ 5:35 AM

  178. Tom Fuller,
    One reason for your reception here is that scientists care about the truth. At one point I thought that journalists did as well.

    Deepclimate found the Pat Michaels and other links with a few days of legwork, and that despite having a real day job. Presumably, a competent journalist could have done the same.

    But, then, you were too busy digesting what you’d been spoonfed by your cherrypicked sources for anything that might resemble due diligence. And taking quotes out of context is so much easier than learning something hard like actual science.

    I looked at your “next generation questions”. Gee, how many minutes of research did those take over at Watts up ‘is arse to come up with those? And yet, you have clearly not spent even such a tiny investment of time on this site–to busy quote mining, I guess. To call yourself a journalist is to debase that once proud profession.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:38 AM

  179. Tom Fuller (170):

    As I alluded to earlier (27), you cannot be serious. If you really think that the questions you have listed are “next generation” questions on global warming, you have a serious lack of understanding of the history of the issue and the various arguments raised. Nothing that you list there is anything other than points that are repeatedly recycled by climate change deniers. And putting anything by A. Watts at the top of such a list brings it into immediate and serious suspicion by those who make it their business to understand the topic. If you don’t understand why that is so, then you have a very serious, truck-wide, gaping hole in your understanding of climate change science. Sorry but that’s the reality of it. Either get up to speed on the issues (IPCC reports, RC articles, Spencer Weart, Chris Colose, Coby Beck, Tamino, etc) or switch to writing about something that you actually know something about. You don’t seem to understand that, with a less than half-baked understanding of climate science, you’ve stumbled into a discussion with some extremely knowledgeable people, and then wonder why they don’t buy into your “equal time for opposing views” viewpoint.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:46 AM

  180. Tom, re your ‘second generation’ questions. As one poster has already pointed out, your claims are either unsupported, or contrary to the conclusions of the academic literature or in one case contrary to the laws of Physics. I prepared a response only for your site to inform me that posts are limited to 1000 characters and may not contain links [not that friendly to serious discussion huh?]. So here are my thoughts:

    Remember that Anthony Watts is not a reliable researcher, in that he determined what his surfacestation project would find before doing the research. As he said at the start of the exercise

    “I believe we will be able to demonstrate that some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment”

    Source: http://tinyurl.com/385mjp

    So it is not surprising that his website only ever features those stations that confirm his beliefs (inbetween the reports of cold weather) and his ‘preliminary report’ only features photos of stations that are (a) poorly-sited with a warming bias or (b) well-sited and show a cooling trend.

    Here are some that you won’t find highlighted at WUWT

    http://tinyurl.com/lfe2cm
    http://tinyurl.com/mxauny
    http://tinyurl.com/m9k9us
    http://tinyurl.com/mtc896
    http://tinyurl.com/np3hsm

    The NOAA recently compared the results from the 70 or so sites that Watts has designated as ‘high quality’ with the results from the entire dataset and found no significant difference. Their discussion paper is available from here

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/whatsnew.html

    The graphic on Page 3 is worth a thousand words; as they conclude: ‘Clearly there is no indication from this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.’.

    Remember also that the US is only about 2% of the globe and the global surface record corresponds closely with satellite measurements of the lower troposhere, and also the sea surface temperatures show a strikingly similar pattern of warming.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/offset:0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/plot/rss/trend/offset:0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1979

    One wonders how poorly-sited stations in the US are affecting the seas…..?

    Indeed, the NOAA has stopped correcting for urban heat bias altogether, and their suface temperature record is diverging from other sources. This is further complicated by the drop out of a large number of measurement stations.

    Now you seem to be just channelling Joe D’Aleo and ICECAP. http://icecap.us/images/uploads/NOAAMAY.pdf

    Not a reliable source: http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2008/08/unreliability-at-icecapus.html

    Did you take the basic journalistic precaution of independently verifying the extraordinary claim that NOAA has removed its US urbanisation adjustment, e.g. by asking NOAA themselves?

    – The latest research on Ocean Heat Content shows a recent slowing in the rate on heating, but not a cooling, see http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

    Recently published papers indicate that the sensitivity of the atmosphere to forcing due to CO2 increase may actually be negative.

    Please cite just two such papers. I suspect you are confusing sensitivity with feedback, e.g. the controversial claims that water vapour feedback may be negative. Even this is at odds with the vast majority of published research, see for example Dessler et al 2008

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2008b.pdf

    On the ‘missing’ tropical troposphere heating, see Santer et al 2008 http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Santer_etal.pdf and the associated factsheet http://www.realclimate.org/docs/santer_etal_IJoC_08_fact_sheet.pdf

    Hope this helps,

    Phil Clarke.

    Comment by pjclarke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  181. RE: 135

    Hey Sidd,

    I’m sorry however, I did not see that the ocean insolation retention data in Levitus et al was a measured value. Even though the Argo buoy data demonstrates a increase in SST’s and require error correction for the pressure sensors I have not seen significant data suggesting that there is any heating at depth. At most the primary data from NOAA appears to point to cooling at depth.

    If as you point out that the Grace package indicates that the total thermal compensation at the poles accounts for nearly 1/3rd of the energy in the ocean, what happens to the balance. Does the SSTs act as a thermal inversion and if so does that not work in both directions? Would the primary vector not include convection with the surface salinity demonstrating the amount of water released as vapor which would account for the balance of the 2/3rds of the annual insolation?

    With a small amount of LW penetrating into the first three meters and a normal mid-ocean Wind and Wave complex most of the radiant energy is also returned to the atmosphere if not as direct heat then in the form of warm salt aerosols? If you slow the wind you should also reduce the wave and reduce the release of heat energy. If we look at the data for winds in the ITCZ they appear slower. However, in the Arctic region they appear near normal, though there are an apparent increase in Air Pressure or barometric events.

    Is it not possible that the polar barometric events act as significant pipelines for the re-emission of the ocean entrapped LW in the first three meters, by transporting the oceanic heat content energy for stellar release? I suspect that the data we have to date is excellent in light of prior data sets, I just do not know that the conclusions reached so far actually model the total pattern of the global insolation heat flow yet. It may be that there is additional data that I am unaware of that you may be privy. In that case kindly disregard this message and when you are allowed, please share the data with us.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 8:07 AM

  182. Re: 171

    Hey Brian,

    Overall I agree with Dr. Schmidt; however, for many some of the data sets still seem conflicting. For instance if you look here: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/ the TAO/Triton data sets of 10 buoys (You choose) based on monthly data and the Isotherm data and you will notice both heating and cooling with a significant heating event appearing centered around the 1998 time frame and a seemingly normal variation there after.

    (Now there is an issue of resolution in this image and hence there may be a slight cooling that is not visible. This suggests you may want to look to the heat content data and there in you will see some stations indicating a small heating after the 1998 spike; but, overall there is a trend towards the Pre-98 spike and an appearance of stabilization.)

    If you insert data from a previous recent study discussed here, there appears to be a suggestion of a decrease of the wind in the ITCZ region for these data points. If we take that data into account it appears to disconnect the apparent warming suggested by the decreased wind from the apparent warming that is being noted by the SST data.

    This would suggest that the heat distribution has to have an alternate path of which the oceans SST’s are a small portion, with the primary conduit appearing to be via the atmosphere. As of this time I do not know that there is sufficient data to support this observation; however, it would certainly seem by the inter-connected data sets to suggest there remains more work to do.

    Hopefully, someone on the team here may help explain some of the conflicting points you see much better then I can…, if you are specific I am sure there are plenty of helping hands…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 8:40 AM

  183. Tom Fuller, above:

    Check how I’ve been described in this thread–and I’m not even a skeptic.

    From his short bio at the Examiner:

    About half of what he writes here will be a liberal skeptic’s view of environmental issues.

    You might want to correct one of these statements, Tom.

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:10 AM

  184. After a review of Alan Carlin’s submission and the rather humbling experience of finding out how little I know about the utilisation of computer models, I have developed what I call Next Generation Questions on Global Warming

    What make you think that you, with no apparent training in science whatsoever, are qualified to make such a list?

    Here’s your number 1:

    1. Anthony Watts of Watt’s Up With That has surveyed 80% of the USHCN surface temperature measurement sites and found that only 11% of them meet siting specifications. The surface temperature increase that partially gave rise to concerns about global warming coincided with a move to tethered electronic measuring devices (um, I think that means thermometers) that forced the movement of many stations closer to buildings and developed areas, causing warming that may not have been corrected for.

    Um, there’s no question in your “question”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:16 AM

  185. “If the earth were getting warmer, the readings should be consistent, should they not?”

    Sorry, Brian, Carlin’s statement that the satellite analysis shows no significant temp increase between 1978 and 2008 is flat out false. Either he tries to eyeball the graphs (and fails) or someone is telling him what to say.

    Comment by Boris — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:30 AM

  186. #170 Tom Fuller

    I agree with Jim Bouldin #179. Your questions are all old hat, in some cases years old. You simply have not done the needed research to be informed well enough to report on the issue. You can learn a lot about science in here though, so you are in the right place. If you wish, please feel free to contact me via http://www.ossfoundation.us/contact-info and maybe we can talk. That may get things clearer faster for you. As to your next gen:

    It’s not about activists, climate is about climate, not activism or opinions.

    It’s not about both views, it’s about the science.

    Important to note that it is not about merely peer review, it’s also about surviving peer response.

    It is never about opinion.

    It’s not about hoping one side will win or the other either, it’s about the evidence, physics, and the well reasoned science.

    1. It’s not about anthony Watts and his analysis, it’s about the method of modeling used to model the observations which reduces the error extent.

    2. It’s not about someone saying there is urban heat bias, it’s about the method of modeling used to model the observations which reduces the error extent.

    3. It’s not about surface stations being dropped out, it’s about the method of modeling used to model the observations which reduces the error extent.

    4. The only charts that show a trend change are completely fake, compare to the known trends.

    5. It’s not about opinions about the buoys, it’s about improving the measurements.

    6. Again, it’s not about opinions about the troposphere, it’s about the method of modeling used to model the observations which reduces the error extent.

    On sensitivity positive and negative feedbacks: Since the temps are pushing the upper bounds of the estimated ranges, one could say reasonably that what we don’t know has more in common with the speed of the feedbacks, not the question of CO2 sensitivity as you infer.

    On Plateau in current temperatures: NASA defines climate as 30 years or better and weather as the stuff in between. I would suggest that the definition include 30 years plus attribution for positive negative influence. However, form a weather/climate perspective, it may be reasonable to attribute the recent variation, (by the way variation happens) to the bottom of the Schwabe solar cycle (23/24) and ocean cycle influences, such as the negative phase of the pacific decadal cycle. While not a complete picture, it does give one an idea of medium drivers in natural variation.

    On ‘Tipping point': What is unclear that dark ocean absorbs more that white ice? The Arctic Ice in the summer is reducing rapidly in ice mass and will soon be a ting of summers past, thus exposing a vast area of dark ocean? Then we absorb more solar energy which further warms the region (Arctic Amplification) which further exacerbates the global warming as a strong feedback… This is not really in question as far as I can tell? Where are you getting your information?

    On Other primary forcings: Try not to let Roger confuse you. For some reason there are folks out there, even a few scattered scientists such as Fred Singer, Pielke, Lindzen, Svensmark, Spencer, etc. that use what I call the baffling with BS and bludgeoning with irrelevance techniques. In some cases, they are merely looking at to little information to formulate their opinions (remember, it’s not about opinion). These are typically red herrings though. Merely a wave of the hand to distract you form the more important issues.

    The OSS links are linked to source materials including NASA, GISS, NOAA, NSIDC, NCDC, NCAR and of course RC. Review the following:

    On Models and UHI
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/models
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/07/no-man-is-an-urban-heat-island/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-surface-temperature-record-and-the-urban-heat-island/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/surface-temperature-record/

    On Station Drop Out
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/station-drop-out

    On Weather v. Climate
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

    On Ocean Cooling
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/ocean-cooling

    On Arctic Ice
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/arctic

    As to your question:

    “How confident can the public be in the disinterested viewpoint normally expected from scientists?”

    Again, it’s not about engaging with phantoms and fakery. That can go on forever, it’s about the science.

    For reporters, it’s about learning the basis of the science prior to reporting on the subject, and it’s not about giving phantoms equal time with reality. That is not about getting to the truth, but it does keep the public confused. One would think a reporter had an obligation to get to the truth though, but as the Florida Supreme court has ruled, that is not true.

    Come out of the cold Mr. Fuller, it’s getting warm in here.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:34 AM

  187. Regarding the climate bill that just passed the house, see this site:

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/

    It is flawed bill especially when all of Washington’s top lobbyists are being paid to undermine it by any means possible, while being egged on by everyone from Warren Buffet to Chevron to Greenpeace. Greenpeace is way off base here, and doesn’t seem to understand politics – the only good thing about the bill is that it opens the door to the legislative process, allowing for better bills to move through.

    The bill’s provisions are complicated – for example, see the “adaptation” section (from above link):

    Under the bill, funding for adaptation programs would come from revenue raised by:

    (1) auctioning of specified percentages of the available emissions allowances each year by the federal government and designating the revenue for particular adaptation programs; and

    (2) earmarking the allocation of specified percentages of allowances, which presumably could be sold in order to create a pool of funding to support particular programs.

    It’s unclear what ‘adaptation’ means, however – and it’s also unclear what ‘clean energy’ means – but the bill is only a first step, and the next goal should be to revise it to get the coal lobby amendments removed.

    The fundamental problem, practically speaking, is that it is all based on cap and trade – when really, at the heart of the bill should be a feed-in tariff system.

    That would place a tariff on all energy imports into the United States, to be calculated based on the global warming potential of each fuel type. Tar sand oil and coal would be the worst offenders, with natural gas imports getting the lowest tariffs. You could also extend it to tariffs on imported manufactured goods and agricultural produce, by calculating the fossil fuel used in each case. Flying organic fruit from Ecuador to the U.S., for example, would incur tariffs.

    Funds from those tariffs would then go to domestic producers of renewable energy, from solar PV and wind turbine manufacturers to utilities that switch from coal to renewables. This would assure public and private investors (states and corporations) that they would have a solid base to build on for the next ten years or so, and would actually fuel large-scale conversions to renewable energy.

    Such an approach would also undermine market manipulation efforts by industry insiders. For example, under the current bill, large oil producers (like Conoco Phillips, closely tied to tar sand imports, Warren Buffet, etc.) are threatening to shut down U.S. refineries and increase imports:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=avLVPogS6lh0

    Feed-in tariffs would put an immediate halt to that kind of thing, as the corporation would see no benefit – indeed, their only profitable option in that case would be to invest in renewable energy. Such tariffs would thus put U.S. foreign and domestic policy on the same page. Currently they are in conflict – U.S. foreign policy is focused on increasing global use of oil and gas via pipeline deals – Nabucco, Baku-Tiblisi, Chad-Cameroon, etc – all of which have large support from the US State Department and client agencies like the IMF and the World Bank.

    Remember, the central issue is not emissions, but rather fossil fuel use. Simple accounting of fossil fuel combustion is the best benchmark – reduce the rate of fossil fuel combustion (coal, oil, gas) and you reduce the rate of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere – it’s very simple.

    Feed-in tariffs would also have the effect of lowering the consumer’s costs for renewable energy, which would only grow cheaper over time, as more and more manufacturing capacity was built – because under equivalent economies of scale, renewables are definitely cheaper than fossil fuels. If you include the true ecological and economic costs of U.S. energy policy (including military expenditures) in the fossil fuel bill, that is even more obvious:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/a-warning-from-copenhagen/#comment-127745

    Note to Jim Bullis: why are you avoiding the obvious fact that electric cars are far more energy-efficient than the ‘rotary engine’ that you are advertising here? Nice deal for you, I guess – free advertising for your business on a popular blog. However, facts are facts – EVs are the future of transportation, simply based on their far greater energy efficiency.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/a-warning-from-copenhagen/#comment-128007

    Comment by Ike Solem — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:38 AM

  188. While I recognize there is a distressing amount of denialist disinformation flying around the blogosphere, this popped up on twitter in the last few days,

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5664069/Polar-bear-expert-barred-by-global-warmists.html

    as a scientist, I have to say, what the heck is up with that ? If the polar bear populations are doing fine, lets be honest and acknowledge the data and not mislead the public with propaganda of cuddly looking polar bear cubs being in danger. It just gives denialists the political ammo to paint legitimate climate researchers with the alarmists/warmists brush. I think the previous discussion on here about polar bears being able to handle warmer climate and still interbreed with brown bears seems very relevant.

    Comment by Craig Hocker — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:09 AM

  189. RE: 170, Tom Fuller’s next generation questions.

    Great chance to use the ” Climate Denier Crackpot Index”
    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/climate-denier-crackpot-index/

    Comment by Mike — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:09 AM

  190. RE: 185

    Hey Ike,

    As to electric vehicles being more efficient, please consider the entire energy to work equation. A focus on only the final two energy conversion steps misses the 0.35 Chemical to Electricity along with Transportation and then Electricity back to Chemical decreases. If you suggest localized Solar instead, you then have a photo to electricity efficiency issue of around a max. of 25%, at least the benefit is Solar minus the cost of the PV is free, and you still have to include the decrease in the electricity to chemical conversion…

    (Here is to hoping the Senate can help put things in order and make the first major Energy/Climate law something that will fund and drive the change to greater renewable resources…!)

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:17 AM

  191. Ike,

    My understanding of M-W is that there is a substantial requirement for increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the electricity mix. This is not a cap and trade issue.

    The renewables requirement, or “Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS” has been an effective tool for growing renewables at the state level.

    http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_states/rps.cfm

    I would guess something like a million times for renewable energy has been delivered because of RPSs than feed-in-tariffs in this country. The financing mechanism is identical.

    The whole feed-in-tariff concept looks like yet another cunning distraction to shift our attention away from what is already viable and working.

    Comment by Mike — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:25 AM

  192. Well, folks, I tried. The result is being compared to HIV denialists. Have fun amongst yourselves. BTW, the skeptical attitude I had going into the debate led me specifically to become a lukewarmer.

    I’ve been covering scientific debate since Thor Heyerdahl’s controversy with the American Anthropological Association and never seen the level of spite and contempt found here.

    If and when you experience difficulty or defeat in implementing policy responses to what you consider the great problem of our age, don’t look anywhere but in a mirror to find the reason why.

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:29 AM

  193. > Craig Hocker …. as a scientist
    Rhythm Analysis System programmer at UVa?

    You point to Booker, who is talking about the polar bear guy who is convinced CO2 has no effect and it’s all just ocean currents. But he’s a polar bear guy, not a climate guy; Booker then refers to
    > the Manhattan declaration … signed by 500 scientists

    Did you look at that? That’s the March Heartland thing; it uses their usual rather loose definition of “scientist” to count up to 500, right?

    Lambasted here, with links: http://www.desmogblog.com/ny-denial-a-palooza-is-a-media-hit

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:49 AM

  194. Um, yeah, well, if you didn’t look at the list, others did. Bogus.
    Hat tip to:
    http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2008/04/30/global-warming-deniersdenied/
    who sum this up:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/500-scientists-with-documented-doubts-about-the-heartland-institute

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:55 AM

  195. Is it actually the case that GCMs tie atmospheric absolute humidity to delta-T through an assumed constituitive relation (RH = constant).

    [Response: No. – mike]

    [edit]

    Comment by Charles Henkel — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:57 AM

  196. Regarding Tom Fuller’s “journalism”:

    It is important to understand that the extremist, reactionary elements of America’s corporate aristocracy who created, funded and developed what has come to be known as the “conservative media” in America — e.g. talk radio, Fox News, various newspapers & websites — did not merely create a propaganda machine.

    They created and cultivated an audience for that propaganda — a pseudo-ideological subculture that has been systematically conditioned to embrace, adore, believe in and obey whatever is branded as “conservative”, and to despise, abhor and oppose whatever is branded “liberal”. Rush Limbaugh’s fans call themselves “Ditto-Heads”, and that’s as good a name as any for this corporate-created subculture of devotion to the so-called “conservative” media.

    The creation of this audience is crucial to the expansion of “conservative” propaganda because it represents a market — people who come to crave more and more self-reinforcing “conservative” input on every subject. This market in turn stimulates the growth of an independent “cottage industry” of “conservative” content producers who seek to profit from producing “content” for this market.

    Thus the propaganda machine and the audience feed and sustain each other, and grow beyond the publishers, writers, networks, media producers and phony “think tanks” who are directly part of the corporate machine.

    Tom Fuller is simply one of many writers who have chosen to create product to this particular market. In a sense, it is no different from a fiction writer deciding that the market for science fiction, or historical romance novels, or murder mysteries looks potentially lucrative and focusing his efforts on creating product for one of those markets.

    In the relevant instance, the product that he is producing for the “conservative” market is the dishonest and deceitful denial of anthropogenic global warming which misrepresents itself as “skepticism”. He’s basically taking the stream of industry-funded denialist propaganda and repackaging it in the form of his columns as a product that he can peddle to the market for “conservative” content.

    As long as there is such a market, there will be “content producers” like Mr. Fuller who look for success in creating products that will “sell” to that market.

    Well, writers have to make a living somehow. But that sort of writing is not “journalism”. It’s propaganda.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:38 AM

  197. If and when you experience difficulty or defeat in implementing policy responses to what you consider the great problem of our age, don’t look anywhere but in a mirror to find the reason why.

    All science so far, Tom.

    What was that about playing the ball rather than the men and women?

    Hypocrite.

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:49 AM

  198. Tom Fuller wrote: “Well, folks, I tried …”

    You tried to peddle lies, irrelevancies, pseudoscience, the crackpot theories of cranks, and industry-funded propaganda misrepresented as “skepticism”, to people who know better.

    A blog like this is not a good market for your product. You’ll do better selling it to Ditto-Heads.

    And indeed, the only reason you showed up here at all is to generate more “product” that you can sell to the Ditto-Heads: “look how nasty those liberals at RealClimate are!” Ditto-Heads love that stuff.

    Tom Fuller wrote: “I’ve … never seen the level of spite and contempt found here.”

    You are propagandizing the public with deliberate lies and distortions that have been spoon-fed to you by corporations that want to obstruct and delay efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

    To the extent that such obstruction and delay is successful, it will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people as a direct result of anthropogenic global warming that could have been avoided by earlier action.

    And indeed, the fossil fuel industry’s generation-long campaign of denial, deceit and disinformation — aided and abetted by so-called “journalists” such as yourself — has been tragically successful at creating obstruction and delay, and millions of people are already suffering and millions more will inevitably suffer and die as a result, no matter what we do now.

    You deserve not only spite and contempt but condemnation for what you do.

    The comparison with HIV-deniers is apt, as is a comparison with Holocaust deniers. AGW deniers are worse than either.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  199. One of these two bloggers found the needed clue.
    Journalism does work, when the effort to check sources succeeds.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-10722-Orlando-Science-Policy-Examiner~y2009m6d28-CBS-jumps-a-Whale-Shark

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/06/who-cares-about-integrity-of-process.html
    ___________________
    ReCaptcha knows: Govern- grille

    [Response: It’s probably worth pointing out that the basis for the other blogger’s claim of symmetry between Hansen and Carlin is bogus. Hansen (and others at GISS – including myself) as outlined in Revkin’s front page NYT article and in the NASA Inspector General’s report were hindered and prevented from discussing our own published results in climate science because it was perceived by some in public affairs that any climate science result was embarrassing to the administration. Why were we not allowed to take media calls on our published studies? or were our press releases neutered? or the routine monthly updating of the temperature index pulled? This had nothing to do with our political opinions. Carlin on the other hand has not been suppressed and is free to put any thing he likes on the web or elsewhere. His boss is similarly within his rights not to give official NCEE imprimatur to his work. The equivalent would have been if Hansen wanted his opinions on cap-and-trade issued as an official NASA GISS publication. This has not happened (and won’t) for obvious reasons. Both men do (and should) retain the right to speak as private citizens on any topic they wish. – gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:00 PM

  200. Re: #192 (Tom Fuller)

    Well, Tom, we tried. The result is your staunch refusal to learn. You’re not even willing to learn the basics — the stuff you’d get in an undergrad course about climate — before spewing garbage on your blog and in your newspaper articles.

    How can you call yourself a journalist when you refuse to learn BEFORE publishing?

    You just repeat long-long-long-debunked bunk, apparently too lazy to do the *work* that a journalist should do. Shame on you.

    If and when you come to your senses and realize what a fool you’ve been, don’t look anywhere but in a mirror to find the reason why.

    Recaptcha: “the scorched”

    Comment by tamino — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:01 PM

  201. #45

    When a paper does not met the scientific standards of an organization, in other words “it fails peer-review”, we say “it’s been rejected”.

    Saying it’s been “suppressed” is a deliberate framing that implies that there has been an unwarranted cover-up. There has been no cover-up, the draft is available online. What has happened it that the paper was garbage and it was treated as such.

    Comment by Peter Houlihan — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:03 PM

  202. I’d guess the agency tried to protect a longtime employee from the embarrasment that is now inevitable.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:17 PM

  203. Craig asks about polar bear reporting in the Telegraph: Polar bear expert barred by global warmists

    First, it’s the Telegraph.

    Second, “warmists”?

    Third, read to the last paragraph, where Anthony Watts gets a mention and the Copenhagen Synthesis Report gets a gratuitous swipe.

    For the real story on polar bear populations, see Federal studies show polar bear, walrus populations in trouble.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:18 PM

  204. Re#191, the Renewable Portfolio Standard is a good approach for individual states to pursue in conjunction with their public and private utilities, DOE Link

    A renewable portfolio standard is a state policy that requires electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy resources by a certain date. Currently there are 24 states plus the District of Columbia that have RPS policies in place. Together these states account for more than half of the electricity sales in the United States.

    However, states do not have the ability to negotiate trade deals with foreign countries, I don’t believe – that’s the job of Congress and the Executive Branch. For example, if California were to vote to place a high feed-in tariff on all tar sand oil imports, would that be overthrown in federal court? Or would the WTO intervene and overturn the democratic decision on behalf of Conoco, Exxon, BP, Shell, Chevron, Transcanada, Enbridge, etc?

    This is an obvious area where stated domestic policy is in direct conflict with stated foreign policy – for example, we just had the U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, Richard Morningstar, state that the U.S. supports all projects that increase world use of oil and gas.

    Likewise, the largest expenditures of the State Department and client agencies like the IMF and World Bank are on fossil fuel projects – the World Bank financed a $4 billion Exxon pipeline from Chad to Cameroon, for example, while giving a paltry $11 million to African lighting projects based on solar power – a financing ratio similar to that at DOE for the past thirty years, by the way. The IMF role in Peru’s recent conflict over oil expansion is identical (Hunt Oil being the partner, rather than Exxon). For more, see this:

    New statistics developed by the Bank Information Center show that the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), increased its lending for fossil fuel projects by a staggering 165% in FY2008[1]. Taken as a whole, the World Bank Group increased its fossil-fuel lending by 60% in the same period.

    Feed-in tariffs on fossil energy imports to the United States would surely end up reducing demand for fossil fuels as more and more renewable capacity became available – which is exactly what you would want to see happen if you are serious about slowing the rate of global warming.

    There is also the rather obvious fact that a nation that has 3% of the global oil supply but which consumes 25% of global oil production is eventually going to run into an economic wall – and coal-to-gasoline is not the answer to that, by any stretch.

    So, Mike, you are right about the value of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, and all forward-looking state governments would be wise to adopt that approach – but I think you need to look more carefully at the value of feed-in tariffs.

    In other good news, several large utilities have pulled out of FutureGen, probably because they realize it is technically implausible and they’ll never recover a dime invested in it:

    http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1455136.html

    Really, there is a need to get an independent scientific assessment of “clean coal carbon capture” before doing anything else. The National Academy of Sciences did that for climate issues, and should be capable of doing the same for clean coal claims.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:25 PM

  205. In response to #104 dhogaza.

    Yes, I got second opinions from two other sub-experts in the field, both of whom felt that my condition was correctable.

    It therefore follows that the Regional Chief of Ophthalmology (a sub-sub-expert himself) was incorrect in both his diagnosis and prognosis. This sort of thing could never happen within the scientific community could it? Res ipsa loquitur.

    It is not a case that “all of medicine is a fraud”, but rather that practise makes perfect (doctor’s open a “Practise”, but some practise more effectively than others).

    You may be comfortable having the postman fix your eyes, but I for one will continue to seek advise from multiple sources in order to form my own opinions.

    P.S.
    If telling it like it is constitutes being a “jerk” Gavin, then where may I sign up.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  206. Yes, I got second opinions from two other sub-experts in the field, both of whom felt that my condition was correctable.

    It therefore follows that the Regional Chief of Ophthalmology (a sub-sub-expert himself) was incorrect in both his diagnosis and prognosis. This sort of thing could never happen within the scientific community could it? Res ipsa loquitur.

    You may be comfortable having the postman fix your eyes, but I for one will continue to seek advise from multiple sources in order to form my own opinions.

    Multiple *medical* sources.

    Yet, when it comes to climate science, you apparently feel comfortable seeking the opinions of folks like Anthony Watts, a TV weather forecaster with NO SCIENTIFIC TRAINING, etc. Or a retired mining industry expert like Steve McIntyre.

    The equivalent of postmen when it comes to climate science.

    So essentially you’re telling me what I suspected: when it comes to your health, you’re smart enough to ask for the advice of experts, not the postman or others with no training in medicine.

    But you don’t apply the same standard of common sense to climate science.

    Why not?

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:42 PM

  207. If telling it like it is constitutes being a “jerk” Gavin, then where may I sign up.

    Oh, BTW, thanks for telling us like it is. I’d label you as “foolishly inconsistent”, not a jerk, at this point but further posts on your part might move me closer to the “jerk” assessment …

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:45 PM

  208. # 192 Tom Fuller

    Unfortunately you apparently did not try much at all.

    You see, to report the truth you have to understand the relevant contexts of the information you are looking at.

    You don’t seem interested at all in studying, you just want to report based on your view. That is not journalism, that is editorialization.

    I doubt you are interested but I put together some summary material on the science arguments concerning the troposphere and the silliness being expounded in the deinailosphere. It certainly can help you understand, but understanding is not what you seem to be interested in. based on your last comment.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/troposphere-not-warming

    Do you really want to commit to keeping your eyes closed to relevant science in favor of unsubstantiated opinion? Even your lukewarmness is, by your own descriptions/interviews/articles, reliant on opinions, not science.

    It is quite a statement you seem to be making to remain ignorant and just go with your bias.

    But if that is the religion you choose, you are certainly in the right country for it.

    Your general assessment, as stated, can be construed as your perspective indictment of scientists for doing science; while you seem to prefer reporting opinions.

    How can that be considered good journalism?

    If you really want to report science, then look at the science, not the opinions.

    Oh, and a certain amount of contempt seems reasonable for those that claim to be reporting science but rather merely report on opinions.

    You see it does not matter how long you have been covering science, what matters is how good you are at it.

    As far as mirrors go, rather than asking scientists to look in a mirror, try your own mirror and if possible remove Narcissus from the view.

    Your goal seems to be, like others, to attempt to appear relevant in the debate (while marketing to your base), that’s how you sell articles, as you indicated or maybe inferred (though unadmitted) you already know above (#125). If you change now and do it unconvincingly, you risk losing a portion of your audience.

    In summary, you seem to be choosing to not learn, as has been pointed out. Why you consider yourself qualified to report on the subject of climate and AGW is a tribute to your own apparent narcissism or market bias. Your apparent chosen will to ignore the contextually relevant science, while preferring opinion as the mainstay of your understanding is an indictment of your perspective.

    It’s a pretty weak branch you are hanging onto there Tom. Be careful when it breaks, you may break something when you fall…

    No, you will then, admit AGW is human caused and the science is now overwhelmingly in favor of the cause and effects. But you will wait until your market base is more convinced before you take such a stand… it’s all about the money for you, right Tom.

    As you said (post #125):

    “Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunites these days.”

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 12:56 PM

  209. Fran Barlow: “… a culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy.”

    Then in 163 you say “So it’s odd that your claim is that we who favour mitigation are opposing resort to market forces.”

    Then after I say we need to include external costs, you claim I advocate ignoring external costs. You then claim to know what I’m thinking about more topics than I’m willing to take time to refute (save one):

    “What is also clear from your text is a theme common in the contrarians’ cultural struggle to preserve existing arrangements of economic advantage…”

    That is not my desire at all. Just for fun, I’ll make a similar baseless accusation: You and most all other warmists just want to preserve existing arrangements of economic advantage of developed nations by keeping people of developing nations poor and without access to low cost energy.

    Comment by Steve Reynolds — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:14 PM

  210. #205 Ron Crouch:

    This sort of thing could never happen within the scientific community could it?

    It does – it’s called peer review. The crux in your case was that fellow MDs pointed out that the initial opinion may be faulty. Same thing happens everyday in the peer-reviewed climate literature. Tried reading up on that? Guess not.

    I for one will continue to seek advise from multiple sources in order to form my own opinions

    Oh, I’m sure you will. Just don’t fall into this trap in the following thought experiment:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/moncktons_vision_of_the_future.php#comment-1713819

    PS: back to your initial post:

    Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see

    That’s a fatuous platitude for the simple-minded. If someone tells you the sun rises from the west instead of the east, must you conclude that it rises from the north then based on what your left eye sees?

    You have numerous scientists who have done the legwork on climate research and armed with a crapload of data telling you that global warming is real and a threat to human society as things stand, and you have dubious commentators with no relevant research background, armed with nothing but opinion, a keyboard and an internet collection telling you otherwise. Seems like a no-brainer to me – and it is evident to anyone who is trained to detect BS.

    Congratulations that you still have your vision. If you, however, still think that the “truth lies somewhere between,”…well you may still have your eyesight but your mind has a giant blind spot.

    Comment by Former Skeptic — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:23 PM

  211. Tom’s updated his post with some quote-mining. I haz a sad.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:39 PM

  212. L. David Cooke Says (28 June 2009 at 10:17):

    “As to electric vehicles being more efficient, please consider the entire energy to work equation.”

    But remember that what really matters here is not actually energy efficiency, but CO2 emissions. For example, imagine that you have two cars, one electric and one with an IC engine, that are exactly equal in energy efficiency over the full pathway from well/mine/reactor/etc to wheels. Then given the current generation mix, the electric car 1) emits about 30% less CO2 per mile; and 2) can take advantage of whatever system improvements come along, from solar panels on your roof to breakthroughs in fusion.

    Comment by James — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:45 PM

  213. Ron Crouch said,


    ….I got second opinions from two other sub-experts in the field, both of whom felt that my condition was correctable.

    I see that you talked to two other *experts* in the field. I’ll bet they weren’t “alternative medicine” practitioners like homeopaths or “healing-touch” therapists. If you were to follow the logic of your typical global-warming septic, then you would consider homeopaths to be every bit as qualified as the genuine experts that you *did* consult.

    Now, getting on to climate-science, if you aren’t sure that a scientist at NCAR is correct, you can always solicit a second opinion from a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Or you can consult any number of refereed climate-science journals. They are chock-full of “second opinions”.

    Comment by caerbannog — 28 Jun 2009 @ 1:53 PM

  214. dhogaza quoted Tom Fuller’s “short bio at the Examiner”:

    About half of what he writes here will be a liberal skeptic’s view of environmental issues.

    In general, the moment someone mentions his ideological orientation in the same breath as his view of the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming, he demonstrates that he has been bamboozled, or is himself engaging in bamboozlement.

    There is no “conservative climate science.”

    There is no “liberal climate science.”

    There is just climate science. The scientific reality of global warming has nothing to do with a “conservative worldview” or a “liberal world view”. It has to do with empirically observed facts.

    Climate science has been systematically presented and defined as an “ideological” issue by the phony “conservative” media, which as I elaborated above, is nothing but a propaganda machine aimed at an audience that has been cultivated and conditioned for decades to embrace whatever is branded and marketed to them as “conservative” and reject whatever is branded “liberal”.

    The ploy of claiming to be a “liberal skeptic” is simply a too-clever way of turning around the industry-standard propaganda formulation (i.e. it is “conservative” to deny global warming and “liberal” to “believe in it”) so as to legitimize global warming denialism for a “liberal” audience. It says “Denialism is not just for conservatives! I’m a liberal and I’m a denialist! If you are a liberal then you should be a denialist too!”

    As a propaganda technique, I don’t think it works very well.

    First of all, people who know the facts of global warming realize that it is not an “ideological” issue, and don’t care whether phony “skeptics” call themselves “conservative” or “liberal”. What they care about is that phony “skeptics” are telling lies in order to obstruct and delay action to reduce GHG emissions.

    Second, there really aren’t any “liberal Ditto-Heads” to work this scam on. That’s because there has not been a decades-long corporate-funded effort to create a subculture of “liberals” who will obediently embrace, believe and obey whatever propaganda is branded “liberal” and spoon-fed to them by corporate media personalities, comparable to the subculture that is the eager audience for the so-called “conservative” media. So there aren’t a lot of actual “liberals” who will automatically embrace denialist rubbish just because the person who’s peddling it calls himself a “liberal”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:13 PM

  215. I’ve been covering scientific debate since Thor Heyerdahl’s controversy with the American Anthropological Association and never seen the level of spite and contempt found here.

    A bit of a difference in consequences, don’t you think? Recherché anthropology compared to a threat to civilization.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:17 PM

  216. In general, the moment someone mentions his ideological orientation in the same breath as his view of the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming, he demonstrates that he has been bamboozled, or is himself engaging in bamboozlement.

    The latter, obviously, the point being that while anti-science is typically associated with conservatives, that a *smart* liberal will come to the same conclusion. “even a liberal like me can see that climate science is one big fraud”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:46 PM

  217. The second paragraph of his geo-engineering article begins: “This Article finds that the emissions reduction approach would be ineffective at solving the dangerous climate change effects of global warming”.

    Wait a second, not only is global warming real, but its also dangerous?

    Comment by Lars Träger — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:46 PM

  218. “But the free market (at least if external costs are accounted for) is control by the aggregate of human decisions over policy.

    From another viewpoint, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that much of the warmist position simply reflects the desire to fight what they see as a culture war against anything that smacks of ‘market’ i.e. aggregate human (as opposed to elitist) control over policy.” – Steve Reynolds

    Markets, of course, give rich people a much greater say than poor people. They are, therefore, necessarily elitist in operation. That’s why the elite – that is, the rich – propagandise so much in their favour.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:56 PM

  219. Tom (#192),

    Well, folks, I tried. The result is being compared to HIV denialists.

    No, Mr Fuller. There were two references to HIV denialists in this thread. Neither was directed to you personally: Dhogaza asked Richard H if he would keep an open mind about them too. As for me, I threw out an idle suggestion that AGW denialists may be more aptly compared with HIV denialists than with flat-earthers.

    Believe me, you were not on my mind when I wrote it. I don’t live in San Francisco, I don’t read your blog, and I haven’t the slightest interest in discussing you or your writings, much less in offending you in person. So please don’t take offense where none was offered.
    In any case I would have thought you viewed yourself as a skeptic and as a journalist reporting both sides’ views, rather than as the “conspiracy-theorizing petition-mongering” kind of denialist I evoked.

    I did go and read your “Next Generation Questions” post, and I don’t think it particularly rude of other commenters here to point out that much of it was clueless. Still, I thought some of it sounded like useful topics for a post I hope to see on this site rounding up a handful of the more plausible-sounding skeptics’ arguments before COP-15. I was about to make a suggestion here to that end when I saw your comment.

    At least you do not cite “HIV denialist” in your updated post as one the criticisms leveled at you here. That would have been untrue. You should also acknowledge, though, that whatever “contempt and spite” other commenters may have shown you, the RealClimate hosts treated you with perfect courtesy. As your post stands at the moment, you are pejoratively labeling serious scientists as “the warmist community” and giving the misleading impression that the responses you received were from them.

    Comment by CM — 28 Jun 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  220. Re #156 sidd, and Re Hank Roberts misc. comments,

    Thanks sidd, for pointing out that ice was not a part of the Hansen modeling. That was my original impression about the climate modeling in general. Thus, I return to my original point that melting ice would slow down the temperture changes otherwise predicted. However, it looks like this is not a major factor.

    Now the question remains (in my mind at least) whether the large increase in the amount of heat stored in the ocean is taken into account in the climate models. Since much of this is an indirect process through the thermohaline circulation that would seem to act like ice, it would also not be part of the process by which equilibrium was reached in the radiative energy balance calculation. Hence, it would tend to delay the temperature increase. Not bubkes!!??

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:05 PM

  221. In response to #206 dhogaza.

    Could you please show where at any point in time that I have alluded to seeking, let alone accepting the advise of Anthony Watts or Steve McIntyre. Bet you can’t. You either obviously have me confused with someone else, or you simply didn’t do your homework. Calling the kettle black without being able to back it up amounts to little more than gross ignorance.

    Insofar as sources are concerned, I would hope that people such as those who post in this forum as well as Richard Alley, Walt Meier, Mark Serreze, Julienne Stroeve, Jim Hansen, just to name a few, are not considered by you to be — postmen.

    I would expect that a full apology on your part would be in order.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:09 PM

  222. #216 dhogaza

    Mr. Fuller has certainly taken a stand on flimsy ground.

    Thomas Fuller / Tom Fuller

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner

    Thomas Fuller titled as the ‘SF Environmental Policy Examiner’ regarding Environmental Policy and his opinions on global warming and climate change.

    His posts in this thread thus far are:

    From Thomas Fuller/Tom Fuller
    #18
    #125
    #170
    #192

    Responses are throughout the thread and essentially implicate Mr. Fuller in editorialization of the matter of climate science and global warming. He has clearly implied that he is not interested in learning about the science, but prefers to favor opinion and his own bias.

    Mr. Thomas Fuller seems to have for gotten what journalism means:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/journalism

    Main Entry:
    jour·nal·ism Listen to the pronunciation of journalism
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈjər-nə-ˌli-zəm\
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1828

    1 a: the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b: the public press c: an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium

    2 a: writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b: writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c: writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest

    He instead prefers the editorial statement (but he infers he is more journalistic in his approach).

    Mr. Thomas Fuller infers that he is lukewarm on the issue, but he clearly does not understand the complexity. When offered help in understanding it he prefers to not engage because he apparently thinks that criticism is a bad thing. This may be due to some insecurity in his knowledge of the subject or in himself as a person.

    Either way, he renders his reporting, on the matter of climate change and global warming, illegitimate; probably maintains his considered claim to legitimacy based on his uninformed perspective and his existing market base, with established bias.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:14 PM

  223. Re: Mr. Cooke, Ocean Heat content

    1)As I pointed out earlier, I made an error in the calculation of latent heat of fusion of 100cu. km ice. This is on the order of 3e19J, as compared to OHC decadal increase on the order of 0.5e22J, both dwarfed by total absorbed insolation on the order of 1e27J.

    2)there is some data for deep ocean to 3000m in Levitus et all, Geophysics Research Letters, v32, L02604. I have reproduced the first figure at
    http://membrane.com/sidd/levitus-2005-1.png

    Another figure, with later data for the upper 0-700m
    from Levitus(2008) is at
    http://membrane.com/sidd/levitus-08-S14.png

    I hope this helps.

    Comment by sidd — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:15 PM

  224. I would expect that a full apology on your part would be in order.

    It appears that since you replied to an inline response by Gavin, that I may have mistakenly taken you for the poster Gavin was replying to, if so, yes, I apologize.

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:29 PM

  225. For an example of the kind of project not to pursue…

    coal eating microbes?

    Craig Venter, the controversial American scientist who helped decode the human genome, has announced the discovery of ancient bacteria that can turn coal into methane, suggesting they may help to solve the world’s energy crisis.

    The bugs, discovered a mile underground by one of Venter’s microbial prospecting teams, are said to have unique enzymes that can break down coal. Venter said he was already working with BP on how to exploit the find.

    Craig Venter has discovered methanogenesis from fossil fuel deposits… where do people come up with this stuff? Not even published – someone is looking for venture capital, I’d guess.

    In fact, microbial methanogenesis was discovered around 1936 – and is well-known in peat (the precursor to coal) – as well as in coal seams.

    This is just another example of the ongoing effort to boost coal-to-syngas and coal-to-gasoline strategies, which obviously do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, they produce double or triple the CO2 emissions than petroleum or natural gas, on a usable energy basis. The DOE should just shut down its coal synfuels program entirely – the whole idea is ludicrous, expensive and incredibly polluting.

    L. David Cooke – let’s see what the energy pathway looks like for solar-powered electric vehicles…

    Sun -> solar panel -> electric current -> battery storage as chemical potential -> conversion to work via electric motor.

    So we have nuclear fusion, photoelectric conversion, electrochemical conversion, and mechanical work – all with zero emissions. I’m afraid I’m unable to follow your argument on why this isn’t a great idea – perhaps you could clarify?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:35 PM

  226. Thank you for the vindication dhogaza. Full acceptance.

    Anyone else care to follow suit.

    BTW, should anyone consider James Lovelock’s vision to be scary, I can assure you that I’m not as optimistic as he.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:43 PM

  227. Never fear, Tom Fuller has adapted to RC’s intransigence toward his earlier request:

    (quote) Gaining participation from the ‘warmist’ community may be more difficult than I anticipated. I posted a request for comment at RealClimate, a weblog maintained by members of the ‘warmist’ community: (endquote)

    Looks like he is willing to devote a few more hours of his time to the process.

    When he is done straightening out the “warmists” I hope he can head over to the Cosmology Department and help them out with the dark energy mystery. Tom, we need you!

    Comment by Mike — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:45 PM

  228. Many thanks for the vindication Sir or Madam, whichever may be the case. Full acceptance is in order.

    Have I therefore earned the title of “jerk”.

    BTW, should anyone consider James Lovelock’s vision to be scary, well I’m not as optimistic as he.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 28 Jun 2009 @ 3:56 PM

  229. #165 Rod B

    #187 Ike Solem

    Rod B., Right you are about the coal cost.

    As to the conversion to kWhr, your might be interested in the way I did it at http://www.miastrada.com/analyses. From EIA data, using a fairly absolute correspondence between BTU and CO2, it was possible to calculate USA average electric power conversion efficiencies for the respective fossil fuels. It tried to be very careful about the references in that discussion.

    I am always glad to find one of the few who understand that you can not convert kWhrs of heat to kWhrs of electricity without considering efficiency of the heat engine involved. Our friend Ike Solem #187 seems to not remember this very well, even though he refers to one of his own posts which shows he knew this at one time.

    I am kidding Ike here. I think he knows better. He just makes an assertion that electric cars will be run from solar panels, and like most of us who do not know how to convert sun energy to electric energy, (and most of us don’t care,) he ignores the energy input from the sun. Ignoring that energy input, of course electric cars are efficient. The real question is whether there will be enough money to put up enough solar, etc., so that there will be reserve capacity to run cars. Truth: We are a long way from that.

    Ike #187 As to that free advertising “good deal for me” accusation: Guilty as charged.

    Well, maybe I should clarify: What is being advertised at http://www.miastrada.com is a set of concepts that would be profoundly important to the climate if they were widely implemented. Given actual human nature when it comes to real change, that looks to be something of a long, drawn out process. I will be surprised if I make a nickel on these ideas. Still, having put quite a lot of work into them, I would not feel guilty about licensing a few patents were that unlikely event to come about. Sorry if this offends. (Well, on consideration, I am not at all sorry.)

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  230. #225 Ike Solem

    I know you asked this of Dave, but chiming in has always been my style. Sorry.

    You say:

    ” — let’s see what the energy pathway looks like for solar-powered electric vehicles…

    Sun -> solar panel -> electric current -> battery storage as chemical potential -> conversion to work via electric motor.

    So we have nuclear fusion, photoelectric conversion, electrochemical conversion, and mechanical work – all with zero emissions. I’m afraid I’m unable to follow your argument on why this isn’t a great idea – perhaps you could clarify?”

    I mark up your sequence:

    Sun + GUZZILIONS OF DOLLARS (pounds or euros etc.) -> solar panel -> electric current -> battery storage as chemical potential -> conversion to work via electric motor.

    When you, with the help of public money, put up solar panels the output will help to carry the overall load on the electric system, whether you use it or sell it to the utility. Now stop and think. What if you do not buy an electric car?

    Lets say you go ahead without thinking. There is a tiny benefit to the system from your solar panels. Great. They will be working their best before you buy the electric car. Do you think they can do any more cause you have a cool car? Clue: NO.

    In fact, the entire world collection of renewable power, even nuclear, is fully tapped out regardless of the electric car game. So the available reserves have to be cranked up. With cap and trade and enough arm twisting, at todays ($4) natural gas prices, some of that might be produced from the available natural gas facilities. The arms will have to be torn off to get the utilities to use natural gas when the natural gas price goes back to $6 to $12 which has been the actual range for some time. If there is any significant increase in usage, that natural gas price will probably soar to previously unimagined heights. What available reserves are left? Hint: COAL So your electric car will run on coal. Now tell us how efficient that electric motor is.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 4:33 PM

  231. @Fran Barlow: I implore you to re-post comment #163 with some more editing, if not on this thread then in some other high-profile venue. By pointing out how AGW is a tragedy of the commons, you incisively exposed the economic rationale for AGW denial, and made it ineluctably clear that AGW mitigation is a public good requiring government intervention in the market. IMHO, that argument has not been made nearly as well anywhere, prior to your post. The only problem is that you used more words than necessary, thus sacrificing some readability. I understood your argument perfectly, but I’m in the choir. Your words need to reach a much wider audience!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 28 Jun 2009 @ 5:19 PM

  232. Follow up to #199. On the off chance that anyone cares about the facts about administration interference with climate scientists including me at NASA, for instance, one might want to look up whose paper and press release was being discussed here. Other instances – an interview in Dec 2005 that I’d agreed to with CNN on the temperature records that was cancelled by Public Affairs with a untrue excuse that no-one was available, the imposition of ‘minders’ for all our phone interviews at GISS during 2005, a veto from the State dept. of an interview I was giving to a South American trade magazine(!) etc… While these events were minor compared to what happened directly to Hansen, it was hardly ‘hilarious’ and it had nothing to do with my or the other scientist’s political positions.

    The IG report is full of examples of issues that happened to other scientists apart from Hansen, and even then it is not a comprehensive list of everything that occurred. Fortunately things improved markedly subsequent to Griffin’s statement on scientists’ access to the media and have stayed reasonable since.

    Comment by gavin — 28 Jun 2009 @ 5:44 PM

  233. My sense is that this ploy by the Deniers camp is to set up a distraction. They will not be engaging in argument over the science as much as they will be pumping up the ‘suppression’. “Report suppressed by EPA” is what will be flogged endlessly, even if it’ not true.
    Remember when during last year’s campaign, when Obama off-handedly made an innocent remark about putting lipstick on a pig? Remember how the Republican machine exploded in defense of Palin against such a vicious attack? Outraged Republicans were cooking with phony indignation around the clock and they got hours of news coverage out of it. Expect the same tactics with this “suppressed” report.
    The public is not prepared to judge the science, but they understand accusations of ‘cover-up’ and ‘hiding the evidence’.
    oldswede

    Comment by oldswede — 28 Jun 2009 @ 5:51 PM

  234. #209 Steve Reynolds

    As unsurprising as it is, it’s nevertheless disappointing that you make no attempt to justify your claim that those who facour mitigation oppose the use of markets to accomplish this.

    The closest you come to addressing anything of substance is the implication that because I spoke of a “culture war against anything that smacks of human (as opposed to ‘market’) control over policy” by contrarians, that I must in some way oppose all resort to markets in advancing mitigation policies.

    There’s no conflict here. I was attacking the market fetishing fundamentalism that informs so much of the contrarian position rather than resort to markets in policy.

    You seem to be drawing your responses from some sort of bolt hole of tired memes common in the contrarian community. That hoary old one, which should probably be called “Old Shep” about ‘warmists’ wanting “to preserve existing arrangements of economic advantage of developed nations by keeping people of developing nations poor and without access to low cost energy” has been repeatedly euthanased by those of your side who insist that mitigation is a plot driven by guilt-ridden first-world liberals who want to transfer industry and thus wealth from the first world to the third and who accordingly want to give China, India and Brazil a free pass on emissions targets.

    Enough already. If you can’t put a case, then I see no reason to indulge your desire to engage in schoolyard-style banter.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:31 PM

  235. I can’t see why a spcialty in climatology is paramount. In political science, which I studied, some of the more profound contributions have come from economists. And in economics, some of the better criticisms come from political scientists. In any field, there is a tendency to fall into an intellectual rut as narrow, technical questions are pursued. Meanwhile, the basic questions–that is, the more important ones–often go unasked.

    [Response: Climate science is not narrow – it encompasses aspects of meteorology, oceanography, modelling, chemistry, computer science, mathematics etc. Thus you see (and expect) many contributions from people with diverse backgrounds. However, there are certain issues that are common – the nature of attribution in a complex system, what an apparent mismatch between models and data really implies for instance – that are fundamental to the questions being asked right now. There is no reason why an economist could not read up on this and improve the fit of their comments (whether on science or economics) to the scientific discussion. But this is not what is going on here. The equivalent would be if I sent in comments to a committee investigating the US housing bubble and assuming that the banking crisis was caused by the gnomes of Zurich. Where would you even start? – gavin]

    Comment by Darren — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:31 PM

  236. #232 gavin

    I was unaware of this report. Thanks.

    I opened a new folder:
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/summary-docs/investigation-reports/OI_STI_Summary.pdf/view

    If you know of other reports that would go well here, please let me know.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:50 PM

  237. #219 CM

    Do you really think Thomas Fullers “Next Generation Questions” have any contextual relevance in the discussion?

    Did you read the replies to him in this thread on that subject?

    He basically regurgitated tired old arguments that are so worn down and have been scientifically trounced so many times that it is hardly worth trudging down that path. Heck, I only posted as a courtesy in the event he was interested in trying to learn something, which he has clearly indicated he is not.

    Context is key.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:52 PM

  238. RE: 212

    Hey James,

    Sorry for being late; however, it is not the issue of the efficiency of the engine/power plant as much as it is the issue of fossil carbon in the total carbon dioxide – energy creation cycle… (Keeping in mind the difference of fossil carbon being added to the atmosphere versus the carbon being cycled through the atmosphere.)

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 6:58 PM

  239. Some of you might not have realised that the older model of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of employment opportunites these days.

    The “new model” of journalism isn’t producing much in the way of accurate reporting that wins Pulitzers or Peabodys. Old syle accuracy may be expensive, but is still essential in science reporting, or crime reporting, or policy reporting. A change in business model is a piss-poor excuse to give up on accuracy and attempted objectivity. Journalists have an obligation to follow a sort of journalistic Hippocratic Oath, doing no harm along the way.

    For example, reporting stuff from CEI without mentioning that there are few hard science studies to back up what they say, is probably irresponsible. It leaves the reader without essential knowledge. Tell the readers that CEI claims harms from smoking are overblown, that CEI is staffed with people who cut their teeth lobbying Congress claiming science showed smoking was harmless, readers may get an idea of the species of science CEI promulgates (but still doesn’t do on its own).

    But in no case should a reporter who wishes to portray with accuracy the debates about global warming, present a minority view unbacked by science and promoted by businesses with a small, old dog in a very tough dog fight, as equivalent to hard science from unbiased scientists with no economic interest in anything but getting the facts and predictions right.

    Is truth out of style? Since when is that a good reason to avoid it, or abandon it?

    Comment by Ed Darrell — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:05 PM

  240. In response to #210 Former Skeptic.

    As for your first comment. The subtle facetious and sarcastic nature of my comment obviously eluded you.

    Your second comment does not even warrant a response so I’ll limit it. Lord Monckton indeed. Once again res ipsa loquitur.

    Now as for your third comment. Your feeble attempt to produce a coherent analogy to fit the argument posed. I’ll address it in the following manner.

    During my lifespan I can clearly remember when it was largely and widely accepted within the scientific community that humans had only been around in their present form for ~20,000 years. I’ll not state that I was a lone voice in the wilderness crying foul, that would be naive and unsupported. But I did cry foul relying upon a broader analysis that included minor genetic variations and vast amount of languages and dialects of those languages. I postulated that humans in their present form had been around for at least 300,000 years, and most likely longer. The most recent archaeological evidence pinpoints our presence to ~276,000 years BP.

    So yes, there is a conundrum of evidence that more than implicates humans as a major contributor to Global Climate Change. That is not a point of contention. However based upon the fact that not all factors of a Whole Earth can or have been incorporated into models and analysis’, it would be my contention that the future outcomes of our meddling are still poorly understood and that current estimates of those outcomes considered are by in large conservative. It’s not been that long since the talk of the town was an ice free Arctic Ocean in the summer by 2100. At the same time I was arguing that the date would be closer to 2020. Once again I relied upon a broader analysis of Whole Earth and it’s various systems. Mother Nature it would seem is finally poised to bare me out, and perhaps unpleasantly surprise us all (think of 2013).

    I’ll stand by my guns: “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see”. BTW if you think that Global Climate Change is the only factor that will lead us from this “Golden Age”, then you really need to broaden your reading base. So just who has a simple mind, and whose mind’s eye has a blind spot? If you believe it is me, then you probably also believe that Columbus was the first European to discover America.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:15 PM

  241. Actually, it seems to me Mr. Carlin and the RC scientists have something in common. Before, I get to that let me just say that if you read Mr. Carlins’ paper he clearly states that his views may be incorrect, he also states that the EPA should do their own study on the science and not rely on IPCC or CCSP findings because any errors will be at the feet of the EPA and not the other organizations, basically CYA, as I am sure most will agree is a wise policy.

    I am surprised RC has taken the stance that it has considering that you specifically called into question the finding of the IPCC 4 in regards to SLR.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/the-ipcc-sea-level-numbers/
    In fact, Eric statement to comment #4

    One of the reasons this stuff wasn’t included in detail in the IPCC report is that it is all pretty new. Anythinig (sic) included in the report has to have stood the test of time, at least a bit. The rule was anything cited had to be in press by May 2006. Many of the important papers postdate that. All this goes to show that IPCC is for the most part, conservative. That’s how science works, contrary to what the “skeptics” claim.–eric

    sounds exactly like what Mr. Carlin was trying to say.

    Sure enough you can beat down the mans’ scientific arguments, but his reason for writing the report is legit, the science of AGW did not end in May 2006 and the EPA should do its’ job and make sure its’ findings are as up to date as possible, especially considering how conservative the IPCC estimates are.

    Comment by Ellis — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:21 PM

  242. SecularAnimist Says (28 June 2009 at 14:13):

    “There is just climate science. The scientific reality of global warming has nothing to do with a “conservative worldview” or a “liberal world view”. It has to do with empirically observed facts.”

    This may be a first: you’ve actually written something that I entirely agree with :-)

    Such a pity you had to go and spoil things with the rest of your comment.

    Comment by James — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:43 PM

  243. Fuller, about some guys posting in the comments at the RC blog:

    > These are the people who claim to be pro-science and
    > that skeptics are equivalent to Holocaust deniers.

    Mr. Fuller, are you familiar with all Internet traditions?
    Including Godwin’s Law?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 7:59 PM

  244. Response to gavin.

    The way you apply diverse fields, however, can remain narrow, regardless of how many you apply. I believe it was Karl Popper (my hero!) who said that the main question is science is how you conceive of the problem set–in other words, diverse tools aren’t the central issue. Clear-headed appraisal of the problem is.

    I’ve also observed repeatedly, in both political science and economics, where models (which can be useful for teaching and keeping concepts straight) morph into the modeler’s actual theory, or even entire world view. The result is narrow science, where the real questions are settled outside the modeling, so that–presto!–the model “yields” the result the modeler-scientist set out to prove. I see the same thing in my daily job, which involves financial modeling. The people in charge of the modeling set out to prove the value of some asset, and be darned if they don’t succeed every time. Amazing! Throw in the egos and careers at stake, and well… you get the picture. (Having egos and careers at stake are a good thing, I think. Just don’t expect financial experts, nor scientific ones, to be impartial. Believing that they are is one cause of the financial meltdown.)

    At core, this is what makes me skeptical of the theory of global warming. And this is what persuades me that an outsider is better situated to make a critical assessment of it. After all, the theory’s prediction is simple: CO2 emissions up, temperature up. Any intelligent outsider, decently versed in scientific method, can assess it. Just look at the predictions, then look at the facts. That’s one beauty of science: It relies on predictions that non-experts can assess.

    And on that–the predictions–the theory of global warming seems to falter: Carbon dioxide emissions are growing faster than ever, especially from the Chinese over the past decade. And yet, over the same decade, global atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen, and may even be falling. The “delayed effect” retort may have merit (as it sometimes does in economics). But I’ve seen enough people speak like Linus in the pumpkin patch to make me skepitcal (though not totally dismissive) of that retort.

    I’ve also seen enough of economics, politics and, to a lesser extent, computer programming to know that single-faceted explanations are, in complex systems, almost always wrong, mostly because they have a tendency to overstate the effect of man’s will. (Man is always overstating his own importance.) So I find it far-fetched that man-made carbon emissions would be a determining factor in climate, especially when you consider the size of our little civilazation against the size of the sun–which would seem, at first look, to be the main consideration. Anything man can do is infinitesimally minute compared to that thing.

    Rather than bore you with more causes of my skepticism, I’ll leave it at that.

    Comment by Darren — 28 Jun 2009 @ 8:35 PM

  245. RE: 223

    Hey Sidd,

    I saw your correction after I had posted my suggestion that there may be other processes at work that we need to gather further data on. (Example this 1986/7 research paper: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/mcph1166/mcph1166.shtml )

    The main point I was trying to suggest is for a limited measure of N/S 8 Deg., covered by the NOAA Triton/TAO buoy data sets, the visual indication since 1998 does not appear to support large scale warming in either heat content or isotherms.

    After reviewing the Levitus et al 2008 papers abstract, (as I do not have access to the paper it’s self), I assumed that the data you were referring to was based on some earlier data sets which seemed to demonstrate a ever increasing distributed localized temperature swing, when subsequent data, as indicated in the Levitus et al 2008 suggests a systemic imbalance of oceanic heat content increase in the range of a 0.31 Deg. C.

    When I reviewed the ocean temperature data sets back in 2003 through 2005 that appeared to have been data taken in the N. Atlantic above the 30th parallel, with an indication of cooling in the 2300 to 1700 meter range. When Dr. Layman released his 2006 paper initially it appeared that this was confirmed by the Argo buoy data sets; however, in 2007 it was discovered that upwards of 7% and later determined to be nearly 17% of the Atlantic Argo deployment had pressure sensor issues.

    It is entirely likely that the issues identified in 2007 also invalidated the 2003 to 2005 data collect when initially identified. However, when I went back I found that the data I originally found at the NOAA site was primarily collected via research voyages and ships at sea volunteering in a data collection experiment. The end result to me, based on the earlier manually collected data and the current Triton/TOA data seems to suggest that yes there have been recent instances of warming and cooling; however, this does not mean that the present cooling is reaching cool levels in the pre-1997 range.

    I suspect part of the difference between the data sets with the measured data versus the Levitus 2008 0.31 Deg. work may be explained by reviewing the time frame and sources, which would require a much greater motivation then I have regarding niggling out the reasons. For me, when looking at the isotherms it appears that the heat content of the N. Pacific does not support a long term rise in temperature as defined in the linked referenced graphs. I do not diminish the recent work, only that similar to Dr. Stevenson, ( http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html ) I wonder how the 2008 conclusion stacks up with the continuing measured data research.

    It is entirely possible that the difference in insight could be the difference in generations or the weight of confidence applied to the analysis due to differences in backgrounds. I suspect many things play a part in climate analysis. The analysis of modern models appear to be fairly good even if most earlier versions were based primarily on large scale processes. Most modern versions continue with the large scale processes, with under lying process identification and documentation work continually improving them.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 8:58 PM

  246. #212 James,

    Are we thinking that all the sources in a “present generation mix” cough up an additional amount of energy when you plug in an electric car? And all make sure that their response is an equal percentage?

    Maybe that is not what happens. Maybe the added load is actually handled by bringing up the cheapest source available. Actually, I think there is a good chance the utilities do not even know its you and your electric car that is loading them up with demand.

    For people with solar cells, do you suppose there is a special little storage compartment with each persons name on it?

    I am kidding. Cheers for the Honda Insight.

    But it seems easy to get tricked by the “generation mix” nonsense. Even Argonne National Laboratories has trouble understanding this.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:21 PM

  247. RE: 225

    Hey Ike,

    Sorry, I was simply reviewing the body of the text in the current climate change bill that recently passed the House and did not see a quick increase in Nuclear resources being added by 2020. Matter of fact, what I saw clearly suggested an increase in coal usage.

    In my original query, I had allowed an opportunity for a possible solar solution, the original question was related to the total systemic conversion efficiencies of the various systems we will employ in the near future.

    If you are suggesting renewable resources, over fossil fuels, for powering electric vehicles, then I am all for it. However, at this time and until 2050 I do not know that renewables will be providing the lions share of electrical power. Hopefully, the Senate will disregard the idea of a Cap and Trade and either through the current tax / tariff / subsidizing systems or a scaled fossil carbon usage tax, directly fund renewable implementation or replacement.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:35 PM

  248. #244 Darren,

    It is not a delayed response that the ocean heat content has gone up significantly. And as long as that can go on, the surface temperatures could well not show the effects which the more zealous climate science folks have emphasized. That might be a delayed outcome. Unfortunately, that has been the effect that we have been led to expect.

    In order to popularize the cause, there is a possible and unforturnate outcome that the zealots are damaging their own efforts.

    Rising sea level in small but steady amounts should be adequate reason for concern. That indicates a continuing deficit. Though that is a single faceted explanation, isn’t that an indication of a problem? Even in economics that should get attention, sooner or too late.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:38 PM

  249. #244 Darren

    Facts out of context are less relevant or irrelevant.

    Climate is not as linear as you seem to assume. There are many influences in the natural cycle and there are influences caused by man.

    You are missing important contexts in your understanding, likely the main driver of your doubt regarding human impact on climate.

    I’ve lined up a few ducks if you want to take some shots at them

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths

    John Coleman from the weather channel used a similar argument about how man can not influence climate. maybe check out this:

    http://www.uscentrist.org/about/issues/environment/john_coleman/the-amazing-story-behind-the-global-warming-scam

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:41 PM

  250. #244
    “Rather than bore you with more causes of my skepticism, I’ll leave it at that.”

    Why? All your points of skepticism are easily answered. Would you like to learn or just hold onto your prejudices? If you want to learn then I suggest a little background reading from the RC resources. You would learn that noone in climate science expects single-faceted explanations to complex phenomena either. You might learn why the sun isnt considered as important as rather major changes in CO2 levels when considering climate CHANGE and you might even find out what the models actually DO predict instead of what you think they predict. Show willing and people will help.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:53 PM

  251. It’s much more effective to go over to Fuller’s blog and say these things. OTOH, it will push his numbers, but he has attracted the usual crowd anyhow.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 28 Jun 2009 @ 9:56 PM

  252. “Finally, they end up with the oddest claim in the submission: That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid.”

    OSHA has maximum CO2 levels for work settings. So nobody I know of is making such a ridiculous claim. But in need of strawmen. . . .be my guest.

    Comment by Bill Hunter — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:00 PM

  253. Jim Galasyn:”For the real story on polar bear populations, see…”

    … quotations from a lawyer representing a special interest group??

    Is there a link to the actual study?

    Comment by Steve Reynolds — 28 Jun 2009 @ 10:20 PM

  254. James (way back in 167), no, my assumption is not bad: it is what it is. I was looking for a cheap and quick ballpark/order of magnitude and explained what I did so anyone can draw conclusions. The pertinent question is: given the assumptions and margins are the numbers incorrect?

    You say, “…Indeed, this is exactly what the bill is supposed to do, isn’t? Increase the price so people have an incentive to use less, thereby cutting both costs and emissions.”

    Yes, it’s called taxing the hell out of them to make them lower their standards. And that’s not mitigated because you happen to use less electricity or that Mark’s perfectly happy hanging his clothes on the line. People throughout the hill country of Texas average $150. When do you want to meet with the hundreds of thousands to explain how each of them can (and must) get by on $50 or so without any adverse change in lifestyle?

    To get my average of $200/month (electric is my only utility) to $100 (forget about your $50!) I guess I’d have to not use CAC in the summer (even in the last 15 of 16 days averaging about 103) — I set it at 80; probably not have hot water (maybe 80-90 degree water…) — and I have a new high efficiency (for electric…) one kept at 115. Then winter gets tough: no hot water OR home heating — I’ll have to mull that over. I doubt these would make it though it might be close. My problem is the next highest usage is my deep well water pump.

    I suppose you probably have possible solutions that can be looked at. But I’ll bet the result would be that I am not adversely altering my life style only because it is as good as you think it ought to be or that you think I deserve. Which I’m sure is completely satisfactory from your viewpoint. Other than a few things at the margin, if you cut cost, you pretty much cut standard of living. Or spending $30,000 for some solar on my roof (which in my case is good mostly only after noon) hardly qualifies as cutting costs, either.

    Comment by Rod B — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:04 PM

  255. John P. Reisman (169), PBS’ News Hour still pretty much reports news. ‘course they’re non-protit I guess… ;-)

    Comment by Rod B — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:12 PM

  256. #224 Darren:

    “So I find it far-fetched that man-made carbon emissions would be a determining factor in climate, especially when you consider the size of our little civilazation against the size of the sun–which would seem, at first look, to be the main consideration.”

    Darren, have you ever really -looked- at a photograph of Earth’s atmosphere, viewed from space at a few hundred miles, at a tangent angle? It’s a view worth pondering, something indeed many steely-eyed astronauts have found to be flabbergasting, along the lines of “wow, it’s barely there at all”.

    How about an empirical, somewhat related example? It’s obvious by now that CFC’s were degrading the ability of the atmosphere to absorb UV before it reached the ground. The amount of CFC we’re talking about was by any measure tiny yet what we did release quickly evidenced itself in a way that resulted in swift and concerted action to fix the problem. It was blindingly (sorry!) obvious that our power to foul up the planet exceeded all expectations.

    It would be easy to go too far with the CFC analogy, but the point is that we know already from established history that it’s certainly possible for humans to selectively ruin at least one useful function of the atmosphere. In part that’s because the atmosphere is literally vanishingly thin; travel to the distance of a synchronous satellite– roughly the distance of a circumnavigation of the planet– and you cannot distinguish the atmosphere from Earth’s disk with the naked eye.

    You refer to our exceptional self-regard and you’re surely correct to identify that as a human failing. At the same time, some of humanity’s biggest “accomplishments” have been in the arena of unwitting destruction, a “talent” for which we equally deserve to take credit.

    Comment by Doug B — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:15 PM

  257. Links for references mentioned in Gavin’s inline response to my 199 28 June 2009 at 12:00 PM are provided below.

    But first, we have a contender in the Ironically Titled Self-Referential Posting category: the other blogger himself, commenting on Gavin’s inline response to my posting above which did not name either blogger originally.

    Roger Pielke, Jr., in his own thread under the title
    Who Cares About Integrity of Process When There are Political Points to Score? wrote at #12:

    “Gavin’s claim that he personally was muzzled is hilarious. When was Real Climate “hindered and prevented from discussing our own published results in climate science”? I must have missed that episode.”

    Now, here they are:

    the NASA Inspector General’s report
    http://oig.nasa.gov/investigations/OI_STI_Summary.pdf

    Revkin’s front page NYT article
    http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/science/earth/03nasa.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=30036dc4Q2FitJjiQ2AQ2FnQ7EsQ2FQ2FDZiZ55Xi5pi5yiQ7En_JRnJiJQ51sDGi5yRQ51Q7EQ511GDQ3AV

    Hat tip to Mark Bowen
    http://www.tipping-points.com/?p=29
    for the most easily found discussion, worth reading, who provided those links.

    (Gavin, would you put those links into the inline response above for the convenience of later readers who may not know how to find this kind of thing? And there will always be bloggers operating outside the constraints of the academic environment who can disbelieve or pretend to disbelieve inconvenient history, if pointers are lacking.)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:49 PM

  258. Let’s try those links again:

    Now, here they are:

    the NASA Inspector General’s report

    http://oig.nasa.gov/investigations/OI_STI_Summary.pdf

    Revkin’s front page NYT article

    http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/science/earth/03nasa.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=30036dc4Q2FitJjiQ2AQ2FnQ7EsQ2FQ2FDZiZ55Xi5pi5yiQ7En_JRnJiJQ51sDGi5yRQ51Q7EQ511GDQ3AV

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:52 PM

  259. In the Synthesis Report from Climate Change, Univ of Copenhagen, page 10, the statement is made regarding Arctic Ice:

    “This decreasing ice coverage is important for climate on a
    larger scale as ice and snow reflect most of the radiation from the sun
    back into the atmosphere while seawater absorbs most of the radiation
    reaching it from the sun. Thus, an ice-free ocean absorbs more heat than
    an ice-covered ocean, so the loss of Arctic sea ice creates a “feedback”
    in the climate system that increases warming.”

    Nope:
    At low grazing angles, as per polar regions, incident electromagnetic waves, including that from the sun, are largely reflected from water. Ice being irregular and rough, reflections from that ice tend to be diffuse and energy is not as efficiently reflected as the authors seem to imagine.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:57 PM

  260. Nick Gotts [#218]:

    “Markets, of course, give rich people a much greater say than poor people. They are, therefore, necessarily elitist in operation. That’s why the elite – that is, the rich – propagandise so much in their favour.”

    The observation is unexceptionable. Self-evidently, you can only participate in markets if you have tradeable assets, and those with the most have the most power in markets. You are on strong ground rejecting the fetishism attaching to markets as allocators of public goods.

    That noted, there are many instances in which the operation of what may broadly be defined as “market mechanisms” offer greater net utility than processes in which explicit human policy frameworks specify activity. Certainly, as I noted in my response to Mr Reynolds, one must be alert to the presence and significance of externalities bearing upon the ostensible ‘market’ activity and attach value to those utilities that communities believe should be considered when producing public or private goods, ensuring that these are transparent in the design of the system. One must also ensure probity and integrity — that what is beleived to be happening in theory really is happening in practice, and that ultimately requires robust independent governance of the operations of markets.

    But subject to those caveats, markets may be designed in ways that ultimately yield greater net benefit even to non-elites than attempts to deliver benefit without them. That conception of course lies at the heart of emissions trading schemes, and we ought not to concede the mantle “protector of market forces” to those whose real agenda is the desire to protect current pernicious and inequitable social arrangements from variation to those less pernicious and inequitable.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 28 Jun 2009 @ 11:58 PM

  261. re: #244 Darren

    Respected senior economists and political scientists can disagree *violently* about truly basic things, that would be the equivalent of arguing about the reality of gravity in physics.

    One might read:

    1) Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change. Did you follow the ferocious arguments on that one?

    2) William Nordhaus, A Question of Balance.

    2) Robert Ayres and Benjamin Warr, The Economic Growth Engine.

    3) Anthony Giddens, The Politics of Climate Change.
    [Lord Giddens was former Director of LSE.]

    4) Leclerc & hall, eds:Making World Development Work: Scientific Alternatives to Neoclassical Economic Theory

    and finally, and probably most crucially:

    5) Philip Tetlock, Expert Political Judgement – How Good is It? How Can We Know?

    [A: expert political judgments are really not very good. That’s because they are hard, and unlike physics, don’t have conservation laws and other rock-solid theory to bound what can happen.]

    One might read Schools of economics, and compare that with Spencer Weart’s Discovery of Global Warming or Naomi Oreskes’ The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science.

    Physical sciences arguments tend to disappear as data arrives. The mainstream view tends to converge on a view whose approximation to reality is better than the previous mainstream view.

    Does economics work that way? If so, why are all those schools of thought around? Do you believe neoclassical economics is a good model of the real world? Can you explain why? Can you explain why Ayres&Warr’s views are wrong? Or why one should prefer whichever school of thought you like to the others? Do you think the mathematics in economics describes the world as well as the math in a sophomore physics book does? [None of this is knocking econ or polysci, just observing that that they are different, and overgeneralzing from them into physical sciences is very error-prone, and can lead to serious Dunning-Kruger if not fixed.]

    Long ago, when I was managing social scientists (cognitive psychologists), they always assumed that one gathered data before leaping to opinions… Occasionally, we’d review an internal paper from a few social scientists who got carried away, and have to slaughter it to the Executive Director level.

    Hence, hearing climate scientists talk and asking them questions is a really good place to start. it would help disabuse you of silly ideas.

    For example, climate science is one of the most interdisciplinary areas of science I’ve *ever* encountered, somewhat akin to computer science within engineering.

    ===
    I have written earlier here how technical folks sometimes overgeneralize from the issues of their own models, but Tetlock’s book convinces me that I should add political science (and maybe economics) as well:

    a) Political experts have poor ability to predict, especially for longer timeframes (read Tetlock) … and of course, they get beaten up for it, just as weather forecasters do when they are wrong. Predicting *noise* is hard.

    SO

    b) Climate scientists must be smoking something funny to think they can make these long-term predictions. :-)

    Comment by John Mashey — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:17 AM

  262. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. Says (28 June 2009 at 21:21):

    “Are we thinking that all the sources in a “present generation mix” cough up an additional amount of energy when you plug in an electric car? And all make sure that their response is an equal percentage?”

    No, but that argument cuts both ways. You can’t say that the electricity going into the electric car is from source X (at least not without running a powerflow study on the grid at that moment). The most you can do is say that it’s using whatever mix the grid has at that time.

    “Maybe that is not what happens. Maybe the added load is actually handled by bringing up the cheapest source available.”

    Until the utilities run up against regulations (in this state, at least) that require them to buy a certain percentage of their power from “green” generation, even if it’s not the cheapest source. Then they become receptive to e.g. feed-in tariffs for rooftop solar, or signing long-term purchase agreements with the owner of a formerly-marginal geothermal resource…

    “For people with solar cells, do you suppose there is a special little storage compartment with each persons name on it?”

    Sure. It’s called a battery :-) Or if I don’t want to be bothered with that, and just connect to the grid, consider my electric meter. I start out with it showing X KWh flowing in from the grid. Now I buy the electric car and solar panels as a package. Hook up the panels, plug in the car, and if I’ve sized the system right my meter shows zero flow. Eventually the car’s fully charged, and I can go drive around while the meter’s merrily spinning backwards.

    Seems to me that by doing this I displace not only the CO2 generated by my driving, but some coal-fired generation as well.

    Comment by James — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:40 AM

  263. Phil queries:
    “Why? All your points of skepticism are easily answered. Would you like to learn or just hold onto your prejudices?”

    It’s the latter, Phil.

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:02 AM

  264. 244: “And yet, over the same decade, global atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen, and may even be falling.”

    Except they HAVE been rising and haven’t been falling.

    Your skepticism seems to have skipped a beat.

    Ah, who are we kidding here, you’re a credulous not a skeptic!

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:06 AM

  265. Someone wibbles: “based upon the fact that not all factors of a Whole Earth can or have been incorporated into models and analysis’,”

    And does the missing stuff (I take it you have a list, don’t you, else this is just an argument from personal incredulity) make a difference?

    After all, I don’t take into account the rotation of the earth when throwing a cricket ball. Yet somehow, it still goes where I want it to.

    And continues ” it would be my contention that the future outcomes of our meddling are still poorly understood”

    Do you have anything to back this up, else again this is personal incredulity.

    If our meddling has poor understanding, how about NOT DOING IT?

    If I don’t understand surgery, should I cut someone open to remove their appendix or should I not meddle?

    ” and that current estimates of those outcomes considered are by in large conservative.”

    And this is saying “we shouldn’t stop” how?

    PS you’ve already said we shouldn’t believe anything we read, so we shouldn’t believe you.

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:15 AM

  266. Tom Fuller sulks:

    Well, folks, I tried. The result is being compared to HIV denialists. Have fun amongst yourselves. BTW, the skeptical attitude I had going into the debate led me specifically to become a lukewarmer.

    I’ve been covering scientific debate since Thor Heyerdahl’s controversy with the American Anthropological Association and never seen the level of spite and contempt found here.

    If and when you experience difficulty or defeat in implementing policy responses to what you consider the great problem of our age, don’t look anywhere but in a mirror to find the reason why.

    Tom, go look up what the cake said to Alice.

    CAPTCHA: “Congress stall”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:08 AM

  267. Darren writes:

    Carbon dioxide emissions are growing faster than ever, especially from the Chinese over the past decade. And yet, over the same decade, global atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen, and may even be falling.

    They have risen. You haven’t done your homework. That’s what comes of getting your information from denialist blogs instead of primary sources.

    And other things affect temperature than CO2. The idea that “warmists say only CO2 affects the climate” is denialist drivel.

    Nonetheless, the correlation between ln CO2 and NASA GISS temperature anomaly for the past 129 years is r = 0.87.

    And for a climate trend you generally need 30 years, not ten.

    I’ve also seen enough of economics, politics and, to a lesser extent, computer programming to know that single-faceted explanations are, in complex systems, almost always wrong,

    Again, you’re attacking the straw man argument that “warmists” think only CO2 matters.

    So I find it far-fetched that man-made carbon emissions would be a determining factor in climate, especially when you consider the size of our little civilazation against the size of the sun–which would seem, at first look, to be the main consideration. Anything man can do is infinitesimally minute compared to that thing.

    Solar output hasn’t varied significantly in 50 years, so it can’t be driving the sharp upturn in global warming of the last 30. We’ve been measuring it from satellites like Nimbus-6 and -7 and the Solar Maximum Mission for decades.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:26 AM

  268. John (#237),

    The only relevance I ascribe to Fuller’s list is that it may to some extent indicate what “skeptic” arguments may sound plausible to the public and which, accumulated up the public-debate food chain as it were, might have some traction with policy-makers.

    The “lukewarmer” position he claims, that AGW is real but will be at or below the low end of the uncertainty ranges, is a politically effective one. It allows policy-makers to acknowledge AGW but downplay the costs of inaction. Against the backdrop of more wild-eyed denialist views it can be framed as a middle-ground, compromise-willing, intellectually respectable stance (which it is not, of course; climate sensitivity is constrained by the laws of physics and the paleo-climate record, not by the extremes of public opinion).

    I admit this may have been a courtesy too far, since it seems the “questions” were just bait in Mr Fuller’s snark-hunting expedition for his blog. You are of course right that he was regurgitating worn-down arguments — like classical hunters of the snark, he seems to hold that “What I tell you three times is true.”

    But regularly regurgitated arguments need a regular slapping down or they will stick. At this juncture we could do with a brief, authoritative text to discuss e.g. six “key confusions” (to complement the six “key messages” of the Copenhagen synthesis report) from this alleged “lukewarm” middle ground. And who better to do that than the RealClimate team, if they feel up to the ennui of digesting and updating some of their posts?

    Comment by CM — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:31 AM

  269. “If I were the authors, I’d suppress this myself”

    LMAO – Thanks for this brilliant excersise in debunking. I have been battling the astroturfers over at slashdot since this sh*t hit their fan yesterday. My efforts were nowhere near as thourough and humorous as yours.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:12 AM

  270. Darren (#244),

    …the theory’s prediction is simple: CO2 emissions up, temperature up. Any intelligent outsider, decently versed in scientific method, can assess it.

    … single-faceted explanations are, in complex systems, almost always wrong

    So which is it? Simple or complex? If you want to take on climate science with a little armchair reasoning you should at least try for consistency. Hint: If climate scientists had a single-faceted explanation they wouldn’t bother to model the complexity, would they? They’d just hire your intelligent outsider.

    Anyway, on relevant timescales (which a decade is not really) you do find a link between CO2 and temperature. Taking time-lags and variability into account is not

    like Linus in the pumpkin patch

    for Linus’s problem is not just an occasional run of years without the Great Pumpkin: there has not been a single confirmed Great Pumpkin spotting(*) since observations began in 1959. But during the same half century of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, global temperatures have risen sharply.

    *) The reported 1961 spotting in New Jersey was never independently verified.

    Comment by CM — 29 Jun 2009 @ 7:01 AM

  271. I was a rarity in journalism, in that I earned a degree in science before taking a degree in journalism.

    Interestingly, I remember speaking to the school’s director, and he told me that the most common reason that students listed for wanting to study journalism was that they weren’t very good at science.

    I suspect that’s the very reason why Thomas Fuller does what he does for a living. He’s so breathtakingly clueless about the scientific method that it beggars belief.

    Comment by Richard Levangie — 29 Jun 2009 @ 7:43 AM

  272. Darren @204:

    OK, now wait. Let me get this straight: You are skeptical of climate science because there are some models in political science and economics that don’t work?

    Did it ever occur to you maybe,…oh, I don’t know…like investigate the actual models in climate science?

    Dude, the cause of your skepticism is flat, pigheaded ignorance! That would be curable, but as the cure would involve work on your part, I’m not optimistic about your prognosis.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 29 Jun 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  273. These guys seem to have the kind of context-sensitive evidence that is persuasive:

    http://www.petitionproject.org/gw_article/Review_Article_HTML.php

    They do use the term “greenhouse gas,” so maybe my aversion to it misplaced, given that they seem to be even more skeptical of CO2-caused global warming than I am. At the same time, the fact that CO2 is only a very small percentage of all the greenhouse gases would seem to justify a different word. (My view is the same on the use of the word “carcinogen.” It gets used for both obvious dangers, like cigarettes, and for other chemicals in the environment or food that are far less cancer-causing, helping alarmists to stir up fears about things like grocery-store produce.)

    In any case, I learned long ago in economics that when it comes to statistics, it’s broad-trend analysis–the kind these guys do–that matters most, at least when it’s available. Whenever a proponent of a theory starts hemming and hawing about statistical controls, especially when the controls are based on their own school of thought (such as the constant reference to “climate science” at this site), my BS meter starts flashing. Not that intricate statistical controls, even ones based on your own views, can’t be useful. They can be, especially when they’re all you’ve got to work with. But when a theory’s prediction is blunt (as the theory of CO2-caused global warming thankfully is), and when you have big-picture data to test the prediction (as we do), you’re generally better off looking at big-picture data, such as the kind at petitionproject.

    I am not saying that the theory of CO2-caused global warming is complete nonsense, nor that it is solely some plot by leftists to send us back to the Stone Age. Nor do I have any theory for why the planet heats and cools. But it looks to me as if there is some modest evidence that CO2-caused warming is happening and is a problem, while the evidence against the theory is more powerful.

    [Response: This petition project is just more recycled nonsense put out by highly partisan lobby groups. You will not learn anything about science from that kind of thing. I strongly advise you to start with the mainstream thinking on the issue and then measure up the critiques against the case actually being made. The IPCC FAQs are a good place to start. – gavin]

    Comment by Darren — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:07 AM

  274. “He’s so breathtakingly clueless about the scientific method that it beggars belief.”

    OMFG…where are your observations?

    Comment by Charles Henkel — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:08 AM

  275. “That noted, there are many instances in which the operation of what may broadly be defined as “market mechanisms” offer greater net utility than processes in which explicit human policy frameworks specify activity.” – Fran Barlow

    I would not disagree with that. I am still undecided about cap-and-trade, given that it appeared to work well in controlling acid rain causing emissions in the US (although I see someone has claimed above this caused displacement of emissions to shipping), but poorly in the EU’s GHG emissions limiting scheme. I consider, however, that it is unlikely market mechanisms, however broadly defined, can produce a shift to low-emission transport and electricity fast enough, since what infrastructure is needed depends on the forms of transport and generative capacity chosen, and vice versa. Allied governments did not leave markets to determine whether the equipment necessary to win WWII would be produced, and a bloody good thing too. This is a crisis of comparable magnitude.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:21 AM

  276. On the off-chance that Tom Fuller is still reading this, hoping to be further martyred for the cause, it is worth repeating the evidence against Anthony Watts. Fuller’s question number 1 is based on Watts’ work, so it absolutely germane to the discussion to look at Watts’ scientific credibility (i.e not ad hominem).

    The example in question is this little beauty. This refers to the paper by Lu that shows how GCRs may mediate the reaction between halogenated molecules (including CFCs) and ozone that causes the ozone hole.

    Watts’ original note on this paper read: “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not. (h/t to John F. Hultquist)”

    The first couple of dozen comments on this story (which now seem to have mysteriously disappeared) were along the lines of “my dog is a cat” logic: “the scientists” have lied to us about the ozone hole, therefore “the scientists” must have lied to us about global warming. It wasn’t until about the 100th comment that the message got through that this paper said nothing of the sort, after which all the “Al Gore is fat” comments abruptly stopped.

    Now, overlooking the obvious mistake in the headline comment (CFCs are actually a subset of the chemicals that are involved in the ozone hole), there are still three ways to interpret Watts’ original comment:
    1) He didn’t read the paper, but just repeated what someone told him it meant
    2) He read the paper but didn’t understand it
    3) He read the paper, understood it, but misrepresented what it meant

    If it was either 1) or 2), then it is pretty obvious that Watts should not be considered a reliable scientific source.

    Option 3 is more problematical. If he misrepresented the paper, then it was either intentional or non-intentional. Several weeks after the original note was published, Watts posted an update in which he claimed “It has been pointed out to me by an email from a regular WUWT reader that some people get a different conclusion from the headline other than what I was thinking of”. Given that Watts had personally moderated several dozen comments that amply demonstrated that “different conclusion”, it is hard to see why it took a separate email to draw his attention to that fact.

    Occam’s razor therefore leads us to the simplest explanation: Watts did understand the paper, but deduced that most of his target audience would not understand or even read the paper, but simply rely on his inference that CFCs do not cause the ozone hole – and further to deduce that this ineluctably meant that all climate science was wrong. The best evidence for this is in the original post, which is carefully worded in weasel phrases: “Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by CFCs. According to this new study, perhaps not“.

    This is only one of the many shortcomings of Watts’ work – but will this receive the full skeptical glare of Tom Fuller? Don’t hold your breath.

    (does reCaptcha know something I don’t? coming wrestle)

    [Response: Speculation about motive is always problematic, and accusations of deliberate mis-representation are usually unsupportable. Far more likely is a superficial reading of a press release combined with a confirmation bias towards results that suggest that mainstream scientists are all wrong. – gavin]

    Comment by CTG — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:34 AM

  277. Steve, here are the polar bear and walrus studies: US Fish and Wildlife Service Marine Mammal Management.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:40 AM

  278. RE: 270

    Hey CM,

    Generally I have little argument with your points; however, some of the skeptical issues carry weight. For instance where you keep referencing the value of a 30 count sample as a climatic time period. Are you aware of the purpose/reason that this value is chosen?

    Much has to do with the minimum statistical sample to begin to derive a more precise mean in a statistical sample. Generally for a range of say 100 data points in a parent population a random sample of around 30 to 33 provide a good insight to the “parent population’s” mean point, and mean breadth and by reviewing the outlier population you can help validate the accuracy of the sample.

    From a statistical view point there are likely 3.65 million average daily temperature data points for a given location in the parent population of the current epoch as it has emerged from the most recent ice age. Of these data points we have measures with an accuracy of 2 degrees measured and 1 degree interpolation for roughly 200 of the past 265 years.

    If you suggest that a sample of 30 within the last 3.65 million data points for a given location, with all of them taken at one end of the range, this could be reasonable fuel for skepticism. Multiply that one data point by a rough potential of 500 million 1 km grid points and the parent population is extremely large.

    Returning to the known measures of the last 65 years with data points possibly being indicated with precision instruments and then through the analysis of millions of calculations convert those 65 years of data an overlay it on an additional 200 years of less precise data and we have about a 2.5% data sampling of the parent population for a single site.

    Going further into the science they have the collected the efforts of hundreds of geologists which have provided data which can extend the data points even further; however, the precision drops significantly. Yet, at the same time through extensive calculations it is possible to begin to interpolate a temperature record for several thousand years with a much lesser degree of mean probability confidence; however, with a higher degree of precision.

    For the unexposed mind, it seems that the derived data sets could not provide a high degree of probability, that is until we start looking at large scale changes or slope curves. It is at this point where the grouping of data points starts to add to a temperature models clarity.

    In essence, you can define the mean and change for a sample and then compare samples of mean and change, at this point the degree of confidence can improve as you are not suggesting that an absolute temperature is changing; but, that there is an indication that the degree of change is changing. It is this value that points to climatic change, which all starts with a simple sample of 30 years of data points. With 30 mean and change samples you begin to remove the blips or time period effects.

    What the RC team has done and was started by Dr. Mann with a small team of diverse experts, some 20 years ago, was to try to build a model that provided the rough approximations that could be employed to build the mean and change data sets. If you can collect a sample of 30 mean and change values you have the opportunity to offer a statistical view into the most recent data set. Though you can extend the data set further you run the risk of reduced confidence in the probability that a value would have in relation to the mean; but, that does not invalidate the trend in the change and this is where many of the skeptics miss the boat…, even me at one point…

    Now I can’t wait to see what is going to happen with the carbon data sets, hopefully, that will become part and parcel of the IPCC 5 report! The most important for me will be the mapping of the fossil carbon emissions (minus plastics) over the surface atmospheric slopes and then comparing that slope to the average temperature slope for night time surface atmospheric temperatures versus the average temperature slope for night time versus specific humidity… Hopefully they will have gathered even more aerosol data so that will be included in the new report as well.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:04 AM

  279. re gavin’s response to 276.

    True, but such mistakes whether malice or incompetence (and I fail to see where malice is worse than incompetence: you can at least remove the malicious, it’s harder to remove incompetence), it DOES demand that all future statements be examined with GREAT skepticism.

    As opposed to great credulity.

    [Response: Absolutely. – gavin]

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:21 AM

  280. Gavin, you are dissing a strong signal in the temperature record when you try to blow off decadal ocean oscillations with an attack on a suggested cause.

    “A heavily-criticised blog posting showing that there are bi-decadal periods in climate data and that this proves it was the sun wot done it.”

    Decadal ocean oscillations affecting global temperatures are well embedded in the science record both through observations and fossil records and their very existance is obviously a threat to your theory; no doubt explaining why you are also trying to question their very existance via an attack on the suggested cause. I guess if nobody knows why temperatures go up and go down, they don’t really go down at all. . . .right?

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/climate.php

    This may not be common knowledge to the euro influenced IPCC but is very much common knowledge to those working to manage Pacific ocean fisheries. Some times folks need to step outside of the ivory tower.

    [Response: Oh please. The point I was making is not there aren’t decadal oscillations – of course there are. The criticism was the naive implication that just because you can find power at 10 or 20 year periods that this implies that they are solar-driven. This is the basic mistake that 90% of the ‘solar causes everything’ crowd always make because they don’t take into account the fact that there are plenty of non-solar reasons to expect such timescales in the climate systems (Rossby wave propagation speeds, gyre circulation times etc.). – gavin]

    Comment by Bill Hunter — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:31 AM

  281. re: 276

    “[Response: Speculation about motive is always problematic, and accusations of deliberate mis-representation are usually unsupportable. Far more likely is a superficial reading of a press release combined with a confirmation bias towards results that suggest that mainstream scientists are all wrong. – gavin]”

    hmmm, it seems that the second sentence doesn’t recognize existence of the first sentence. It’s nothing but unsupported speculation and presumption of bias and YANS (yet Another Naked Strawman) thrown in at the end.

    [Response: It is the accusation of *deliberate* mis-representation that is problematic. Simple mis-representation in this case is very easy to show. We’d be happy to hear your explanation. – gavin]

    Comment by Dan Hughes — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:42 AM

  282. In response to #265 Mark.

    “And does the missing stuff make a difference?”

    Perhaps and perhaps not. You know full well that the inclusion of more parameters (and there have been many additions since modelling began) serve to fine tune model projections so that they come more in line with physical observations. Even those parameters that are already included are being revised as new findings become available. It serves the purpose of narrowing the range of possibilities based upon knowns. It’s the unknowns that will catch you by the seat of the pants. For example: can we predict with any great confidence what the response of the ice sheets will be based on our current understanding? Can we state with any confidence what effects if any that glacial rebound may have?

    “If I don’t understand surgery, should I cut someone open to remove their appendix or should I not meddle?”

    No you shouldn’t meddle, at least not in the context given. Logic would dictate that you should seek the proper medical avenues for remedy. Would you advocate the addition of aerosols to the atmosphere when the outcomes are poorly understood, or would carbon neutrality be a better bet?

    “And this is saying “we shouldn’t stop” how?”

    That’s not what it says at all. It simply implies that you should expect outcomes that are far worse than projections given. Would the response of the Arctic Sea Ice not be enough to convince you of that?

    Time is of the essence. Cuts to GHG’s fall way short of that which is needed to mitigate the problem. The talk of specific reductions by 2050 simply undermines the urgency of the problem. Even targets for 2020 fall way short. In other words the current reduction aspirations amount to little more than trying to appease discontent while passing the buck as always. 2020 and 2050 are still a long way off and issues like these tend to fall by the wayside as time progresses. We are already locked into an uncertain amount of change even if emissions were to sink to zero today. The more we procrastinate the worse the problem will be.

    “PS you’ve already said we shouldn’t believe anything we read, so we shouldn’t believe you.”

    That would be correct. I take nothing at face value and nothing for granted, so why should you? Do your own investigations, add a bit of abstract thinking, and draw your own conclusions.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:46 AM

  283. Re: 34:
    John, thank you for including this amusing post. Like others here (see #93) I stumbled a little on reading the claim that “Carbon dioxide is no more than 4 percent of the total atmosphere—with water vapor being more than 90 percent, followed by methane and sulfur and nitrous oxides”. Its a pity that the author has not heard of N2 and O2 which together comprise about 99% of every breath he takes.

    However, the 4% number is interesting, since 380ppm is roughly 400ppm which is 0.4 promill or 0.04%. – My first thought was that this was a mistake: seeing the number 0.04 somewhere without a % sign and writing it as 4%.

    I recently stumbled upon the 4% CO2 claim in a slighly different context. There another author was claiming that due to recycling by the biosphere only 4% of CO2 emitted by humans remained in the atmosphere. – I tried to square that claim with the fact that the airborne fraction (the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 to the CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources) is about half, but found the claim to nebulous to verify.

    Pherhaps both authors were citing the same source, and both misunderstanding 380 ppm rounded off to 400 ppm?

    Comment by Halldór Björnsson — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:49 AM

  284. Perhaps the “cheap” energy that powers our lifestyle is not actually cheap. We’ve just been ignorant of the true cost all along. Climatological catastrophe is a pretty high price.

    Comment by Mike Nilsen — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:00 AM

  285. Is there some administrative rule buried within the Administrative Procedures Act that states the EPA MUST [regardless of how poor the work] have included Carlin’s work?

    Comment by perspctv — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:15 AM

  286. “In response to #265 Mark.

    “And does the missing stuff make a difference?”

    Perhaps and perhaps not.”

    And so you either have to do the checking to see yourself or leave it to those who will.

    You’re far more likely to be wrong than right.

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:30 AM

  287. Bill Hunter says: “Gavin, you are dissing a strong signal in the temperature record when you try to blow off decadal ocean oscillations.”

    Gavin says: “Oh please. The point I was making is not there aren’t decadal oscillations – of course there are.”

    In fact, the evidence for decadal oscillations in the ocean is pretty weak. [edit–that’s enough of your indiscriminate bashing of legitimate climate research efforts. we’ve allowed you to make these dubious arguments several times now. you can take it your own site if you like, but we’ve had enough of it here.]

    Comment by Ike Solem — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:34 AM

  288. Mark (264): From GISS, the mean annual anamoly for 1988 was +0.70 degrees C; the mean annual anomoly for 2008 was +0.55 degrees C. Over this latest “past” decade, is this rising or falling?

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:38 AM

  289. BPL (267), ditto. For fun, can I get from you or Mark a yes or no answer to my question?

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:45 AM

  290. Hi,

    I suppose “Hilter” should really be “Hitler”

    [Response: Fixed. thanks. – gavin]

    Comment by Flanagan — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:47 AM

  291. re 248, maybe that Carlin would have bawled his head off so it was easier to throw that trash in than argue the toss with him. It’s now someone else’s problem.

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:50 AM

  292. “However, the 4% number is interesting, since 380ppm is roughly 400ppm which is 0.4 promill or 0.04%. – My first thought was that this was a mistake: seeing the number 0.04 somewhere without a % sign and writing it as 4%.”

    But if they’ve made such a mistake, then either they didn’t use the wrong number in later works or their conclusion is wrong (being based on the wrong number).

    In any case, it’s a flag that they haven’t done their work.

    And that .04 isn’t relevant anyway.

    Compared to the weight of the earth, the 600 million tons of humanity is insignificant. Therefore there can’t be any overpopulation problems!

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:54 AM

  293. 1. Gavin: “The point I was making is not there aren’t decadal oscillations – of course there are.”
    OK thats a fair response but the implications of these decadal oscillations on estimates of future warming, as outlined by Dr Akasofu, brings down the “recorded” increase in warming, with the ocean oscillations smoothed out, to a basic .5C per century trend that has been going on since temperature records were kept. That opens the door to as Dr Akasofu suggests a recovery from the Little Ice Age.

    [Response: No. He is confused. The estimates of future climate change are not based on a statistical fit to the last 100 years, they are based on estimates of the long-term sensitivity of the climate. Any decadal oscillations are imposed upon that mean radiatively driven change – they don’t replace it. Model simulations have lots of decadal variability but all show significant long term warming because of the increase in GHGs. – gavin]

    Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but two facts remain, 1) less warming from other causes such as CO2 than suggested by the IPCC; and 2) the possibility that the correction to whatever caused the LIA could have occurred long before careful observations and that the change we are seeing today is a long term “millenia perhaps” equalization of the oceans in response to that change.

    [Response: Neither of these things are facts. You fall into the fallacy of thinking that the radiative forcing of future CO2 changes is affected by past attributions of climate change to other factors. It isn’t. And as for the idea that we are just recovering from the LIA, there is not one scintilla of evidence supporting that, while there is a mound of evidence pointing to the forced nature of variations both in the LIA and subsequently. Changes in the LIA for instance are reasonably well approximated (given the various uncertainties) as a response to decreased solar and increased volcanic forcings – which have long since vanished. – gavin]

    Seems like a pretty big “hmmmmmm” to me as we consider policies that could have huge impacts.
    Now that might be a weak argument for solar influence but in the world of what are the alternative possibilities, such a scenario suggests rather strongly its not anthropogenic CO2 and one should probably ask what the other possibilities might be before jerking a knee.

    [Response: The questions have been asked and answered many many times. – gavin]

    Comment by Bill Hunter — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:03 AM

  294. I certainly hope I am wrong Mark. And I might even live long enough to find out (time is running down quickly, that would be less than 10 years now according to one astute gentleman).

    As I have said before, I’m not as optimistic about the future as James Lovelock is.

    Comment by Ron Crouch — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:12 AM

  295. Jim Galasyn (277, etc.). The studies admittedly are over a limited polar bear population (two “herds”) and state upfront that estimating polar bears is extremely difficult and dicey. Then they continue to do their best (and from the inherent inaccuracies come up with some very exact figures) and draw a judgment conclusion that polar bears are threatened (for a number of reasons). Why? One, because that’s probably would they actually thought; two, because that’s what the USFandWS does; three, because there was considerable political pressure to do so–and they are not stupid. They might or might not be correct; I don’t know.

    Do you have any other rationale for implying Mitchell Taylor knows little about it? Do you know that he is not correct?

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:19 AM

  296. OT, but I don’t know which is the correct thread to post this. I have only recently noticed quite a big change in the GISS Global Temperature Record that happened some time between February 2006 and June 2006. Because of the adjustments that took place, the global trend for the 1880-2005 period changed by more than a whole 10%. As I am not familiar with the reasons that caused the corresponding change in the algorythm (or whatever was done), could anybody here please clarify to me what happened in GISSTemp between Feb.2006 and Jun.2006?

    Thanks.

    [Response: The updates page at GISTEMP indicates a minor change in how the SST records were spliced in April 2006, maybe that is it. No other changes seem to be recorded. If this is real, it might be a change upstream (i.e. in the GHCN records), alternatively you might not be comparing like with like (ie J-D annual mean vs. D-N annual mean, met index vs land-ocean index? perhaps). I would contact the GISTEMP people directly showing the evidence for what you are claiming- they might be able to work it out. – gavin]

    Comment by Nylo — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:26 AM

  297. The example in question is this little beauty. This refers to the paper by Lu that shows how GCRs may mediate the reaction between halogenated molecules (including CFCs) and ozone that causes the ozone hole.

    Watts’ original note on this paper read: “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not. (h/t to John F. Hultquist)”

    Now, overlooking the obvious mistake in the headline comment (CFCs are actually a subset of the chemicals that are involved in the ozone hole), there are still three ways to interpret Watts’ original comment:
    1) He didn’t read the paper, but just repeated what someone told him it meant
    2) He read the paper but didn’t understand it
    3) He read the paper, understood it, but misrepresented what it meant

    Well, you’ve stated that the thread’s been edited, so I haven’t gone back to look.

    But I watched that thread develop with a great deal of amusement, until I finally couldn’t take it any more, and let the cat out of the bag after, as you say, 100 or more comments went by.

    “Uh, Anthony, CFCs *are* halogenated molecules, the paper describes a *mechanism* involving CFCs , methyl bromide, etc…”

    Others started to say the same at about the same time.

    By then it was clear that Anthony (nor his devotees) had no idea that CFCs are halogenated molecules when he originally read the paper.

    BTW, another blogger recently put a piece up about popular denialists and called him “Dr. Anthony Watts”. I’d never heard that he had a PhD so did some googling. So, apparently, did Eli Rabbett. Not only does Anthony not have a PhD, there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that he has even a BS. His brief bio at WUWT simply talks about his years of being a radio and tv weather forecaster. No information about education whatsoever. Surely if he had a PhD or MS he’d flaunt it in order to boost his credibility (I can imagine not listing a BS as simply being an oversight).

    So I think it’s reasonable to assume that Anthony is simply being scientifically illiterate when he makes such mistakes, and not being dishonest. Same with the recent fiasco involving CO2 freezing out of the atmosphere in the Antarctic. The mistrust and ignorance of science over there, which was again displayed by Anthony himself, goes so far as to not believe basic information quoted from a textbook on physical chemistry, etc. With such deeply-embedded mistrust of and ignorance of science, there’s no need to assume Watts is being dishonest.

    Just my $0.02.

    reCAPTCHA summarizes their fears, though … they fear the “Governmentrun tredwell”. Whatever that is! :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  298. Apparently Darren’s “skepticism” (244) is based on 1) the premise that the power of natural variability to at times overcome the effect of a monotonic increase in greenhouse gases has ceased, and 2) a lack of understanding of statistical trend analysis.

    These two dead-end misconceptions continue to be put forth almost daily. How many times must they be addressed?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:34 AM

  299. L. David Cooke (#278),

    referring to my #270 above you say “you keep referencing the value of a 30 count sample as a climatic time period”. I don’t. Perhaps you are thinking of Barton Paul Levenson at #267?

    Comment by CM — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:38 AM

  300. At 28 June 2009 at 11:57 PM Jim Bullis quotes a bit from the Copenhagen Synthesis, then leaps to a conclusion that it must be wrong because “energy is not as efficiently reflected as the authors seem to imagine.” This without looking up the numbers or sources of the measurement, questioning not the conclusion but the underlying physical facts on which the forcing is figured.

    Jim, you should look these things up. You hadn’t thought about the relative heat uptake for ice and deep ocean. You didn’t look up magnitude of the forcing from albedo change, or understand why a slight change in radiation balance matters over time.

    Before concluding everyone else has to be wrong about the basic physics involved, consider reading it. It will help.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:44 AM

  301. three, because there was considerable political pressure to do so–and they are not stupid.

    Uh, RodB, anyone familiar with the listing practice in real life would know that …

    1. The USF&W service typically doesn’t list species until being beaten over the head by concerned conservationists to the point where they can no longer bury the proposal under the administrative dodge that “the list of proposed listings is so long that we won’t be able to clear it out for decades”.

    and

    2. Any political pressure from the Bush administration would not favor listing the polar bear.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:46 AM

  302. Prof Krugman in his column today http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/opinion/29krugman.html refers to MIT researchers who are predicting a rise of 9 degrees (I assume Kelvin) by the end of this century. Any link ?

    [Response: Almost certainly this study by Sokolov et al., but the 90% range for global mean temperature in 2100 is 3.5 to 7.4 deg C (6.3 to 13.3 deg F), and with a median change of 5.2 deg C (9.4 deg F). All assuming some kind of business as usual of course. – gavin]

    Comment by o — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:57 AM

  303. “Do you have any other rationale for implying Mitchell Taylor knows little about it? Do you know that he is not correct?”

    That his statement doesn’t agree with most of the papers produced by the people who look at this for a living?

    (as opposed to being retired)

    http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/reports.htm

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:20 PM

  304. #283 Halldór Björnsson (#34, #93)

    Actually, my favorite line is “total atmosphere—with water vapor being more than 90 percent”…

    It’s as if he thinks we are kinda swimming in the atmosphere… I wonder how long Jay Lehr, PH.D. can hold his breath?

    And if CO2 is 4% and water vapor is more than 90% (say 91%) followed by methane, sulfur and nitrous oxides… Where the heck is our oxygen???

    I’m feeling a bit hypoxic just reading it.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:22 PM

  305. Rod asks: Do you have any other rationale for implying Mitchell Taylor knows little about it? Do you know that he is not correct?

    Here’s a clue:

    Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:23 PM

  306. Is there some administrative rule buried within the Administrative Procedures Act that states the EPA MUST [regardless of how poor the work] have included Carlin’s work?

    Comment by perspctv — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:34 PM

  307. Mark Says (29 June 2009 at 10:54):

    “Compared to the weight of the earth, the 600 million tons of humanity is insignificant. Therefore there can’t be any overpopulation problems!”

    I prefer to put it a different way: 500 micrograms of ricin is about what, a millionth of a percent of the weight of a human? Therefore it can’t possibly do you any harm :-)

    dhogaza Says (29 June 2009 at 11:32):

    “Same with the recent fiasco involving CO2 freezing out of the atmosphere in the Antarctic.”

    Hey, cut the man a little slack. He was only off by one planet :-)

    Comment by James — 29 Jun 2009 @ 12:58 PM

  308. Perspective — quite the opposite, as cited on that other blogger’s thread by someone who knows administrative law:

    “… the deliberative process privilege is rather uncontroversial.3 Federal courts generally accept the instrumental purposes of such a privilege.4 The privilege is thought to encourage candid discussions of policy options within government agencies,5 protect against premature disclosure of proposed policies,6 and avoid public confusion by ensuring that officials are judged only by their final decision.75 …”

    rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/06/who-cares-about-integrity-of-process.html?showComment=1246242819841#c1726651512213494506

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:01 PM

  309. o wrote: “Prof Krugman in his column today … refers to MIT researchers who are predicting a rise of 9 degrees (I assume Kelvin) by the end of this century. Any link ?”

    The 9 degrees is Fahrenheit.

    Joe Romm at ClimateProgress.org has reprinted Krugman’s column and added annotations and links, for those who may be interested.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:27 PM

  310. Re #302 (o): Krugman’s unspecified units are certainly Fahrenheit. That is the default in the U.S., except among scientists (of the non-dismal kind) and members of a few other disciplines.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:31 PM

  311. Indiscriminate bashing? Those were very clear scientific arguments, I think. I was simply pointing out the flaws in earlier work done on the AMO and PDO, as well as pointing to how that work has been abused by self-styled climate skeptics. I mean, compare the SOI index to the PDO index, courtesy of Australia’s BOM:

    The method used by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is the Troup SOI which is the standardised anomaly of the Mean Sea Level Pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. It is calculated as follows:

    [ Pdiff – Pdiffav ]
    ——————- 10 = SOI
    Stn Dev(Pdiff)

    where

    Pdiff = (average Tahiti MSLP for the month) – (average Darwin MSLP for the month),
    Pdiffav = long term average of Pdiff for the month in question, and
    SD(Pdiff) = long term standard deviation of Pdiff for the month in question.

    That’s pretty clear – but the PDO index? Legitimate research can still be wrong, after all.

    Even with El Nino and La Nina, the North American effects seem to be changing as high pressure systems linger over continental interiors, pushing the tropical moisture further north – that’s the expansion of the subtropical dry zones in action, I’d guess, due to Hadley Cell expansion plus warmer/drier continental interiors.

    In India, similar effects (unrelated to ENSO) appear to have delayed the monsoon season, leading to a severe heat wave and street protests. The warming in India is exacerbated by biomass and fossil fuel aerosol pollution, but is also related to subtropical drying. These patterns will only continue to intensify over the next decades, by all accounts.

    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/06/26/india-heat026.html

    We may be a bit closer to a water crisis than we think.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:37 PM

  312. @John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    The numbers you refer to are not % of atmosphere, they represent % of warming from the associated “greenhouse” gases, hence, your confusion.

    This site is drowning in snark. Something I do not observe at skeptic sites maintained by credible professional scientists.

    Some problems with the alarmist view (and it IS a view, because the AGW theory cannot be proven):

    1. “Greenhouse” gases have never been a significant force for climate change in Earth’s past climate history. Why should we believe they are today, particularly with respect to such modest changes in atmospheric CO2?

    [Response: Perhaps the frustration you detect is because of this kind of nonsense. Greenhouse gases are dominant cause of the greenhouse effect (there is some additional input from clouds). Changes in greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) over ice age cycles are estimated to produce about 40% of the cooling necessary to explain the differences. Warming at the PETM is associated with a huge carbon spike, trends over the Cenozoic are likely due to a long term drawdown of CO2 due to increased weathering. Calculations from first principles show that the ‘modest’ changes in CO2 (35% increase) and CH4 (more than doubled) are certainly of the order of magnitude to cause significant temperature changes of about the amount we’ve seen. And yet, you insist without evidence that GHG have ‘never’ been a climate driver! – gavin]

    2. Current atmospheric CO2 levels are atypical over the past half billion years. Drop CO2 too low and plant (and animal) life is extinguished. There is nothing unusual about radical fluctuations in atmospheric CO2, so what is the fuss about?

    [Response: This is why. – gavin]

    3. The AGW theory hinges on a positive feedback from water vapor due to a very modest potential warming from dramatic increases in atmospheric CO2. That theory is an assumption … conjecture. Models cannot be used to prove assumptions.

    [Response: What about observations of water vapour feedbacks after Pinatubo, ENSO events or long term trends? i.e. Soden et al (2004). – gavin]

    4. It is just as likely that, as a generally stable system, the climate feedback would be negative and opposite to the positive feedback from CO2 warming. Climate tends to stability whether in Earth’s “normal” climate (when not in an ice era) or whether in an ice era (as at present), or during the plateaus that are seen between. Remember, humans have never known Earth’s normal climate which is ~10°C warmer than current climate. Relative stability is achieved within each climate regime. Changes to new regimes are relatively rapid and sudden. By “stability” I do not mean to suggest that the cyclic variability seen during interglacials and ice ages do not exist, however, in each climate regime, the tendency is to modest variability about a stable baseline until some dramatic climate change is produced by those natural combination of forces that have forever been changing climate dramatically.

    5. Reliance upon deeply flawed studies [edit] dubious use of GCMs, and a stubborn refusal to be scientific in examining skeptically (as true scientists would do) the tenuous hypothesis of the AGW are the earmarks of the alarmist’s kit. The nature of truly scientific discourse is one of skeptic investigation of assumptions implicit with the hypothesis. Where climate science is concerned, the approach appears to be dogged defense and derogatory impugning of the credentials of those critiquing the hypothesis.

    [Response: And the critics and you keep making derogatory remarks about the integrity of us and other scientists…. pot meet kettle. Avoiding unpleasantly personal discourse is best done by…. avoiding unpleasantly personal discourse. Stick to facts.]

    The debate is never over when it comes to science and theories, particularly a theory as tenuous as the AGW theory.

    A more civil approach to scientific discourse would achieve a lot more than snarky posts, sniping comments, and singing the party line song.

    [Response: Practice what you preach. – gavin]

    Comment by Bob Webster — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:39 PM

  313. Response to gavin.

    I’m sure there is some bias at petitionproject. But given the overwhelming nature of the long-term temperature trends they cite, which I believe I’ve also seen elsewhere, they would seem to have a lot of room for error and even downright partisanship. That’s the kind of evidence that is persuasive: Grant the proponent their biases, and then consider whether their evidence still holds up.

    Regarding partisanship and pedigree, I’m inclined to be as skeptical (or maybe more skeptical) of something that comes out of a governmental organization, such as the U.N. My field of study was mostly politics, so I’ve observed a lot of politcal bodies. And the watchwords there are: partisanship, interests, power and arrogance. Reason isn’t necessarily absent in politics, but when people are armed, reason usually takes a back seat.

    Response to the one talking about dead ends.

    Intricate statistical trend analysis seems like the kind we need to avoid. Broad, unmistakable trends–those are most helpful. Because it’s easy to mistake stochastic methods (or any methods) for the science itself. That’s one reason (albeit a minor one) I left the social sciences and entered the world of work: so many social scientists at school seemed lost in statistics and methods instead of asking basic questions about what they were doing.

    Comment by Darren — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:56 PM

  314. #280 Bill Hunter:

    “This may not be common knowledge to the euro influenced IPCC…”

    Bill, I gather from you off-hand remark you have some problem with folks from Europe and thus a tendency to reject ideas from that part of the world. Can you back up your prejudice with reason?

    #273 Darren:

    “Whenever a proponent of a theory starts hemming and hawing about statistical controls, especially when the controls are based on their own school of thought (such as the constant reference to “climate science” at this site), my BS meter starts flashing.”

    Short:
    We do much better with physical sciences than social sciences when it comes to making predictions. The physical world is not fickle in the same way as is the world of human affairs. Your analogies with your chosen fields don’t really apply, though I sympathize with anybody surrounded by constantly flashing, clanging alarms shouting about the latest spectacular failure.

    Long:
    I suspect you’ve been disappointed by the results of attempting to apply social science theories to the real world, expecting to get the relatively crisp results you see in the world of physical science.

    I’m surprised that anybody would harken to the ineluctably squishy worlds of economic theory and political science in any argument over physical sciences. Not to say the two former fields are useless or bad, just that their predictive powers are terribly limited because they deal with inconstant human beings.

    In the physical science world, it’s possible to send a spacecraft only a few miles above the surface of a moon orbiting a planet many millions of miles distant and then have that spacecraft smoothly take a course for another destination with excellent confidence it’ll arrive. Barring equipment failures we can do that over and over again, with justified high expectation in the outcome. I could go on with examples but it’s really not necessary; suffice it to say our predictive powers in the physical sciences are very good.

    Mix economics and political science and you arrive at financial meltdowns, wars, criminal acts, many other unpredicted things. Humans don’t behave predictably in the same way as do inanimate objects. That’s why your chosen fields are so statistics heavy; what limited, crude predictive powers you have are necessarily born of statistics. If your fields could reliably predict courses that arrive at disaster, we would not include those destinations in our itinerary, yet we arrive at the gates of catastrophe anyway.

    Climate science incorporates statistics but the behaviors the statistical numbers are describing derive from things that are unlikely to have a bad-hair day, run out of coffee beans, succumb to megalomania or any the rest of the infinite list of –unpredictable– human foibles and quirks.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 1:58 PM

  315. Let me say this before I’m banned altogether. Not allowing comments such as mine is what allows your audience to dance blithely on convinced that with just a few more months of temperature data they will be confirmed, and the rest of the world is coming along because your arguments are so crystal clear and technically brilliant. So the poor “sceptic” Darren is allowed to comment because you’ve seen his stuff before and have a comeback, and it’s respectably “technical” so you can convince yourself and your audience that real exchange is going on here. But if you disallow me, the emotional, disgusted type, it can slow the whole delusional thing down. I wonder what you do with the technically brilliant, disgusted ones. That’s the question, isn’t it? And they exist, don’t they. Don’t they?

    [Response: Not as far as I can tell. Oh, and a tip for getting your comments through – don’t start off by calling us “ultra wingnuts”. We are likely to take that as a a strong sign you have nothing substantive to contribute. – gavin]

    Comment by Casey Chapple — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:14 PM

  316. Bill Webster wrote: “The debate is never over when it comes to science and theories, particularly a theory as tenuous as the AGW theory.”

    You don’t want “debate”. You want to be applauded for your appalling and arrogant ignorance. You won’t get that here. You will get it on blogs where deniers of scientific reality gather to reinforce each other’s obstinate ignorance or deliberate deceit.

    Of course the Ditto-Heads whose knowledge of climate science is based on the propaganda that ExxonMobil pays Rush Limbaugh to spoon-feed them will graciously welcome the sort of pseudoscientific drivel you have posted here. Actual climate scientists who have had to debunk that same, word-for-word, boilerplate, cut-and-pasted drivel many, many, many times before will not receive it so kindly.

    If you don’t like that, then stick to the denialist blogs run by cranks, frauds and ideologues.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:17 PM

  317. Thomas Fuller,

    You frame your questions/topics as “skeptical arguments advanced against the theory of anthropogenic global warming”. You also acknowledge that scientists are getting frustrated “answering the same ‘primitive’ objections repeatedly, only to see them resurface shortly thereafter, something that I am sure is frustrating.” I think a logical consequence is that your framing of the topic arouses a defensive reaction from climate scientists and their supporters. Based on you being aware of the scientists’ frustration in this matter, your choice of framing is rather odd, and so is your surprise about the reactions you received at RealClimate (mostly from commenters by the way; not from the RC editors).

    Most points on your list are neither new nor a threat to the theory of anthropogenic global warming. That said, some of your points have some validity in that the related uncertainties are large. Reframing your questions as “which areas in climate science have the greatest uncertainties?”, opens the door to a more constructive discussion.

    A quick glance at the points your raise:

    Data gathering and analysis. Points 1-4 are pretty meaningless for reasons explained at length elsewhere. The revised ocean heat content data (nr 5) don’t show a decrease of ocean heat content AFAIK, and moreover, trends have to be decided upon at appropriately long timescales. I’m not familiar enough with nr 6 to comment on, though Santer et al (2008) found no discrepancy between modeled and measured tropical troposphere temperatures.

    Climate sensitivity and feedbacks. There is considerable uncertainty in the precise value of climate sensitivity, so in my newly proposed frame, this would be a valid point. However, taking all constraints on climate sensitivity into account, it seems very unlikely that it is far outside the boundaries you quote: 1.5 to 4.5 degrees for a doubling of CO2. (see eg http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-is-3c.html) The chance for all previous work to be shown totally wrong by one new piece of work is perhaps not nil, but it definitely is very small.

    Plateau in current temperatures. Trends have to be decided upon at appropriately long timescales. The apparent plateau is close to meaningless for deciding on climatic trends. This truly is an old classic that gets scientifically minded persons’ defenses up.

    Tipping points. The exact nature and especially timing of tipping points is extremely uncertain, so yes, this is an area where the existing knowledge is very limited. However, the limited knowledge we do have (mainly based on paleoclimate) points to the existence of tipping points, eg related to the amount of ice cover. The policy relevance may be limited to “If it’s bad, it’s really bad. If it’s good, it’s still pretty bad”.

    Other climate forcings. No news there. Those other forcings are taken into account and indeed, they are additive to the changes from GHG emissions. They do not negate the radiative properties of those greenhouse gases however. Also keep in mind that many of the stronger feedbacks respond to temperature, so the amplification (or dampening) of the temperature response does not differ greatly between different forcings. That means that there is not a huge amount of wiggle room to decrease (or increase) the importance of the role of greenhouse gases (at least not without violating basic physics).

    I would add one more point: Aerosols. The uncertainty surrounding them and their impact on climate change is very large. But again, don’t expect a landslide change in current wisdom just because of that. That would be wishful thinking. Also keep in mind that uncertainty is not the same as knowing nothing. We’ll have to make decisions in the face of uncertainty, whether we like it or not. Climate policy should be about rational risk assessment, based on science.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:25 PM

  318. re: #313 Darren

    [In the interest of social science studies I’m doing, you can help me calibrate political science backgrounds.]

    Could you be so kind as to answer my questions in #261? These don’t seem like hard questions.

    I cited some sources from (economics + political science) bearing on climate issues, albeit not necessarily climate *science*. Which of those have you read? [It’s OK to say “none”].

    Then, can you say:

    0) Did you take any physics in high school or undergraduate school? [OK to say “none”].

    1) What books on climate have you read by real climate scientists?

    [It’s OK to say “none”, in which case, people will happily give you some recommendations for good books to start with, based in part on your answer to 0, unless you say “None, and I refuse to read any, because I already know enough”, which happens. I’ve heard that face-to-face several times.]

    2) Have you attended lectures by climate scientists and asked them questions? If you say approximately where you live, I’m sure people who post here can recommend nearby lecture sources, if there are any. That is a truly wonderful way to learn, for those with fortunate geographic locations.

    If your primary sources are blogs, you might want to reconsider.

    Comment by John Mashey — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:34 PM

  319. This site is drowning in snark. Something I do not observe at skeptic sites maintained by credible professional scientists.

    I swear I’m living in Bizarro World. How can someone say this with a straight face?

    Oh, no snark, just the organization of online efforts to get Jim Hansen fired, to get Lonnie Thompson disciplined, FOIA action against Jones, accusations of fraud, etc.

    Dude, you lost all credibility with those two statements. Consider who the heck you’re talking to. Do you think we haven’t looked at denialist sites?

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:53 PM

  320. Intricate statistical trend analysis seems like the kind we need to avoid.

    Goodbye to modern science. Another “Wow”-ser.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:57 PM

  321. Gavin: “No. He is confused. The estimates of future climate change are not based on a statistical fit to the last 100 years, they are based on estimates of the long-term sensitivity of the climate. Any decadal oscillations are imposed upon that mean radiatively driven change – they don’t replace it. Model simulations have lots of decadal variability but all show significant long term warming because of the increase in GHGs.”

    With the ocean oscillation providing somewhere in the neighborhood of a plus or minus .5C per phase and the underlying .5C per century (whatever the cause), why does the centerline estimate of the IPCC prediction just fly out at a 1.0C per century level right in line with the previous 20 years of warming rather than gradually building up to it as CO2 continues to build? Bottom line is the downward phases of the ocean oscillation is completely missing in the IPCC predictions.

    Its the first thing I noticed when I approached this subject and seems obvious that the IPCC overestimated the effect of CO2 by attributing the positive ocean phase warming to CO2. Whether the IPCC intentionally fitted it or not to historical climate, as opposed to adopting climate models that ignored the same thing, is a completely different argument to the fact it fits and shouldn’t fit. To borrow another sports analogy (from the “hockey stick”) we are looking here at is a “frozen rope” where a wave belongs. . . .and you can tell me till the cows come home somebody cooked this up in some windowless physics lab somewhere and all I can say is. . . .it shows.

    Comment by Bill Hunter — 29 Jun 2009 @ 2:58 PM

  322. James
    Life expectancy has dramatically risen alongside fossil fuel use. The ball is in the court of people who argue we will decrease one without decreasing the other.

    Let’s say we were able to fast track the developing countries of the world and instantly give them decent jobs, houses, agriculture, transportation, medical services, security etc. I could argue that CO2 emissions would increase. It may not be a one to one relationship, but if you restrict CO2 you will restrict access to these basic human needs.

    Therefore the argument moves into “What are these restrictions and are they justified?” Can we agree on this much?

    btw-Sorry that this conversation is not exactly real-time. Busy weekend.

    Comment by Michael — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:04 PM

  323. OK, after clicking on Bob Webster’s link to his website (linked via his name), I see now that it’s not me who’s living in Bizarro World …

    The first “must read” on his website’s climate change page is … Monckton.

    Whoa.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:10 PM

  324. #312 Bob Webster

    I admit I was attempting to inject a modicum of humor in the day, and certainly not everyone agrees on what is funny; but that aside, your entire post has some severe contextual dilemmas and seems to rely on rhetoric rather than relevance (not so good for your resume).

    H2O is a variable gas, but from what I’ve gathered, is not responsible for 90% of the warming, as indicated from the ref. re. Jay Lehr, Phd. post #34 above (I did not check the source so please feel free to accuse me of being a mean evil science hater). In my defense I’ve come to know through experience that the denialist/skeptic crowd has no problem whatsoever just randomly throwing inconsequential/irrelevant numbers out over the internets, and since I have at least an idea of what these numbers are supposed to resemble or be near, it did not seem worth the effort to chase his context down… trap it in a corner… and expose it for what it is. As mentioned upthread: Res ipsa loquitur.

    CO2 is not 4% of the atmosphere at this time, but rather .039 (spike) average .0386/7 on the mean increase (and rising).

    CO2 is, of course, only a tiny portion of our atmosphere (less than 3 1/100ths of a percent (pre-industrial), less than 4 1/100ths of a percent (current) without which we would be a frozen ball in space, and of which we have increased by 40% since pre-industrial (not an insignificant amount considering the radiative forcing).

    Since Gavin addressed your other points, I thought I would address your point 4.

    You said:

    “Earth’s normal climate which is ~10°C warmer than current climate.”

    What time period?
    How is that relevant to now (or relevant to the last 5.5 million years, or the bottom of the Jurassic, or the Permian, or the peaks of the Cambrian, Devonian, Triassic, Eocene)?

    Context is key.

    PS I took a look at the link on your name. No possibility you are biased by some of those folks on the contributor list?

    I have not addressed every single denialst in the rhetoric v. science debate, however, you might be interested in reading:

    John Coleman (used to work with Joe D’Aleo from icecap)
    http://www.uscentrist.org/about/issues/environment/john_coleman/the-amazing-story-behind-the-global-warming-scam

    Lord Monckton
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/christopher-monckton

    or download rebuttal to Monckton White Paint
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/summary-docs/oss-reports/2009-06-22_sppi_white-paint-report_OSS-gen.pdf/at_download/file

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:22 PM

  325. (302)(309)(310) thanks for the links, and silly me, yes it must be Fahrenheit.
    Any pointer to the MIT model? For ModelE, I trust this is still valid up to minor revisions
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2006/2006_Schmidt_etal_1.pdf

    Comment by o — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:24 PM

  326. Bob Webster Says (29 June 2009 at 13:39):

    “Remember, humans have never known Earth’s normal climate which is ~10°C warmer than current climate.”

    I can’t speak to the claim of a warmer “normal” climate (anyone?), but surely the statement leads to an obvious conclusion: that humans (and all other current life) have evolved in a cool climate regime (and indeed, one cooler than the present), and so they and their institutions have adapted to it as normal/optimum. So what usually happens when you take an organism out of the conditions it has evolved for? It struggles to survive. If the change is too great, it dies.

    Comment by James — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:30 PM

  327. Sorry, I guess this is it
    http://globalchange.mit.edu/files/document/MITJPSPGC_Rpt124.pdf

    Comment by o — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:32 PM

  328. #312 Bob Webster:

    It takes just seconds to identify your points 1,2,3,4,5 as personal, unfounded opinion. You volunteered them here, where a brief examination would tell you they won’t wash, and you’re all weepy because you’re not being accorded respect for behaving like that?

    “A more civil approach to scientific discourse would achieve a lot more than snarky posts, sniping comments, and singing the party line song.”

    Absolutely, and that’s the discourse you get, –if– you’ve actually committed yourself to a career in the scientific field in play, as opposed to hanging out as a dilettante on the Internet, flinging around personal opinion, which you’ve mastered. If you have not done the work to publish and attend conferences, dry up. You’re here voluntarily, after all.

    #313 Darren:

    “Regarding partisanship and pedigree, Im inclined to be as skeptical (or maybe more skeptical) of something that comes out of a governmental organization, such as the U.N. My field of study was mostly politics, so Ive observed a lot of politcal bodies. And the watchwords there are: partisanship, interests, power and arrogance.”

    Yeah, like the private sector only with more accountability to the general public.

    So you have an anti-government bias, but why would that sway me in favor of your beliefs? If somebody from the government tells you a something about physics, you’re more skeptical, but from somebody in the private sector (ExxonMobil? Bernie Madoff?) you’re more credulous. I don’t see this revelation as lending credibility to your argument.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:38 PM

  329. To borrow another sports analogy (from the “hockey stick”) we are looking here at is a “frozen rope” where a wave belongs. . . .and you can tell me till the cows come home somebody cooked this up in some windowless physics lab somewhere and all I can say is. . . .it shows.

    You do realize that *individual* model runs show the variability missing from the *average of many individual* runs used as the basis for IPCC projections, right? The next question, then, is do you know *why* they use the average of many individual runs where the variability tends to cancel out, rather than present the output from a single run?

    Statements like this are flat-out false:

    Its the first thing I noticed when I approached this subject and seems obvious that the IPCC overestimated the effect of CO2 by attributing the positive ocean phase warming to CO2.

    You may get traction in the denialsphere with stuff like this, but if it weren’t for politics you’d be totally ignored by the science community when making such claims.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:43 PM

  330. “Michael Says:
    Life expectancy has dramatically risen alongside fossil fuel use. The ball is in the court of people who argue we will decrease one without decreasing the other. ”

    Uh, how?

    Correlation != Causation (as was a common meme for denialists in the past and still is, until someone points out we HAVE a causation).

    So what is the link between life expectancy and fossil fuel use? And is that link necessarily tied to the fact of fossil fuel and so cannot be covered by another source?

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:46 PM

  331. re: #278 L.David Cooke
    (Sorry for Off-Topic, but this seemed worth doing to avoid confusion):

    “Much has to do with the minimum statistical sample to begin to derive a more precise mean in a statistical sample. Generally for a range of say 100 data points in a parent population a random sample of around 30 to 33 provide a good insight to the “parent population’s” mean point, and mean breadth and by reviewing the outlier population you can help validate the accuracy of the sample.”

    I think this in danger of conflating two separate appearances of “30”:

    a) Statistical random sampling, where ~N=30 is often an important guideline.

    b) 30-years as traditional number of years for climate, long enough to allow significance in the presence of decadal ocean oscillations, sunspot cycles, etc.

    For time-series, a key factor is ~ratio of noise to trend, and people want 25-30 years because the noise is high in this case. Grumbine on trends is useful, as is following Open Mind.

    By comparison, consider the CO2 records (Keeling), where the year-to-year noise is relatively low. I’d speculate that 10 years or less is not too bad there.

    Comment by John Mashey — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:51 PM

  332. Bart says:
    “That said, some of your points have some validity in that the related uncertainties are large. ”

    However, an uncertainty doesn’t go only one way.

    So it could make things better, or it could make things worse.

    Unless they aren’t so unknown that you can tell which way they will fall, in which case, they aren’t all that unknown, are they.

    And it also gets a bit of a bind when they go on about how it’s all chaotic and small differences can make big changes. Then forget about it when they say that something is going to make things better: it’s not so chaotic that they can’t work that out, strangely enough.

    Comment by Mark — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:52 PM

  333. #300 Hank Roberts and #259 Jim Bullis

    It seems we approach things differently. You seem to accept authority and are happy to add points that you think are supportive, though they may be only irrelevancies. There is not much chance you will accomplish very much.

    I read to understand, knowing very well from experience that those in authority are often incorrect, no matter how many are cheering the pronouncements. When something seems wrong, I will register my opinion. Yes, some checking of facts is in order. By my critical approach, there is a slight chance I will accomplish something.

    So lets look at the statement that I found incorrect:

    ” – – while seawater absorbs most of the radiation
    reaching it from the sun.”

    This is a very basic statement and clearly it is wrong for polar regions where grazing angles are low. It is a matter only of the most basic physics. If an important conclusion is based on wrong physics, it is not likely to be a correct conclusion, or at least it might need to be better justified using correct physics.

    In pointing this out, I overstated my case; and partly due to your stinging rebuke, I checked my reference papers and was reminded of the polarization effect. Even so, much of the radiation at small grazing angles is reflected from sea water. So the flawed statement by authority remains flawed.

    I understand you would want to prove the conclusion stands anyway. Ok. But it certainly can not be based on the reasoning of the scientist writing the report.

    I am not settled on the answer, though I have to agree with the authority that things will probably be worse, though not as catastrophically as the report suggests. Diffuse reflection from white ice will probably reject a fairly high amount of energy incident radiation. The reflected energy from the sea water after the ices has melted will depend on the sum of the horizontally polarized energy (very high) and the vertically polarized energy (variable around 40% to 60%. So that sea water reflection will also reject a lot of incident energy. My numbers on this are not completely applicable, since they are for longer wavelengths.)

    What I particularly object to in the Synthesis Report is the rush to heap on arguments against CO2 emissions. (There are sufficient real reasons.) Like I should check facts, so should the authority writing the energy reflection statement. This can be done simply by watching a sunset over the ocean.

    Just for reference, I said:

    At low grazing angles, as per polar regions, incident electromagnetic waves, including that from the sun, are largely reflected from water. Ice being irregular and rough, reflections from that ice tend to be diffuse and energy is not as efficiently reflected as the authors seem to imagine.

    On consideration, I would change the word “largely” to “substantially.”

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 29 Jun 2009 @ 3:55 PM

  334. #330 Mark:

    “So what is the link between life expectancy and fossil fuel use? And is that link necessarily tied to the fact of fossil fuel and so cannot be covered by another source?”

    Well, it’s true that by figuring out how to temporarily feed a lot of people by producing nitrogenous fertilizer using gobs of fossil hydrocarbons we’ve thereby extended lifespans, as well as making a lot more lifespans.

    Fossil hydrocarbons are necessarily a temporary feature of our economy, ironically especially because we’re so good at creating and maintaining people using fossil hydrocarbons as a boost. If Michael’s correct he’s got a much more fundamental thing to worry about than attempts to regulate C02 emissions.

    What annoys me is the abject, hopeless and sad (ok, just one word: pathetic) premise that we’ve reached some sort of stasis in our development where we can’t possibly figure out how life will/can go on without our hydrocarbon tit. How do these people muster the will to get out of bed in the morning?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:10 PM

  335. #262 James,

    You say, “- – Now I buy the electric car and solar panels as a package.”

    There is nothing in physics that makes these be a package. These are two separate decisions, no matter how you verbally combine them.

    People can do what they like with their spare money, so go ahead and put up the solar panels. You will help reduce use of fossil fuels. I resist the idea that you should be subsidized with public money to do this because I think there are better uses of public money, some obvious now, and some yet to be considered.

    Now forget about the electric car part until the day when there are sufficient renewable electric generating sources that there can be a response in reality to your plugging in the car.

    When you plug in your car, no one is going to say, “Look what that James is doing: we better divert some renewable power over to him.” But even if such a silly thing were to happen, that diverted power would just be taken away from some other use, and that void would have to be filled from an available reserve capacity, that being coal, at least for now.

    Stick with the Insight.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:14 PM

  336. #333 Jim Bullis:

    Does sea state affect this? I’m thinking of the same effect you mention w/regard to ice.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:15 PM

  337. Darren:
    “But given the overwhelming nature of the long-term temperature trends they cite, which I believe I’ve also seen elsewhere, they would seem to have a lot of room for error and even downright partisanship. That’s the kind of evidence that is persuasive”

    Sigh. You find this persuasive? Why may I ask? Have you actually read things like Weart “discovery of Global warming” or the IPCC FAQs? Evidence to date would suggest not.

    You claim to be skeptic, so you can please re-examine this “persuasive” evidence with your skeptic hat on? Like read the science. If you only read the denialist crap out there, without a look at the rebuttals, then arguing with you is pointless.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:18 PM

  338. dhogaza (301), I agree US F&W has a fairly decent reputation for being independent. That’s why I list the political pressure as number (and probably a distant) three, though I don’t believe it was nonexistent. And political pressure isn’t always overt from bureaucrats. Also, F&W is very capable of being zealous and fierce in their own right.

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:34 PM

  339. Jim Galasyn (305), a clue is not knowing. Nor does your clue have any connection with his knowledge of polar bear populations.

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:40 PM

  340. Jim
    29 June 2009 at 3:55 PM

    On consideration, I would change the word “largely” to “substantially.”

    In you dictionary, does substantially mean more or less than 50%?

    Second question: how do waves influence the absorption/reflection ratio in polar regions?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:52 PM

  341. That’s why I list the political pressure as number (and probably a distant) three, though I don’t believe it was nonexistent.

    Oh, I’m sure it existed. In fact I’m absolutely positive that the Bush administration did not favor listing the polar bear.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:55 PM

  342. Rod, falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 29 Jun 2009 @ 4:55 PM

  343. Jim,
    29 June 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Now forget about the electric car part until the day when there are sufficient renewable electric generating sources that there can be a response in reality to your plugging in the car.

    How do you propose to reduce the CO2 emissions by cars in the mean time?

    When the clean electricity is finally there in, say, 2050, how do you propose we use that if what fills our roads is still propelled by internal combustion engines?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 5:04 PM

  344. “Scientific skepticism – a scientific, or practical, position in which one does not accept the veracity of claims until solid evidence is produced in accordance with the scientific method.” from
    http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Skeptic/

    Comment by David B. Benson — 29 Jun 2009 @ 5:20 PM

  345. Mr. Hunter writes, expressing doubt as to the treatment of ocean oscillations and states:

    “…seems obvious that the IPCC overestimated the effect of CO2 by attributing the positive ocean phase warming to CO2.”

    This is not at all obvious, and in fact, quite untrue. I recommend that Mr. Hunter reads the Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 1, available at

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm

    and the references therein.

    For a good introduction to current understanding of coupled ocean-atmosphere patterns of oscillation, I highly recommend Chapter 3, Section 6 et seq.

    For those more interested in historical overview for coupled ocean-atmosphere models, I suggest Chapter 1, section 4.6 et seq.

    (This is my second attempt at posting this, my first attempt was answered by the mysterious missive “502 Bad Gateway nginx”)

    Comment by sidd — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:03 PM

  346. Its highly unlikely that humanity has advanced in the 20th century, hunter-gatherer societies were much more healthy, happy, and prosperous. Or even the pre-industrial English, who can say that the factory system, made possible by the new Watt steam-engine, improved the life of the English, with child-labor, urban slums, etc? read Charles Dickens…This coinciding of course with increased Co2 emissions, scientists date global warming by pre-industrial standards, circa 1850, correct? Who or what is a “Bubkes”? what a strange term. And why do you end your post by insulting the Appalachian Trail?

    Comment by Demitri — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:12 PM

  347. Jim Bullis (#333), re Arctic sea-ice albedo feedback and the Copenhagen synthesis report.

    ” – – while seawater absorbs most of the radiation
    reaching it from the sun.”

    This is a very basic statement and clearly it is wrong for polar regions where grazing angles are low.

    Not my field, but: a quick Internet search brings up frequent references to ocean albedo of some 6-10%, with the allowance that it rises significantly at high latitudes due to low sun angles. Burroughs, Weather Cycles, 2003, p. 132, gives a figure of 15-20% near the poles.

    A 20% ocean albedo would leave four fifths of the radiation to be absorbed by the water, wouldn’t it? If so the synthesis report would be perfectly right to say “most” radiation is absorbed.

    Comment by CM — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:16 PM

  348. RE: 299

    Hey CM,

    Thanks you are correct, I saw you continuing Barton’s thought regarding arm chair experts do a little heavy lifting themselves and got my messages mixed up. I can only blame brain damage from the lack of blood flow…, Thanks for setting this straight.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:23 PM

  349. #300 Hank Roberts and my #333 Hank Roberts

    I regret and apologize for my judgmental comment.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 29 Jun 2009 @ 6:44 PM

  350. RE: 331

    Hey John,

    Concur; however, 30 years means 30 samples for a given day of the year and the average temperature for that day. Meaning thirty years equates to N=30 for the daily temperature for a given day or measurement period. It is quite possible you are more versed then I… (Though I do not know that using noise ratios apply if you have defined all the confounding participants.)

    The main point is, much of the climate work was to track the change for a 200 year parent population for analysis against anthropogenic and natural processes/activities or recent changes to be used for testing purposes. The limitation is a data set of precise measurements with a large enough population to be representative of the last 200 years. In this case I do not think a random sample of 10 is sufficient.

    Maybe if I share my limited insights you could point me in the right direction. In short, as I understand it if one wanted to define the mean for a child population for say the 21st of June to have N=30 you would need thirty random years of June 21st data. By the same token if you want to represent the average temperature for the year you would average all of your yearly averages and then randomly select thirty years for a sample. Where a sample of 10 is sufficient (If I remember correctly…)is when you are trying to test the probability that a value is a member of a subset of possible mean values, not to define the mean itself.

    As to the probability that a non-random sample of 30 represents a larger population may require a larger sample size based on my former training and experience. (Similar to using an R-barred quality chart for testing if a value exceeds 1 sigma of the mean.) Generally, my experience suggests with the Law of Large Numbers if you have a random 33% of the total values, the probability is that you have a child population that is highly representative of the parent population, the question is how small a non-random sample would have a similar accuracy.

    The issue is for a large parent population of say 10,000 years (This subset still leaves out major variations of Earths’s cyclic surface temperature participants, with periods of 100,000 and 400,000 and 640,000 years), with a shifting mean data set, with an unknown range and an unknown amount of possible confusing participants what would be the recommended sample size if one wanted to determine the probability that data is within 1 Sigma of the mean, or even determine the mean? In essence, how would you separate out when the mean contains multiple confounding data set modifiers. (I have heard of applying FFT for isolating signal from noise, though I do think that the noise contributors are defined by this method.)

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 29 Jun 2009 @ 7:39 PM

  351. #336 Doug Bostrom

    Sea state changes the local grazing angle, though not too much until high sea states are reached. The incidence azimuthal direction relative to prevailing wave motion also causes a variation in local grazing angle. When sea state gets to the point that a lot of white water is generated, it seems we are back to something similar to ice.

    And re #344 CM,

    As for simple sea water, the problem is well handled by the physics of reflection of electromagnetic waves on planar surfaces. It is mostly not a matter of diffuse reflectivity, hence albedo is a secondary factor in energy absorption considerations.

    If sea water albedo is higher in polar regions this only means that there is less energy to consider in the planar surface, specular reflection process. The sea water in general reflects in two parts. One is the diffuse part which is the albedo part. The second is the planar surface, specular reflection part. The combination of these effects would need to be compared to ice albedo.

    As I said before, ice still might be better, but it is still not true that polar sea water absorbs most radiation from the sun. Considering the albedo makes it even further off the mark, since 20% of the energy gets diffusely reflected, which only increases the total reflected part.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 29 Jun 2009 @ 7:53 PM

  352. RE: 350

    Hey All,

    Final line should have read:

    (I have heard of applying FFT for isolating signal from noise, though I do NOT think that the noise contributors are defined by this method.)

    Thanks,
    Dave

    Comment by L David Cooke — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:10 PM

  353. HELLO


    The peculiar story of a “suppressed” report at the Environmental Protection
    Agency continues to grow, despite the fact that the agency appears to have done
    nothing worse than holding its employees to professional standards

    Comment by francois — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:44 PM

  354. Jim Galasyn #142

    “Rod, falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus”

    That would mean every scientist is “falsus in omnibus”. There has been no scientist that has not been false in some aspect of their study.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:46 PM

  355. I try to study both sides of this subject. I am just appalled by the condescending putdowns and ad hominems employed in this post. The Carlin memo certainly DOES contain references to peer-reviewed papers, and those deserve to be discussed seriously and soberly. I spent a number of years in academia myself, and I know how the game is played: when you don’t want to have to deal with opposing ARGUMENTS, taking them apart line by line, just gather your friends around you and sneer. Unfortunately, in a herd environment, it usually works.

    [Response: Pick one then. I picked on the issues that they had highlighted in their summary, which presumably they felt were the most important. But sure, let me know which other critique buried deep in the text I should have talked about. – gavin]

    Comment by craigkl — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:46 PM

  356. Unbelievable: Senator James Inhofe plans to investigate the “suppression” of the Carlin report.

    Meanwhile:
    “The Carlin report’s central premise, along with four key sections, came directly from a November, 2008 World Climate Report blog attack on the EPA proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions.”

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/06/30/suppressed-carlin-report-based-on-pat-michaels-attack-on-epa/

    [Response: And curiously enough neither WCR, Michaels nor Knappenberger are mentioned anywhere in the document. A very odd lacuna… – gavin]

    Comment by Deep Climate — 29 Jun 2009 @ 8:48 PM

  357. #346 Demitri:

    “And why do you end your post by insulting the Appalachian Trail?”

    Until just a few days ago, “hiking the Appalachian” implied a perfectly innocent activity performed with the intent of getting away from mechanized transport and instead enjoying the opportunity for fresh air, solitude, reflection and lots of healthy exercise.

    Post-Sanford, “a hike on the Appalachian Trail” involves international air travel, air delivered from a gasper, the company of many strangers, a concerted lack of reflection, but at the end of it all lots of exercise though all things considered of dubious health benefit.

    I think events overtook Gavin’s post; there was a brief transitional period when “hiking the Appalachian” only implied dropping out of sight, not specifically hiding with a third wheel between sheets located in a different hemisphere.

    “…hunter-gatherer societies were much more healthy, happy, and prosperous.”

    Sure, if by “healthy and happy” we mean we’re accustomed to rampant intestinal parasites delivered in our meat, teeth worn to stubs by eating grit along with tubers, etc. Me, I’ll stick with food cultivated by expert organic farmers. I’m pretty sure I’m happier this way.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:22 PM

  358. Re:333: “At low grazing angles, as per polar regions, incident electromagnetic waves, including that from the sun, are largely reflected from water. Ice being irregular and rough, reflections from that ice tend to be diffuse and energy is not as efficiently reflected…..”

    Are you suggesting that water can absorb incident sunlight in the polar regions , more efficiently than ice, due to angle of incidence and state of the water(or ice) surface? Do you have any studies,papers,or any other kind of investigations to corroborate this?

    If you do it would be revolutionary to say the least. A well known mechanism for positive feedback is that as the polar regions warm, more sea and land ice melt, causing more absorption by the darker surfaces left behind, causing more warming, causing more ice to melt and on and on.

    The North Polar region has warmed faster than other parts of the globe, largely due,I believe, to this feedback effect.

    Comment by Lawrence Brown — 29 Jun 2009 @ 9:48 PM

  359. #356 DeepClimate:

    “Senator James Inhofe plans to investigate the “suppression” of the Carlin report.”

    I don’t think it’s really counterintuitive to say that if Senator Inhofe were sincere either in his stated beliefs or his professed interest in the public good, he’d stop wasting time and money on political theatre and insist on pouring funds into climate research until whatever reservations he professes about climate science were satisfied, for good or ill.

    It’s diagnostic of Inhofe’s seeming mental and political corruption that instead of demanding more and better data, he chooses instead to expend his influence throwing gravel into the gearbox of progress. I won’t insult the population of Oklahoma by saying they’re witless to choose him as their Senator but it’s a mystery to me how they swallow their embarrassment at his dung-flinging antics. Maybe it’s sentimental attachment to past glory days.

    http://www.ogs.ou.edu/fossilfuels/pdf/OKOilNotesPDF.pdf

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:27 PM

  360. DeepClimate: awesome!

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 29 Jun 2009 @ 10:33 PM

  361. Darren wrote @313: “Intricate statistical trend analysis seems like the kind we need to avoid.”

    I was the one talking about dead ends.
    Apparently you haven’t done much work in a “hard” science, have you?

    Now I’m going to ask you how, exactly, you propose to discern a broad, unmistakable trend in climate from the noisy data of month-to-month, year-to-year and decade-to-decade weather variability without intricate statistical trend analysis?

    You might want to get a clue about why intricate statistical trend analysis is required before you reply.

    You might try here:
    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html
    and here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/cold-hard-facts/
    and here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/stupid-is-as-stupid-does/
    and here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/dont-get-fooled-again/

    The again, you might not and just rely on eyeballing the temperature graphs.

    Which brings us back to my first question at the top of this comment.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:05 PM

  362. Jim Galasyn, I take that to mean that if he’s wrong about X he must be wrong about everything else under the sun. No help, but thanks for the effort.

    Comment by Rod B — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:12 PM

  363. #300 Hank Roberts and #259 Jim Bullis
    This is a very basic statement and clearly it is wrong for polar regions where grazing angles are low. It is a matter only of the most basic physics. If an important conclusion is based on wrong physics, it is not likely to be a correct conclusion, or at least it might need to be better justified using correct physics.

    In pointing this out, I overstated my case; and partly due to your stinging rebuke, I checked my reference papers and was reminded of the polarization effect. Even so, much of the radiation at small grazing angles is reflected from sea water. So the flawed statement by authority remains flawed.

    I understand you would want to prove the conclusion stands anyway. Ok. But it certainly can not be based on the reasoning of the scientist writing the report.

    I am not settled on the answer, though I have to agree with the authority that things will probably be worse, though not as catastrophically as the report suggests. Diffuse reflection from white ice will probably reject a fairly high amount of energy incident radiation. The reflected energy from the sea water after the ices has melted will depend on the sum of the horizontally polarized energy (very high) and the vertically polarized energy (variable around 40% to 60%. So that sea water reflection will also reject a lot of incident energy. My numbers on this are not completely applicable, since they are for longer wavelengths.)

    About this time of year at ~80ºN and noon (where the edge of the ice might be) the angle of incidence will be fairly close to Brewster’s angle (~56º) where the perpendicularly polarized light will have a reflectivity of ~15% and the parallel polarized will have a reflectivity of 0%.
    Shortwave radiation in the vicinity of the pole at this time of year averages around 300 W/m^2 whereas IR radiation is also around 300W/m^2 however the angle of incidence of the IR will average ~0º.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:12 PM

  364. I don’t think it’s really counterintuitive to say that if Senator Inhofe were sincere

    Just stop there … he’s not. He’s scientifically illiterate (intentionally so, IMO).

    No one should even think of discussing the relevance or not he quotes. Just go after him, and attack him. With some politicians it’s worthwhile playing clean. With Inhofe, embrace and love whatever mud you can find.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:16 PM

  365. #356 DeepClimate (again):

    As a taxpayer, I must say I resent that Carlin appears to have been permitted to plagiarize on my dime. On the other hand, the devious part of me is delighted to see Carlin apparently caught plagiarizing on taxpayer time while bringing those whose work he copied (or took down, stenographically?) into further disrepute. I’m guessing the “victims” were not the slightest bit surprised to see their “work” regurgitated in unattributed form in latter day comedian Carlin’s work.

    All this muttering about global conspiracies among climate scientists by the hydrocarbon chumps and now it turns out they’ve got their own Mayberry Machiavelli aspirations. Oops. What a hoot.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 29 Jun 2009 @ 11:25 PM

  366. # 231 Mal Adapted

    Thankyou for your remarks. You have my permission to reproduce this text, suitably edited, to advance the argument I made in other fora.

    I strive to choose my words carefully, but sometimes in the process I do get a little too wordy!

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 30 Jun 2009 @ 12:26 AM

  367. #275 Nick Gotts

    I take your point about the effort needed to transform infrastructure to meet the demands of the US/Allied effort in WW2. For mine, this underlines an important point.

    In the case of WW2 it was decided by US policy makers that the threat to US interests was both compelling and immediate. That judgement rendered questions of efficiency much less important than effectiveness. In any system where one is focused principally on one outcome and is essentially indifferent to all the other negative consequences of this pursuit, then efficiency is moot. There can be little doubt that the US government was right to make this call.

    You say that the challenges of climate change are comprable. I’m inclined to agree and indeed, I suspect the potential harm associated with uncontrolled climate change might ultimately put the horrors of world war 2 in the shade. I don’t see humanity recovering from that as quickly as it did WW2.

    It’s that ‘ultimately’ that is the question mark. It may well be (though it isn’t certain) that we have ten years or so to get policy into the right place to avoid a catastrophic reversal in the fortunes of that part of humanity alive in the last half of the 21st century or after. If so, that gives us the ‘luxury’ of a more orderly transition to a low CO2 emitting set of human arrangements, in which we can keep mistakes and the sacrifice of sunk costs in existing infrastructure to a minimum, while continuing to gather the data needed to best inform the measures needed to foreclose catastrophe. The GFC may well have given us a slight extension. One would hope so.

    If however, our timeline isn’t 10 years, but (as is quite possible) more like the one that policy makers in the US saw in the lead up to WW2, — i.e. 2-5 years, then we and especially our descendents are in a hell of a lot more trouble than most accept. Sadly, the data to establish this new more urgent timeline is simply not there. We may not find out before it is too late.

    Personally, I’d like a much more aggressive and ubiquitous set of goals for 2020 — more along the lines of Lester Brown’s Plan B sert of wedges, but we also live in a world where we cannot move faster than the systems of governance covering most of the major emitters. In nominally democratic countries — Britain/Europe, the US, Canada, and Australia/NZ for example there remain significant elements of the populations who oppose radical mitigation strategies. Since most politicians operate on cycles of fewer than five years, they are very sensitive to being seen as “trading jobs” for environmental outcomes, especially now. Accordingly, governments are selling their plans as consonant with preserving much of the infrastructure and entailing only modest impositions on the populace. And using market mechanisms is one way of allaying fears about new impositions, government bungles, ensuring business certainty and so forth. We either need much more scary data right now that the public can understand, or we must, regrettably, hasten slowly.

    I’m not sure how many in the US would support more radical action, but in Australia, one can measure this constituency by the support for the Greens — which could be as high as 14-15%. Currently, 2/3 back the government’s ETS, which is far less ambitious and includes free certificates for “trade exposed” industries, leaves out transport and agriculture until 2013 and aims only at 20% reductions by 2020.

    That said, I suspect many would support direct state investment in renewables and perversely, this might undermine opposition to more radical targets and reductions in subsidies for big polluters, since they’d be able to meet targets using the said renewables, so the politics may not have been done all that well.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:03 AM

  368. Mark (332),

    In response to me you wrote: “However, an uncertainty doesn’t go only one way. So it could make things better, or it could make things worse.”

    I absolutely agree, and I haven’t claimed otherwise.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:08 AM

  369. “Well, it’s true that by figuring out how to temporarily feed a lot of people by producing nitrogenous fertilizer using gobs of fossil hydrocarbons we’ve thereby extended lifespans, as well as making a lot more lifespans.”

    It’s also been shown that going back to old-style farming with no oil based fertilisers and oil based weedkillers produced just as much food as the farmland had done with them.

    The theory being that such intensive farming works for a few years and then you either have to use increasing amounts or your yield goes back to sustainable levels for the land itself.

    PS Did better healthcare, better pre and postnatal work not help? Better diagnosis and so on not increase average lifespans much more than more food?

    Comment by Mark — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:51 AM

  370. Rod writes:

    BPL (267), ditto. For fun, can I get from you or Mark a yes or no answer to my question?

    Only if you tell me what the question is.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:20 AM

  371. Demitri [sic] writes:

    Or even the pre-industrial English, who can say that the factory system, made possible by the new Watt steam-engine, improved the life of the English, with child-labor, urban slums, etc? read Charles Dickens…

    Considering that people kept pouring into the cities to obtain factory work in that period, life in rural areas must have been even worse. Google “enclosure” to start to understand why.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:34 AM

  372. Speaking as someone who once veered between disinterest and mild scepticism about AGW, it might hearten you to know that I had my awareness raised after watching the risible Great Global Warming Swindle. It was obvious to me that the makers of that “documentary” were at best scientifically inept, or at worse were trying to deceive. Since then I have educated myself on the science and am now convinced that AGW is real and will almost certainly be the key political issue of the next 30 years.

    I hope that my case demonstrates that the public resent being lied to (maybe even more than they resent paying taxes). The deceptions of the denialists will become ever more transparent if they rely on patent nonsense like the Carlin and Davidson paper.

    Comment by Paul A — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:21 AM

  373. Jim Bullis (at #351 or so, replying to my #347, where I referenced an estimate ocean albedo of 15-20% near the poles),

    The sea water in general reflects in two parts. One is the diffuse part which is the albedo part. The second is the planar surface, specular reflection part. The combination of these effects would need to be compared to ice albedo. As I said before, ice still might be better, but it is still not true that polar sea water absorbs most radiation from the sun. Considering the albedo makes it even further off the mark, since 20% of the energy gets diffusely reflected, which only increases the total reflected part.

    Thanks for clarifying, and correct me if I’m way off base, but could there be a simple misunderstanding here? You are assuming a strict definition of “albedo” as the diffuse component of reflectivity, excluding specular reflection — so you argue that high specular reflection at the poles must be added to the albedo figures I cite. But in climate science, doesn’t albedo tend to mean simply the fraction of solar radiation reflected by a surface or object (see e.g. the IPCC glossaries)? Including both the diffuse and the specular components? I expect this is the case for the ocean albedo estimate I cited, in which case you don’t get any extras.

    Presumably it’s also averaged over the light season and over a range of weather conditions (cloud, waves). No doubt you can get spectacular albedo due to direct reflection of low sun from calm seas on a cloud-free day in spring and fall, but hey, this is the Arctic we’re talking about. It gets cloudy up there.

    As I understand it there remains work to be done on understanding sea-ice albedo under a range of conditions and parameterizing it in the models so I guess there’s much uncertainty about the magnitude of the feedback. But we were discussing the claim that “most” of the radiation be absorbed by the ocean. Can you show that 50% or more will not?


    ReCaptcha has “frigates” on the “45th” — too far south to contribute to this discussion.

    Comment by CM — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:57 AM

  374. Jim Bullis,
    29 June 2009 at 7:53 PM

    It is mostly not a matter of diffuse reflectivity, hence albedo is a secondary factor in energy absorption considerations.
    [..]
    The sea water in general reflects in two parts. One is the diffuse part which is the albedo part. The second is the planar surface, specular reflection part.

    Do you mean that albedo is only related to diffuse reflection? This seems to be supported by this wikipedia entry: “The albedo of an object is the extent to which it diffusely reflects light from the Sun.”

    However, this Nasa glossary makes no distinction between specular and diffuse reflection: “The ratio of the amount of radiation reflected by a body to the amount incident upon it.”

    Which is it?

    You didn’t mention clouds. At the poles they increase the average angle of incidence and thus increase absorption of light by seawater. Can you elaborate on that?

    In your response to Doug Bostrom, you brush aside the importance of sea state. Can you support that with evidence?

    To prove your point, do you have a calculation or a reference that shows that on average, over a whole year, less than 50% of incoming solar radiation in polar seawater is absorbed? What you have shown so far are only words, and they don’t make a lot of sense to me. But that’s probably my knowledge falling short. By offering a few calculations, you might give me the insight necessary to understand what you mean.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:11 AM

  375. I think I agree with Gavin on this.

    I don’t think debating climate science via blogs is the right forum. I think public debates with experts representing both sides of the debate are a better forum.

    Like the Intelligence Squared debate where they debated “Global Warming is Not a Crisis”. With Lindzen, Crichton and Stott for the motion and RC’s Gavin, Brenda Ekwurzel and Richard Somerville against the motion.

    It’s quite a good debate and both sides make good points.

    Comment by Steve — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:12 AM

  376. Darren #244,
    yes, this is the classic rationale of an economist not trusting them climate models.

    What you completely miss is that climate science is a natural science, that is, it is based on falsifiable/verifiable basic natural laws which are not made up (and thus would be tainted by subjectivity) but found out (sometimes against the gusto of the researcher, cf. e.g. Einstein and Black Holes).

    Economics, to the contrary, is not a natural science but a social science. Its principles are not found experimentally, but “made up” by humans (cf. e.g. that grotesque rational agent, alias Homo “Sapiens”).

    So it is no wonder that economic models often fail the test of reality, for they are not rooted in objective reality, but rather in human subjectivity.

    To draw any conclusions from economics models to the models of a natural science is to know nothing about science.

    Comment by Florifulgurator — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:14 AM

  377. I also had a question which I forgot to ask in my last post. It’s probably been asked before but just in case…

    Gavin, do we know what the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 is and what the error range is? I think that the IPCC suggests that 2CO2 would lead to a 3C rise in mean global temperatures.

    I ask this because I’ve read some recent papers which purport to show the IPCC’s sensitivity value is too high.

    A recent paper by Douglas and Christy seems to claim that either 2C02 1C then some forcing other than aerosols must be “masking” CO2’s effect. I believe aerosols where the canceling agent used in AR4?

    I’ve also read some papers by Compo and Sardeshmukh and Spencer and Braswell which seem to claim that they have come up with possible natural forcing which could explain the observed temperature changes over the 20th century (as opposed to CO2). I believe the natural variation they site is changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

    Spencer states that a 1% to 2% variation in low-cloud cover coming from internal climate variability would be enough to explain most of the warming. I believe the largest uncertainty in the GCM models is to do with the modeling/parametrization of clouds is that right?

    Caldwell and Bretherton also seems interesting as they find that warming would indicate a stronger effect from low-clouds in a warming world. If I read their article right, it did seem quite technical.

    I’m not a climate scientist but I’m trying to get my head around this issue and I guess I’m trying to figure out where the scientists agree, where they disagree and where there is just too much uncertainty for either side to be able to draw conclusions.

    Cheers
    Steve

    [Response: You need to widen your source reading. For a start, Compo and Sardeshmukh has nothing to do with climate sensitivity. Read our previous discussions on why we think 3 deg C is a reasonable number. (Note it has very little to do with the topic discussed in Spenser and Bracewell). As for Caldwell and Bretherton, there is a lot of good stuff in there, but it doesn’t affect any top down assessment of the sensitivity. – gavin]

    Comment by Steve — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:45 AM

  378. TO the commenters (I can’t find the numbers right now) thaet said human health and wealth has increased with Co2 emissions, and therefore we should not try to curb them: that correlation is far form ironclad, and just because benefits increase because of one activity doesn’t mean that a) you can’t do something else to get the same effect and b) curbing it will automatically result in a lower standard of living.

    The standard of living in the US went up dramatically because of agricultural exports driven by slavery, therefore we should return to that! It’s obvious!

    The standard of living for many people rose as a result of the tobacco industry’s jobs — It’s encourage smoking! It’s good for you!

    The stupidity of this kind of thing amazes me to no end.

    Comment by Jesse — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:52 AM

  379. Bart 368: “I absolutely agree, and I haven’t claimed otherwise.”

    And I never said you thought otherwise.

    However, you hadn’t SAID it, and this point did need to be made explicit.

    Especially with people like Max, RodB and Darren around…

    Comment by Mark — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:34 AM

  380. #314 Doug Bostrom

    No prejudice against Europeans. They have their culture, we have ours.

    Comment by Bill Hunter — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:35 AM

  381. Those who assert that “human health and wealth has increased with CO2 emissions” are using the wrong metric.

    Human health and wealth has actually increased with the availability of cheap energy. That energy was not always provided by burning fossil fuels (think hydro-electric power generation), and there is no requirement that it continue to be.

    This is just a more subtle variation on the deceitful “you warmists want to send us back to the preindustrial agrarian utopia/stone age” meme.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:57 AM

  382. Darren – since you are confused about the sun’s role, I would like to offer you a small thought experiment.

    The temperature is 100F degrees outside. You put on a short sleeve shirt and shorts, and you spend an hour directly out in the sun. After the hour is up, you come back inside the house and change your clothes. You decide to put on two heavy long sleeve shirts, three pairs of sweat pants, insulated coveralls, gloves, and finally a heavy coat. After you are fully dressed, you spend another hour directly out in the sun.

    “especially when you consider the size of our little civilazation against the size of the sun–which would seem, at first look, to be the main consideration. Anything man can do is infinitesimally minute compared to that thing.”

    By your logic, you will see no difference between the two differently ways you dressed in the thought experiment. Since the sun is so powerful, the amount of clothes you wear on a hot summers day should make no difference. But it does make a big difference as you should be able to clearly see. In a basic nutshell, global warming is dressing our planet in heaver clothing.

    Comment by EL — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:07 AM

  383. Paul A
    30 June 2009 at 5:21 AM

    I had the same sort of eye-opener a few years back when reading an article on JunkScience.com that suggested something like ‘I did some calculations based on IPCC data, and the Earth shoud warm by 5ºC per year (!). They know that is not happening, so they tinkered with the models until they got the value they wanted’.

    They are like a child that is convinced it can fly by gluing feathers to his arms or fix daddy’s car by turning a few bolts under the bonnet.

    The worst part is that these people call themselves skeptics and cry “ad hominem!” if you don’t take them seriously.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:18 AM

  384. Paul A’s story warms my heart — thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:20 AM

  385. Hi Mark, don’t paint RodB with the same brush you’d use for your garden-variety contrarian. He’s one of my favorite voices here, and he keeps up on our toes.

    reCaptcha: “1:34(5) Movie showgirl”

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:23 AM

  386. > albedo
    I’ll put any further response on that in the Groundhog topic since it does keep popping up, but is unrelated to the CEI/Carlin topic.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:31 AM

  387. Steve I saw the IQ*2 debate and several others. I have always come away from these type of debates suspecting there was a lot more that could have been said that wasn’t. I think a debate in writing with plenty of time for argument and rebuttal would be much more conducive to a fair match of arguments. An interesting first debate might be a comparison of warming rates of the land ocean and atmospheric temperatures in comparison with model projections. Of course no politicians, journalists, or science fiction writers; just scientists involved in the fields being debated. For this purpose a blog with very limited access would be ideal. Of course this would require a considerable expenditure of time and the arguments are already out there. None the less it would be interesting to read the arguments in a debate type setting.

    Comment by steve — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:34 AM

  388. Mark (369), if your Iowa corn-growing farmer can get as much yield without fertilizer as he does with it, why would he expend thousands of dollars from his return for fertilizer??

    Comment by Rod B — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:00 AM

  389. BPL (370), see post #288

    Comment by Rod B — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:04 AM

  390. It might be worth giving some love to Steven Andrew at the Orlando Examiner for this post: What if the climate scientists are right? It’s a gentle critique of Tom Fuller’s approach.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:21 AM

  391. Jesse (378), The standard of living in the US grew magnitudes faster with the advent of cheap plentiful energy (roughly 1900 on) that in did with Southern slaves producing ag stuff (roughly 1600-1850). Also, as a smoker I am improving the standard of living. I’m providing for the expansion of children’s medical insurance, paying off recent doctor’s med school lo-ans (in TX), largly supporting secondary education in Texas, supplementing many state medical programs, supporting infrastructure around the country, and even allowing for a professional sports franchise or two.

    On the other hand, your main point is well taken. Our standard of living was greatly increased by (indirectly) emitting CO2. But that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to continue, as you say (and in line with AGW theory might lessen it this time). But it doesn’t mean that stopping emissions would not lower our standards, either. It’s a matter if it is done smartly or stupidly and precipitously. For instance the recent Cap & Trade bill is in the latter, IMO. (Though I’m not aware of the significant last minute changes in the bill that might have improved this aspect. ‘course neither is anyone else aware, including the whole Congress :-P )

    Comment by Rod B — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:37 AM

  392. 388: “if your Iowa corn-growing farmer can get as much yield without fertilizer as he does with it, why would he expend thousands of dollars from his return for fertilizer??”

    It was an Asian farmer for a start.

    He’s running with RoundupReady corn, so he’s already in hock.

    Customer lock-in.

    Companies love it.

    Comment by Mark — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:49 AM

  393. Jim 385, he wasn’t head of the list, but RodB has been here a long time whereas the newcomers still have all the vim and vigour of recent missionaries.

    Comment by Mark — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:52 AM

  394. #375 That was a good debate, but the end result wasn’t convincing either ways. I think this forum is far more effective in dealing with skeptics, therefore they seldom show up here. If they do, they simply look silly, anti-science like and basically mean against poor climate scientists.
    Over the years, presentation tools have improved:

    Take
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    and compare to

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/19790629.png

    I’d like to hear Lindzen explain the thinner less expansive ice..
    If someone explained that it was a warmer Pacific current, Novaya Zemlaya missing ice is not explained. If someone explains its a “cycle” it must be beyond 5000 years of human Arctic habitation, must be millions of years in the making proving the splitting of the Bowhead species, therefore its not a cycle at all. That is what was missing in any debate, the ice everywhere in the world speaks for itself, the climate is warming despite fictitious fantasies or otherwise statements.

    Comment by wayne Davidson — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:11 AM

  395. 381 “This is just a more subtle variation on the deceitful “you warmists want to send us back to the preindustrial agrarian utopia/stone age” meme.”

    369 “It’s also been shown that going back to old-style farming with no oil based fertilisers and oil based weedkillers produced just as much food as the farmland had done with them.”

    346 “…hunter-gatherer societies were much more healthy, happy, and prosperous.”

    Jim, I agree, the meme is out there, but I don’t think you can pin it all on the denialists. I do think the denialists would be wise to use it to thier advantage.

    Comment by Michael — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:33 AM

  396. #380 Bill Hunter:

    “They have their culture, we have ours.”

    Kind of says it all. Thanks.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:55 AM

  397. Re 375:
    It is like the Pope and Newton debating gravity. The Pope may lock Newton away, but gravity still works every day. Newton is not gravity, he only describes it.

    Stupidity and ignorance may “score a point” in one forum or another, but global warming continues. “They” could burn every scientist in the world at the stake, and global warming would continue, just as surely as gravity would still work. Even burning Al Gore at the stake would not stop global warming. Again, he is just a messenger. Burning him might make the mob feel good for a few hours, but it will not stop global warming.

    The question is, “Can society recognize the problem and take appropriate action.”

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 30 Jun 2009 @ 12:10 PM

  398. Thanks RealClimate for continually researching and educating us on the real science behind these issues! I only wish our society as a whole was getting “smarter” and not “dumber” (or is it selfishly, short sighted ignorance?) Anyone can publish anything these days cant they and find people to believe them … sigh.

    Comment by Beth — 30 Jun 2009 @ 12:31 PM

  399. Responding to Steven Andrew, Tom Fuller has a new post, What if the climate scientists are right about global warming? Part 2, which might be a bit more conducive to interesting discussion.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:15 PM

  400. steve

    30 June 2009 at 9:34 AM

    …I think a debate in writing with plenty of time for argument and rebuttal would be much more conducive to a fair match of arguments…

    You realize, don’t you, that this is what Science, Nature, GRL, et.al. are for? Every paper, every letter is part of some debate.

    Please note as well that the word “debate” as i just used it does not mean the same thing as the more common usage. Common usage of debate means a contest to be won or lost. Scientific debate is about finding the best explanation of observations.

    The US legal system uses the common type of debate. Courts are not about truth or justice, they are about winning. Why do you think that if you can afford the very best defense lawyers, you will be aquited of anything? (The lawyer who defended Imelda Marcos had never lost a case!)

    Public debate, even a written debate, would not be about understanding reality. It would be about winning and losing. Time consuming, and not very useful for a working scientist. On the other hand, the denialists get absolutely apoplectic when Al Gore, skilled in rhetoric, enters the fray. He is better at the game than most of them, so they descend into “he’s still fat!”

    captcha: fully gnarling

    Comment by Tim McDermott — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:16 PM

  401. Steve, #377, just look at the IPCC Fourth Assessment – but first, keep in mind these points:

    1) The transient climate response is what we are currently experiencing. For that, here’s an excerpt:

    The ‘transient climate response’ is better constrained than equilibrium climate sensitivity. The TCR is very likely larger than 1°C and very unlikely greater than 3°C based on climate models, in agreement with constraints from the observed surface warming.

    the ‘transient climate response’ (TCR; Cubasch et al., 2001) is defined as the global annual mean surface air temperature change (with respect to a ‘control’ run) averaged over a 20-year period centred at the time of CO2 doubling in a 1% yr–1 compound CO2 increase scenario.

    2) The main issue in calculating the transient climate response lies in ocean modeling efforts, which seem to need improvement:

    It is likely that the relatively poor Southern Ocean simulation will influence the transient climate response to increasing greenhouse gases by affecting the oceanic heat uptake. When forced by increases in radiative forcing, models with too little Southern Ocean mixing will probably underestimate the ocean heat uptake; models with too much mixing will likely exaggerate it. These errors in oceanic heat uptake will also have a large impact on the reliability of the sea level rise projections.

    That’s why it is so important to have a good understanding of how the oceans really behave. For example, do climate models simulate a Deep Western Boundary Current in the Atlantic? Is that matched by real data? This is a touchy subject, apparently, as are several other postulated ocean-related issues, which must be discussed elsewhere. Nevertheless, this is probably the central issue in decade-scale projections of global warming. See the DePreSys approach for more.

    3) The equilibrium climate sensitivity is the global temperature when the Earth reaches a new steady-state radiation balance point, and temperatures stabilize. The complete equilibrium response involves the melting of ice sheets and sea level rise – so it will probably take hundreds of years to reach that equilibrium point, as the response time of ice sheets is relatively slow – again, another area of uncertainty. Thus, a simple temperature number doesn’t really capture the whole picture. On top of that you have new precipitation regimes due to Hadley Cell expansion, subtropical drying, shifting jet streams and water vapor feedback issues. That plays central roles in the extreme weather / drought / flood projections.

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C.

    However, that all assumes that at 2X CO2, CO2 will stop increasing. There is no good reason to assume that. Even if we halt all fossil fuel combustion and deforestation at 2X CO2, you still have the warming permafrost to think about, which could easily release vast amounts of methane, driving the effective forcing well past 2XCO2.

    All in all, it’s a mistake to emphasize a single number when talking about global warming, as it glosses over many important issues – it’s just a model benchmark number. If you look at the bigger picture, you see that pretty clearly – and the only practical solution is the elimination of fossil fuels from the global energy mix and their replacement with renewables.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:19 PM

  402. #363 Phil Felton

    You say: “About this time of year at ~80ºN and noon (where the edge of the ice might be) the angle of incidence will be fairly close to Brewster’s angle (~56º) where the perpendicularly polarized light will have a reflectivity of ~15% and the parallel polarized will have a reflectivity of 0%.
    Shortwave radiation in the vicinity of the pole at this time of year averages around 300 W/m^2 whereas IR radiation is also around 300W/m^2 however the angle of incidence of the IR will average ~0º.”

    I reply:

    (1) Brewsters angle for sea water seems to be more like about 7 degrees, according to mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF8.htm. I do not know if he did it right, but it roughly agrees with my lower frequency data from Radar Reflectivity of Land and Sea, Long, Artech House.

    (2) You pick the extreme of the longest day and the lowest edge of ice to get an angle where reflections are lower. Surely, we are interested in average cases for global warming thinking.

    (3) Are we interested in vertically incident IR at the poles? Yes there is some from the cold sky, but that must not be very much compared to the IR from the sun.

    (4) Your quote of 15% for perpendicularly polarized reflectivity for sea water sounds more like the number for the refracted energy.

    In general, the argument turns out to be more complicated than I originally expected from rough recollections, the fact seems to be that a lot of energy is specularly reflected from sea water in polar regions. Add to this the 15% to 20% albedo and it seems fairly certain that the originally criticized assertion from the Synthesis Report, that most of the energy is absorbed by the polar sea water, is not correct.

    On top of that, the albedo of sea ice is as low as .5 and new smooth snow is .9. It looks unlikely that there is a large net difference in the radiative energy balance due to melting of Arctic Ice.

    #374 Anne van der Bom

    Please see my last two paragraphs.

    Thanks for the NASA definition. That is a surprisingly unscientific way of defining things, but it probably is ok if they use properly cataloged albedo numbers. However, it introduces perpetual obfuscation, since the definitions are in disagreement.

    I was not looking to get into the climate modeling business, with clouds and all that. I simply noted a statement in the “Synthesis Report” from Copenhagen that appeared to be incorrect.

    From my #159 here on this thread,

    In the Synthesis Report from Climate Change, Univ of Copenhagen, page 10, the statement is made regarding Arctic Ice:

    “This decreasing ice coverage is important for climate on a
    larger scale as ice and snow reflect most of the radiation from the sun back into the atmosphere while seawater absorbs most of the radiation reaching it from the sun. Thus, an ice-free ocean absorbs more heat than an ice-covered ocean, so the loss of Arctic sea ice creates a “feedback” in the climate system that increases warming.”

    My conclusion: Due to a combination of arctic water albedo reflection and specular reflection, most (easily more than half) radiation reaching polar sea water from the sun is reflected, not absorbed. On balance it looks like the loss of the high albedo ice (.5 to .9 ??) is about balanced by the incident energy reflected by the sea water. So if there is a feedback resulting from ice melting it seems unlikely to be calamitous.

    (Anne, Sorry for not being sufficiently informed. One of my past careers related to Naval radar systems, so I have some residual instinct in subjects regarding electromagnetic waves and sea surfaces. Extrapolating this to optics requires some cautions, but I rely on Maxwell’s proof that all EM frequencies are electromagnetic waves. On this basis I am comfortable raising questions, but I can not quickly access a lot of information about light processes to allow me to do a real study. I am still hoping that someone knowledgeable will chime in, but that would be a matter of luck. What you are asking for would require some work, so maybe nobody has the time to help us on this. My main interest is in finding engineering solutions, and to that end I try to understand the problem with these discussions. That seems to lead me into interesting things, but I want to avoid getting too far from my main purposes.)

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:32 PM

  403. Jim Galasyn writes:
    Responding to Steven Andrew, Tom Fuller has a new post, What if the climate scientists are right about global warming? Part 2, which might be a bit more conducive to interesting discussion.

    Sorry Jim, but It’s a horrible piece of dreck, full of ludicrous over-generalizations and assumptions. More evidence that the guy has spent virtually no time learning the issues.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:39 PM

  404. Mark wrote: “It’s also been shown that going back to old-style farming with no oil based fertilisers and oil based weedkillers produced just as much food as the farmland had done with them.”

    Modern organic agriculture is not “old-style farming”. It certainly does use techniques that have been empirically validated and used sustainably and successfully for thousands of years, for example composting, companion planting, “green manure” cover crops, etc. But it goes well beyond that, incorporating modern scientific knowledge of soil biology, integrated pest management, etc.

    And multiple scientific studies have shown that organic agriculture is as productive as so-called “conventional” chemical-industrial agriculture, and is even more productive under difficult conditions, e.g. drought. Moreover, because it uses local, natural resources such as compost for soil improvement and pest control, it is well suited to sustainably improving agricultural productivity in the developing world where farmers cannot afford costly chemical inputs.

    Moreover, studies by the Rodale Institute and others have shown that organic farming techniques can successfully sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in soils, while simultaneously improving soil fertility.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:48 PM

  405. Good points from Ike, and a good pointer that quickly leads to much interesting reading.

    Among a dozen recent interesting papers citing the DePreSys approach (the one Ike Solem links to above — click it in his posting) is this one, found in the list from ISI Web):

    Western Europe is warming much faster than expected
    CLIMATE OF THE PAST Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-12 Published: 2009

    Among the related items listed in the Science page at
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/317/5839/796 is this one from Knutti — Gavin has recommended his papers in earlier threads at RC:

    Should we believe model predictions of future climate change? by Reto Knutti
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1885/4647.abstract

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:56 PM

  406. See also:

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/february18/aaas-field-global-warming-ipcc-021809.html

    “Working Group 2 Report” for the IPCC fifth assessment, which will be published in 2014.

    “In the fourth assessment, we looked at a very conservative range of climate outcomes,” Field said. “The fifth assessment should include futures with a lot more warming.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 1:58 PM

  407. Jim Galasyn wrote: “Tom Fuller has a new post, What if the climate scientists are right about global warming? Part 2 …”

    In which Tom Fuller predictably retreats from “global warming is a hoax” to “global warming won’t be too bad and adapting is cheaper than preventing”. It’s just more denialist propaganda.

    Remember, the point of AGW denialism is to obstruct and delay any action to reduce GHG emissions that would negatively impact the profits of fossil fuel corporations, industrial agribiz, etc. The denial is only a means to an end. If denying that global warming exists helps to obstruct and delay action, then use that. If that isn’t working, then denying that global warming will be a serious problem is fine too.

    In his new post, Fuller writes:

    “For the first 70 years, agriculture is predicted to become more productive.”

    “Is predicted” … by whom? Based on what assumptions and what data? Probably not based on the “increased productivity” that (for example) Australian agriculture has been experiencing recently.

    “I have no doubt that we will adapt. It is estimated that adapting to climate change will cost two to three percent of world GDP. That’s a lot–but we can afford it.”

    “It is estimated” … again, by whom? Based on what assumptions and what data?

    And what is the estimated cost of phasing out fossil fuels? How does that compare with the cost of “adaptation”? According to the IPCC:

    In 2050, global average macro-economic costs for mitigation towards stabilisation between 710 and 445ppm CO2-eq are between a 1% gain and 5.5% decrease of global GDP. This corresponds to slowing average annual global GDP growth by less than 0.12 percentage points.

    Commenters here have occasionally debated whether the term “denier” or “denialist” is appropriate to characterize the phony, propagandistic pseudo-skeptics.

    I would suggest that the most appropriate term might be obstructionist, because their purpose and their goal is not denial and deceit in and of themselves — their purpose is to obstruct and delay any action to reduce GHG emissions, particularly actions that would reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:06 PM

  408. PPS:

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_id=864d3319-802a-23ad-46a0-15d3b819178d

    “… As you know, I regularly serve as a disseminator of information on the latest science that is not being reported in the mainstream media.”
    — James M. Inhofe

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:07 PM

  409. #404 Secular and Mark too,

    It is hard to explain how “studies” come up with the conclusions that they do.

    One clue is the talk about composting. I wonder if they ever saw a manure spreader. Ah, such fond memories. Now that is composting as it really was done on farms in the early half of the last century. A corn yield of 100 bushels per acre was considered fantastic in those days.

    Then the tractors grew and the ammonia fertilizer injectors came along, urea fertilizer from natural gas and so on, and the yields started to get a lot higher. Then the chemical weed control started and the yields got even higher. Now, 200 bushels per acre is considered normal. And there is nobody out there dragging a manure spreader around and there is nobody fussing around with compost of any kind.

    I suspect that the compost studies do not count the labor cost of composting. And I suspect that the studies are done on some little backyard acreage, not a 640 acre combined farm that is now fairly frequently handled by a single farmer. (640 acres is a square mile aka a section) That represents a lot of compost.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:21 PM

  410. Here’s a parallel case from Canada of industry PR used in official agency recommendations:

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4009/125/

    “May 28, 2009
    The Conference Board of Canada has just announced that it is recalling all three IP reports that it issued last week…. Anne Golden, CEO of the Conference Board of Canada … admits that the digital economy report was plagiarized.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:45 PM

  411. #407 SecularAnimist:

    “Commenters here have occasionally debated whether the term “denier” or “denialist” is appropriate to characterize the phony, propagandistic pseudo-skeptics.”

    I suspect the genuine obstructionists are probably very few in number, relatively speaking. But by perpetrating their hoax on a vast army of credulous chumps and suckers with loud mouths and lazy minds they immeasurably amplify their efficacy.

    Think of Bernie Madoff and his microscopic crew of co-conspirators. You’re looking at a tiny handful of people who managed to enlist the unwitting help of legions of salesmen for their Ponzi scheme. Madoff’s pathetic helpers didn’t do due diligence on Madoff’s claims. Now they’re exposed as fools, but their own humiliation pales in comparison to the harm they’ve caused.

    At the risk of sounding too dramatic, the publicists being paid to design and execute their clients’ deception campaign really ought to consider their position should the IPCC estimates prove as overly conservative as some believe. Scapegoats will be in popular demand if events turn that way.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:57 PM

  412. Ya know, when there’s a big kerfluffle in the septic edge of the bogusphere (TM Stoat), it’s always worth looking behind it or around it or in the other direction to see what they may be drawing attention away from.

    Like:
    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2009/06/report-on-climate-change-impacts-in-the-us.html

    Which begins:

    “On June 16, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the NOAA-led study, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” – which it describes as a “state of knowledge” report about current and project impacts of global warming on the US. (Climate-impacts-report full copy PDF) The report is based on the accumulated body of scientific information from 21 US synthesis and assessment reports as well as the IPCC assessments. (Executive-summary of climate impacts report) The report includes separate assessments of various US regions (regional analyses) as well as various aspects of society such as human health, transportation, energy supply and use, water resources, agriculture and ecosystems (sector analyses).”

    (Parentheticals are hot links to full text, at the original blog page linked above)
    ________________

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  413. Michael Says (29 June 2009 at 15:04):

    “Life expectancy has dramatically risen alongside fossil fuel use. The ball is in the court of people who argue we will decrease one without decreasing the other.”

    As Mark noted earlier, correlation != causation, so the ball is really in the court of those who claim that increased life expectancy is a result of increased fossil fuel use. So where’s your causal link?

    On the other side, even a moment’s thought should show that most improvements in fact expectancy are due to things which don’t in fact require any large input of energy (whether derived from fossil fuels or not). They are the result of increased medical knowledge, and range from simple public health measures (such as not putting the outhouse next to the well), through vaccination and antibiotics.

    “Let’s say we were able to fast track the developing countries of the world and instantly give them decent jobs, houses, agriculture, transportation, medical services, security etc. I could argue that CO2 emissions would increase.”

    This of course strongly depends on your definition of the word “decent”. If you’re simply equating it to “a US/Western European lifestyle”, then of course you’re right. But I would turn around and argue that the lifestyle of the majority in the West does not in fact qualify as decent. They are forced by circumstance to live crammed in cities & suburbs, often in multi-storey tenements or close-packed housing developments, without any access to fresh air, open space, or a natural environment. Their “decent transportation” enables them to spend an hour or two crawling along freeways to get to jobs far distant from their homes. (Many of which could as well be done by telecommuting.) Their “decent agriculture” has led to an epidemic of obesity…

    “Therefore the argument moves into “What are these restrictions and are they justified?” Can we agree on this much?”

    Apparently not :-) But to carry the discussion much further would mean getting into philosophical discussions about what exactly constitutes a good life. I’ll just remark that in spite of all the “improvements” in the standard of living, I don’t know very many really happy people.

    Comment by James — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:21 PM

  414. Rod,

    1988-2008 is two decades, not one. And you can’t find the trend by drawing a line from the start point to the end point. You have to use all the points.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:26 PM

  415. Jim Bullis wrote: “It is hard to explain how ‘studies’ come up with the conclusions that they do … I suspect that the compost studies do not count the labor cost of composting. And I suspect that the studies are done on some little backyard acreage …”

    It is easy enough to look up the studies, by the Rodale Institute and the United Nations Environment Program for example, rather than “suspecting” stuff based on what you think you know.

    As is often the case, Wikipedia is a start.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:30 PM

  416. RE: 322, 357.

    The ex hypothesi red-herrings you mention are just the human condition. Yes, diseases have always existed and always will exist. BUT, what’s important are the pathologies unique to the type of late-phase capitalism you recommend, which are too numerous to list. Global-warming included. Such are the requirements to build the contemporary-utopia of, Wal-Mart’s, Pizza-Hut’s and the Playboy Channel much ballyhooed by the peak-oil decadent and the Austrian Economics School of magical thinking…

    As for an alleged increase in life-span, according to a study by Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital: “Medical measures (both chemotherapeutic and prophylactic) appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the U.S. since about 1900 – having in many instances been introduced several decades after a marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influence in most instances.” John B. McKinlay and Sonja M. McKinlay, “A Refutation of the Thesis That the Health of the Nation Is Improving.” Milbank Memorial Fund (to Boston University).

    Comment by Andrew — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:30 PM

  417. Barton Paul Levenson Says (30 June 2009 at 3:34):

    “Considering that people kept pouring into the cities to obtain factory work in that period, life in rural areas must have been even worse. Google “enclosure” to start to understand why.”

    The question you aren’t asking, though, is whether they went willingly. After all, in the same period many rural Africans wound up doing farm labor in the Americas.

    You might also consider that a lot of those people who were forced off the land wound up emigrating to places such as the American frontier, where they could take up land of their own. Others hoped to make their fortunes in the cities, and those who did almost invariably bought country houses with their new wealth. Something that continues even today: what Wall Street millionaire didn’t have his/her place in the Hamptons or Catskills?

    Comment by James — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:31 PM

  418. Steve (377)

    There’s different sensitivity numbers depending on the timescale…the commonly cited IPCC number is probably not incredibly relevant this century since it occurs at equilibrium (at least many decades after the CO2 doubling when the outgoing radiation equals the incoming radiation). 3 C is a good central estimate, but there’s also a large uncertainty range of roughly +/- 50%, much of which is due to cloud responses. This range is consistent with paleoclimatic and observational constraints, and although some papers have estimates lower than 2 C or higher than 4.5 C, they are outliers and should be judged with caution. Knutti and Hegerl 2008 note

    “[There are a few studies that] deviate substantially from the consensus range, mostly towards very low values. These results can usually be attributed to erroneous forcing assumptions (for example hypothesized external processes such as cosmic rays driving climate66), neglect of internal climate variability67, overly simplified assumptions, neglected uncertainties, errors in the analysis or dataset, or a combination of these68–71.

    That paper also serves as an excellent review of the current understanding of Earth’s equilibrium sensitivity
    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

    There’s also the transient response (which assumes CO2 rises at 1% per year and then defines the response after the first doubling). The range for the transient response in the CMIP3 archive is roughly 1.3 to 2.6 C. There’s also the much longer-term response which takes into account slow feedbacks such as ice sheet responses, long-term poleward changes in vegetation, etc that are relevant on timescales of many centuries to millennia. Estimates of this are greater than the equilibrium response, with appropriate values near a 5 or 6 C range, see
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2008/Hansen_etal.html

    Hope that helps

    Comment by Chris Colose — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:42 PM

  419. “What’s your point? He isn’t a climate scientist, he’s an expert in environmental economics” (Gavin)
    Gavin, I find this constant bickering on the lack of specia… (I can’t write this word because of the silly spam filter) in climate science superfluous and annoying. You as a climate scientist do statistics (many), mathematics (every day), physics (continuously), programming (a lot), paleontology (may be)… without being THE world authority in statistics, programming etc. Your job needs multiple skills, without being a mandatory heavy writer of peer reviewed papers in statistics or on programming. The “normal” physicist (or simple “scientist” should be able to understand the climate debate, and should not be silenced or denied voicing his opinions, just because he is not the full blown specia…. Sure, working every day on climate affairs will give you a broader knowledge, a quicker grasp, possibly a more cautious reasoning.., but it does not give you the authority to deny other scientists or educated women/men speaking out.
    Would you silence Freeman Dyson, because he lacks any formal climate science education?

    [Response: You confuse criticising someone’s ill-thought out musings with silencing them. That’s ridiculous (though not unexpected). Just so that you don’t misunderstand me – Dyson, Carlin and anyone else you like have the perfect right to say whatever they want and submit their thoughts to whatever request for public comments exist. But I retain the right to point out that they don’t know what they are talking about. Presumably you’d support my rights to do so? I actually keep wishing for a substantive critique from one of these guys – it would be more fun to deal with something new and interesting rather than these half-warmed up leftovers from the Heartland ostrich-fest. – gavin]

    Comment by Francis Massen — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:43 PM

  420. @#285 # Mike Nilsen Says:

    “Perhaps the “cheap” energy that powers our lifestyle is not actually cheap. We’ve just been ignorant of the true cost all along. Climatological catastrophe is a pretty high price.”

    Or as Wendel Barry put it,
    “We thought that we were getting something for nothing,
    but we were getting nothing for everything.”

    Comment by Wili — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:50 PM

  421. #412 Hank Roberts:

    As a snapshot–particularly for U.S. readers– would make an excellent addition to the RC resource list, even a topic for a top-level post…

    For folks like myself who have extolled the climate change legislation emerging from the house last week but need some of the caveats pointed out, try this article by George Monbiot:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/jun/26/us-obama-climate-monbiot

    “You can judge the effectiveness of a US bill by its length: the shorter it is, the more potent it will be. This one is some 1,200 pages long, which is what happens when lobbyists have been at work.”

    As he says, until we deal with corruption it really ain’t happening for us. All the same, I’m -still- pleased it passed.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:50 PM

  422. Jim Bullis (#402) re albedo (last time, I promise),

    If you want someone knowledgeable to address your objection to a line in the Copenhagen report, perhaps try the “Warning from Copenhagen” thread — more on-topic.

    You missed the point of Anne’s reference to the NASA albedo definition. You still say “the fact seems to be that a lot of energy is specularly reflected … add to this the 15% to 20% albedo.” But as noted (at #373), since the cited albedo in question was probably defined to include both specular and diffuse reflection, adding means counting it twice. (That won’t get you to 50% though.)

    And you do have to “get into clouds and all that” (including wind speed and plankton) to get ocean albedo right. You may want to look up Jin et al. 2004 and test-drive their online Ocean Surface Albedo Lookup Table.

    Comment by CM — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:51 PM

  423. Bubkes

    So if you really believe global temps are rising, then i have some easy money for you.

    Let’s bet 50K on it. Since you are so absolutely sure of your position, you should give me 10-to-1 odds.

    We can settle up on July 1, 2019. By that time, we should really know.

    If you are not willing to take the bet, the just shut up.

    [Response: Lot’s of people will line up to take your money if terms can be agreed. Talk to Brian Schmidt for instance. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael Hall — 30 Jun 2009 @ 3:52 PM

  424. Mr. Bullis writes:

    “And there is nobody out there dragging a manure spreader …”

    o dear me. Clearly the manure spreader i see, and the smell thereof, and the tractor hauling it, and my neighbour driving the tractor over yon five hundred acres are all figments of my imagination. And why, when i travel through the neighbouring five counties, i must be very mistaken; those are not manure spreaders at all! I must inform my neighbour soon of this revelation, and perhaps a letter to the local farm paper might be in order…

    i must say that some of the comments on this thread do evoke manure spreaders tho…

    Comment by sidd — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  425. Oh yes, the deniers are getting more and more desperate as their nonsense is failing and president Obama at least takes the first tentative steps for the USA to tackle thier oil imports as a good proxy for dealing with their fossil fuels usage. Its not so easy for coal and gas but it could all come under the umbrella of this legislation.

    Gavins patience is astounding on this site and I really hope it is not interupting his more important work of science, something that the denialists have no idea about, nor being courteous and intelligent either.

    Comment by pete best — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:20 PM

  426. Aaron (#397), good point, but perhaps try it with Galileo and the moving Earth instead. For interesting but totally off-topic reasons Newton and the Pope did not cross paths, and if they had, gravity would have been one of the safer conversation topics…

    Sadly, the Physics Convention of 1707 never happened either, yet its spirit lives on; Fuller’s “warmists” and “lukewarmers” may have replaced “uppers” and “downers”, but you never know when Inhofe will call for Congress to amend Stefan’s Law or repeal Clausius-Clapeyron.
    :)

    Comment by CM — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:21 PM

  427. 1. “In the physical science world, it’s possible to send a spacecraft only a few miles above the surface of a moon orbiting a planet many millions of miles distant and then have that spacecraft smoothly take a course for another destination with excellent confidence it’ll arrive.” Doug Bostrom 29 June 2009 at 1:58 PM

    A.”The understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W mР2.”( IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis….)

    2. A true skeptic would note that the problems of gravitational orbital mechanics with the number of bodies equal to or greater than three tend towards chaos and, in general, are impossible to solve. “Specific solutions to three-body problem result in chaotic motion with no obvious sign of a repetitious path. A major study of the Earth-Moon-Sun system was undertaken by Charles-Eugène Delaunay, who published two volumes on the topic, each of 900 pages in length, in 1860 and 1867. Among many other accomplishments, the work already hints at chaos, and clearly demonstrates the problem of so-called “small denominators” in perturbation theory.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_body_problem

    B. “The models used by the IPCC do not take into account or show the most important ocean oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the ENSO (Section 2.4). Leaving out any major potential causes for global warming from the analysis results in the likely misattribution of the effects of these oscillations to the GHGs/CO2 and hence is likely to overstate their importance as a cause for climate change.” http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/endangermentcommentsv7b1.pdf (or “indirect solar variability or “urban heat island effect” or “Global temperatures have declined” or “other significant natural effects on global temperatures that we do not yet understand” or “water vapor … feedback is actually negative.”)

    3. So the idea that so-called rocket scientists could send spacecraft reliably and predictably to the moon is a mathematical impossibility, therefore the so-called moon landing must have been faked in a studio.&;>)

    C. “The issue is rather whether the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis meets the ultimate scientific test-conformance with real world data. What these comments show is that it is this ultimate test that the hypothesis fails; this is why EPA needs to carefully reexamine the science behind global warming before proposing an endangerment finding.” ibid. Or, let’s study the science some more and wait even longer before actually doing anything.

    I know far less about economics than the pittance that I know about climate science, so this may be a case of Dunning Krueger effect, but I think that a fundamental problem that economists(Carlin, CEI, Heartland, your favorite conservative economic think tank/pundit) have with analyzing global warming is the premise of “discounting”, that a dollar spent today on dealing with global warming is worth more (higher cost) than a dollar spent in the future. The concept of “discounting” is so ingrained in economic theory that delaying action has become a knee-jerk reaction, and they fail to consider nuances- such as, discounting usually assumes a constant rate, but the real future costs of mitigation or climate change probably have highly variable discount rates, including the possibility of changing sign. Another underlying component of much economic analysis is the assumption of continued economic growth, which implies continued growth in consumption of resources – but we may not have enough oil/coal/steel/food/water/etcetera available in fifty years to “fix” global warming, and it only takes one weak link to break the chain.
    (And yes, I am snarkily comparing Carlin to the kind of crackpots who believe that space travel is fake.)

    (speaking of manure, Recaptcha says “stenches Legaions”)

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:44 PM

  428. “If you are not willing to take the bet, the just shut up.”

    Oh look, another microwattbot shows up with a scientific argument. [Not.]

    I’m sure you’d love nothing better, but sorry, not a chance.

    Deal with it.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:51 PM

  429. Re: #288 (RodB), #414 (BPL)

    BPL, Rod’s saying 1988 was just a typo; the numbers he quotes are for 1998 and 2008. And they’re for GISS’s GLB.Ts data set (based on meteorological stations only), not for the GLB.Ts+SST data set (land+ocean).

    Rod: during the same 1998-2008 time period, for the same data set, the slope of a linear regression line is positive. Is that rising or falling?

    The choice to start with 1998 was made deliberately for the purpose of minimizing temperature increase. That’s called “cherry picking.” And using only 10 years to attempt to identify a trend in global temperature is foolish. This has been discussed, demonstrated, even proved so many times (not just here but elsewhere) that we’re getting sick of having to repeat it every time the same old bunk is repeated.

    Rod, you can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse.

    Comment by tamino — 30 Jun 2009 @ 4:53 PM

  430. #363 Phil Felton

    You say: “About this time of year at ~80ºN and noon (where the edge of the ice might be) the angle of incidence will be fairly close to Brewster’s angle (~56º) where the perpendicularly polarized light will have a reflectivity of ~15% and the parallel polarized will have a reflectivity of 0%.
    Shortwave radiation in the vicinity of the pole at this time of year averages around 300 W/m^2 whereas IR radiation is also around 300W/m^2 however the angle of incidence of the IR will average ~0º.”

    I reply:

    (1) Brewsters angle for sea water seems to be more like about 7 degrees, according to mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF8.htm. I do not know if he did it right, but it roughly agrees with my lower frequency data from Radar Reflectivity of Land and Sea, Long, Artech House.

    No way, Brewster’s angle is tan(∅b)=n2/n1, n2≈1.34 for sea water, n1=1.0 for air, from air into any liquid there’s no chance that it could be below 50º.

    (2) You pick the extreme of the longest day and the lowest edge of ice to get an angle where reflections are lower. Surely, we are interested in average cases for global warming thinking.

    I picked a location where the ocean is adjacent to the seaice, what would be the point of picking somewhere where this was not the case. The impact of the differential absorption of energy on the rapid melting phase of seaice retreat would be there!

    (3) Are we interested in vertically incident IR at the poles? Yes there is some from the cold sky, but that must not be very much compared to the IR from the sun.

    There is none from the sun and the total IR from the warm sky (inversion) equals the total radiation from the sun. Those numbers I gave were actual measurements not made up!

    (4) Your quote of 15% for perpendicularly polarized reflectivity for sea water sounds more like the number for the refracted energy.

    Not to anyone who knows anything about optics.

    In general, the argument turns out to be more complicated than I originally expected from rough recollections, the fact seems to be that a lot of energy is specularly reflected from sea water in polar regions. Add to this the 15% to 20% albedo and it seems fairly certain that the originally criticized assertion from the Synthesis Report, that most of the energy is absorbed by the polar sea water, is not correct.

    You’re double counting here and your estimate is way too high for the reasons listed above.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:04 PM

  431. 313 – Darren – The basic rule we used in evaluating a statistical analysis was “The more complex the analysis, the more suspicious the results”. That’s why “How to Lie with Statistics” is still being sold.

    Comment by J. Bob — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:09 PM

  432. #422 CM, also #373 CM and #374 Anne van der Bom

    I did not explain adequately, but I thought that 15% to 20% for polar sea water albedo was so small that it could not include the specular reflection part. But CM, I was not trying to handle the whole Arctic albedo question. I was only reacting to the sea water statement in the cited report.

    The definition Anne van der Bom provided from NASA seems to be the same as at http://www.eoearth.org/article/Albedo, but their Fig. 1 (also said to be from NASA) seems to show that the specular part is not included, even though the definition would suggest otherwise. If it was included, the albedo for middle regions of both Atlantic and Pacific would not be so close to the zero values shown. Sunrise and sunset and 20 degrees therefrom each have to involve substantial specular reflection energy, and the daily average would have to come up.

    Wave action certainly causes reduced reflections, but the general average of Sea State 3 does not involve local angles that are all that steep. I did not mean to brush aside the subject, but was just generally relying on the average situation to get a rough sense of things.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:33 PM

  433. #424 sidd

    I will take your word for it. I have not smelled the “fresh country air” (as my mother used to say sarcastically) for many years.

    As I recall however, pictures of those big farms producing corn for ethanol did not show the kind of methods you talk about. Maybe your neighbor’s 500 acres is more typical.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:38 PM

  434. This site is a joke, and you climatists along with it. Don’t worry, you’ll all eventually come around and see the light.

    Humans are a blessing to this planet, and the CO2 we release is only going to invigorate all life and its diversity. I emit as much CO2 as I possibly can, as I am an environmentalist and I want to do the right thing for the future of this planet and our species.

    If you think there are too many humans, please depopulate yourself.

    Comment by GD — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:50 PM

  435. re: #375, #394

    LIVE SCIENCE/ANTI-SCIENCE DEBATES ARE DUMB

    I think live debates between science and anti-science are really silly. It is far easier to produce doubt&confusion than clarity. It is all to easy to throw out masses of errors to befog an issue, and it usually takes at least 10X longer to show them wrong, and all one side has to do is create doubt.

    It is easy in a live debate to show a bad graph and have the idea stick with the audience. Only if the other side is ready with a copy of that graph, marked up to show the wrongness, and the correct graph, can the misimpression be reduced. {How does one do that in a live debate?]

    A graph is worth a huge number of words, especially if you can get it to propagate.
    Google Images: monckton. Look for Viscount Monckton’s graph, debunked here. Notice how much it took to properly debunk it.

    Of course, if one side in a debate can just make stuff up, and the other really can’t, it’s much easier. It’s also easier to be on the side with 100% confidence, rather than the side that naturally speaks of error-bars.

    SCIENCE, BLOGSCIENCE, LIVE DEABATE, TWITTERSCIENCE

    While BlogScience isn’t Science, it’s at least better than live verbal debate, which is not much better than TwitterScience debate:

    It’s the sun; climate has changed before; Mars is warming; it hasn’t warmed since 1998; hockey-stick was debunked; …

    5 memes, and not yet close to the 140 character limit! Terrific!

    (From Skeptical Science, in some sense an antidote for TwitterScience, since one can just reference the numbers, which uses even less characters.)

    At least, in a multi-day blog argument:

    1) People can cite data, link to relevant graphs, papers, etc.

    2) There is time to identify cherry-picking and “how to lie with graphs” tricks in any such used.

    3) The *audience* can if they wish check things, ask questions, and thoughtfully evaluate,especially if the moderator is ruthless about keeping on-topic.

    4) There is a clear *record* of the interaction, which can be analyzed and referenced afterwards. This might, ofr some people, inhibit behavior you can get away with in a live debate.

    AN EXAMPLE OF A DECENT BLOG DEEBATE

    About the closest I’ve seen to something like this was:

    Bob Ryan Challenged to Climate Change Debate a few months ago.

    This turned into a “blog debate” between Bob Ryan (rtyran1) and Brian Valentine (BrianValentine), in a more-or-less neutral venue, with a participation by various bystanders. The actual interactions started ~March 18 and went about a week.

    But, if anyone thinks live science/anti-science debates are good … I’d say this is Luddite thinking, get modern and go right to TwitterScience debates… :-)

    Comment by John Mashey — 30 Jun 2009 @ 5:58 PM

  436. Let me show a contrast to the Real Climate posters’ style, for the benefit of the Examinerites:

    Putting the science aside, Tom Fuller and many other “S. F. Examiner” wannabe tabloid hacks are, at this point, simply blog trolls, and the proper response to them won’t be tit-for-tat articles but pointing out they’re not at a real newspaper and otherwise ignoring them.

    When there is no ball where you’re kicking anymore, and you have momentum, you’re sometimes going to step on some toes. But it takes the denialosphere to turn everything into a football match and then start “playing the man,” frankly.

    And coming from the people who put an uneducated Young Republican con-man in effective charge at NASA and had him institute Stalin-era-level censorship there top to bottom, this is not a bit much, it’s unspeakable doublethink. Tom Fuller should be forced to say whether he thinks “alleged” or “so-called” or “hypothesized” needs to be prefixed to every mention of the Big Bang. Indeed, I wonder if the “dissident” EPA non-scientists-who-know-more-about-science-by-proxy-than-thousands-of-IPCC-scientists should actually be allowed to talk to anyone without it being first cleared by a Central Committee appointed by the White House with a political commissar standing by in case things get out of hand.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 30 Jun 2009 @ 6:37 PM

  437. #255 Rod B

    Although I don’t watch TV much, I actually saw the PBS news hour last week and said to my wife, wow, look! A news show in America. I doubt many watch it unfortunately.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 30 Jun 2009 @ 7:19 PM

  438. A sad reminder that science journalism is in trouble in many ways, not just about this little tsurris, and in many places, not just at the Examiner or CBS:

    http://network.nature.com/groups/naturenewsandopinion/forum/topics/4856

    End of the line for science journalism?
    Maxine Clarke

    Thursday, 18 June 2009 16:33 UTC

    “… Many researchers see science journalists as a public-relations service or as an ally in spreading the news about their work, asserts a Nature Editorial this week (459, 1033; 2009

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7250/full/4591033a.html

    – free to read online). The Editorial points out that there is a deeper value of journalism: to cast a fair but sceptical eye over everything in the public sphere — science included….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2009 @ 7:23 PM

  439. Francis Massen @419 says “The “normal” physicist (or simple “scientist” should be able to understand the climate debate, and should not be silenced or denied voicing his opinions, just because he is not the full blown specia…. ”

    Sure, after all, physicists are born knowing this climate stuff, right? No need to actually, oh, crack a book and become familiar with the methods and literature of a field. Just jump right in! And engineers? Why not–they’re almost scientists,right? Technicians? Send ‘em on down. Plumbers and Electricians? Why not? After all, how hard can it be? Lawyers? … Hell, no. We gotta keep some standards!

    Dude, the quickest way for a smart person to look like an idiot is to comment outside his area of expertise without doing his homework. Expertise matters. It’s why we make scientists go to grad school and do post docs before they have to quit doing science and write grant proposals for the rest of their life.

    Physicists, in the form of their professional organizations, though, have looked at the issue. They specifically formed committees to look at the science. Not one professional organization has dissented from the consensus. Not one. That really OUGHT to tell you something, but I rather doubt it will.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 30 Jun 2009 @ 7:31 PM

  440. Looks like my previous post got mangled because I used HTML Markup.

    It should have read:

    A recent paper by Douglas and Christy seems to claim that either 2C02 would lead to less than 1C or if 2C02 leads to greater than 1C then some forcing other than aerosols must be “masking” CO2’s effect….

    This appears to be due to the decreasing aerosol optical depth, AOD, which is one of the negative forcings that are used in the models to counteract GHG warming.

    I realize Compo and Sardeshmukh is not to do with sensitivity, at least not in the direct sense, but it is to do with attribution. shouldn’t the level of attribution to CO2 then directly affect calculations for sensitivity. As I read it, it attributes the warming observed to oceanic changes but of course that doesn’t rule out CO2 being the main cause of the changes in the oceans. I believe it just says more research is needed.

    As for Caldwell and Bretherton, I thought most models response to a warming world was a decrease in Sc or low-cloud cover leading to one of the positive feedbacks from CO2. But isn’t Caldwell and Bretherton saying that the opposite is occurring. i.e. we should see an increase in Sc clouds not a decrease. I would have thought that would act to reduce sensitivity to CO2.

    Cheers
    Steve

    Comment by Steve — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:06 PM

  441. #434 GD:

    “I emit as much CO2 as I possibly can…”

    Right now you’re emitting mostly natural gas, a powerful GHG but happily with a short half life in the atmosphere. If only it were not mixed with the H2S.

    “This site is a joke, and you climatists along with it.”

    A powerful argument. You’ve changed my mind, at least, and truly I feel blessed for I was not really happy playing the role of climatis. I personally always wanted to be a wisteria and now I’m free to do so. Thank you.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:14 PM

  442. “May I plaintively repeat my request for more discussion of the peer reviewed literature . . .”

    I’d like to see an update on the sea level rise issue, since we hear so much that the IPCC is way out of date on the issue.

    Comment by Dean — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:22 PM

  443. Cant really resist wondering what Michael Hall’s terms would be.
    Escrow? What exactly is the bet? Allowance for volcanoes? CO2 emission profile?

    I sure hope he reads some science rather than just denioblogs before committing this kind of cash.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 30 Jun 2009 @ 8:49 PM

  444. # John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) Says:
    30 June 2009 at 7:19 PM

    #255 Rod B

    Although I don’t watch TV much, I actually saw the PBS news hour last week and said to my wife, wow, look! A news show in America. I doubt many watch it unfortunately.

    It is a sad commentary on Australian journalism that Newshour (repeated daily on one of our government funded networks) is by far the mot comprehensive and in depth news program in Australia – and we used to have some quality journalism in this country onc upon a time

    Comment by connor — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:08 PM

  445. Humans are a blessing to this planet, and the CO2 we release is only going to invigorate all life and its diversity. I emit as much CO2 as I possibly can, as I am an environmentalist and I want to do the right thing for the future of this planet and our species.

    Have you considered vacationing on Venus?

    I hear the weather is wonderful this time of year.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:20 PM

  446. #439 Ray Ladbury,

    I can understand that you find a lot of the comments here frustrating.

    However, I consider this a learning opportunity. I have long known that the opportunity to look foolish comes with the learning process.

    Now, is it necessary to be an expert in the field in order to comment and maybe learn something? That would be very neat and would be a lot like the cheering section at a sports event. But it would not help bring about the common cause needed to get something done.

    Unfortunately, in trying to put things in a frame of reference that each of us is more or less familiar with, it sometimes involves discussion that sounds critical. I think that is a fair game that can sometimes be useful. And getting trounced in rebuttal is a chance worth taking.

    I also do not see why anyone would feel obligated to explain things. But the more we understand it, the closer we can come to making that common cause, and maybe that is worth it.

    So sorry Ray, expertise matters, but maybe it will take more than just climate scientists to get things fixed. Machines will not be built without engineers. Projects will not get funded without businessmen. Sensible economic policy needs economists. And laws will not get passed without lawyers.

    I appreciate the opportunity for discussion that this site offers. Thanks very much to our hosts.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 30 Jun 2009 @ 9:49 PM

  447. Hank I have said this many times:

    When I was in J School early 90s they taught PR people, ad people and journalists all in the same core classes – and said they were all variants of each other. All “communication.” There’s a certain pragmatic truth there, but it’s like focusing on the exceptions to the scientific method instead of how people have succeeded in sticking to it mostly. So it’s definitely not just science journalism.

    One reason the WSJ could do good journalism in the long run was that when it did business stories it cheated – simply rewriting press releases for the majority of them. An analysis someone did once of archived press releases vs. WSJ business stories showed at least 60% of their business stories were sourced only to, and were rewrites of, a single press release.

    It really is a Darwinian process, actually. And we all know how many mimics and parasites there are in nature.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:17 PM

  448. Tim, yes the information is already available and it would require a significant amount of work on the part of several individuals. I purposely pointed this out so others would not feel the need to do so.

    Yes I suppose a debate does have winners and losers. But is the competition over public opinion not already in place? Are there not already going to be winners and losers? What better way to make sure the ideas are properly presented then in debate form that would certainly attract a lot of attention, probably would be referenced on almost every climate blog, and would allow the participants to place their best arguments foward? The current system is better where the majority of the general populace finds their way to random blogs?

    As far as Al Gore goes, I think that having him as a primary spokesman for any endeavor is a serious error. What advertisment company would make a person likely to alienate 30% of the population before he has spoken his first word their product symbol?

    Comment by steve — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:24 PM

  449. BPL (414), sorry “1988” in #288 was a typo. The question and numbers are from 1998 and 2008. Still want to try a yes or no answer, just for fun??

    Comment by Rod B — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:34 PM

  450. Let me start out with, I am not an environmentalist. I am a Computer Engineer, trained that way and proud of it.

    Phew, now that at least is out of the way. Let me just say that neither side is correct. At this stage in the game we simply don’t have a full grasp of the picture. How does everything work? What happens when this happens? What can we expect if this overtakes this?

    While we certainly have become much better at understanding how our environment works, we have what I believe is at best a basic understanding of the internal and external processes in our environment.

    We don’t have the math down yet to describe every interaction. And frankly due to this, while the debates are good, I think we need to step back and work together. All sides of the debate, taking what you consider bad data or science along with your data and learning from them both. Right now, that is not even happening. All the debating just slows down the real learning and understanding of how our world works.

    My humble opinion, is that the report should have been presented, let those who are in power still make the decisions, after all no report is going to change those minds once they are made up anyway. History has shown that Government will only support the reports that currently further its agenda. Unfortunately, real science and real reporting is second .. no more like fourth fiddle to the real issue at hand. Money, Power, and Influence.

    So, if you really want to make a difference quickly, understand how you can get the interest of those who are looking to make one of the three items above. Then you will have true movement.

    Comment by Edward Pope — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:37 PM

  451. My money says GD is a wattbot fishing for his “deleted at RC” merit badge.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:38 PM

  452. On energy to human success, energy is important to modern society, and I don’t think anyone can create successful arguments to the contrary.

    Doug Bostrom

    I’m not optimistic about any bills going through congress. I would also like to point out that the biofuel industry is little more then complete bullshit. Ethanol is a hype not a reality.

    “As he says, until we deal with corruption it really ain’t happening for us”

    Two things are working against government intervention in the USA. The design of the government prevents rapid changes, and the USA is in a state of decline.

    J. Bob Says: “The basic rule we used in evaluating a statistical analysis was “The more complex the analysis, the more suspicious the results”. That’s why “How to Lie with Statistics” is still being sold.“

    Models of complex systems have to be built from the ground up. When you model something complex, you have to start small, and you have to continue adding to it while checking each simple step. As you progress, you build a model of the complexity while being sure of yourself. People make errors when they attempt to model the complex directly instead of starting small and building up into the complex. Many people wrongly assume that they can prove global warming as bogus with an ad hoc model of a extremely complex system.

    If people wish to make meaningful contributions to the science, they should work on small things.

    GD Says:

    “Humans are a blessing to this planet, and the CO2 we release is only going to invigorate all life and its diversity. I emit as much CO2 as I possibly can, as I am an environmentalist and I want to do the right thing for the future of this planet and our species. “

    I never did fully understand environmentalist. Once upon a time, I watched environmentalists hand out paper fliers while they screamed save the trees. I just shook my head and walked on.

    John Mashey Says:

    Science is not creative writing or political campaigns. In fact, I wince if I see any sign of persuasion in a scientific document because it does not belong there. One good piece of advice to anyone, all good scientific documents are written so that the evidence speaks for itself. Most scientific documents attempt to remove the author from the writing as much as possible.

    Marion Delgado – I personally attempt to avoid name-calling expressed or implied. The entire “your an alarmist” and “your a denier” is a complete waste of time. I can only think of Albert Einstein when he remarked “If you truly understand something, you can explain it to your grandmother.”

    Francis Massen – “without being THE world authority in statistics, programming etc.”

    Mathematicians are already involved in global warming, and they are increasingly pushing into it as a community. Programming does not really require authority. If computer scientists were physicists, then programmers are plumbers. You can rest assured however, computer scientists are involved as well.

    “The “normal” physicist (or simple “scientist” should be able to understand the climate debate, and should not be silenced or denied voicing his opinions, just because he is not the full blown..”

    The simple scientist? If you are implying layman, I’m afraid global warming may be out of his or her reach because global warming is extremely complex. The best method of explanation is to simply call global warming the “Coat Effect” or perhaps the “Colored Coat Effect” for a more in-depth explanation.

    When scientists suggested the possibility of nuclear bombs, people thought the scientists were crazy. Even Albert Einstein failed to gain any ground. It was only after the explosion that many layman accepted the science. Can we afford to wait for the explosion of global warming? Just a thought…

    “but it does not give you the authority to deny other scientists or educated women/men speaking out.:”

    Nobody has been stopping people from speaking out, and scientists are well within their rights to refute propositions of other people.

    John P. Reisman – PBS is a good program.

    Ray Ladbury

    “Sure, after all, physicists are born knowing this climate stuff, right? No need to actually, oh, crack a book and become familiar with the methods and literature of a field. Just jump right in! And engineers?“

    Mathematicians, for example, do not read climate science, but they can still impact it in major ways. Physicists have an important role to play in climate science as well, and they can also impact climate science in major ways with their work. Engineers are also very important for any kind of real solution to occur. Computer scientist are more or less mathematicians with a new name (except for those gay programming schools who name their degrees computer science). I would use Donald Knuth as an example of a computer scientist.

    I would also like to point out that the father of electromagnetism and one of the most important scientist of all time was an uneducated librarian. Michael Faraday….

    I can also give examples in mathematics if you would like? Ramanujan, for example…! That boy walked all over phd’s without a college education.

    Edward Pope

    The mathematics behind global warming will take hundreds of years to map out so that you can describe interactions on a detailed level. The trend basically says that we don’t have that kind of time.

    However, I agree with you in general. I personally find the debates a waste of time, but they are entertaining waste of time nevertheless.

    Comment by EL — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:50 PM

  453. tamino (429), and you can’t answer the question yes or no. That’s O.K.

    Comment by Rod B — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:53 PM

  454. Does there exist a video debate on global warming which I can view. It sure seems like both sides have some good arguments. I doubt that any of our legislators understand this issue, yet they vote to make vast changes to our way of life. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

    Thanks,

    Comment by Dennis Rogers — 30 Jun 2009 @ 10:58 PM

  455. Edward Pope wrote @450: “All sides of the debate, taking what you consider bad data or science along with your data and learning from them both.”

    What is it about one side feels perfectly free and justified to just make stuff up and lie do you not understand?

    How is “debate” possible in that case?

    What is there to learn from made up stuff and lies?

    (Other than some people make stuff up and lie, that is, but I think most people already know that.)

    Comment by Jim Eager — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:05 PM

  456. I agree with Mr. Mashey, in sum and in detail. A spoken debate over a period of a few hours or less will not communicate science, and the format lends itself to demagoguery. A written debate over a period of no less than a month might be slightly more effective, yet ultimately futile, outpaced by the real debate in the peer reviewed literature.

    Comment by sidd — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:26 PM

  457. We don’t have the math down yet to describe every interaction.

    We can’t do so for general problems in computation, either.

    Therefore, no program you’ve ever written works, and none are useful. You never fly on airplanes, right?

    Which is, of course, why none of us can communicate using computer programs.

    Can’t you narrow-minded people *think*? (and for the record, I made my living as a compiler writer from roughly 1972 ’til 1998, so I have computer shit chops myself).

    Comment by dhogaza — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:56 PM

  458. #407 SecularAnimist

    Sounds like more facts out of context. Just to name a few, the 3% GDP cost is if we took meaningful action now, not in 5 or 10 years (not taking into consideration methods in line with the McKinsey report which indicate rapid action may be economically positive rather than negative, Switzerland is full force on this now and working fast to get off fossil fuel). Since the problem is exponential in nature the costs will increase in kind as well as the effects of course.

    You may be right, and Mr. Thomas Fuller is obstructing, but it may also be his transition for his market base. If he is starting to learn a little bit then he can’t just shock them. But of course that is all just arrogant assumption on my part. Maybe he will come back in RC and take a chance at learning the contexts.

    ——-

    Mr. Tom/Thomas Fuller, I suspect you are still reading this thread. To get an idea of the future, check out:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/summary-docs/2009-may-leading-edge

    Sea level rise (SLR):

    Post glacial SLR
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/sea-level/Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png/view

    1880-2005
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/sea-level/Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png/view

    And a general summary assessment
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise

    You can of course find CDC assessments regarding Malaria and related changes, some of which I wrote about here:

    http://www.uscentrist.org/news/2007/hot-air-in-media

    But you are a journalist, right? You verify your facts before you report, right? Call the CDC and get the skinny from them.

    http://www.cdc.gov/
    CDC
    800-CDC-INFO

    Also, being a ‘lukewarmer’ is contrary to being a journalist. Think about it. ;) Journalists are not supposed to be lukewarm, they are supposed to check the facts. Call the CDC and ask them about what is expected with AGW climate change.

    My offer remains, feel free to contact me through the OSS contact form. I would be happy to discuss contexts with you.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:58 PM

  459. My humble opinion, is that the report should have been presented, let those who are in power still make the decisions

    So reports from the EPA that insist the earth is flat and only 6,000 years old, should be presented as *science* to those in political power?

    Is that what you’re saying?

    Anything any random employee of the EPA should be presented as *science*, even when the person isn’t a scientist?

    If so, God give me a rational dictatorship to live under, because democracy that can’t distinguish between crap and good work is going to be a failure.

    Comment by dhogaza — 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:59 PM

  460. #450 Edward Pope:

    “Let me just say that neither side is correct. At this stage in the game we simply don’t have a full grasp of the picture.”

    Not 100%, true. But there appears to be an overwhelming preponderance of evidence from multiple independent branches of scientific theory accompanied by ample empirical evidence to support one “side”.

    “I think we need to step back and work together. All sides of the debate, taking what you consider bad data or science along with your data and learning from them both.”

    Sounds reasonable, except there’s an extreme paucity of theory and fact on one side, and again a comparatively bulky amount of theory and fact on the other.

    “History has shown that Government will only support the reports that currently further its agenda. Unfortunately, real science and real reporting is second .. no more like fourth fiddle to the real issue at hand. Money, Power, and Influence.”

    Again and again we see this focus on government as the “other”, and what’s more that it somehow is uniquely prey to the seductions of “Money, Power and Influence”. Government (here in the U.S. at least) is far more accountable to its “shareholders” than are large private sector entities. Meanwhile, as opposed to the public weal, the portion of the private sector concerned with this “debate” is exclusively focused on “Money, Power and Influence”. That’s the reason for being of big business, after all. In fact, the fiscal responsibility of big business demands that the public good be secondary to “Money, Power and Influence”, as opposed to the explicitly stated and somewhat adhered to mission of most governments.

    “At this stage in the game we simply don’t have a full grasp of the picture.”

    At this stage in the game we can certainly see what appears reasonably likely to be something akin to a brick wall emerging into our view from a bank of fog. Two groups are struggling for control; one thinks it prudent to hit the brakes, the other is hellbent on plunging ahead. If the latter group is wrong, we go splat. If the former group is wrong, we’ve inconvenienced certain business interests while gracing others with new markets. Meanwhile, time to struggle over a decision is short.

    It would be wonderful if we had the time to perfect our knowledge before making a decision to change the direction of our cash flow from one industrial segment to another. A reasonable conclusion is that we don’t have that luxury.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:21 AM

  461. If CO2 causes global warming, how can additional CO2 cause the temperatures to go down for 10 years? What is causing the temperature to go down?

    [Response: Temperatures have not gone down in the last ten years. But even if they had, temperatures are controlled by many more things on the short term than just the level of CO2. For an analogy. does your bank account show a monotonic increase in wealth even if you salary increases year by year? – gavin]

    Comment by Ed Bradford — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:21 AM

  462. Response to EL.

    Regarding the sun, that’s not exactly the point. Instead, even if the theory that man-made CO2 emissions cause the earth to warm is true, the size of the effect is paramount. Because if other factors dwarf the man-made CO2 effect, then not only do you have the scientific challenge of teasing out the effects of man-made CO2, but you also have the more important issue of relevance. If the temperature were to rise from 100 to 103 degrees without the emissions, and to 103.1 with them, then the important issue is putting the 0.1 degrees in context. In addition, sticking with your clothes metaphor, if the temperature were to rise from 100 to 103 degrees, you’d peel a layer of clothes off. If it rose to 103.1 degrees, you’d peel the same layer off.

    Comment by Darren — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:29 AM

  463. James (413), I apologize if I am beating this into the ground, but I think its important.

    Lets say anthropogenic CO2 and human life expectancy have risen together to levels unprecedented in history – just for argument’s sake. Someone comes along and wishes to decrease CO2. If this person were actually concerned with human welfare, wouldn’t he want to provide strong evidence that his actions would not decrease human life expectancy?

    Comment by Michael — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:28 AM

  464. Re #440, Cristy (John) I am presuming has a track record in some dubious science so its a pinch of salt type post I am presuming. RC has mentioend him several times in articles here and demonstrated that his ideas are incorrect and demonstrated to be so under the scienctific process.

    Comment by pete best — 1 Jul 2009 @ 3:44 AM

  465. Rod writes:

    BPL (414), sorry “1988″ in #288 was a typo. The question and numbers are from 1998 and 2008. Still want to try a yes or no answer, just for fun??

    No. The fact that you could revive the “global warming stopped in 1998!” idiocy after it has been debunked so many times on this very blog has made me lose all residual respect for you. Either you know better and are trolling, or you are dumber than a post. Either way, I can’t take you seriously any more.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Jul 2009 @ 4:09 AM

  466. Well, I tried to engage with Tom Fuller over at the Examiner, but it seems he just is not interested in listening. It’s pretty obvious he is not interested in the science, given that he think Watts is a more credible scientist than Gavin or Mike. He even told me that “you can’t reject a null hypothesis”, which was news to me.
    He described his position as a “lukewarmer”, which sounds to me like someone who believes you can get a little bit pregnant. According to Fuller, 2C is all the warming we’re ever going to get, and no more ice is going to melt. So then, no need to worry.

    Comment by CTG — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:09 AM

  467. Jim Bullis,

    A really really last try: Let’s stop reinventing the wheel (after all, the ice-albedo feedback discussion has a long history). I found this 1979 paper by Cogley very instrutive (and not paywalled). Cogley tabulated monthly and annual means for open water albedo as a function of latitude, based on 1950s work using either

    1) the Fresnel equations (like the graph you point to) or
    2) observations,

    and weighting for incoming radiation: when the sun is low, much of the direct radiation will be reflected (approaching 100%), but there will be little radiation to reflect, and we are interested in the total energy budget.

    Selected results at latitudes of 80-90 deg N were as follows: With Fresnel – max monthly mean albedos of 76% in February/October, min 11% in June, annual weighted mean 18%. In the 70-80 deg N band the annual mean was 16%. This well matches the other source I cited. So your argument is clearly wrong even under ideal conditions.

    In realistic conditions you get diffuse radiation due to clouds etc, and the range narrows. For example, by extrapolating observations to thigh latitudes Cogley got 13% in June and a much reduced 30% max in February/October, but the same annual mean. Of course after 1979 there have been direct measurements and improved methods (see SHEBA), so I mention this just for the sake of illustration.

    Comment by CM — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:36 AM

  468. Before I make my comment, a few facts for clarity:

    I am not a scientist
    I have looked at both sides of the AGW issue
    I am of the opinion that the “science is not settled” and that more verification of the climate models is necessary
    I am concerned that, in our rush to reduce CO2, we may pass a climate bill that devastates our country’s economy

    Now, to my observation and question…
    After reading your post, Gavin, I thought I would point out a flaw in your logic when you addressed the flaw in Carlin’s logic. Concerning Carlin’s assertion that the earth has been cooling for the past decade, you said:

    “One can see a number of basic flaws here; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales…”

    If you are of the opinion that temperature variability on a short time scale is insignificant, how can we declare as fact that the rise in global temperature over the past 50 years is incontrovertibly tied to the increase in CO2 levels? Isn’t 50 years a short enough time span, historically speaking, to be affected by natural variability?

    And, a simple but sincere question: Has the earth been cooling for the past decade, and how does that fit into the climate models?

    These are honest questions that many people have (and I do not believe the earth is flat, or deny the Holocaust).

    Todd

    [Response: The planet hasn’t been cooling for the last decade. But even if it had, there are short term variations in temperature associated with El Nino and La Nina events and other ‘weather’ which imply that CO2 is not the only factor. As for longer trends, there are of course other factors that could play a role, but you perhaps don’t realise that the association of the trends over the last few decades with human forcings (which include other GHGs, aerosols, land use, ozone depletion etc.) are not just based on a correlations. Instead, we have a very good idea of what GHGs do to radiation, we have a reasonable idea of what aerosols and land use changes do, and we can look for fingerprints in the real world observations that match what we expect to have happened. When we include all these effects, we get a good match to what has been seen in the stratosphere, troposphere, Arrtic, oceans, surface, snow cover etc. If we leave them out, then we don’t get a match at all regardless of what we assume for the natural variability. – gavin]

    Comment by Todd — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:36 AM

  469. Freudian mistype: that should be high latitudes, not thigh latitudes…

    Comment by CM — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:38 AM

  470. “What better way to make sure the ideas are properly presented then in debate form” – steve

    Just about any way you can imagine. Verbal debates favour those who are willing to play fast and loose with the truth in order to “win” in the eyes of an uninformed audience. Just as in the debates creationists are so keen to have with evolutionary biologists, in a debate on AGW the denialists would simply raise so many canards that there would be no time to pin them all down. That’s why the AGW denialists, like creationists, and denialists of other varieties, are forever pressing for verbal debates. On a blog, thrice-refuted points can be shown to be such. However, the real place for the scientific debate on AGW is in the scientific literature – where, so far as the basics point are concerned – that greenhouse gases are responsible for most 20th century warming, and curbing emissions is urgent – it’s long been settled.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:42 AM

  471. Please disregard the last question about the earth cooling. I went to woodfortrees.org where you reference a temperature graph. I have no idea if this is an accurate data set, but I will assume you believe the earth has not cooled.

    Todd

    Comment by Todd — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:44 AM

  472. Yes Nick I agree that a verbal debate is a weak method. My comment you quoted was based on an earlier post where I supported the idea of a written debate.

    Comment by steve — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:52 AM

  473. Re: #468, #471 (Todd)

    Todd, you began by expressing your opinion that the “science is not settled.” Then you asked, “Has the earth been cooling for the past decade, and how does that fit into the climate models?”

    Gavin pointed you to a graph of temperature data for the last 10 years, with the trend line upward. This doesn’t show that the earth has been warming for the past decade — that trend isn’t statistically significant — but it does show how mistaken is the claim that the earth has been cooling. Now you say you have no idea whether that is an accurate data set.

    Clearly you don’t know enough about global temperature measurements to know what’s accurate and what isn’t, let alone what the trend has been for the last 10 years. Clearly Gavin knows a lot about temperature measurements, as well as a lot about the physics which causes temperature to change (he is, after all, a professional climate scientist).

    You obviously didn’t get that “globe is cooling” idea from studying temperature data!

    Most of us who read here regularly, do know where you got it. This is your opportunity for an epiphany: to realize that you got that idea from people who are either likewise ignorant of the data and its proper analysis, or who are outright lying to you. And that is the real reason you believe the science is not settled: you’ve been a victim of propaganda.

    Comment by tamino — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:52 AM

  474. Michael @463, please, please, please tell me that you aren’t arguing that rising CO2 levels are actually causing an increase in human longevity. Because if you are, you should really consider giving power of attorney to somebody who is competent to manage your affairs.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:04 AM

  475. To all those calling for both “sides” to come together, how ’bout this. Let’s have the denialists go off and come up with a coherent position based on peer reviewed science. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

    [crickets chirping]

    In the mean time, mind if we get on with basing policy on established science. Because there are only two options: We can base the policy on the science or we can go against the science. There’s no middle ground. Science or anti-science. Choose!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:14 AM

  476. WRT to the (alleged) correlation between CO2 and human longevity: correlation is not, as our denialist friends like to stress–on alternate days, anyhow–causation.

    Otherwise the following would be a compelling argument:

    The increase in human longevity strongly correlates with money spent on armaments; hence, let’s spend everything on guns & bombs so we can all live forever.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:27 AM

  477. RE: 467

    Hey CM,

    I kind of like the experiments being carried out by Dr. Jason Box (OSU) and team, ( http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/discovery-project-earth-wrapping-glaciers-in-a-nutshell.html ) when it comes to looking at the effect of sun on ice. As recently as last year in association with research of Dr. Hall of NASA, they were reviewing the creation and drainage of Greenland Ice Melt Ponds via moulins.

    Part of the experiment was to employ a white polypropylene cover or canvas of nearly 1 acre in coverage to see if this has any effect on the ice surrounding the melt pond.

    This was similar to an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps in regards to a glacier associated with a ski resort. It was clearly demonstrated by insulating and protecting the ice with a partially solar reflective cover it was possible to prevent much ice melt and contributed to a hardening of the slushy ice that had surrounded the melt pond.

    The real interesting thing was that the slushy ice would have been devoid of dark aerosols, as these would already have washed out of the ice. This left the formation of of nodules of ice where the snow had partially melted and then refroze. Apparently these nodules were enough to concentrate solar insolation to increase melting.

    There were also questions regarding the warming of the surface atmosphere and the possibility that warm air was participating in the advancing of the melting. If we look at the air temperature on a micro scale it was more likely that there would be a temperature inversion layer within feet of the surface which would have reduced the cool to warm convection in the absence of wind.

    Generally, in this region you may have several melt re-freeze cycles, with a blanket of new fallen snow with a reflectivity in the UV range of near 90% versus something in the area of 50% of ice within the first foot. (Keeping in mind that even absorption and re-emission is in essence reflection as nearly all reflective phenomena includes a value of the depth of penetration and then a possible transfer of penetrating energy to the reflecting body.) So this then begs the question, if the experiment had been done with a simple aluminum foil sheet or a white painted aluminum foil painted sheet would they get the same results?

    I suspect that solar insolation is a primary driver of snow and ice melt above 60 Deg., even to the point of sublimation due to changes in vapor pressure. (Though 540 calories/gm versus 80 calories/gm would indicate a very high level of input energy…) However, the possibility of warm winds also contributes to the equation. (We also have the issue of LW radiation, hence a new experiment with a spectrally selective conductive cover would be a worth while follow up experiment.) Sad to say that is unlikely to occur this year, or in time for the IPCC model design.

    In essence, rather then argue the issue, why not fund the experiment, it would go a lot further to proving a point as opposed to debating the possible outcome…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:30 AM

  478. EL says, “I would also like to point out that the father of electromagnetism and one of the most important scientist of all time was an uneducated librarian. Michael Faraday….”

    Um, I wouldn’t exactly call Faraday uneducated. His education was mostly informal, but at the time, that was not an insurmountable handicap.

    Also, note that I didn’t claim that those from scientific disciplines could not contribute–merely that they would have to educate themselves prior to making meaningful contributions.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:30 AM

  479. Re #471:
    Doctor: You have been shot in the leg.
    Patient: No, I haven’t.
    Doctor: Here is the entry wound in your thigh, and here is an x-ray showing the bullet lodged in your femur.
    Patient: I doubt the accuracy of that x-ray, but I will *assume* that you *believe* that I have been shot in the leg.

    Comment by spilgard — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:52 AM

  480. CTG, I tried too. Even showed them Barton’s excellent “How to estimate planetary temperatures,” but they had none of it. First they said the Mars and Venus measurements weren’t measured, just computed; then they said we couldn’t measure temperatures on other planets; then they said we’d need billions of measurements to estimate average surface temperature.

    Willful ignorance may be one of the strongest and most inert substances on Earth.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:27 AM

  481. pete best Says:
    30 June 2009 at 4:20 PM

    “Oh yes, the deniers are getting more and more desperate as their nonsense is failing and president Obama at least takes the first tentative steps for the USA to tackle thier oil imports as a good proxy for dealing with their fossil fuels usage. Its not so easy for coal and gas but it could all come under the umbrella of this legislation.

    Gavins patience is astounding on this site and I really hope it is not interupting his more important work of science, something that the denialists have no idea about, nor being courteous and intelligent either.”

    No wonder they chucked you out of The Beatles whith these sorts of opinions.

    Comment by Jimmy Haigh — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:46 AM

  482. #439’s comment on Francis 419
    So what are your qualification Ray? As a physicist Francis would have a good grounding in basic science & math. Even more important, the ability to take a realistic look at things being presented to him.

    Comment by J. Bob — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:52 AM

  483. Darren – The misunderstanding you have with my analogy is that you cannot simply peel off the greenhouse gases as you can with your clothing; however, you are correct that it does have to come off through reduction in emissions.

    Scientist have already done much of the relationship work to put the CO2 problem into context. If you review some of the literature, you can see what the temperature rise is expected from the greenhouse gas problem. The literature involves the work of an army of scientist and mathematicians.

    You are correct that the global warming problem is complex. The CO2 problem spawns new problems that effect the CO2 problem. For example, the melting of the ice in the arctics. Although you may have heard about sea level rise, you have most likely heard less about other major issues that are involved. When ice forms, it traps gases inside of it. When ice melts, it releases the gases back into the atmosphere. One major problem with the arctics, it has a large storage of methane trapped in the ice. Methane is twenty times more effective at trapping heat than CO2. So as our CO2 emissions continue to melt the ice, it worsens the problem through the release of methane. It’s a cascading effect.

    There is also some CO2 reduction in the natural world. For example, trees feed upon CO2 and emit oxygen as a waste. So scientist have to account for how much of the CO2 the trees are able to remove from the atmosphere. Regretfully, deforestation has worsen the problem because there are fewer trees to help us take care of the CO2.

    The large bulk of CO2 reduction is coming from our oceans. The oceans are absorbing the CO2, and the added CO2 is causing the PH level in our oceans to drop; as a result, our oceans are becoming acidic. The acidification of our oceans is a huge problem, and I would go as far as to say it is our largest problem. Even if all other problems of CO2 disappeared, we could not ignore the acidification of our oceans.

    Scientist are not suggesting that people go back into the ancient world; instead, they are asking for new technologies to replace older ones so that we do not emit as much CO2. The reduction would help solve some of our problems while people would enjoy cleaner air.

    Comment by EL — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:58 AM

  484. For Ed Bradford @461 and Todd @468:

    Look at the temperature this plot:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1880/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1880/trend

    Notice that temperatures went down in 1883, 1891, 1904, 1917, 1929, 1950, 1964, 1976, 1992, 2000.

    But also notice that every drop in temperature was followed by a rise that wiped out that drop and took us higher than it was before before the drop.

    That means the underlying long term trend in climate is up. It’s up due to carbon emissions.

    Capthcha provides the reason: “Fouled Development”

    Comment by Jim Eager — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:19 AM

  485. “Dennis Rogers Says:
    30 June 2009 at 22:58

    Does there exist a video debate on global warming which I can view”

    Google for the Youtube videos “crock of the week”.

    Comment by Mark — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:33 AM

  486. “On energy to human success, energy is important to modern society, and I don’t think anyone can create successful arguments to the contrary.”

    I have several times.

    Port Talbot Steelworks.

    Insulation/airflow vs Air Con.

    It’s what you get OUT of energy that’s important. Not the energy

    Comment by Mark — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:37 AM

  487. “Phew, now that at least is out of the way. Let me just say that neither side is correct. At this stage in the game we simply don’t have a full grasp of the picture. How does everything work?”

    A) You’re wrong. One side is correct and the other side lying.

    B) We don’t need to know how everything works to work out how to safely park a car. So why must we know EVERYTHING here?

    At the very basis we have two absolutely inviolate truths:

    Energy is being retained by a blanket of gas and that retention is increasing.

    If energy is retained, heat increases.

    If nothing else, this shows there is global warming.

    But one side keeps saying it isn’t happening.

    Comment by Mark — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:40 AM

  488. Steve 440 says: “A recent paper by Douglas and Christy seems to claim that either 2C02 would lead to less than 1C or if 2C02 leads to greater than 1C then some forcing other than aerosols must be “masking” CO2’s effect….”

    And does that level of increase fit with the paleoclimate?

    No.

    So what is the source of the warming excess seen in the records then?

    Or has physical reality changed dramatically in the last 10,000 years?

    Comment by Mark — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:44 AM

  489. Ray 474, I’m trying to logically define our relationship with fossil fuels. Given the idea that hairless apes are very energy dependant, what would restricting access to certain energy choices do to their welfare?

    Technically speaking, until you have established this relationship you can’t make statements like “a worldwide migration to energy alternatives will actually benefit mankind.” Correct?

    [Response: “welfare” calculations include downstream costs. You might as well question restricting factories choices to dump pollutants in streams since that can cost them money. The issue is that right now, no price is being paid for future damages due to climate change and that will directly effect welfare. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:51 AM

  490. I have been saying — and occasionally commenting here — since the November 2008 election, that now that the new administration and the new majority in Congress are moving to take action — however belated and inadequate — to reduce CO2 emissions, which necessarily means action to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, that the fossil fuel corporations and their political allies would kick their campaign of deceit and denial into overdrive.

    That’s exactly what’s happening. And it is reflected in the media coverage — both the so-called “mainstream” media and the so-called “conservative” media — as well as the onslaught of cut-and-pasted, scripted denialist drivel comments being posted by Ditto-Heads on blogs everywhere.

    And it’s only going to get worse now that legislation has passed the House and the legislative effort moves on to the Senate.

    To the admirable hosts of RealClimate: brace yourselves.

    (By the way, the suggestion that CO2 emissions in themselves are causally connected to human well-being, and that reducing CO2 emissions in itself threatens human well-being, is just about the stupidest denialist drivel-point I have ever heard, and that’s saying a lot.)

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Jul 2009 @ 10:56 AM

  491. According to Fuller, 2C is all the warming we’re ever going to get, and no more ice is going to melt.

    It should be obvious that increasing temperatures cannot melt ice. There’s no physics behind it.

    So then, no need to worry.

    Also note that 1000 ppm will not be much of a problem…I feel so much better now.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:09 AM

  492. Jim, save those quotes. They’ll come in handy when Fuller tells us that Martian warming proves that Terrestrial warming is solar-driven.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:23 AM

  493. BPL, unable to answer a simple yes or no either then. That’s O.K. (btw, none of your retort (465) had any bearing on the sample question.)

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:53 AM

  494. Al Gore spoke out for action on global warming (starting with Earth in the Balance) because virtually no one else was. Same reason Janeane Garofalo spoke out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Both were completely correct. Neither were selected by some sort of ballot process. Climate scientists did not elect Senator or Vice President Gore as a spokesperson for action on carbon and climate change. The millions of people in the US did not hold a secret election and say, “that Janeane Garofalo never offends anyone, let’s make HER the face of anti-invasion!” She was relatively well-known and willing to go on any show that would have her and hold her ground.

    The people pegging sensible, reality-based policies on celebrities are the opponents of sensible, reality-based policies, not their advocates. And being long DEAD doesn’t save you from this cynical ploy, as Rachel Carson could tell you, if she was not in fact dead lo these many years.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  495. RodB stated:
    “BPL, unable to answer a simple yes or no either then. That’s O.K. (btw, none of your retort (465) had any bearing on the sample question.)”

    Rod, you are [edit]. The [edit-lets keep this civil] question has been explained like a hundred times to you, and you still keep harping on. Go figure!

    Comment by Petro — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:17 PM

  496. Re: #493 (Rod B)

    Rod, your attempt to insinuate cooling from 1998 to 2008 is infantile. You’ve been corrected, you’ve been informed, you can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse. I conclude that you’ll grasp at any straw to hold on to your misconception. Rest assured of this: you’re not fooling anyone except yourself.

    Comment by tamino — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:20 PM

  497. Guess we’ll all have to learn how to eat jellyfish and squid.

    Comment by Toby — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  498. Gavin 489, I totally agree calculations must include downstream costs. My argument is that you can’t even calculate downstream costs until you define the human/energy relationship.

    Is there a link between energy availability and welfare? How significant is it? Is it so sensitive that any disruption would be disastrous? Or maybe its such an insignificant link that we can write it off as non-existent?

    Comment by Michael — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:32 PM

  499. Marion: And being long DEAD doesn’t save you from this cynical ploy, as Rachel Carson could tell you, if she was not in fact dead lo these many years.

    Indeed — Over on the SF Examiner blog, Tom Fuller recently invoked Carl Sagan against climate science: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:49 PM

  500. Kevin, good thinking. But I’m done with feeding that particular troll.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 1 Jul 2009 @ 12:50 PM

  501. #477 L. David Cooke:

    “In essence, rather then argue the issue, why not fund the experiment, it would go a lot further to proving a point as opposed to debating the possible outcome…”

    This highlights one of the revealing gaps in the general chumposphere babble. If these folks were so concerned about getting the science right and if they had the wits to consider the costs of research versus the costs they’ve attributed to climate repair, they’d be screaming for more funding for climate research. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t hear that. I hear a lot of “let’s study it more”, but I don’t hear any corresponding “and let’s make sure scientists are given all the tools they need”.

    Elsewhere, Gavin has mentioned the rather tragic fact of petabytes of unprocessed and unexamined raw weather and climate related data product from satellites. Compared to mitigation costs, tackling that with an eye to revealing more empirical measurements as well as refining models would cost an invisibly small amount of money. Where is the outrage from the chumposphere that we’re ignoring this information? Where are the claims of suppression? Where are the letters and phone calls to Washington demanding this oversight be fixed?

    No, instead we’ve had the sole satellite specifically intended to help advance climate science sitting on a shelf for a decade, thanks to dullard politicians sniffing the wind from their constituents and donors and deciding they’d rather not know about reality, for good or ill. It costs millions of dollars to –not– use the satellite, while in storage it’s been dropped and broken by Lockheed, who are now charging us to fix it, but by gosh that’s better than being confronted with more data.

    Yet another feature of the incoherence of the chumposphere.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:02 PM

  502. Michael Says (1 July 2009 at 2:28):

    “Lets say anthropogenic CO2 and human life expectancy have risen together to levels unprecedented in history – just for argument’s sake. Someone comes along and wishes to decrease CO2. If this person were actually concerned with human welfare, wouldn’t he want to provide strong evidence that his actions would not decrease human life expectancy?”

    Certainly, and that strong evidence has been provided, by e.g. showing lack of any causal mechanism for CO2 to have produced an increase in life expectancy, and by linking the observed increases to actual causes that have no relation to CO2. So now what would you say to a person who simply ignores all that evidence? And indeed, ignores strong evidence that CO2 emissions-related factors decrease longevity & quality of life (e.g. respiratory problems from fossil fuel emissions, obesity from driving everywhere…), and are likely to have a much more drastic impact in the near future?

    Comment by James — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:29 PM

  503. “So sorry Ray, expertise matters, but maybe it will take more than just climate scientists to get things fixed. Machines will not be built without engineers. Projects will not get funded without businessmen. Sensible economic policy needs economists. And laws will not get passed without lawyers.” Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. 30 June 2009 at 9:49 PM

    And as long as businessmen with a vested interest(Exxon/Mobil, Peabody Coal, power companies), and economists with a political bias(CEI, Heartland, Cato, Wall Street), and lawyers( Bachmann, Cornyn, Cantor) believe that they know more about global warming than climate scientists, nothing will get done to combat global warming. As long as they believe that their livelihood depends on believing that global warming isn’t real, they will continue Business As Usual. Engineers will agnostically build tar sand refineries, or solar power plants, or arctic drilling rigs, or windmills, or lead cooled liquid metal fast breeder reactors.

    If the deniers ever come to realize that their life depends on having done something about global warming, that the scientists were right, it will likely be too late (Better models may show in a few years that the Arctic methane/permafrost carbon tipping point was passed in 2007). Given the level of denialism in the face of glacial mass loss, plummeting Arctic summer ice cover, progressive collapse of ice shelves that have been stable for 6000 to 10000 years, northward, upward, and seasonally earlier movements of ecosystems and other phenological changes, increasing Greenland ice melt, and all the other direct observations of global warming, I think denialists will go to their graves believing it can’t be happening. Unfortunately, given the catastrophe facing us, many people, scientists and sinners both, will be going to their graves sooner rather than later.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:29 PM

  504. #467 CM

    I am with you all the way on your last. Thanks.

    My extrapolation of lower frequency (RF) reflection coefficient to optical wavelengths was way off. While much energy is reflected at very low grazing angles for either wavelength band, this drops much faster for light than RF.

    I also checked a number of angles and conditions at the albedo calculator site and this cleared up my question about the definition of albedo, as used in this climate modeling world. Yes, the specular part is included as well as the diffuse part. Anne van der Bom’s point about the effect of wind is also demonstrated by the calculator.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:50 PM

  505. Rod B #288,289

    From GISS, the mean annual anamoly for 19898 was +0.70 degrees C; the mean annual anomoly for 2008 was +0.55 degrees C. Over this latest “past” decade, is this rising or falling?

    Just for fun I’ll bite, althouugh Tamino’s response says it all. It is both rising and falling, many times over. How many times cannot be decided from the data given.

    For fun, can I get from you or Mark a yes or no answer to my question?

    After you explained how to map rising/falling to yes/no, I might consider. For fun.

    I agree with Tamino, the mere nature of your question shows that you’ve crossed the line honest people don’t cross… I’m ashamed of ever having considered you worthy of attempts at teaching. But that’s a small shame by comparison, and easy to bear.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 1 Jul 2009 @ 1:53 PM

  506. Mark – “It’s what you get OUT of energy that’s important. Not the energy”

    Are you actually serious?

    If you do not have the energy to get out of bed, you are not going to accomplish anything regardless of your intentions. Why would you even attempt to argue for such nonsense? I think it’s quite clear energy is an important part of human life.

    Marion Delgado – Since the reputation of Al Gore has been damaged by political spins, he may not be the best face for climate science. Although he did not say he invented the internet, many people believe that he did because of the republicans’ spin. People continue to claim it even though computer scientist have stood up for him, and the person who did the interview (wolf on cnn) stood up as well. If republicans say something, many people believe it as gospel regardless of facts. It’s a shame really.

    Comment by EL — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:08 PM

  507. James 502, definitly not a fan of ignoring evidence. I do, however, love to examine evidence.

    Your “lack of any causal mechanism” doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Take a look at worldwide poverty statistics. What would it take to give every one of these people healthcare for example? Hospitals, hospital supplies, roads, emergency services, pharmecuticals, Doctors, are a few pieces of industry that come to mind.

    Given a very optimistic energy mix of renewables vs fossil fuels available today, CO2 emissions would go up. I find it very counterintuitive to suggest CO2 emissions would go down. Certainly there are cases where emissions could go down, but the overall tendancy would be up. Agreed?

    Comment by Michael — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:13 PM

  508. Doug Bostrom
    “Elsewhere, Gavin has mentioned the rather tragic fact of petabytes of unprocessed and unexamined raw weather and climate related data product from satellites. Compared to mitigation costs, tackling that with an eye to revealing more empirical measurements as well as refining models would cost an invisibly small amount of money”

    Is the information not accessible or what?

    [Response: It’s technically accessible, but practically not. That is, if you wanted to look through it for interesting events, you could download everything (if you had enough disk space and many years of time) and you’d have to go through it all yourself. Smarter filters at the server sites would require a more active database structure and that would allow much more science to be done. People are working on it, but progress is slow. – gavin]

    Comment by EL — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:18 PM

  509. #503 Brian Dodge:

    “And as long as businessmen with a vested interest(Exxon/Mobil, Peabody Coal, power companies), and economists with a political bias(CEI, Heartland, Cato, Wall Street), and lawyers( Bachmann, Cornyn, Cantor) believe that they know more about global warming than climate scientists, nothing will get done to combat global warming. As long as they believe that their livelihood depends on believing that global warming isn’t real, they will continue Business As Usual. Engineers will agnostically build tar sand refineries, or solar power plants, or arctic drilling rigs, or windmills, or lead cooled liquid metal fast breeder reactors.”

    And of course they -don’t- believe they know more. What they absolutely do know is that they’re in serious danger of a substantial redirection of cash flow, a plain fact only made more real by their stubborn intransigence.

    This is long past being a discussion about science. It’s purely a struggle over where money is going, lots of it, enough cash to dissolve the ethical underpinnings of all but the most rigidly scrupulous persons.

    Fear mongering over costs to consumers and economic dislocation ignores that while we may end up sequestering some carbon, we won’t be sequestering money, only changing its vector. That’s the remaining nub of the “debate”.

    It’s not unreasonable to speculate that the compelling requirement to unleash capital to fix our climate dilemma will likely benefit of the general public’s wallet. The people trying to keep cash steered as it is today have the megaphone and are shouting as loud as they can to make sure we don’t think about that. They want to keep the market static so they’re tampering with it to those ends.

    Redistribution, but not communism, far from it. In 50 years’ time the commercial beneficiaries of climate change will be calling the shots.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:27 PM

  510. Jim Galasyn wrote: “Tom Fuller recently invoked Carl Sagan against climate science: ‘Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.'”

    You know, that is a very unfortunate aphorism from Carl Sagan, that has been invoked in many horrible ways over the years.

    Why? Because the judgment as to what constitutes an “extraordinary” claim is wholly subjective, as is the judgment as to what constitutes sufficiently “extraordinary” evidence to support whatever someone subjectively feels is an “extraordinary” claim.

    In fields as diverse as parapsychology and climate science, that aphorism has been invoked to say that “your claim is extraordinary (because it conflicts with my a priori beliefs about ‘how things are’) so it requires extraordinary evidence (and no evidence is sufficiently extraordinary to overturn my a priori beliefs)”.

    Subjectively, I find nothing remotely “extraordinary” about the basic science of anthropogenic global warming. Indeed it is sufficiently ordinary that even a non-scientist like myself can understand it pretty well.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:31 PM

  511. #431 J. Bob: “The basic rule we used in evaluating a statistical analysis was “The more complex the analysis, the more suspicious the results”. That’s why “How to Lie with Statistics” is still being sold.”

    Would this be the same J. Bob who used FFT (seriously complex stats) to “prove” that long-term cycles in the temperature record are more significant than the linear trend revealed by linear regression (one of the simplest stats there is)?

    Comment by CTG — 1 Jul 2009 @ 2:31 PM

  512. [Response: It’s technically accessible, but practically not. That is, if you wanted to look through it for interesting events, you could download everything (if you had enough disk space and many years of time) and you’d have to go through it all yourself. Smarter filters at the server sites would require a more active database structure and that would allow much more science to be done. People are working on it, but progress is slow. – gavin]

    Wouldn’t a network such as the one being used by http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/ be of benefit?

    Could be a ghetto solution to your problem =P

    Comment by EL — 1 Jul 2009 @ 3:08 PM

  513. Re 10 year trend.
    Yes it is positive. But the 12 year trend is negative for all datasets but GISS.

    [Response: Ah. But it’s positive again for 13 years and longer…. do you begin to see what cherry picking means? – gavin]

    Comment by Carl — 1 Jul 2009 @ 3:39 PM

  514. #511 CTG

    Its a good thing you were not around when they decided to put ears on creatures of the world. Otherwise, you would have told them they were too complex.

    Seriously, you can’t be coming out against harmonic analysis. The FFT is extremely useful in detecting harmonic content in a sequence of data samples. Once accomplished, sometimes, a harmonic component can be removed and then linear regression is greatly enhanced.

    I have no idea what J.Bob did. My comment is only related to your disparaging of the FFT.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 1 Jul 2009 @ 4:27 PM

  515. re: #468 Todd

    I’m doing a little “social science research”, so maybe you can kindly help me.

    You write:
    “I am not a scientist [a]
    I have looked at both sides of the AGW issue [b]
    I am of the opinion that the “science is not settled” and that more verification of the climate models is necessary [c]
    I am concerned that, in our rush to reduce CO2, we may pass a climate bill that devastates our country’s economy” [d]

    I accept [a] as likely to be a fact.

    I accept that it is a fact that [c] and [d] are indeed your opinions, although of course, opinions are not themselves facts.

    I don’t understand what [b] actually means:

    What *are* your sources for “I’ve looked at both sides”, and what is the extent of “looking”?

    a) Read a a few blogs?

    b) Read articles in lay science magazines like Scientific American or
    New Scientist?

    c) Read at least one general book by a real climate scientist,
    ~ David Archer’s “The Long Thaw”, or Michael Mann & Lee Kump’s “Dire Predictions”?

    d) Read a textbook for college non-science majors, by a real climate scientist, ~ Archer’s “Global warming – Understanding the Forecast”?

    If you haven’t at least gotten to c), are you willing to?
    [Some people are willing, others will not read a basic book by any climate scientist.

    Put another way, can you rate your various sources for credibility? Clearly, RC is low on your scale, as well as the IPCC, AAAS, National Academy of Sciences, etc. What’s high?

    Thanks for any response.

    Comment by John Mashey — 1 Jul 2009 @ 4:32 PM

  516. Nice roundup on ice at New Scientist:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327151.300-sea-level-rise-its-worse-than-we-thought.html?page=1

    Of course it’s Euro-influenced, so if they say “up” is “up”, you need to believe “up” is “down” because they have their culture, we have ours. Not that I’m prejudiced; some of my best friends are European. Come to think of it, I’m an EU citizen. But I’m an American citizen too. What to believe???

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 4:43 PM

  517. #512 Jim:

    He’s not trashing the FFT, just pointing out how in another thread J.Bob wasted a lot of glucose concocting a contorted application of the FFT to identify a what J.Bob believes is a fundamental error that overturns the field of paleoclimatology. J.Bob imagined he teased this out using a single data set covering central England, macerated by the FFT.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 4:49 PM

  518. Jim Bullis (#504), that’s cleared up then. The polar bears and I were really rooting for you to be right, hoping there might be one less feedback to worry about. Anyway, it’s been an education.

    Dave Cooke (#477), sounds like you might be interested in a thesis I stumbled across on Optical properties of snow and sea ice (Pedersen 2007, PDF, 2.7MB). From the summary:

    …A new sea-ice albedo parameterization scheme has been
    developed and implemented in ECHAM5 general circulation model, and includes important components like albedo decay due to snow aging, ice thickness dependency and an explicit treatment of melt pond albedo. Overall, the new albedo scheme reduces the sea-ice albedo,
    resulting in an overall reduction in sea-ice thickness, concentration and volume, particularly for northern hemisphere in summer due to the inclusion of melt ponds…

    Comment by CM — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:04 PM

  519. Re: #512 (Jim Bullis)

    I’m quite confident that CTG was not, in any way, disparaging the FFT. He was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of J. Bob’s using complicated analysis when it suits his purpose, but disparaging it when it fails to do so. I’m a great admirer of many Fourier methods; my complaint with J. Bob’s analysis is that he bungled the job.

    It’s not the tool (simple or complex) that’s problematic; it’s the ape behind it.

    Comment by tamino — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:10 PM

  520. #434 GD

    What’s a climatist?

    Your incredible grasp of the english language, not to mention climate science, is truly mind-numbing.

    As to your depopulating comment I have an idea. Let’s say worst case scenario does happen and people eventually start contemplating what color to make the soylent cookies.

    If you are wrong, how about you and all the folks delaying meaningful action due to ignorance, or fraud, be placed first in line for cookie dough?

    And if you are right and all that extra CO2 has no negative effects, and life in the future is wonderful, and life on earth becomes even more diverse and many species are added rather than become extinct, and the the fiat economy is booming based on the Keyensian model, and the long purported idea of a free market as promulgated on MSNBC by Larry Kudlow makes the economy safer and more productive than ever (and we get rid of all those silly regulations regarding safety and pollution that limit the profit potential of corporations), you can eat me (though in the world you imagine, you probably would prefer a nice ribeye).

    BTW, you made such a strong statement, why would you be scared to post your real name?

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:12 PM

  521. Petro (495), so, you can not give a yes or no answer (of which “explanation” is neither) either. Still O.K. I’m just curious.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:20 PM

  522. tamino (496), not simple enough. Sounds like it could be a “no”, but doesn’t quite get there. Still O.K.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:25 PM

  523. Re #513 (John Mashey): I’m all for social science research (with or without quotation marks), but it seems very likely to me that some of these posters are bright 12 year olds playing games, some are paid provocateurs, and some wouldn’t tell you the truth to save their lives (and maybe a couple are sincere and don’t know how to use an index or search engine). I can’t believe the results you get could possibly be useful except for an abnormal psychology project. Hmmm, I think I just figured out why you used quotation marks.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:30 PM

  524. In fairness I should add that J.Bob unlike so many other gullible folks is at least not a mindless parrot. He attempted to verify by independent means the retail misdirection being doled out by publicists. Bad entry angle, burned up, but at least tried something independent. I should have considered that earlier, my bad, makes me feel a bit ashamed for being so sarcastic on the earlier thread.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:31 PM

  525. Michael Says (1 July 2009 at 14:13):

    “Take a look at worldwide poverty statistics. What would it take to give every one of these people healthcare for example?”

    First question: how much has all of that health care actually contributed to increased life expectancy? Not a lot, at least according to the CDC, because 5/6th of the increased life expectancy in the US was due to public health improvements: http://cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm (Note that’s just for the 20th century. There was a lot of basic work in the 19th century, such as asepsis, sanitation, vaccination, even the basic germ theory of disease.) Those use very little energy, and could at need be done with even less.

    For that remaining 1/6th, we might ask how much of what you list is actually required to provide an adequate level of health care, how much energy is needed, and how much has to come from fossil fuels. Rather than bore everyone with a recitation, I’d suggest reading up on China’s “Barefoot Doctor” program.

    “I find it very counterintuitive to suggest CO2 emissions would go down. Certainly there are cases where emissions could go down, but the overall tendancy would be up. Agreed?”

    Not at all. Consider for example that the leading cause of premature death in the US is heart disease, while automobile accidents also cause a significant number of deaths. Medicine can treat these, sometimes successfully, at great expense. So if a large fraction of the population walked or biked instead of driving, CO2 emissions would go down while life expectancy went up.

    Comment by James — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:33 PM

  526. Doug B. (501), even as a skeptic I fully agree with you that tons of resources out to be put into climate research (and other related efforts), including launching those helpful satellites. But if you think you can process the peta (and peta) bytes of information with petty cash and a free afternoon, you’re grossly mistaken.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:34 PM

  527. Rod B, have you stopped beating your wife?
    A yes or no answer, please.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:42 PM

  528. Martin V (505), can’t do it either. So far it’s unanimous. All is still O.K.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:44 PM

  529. 517 John asks, “#434 GD, why would you be scared to post your real name?”

    Because he’s an ignorant cage-rattler doing a drive-by insult for fun. My guess is that he was drunk. On a positive note, he was on topic – his post was bubkes.

    Comment by RichardC — 1 Jul 2009 @ 5:51 PM

  530. Carl (513), I don’t know if you’re referring to this little snit going on over my question, but your “yes” answer is interesting, although the question did not explicitly ask about “trends”.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:02 PM

  531. I’m finding it difficult to wade through the comments here in order to find any meaningful information…

    How about a simple climate lesson for the neophytes?

    100% of the Earth’s warmth comes from the sun, right? If the sun were to stop emitting heat there would be no heat on Earth. Is this true or false? If false, what would the temperature of the Earth be without the sun? (I realize no one really knows, but I’m sure there is a calculation that would give a hypothetical answer)

    Though mankind’s existence on the face of the earth is certainly a variable for generated heat, such heat is insignificant in comparison to the changes in heat from the sun, specifically compared to the changes in Earth’s temperature due to the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle. Is this true or false? If false, can you calculate what comparative significance heat generated by mankind has. I have read a bit about greenhouse gases, reflection of heat from Earth’s surface, etc. but can’t imagine man having any real significant ability to change Earth’s temperature at all. I heard that all the humans in the world would fit in a 1 mile by 1 mile by 1 mile cube…if that is true mankind’s affect on climate should be effectively nothing.

    Though CO2 may reflect heat back down to the earth, isn’t CO2 the gas plant life needs to live? Isn’t it a dichotomy then to call CO2 a pollutant…restricting what plants need to live can’t be a long-term good thing. Is this true or false. If false, meaning calling CO2 a pollutant is a good thing, then please explain how the heck plants will fare if man is successful in eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Man-made climate change proponents indicate something like a 1-2 degree rise in Earth’s temperature over the course of many years. Wouldn’t that make longer growing seasons in latitudes north of 39º? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? True or false? If false, please explain why.

    Since proponents of man-made climate change insist that man’s actions here can affect global weather, especially and specifically temperature, why did they waffle on the original term “global warming”? Why did they change that to “climate change”? I understand it is because in the last few years the temperature of the Earth has actually cooled so, rather than lose the momentum they had gained to make political inroads to underwrite global measures to control societies’ behaviors when it comes to things like use of fossil fuels, proponents decided to cut their losses and change the term so they wouldn’t be obviously wrong to the masses as it snowed on various global warming rallies. True or false? If false, please explain why the term did change.

    I heard that if the climate was going to change, 1-2º higher would be a lot less devastating than 1-2º cooler because of growing seasons. I heard the Potato famine of the 1800s was due to a cooler than normal period. True or false? If false, please explain.

    I am not very impressed by statistics and studies by scientists who are backing the science that mankind is responsible for climate change, though admittedly I probably have read an insignificant fraction compared with what all of you have read. Yet when I see data that 150% of Earth’s heat is radiated up from Earth I become very skeptical. 150%? How I reason is, “if even I can think of basic information that casts doubt on the idea of man-made climate change, then either the data for the idea is not very strong, or the scientists reporting it are not making a very articulate argument.”

    If I’m going to pay for any measure to control the weather, I need a lot more proof than what I’m seeing reported.

    I would appreciate your answers.

    [Response: Most of your questions (and some misconceptions) would be answered by reading the IPCC FAQ pages. Try there first and then come back if you still have questions. -gavin]

    Comment by Liz Bockelman — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:03 PM

  532. #525 Rod B:

    …if you think you can process the peta (and peta) bytes of information with petty cash and a free afternoon…”

    Gee, I just read my post and I can’t see where I said that. Are you hallucinating?

    Paraphrasing myself, I said that compared to the costs of mitigation we see thrown around by hired publicists, the price of processing the data is very low, “invisible” perhaps being a touch hyperbolic. I’ll go further and say that compared to the price of building, launching and operating the constellation of satellites in question, finishing the job would be relatively cheap. Gavin implies that to make the data useful it’s a matter of incorporating it into an interactive database, with all that entails. At bottom we’re talking about a pretty significant disk array and several FTE dweebs working for a few months, I suspect. Money and time, in short supply because we all like low taxes. Really insurmountable, uh-huh.

    It’s all about “no, we can’t do that, we’re so helpless, we give up, somebody tell us what to do” in the chumposphere, apparently.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:03 PM

  533. Back to the topic of journalists and news articles by author, this from Google’s updates:

    “Search by Author on Google News

    … new Search by Author feature on Google News. If you spot an article with a reporter’s byline, click the name to bring up other articles by that person. You can also find a specific journalist’s articles by typing “author:” followed by their name in the Google News search box.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:16 PM

  534. ooo, ooo can i play too ?

    the temperature in my basement was 68F last week but is 66F today. I propose the theory of Universal Basement Cooling.

    But then it is revealed that the temperature was 69F yesterday. I retract my theory and propose Recent Basement Cooling.

    Next, I find that just one hour ago my basement was at 70F. I now propose a theory of Even More Recent Basement Cooling.

    This is what passes for argument among denialist howler monkeys.

    On a more serious note, when someone asks me to compare two numbers, my first question is: what is the scatter in the data ?

    Comment by sidd — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:20 PM

  535. Michael @507, isn’t it amazing how all we need to do is mention climate change and conservatives discover third world poverty.

    Everybody, sing it: “Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbaya…”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:21 PM

  536. # Rod B
    > rising or falling?

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/08/mcintyre_has_another_go_at_han.php

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Jul 2009 @ 6:42 PM

  537. The Pielkian reality behind global warming … http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/upload/2009/07/Gisstemp-Fig.A2pielke.png

    Solved! Thanks, Tim

    Comment by pjclarke — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:01 PM

  538. RE: 518

    Hey CM,

    Thanks, great catch, I am very interested in this subject recently…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:06 PM

  539. re: #534 Ray

    Yes, the Viscount Monckton has discovered the poor of the world, as has Bjorn Lomborg, who generally does it better.

    It’s a misdirection argument, i.e., a particular form of false dilemma, and related to the arguments *for* geoengineering in the Carlin paper, of which Gavin said:

    “Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering…”

    I don’t think that’s curious at all :-)

    a) Someone who is seriously concerned about climate might well argue that that we need to research geoengineering techniques, especially when we can do it cheap, just in case. Some people even spend their own time and money doing it, and even know something about R&D management where you do research before you start wanting to build big.

    People might look at Ice 911, a shoestring, very targeted effort to slow down polar icemelt by increasing albedo.

    Leslie Field, who runs this is a sharp person and gives a good talk on this, including showing samples of the materials under investigation, pictures of experiments, discussions of experiments scheduled in Canadian lakes, etc.

    She has some pretty good advisors, some of whose names people might recognize.

    b) But, in other cases, geoengineering = “anything but CO2 reductions”, masquerading as promoting geoengineering, just as “CO2 reductions will hurt the poor” often does.

    Comment by John Mashey — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:47 PM

  540. Bupkes, AKA goat droppings, is contagious.

    Seems like all the stooges are picking up goat droppings.

    YAHOO epa hannity

    Comment by francois — 1 Jul 2009 @ 7:59 PM

  541. Michael @498, OK, now that we’ve established that you are not in immediate danger of a judgment of non compos mentis, why are you assuming that human welfare is dependent particularly on fossil fuels rather than on energy resources in general? What do you suppose will happen when we run out of fossil fuels, as we are likely to do in the near future(decades for oil and perhaps a century for coal)?

    Ultimately, if human civilization is to survive, it must be sustainable–and that means it has to get by on renewable energy resources. I’m afraid I don’t see a way around that. Climate change merely adds urgency.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:06 PM

  542. To any skeptic who believes Carlin’s views should be taken seriously, care to back up this assertion of his with a scientific reference:

    “global temperatures are roughly where they were in the mid-20th century. ”

    Say what?

    Garbage material should be treated as garbage. It’s not the obligation of the EPA to incorporate into its report easily-falsifiable material from every fringe individual. If someone wrote a report and said global warming was caused by cupcakes, it’s hardly “supression” to see it considered and dismissed.

    Comment by MarkB — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:08 PM

  543. Re: #109

    RodB writes:

    “I would say a 50% increase in my electric bill”

    Before caving in to such alarmism, have a look at the non-partisan CBO study on this:

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/103xx/doc10327/06-19-CapAndTradeCosts.pdf

    You’ll note that the average household cost is quite low. Low-income individuals actually come out a little ahead. This analysis misses a whole variety of benefits, however – job creation, energy efficiency, environmental, and national security.

    When one examines all the gloom and doom economic forecasts from those of certain political persuasion, it becomes clear who the “alarmists” are.

    Comment by MarkB — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:19 PM

  544. John Mashey says, “Yes, the Viscount Monckton has discovered the poor of the world, as has Bjorn Lomborg, who generally does it better.

    It’s a misdirection argument,…”

    Ahh, I was hopin’ for a little reeeligious conversion, a come to Jesus moment. You know, there’s got to be a way we can spin this for laughs. Think we could get Monckton to visit the Howrah across the river from Calcutta–world’s largest slum. Or maybe we could get Lomborg on a reality show trying to help the “poor, benighted savages” of Kinshasa. Now I would even buy a frigging converter box to watch that. Hell, I’d even get cable.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:21 PM

  545. I remain underwhelmed by Fuller. Clearly trying to stoke controversy. This is no better than posting an article on why Macs are better than Windows or vice-versa (actually, worse: the Macs vs. Windows thing does no one any harm, and you need no scientific literacy to enter the fray).

    For the true skeptics: follow the thread started by Jim Bullis on ice vs. water albedo (#259). He stated a position that was argued through by various people with varying degrees of knowledge. All very polite, disagreements gradually worn away by factual argument. That’s what this site is about. Approach your doubts this way and you can learn a lot (and who knows? Maybe even teach the rest of us something).

    The impatience of regulars about repeated stating of inaccurate talking points that are trivially debunked is understandable. A couple of days ago I managed to get a letter of similar impatience into The Austalian, with some responses to online comments at my blog (further comments welcome). In my case my excuse is that attempting to answer the scientific misdirection in that paper politely is simply ignored.

    The Murdoch media, even attempts at “quality” journalism, only cares about controversy. Maybe we need to consider that in how we attempt to put our case – even if it makes us seem unreasonable. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Jul 2009 @ 8:48 PM

  546. #543 MarkB:

    It’s hopeless, we’ve already been through that with him. He sees things that are not visible to the rest of us. He’s on some sort of private mission he’s determined to fulfill regardless of how much he publicly humiliates himself. Should we laugh, or cry?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:22 PM

  547. Doug B, maybe I overstated it but your phrase “…would cost an invisibly small amount of money” implies you didn’t think it a big deal when in fact processing and analyzing all of that data is a massive undertaking. Though, as you say, compared to the cost of 50 years of global mitigation, maybe not so much. I’m not being critical but instead of a big disk array you’re talking acres of dasd farms, and instead of a few dweebs working a few months your talking hundreds of computer scientists, architects and developers, and thousands of coders and programmers working for many years if not decades on big iron capable of a jillion of gigaflops/sec. Now I may be exaggerating a tad to make a point, but not much. Gavin (see his response) certainly knows better than I do.

    Your main point is still well-taken: tons more resources ought to be applied to the assessment.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 9:54 PM

  548. #547 Rod B:

    “…you’re talking acres of dasd farms… hundreds of computer scientists, architects and developers, and thousands of coders and programmers working for many years if not decades on big iron capable of a jillion of gigaflops/sec.”

    NCAR already has a 30 petabyte storage system in place. It was obtained from Sun and is an upscaled version of standard Sun hardware and software. It lives in a room. A large room, but just a room. HP offers a smaller multi-petabyte system more suitable for interactive processing that is also available as a standard configuration. There are other vendors of such gear. A few years ago it would have been special, no more.

    As to processing, it depends. There are scads of vendors offering COTS cluster systems capable of dealing with datasets of this magnitude in terms of producing lightly seasoned extracts at the very least. Teraflop performance is sort of old hat these days. I can imagine that climate modeling requires work that is not going to be “press Return, see the answer before you can lift your finger” even with a nicely amped-up cluster system, but presumably that work is done on better equipment.

    The point is systems of this scale are in routine use these days and neither astronomically expensive nor very large for that matter.

    (Ironically, the cost to obtain this equipment is lower than otherwise because development has in part been amortized thanks to the petroleum industry and their seismo processing requirements.)

    So–sadly– no full employment program for hundreds of CS PhDs and systems architects, nor for those hungry thousands of programmers, not even big real estate deals in the offing.

    I’ll amend my earlier statement to say -initially- a handful of FTE dweebs, followed probably by a slightly smaller number on a continuing basis to handle extraction and processing requests from the scientific community.

    Like I said earlier, it’s “impossible” because we choose to make it so, even though the hurdle is pretty small. Low taxes, no free lunch. Sorry.

    Your hyperbolic trajectory points you for parts unknown. Good luck out there.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:09 PM

  549. Liz Bockelman (531), I’ll try a couple of your questions, though they might get corrected. Truth in Advertising: I’m a skeptic.

    The second after the Sun went out, the temperature of the Earth would not change. It would continue emitting infrared radiation which would still be affected by GH gases and all of the other energy exchanges. The radiation leaving the top of the atmosphere would be the same, but it would start its move toward equilibrium with the sun, which is now zero. So the earth would cool over time (I have no idea how fast or slow) and probably get very cold at the surface with a totally frozen atmosphere while the core remains hot. Over a long cosmological period the little radiation still leaving the surface would eventually cool the entire solid earth. BTW, all of those temperatures and times can be calculated within some degree of accuracy. My wild guess is the entire earth at, say, 10 degrees Kelvin in a couple of billion years or so; the surface and atmosphere at, say, 100-150 degrees K in, say, a few million years, maybe less.

    I would agree that your second point has some validity, but be careful with the “how can just a teensy amount cause all that damage?” argument. It might have a supporting role, but as a stand-alone it’s not credible. A teensy-weensy amount of some poisons can wipe out populations.

    I don’t think CO2 is a pollutant, but this is more of a semantic issue than a science issue. CO2 is required for flora life; it’s also a GH gas and can cause damage. It’s like one of those too much of a good thing deals. BTW, this is one of my areas of skepticism, namely how much more CO2 will cause how much more “damage”. But it is in fact a GH gas and the basic physics of GH gases is correct. But even the most zealous proponent of AGW is not talking about eliminating CO2 or anything close.

    I would agree that using “climate change” instead of “global warming” is a PR thing. And though us skeptics would be tarred and feathered for doing such, it’s really not a big deal IMO. Most of the proponents believe what they think, and trying to get a message out in a form that people might better accept and understand is neither pernicious nor devious.

    I don’t understand your question on the 150% heat radiated up.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:20 PM

  550. Re #402
    Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. Says:
    30 June 2009 at 1:32 PM

    (1) Brewsters angle for sea water seems to be more like about 7 degrees, according to mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF8.htm. I do not know if he did it right, but it roughly agrees with my lower frequency data from Radar Reflectivity of Land and Sea, Long, Artech House.

    I looked at that site and he has made an error.
    The angle he defines on that page as the angle of incidence is in fact its complement (on a previous page when discussing Snell’s Law he gets it right). His definition of Brewster’s angle is correct, from the result he gets and the context it appears as if he’s using refractive index values appropriate to microwaves, which is why he doesn’t get the appropriate value for visible light and seawater (~56º).

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:40 PM

  551. Liz Bockelman

    “100% of the Earth’s warmth comes from the sun, right? If the sun were to stop emitting heat there would be no heat on Earth. Is this true or false? If false, what would the temperature of the Earth be without the sun? (I realize no one really knows, but I’m sure there is a calculation that would give a hypothetical answer) “

    The earth have some internal heating with occasional rises to the surface, but most of our heat comes from the sun.

    “Though mankind’s existence on the face of the earth is certainly a variable for generated heat, such heat is insignificant in comparison to the changes in heat from the sun, specifically compared to the changes in Earth’s temperature due to the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle. Is this true or false? If false, can you calculate what comparative significance heat generated by mankind has. I have read a bit about greenhouse gases, reflection of heat from Earth’s surface, etc. but can’t imagine man having any real significant ability to change Earth’s temperature at all. I heard that all the humans in the world would fit in a 1 mile by 1 mile by 1 mile cube…if that is true mankind’s affect on climate should be effectively nothing.”

    The heat generated by mankind is very small compared to the sun. Greenhouse gases do not generate heat but trap the heat coming from the sun. In other words, the gases dress our atmosphere much like a coat.

    “Though CO2 may reflect heat back down to the earth, isn’t CO2 the gas plant life needs to live? Isn’t it a dichotomy then to call CO2 a pollutant…restricting what plants need to live can’t be a long-term good thing. Is this true or false. If false, meaning calling CO2 a pollutant is a good thing, then please explain how the heck plants will fare if man is successful in eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere.”

    Humans exhale CO2, and there is other naturally occurring processes that generate CO2. The current problem is due to the large generation of CO2 and other gases from recent advances in technology. We are putting more CO2 into the system than what is being taken out of the system through natural processes; as a result, we are creating a thicker coat of CO2 in our atmosphere. The extra CO2 is also being absorbed by water, and CO2 lowers the PH level in the water, which causes water to turn acidic. Acidic water is not a good thing for plant life.

    “Man-made climate change proponents indicate something like a 1-2 degree rise in Earth’s temperature over the course of many years. Wouldn’t that make longer growing seasons in latitudes north of 39º? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? True or false? If false, please explain why. “

    There is both good and bad effects. In places like Africa, it’s mostly bad news because it becomes too hot and dry to grow anything (It’s already beginning there). In areas such as North America, a longer growing seasons also means a larger bug and weed season. Larger fields are also required to collect water to compensate for the extra heat, and a sizable desertification is expected in many areas. In a basic nutshell, the effects depend on the location. Overall, the bad outweighs the good in most areas.

    “Since proponents of man-made climate change insist that man’s actions here can affect global weather, especially and specifically temperature, why did they waffle on the original term “global warming”? Why did they change that to “climate change”? I understand it is because in the last few years the temperature of the Earth has actually cooled so, rather than lose the momentum they had gained to make political inroads to underwrite global measures to control societies’ behaviors when it comes to things like use of fossil fuels, proponents decided to cut their losses and change the term so they wouldn’t be obviously wrong to the masses as it snowed on various global warming rallies. True or false? If false, please explain why the term did change.”

    The name was changed because more things are being effected than temperature. For example, the world’s oceans have been absorbing some of the CO2; as a result, the oceans PH level is dropping and causing acidification. Storm frequency, strength, and other weather related activity is also due to change. Some places that are not near water may become tropical beach front property while places near water may become a part of the ocean floor. In a basic nutshell, the climate itself is changing.

    “I heard that if the climate was going to change, 1-2º higher would be a lot less devastating than 1-2º cooler because of growing seasons. I heard the Potato famine of the 1800s was due to a cooler than normal period. True or false? If false, please explain.”

    The growing seasons should be explained above. As far as global temperatures go, people get effected both ways. It does not make a difference if your crop dies from snow or drought, dead is dead.

    “am not very impressed by statistics and studies by scientists who are backing the science that mankind is responsible for climate change, though admittedly I probably have read an insignificant fraction compared with what all of you have read. Yet when I see data that 150% of Earth’s heat is radiated up from Earth I become very skeptical. 150%? How I reason is, “if even I can think of basic information that casts doubt on the idea of man-made climate change, then either the data for the idea is not very strong, or the scientists reporting it are not making a very articulate argument.””

    You seem to have a misunderstanding here. Global warming is not caused from geological features of the earths heat sources such as magma chambers and radioactive decay.

    People like Stephen Hawking did not become very famous for boasting nonsense.

    “If I’m going to pay for any measure to control the weather, I need a lot more proof than what I’m seeing reported.“

    I seriously doubt you will be paying for anything regardless of what you believe unless you’re an oil tycoon. But lets assume you did. Lets even go as far as to say that all the world’s leading mathematicians and scientists are wrong about the temperatures, and the oil industry has it right. Is ocean acidification something you can overlook? No fancy equations here, just a simple measurement with a chemistry set. Might want to think about that long and hard.

    Comment by EL — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:42 PM

  552. For Liz, it’s always worth trying Google:

    http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=656

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:53 PM

  553. Doug B, and good luck and more power to your (the) endeavor. Sounds like a breeze.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:54 PM

  554. Liz Bockelman Says:
    1 July 2009 at 6:03 PM
    Though CO2 may reflect heat back down to the earth, isn’t CO2 the gas plant life needs to live? Isn’t it a dichotomy then to call CO2 a pollutant…restricting what plants need to live can’t be a long-term good thing. Is this true or false. If false, meaning calling CO2 a pollutant is a good thing, then please explain how the heck plants will fare if man is successful in eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Ammonia is also needed by plants yet exposure to it at levels greater than ~50ppm is increasingly unpleasant and at such levels it certainly is appropriate to label it as a pollutant. No one is proposing eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere, to do so would be fatal and the world would be a very cold place indeed! What is proposed is to limit its increase and perhaps even stabilize its concentration at a slightly lower concentration.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 1 Jul 2009 @ 11:59 PM

  555. Just to elaborate on that one question, it’s always a good exercise to compare the answers you get (from Google versus Google Scholar, and from some guy or gal on a blog versus some other guy or gal on some other blog (grin). Like the guy above, from Cornell:

    “… The Earth’s atmosphere has some capacity to hold in heat but not much of one. A relatively simple calculation would show that the Earth’s surface temperature would drop by a factor of two about every two months if the Sun were shut off. The current mean temperature of the Earth’s surface is about 300 Kelvin (K). This means in two months the temperature would drop to 150K, and 75K in four months. To compare, the freezing point of water is 273K.”

    So compare Rod’s “wild guess” of “a few million years, maybe less” versus that guy’s calculation of two months.

    Gotta watch these self-described skeptics (grin). Check the math; you can follow up at the Cornell site and ask about the calculation, or perhaps someone here will have it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:01 AM

  556. RodB #549

    I think you will find the history of the term “climate change” can be explained in a number of ways. Firstly, and most obviously, the term Climate Change dates from, IIRC, the late 1980s — way ebfore anyone thought to suggest that spinning the framing of the question might be important. That “CC” in UNFCC is about 20 years old. Andf as we have seen, “climate change” is probably a better description of the process than global warming anyway, since warming temperatures aren’t all that is likely to happen over time.

    The Republicans, sometime about the early 2000s also decided that calling global warming “climate change” might serve their interests better.

    Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract
    with America” spinmeister laid it all out. Luntz worried about
    seriously in a memo during Bush’s first term that the Republicans were exposed because of their stand on the environment: Luntz claimed that “Voters believe[d] that there [was] no consensus about global warming within the scientific community … [and that] .. should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, he argued “you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate”

    Carrying on in this vein he added: “It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.

    “Climate change” was less frightening in his view than “global warming” As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge”

    and then added

    “A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more
    emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth.”

    Hmmm

    You’re right about nobody proposing to eliminate or even lower atmospheric CO2 in the foreseeable future, so arguments along the lines of not dissing CO2 seriously miss the mark. How much more can we tolerate in the atmosphere and still live adequately is the real question.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:01 AM

  557. #553 Rod B:

    I tell people, “we’re undertaxed”, and they look at me like I’m crazy or something. I could try to make up for it singlehandedly by doing an even poorer job with my tax return, but it seems like a drop in the bucket…

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:08 AM

  558. OK, RodB, do not keep us in tense expectation. What is your answer to your question:

    “From GISS, the mean annual anamoly for 1998 was +0.70 degrees C; the mean annual anomoly for 2008 was +0.55 degrees C. Over this latest “past” decade, is this rising or falling?”

    Comment by Petro — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:08 AM

  559. #531 Liz Bockelman
    #549 Rod B

    The CO2 is not a pollutant meme is pretty old and the explanation is simple. All you have to do is look at the definition and examine the contexts:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/co2-is-not-a-pollutant

    CO2 from natural sources is not pollution. CO2 from manmade sources, such as industrial waste aka burnt fossil fuels, is a pollutant.

    The question remains as to whether or not CO2 from exhaling is a pollutant but I would say that is dependent on whether or not you have bad breath.

    Liz, it is clearn you have not examined many of the relevant contexts regarding the subject. You might want to spend a little time reading on the OSS site. I’ve done my best to simplify the contexts and the site is well linked to RC and government sources. I keep adding/refining as time allows.

    Also, I’m with Rod on the 150% thing. Can you show us the link where you read that? If you just think about that for a second you can see that at that rate earth would be, well…, frozen.

    Try to remember one important thing: facts out of context are either less relevant, or irrelevant.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:34 AM

  560. Re#555
    Hank, also the experiment is carried out every night, where I am at about 40ºN during the 10 hours of darkness the temperature is forecast to drop tonight from 80ºF – 76ºF on a very humid night, tomorrow it will be less humid and the temperature will drop ~10ºF. We can also conduct the experiment at the poles where the darkness lasts for six months, N of 80ºN the temperature drops about 50ºF. Of course if the sun is ‘off’ there will be no influx of warmer air from elsewhere so it will be worse. The air temperature drops noticeably during a solar eclipse.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:41 AM

  561. “On top of that, the albedo of sea ice is as low as .5 and new smooth snow is .9. It looks unlikely that there is a large net difference in the radiative energy balance due to melting of Arctic Ice.”

    So, when fishermen are working on the Arctic, do they say that on a clear day the ocean looks almost as gray as the ice? Is that how it looks in photographs?

    It doesn’t seen so to me.

    Some problems in science are very complicated and their answers unobvious.

    In other cases, and this is one, sometimes just looking at it gets you two thirds of the way to the answer, and that’s the obvious fact that ice is substantially more reflective than ocean water even in the Arctic. (A good chunk of Sun’s energy at Earth’s orbit is emitted in human perceivable optical band)

    Comment by Matthew Kennel — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:21 AM

  562. Liz: “100% of the Earth’s warmth comes from the sun, right?”

    Not quite all, but almost all.

    “If the sun were to stop emitting heat there would be no heat on Earth. Is this true or false? If false, what would the temperature of the Earth be without the sun? (I realize no one really knows, but I’m sure there is a calculation that would give a hypothetical answer)”

    In equilibrium, it would be a little hotter than the temperature of the cosmic background radiation (3K) on account of radioactive decay. Everything of course would be completely frozen and no life would exist. Room temperature (71F) is about 295 degrees Kelvin by comparison.

    Liz: “Though mankind’s existence on the face of the earth is certainly a variable for generated heat, such heat is insignificant in comparison to the changes in heat from the sun, specifically compared to the changes in Earth’s temperature due to the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle. Is this true or false?”

    It is false / misleading. Human generated heat (e.g. the actual heat from burning coal or uranium) is not what’s important—and that number is indeed insignificant next to the amounts in question.

    It isn’t heat generated by humans but changes in the atmosphere which let less heat generated by the Sun head back into deep space.

    When you put on a heavy coat, you are not changing much the energy from the Sun, nor the amount of internal heat generated by your organs, but the temperature that you feel does change.

    In a nutshell, thanks to human activity, the atmosphere is “shining back at us” more than it used to. So on the ground we feel the direct radiation from the Sun, and all the radiation which hit the surface, goes up, and comes back down again. This second part increases the temperature a noticable amount.

    It’s only because our biology doesn’t let us see in the relevant infrared part of the spectrum that this isn’t a phenomenon which is intuitively apparent to ordinary people.

    Liz: “If false, can you calculate what comparative significance heat generated by mankind has.”

    The question is not the total amount—the added flux from human activities is of course a small fraction of the total flux from the Sun. That is not the important issue.

    The question is the relative effect of changes over time. These have been experimentally measured. Changes in the Sun’s output is very small over recent human history.

    For instance, look at this figure, and in particular pay attention to the Y-axis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar-cycle-data.png

    Over a solar cycle the net energy density arriving at Earth appears to change by 1 watt per square meter out of an average of about 1,366. So the variation is less than 0.1%.

    So the important question is whether human changes match up or exceed to this 1 W/m^2 size variation—and they do and go in one direction—not whether humans can make changes comparable to 1,366 W/m^2 (they can’t).

    ” Wouldn’t that make longer growing seasons in latitudes north of 39º? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? True or false? If false, please explain why.”

    It would probably be a good thing overall for farmers in Russia and Canada, but there are many other people on the planet who don’t live there.

    The biggest problem is that most agriculture is not limited by sunlight, heat or CO2, but by H2O—water. Climate disruption will substantially change the patterns of rainfall and rivers and water works which are critical for the production of food and living conditions for many people. For instance, it’s far far better for human needs to get lots of snow on high mountains which then melts steadily over the spring and summer growing seasons. If you get rain instead of snow, you alternate between huge floods on the lowlands followed by drought.

    Overall there are many practices in agriculture and infrastructure which have been developed in light of the steady climate which has existed for the last 10,000 years in which all of human civilization has evolved. It is very risky to disrupt that even if some people could benefit.

    In the anthropological and biological record, significant climate shifts are frequently associated with extinctions of civilizations and species.

    By the way, most scientists here are not “proponents” of global warming, as in “they are in favor of it in order to advance some political or personal agenda.” I think 100% of them wish it weren’t going to be a problem. The idea that they are in it for their own careers is silly.

    Yes, there was work for geoscientists in diversified areas before “global warming” became known to average people and they would have gone into any number of subjects as a graduate student if human induced changes in greenhouse turned out (after calculation and experiment) to be unimportant at a global scale.

    Comment by Matthew Kennel — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:57 AM

  563. Liz Bockelman 1 July 2009 at 6:03 PM

    If you plug “average geothermal heat per square meter'” into a google search, the first hit is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_gradient, which states that the average power coming from the hot core of the earth is only about 1/10 of a watt per square meter(over the spherical surface of the earth). The energy coming from the sun is approximately 1366W/m^2 (over the projected circular disk of the earth facing the sun). This means that virtually all the heat that keeps the oceans liquid and powers the atmospheric circulation comes from the sun. If the sun suddenly shut off, the earth would cool down quickly, and get so cold that the greenhouse gases(most, if not all; certainly water vapor and CO2-methane freezes at 91 degrees k or -182 deg C) that slow the loss of heat to space would condense out, making the equilibrium surface temperature even colder. I found one online discussion, (but haven’t checked for reliability of their numbers) that indicated the temperature of the earth without the sun would be about 30 degrees kelvin, cold enough for oxygen and nitrogen to freeze out. http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/45680-sun-extinguished-earths-temperature-2.html

    According to http://www.evworld.com/library/energy_numbers.pdf, the earth receives about 10^25 joules per year from the sun, and consumes(as of 1990) 4X10^20 joules of marketable energy(most of which is fossil fuel, some is renewables, i.e. sun driven) so the directly human generated heat is trivial compared to that from the sun. The Top Of Atmosphere solar irradiance varies from about 1365.4 watts per meter squared to about 1366.4 watts/M^2, but that variation(less than 1%) doesn’t modulate the global temperature significantly – see http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/from:1978/mean:10/offset:-1366/plot/wti/from:1978/mean:10

    What has changed the global temperature significantly is man’s addition of CO2 to the atmosphere – although the absolute quantities are small, the relative change in CO2 is large, and the effects are important. see http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/mean:5/offset:-325/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1960/mean:10/scale:100

    It’s analogous to my house. It is made of mostly wood, including the siding(brown), and drywall(grey), and weighs about 60,000 lbs, but it looks green, because of about fifteen pounds of woodstain on the outside, which is in turn mostly linseed oil and other binders, with less than 5 pounds of green pigment. I f my house and everything in it were made of glass, it would weigh a lot more, but would still be green because of that 5 pounds of pigment. if I added only 2 pounds of blue pigment to the stain, it would radically change the color, even though the house weighs many orders of magnitude more than than 2 pounds. The tiny(compared to the total mass of the atmosphere) amount of CO2 that human use of fossil fuel has added to the atmosphere has had a likewise measureable effect on the spectral properties of the atmosphere. If, in my imaginary glass house, I had lights on,from the outside it would glow green in the dark. After adding the tiny amount of blue pigment, it would glow blue, and the total amount of light escaping would decrease because of the additional absorption of longer wavelengths by the blue pigment. CO2 does the same thing for the earth, although the wavelengths are much longer, in the infrared.

    Your true-false question about whether CO2 is a pollutant or necessary for plants and therefore all other life (well, except for the chemosynthetic based ecosystem around undersea volcanic vents) on earth is a false dichotomy – its like asking is water good; true or false. Well, if you’re asking about the glass of water I just drank (mostly water, with some byproducts of fermentation of soluble solids derived from grapes), it’s true, it was very good. If you’re asking a Katrina survivor who lost his home to flooding in New Orleans, too much water is not so good. Although plants need CO2, too much of that is not so good either. The same thing applies to your question about growing seasons-if, for instance, flowering is photoperiod dependent, but the pollinators emerge depending on temperature, then a warmer climate and longer growing season will mess things up, especially perennial ecosystems, where we don’t have the luxury of choosing a different variety of seed to plant every year like we do with corn. Also, along with warmer weather, changes in the pattern and intensity of rainfall are already occuring. If heavy spring rains wash out half the crop, and the rest of it dies in the summer drought, a longer growing season won’t help. see http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/extreme.html

    It wasn’t climate scientists that promulgated the change in language from “global warming” to “climate change”, but a Republican political hack named Frank Luntz, who advised Republicans to use climate change as a way to spin public opinion away from becoming alarmed enough to want to do anything about it.
    see http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/02/us/a-call-for-softer-greener-language.html
    Earth hasn’t actually cooled. Anybody who says that is repeating a lie. Glaciers have continued to melt at accelerating rates, arctic summer ice is declining at accelerating rates, more 6-10 thousand year old ice shelves are collapsing. see http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2007.jpg and http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/img/5-9.jpg, or google Wilkins ice shelf.

    It is false that the Irish Potato Famine was caused by weather. It was caused by blight. See http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/begins.htm The second year of blighted crops, the newly elected British government decided to stop relief efforts, get “the Irish fed via the free market, reducing their dependence on the government while at the same time maintaining the rights of private enterprise.” Millions starved to death. At least during our recent free market financial meltdown, not as many have died, but perhaps I’m being too optimistic – the potato famine lasted six years – we still have time.

    If you are not impressed by the science so far, perhaps it’s because none of the sources you rely on have adequately communicated the implications of global warming. I would recommend in addition to Gavin’s suggestion, http://www.aip.org/history/climate/ and, from those lefty enviro watermelons at the Pentagon, http://www.climate.org/PDF/clim_change_scenario.pdf

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:24 AM

  564. “EL Says:
    1 July 2009 at 2:08 PM

    Mark – “It’s what you get OUT of energy that’s important. Not the energy”

    Are you actually serious? ”

    Uh, yes.

    This would be why I wrote it down.

    Are you saying that the hot engine is wanted out of a car and not all that moving about stuff?

    If you could get the car not to heat up but use the same energy, would you not get MORE “moving about stuff”? Or is the reason for using ICE is so that we have to have a radiator and that doing without would kill off all those employed making radiators?

    Are YOU serious???

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 3:09 AM

  565. Michael writes:

    Lets say anthropogenic CO2 and human life expectancy have risen together to levels unprecedented in history – just for argument’s sake. Someone comes along and wishes to decrease CO2. If this person were actually concerned with human welfare, wouldn’t he want to provide strong evidence that his actions would not decrease human life expectancy?

    Why in the world would it “decrease human life expectancy?” Was human life expectancy significantly less when carbon dioxide was lower? Does it go up in correlation with CO2? I don’t get your point.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:33 AM

  566. #559 John Reisman

    Thanks for the link but all the ossfoundation links return “bad gateway”

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:34 AM

  567. Rod writes:

    BPL, unable to answer a simple yes or no either then. That’s O.K. (btw, none of your retort (465) had any bearing on the sample question.)

    It was a stupid question, Rod. It didn’t deserve an answer.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:44 AM

  568. Rod writes:

    Petro (495), so, you can not give a yes or no answer (of which “explanation” is neither) either. Still O.K. I’m just curious.

    tamino (496), not simple enough. Sounds like it could be a “no”, but doesn’t quite get there. Still O.K.

    Okay, Rod, here’s your answer, for perhaps the 57th time on this blog which you’ve been reading long enough to have seen every time.

    You do not determine a trend by drawing a line from the beginning point to the ending point. You determine a trend by performing a linear regression of the variable in question against time. You have to use ALL the points, not just the ones that seem to show what you want.

    And in order to be a trend, the slope has to be significant, which means you need an adequate sample size. 1998-2008 is eleven years. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as mean regional or global weather conditions over a period of 30 years or more.

    This has been said many, many times. If you didn’t listen to it the first 57 times, why should we expect that you’ll listen to it the 58th time?

    Shut off the obnoxious, arrogant baiting. We can answer yes or no to your stupid question, but an answer to a stupid question doesn’t mean anything, so we have no obligation to give it.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:54 AM

  569. Liz Bockelman writes:

    Though mankind’s existence on the face of the earth is certainly a variable for generated heat, such heat is insignificant in comparison to the changes in heat from the sun, specifically compared to the changes in Earth’s temperature due to the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle. Is this true or false?

    True but irrelevant. The change in radiation is due to the greenhouse gases human technology is putting out, not the existence of humanity. And, BTW, no one has ever been able to detect the temperature effect of the 11-year solar cycle, and a lot of people have looked for it. Let me know if you want the raw data, assuming you want to look for it yourself. Reconstructions of the solar constant exist going back 300 (Svalgaard) and 400 (Lean) years.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:58 AM

  570. It seems to me Mr Reisman that there is something quite curious about treating anthropogenic Co2 as a pollutant and naturally occurring Co2 as not a pollutant.

    Noting as we do that atmospheric CO2 concentrations above a certain point rejudice human interests, perhaps it would be better to claim that *this* Co2 (ie the supplemental Co2) is a pollutant.

    Ultimately, the world’s carbon sinks will take up and flux Co2 regardless of its provenance, but of course, as we have seen, human activity has forced the fiogure upward. Some of this anthropgenic Co2 is in the sinks preventing natural Co2 from being stored there.

    We needn’t trouble ourselves about distinguishing between the two because both “natural” Co2 and anthropogenic Co2 will have the same effect on the biosphere — it’s all pollution above a certain point after all, even if the thumb on the scale is very definitely human.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 2 Jul 2009 @ 5:39 AM

  571. I don’t for a second belive that the “Iris effect” will overturn what is already known but can anyone here comment on the significance (or otherwise) of this paper, it claims to have found an 11yr cycle in cloud abundance that correlates to the sun’s 11yr sunspot cycle. Are there enough CR observatories to support their maps, I can only find five?

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 2 Jul 2009 @ 5:50 AM

  572. Liz Bockelman (#531): I found some lecture notes at Columbia that explain some of the theory compactly. This may be a help in getting started with some of the basics.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:04 AM

  573. John,

    Concerning your response (#515) to my post (#468):

    The tenor of your post is exactly the reason why there can be no reasonable dialogue on Global Warming. As I said, I am not a scientist, but have honest questions about the weaknesses on both sides of this issue. However, rather than attempt to address the questions, you begin to “talk down” to me, and to chide me for not reading material on your “preferred list”. Most of my learning is done on the internet (before you malign the sources on the internet, I must remind you that RealClimate is ALSO on the internet), looking at both sides and also following the news. In addition, I read science periodicals such as you mentioned.

    At this point, if you would like, you can cite all of the reasons why you are more qualified to dialogue on GW than I.

    Todd

    Comment by Todd — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:11 AM

  574. I have a few questions which require a clarification. Don’t take it the wrong way but I think your article is littered with ad hominem and ranting*. Never the less I have following comments and questions, which I hope you could answer:

    [Dr. Carling has] the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the […] erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to […] other [than CO2] forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.

    I do not understand how the time scales are relevant here. Could elaborate a little.

    [T]hey show a figure that demonstrates that […] solar trends are non-existent from 1957 on, and yet […] quote Scafetta and West who claim that almost all of the recent trend is solar driven[.]

    That is quite damning. Could you give me the reference to the figure.

    They claim that climate sensitivity is very small while failing to realise that this implies that solar variability can’t have any effect either.

    I do not think that these two statements are contradictory. Is it not possible that the sun can effect the climate even with out positive feedback?

    They claim that GCM simulations produced trends over the twentieth century of 1.6 to 3.74ºC – which is simply (and bizarrely) wrong […]

    Ok. I do not think that he’s argument is based on this assumption, which means that he could be still right even if he got this one wrong. Right?


    Jari Mustonen

    * I think following statements are not relevant and do not ,in fact, add to the credibility of your argument:
    The document was not suppressed, but “suppressed”.
    Alan Carling credentials are dubious.
    He provides not evidence, but “evidence”.
    Some of he’s references contains documents with dubious authors.
    He thinks that if the problem exists, geo-engineering might be a solution.

    More over, the document itself was quite large. I do not understand your hostility. If I were you I would be happy that someone is taking my field of expertize so seriously that he is willing to make such a document. I think he deserves the credit at least for the effort, if not for the content.

    Comment by Jari Mustonen — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  575. Todd whines: “The tenor of your post is exactly the reason why there can be no reasonable dialogue on Global Warming.”

    And the tenor of your questioning (and the lack of any apparent learning) is a reason why there is no reasonable dialogue on Global Warming.

    See, for example, RodB too: all this time and not one thing has changed for him. He still believes the same old crud and still makes the same old arguments.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:51 AM

  576. “It seems to me Mr Reisman that there is something quite curious about treating anthropogenic Co2 as a pollutant and naturally occurring Co2 as not a pollutant.”

    Think more along the lines of “a pollutant is something that is harmful and not wanted and is an avoidable consequence of what we want out of a process”.

    Breathing out CO2 isn’t avoidable. It is a desired consequence of respiration.

    Car exhausts of CO2 is avoidable and we want cars to move, not pump out CO2.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:57 AM

  577. BPL says: “And in order to be a trend, the slope has to be significant, which means you need an adequate sample size.”

    Not really true in the abstract sense. For the slope to be significant, it has to be greater than the uncertainty (which in cases of observational measurement, is the variance around the determination of the mean).

    E.g. rolling a dice once doesn’t tell you whether the dice is fair or not. Neither does rolling it twice. Or, depending on your average, 10 times. That is, if you roll an average of 3.8 you may still have a loaded dice since it could be averaging 4. If you roll 10 times and get an average of 5.4 then the dice is almost definitely loaded.

    Note: ALMOST.

    Similarly for a fitting to a line: if the variation around that line is bigger than the slope, you can’t say it’s sloping one way or the other. So you MUST collect more data to say whether it is sloped upward or downward. If the slope is steep, you may be able to say it’s sloping UP (or down), but not say what the rate of change is, even though you have the same number of points.

    And when forcasting and verifying, you need several values to say if it’s significant: a dice rolled 100 times that seems from that to be unbiased, rolling 2 sixes isn’t enough to say the dice has been changed.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:07 AM

  578. Tamino (#473)

    Just like John (#515) you disqualify me from asking honest questions because “after all, I’m not a climate scientist”. If you notice, the reference to a 10 year cooling trend was a QUESTION, not an opinion on my part. Parties on both sides of this issue have detailed graphs to support their theory. You say I haven’t the expertise to analyze the data, and you are correct on this point. Yet, that does not invalidate my question.

    And your assertion that I’m a victim of propaganda is quite unfounded. There are MANY SCIENTISTS (including some who wrote parts of the IPCC report) who disagree with the conclusions reached by the GW proponents. Again, the dialogue must be open. Don’t try to shut up those who have divergent opinions.

    Todd

    [Response: Criticism of a bad conclusion is not the same as trying to ‘shut someone up’. – gavin]

    Comment by Todd — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:20 AM

  579. #511 Jim Bullis
    Wow, way to over-react there, Jim! As Tamino pointed out, I was not criticizing FFT itself, I was criticizing J.Bob for saying that using an overly complicated statistic was suspicious when he/she had already done the same thing by using FFT on the temperature record.
    If it matters at all, I never found a use for FFT in my previous line of work (population ecology), although I did have occasion to use PCA on a time series analysis. From all the work I did with stats, it seems fair to say that FFT is considerably more complex than a linear regression. Perhaps you disagree, and you think that FFT is the simplest possible statistical test. Well, that would be your opinion, and you are welcome to it. I am not going to jump down your neck and call you a loon if that is your opinion, so perhaps you could extend that courtesy to others.

    Comment by CTG — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:24 AM

  580. I do not understand how the time scales are relevant here. Could elaborate a little.

    At the risk of being rude, if you don’t understand this, then you’re not really qualified to comment. The need to perform statistical analysis over adequate timescales is absolutely basic to any kind of trend analysis. It’s like the stock market, or currency exchange rates (both things that Carlin, an economist, should be familiar with). You can’t look at a short term drop or rise and say “oh, this shows that the long term trend of 8% growth per year in the stock market is now over for all time”. You can’t cherry-pick short segments of data in the climate record and make claims about trends, either.

    It’s not rude, but simply accurate, to state that Carlin’s either statistically illiterate, or disingenuous.

    Comment by dhogaza — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:29 AM

  581. Mark (575),

    Honest questions met with Ad Hominem tactics. “Todd whines…”, “lack of any apparent learning…”, “same old crud…”.

    The questions still remain, despite your predilection for attacking the person rather than dealing with the issues.

    Todd

    Comment by Todd — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:32 AM

  582. “I do not understand how the time scales are relevant here. Could elaborate a little.”

    If any one data point is the sum of:

    A) Baseline value
    B) Increase over baseline
    C) Random noise

    and B >> C, you get a very noisy picture that is almost ignorant of B.

    But, since A is constant and C adds or subtracts randomly then you can bring forth the value of B by adding lots of values together.

    If you run for N years, you can tease out B when

    B * sqrt(N) ~ C

    If you have very few N, you will be unable to see B.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:40 AM

  583. Rod B:

    “From GISS, the mean annual anamoly for 1988 was +0.70 degrees C; the mean annual anomoly for 2008 was +0.55 degrees C. Over this latest “past” decade, is this rising or falling?”

    Neither; all it means is that the mean annual global temperature anomaly in 1998 was higher than in 2008 according to GISS. It says nothing about temperature “falling or rising” over the latest decade or any other time period. To see that you have to look at a (statistically significant) trend over the period.

    Why don’t we stop this meaningless game? Why don’t you provide some backup for your statement that started it all: “And yet, over the same decade, global atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen, and may even be falling”? Surely, it is more than just a comparison of two data points of a noisy time series?

    Or may be you should just admit it was simply wrong and we all move on?

    Comment by Igor Samoylenko — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:42 AM

  584. “I do not think that these two statements are contradictory. Is it not possible that the sun can effect the climate even with out [sic] positive feedback?”

    The sun can’t effect the climate if it isn’t changing. The solar constant is pretty constant.

    The sun cannot create a larger effect than it’s change without positive feedback. Sunspot activity makes a 0.1% change and that is much less than the change seen.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:43 AM

  585. Liz Brockelman,

    On the ‘CO2 is a pollutant’ thing: it’s all about the concentration.

    Look at regulaton of other pollutants. These do rarely ban outright, but usually prescribe levels below which the concentration needs to stay in order to be unharmful.

    Google for ‘oxygen poisoning’. Yes, you read that right, even oxygen can be poisonous. Above a certain concentration.

    Second thing to remember is that the harmful effects of a pollutant don’t need to be direct. CO2 can do direct harm. IIRC, it is lethal to humans above 20%. At lower levels you can experience milder symptoms like drowsiness. Why treat the indirect harm that too much CO2 does through climate change any different? Harm is harm, the mechanism is irrelevant.

    So, ask yourself: at what concentration does CO2 become harmful by altering the planet’s climate? Then the logical consequence is that any action that drives the CO2 above that limit is to be considered ‘pollution’.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:44 AM

  586. “Ok. I do not think that he’s argument is based on this assumption, which means that he could be still right even if he got this one wrong. Right?”

    Que?

    If you’re wrong and his argument IS based on that assumption, then wrong.

    If you’re right, then you may still be wrong.

    And if they get that one wrong, they still got that wrong, whether their argument was based on that assumption or not.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:45 AM

  587. Gavin,

    Your response to 578:

    “Criticism of a bad conclusion is not the same as trying to ’shut someone up’. – gavin]”

    Isn’t that what’s happening in the scientific community right now. Climate scientists who are skeptical of the AGW advocates position are not even allowed to have their peer-reviewed papers entered into record in the debate.

    [Response: I have no idea what you are referring to. What peer-reviewed paper do you think is being supressed, and what is the “record of the debate” in any case? If you are referring to Carlin’s stuff, that was just a cut and paste from a bunch of partisan websites – none of it was peer-reviewed. – gavin]

    Comment by Todd — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:50 AM

  588. mark – “Are you saying that the hot engine is wanted out of a car and not all that moving about stuff?”

    Without energy, you have no moving parts in your car. So energy is an important component of your car. I think it’s a moot point.

    Comment by EL — 2 Jul 2009 @ 9:25 AM

  589. So I seem to have ruined the good name of the Fourier Convolution method. Here was the procedure I went through.

    [edit – that’s enough of this. its off topic, and simply adding noise to this thread]

    Comment by J. Bob — 2 Jul 2009 @ 9:37 AM

  590. “Without energy, you have no moving parts in your car. So energy is an important component of your car. I think it’s a moot point.”

    Energy is NOT heat. You even quoted me and missed it:

    “Are you saying that the hot engine is wanted out of a car and not all that moving about stuff?”

    E.g. maglev.

    E.g. flywheel storage.

    E.g. electric motors.

    E.g. rail gun.

    none of them require massive heat loss to produce the requested effect of movement.

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:07 AM

  591. re 581: “The questions still remain, despite your predilection for attacking the person rather than dealing with the issues.”

    [edit – ok, that’s enough of this]

    Comment by Mark — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:10 AM

  592. J.Bob, you have this Fourier discussion going several places:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=“J.+Bob”+%2Btamino+%2Bfourier
    Tamino’s, RC, easygate, and WTF, that I find; maybe others too?

    I suggest Tamino’s, where it’s on topic and relevant.

    [moderator: yes, this discussion needs to be taken offsite]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:13 AM

  593. Todd, sure, “the questions remain” — they’re Frequently Asked Questions

    The answers remain. “See the FAQ.”

    See also: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    Guide to teach how to ask technical questions in a way more likely to get a satisfactory answer.
    http://catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    Merely repeating questions while ignoring answers already carefully put together just asks random people on blogs to retype them for you.
    Why trust me, some guy on a blog, when you can look this up and get a clear, coherent, well-written answer long since checked for accuracy?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:17 AM

  594. Rod B

    Am I missing something? You’re not still mixing up climate and weather after all the time you’ve been hanging out in RC.

    Does 10 years mean much in the climate trend?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-stopped

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:31 AM

  595. #566 Fran Barlow

    Sorry, Sometimes if the site gets hit too many times at the same time it crashes. However, it restarts automatically 10 minutes after a crash.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/co2-is-not-a-pollutant

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:32 AM

  596. Liz Bockelman wrote: “I am not very impressed by statistics and studies by scientists who are backing the science that mankind is responsible for climate change …”

    Clearly, you are much more impressed by the pseudoscientific sophistry and outright lies that you have gleaned from ideologically and/or financially motivated denialists.

    I admire the patience and compassion of those who have given of their time and knowledge in endeavoring to educate you with their responses. However, I expect you won’t be “very impressed” by that, since they are, after all, merely “scientists who are backing the science” rather than “conservative” media personalities.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:32 AM

  597. #570 Fran Barlow

    It would be more appropriate you address the issue with Merriam Webster. I did not write the definition.

    1: the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste ; also : the condition of being polluted

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:33 AM

  598. #578 Todd

    It;s not about general opinions based on other peoples opinions, it’s about well reasoned understanding/logical understanding of the empirical evidence.

    I’m still baffled the 10 year cooling meme is still being bandied about here?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-stopped

    Remember the subject is climate change, and anthropogenic global warming, not any 10 year period.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:34 AM

  599. Fran (556), your explanation of “climate change” and “global warming” is much more thorough and complete than mine. I was just looking for a quick answer. Good work.

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:41 AM

  600. Rod B wrote to Liz Bockelman: “I would agree that using ‘climate change’ instead of ‘global warming’ is a PR thing.”

    Absolutely wrong.

    Climate change is an effect of global warming. Global warming causes climate change.

    Anthropogenic releases of previously sequestered carbon (prinicipally from burning fossil fuels) cause the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to increase.

    The anthropogenic increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 causes the Earth system to retain more of the Sun’s energy.

    The anthropogenic increase in the Earth system’s retention of solar energy causes the Earth system to get hotter: global warming.

    The anthropogenic warming of the Earth system causes climate change.

    I think the proper terminology should be “anthropogenic global warming and consequent climate change”.

    Which can be shortened to either “global warming” or “climate change” depending on what part of the above-described chain of causation one is talking about.

    The suggestion that the terminology is a matter of “PR”, implying that it is somehow dishonest and/or manipulative, is itself dishonest.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:42 AM

  601. #581 Todd

    The questions remain in the denialosphere because people still don’t understand the relevant contexts involved regarding the data and what it shows.

    If you want to get past the silly arguments, try a new thought experiment. Am I correct in assuming, you’re assuming AGW is a bunch of bad calculations, right?

    How do you explain the cryosphere melting so fast?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/arctic

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/greenland

    Antarctica is warming, glacial retreat is accelerating. If the world is cooling, shouldn’t those things be going in the opposite direction. Just think of the thermal energy and inertia it takes to melt all that ice.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:43 AM

  602. #531 Liz Bockelman
    #556 Fran Barlow
    #599 #549 Rod B

    I agree with SecularAnimist #600

    For another take on it, climate change happens. It can be cooling or warming

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/milankovitch-cycles

    In this case we have climate change that is warming due to human causes, thus anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

    The term ‘global warming’ reasonably describes, by inference, AGW.

    In our current situation, saying global warming is more appropriate since we can no longer enter an ice age due to the amount of imposed forcing

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    overriding the natural cycles (Milankovitch).

    Liz, the waffling you are talking about happened in the media. Climate change is still climate change, ‘global warming’ is still when climate change is causing warming. When climate change is causing cooling then it would be called ‘global cooling’. Currently we are warming due to the increased forcing.

    In the natural cycle we would be more stable, earth is now less stable and experiencing a positive bias due to imposed forcing components, aka. greenhouse gases.

    [edit – stop]

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 11:27 AM

  603. James 525
    If you’re arguing that healthcare and life expectancy aren’t linked, no need to go any further on that point, we will have to disagree.

    Regardless, the original question had to do with human welfare which encompasses a lot more than just life expectancy. Every one of those public health achievements (on the cdc page you linked) requires either expending energy, or a sufficiently advanced society (which includes large energy expenditures).

    Ditching a car for a bike only produces less energy if you originally had a car. This welfare/energy discussion has more to do with developing countries because most of the world lives below the poverty line and in need of welfare. I doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to center this discussion on the privileged few in the developed world.

    Comment by Michael — 2 Jul 2009 @ 11:45 AM

  604. I made two errors in my proposition. One, for which I don’t apologize, is that the wording in an exercise like this, as I have learned, must be exacting and precise, but it was off that mark a bit. For the record, the original situation is: Darren in #244 said, “…over the past decade, global atmospheric temperatures haven’t risen…” Mark in 264 said, “…they HAVE been rising…” I meant my clarification question to be simple and asked, “…mean annual anamoly for 1988 was +0.70 degrees C; the mean annual anomoly for 2008 was +0.55 degrees C. Over this “past decade”, is this rising or falling?” The accurate answer is that temp was lower in 2008 than it was in 1998, ergo falling. The almost correct answer came from Igor S (593) who did at least say yes, lower, before going into an explanation why that is mostly meaningless.

    The other error, for which I do apologize, is it seems I don’t have enough fingers. The premise was the past decade, but, as BPL points out, it seems I can’t count past ten since 1998 to and including 2008 is ELEVEN years. I’ll be damned! What’s more interesting, the anamoly in 1999 was 0.43 and in 2008 (TEN years — a real decade) was 0.55. [Out of curiosity, falling or rising? BTW, contrary to some whining, nobody has or had any obligation to answer any of this.]

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 11:52 AM

  605. SecularAnimist (596), HEY! How ’bout me?? ;-)

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  606. #549 Rob B

    You’re saying the term ‘global warming’ is a “PR thing”? It’s important to understand that scientists and media personalities come from two entirely different perspectives. The media tend to the dramatic to sell commercial time and cater to their market base.

    Scientists just talk about things in realistic terms based on the matter at hand, as best they can. They are not trying to market to a base.

    – Climate change is cooling or warming.

    – Global warming is climate change that is warming. Global cooling is climate that is cooling.

    – Anthropogenic global warming is global warming that has an anthropogenic origin (in this case industrial GHG output).

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 11:57 AM

  607. SecularAnimist (600), other than I explicitly said it is NOT dishonest and/or manipulative.

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:02 PM

  608. #573 Todd:

    “As I said, I am not a scientist, but have honest questions about the weaknesses on both sides of this issue. ”

    Are you sure about that? You’re honestly asking a question because you can’t find an answer? A lot of rhetorical questions are asked here. See Rod B as an example. He asks a question, an answer is provided, but he asks the question again, and again. That’s because his question is really a rhetorical artifice.

    #578 Todd:

    “And your assertion that I’m a victim of propaganda is quite unfounded. There are MANY SCIENTISTS (including some who wrote parts of the IPCC report) who disagree with the conclusions reached by the GW proponents. ”

    The second statement contradicts the first. The latter indicates that while you claim to have a simple question about a simple feature of this topic, you’ve devoted enough study to have absorbed some misinformation from a bad source. This makes you appear to be pursuing an agenda having nothing to do with curiousity. You do know that, don’t you?

    #581 Todd:

    “The questions still remain, despite your predilection for attacking the person rather than dealing with the issues.”

    As it happens, Gavin politely answered your original post, way back at #468. Jim Eager answered it again, politely.

    The answer is there, but the question remains because it’s a rhetorical gimmick. Acknowledging an answer will nullify it, which why no such acknowledgment is made.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:20 PM

  609. Rod B, for any new reader who wonders, is persistent.
    Not correct, though.

    More Grumbine Science: Misleading yourself with graphs
    “More of use here (I’ve pointed to these before) from Stoat and Atmos on five year trends. The search also finds some muddlefuddle from WTF. …”

    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/03/misleading-yourself-with-graphs.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:23 PM

  610. RodB continues: “The accurate answer is that temp was lower in 2008 than it was in 1998, ergo falling.”

    You have learned nothing, haven’t you? Falling in associated with a trend. Cherrypicking two dates tells nothing about trend.

    Truly, you have more serious problems than wording your questions or counting to 10.

    Comment by Petro — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:43 PM

  611. Fran Barlow Says (2 July 2009 at 5:39):

    “It seems to me Mr Reisman that there is something quite curious about treating anthropogenic Co2 as a pollutant and naturally occurring Co2 as not a pollutant.”

    Perhaps this would make more sense if you note that we’ve moved out of the realm of science, and into the realm of legalisms and bureaucracy. You’re quite correct that there’s no effective difference (just slight differences in isotope ratios) between natural and anthropogenic CO2, and that what really matters is total concentration in the atmosphere. But legally defining it as a pollutant allows the EPA to e.g. use existing laws to regulate tailpipe emissions.

    “Ultimately, the world’s carbon sinks will take up and flux Co2 regardless of its provenance…”

    Sure, but ultimately is what, 10,000 years or more? And it’s likely to make the world rather uncomfortable for the next couple of centuries. Perhaps I lack the proper long-term viewpoint…

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 12:48 PM

  612. BPL 565

    Yes, human life expectancy was significantly lower before we started using fossil fuels and emitting CO2 en masse. Is there a link?

    Maybe a better way to ask the question:
    What is relationship between human welfare and CO2 emissions?

    Only then can you ask the question:
    If most people get thier health and well-being as a result of burning fossil fuels what will restricting those fuels do to the health and well-being of people?

    Comment by Michael — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:07 PM

  613. #606 John P. Reisman, #549 Rod B, et al:

    Years ago, part of the airline passenger briefing included the words “This aircraft is pressurized for passenger comfort. Should cabin pressure be lost…”

    That was changed to “This aircraft is pressurized for passenger comfort. Should cabin pressure change…”

    A subtle difference introduced to calm the nervous. All the same, the terminology did not affect ultimate fate of the heedless, that is to say suffocation for those who failed to take appropriate steps upon “change” or “depressurization”.

    The dominant driving force of “climate change” as the term is being used in public policy is “global warming”, an average increase in global temperature. Semantic cosmetics don’t really matter; hair-splitting about about subfusc motivations behind the terminology is pointless.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:15 PM

  614. Ray 541
    If fossil fuels and renewables are truly interchangeable when it comes to cost and value to the user, why is there so much friction to switch over? Do I have to insert a conspiracy theory here?

    How about we just use reality on the ground. Lets say years ago China had banned coal and oil, and CO2 free were the only energy options they were allowed. Would the Chinese growth rate be where it is today? How about their poverty level? Their life expectancy rate?

    Comment by Michael — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:29 PM

  615. #611 James

    I would argue that the subjectivity of the word ‘slight’ regarding “differences in isotope ratios” requires context to be well understood.

    It is a slight, or possibly no, difference if we are talking long wave infrared absorption.

    It is a massive difference if we are discussing isotopic signature and origin of the molecule.

    Context is key.

    Of course still recognizing Websters definition: CO2 from industrial waste is a pollutant, naturally occurring CO2 is not.

    As to the carbon sink, I do think we can make a difference (don’t know how much) with biomass pyrolysis, but that all depends on how smart the human race chooses to be.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:41 PM

  616. Michael Says (2 July 2009 at 11:45):

    “If you’re arguing that healthcare and life expectancy aren’t linked, no need to go any further on that point, we will have to disagree.”

    I don’t think I went so far as to say there is NO link, just that it’s much smaller than you seemed to be claiming. I have to go along with Benjamin Franklin, who wrote ” It is of the greatest importance to prevent diseases, since the cure of them by physic is so very precarious.”

    “Regardless, the original question had to do with human welfare which encompasses a lot more than just life expectancy.”

    I agree, of course. You were the one who turned the discussion to health care & life expectancy. I think I wrote this earlier, but again, reflect on the fact that economic necessity forces the majority of people in this country to live crammed into cities and suburbs, without access to fresh air, open space, or anything but the merest vestige of a natural landscape (and conditions are worse in much of the rest of the world), while lack of exercise & a diet of processed foods has created an epidemic of obesity and its consequent diseases. Since this has been made possible by abundant fossil fuel energy, it would seem that in these respects energy/CO2 has in fact decreased human welfare.

    “Every one of those public health achievements (on the cdc page you linked) requires either expending energy, or a sufficiently advanced society (which includes large energy expenditures).”

    Not true. First, you’re assuming your conclusion that an advanced society requires large energy expenditures. (Which even if needed don’t have to come from fossil fuels – advanced societies should be able to find other sources :-)) Second, of course everything requires expending SOME energy, but of a level above say the horse & buggy era? Here’s the list:

    Vaccination – Little or no energy. Jenner discovered vaccination in 1796.

    Motor-vehicle safety – A no-brainer, since if you don’t have motor vehicles, their safety is a non-issue. And you use less energy.

    Safer workplaces – Maybe, but not a lot.

    Control of infectious diseases – How does this require much energy? Sanitation, quarantine &c don’t require much energy, antibiotics could be produced without. Eliminating high-speed travel would certainly slow their spread – look at how fast swine flu has spread around the world.

    Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke – again, no energy required.

    Safer and healthier foods – maybe, but how?

    Healthier mothers and babies – likewise.

    Family planning – No significant energy input.

    Fluoridation of drinking water – OK, there’s one that requires energy for centralized water supply.

    Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard – zero energy required. Indeed, less than zero, because energy would have been used to plant, harvest, process & distribute a larger volume of tobacco products.

    So out of ten items, only one has a significant energy component, three might require some.

    “This welfare/energy discussion has more to do with developing countries because most of the world lives below the poverty line and in need of welfare. I doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to center this discussion on the privileged few in the developed world.”

    It does make sense. First, because the developed world uses most of the energy and emits most of the CO2. Second, because it bears on the question of what exactly that poverty line means. I don’t have an SUV, a McMansion, big-screen TV (or indeed, a TV period), cell phone, or many other seeming necessities of “civilized” life. Am I living in poverty? If I had all those things, but had to live in Manhattan or LA to earn enough to pay for them, would I rich?

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 1:44 PM

  617. #613 Doug Bostrom

    Point is well taken. However, I agree and disagree.

    I agree that whether we refer to AGW as ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ does not affect the physics.

    I disagree that it does not matter in the public debate; since that affects public opinion and policy makers, and ultimately action regarding mitigation strategies.

    Certainly, you are generally correct from your point of view.

    I would say that the debate is caught up in the semantic cosmetics but the science could care less. On that point, I don’t think it is entirely pointless to clarify understanding between the two contexts.

    I believe reducing the confusion and clarifying the contexts helps people get closer to the reality of the situation.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:16 PM

  618. Michael writes:
    > Lets say years ago China had banned coal and oil,
    > and CO2 free were the only energy options

    You’d be using super-cheap Chinese solar hot water and solar photovoltaic roofing that you bought at Wal-Mart, a decade ago. And they’d be better off as well since they’d be making more money with less pollution.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:25 PM

  619. Martin V (505), can’t do it either.

    Oh, I can do it all right. The answer is ‘rising’, or equivalently, ‘yes’.

    There. That was easy. Happy now?

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:36 PM

  620. #614 Michael:

    “Lets say years ago China had banned coal and oil, and CO2 free were the only energy options they were allowed. Would the Chinese growth rate be where it is today? How about their poverty level? Their life expectancy rate?”

    Leaving aside for a moment growth rate which is a superset incorporating poverty level and and life expectancy but also a lot of more debatable improvements, it’s not unreasonable to hypothesize that having made such a choice the Chinese might now have a significant technological advantage over those who did not. They might better be prepared to compete in a world where hydrocarbon resources are becoming a limiting factor in success.

    Casting aside hypothesis, Chinese life expectancy has moved upward slightly over the past ten years of explosive economic growth, but not nearly in proportion to their increased carbon emissions. The largest increase in lifespan in China happened long ago, prior to China’s joining the global economy and commensurate need to emit more carbon. It was the result of progressive attention to public health. Their life expectancy might have improved more during the past two decades if they’d not taken attention off medical care and public health in general for their still vast rural population, a problem they’re now working to remedy. So it’s hard at least in the case of China to form a solid connection between carbon emissions and life expectancy.

    With regard to food production, the increasing adoption of nitrogen fertilizer over the past 50 years initially caused a sharp upward spike in productivity but this has flattened of over the past 15 years; increasing use of fertilizer is no longer producing the gains it once did, though presumably the continued increase in fertilizer consumption is driving some portion of their increasing carbon emissions. So apparently no dependable, simple correlation there.

    The poverty level in China has dropped immensely since the late 1970s, but if you look at the distribution of improvement over time versus their carbon emissions over the same period there’s little correlation. The change in poverty level seems to correlate more strongly with policy changes in the governance of the Chinese economy. For a given amount of resource input, the result can be better or worse depending on many factors other than brute force application of physical commodities.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:40 PM

  621. #617 John P. Reisman:

    I prefer “global warming” myself; it seems to better describe the overall character of the problem. “Cabin pressure change” generally does not mean the cabin pressure is going to increase, heh.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:42 PM

  622. Michael wrote: “What is relationship between human welfare and CO2 emissions?”

    CO2 emissions are already having a detrimental effect on human welfare and continued CO2 emissions will have a catastrophically detrimental effect on human welfare, causing unspeakable misery and suffering, impoverishment and displacement and the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.

    With all due respect, your continued clumsy attempt to equate “CO2 emissions” with “access to energy” as a factor in human well-being is either dishonest or stupid.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:45 PM

  623. #618 Hank Roberts:

    Funny you should say that. The Chinese have recently mandated solar hot water heat for new construction in many parts of the country and already we see the first tentative landfall of Chinese solar water heating equipment here. Our indigenous solar hot water industry will be gone in 10 years, having suffered from apathy alternating with misguided attempts at stimulation by distorted taxation schemes. We produce the very best, absolutely most expensive solar hot water systems available here. Selective absorbance coatings, low iron glass, amazing efficiency, all to shrink the the size of collectors by 20% while doubling the cost so as to save all that precious roof real estate that we know is already just packed beyond capacity. So sad.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:48 PM

  624. Thank you all for your comments on my post #531: 531 Gavin, 549 and others Rod B, 551 EL, 552 and others Hank Roberts, 554 Phil Felton, 556 and others Fran Barlow, 559 John Reisman, 561 and others Matt Kennel, 563 Brian Dodge, 569 Barton Levenson, 571 Alan of Oz, 572 Philip Machanick, 577 Mark Says, 580 dhogaza, 585 Anne Van Der Bom.

    I read the FAQs Gavin suggested, and all of your comments; I have yet to visit the wealth of web sites you all suggested, but I will. You comments have been very helpful for me and I appreciate the time it took you to respond. Thanks.

    This is what I’ve come up with:

    “Global warming” or “climate change”, whichever one calls it, is a term used in two separate contexts.

    1) The first context is as the name referring to changes in climate over time, as measured by many and various scientific methods. Scientists’ measurements, over the last 30 years or so, seem to reflect a steady increase in CO2 emissions, which seem to be causing both a rise in temperature and change in ocean ph toward acidity.

    2) The second context is as the term currently being used politically in reference specifically to man-made climate change, which is controversial for at least two groups:

    A) Those who think that governments around the world should take action to reduce CO2 emissions because data collected in the last 30 years indicates that recent changes in climate can be traced to CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels during various human activities.

    B) Those who believe governments’ attempts to reduce CO2 emissions will result in the waste of billions of $$, euros, yen, etc., because of one or more of the following four reasons:

    a) they don’t believe the premise of man-made climate change: they don’t think scientific data collected to date is adequate to prove conclusively that any type of man-made event can result in either the recent fluxuations in climate or the anticipated kinds of drastic climate change, therefore CO2 control would be ineffective at solving the problem
    b) they don’t believe CO2 alone is responsible: they think other variables are as or more likely to be the catalysts or causes for the scientific data collected to date on climate change therefore CO2 control would be ineffective at solving the problem
    c) they believe government efforts to curb CO2 emissions will fail resulting in an unprecedented waste of money and worse economic conditions.
    d) they believe that control of CO2 emissions will include governments making it more costly to use fossil fuels, punishing manufacturing and other commercial types of business for not moving to other forms of energy, even though there are no adequate replacements for fossil fuels available.

    My opinion has changed in that I understand better why CO2 can be considered a pollutant and I think that scientists who insist that excess CO2 is a problem have a valid point.

    I am convinced that climatologists are doing their best to isolate and analyze data necessary to help make a decision. Though I do have my doubts about there being adequate data to draw a valid, long-term conclusion, the prudent action would seem to be to hedge the bet and move toward reducing CO2 emissions.

    How to go about that remains the dilemma.

    I believe it is very likely that governments would waste a large percentage of the money they collected to combat “climate change,” with many individuals in government corruptly profiting from the effort, without any meaningful success at reducing CO2 emissions. I think global political involvement seems like a good idea only because it seems fast and would be high profile. But fast, if ineffective (and corrupt), is really neither productive nor fast. If reducing excess CO2 emissions is important, it is important to do this right, for the long-term.

    My opinion is that a grass roots effort to push for and reward the discovery and implementation of new forms of energy and cleaner ways of using energy that will result in lower CO2 emissions could be most the most successful approach. Individuals around the world are already philosophically ready to reward with investment dollars those companies employing “sustainable” practices, and reducing CO2 emissions could certainly be developed as an investment criteria that fits the “sustainable” overlay.

    Additionally, individuals involved in a grass roots effort would be willing to participate in other potential aids to the situation yet to be named. What about a global initiative to plant of trees and other vegetation to begin to help absorbing excess CO2? There must be some other measures interested and motivated individuals could take.

    The same grass roots push could also be influential in who gets elected to office. The best type of candidate might not be the one who is pushing toward CO2 control legislation as we are seeing now with the “cap and trade (tax)” energy bill. Rather, the best type of candidate might be the one who will be able to avoid corruption, graft, and ploys for personal power, while being able to simultaneously write solid, long-term legislation that rewards new energy ideas that can result in the reduction of CO2 emissions, while also writing legislation that provides for adequate nuclear energy and fossil energy to be developed and used for the near term without punishment. Since, if I understood correctly, scientists point out that the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, even if all emissions stopped today, will take decades, I believe positively and steadily moving toward the goal will be most effective for the long-term.

    Comment by Liz Bockelman — 2 Jul 2009 @ 2:57 PM

  625. #624 Liz Bockelman:

    I’m so glad Gavin deep-sixed my reply to your initial post. Well done, Gavin.

    “I believe it is very likely that governments would waste a large percentage of the money they collected to combat “climate change,” with many individuals in government corruptly profiting from the effort, without any meaningful success at reducing CO2 emissions.”

    Remember, corruption emanates from the private sector and targets the public sector. Particularly for publicly traded firms there’s a fiduciary responsibility to deceive and corrupt when shareholders’ money is at stake.

    “I believe it is very likely that governments would waste a large percentage of the money they collected to combat “climate change,” with many individuals in government corruptly profiting from the effort, without any meaningful success at reducing CO2 emissions.”

    Most of the profit from corruption will accrue to the private sector, whose constituents are very careful to see that their investments are not wasted. The bargains they obtain in legislation for spare change are really remarkable. I read a wonderful book some years ago that hinged on a conference on climate mitigation 100 years from now. I wish I could remember the name of it, or the author. In any case it nicely captured the level of corruption that had accrued around competing mitigation schemes, though the climate problem was real enough.

    “Rather, the best type of candidate might be the one who will be able to avoid corruption, graft, and ploys for personal power, while being able to simultaneously write solid, long-term legislation that rewards new energy ideas that can result in the reduction of CO2 emissions, while also writing legislation that provides for adequate nuclear energy and fossil energy to be developed and used for the near term without punishment.”

    Forcing careful accountancy for the real price of carbon emissions is pretty much a requirement for providing help of the kind you mention with the distorting effect and inefficiencies of direct subsidies. Insisting on doing all the numbers is our best bet. In my humble opinion. We’re not going to do that accounting voluntarily; at the end of the day it takes a government with punitive powers to motivate us for some things, such as paying taxes, not trashing our neighbors with pollution, etc.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 3:24 PM

  626. James 616
    No cell phone? I remember what that was like. The freedom!
    …hang on, I need to take this call.

    This could get out of hand so I am just going to pick on your first example.
    Jenner discovered the vaccination concept. Actual vaccinations come from vaccine manufacturers. Vac cine research and development requires industry.

    Lets disregard that for a second and take all of your examples at face value. At bare minimum 9 of them were none to some energy required, with the exception of tobacco. So even if you are James who is very optimistic about the efficiencies we can sustain, the human welfare/energy relationship is a positive one, correct? (Energy use goes up as humans become healthier and live longer.)

    [Response: That is simply ridiculous. You cannot equate the benefits of vaccination to the use of fossil fuel and then use that to argue for no emission cuts. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 2 Jul 2009 @ 3:26 PM

  627. “…the developed world uses most of the energy…”

    The concept is human welfare. Rather than spending time talking about what emissions reductions would do to the wealthy in the developed countries lets address the poverty stricken in developing countries. The wealthy should be able to weather higher energy costs and fewer energy options pretty well. It’s the less fortunate who don’t have options and will take the brunt of emissions reduction schemes.

    Comment by Michael — 2 Jul 2009 @ 3:27 PM

  628. Alan of Oz — Not sure what your poitn was to be, but Tung & Cabin (2008) [available from Prf. Tung UW web site] analyze surface temperature variations over sunspot cycles and point out that no exotics, such as GCRs, need be invoked.

    I attempted an analysis in the “Climate sensitivity, Shaviv and Tung et al” (older) thread on the globalchange website, linked on the sidebar.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:29 PM

  629. Alan of Oz 2 July 2009 at 5:50 AM

    I’ve read the Usoskin et. al paper on cosmic ray & clouds, and they generate the global distribution of cosmic ray induced ions(CRII) by modeling. I doubt that will bother the denialists, despite their oft stated contempt for models. I noticed that the change in cloud cover from the minimum to maximum of the solar cycle was 2 percent, much less than the 10% change in CO2, over the period of their study. They also noted and removed in their analysis a downward trend of 0.2 percent per year in tropical cloud cover, which they said could be “…related to physical processes, e.g., a change in the global circulation pattern…”, plus some other suspects- aerosols, instrument calibration. Given that global warming has already led to observed changes in global circulation[1], I’d posit that we will see a decline in tropical cloud cover of ~2% per decade caused by global warming, with plus and minus 1% peaks and valleys around the mean trend caused by solar modulated CRII. After 20 or more years, the peak cloud area at a CRII maximum will be less than the earlier minimum. Tamino may be able to pull any fluctuations in precipitation or temperature this modulation causes from the noise of other processes, but these little ups and downs won’t make the AGW trends go away.

    [1] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v441/n7089/abs/nature04744.html Vecchi et al “Observed Indo-Pacific sea level pressure reveals a weakening of the Walker circulation. The size of this trend is consistent with theoretical predictions, is accurately reproduced by climate model simulations and, within the climate models, is largely due to anthropogenic forcing.”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 2 Jul 2009 @ 4:43 PM

  630. “Remember, corruption emanates from the private sector and targets the public sector…,” says Doug B. Really astounding. The big bad private guys doing the picking on the little ‘ole pure virgin government. Really!

    CAPTCHA: clunky meatballs

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 5:39 PM

  631. 603 Michael said, “Ditching a car for a bike only produces less energy if you originally had a car.”

    or a scooter. The third world has plenty of IC-powered transport. Preventing starvation and epidemic disease doesn’t take much CO2, and those two things are *all* that’s necessary to bring lifespan up to USA levels (though reaching modern world levels takes a bit more – the USA is 45th in life expectancy.) This is being done in the third world. Not perfectly, but well enough to change the equations. Like most all solutions, this has created a crisis. What does one do with all those old people?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8131567.stm

    Comment by RichardC — 2 Jul 2009 @ 5:52 PM

  632. Doug wrote:
    > We produce the very best, absolutely most expensive
    > solar hot water systems available here.

    Pointer? I’d rather pay double for those than replace a system in my old age — and solar-preheating for home hot water is the real no-brainer _assuming_ that all that water stays where it belongs. Otherwise, risky.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 6:08 PM

  633. David Benson mentions:
    > Tung & Cabin (2008) … Prf. Tung UW web site

    Link:
    http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 6:20 PM

  634. #630 Rod B:

    Take 5 minutes, find all the cases of public officials bribing private sector executives. Now, spend 5 minutes finding examples of the opposite situation.

    Why do I bother? It’s good ol’ Rod B, after all.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 6:36 PM

  635. 632 Hank said, “I’d rather pay double for those than replace a system in my old age”

    Oh yes, just like you’d rather buy a solid Detroit car than Japanese [edit]. Who said anything about durability? Or do you have some data?

    Comment by RichardC — 2 Jul 2009 @ 6:39 PM

  636. #632 Hank Roberts:

    When I say “best”, I mean most efficient at capturing energy from sunlight. That immediately leads to “most expensive”, because wringing the last few percent of efficiency from a panel means turning to relatively exotic materials. It’s not about durability, it’s about misguided perfectionism.

    Unless you live in a very tiny house you’ve got ample roof space. Pursuing the last word in efficiency is a waste of money, sort of like being a high-end stereo enthusiast and paying $1000 for a set of speaker cables to get a vanishingly small return. It’s a hobbyist pursuit.

    Preheating is a no-brainer for most places in the country and yields plenty of benefit. Building a system that produces consistent finished hot water will take most of us off into the weeds, and for usually no good reason unless it’s a true off-grid scenario.

    A real case of where the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    I’m speaking of single family occupancy dwellings here, btw.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 6:51 PM

  637. Michael Says (2 July 2009 at 13:29):

    “How about we just use reality on the ground. Lets say years ago China had banned coal and oil, and CO2 free were the only energy options they were allowed. Would the Chinese growth rate be where it is today? How about their poverty level? Their life expectancy rate?”

    Ah, but now you’re arguing in circles. It’s highly likely that the Chinese economic growth rate would have been less, but we’re discussing human welfare, no? Without that economic growth, would China be covered with a brown cloud? (Which probably doesn’t do much good for life expectancy.)

    You also seem to be stuck on a purely economic definition of poverty, which I think could do with some re-examination. What’s poverty, not being able to buy that iPod or big-screen TV, or not being able to breathe clean air?

    It might be interesting to look at Chinese life expectancy through say the time of the Opium Wars until the present, and relate changes in life expectancy to events. It’s not a subject I know much about. However, any claim that Chinese economic growth in the last few decades is responsible for increased longevity comes up against the genocide of the Maoist era. If you stop murdering tens of millions of people, of course you’ll increase average life expectancy.

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:08 PM

  638. Liz Bockelman Says (2 July 2009 at 14:57):

    “A) Those who think that governments around the world should take action to reduce CO2 emissions because data collected in the last 30 years indicates that recent changes in climate can be traced to CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels during various human activities.”

    Like many people, you basically have this backwards. It’s not that scientists have collected data showing warming, and from it deduced that CO2 is the cause. Rather, we know from first principles – the behavior of CO2 with respect to infrared radiation, first measured in IIRC the mid-1800s and worked out in more detail by Arrhenius around 1900 – that increased CO2 WILL cause warming. The collected data merely confirms that the warming is happening pretty much as predicted.

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:16 PM

  639. RichardC, read Consumer Reports; you may have Japan and Detroit confused; you’re looking for longterm reliability numbers.

    Consumer Reports doesn’t have reliability info on solar hot water collectors (yet). See the example below for the kind of specific info you can get now.

    Thanks Doug, that helps. Here’s a DIY guy’s ongoing story (he’s in Australia):
    http://neuralfibre.com/paul/tree-hugging/diy-solar-hot-water

    “… Australia had invented a more efficient solar hot water panel. Of course being Australia we had done nothing about capitalising on the invention, and now they were made in China. Beautiful, nice and cheap, just what I needed….”

    ——
    Same tubing I’ve been looking at. Cautionary.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:32 PM

  640. Michael Says (2 July 2009 at 15:26):

    “Jenner discovered the vaccination concept. Actual vaccinations come from vaccine manufacturers. Vac cine research and development requires industry.”

    But does that industry require large amounts of energy, more than could be derived from say a small hydroelectric plant? No.

    Michael Says (2 July 2009 at 15:27):

    “It’s the less fortunate who don’t have options and will take the brunt of emissions reduction schemes.”

    On the contrary. If you are for instance an Indian peasant farmer or a Mongolian herdsman, your life will likely not change in any significant way. Likewise if you live in a shack in a third-world urban slum. If you don’t have it now, you’ve already adapted to living without.

    The same principle holds, to a lesser extent, in Western society. Groups like the Amish might not even notice a change, while people like me who have chosen a less energy-intensive lifestyle might be slightly pinched. It’s those “wealthy” people who have become utterly dependent on intensive energy use that will scream loudest.

    For a small example, during the recent gas price spike my SUV-driving acquaintances were all whining about the extra couple of hundred dollars they spent on gas each month, while I, driving a car that gets over 70 mpg when I wasn’t biking, was spending maybe $10-20 more. So who hurt the most?

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:45 PM

  641. Doug Bostrom Says (2 July 2009 at 18:36):

    “Take 5 minutes, find all the cases of public officials bribing private sector executives. Now, spend 5 minutes finding examples of the opposite situation.”

    Hardly a fair example: it’s like finding examples of people driving to the gas station and pumping gas out of their cars :-)

    Who’s the more corrupt, the private sector executive who offers a bribe, or the public official who takes it? How about the official who actively solicits a bribe, letting it be known that the private sector will be blocked unless the bribe is forthcoming?

    Comment by James — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:51 PM

  642. #597 John P Reisman
    “It would be more appropriate you address the issue with Merriam Webster. I did not write the definition.”

    I was aware of that, but I felt the point about the definition of pollution was worth raising here given that one of the memes being run by the enemies of mitigation is that “CO2 is not pollution. It’s vital to life”.

    Re: the server gateway — thanks. I discovered that later.

    James #611

    Notes the different contexts (scientific, legal bureaucratic) in which the term pollution is used and says …

    “But legally defining it [CO2] as a pollutant allows the EPA to e.g. use existing laws to regulate tailpipe emissions.”

    Of course, and in so far as it is relevant here, this reflects the EPA’s conception as a regulator of “pollution” rather than as a protector of so much of the biosphere as falls within its power to act. Were it up to me, the “EP” in EPA really would refer to a wholistic endeavour aimed at maintaing the integrity of the biosphere, of which the control of contaminants *and other activities likely to disrupt the integrity of the biosphere* would be parts.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 2 Jul 2009 @ 7:51 PM

  643. Michael #612 asks about the link between human welfare and CO2 emissions. In my opinion, James and Doug have given well argued answers, to which I’d add only the following point: Neither correlation nor sequence imply causation.

    What those who argue in this way need to establish is a clear causal link between the two phenomena and also specify it well enough to mark the point at which the relationship breaks down. Even in cases where there is a causal relationship one sees often enough “diminishing returns”. If you are cold, you put on more clothing. One may say that in these circumstances, that physical comfort and the wearing of clothes are causally related. That doesn’t mean of course that if you keep putting on more clothes, you will keep getting more comfortable. At some point you get no extra benefit and at an even later point you may be less comfortable than if you hadn’t put them on.

    If, as is speculated, the slight increases in CO2 that attended the development of agriculture about 6000 years ago left the world with a milder climate than would otherwise have been the case the analogy may hold for CO2. We spent most of 6000 years benefiting as a species from an increase in atmospheric CO2 to a new stable threshhold between 240 and 280 ppmv.

    What we now know is that going above that higher threshhold, as we are now doing, has begun diminishing the value of the biosphere to our species, and may eventually prove catastrophic. Even if increasing CO2 from 180-220 to 240-280ppmv was on balance, good for us is moot since nobody will have the power to force concentrations back to the pre-agricultural levels or even the levels of the 19th century any time soon. Indeed, it’s almost certain we will exceed 450ppmv before we stabilise global concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and it’s virtually certain that this continuing upward trend will be reflected in serious costs to the human comnunities who encounter it.

    What you are uttering is a classic composition fallacy in which one assumes that the attributes of the part are a microcosm of the whole: some CO2 good, more CO2 better. What you fail to acknowledge is that both the biosphere and the human systems realted to it are complex and dynamic systems in which changes in one part will change the balance between other components of the system — and not necessarily in ways we can infer from the actiojn of those parts in pre-changed states.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 2 Jul 2009 @ 8:22 PM

  644. #641 James:

    It’s all about partial pressure and the like! Money “wants” to go from where there’s a lot to where there’s less.

    I wonder if from the record of bribery prosecutions we could derive an “Ideal Corruption Law”, akin to PV=nRT? Bribe on offer versus disparity in income versus what’s at stake? Actually I guess we’d be looking at something more like Graham’s law.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Jul 2009 @ 9:11 PM

  645. In World Climate Report yesterday, we have this note about EPA economist Alan Carlin’s “suppressed” piece on the proposed EPA Endangerment Finding.

    CEI did make public the suppressed document, which, as it turns out, reveals that the document’s authors were big fans of World Climate Report (but then, who isn’t!?), relying heavily on many of our own complaints about the EPA’s Proposed Endangerment.

    That’s an interesting choice of words. Instead of “revealing” the heavy reliance on the WCR source, Carlin appeared to studiously hide that reliance, appropriating WCR’s very words as his own without attribution.

    Still, it would be good to know who wrote the WCR blog post that ended up almost word-for-word in Carlin’s piece, so we could credit properly Carlin’s co-author:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/11/19/why-the-epa-should-find-against-endangerment/

    I know that Chip Knappenberger often reads these comments – perhaps he can enlighten us.

    Or, if he prefers, he could comment here:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/06/28/epas-alan-carlin-channels-pat-michaels-and-the-friends-of-science/#comment-153

    Comment by Deep Climate — 2 Jul 2009 @ 9:17 PM

  646. Doug Bostrom, you said simply “corruption emanates from the private sector.” No corruption from within the public sector?? Puuleeeseee! (Though you just did quickly restrict your “corruption” to public officials bribing private ones. Nice little feint.)

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:18 PM

  647. Fran, then what are you going to do when the EPA finds noise a pollution and all those wind turbines are activities likely to “disrupt the integrity of the biosphere?”

    Comment by Rod B — 2 Jul 2009 @ 10:32 PM

  648. The noise from wind turbines doesn’t disrupt the integrity of the biosphere. I accept that noise at a level that could cause physical harm would constitute “pollution” but given that wind turbine noise is more of a small background hum at distance of about 400m, that falls far short of a reasonable threshhold for measurable harm. It may diminish some people’s property values, but that’s a separate matter.

    Some people claim that they are “visual pollution” but that’s purely subjective.

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:05 AM

  649. 646 Rod B:

    Did you try the exercise I suggested? The “feint” you imagined was an invitation to compare the flow of money via corruption, to see who is tempted and who is tempting, and half a joke at that. Lighten up.

    In what circumstances can you imagine a public official bribing a person in the private sector? Spelled out, what influence does the person in the private sector have that the public sector person would want to buy? Conversely, what influence does a person in the public sector have that a private person might want to buy?

    James pointed out that a public official susceptible to corruption is sort of “off” from the start, ready to rot. You’d have better to work with that; he’s right.

    My reason for grinding on the topic is rooted in my continued surprise at the susceptibility of the public to swallow the poison pill that their government is contemptible and worse if anything than the private sector. That deception is an integral part of selling the climate change denial message. Gavin for instance carries the reek of corruption because he works for the government; that’s the objective behind the generalized slander. He’s being tarred by publicists.

    As I said earlier, a passionate defender of a private sector entity threatened by a vector change in cash flow and having no other recourse may very likely see themselves as having a fiduciary responsibility to employ deception for the protection of their business. They may call it public relations or some other name, but the tactic is corrupting in itself, corrupting of the public perception of their government. There’s ample evidence that reckless deceit of this kind is practiced by the fossil fuel industry in their desperation to ward off financial threat from AGW.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:16 AM

  650. re: #573 Todd

    Todd writes:
    “John,

    Concerning your response (#515) to my post (#468):

    The tenor of your post is exactly the reason why there can be no reasonable dialogue on Global Warming. As I said, I am not a scientist, but have honest questions about the weaknesses on both sides of this issue. However, rather than attempt to address the questions, you begin to “talk down” to me, and to chide me for not reading material on your “preferred list”. Most of my learning is done on the internet (before you malign the sources on the internet, I must remind you that RealClimate is ALSO on the internet), looking at both sides and also following the news. In addition, I read science periodicals such as you mentioned.

    At this point, if you would like, you can cite all of the reasons why you are more qualified to dialogue on GW than I. ”

    SIMPLE QUESTIONS & OPINIONS

    If someone asks you for your sources, that is simply a straightforward request for information, which I (and many others) often ask & answer in personal conversations and blog discussions.

    Every discussion, especially if complex, is helped by trying to calibrate people’s knowledge. I spent many years explaining advanced computing technology, but talks differed between {NASA, Boeing, etc} and {local newspaper, my company’s administrative assistants). Those were easy by comparison with discussions for less obvious mixed groups, where one *had* to ask upfront.

    Unlike some others here, I *didn’t* try to tell you where you were getting your views, but rather just asked, since I don’t know for sure.

    If that’s a bad “tenor”, I’m sorry.
    (Although, given that your first post in this thread told Gavin that you “would point out a flaw in his logic”, with no caveats or maybes, on a subject often discussed here, on which Gavin is certainly a high expert, I’m not sure what you mean when you say “tenor”.)

    If you feel that my questions are “talking down”, I’m sorry. Feel free to suggest better equivalent wording.

    I didn’t think I “chided” you for anything. You asked questions that are easily-answered by reading a few introductory books. I didn’t criticize you for that, because finding the right books is not always trivial.
    I recognized your opinions as opinions as opinions.

    There’s no reason you should accept *my* opinions regarding books, but you might look them up in Amazon and see what others said, or ask the opinions of others here, or check the books section here, or Start here. Some of my favorites are by RC authors, and they are modest in not often pitching their own books, but I’m happy to do so.

    BACKGROUND
    In my high school AP history courses, anyone could offer any strong opinion … but if we did that without being able to cite sources, the rest of the class chewed us up. I’ve spent much of my working life where assumptions were challenged, and people were routinely expected to back their opinions with sources and evidence as needed.

    Perhaps you are not used to that, and are offended by the idea that anyone might ask. If so, I’m sorry.

    It is quite possible to learn enough about this topic without being a climate scientist or any kind of natural scientist. Most people aren’t scientists. I’m certainly not, and no expert, although I’m lucky to have talked to patient experts who’ve helped me learn.

    My questions were intended to elicit your sources for *your* views, not claim mine were better, or that I was more qualified.

    But if background matters to you, see how to learn about science.

    Also, you might look at a knowledge scale, my current best guess at a framework for knowledge/expertise.
    On that scale, I suggested 2 books at level K2 and one at K3. If these are too introductory, then it is easy enough to go the IPCC AR4, WG I,starting with the TS. One of the reasons for such a scale is to be able to match suggestions with people’s current level of knowledge, and suggest plausible learning routes.

    These days, I consider myself K4 on a scale of 10 (roughly log base 2). (Up from K2 on earlier versions, not because I’ve learned so much more, but people convinced me that the lower part of the scale was too compressed.)

    “SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH”
    I’m just trying to understand why people believe what they believe, what information sources they find useful and credible, and the pathways (formal and informal) through which information propagates. I sometimes needed to do that professionally and I used to manage cognitive psychologists and the thinking rubbed off on me.

    [S. Molnar @ 523: I don’t think I’d call this study of “abnormal psychology”, and there is no intent to obtain good statistics. However, dialog is often useful in getting examples to help refine conceptual models.]

    Some people respond (to my usual questions) by saying “I really want to learn more. What should I read? Where do I start?”
    They often say they find blogs are confusing, and I usually agree with them, even regarding the best blogs. It’s very difficult to start building a coherent knowledge framework for oneself by jumping into blog discussions. It’s too much like trying to understand a soap opera or a mystery serial by watching one episode in the middle. :-) So, I suggest a few good books to read before they look at *any* blog, even RC.

    BACK TO THE QUESTIONS

    So, back to the original questions: you have told us:

    1) You look at the Internet.
    Can you be more specific about sites/blogs you find credible/useful?

    2) You follow the news.
    Can you say anything about the mix of TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and which ones you like regarding climate science?

    3) You read science periodicals.
    Can you say which ones you read regularly? And maybe point out a particularly useful article or two?

    Comment by John Mashey — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:21 AM

  651. WSJ’s Kim Strassel weighs in on the Carlin “suppression”, comparing it to the muzzling of James Hansen, and complaining about a so-called “smear” campaign.

    Unable to defend the EPA’s actions, the climate-change crew — , led by anonymous EPA officials — is doing what it does best: trashing Mr. Carlin as a “denier.” He is, we are told, “only” an economist (he in fact holds a degree in physics from CalTech). It wasn’t his “job” to look at this issue (he in fact works in an office tasked with “informing important policy decisions with sound economics and other sciences.”) His study was full of sham science. (The majority of it in fact references peer-reviewed studies.) Where’s Mr. Hansen and his defense of scientific freedom when you really need him?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657655235589119.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    So far there are only cheerleading comments. If you want to comment, you must be registered under your real name.

    Captcha: coal-fired tevte

    Comment by Deep Climate — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:31 AM

  652. Doug Bostrom Says (2 July 2009 at 21:11):

    “It’s all about partial pressure and the like! Money “wants” to go from where there’s a lot to where there’s less.”

    It’s more like Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every briber, there is an equal and opposite bribee. And I dare say it’s possible to find cases – say where some official collects small bribes from many poor individuals – where the bribee has more money than the briber.

    Comment by James — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:33 AM

  653. re 647. RodB, what are you going to do when the EPA decides you are a pollution?

    What about if the EPA decides that they love cake?

    What *I* will ask *you* is why do you think they will ban turbines because of noise pollution? (here’s a hint: they already HAVE “noise pollution”. Somehow neither steel foundries nor wind turbines have been closed down because of it).

    Comment by Mark — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:57 AM

  654. Rod B writes:

    The accurate answer is that temp was lower in 2008 than it was in 1998, ergo falling.

    Sorry, but your “ergo” is a non sequitur. You can’t use the two endpoints to say temperature is “falling” over that period. You need to calculate the trend from all the points.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:00 AM

  655. Michael writes:

    If most people get thier health and well-being as a result of burning fossil fuels what will restricting those fuels do to the health and well-being of people?

    Start getting health and well-being from other energy sources?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:28 AM

  656. Michael writes:

    Lets say years ago China had banned coal and oil, and CO2 free were the only energy options they were allowed. Would the Chinese growth rate be where it is today?

    Probably not, at least at first.

    How about their poverty level? Their life expectancy rate?

    Their life expectancy might well be higher, since China suffers horribly from environmental pollution and pollution-related diseases such as emphysema and black lung.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:30 AM

  657. Michael writes:

    It’s the less fortunate who don’t have options and will take the brunt of emissions reduction schemes.

    It’s the less fortunate who will suffer the most if we DON’T reduce emissions. Bangladesh will be under water, rural Asia and Latin America will have their fresh water cut off due to the disappearance of the glaciers which feed their rivers, the third world will be unable to buy enough food due to widespread drought. Bad harvests will mean bread costs more in the US and Europe and can’t be gotten at all in Africa and India.

    We need to improve third-world living standards. We can do so just fine with renewable energy sources, and in the process we will avoid poisoning the third world with air and water pollution and killing large numbers of coal miners.

    CAPTCHA: “markedly Eastern”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:39 AM

  658. Rod B writes, naively:

    “Remember, corruption emanates from the private sector and targets the public sector…,” says Doug B. Really astounding. The big bad private guys doing the picking on the little ‘ole pure virgin government. Really!

    Corporations view governments as a means of transferring tax money from the public to themselves. There are local governments (e.g. Pittsburgh, PA) where that is pretty much the sole function of government. Certainly it went on a lot in the Bush administration, from the massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to the attempted privatization of much of the army in Iraq. (The troops hated the contractors by the way. My brother was there and has an endless supply of stories of how Halliburton, etc., employees interfered with the troops, did shoddy work, endangered people, and harrassed and exploited the Iraqis. But it was Dick Cheney’s old company, so they got tens of billions of dollars to do things the army had been doing perfectly well for decades.)

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:53 AM

  659. Gavin, James Says…anybody else, curious … a couple of thoughts just occurred……given that CO2 emissions are increasing and subsequent increased reflection of heat back to Earth’s surface…but also that oxygen and nitrogen (right?) are also greenhouse gases, and also that clouds play a part in Earth’s temperature as does the sun…focusing on CO2 is really the only the component of the equation that man can hope to alter, albeit a very small and some might argue insignificant factor, right?

    [Response: No. O2+N2 which comprise more than 99% of the air are not GHGs and so play very little role. That’s why it is the trace gases CO2, water vapour, CH4 etc that are so important. – gavin]

    Is it not also given that there is continuous change on Earth, in a lot more ways than temperature, eventually leading to the death of this planet, it’s a chaotic work in progress…perhaps it is ridiculous and short sighted to even hope to meaningfully alter any part of the process in the long-run…it may be possible that so many other unforeseen changes in natural life conditions besides getting warmer (or colder) are in store for us that, in hind sight we will look back and chuckle at our feeble efforts to control something so beyond man’s control. Isn’t there a very likely chance that the changes scientists are seeing in their data are due to other processes already set in motion, independent of what mankind does or does not do?

    [Response: Scientists have looked at this repeatedly – and the other drivers don’t appear to be playing much of a role – whereas the GHGs give a lot of what we see (warm troposphere, cool stratosphere etc.) – gavin]

    If so, making lemonade from the lemons might be a second, simultaneous reaction to climate change, in addition to trying to reduce CO2 emissions…move cities in from the coast…prepare for new agricultural techniques and regions…etc.

    Comment by Liz Bockelman — 3 Jul 2009 @ 6:34 AM

  660. #634 Doug
    “#630 Rod B:

    Take 5 minutes, find all the cases of public officials bribing private sector executives. Now, spend 5 minutes finding examples of the opposite situation.

    Why do I bother? It’s good ol’ Rod B, after all.”

    Politicians are the enablers. This is usually how it goes: politician wannabe gets campaign contributions from private sector guy, gets into office, legislates in favor of private sector guy, private sector guy contributes more, politician guy takes vacation in Italy (or goes for a hike on the Appalachian trail)…gets re-elected, the word gets out that he “plays,” more private sector guys contribute to his campaign, voters are pleased to see the name of their representative in print, like the new wardrobe, the new hairstyle, believe all change is good and re-elect the politician again…politician feels the power, creates agency to watch over private sector guy, agency takes fact-finding trip to France…raises taxes on private sector guy, writes legislation that taxes private sector guy if his plant emits CO2 while producing widgets…voters are in awe and re-elect the politician…private sector guy whines, politician makes him ambassador to Taiwan, limits how much the new private guy taking his place can earn, and taxes all widgets so new private guy will make more environmentally friendly ones…voters swoon, pay more for widgets, lose job in widget factory, hate private guy, re-elect their pol …politician buries $5 billion aid to Taiwan in next appropriation bill……kind of makes a case for term limits, doesn’t it. Certainly moves me to put the Federal Government in charge of reducing CO2 emissions…when they are done buying out banks, car companies and ruining health care, that is……

    Comment by Liz Bockelman — 3 Jul 2009 @ 6:58 AM

  661. RE Liz Bockelman #624, You included me in your list (glad I could help your understanding of the issue). However my view is that cap and trade is the most logical policy I have heard of, in particular I belive the Brazilian proposal is the most equitable. As with other more traditional markets I do not see how a market for carbon can function without regulation. I also don’t see how we can reduce pollution of any kind without making it a cost to the polluters and I certainly don’t see how it can be considered a science based policy without a quantifying cap.

    Cap and trade is not to be confused with a tax, “sin” taxes and/or consumption taxes do not put a finite limit on how much can be consumed (dumped in this case) and are therefore useless for modiying behaviour in a meanigfull way.

    I do see that all markets/governments suffer from some level of corruption but do not share your pessimisim. Government (particularly the secualar variety) is the defining feature of civilization, without it billions would die in an anarchical descent into a new dark age.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 3 Jul 2009 @ 7:04 AM

  662. RE Liz Bockelman #624, Just an after-thought, you may be interested in Stern’s ideas on modifying the way we implement capitalisim.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 3 Jul 2009 @ 7:09 AM

  663. Thanks for your comments #661, Alan, I am sure your argument has legs. I am as you say pessimistic at the moment…using levels of CO2 as an analogy…a little is good, a lot is catastrophic… I will be checking out the url you offered in #662

    Comment by Liz Bockelman — 3 Jul 2009 @ 7:50 AM

  664. RE: 654

    Hey Liz,

    By neglecting H2O and substituting N2 and O2, jeopardizes any indication you actually read any of the references thoughtfully provided.

    It appears it would be beneficial if you would get a minimum understanding of the distribution and transfer of Solar heat which is absorbed, transported and re-emitted, so you understand a little of the dynamics of heat content in the atmosphere.

    (Consider it something like placing a large rock in a deep casserole dish and filling the rest of the dish with water. Then consider placing the casserole dish in the oven on a middle shelf and turn on the Broiler burner. Now imagine if the dish were actually the atmosphere, with a thin layer at the top and bottom and that the burners were on the sides of the oven. How much would you think that the dish affects the heating of the rock? How much would you think that the water affects the heating of the rock? Note, this example is only used to provide a thought model, do not attempt to perform this as an experiment…)

    Going further if as you notice that the primary limitation is the water, what effect would increasing the heat content of the dish have? What effect would you get from having only one side mounted burner running and the dish were to rotate?

    Moving from the model to the real world, the main point is, the effect of CO2 on the total temperature is to slowly increase the amount of energy transfered to the rock. Part of the energy is transfered to the water which begins to steam away reducing the heating reaching the rock. However, if the rock had an internal heating element the amount of heat the water would have drawn out of the rock is reduced as the temperature of the water increases.

    I know this may seem over simplified to most and does not really model reality, nor is it along the lines of the old leaky bucket model under a leaky faucet either. However, hopefully it demonstrates that there are very strong processes occurring and the heating related to CO2 is not dramatic; however, it does contribute to the retention of the warmth in the system.

    There are other things you may want to study, for one the transfer of energy from the Sun to the Earth is not a closed system. You also have the transfer of energy from the Earth to Space. You need to understand the three methods of heat transport and that the primary transport vehicle is convection. Which then should introduce you to the adiabatic heat content of the atmosphere and the effects of pressure on vapor and gases. Finally you might want to try to understand the basic processes of weather and the effects that changing of Earth’s temperature will have on zonal weather and hence the eventual change this may have on zonal climate…

    The final point, it is not control of the warming of the Earth that man is attempting, it is the control over his waste by-products and the effect they have on the Earth, over the long haul. By reducing the by-products the hope is that the Earth conditions under which humans have thrived will continue. However, tomorrow a large asteroid could hit the planet and knock everything off kilter for 1000 years… Or a super volcano could erupt and knock everything off kilter for 100 years… Most other surface based events may have a decades long effect… The desire is where we can reduce the loss of life due to better management of our existence the better chance of others (progeny) surviving.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 3 Jul 2009 @ 8:24 AM

  665. Liz, you write

    >given … oxygen and nitrogen (right?) are also greenhouse gases …

    Given by whom? Where did you read this, or who told you this? Why do you trust your source to be reliable on this?

    You go on

    >given …

    with many more beliefs.

    How did the idea that oxygen and nitrogen are greenhouse gases become something you assumed and could state as a given fact?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 10:50 AM

  666. Apropos science writers and physicists, a cautionary bit for those who assume they are owed endless patience:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/251

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 11:18 AM

  667. #664 L. David Cooke,

    Hi Dave,(and others knowledgeable of the heat transfer and balancing processes that might want to chime in.

    What is going on with this painting our roofs white stuff?

    The amount of heat kicked back, in the same part of the spectrum as the incident sun energy waves, due to a white roof looks to my rough calculation to be about the same (within an order of magnitude) as the amount of heat energy discharged from a typical large automobile operating for about an hour a day. (For this comparison, the fact that the heat from operating the car would occupy a different part of the spectrum would not matter very much and could be ignored.)

    As I recall, I read that the amount of heat from cars was not important in the global heat balance; rather, the CO2 emitted was, by far, the more significant issue.

    If so, would not the act of painting a roof white be also in the insignificant category?

    Best regards, Jim

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 3 Jul 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  668. Hmm, Liz, you might want to read my page on Tyndall. . . I quote his words:

    “I am unable at the present moment to range with certainty oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and atmospheric air in the order of their absorptive powers, though I have made several hundred experiments with the view of doing so. Their proper action is so small that the slightest foreign impurity gives one a predominance over the other.”

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Science-In-The-Age-Of-Queen-Victoria

    If you’re more ambitious, you can read the original paper–and others–in its/their entirety at:

    http://wiki.nsdl.org/index.php/PALE:ClassicArticles/GlobalWarming

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Jul 2009 @ 11:55 AM

  669. Rod B wrote: “The big bad private guys doing the picking on the little ‘ole pure virgin government.”

    See, Rod B understands that it’s the Evil Al Gore and the other Evil Liberals who want to impose a Global Liberal Big Government Dictatorship and Destroy Capitalism and reduce everyone to the impoverished Proletariat of The Powerful Liberal Elites by taking away their cheap gasoline and SUVs, who have, to this end, created the Great Liberal Hoax Of Global Warming with the assistance of The Corrupt And Self-Serving Climate Scientist Conspiracy. I mean, you know that the IPCC is part of the United Nations, right? Enough said.

    Fortunately, we have the Good Guys of ExxonMobil to come to our rescue. Although far outgunned by the awesome power of the Powerful Liberal Elites who Control The Media, these Heroic Underdog Capitalist Freedom Fighters are waging a Mighty Struggle To Get The Truth Out, by supporting the True Scientists like Carlin and Fred Singer and Patrick Michaels and Lord Monckton who want to the public to understand the Truth that CO2 is Life, and by fueling the courage of a handful of Noble Non-Corrupt Public Servants like Rep. Barton and Sen. Inhofe with well-deserved campaign contributions.

    It’s an Epic Battle between The Forces Of Good Honest Freedom-Fighting Capitalism and the Evil Powerful Liberal Elites. Just like something out of an Ayn Rand novel. Or maybe an L. Ron Hubbard novel.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:10 PM

  670. Well, Carlin is a physicist and economist. He also is a lead researcher for the EPA. Go figure. What would a physicist/economist know about the physics of climate and the economic impact of cap and trade? LOL!

    [Response: The endangerment finding has nothing to do with cap-and-trade. And a physics degree does not a physicist make. But this is all irrelevant – the issue is whether there is anything worth discussing in his paper – and there isn’t. – gavin]

    Comment by William Pinn — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:26 PM

  671. Tom Fuller is right about one thing, which is that this post and so many others are way more full of snark and dismissal than they need to be.

    I have a physics degree and in no way would consider myself competent to understand current climate science.

    But I do look to scientists that are open, transparent, respectful, and actually eager to talk to the public. Or to badly paraphrase Feynman, if you can’t teach it to a high school student, you probably don’t understand it yourself.

    You guys are way to defensive, way to eager to dismiss others, and way to eager to kick people out of your club.

    [edit]

    [Response: You appear to be confusing us with someone else. We’ve written books, done interviews and spoken at numerous public gatherings – including high schools – explaining the basics of the science. If you want good explanations of these, I recommend you start with that. But this is not about any of that – this is about people making political capital from agenda-driven nonsense. Pretending this has anything to do with real science is laughable. – gavin]

    Comment by anon — 3 Jul 2009 @ 12:39 PM

  672. Look anon for the real news — this whole kerfluffle is smokescreen.
    It’s FUD — “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” — to distract from real news.

    Real news: http://www.globalchange.gov/whats-new/news

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:13 PM

  673. I am not a climate scientist, but I am an engineer with peer-reviewed publications in signal/image processing. So I have some experience in finding the signal in the noise.

    It seemed to me in skimming through the document that the authors unkowingly answered some of their own questions with their own data, whose accuracy I cannot judge. For instance, the main point of section 2 seems to be that, if CO2 rises monotonically, then so must temperature. Otherwise, causality contradictions exist, which seems to willfully ignore possible countervailing forces in such a complex system. The authors, in fact, discuss in detail one possible force, the PDO cycle, without recognizing that it appears to fit nicely with the temperature and CO2 data. Here are some amateur, superficial observations on their presented data.

    Section 2 notes that there were global cooling concerns during the latest PDO negative and that we are now in a PDO positive. However, the obvious observation is omitted from Fig. 2.3, namely that both the minimum temperature at the end of PDO negatives and the maximum temperature at the end of PDO positives are clearly increasing for an obvious upward trend throughout the last century.

    Also, the author points out the disconnect between monotonically increasing CO2 between 1940-1970 with the simultaneous temperature declines in Fig. 2.4. However, that could be explained by the counter forcing effect of the negative PDO in Fig. 2.3. If CO2 causes a proportional rise in temperatures but a separate effect causes a sinusoidal oscillation with a period of about 40 years on top of that monotonic rise, you could get a graph that looks very much like the five-year mean in Fig. 2.4. Note that the temps rise faster than CO2 from 1910 to 1940 during the PDO positive, just what you would expect if you add the two contributions. The same is true from 1970-present. That would also explain the correlation data.

    Something else that I find ominous is in Fig 2.1, supposedly from a skeptic. Note that inflection points generally occur only on either side of a maximum and minimum,.i.e the curve generally rise/falls to a maximum/minmum, levels off, and goes in the opposite direction. The curvature is genearally negative above 15 and positive below 15. However, it appears at the end of the graph that recently the curvature has gone positive when it should be remaining negative. The only other time that has occurred in a warm period is in the first Holocene optimum. In fact, based on the pattern of recent warming periods the temps should either be stable or starting downward.

    Comment by S. Barwick — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:17 PM

  674. [Response: The endangerment finding has nothing to do with cap-and-trade. And a physics degree does not a physicist make. But this is all irrelevant – the issue is whether there is anything worth discussing in his paper – and there isn’t. – gavin]

    but you spend this much place to pull them dirty:

    First off the authors of the submission; Alan Carlin is an economist and John Davidson is an ex-member of the Carter administration Council of Environmental Quality. Neither are climate scientists. That’s not necessarily a problem – perhaps they have mastered multiple fields? – but it is likely an indication that the analysis is not going to be very technical (and so it will prove). Curiously, while the authors work for the NCEE (National Center for Environmental Economics), part of the EPA, they appear to have rather closely collaborated with one Ken Gregory (his inline comments appear at multiple points in the draft). Ken Gregory if you don’t know is a leading light of the Friends of Science – a astroturf anti-climate science lobbying group based in Alberta. Indeed, parts of the Carlin and Davidson report appear to be lifted directly from Ken’s rambling magnum opus on the FoS site. However, despite this odd pedigree, the scientific points could still be valid.

    this is only poor!

    [Response: What part of “That’s not necessarily a problem” and “the scientific points might still be valid” did you not understand? Unless you think that ‘economist’ is a term of abuse in and of itself? – gavin (PS. do not waste your time and mine by posting insults)]

    Comment by piltdownscience — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:22 PM

  675. Liz Bockelman Says (3 July 2009 at 6:34):

    “…perhaps it is ridiculous and short sighted to even hope to meaningfully alter any part of the process in the long-run…”

    Once again, you’ve got it backwards. We HAVE meaningfully altered the process, by adding a big chunk of CO2 to the atmosphere.

    “…it may be possible that so many other unforeseen changes in natural life conditions besides getting warmer (or colder) are in store for us that, in hind sight we will look back and chuckle at our feeble efforts to control something so beyond man’s control.”

    Chuckle? I don’t think so. In the (not absolutely certain) event that there’s anyone around to express an emotion in a century or two, it’s more likely to be a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    “Isn’t there a very likely chance that the changes scientists are seeing in their data are due to other processes already set in motion, independent of what mankind does or does not do?”

    In one word, NO.

    Comment by James — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:26 PM

  676. Re: Gavin’s response to #671: [Response: You appear to be confusing us with someone else. We’ve written books, done interviews and spoken at numerous public gatherings – including high schools – explaining the basics of the science. If you want good explanations of these, I recommend you start with that…”] Anon said “‘you guys’ are way to (sic) defensive…” I took “you guys” to mean some of the commentors on this blog (“guys” being plural), and thus Gavin’s response is fine as it relates to himself – assuming “us” and “we” is the “royal” us and we – meaning Gavin alone, but completely ignores the rest of “you guys”. I always find it quite interesting when someone refers to himself as “us” or “we”. Perhaps Gavin could respond to Anon’s actual comment, and also I ask him to explain why “us” and “we” instead of “I”.

    Comment by Phil Seltzer — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:33 PM

  677. anon wrote: “Tom Fuller is right about one thing, which is that this post and so many others are way more full of snark and dismissal than they need to be.”

    Tom Fuller has been posting comments on blogs all over the place sneering at the scientists who maintain this site as “RealClimatrons” and explicitly calling Michael Mann and Eric Steig liars and frauds. He refers to the pro-science commenters here as “rabid”.

    Tom Fuller’s whining abut the “snark” and “dismissal” that met his attempts to peddle ExxonMobil-scripted pseudoscience and outright lies in a forum where people know better is as hypocritical as his so-called “journalism” is phony.

    The reality is that rejection is exactly what Fuller wanted from his visit here, since being a “victim” of “powerful liberal elites” is a badge of honor in the Ditto-Head market where he peddles his denialist propaganda.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:33 PM

  678. Or this — anyone heard about this in your regular news?
    http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/remarks/2009/124210.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:45 PM

  679. #670 William Pinn:

    “Look before you shoot”, always good advice.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears you dove in and made your remarks before gathering facts, on offer here aplenty.

    All the germane information you needed to avoid emanating redundant sarcasm that backfired because it’s based on groundless beliefs was in Gavin’s original topic posting; wading through this thread is unnecessary. By skipping the facts freely on offer, you missed the advantages that accrue to the well-informed.

    Fizzled sarcasm is worse in appearance than simply saying what you really think, even though what you think is wrong.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Jul 2009 @ 1:56 PM

  680. Ah, this is handy, just fill in the pointer.

    Phil Seltzer (3 July 2009 at 1:33 PM):

    “the germane information you needed to avoid emanating redundant sarcasm that backfired because it’s based on groundless beliefs was in”

    the “About” link, top of every page:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/about/

    “wading through this thread is unnecessary. By skipping the facts freely on offer, you missed the advantages that accrue to the well-informed.”

    Hat tip to Doug Bostrom for the quoted text.

    This might be improved along the lines of:

    Spam Solutions Form Response?
    Your post advocates a ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. …
    http://craphound.com/spamsolutions.txt

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:07 PM

  681. Response to Hank Roberts (#680): What’s your point? I’m missing how what you wrote relates in any way to what I wrote.

    Comment by Phil Seltzer — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:19 PM

  682. Phil, you wrote:

    > – assuming “us” and “we” is the “royal” us and we

    I recommend rereading the first paragraph under the “About” link.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:41 PM

  683. “For instance, the main point of section 2 seems to be that, if CO2 rises monotonically, then so must temperature. ”

    Only if you believe that the ONLY thing controlling temperature is CO2.

    A claim made to climate scientists but used by their detractors.

    Projection.

    Comment by Mark — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:43 PM

  684. Phil Seltzer:

    explain why “us” and “we” instead of “I”.

    Hanks pointing you to the right sidebar of the site, which answers your question.

    To make it ultra-simple for you:

    Contributors
    Caspar Ammann
    David Archer
    Eric Steig
    Gavin Schmidt
    Michael Mann
    Rasmus Benestad
    Ray Bradley
    Ray Pierrehumbert
    Stefan Rahmstorf
    Thibault de Garidel
    William Connolley

    CONTRIBUTORS -> us not I

    Comment by dhogaza — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:46 PM

  685. Jim Bullis – “the CO2 emitted was, by far, the more significant issue. If so, would not the act of painting a roof white be also in the insignificant category? ”

    I’m curious who proposed the idea of painting roofs. I would imagine that painting roofs white will lead to more energy consumption and CO2 production. During winter time, people consume a lot of energy to heat their homes. If they paint their roofs white, the heating units will have to make up for the loss of energy from the sun due to the reflected sunlight. Perhaps someone should get the numbers and do some mathematics.

    If you paint the roads white, could it lead to more icy conditions on the road?

    While the solution is colorful, I don’t necessarily think it will be useful.

    Comment by EL — 3 Jul 2009 @ 2:55 PM

  686. Re 674

    Well, I took ‘you guys’ to mean the authors of RC (not just Gavin of course), rather than the commentors. The first paragraph of anon’s comment refers to snarking in this POST and many others, not in the comments, and refers to the openness of scientists, rather than the various assorted greenies, liberals, capitalist free-marketeers, denialists, doom mongers, and amateur climatologists, sociologists, psychologists and economists of every possible political hue and level of expertise (and wisdom) that clutter up the comments sections on this website. Self included, of course.

    I do agree there’s often snarking and tetchiness in the comments, sometimes from those cheerleading the basic message of the posts themselves- which is a shame, because important nuances in the posts and subsequent discussion are drowned out with this sort of debate, and genuinely curious but under-informed folk are discouraged by it. But after several years following this site, I haven’t seen much of it from the RC authors themselves.

    Comment by Matt — 3 Jul 2009 @ 3:00 PM

  687. EL says “I’m curious”

    Google Scholar can be your friend:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22painting+roofs+white%22+albedo

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:01 PM

  688. Fran B., but EPA’s charge is not (yet) “integrity of the biosphere”; it’s tied to “human harm”, of which one can find some coming from wind turbines. Does this make any reasonable sense? Probably not. But evidentially your faith in the EPA’s use of common sense exceeds mine.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:06 PM

  689. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. 3 July 2009 at 11:32 AM

    One big difference between the heat emitted by burning fuel in a car and the heat balance change by painting a roof white is that the energy released from the car is a one time event, while the white roof keeps on doing its thing day after day.

    The roof painting idea is based on the fact that the infrared emissivity of most paint is very high, while its visible absorbance can be low. see
    http://www.infrared-thermography.com/material-1.htm. White paint is sorta like anti-CO2. My roof is ~100 square meters; the population of the earth is ~7e9, so a generous estimate of world area of roof would be on the order of 7e11 m^2. (I doubt that the billions of Chinese, Indians, Africans, and South Americans have on average as much roof as I do, but there are also all those Wal-Marts, Home Depots, and parking lots to drive up the average…). According to wikipedia the area of the earth is 510072000 km², or ~5e14 m^2. Even assuming that the visible reflectivity of the paint is 100%, and the infrared emissivity is also 100%, and ignoring that GHGs would trap some of the emitted IR, the maximum influence would be on the order of 0.14%(7e11/5e14; I hope I did the math and counted the decimal places right) decrease in radiative forcing. Maybe that’s not small enough to be considered trivial, but if you consider that paint costs on the order of $1/m^2, there are probably better places to spend a trillion dollars fighting global warming.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:22 PM

  690. In response to


    “For instance, the main point of section 2 seems to be that, if CO2 rises monotonically, then so must temperature. ”

    Only if you believe that the ONLY thing controlling temperature is CO2.

    A claim made to climate scientists but used by their detractors.

    Projection.”

    Yeah, that was the intended point of the next sentence. The authors themselves present another force that, based on their presentation, could alternately add to and subtract from the influence of C02. Thus, it is unlikely that even a running average of temps would exactly correlate with CO2 since independent factors and perhaps negative feedback mechanisms are certain to be present in a system as complex as Earth’s climate. Their own data seems to explain one mechanism that would cause a non-monotonic rise even if CO2 is a major player in forcing. In fact, the CO2 data plus the PDO cycle seems to jibe well with the temp curve. The PDO by itself does not explain the general drift upward of the temps for the century. To repeat,

    “For instance, the main point of section 2 seems to be that, if CO2 rises monotonically, then so must temperature. Otherwise, causality contradictions exist, WHICH seems to willfully IGNORE possible countervailing forces in such a complex system.”

    Comment by S. Barwick — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:25 PM

  691. Doug Bostrom (649), you can continue to pick out specific types of corruption that don’t apply to public officials, but corruption is found in public service and in private enterprise — prima facie. How about buying votes, soliciting kickbacks, participating in Abscam? (these examples took me 34 seconds)

    I do agree it creates an unfair stereotype and public corruption rubs off onto the vast majority of people who honestly work their butt off and don’t deserve it. I don’t like that in any direction. But I see you have no problem with the stereotype going the other way — toward private enterprise. Plus you’re willing to dumb down “corruption” in that arena and criminalize folks there whose primary fault is that they don’t share your beliefs.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:29 PM

  692. Barton PL (658), you say, “…Corporations view governments as a means of transferring tax money from the public to themselves…” True. Same for individuals. Same for government itself.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:40 PM

  693. SecularAnimist (669), very entertaining. Could be one or the other, but a novel for sure.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Jul 2009 @ 4:53 PM

  694. Response to Hank Roberts #682: I took Anon’s comment (#671) to be directed to various of the commentors on this blog. If that was correct, then Gavin didn’t respond to Anon’s comment. However, if Anon’s comment was directed at the “we” referred to in the 1st paragraph of the “about” link, then Gavin’s comment makes sense, except for the fact that Gavin wrote “You appear to be confusing us with ‘someone’ else.” “Someone” is singular, the use of which implies that Gavin in speaking in the first person. I can only interpret Gavin’s meaning from the words he uses. Accordingly, my comment about “us/we” stands, unless – as is quite possible – Gavin used the wrong word, and should have written “You appear to be confusing us with some others.” (or some such language). QED.

    Comment by Phil Seltzer — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:04 PM

  695. Has anyone else noticed the remarkable uptick in the number of first time posters on these two Bubkes threads? They all seem to follow the same pattern, as well: poster decloaks with an aggrieved question about why RC is being so nasty to Carlin/Fuller/Pielke; poster receives a rebuke for regurgitating nonsense; poster replies with an even more aggrieved response saying “now you’re being nasty to me”, and then disappears.
    It’s almost as though it was the same person doing it over and over with different aliases. Curious. Of course, one shouldn’t read too much into short term trends :-)

    Hmm, Captcha agrees: “wash lather” repeat…

    [Response: We’ve had a large number of incoming links for the MSM on this story. It reflects a common mindset rather than a single person. – gavin]

    Comment by CTG — 3 Jul 2009 @ 5:30 PM

  696. EL Says (3 July 2009 at 14:55):

    “I would imagine that painting roofs white will lead to more energy consumption and CO2 production. During winter time, people consume a lot of energy to heat their homes.”

    I hope you realize that there are large areas of the country (and not to be parochial, the world) where people do not in fact use a lot of energy for home heating. As for instance most of the south & southwest, Southern California & the Central Valley…

    Even in areas with cold winters, most of the heat collected by the roof goes to heat the attic, which is separated from the living area by some amount (lots, for those of us who don’t like paying heating & A/C bills) of insulation. So some selectivity would be useful: paint the roof white to reject heat in summer. Install solar collectors (with reflective covers for summer) to gather the heat in the winter, when you want it, and pass it into the living space.

    Comment by James — 3 Jul 2009 @ 6:12 PM

  697. Hank Roberts – People seem to be dodging the winter effect it would have. None of these studies mention fall, winter, and spring. At best, they mention “Winter” and move on.

    In warm regions, the idea is probably a very good one. So places like Florida and Texas would likely benefit greatly from painting roofs white while colder regions would be much better off with black roofs. I’m guessing the same would go for roads due to ice.

    So I suppose results will vary by region.

    I don’t think it will break global warming per say, but it may reduce some emissions in places and that does help.

    Comment by EL — 3 Jul 2009 @ 6:28 PM

  698. SecularAnimist, Fuller seems to occupy a position somewhere between journalist and troll; I eventually came to regard him as a provocateur.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 3 Jul 2009 @ 7:54 PM

  699. RE: 667

    Hey Jim,

    You might have me confused with someone else, I do not know that I understand the thermal solar insolation distribution patterns as well as you seem to think. However, as to painting roofs white or reflective I had mentioned that about four years ago in the old Yahoo News Comments sections and about a year ago on UKWW. Most recently it has gained a bit of notoriety for Dr. Chu…

    As to the reason for painting a roof white or making it reflective is to attempt to reduce the solar insolation conversion from UV to IR. The greater the reflectivity of the incoming energy in a band outside of the CO2 acceptance the greater the chance of reducing heat content increases in the lower atmosphere.

    This also goes along the lines with what happens if you increase the micro biota in the oceans surface. Would the incoming insolation go to warming up the waters surface (and shading the depths) or would it go to converting H2O and CO2 to sugar? Put another way what happens to the incoming insolation energy if you convert 20% of it to electricity with a PV panel. Does the balance or 80% become IR heat and by the conversion have you reduced 100% of the insolation from becoming heat?

    As to a later post by EL (RE: 685) suggesting the issue of heat and cooling, generally he would be right if the energy were being directly transfered to the home. The difference between a comfortable temperature for humans and the average cold temperature versus the average warm temperature in the temperate zone would be around a -40 Deg. F or a warmer +25 Deg.F respectively.

    This would suggest that to keep a metal box closer to say an average 68 Deg. F it would be highly desirable to paint it darker then lighter. Similar to a car, a dark cars surface temperature may be much higher then then a lighter color. This relates to ice melt on a car as well.

    If two cars, one light colored and one dark colored are covered by a layer of say 3 inches of snow, on which car will the snow start melting on first? The answer, both would be relatively the same until such point the snow became translucent. If not in a snow belt state the cold would not be as low and with a non-flat roof, the air insulation supplied by the attic would reduce the impact of roof color. (Maybe we need to go into the business of making a temperature controlled photo-reactive glass shingle/tile and getting the government to add that to the Climate and Energy Security Bill regarding building code standards…?)

    Back to Brian (RE:689) and along the lines of my second paragraph above. As to the relation to the value of increasing surface albedo in the UV band I can suggest that a low tech solution would be more cost effective if the intent were simply to reduce heat. However, the point is, we need energy that will be displaced by the reduction of fossil carbon. So in essence, I would have to agree that investing the funds into renewable energy resources would likely provide the biggest return on investment even if the cost is 1000 times higher. (Note, you could always go into the business of mixing Coal Ash waste sand/gravel and sodium chloride and spread that on snow covered concrete roads during winter and possibly spreading aluminum sulfate or gypsum on asphalt roads in summer… (Chalk or marl might not be the best choice as the IR acceptance may be too high))

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 3 Jul 2009 @ 8:10 PM

  700. Jim, if you look up the white roof idea, you’ll find the calculations.
    Most of the savings — as with similar treatment for automobiles — is by reducing energy used for air conditioning.

    As an example of what you can find if you look this stuff up:

    “This guide can be used to perform different types of savings estimates related to changing roof solar reflectance, including: savings for a change to a higher roof solar reflectance, comparison of savings for two different products, and estimating changes in savings due to degradation of reflectance.
    … In most instances, the cooling cost savings associated with a change to a white roof surface (one with higher solar reflectance) exceed the heating cost penalty. This should not be construed as a blanket endorsement of high solar reflectance roofs. Many factors beyond the scope of this guide should be considered….”

    http://eber.ed.ornl.gov/commercialproducts/ornl6527.PDF

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:06 PM

  701. Another example that will please the biologists:

    “… At 750 nm the chlorophyll in foliage naturally boosts the reflectance of a plant leaf from 0.1 to about 0.9, which explains why a dark green leaf remains cool on a hot summer day. Tailoring [pigments] for high NIR reflectance similar to that of chlorophyll provides an excellent passive energy-saving opportunity for exterior residential surfaces such as walls and roofs.”

    http://wp.ornl.gov/sci/roofs%2Bwalls/staff/papers/new_53.pdf
    Special Infrared Reflective Pigments Make a Dark Roof Reflect Almost Like a White Roof

    Aside–that suggests that solar panel makers could do the same thing, with a pigment that’s as efficient as chlorophyll at rejecting infrared while capturing the useful frequency range — and since the photovoltaics we have now do need some cooling airflow to keep them efficient in really hot weather, that might be worth doing.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:11 PM

  702. Hot on the heels of WSJ’s Strassel, comes syndicated columnist Mark Steyn, the Don Rickles of right-wing political commentary.

    He quotes a key paragraph from Carlin. Problem is, it comes from Marlo Lewis via Icecap.us – another “forgotten” attribution.

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/07/03/more-heavy-lifting-from-the-suppressed-alan-carlin/

    Captcha: 10-6:30 microbes

    Comment by Deep Climate — 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:20 PM

  703. WSJ’s Kim Strassel weighs in on the Carlin “suppression”,

    I responded on my blog while back. Don’t read if you’re squeamish about calling a thing what it is.

    Cheers

    Comment by ccpo — 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:22 PM

  704. EL Says, “I would imagine that painting roofs white will lead to more energy consumption and CO2 production. During winter time, people consume a lot of energy to heat their homes.”

    A common misconception. The heat entering the attic through the roof is used to ventilate the attic. The more heat, the faster air is sucked in through the soffit and exits through the peak. Essentially zero heat is retained as far as the living space is concerned, especially since the insulation is between the attic and the house. Painting the roof white (or using a white shingle) greatly increases the longevity of the roof, so over the course of 50 years only one replacement is needed instead of two, thus saving $$$ and CO2. Note that in winter the sun is low, and so heat gain through the roof is low, but in summer the sun is high, so heat gain increases, which can overload the attic ventilation system. If you live in an area where AC is used at all, a light coloured roof will save energy yearly, and if not, a light roof will save energy in longevity of the roof. There is no reasonable scenario where a dark coloured roof will save either CO2 or money.

    Comment by RichardC — 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:45 PM

  705. FYI, most houses in Tucson have white roofs — looks nice with their swamp coolers which many also have in lieu of A/C.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Jul 2009 @ 11:27 PM

  706. Re #628 & #629: Brian & David, thanks for your analysis and pointers, much appreciated.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 4 Jul 2009 @ 12:00 AM

  707. RodB #688 I have no particular confidence in the EPA. Theyt are as good or as bad as the people who work for them.

    I was merely making a point about the way I’d *like* to see the EPA operate i.e. what would be reasonable in all of the circumstances.

    English note: [evidently not evidentially]

    (We schoolteachers never knock off work)

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 4 Jul 2009 @ 12:51 AM

  708. #691 Rob B:

    “…you can continue to pick out specific types of corruption that don’t apply to public officials…”

    I do? Actually, I believe if you read carefully public officials are involved in all my remarks on the topic of corruption of public officials. If not, strictly an oversight on my part. What would we be discussing otherwise? PR professionals bribing other PR professionals?

    As with the temperature record 2008… it’s all about trends. Based on other futile discussion with you, “Rod B”, trends seem to escape you, so you’re forgiven for your oversight.

    For the record, I’m done discussing this with you, “Rod B”, in particular. If you need to talk about it further, take on another pseudonym. If that’s unacceptable, you can claim victory if you want, I don’t give a c–p what you think.

    #701 Hank Roberts:

    What a relief that comment was.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 4 Jul 2009 @ 2:52 AM

  709. S. Barwick:

    I have detrended PDO index data from 1900-2008, if you’re interested. I find that in multiple regressions of temperature anomaly on possible causal factors, PDO accounts for about 4% of the variance. Compare this to 75% for ln CO2 over the same period.

    CAPTCHA: “previously forested”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 4 Jul 2009 @ 4:35 AM

  710. I’m sitting here in the UK wondering how long it will be for Carlin and Pielke to cross the Atlantic. So far a Google News search only flags up US and Canadian sites. (Gavin, you have missed not only one Galileo this time but two Galileos, as far as I can see. Tut, tut.)

    Today is Saturday.

    Tomorrow is Sunday when (the esteemed climate scientist) Christopher Booker writes a column in the (right-leaning) Sunday Telegraph. A Pound to a penny, Booker will raise these issues.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 4 Jul 2009 @ 11:58 AM

  711. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Thanks. That’s interesting. My comments were even more superficial than I realized!

    Comment by S. Barwick — 4 Jul 2009 @ 12:12 PM

  712. On “global warming” morphing into “climate change”. It hasn’t.

    The first IPCC panel reported in 1990 and was set up in 1988.

    That’s 21 years ago.

    As an active environmentalist in London I first heard about Global Warming in the early ’90s as part of the campaign in the UK to shut down the ever-increasing road building program of the Thatcher government. (We won, BTW)

    At an early demo in London, a car(mine)had a beautifully made “greenhouse” mounted on the roof and a large inflated globe within, and an “exhaust pipe” (plus smoke tablets) going from said car to said greenhouse.

    No one of the public had the faintest idea what we were on about. A totally wasted effort. :-(

    However, if the same was done today, the meaning would be quite clear. Back then probably 99% had never heard of global warming, and I don’t recall any bodies/lobbies saying it wasn’t happening – mostly as they had never heard of GW.

    That Global Warming has elided into Climate Change is a fiction.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 4 Jul 2009 @ 1:17 PM

  713. You Yanks got independence, but what has it done for you? Right leaning think tanks that deny AGW. We don’t have such in England. You made a mistake – please come home. All is forgiven.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 4 Jul 2009 @ 1:22 PM

  714. RE # 667 me, #699 L. David Cooke, #685 EL, #689 Brian Dodge, #696 James, #697 EL, #700-#701 Hank Roberts,

    All of these are related comments on the white roof concept; they are helpful to me. Thanks.

    Some questioned the source of the white paint idea. A variety of references attribute the current motivating statements to Energy Secy, Chu and Art Rosenfeld of the California Energy Commission. Hank Roberts goes back to a 1989 report by ONRL (see #700 here).

    A number of references related to the specific Pres. Obama administration thinking are at Joe Romm’s site, http://climateprogress.org/2009/05/27/energy-steven-chu-white-roofs-geo-engineering-adaptation-mitigation/#comment-92500 .

    A variety of commenters here at Real Climate suggest that selectivity is in order, so the comment by Secy. Chu seems overly general.

    I add, that as far as air conditioning goes, it would not help much for my house since I mostly open windows to accomplish that, and in the winter it would cause me to burn slightly more natural gas for heating. I was thinking of the albedo effect of the white roof, and my comment was intending to get at the quantitative benefit of that. Brian Dodge (#689) seems to think it would be not particularly cost effective given the cost of paint relative to the benefit.

    Hank Roberts directs me again to look stuff up and helps with the ORNL reference.

    On balance, it looks like the white roof idea is good for folks who spend a lot on air conditioning. For the rest of us, I hope there is not a government program on this.

    When I started writing this comment I was thinking that a further study was needed to validate what seemed like overly general conclusions of the paper by Akbari and Rosenfeld at http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-999-2008-031/CEC-999-2008-031.PDF. Ugh, another study?

    The reading the Akbari paper again, I see we in California have already jumped in with regulation, and have roof requirements written into law. Unfortunately, though these may be modestly beneficial and worth the cost for some of California, in coastal Northern California, they are downright dumb – – not a new type of outcome for us.

    But beyond the air conditioning question, we still have the albedo part. How important is that relative to air conditioning considerations and their impact on the CO2 situation?

    I am way over my head on this; maybe a study is needed. But then, as Hank Roberts might say, “Just go look up some more stuff.”

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 4 Jul 2009 @ 2:55 PM

  715. #13 Theo Hopkins:

    Yeah, but you’ve still got potty aristocrats blowing through their mustaches, rattling their newspapers and spouting off outside of their competence, heh!

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 4 Jul 2009 @ 7:24 PM

  716. Theo Hopkins says (4 July 2009 at 1:22 PM):

    “You Yanks got independence, but what has it done for you? Right leaning think tanks that deny AGW. We don’t have such in England.”

    Oh, really? Monckton.

    Comment by James — 4 Jul 2009 @ 7:26 PM

  717. Not to suggest we take Theo up on his offer, but it appears that at least one member of Britain’s upper house has an appreciation of science that exceeds what I would expect from a member of ours.

    Because science rejects claims to truth based on authority and depends on the criticism of established ideas, it is the enemy of autocracy. Because scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, it is the enemy of dogma. Because it is the most effective way of learning about the physical world, it erodes superstition, ignorance and prejudice, which have been at the root of the denial of human rights throughout history, whether through racism, chauvinism or the suppression of the rights of women.

    Dick Taverne
    House of Lords, London
    Letter to the journal Nature, June 11, 2009

    (I hope preview’s not gone for good.)

    [Response: Preview is back. sorry about that. – gavin]

    Comment by Rick Brown — 4 Jul 2009 @ 8:05 PM

  718. There has been some discussion in this topic about WCRs via Carlin’s claim about the positive link between CO2 emissions and human welfare and by logical implication, human welfare and the combustion of fossil fuels.

    I thought I’d briefly comment on this as a counter factual — what condition would humanity be today if, for example, recoverable crude oil reserves in about 1850 had been just 5% of what they turned out to be subsequently.

    Clearly there would have been a downside. Some species of whale which were sources of oil for lamps might have come under pressure, at least until electricity was rolled out. But it’s hard to imagine that most of the 20th century’s wars could have been fought with the same intensity they were. So there’s an advantage right there –some hundreds of millions fewer war deaths and injuries — maybe no Nazis and no holocaust. Would the US and Britain have bothered meddling so much in Middle Eastern politics if there had been nothing but broccoli there? Probably not. So they wouldn’t have bothered overthrowing Mossadegh in 1951 and installing Shar Reza Pahlavi. There may not have been an Israel and even if there were, the US wouldn’t have been interested in supporting it, so an accommodation would have been reached. There’d have been no Suez Crisis, no support for Saddam Hussein and the Ba’athists in 1958, 63, and 68. Fundamentalists could not have remained in power in places like Saudi Arabia or achieved power in Iran. No world oil shock of 1973. The war in Indochina between 1954-75 could not have been prosecuted by the west so there’s another mountain of misery avoided. No Pol Pot. The Russian Stalinists could not have survived and there’s have been no Afghan War either. No Al Qaeda.

    Domestically since cars would not have been as cheap to run, the advanced countries would have had no choice but to build more compact cities with greater public transport. So much less road trauma, commuting and fast food — no MacDonalds.

    Agriculture would have remained very local or been dependent on its out put being moved largely by electrified train. There would be less packaging and less low tech consumer waste and packaging, since the feedstock for this would be at a premium.

    The health system would cost less to operate as people would be less often unhealthy or injured.

    There would have been massive redirection of engineering skill into producing renewables and improving urban life rather than into war and misery.

    And world CO2 concentrations would be a lot lower.

    Sounds good.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 4 Jul 2009 @ 11:59 PM

  719. re: #671 science outreach

    Gavin even does interviews for Popular Mechanics(!), truly above and beyond the call of duty.

    H/T: Accuweather

    Hence, we might have:

    1) science, often presented here, and often with all the legitimate arguments

    2) anti-science (or sometimes called agnotology, trying to make knowledge disappear or obscure it by any method whatsoever): often debunked here. The Carlin report certainly looks like that.

    3) pseudo-science: also debunked here (i.e., clearly silly stuff that someone wants to get accepted as science); anti-science sometimes picks this up, but it usually seems to originate with someone who has an idea

    but I’d call Gavin’s examples at PM (and sometimes here):

    4) non-science, cases where:

    a) A researcher thinks results are more significant than they are
    b) Or a press release muffs it
    c) Or the results get over-interpreted going from science to media stories.

    It is often hard to tell whether any of this is purposeful, especially when a paper says one thing, but it comes across different in a media interview.

    Is there a more-accepted, simple category name for 4)?

    [Response: I’ve worked with the PM people a fair bit, and once you understand a little of their cultural and historical role, they do a pretty good job on the science – and since their circulation is much larger than SciAm, Discover or Seed, finding ways to reach their audience is certainly worthwhile. No need for an exclamation mark. – gavin]

    Comment by John Mashey — 5 Jul 2009 @ 12:35 AM

  720. Theo writes:

    You Yanks got independence, but what has it done for you? Right leaning think tanks that deny AGW. We don’t have such in England. You made a mistake – please come home. All is forgiven.

    We’ve got the First Amendment, you’ve got the Official Secrets Act.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 5 Jul 2009 @ 6:26 AM

  721. You Yanks got independence, but what has it done for you? Right leaning think tanks that deny AGW. We don’t have such in England.

    No, you have Monckton, the unthink untank :)

    ReCaptcha: intimate $2,891,870

    RC contributors are offering themselves ala Warren Buffet, now? :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 5 Jul 2009 @ 8:07 AM

  722. Re CTG’s (695) observation of a lot of newcomers to this site:
    That makes it all the more important that we keep in mind that the person we’re responding to may have a very different view of the issues, and may or may not be aware of the whole context. Telling them that they’re regurgitating nonsense, that they should read up on the science, that they’re stupid, illiterate, or what not, is likely not having a positive effect on their scientific mindedness; To the contrary, they’ll leave, with a more negative notion than before of climate science and of this site. And that is a real shame.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 5 Jul 2009 @ 8:37 AM

  723. Bart Verheggen wrote in 722:

    Re CTG’s (695) observation of a lot of newcomers to this site:

    That makes it all the more important that we keep in mind that the person we’re responding to may have a very different view of the issues, and may or may not be aware of the whole context. Telling them that they’re regurgitating nonsense, that they should read up on the science, that they’re stupid, illiterate, or what not, is likely not having a positive effect on their scientific mindedness; To the contrary, they’ll leave, with a more negative notion than before of climate science and of this site. And that is a real shame.

    If I may add my own two cents, for whatever it is worth…

    Telling them that they are spouting nonsense and that they should go — go and read up, well, they are likely to follow the first bit of advice. They might even follow the second bit — by picking a disinformation site. Quite easy to find as such nonsense will often rise to the top of the search engines. But at least it makes the person handing them the advice feel superior — and it doesn’t require any effort on their part.

    It is possible to suggest resources and do so in a polite fashion, but when dealing with someone new to the discussion, this is best done in the context of addressing some of their questions and politely suggesting where they will find more information such as Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming. However, this is best don’t in a delineated fashion, not as a, “If you have any other questions about anything go there. Don’t bother me any more.”

    There are times to chase certain individuals away with a stick, but this is best done when they have made it obvious to everyone that they are not here to learn. We should always keep in mind the fact that for every individual that raises a few questions, there are going to be others with the some of the same questions and still others who can learn from the responses to those questions. And if you “loudly” refuse more or less at the outset to deal with a given individual even more are likely to walk away with the wrong lesson.

    It also pays to keep in mind the fact that there are individuals who come here with no other goal in mind except to provoke a reaction which to someone quite new will appear to be entirely out of proportion to the provocation. Maybe these are just lone individuals, individuals sent in from another website, or may be even someone getting paid.

    Don’t give them what they are looking for. Let them establish who they are in their own words for all to see — and then chase them out with a stick. But don’t count on newbies who are watching you react having been around for the past several weeks or months because by definition they haven’t.

    Anyway, just a few observations any Rabett worth his salt might make…

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 5 Jul 2009 @ 9:46 AM

  724. 713 Theo Hopkins says:
    4 July 2009 at 1:22 PM

    You Yanks got independence, but what has it done for you? Right leaning think tanks that deny AGW. We don’t have such in England. You made a mistake – please come home. All is forgiven.

    I think you meant to say, “We made a mistake – please come home. Forgive us all.”

    ;)

    Comment by ccpo — 5 Jul 2009 @ 11:07 AM

  725. #713 Theo Hopkins,

    We can botch things up a bit, but this seems to work in parallel with good old English ways of doing things.

    But there is a certain ring to the “all is forgiven” line. That was what Charles II said to the leaders of Parliament that had a part in cutting off his father’s head. As I last heard the story, he reneged on this offer and subjected those folks to the traditional punishment for treason instituted by King Edward I.

    In delicate company, this is referred to as the “triple death” execution.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 5 Jul 2009 @ 2:03 PM

  726. Fran Barlow says (4 July 2009 at 11:59 PM):

    “I thought I’d briefly comment on this as a counter factual…”

    While I really don’t want to get into discussing off-topic political subjects, I have to say that what you call a counter-factual is more an ignore-the-factual. For the idea that the intensity of war would be less absent fossil fuels, consider the US Civil War as an example. On Middle Eastern politics and the idea that it’s somehow all down to US meddling, I suggest you read up on Islamic history.

    Comment by James — 5 Jul 2009 @ 2:25 PM

  727. re: #719 Gavin

    Actually, I think the (!) is warranted, but positively.

    I just finished “Unscientific America” by Chris Mooney & Sheril Kirshenbaum, who make *strong* pleas for more and better science outreach to broader audiences, which of course means baking it better into the rewards structure.

    I used to devour PM in grade school/high school (some farmboys do that). The (!) was less an indication of surprise than one of pleasure to see quality content getting into a widely-read publication, i.e., further down into the lower-left corner of the Information Channels section of this.

    The comment (about scientists) “and very few deal directly with general media or blogs”, I still think is true … and while understandable, is sometimes unfortunate, given that some patient cultivation, A3, A4 of the media really helps.

    Hence, I am delighted to see this in PM.

    Comment by John Mashey — 5 Jul 2009 @ 2:29 PM

  728. My local Lowe’s home improvement store has white roof coating for $80/5 gallons, which will cover 50 square feet, and R30 fiberglass insulation for $20/31.25 square feet. Should I paint my roof (~$1700), or insulate ($690). Should my girlfriend paint($770) or insulate($300) the roof on the spare room over her garage that she is converting to a gymn?

    Short answer – it depends.

    Long answer- I have a slab roof structure; open beams, natural wood planking, R32 foam insulation, 3/4” air gap + stringers, galvanized steel roofing. There’s no place to add insulation, and the roof is 30+ years old and needs painting anyway to extend its life, so I will paint it white. My girlfriends roof is 5 year old shingles in good shape, and the attic is easily accessible and was left unfinished and uninsulated, so we will insulate, and not paint, at least for another 20 years.

    The world expenditure on roofs over the next 20 years may well be on the order of a trillion dollars regardless of global warming. The incremental cost of making them white is probably near zero, and the energy savings of insulating probably will more than pay for the costs over the roof lifetimes, so taking these steps as the opportunity arises, properly accounting for local conditions, is, as some say, a no brainer.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 5 Jul 2009 @ 5:08 PM

  729. Bart Verheggen, I’m impressed how you practise (#317) what you preach (#722) with your constructive, reasoned replies to Tom Fuller’s questions. Sadly, a 1000-character limit seems to have cut them short on Fuller’s own blog, where he embraces your suggestions on framing the questions, but appears unaware that you also address their, ahem, substance.

    Comment by CM — 5 Jul 2009 @ 5:14 PM

  730. #726 James

    While I take your point about staying on topic for this site, it is clear that the intensity of the Civil War was less than the intensity of battle in the major theatres of WW1 and WW2 and later. Nothing like the pattern bombing of Tokyo or Dresden happened during the Civil War.

    I also never claimed that troubles in the middle east were “all down to US meddling”. Other local actors responded in ways which often made things worse. The world’s politics is also a complex and dynamic system in which US policy choices are clearly one very significant component. Yet had the US not become so closely involved, the results would have been greatly different, though there would still almost certainly have been serious conflicts — its just that these would have played out without considering the US as a major factor.

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 5 Jul 2009 @ 6:46 PM

  731. Fran Barlow (707), Yes, I think I got that. I was just reminding you of the old proverb, be careful what you wish for. ;-)

    Comment by Rod B — 5 Jul 2009 @ 9:54 PM

  732. Doug B I’m getting bored with your chameleon debate points, too. Take your bat and ball and go home; I don’t care.

    Comment by Rod B — 5 Jul 2009 @ 9:59 PM

  733. 726 James says, “On Middle Eastern politics and the idea that it’s somehow all down to US meddling, I suggest you read up on Islamic history.”

    1000 years of being invaded and vilified is enough to warp just about any group. Hitler helped too. It really doesn’t do any good to blame one group or the other. It’s all just excuses for friends when they kill, and demonization of foes when they do the same. If Palestinians were Christian, the US would ___?

    What would have happened if the USA had never left the British Empire? WW1 and WW2 would never have happened as Germany et al would have been too weak for either war. It’s not like freedom was at stake during the revolution. (though England offered the slaves freedom.) I suppose the world would find itself in an entirely different mess, so perhaps it was for the best. It’s like Gavin said about models… to test, crank up an identical universe and wait a few billion years. All we can do is go from here, and stopping the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf is key to improving our situation. Unfortunately, oil nations have a product which costs $2-$5 a barrel. Even at $15 a barrel, they’ll sell. Can you imagine that there will be no buyers at $15? To come full circle, if we do manage to stop oil sales, just how peeved will the citizens of the region be when they find out they’ve been royally shafted? All that oil money gone to wars and princely toys, and nothing left for the masses.

    By the way, re-captcha uses the two words for different purposes. Only one is tested. The other is a word out of a book or newspaper that they’re having trouble digitizing. The assumption is that if the testee (that’s you) get the one word right, the other one oughta be right too. So every time you successfully recaptcha, you help digitize a book.

    Comment by RichardC — 5 Jul 2009 @ 10:16 PM

  734. #731 Rod B

    Being careful what you wish for is indeed basic good sense and taking responsibility for what ensues is the accompanying ethical standard

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Barlow — 6 Jul 2009 @ 12:53 AM

  735. RichardC says (5 July 2009 at 10:16 PM):

    “1000 years of being invaded and vilified is enough to warp just about any group.”

    Huh? You really, seriously need to read some history, because the invasions were the other way around.

    Comment by James — 6 Jul 2009 @ 1:12 AM

  736. To Gavin A. Schmidt, NASA GISS

    Gavin,

    If laughter is the best medicine, I got a near-lethal dose (almost died laughing) when I saw that the Carlin “report” was essentially nothing but a rehashing of standard denialist junk—the usual worn-out garbage about the earth having cooled since 1998, the sun being responsible for recent warming, natural climatic variability being an explanation of current trends, the absence of a clear link between increasing ocean-atmosphere temperatures and hurricane intensity, and the water-vapor feedback being (gasp!) negative.

    Essentially everything in the Carlin “report” flies in the face of current information. Global temperature is clearly trending upward, as the years since 1998 are among the hottest ever recorded—2005 being the hottest year in the instrumental record, 2007 the second hottest, and several years in the first half of the decade following closely behind. Even the La Niña year of 2008 was in the top ten. Moreover, the minor fluctuations in the solar irradiance seen in recent decades are insignificant in comparison with the strength of the net forcing due to GHGs, which is an order of magnitude larger. There is virtually universal agreement that average hurricane intensity on Earth is a straightforward function of ocean-atmosphere temperatures; thus, rising SSTs will inevitably mean more intense hurricanes. Finally, natural climatic variability is just random noise compared to the loud-and-clear signal of the upward trend in the curve of global temperature, which now seems to have an accelerating characteristic.

    A particularly serious omission of the Carlin “report” is the latest research on the atmospheric H2O response to greenhouse-driven warming [“Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations,” in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L20704, doi: 10.1029/2008GL035333, 2008], due to Andrew Dessler and his colleagues, who (as you would know) used the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite to show that the water-vapor feedback is strongly positive, tending to double the initial warming due to CO2 itself. This not only accords with a great mass of observations over the past two decades, but validates mainstream climate modeling results which show the robustness of the feedback in operation.

    And yet the Carlin report had the temerity to claim that the carefully reasoned assessment that led to the EPA’s endangerment finding was based on evidence and observations that were “out of date.” Seems the exact opposite is the case.

    Could anything be more out of date, backward-looking, or antiquated in spirit than the Carlin report’s repackaging of yesterday’s denialist illusions and pseudoscientific nonsense about climate—fantasies that have been shot down time and again, that don’t have a melting Greenland glacier’s chance in a warming climate when exposed to the light of reason, yet which have been presented to the world as if they were a brilliant refutation of the CO2-global warming link by the sharpest analytical minds in the field of climatological research?

    Clearly, the distinguished experts who authored this revealing document are scientists so far ahead of the curve that the obviously backward and befuddled leadership of the EPA could do nothing but engage in a panicked attempt to cover it up and pretend that there was NO SUCH THING.

    Finally, one can only marvel at the speed with which, once the cat was out of the bag, the rush to judgment proceeded. I’m talking about the angry calls by conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill for a full-scale congressional investigation, as well as the demands from outraged citizens for the impeachment of President Barack Obama and the removal of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on grounds that they must have had a hand in the report’s suppression. It almost looked like there was going to be a lynching. This was in addition to cries for the immediate nullification of the House vote on the Waxman-Markey bill and even automatic reversal of the EPA endangerment finding itself.

    Senator Inhofe, the premier contrarian lawmaker on Capitol Hill, said heatedly of the Carlin report’s suppression that “we’re going to expose this,” adding that the EPA “cooked the books” and that “the science is not there” to support the official endangerment finding. He also promised that if Waxman-Markey ever makes it to the Senate it will be (quote) “dead on arrival.”

    Not to be outdone, House minority leader John Boehner gained his own brand of foolish distinction when he declared Waxman-Markey to be “the greatest job-killing bill ever to be voted on by Congress”—to which I would reply, John Boehner is the greatest fool ever to have opened his mouth. Then there was the show put on by Rep. Joe Barton in advance of the expected House decision on the bill. Apparently believing he could use the suddenly-breaking “scandal” over the “suppression” of the Carlin report to stop Waxman-Markey from coming to a House vote with his last-minute “sky-is-falling” antics, which approach being comical, Barton is recorded in short You Tube videos making a royal fool/arse/idiot of himself. The only thing he’s missing is a dunce cap. Links to the high points in his “performances” are as follows:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wic5XEfwMYg&feature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOWyONH_6ac&feature=channel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exahrDQod_c&feature=channel

    Never before have the overheated blunderbusses of “The Party of NO” so stumbled over themselves in evident confusion over an issue which, because it exists largely in their own cognitively-challenged minds, not only assures that they will lose any ensuing face-off over the science (which is very much “there,” Thank You) but reveals their grasp of reality to be failing miserably, presaging a welcome and long overdue meltdown of the entire Republican Party.

    Now let us ask: exactly what was it in this unsolicited and arguably inappropriate “report”—not official EPA business, and not conducted by any agency scientist—that was supposed to have been suppressed? The simple fact is that there was nothing to suppress. The agency would have to say that there was officially no report. But if there was officially no report, then there was no report, period. Unofficial “reports” do not count as reports!!! There’s nothing there—unless we’re talking about some recycled quasi-pseudointellectual garbage from the early days of the global-warming debate, stuff that was rotting in the landfill of rejected ideas even before the superannuated George Bush the Elder was forced, in consequence of his own robust incompetence, to give up the perks and comforts of his presidential lifestyle to tough it out in the chilly autumn of his old age.

    And now we’re going to see a metaphorical shootout, on the high ground of twenty-first-century atmospheric physics, between the likes of Inhofe-Barton-Boehner-Sensenbrenner & Co. and Hansen-Schmidt-Lacis-Chu-Holdren-Karl etc. on the issue of the radiative forcing due to greenhouse gases? If the antiquated bigwigs of God’s Own Party are determined to make an issue of the Carlin “report,” they will be drinking what, in the bitter end, could prove to be the most burning of poisons. Will they lift the chalice to their lips? Seems they’ve already taken the first perilous sips.

    [>>>P.S. RealClimate is a fantastic website. Glad I found it. Keep up the snarky commentaries. Antidotes and correctives are seriously needed to the incredible amount of misleading and just plain wrong information out there — as well as deliberate disinformation sponsored by the fossil-fuel industry, intended to confuse the public and make it appear that there is significant scientific disagreement about the reality and seriousness of global warming.]

    Comment by David Ferrell — 6 Jul 2009 @ 1:33 AM

  737. “On Middle Eastern politics and the idea that it’s somehow all down to US meddling, I suggest you read up on Islamic history.”

    And if you think that the problems AREN’T caused by the US with the willing and nearly eternal connivance of the UK, watch Robert Newman’s “History of Oil”.

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 3:15 AM

  738. Hilariously,

    ” Rod B says:
    5 July 2009 at 9:59 PM

    Doug B I’m getting bored with your chameleon debate points, too.”

    ROFLMAO!

    “It’s not warming/it might be, but not us/it is, but not much, it is but it’ll be good/it is and it’s too late now” ring a bell?

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 3:18 AM

  739. “Nothing like the pattern bombing of Tokyo or Dresden happened during the Civil War. ”

    Because tecnhology didn’t let it happen.

    There were several atrocities on towns and cities by the ACW that weren’t repeated in WW1. They relied on people alone, though.

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 3:22 AM

  740. Not knowing the meaning of ‘bubkes’ (I have now read the comments, but I hadn’t then), I typed it into Google. Of the first three hits, two were to this site. I’m not sure if this is more a measure of the power of RC, or of the obscurity of the term, but if it really does mean ‘goat-droppings’ then perhaps these guys should be told!
    http://www.bubkes.com/

    Comment by James P — 6 Jul 2009 @ 7:27 AM

  741. Re: Fran Barlow 718.

    For once I find myself agreeing with James :-)

    Deaths in military combat in WW1 greatly exceeded those of WW2 (at least 2:1), despite the fact that most combat in WW1 did not involve the combustion of oil or coal. The vast majority of deaths in WW2 were non-combat (Holocaust, Stalin purges etc).

    All that is leaving aside the even greater number of people who died from Spanish flu shortly after WW1, which certainly didn’t have anything to do with CO2.

    So, while I would not dispute that CO2 has the potential to cause even greater death and destruction if left unchecked, I don’t think you can really argue that fossil fuels on their own have resulted in more deaths than if they had not been discovered. If anything, the greater efficiencies of mobile warfare, enabled by fossil fuels, actually reduced combat-related deaths.

    Having said that, fossil fuels have most certainly seen their day, and need to be phased out as soon as possible.

    [Response: No more on this topic please. – gavin]

    Comment by CTG — 6 Jul 2009 @ 7:56 AM

  742. muscheler2007solar-mod

    Comment by win — 6 Jul 2009 @ 9:10 AM

  743. RichardC, it’s too OT to go into details, but you sure have an oddball interpretation of history. The colonies breaking away from King George caused WWII?? WOW! It’s not like greater Europe had difficulty going to war with anybody, everybody, any time over the past 1000-1500 years…

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Jul 2009 @ 9:27 AM

  744. Considering Carlin’s comments based on his expertise and education – i.e. seperating the wheat from the shaft:
    Debunking Carlin’s comments about the ‘science of climate change’ because he is an economist not a climatolgist, in addition to his association with political groups, is a critical point. The potential damage his comments have to sound scientific research regarding climate change are not to be underestimated. However, he is an expert in economic analysis and here his comments are more than worth noting! Using the arguement of the validity of his experitise and education goes both ways, as an economist familiar with cost analysis and EPA programming, his points are to be taken seriously. Just because his scientific anaylsis of climate change is questionable at best, his critique of EPA’s cost benefit anaysis – i.e. the effectiveness of the dollars allocated by EPA to tackle the problems of climate change are to be taken seriously. To suggest that EPA has kept some quack on the payroll for 40+ years is to question the efficacy of EPA as a whole. His questioning the fruitfullness of EPA’s progammatic development and the validity of the dollars allocated to specific tactics/programs to deal with the issues of cliamte change are economically validity of EPA’s budget process. The allocated funds/economics of solving the problems of cliamte change do need to be researched and fully examined. As a footnote, it is not a cover-up to fail to publish the ‘opinions’ of a staffer…since in that case his comments are to be taken as EPA’s, and therefore sanctioned and agreed upon by EPA. If he had commented as a private citizen, which is his right, then EPA would be obligated to publish his comments.

    Comment by lw — 6 Jul 2009 @ 11:05 AM

  745. #726 James:

    I found Fran’s remarks thought provoking though as you say, things are not necessarily so simple.

    However, consider that one of the key factors making the Civil War so bloody was the unleashing of modern quantities of weapons created and transported in part thanks to the full integration of coal into our industrial economy.

    I wonder if the per capita death rate down to war remains constant, regardless of the absolute size of the general population?

    ME reminds me of many discussion boards concerned with controversial topics: when not being attacked by outsiders, internecine warfare commences. Don’t forget Crusades, Prester John, etc.

    #723 Rod B:

    Anything else you’d like to discuss?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 6 Jul 2009 @ 11:54 AM

  746. SecularAnimist 622,
    1. I agree with you that a warmer planet will cost us.
    2. I am asking how you calculate those costs unless you can calculate our relationship with energy.

    Disregarding #1 for a sec, how would you characterise our relationship with energy?
    Can we agree that humans are dependant on energy?

    Comment by Michael — 6 Jul 2009 @ 12:19 PM

  747. SecularAnimist 622,
    Maybe I have been poorly phrasing my argument.

    In regard to human welfare, I agree with you that a warmer planet will cost us.

    Restricting energy will also cost us.
    How would you characterise our relationship with energy?
    Can we agree that humans are dependant on energy?

    Comment by Michael — 6 Jul 2009 @ 12:32 PM

  748. re: #744 lw

    a) Are you asserting that competent economists, faced with the same problem, will agree, say to the same extent as physicists would, if faced with the same problem within their specialty?

    If you say so, how exactly do explain Stern compared to Nordhaus, for example?

    b) Personally, if someone outright denies strongly-established science, I do not want them *anywhere near* the policy table. Their ideas in their own domain may or may not be good, but policy discussions *must* start from good science, not anti-science. Starting from anti-science makes me very suspicious of any further claims.

    If some economist says there is no link between cigarettes and disease, I really don’t want them having anything to do with modeling healthcare policies or tobacco-control laws.

    c) Finally, have you worked for the US Federal government? Do you believe that someone’s long tenure with a government agency *guarantees* their competence?

    Note: that is *not* a claim that government employees are generally incompetent. I’ve known enough fine ones to think otherwise.

    However, having worked for the Federal Govt decades ago, and having gone through merit review processes in which my supervisor could:

    – Check “meets expectations”
    – Check “exceeds expectations” if they wrote a page of justification
    – Check “below expectations” if they wrote (at least) a page of justification

    I got the idea. Hopefully, it’s better now…

    Comment by John Mashey — 6 Jul 2009 @ 12:58 PM

  749. Mark (738), No, not from me…

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Jul 2009 @ 12:59 PM

  750. John Mashey

    Actually I have worked for the government (16 years) and have worked in the private sector – in both arenas as environmental planner – progammatic & policy work. I can tell you that the dollars being spent are saddly misguided and only occationally are well spent – millions of dollars are spent for programs that fulfill some agenda as opposed to tackle the underlying problems in the first place. RE: the issue whether or not there is any validity in Carlin’s argument – things are rarely black and white. Let me tell you from years of experieince with EPA – they play politics big time and are full contradictions, there’s a lot of black and white. Whether intended by Carlin or not, it would be wise for EPA to focus on solving problems smartly, rather than being politically ‘correct’ regardless of the flavor of the month. Since you’ve worked for the feds, then you well know how contradictions and competing interests too often rule the day and money intended to solve real problems gets allocated to those things that ruffle the least amount feathers. Science is not politically inclinded and neither should budgets, ah the perfect world elludes us.

    Comment by lw — 6 Jul 2009 @ 1:45 PM

  751. Mark says (6 July 2009 at 3:15 AM):

    “And if you think that the problems AREN’T caused by the US with the willing and nearly eternal connivance of the UK, watch Robert Newman’s “History of Oil”.”

    I don’t watch things, I’m afraid, for a lot of reasons. The most relevant in this instance is that the streaming nature of video renders in unsuited to any subject requiring critical thought. If you know of a book or article covering the same material, though, I would be willing to give it consideration.

    However, I must say that seems hard to justify blaming the US for problems which existed in much the same form for 1153 years before there even WAS a US, and indeed, for more than four centuries before there was a UK (generously taking the Norman Conquest as the formation date).

    Comment by James — 6 Jul 2009 @ 1:48 PM

  752. “I don’t watch things, I’m afraid, for a lot of reasons. ”

    Well, that’s OK.

    “The most relevant in this instance is that the streaming nature of video renders in unsuited to any subject requiring critical thought.”

    Uh, you DO know that Real Life ™ is a streaming source and worse has no rewind or pause, don’t you?

    Yet I bet you still learned sitting and listening to the teacher, didn’t you…

    I guess that the internet where you can blog doesn’t give you much headway to apply critical thought either, hmm?

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 2:11 PM

  753. RodB proves his critical blindness:

    “Mark (738), No, not from me…”

    He doesn’t see the skeptical arguments as anything other than sourceless items unhooked from time. Therefore that they change doesn’t register: if they do not exist in time, there’s no time to change in.

    But if it’s not a denialist, he sees that time-line with raptor ease…

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 2:15 PM

  754. #740 James P says:
    6 July 2009 at 7:27 AM

    Not knowing the meaning of ‘bubkes’
    ++++++

    If you’re looking for the definition of a word, google “define $WORD”.

    Replace the variable $WORD with the word you want.

    Comment by Mark — 6 Jul 2009 @ 2:21 PM

  755. Mark says (6 July 2009 at 2:11 PM):

    “Uh, you DO know that Real Life ™ is a streaming source and worse has no rewind or pause, don’t you?”

    And it’s quite difficult to apply rational thought to it :-) I think most people have had the experience of having been in a situation, or had a conversation, then hours or days later realizing that “Oh, THAT’s what I should have said/done.”

    Or for one of my pet peeves, the doctor/nurse who will patiently explain just how often to take the medicine, instead of giving written instructions. Of course I forget half of what I was told before I get home…

    “Yet I bet you still learned sitting and listening to the teacher, didn’t you…”

    Actually, no. I learned by reading the textbooks – I could go back and forth over things at my own speed until I understood them, which is difficult if not impossible to do with video – and then asking the teacher questions about the things I still didn’t understand. Otherwise I could have skipped most of the lectures.

    “I guess that the internet where you can blog doesn’t give you much headway to apply critical thought either, hmm?”

    Actually it does, which is one of the reasons I like it as a format for discussion. Unlike a real-time conversation, I can take time to understand a message and consider a reply.

    Comment by James — 6 Jul 2009 @ 7:31 PM

  756. Sending some love DeepClimate’s way: More heavy lifting with “suppressed” Alan Carlin.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 6 Jul 2009 @ 8:52 PM

  757. #755 James:

    “Or for one of my pet peeves, the doctor/nurse who will patiently explain just how often to take the medicine, instead of giving written instructions.”

    Tonight I needed to prepare some black beans in a pressure cooker, so needed a pair of numbers, the ratio cups-of-beans:water, something easily conveyed in 2 bytes. The uppermost instructive hits on Google were video-only. So to get the simple fact “x:y”, megabytes were to be transferred and incidentally minutes of my time wasted.

    Fortunately I suddenly remembered that we’d gone past oral traditions a couploe of thousand years ago, so I cracked a book.

    The effective baud rate of video is pathetic when it comes to conveying specifications, factual information, etc.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 6 Jul 2009 @ 11:19 PM

  758. At the risk of eliciting personal attacks for asking an honest question in an attempt to understand the issue here, I’m wondering if one of the experts could enlighten me. I’m in no way a climate scientist, merely an electrical engineer for the last 30 years, so certainly I’m not trying to challenge anyone here…

    Anyway, a while back I saw a Nova/BBC special about the Global Dimming phenomenon (pan evaporation rate, etc.) that apparently had been discovered fairly recently, sometime in the late 90’s I believe. What surprised me was that such a significant effect was unrecognized in all the years that the pan evaporation rate had been measured, even though it has been affecting global temperatures. Being an engineer, and at least having a slight appreciation for the complexity of the global climate and associated feedback systems, and the challenges of long term future projections, I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be some other climate systems in play that have not yet been discovered. Shouldn’t one at least reserve a bit of skepticism around the whole issue, or are we so certain that the simulations are bulletproof that we don’t need to consider any alternatives?

    Comment by Jim M — 7 Jul 2009 @ 12:03 AM

  759. I guess you never learned at school, then, James.

    You DO know that you can “pause” and “replay” a video, don’t you?

    Go on and read it, stop fannying about with “Oh, I is so smart S-M-R-T” a la Homer.

    Watch it, rewatch it and focus your enormous intellect on it. Then watch it again.

    Comment by Mark — 7 Jul 2009 @ 3:20 AM

  760. “Shouldn’t one at least reserve a bit of skepticism around the whole issue, or are we so certain that the simulations are bulletproof that we don’t need to consider any alternatives?”

    Should you not show a little skepticism for not wondering “I wonder if that Nova article was right or if they’ve worked on that and found more out about it”.

    PS your preface is merely another form of slashdot’s karma whoring “I know I’ll get modded down by the slashdot hive mind for this…”

    Comment by Mark — 7 Jul 2009 @ 7:55 AM

  761. Jim M (758),

    Yes, we should. (in the real sense of the word). Simulations are not and never will be bulletproof, not does any scientist claim them to be.

    If you refer to the global dimming by aerosols, I don’t think it was entirely ‘unrecognized’ beforehand. The better quantification of their climate effects (not by a landslide change, but rather by slow progress, as is usually the case in science) led to a better understanding of the whole system, and actually strengthened the case for human influence on climate.

    As Eli Rabett noted, the second assessment report of the IPCC concluded that “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate (considerable progress since the 1990 report in distinguishing between natural and anthropogenic influences on climate, because of: including aerosols; coupled models; pattern-based studies)”

    There is always the possibility that there is an as of yet unrecognized climate forcing at work. See the newest post here for a hypothetical example. But they would merely add to the total forcing; not replace the ones we currently know about. And it all has to fit the bigger picture with all the constraints. The chances for our current thinking about climate to be way off are very small.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 7 Jul 2009 @ 9:27 AM

  762. #757 Jim M:

    “At the risk of eliciting personal attacks for asking an honest question in an attempt to understand the issue here…”

    It’s not the question that will raise hackles, rather a matter of the attitude in which it is packaged. As a measure of RC denizens’ boundless patience and tolerance, please note that the needlessly defensive while simultaneously vaguely offensive posture your question struck was ignored.

    This of course is a meta-reply, strictly informational in the interest of improved efficiency as opposed to being a personal attack, which in any case is ipso facto impossible if the person “under attack” is unidentified.) A person who has not invested their identity in a communication need not fear personal attack as a result of that communication.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 7 Jul 2009 @ 10:52 AM

  763. Senate takes up climate change bill today, in committee. The session will include testimony from Energy Secretary Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

    Also, a special appearance featuring the comedic stylings of Senator Inhofe is promised. He is promising to treat us to some new material, including sidesplitting jokes about EPA gopher and noted blog content adaptationist Alan Carlin.

    Thrills, chills and laughs, all here:

    http://www.cspan.org/Watch/Media/2009/07/07/HP/R/20538/Senate+Begins+Development+of+Energy+Climate+Change+Bills.aspx

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 7 Jul 2009 @ 12:53 PM

  764. Jim M, if you put the word

    dimming

    into the search box (top of each page)
    you’ll find the previous articles here.

    One of them is:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/global-dimming-and-global-warming/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Jul 2009 @ 1:15 PM

  765. PS, Jim, using Google Scholar also will be helpful.

    Scientists began measuring variations in the brightness of the sun as soon as the engineers got around to building the instruments.

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/107097

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Jul 2009 @ 1:19 PM

  766. Doug Bostrom says (6 Jul 2009 at 11:19 pm(:

    “Fortunately I suddenly remembered that we’d gone past oral traditions a couple of thousand years ago, so I cracked a book.”

    Well, some of us went past oral traditions. Others seem insistent on forcing us to return to them – yet another reason I tend to be somewhat skeptical about the idea of universal human progress.

    Comment by James — 7 Jul 2009 @ 1:24 PM

  767. Mark says (7 Jul 2009 at 3:20 am):

    “Watch it, rewatch it and focus your enormous intellect on it. Then watch it again.”

    Sorry, but I have better things to do with my time. (And it wouldn’t be just the time viewing, as I’d have to go buy a TV and video recorder, or figure out how to get a computer to display it.) As Doug points out, the bandwidth needed for conveying information via video is ridiculous.

    But turn it around: if the creator of this video (or any video) is really interested in conveying information, why not in written form? It requires much less effort of both the creator and the reader. Video, on the other hand, excells as medium for emotional manipulation & disinformation.

    Comment by James — 7 Jul 2009 @ 1:33 PM

  768. Re #744
    lw says:
    6 Jul 2009 at 11:05 am
    Considering Carlin’s comments based on his expertise and education – i.e. seperating the wheat from the shaft:
    Debunking Carlin’s comments about the ’science of climate change’ because he is an economist not a climatolgist, in addition to his association with political groups, is a critical point. The potential damage his comments have to sound scientific research regarding climate change are not to be underestimated. However, he is an expert in economic analysis and here his comments are more than worth noting! Using the arguement of the validity of his experitise and education goes both ways, as an economist familiar with cost analysis and EPA programming, his points are to be taken seriously. Just because his scientific anaylsis of climate change is questionable at best, his critique of EPA’s cost benefit anaysis – i.e. the effectiveness of the dollars allocated by EPA to tackle the problems of climate change are to be taken seriously. To suggest that EPA has kept some quack on the payroll for 40+ years is to question the efficacy of EPA as a whole. His questioning the fruitfullness of EPA’s progammatic development and the validity of the dollars allocated to specific tactics/programs to deal with the issues of cliamte change are economically validity of EPA’s budget process. The allocated funds/economics of solving the problems of cliamte change do need to be researched and fully examined. As a footnote, it is not a cover-up to fail to publish the ‘opinions’ of a staffer…since in that case his comments are to be taken as EPA’s, and therefore sanctioned and agreed upon by EPA. If he had commented as a private citizen, which is his right, then EPA would be obligated to publish his comments.

    Carlin’s views as an economist have been well known for some time, he thinks that restricting CO2 emissions will not be effective and that geoengineering is the way to go. However this report didn’t focus on that (his area of expertise), rather it was an almost verbatim rehashing of the WCR blog.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 7 Jul 2009 @ 1:36 PM

  769. My third instalment of my exploration of the actual sources of the Carlin “report” has been updated to show a comparison between Carlin’s “updated” version of IPCC AR4 TS 26 (observations/projections) and the original. The “updated” chart, which apparently came from John Christy via Icecap/PlanetGore, has a number of misleading changes, including the complete removal of decadally smoothed curve of observations. Naturally, this is the chart that was shown on FoxNews when Carlin was interviewed there.

    Also discussed is an additional ironic twist: National Review columnist Mark Steyn quoted a passage from Carlin that turned out to be lifted in whole from another National Review columnist, Marlo Lewis (PlanetGore).

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/07/03/more-heavy-lifting-from-the-suppressed-alan-carlin/

    I’ll be doing a wrap up soon. Stay tuned.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 7 Jul 2009 @ 2:53 PM

  770. re: 750 lw

    Good [that you’ve worked for government some].
    My state has spent plenty of money over the last 8 years fighting the EPA, so I don’t automatically accept what they do.

    I’ll try again:

    When an economist writes something that is truly awful anti-science, can you give me a reason I should take their economic policies on faith? Or trust them for *anything*? Why? Carlin even seems to be a plagiarist, and not even from good sources.

    Put another way, why am I helping pay Carlin’s salary? Is that a good use of our tax money?

    I would be *delighted* to see cogent economic arguments in which some economist truly accepts science on AGW and then argues however they want. Economists normally have a lot of room for argument … but when they claim to decide science, and they do it totally wrong, credibility = 0, because they’ve proved to me that ideology or politics (or something) have wrecked their grip on reality.

    re: #768 Phil
    How is geoengineering Carlin’s expertise? [or anybody’s, actually? :-)]

    Do you disagree with what I said in #539 above about Carlin’s geoengineering being like Lomborg’s misdirection arguments? Tell me more if so. I haven’t studied Carlin to the extent I’ve watched Lomborg, so maybe this is wrong.

    Comment by John Mashey — 7 Jul 2009 @ 3:26 PM

  771. Concerning the Nova show about dimming, solar radiation, and evaporation pans. I too saw the show and having access to about 50 years of evaporation pan data at each of two location within 30 miles of each other, I tried to reproduce the results discussed in Nova. I could not. There was a slight trend if I fit a straight line to the data, but it was too slight to be significant.

    Comment by Allen Hjelmfelt — 7 Jul 2009 @ 5:24 PM

  772. 684.dhogaza says:
    3 July 2009 at 2:46 PM
    Phil Seltzer:

    explain why “us” and “we” instead of “I”.

    Hanks pointing you to the right sidebar of the site, which answers your question.

    To make it ultra-simple for you:

    Contributors
    Caspar Ammann
    David Archer
    Eric Steig
    Gavin Schmidt
    Michael Mann
    Rasmus Benestad
    Ray Bradley
    Ray Pierrehumbert
    Stefan Rahmstorf
    Thibault de Garidel
    William Connolley
    Don Baccus

    What a line up!

    Comment by Jimmy Haigh — 8 Jul 2009 @ 11:41 AM

  773. Gad, Gavin, look at this:
    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/07/thin-ice-the-norm-in-warming-arctic/?permid=10#comment10

    From the Icecap guy, apparently, quoting you as saying, well, it’s not exactly clear what he thinks you meant but it’s clear what he wants the readers to think.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Jul 2009 @ 12:28 PM

  774. Gavin 626
    “That is simply ridiculous. You cannot equate the benefits of vaccination to the use of fossil fuel and then use that to argue for no emission cuts.”

    If human welfare is dependant on energy, it follows that restricting energy would restrict human welfare (not especially vaccinations, but possibly including vaccinations). I can see how you might disagree, but ridiculous? How?

    [Response: Take it to an ad absurdum limit. Everything humans do requires energy, therefore nothing positive done by humans can be done without fossil fuels. If you can’t see the logical absurdity of this, there is very little point in continuing. If you agree that this is absurd, then you have to show specifically why vaccination which has no particular link to fossil fuel energy should be singled out. – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 8 Jul 2009 @ 3:02 PM

  775. linky no worky, Hank.

    (in an odd mood, somehow)

    Comment by Mark — 8 Jul 2009 @ 3:28 PM

  776. It’s a cut-n-paste going the rounds. It’s appeared twice on the BBC blogs.

    It was posted somewhere around here…

    Comment by Mark — 8 Jul 2009 @ 3:32 PM

  777. Gavin 774,
    I’m not claiming that poeple won’t get vaccinations if we don’t have fossil fuels – at least not directly. I’m not singling vaccinations out, they were just one example of human welfare.

    I am claiming that countries lacking in basic human services(Medical care, housing, jobs, etc.) will have reduced capacity for thier populations to generate and deliver those services if they restrict energy use (i.e. emissions caps).

    Comment by Michael — 8 Jul 2009 @ 5:37 PM

  778. Re 777 Michael

    I am claiming that countries lacking in basic human services(Medical care, housing, jobs, etc.) will have reduced capacity for thier populations to generate and deliver those services if they restrict energy use (i.e. emissions caps).

    See, there’s your problem right there: you are conflating energy cuts with emissions cuts. Despite what the fossil fuel industry would like you to believe, it does not follow at all that the only way to reduce emissions is to reduce energy use.
    Energy efficiency is one way to reduce emissions, by reducing overall energy demand, but that does not imply that all energy use must be cut. Any argument that combating climate change will adversely affect human welfare because of reduced energy use is completely specious.

    Comment by CTG — 8 Jul 2009 @ 8:58 PM

  779. Michael says (8 Jul 2009 at 5:37 pm):

    “I’m not singling vaccinations out, they were just one example of human welfare.”

    And an example which takes an insignificant amount of energy, a point you seem to be avoiding.

    “I am claiming that countries lacking in basic human services(Medical care, housing, jobs, etc.) will have reduced capacity for thier populations to generate and deliver those services if they restrict energy use (i.e. emissions caps).”

    First let’s get the blindingly obvious out of the way: energy does not have to come from fossil fuels.

    Second, much of what you list as basic human services doesn’t in fact require any particular amount of energy. Let’s take a fairly obvious example, work, and to make it concrete, say I work at the university lab, about 17 miles from here. So I have choices. I can

    1) Commute in an SUV, which will consume 2 gallons of gas per day, take about an hour, and cost maybe $30K to buy.

    2) Do the same commute in my Honda Insight, 0.5 gallon per day, same time, and $20K new.

    3) Bike. Requires about 2 KWh in calories from food, equivalent to 0.06 gal gasoline, takes 2 hours (but part of this is time I would spend exercising anyway), and costs maybe $1K. (Of course you can get bikes for less.)

    4) Telecommute. Requires just a few watts to run the cable modem & connections, takes zero time, and costs about $50/month for the high-speed connection.

    So in this instance, by choosing option #4, I not only minimize my energy use, I maximize my disposable income and improve my quality of life.

    This same reasoning can be applied to almost any aspect of life. You’re caught in a trap of thinking that providing those “basic human services” means having everyone live a stereotypical American (sub)urban commuter lifestyle. Try thinking outside those little ticky-tack boxes :-)

    Comment by James — 9 Jul 2009 @ 12:29 AM

  780. “Energy efficiency is one way to reduce emissions, by reducing overall energy demand, but that does not imply that all energy use must be cut.

    Comment by CTG ”

    And saying that energy cuts means a reduction in output is also unsupported.

    If you can make a chair with $10 of wood, the chair is just as much a chair as one where you hack away at a larger lump of wood to create the same chair, with a lot of woodchip left over, at a cost of $20.

    Reducing inefficient use of energy means that you get 100% of what you got out before with the inefficient process but you put less energy in.

    Like the Port Talbot Steelworks (though by reducing the dead time in the efficiency changes, they increased output for less energy costs).

    Comment by Mark — 9 Jul 2009 @ 5:56 AM

  781. Michael writes:

    I am claiming that countries lacking in basic human services(Medical care, housing, jobs, etc.) will have reduced capacity for thier populations to generate and deliver those services if they restrict energy use (i.e. emissions caps).

    Emissions caps are to restrict fossil fuel use, not energy use. They won’t even do that if CO2 capture can be made economic. Your mistake lies in thinking that fossil fuels are the only source of energy.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Jul 2009 @ 6:19 AM

  782. I came to this late, following up after being sent a March 16 version of the “suppressed” document. Echoing David Randall: great job Gavin!
    For me a lot of the interest is in ideas of where Plimer gets his fabrications. The IPCC AR4 (WG1) TS fig 26 has been modified by in Plimer’s book in same way as in EPA document. (look at B1, A1B curves
    over 2015–2020, cf actual TS fig 26). “Deep Climate” promised more detail on this — I’d love to see it. For those of you who are tracking the Plimer story, my document went to version 1.9 on June 29.
    (The link on the RealClimate site should always point to the latest version).I am pretty much only bothering with the “mis-represents cited sources” class of error these days.

    Comment by Ian Enting — 9 Jul 2009 @ 8:28 AM

  783. James 779,
    As far as vaccines, as an example take a look at how a flu vaccine is developed and produced. From research and development, to manufacturing, storage, and delivery, vaccines are a form of technology that thrives on energy. I’m not sure how you could argue how they would better thrive on less energy, as a rule.

    I agree with you that anything is possible if we put our mind to it.
    But I think its important here to focus on what is likely rather than what is theoretically possible. Not to be against alternative energy, but in the name of compassion.

    There is a lot of talk right now that the US needs to be the world leader in reducing CO2 so we have legitimacy telling countries like China to do the same.
    The problem is, I don’t think you can tell China (who is making great strides against poverty) “It is likely that emissions restrictions will put a damper on your growth, but there is a possibility that there will be a proliferation of alternative energies beyond anything we have ever seen before, and you could see an increase in growth”. If you have compassion for people in need of human welfare, you don’t bet on the less likely scenario.

    When I say ‘poverty stricken people in need of human welfare’ I’m not talking about people who are extremely disadvantaged because they have to watch tv on a small screen. I’m talking about people who live in squalor dying of ridiculous causes. I almost share your fascination with the gluttons, but most of the world lives in horrible conditions. I would like to focus on them.

    Comment by Michael — 9 Jul 2009 @ 2:06 PM

  784. Michael:
    “The problem is, I don’t think you can tell China (who is making great strides against poverty) ”

    You don’t run china.

    What you think will have NO effect on what china does.

    And china is being asked to make much smaller cuts than the US.

    Churlish indeed to refuse.

    Why do you assume the chinese goverment will be so churlish? Do you think they are not as nice as you?

    Comment by Mark — 9 Jul 2009 @ 2:26 PM

  785. Mark 784

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson “US action alone will not impact CO2 levels…”

    The world’s top CO2 producers are going to have to participate in an emissions reduction effort to make a significant impact on global CO2.

    Are you suggesting China (or any country that would suffer adverse economic reactions) shouldn’t participate in greenhouse gas reductions?

    Comment by Michael — 9 Jul 2009 @ 3:29 PM

  786. #785 “Are you suggesting China (or any country that would suffer adverse economic reactions) shouldn’t participate in greenhouse gas reductions?”

    No, he is suggesting that China, unlike you, understands that you can cut emissions without cutting energy use. Until you get your head around that basic fact, Michael, it’s pretty pointless having this discussion.

    Comment by CTG — 9 Jul 2009 @ 7:18 PM

  787. Michael says (9 July 2009 at 2:06 PM):

    “As far as vaccines, as an example take a look at how a flu vaccine is developed and produced. From research and development, to manufacturing, storage, and delivery, vaccines are a form of technology that thrives on energy.”

    Really? You’d perhaps care to provide some sort of supporting evidence for that, or suggest exactly where in the process a great deal of energy is required?

    “I’m not sure how you could argue how they would better thrive on less energy, as a rule.”

    Why less, when it doesn’t use a significant amount now?

    “The problem is, I don’t think you can tell China (who is making great strides against poverty)…”

    I don’t think you can make much of a case for that. Of course the Cultural Revolution &c gives a pretty low starting point, but from what I read it seems that the current regime is just pursuing the same ends by other means: tearing people away from the land & shoving them into cities. Pretty soon they’ll be as poor as the average American.

    Comment by James — 9 Jul 2009 @ 7:47 PM

  788. Doug (763) THANKS for that link. Inhofe was meek as a kitty compared to Barrasso (R-WY) in the opening statements. He read Strassel’s recent “100% fact-free” (as Dave Barry would say) diatribe in the WSJ editorial pages, on the Carlin incident, as his opening statement. Looks like it’s going to be he and Inhofe as the attack dogs. On the other hand, Lamar Alexander and Mike Crapo appeared willing to work cooperatively, if focused on nuclear power.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 9 Jul 2009 @ 9:23 PM

  789. “EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson “US action alone will not impact CO2 levels…””

    Odd.

    So if I pick up a piece of rubbish off the streets and put it in the bin, I will not impact the level of rubbish on the street???

    Comment by Mark — 10 Jul 2009 @ 3:41 AM

  790. James 787,
    I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Do you seriously want me to list for you the utilities costs for labs and facilities for GlaxoSmithKline? Do you need me to explain that a company such as GlaxoSmithKline needs a supporting industry for their equipment supplies? Do I need to walk you through history to show you that GlaxoSmithKline couldn’t even exist without the progress of technology made possible by the industrial age? Do I need to show you the carbon footprint of the entire vaccine related industry?

    Notice I am not saying it HAS to use a great amount of energy, I’m simply saying it DOES. I think reality is important in these kinds of discussions.

    Regardless of what the current Chinese regime is doing, I guarantee if you reduce their energy options, it will only make it more difficult for people to make it and provide for their families.

    I have an apartment, a car, healthcare, and make a decent living. I will not begrudge anyone who would at least want my standard of living. It’s going to require energy for the billions of people who don’t have basic human needs to acquire them.

    Anyhow thanks for the discussion, but I think we have both said our parts multiple times.

    Comment by Michael — 10 Jul 2009 @ 12:02 PM

  791. CTG 786,
    I am suggesting China being able to cut emissions without cutting energy use is theoretically possible, but very unlikely. Which is probably why they are not enthusiastically jumping aboard the bandwagon.

    Comment by Michael — 10 Jul 2009 @ 12:09 PM

  792. Mark 789,
    “So if I pick up a piece of rubbish off the streets and put it in the bin, I will not impact the level of rubbish on the street???”

    Picking up a piece of rubbish is a nice gesture, but hardly a solution given the entire rubbish problem. If you were tasked with rubbish removal for a city and picked up a fiew pieces here and there, your not going to win any ‘cleanest city of the year’ awards. You need a widesweaping solution and not just a nice gesture.

    Comment by Michael — 10 Jul 2009 @ 12:14 PM

  793. Michael says (10 July 2009 at 12:02 PM):

    “Do you seriously want me to list for you the utilities costs for labs and facilities for GlaxoSmithKline?”

    Yes, that’s pretty much what I’m asking you to do: make an estimate of their utilities costs as a fraction of total energy use. I think you’ll find that it’s a tiny fraction, enough to easily be supplied by non-fossil generation.

    “I have an apartment, a car, healthcare, and make a decent living. I will not begrudge anyone who would at least want my standard of living. It’s going to require energy for the billions of people who don’t have basic human needs to acquire them.”

    So what are those basic human needs? You say you have an apartment, from which I assume that you live in a city? So you probably spend most of your time indoors, in places where there is little vegetation (maybe you have a potted plant or two?), no contact with animals, little room to live? In spite of your “decent living”, you don’t seem to be able to supply yourself with much in the way of basic human needs.

    As an analogy, consider someone who eats a steady diet of junk food: he feels full, but his body craves the essential nutrients that are missing, so he eat more & more empty calories to try to make up for the lack, and paradoxically winds up simultaneously obese and malnourished. So it is with trying to meet basic human needs by applying more & more fossil-fuel energy: people have more things, but since things don’t actually fulfill their needs they must endlessly strive for more…

    Comment by James — 10 Jul 2009 @ 12:54 PM

  794. “Picking up a piece of rubbish is a nice gesture, but hardly a solution given the entire rubbish problem.”

    Irrelevant.

    I asked, does that act not change the rubbish on the streets.

    Does it?

    [moderator: ok, enough on this already. thanks]

    Comment by Mark — 10 Jul 2009 @ 1:21 PM

  795. “I am suggesting China being able to cut emissions without cutting energy use is theoretically possible, but very unlikely.”

    And we are suggesting you’re flat out wrong.

    We KNOW for 100% fact that you have not proven that this is a problem, never mind if it’s likely or not.

    Comment by Mark — 10 Jul 2009 @ 1:23 PM

  796. “Regardless of what the current Chinese regime is doing, I guarantee if you reduce their energy options, it will only make it more difficult for people to make it and provide for their families.”

    Well we already reduce the energy options of many countries with the NPT and the more recent threats of invasion of North Korea and Iran for DARING to have nulcear power as an option.

    And you have YET AGAIN made a statement that has no proof backing it up.

    Comment by Mark — 10 Jul 2009 @ 1:26 PM

  797. Michael says:
    “EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: “US action alone will not impact CO2 levels…””

    Did you actually watch the hearing? If you did you would know that Inhofe, in the typical way of a TV talk show host, asked the question, cut her off without allowing her to finish answering the question, and then concluded: “So you agree that U.S. actions alone will not do anything”. (The chart he showed appeared to be from, or was very similar to, Chip Knappenberger’s analysis). Now if you want to think that was a fair representation of her position, you go ahead and think that.

    So between Barrasso and Ihnofe, the main pieces of evidence presented were (1) the Carlin incident, and (2) the Knappenberger type chart “proving” that U.S. actions alone won’t do anything. Oh and Inhofe’s random remarks about “the science not being there”.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 10 Jul 2009 @ 1:44 PM

  798. Jim Bouldin, it was an EPA chart! It would make sense that Administrator Jackson would support it. And it would make sense that CO2 is a global problem. Is it not?

    Comment by Michael — 10 Jul 2009 @ 2:10 PM

  799. Michael, it was not an “EPA chart”, regardless of what Inhofe called it. It was a chart very similar to the one produced by Chip Knappenberger this year and discussed here, and by Tom Wigley back in the 1990s. The point Inhofe was trying to make was that the U.S. will have no impact if it cuts emissions. This was immediately challenged by the Senator from Maryland who noted how many other countries in the rest of the world were looking for American leadership as Copenhagen approaches. And a correction, it was Barrasso, not Inhofe, who put the words into her mouth that you quoted.

    Comment by Jim Bouldin — 10 Jul 2009 @ 3:32 PM

  800. Check out this chart showing the interconnections of the most often cited skeptics scientists and groups such as the Heartland Institute, whose mandate is to fight anything that might lead to regulation.

    http://thedakepage.blogspot.com/2009/07/independent-climate-skeptics-well-maybe.html

    Comment by The Dake Page — 15 Jul 2009 @ 3:56 AM

  801. Further on the Plimer thing, I debunked some claims that evidently were based on Plimer’s book at Australian prime minister Kven Rudd’s blog, and repeated the main ones at my personal blog. Since I haven’t read the book, I’m ready to be corrected but since no one has so far, I assume the person I was correcting was quoting correctly from the book.

    I’d appreciate it if someone who has read the book would mosey over to Opinionations and let me know if the comments I quoted are an accurate representation of the book. If so, it’s pretty shocking; this is stuff someone has quoted to support their argument that climate change is a hoax and made a right fool of themselves.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 23 Jul 2009 @ 4:49 AM

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