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Bubkes

Filed under: — gavin @ 26 June 2009 - (Chinese (simplified))

Some parts of the blogosphere, headed up by CEI (“CO2: They call it pollution, we call it life!“), are all a-twitter over an apparently “suppressed” document that supposedly undermines the EPA Endangerment finding about human emissions of carbon dioxide and a basket of other greenhouse gases. Well a draft of this “suppressed” document has been released and we can now all read this allegedly devastating critique of the EPA science. Let’s take a look…

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.

Their main points are nicely summarised thus: a) the science is so rapidly evolving that IPCC (2007) and CCSP (2009) reports are already out of date, b) the globe is cooling!, c) the consensus on hurricane/global warming connections has moved from uncertain to ambiguous, d) Greenland is not losing mass, no sirree…, e) the recession will save us!, f) water vapour feedback is negative!, and g) Scafetta and West’s statistical fit of temperature to an obsolete solar forcing curve means that all other detection and attribution work is wrong. From this “evidence”, they then claim that all variations in climate are internal variability, except for the warming trend which is caused by the sun, oh and by the way the globe is cooling.

Devastating eh?

One can see a number of basic flaws here; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.

But it gets worse, what solid peer reviewed science do they cite for support? 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. The work of an award-winning astrologer (one Theodor Landscheidt, who also thought that the rise of Hitler and Stalin were due to cosmic cycles), a classic Courtillot paper we’ve discussed before, the aforementioned FoS web page, another web page run by Doug Hoyt, a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data, a complete reprint of another un-peer reviewed paper by William Gray, a nonsense paper by Miskolczi etc. etc. I’m not quite sure how this is supposed to compete with the four rounds of international scientific and governmental review of the IPCC or the rounds of review of the CCSP reports….

They don’t even notice the contradictions in their own cites. For instance, they show a figure that demonstrates that galactic cosmic ray and solar trends are non-existent from 1957 on, and yet cheerfully quote Scafetta and West who claim that almost all of the recent trend is solar driven! They claim that climate sensitivity is very small while failing to realise that this implies that solar variability can’t have any effect either. They claim that GCM simulations produced trends over the twentieth century of 1.6 to 3.74ºC – which is simply (and bizarrely) wrong (though with all due respect, that one seems to come directly from Mr. Gregory). Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering, but how this squares with his apparent belief that we know nothing about what drives climate, is puzzling. A sine qua non of geo-engineering is that we need models to be able to predict what is likely to happen, and if you think they are all wrong, how could you have any faith that you could effectively manage a geo-engineering approach?

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.

So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. Seriously, if that’s the best they can do, the EPA’s ruling is on pretty safe ground.

If I were the authors, I’d suppress this myself, and then go for a long hike on the Appalachian Trail….


801 Responses to “Bubkes”

  1. 651
    Deep Climate says:

    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

  2. 652
    James says:

    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.

  3. 653
    Mark says:

    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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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”

  8. 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.)

  9. 659
    Liz Bockelman says:

    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.

  10. 660
    Liz Bockelman says:

    #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……

  11. 661
    Alan of Oz says:

    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.

  12. 662
    Alan of Oz says:

    RE Liz Bockelman #624, Just an after-thought, you may be interested in Stern’s ideas on modifying the way we implement capitalisim.

  13. 663
    Liz Bockelman says:

    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

  14. 664
    L. David Cooke says:

    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

  15. 665
    Hank Roberts says:

    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?

  16. 666
    Hank Roberts says:

    Apropos science writers and physicists, a cautionary bit for those who assume they are owed endless patience:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/251

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 669
    SecularAnimist says:

    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.

  20. 670
    William Pinn says:

    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]

  21. 671
    anon says:

    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]

  22. 672
    Hank Roberts says:

    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

  23. 673
    S. Barwick says:

    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.

  24. 674
    piltdownscience says:

    [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)]

  25. 675
    James says:

    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.

  26. 676
    Phil Seltzer says:

    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”.

  27. 677
    SecularAnimist says:

    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.

  28. 678
    Hank Roberts says:

    Or this — anyone heard about this in your regular news?
    http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/remarks/2009/124210.htm

  29. 679
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #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.

  30. 680
    Hank Roberts says:

    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

  31. 681
    Phil Seltzer says:

    Response to Hank Roberts (#680): What’s your point? I’m missing how what you wrote relates in any way to what I wrote.

  32. 682
    Hank Roberts says:

    Phil, you wrote:

    > – assuming “us” and “we” is the “royal” us and we

    I recommend rereading the first paragraph under the “About” link.

  33. 683
    Mark says:

    “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.

  34. 684
    dhogaza says:

    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

  35. 685
    EL says:

    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.

  36. 686
    Matt says:

    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.

  37. 687
    Hank Roberts says:

    EL says “I’m curious”

    Google Scholar can be your friend:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22painting+roofs+white%22+albedo

  38. 688
    Rod B says:

    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.

  39. 689
    Brian Dodge says:

    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.

  40. 690
    S. Barwick says:

    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.”

  41. 691
    Rod B says:

    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.

  42. 692
    Rod B says:

    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.

  43. 693
    Rod B says:

    SecularAnimist (669), very entertaining. Could be one or the other, but a novel for sure.

  44. 694
    Phil Seltzer says:

    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.

  45. 695
    CTG says:

    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]

  46. 696
    James says:

    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.

  47. 697
    EL says:

    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.

  48. 698
    Jim Galasyn says:

    SecularAnimist, Fuller seems to occupy a position somewhere between journalist and troll; I eventually came to regard him as a provocateur.

  49. 699
    L. David Cooke says:

    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

  50. 700
    Hank Roberts says:

    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


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