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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are nicely summarised thus: a) the science is so rapidly evolving that IPCC (2007) and CCSP (2009) reports are already out of date, b) the globe is cooling!, c) the consensus on hurricane/global warming connections has moved from uncertain to ambiguous, d) Greenland is not losing mass, no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. 751
    James says:

    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).

  2. 752
    Mark says:

    “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?

  3. 753
    Mark says:

    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…

  4. 754
    Mark says:

    #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.

  5. 755
    James says:

    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.

  6. 756
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Sending some love DeepClimate’s way: More heavy lifting with “suppressed” Alan Carlin.

  7. 757
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #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.

  8. 758
    Jim M says:

    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?

  9. 759
    Mark says:

    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.

  10. 760
    Mark says:

    “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…”

  11. 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.

  12. 762
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #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.

  13. 763
    Doug Bostrom says:

    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

  14. 764
    Hank Roberts says:

    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/

  15. 765
    Hank Roberts says:

    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

  16. 766
    James says:

    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.

  17. 767
    James says:

    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.

  18. 768
    Phil. Felton says:

    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.

  19. 769
    Deep Climate says:

    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.

  20. 770
    John Mashey says:

    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.

  21. 771
    Allen Hjelmfelt says:

    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.

  22. 772
    Jimmy Haigh says:

    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!

  23. 773
    Hank Roberts says:

    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.

  24. 774
    Michael says:

    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]

  25. 775
    Mark says:

    linky no worky, Hank.

    (in an odd mood, somehow)

  26. 776
    Mark says:

    It’s a cut-n-paste going the rounds. It’s appeared twice on the BBC blogs.

    It was posted somewhere around here…

  27. 777
    Michael says:

    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).

  28. 778
    CTG says:

    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.

  29. 779
    James says:

    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 :-)

  30. 780
    Mark says:

    “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).

  31. 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.

  32. 782
    Ian Enting says:

    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.

  33. 783
    Michael says:

    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.

  34. 784
    Mark says:

    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?

  35. 785
    Michael says:

    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?

  36. 786
    CTG says:

    #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.

  37. 787
    James says:

    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.

  38. 788
    Jim Bouldin says:

    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.

  39. 789
    Mark says:

    “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???

  40. 790
    Michael says:

    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.

  41. 791
    Michael says:

    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.

  42. 792
    Michael says:

    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.

  43. 793
    James says:

    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…

  44. 794
    Mark says:

    “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]

  45. 795
    Mark says:

    “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.

  46. 796
    Mark says:

    “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.

  47. 797
    Jim Bouldin says:

    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”.

  48. 798
    Michael says:

    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?

  49. 799
    Jim Bouldin says:

    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.

  50. 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


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