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Claude Allègre: The Climate Imposter

Filed under: — group @ 28 April 2010

Guest Commentary by Georg Hoffmann

In mathematical proofs, it’s a well-known fact that if at some point you divide by zero accidentally or on purpose, then you end up being able to prove absolutely anything you want – for instance, that 2+2=5 or that 1+1=0. The same phenomena appears to govern any number of publications that conclude that climate science is all a fraud – at some point, an impossible calculation is performed and from then on, anything (and everything) can be proven. Critical thinking appears to vanish.

The latest example is that of Claude Allègre – whose recent book “The climate imposture” would have you believe at least six impossible things before breakfast and a great many more before dinner. This is notable because Allègre is one of the most eminent figures in science communication in France, Academie de Sciences member, Crafoord prize winner, former minister of education and research and a fixture on the late night talk shows in France (including a topical satirical version of the ‘muppets’). One might expect a certain degree of rigour from an author with such a pedigree, but on the contrary, nearly every explanation, graphic, or citation in this book is misleading or just plain wrong. If Allègre was not such a high profile figure in France, this nonsense would have been dismissed and ignored, instead, it is regular fodder for the late night talk shows. In my entire career I have never seen so many factual errors in a single publication. It is truly a remarkable work!

It is practically impossible to give a complete overview of what is wrong with the Allègre’s book. However, some people have made a good start: Stephane Foucart, a science journalist at Le Monde, wrote a piece on Le cent-fautes de Claude Allegre (the ‘Hundred Errors’ – this is a play on words, ‘un sans-faute’ (pronounced the same way) means a perfect score) and Sylvestre Huet from the Liberation started a series of debunkings and is now at part five (also in French) and which he has turned into a short book! I started my own list of errors here (in German).

One of the more egregious examples of blatant making stuff up was covered by Science last week (following on from a post by Huet who revealed that Allègre had hand-drawn a continuation of tree-ring data from Hakan Grudd to show cooling over the 21st Century – something of course that no trees could possibly show (at least yet!). Even before Allegre “improved” the data by drawing in an extension more to his liking, the implication that Grudd’s work in any way challenges the prevailing view of unusual large scale warming in recent years was highly misleading. Grudd’s paper (available here, open access) deals solely with summer temperatures at Lake Tornetrask in Northern Sweden, and the paper states clearly that “although the climate of northern Fennoscandia seems to have been significantly warmer during medieval times as compared to the late-twentieth century, the published composite records of northern hemisphere climate (Moberg et al. 2005) do not show a conspicuously warm period around AD 1000.” Once again, Allègre has shown himself willing to jump on any curve “going my way,” regardless of its relevance.

But much of the joy of reading this book is in details – things that it would be trivial to get right without having much impact on the general thesis being put forward, but instead reveal without doubt that the author does not have a single clue about the subject. So let’s start (all translations are mine and reasonably accurate):

  • The first thing one might notice is that almost every non-french scientist has their name spelled wrong: Solansky for Sami Solanki; Usoskiev for Ilya Usoskin and Funkel for Richard Finkel. The most amusing case is during the discussion of tropical cyclones with climate change, where he lists three names of people who have posited a connection: “Wester, Tech and Kerry Emmanuel”. Everyone of course recognizes Kerry Emanuel (despite the incorrect spelling), and “Wester” is (also misspelled) Peter Webster (of Webster et al, 2006). But who was this eminent Hurricane expert Tech? I had no idea until Stephane Foucart lifted the veil. Peter Webster is from the Georgia Institute of Technology, frequently abbreviated to simply “Georgia Tech”. So in his “extensive literature studies” Allègre probably found a line like “Peter Webster, Georgia Tech, thinks that …” and voila! Professor Tech was born!

  • On page 53, in a typical example of his style, Allegre writes that

    ”Jones declares that the global mean temperature raised by 0.6% [sic]. …. How can he claim such a precision with such sampling errors? Nevertheless, Hansen-the-fanatic, without revealing his sources, immediately approves of Jones curve. Those who made statistics based on such shortcomings in sampling are discredited as scientists”.

    Wow. We’re pretty sure that most people measure temperature deviations in degrees, so maybe the ‘%’ was just a simple typo. The characterisation of Hansen is presumably hyperbole (though see below for worse treatment), but given that all of the sources of the GISTEMP temperature record (which was first published in 1987) are available online (along with all the source code, and completely independent replication), the ‘without revealing his sources’ line is a little rich (especially given Allègre’s undocumented ‘extrapolation’ (cough) of the Grudd data series mentioned above.

  • On page 300, the greenhouse effect is explained, but for some reason CO2 is not considered to be a ‘real’ greenhouse gas. He says explicitly there are three such gases, water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane (This is a pretty large simplification since it neglects ozone, N2O, any number of CFCs, and theoretically pretty much any gas with a structure that has three or more atoms). He continues:

    ”It is due to water vapour, and water vapour alone, that the mean temperature at the Earth surface is +15°C and not -18°C”.

    This again is plain wrong. Depending a bit how you weight the overlapping spectral absorptions of the different greenhouse gases the contribution of CO2 to the total greenhouse effect is about 20% (with water vapour giving 50% and 25% for clouds, which we are sure that Allègre realises are made of condensate (liquid water and ice) and not vapour…). And indeed, since water vapour in particular is a feedback to the temperatures, removal of CO2 will certainly lead to cooling and a subsequent reduction in water vapour.

  • Unsurprisingly, Allègre is of course very sceptical about the use of computer models, and thinks they are taking up all the money available for research (an error that would be easily corrected by looking at NASA’s budget for instance) and so his preference for ‘true’ observations is clear. Take the last interglacial period for instance (also known as the Eemian), around 125,000 years ago. He compares (see figure above) something called the “Gore curve” with something called the “true curve” (la courbe veritable). Al Gore actually shows the temperature and CO2 evolution from Epica Dome C for the last 600.000 years. So let’s assume that this is in fact what Allègre means. Amusingly, this image from the movie shows that Allègre’s hand drawn version of the bottom curve (the reconstructed temperature in East Antarctica) is profoundly different (in the relative warmth at the Eemian, and the number of cycles), but let’s move on…

    Skipping past the inconsistency in the text where he says that until now the best estimate for the last interglacial temperature in Antarctica was +3°C (compared to present) while his “Gore curve” has a zero anomaly compared to today, let’s look at the justification for the new ‘true’ estimate of +6°C warmer. This is referenced to a paper by Sine et al, 2007 in Science (note that every piece of that reference is wrong: as usual, the name is misspelled (it’s Louise Sime, not Sine), the year was 2009 and the publication was in Nature – easy mistakes, I guess).

    Ice core temperature reconstructions such as Dome C are based on the isotopic composition of the ice. This isotope signal needs careful calibration and Louise Sime and colleagues make the point that under warm climate conditions such as the Eemian the calibration developed for cold climate conditions might be different – in fact isotopes during warm periods might be less sensitive to temperature, and so applying the cold-climate calibration might underestimate actual temperatures. However, their results would therefore only concern the time period at the peak of the ultimate interglacial, and does not have any implications for the cold climate values. Note however, that Allègre’s ‘one true curve’ seems to have had a warm trend imposed from 125,000 years ago to the present. I contacted Louise Sime and asked if she thought this was a good use of her paper. She made it clear that she’d not had any exchange with Claude Allègre and that her paper does not discuss the temperature reconstruction over the entire glacial-interglacial period at all (that would be a ‘no’).

    In summary, Allègre presents a ‘true curve’ which is hand-drawn, in which an Antarctic temperature record is described as a global mean, on which he imposes a long term trend which is credited to Sime and colleagues who completely disown it. And the irony of ironies? Sime’s results are based on a climate model.

  • The phase relation between CO2 and temperatures in the Antarctic ice cores is a frequent source of confusion, and Allègre doesn’t attempt to miss this opportunity to confuse further. As is well known, both temperature and CO2 are correlated to the Milankovitch cycles in complex ways – with both climate acting on the carbon cycle and with the CO2 level changing climate through it’s role as a greenhouse gas. The changes over time have been described as a “chicken and egg” situation in which changes in one component affect the other – however the first one was changed initially (Lorius et al, 1990). Thus the leads and lags involved doesn’t have any impact on climate sensitivity calculations, but it is important for understanding carbon cycle feedbacks which might affect future concentrations of CO2. Allègre makes the standard (and illogical) contrarian argument that if eggs follow chickens then chickens cannot follow eggs, and highlights the paper by Caillon et al, 2003 that constrained the CO2 lag to about 800 years (though with large uncertainties) based on work from his PhD. According to Allègre, Caillon was then ‘punished’ by his institute (which is mine too) for publishing this paper. So I called Nicolas to ask about this ‘punishment’. Once he stopped laughing, he pointed out that he is doing exactly what he wants to be doing (developing measuring technologies) and is very happy with his permanent (tenured) position at CNRS. I’m sure more people would love to be punished like that!
  • It is a very common technique in debating to try and suggest that your argument is correct by claiming that more and more important people are agreeing with it. Allègre makes frequent use of this tactic, but Sylvestre Huet made the effort to call some of these alleged “heretics” and “insurgents” and found that they didn’t agreed with Allègre’s position at all. Allègre additionally claims (p138) that there is even numerical proof for this reversal in the opinion among “american specialists of climate”. However, the source for this claim was a 2009 survey among American TV weather presenters. In a further effort to round up some support, he cites Bill Ruddiman’s hypothesis that human land use change was an important climate forcing over the last few thousand years. But Ruddiman’s theory works via the influence of prehistoric man on the global methane and carbon cycle and needs their greenhouse effects to work! [RC note: Allègre isn't the only contrarian to have mistakenly dragooned Ruddiman to their cause - see this earlier example!]

Overall, the book is as full with conspiracy theories and insults against climate scientists as any blog you might find on the wilder shores of the internet. However I have never seen something as bad as this from someone who is a leading member of a National Academy of Science. Lindzen (a member of US National Academy) writes articles that are a model of scientific decorum in comparison! In describing the history of the different IPCC reports Allègre introduces the different participants as “religious fanatics”, “Marxists” in search for new arguments to destroy the civil society, “greedy” and “mediocre scientists” (all literal expressions from the manuscript). The list of accusations against Jim Hansen for example is nearly unbelievable. Among other things Allègre makes the astonishing claim that during the last 15 years Hansen has done no scientific work and that he has forced his collaborators to put his name on the publications. Over that period, Hansen has listed 68 publications with 37 as first author – thus the scale of his perfidy would need to have been immense! I asked Gavin whether GISS is really the slave camp implied, and he just laughed. Hansen presumably can’t be bothered to deal with this kind of accusation, but Allègre’s claim is almost certainly libelous.

The truly astonishing thing though is how hermetically sealed and impervious to fact Allègre’s whole argument is. No-one is honest, every result is fraudulent (excepting of course, Allègre’s ‘true curves’), no-one is without an agenda (except Allègre of course, and possibly Michael Crichton) and any scientist espousing the mainstream view or journalist questioning him is a Stalinist. Any contradiction of his arguments is simply proof that you are part of the conspiracy. It is this error that is the equivalent of ‘dividing by zero’ – once you have convinced yourself that only your own opinion matters, you can prove absolutely anything to your own satisfaction – but, unfortunately, to no-one else’s.

462 Responses to “Claude Allègre: The Climate Imposter”

  1. 101
    Rocco says:

    wilt (75):

    Yeah, that’s what had me wondering – why would somebody misrepresent a paper, and then link to it? But anyway, now that it’s got corrected, there is no reason to continue on this (off)topic.

  2. 102


    Don’t forget Canada. My “home and native land”–home, too, of M & M, Tim Ball & the “Friends of Science,” among others.


  3. 103
    MR SH says:

    It’s a pity to see such a senior and experienced scientist loses scientific mind. Unfortunately, Allegre is not the only case.

    I guess the major motivation is to recover applause by preaching masses rather than by showing new scientific discoveries.

    “Politics” often sounds dirty, but is still needed when some measures against AGW are negotiated and implemented. RC is for me an OASIS where scientific mind is kept.

  4. 104
    Ike Solem says:

    Hmmm… let’s try this again – there was some strange formatting in there…

    Thompson et al. on Kilimanjaro

    “For example, Kilimanjaro’s NIF has persisted for at least 11,700 years, and 4,200 years ago a widespread drought lasting 300 years was insufficient to remove the NIF, where the drought is recorded by a 30-mm-thick dust layer. Finally, the upper 65 cm of the NIF core 3 contains clear evidence of surface melting that does not appear elsewhere in the 49-m core containing the 11,700 year history. Hence, the climatological conditions currently driving the loss of Kilimanjaro’s ice fields are clearly unique within an 11,700-year perspective.”

    So – @wilt – the claim that recent “natural variability” led to the loss of Kilimanjaro’s ice is pretty unsubstantiated, despite the 2006 claims of Cullen et al. & the more recent ones of CJ Allegre. Also, that data is from a single site – so extrapolating it to the entire region is quite a stretch. The recent tree ring work from the region (327 sites) is of much greater interest, I’d say:

    In other news, Energy Secretary Chu appeared before the House Appropriations Committee’s energy and water subcommittee on energy policy – he was stumping for coal carbon capture:

    Barriers to CCS deployment must be addressed. While CCS technology available today is costly, the technical potential for CCS is considerable. As America’s Energy Future states: “Coal-fired plants with carbon capture (CCS) could provide as much as 1200 TWh of electricity per year by 2035 through repowering and retrofits of existing plants and as much as 1800 TWh per year by 2035 through new plant construction. In combination, the entire existing coal power fleet could be replaced by CCS coal power by 2035.

    No such program exists for solar development, and Secretary Chu barely mentioned solar – although he also championed nuclear plant financing:

    In FY 2011, the Department is requesting an additional $36 billion in lo-an guarantee authority for nuclear power. With this authority and the $18.5 billion in existing authority, DOE estimates we could support 6 to 9 new reactors in the next few years.

    No such guarantees have gone through for similar scale wind or solar projects, however – and backing coal and nuclear while ignoring wind and solar is not the right direction to take, and will in fact be both ecologically and economically disastrous in the long run.

    @CFU, if you would bother to read “The Carbon War” by Jeremy Leggett you’d understand my comments about the role that Saudis have played at global climate conferences, time and time again. They were of course working with groups like the Global Climate Coalition, the Western Fuels Association, and so on – but as a government rather than an NGO, they could pull certain stunts the NGOs couldn’t. Note also that hissing at and misrepresenting people’s comments isn’t really helping your cause, whatever that may be.

  5. 105
    Ryan T says:

    Wilt, assuming the study holds up, which GCMs already assume strong positive feedback from soil carbon? If the papers you cite actually change the bigger picture, with regard to the global cryosphere or the mainstream climate projections, I’m sure RC will have some separate analysis from their previous material on carbon and Kili.

  6. 106
    Ken Pite says:

    in 89
    David B. Benson says:
    Completely Fed Up — No chance of a stade (massive ice sheets) for at least 20,000 years. (IPCC AR4 states 30,000 years.)

    Bill Ruddiman (Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate) made a compelling case that humanity avoided a glacial by inventing agriculture and adding C02 and methane to the atmosphere. Another way of stating this is that humanity cut the link between the glacial-interglacial cycle and the Milankovitch cycle.
    If this is true and, further, that there is no longer a link, then why would we expect a future connection between the Milankovitch cycle and the return of the ice?
    Perhaps instead of being so sure that this won’t happen any time soon we should be looking closer at the end of the Eemian…

  7. 107
    RaymondT says:

    It is interesting to note that both Claude Allègre and Vincent Courtillot, while being climate skeptics, promote CO2 sequestration. I think the reason for this contradiction is that CO2 sequestration is a hot topic in the earth sciences and that they both have leading positions in the earth sciences. My theory is that whether they are in favour or not of the process, their position requires them to support the process.

    As mentionned in @36 by Ike Solem, CO2 sequestration is far from being established as a reliable method of storing CO2. Several questions and problems still remain in modelling for example the diffusion and dispersion of the liquid CO2 into the brine since this process occurs over a few meters at the front between the liquids during injection while the reservoirs can be hundreds of kilometers in size which requires parameterizations of the diffusion process within the large blocks used in the numerical analysis. The heterogeneity of the reservoir can lead to uneven displacement of the liquid CO2 due to fingering, the liquid CO2 can migrate over long periods of time. The permeability of the aquifer which controls the rate at which the CO2 can be injected is difficult to measure on a large scale without drilling several observation wells. Modelling the migration of the liquid CO2 by gravity over a thousand years is a challenge. The aquifer can fracture if the pressure is too high. The integrity of the cement used to prevent gases and liquids from migrating between the formation and the well casing can deteriorate with time leading to CO2 leakage.

    Even if the process was successful, the power generating capacity of a coal power plant would have to be 20% to 30% greater simply to capture the CO2 and inject it downhole. In a world where we have almost exhausted 50% of the conventional (light oil) I think CO2 sequestration is a waste of money (but remains a fascinating problem for researchers). By focusing on the HYPOTHETICAL problem of global warming instead of the REAL problem of diminishing ECONOMICAL energy we are reducing our efforts in finding ECONOMICAL renewable energies for the future which is the real challenge.

  8. 108
    Frank Giger says:

    Okay, I’m late to the party and preaching to the choir, but so what?

    Forget the pedigree, the fact he’s French (which in the USA is a credibility multiplier, as we admire Europeans as much as we revile them), forget the outrageous statements and weak tea refuting of the science.

    At this point Europe is on an energy track that isn’t going to change. France isn’t suddenly going to dismantle nuclear plants in favor of coal fired ones, as an example.

    In the USA, the same is true. The push and pull of political discourse in regards to energy and CO2 has its own dynamic and really isn’t going to be pushed or pulled by a book.

    Heck, Jones, Hansen, etc., could go to the floor of the UN in front of the general counsel and announce they made it all up on a bet to see if the world’s leaders would bite on it (with Linden paying the five dollars) and the debate and policy train would go on as if they hadn’t said a word.

    No, I’m not saying any such thing happened! I believe they have worked in good faith and due dilligence, and have met the confidence level on Global Warming research to warrant action.

    Those that refuse to believe we’re a forcing agent in climate will continue to refuse to believe.

    Those who believe we are will continue to believe.

    Those that are unsure will remain unsure, uncaring, or look one deeper at the science (in equal measure).

    Tempest in a teapot, very keen and interesting to scientists but ho-hum to the rest of us, particularly in the USA.

  9. 109
    Ron Broberg says:

    @ John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation)

    I’m speaking somewhat out of turn, not being a moderator or more than a semi-regular here, but your 8 line signature with bolded headers is distracting and annoying, especially when stacked back-to-back in multiple posts, especially when used in replies that are shorter than you sig.

    Do you think you could limit your advertisement to once per thread and not put the whole signature on every comment? I know that it would make your comments easier to read for me.

    Thank you for considering this request.

  10. 110
    Edward Greisch says:

    103 Ike Solem: “backing coal and nuclear while ignoring wind and solar is not the right direction to take, and will in fact be both ecologically and economically disastrous in the long run” is false.
    “backing coal while ignoring wind, nuclear and solar is not the right direction to take, and will in fact be both ecologically and economically disastrous in the long run” is true.
    You have fallen for coal company propaganda about nuclear.

    What exactly do you fear about nuclear power?

    Read: “Power to Save the World; The Truth About Nuclear Energy” by Gwyneth Cravens, 2007 Finally a truthful book about nuclear power. This book is very easy to read and understand.
    We have 30,000 years worth of nuclear fuel if we breed, recycle, and extract from seawater.
    Coal contains Uranium, Arsenic, Thorium, …… See:

  11. 111
    wilt says:

    Ryan T (#104) asked: “Wilt, assuming the study holds up, which GCMs already assume strong positive feedback from soil carbon?” and a similar question came from Grypo (#93).
    The authors of the Nature Geoscience article write in the first sentence of their abstract:
    “Most ecosystem models predict that climate warming will stimulate microbial decomposition of soil carbon, producing a positive feedback to rising global temperatures.”
    The main conclusion from their article is then summarized as follows:
    “Here we explore these mechanisms using a microbial-enzyme model to simulate the responses of soil carbon to warming by 5 ° C. We find that declines in microbial biomass and degradative enzymes can explain the observed attenuation of soil-carbon emissions in response to warming. Specifically, reduced carbon-use efficiency limits the biomass of microbial decomposers and mitigates the loss of soil carbon.”

  12. 112
    John Mashey says:

    re: #105 See Chapter 12 “Orbits, CO2 and the Next Ice Age” in the excellent general-audience book by David Archer, “The Long Thaw – How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate.” (2009).

    More CO2 doesn’t break the Milankovitch cycle at all, but it does shift the trigger point at which the ice starts advancing again.

    “If mankind ultimately burns 2000 GTon C (this is about the business-as-usual forecast for the coming century), then it looks as though climate will avoid glaciation in 50 millennia as well, waiting until the next period of cool summers 130 millennia from now.”

    You really want to see the charts and whole chapter.

    But it’s really like sea level rise. Regardless of the sea level, tides will still happen, but the sea level helps determine whether a given place gets wet at high tide or not.

    In any case, I think (Gavin?) had pointed out some while ago, that likely generate enough SF6 to fend off another ice age, given it is a much stronger GHG, i.e., 32K X larger than CO2 over 500-year period, with a much longer lifetime. Now, if there were only a geoengineering approach that worked as well going the other way.

  13. 113
    Gilles says:

    Allegre’s book is a shame for every scientist , beginning with himself. But it is also a problem for the whole community, because Allegre is a recognized scientist, has directed one of the most prestigious institute of geophysics in the world, and has been awarded by prestigious prizes and medals. So in a sense, this questions the whole process of scientific evaluation. Although he hasn’t really published on climate, he published a large number of refereed papers in his discipline. So how can you explain to the public that either he was very serious in his job but gave up all scientific honesty when leaving it, or that the scientific community gave so much recognizing to such an unreliable guy ? The readers of his book are not scientists : they don’t care about references to papers they will never access, they don’t know what “anomaly” really means, they just see that it is written by a high level, internationally awarded scientist. And he contradicts people who claim that their work is validated by international recognition. That is a problem, by any side you take it.

    And it reveals a fundamental problem in climate science. The problem is that this science is NOT characterized by a very high level of accuracy of the theories, a very high level of the quality of data (including agreement between independent measurements), or a very high level of agreement between models and observations – all normal standards in science. I don’t mean that it is very bad on these criteria (although some claim it) i’m saying that nobody can seriously claim that it is “very good” – it is as best acceptable.The only “very high” levels in this science are a very high level of political and ideological contributions to the debate, a very high level of personal attacks, a very high level of intrusion of non-scientists or non specia_lists in the discussion, including blogs. This is not a good point for a science – and Allegre’s book is a good illustration to what can happen in this case.

  14. 114
    Edward Greisch says:

    Sequestering CO2: Please warn me where they are going to do this CO2 sequestering so that I can make sure that I and my relatives don’t live near there. They will give up the sequestering idea as soon as they kill a million people with a CO2 leak. The only right thing to do with coal is to leave it in the ground as it is.

  15. 115
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Sadly, I was a post-doc with Claude Allegre while he still was sane and eminent scientist. Now I think he is doing anything to get attention.”

    Maybe Claude is doing a David Bellamy.

  16. 116
    ArndB says:

    RE # 76, #38
    Good luck, and kindly don’t get confused. It is all about physics, and water is what matters, which the #Commentary by Georg Hoffmann regarded: “ …plain wrong” (see # 38 my previous comment, with Re: # Cavin: that there is “more than water vapour that is different between the moon’s and the Earth’s climate”, was not the point.)
    The main difference between moon and earth temperature is water, not only as vapour, but also by the presents of the oceans.
    __about 86 % of the evaporation is from the oceans, over land the evaporation is only 14%.
    ___Water vapor in the atmosphere is closely tied to global temperatures.
    ___ The residence time for water vapor in the atmosphere is about seven days.
    ___Night temperature and during winter season at higher latitude is modest due to heat supply by the oceans.
    GAVIN: I know there is more to be taken into account to understand climate, but due to the huge impact of water and the oceans, it would be fair to define : CLIMATE is the continuation of the oceans by other means (water & heat), as suggested in 1992 , Letter to the Editor, NATURE 1992, “Climate Change”, Vol. 360, p. 292;
    # 76 >> raypierre<< You are right, 300°C is not correct; the figures are: Mean surface temperature (day)107°C ; Mean surface temperature (night) -153°C, = 260°C.

  17. 117
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Arnd, it would be just as fair to claim climate is the continuation of the sun. Or nearly as completely, the continuation of the CO2. Or sulphate aerosols.

  18. 118
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “And it reveals a fundamental problem in climate science. The problem is that this science is NOT characterized by a very high level of accuracy of the theories, ”

    I think you mean “climate science DENIAL”.

  19. 119
    CM says:

    Gilles (#113), nice try. But a shoddy polemic by a non-climate scientist against the consensus view in climate science does not by any logic suggest that there is some systematic problem in climate science.

  20. 120

    Gilles #113: you assert that climate science is somehow substandard. What’s your evidence for that?

    The latest domino to fall: check out what’s happening to the AMSU-A data set. The years from 1999 to 2009 have a trend of almost 5°C per century. A short period, but it covers much of the time that we’ve been in a deep solar minimum. What other explanation do you have?

    Sign my pro-science petition here:

  21. 121
    Anand says:

    “…And you wonder why you critiques don’t have credibility? – gavin]”

    It is either “…you critics don’t have credibility?” or
    “…your critiques don’t have credibility?”.

    Since we are talking about proper language.


  22. 122
    Hugh Laue says:

    113 Gilles

    So what’s your point Gilles? That all scientists are to blame for the likes of Allegre (and Plimer, and any scientist touting the denialist memes)?

    A book is not a peer reviewed scientific publication so how does it question “the whole process of scientific evaluation”?

    “And it reveals a fundamental problem in climate science. The problem is that this science is NOT characterized by a very high level of accuracy of the theories, ”
    CFU has a pith reply at 118. If only “climate science denial” had ANY predicitve theories at all.
    As usual, this is a denialist type assertion from Gilles that has no scientifically credible support. I presume you mean “accuracy of the foresight and hindsight of the theory”? Highly accurate compared with the lack of any theory from the anti-science denialist community.
    Do you not see how your post is shot through with illogical non sequiters and is very transparent in actually supporting the denialist anti-science message?
    “The readers of his book are not scientists : they don’t care about references to papers they will never access, they don’t know what “anomaly” really means, they just see that it is written by a high level, internationally awarded scientist.And he contradicts people who claim that their work is validated by international recognition.”
    Clearly you are non-scientist so thanks for telling us how you approach climate science.
    “That is a problem, by any side you take it.”
    It’s indeed a problem for all of us if no climate disruption mitigating action is implemented urgently. Is that the problem you are referring to? Are you saying that you do recognise that we need to urgently and dramatically reduce fossil fuel combustion? That there’s a high risk of catastrophic climate disruption if we don’t?

    The vast majority of genuine scientists will see through the BS and that’s why you find very few of them supporting denialism.

    “And it reveals a fundamental problem in climate science. The problem is that this science is NOT characterized by a very high level of accuracy of the theories, ”

  23. 123
    bratisla says:

    @BPL about his question for my opinion on Allegre’s behaviour : for having met people working with him, I would venture that
    1) he’s strongly believing in “man can model the nature as his own will” as a philosophical stance. Therefore he cannot accept nature’s payback, just as he couldn’t accept that asbetos was a threat which has to be dealt with removal. I think that’s another reason why he is promoting CCS : he gets money from it, but it’s also well fitting in his anthropocentric vision.
    2) he may be well believing excess CO2 is not a problem, and as such does everything to promote his views. even by saying lies “the end justifies the means”
    3) on a more practical ground, he’s an attention whore. He’s old, his research is behind him, he won’t be able to enter the government anymore – in order to get attention, he has to defend extremist positions. He found a way with CO2 – that could have been something else …

  24. 124
    Grypo says:

    Wilt #111
    In order to really make an argument from that study you will need to actually read it. Knowing happens at each modeled temperature is important. Look at these two lines from the abstract:
    “Here we explore these mechanisms using a microbial-enzyme model to simulate the responses of soil carbon to warming by 5 °C.”
    At 5C, we are well beyond the 3C most likely anomaly and beyond the 4.5C high end of IPCC estimates for CO2 doubling.
    “However, microbial adaptation or a change in microbial communities could lead to an upward adjustment of the efficiency of carbon use, counteracting the decline in microbial biomass and accelerating soil-carbon loss.”
    Not exactly the savior that the denialist blogs are looking for. Maybe some good news, but not a “game changer” or a “negative feedback”.

  25. 125
    Jim Eager says:

    ArndB @116, if not for CO2 in the atmosphere there would be very little H2O in the atmosphere as the ocean would frozen over, cutting off evaporation and leaving only sublimation.

  26. 126
    ArndB says:

    # 17 Completely Fed Up says: 29 April 2010 at 3:27 AM
    >>>>>>Arnd, it would be just as fair to claim climate is the continuation of the sun. Or nearly as completely, the continuation of the CO2. Or sulphate aerosols.<<<<<<

    Nice, as nice as the Lorenz’s butterfly setting in motion the tornado in the US Midwest. Of course, the sun is the ultimate driver, but does not make “weather”, for which water is needed. The sun is highly stable and sun spots can be traced in temperature variation, but the sun does not generate hurricanes and depression, no fog, etc. etc. and presumable has never “initiated” ‘climate change’ ( but who knows).
    The physical superiority of the oceans is overwhelming:
    ___the average temperatures of the oceans is below 4°C,
    ___only a very thin ocean surface layer at lower latitude regions have more than 10°C,
    ___the oceans hold 1000 times more water than the atmosphere,
    ___The atmospheric vapour is completely exchanged every seven days.
    ___ The upper 3m of the ocean surface layer has the same heat capacity as the entire troposphere (the lower 10’000 m of the atmosphere). Hence the heat required to raise the temperature of the troposphere by 1ºC can be obtained from cooling the upper 3m of water by the same amount.
    What I am saying is that the oceans are highly dominating atmospheric behaviour, which rectifies to say CLIMATE is the continuation of the oceans, which WMO defines (as the layman ): Climate as average weather, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has not define ‘climate’ at all, discussed in detail at:

    After all, better a definition explaining something, than a meaningless definition, or not a definition at all.

  27. 127
    Toby says:

    Re: wilt #45

    I noted that paper mentioned on WUWT, and am also waiting for a good discussion somewhere. Quote from WUWT “This could be a game changer”. We’ve heard that one before, but clearly this is significant paper if it challenges the paradigm in a constructive way.

    [Response: Oh dear. WUWT doesn't even know what 'negative feedback' means. The research is about how strong a positive feedback the soil carbon pool will provide. The results seem to show an initial strong positive feedback and then relaxing back to neutral over time. Given that the net carbon cycle feedback ranges from 20 ppmv to 200 ppmv by 2100 (Friedlingstein et al) at 2100, this would support a net feedback at the lower end (which is good news) - but note this is still a positive feedback (as it must be from the glacial/interglacial results). See Frank et al (2010) (discussed here). - gavin]

  28. 128
    Ken Donald Pite says:

    #112 John Mashey
    The point I’m making (trying to make) is that because humanity, through agriculture, stopped/postponed a glacial, the likelihood exists that the next glacial will occur due to humanity’s actions, not through a return to the patterns of the past.
    At the end of the Eemian the global temperature seems to have been a degree or two warmer than now and half of the Greenland Ice Sheet had melted. Then the snow began to fall in northern Canada until eventually the Laurentide Ice Sheet was perhaps 5 miles thick at this centre point and had squeezed out as far as the Rocky Mountains to the west, New York to the south, Newfoundland to the east and who knows how far north.
    Global temperatures seem well on their way to equalling those at the end of the Eemian. Is there not a possibility that global weather systems could shift to the point that the oceans are “boiled off” in the tropics, the water vapour spun off towards the poles and deposited as snow/ice under 24/7/365 cloud cover at a few places? In short the extra heat trapped by greenhouse gases may initiate, intensify and accelerate a glacial rather than postpone it.
    ps. I haven’t read “The Long Thaw” but I did watch with great interest David Archer’s 23 episode video lecture series based on the book.

  29. 129
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Wow, Gilles@113, that’s quite a load of horse puckey even coming from you!

    Dude, do you think that William Shockley coming out with his racist theories was a problem for semiconductor physics?

    And your characterization of climate science having “low standards” simply shows that you are either ignorant or mendacious. It also illustrates how little you understand the scientific method. What matters in science is the strength of the evidence. By any standard you choose to apply, anthropogenic causation of the current warming epoch is established at better than 90% confidence. Want to falsify it? Find a theory that explains Earth’s climate better and doesn’t imply that dumping CO2 into the atmosphere. That is how the game is played. Anything else is pudknocking.

  30. 130
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Of course, the sun is the ultimate driver, but does not make “weather”, for which water is needed.”

    Jupiter has weather.

    Not much in the way of water.

    Similarly for Venus and Titan.

  31. 131
    wilt says:

    Grypo (#124), you are right that of course it is conceivable that microbes would adapt to rising temperature by increasing their efficiency. So far, however, this has not been observed. Once again, I quote from the abstract of the Nature Geoscience article: “Although field experiments document an initial increase in the loss of CO2 from soils in response to warming, in line with these predictions, the carbon dioxide loss from soils tends to decline to control levels within a few years.”

    Remarkably, a completely different study that was recently discussed in the Guardian, also suggests that the supposedly positive feedback (increase of CO2 release from the soil at higher temperatures) is either very low or absent: “In 2005 it was reported in the science journal Nature that over the past 25 years 100m tonnes of carbon dioxide had been released by the soil of England and Wales. The figure cancelled out all emissions cuts in the UK since 1990. However, a national survey of the soils of Great Britain, funded by the department for environment food and rural affairs, claims to have found no net loss of carbon over approximately the same period.”

  32. 132
    Jim Eager says:

    Ken Donald Pite @129, David Archer’s lecture videos are based on his book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, not his book The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate.

  33. 133
    J. Bob says:

    #104 Ike, according to recent news reports, ancient wood timbers were found above the 4000m elevation on Mt. Ararat. This was discovered by a group of Chinese & Turkish explorers. The given reason the timbers were preserved, was due to being well above today’s 3900m snow line. Assuming these were timbers from Noah’s Ark, we can now add the Noah Warm Period to global climatic history.

  34. 134

    Re #128–

    Here’s what an actual study says about the end of the Eemian interglacial:

    Condensed version:

    “Orbital forcings did it.”

    (Elapsed search-and-paste time: enough to eat 1 piece of toast.)

  35. 135
    Ike Solem says:

    Frank Gigner, you’re misrepresenting the facts on European energy policy:

    We want to follow a path towards a sustainable energy supply, for the protection of the global climate, the conservation of finite resources and for the sake of future generations… In Germany this is known as the ‘Energiewende’ – the transformation of our energy system. Nuclear power is not needed to achieve this. Quite the contrary: technically speaking, this base-load relic of the past is standing in the way of flexible and intelligent electricity production.

    Consider also the high economic and ecological cost of uranium mining and processing, including poisoning of solar and water supplies, particularly in developing nations (See the issues with the Tuareg peoples in Mali & Niger: Niger, French uranium (Areva) and the Tuareg.

    Here’s what the Tuareg have to say about the French energy system:

    “Areva’s charity is pollution, some of which will always remain with us. Areva is committing a crime here. They take the water, and trees and plants disappear as a result. There is no life. And what for? For your energy.”

    So, that’s your French energy plan – and what about the day-to-day operational costs? A nuclear power plant is just a glorified boiler for steam generation, and needs more cooling water than any other energy system. Just about every summer now, due to ever-more-common heat waves, France has to shut down a large chunk of power generation and buy coal-fired electricity from abroad. Inland nuclear power plants make no sense at all as water supplies grow increasingly tight, do they? If you think this just France’s problem, think again: Georgia just had to do the same thing.

    That’s the front end and the operating costs – and what about the back end? Here you have a stream of waste which is impossible to securely dispose of – and the U.S. government isn’t exactly being transparent about the total amount. EIA seems to have data from 1998, 2002 – and nothing since. How they actually “count” the weight of hot fuel rods is also up for question – but current figures are 2,200 tons per year, not counting the far greater quantities of low-level waste also generated in processing.

    Who is going to pay for the disposal? We’ve already seen the nuclear utilities like Exelon trying to sell off their old plants to shell companies with no assets – which will then go bankrupt, leaving the mess in the public’s lap. Then, you have the decommissioning costs for nuclear power plants (old reactor cores), and the increased risk of accidents as nuclear powers plants grow older.

    Finally, you have the Chernobyl factor and the Enron factor to take into account – frankly, I just don’t trust Wall Street speculators to safely manage nuclear power and nuclear waste (and keep in mind, that if the 9/11 hijackers had flown their planes into the Hudson River reactors, 35 miles upwind of New York City, the entire region would now be largely uninhabitable, as in the regions downwind of Chernobyl).

    Compared to large-scale wind and solar coupled to energy storage and distribution systems (which do exist), both “clean” coal and nuclear are simply idiotic.

    So, why on earth is Obama putting up some $40 billion in government guarantees for more nuclear plants, while refusing to do so for wind and solar systems? I’d take a look at some of Obama’s top donors, like the giant law firm Skadden Arps, noted for assisting with nuclear power and coal power deals, or his relationship with Exelon, Axelrod and Emmanuel if you want the answer.

    Obama’s energy plan is, to be blunt, a plan for economic and ecological disaster – as was Sarah Palin’s.

  36. 136
    SecularAnimist says:

    Gilles wrote: “The problem is that this science is NOT characterized by a very high level of accuracy of the theories, a very high level of the quality of data (including agreement between independent measurements), or a very high level of agreement between models and observations – all normal standards in science.”

    All of those assertions are blatantly false. As has been repeatedly shown to you.

    Really, what is the point of repeatedly posting sweeping, general, derogatory statements about climate science, which you know to be false, which every regular reader of these comment pages knows to be false, and which you know they know are false?

    Are you so desperate for attention that you are willing to publicly embarrass yourself in such a fashion to get it?

  37. 137
    Walter Manny says:

    Ray, thanks for the response, and I don’t think you missed my point, but just to be sure, I am not talking about scientists as doomsayers, just as you were not talking about scientists as the “us” who are inclined to buy Allegre’s line (at least I don’t think you were). I am merely pointing out that there are optimists and pessimists in the audience, and that it is a factor, hardly the only factor, in what individuals and groups come to believe, especially in a debate such as this one, where both sides are claiming dire outcomes.

    Allegre will win converts he does not deserve if they are inclined towards good news, just as Gore will win, has won, some who are inclined towards bad news. In other words the “we” I think you are talking about wants to hear what it wants to hear, on either side. The less than fully informed, shall we say.

  38. 138
    Grypo says:

    Are you aware that this study is discussing the amount of positive feedback? Not negative feedback. And that it has an initial large feedback before settling back into one that is at the lower end of net feedbacks and that the experiment raises temperature models at 5C? I’m unsure of what exactly your point is in highlighting this study besides showing possible good news by the time it’s too late. See Gavin’s comment #127.

  39. 139

    RE #127 (Gavin comment):


    I must be misunderstanding Allison et al.’s Table 1 which lists the total 30-yr change to the soil organic carbon pool under various cases of their model. In several cases, the total change is positive, which, to me indicates a positive feedback between temperature increase and SOC pool size. Since a positive change in the SOC pool represents an increased CO2 sink, presumable this is a negative feedback on atmospheric CO2 levels. The SOC curve in Allison et al.’s Figure 2 provides more evidence of a possible negative feedback between temperatures and atmospheric CO2 governed by soil respiration processes. While there may be a positive feedback in the short term as microbial respiration initially increases with temperature, in the longer term, as microbial biomass declines, under some model scenarios the soils become a CO2 sink (even in net).

    Obviously, Allison et al. say that there is still a lot more work that needs to be done, but I don’t read their paper as ruling out a negative feedback in the long run (which is how you seem to read it).


  40. 140

    RaymondT (107): By focusing on the HYPOTHETICAL problem of global warming

    BPL: Which part of “temperatures have risen for 160 years and areas in drought have increased 150% since 1970″ do you not understand? This isn’t hypothetical. It’s measured.

  41. 141

    EG (110): What exactly do you fear about nuclear power?

    BPL: Putting money into the costliest and slowest to deploy energy sources, plus making fissiles available to terrorists. Not to mention the occasional Chernobyl.

  42. 142
    Steve in Dublin says:

    @J. Bob #133

    #104 Ike, according to recent news reports, ancient wood timbers were found above the 4000m elevation on Mt. Ararat. This was discovered by a group of Chinese & Turkish explorers. The given reason the timbers were preserved, was due to being well above today’s 3900m snow line. Assuming these were timbers from Noah’s Ark, we can now add the Noah Warm Period to global climatic history.

    Not even a good try, dude. Debunked as yet another hoax in a long line of Mt. Ararat/ark hoaxes:

    Unless that post of yours was a Poe? My first impression upon reading it was: “Wait… no one can be that gullible, can they?”. And BTW, for there to be a ‘Noah Warm Period’, there would have to be a Noah first. We do science here, not interpretations of ancient goat herder myths.

  43. 143
    Michael K says:

    One hasn’t really been paying attention if one doesn’t understand that “facts”, are so 20th century. Ideology trumps facts hands down in the media circus ring where public opinion is molded, and what passes for debate, takes place.

    Increasingly our society isn’t interested in “science”, and the scientific method of intellectual enquiry, because science is asking some very inconvenient questions about the nature of our way of life; like, is it really not so much a way of of life, but really, death?

    I’m thinking specifically here about the global “genocide” which is being inflicted on so many different species.

    The reason so many charlatans, like Lomborg and his ilk, are so successful and influential, is precisely because they don’t give a damn about science and are perfectly prepared to prostitute themselves in the interests of the wealthy and powerful, who regard rationality and science as a threat to the established socio-economic order.

  44. 144
    CM says:

    Shouldn’t RealClimate get into the regular habit of nominating a candidate for the Ig Noble price? Allègre seems a strong contender this year, as his work on future tree rings does not merely break new ground in dendroclimatology, it creates a whole new field of study in search of a name. (What’s the opposite of paleo- in Greek?)

  45. 145
    Completely Fed Up says:

    re 142:


  46. 146
    SecularAnimist says:

    Michael K wrote: “… the wealthy and powerful, who regard rationality and science as a threat to the established socio-economic order.”

    I don’t think that “the wealthy and powerful” categorically or particularly regard “rationality and science” as “a threat to the established socio-economic order.”

    I think that the findings of climate science regarding AGW represent a particular and specific “threat” to a particular part of the “established socio-economic order”, namely the almost unimaginable profits of the fossil fuel corporations.

    ExxonMobil alone rakes in over 100 million dollars per day in profit from the continued use of fossil fuels.

    And ExxonMobil absolutely depends on and invests huge amounts of money in “rationality and science”. Extracting and refining oil is a highly technical and scientific undertaking that depends on “rationality and science” for its existence. You can’t do it, and you certainly can’t make several tens of billions of dollars a year in profit from it, without “rationality and science”.

    What ExxonMobil regards as a “threat” is simply the findings of one particular scientific discipline, findings which are, shall we say, “inconvenient” for their plans to continue making billions of dollars in profit over several more decades of business-as-usual consumption of their products.

    When ExxonMobil funds the denialists, it’s not because they are “anti-science”. It’s because they are greedy.

    If some sort of religious movement appeared and started preaching against the use of fossil fuels on purely religious grounds having nothing to do with science, ExxonMobil would probably fund “skeptical” theologians to attack that religion as heresy.

  47. 147
    Fred Magyar says:

    Perhaps Claude Allègre is just another concerned global citizen ;-)

    EXCLUSIVE: Citizen’s Group Plans Extensive Audit of U.N. Climate Report

    By Gene J. Koprowski


    A leading global warming skeptic recruited a group of concerned citizens to fact-check the sources referenced in the U.N.’s latest climate-change bible — and gave the report an “F.” Now she’s planning the nail in the coffin: a comprehensive audit of the entire report.

    Give it up climate scientists the eulogy has been given. You are going to be audited, be afraid, be very afraid. The IUCCH (International Union of Concerned Conservative Housewives) is going to do the audit. There is no way you will come out of this with your reputations intact.

  48. 148
    Ken Donald Pite says:

    re: #132 David Archer’s lecture videos are based on his book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, not his book The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate.
    Thank you, Jim, for that correction.

  49. 149

    RE #135–

    I tend to agree with your larger point here, Ike, that there are often under-appreciated problems WRT nuclear power generation. (I specifically take issue with those who advocate attempting to use nuclear power as the future “mainstay” to the exclusion of renewables–which I’ve seen a fair amount of lately.)

    However, in the interests of strict accuracy, the shutdown due to elevated river temps–though very likely to be repeated in the future, IMO–occurred in Alabama, not Georgia, and happened in 2007, not recently. (In fact, the Southeast has been pretty cool during the current El Nino, contrary to the elevated global numbers. I ought to know, I’m a Canadian living in the Atlanta area.)

    Georgia happenings in the nuclear news recently would be the approval of, count ‘em, two new reactors–the first new nuclear construction in the US in decades, IIRC.

  50. 150
    Edward Greisch says:

    135 Ike Solem:
    “ecological cost of uranium mining” WRONG: The ecological cost of uranium mining is the lowest there is: See:
    In-situ leaching (ISL), also called in-situ recovery (ISR) or
    solution mining, is a process of recovering minerals such as
    copper and uranium through boreholes drilled into the deposit.
    The process initially involves drilling of holes into the ore deposit.
    Explosive or hydraulic fracturing may be used to create open
    pathways in the deposit for solution to penetrate. Leaching
    solution is pumped into the deposit where it makes contact with
    the ore. The solution bearing the dissolved ore content is then
    pumped to the surface and processed. This process allows the
    extraction of metals and salts from an ore body without the need
    for conventional mining involving drill-and-blast, open-cut or
    underground mining.

    Also note that the amount of U235 required is 1 part in 100 Million compared to the amount of coal for the same energy. Multiply by 0.7% and you get that the coal mine has to be about 1 Million times as large as the uranium mine.

    “needs more cooling water than any other energy system” WRONG.
    Nuclear power plants can be air cooled, requiring ZERO water. Water cooling is convenient, NOT required.

    “stream of waste which is impossible to securely dispose of” WRONG
    There is no such thing as nuclear waste. It is spent fuel that needs to be recycled and put back into a reactor. If you use a Generation 4 reactor, the fuel is all consumed inside the reactor in the first place.

    “decommissioning costs” Nonsense again. Recyclable stainless steel should not be wasted.

    “the Chernobyl factor” Does not apply in the United States. Our reactors have containment buildings. Our reactors are not unstable. 4th Generation reactors CANNOT melt down NO MATTER WHAT.

    “I just don’t trust Wall Street speculators” Neither do I. That is why we have federal regulators.

    “that if the 9/11 hijackers had flown their planes into the Hudson River reactors, 35 miles upwind of New York City, the entire region would now be largely uninhabitable”
    ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!!! If the 9/11 hijackers had flown their planes into the Hudson River reactors, they would have accomplished NOTHING except the destruction of the airplanes. They would not have released radiation. They would not even have punctured the containment building. If they did puncture the containment building, so what? The core is still contained in a stainless steel vessel 5 inches thick. The containment building is 39 inches thick of the strongest concrete with so much steel reinforcement it is amazing they got any concrete in.

    “Compared to large-scale wind and solar coupled to energy storage and distribution systems (which do exist), both “clean” coal and nuclear are simply idiotic.” WRONG!!!!!!
    Truth: Compared to NUCLEAR , both “clean” coal and large-scale wind and solar coupled to energy storage and distribution systems are simply pie in the sky.

    “if you want the answer”, do the math. You are reciting coal industry propaganda. You may be paid by the coal industry, or your emotions have been hijacked by the coal industry propaganda over the past half century. Everything you said is wrong. Coal has killed over two hundred thousand Americans and is still doing so. Power reactors do NOT make Plutonium239 that is needed for bombs. Power reactors make Plutonium240. It takes a very special reactor to make Pu239.

    Every time you dis nuclear, you are working for the coal industry and shooting yourself in the foot. What the coal companies know that most people don’t:

    As long as you keep messing around with wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, the coal industry is safe. There is no way wind, solar, geothermal and wave power can replace coal, and they know it. Hydrogen fusion could, if it worked. Hydrogen fusion has been “hopeful” for half a century so far. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

    If you quit being afraid of nuclear, the coal industry is doomed. Every time you argue in favor of wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, or against nuclear, King Coal is happy. ONLY nuclear power can put coal out of business. Nuclear power HAS put coal out of business in France. France uses 30 year old American technology. So here is the deal: Keep being afraid of all things nuclear and die either when [not if] civilization collapses or when H2S comes out of the ocean and Homo “Sapiens” goes extinct. OR: Get over your paranoia and kick the coal habit and live. Which do you choose? I put quotation marks around “Sapiens” because it is not clear that most “people” have enough brains to avoid extinction when it is clearly predicted and the safe path has been pointed out. Nuclear is the safe path and we have factory built nuclear power plants now. A nuclear power plant can be installed in weeks. See:

    Pretend the year is 1850 and your doctor has just given you a choice: Amputate your leg or you die tomorrow. Anesthetics have not been invented. Will you have your leg off sir?
    Your psychological pain is imaginary, not real. Get over it and live. Don’t get over it and your grandchildren die.
    Nuclear power ends global warming and the human race lives.
    No nuclear power causes the coal industry cash flow to continue to be $100 Billion per year in the US and Homo Sap goes extinct. The choice is yours, unfortunately.

    Ike Solem: YOU are working for the coal industry whether you know it or not. My guess is that you are a coal industry shill. Nuclear power makes LESS CO2 THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY. Therefore, Nuclear power is the way to STOP GLOBAL WARMING.

    Ike Solem’s energy plan is, to be blunt, a plan for ecological disaster – as was Sarah Palin’s.

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