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Unforced Variations: Feb 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 February 2017

“O brave new world, that has such people in ‘t!”

This month’s open thread. Usual rules apply.

257 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Feb 2017”

  1. 51

    B 19: Our whole way of life depends on fossil fuels.

    BPL: No, it does not. It depends on energy. Energy does not have to come from fossil fuels.

    B: Any scientist who wants us to give them up had better provide a realistic alternative first (realistic does not mean a 100,000 dollar electric car).

    BPL: The brand new 2017 Chevy Bolt retails at $36,600, and you can get a used Spark for $17,000. BTW, in Brazil, they are running 100 million cars on sugar cane ethanol.

  2. 52

    MR 38: . It’s time for product boycotts of Koch Industries retail divisions, advertiser boycotts of Fox News, even more determination from surviving Democrats in Congress and the Courts, and much else.

    BPL: Good luck with more determination from Democrats. Democrats are the biggest pu***es on God’s green Earth. I vote the straight Democratic ticket, but I have no illusions that any leading Democrat actually has a spine.

  3. 53
    Jim Hunt says:

    The PIOMAS (modelled!) Arctic sea ice volume numbers for January 2017 are out:

    Facts About the Arctic in February 2017

    Yet another record low for the date, by a considerable margin. What’s more there’s plenty more anomalously warm air heading for the Arctic Basin as we speak.

  4. 54
    Radge Havers says:

    KIA2 @~ 47

    The objections here to you and Thomas are completely different. For Thomas it boils down to an issue of form. For you, KIA, it is about substance.

    What applies to everyone is this: If the first rule of communication is, “know your audience” the second is “listen to your audience.” If Thomas wants to calm things down, all he has to do is tighten up his schtick. You have a much bigger problem, KIA, in that you don’t understand the subject matter and think it must be everyone else’s fault.

  5. 55
    Omega Centauri says:

    Barbara @19
    “2. Our whole way of life depends on fossil fuels. Any scientist who wants us to give them up had better provide a realistic alternative first (realistic does not mean a 100,000 dollar electric car).”

    I have a 2013 Leaf parked right now in front of my son’s 2013 CMAX plugin.
    The net price for both put together, was only $25,000. So for your
    purported $100K you could have a fleet of eight.

    Maybe thats not good enough for you. Need 200 miles plus range. The BOLT
    as already being deliverd in some states, and soon will be available in all.
    After tax credits your net cost for a brand new Bolt or Tesla-model3 should
    be under $30000. But the prices of off lease previous generation EVs and
    plugins is such a bargain I’d say you are wasting your money if you don’t
    have one.

  6. 56
    Leif Knutsen says:

    It does not require a climate scientist , or even a particularly bright bulb on the street, to realize that capitalism unencumbered by the requirements of functioning planetary life support systems = Mutually Assured Destruction.

    Please help end tax funded pollution of the commons. Tax rebellion has a long history and some success.

  7. 57
    Chris O'Neill says:


    carbon taxes aren’t going to work if the coal company and the utility company and the State government agencies are effectively one and the same

    This needs a small correction, viz: carbon taxes aren’t going to exist if the coal company and the utility company and the State government agencies are effectively one and the same.

  8. 58
    Chris O'Neill says:


    the weather man regulary cannot predict the weather next week. Thus, related or not, many doubt the validity of climate models.

    The casino man regularly cannot predict the roll of a dice. I wonder if Mr. Know It All 2 doubts the validity of dice roll outcome models used by casinos that, among other things, predict an average dice roll outcome value of 3.5. The arrogance and bias of Mr. Know It All 2 is stunning.

  9. 59

    The number of comments has declined as MAR notes. Thomas is exceptional at maintaining his output.

    I think the number of comments has fallen primarily because the moderators have slowed the pace at which the comments are posted, so they have slowed the conversation. That does reduce the flame wars that sometimes erupt in this kind of thread, but it also discourages folks from taking part in the online discussion.

    I also think that updating the software to give us a “hush” function would be helpful. That would allow each of us to simply stop seeing a lot of
    posts from posters we do not want to skim through. You can see the hush function at tamino’s Open Mind or And Then There’s Physics websites. Works great.

    Waiting for January CO2 monthly average. I think it’s going back up over 3 ppm after the 2.63 ppm average increase for December.

    Current numbers?

    Daily CO2

    February 3, 2017: 406.22 ppm
    February 3, 2016: 403.08 ppm

    3.14 ppm increase. Disastrous.

    Dr. Mann said in 2014 that we should stay under 405 ppm. Uh oh.

    I am writing this at 8:55 am on Feb 4th. The submit comments time stamp says 2 Feb 2017 12:39 pm. It’s too bad that the folks who run this blog don’t really want to support a vigorous, vibrant discussion. That time stamp is probably the most recent time that the pending comments queue was cleared, but I could be wrong about that. I think the moderators have wanted less comment activity and they have succeeded despite Thomas’ prodigious output.


  10. 60
    SecularAnimist says:

    Mr. Know It All wrote: “The arrogance and bias of many commenters on this site is stunning.”

    What is “stunning” is your torrent of blatant lies and nonsensical bullshit.

    What ever happened to the Bore Hole? Is anyone moderating these comment pages any more?

    Because at this point they seem to serve primarily as a platform for idiotic denialist rants from belligerent know-nothings like this clown.

  11. 61
    Russell says:

    Pat says:
    2 Feb 2017 at 1:05 AM
    Anyone here think they can explain “Ocean Mechanical Thermal Energy Conversion” or “OMTEC” to me?

    Try Mike MacCracken

  12. 62
    zebra says:

    Chris, 56,

    “carbon taxes are not going to exist”

    I was referring to US State governments there. If there’s a Federal carbon tax, some States will simply prevent renewables from being in the mix through the Utilities Commission or whatever it is called, and blame the increased cost on Coastal Elites. Likewise they will tax and regulate plug-in vehicles to death, and blame increased gas prices on the Coastal Elites.

    Win-win, money-wise and politics-wise, for the usual suspects.

  13. 63
    Thomas says:

    Personally, I would prefer more commenters of the caliber of a ‘Scott Strough’. People who write comments with a degree of competence in the subject they raise. Who can write an above avg length comment with great nuance and clarity about the subject. Who can respond to others comments with a high degree of nuance and remain focused on the issue discussed and who ignore stooping to fighting the man or leaping to gross fanciful exaggeration, knee jerk emotional over-reactions, and making false assumptions about others which serves no one.

    I would prefer to see a thousand other commenters here drown me and several others out of existence on RC due to their philosophical integrity, genuine dialectical ability, their higher level of maturity and broad based know-how and their sanguine unemotional unbiased understanding of the real world versus those all too often conflicted with narrow mindedness, fanatical ideology and untested mythical beliefs and a lack of self-awarness.

    I would prefer more guest articles such as the ‘Non-condensable Cynicism in Santa Fe’ that openly confront difficult and little known issues out there in the real world.

    And I’d much prefer many more guest articles by professionals and scientists outside the field of climate hard core science that openly addresses the barriers to achieving primary purpose of RC of communicating the truths about AGW/CC to the broader public. eg “We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.”

    I would also prefer all the RC contributors, and especially Gavin, to produce more short articles with refs to more info much more often every month that openly and repeatedly challenge the ongoing Myths that keep being discussed and reported almost daily elsewhere in the media and incompetent deceitful blog sites that can attract a higher caliber of commenters with genuine climate and cognitive science and academics in every related field, and from all nations including Russia and China, that touches on the all but impossible to overcome challenges of taking significant and substantial global action to address the pressing problem of AGW/CC.

    I would love to see RC ‘great again’ with over 150K visits/mth and the go to place for the Facts about the most topical and most important AGW/CC Science issues of the day.

  14. 64
    Mal Adapted says:


    AGW denialism is childishly easy to understand. Here, in a nutshell, are the two most obvious reasons for it:

    Heh. Thanks for telling us, Barbara. It would never have occurred to any of us at RC otherwise 8^D!

    1. Most people are not scientists. They know that science messes up sometimes. They tend to judge by how people act rather than what they say. Thus if only five climate scientists give up flying, they go by that.

    Most people aren’t economists either, apparently. Have they noticed that weather disasters are costing America billions of dollars more every year? How hard is it to understand that their own fuel consumption has a price they’re not paying at the gas pump? Is it possible AGW-deniers secretly understand that perfectly well, but don’t admit it they so don’t have to accept responsibility for their own carbon footprints? That way they can watch on TV as their fellow Americans’ homes are destroyed by floods where there have never been floods before, tell themselves it was an act of God, and call on their government to authorize disaster relief. Then, when the weatherman comes on and tells them tomorrow will be as unseasonably warm as today, they’ll confidently plan on leaving their coats at home.

    2. Our whole way of life depends on fossil fuels. Any scientist who wants us to give them up had better provide a realistic alternative first (realistic does not mean a 100,000 dollar electric car).

    It’s already been pointed out to you that, although “our whole way of life” depends on energy, fossil carbon isn’t the only realistic energy source available to us. Fossil fuel prices seem realistic (i.e. cheap) to you only because you don’t pay the climate-change cost of each tankful of gasoline at the pump. If you did, alternative energy prices would suddenly look a lot more realistic!

    Because the “free” market keeps the cost of AGW out of the price of fossil fuels, there has historically been little incentive to invest private capital in increasing the supply of carbon-neutral energy, which would in turn bring its price down. Prices for wind and solar energy have nevertheless declined steeply in recent years, largely due not to any major scientific advances but to government intervention in the energy market. Yes, your government has made carbon-neutral energy more cost-competitive by subsidizing it with your income taxes. As a result, you can now buy a new Ford Focus electric hatchback for less than $30,000. You’ll never pay for another tankful of gasoline, and if you also take advantage of subsidies for installing solar panels on your roof, you’ll save even more money.

    Economists argue, however, that the profit motive can potentially drive down the costs of alternative energy supplies and technology more efficiently and fairly than subsidies can. Wouldn’t it make more sense to require fossil fuel producers to pay the costs of AGW with a carbon tax, and let alternative energy producers compete on price? What if the revenue from the carbon tax were returned to taxpayers as a dividend, rather than going into the government’s general fund? Wouldn’t that encourage private investment in alternative energy? Doesn’t that seem childishly easy to understand?

  15. 65
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @49

    I totally agree with all the points in your post. I’m not just saying that to be nice or compliant.

    I just think we are talking about slightly different issues, or different aspects of the same issue.I’m just a bit frustrated you cannot see that. Of course they are complex issues, and its hard to produce a university level essay on an internet blog when also trying to cook dinner etc. However I did think I was pretty clear.

    I know what you are getting at: A market has to have a set of rules to truly be free. I personally agree.

    Looking at your electricity generation example this is very relevant to my country. We used to run the entire system as a government owned monopoly as an electricity ministry. It actually worked quite well and we are such a small country it was the only way to build and run an electricity system. Governments are elected, so have incentives to run things at least reasonably well.

    Then it was corporatised as a big monopoly state owned enterprise and worked ok, but not as well.

    Then the electricity system was broken up and partly privatised into a total of 3 large players, so not ideal levels of competition. It was under regulated and a very contrived sort of market and prices went up. It was made difficult for new entrants into the market.

    I actually think in such a small market the electricity system might be better entirely in state hands. However clearly in a large market like America you can have a very functional private sector market. It might incorporate some state owned generators as well. But such a market needs structure and government rules to function properly. Leaving it all to chance doesn’t work and we saw evidence in California.

    There are specific issues with electricity that mean it needs some control over markets by the state.

    Basically anything that can generate monopolies or duopolies needs some state regulation, or you can kiss good by to a properly functioning market. Electricity has elements of a monopoly at various levels, especially the lines network.

    Other markets with dozens of players need less state control or rules, but still need some rules to stop monopolies forming, and collusion, or poor safety practices. This is a truly functional market. You would I suspect call it a free market and can if you want but as I said before I wonder if it’s an accurate term. But I agree with the economic structure you are promoting.

  16. 66
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    Some of the EVs require 68% more CO2 output to manufacture than a gasoline car. However, over their life cycle, they put out 50% less CO2 than an “average” gasoline car. Excellent study on EVs:
    Breaking news: 50% less is not going to save the planet.

    For those who can afford them, an EV would make sense if, instead of an EV, you would buy a 29 mpg gas car. However, if you would buy a 40 or 50 mpg gas car, then they their benefit isn’t as significant (depends on where you live per the report). I’d buy an EV if I could afford 2 cars so when I go long distance I could use the gas car; and if I had a place to store the extra car. I can buy a used 40 mpg Honda with a remaining life of at least 100K miles for $5K or less; and guess what: no EV batteries to replace. ;)

    But I’m not buying a car right now. I’m waiting. Rumor is that a huge glut of leased cars will be hitting the market soon so I’m expecting used car prices to drop. :)

  17. 67
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    51 –
    They are not running 100,000,000 vehicles on ethanol. They may be running something close to that number on a 25% ethanol/75% gasoline mixture. The US is running 265,000,000 vehicles on a mixture of ethanol – we produce almost as much as Brazil.

    Brazil produces about 6 billion gallons of ethanol per year. The US uses 0.38 billion gallons of gasoline per DAY. So, if replaced gallon per gallon, the total output of Brazilian ethanol would run US cars for 16 days. How much rain forest was mowed down to grow sugar cane in Brazil? What is the carbon foot print of producing 6*10^9 gallons of ethanol compared to producing an equal quantity of gasoline?

    Here in the US, growing crops for ethanol has increased the cost of food for humans and for livestock.

    How much water does it take to produce ethanol?

    Ethanol for cars is silly. It’s welfare for farmers.

  18. 68

    KIA: Some of the EVs require 68% more CO2 output to manufacture than a gasoline car. However, over their life cycle, they put out 50% less CO2 than an “average” gasoline car.

    BPL: The carbon intensity of EVs will drop as more renewables generate a larger fraction of the power.

  19. 69
    Thomas says:

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard Feynman

    Those who might believe that that quote only refers to ‘Scientists’ are fools, for it applies equally to everything about Human Life.

    What makes someone more intelligent than others, is imho not their IQ nor the extent of their knowledge nor their level of expertise in a field. But instead their personal ability to remain more skeptical about how they think and what they think, conclude and believe is true and valuable or isn’t.

    This ime, and whether one is a trained scientist or not, comes from an innate but teachable skill as well as a willingness to regularly suspend their current beliefs and opinions for a time, to look objectively and rationally at the current state of the evidence as it exists, and then to reevaluate, to revise and update their own beliefs and opinions accordingly to a better more accurate view of the world in which they live.

    This is as rare as hens teeth and is worth it’s weight in Gold. This is something that my ‘example’ of Scott Strough has done at #28 above.

    What is even rarer than that are those who do not wait for new alternative data and ideas to be presented to them on a plate, but instead are self-motivated to a point where they repeatedly go out of their way and find things about a subject that they do not know before they knew they did not know it.

    iow being your very own “fact checker” and always forming your own “opinions” versus expecting or waiting for someone else to go do that for you.

    These are the most scientific, most skeptical and intelligent people on this planet, imho. Perceptiveness, self-awareness, and sincere self-reflection are really valuable human tools at everyone’s disposal. The old truism applies: Use it or lose it.

    Another useful truism is that god/evolution gave us all two eyes and two ears so we could all look and listen four times more than we could speak. I have done more than my fair share of looking and listening and reflecting before saying a word here. And I still don’t believe I KIA. :-)

    Please keep the ‘data’ coming in – the more the merrier

  20. 70
    SteveP says:

    So I’ve been experimenting with getting my fossil fuel carbon footprint down the last few years. I have three types of solar pannels on the roof, two thermal types and Pvs. I put more electricity into the grid than I purchase from it. My tiny electricity bill is primarily for the privilege of being connected to the grid. I live in the country so I can burn wood in a high efficiency stove to heat the house most of the winter. I plan to build a zoetrope wind turbine should I live long enough, and use it to heat part of the house. We have hybrid cars, but we don’t go out much any more, having figured out a way to work from home at least for the moment. I estimate that my fossil fuel footprint has shrunk more than 75% in the last couple of years. And my quality of life has only fucking improved in that time. While I have a technical background (chemistry and chemical engineering) I fail to see why most other people couldn’t do something similar. For a start, people in these parts can easily lease PV panels to put on their roof and cut their electricity bill immediately. People could buy energy efficient cars.

    Except they can’t. They can’t because their thinking is contaminated by ignorance spreaders like KIA. In all my years of saving energy and experimenting with different life style changes, I have pretty constantly seen push back by people who were afraid they would stand out, afraid that other people would laugh at them for having a pussy car, afraid to try something new because the authoritarian consumer zeitgeist advertised against it. The manure spreaders of the world appear to have been happily spreading their crappy philosophy that equates scientific intelligence with socialism, and have steadily been helping tamp down STEM in the US while pushing their god damned neoliberal bullshit. These assholes are just fine with Putin because he is one of them. A “winner”.

    Well, if Murkans keep pushing the pathologically stupid idea that Science is a socialist evil, then Murka can expect to get weaker and die, and turn into Trumpland.

    BTW, if you are an American, please contact your Senators and congressman and tell them you don’t want a fascist country. It couldn’t hurt.

  21. 71
    Jim Hunt says:

    Folks may be interested to learn that it seems as though “ClimateGate 2” has been spun from slender thread by all the usual suspects. Here’s a hasty initial report:,1873.0.html

    According to David Rose:

    Karl’s ‘Pausebuster’ paper was hugely influential in dictating the world agreement in Paris and sweeping US emissions cuts. President Trump, above right, has pledged to scrap both policies – triggering furious claims by Democrats he is a climate ‘denier’ and ‘anti-science’.

    Thanks to today’s MoS story, NOAA is set to face an inquiry by the Republican-led House science committee.

  22. 72
    Thomas says:

    I am only submitting this OT item because it is very unusual to see this level of clarity in perspective in a single short article:
    To be sure, populism of this kind can be dangerous and unpredictable, But it doesn’t arise from nowhere. Only a corrupt political establishment could have provoked a political revolt of this scale.

    # 66 Mr. Know It All 2, well we just bought a brand new car and I don’t care one bit about the co2 emissions factors involved. The price for a used Prius was ridiculous as well as for new and used Hybrids. Besides there’s hardly any copper and rare minerals being used in my new car vs the others. It’s “Horses for Courses” as I look at Trump’s 737 jet and AF One, I have no guilt at all. My ‘Carbon Footprint’ is still minuscule by western standards.

    # 47 Mr. Know It All 2, while I do not agree with your conclusions about the science and the dangers involved with AGW/CC I certainly do understand and empathize with your overall perceptions, why you see things the way that you do, and the values you and others of a similar mind are speaking up for.

    Even Defense Secretary McNamara spoke out strongly about the absolutely critical need to have empathy for one’s perceived ‘enemies’ in order to avoid deadly mistakes and not repeatedly leaping to false assumptions. It was his Lesson #1 of what he learned from his life experiences and his own mistakes in Vietnam especially

    # 34 Richard Lawson, kudos for a great comment.

  23. 73
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    69 – T
    Agree that being skeptical is a good thing. That’s why so many don’t believe in AGW. And most of those who do believe in it will try to destroy the skeptics on websites such as this, so it’s tricky to be a skeptic. But understand this: all the people yelling and screaming and protesting Trump who say AGW is threat number 1 know absolutely nothing about science – they don’t know CO2 from gravel! But they’re positive AGW is real and will destroy the world unless we all live like cavemen – as they go back to their homes and fiddle with the thermostat, the computer, the big screen TV…………. :)

    70 – SP
    People who are have some disposable income can do things like you’ve done – it’s a good thing. Many folks are trying to keep the bills paid with little room for home improvement. Most of course aren’t interested anyway. PVs can only be put on some roofs – depends on the roof, and I really don’t want someone else’s property on my roof, potentially causing leaks, possibly a lien on the title, potential fire hazard, etc etc. I’d prefer off-grid PV so when the power goes out, I don’t even notice. What size thermal solar panels do you use and have you calculated the BTU/hr you get from them? Are they heating water? About what latitude is your place?

    Lack of interest in Science is probably due to the degradation in quality of schools, lack of interest in the students performance by many parents, etc – helped out by mediocre unionized schools. I know there are exceptions. I suspect the root cause is liberalism throughout our society which has resulted in lack of discipline in all aspects of many people’s lives. Learning science takes discipline. Trump folks are not anti-science; they’re skeptical of an agenda pushed on us by politicians to gain control – it’s a reasonable skepticism.

    And by the way, we just told ALL our politicians we don’t want a fascist country on November 8; and we won.

    71 – JH
    Agree with Trump – good idea to scrap any “agreements” wherein other nations tell the USA how to run our country. Particularly not until the science is actually settled – and at this point it isn’t – contrary to the opinions of many here. It will be interesting to hear the results of the inquiry if it happens – might come out OK – who knows.

    72 – T
    No use to feel guilty about your car. Go to the next Sierra Club meeting and check out the 4x4s they arrive in. O flew around the world many times to go golfing in AF1 for 8 years burning 1 gallon per second the whole time. Al does the same.

  24. 74
    Scott Strough says:

    @67 Mr. Know It All,
    You brought up some good points. In order for you to gain some clarity you need to understand that the US ethanol production has absolutely nothing to do with AGW mitigation. It never did. Nothing to do with lowering reliance on fossil fuels either. That whole concept is a disinformation campaign.
    We make ethanol in the US as part of a buffer stock scheme specifically designed to overproduce corn. Buffer stock schemes have been around a long time, and when describing commodity grains often called “ever-normal granary”. Here is a wiki page for the basics:

    The difference is that instead of stabilizing the market at what we actually consumed +/- yearly production variation, it was decided to stabilize the market over double what demand could possibly ever dream of meeting. In a free market that would quickly collapse the buffer stock scheme. It is just too much market manipulation required. So to get rid of the excess production, several new markets were developed and subsidized to absorb some of the excess. Corn Ethanol was one. Confinement factory farming of animals was another. Even high fructose corn syrup was developed for that purpose. There are more like corn based biodegradable plastics, cat litter etc… in the works. Don’t be fooled by the “green” labels sometimes attached to them. They are not green, nor was that ever their purpose from the beginning.

    We don’t NEED to make ethanol from corn. Besides the fact that solar and wind are much better, there are alternatives that are actually more efficient and help cool the planet.

    Grass Makes Better Ethanol than Corn Does

    Soil Carbon Storage by Switchgrass Grown for Bioenergy

    If AGW mitigation was the real goal, then don’t you think a process that yields at least 5X more ethanol and sequesters 10t CO2/ha/yr would be quickly used rather than the inefficient use of corn that is a net CO2 source? Of course! But that is not the purpose. Go back to the link on buffer stock schemes.

    ” When the price drops close to the floor price (after a new rich vein of silver is found, for example), the scheme operator (usually government) will start buying up the stock, ensuring that the price does not fall further. Likewise, when the price rises close to the ceiling, the operator depresses the price by selling off its holding. In the meantime, it must either store the commodity or otherwise keep it out of the market (for example, by destroying it)”

    What you are seeing with the seemingly insane agricultural policies is this “destroying it” to keep the maximum acres of corn in production as possible. And since they can sell ethanol and factory farmed animals etc… It takes the burden off the buffer stock scheme operator attempting to keep production so high.

  25. 75
  26. 76
    Philip Clarke says:

    Excellent response to the Rose/Curry fake news story by the estimable Zeke

  27. 77

    KIA 67: Ethanol for cars is silly. It’s welfare for farmers.

    BPL: From corn, I agree. From sugar, or switchgrass, the energy return is much better. BTW, the vast majority of deforestation in Brazil is due to cattle ranching, not sugar production.

  28. 78
    Ray Ladbury says:

    For those keeping score, you can fill in the “Argument from Consequences Fallacy” on your logical fallacy bingo card after reading Barbara’s post@19.

  29. 79
    SteveP says:

    The Guardian opinion piece cited by Thomas may have made him feel good. Only he can tell if it did. However, what the article is is an explanation for, an apology for Trumps fascism. In no way is the article a refutation of Trump’s fascism. Nowhere in the article is Trump’s behavior or philosophy compared to the standard characteristics of fascism. When you do that, you will find that Donald J. Trump is a fascist. The fit is damn near perfect.

    What I see is a regime where wealth, power, and decision making functions are agglomerating into smaller and smaller clots of extremely self centered people. The system seems to have selected for lying, bullying, stealing, and other anomie producing behaviors. We have descended into monarchy and are rapidly descending further into tribalism.

    What’s next? Until or unless the impacts of climate change on daily life are enough to wake the dead zombies of neoliberalism and their minions in the general public , it looks like we are going to continue on a path of politicized science bashing. Because climatology has had the bad manners to challenge the highly profitable neoliberal status quo, it is being declared an enemy of the state. We in Murka certainly seem to be going into the sort of tailspin of the sort Germany ended up going through in the forties, culminating with the generation of a world full of enemies, large scale destruction, and an awful lot of human suffering. I am wondering what TV advertising will be like in 10 years, or if there will even be TV.

  30. 80
    prokaryotes says:

    Re #41 Thomas

    Channel is back, after petition got over 500 signers. While the geo-location and timing of an ongoing ban wave is still suspect, the main reason appears to be a combination of human and machine error. See post update at

  31. 81
  32. 82

    per 59, under 4 hr from submission to showing up in comments thread. I think this kind of regular posting of submitted comments would reinvigorate the comments on threads, if that is desirable.

    submit comments clock says Feb 2 at 12:39 pm. I am submitting around 10:35 am Feb 5

    Still waiting on January averages to post at I expect 3 ppm plus for the month.

    Daily CO2

    February 3, 2017: 406.22 ppm
    February 3, 2016: 403.08 ppm

    3.14 ppm in noisy number. This is the ballgame. I think the primary stat is how much CO2 is in the air we breathe. Dr. Mann said keep it under 405. I think he was on the money. Now we would have to figure out how to get it back down to 405. I hope to live long enough to see that happen. Seems like a long shot.

    Warm regards,


  33. 83
  34. 84
    Doug Allen says:

    Oh brave new world that has scientists like DR. Karl in it!

  35. 85
    nigelj says:

    Mr Know it all2, @67, I must admit I’m not a fan of biofuels. I accept the criticisms generally made of these.

    However we have to understand you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. It’s a fact of life some strategies to mitigate climate change are possibly going to be bad choices. Just as anyone makes occasional mistakes. For example Donald Trump, the guy you idolise, has had several of his companies go bankrupt and nobody to blame but himself, and we are talking large companies.

    The point is its better to move forward and do something, than pretend climate change isn’t happening, or do nothing at all. I don’t expect you to agree, but most sensible people will understand.

    Nobody anticipated renewable energy prices would drop so fast. That is one thing that has worked out rather well.

  36. 86
    Richard Hawes says:

    A humble suggestion regarding settling “the science is not settled” red herring; A Highly-Publicised Scientist-only Conference Around A Major Theme, perhaps at AGU:

    Supposing that NASA is still in existence and carrying out relevant climate-related research in 2024, could it arrange a Bicentennial Conference to celebrate Fourier’s hypothesis regarding the greenhouse effect?
    Or a conference in 2027 to celebrate the Bicentennial of Pouillet’s argument?
    Or a conference in 2019 to celebrate Tyndall’s 160th …. or will that occur in the UK?
    Or A. G Bell’s hypothesis of 1917 …
    Or Arrhenius’s quantification in 1896 …
    Or Guy Callendar’s paper in 1938, the 80th Anniversary of which is only 2 year’s away.

    Cut and pasted from G**gl*:-
    The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824.
    The argument and the evidence were further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838 and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859. The effect was more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. However, the term “greenhouse” was not used to refer to this effect by any of these scientists; the term was first used in this way by Nils Gustaf Ekholm in 1901.
    In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell wrote “[The unchecked burning of fossil fuels] would have a sort of greenhouse effect”, and “The net result is the greenhouse becomes a sort of hot-house.” Bell went on to also advocate the use of alternate energy sources, such as solar energy.

  37. 87
    mike says:

    January CO2

    January 2017: 406.07 ppm
    January 2016: 402.64 ppm

    3.43 ppm increase over last year. Ugly number. These numbers are going the wrong direction.

    submit comment time says Feb 2 at 12:39 pm, I am posting Feb 5 at 5:16 pm. Will wait and see when it comes online.



  38. 88
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @72, that Guardian article is interesting. I think it’s fair to say the situation is quite complicated. Trump is right in so far as free trade and fluid flows of immigration have hurt some people. These people have a genuine complaint to make.

    However Trump ignores the overall benefits of free trade and immigration as do his supporters.

    You seem to have your knife into Obama for allegedly ignoring the problem. Well Obama is not perfect I guess, but remember he faced an antagonistic Republican congress. However it’s fair to say problems or negative side effects of free trade were ignored one way or the other, I would suggest by all political parties.

    Hilary Clinton had some good ideas on how to help these blue collar people, but I guess they are complex policies, and involve some degree of wealth redistribution that may not be universally popular, however in the end I think she was mainly on the right track with her economic and social policies (bit of a war monger in other regards)

    But then lets come to Trumps ” rhetoric” and “policies”. Trump may see the problems, but his solutions are so clumsy it’s laughable. Going back to protectionism wont help, and his supporters are deluded to think it will.

    There is no real case to block ban immigrants or tourists from whole countries. Sure Trump may have a narrow majority supporting this, but it’s crazy stuff.I do agree though that individuals should be vetted carefully.

    Regarding the Dodd Franks financial regulation act, the guardian article implied his supporters wanted this dismantled. The irony is this act was initiated to regulate financial markets and stop another major financial crash. Repealing it only helps Trumps financial sector supporters. Repeal will hurt everyone else ultimately, but Trump has cleverly fooled everyone it’s in their interests to repeal it!.

    So sure if you want you can say Trump is a great guy sticking up for the small people (I don’t accept that he is for a second. He is a snake oil salesman). But Trumps actual policies are amazingly dumb, combined with amazingly crafty in the sense they will tend to help the elite most in the end. I can’t believe an smart guy like you would be suckered in! His supporters may be.

    Then come to climate change. Trump calculated he could win the election by inflammatory rhetoric and stretching the truth (on a daily basis) and has slipped in his anti climate rhetoric on the back of this even though the majority of Americas believe there is a climate problem, from various polls. It’s a hostile corporate take over of the climate issue done by fooling people that dreadful lying elites have made up climate change for some bizarre reason.

  39. 89
    Jim Hunt says:

    Helmholtz @81 – Please see my @71 and/or:

    Climategate 2 Falls at the First Hurdle?

    In the latest news ex Prof. Judith Curry is apparently quite content that the Mail on Sunday have changed the caption under David Rose’s “anomalous baseline” graph, but left the graph as is.

    I am endeavouring to explain to her how these matters are supposed to be resolved over here in the once Great Britain.

  40. 90
    John Wellman says:

    I’ve checked this site out for many years … enjoying reading the comment section. Today I was saddened to see when you type in ‘real climate’ on google … the first hit .. has suddenly become real climate . com which is about the most anti-climate change site you can reach on google.

  41. 91
    Charles Hughes says:

    Mr. Know It All 2 says:
    4 Feb 2017 at 1:27 AM

    As long as they tow the AGW line their comments are allowed; even very political, unscientific, blatantly false anti-Trump comments are allowed – recent examples being 37 and 38 above. Many comments which don’t tow the AGW line are not posted. It’s moderated by extremely biased people who obviously cannot stand the heat of examination by many with different opinions or facts.

    They’re called SCIENTISTS Mr. Know Nothing #2.

    You haven’t heatedly examined a thing and you haven’t presented any facts. Your moniker alone sets you up as a troll and if you really knew it all you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You’d have your own website and we’d all be asking you about Climate Change. Trust me, that ain’t gonna happen.

  42. 92
    Charles Hughes says:

    Thomas says:
    4 Feb 2017 at 3:36 PM
    “Personally, I would prefer more commenters of the caliber of a ‘Scott Strough’. People who write comments with a degree of competence in the subject they raise. Who can write an above avg length comment with great nuance and clarity about the subject. Who can respond to others comments with a high degree of nuance and remain focused on the issue discussed and who ignore stooping to fighting the man or leaping to gross fanciful exaggeration, knee jerk emotional over-reactions, and making false assumptions about others which serves no one.”


    Of course you do realize Thomas, that you just disqualified yourself from making any further comments on Real Climate. I look forward to not having to scroll past miles and miles of your balderdash.

  43. 93
    Jon Kirwan says:

    I wonder if we’ll be seeing commentary from any of the current permanent contributors, after 1/27/2017 anyway, to this site. Those who might be impacted by the current administration’s spate of executive orders. It’s not as though such commentary happens often. It doesn’t. It happens about as often as it should, I think. (I’m very happy with the level and scope of it.) But it’s also not so that you can hear a pin drop. So I’m curious and will be looking to test the predictive power of this hypothesis.

    Been a week. I can hear pins dropping.

    I had a chance to speak for an hour to one recently-arrived scientist at NSIDC, last week, about a few questions I had regarding this latest year so far. He took the time to understand what I needed to know and then gave very good and clear answers and the key reference to a paper I needed to read and I appreciated the time he offered very much. But he also confirmed some concerns I only guessed at earlier. Nothing firm; mostly questions and concerns still. But I didn’t feel any less worried after the call about the portents regarding basic science research and its public communication in the US.

    I’ll wait and see what the next week or two brings here, as well. I expect more quiet apprehension.

  44. 94
    Thomas says:

    79 SteveP, say what you wish but it has nothign to do with me feeling good, or being a trump supporter or not. I was giving credit to a well written short article that, imho, accurately articulated the basic core drivers for Trump supporters as THEY see it, and not how journos or commentators see their motivations etc etc. The article itself was NOT about Trump, pro or con, but HOW his supporters were responding to his initial 2 weeks.

    And that is it. I said nothing else, because I meant nothing else by it. It doesn’t matter whether the choices made by Trumps supporters were grounded in logic or evidence or not, has nothing to do with what anyone thinks what trump is doing now is good or bad or crazy.

    It was an opportunity for anyone to have another look at WHY he got the support he did and why he probably won. If you ever wish to move people from one position to another position, then you’d at least better properly understand HOW THEY SEE THE WORLD FIRST before you even try to engage them.

    This is simply psychology and marketing:101 writ large. Nothing I have shared or said is an endorsement of them, their beliefs and opinions nor of Trump and his Administration.

    The article was valuable on that point alone. That it showed up on ‘left leaning’ paper was in itself a surprise.

    If such simple things as sharing a link can get so easily misconstrued and all manner of assumption get drawn about that, how much harder (near impossible) do you think it is to convey the complexities and implications of climate science to the world at large? Well?

    Seriously, if you truly wish to communicate with others you have to meet them at their level first as well as understand how they see the world and WHY they see it that way. If people are not willing to do that then just forget and bring out the riot police and the gulags.

  45. 95
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities.

    In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests. Those can take years to be approved.

  46. 96
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    U.S. coal miners applaud Republican axing of stream protections

    The battered U.S. coal industry rejoiced after the Senate voted on Thursday to repeal a rule that limited companies from dumping mining waste in streams, saying the move could halt the sector’s decline.

    The Senate, approving a resolution passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, overturned the Stream Protection Rule as part of a broader move by Republicans to reverse what they see as overregulation by former President Barack Obama’s administration on energy development.

    The demise of the rule had been expected. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress, controlled by Republicans, to undo rules finalized at the end of a previous administration.

  47. 97
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “Agree that being skeptical is a good thing. That’s why so many don’t believe in AGW.”

    Learn the difference between skeptical and pig ignorant. Or don’t. I really don’t fricking care.

    Dude, the conclusions of the IPCC have been endorsed by every major association of scientists and every honorific organization of scientists on the fricking planet. Among actual scientists, there is no more dissent about climate change than there is about evolution, quantum mechanics or relativity. If you are a scientist who dismisses climate science, you automatically qualify as a fruit loop.

  48. 98
    Erik Lindeberg says:

    Where can I get a copy of the 2006 U.S. Climate Change Science Program report? It is no longer available at

  49. 99

    HW 81: Anyone care to comment on this? Fake news?

    BPL: Yes, fake news. Duh.

  50. 100
    zebra says:

    Nigelj 65,

    I know we do not really disagree about the substance but for me this is about the “communication” issue, just like using “energy increase” because people (yes, “the public”) can actually relate to it, and having a clear, consistent presentation from scientists as we discussed above.

    So, as a matter of strategy/tactics for the USA, making clear that anti-competitive practices stand in the way of better technology and more choices seems to me the only way to counteract the propaganda from the FF crowd.

    Remember, we have a very fragmented political system. Think about the resistance to Obamacare– Red States could sabotage it easily by refusing to expand Medicaid, and they did. Likewise, with renewables, likewise with electrified vehicles, public transit, local agriculture, and so on.

    I repeat my statement about a carbon tax that is not part of a more comprehensive approach: They will block the desired changes in technology, and use the higher energy prices as an effective political tool against whatever sane Federal government we may be lucky enough to elect.