RealClimate logo

Trump carbon and the Paris agreement

Filed under: — david @ 17 November 2016

The recent US election has prompted cries that the decision on Earth’s climate has now been irrevocably made, that the US has unilaterally decided to scrap the peak warming target from the Paris agreement of 1.5 oC. What do the numbers say? Is Earth’s climate now irrevocably fracked?

The short answer is that, strictly speaking, the future of global climate would have been fracked even had the election gone the other way, unless stronger action to cut CO2 emissions is taken, very soon.

U.S. Emissions under 2020 and 2025 targets, from Columbia University Earth Institute, 2015

Here are some numbers. Carbon emissions from the United States have been dropping since the year 2000, more than on-track to meet a target for the year 2020. Perhaps with continued effort and improving technology, emissions might have dropped to below the 2020 target by 2020, let’s say to 5 gigatons of CO2 per year (5000 megatons in the plot). In actuality, now, let’s say that removing restrictions on energy inefficiency and air pollution could potentially lead to US emissions by 2020 of about 7 gigatons of CO2. This assumes that future growth in emissions followed the faster growth rates from the 1990’s.

Maybe neither of these things will happen exactly, but these scenarios give us a high-end estimate for the difference between the two, which comes to about 4 gigatons of CO2 over four years. There will also probably be extra emissions beyond 2020 due to the lost opportunity to decarbonize and streamline the energy system between now and then. Call it 4-6 gigatons of Trump CO2.

This large quantity of gas can be put into the context of what it will take to avoid the peak warming threshold agreed to in Paris. In order to avoid exceeding a very disruptive warming of 1.5 oC with 66% probability, humanity can release approximately 220 gigatons of CO2 after January, 2017 (IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis report, Table 2.2, corrected for emissions since 2011). The 4-6 Gtons of Trump CO2 will not by itself put the world over this threshold. But global CO2 emission rates are now about 36 gigatons of CO2 per year, giving a time horizon of only about six years of business-as-usual (!) before we cross the line, leaving basically no time for screwing around. To reach the catastrophic 2 oC, about 1000 gigatons of CO2 remain (about 20 years of business as usual). Note that these estimates were done before global temperatures spiked since 2014 — we are currently at 1.2 oC! So these temperature boundaries may be closer than was recently thought.

An optimistic hope is that humanity may soon feel the need to clean up the atmosphere by direct CO2 removal. The American Physical Society estimates a cost for this at about $600 per ton of CO2. Based on this the cost of carbon emitted by the US in the next four years would come in at $8-10 trillion, which amounts to about 14% of US GDP over that time. Even under the scenario that lost in the election, $6 trillion of clean-up costs would have been incurred (8% of GDP).

If you are in a new-found panic about the future of Earth’s climate, know that what you’re feeling now would still have been almost as appropriate had the election gone the other way. The fight to defend Earth’s climate would still be just beginning.

194 Responses to “Trump carbon and the Paris agreement”

  1. 151
    Thomas says:

    141 Lawrence Coleman, it all comes from the same Playbook. When the opportunity arose it was done in Australia by appointing a venture capitalist to head up the CSIRO. Their funding has been cut and staff laid off. Harper did the very same thing in Canada years ago. And of course the LNP gutted all the other ‘science based’ entities setup as a part of Labor’s (Greens) Cap n Trade ETS and renewable energy strategy.

    Had Blair (the sycophantic right wing labourite) done anything similar in the UK the Conservatives would have repealed all that too. He was too busy being a warmonger, a lapdog to Murdoch, and a star for the establishment.

    The powerbrokers in the US will do anything they can to gut Giss etc and at the top of their list is the removal of Gavin Schmidt as Director.

    I expect them to succeed with that. Try not to let it upset you or knock you out of balance emotionally. Keep a clear head. Nice guys always run last. Usually because they never expect how nasty and deceitful right assholes can really be … until it’s too late.

    Hint: Neville Chamberlain

    Take care mate.

  2. 152
    Thomas says:

    139 SteveP, “Note to Mike Roddy at 136.”

    Oh please. Enough of this PC bs over one word.

    135 Mike Roddy says: “The agents of this impending nightmare are the oil, coal, gas, mining, and timber industries. They will not be defeated unless we oppose them.”

    Mike I totally agree with the thrust of your comment. imo you’d be closer to the mark by not separating out the FF industry “as if” they are the evil enemy. The problem is not them, it is the SYSTEM as a whole and at the top of that pile are the incompetent and bought and sold Politicians.

    Non-FF corporations are just as happy to keep the spigot turned on and energy being cheap as dirt and the system to keep running along nicely as it is.

    140 Diana Arce Reyna, beware the marketing spin.
    “the Paris Agreement” …. what credibility?

    imo there is none. It’s a hall of mirrors and a pea and shell game at present. Many who show up are sincere, but of course how do you know when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.

    The world runs out of the carbon budget to remain below 1.5C by 2025. (check David’s figures and others eg Kevin Anderson)

    A great example of why one needs to take what ‘politicians/PMs/Presidents’ say or agree to with a BIG grain of salt is: PM John Howard, who in 2007 went to an election promising to introduce an ETS in Australia to “fight climate change”.

    This is the real John Howard, after he lost Government and his own seat in the 2007 election. “One Religion Is Enough” lecture by Howard at the GWPF

    The ONLY thing Howard had ever read on Climate Change was “An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming” is a 2008 book by Nigel Lawson – founder and head of the GWPF.

  3. 153
    Chris O'Neill says:


    you have to first free up market forces, and let people get used to the idea of change. I point to the example of LED bulbs as a success story for government applying leverage

    It was estimated that the replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluoros (almost as efficient as LEDs) in Australia reduced its CO2 emissions by about 0.1%. All we need now is another 999 similar success stories for government applying leverage and our CO2 emission problem will be over.

  4. 154

    #142, 143, Thomas–

    These posts respond to my contention that people buy on price as a significant factor. The point of that contention was that if FF are more expensive, people are incentivized to use alternates.

    And what ‘refutation’ do we read?

    …to buy an expensive brand new refrigerator cost $1000+ which is an Energy Saving Fridge that might use 30% of what their existing crappy fridge uses. Fact the working poor cannot do this – they’ll go buy a second hand 10 year old fridge if the existing one breaks down — electricity prices going up are irrelevant Kevin — they pay what they have to pay and they can’t afford to pay that now as it is.

    IOW, people buy on price. Thanks for conceding my point, Thomas.

    Maybe we can move on to the question of whether alternatives are invariably more expensive, as your example assumes, and by how much, exactly. Not to mention that CF&D operates on the whole economy, not just the consumer goods segment, affecting, for example, Southern Company’s generation mix–to take one notoriously retrograde company which has been moving away from coal:

    Or, if you prefer their nuclear activities:

    “Think, man, think.”

    Good advice, no doubt. I recommend it, too.

  5. 155
  6. 156
    Greg Simpson says:

    Thomas, #145:

    Watts is a measure of power, but energy can be measured in watt hours. Watts/hour is the acceleration of the power, and is essentially useless.

  7. 157
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Hank, 3 Dec 2016 at 7:12 PM, ~#154

    As you well know, I have already done the research. Tell Thomas to do it. Steve

  8. 158
    Thomas says:

    154 Hank, just quickly, necessary additions incl such matters as:

    Google Scholar:

    Crude Strategy: Rethinking the US Military Commitment to Defend Persian Gulf Oil edited by Charles L. Glaser, Rosemary A. Kelanic

    Have a merry xmas Hank. Keep up the good educational work about “the facts” you do here and elsewhere.

  9. 159
    Thomas says:

    153 Kevin McKinney “Thanks for conceding my point, Thomas.”

    Sorry, you’re dreaming.

    155 Greg Simpson, if you say so, feel free. I know what I said and I know what the topic/discussion was about.

    Merry Xmas to both of you. And good luck in 2017 getting the public to agree with you.

  10. 160
    Thomas says:

    PS Kevin …. this is THE key error that not only you are making:

    “These posts respond to my contention that people buy on price as a significant factor”

    This is a classic Strawman Argument, because not once have I ever denied that “price as a significant factor” in everyday purchase choices, including their energy use.

    That has NEVER been my argument, and does not relate to anything I have said or referenced or suggested – MY POINT is that a Price on Carbon, in particular a Govt imposed Carbon Tax or even a F&D system WILL NOT AND CANNOT SOLVE THE SYSTEMIC PROBLEM OF CARBON EMISSIONS CAUSING GLOBAL DEGRADATION OVER TIME.

    iow using a carbon price while believing the Market will drive SIGNIFICANT (and rapid enough) CHANGE in the ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF ENERGY USE GLOBALLY is a MYTH – IT IS a FALSE FRAMING of what the real causes of the problem are – it is a DISTRACTION away from the simple solution of dealing logically and rationally with the REAL CAUSE of the problem – scientifically and technically and historically.

    You are essentially changing the TOPIC under discussion here, and the many times I have put my KEY point.

    What you and many others have here is a FALSE Equivalency. It’s a matter of Logic combined Context. There is also an argument to be had about the specific facts of what defines significant in the TOPIC under discussion.

    To be “significant” a carbon price would need to address the true extent of the COST of Fossil Fuel Use – including the environment, global warming, economic distortions, market manipulations, tax avoidance strategies, and the impact +/- upon Government Revenues on behalf of The People.

    This is your (and others) basic error:

    Priory: “price as a significant factor”

    Theory A = A price on carbon, aka a Carbon Tax or F&D, would therefore a “a significant factor” in choices decisions made about Energy Use and energy using Purchases.

    This follows on to:
    Theory B = Because it is assumed a price/tax on carbon is SIGNIFICANT, therefore it will have an SIGNIFICANT IMPACT in driving down Fossil Fuel use and therefore save the planet from AGW/CC.

    As others have noted there is this thing called ‘externalities’ or externalizations, often known as Socializing the true Costs of Business, Mining, and Fossil Fuel Consumption onto the general Public, the Taxpayer, and the Environment.

    We are in fact talking about 200+ years of externalizations being Socialized Costs Globally now – and not merely today’s or next year’s Use of Fossil Fuels.

    I put it to you and everyone else that you have indeed drunk the Koolaid and bought a Lemon in pseudo-economics, an ETS, a Carbon Tax and F&D theories.

    Unfortunately many of you are far more interested in defending your own implanted BELIEFS put there by others/society/media than you are in Logic and Rationality OR TRUTH.

    And this is why you can’t help yourselves from Arguing – not with me per se (a weak cop out imho) but arguing against historical truths and with simple Logic and the facts.

    Philosophy, Logic and Psychology are best informed by a true accurate fore-knowledge of History, before drawing conclusions about FALSE ECONOMIC THEORY being promulgated in the Media and the social consciousness.

    In the early 19th Century the US Govt imposed a Slave Tax for the importation of new slaves into the USA.

    That Slave Tax did not reduce slavery, did not end it, and did not impact on the “cost of production” of Cotton to a SIGNIFICANT degree to drive CHANGE in the behavior of Cotton Farmers nor the buyers of Cotton internationally.

    What stopped Slavery was Government LAW (Regulation – drive by the People/ Voter Demands) that Banned the practice outright and immediately.

    In the 1970s after Nader’s Whistle-blowing books did not have the Fed Govt impose a SAFETY TAX on new vehicles (without improved safety features) to drive Behavioral change in manufacturers or THE MARKET.

    Manufacturers were NOT given the opportunity of offering to the Public a range of motor vehicle CHOICES with or without Seat Belts and decent safe Brakes and Steering.

    The Government, ie The People, did not accept such an option of what was already known by the Manufacturers to be DANGEROUS – when they knew better safety was possible — THEY claimed that there was NO MARKET DEMAND for such Safety features – and that if this was imposed on the car manufactures that they would lose profitability, jobs would be lost and the economy would falter leading to lower Profitability and less Corporate Taxes for the Govt.

    They ALL Lied about this for as long as they could get away with it, as their REPS in Congress tried to make it about a case for Personal LIBERTY and BIG GOVERNMENT being a Nanny State.

    Instead the Govt acted on behalf of the People and the collective good of the commonwealth to impost strict safety standards upon all car manufacturers all at once.

    That had ZERO effect upon the level playing field of the MARKET – everyone was in the same boat – then economies of scale, improved technology, market competition, marketing and advertising led to SAFER CARS AT A CHEAPER PRICE – and that trend has continued to this day.

    Would you buy a new car today without Seat Belts and Air Bags?

    NO, you would not and neither would any of those ECONOMIC THEORISTS who presented a picture of doom and gloom across the USA and the end of the world as they knew it in the 1970s.

    WHY do any of you believe the same RHETORIC and FALSE THEORIES presented today about a Carbon Tax/Price being a driver for SIGNIFICANT enough behavioral change by Industry and the Consumer of Fossil Fuels?

    I cannot be be emphatic that such beliefs are 100% wrong and misguided – aka as DENIAL and DISPLACEMENT .. see my Dr Kroth refs. That is what they are for – to educate people about THEIR OWN Psychology and IRRATIONALITY.

    See the doco ref for The Century of the Self and the impact of Dr. S Freud and how knowledge about Psychology has driven Public Opinion and Marketing strategies and Politics into the 21st Century.

    Look up the multiple refs about the Cognitive Science of George Lakoff and many others. That’s why I posted them here – to educate the highly intelligent about how and why people THINK and ACT like they do – and then how the Politicians and Think Tanks use this knowledge to MANIPULATE YOU 24/7.

    The logical solution to AGW/CC is Global Govt REGULATION of treating all Fossil Fuels as a DANGEROUS POLLUTANT – no different than how they treated DANGEROUS CARS ON THE ROADS THAT WERE KILLING PEOPLE UNNECESSARILY – when there already existed the necessary technology to increase the safety of cars IMMEDIATELY.

    Another important historical fact is that CONSUMERS, aka The Market, does NOT have the POWER to drive Industrial level behavior OR the SYSTEMIC change needed to solve the problem of AGW/CC.

    If you “believe” it does, then I will have to tell you the Truth – you are deluding yourselves! That’s not rational, logical, nor philosophically sound or psychologically healthy.

    The ONLY answer is GOVERNMENT REGULATION (applied Globally by Treaty as much as possible) across all sectors of the Energy Industry from mines and oil wells to end user consumer products.


    1) Ban the opening of any new Coal Mines and the price of coal AND ELECTRICITY will rise IMMEDIATELY and more importantly Permanently – where ALL normal Economic the Market Forces will still apply – but on a new level playing field for actors.

    NO Carbon Tax required. NO waiting 10 years for a F&D to rise to $100, when a true reflection of Externalized costs could possibly be as much as $1000 per tonne or even more – to achieve a true level of SIGNIFICANCE that fitted the real world Context of the Harm already done.

    2) Keep increasing the minimum REGULATORY Standards for (Fossil) Fuel Economy MPG of all motor vehicles from now to 2050 from 25mpg, to 35 mpg, to 50 mpg, to 75 mpg ….. for INDUSTRY players and Manufacturers will DRIVE INNOVATION to achieve the end result – just as they did with Saftey Issues in the 1970s and ever since.

    The Price of Vehicles will IMMEDIATELY INCREASE to achieve these ends – but it’s done on a level playing field – where economic, competitive and market forces will still operate to drive down costs and prices and increased economies of scale – where 30 years form now cars will still be pro-rata cheaper than they are now.

    3) REGULATE the Re-Registration of OLDER low fuel economy cars and diesel vehicles by placing a Punitive Rising Annual Rego Fees by the State Govts for being a DANGEROUS POLLUTION of society (see recent banning of diesel vehicles form some cities due to Pollution being a cause of DEATH)

    4) RE-REGULATE and INCENTIVIZE the Nuclear Power Industry to forge the R&D and roll out of SAFE GEN IV Nuclear Power plants that can also produce HYDROGEN as a CLIMATE SAFE motor vehicle engine fuel.

    5) REGULATE and INCENTIVIZE BioFuels and Natural Gas as an immediate replacement for Diesel Fuel & Petrol – including RETROFITTING existing vehicles.

    6) BAN the manufacture of NEW fossil fuel based Diesel Vehicles and Trucks – IMMEDIATELY

    In all the above and many other available options today will tend to INCREASE PRICES without a Carbon Tax/Price on carbon and will still drive ongoing change in consumer behavior over and above the MORE SIGNIFICANT impact of tougher LOGICAL Govt Regulations upon INDUSTRY and BUSINESS activity.

    All the things that would remain LEGAL under a Carbon tax regime would instead become ILLEGAL under the LAW. That’s is what drives CHANGES in behavior faster and more effectively than ANY ‘invisible hand of the market’ that in reality does not exist in a way that is SOLD to the public by MYTHICAL ECONOMIC THEORIES that do not work as PROMISED for decades!

    Read TRUE History and inform yourselves better folks.


    Regulating Fossil Fuels and GHG emissions out of existence by 2050 in the Electricity Supply

    The entrenched problem of false beliefs and ignorance about the need to solve the problem of AGW/CC and gaining global cooperation on a fair basis that includes the HISTORICAL responsibility FOR POLLUTION and LAND CLEARING, AGRICULTURE impacts of a minority of world’s nations, but especially the USA, will still need to be overcome …..

    [ the CAPS are free and only for word emphasis – you can believe I am shouting if you wish, but that does not make it true! Your beliefs can never make anything true or factual – you need evidence and facts and logic for that – opinions don’t hold any value. ]

    That does me in – I have better things to do then to keep pissing into the wind like this.

    Happy 2017 anyway.

  11. 161
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Thomas, 2 Dec 2016 at 11:48 PM, ~#150

    Thomas, you responded to Kevin’s statement (#128) regarding, “correcting distortions in the system that result in hidden subsidies to fossil fuels.” You said that they are not hidden and “plain as day and very well known,” and you therefor think that there are no distortions in the system. If you think that consumers take into account all the “plain as day” subsidies, you should be able to type out a simple list off the top of your head.

    I don’t think that consumers have any idea of all of the subsidies that hide the real costs of fossil fuels that they purchase and am very curious what you think is obvious. Your answering a question with a question and your flippant “hidden subsidies” comments are juvenile dodging. Why? On the other hand, I am very encouraged by your statement: “I’d hate to write too much and no one read it.”

    I will make this even easier for you. Just list the direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuels that affect US citizens so I can see what you think is well known and obvious. You don’t even have to give amounts. I just know that you can do this without irrelevant verbiage if you would just give it a try!


  12. 162
    Thomas says:

    161 Steve Fish says:

    “…. and you therefor think that there are no distortions in the system.”

    I think nothing of the kind. I have never stated anything close to such a thing either. What you have done here Steve is commonly known as a Non-Sequitur – it simply does not follow – not from what I actually said to Kevin or have ever said here.

    If you think that consumers take into account all the “plain as day” subsidies, you should be able to type out a simple list off the top of your head.

    I do not think nor said that I “think that consumers take into account subsidies” – this is another illogical non-sequitur aka putting words into my mouth. You are seeing something that was never there Steve.

    re “I don’t think that consumers have any idea of all of the subsidies that hide the real costs of fossil fuels that they purchase and am very curious what you think is obvious.”

    I do not think they were “obvious” to “everyone, all consumers.” I didn’t say that.

    What I said to KEVIN was: btw there are no “hidden subsidies to fossil fuels.” They are all as plain as day and very well known.

    Many things are as plain as day Steve … I cannot be taken to task for those people who ignore such things just because I make a simple statement of fact.

    re “Your answering a question with a question and your flippant “hidden subsidies” comments are juvenile dodging. Why?”

    Because I considered your question as flippant and juvenile. That’s why.
    Now that you have explained what you “really thought” – which was a distortion of what I thought and said – well now it makes sense “why”.

    re Just list the direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuels that affect US citizens so I can see what you think is well known and obvious.”

    No Steve. If it’s important to you, then you should write a list of subsidies that YOU believe are “hidden” or which are not “obvious” to the consumers – then think of ways in getting that information in front of their eyes and pray that it becomes more “obvious” – this is your issue of interest not mine.

    re irrelevant verbiage that’s a judgement.

    I have always thought that it would be OBVIOUS what I say and reference is relevant and necessary to convey understanding and extremely helpful.

    Obviously you and MANY others disagree. So be it.

    When it comes to social media and text content online, the #1 thing that readers should assume is that there is a very high chance they have NOT automatically grasped the meaning another intended – and to therefore SLOW down and first seek confirmation that what you think someone said is what they meant – rather than jumping to wrong conclusions all the time and defaulting to endless criticism instead.

    Like I said elsewhere, I have better things to do with my time than to be constantly misunderstood and misrepresented by nitpickers about minor points. Of the criticisms and flippant insults and then having to repeatedly explain (like here now) what should be already clear and obvious — after taking the extra time and effort to make it so.

    Yeah yeah, no doubt others will try to throw that rock at myself too, but whatever – it’s not going to fly.

    What some call irrelevant verbiage others call fleshing out the details to draw a better meaning of what’s REALLY going – in order to help others who imho have been repeatedly MISSING THE OBVIOUS for 25 years now.

    I’m gonna go do something else that’s more worthwhile than wasting my time here with the ‘climate intelligentsia’ who unfortunately cannot see the forest for the trees.

    After 25 years of failures y’all still believe you must be right – and do not wish to entertain any potential alternative view and analysis – let alone maturely and logically discuss a single word of it.

    Fine, so be it.

  13. 163

    Thomas, I’m afraid your #160 is pretty much unreadable–lengthy, unfocussed and much given to unpleasant outbreaks of ALL CAPS–not to mention ego. If you want me, at least, to read your ideas–which I would say appear interesting, if one could wade through them–you might try keeping it shorter, crisper, and much less rhetorical. (I suspect, FWIW, that might work for other readers here, too.)

    However, I did read the beginning of the comment.

    You said:

    PS Kevin …. this is THE key error that not only you are making:

    “These posts respond to my contention that people buy on price as a significant factor”

    This is a classic Strawman Argument, because not once have I ever denied that “price as a significant factor” in everyday purchase choices, including their energy use.

    You may not have ‘denied’ that explicitly, but if you accept that people will change their energy use based on price, then it follows that you must account for the (probable) changes in behavior when projecting the possible cost to them of a price change such as a carbon tax. In the comment that I was responding to, that did not appear (from what was written, at least) to be the case.

  14. 164
    Thomas says:

    My last news update

    WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters)

    Automakers had appealed to President-elect Donald Trump, who has been critical of Obama’s climate policies, to review the rules requiring them to nearly double fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 2025, saying they impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences.

    The EPA under law had to decide by April 2018 whether to modify the 2022-2025 model year vehicle emission rules requiring average fleet-wide efficiency of more than 50 miles per gallon.

    The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and others, blasted the decision, saying “this extraordinary and premature rush to judgment circumvents the serious analysis necessary to make sure the (vehicle) standards appropriately balance fuel efficiency, carbon reduction, affordability and employment.”

    [ the same BS approach taken over seat belts in the 1970s ]

    The group said it looked forward to working with the Trump administration on revisions and that “the evidence is abundantly clear that with low gas prices, CONSUMERS are NOT choosing the cars necessary to comply with increasingly unrealistic standards.”

    [ the same BS approach taken over seat belts in the 1970s ]

    “What’s not to like about a plan, agreed to by the automakers, that cuts oil use, saves money at the pump and reduces pollution?” said Daniel Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign…

    In 2011, Obama announced agreement with major automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg, which the administration said would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

    The California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols said the EPA decision “provides solid support for continuation of the single national [ REGULATION ] program to produce a new generation of clean vehicles.

    This is more proof that no carbon tax is required to change industry and consumer behavior.,

    The question is why has it taken Obama 8 years for the EPA to lift minimum regulatory standards – and why is it necessary to obtain Auto Industry prior agreement?

    And WTF are they doing about White Goods energy efficiency standards REGULATION and Building Design energy efficiency standards that would also save Consumers $Trillions year on year for decades?

    Which God appointed them Kings when it comes to rational decisions that will solve the massive dangerous pollution and gave them the POWER to block their consumers from saving $trillions in fuel costs?

    That God is called BS Economic Theories ala Neoliberalism and the Lie that Consumers Rule the Market – when they do not.

    A gullible manipulated Public (The People) have given them this unbridled power over their own lives – and leaders like Obama do next to nothing to change Public Opinion about these gross distortions in the Economy, the nebulous faux-Market and in Politics.

    The individual’s Right to a livable planet overrides every other individual’s Freedom to Choose what kind of car/suv they can buy.

    VW diesel engines FRAUD proves beyond all doubt that Auto Manufacturers are liars. There is another 40 years of History as well that proves this fact.

    RE: “are out of step with consumer preferences” ?

    I say SCREW ignorant self-centered uninformed and irresponsible CONSUMER PREFERENCES

    …. I say SCREW their deluded ideas about their Freedom of Choice and their deluded beliefs they have a God-given Right to BUY whatever they want and to USE as much as they want.

    All these things are mythical false ideological beliefs that are illogical, irrational, and unrealistic deluded crap.

    So is the idea that a Carbon Tax – a Price on Carbon – a F&D is an absolutely necessary part of reducing fossil fuel emissions!

  15. 165
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    141 – We simply cannot allow Bob Walker to axe Nasa’s climate research budget.”

    LOL! What are you planning to do about it?

    Nothing? Gonna write a stern letter to your local newspaper?

    Set some tires on fire?

    You had your chance, and you blew it.

    Now you can take it up the ass because it is what Americans – who are now clearly too stupid to select rational governorship, deserve.

    If the employees of NASA have any self respect, they will quit their jobs en mass throughout the organization the moment the de-funding is announced.

    This election shows that on average, Americans have no self respect.

  16. 166
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    153 – “It was estimated that the replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluoros (almost as efficient as LEDs) in Australia reduced its CO2 emissions by about 0.1%”

    I reduced my CO2 emissions by about 6% by switching.

    Perhaps your numbers are coming from your backside, or somewhere equally reputable.

  17. 167
    Sam Cherfou says:

    My understanding is that the unrealised global warming for this century is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing (src:, so if we are already close to 1°C in 2016, it is obvious that we have already passed the 1.5°C unless we are able to actively remove GHG from the athmosphere.

  18. 168
    Bruce G Frykman says:

    Trump has appointed an oil man to head the EPA, Soon the coal companies will be reopening and the USA will be on a fast catch up program with the rest of the world with coal fired electrical generation turbines.

    Its going to be an energy Renaissance in the USA. The tax credits required to get electricity production to that needed for industrial growth will be funded by closing “earth sciences” at NASA, NOAA, and NCAR.

    Climate science can survive as an underground movement that runs on contributions from school paper sales, cake walks and such. The science will be vastly purified by getting it out of the hands of politicians and its “addiction” to taxpayer cash. This will be a good thing.

    Great news for a brand new age.

  19. 169
    Thomas says:

    163 Kevin McKinney
    “but if you accept that people will change their energy use based on price”

    I don’t.

    A thousand times I do not! Government Regulation of anything connected with Fossil Fuels is the ONLY rational response today.

    While some will change their energy use/behaviour/choices due to price — the majority have no such options.

    All the carbon taxes in the world 10% 20% 50% and still people will have no choice or affordable options to change what energy they buy and how much they use.

    Did you read what I said $100/ton F&D will do to the total Coal price per ton ….. you seriously imagine this is globally acceptable and all the Trade adjustments will work like a finely tuned guitar?

    If it was 1992 and we had all the time in the world, in a world where everyone had already bought into and accepted AGW/CC as real and urgent – THEN a F&D system would have been a good way to start and integrate in with tighter regulations and restrictions on FF resources …. but Kevin, it is not 1992 – it is almost 2017 with only 8 years left before the globe burns up it’s remaining Carbon Budget to remain under 1.5/2C …. like hello?

    Mark my words — global REGULATION of fossil fuels resources will kick in the moment the shit hits the fan. Between now and then no significant Carbon Tax / F&D will EVER BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE USA ….. the nation that is headlong gobbling up every single day 25% the remaining Carbon Budget OF THE WORLD.

    I feel sorry for people like you and BPL here. imho you are incapable of thinking for yourselves …. which pretty much nails almost all the USA Voters the same.

    I don’t care about your complaints nor if you can’t read my posts – you wouldn’t understand the content no matter who wrote it or how it was presented imo.

    But as they say, whatever. :-)

  20. 170
    Thomas says:

    People are simply blinded by myths and a lack of factual knowledge.

    The study estimated that the residential sector energy
    consumption in 1990 was about 299 petajoules (PJ)
    (electricity, gas, LPG and wood) and that by 2008 this had
    grown to about 402 PJ and is projected to increase to 467
    PJ by 2020 under the current trends. This represents a
    56% increase in residential sector energy consumption over
    he period 1990 to 2020.
    This increase coincides with a
    continuing trend towards an increased proportion of the total
    residential energy demand being met by electricity (which
    currently has a high greenhouse gas intensity) and a decrease
    in the use of wood (with a low greenhouse gas intensity).
    Although this study does not calculate the greenhouse
    emissions, it is likely that this predicted growth in energy use
    in the residential sector will result in a significant growth in
    greenhouse gas emissions.

    NOTE: During this period of time energy such as Electricity Prices continued to INCREASE.
    Higher Prices have NOT reduced CONSUMPTION in total nor by avg household.
    Which part of this fact do people NOT understand?
    Electricity Prices have increased for both commercial and residential users for multiple reasons far MORE than a Carbon Tax would have increased them.

    And still they have NOT reduced their consumption of electricity from the Grid.

    Roof solar residents about to have the Feed-in Tariffs cut from a govt regulated subsidy initially at 60 cents/KwH down to 3 cents on January 1st. Hello?

    more quotes:

    The contribution of electricity to total residential energy
    consumption is predicted to increase from 46% in 1990 to
    53% in 2020.


    Growth in electrical appliance energy consumption was
    the largest among major end-uses and was estimated to
    increase from 70.5 PJ in 1990 to 169.4 PJ in 2020, which
    represents an increase of 4.7% per annum. By 2020 energy
    use by electrical appliances is forecast to almost match
    space heating as the largest single energy end use in the
    average Australian household.


    Space conditioning
    Energy demand for heating and cooling is projected to
    increase despite the introduction of minimum building shell
    performance standards in all jurisdictions. The main factors
    driving this trend are …. see the ref pg X


    Since the early 1990s the average energy consumption of
    new refrigerators and freezers has improved significantly,
    with a 40% reduction from 1993 to 2006 (EES 2006). These
    improvements have been driven by both the energy labelling
    program and by the introduction of MEPS requirements in
    1999 followed by more stringent levels in 2005. The 2005
    MEPS levels will continue to place downward pressure on
    energy growth for these products over the study period


    Figure 5: Trends in Residential Total Energy Consumption – Australia (EES)

    see page 20

    Get real and realize that NOTHING is being done to effectively and significantly drive down energy consumption anywhere …. and that a Carbon Tax or F&D or an ETS will NOT do anything to help the situation one bit.

    Increasing Prices for Electricity supply since 1990 HAS NOT changed people’s behavior (The Market Demand) in the use of energy nor purchasing choices

    Consumption continues to rise unabated.

    I highly recommend ignoring facts like this report … unless it is ignored it will create too much Cognitive Dissonance and further complaints about my writing style ….

    Whatever :-)

  21. 171
    zebra says:

    Chris ONeil 153,

    Your comment makes no sense, even if you weren’t producing some phony number with no source.

    I gave the example of LED to illustrate how government can effect large change with minimal intervention, by promoting technological innovation. There are many others, historically.

    Invoking the Nirvana Fallacy is a pretty tired Denialist ploy at this point; is that the best you can do?

  22. 172
    steve says:

    You refer to “basic democracy”. What country(s) are you referring to? Most western countries are Republics. People elect representatives to represent their interests and vote them out when they do not act in their interests. Kinda like what happened in the USA a few weeks ago. After all the “Global Warming” propaganda, voters in the USA ranked “Global Warming” as less important than getting transgender bathrooms. By the way, the Greeks tried Democracy once several thousands of years ago, but only wealthy land owning males got to vote.

  23. 173
    Jim Eager says:

    Bruce Frykman, earth’s climate system doesn’t give a rat’s a__ who is president, who heads the EPA or what happens at NASA, NOAA or NCAR. It’s just going to keep on responding to the continued rise in atmospheric CO2 that we humans are causing. And make no mistake, that response is not going to be a good thing for us humans or for your so-called “brand new age.” Nature always bats last, so gloat away while you can.

  24. 174
    Thomas says:

    The Century of the Self – 4 x 1 hr
    Marketing Politics and the Economy 1920s to 2000

    Hooray for Freedom and Democracy – the Human Right to be Manipulated and Lied to.

  25. 175
    Thomas says:

    RE 163 Kevin McKinney says:
    5 Dec 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Thomas, I’m afraid your #160 is pretty much unreadable–lengthy, unfocussed and much given to unpleasant outbreaks of ALL CAPS–not to mention ego. If you want me, at least, to read your ideas–which I would say appear interesting, if one could wade through them–you might try keeping it shorter, crisper, and much less rhetorical. (I suspect, FWIW, that might work for other readers here, too.)


    Comment for all – the above is the exact kind of complaints that people who find it impossible to believe that trace gases can affect global temperature say about the never ending writings and complexities and data and millions of graphs that explain CLIMATE SCIENCE — they simply cannot bring themselves to read it while claiming climate scientists and proponents are verbose unreadable extremists & unscientific loonies –
    and at worse fraudulent liars….. totally unable to have a proper coherent discussion on climate or the science.

    That’s a hint …. to anyone who cannot grasp the reason and logic and fact based comments in #160 …

  26. 176
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    165: Vendicar; I can perceive the anger behind your comments. Excellent! Now instead at directing your spleen at the people who are actually ON your cricket team, direct your energy into focussed thought and together we might come across a kernel of an idea/s that has a tangible positive outcome to the absolute madness we are witnessing from the mouths our duly elected ‘leaders?’.

  27. 177
    prokaryotes says:

    Vendicar Decarian “If the employees of NASA have any self respect, they will quit their jobs en mass throughout the organization the moment the de-funding is announced.”

    No, that would be the worst think to do. Because you should work on averting a civilization ending situation, until your last breath.

    Also you should expect the unexpected, for instance a rapidly growing climate movement, people in the streets who demand action. Maybe Donald Trump is just the right person to accomplish this (Think that way).

  28. 178
  29. 179
  30. 180
    prokaryotes says:

    This headline sums it up

    Donald Trump’s Interior Secretary Pick Doesn’t Want to Combat Climate Change

  31. 181

    T 174: Hooray for Freedom and Democracy – the Human Right to be Manipulated and Lied to.

    BPL: The implication is that T favors neither freedom, nor democracy.

  32. 182
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    181: BPL. Yes, I think you understood Thomas just fine. Any thinkers amongst us would also be seriously questioning the efficacy of democracy in these unprecedented times. We are dying as a hospitable to life planet, or hadn’t you noticed?. You yourself could easily list a plethora of reasons why that statement would be true and correct. We have all got to act now if it isn’t too late already.
    Democracy works by an agonisingly s..l..o..w process of compromise and finding the least expensive way to achieve anything. It relies on the average mensch knowing the intricacies of climate change or indeed if there is a problem at all, and choosing governmental representation to deal with the issue that doesn’t require them to pay more tax or dollars at the bowser.
    Hope you are beginning to realise how absurd this situation currently is. The USA needs a government that is above needing to compromise to other parties and can quickly inact fast needed change to combat CC head on. That sounds awfully much like a dictatorship…..SO BE IT! The world has to act decisively, immediately and in a cohesivel unity. Otherwise sooner or later there won’t be bio-structure to practice any semblance of democracy upon.

  33. 183
    Thomas says:

    181 Barton Paul Levenson lies, manipulates, distorts, creates endless illogical Straw Men fallacies, and repeatedly makes false accusations against others that are untrue:

    For example:

    T 174: Hooray for Freedom and Democracy – the Human Right to be Manipulated and Lied to.

    BPL: The implication is that T favors neither freedom, nor democracy.

    No BPL, the implication is that you are a biased disordered deceitful sophist who is incapable of rational thought or discussions that embrace maths, evidence, facts, history, accounting or known reality.

    Go watch that doco my dear dimwitted defamer.

  34. 184

    T 183: Barton Paul Levenson lies, manipulates, distorts, creates endless illogical Straw Men fallacies, and repeatedly makes false accusations against others that are untrue…

    [later on:]

    you are a biased disordered deceitful sophist who is incapable of rational thought or discussions that embrace maths, evidence, facts, history, accounting or known reality.

    BPL: No comment necessary.

  35. 185

    Thomas, #169–

    163 Kevin McKinney
    “but if you accept that people will change their energy use based on price”

    I don’t.

    Which begs the questions:

    –Why do gas stations advertise prices?
    –Why do consumer buying guides analyze energy usage?
    –Why did the BC carbon tax lower emissions?

    As Ricky Ricardo used to say, “You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

  36. 186

    #175, Thomas–

    LOL. The resemblance between your incoherent ramblings and a scientific paper are–shall we say, ‘pretty easy to miss?’

  37. 187
    Hank Roberts says:

    Thomas, you know the game called “let’s you and him fight”?
    It’s very seductive to those who know they are of the progressive vanguard.
    Don’t fall for it.

    Most of your friends on this issue are a lot older than you are and have seen this kind of ‘circular firing squad’ name-calling happen before.

    You could learn some science and get more attention for the politics. Seriously, it’d help.

  38. 188
    Jon Kirwan says:

    Well, it’s not a surprise to me: Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump. I’d probably be packing my bags or else finding research work in areas of my core talents where the funding will still likely exist (and then not expect to return to the climate science field as that would take a while to re-master a comprehensive view, again.) I think it’s an act of professional suicide to stick it out in circumstances where you are likely to find little to no active research work for an entire 4-yr period, and possibly still longer. Twiddling thumbs, complaining, and not publishing isn’t workable.

  39. 189
    Thomas says:

    Time will tell who has the basics down pat here. So, mark my words :)
    eg. save the web page and check back again in 5 yrs to 10 yrs from now.

    Meanwhile Lawrence the Aussie has his head screwed on. :-)

    Happy Holidays

  40. 190
    Thomas says:

    I’m far from being a lone voice on this topic.

    full interview on RT

    Ya can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink. Luckily I am not trying to make anyone do or believe anything. I’m simply sharing some accumulated info that is already ‘out there.’ :-)

  41. 191
    Thomas says:

    EXtract from Kevin Anderson about the Paris Agreement & alternative mitigation strategies already available now:

    With CO2 emissions in 2015 over 60% higher than at the time of the first IPCC report in 1990, the carbon budget for 1.5°C has been all but eliminated. However, reducing emissions in line with 2°C does remain a viable goal – just. But rather than rely on tenuous post-2050 BECCS, this alternative approach begs immediate and profound political, economic and social questions; questions that undermine a decade of mathematically nebulous green-growth and win-win rhetoric.

    Not surprisingly this alluring rhetoric has been embraced by many of those in positions of power; all the more so as it has been promulgated by two influential groups.

    First, those, typically but not exclusively economists, who work on the premise that physical reality and the laws of thermodynamics are subservient to the ephemeral rules of today’s economic paradigm.

    And second, those vested interests desperate to preserve the status quo, but prepared to accept an incremental tweak to ‘business as usual’ as a sop to meaningful action (e.g. the opportunist enthusiasm of ‘progressive’ oil companies for “oh-so-clean” gas over “dirty & nasty” coal).

    But move away from the cosy tenets of contemporary economics and a suite of alternative opportunities for delivering the deep and early reductions in emissions necessary to stay within 2°C budgets come into focus.

    Demand-side technologies, behaviours and habits all are amenable to significant and rapid change – and guided by stringent policies could drive emissions down in the near-term. Combine this with an understanding that just 10% of the global population are responsible for around 50% of total emissions and the rate and scope of what is possible if we genuinely thought climate change was an important issue becomes evident.

    Imagine the Paris 2°C goal was sacrosanct. A 30% reduction in global emissions could be delivered in under a year, simply by constraining the emissions of that 10% responsible for half of all global CO2 to the level of a typical European.

    Clearly such a level is far from impoverished, and certainly for 2°C reductions in energy demand would need to go much further and be complemented with a Marshall-style transition to zero-carbon energy supply.

    Nevertheless, such an early and sizeable reduction is in stark contrast to the Paris Agreement’s presumption that ‘ambitious mitigation’ out to 2030 can only deliver around 2% p.a. (with negative emissions technologies in 2050 compensating for the relative inaction today).


    So why was this real opportunity for deep and early mitigation muscled out by the economic bouncers in Paris? No doubt there are many elaborate and nuanced explanations – but the headline reason is simple.

    In true Orwellian style, the political and economic dogma that has come to pervade all facets of society must NOT be questioned.

    For many years having the audacity to suggest that the carbon budgets associated with 2°C cannot be reconciled with green growth oratory have been quashed by those eloquent big guns of academia who spend more time in government minister’s offices than they do in the laboratory or lecture room. [end quotes]

    Note: Gullibility is a failure of ’social intelligence’ in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action.

    The Post-Crash Economics Society (PCES) have produced a compelling analysis of the failings in economics education and set out a road map for reform.


    Experts are essential in the modern world but arguably, in the case of economics, they have overreached themselves, undermining democracy and fueling popular discontent in the process.

    The political system we have at present is what we’ve termed an ‘econocracy’: a society in which political goals are defined in terms of their effect on the economy;

    and the economy itself is believed to be a distinct system with its own logic that requires experts to manage it.

    An econocracy has all the formal institutions of a representative democracy, but public economic discussion is conducted in a language few understand, while economic policy-making is viewed as a technical rather than a political process.

    Since economics has a direct effect on peoples’ lives, this leads to a disconnect between those versed in the language and the majority of citizens who are not.

    The foundations of econocracy lie in the increasing importance of the idea of the economy in public life over the 20th century. As the figure below shows, the idea of the economy in its modern use only began to appear in party manifestos in the 1950s.

    and consider the above in light of 20th century Political History
    aka Government by Focus Groups and Marketers or
    All four parts to the documentary series The Century Of The Self:
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:
    Part 4:

    Bill Hick’s rational evidence based views about Marketing and Advertising :-)

  42. 192
    Thomas says:

    O.T. but somewhat related to issues about Trump and the US presidency in general; and what the future portends – eg post Germany terror attack and Russian Ambassadors being gunned down. I pass this on because there are at least quite intelligent people who read this blog.

    How can Russia be accused of ‘hacking the DNC’ when the material taken from the DNC during the election was an insider LEAK which was then passed onto to Wikileaks?

    How can Russia be accused of ‘hacking emails’ when Podesta was caught in an email Phishing Sting and he was the only fool to fall for it out of hundreds of people?

    A 13 year old could have achieved the same result and handed the emails over to Wikileaks.

    Evidence, evidence, everyone talks about the CIA/NSA/FBI evidence that ‘proves hacking’ was carried out by Russia under direction of Putin personally … and I say what evidence have you seen?

    I’ll tell you – zero none nada zip. The very same level of evidence Suddam had nuke missiles ready to fire on europe with an hours notice.

    Rule #1 is that Scientists follow the evidence – keep doing so – and do not believe anything anyone – and I really mean anyone – says is true without it.

    Best wishes to all – happy holidays – enjoy it (as there’s no guarantees it’ll roll around next year as normal)

  43. 193
    Thomas says:

    I was reminded of an old article by James Hansen esquire:

    Isolation of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Part I
    27 November 2015
    “This summer, after submitting the paper, my supporter tried valiantly, but dolefully reported that he could not get through, the President was too well protected. Not so easily deterred, I reported the matter to Obama’s Science Adviser, John Holdren, and sent him my Ice Melt paper. Holdren responded that it was a valuable paper, but he ignored my request to meet the President.

    “Yet Obama is not proposing the action required for the essential change in energy policy direction, even though it would make economic sense for developed and developing countries alike, especially for the common person.
    How can such miserable failure of political leadership be explained, when Obama genuinely wants climate policy to be one of his legacy issues? Don’t blame it on the fossil fuel industry; many industry leaders are beginning to say sensible things about the direction needed. And Obama is in his final political office – he could act – he does not need oil industry money.”

    “A prelude of Paris deceit is shown by Chart 3, a press conference with John Podesta, once czar of Obama’s climate policy, and Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz. They express optimism on the Paris summit, citing an agreement of the U.S. and China to work together to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS). That spin is so gross, it is best described as unadulterated 100% pure bullshit.”

    read it all here:

    After 8 years of warnings about the Democrats and Obama suddenly it’s all Trump’s fault and the pro-agw/cc action players are only now really going to get serious?

    It’d be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  44. 194
    Thomas says: