Four scientists: Global Warming Out, Global Cooling In

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Alan Lammey, Texas Energy Analyst, Houston

Four scientists, four scenarios, four more or less similar conclusions without actually saying it outright — the global warming trend is done, and a cooling trend is about to kick in. The implication: Future energy price response is likely to be significant.

Late last month, some leading climatologists and meteorologists met in New York at the Energy Business Watch Climate and Hurricane Forum. The theme of the forum strongly suggested that a period of global cooling is about emerge, though possible concerns for a political backlash kept it from being spelled out.

However, the message was loud and clear, a cyclical global warming trend may be coming to an end for a variety of reasons, and a new cooling cycle could impact the energy markets in a big way.

Words like “highly possible,” “likely” or “reasonably convincing” about what may soon occur were used frequently. Then there were other words like “mass pattern shift” and “wholesale change in anomalies” and “changes in global circulation.”

Noted presenters, such as William Gray, Harry van Loon, Rol Madden and Dave Melita, signaled in the strongest terms that huge climate changes are afoot. Each weather guru, from a different angle, suggested that global warming is part of a cycle that is nearing an end. All agreed the earth is in a warm cycle right now, and has been for a while, but that is about to change significantly.

However, amid all of the highly suggestive rhetoric, none of the weather and climate pundits said outright that a global cooling trend is about to replace the global warming trend in a shift that could begin as early as next year.

Van Loon spoke about his theories of solar storms and how, combined with, or because of these storms, the Earth has been on a relative roller coaster of climate cycles. For the past 250 years, he said, global climate highs and lows have followed the broad pattern of low and high solar activity. And shorter 11-year sunspot cycles are even more easily correlated to global temperatures.

It was cooler from 1883 to 1928 when there was low solar activity, he said, and it has been warmer since 1947 with increased solar activity.

“We are on our way out of the latest (warming) cycle, and are headed for a new cycle of low (solar) activity,” van Loon said. “There is a change coming. We may see 180-degree changes in anomalies during high and low sunspot periods. There were three global climate changes in the last century, there is a change coming now.”

Meanwhile, Madden noted that while temperature forecasts longer than one to two weeks out has improved, “what has really gotten much better is climate forecasting … predicting the change in the mean,” he said.

And the drivers impacting climate suggest a shift to cooler sea surface temperatures, he said.

Perhaps the best known speaker was Colorado State University’s Gray, founder of the school’s famed hurricane research team. Gray spoke about multi-decade periods of warming and cooling and how global climate flux has been the norm for as long as there have been records.

Gray has taken quite a bit of political heat for insistence that global warming is not a man-made condition. Man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is negligible, he said, compared to the amount of CO2 Mother Nature makes and disposes of each day or century.

“We’ve reached the top of the heat cycle,” he said. “The next 10 years will be hardly any warmer than the last 10 years.”

Finally, climate scientist Melita spoke of a new phase in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

“I’m looking at a new, cold-negative phase, though it won’t effect this summer, fall or winter ’08,” he said.

Conference host, analyst and forecaster Andy Weissman closed the conference by addressing how natural gas prices and policy debates would be impacted by a possible climate shift that could leave the market short gas.

This would be especially problematic if gas use for power generation were substantially increased at the expense of better alternatives.

“If we’re about to shift into another natural climate cycle, we can’t do it without coal-fired generation. So the policy debate has to change,” he said. “Coal has to be back on the table if we’re ever going to meet our energy needs.”

As for natural gas: “Next year, may see a bit of price softening,” Weissman said. “After that, fogetaboutit!”.

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214 thoughts on “Four scientists: Global Warming Out, Global Cooling In

  1. Looks like at least some businessmen are more interested in an unbiased look at the climate than just a rehash of political correctness. After all, the decisions they have to make today must be based on what the future holds and it’s tough to base such decisions on a love for a particular theory. Let’s just hope that the cooling isn’t too severe or long-lasting.

    I can understand the way the experts qualified their projections. I think it’s becoming obvious that the climate system is much more complicated than AGW proponents would have us believe. As an example, here’s something I said on another blog about the effect of aerosols. A study done over the Indian Ocean to assess the impact of the aerosols drifting down from the Indian subcontinent came up with what appears to be a counterintuitive result. They found that the pollution was resulting in warming rather than the expected cooling. This appears to be a regional effect. {Wish I could find that study now.} This suggests that even with something as simple as aerosols a great deal more study is needed to determine how and why they impact climate. The Indian study suggested that the aerosols impacted cloud formation and water droplet formation in the clouds. This just demonstrates that understanding the mechanisms affecting climate are far more complex than AGW proponents would have us believe. Perhaps the aerosols that were in the atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere from 1940 to 1970 actually lessened the cooling that occurred and their removal happened just at the time that the climate again started to warm due to increased solar activity. The problem with AGW theory is that it treats the climate system as existing almost in a steady state and any warming that happens is a result of increases in a minor trace gas {CO2}. We’ve still got a very long way to go.

  2. I only wish that one of Al (I play a scientist on TV) Gore’s vacation houses gets a ton of snow on his roof this winter on one of his vacation houses (in Maui?) and it caves in!

  3. Pingback: Global Warming Out; Global Cooling In?

  4. The energy industry would be most interested in what climate is going to do because it impacts demand for their products.

  5. It should be noted that the energy industries don’t really care whether their products are used for air-conditioning in a warming scenario, or heating in a cooling scenario. In business, a sale is a sale, as long as the cheque clears.

  6. Gray has taken quite a bit of political heat for insistence that global warming is not a man-made condition. Man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is negligible, he said, compared to the amount of CO2 Mother Nature makes and disposes of each day or century.

    That point has been made here repeatedly. The fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide is at the very low end of its range geologically, and has been at a concentration of many thousand parts per million for millions of years at a time in the past [compared with today's less than 400 ppm], without ever causing runaway global warming, falsifies the CO2/global warming catastrophe hypothesis being put forth by James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, the UN and many others.

    Whenever I hear anyone in the government, including NASA, GISS, etc., scaremongering about CO2, I can almost feel their hands digging around in my pockets for more loot.

    Because that’s what it’s all about, folks: your hard-earned money, and how these scam artists can get at it.

  7. As Leon clearly enunciated, predicting the course of the climate is far more complicated than the AGW crowd has believed.

    But here in Indiana we have had the coolest spring and early summer in memory. At the 4th of July parade, people were complaining because they were cold. Never happens. Least not in Indiana.

  8. There’s certainly a growing body of evidence that supports cooling. I wonder where the tipping point will be before the politicians and alarmists wake up.
    0.5°C cooler? 1.0°C cooler?

  9. Leon Brozyna:

    Good post, but those aerosols you are talking about are soot aerosols, which cool the surface on a cloudless day but warm the atmosphere. They also fall on snow and make it melt faster. However, the more common human aerosols are sulphate aerosols, which have pure cooling effects by reflecting sunlight and MAYBE making clouds brighter by making them dirtier, creating another cooling effect.
    That Indian study you are talking about is iffy, as because if it were true the lower troposphere over India and China should be warming faster, but a look at UAH temperature trends, as well as RSS trends, show that India and China have warmed much less than places devoid of significant human impact (Mongolia, North Pole, Siberia, and the Iberian Peninsula, relatively I mean) since 1978. Although the basic physics of the Asian Brown Cloud are correct, it simply does not show up well in the temperature data, especially over India which may be cooling very slightly now.
    As for this gathering of scientists, it appears that every month that passes without a clear solar minimum and start for Cycle 24, the more scientists begin to warn of global cooling. I wonder who is next?

  10. Sent to Bill Hemmer, Fox News, cc’d to Dr. James Hansen —

    I want to see honest debate in this country about global warming. The raw temperature data in the USA is down dramatically in 2008 by every measure, global temperatures have gone down for the past decade, and yet we hear extreme alarm from the lead scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University who runs the widely discredited GISS temperature measurement system. Dr. Hansen has gone so far as to call for global warming skeptics to be jailed at ABC News, in The Guardian, and at Worldwatch Institute. Dr. Hansen has also claimed that that the Bush Administration has tried to silence him.

    I’m offering to put up $10K in prize money for the following type of 1 hour debate between Dr. Hansen v. the Author of http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/about/ and former 25 year television meteorologist. I would like to see American Idol style voting to determine the winner, multi-media presentations instead of simply two guys at podiums and the money going to the winner. The show does not need to be live, and in fact the debate can take place over a period of weeks to ensure the best multi-media presentations, arguments, and rebuttals possible – with no talking over people etc that goes with live debate. Their can be no personal attacks … just data. The debate must not include glaciers, hurricanes, polar bears, coral reefs, frogs dying out, etc. which can all have multiple causes unrelated to Global warming. The debate should be EXCLUSIVELY about the TEMPERATURE of the earth. However, the final 5 to 10 min of the show and voting should be live. Dr. Hansen does not seem to want to have real debates but has taken quite a lot of money for his speaking engagements. Hopefully FOX will have better luck.

    The topics of the debate should be

    1. The Quality of Dr. Hansen’s GISS Temperature Network which has been the dominate temperature data set of record for anthropogenic global warming advocates.
    2. The Differences between Dr. Hansen’s GISS Temperature Network v. satellite data from UAH.
    3. The Global temperature record from 1998 to 2008 as compared to Dr. Hansen’s predictions before Congress in 1998 – see graph. As you can easily see, Dr. Hansen was widely wrong as temperatures in 2008 are roughly where they were in 1988.

    (Graph from Dr. Hansen’s 1988 Congressional Hearing here)

    4. Finally, I would like Dr. Hansen to respond to the great cooling events we have seen in 2007 and 2008 and give an explanation.
    5. Both debaters should give an estimate of the expected global temperature record from now to 2018 and then out to 2118 – so we can have this debate again in 10 years.

    Sources

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/science/earth/29climate.html?ex=1296190800&en=28e236da0977ee7f&ei=5088

    http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=5228739&affil=wjla

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5798

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/23/fossilfuels.climatechange

    Here is Dr. Hansen’s contact info.
    REPLY: Here’s Dr. Hansen’s contact info –
    Dr. James E. Hansen
    Columbia University
    750 Armstrong Hall
    2880 Broadway
    New York, NY 10025 USA
    Phone: (212) 678-5500

  11. It should be noted that the energy industries don’t really care whether their products are used for air-conditioning in a warming scenario, or heating in a cooling scenario. In business, a sale is a sale, as long as the cheque clears.

    It should be noted that they have to care because air conditioning is driven by electricity while heating is generally driven by natural gas or oil. Also, there are locations which generally need one, but not the other. So knowing what’s going to happen determines which energy company needs to be ready to supply which product to which location.

  12. I wonder if this will lead to a new class of deniers. If these projections come true, how long before a set of “New Deniers” arises to carry on denying that the earth is cooling off?

    There were some who denied that the earth was warming at all, even into the late 90’s, because for them it had become political the moment the Greens took an interest. Only later in the game did they shift to denying only the man-made aspect.

    Will we see the mirror image of that from the Greens now? I’ve already had a couple of conversations that foreshadow this. The conversations went like this: “So you deny Global Warming?” Me: “Not while it was warming up I didn’t. Do you deny that its starting to cool back off?

    Try it, the stunned stares are worth it. Have one of Anthony’s 2002-present temperature trend charts handy. I know that its statistically premature to be using those things, but where I live I’m surrounded by AGW missionaries, and sometimes I just can’t help myself.

    REPLY: Let’s leave the word “deniers” off this website, no matter who we are speaking of. The term was coined referring to “holocaust deniers”. In science, there is no room for such labels, no matter what side of the debate you are on. “Skeptic” is the better word. – Anthony

  13. Speaking of the energy sector and energy gurus… Has anyone seen the TV spots that T. Boone Pickens is running on a plan to increase the amount of wind power and replace oil with natural gas as a transportation fuel?

  14. I doubt that anyone on either side of the debate has any clue what will happen more than about a week out. Enough with the long range predictions. They are a complete waste of time, no matter who they come from.

    REPLY: I was thinking the very same thing right after I posted this. I’m inclined to agree. We think we know a lot about earths’ atmospheric and oceanic systems, yet new things are discovered daily. We think we know a lot about the sun’s mechanisms, yet it continues to give us surprising behavior that doesn’t follow solar cycle predictions.

    Nature is more complex than many choose to admit. Simple models that don’t consider chaos and complex nonlinear systems just don’t cut it. Man has a tendency by his own arrogance to believe that he can fully understand and conquer nature. Yet if nature wishes to conquer man, she has only to flex a finger the barest of movement. – Anthony

  15. Walter Dnes (09:48:40)

    That’s true enough: “a sale is a sale”.

    But, it’s easier and more profitable if the object being sold can be transported or delivered without having to deal with crappy weather.
    As we have seen this year, cooler temperatures bring some really weird and unpleasant conditions.

  16. From another angle: even with all of their very dedicated machinations directed solely at “proving” global warming, etc., the ipcc Climate Scientists have had such a difficult time even in trying to establish much of a significant “global warming” trend per se that one would tend to get the idea that we are instead in some kind of plateau phase regarding these temperatures – at best.

    In my experience, people who think like the ipcc Climate Scientists – that is, unscientifically/subrationally, especially in service of a political agenda or extreme psychological need – not only usually get things wrong, they often get them exactly 180 degrees wrong. So I’m going to be moderately surprised if the global climate doesn’t cool – with the disclaimer that, since the ipcc Climate Scientists are not doing Science to begin with, anything they predict or say is going on now globally – such as catestrophic runaway anthropogenic global warming – has only a [very low] random chance of becoming or being true, so that it’s exact opposite has a similarily less chance of becoming or being true.

    Regardless, if the ipcc Climate Scientists had instead done things scientifically, the World of People would have been in a better position by now to decide what doing the right thing for People and the rest of the World – including the “World” itself – actually might be.

  17. Flowers4Stalin

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Another thing about that Indian study is that it involved the aerosols drifting off the Indian subcontinent over the Maldives, rather than over India itself or drifting toward China. The vast cloud apparently only covered the northern portion of the Maldives, where it seemed the temperatures were warmer than the southern part of the Maldives. If I remember correctly, the main focus of the study was to judge the effect of aerosols on precipitation patterns (their seasonal monsoons) and the temperature finding was an unexpected dividend.

    I had another thought about possible effects of aerosols during the cooling that happened between 1940 and 1970. If {and that’s a very big if} the aerosols of the period had had a warming effect, rather than the usually expected cooling effect and lessened naturally cooling that may have happened in that period, then the climate would have been warmer than it would have been normally were it not for the aerosols and, as the climate then turned back to warming just as the aerosols were removed, the resulting bounce would be even greater than expected.

    Oh what a complicated web we weave with so many variables.

    While I may be a skeptic and doubt the significance of CO2 as a major player in climate variability, I do think we need to keep working to reduce real pollutants. My personal view is that it’s been a mistake to give utilities so much leeway in grandfathering them from current pollution {aerosol} standards.

  18. I guess I’ll always listen to what T. Boone has to say. He’s been around the oil patch a while and has done his share of Wildcatting. Doesn’t strike me as a guy that could easily be fooled.

    Maybe he has an angle on the wind turbine farms. I forget the dollar number. But, he’s throwing some big bucks at it. The little I’ve read about them, most recently at the EU Referendum Blog, indicated they’re very expensive to construct and high maintenance. The wind has to be blowing too. Some other kind of power generation has to be spooled up and running to take up the slack when the wind stops.

    Several post at EU Referendum on wind turbines. They don’t think much of them at all.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/search?q=wind+turbine

  19. Drew Latta (10:57:47) :

    Speaking of the energy sector and energy gurus… Has anyone seen the TV spots that T. Boone Pickens is running on a plan to increase the amount of wind power and replace oil with natural gas as a transportation fuel?

    Pickens is promoting wind power because he’s gobbling up the water rights in the Texas panhandle; he’s getting the rights-of-way for his water pipeline to Dallas, and mainly for P.R. purposes, he’s putting windmills on the easements he took from the local ranchers. The windmills won’t make much money, if any. But the water will.

    Pickens is a smart guy, but what he’s doing is entirely self-serving. Pay no attention to his song and dance about wind power. Business Week has a recent article on Pickens and his current water/wind scheme: click here.

  20. Has anyone seen the TV spots that T. Boone Pickens is running on a plan to increase the amount of wind power and replace oil with natural gas as a transportation fuel?

    I never did like him. Shallow. In Eisenhower’s quaint phrase, “He’s thin, boys. As thin as piss on a hot rock.”

  21. Pachauri supports the Indian energy plan which is pro-development. He has wondered out loud if ‘someone didn’t get their sums wrong’ about the IPCC conception of the Greenhouse Effect. I think he’s figured out that the role of CO2 in climate has been overestimated and its boon to the poor underestimated, and may be about to turn the IPCC around on the issue of carbon encumbering. It is in politicians’ better interests to free carbon if the world is cooling long term, and they will all come to realize it.
    =====================================

  22. Right, Joe S, T-Bone has been around the Oil Patch long enough to accrue huge interests in natural gas. Also, electrifying where there ain’t any moisture won’t work, and he knows, but hopes you don’t, that transporting electricity is a lot more expensive than transporting natural gas.
    ==================================

  23. Leon Brozyna:

    There was a scientist Patrick Michaels mentioned some years ago (it may have been 2001) that said the warming and cooling effects of human produced aerosols in the troposphere are a wash, because half cause cooling (sulphate) and half cause warming (soot). I have seen a study that says the brown cloud over India and China affects atmospheric circulation and moves precipitation systems to the tropics, cooling them. However, there is another scientist named Stephen Schwartz who says there are major uncertain factors about sulphate aerosols, because he thinks that if enough get into enough clouds and brighten them, there could be significant human induced cooling that is dominant over other human factors, because cloud cover and types of clouds are a crucial, fundamental part of global climate. Of course, Schwartz’s studies are very uncertain because no one has been able to point to a bright cloud and say “Aha! That cloud is bright because of human sulphate aerosols!”

    One more thing: aerosols that wildfires send into the atmosphere create a “nuclear winter” on the surface, but ONLY if there are no low-level clouds, or else they would be driven away and cause net warming, especially in the atmosphere. This “nuclear winter” happens in Southern California during Santa Ana season, and produces cooling because there are never low-level clouds during Santa Ana wind events. The cooling can be enough to eliminate air conditioning for a day and prevent record high temperatures during the day, but may trap more heat at night, but the overall effect is probably cooling.

  24. Housing prices in Florida are low, no state income tax, no oil fired furnaces, lots of fishing and golf ….. might be time for ya’ll to c’mon down!

  25. I’m of the belief that the leaders of the AGW movement and those politicos pushing hard for policy change and carbon taxes have known for years that the cooling pattern would occur in the next decade or so. I think the plan all along has been to then point to the cooling period as evidence that policy change (Kyoto, et al) did indeed work. It would only make any subsequent policy change all the easier, and capitalism would suffer hugely – the intended result. But alas, Kyoto nor any other significant policy change has occurred, and global cooling is showing up slightly earlier than expected. Hopefully, the data of the next few years lends itself to a “game, set, match” conclusion to this tremendously misguided initiative.

  26. Pickens is self-serving? So what? I hope his plan works and he makes a few billion more. The value to him may be profit, the value to the nation would be reduced energy imports.

    What he proposes won’t cost much to prove or disprove because it isn’t dependent upon any new technology. Wind power isn’t new, neither is using CNG in vehicles. NG is already piped to most of the country so a new distribution network isn’t needed.

    And worrying the cost of electrical transmission is needless. You simply don’t build if the transmission distance will be too far. And it may very well be in some cases. He isn’t saying his plan is universal and will cover the entire country.

    DOE and scientists will oppose this. It contains nothing that must be studied for a decade or two before anything is done.

  27. I doubt that anyone on either side of the debate has any clue what will happen more than about a week out. Enough with the long range predictions. They are a complete waste of time, no matter who they come from.
    The AGWers predictions have certainly proven worthless, being based on the false premise that C02 drives climate. But, that won’t stop them from making their hysterical predictions.
    Predictions based on solar science do seem sound, and correlate well to our climate history (whereas the AGW hypothesis does not). Only time will tell, of course. But, significant cooling looks very likely, and indeed, it appears the cooling has already begun.

  28. I hope “Watts Up With That” readers will forgive me for two sins; first for posting off topic, and second for being a bit slow on the uptake, as this court ruling happened in April of 2007. In any event the Supreme Court ruled last year that the EPA should regulate carbon dioxide. http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

    There are at least two problems with the courts thinking:

    1) First of all it seems that the court is of the opinion that carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas:
    (From PG 7 of PDF file)
    “A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related. For when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, it acts like the ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and retarding the escape of reflected heat. It is therefore a species—the most important species—of a “greenhouse gas.” (emphasis mine)

    Of course readers of this forum are well aware that water vapor is a much more important greenhouse gas, although water vapor is not even mentioned in the court’s opinion. So it seems that the court is not aware of the facts.

    2) The court has determined that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act’s definition:
    (From PG 32 of PDF file)
    “The statutory text forecloses EPA’s reading. The Clean Air Act’s sweeping definition of “air pollutant” includes “any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air . . . .” §7602(g) (emphasis added). On its face, the definition embraces all airborne compounds of whatever stripe, and underscores that intent through the repeated use of the word “any.”25 Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons are without a doubt “physical [and] chemical . . . substance[s] which [are] emitted into . . . the ambient air.” The statute is unambiguous.26””

    Apparently the court is unaware that water vapor would also meet that definition and could also be called a “pollutant”.
    So the court has specifically determined carbon dioxide to be a pollutant despite the fact that it is a naturally occurring substance and is essential for all plant life. Additionally by the court’s interpretation, water vapor could also be determined to be a pollutant in spite of the fact that it is crucial for all life on land. (No water vapor = no rain)

  29. I don’t believe in AGW gloom and doom and very not likely to believe in global cooling catastrophe.

    Throughout history mankind has been preoccupied by climate/weather event.
    In North America the local population believe that ritual dance could bring rain when suffering from drought. In other part of the world there were sacrifices of animals, and in at least one instances of famine, the local clergy believe that a hunger strike from the population was a good idea (I’m not making that up).

    In our days, it is all about the computer god and co2. Just has the dances did nothing to influence climate, the ridiculous amount of co2 in the atmosphere woud do any good to climate /weather event.

  30. I agree with the first part of Bruce Cobb’s statement that AGW predictions of the climate are essentially worthless. However, he is overly optimistic in terms of predicting climate based on the Sun’s recent and expected behavior. The Sun’s behaviour is notoriously difficult to predict – the NASA panel in 2007 was totally split about the timing and strength of the imminent Solar Cycle 24 and while there is statistical correlation between the Sun’s behavior and the climate these correlations are by no means foolproof and 100% correct. Let us not make the mistake that the AGW people made and declare that we have a total understanding of the climate because some of the indicators point in a particular direction.

  31. T. Boone Pickens – He is rigth about one thing. $700,000,000,000.00 PER YEAR transfer of wealth to other nations is not healthy for us. That’s alot of jobs and tax revenue.

  32. A couple of comments about what is being discussed:

    1. If CO2 is a pollutant, and, since I personally emit CO2 every few seconds, then the EPA is going to regulate each me? Perhaps each of us will have to file for a permit to breath? Is not this the logical conclusion to draw from this assumption, I mean if one really believes CO2 is pollution, one would have to logically control all sources of this horrible pollutant? (IMHO: CO2 is plant food, and not a pollutant)

    2. I also emit H2O, especially when doing my yard work. So will I need a second permit?

    3. What if my wife and I want to have a child? Will we have to file an environmental impact statement and get another permit?

    4. About Picken’s plan. If wind generated electricity is cheaper than what I pay now, bring it on. Otherwise, I don’t see the point of lowering everyone’s standard of living. Same with Solar. The engineering limitations are not my concern – both would need to be coupled with an energy storage mechanism to even out the supply (think pumping water uphill into a reservoir using excess electricity and releasing the stored water as needed to make up for shortfalls). But why would I want to pay more for electricity – I already pay $0.17/kwh. I’m happy with coal, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal – doesn’t matter to me, just use what is the most economical and I’m happy – no taxpayer subsidies please.

    5. What is it about some people who insist on lowering everyone’s standard of living and attempting to dictate to everyone else what they can and cannot do? Is freedom that difficult of a concept to grasp? I won’t live in a dense urban area, in a 500 sq ft apartment and only allowed to walk or bicycle to where I want to go – and I sure won’t be made to do it. If other’s choice that lifestyle, that is their free choice, but not mine.

    6. Some think AGW is about separating us from our hard earned money, and it is, but it is also about separating us from our freedom and rights granted from God, not man.

  33. One feedback mechanism which I have not seen discussed here is the one in which ocean warming causes the release of methane from methyl hydrate which would then cause even more warming. How does one refute this argument? Other than the fact that it requires the ocean to heat up first?

  34. Not surprized at all that the idea of cooling is alive and well behind closed doors, because industry will always be the best barometer of what is afoot. It’s rather like the way nuclear power got onto the table here in Australia – behind closed doors. That’s where most decisions are made aren’t they? Matty

  35. Pingback: Real Scientists Speak Up On… Global Cooling? | And Still I Persist

  36. I wonder where the tipping point will be before the politicians and alarmists wake up.

    Pierre, the tipping point may very well be a point in time rather than a particular temperature. It’s been nearly 3 years since Algore said we have 10 years left. There are only 3 possible scenarios for the 7 years left in that decade: it starts to warm again, it continues to cool or it remains fairly static. If the global average temperature is roughly the same in 2015 as it was in 1988, I doubt that the few warmers left will be taken very seriously by anyone.

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  38. People are keep buying stock analysis software that supposedly can predict the market. Climatologists create climate models that supposedly predict the future climate. Both are highly complex systems with highly uncertain boundary and parameter values. Both are useful research tools and neither is good at providing accurate results for the far future. People seem to want to believe that they can know the future be it by software, i-ching, or chicken entrails.

    Science has always been about accurate measurement, refining the value of things, ensuring the correctness of an experiment, repeatability. This seems to have become lost in the present age. Just keep going till you get a result that supports your dogma.

  39. statePoet1775, we know methane levels in the atmosphere haven’t been rising for 10 years. Note the interesting correlation with observed temperatures.

    Release of methyl hydrate as oceans and land warm, is a tipping point argument causing runaway warming.

    The best argument against it, is why didn’t it happen at the Holocene maximum when temperatures were substantially higher than at present?

    On clouds and particulates/aerosols: Clouds have a big impact on temperatures, which varies a lot by season, local climate and lattitude. Anything that affects clouds is going to affect temperatures.

    This is an interesting study from India that shows particulate pollution decreases temperatures in winter when skies are generally clear, but increases temperatures during the cloudy summer monsoon.

    Note, this is the abstract. The full study used to be available online and may still be for those interested in searching.

  40. Joe S (11:34:33), and others… True enough, Pickens has every right to make a buck, and he definitely has a head for business. As mentioned, he’s tying the wind farm thing in with the water selling to Dallas.

    He’s also using Kelo to use the takings clause for his electricity/water project to Dallas. A private corporation will be taking a whole lot of land from private property owners to sell his energy. Not to mention sucking the Ogallalla Aquifer dry, at a time when it’s already falling dramatically. Furthermore, as the Northern Panhandle (well situated for wind farms) is on the national grid, he (read the taxpayers) are going to have to pay a whole lot of cash to tie it in to the Texas grid, which is it’s own animal.

    Top it all off with the fact that he’s condemning a whole lot of land in the wind farm area, having created a whole new governmental organization. One that has five whole members. Who work for him.

    He has a big stake in this selling of the idea that we’ve already reached peak oil, and need not drill what we already have. That, and the above listed matters, make me really leery of someone doing the things he is.

  41. Dan (10:56:10) : “I wonder if this will lead to a new class of d@@@@rs skeptic. If these projections come true, how long before a set of “New D@@@@xrs Skeptics” arises to carry on d@@@ing doubt that the earth is cooling off?”

    You only need to wander to an AGW site. It’s already in progress. If you can’t find any specific mention make a post and ask about the last 10 years. They are far more emphatic in their position than one would expect from mere doubt.

  42. I don’t think many people appreciate just how devastating an unexpected north american cold snap this winter could be to the financial markets. That’s the reason I watch this story so intently.

    Natural gas supply is very closely tied to winter demand. During the summer, most of the gas produced is put into storage, except for what is used to run peak gas plants. btw, everytime a coal plant is shut down or a coal permit is denied, new natural gas plants are built to replace them. That is the only type of large scale electrical generating plant still being built today, since everything else is off the table. T Boone, notwithstanding, wind just isn’t a major player yet.

    Right now, gas storage is running about 5 % LESS than last year, even though production has gone up. (those electrical generators are burning gas that should be stored, and this is also the biggest problem with T. Boone’s CNG idea) The amount of nat gas storage is closely tied to expected demand from a normal winter – a warm winter produces lower demand and dropping prices, a colder than normal winter will rapidly put nat gas into a shortage situation, and since supply depends on the previous years storage, it is an impossible situation to remedy short term. In a harsh winter, nat gas prices, currently at about $12/mmcf, could spike to $16/mmcf and possibly even to $20/mmcf. This may not sound like much, but every heating and electrical bill in America would double from last years level the instant this happens and there is no remedy – none at all – in the cards. Oil reacts sympathetically to nat gas prices (there is some switching that goes on, although it is limited) so even though gasoline usage is dropping a spike to $20 nat gas could easily drive oil prices up to $200/bbl midwinter, which would be the final nail in the coffin of this economy – of the world economy in general. The belief that oil and gas prices are currently in a bubble would be shattered as the financial world came to believe that $20 nat gas and $200/bbl oil were the “new normal”. The American economy, as it is currently consituted, can not function at those price levels. Someone wanted to know what would be the trigger that would clue people in that cooling is a real problem – this would be the trigger. Of course, by the time the trigger is pulled it’s far too late to avoid the consequences. In this case, the consequences would be a bullet through the heart of our current economic system.

    That’s the nightmare scenario we’re headed for this winter, and I think it has uncomfortably good odds of coming to pass.

  43. statePoet1775 (15:00:34) :

    One feedback mechanism which I have not seen discussed here is the one in which ocean warming causes the release of methane from methyl hydrate which would then cause even more warming. How does one refute this argument?

    In addition to Philip_B’s excellent answer, I would remind those who raise “what if” scenarios like this, that temperature is not the only variable; there is also hydrostatic pressure, which must be greatly reduced in order to sublimate methane ices.

  44. Philip_B wrote: “statePoet1775, we know methane levels in the atmosphere haven’t been rising for 10 years. Note the interesting correlation with observed temperatures.”

    Not exactly so. According to an article appearing at http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0423-ghg.html, “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane — potent greehouse gases — rose sharply in 2007, according to NOAA.

    The U.S. weather agency said that global levels of carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global climate change, climbed by 0.6 percent, or 19 billion tons in 2007. Methane levels increased by 27 million tons after nearly a decade with little or no increase.”

    I read a research paper on this earlier this year, but haven’t been able to locate it. More later.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  45. WWS wrote: “In a harsh winter, nat gas prices, currently at about $12/mmcf, could spike to $16/mmcf and possibly even to $20/mmcf. This may not sound like much, but every heating and electrical bill in America would double from last years level the instant this happens and there is no remedy – none at all – in the cards.”

    Peoples Gas in Northern Illinois has already warned its customers that a 25% price hike can be expected.

    Jack Koenif, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  46. Thanks for the insight on Pickens. Whatever his motivation, he seems to be the only one really talking important issues in the election year political arena.

    I don’t think the high wind percentage problem is as bad as the naysayers predict. From hearing some preliminary results on process optimization and real-time forecasting using intelligent systems and data-mining, the systems that are being used to run the current wind generating system aren’t quite to snuff and improvements could easily be made.

  47. I love that there is so much enthusiasm for renewable energy. True story, I was on a flight last year to Singapore from London and got talking to a guy on the plane called Professor David Infield, a very personable chap. He is a Professor of Renewable Energy Technologies and the University of Strathclyde. I still have his business card in my collection.

    We were casually talking about AGW theory and the impact of renewable sources would have. He stated that, for example, domestic solar panels are built to last for around 20 years, however, the energy expended to create them at present outways the benefit of the energy they save. He also pointed out that a wind turbine was not the most efficient way either. He said that after you have taken maintenace, construction, calibrating (which has to be done regularly) the beneficial energy they produce was minimal and one of the most least efficient was of generating power.

    His thoughts were that we have no real viable technology now to make the switch from fossel fuels to. Nuclear is an obvious choice and very safe choice, but the issue is how to deal with the waste in an evironmentaly friendly manor.

    Now, I just want to be very clear, I am reciting this from memory so if I have made an error in quoting David, then please forgive me.

  48. Philip B wrote: ” One feedback mechanism which I have not seen discussed here is the one in which ocean warming causes the release of methane from methyl hydrate which would then cause even more warming. How does one refute this argument?”

    Methyl Hydrates, as described by NOAA are “an ice-like crystalline mineral in which hydrocarbon gases and non-hydrocarbon gases are held within rigid cages of water molecules” (http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/
    deepeast01/background/fire/fire.html). Having said that, the oceans would have to warm up substantially to release anything, much less an abundance of methane. Additionally, the oceans have been found to be cooling, not warming.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project

    http://www.climateclinic.com

  49. Going back for a 2nd and 3rd reading of the TEA article, the scariest prediction is by David Melita…

    > Finally, climate scientist Melita spoke of a
    > new phase in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

    > “I’m looking at a new, cold-negative phase, though it
    > won’t effect this summer, fall or winter ’08,” he said.

    What he’s saying is that even though global mean temperatures have been falling off a cliff for the last 6 to 9 months ( http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/mean:12/from:1980/plot/uah/mean:12/from:1980/plot/hadcrut3gl/mean:12/from:1980/plot/gistemp/mean:12/from:1980 ) *THE COOLING FROM THE NEGATIVE PDO HASN’T EVEN BEGUN TO KICK IN YET !!!* Think about it for a minute.

  50. Pickens is self-serving? So what? I hope his plan works and he makes a few billion more.

    So do I. I don’t mid a bit that he’s self-serving. But he’s thin. And he is talking nonsense when he says, “We can’t drill our way out of this crisis”.

  51. Smokey,

    Thanks for your reply too. I look forward to the day when that huge source of methane can be mined assuming we don’t get fusion reactors first.

  52. I hope “Watts Up With That” readers will forgive me for two sins; first for posting off topic,

    Horrors. I would never do that. Never, ever, ever ever. Heaven forfend.

  53. The problem with wind is that its not a primary load system. And in financial terms, the utilization/kwh-capacity is < 20% of that of nuclear. Its just cannot compete in the long term. If you have a $ to put in wind or nukes, you will lose your shirt if you put it in wind.

    BTW, we were out in West Texas last week and few of the turbines were turning.

  54. When people get their heating bills this fall in the NE it will cause a political firestorm. People will go from $1000 per home to heat to $3000 or more. Expect the cost of Diesel to spike about Sept and the public to erupt in October when they go to fill their heaters.

  55. Aerosols !!!!

    I just went back and re-read the 2007, Working Group 1, Chapter 2, section of the IPCC report on aerosols. No data pre-1978 is used. Therefore, the net negative forcing was assumed (and I mean to use the word assumed) so that the cooling between 1940 to 1975 could be forced in the Global Climate Models. This was to make the GCMs simulate the temperature record. The Clean Air Act of 1972 did not all of a sudden reduce the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere.

    We are left with comparing post-1978 sattelite aerosol measurements with pre-1978 guesses of aerosol content. I am reminded of the Hockey Stick where a proxy is used up to one point in time and temperature measurements are used after that.

  56. The world has been much hotter and with higher CO2 and and things thrived. Plants love C02. The Medieval Warm was when all the great Cathedral of Europe were built, Greenland was settled, and grapes grew in England. On the other hand we have history of the Little Ice Age when famine occurred. Cooling means that food production is more difficult and northern and southern hemisphere crop growing areas decrease. We already have a food shortage in the world, so let’s pray that warming keeps on rather than slipping into a cool period – as seems to be happening.

  57. I forgot to mention that the last winter in Mongolia has wiped out the nomadic people’s livelihood of stock grazing – they all froze to death. A similar result occurred across the whole of the ‘stan countries. People and livestock froze – Kurdistan, Uzbekhistan, Afghanistan etc.

  58. From what I understand there is enough methane in methane hydrate on the ocean floors to meet our natural gas needs for centuries. Why can’t we harvest it and use it before it melts and releases methane into the atmosphere?

  59. David Segesta,

    The reason is that it is down too deep and when you release the pressure it comes out of the hydrate state. So you have to harvest and contain at very deep levels to extract it.

  60. Can anyone tell me if any of the global climate models reproduce the El Nino phenomenon? It would seem that any model would be suspect if it does not reproduce such a robust climate oscillation. Thanks for any help.

  61. The Japanese are researching mining ocean floor clathrates, but we are probably years away from commercial viability.

    A one year increase in methane doesn’t make a new trend and the article uses a 4 year graph to make the increase more dramatic. On a longer timeframe the rise is much less impressive. Here is a graph that shows a longer timescale. Note, this ends in 2005/2006, so the year referred to above is not included. On the lower graph you can see rate increase in methane emissions has been declining since 1984.

    No one really knows why methane levels stopped rising 10 years ago, but programs to capture methane previously released to the atmosphere probably played a role.

  62. Drew Latta (18:46:59) :
    The biggest problem with wind is its reliability for a primary system. Until some sort of storage capacity (flywheels, giant capacitors?) is developed, dramatic dropoffs in wind when it’s expected to be blowing can be very influential in the grid. As was mentioned upthread, or in another, we had a major cut to customers this winter when the normally good winds fell to almost zero for several days.

    Austin, the turbines normally run pretty well out here (Southern Plains), but yeah, the last week or so, it’s been milder. Every time I go out for a Sunday ride, any direction, there are lots of turbines, and usually going gangbusters. Again, it’s just not reliable yet for a primary system, more like an addition to the coal fired.

    Not entirely OT, Xcel Energy announced last week that they are going together with a few other suppliers and are building a medium sized solar plant in Eastern NM. Of the mirror variety, not the photoelectric cell type. The big wigs announcing it mentioned that it and wind are supplimental, not primary, so at least someone has their heads on straight.

  63. The comment above from Mr Paul (timed at 18.50.28) raises a point I have been concerned about for a long time which is the concentration of our Greenie friends on single aspects of the argument rather than the whole picture.

    For example, let us ask how much CO2 is produced by a coal-fired power station. Mr Greenie will have the figures readily to hand and will tell you it is so-many tonnes of CO2 for every so-many mega-watts of electricity. He is quite wrong because he is looking only at the time the power station is generating electricity.

    To get the full picture we need to look at every stage of the power station’s life. How much CO2 results from building the building? How much results from manufacturing and fitting the working parts? How much results from repairs, maintenance, tests and upgrades? How much results from decommissioning the station at the end of its working life?

    These sums are like a company’s fixed costs. On Day 1 of operation each mega-watt of electricity is produced at the “cost” of an absolutely enormous amount of CO2 per unit because all the emissions during manufacture of the plant have been incurred in order to produce the first mega-watt. The second mega-watt produces some CO2 of its own but the average is just about halved because the fixed costs of manufacture are now split between 2 units of electricity not 1. Similarly, the expected emissions from decommissioning will happen come what may, so they all fall on the first mega-watt, half of them fall on the first and half on the second, a third-each when the third arrives and so on. The longer the plant operates the thinner the burden of manufacture and decommissioning are spread and the lower the average becomes. Eventually the plant has to be decommissioned because it can no longer work efficiently or safely. However, as a general proposition, the longer that is delayed the better for the overall CO2 emissions average per mega-watt of electricity.

    Equally, it is misleading to say “wind is better because wind-turbines produce no CO2″. We have to ask what happens when the wind-turbine is manufactured, how much maintenance it requires, what new infrastructure is needed to carry the electricity to the user, for how long can it operate, what happens when it is decommissioned, and so on. Only then can we measure the average CO2 per mega-watt and compare on a like-to-like basis with a coal fired station.

    Scrapping established power stations prematurely and replacing them with wind-turbines causes both the CO2 emissions from decommissioning the power station and those caused by manufacturing the wind-turbine to be incurred earlier than would otherwise be the case. I am not qualified to say what difference it would make, but Mr Greenie really ought to tell us if he wants to be seen as an honest advocate.

    I undertook a very rough-and-ready examination of the difference it would make if I took the bus or train rather than my car on my rare travels from FatBigot Towers here in North London, and was surprised by what I found. This includes my (very rough-and-ready) study:

    http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/06/chicken-licken-and-motorist.html

  64. DS:

    The short answer is that if there weren’t cheaper ways we would. Same goes for the more difficult-to-get-at-oil.

    Here is a longer answer:

    If we ran out of conventional sources of copper TOMORROW MORNING, we could get the stuff out of sediments and seawater–in completely unlimited quantities–for around four times what we’re paying for it now (and the cost would go down over time as unfamiliar methods were improved).

    What the methyl hydrate thing means, in effect, is that we will never, ever run out of fossil fuels. It is a virtually unlimited resource. We may never have to go get it. We may “pass beyond” most fossil fuels before we get anywhere near running out of cheaper conventional sources. But if we don’t, well, there it is, provided we are willing to pay for it.

    The same basic principle applies to nearly every “non-renewable” mineral resource on earth.

    The folks who talk about “running out” of whatever the hell it is they say we’re running out of, simply have no notion whatever of what is going on. As this amounts to 90% of all people, who the schools go to huge expense and effort to miseducate the public on the subject, it is on the remaining 10% of us to spread the reality.

    As for the 90%, don’t blame yourselves; it’s not your fault: you have been misinformed. And it’s not a matter of public vs. private education. The private schools are every bit as guilty as the rest.

    Furthermore, the intellectual “elite” are even more likely to be thoroughly wrong on this point than the general public. It is the exact same disastrous error that made complete fools of the Club of Rome. Why the world education system didn’t get a clue on this two decades ago is a tale for another day (and partially beyond my ability willingly to comprehend, anyway). It’s not a liberal Vs conservative thing. It is sublimely empirical,
    and has been demonstrated thoroughly, comprehensively, and repeatedly.

    Well, now you have been informed. So go ye and brood no more. #B^1

  65. Are we going back to the 1970s? Cooling or warming?

    Both the ocean-atmospheric cycles and the sun indicate a probability of cooling. There is undoubtedly more to it, but climatology is still in its relative infancy.

    But these things go in cycles. There are underlying trend issues which are either not well understood or just plain not even known yet. (Heck, the ocean-atmospheric multidecadal fluctuations hadn’t even been discovered when Hansen made his speech back in ’88. Now we toss around the acronyms like old pals.)

  66. Anthony,

    This is off topic but here I go. Before I say anything else I want to mention that I really enjoy this blog as it is a great source of information. I also appreciate it greatly as it provides a counterbalance to the overwhelming number of articles found in the mainstream media supporting AGW or should I say ACC as I am sure it is soon going to be called. However I was a bit disappointed with your comment which I have pasted in below.

    “Let’s leave the word “deniers” off this website, no matter who we are speaking of. The term was coined referring to “holocaust deniers”. In science, there is no room for such labels, no matter what side of the debate you are on. “Skeptic” is the better word.”

    I appreciate what you are try to do. However as many commenters on this blog will understand it is misinformation spread by the likes of Al Gore, James Hasen, David Suzuki and Tim Flannery that may lead to the sacrificing of our western economies on the alter of AGW/ACC at the First Church of Radical Environmentalism.

    Having checked Wikidictionary, the Macquarie Dictionary, and the online versions of both the Oxford and Websters dictionaries I have found two definitions and two etymologies for the word d***er. The first definition which is irrelevant to your comment states that a d***er is a unit by which the fineness of yarn is measured and originally denotes a French small coin coming from the Latin denarius. (You learn something new everyday!)

    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/denier?view=uk

    The second which is applicable to your comment is d***er, one who denies. Webster’s online dictionary states that the the term was first used in English literature prior to 1593.

    http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/denier

    As anyone knows, who has looked into the topic of Antisemitism can tell you its presence in Europe predates 1593. However the genocide of European Jews by the Nazis, which is commonly called the Holocaust, did not occur until well over 300 years after 1593 and thus is clearly not the source from which the term d***er was coined.

    I realise that you are using the term d***er in a very specific sense as it relates to the AGW/ACC debate. But please lets not sacrifice the English Language on the altar of Political Correctness at the First Church of Irrational Liberal Idealism. After all d***er is a good word to describe anyone who denies something.

    By the way Anthony I hope you and yours are safe from those wildfires which continue to burn in California. Oh and keep up the good work with the website and weather station review.

  67. David Segesta,

    “From what I understand there is enough methane in methane hydrate on the ocean floors to meet our natural gas needs for centuries. Why can’t we harvest it and use it before it melts and releases methane into the atmosphere?”

    Actually David it is already starting to happen but as usual the environmentalists are saying it will lead to an environmental night mare. Check out these links if you want to know more:

    http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2008/04/23/a-breakthrough-in-fuel-supplying-from-methane-hydrates/

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3740036.ece

    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/methane-hydrate-extraction-in-japan-could-damage-marine-ecosystems_10037775.html

  68. @Bruce Cobb
    I tend to agree with you. Climate has shown quite good correlation with solar activity. But still I would modify your statement from:
    “…significant cooling looks very likely…
    to:
    “…significant cooling looks likely…”

    Others in this forum say you can’t predict beyond a week, yet fret about “dead” suns and lack of sunspots.
    Personally I wouldn’t rule out both sides of the climate debate being right. AGW may be real, and superimposed on solar trends. AGW probably will simply shift the solar driven trends a half a degree Celsius upwards. I view this as benefit, and not a calamity.

  69. Pierre Gosselin:

    The warmists are disingenuous when they claim temperatures climbed faster in the 1990’s than TSI increases when the TSI peak of the 1960’s – 1980’s lagged in the seas, knowing full well that the seas constitute 80-90% of GW. It goes to show how utterly incomplete their models have been when they didn’t foresee a temperature plateau from the TSI drop in the early 1990’s possibly coupled w/ increased aerosol albedo/shading.

    If the TSI peak of the late 20th C portends a solar crash, then we’re in for a long TSI decrease. Take away -0.3 degrC TSI & -0.3 degrC from soot mitigation and we could be seeing a net -0.6 degrC counter-effect to AGW.

    If cosmic rays have even a 1% effect on cloud cover that could add another -0.6 offset against AGW. Now we’re at -1.2 degrC.

    If we threw out the bulk of the Arctic thaw of the past 150 years caused by soot deposition, that’d be another -0.15 degrC or a total of -1.35 degrC. And after all, the Arctic thaw is not a problem until possibly thousands of years from now were Greenland to completely fall into the sea!

    If we take out the post-Pinatubo UV-B warming of surface ozone, another -0.3 to -0.6 degrC, or -1.65 to -1.95 degrC total offsets (the stratosphere immediately cooled due to post-Pinatubo ozone loss, about -0.6 degrees Celsius, due to loss of UV-warmed ozone — that UV hit the surface, making more ozone as well as warming any already existing).

    But what the climate modelers are saying is that we’re headed for +3.0 degrC warming (assuming aerosols are mitigated) all based on the evidence of an ongoing warming trend, presumably all due to GHG.

    But if we ignore nearly 1.6 – 2.0 degrees as either a negative forcing or non-critical, then what’s left is approximately equiv. to the amt of warming presumably masked by aerosols, 1 – 1.4 degrees.

    And the problem with this is…. ?

  70. Taking the long view of things…

    Once we topple off the edge of the interglacial, the greens will be screaming for as much CO2 and CH4 release as possible. No doubt someone will seriously propose releasing the methane clathrates to warm the atmosphere.

    Come to think of it, if the coming cooling is a repeat of the LIA, someone will propose this as a solution to man-made global cooling.

    All vastly entertaining on some levels.

  71. Personally I wouldn’t rule out both sides of the climate debate being right. AGW may be real, and superimposed on solar trends.
    Is there some evidence for AGW I’ve missed? Because all of the science I’ve seen shows me that not only is C02 a relatively small player, especially since it’s effect is logarithmic (and thus any additional C02 will have very little additional warming effect), but man’s contribution is only a bit over 3%. So, if you spit in the ocean, then I guess you could say that that additional waters’ effect on sea level was “real”, but the point is, is it in any way significant? No, of course not, and neither is man’s effect on warming via his C02.
    We can certainly quibble about whether significant cooling looks likely or very likely as solar science is still young and there is more to be learned. To me though, the evidence points to very likely.

  72. I just love this site.

    Thank you so much Anthony for the labors involved in getting this set up.

    Comments regarding the current cooling illustrate how valuable this place is. What an array of thoughtful observers.

    Yes, we are definitely cooling. Just how much and for how long will be known in the future.

    Here is a very thoughtful paper on the implications of any really serious cooling in the future:

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/ArchibaldMarch2008.pdf

    I really hope Archibald is wrong. I don’t want my granddaughters to have to deal with a world in the grip of a Dalton or Maunder minimum coupled with growing populations.

    The minute I saw T. Boone on the the TV talking, I thought, he wants something. Sure enough, all was explained here on this thread. He wants what every believer in free markets and independent capitalism wants: he wants the privatization of profit and the socialization of losses. That is, when there are profits to be made, he wants them. When there are losses, he wants to share with the taxpayer.

    So, there’s a tax subsidy about to go away, hmmmh? Can’t have that. So let’s start up a big ad campaign and act like we want to join hands with all the little people of America and do what the big moneyed interests have failed to do: cut oil imports.

    We’re seeing exactly the same thing going on with ethanol alcohol. Take away the subsidies and it will all dry up. Never mind the current system leads to huge market dislocations and food shortages for the poor of the world, it’s time to make money.

    T. Boone says he knows more about energy than anyone. Modest fellow isn’t he? Then how come he says we can’t drill our way out of this energy crisis when the use of more natural gas (what he is advocating) will require a great deal of drilling for more natural gas?

    Thanks everyone for the discussion.

  73. Redneck,

    Anthony’s point is that, in the context of the exploration of AGW, the non-scientists among the group that believes CO2 is the ‘one and only overwhelming’ aspect of AGW initiated the use of the term to cast people (even eminently qualified climate scientists as the mental equivalent of those that deny the existence of the occurrence of historical or scientific facts (e.g., the Holocaust, the ‘semi-spherical ‘earth), with conspiracy theorists such as the second gunman, and the ‘burning jet fuel could not melt the steel in the WTC therefore it was a controlled demolition’, or by associating them with beliefs that are clearly wrong and anyone holding those beliefs is possibly a few bricks short (flat earth, creationism, etc) . The purpose of this, of course, is to avoid having to deal with the messy implications of the arguments these folks put forth by attacking them personally, thus allowing them to ignore the arguments.

    Not that you don’t already know this, but the point is they have changed the usage of the word from benign to malicious and that is Anthony’s point. We should not respond in kind because that makes us no better than they are (aside from the idea that this is NOT how scientific debate is conducted).

    In any case there are many different viewpoints among the folks who disagree with the IPCC, personally I’m in the ‘AGW exists, but CO2 is NOT the main, overwhelming driver, there are other human caused influences on climate such as land use change (irrigation, de-forrestation), Urban Heat Island effects, soot/sulphate aerosols, etc that have a greater effect’. So I can’t be rightly classed as a ‘denier’, more of a ‘minimizer’ I suppose.

    In any case the issue is, if you are engaging someone in an argument (the scientific kind, not the political/social kind) and they start behaving like a 4 year old there is no imperative that you respond in kind, rather, it is a sign that they believe your arguments have merit and are trying to distract you (i.e., it’s an open admission that you’re winning the argument). So the best course of action is to ignore it and continue on as a professional. Eventually people witnessing the argument realize the truth of the behavior.

  74. Redneck, I love the way you cling to your reference tomes, but honestly, honey, ya’ gotta work on the bitterness part.
    ====================================

  75. Wind power is “source of opportunity” power, used when it is available and replaced with conventional power sources when it is not. Its role is commodity replacement, rather than capacity replacement. Comparing the cost of “source of opportunity” power with the cost of reliable power is a “fools game”.

    Current wind machines have an availability of ~35% and a capacity factor of ~20-25%; and, current nuclear power plants have a capacity factor of ~90-95% . Even if the cost of the power from each were the same, the value would be substantially different.

    Storage is the key to adding value to source of opportunity power, but it is not without its own substantial costs. Picture five wind turbines plus storage capable of containing their total daily output to provide reliable power equal to the nameplate capacity of one of the wind turbines.

    Or, you could just connect a buzzer to the output of the wind turbine, to wake you when the wind is blowing, so that you can perform whatever power consuming activities are on your “schedule” for the day.

  76. The wind is not a constant speed.

    And there are thousands and thousands of towers. Compared to a primary system, its a maintenance nightmare.

    Its better to have a handful of large generating stations than it is to have thousands and thousands of teeny ones.

    I design maintenance systems and when I look at nukes vs turbines, the latter’s overhead is just so much larger with no real benefit.

  77. I have yet to find anything Anthony says that I don’t agree with.

    Regardless of the origins of a word or phrase, they take on new implications as they are used,e.g. how many of us think of a gay party as one just of happy people?

    Dogmatism on either side of the climate issue seems to me to be arrogant and possibly dangerous. While I am very much the skeptic I am trying to get some civil, intelligent and useful debates going (particularly in the Austin TX area), to come up with actions that might best be described as climate hedge policies. Any suggestions?

  78. I’n not sure if this is OT or not, but Just in respect to the % concentrations of greenhouse gases, can you guys confirm the following is representative:

    Water Vapour = 95%
    CO2 = 3.5%
    NO2, Methane, CFC’s etc etc make up the rest

    I have a few questions and a some theory I would like your comments on, just for my lay person understanding.

    Question 1: Is Water Vapour more a potent GHG than CO2?

    If this is the case, then I move on, (if not, then ignore the rest!) so please bear with me on this…
    Logically speaking, the more CO2 that is put into the atmosphere, the greater it’s percentage of GHG makeup. Equally, the levels of Water Vapour must come
    down. The next bit is very simplistic…

    If Water Vapour is more potent and the % comes down due to the increase in CO2 levels, then surely the overall GH effect is reduced.

    Question 2: Would this overall reduction not cause a cooling effect?

    If this theory is logically sound, then it could also explain the time lag of temperature following CO2 levels (see what I’ve done here? I’ve looked at the CO2/temperature relation from a different perspective)

    Question 3: Does any of the above stack up? I realise that this is the most simplistic of simple terms and that there are many other factors in driving climate, but it would settle some thoughts I was having.

    Many thanks guys.

  79. No one really knows why methane levels stopped rising 10 years ago, but programs to capture methane previously released to the atmosphere probably played a role.

    Phillip B., the little reported program to retrofit cows with catalytic converters was probably a major factor, as was the marketing slogan, “BEEF, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER”.

  80. The forbidden “d” word is thrown at the skeptics by the AGW crowd to paint them in the worst possible light. After all, they don’t “believe”, therefore are evil and must be cast down.

    If it continues to cool, I’m quite sure al-Gore and crew will blame it all on those horrible “d”ers. Whatever happens is always bad and the blame has to fall on someone. Nothing changes by itself. If it did, half the lawyers would starve.

    As for predictions, we have dozens of variables, only a few equations and we don’t know if they use the variables properly, or what all the variables mean. Slightly better than a crystal ball and tea leaves, although on some days, I’m not sure.

    (ahem) I predict the climate (like the stock market according to JP Morgan) will fluctuate.

  81. Here is a site called the Solar Terrestrial Acivity report.

    http://dxlc.com/solar/

    Playing in their archives is a great pleasure. We learn, for example, that Cycle 23, which until the past few spotless weeks at least was still flickering, began in May of 1996. Assuming that Cycle 24, despite a flash in the pan mini-spot or two several months ago, has not yet started, cycle 23 is 146 months old and counting. The nearest recent cycle in terms of duration was Cycle 20, which began in October of 1964 and ended in June of 1976–140 months. In fact, to find a cycle as longer than 23 has been, one must go back to Cycle 9, which began in July of 1843 and ended in December of 1855, or 149 months.

    Now, the longest of all recorded cycles was Cycle 4, from September 1784 to May of 1798–160 months! It bears noticing that the following two cycles, 5 and 6, constitute the Dalton Minimum, the better part of three decades characterized by very weak solar activity as indicated by sunspots and, here below, by the last gasp of the Little Ice Age.

    The fact that the current solar cycle is at least among the top 5 in terms of duration over a record that goes back more than 250 years would seem to this layman’s mind, at least, worthy of attention. The super-long cycle 4 was at its maximum, quite active, as Cycle 23 has been, but its extended minimum led into the weak, as well as long, cycles 5 and 6.

  82. Philip_B (16:35:51)

    Your ref outlines a long term study of the impact of aerosols on temperature. I found especially interesting this line: …monsoon season shows warming. This warming can be attributed to a significant increase in the low cloud amount.

    This is part of what I was referring to in my first comment. I’ve since found the particular study that first intrigued me. The written study is available at Nature. This is where they found temperature differences which were attributed to the aerosols and their effects on cloud formation and precipitation over the Maldives. The area where the aerosol laden clouds covered the northern Maldive Islands were warmed while the clear southern Maldive Islands were cooler. This was during the outflowing monsoonal flow from the Indian subcontinent. I don’t know if the study contains satellite photos but I remember seeing them. This is real science, not playing games on a computer. Here is real demonstrable evidence of man’s influence on the climate. They found impacts on temperature and precipitation. This is why there’s a need to remove aerosols from their source — smokestacks. This would be especially important for India; when the monsoonal flow changes direction, the initial monsoonal clouds only warm without providing the anticipated rain. While the clouds are moisture laden, the water droplets that form on the small particulate matter are too small to coalesce and fall as rain. The effect is to delay the start of the monsoon (maybe even shorten the season}. This is a far more important impact than any imaginary major warming from CO2.

  83. “Why the world education system didn’t get a clue on this two decades ago is a tale for another day (and partially beyond my ability willingly to comprehend, anyway). It’s not a liberal Vs conservative thing. It is sublimely empirical, and has been demonstrated thoroughly, comprehensively, and repeatedly.” Evan Jones

    Evan,

    This is a very provocative statement and I would like to read more on the subject if you have some recommendations.

    From what I understand, knowledge + energy + raw materials = progress. So I get alarmed when one of those ingredients is under attack. Since, as you point out, we can’t run out of raw material, I find it interesting that education and energy are under attack.

    I think part of the answer is that some people fear too much progress. But we have to have it. The universe is dangerous and we had better be able to defend ourselves one day.

  84. On the subject of methane clathrates, I understand that vast quantities of methane from these deposits were released into the atmosphere in giant “burps” 55 milion years ago, and this has been linked to the sharp temperature increase at that time.

    For argument’s sake, if the late 20th century warming trend started to recur, say after 2015, is there a likelihood that something similar would start to happen in our lifetimes? Or is the “tipping point” for that scenario so high that even using the IPCC’s gloomier projections, the chances would be low to nil?

    Another question: what brought temperatures back down after this event, 55 million years ago? In other words, did the climate re-set itself, and how?

  85. I thought it would be interesting to look at this paper http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/pubs/brochures/clim_res_had_fut_pol.pdf
    which was issued by the UK Met Office in which the following was stated
    “We are now using the system to predict changes out to 2014. By the end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 °C compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998. ”
    also in the paper was a forecast graph of temperature anomolies – page 6. As the baseline was different to the normal Hadcrut figures it is necessary to modify the Hadcrut figures. I have added the data for 2005, 2006 and 2007 with the current average for 2008 shown in green. These figures are all derived from the Hadcrut latest figures. The deviation from the predicted is, to say the least, worrying. http://www.holtlane.plus.com/images/climate_forecast_updated.jpg

  86. Oldjim (09:27:11) :
    As the baseline was different to the normal Hadcrut figures it is necessary to modify the Hadcrut figures.

    Good to see that if the data doesn’t match the model, then the data must change. If Hadley are saying the the “dangerous” warming will continue after 2009, then it gives them potentially another year to avoid being questioned on the realities. A politically shrewd move.

  87. “Chicken Licken Gases”!

    I predict it will wind up costing us one hell of a Henny-Penny.

    All you could find was four…how about the thousands who state otherwise…

    Not that it is a numbers game, but if you stick around you will find a heck of a lot more than four. There has been a grand shift in scientific opinion over the last year.

  88. I’m not sure if this is OT or not, but Just in respect to the % concentrations of greenhouse gases, can you guys confirm the following is representative:

    Water Vapour = 95%
    CO2 = 3.5%
    NO2, Methane, CFC’s etc etc make up the rest

    No. That is the EFFECT (acc. to Singer, IIRC), not the AMOUNT.

    Water Vapor (H2O)
    Concentration in Atmosphere: 10,000 ppmv (varies)
    Contribution to GH Effect:
    Compared with CO2: x0.0051
    Overall GH effect:
    Total Effect: 95%

    Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    Concentration in Atmosphere: 385 ppmv ( 2008 )
    Persistence: 50-100 yrs (Or as short as 7 to 10 depending on whom you ask)
    Contribution to GH Effect
    Compared with CO2: [ x1 ]
    Overall GH effect:
    Total Effect: 3.6%
    Excluding Water Vapor: 72%

    Methane (CH4)
    Concentration in Atmosphere: 1.772 ppmv (2005)
    Persistence: (I don’t know)
    Contribution to GH Effect
    Compared with CO2: x23
    Overall GH effect:
    Total Effect: 0.4
    Excluding Water Vapor: 7.1%

    Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
    Concentration in Atmosphere: Current: 0.312 ppmv
    Persistence: (I don’t know)
    Contribution to GH Effect
    Compared with CO2: x296
    Overall GH effect:
    Total Effect: 1.0%
    Excluding Water Vapor: 19%

    Other (CFCs, etc.)
    Concentration in Atmosphere: Current: 0.027 ppmv
    To GH effect
    Total Effect: 0.07%
    Excluding Water Vapor: 1.4%

  89. This is a very provocative statement and I would like to read more on the subject if you have some recommendations.

    The best book for the layman on this I have ever seen is The Next 200 Years by Herman Kahn. There are any number of books out on the basic subject since then, but this is the first and best that tackled the issue directly. It is short and sweet. It is also the book that more-or-less singlehandedly eliminated Limits to Growth as an instrument of policy.

    (TN200Y is also perfectly okay with substitutability and looks at solar, wind, etc., as potentially viable alternatives to fossil fuels.)

  90. I believe the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is .0387% not 3.5%. 387ppmv (parts per million by volume).

    If it were 1000 times higher (as 3.5% == 3500ppmv would be), people would feel it’s affects, making some people sleepy.

  91. I only wish that one of Al (I play a scientist on TV) Gore’

    Now don’t go questioning his credentials. Al happens to be a co-author of nearly every scientific paper ever published.

    Alright. unlike the esteemed Anon, he isn’t usually listed as the lead author . . .

  92. Thanks Evan. Does the rest of the theory have any basis for reality then?

    That we are not running out of resources or that we are educated to believe we are running out of resources? TN200Y is concerned primarily with the former, which is the important issue. I got the running-out-of-resources regime non-stop in high school (it started even earlier).

  93. finally someones stepping up here! It has already begun as well as the key features that have started it! The Low to non existent sun spots and much colder this year! I wonder what next winter will be like!

  94. Re: Mike Bryant – This might cool things down a little:

    Unlikely. For a volcano to have a global effect, its eruption must meet certain characteristics. First, the eruption needs to happen in a part of the world where the prevailing circulation will spread the ash and dust globally. Remember that there is a somewhat dominant poleward shift of the winds within the troposphere due to the Coriolis Effect, so a volcanic eruption needs to be situated within the tropics for its effect to be felt worldwide. Second, the eruption needs to reach the stratosphere. 50,000 feet doesn’t quite cut it, but the point is irrelevant because its not situated in the “right” part of the world. There are other factors, such as the eruption must be vertical, it must be composed of a great deal of water and sulfates, and a couple other things. But think – did the Chilean eruption this year have any major effect? I wouldn’t expect this one too either.

    As for the denialist/skeptic rhetoric going on here, let’s be clear: just because “denialist” is a loaded term doesn’t mean it is always being used in a perjorative manner. I typically call Mr. Watts and other people “skeptics” because although they may be skeptical about certain premises of AGW, they usually admit that the basic physical aspects of it are correct. However, there are some people here and elsewhere who deny even the basic tenets of global warming based on the greenhouse effect. Without naming names, some people here and at other blogs on the internet continue to suggest – without any shred of mathematical demonstration whatsoever – that the premise that CO2 could contribute to warming is flawed. Others suggest AGW is a plot by the UN to subvert the United States and establish a socialist global government. These claims are ridiculous, and at their root is a denial of climate science, modern politics, and reality itself.

    I’ll respect Mr. Watts wishes and not refer to these people as “denialists” when I’m on this blog. Elsewhere, however, I must call it as I see it. It’s not about lumping you in with holocaust deniers or anything, it’s calling you out on something so trivial that it doesn’t really even warrant a response.

  95. Paul (10:18:13) :
    I did modify the numbers which is why the 2004 number matched the graph.
    The baseline was adjusted by reducing the Hadcrut numbers by 0.222 so that the actual 2004 number of 0.432 was reduced to 0.21

  96. whenever one speaks of the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (as opposed to a percentage) remember this for context:

    According to WikiPedia, the average mass of the atmosphere is…

    FIVE QUADRILLION metric tons.

  97. Lower Troposphere Global Average Temperature has cooled ~0.7C since January 2007:

    2007 1 0.594
    2007 2 0.45
    2007 3 0.403
    2007 4 0.244
    2007 5 0.199
    2007 6 0.203
    2007 7 0.255
    2007 8 0.286
    2007 9 0.201
    2007 10 0.231
    2007 11 0.209
    2007 12 0.114
    2008 1 -0.046
    2008 2 0.02
    2008 3 0.089
    2008 4 0.015
    2008 5 -0.18
    2008 6 -0.114

    The world is getting much colder. How much colder? ALL the alleged humanmade global warming since ~1940 or perhaps even since 1900 has been nullified, since just January 2007. Humanmade CO2 emissions have increased more than 700% since 1940, and more than 1700% since 1900.

    What does this prove? These facts demonstrate that global temperature has NO significant sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2, which is the main point that climate skeptics have been stating all along.

    “The science is settled”, truly, but not as Al Gore has stated. There is in fact no significant humanmade global warming. The warming we have experienced since the mid-1970’s is natural and cyclical.

    Global warming, humanmade or otherwise, is the last thing we need to worry about as a society. Global cooling, should it continue to the depths of a Dalton Minimum (as some scientists are predicting), may be the greatest crisis to face humanity in centuries. The irony is that we are likely to be unprepared for global cooling, as our governments continue to obsess on the nonexistent global warming crisis.

    Regards, Allan

    P.S. Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO):

    In ~1905, the PDO shifted into its warm phase and the world got warmer.
    In ~1946, the PDO shifted into its cold phase and the world got colder.
    In ~1977, the PDO shifted into its warm phase and the world got warmer again.
    In ~2007-08, the PDO shifted into its cold phase and the world got much colder.

    ——————————————————————————–
    NO SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE AT LEAST ~1940

    Posted with figures and sources May 24, 2008 at

    http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3774

    Excerpt:

    The evidence to date suggests that increased atmospheric CO2 plays NO significant role in causing global warming.

    The best data shows no significant warming since ~1940. The lack of significant warming is evident in UAH Lower Troposphere temperature data from ~1980 to end April 2008, and Hadcrut3 Surface Temperature data from ~1940 to ~1980.

    Chart: The global cooling from approximately 1946-1977 coincides with the cool phase of a natural cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and the warming from approximately 1977-2007 coincides with the warming phase of the PDO. NASA announced in 2008 that the PDO has again shifted to its cool phase. Significant cooling was experienced in 2007-2008, and is expected to continue.

    Furthermore, it is clear that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, from ice core data spanning thousands of years to sub-decadal trends – the latter as stated in my January 31, 2008 paper and previously by Kuo (1990) and Keeling (1995) .

    In late November 2007 Pieter Tans described the close relationship between dCO2/dt and temperature, about one month before I made a similar finding. This is a further step forward in our understanding.

    Figure 3 from my 2008 paper shows the close relationship between dCO2/dt and temperature, and the approximate 9 month lag of CO2 after temperature.

    Finally, human-made CO2 emissions have increased ~700% since 1940.

    This data consistently suggests that the sensitivity of global temperature to increased atmospheric CO2 is near-zero, and thus there is no human-made catastrophic global warming crisis.

    Allan MacRae, Calgary

    May 24th, 2008

    ——————————————————————————–

    Data sources:

    LT data: http://www.atmos.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    ST data: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

    My paper: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    Tan’s paper: http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/agenda.html

    CO2 data from CDIAC: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2004.ems

    ——————————————————————————–

    Further explanation:

    There has been very significant Lower Troposphere (LT) cooling in the past 18 months. This cooling has also been observed in the Surface Temperature (ST), but that data is much less reliable, as further discussed further below.

    The average LT global temperature anomaly for the four months January-April 2008 (inclusive) is +0.02 degrees C.
    The average LT global temperature anomaly for year 1980 is +0.09 degrees C.

    The average ST global temperature anomaly for year 1980 is +0.08 degrees C.
    The average ST global temperature anomaly for year 1940 is +0.02 degrees C.

    By no significant warming, I mean no net average global warming between 1940 and 2008, as measured by our best instruments. There has been some cooling and warming and very recent cooling again, but not much net change since 1940.

    Some observers might want to (erroneously, imo) use the ST data exclusively, to prove that warming has occurred. The 1980-to-present ST data exhibits a strong and misleading warming bias, as demonstrated by Michaels and McKitrick (2007) and others. Although the monthly variations in the ST and LT data match very well, the two plots diverge, with ST rising above LT. I sincerely doubt that this divergence is a long-term reality, since it would suggest that the surface has warmed significantly more than the Lower Troposphere over the past few decades.

    For a comparison of ST and LT data, see Figure 1 of my January 31, 2008 paper.

    **********************************************************************************

  98. without any shred of mathematical demonstration whatsoever – that the premise that CO2 could contribute to warming is flawed.

    It is a single domino. Without a row of other dominoes to knock over (positive feedback), its effects are very limited.

    The Aqua Satellite (so far) indicates that that there are more low level clouds (increasing albedo) but less upper level relative humidity (decreasing H2O greenhouse effect). And that this has led to homeostasis rather than positive feedback loops.

    This is the opposite of what was predcited by the IPPC.

    Of to put it in very crude mathematical terms, that forcing feedback number in the AR4 equation is out to lunch.

  99. Pingback: An interesting read, for all you Earth-haters « The Semi-Daily Grind

  100. Counters.
    Your argument of “skeptics” versus “denialist” is an arbitrary and somewhat
    non-sensical distinction. The big difference is the obviously derogatory connotation of the term “denialist” as it compares AGW skeptics to Holocaust deniers. I do not know whether you can make a distinction between “skeptics” and “denialist” based on their degree of acceptance of AGW theories. There are three undisputed scientific observations that no person with a modicum of scientific knowledge has any problem accepting:

    1.,Atmospheric concentration of Carbon Dioxide has gone up by about 35% since the industrial era – mostly due to human emission.

    2., Carbon Dioxide is a Green House gas and Green House gases make a significant contribution to the warming of the Earth Climate.

    3., The Global Temperature of the Earth increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the 20th Century.

    The proponents of AGW theory derive the following conclusions from the above undisputed observations:

    a., 3., is a direct consequence of 1., and 2.,

    b., Continued burning of fossil fuel would lead to catastrophic consequences and we effectively must stop burning of fossil fuels, even if it means dismantling our industrial society.

    I vigorously reject b., because it is based on faulty science, namely that further heating by Carbon Dioxide would result in a runaway temperature increase. This would imply that our climate is driven by a positive feedback mechanism indicating a fundamentally unstable climate. Many millions of years of climate history indicates that this is not the case. Our climate is remarkably stable.

    I also object to a., not because it may be incorrect, but because it lacks a scientifically rigorous proof that it is correct. We know that there are factors other than carbon dioxide that contribute to warming or cooling. The cooling in the period of 1940 to 1975 and the fairly recent cooling took place while atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased steadily. Unless we can identity these other factors that cause cooling and more importantly can quantify them with a reasonable degree of confidence, we cannot determine the warming effect of Carbon Dioxide with confidence.

    Now, my question to you Counter, Do I qualify as a “Skeptic” or a ” Denier”

  101. some people here and at other blogs on the internet continue to suggest – without any shred of mathematical demonstration whatsoever – that the premise that CO2 could contribute to warming is flawed. Come off it, counters, no one here says that, and you know it. Guess what that makes you, eh?
    Where is your mathematical demonstration of the basic tenet of AGW that C02 drives climate, or has ever driven climate, or is even anything more than a minor player? We’ll wait.

  102. Oldjim (13:08:22) :

    Paul (10:18:13) :
    I did modify the numbers which is why the 2004 number matched the graph.
    The baseline was adjusted by reducing the Hadcrut numbers by 0.222 so that the actual 2004 number of 0.432 was reduced to 0.21

    Is this reduction is a normal thing to do? Surely playing with the data in this way is like opening a pandora’s box leaving it open for critism both good and bad. What is the rationale behind this adjustment?

  103. Evan Jones (12:17:33) :
    Thanks Evan. Does the rest of the theory have any basis for reality then?

    That we are not running out of resources or that we are educated to believe we are running out of resources? TN200Y is concerned primarily with the former, which is the important issue. I got the running-out-of-resources regime non-stop in high school (it started even earlier).

    I think you misunderstood me here, I was refering to the theory put forward in my past regarding the the different effects of GHG

  104. Bruce, I already stated that I will not name names, although as you’ve volunteered yourself, let’s dissect your comment. You see, your little strawman is precisely one of the nonsensical ones that I was referring to. No one claims that “CO2 drives climate.” That is an absurd statement on several levels, and it betrays your ignorance of the subject at hand. You see, I’ve been around this debate long enough to know that your phrasing is meant to evoke the Meteorology 101 axiom that “the sun drives the atmosphere.” The concentration of CO2 alters the radiation budget of the Earth’s atmospheric/oceanic system – the greenhouse effect follows through from there. Don’t play semantics when you should be playing logic or mathematics.

    If you want a mathematical demonstration, then crack open an astrophysics textbook. The basic premise of the Greenhouse Effect was established by Svante Arrhenius over a hundred years ago, a fact which I remember from my Junior year of High School, where we were taught this little tidbit in Chemistry. You are suggesting that the underlying basic physical premise of AGW is flawed – a premise that is, essential, axiomatic. It is taken prima facia not due to laziness, but because it is an elementary physical concept. The burden of proof is on your shoulders to disprove this effect, not mine to defend it.

    Tom Klein, you missed my point: despite whatever connotations the word “denier” has, I highly doubt that any AGW proponents are using that word to captivate upon its baggage. We mean it in the most literal sense. I don’t want to label someone of whom I’ve only read a post, so let me answer your question with one of my own: You seem to object to the premise that CO2 can act as a greenhouse gas; do you object to the premise of the greenhouse effect in its entirety? If so, why, and if not, where is your evidence – anecdotal, physical, or mathematical – that CO2 does not act as such? The evidence that CO2 does has clearly been outlined in the scientific canon – I’ll leave it to yo to crack open an Earth Science text book and read up on it.

  105. I searched Google Books and found that pre WWII the word denier was mostly used to describe unbelievers of the Christian faith. Of course, it seemed that it WAS used in a derogatory manner.

    It was also a French coin, a measure of fabric and a dealer of products.

    Here is a little snippet from the book “The Freeman”.

    The Freeman – Page 83
    by Francis Neilson, Albert Jay Nock – 1920

    “On the other hand, these simple souls may well reflect that the denier is after all, only a denier, and deals in nothing but negations.”

    And so it seems to me that “denier” has always been used as a pejorative, even as it is being used today.

    In conclusion, from the state of Texas, I say, quit your cussin’ ya’ll.

  106. Counters.
    Talking about missing points! Let me illustrate by copying a section from your comment and juxtaposing with a section from my comments.
    1., Your comment: “You seem to object to the premise that CO2 can act as a greenhouse gas; do you object to the premise of the greenhouse effect in its
    entirety? ”

    2., The relevant part of my comment:” There are three undisputed scientific observations that no person with a modicum of scientific knowledge has any problem accepting:

    1.,Atmospheric concentration of Carbon Dioxide has gone up by about 35% since the industrial era – mostly due to human emission.

    2., Carbon Dioxide is a Green House gas and Green House gases make a significant contribution to the warming of the Earth Climate.

    3., The Global Temperature of the Earth increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the 20th Century.”

    I rest my case

  107. Counters,
    Your volcano explanation is a Straw Man. You left out the only important and exclusive component to volcano’s that cause cooling, SO2 period. You are right in that location is important but leave out that it is up to aerosols to do their “MAGIC”. LOL But you need to read up on the last few years of temperature graphs. Look the Maunder Minimum started around 1650 right now add 178.8 + 178.8 and where does that put us? OOOHHH 2007 scary isn’t it, that is the barycentric cycle of the sun which retrograded in 1989 see the solar activity for that year. HUGE solar flares and CME’s at that time. Its all about magnetism and the solar flares and CME’s put up a chart of that to temperature then we can see some action.

  108. Evan,

    Thanks for the book recommend. But the next 200 years!? It will take a MIRACLE for us to not destroy ourselves by then. Bush thinks he can limit the spread of nuclear weapons and maybe he can. But who can prevent the development of biological weapons? Here in the South we were working on Yankee specific viruses but decided against them on moral grounds(I noted what a fine Yankee you were).

    But seriously, the US has got to quit making enemies or one day they WILL have their revenge and it won’t take a nuke.

  109. counters
    I have a couple of questions for you.
    What has been the CO2-water vapor sensitivity number for the last 8 years?
    What caused the climate change from MWP to LIA?

  110. It will take a MIRACLE for us to not destroy ourselves by then.

    We’ll still be there. Even if it’s a grim scenario (which I doubt). Two hundred years ago no one expected we would survive till now. Yet here we sit, bigger and badder than ever.

    But seriously, the US has got to quit making enemies or one day they WILL have their revenge and it won’t take a nuke.

    There are always risks. But we will continue to keep three or two steps ahead of them unless certain peabrains in Congress prevent it.

    While I thank you for the kind words, I beg you to consider the mores of the US as compared with any other world power.

    Take the Scandinavians. They’re are all sweetness and niceness . . . NOW. But the last time they had a bit of power and half a chance, what did they do with it? Pillage, rape, burn, and plunder, that’s what. Despoil everything they came in contact with like some filthy disease.

    How did the beastly Sovs behave when THEY were a world power? Like the soul-killing, mass murdering monstrosities they were, that’s how. What did Europe do for Africa? Inspire The Heart of Darkness, mainly. (They certainly didn’t do the Africans a lot of good.)

    Even the British Empire (no worse than most and better than some) had the Opium War. Make that TWO Opium Wars.

    The US, OTOH, has spread wealth, health, and freedom all over the world. We have fed, aided, liberated, and inspired. We never asked for any thanks, either, and that may yet prove a weakness–the hand that feeds is covered with tooth-marks.

    America-as-imperialist? Where’s our dang empire, then? Is there any part of this country (including our few overseas “possessions”) that would vote to leave the US? Heck, even the Philippines voted 80% to 20% to stay in the US in 1936, but we (ungraciously) decided to throw them the hell out anyway–much to their detriment. (Bet they didn’t teach you THAT in school!)

    And revenge? What the hell for? Yet another one of those “no good deed goes unpunished”-type “revenges”? I’m sick to death of having My Country accused of cultural genocide every time it tries (and sacrifices) to prevent physical genocide.

    As one foreigner recently put it when some ignoramus started yammering about how America has “ceded the moral high ground”:

    “So America has ceded the moral high ground–to whom, precisely?”

  111. Warming worse than I thought…

    “The temperature in Chicago passed 90 again. St. Paul sweltered at 109, Cedar Rapids, Ia., at 112, Lafayette, Ind., at 110, Kewanee, Ill., at 112. There were all-time record temperatures of 108 degrees in Davenport, Ia., 106 in Grand Rapids, Mich., 102 in Duluth, Minn.,” reported the Edwardsville Intelligencer on July 13, 1936.

    From American Thinker, July 13, 2008

  112. I think you misunderstood me here, I was referring to the theory put forward in my past regarding the the different effects of GHG

    Oh!

    Well, since none of them really stack up to much on their own and none of then are causing positive feedback, I don’t think there’s much to worry about.

    The brown cloud is nasty, but it is not going to be there in a few decades because even as India/China burn more fossil fuels, they will will become more affluent and will do the (non-CO2) cleanup, same as the west did and for the same reasons. (But don’t expect it so long as poverty is killing more than the smoke.)

    You may be right about wind power. It has proven a disappointment, so far.

  113. Pingback: Blatant Reality » Blog Archive » Four views about how Global Cooling may begin

  114. The basic premise of the Greenhouse Effect was established by Svante Arrhenius over a hundred years ago, a fact which I remember from my Junior year of High School, where we were taught this little tidbit in Chemistry.

    So, are we supposed accept as Ultimate Truth scientific theories of over a hundred years ago, or just those that were printed in Junior science textbooks?

  115. Evan,

    You have a good heart and much of what you say is true. BUT, the US currency is the world’s reserve currency. This means we can pretty much print money and buy nice stuff from the rest of the world with it. That seems to be one privilege of our “empire”.

    But hey, we have two oceans, and at least one friendly neighbor and all the nukes we need. Why can’t we just chill? They don’t hate us cause we’re free. They hate us cause we are there and I don’t blame them.

    As for revenge, if the US air force kills my family by ACCIDENT I don’t know that I could find it in my Christian much less Muslim heart to forgive them.

    You make the case for “American exceptionalism”. I think we are exceptional even though we conveniently have been able to write the history books! (So far, that is). But I also think we are becoming less exceptional.

    But some say the US will be forced by economics to abandon its “empire”. I would love for us to just be a strongly defended example for the rest of the world.

  116. As for revenge, if the US air force kills my family by ACCIDENT I don’t know that I could find it in my Christian much less Muslim heart to forgive them.

    On D-Day, 6/6/44, around 1000 combat troops died.

    And around 5000 French civilians died, almost exclusively as a result of Allied bombardment. If the NY Times of today were doing the reporting, they’d no doubt editorialize that D-Day was “about” killing innocent French women and children.

    We spent trillions of dollars making our weapons “smart” and less powerful with the sole objective of minimizing civilian and friendly casualties. No other nation in the world did that. The most significant factor regarding current US operations is the historically minuscule number of “friendly fire” casualties we inflict. We take three times the casualties we have to because our rules of engagement are so strict in order to avoid killing noncombatants–even “enemy” noncombatants.

    That makes me very, very proud of my country. You should share in that pride.

  117. That nice Mr Evan Jones said:
    “Even the British Empire (no worse than most and better than some) had the Opium War. Make that TWO Opium Wars.”

    We might have had opium wars but we also exported cricket. The equation is heavily balanced in favour of the latter.

    Incidentally, cricket gives rise to one of the great scientific mysteries, namely, why does a cricket ball sometimes swing through the air and sometimes go in a straight line?

    Everyone who has played a lot of cricket at a decent level (such as your humble and modest FatBigot) knows that a cricket ball will swing more readily in humid conditions than in dry air. Lots of jolly clever chaps in white coats and laboratories have conducted exhaustive tests and, as I recall, have concluded that humidity has nothing to do with it. THE science is clear, they tell us, it is all about the construction of the particular ball, the concentration of deer fat used in tanning the leather, the type of dye used to colour the ball red and the bowling action of the particular bowler, there is a clear consensus among the experts.

    But it cannot be THE science because the conclusion does not accord with what actually happens. It is certainly science but it is not THE exhaustive, definitive, final, correct science because its conclusion is demonstrably wrong.

    Such an absolute dismissal of the science applied by the consensus of experts is not borne of ignorant arrogance, quite the opposite, it is borne of the fact that in 35 years of playing the game I have been able to swing a ball consistently in humid conditions but only rarely when the air is dry. Generations of bowlers have attested to the same. We are not wrong because we are not scientists, we are right because we actually experience it.

    It is a fine lesson to bear in mind whenever scientists tell us they have established something (indeed, anything) as a fact.

    Perhaps this helps to explain my scepticism about AGW. The grandiose theories of imminent disaster simply do not accord with what I observe (or, to be more precise, with how my idea of common sense interprets what I observe). Some of you were kind enough to take a look at my rambling thoughts about Chicken Licken in the context of AGW. All I was expressing was my reluctance, as a layman, to accept a scientific theory which accords with the Chicken Licken fable.

    You need no specialist knowledge or training to know that a computer model that predicts a rise in global temperature when there is actually a fall is likely to have a fault in it somewhere. And you don’t need to know anything about computer models to have the right to point out the apparent problem.

    You need no specialist knowledge or training to know that someone defending such a computer model is likely to be barking up the wrong tree.

    You need no specialist knowledge or training to know that if you feed inaccurate data into a model you will get an inaccurate conclusion.

    You can’t make a pork sausage by feeding minced lamb into a sausage machine. And if the sausage machine is set-up to produce thin sausages it won’t produce fat ones.

  118. Wow. I give the Post of the Thread Award to Allan MR MacRae (13:41:41). Not that it’s mine to give or anything, but let’s see the gorons refute that one!

    And IMHO, counters doesn’t count. Why not?

    Because he tries to turn the Scientific Method on its head:

    The basic premise of the Greenhouse Effect was established by Svante Arrhenius over a hundred years ago, a fact which I remember from my Junior year of High School… The burden of proof is on your shoulders to disprove this effect, not mine to defend it.

    The CO2/AGW/runaway global warming hypothesis, which has been proposed by James Hansen, Al Gore, the UN/IPCC and counters, posits global climate catastrophe due to human emissions of CO2.

    The obvious problem with this highly questionable claim is the fact that, according to the Scientific Method, those proposing a new hypothesis have the “burden of proof” on their shoulders. counters obviously hopes he can get away with changing the rules by putting the burden of proof on skeptics. Nice try, and better luck next time. But it is up to the AGW true believers to show that their new [and repeatedly falsified] CO2 conjecture is true. Good luck with that.

    counters continues: “I’ll respect Mr. Watts wishes and not refer to these people as “denialists” when I’m on this blog. Elsewhere, however…” But in that same post, he repeatedly refers to skeptics as “deniers.” And…

    “As for the denialist/skeptic rhetoric going on here, let’s be clear: just because ‘denialist’ is a loaded term doesn’t mean it is always being used in a perjorative manner.”

    Oh, yes it does.

    By that specious ‘reasoning,’ I could call a black man anything at all, and claim that it “doesn’t mean it is always being used in a perjorative manner.”

    Sure.

  119. In the summer, I hate global warming. In the winter, I hate global cooling. Al Gore would be more successful if he changed his position this often.

  120. I would love for us to just be a strongly defended example for the rest of the world.

    Better to defeat the barbarians away from the gates.

    They hate us cause we are there and I don’t blame them.

    They hates us because they hate. They want the power that we have. We give up some of it, they’ll want more. We leave “over there” they’ll come after us here. It’s an increasingly small world, after all, and I don’t think we can easily shrink away from the rest of it to hide out.

    Warfare is the history of the human race.

  121. FB: Well, I did say you-all were better than some. I’ll throw in that you were the first (and only) to give up a world empire voluntarily when you could have held onto it militarily.

    But then again, Britain, while no longer a superpower, is an unqualified force for good in the modern world.

  122. Interesting article. I enjoy reading it. Plus I don’t like heat, so I trully hope global warming comes to an end ;-)
    Keep up the good work!

  123. Paul (15:30:33) :
    I quote from the paper “Temperatures are plotted as anomalies (relative to 1979–2001)” but the HadCRUT anomalies are measured relative to the 1961-90 mean so it is necessary to rebase the Hadcrut anomalies to match the graph. This isn’t fiddling with the data only bringing the anomalies to the same baseline

  124. yah it’s a serious problem for the all hume beings in the earth we must take actions on that.we should fallow the rules said by u.

  125. The basic premise of the Greenhouse Effect was established by Svante Arrhenius over a hundred years ago, a fact which I remember from my Junior year of High School, where we were taught this little tidbit in Chemistry. Nice try, counters. Perhaps you should have taken a course in logic. Talk about strawmen. You whip out the greenhouse effect as if that is proof of AGW, and imply that I, or anyone else here denies there is a greenhouse effect. That is pathetic. You want to play semantics? Fine. Since you don’t like the word “drives” I will restate the AGW hypothesis as: the increase in atmospheric C02 caused by mankind increases the greenhouse effect, significantly raising global temperatures, having disasterous consequences. Or do you have some other description of what the AGW hypothesis is? If so, let’s hear it, and along with it your mathematical proof. Since it has never been done, this could be your chance at fame and fortune, perhaps even a Nobel Prize. We’ll wait.

  126. FatBigot (20:40:36) :”We might have had opium wars but we also exported cricket. The equation is heavily balanced in favour of the latter.”

    I dunno. I played cricket once (sort of) and never really understood the rules. Are you sure you don’t want to stick with the Opium Wars? :)

    This is hardly the place to discuss this but that was interesting about the relation between swinging and humidity. Would have thought it was an aerodynamic effect (which decreases with decreasing air density). Humid air is less dense than dry air. I suppose I should look up this paper: Binnie, A.M. (1976). The effect of humidity on the swing of cricket balls. International Journal of Mechanical Science, 18, 497-499.

  127. Oldjim (01:38:58) :

    Paul (15:30:33) :
    I quote from the paper “Temperatures are plotted as anomalies (relative to 1979–2001)” but the HadCRUT anomalies are measured relative to the 1961-90 mean so it is necessary to rebase the Hadcrut anomalies to match the graph. This isn’t fiddling with the data only bringing the anomalies to the same baseline

    Fair enough. It was just to settle my curiosity as a lay person. Many thanks.

  128. DAV (05:00:04) :

    FatBigot (20:40:36) :”We might have had opium wars but we also exported cricket. The equation is heavily balanced in favour of the latter.”

    I dunno. I played cricket once (sort of) and never really understood the rules. Are you sure you don’t want to stick with the Opium Wars?

    This is hardly the place to discuss this but that was interesting about the relation between swinging and humidity. Would have thought it was an aerodynamic effect (which decreases with decreasing air density). Humid air is less dense than dry air. I suppose I should look up this paper: Binnie, A.M. (1976). The effect of humidity on the swing of cricket balls. International Journal of Mechanical Science, 18, 497-499.

    There is an element of aerodynamics involved in the swing of the ball. A typical cricket ball has a polished side and a rough side. Air will always run much more freely on the polished side than the rough side. It is this drag effect on the rough side that causes the swing. The more moisture in the air, the more dense the air, the more drag coefficiant on the rough side of the ball generating greater swing. As an Englishman, I like to watch the odd cricket match and this is a key element in the tactics of play!

  129. Daniel L. Taylor (10:55:05) :

    You should look up heat pumps. Which is the most common form of heat for new homes in most of the US. Even in colder climes, dual fuel is common.

  130. K,

    You are right that wind power is not new. Which is why we know so much about how much it costs. The only reason wind power comes even close to being competitive is because of the tax subsidies offered for it.

    In other places, it’s being put in because the law requires it, not because it makes any economic sense.

  131. I’ve been wondering if we could use all those electric cars the environmentalists want us to buy as a form of storage for wind and solar power.

    If there was a mechanism so that the chargers for your electric car would be activated only when the wind was blowing sufficiently, or the sun was shining strong enough.

    Of course if there wasn’t enough wind and sun to charge your car, then you’d have to walk. Or hitch a ride from someone with a conventionally powered vehicle. But you’d be helping to save the environment …

  132. The utilities already have boxes that you can connect to your home electric water heater that can be used to turn off the water heater in times of high demand. We had one in Atlanta, the bribe was a small break in our electric rates.

  133. I’ve read that in recent decades, remote oil fields have stopped flaring the methane produced by their fields, and started piping it to market. (In the past, the price of methane did not justify the cost of a pipe.) If the flares were like the ones I’ve seen, I’d be surprised if the flare acheived 100% burn.

    Additionally, over the last few decades, small releases that used to be considered safe, have started to be flared as well.

  134. Tom Klein (14:30:18) :

    I for one will contest your point 3.

    Due to the quality of the temperature tracking system, (as documented by our good host, and others) we really have no idea how much the earth has warmed over the last century. Though it is quite likely substantially less than 1 degree.

  135. “But seriously, the US has got to quit making enemies or one day they WILL have their revenge and it won’t take a nuke.”

    What enemies would that be? From all the polls, we are tolerated to respected by the people of Iraq.

    Could you be talking about those inflamed by the Jihadist philosophy? Those guys hated us from decades ago, nothing we can do, short of dying, will stop that hatred.

  136. poet,

    So if the US was rescuing your land from a muderous dictator who had killed hundreds of thousands of your neighbors, and in the process, ACCIDENTALLY killed your family.

    You would hate the US forever?

    I’m glad the VAST majority of Iraqi’s don’t suffer from your shortsightedness.

    Please document where this alleged empire you keep rattling about is.

  137. FatBigot,

    Maybe it’s just another example of American exceptionalism 8), but American scientists discovered why a baseball can be made to curve several years ago. Unless the laws of physics operate differently on a cricket field (always a possibility), I suspect this explanation would work there as well.

  138. If baseball means anything, FB is right about cricket and humidity. Anyone throwing a knuckleball knows how much better the thing knuckles the less humidity there is.

    Spin and composition (and no doubt the state of the wicket and all) weigh in, but if those things do, then so must air density and composition for the exact same set of reasons.

    For that matter, many scientists refused to believe a curveball curves until the science section of the New York Times said otherwise. Anyone who stood up to a plate in the modern era could have told them that for free. Even on TV you could see a rising fastball and good curve drop like it was falling off a table.

  139. The MythBusters proved that balls stored in moist air prior to the game do not fly as far after being hit as balls that were stored in dry air.

    Moist air could also affect the bat.

  140. Evan Jones – Thanks for your post:
    “I’m not sure if this is OT or not, but Just in respect to the % concentrations of greenhouse gases, can you guys confirm the following is representative:

    Water Vapour = 95%
    CO2 = 3.5%
    NO2, Methane, CFC’s etc etc make up the rest

    No. That is the EFFECT (acc. to Singer, IIRC), not the AMOUNT.”

    My question: How much CO2 does human activity add to the increasing levels of this gas in the atmosphere? I’ve read a figure of 3.5%, but have no idea if this is even in the ballpark.

    Many thanks.

  141. Jim Arndt, my volcano explanation is most definitely not a “strawman.” It is pulled directly from notes from a lecture in one of my introductory atmospheric science classes when I was an undergrad. As a matter of fact, those mechanisms were on the final for that class…

    old construction worker, the MWP is a somewhat disputed notion. Yes, it occurs rather obviously in temperature records from Europe, but not very prevalently in other records from the time. However, the LIA is a rather simple deduction. The explanation you’ll find in any introductory atmospheric science textbook is that the LIA happened in a period with three important features: First, it was a period of relatively low sunspot activity. However, this is considered the “minor” cause. A bigger cause is the fact that the LIA was marked by a prolific era of volcanic activity. Although vulcanism causes warming over the longterm due to outgassing, over the short term is can cause substantial cooling. Vulcanism is the primary reason why the seasons varied wildly from year to year occasionally during the LIA. Finally, there is anecdotal evidence that the Gulf Stream may have been significantly different during the LIA, failing to bring temperate weather systems to the high latitude in Europe that we see them now.

  142. Smokey, you’re ridiculous. Your semantic argument about the word “denialist” is BS of the highest order. It doesn’t even warrant a refutation. Your post demonstrates, once again, a strawman that skeptics love to play. AGW is not about “runaway climate change” or “cataclysmic destruction.” Just because that’s the spin that propagandists put on it doesn’t mean it has even a shred of credibility. Very few climatologists agree with Hansen’s notion that there are “tipping points” which spell certain doom for the climate and the atmosphere.

    You see, what you’re doing is a mighty fine bit of handwaving. Distract everyone from the real argument at hand and replace it with some specious, ludicrous issue. You don’t actually even make an attempt to refute AGW – you propose that because the issue has become politically hyped, it must be intrinsically false. Careful, your cynicism is showing!

    I think there might be a few more posts addressing me, but I’ll some them all up here:

    Many of you need to do your homework before contributing to the discussion here. I usually post about the most basic topics in atmospheric science – the response I made about the Alaskan volcano is a good example, as is the premise of Arrhenius’ discerning of a “greenhouse effect.” These are basic things. We’re talking the first introductory course in Atmospheric Science, if not covered beforehand in high school physics, earth science, and chemistry courses. I strongly recommend that some of the skeptics engaging in debate with me go out and buy a college level meteorology or earth science textbook to brush up on their basics before they continue to spout ridiculous claims and arguments.

    REPLY: Ok this argument about the word “denier” is over, you’ve both made your points. No more discussion on it. Now I’m going to make a pojnt, you wrote:

    “Very few climatologists agree with Hansen’s notion that there are “tipping points” which spell certain doom for the climate and the atmosphere. “

    Then why are they letting him get away with this garbage and not calling him out on it? A lie of omission is still a lie. Either they are a bunch of cowards afraid to refute Hansen for fear it will “hurt my position” like so many of our phantom posters who don’t put their name behind their arguments, or they let it alone because it “helps the cause”. It’s like selling insurance; the best way to get people to buy it is to make them scared of the consequences.

    Either way, the lack of professional integrity is stunning, and disgusting.

  143. Syl, WRT the weight of atmosphere, there is a very neat demonstration at

    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/11/all-the-water-and-ai.html

    which was originally done by ADAM NIEMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

    For further reference, the human race, if allowed the space of 6ft x 2ft x 1.25ft, (not comfortable, but who’s offering comfort) will occupy 0.663 of one cubic mile or 2.7 cubic kilometres. You couldn’t even show that on the same scale.
    And to follow on, there is, on average, at any one time, some 20 trillion tonnes of CO2. Good luck to anyone trying to bottle that much.

  144. If I may wander slightly OT, I see that this presentation by the four scientists engendered a response about coal and natural gas. But there was no mention of oil. This piques my curiosity in view of this latest interesting article claiming that oil is in fact NOT a fossil fuel but is created deep in the earth’s crust where calcium carbonate and iron oxide react under tremendous pressure to continuously produce oil. Curious to hear what your geologist readers think about this ‘out there’ theory.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3952

  145. Paul (05:28:54) “The more moisture in the air, the more dense the air … ”

    I don’t want to carry this too far but humid air is LESS dense than dry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humidity#Humidity_and_air_density

    In general, lower air density decreases aerodynamic effect. I would expect more swing in dry air. OTOH, in aircraft operations, density altitude calculations don’t input humidity. I don’t know why. Maybe it drops out algerbraically or its effect is small compared to that of temperature and pressure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_altitude

  146. @counters

    “the MWP is a somewhat disputed notion. Yes, it occurs rather obviously in temperature records from Europe, but not very prevalently in other records from the time.”

    The MWP is a LOT more established then you believe and a LOT more global.

    Check out the MWP Project at http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

  147. Speaking of Climate Change, since the viewership of this blog has taken off, the climate here has gotten quiet heated at times.

    The major attraction of this venue over the dozens of other venues available to me is the civility I found. I think that is what made it so successful.

    My strong recommendation is for people to ignore the trolls and stay focused on the facts and science.

    Just my $0.02 for what it is worth.

  148. counters

    RE: “First, (MWP) was a period of relatively low sunspot activity. However, this is considered the “minor” cause. A bigger cause is the fact that the LIA was marked by a prolific era of volcanic activity.”

    Would you kindly site any sources you have for these two assertions?

  149. Counters:

    WRT your MWP sources. I hope you’ll cite them as well as site them. (Sheesh! Can’t spell anymore.)

  150. @counters

    I would be interested in knowing what volcanoes erupted during LIA?

    Perhaps you are thinking of Huaynaputina (VE6) in 1600? I doubt it cause the LIA as Mount Pinatubo (VE6) in 1991 was about the same size and didn’t have an extensive or long lasting impact on global temperature.

    Mount Tambora (VE7) did erupt in the middle of the Dalton Minimum (1815) and that was a pretty big eruption as they go, but it was not during the LIA. This was the year without a summer they discuss in Weather 101 for freshman.

    Now, Toba (VE8 ) or Yellowstone (VE8 ) going off could plunge the world into an ice age, but these were VERY big eruptions.

    so, please source your ‘era of prolific volcanic activity during the LIA’.

  151. @Bill P

    I suspect someone is using Wikipedia for a primary source on LIA which tries to portray that the LIA is not solar, but fails to provide any supporting evidence for causes or non-causes and restricts the event to the NH.

    The LIA is still one of the many thorns in the side of AGW. As is the MWP. The editorial control of climate articles at Wikipedia is well known to skeptics. Unfortunately, many less knowledgeable individuals are taken-in by the authoritative tone of the articles there and don’t take the time learn the full picture.

  152. Several people sound well-versed in earth sciences. I’m particularly interested in records of volcanic activity in the 13th and 14th centuries. Dates and identities of the volcanoes if they are known. Thanks.

    I have to add, I’d be surprised if the 11-year sun spot cycle info can be resolved to the kind of detail Counters suggests for the early part of the LIA (14th century). I don’t even see grand minima ascribed to specific decades prior to the 1600’s.

  153. Paul (10:46:30) : (in re: humidity and air density) “Oops, my bad!”

    Not to worry. Common intuition: water sinks and air rises so humid air must be heavier than dry. It’s one of those counter-intuitive things.

  154. AGW is not about “runaway climate change” Then what exactly is AGW about, counters? Please, give us the latest spin on exactly what AGW is (you guys keep moving the goalposts you know), and while you’re at it, your mathematical proof of it. You can’t, because there isn’t any, but go ahead and try. We keep having to remind you (you must have a short attention span) that NO ONE here disputes that there is a greenhouse effect. Got that, counters? NO ONE.

  155. Pingback: Global Cooling - we’re all gonna die! (again) » Pursuing Holiness

  156. There is only one way to kill the global warming cult. Form a global cooling cult! You can’t fight fire with fire, you can only fight it ice.

  157. counters,
    “old construction worker, the MWP is a somewhat disputed notion. Yes, it occurs rather obviously in temperature records from Europe, but not very prevalently in other records from the time”

    It is only disputed if you use Mannian PCAs from his famed Hockey Stick. In Mann’s reconstruction, niether the MWP nor the LIA occured -the global temperatures were near static until the 20th Century. There’s not enough bandwidth to cover all of the issues with Mann’s MBH9X, so I suggest you spend a few days over at Climate Audit.

    Until 2001, climate scientists were pretty much in agreement about the scope of both the LIA/MWP. To illustrate that point, you should research the Franz Joseph glacier in New Zealand. The rise and fall of this glacier mirrors that both the MWP and LIA.

    You should come to realize that our climate has exhibited fairly wide variations in both the distribution of temperature and precipitation. Those variations preceeded the internal combustion engine and its emmisions of CO2.

  158. Back to the important topic in this thread – cricket and baseball. While the physics of air density is not different between the US and the rest of the world (where we play cricket), the physics of the ball almost certainly is. The single seam dividing a cricket ball into two hemispheres contrasts significantly with the seam on a baseball. The effect of the angle of the seam to the swing or curve of the ball is known in both sports and has caused me personally much grief as I just can’t seem to get a basball to go where I want it to!

    Rob

  159. This is an appropriately pessimistic outlook. Sadly, those who need to realize why it is pessimistic, do not understand why it is. A hard rain is going to fall, so to speak.

  160. I was working on my entertainment center about an hour ago and I turned on the TV. It was tuned to the Hitler History Channel. They were running the umpteenth repeat of “Countdown to Armageddon” citing various prophecies, including (— drum roll please —) Global Warming. The program pointed out that proclaiming the end is near is almost a universal pastime. It pointed out that many have made the proclamation in the past who were obviously mistaken but, NOW, people are beginning to see signs that The REAL End Is Near! First, there’s all the usual things that indicated it in the past: war, famine, pestilence, economy shot to hell, centuries old prophecy poems, Mayans unable to count past 2012, … But now we can add: arctic melting, polar bears drowning, Katrina, … and, just for fun, toss in 911, government wiretapping and tort lawyers. Who knows, maybe in a future Doom and Gloom cycle (in about 10 more years) we can add Global Cooling and Impending Ice Age.

    The only sign I see is an endlessly repeating pattern of “We’re Doomed! Coming to your neighborhood planet soon” but always in the never realized future.

    In the past, the “End is Near!” crowd wore sackcloth and drove poster signs but now they wear designer clothes, live in mansions, use enormous amounts of energy (but all Clean Energy, thankyouverymuch), make movies and putter around in private jets. The base message is always the same though, “Repent and Mend Your Ways before it’s Too Late!” Whoever coined, “There’s a sucker born every minute” got it right.

    It’s a tough lot being Handsome and Intelligent instead of Rich and Famous. Sometimes I wish I had taken a different career path.

  161. DAV:

    Yeah, that’s the s*** right there! Is the Hit- oh, I mean the History Channel going to show it again? If so when? Do they talk about gorebull cooling doomsday coming in the future?

  162. I do hope Mr Watts will allow me one last word on cricket (I’m amazed he hasn’t already blocked me for raising irrelevancies, he must be a very patient and charming fellow).

    The point I want to make is by analogy.

    Cricket is not a game in which muscle and bravado have much influence. Of course you need a certain amount of physical strength if you are going to catch the spectators’ eyes by hitting the ball out of the ground or throwing it from the outfield to the wicket with a flat trajectory from 60 yards but these are just the things that make the crowd go “oooooooh”.

    Bashing the ball out of the ground earns 6 runs, but 6 runs is pointless if that is all you score. Far more valuable is the quiet steady batsman who nudges and nurdles, examines the bowlers’ weaknesses, caresses the ball with elegant timing, find the gaps for a succession of single runs and ends up scoring 100.

    Bowling the ball at 90-plus mph is a rare feat, but there is no point bowling at 90mph if your aim is wrong. Far better to bowl consistently at 60mph and be so accurate that the batsman is at risk every time.

    So it is with our friend Saint Al of Gore. “Here’s a polar bear” he says … the crowd goes “aaaaaah” (6 runs); “here’s a tidal wave” … “oh no!” (6 runs); “here’s a starving person in a country I’ve never been to because there’s no runway for my private jet” … “oooooh” (6 runs). Fine grandstanding stuff. The rest of his team have their graphs, tables and statistics and they look good because they are batting first, the opposition batsmen haven’t yet taken to the field. They score 200 runs in total. The crowd takes tea and discusses the play so far: “200, that’ll take some beating. This is a difficult pitch, they have dealt with it very well.” Tea is over and the opposition go in to bat.

    The opposition start with no runs. It’s not like baseball with 3 outs for one side then the others have a go. The first team bats and gets as many as they can. Their score might look good, but you only know how good it is if you stay to the end of the match and see what the opposition batsmen can do.

    By his own reasoning Saint Al’s innings is over, he has told us so because he has told us that the science is settled and the debate is over. But he cannot speak for the opposition, he can only declare his own innings closed. His team has scored 200 runs and now the other team – the team with no grandstanders, no players who arrive by private jet, the team of nudgers, nurdlers and caressers – has its chance.

    The match is just warming up.

    REPLY: It’s relevant as stated, gamesmanship to win public opinion is as much a part of AGW as the science. – Anthony

  163. The hockey stick
    He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

    Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, and distinguished guests, thank you for inviting me to testify today. I am a geologist and geophysicist. I have a bachelor’s degree in geology from Indiana University, and a Ph.D in geophysics from the University of Utah. My field of specialization in geophysics is temperature and heat flow. In recent years, I have turned my studies to the history and philosophy of science. In 1995, I published a short paper in the academic journal Science. In that study, I reviewed how borehole temperature data recorded a warming of about one degree Celsius in North America over the last 100 to 150 years. The week the article appeared, I was contacted by a reporter for National Public Radio. He offered to interview me, but only if I would state that the warming was due to human activity. When I refused to do so, he hung up on me.
    I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published. I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change. He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

    This speaks volumes about men behine the the sticks and IPCC

    http://epw.senate.gov/hearing_statements.cfm?id=266543

  164. My question: How much CO2 does human activity add to the increasing levels of this gas in the atmosphere? I’ve read a figure of 3.5%, but have no idea if this is even in the ballpark.

    Well, yes, only c. 3.5% of CO2 output is anthropogenic.

    BUT (and please don’t hate me) . . .

    Natural CO2 (all 200 or so Bil. Metric Tons emitted) is reabsorbed by the oceans and the soils. Also, pretty much all of manmade agricultural atmospheric carbon in reabsorbed by what he grows.

    But only c. half of the 7.2 BMTC industry produces is absorbed by vegetation, soils, or ocean. The rest of it (c. 3.5 BMTC) accumulates in the atmosphere.

    The Atmospheric sink contains c. 760 BMTC. Bottom line: we are increasing atomospheric carbon by a little under half a percent per year.

    As it stands (so far as we can tell) we have added around a third more CO2 to the atmosphere (a little at a time, mostly over the last 60 or so years).

    So the IPCC is right about how much CO2 mankind has added to the atmosphere (assuming their measurements and proxies are right–and they may not be).

    BUT (you can stop hating me) . . .

    Seeing as how the Aqua satellite has thrown positive feedback loops into serious doubt, it would appear that the effect of CO2 is very slight. Even the IPCC says the direct [sic] effects are slight.

    The IPCC claims that CO2 triggers positive feedback loops (i.e., two rows of dominoes–water vapor and albedo through THE MELTING ARCTIC ) that vastly increase the slight CO2 effect.

    However, The AquaSat indicates that there is NEGATIVE feedback: NO high level increase of water vapor and cooling low-level clouds that INCREASE albedo, thus leading to homeostasis. Which would explain why temperatures have remained flat for a decade while atmospheric CO2 has increased by 4%.

    Short answer:

    CO2: Man done it. But it don’t mean nothing.

  165. Q: How long has it been since anyone’s seen a sunspot?

    ‘Bout a month or two, I guess. But those were Cycle 23 spots (small ones). There has only been one official Cycle 24 spot and that was in January. (There was a ghost of a Cycle 24 spot back in 2006, but that wasn’t “official”.)

  166. I don’t even see grand minima ascribed to specific decades prior to the 1600’s.

    Here’s what I have on the old “postcard”:

    Oort (1010-1050)
    Wolf (1280-1340)
    Spörer (1415-1534)
    Maunder (1645-1715)
    Dalton (1790-1840)

  167. Last sunspot was a SC23 event approx 23 days ago, late last month. There were several spots last month and none so far this month.

  168. Bruce Cobb: “I will restate the AGW hypothesis as: the increase in atmospheric C02 caused by mankind increases the greenhouse effect, significantly raising global temperatures, having disasterous consequences.”

    The IPCC definition of climate change: “Climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/10th-anniversary/anniversary-brochure.pdf

    So AGW could be described as climate change that is due to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Nothing there about “disasterous [sic] consequences” though.

    Perhaps a more concrete description of AGW would be: “Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.”

    BTW, were you able to find any evidence to support your claim on the “Alleviate world hunger” thread: “I repeat, Thatcher used the [AGW] issue to gain political power, beginning in 1979…”

    I haven’t been able to find any evidence for this assertion. Perhaps you could throw some light on the matter.

  169. Perhaps a more concrete description of AGW would be: “Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.”
    So what we have here is a vague correlation of C02 to temperature of the past century, and the even more vague claim that C02 “should contribute” to future warming. Wow. That is alarming.

    BTW, were you able to find any evidence to support your claim on the “Alleviate world hunger” thread: “I repeat, Thatcher used the [AGW] issue to gain political power, beginning in 1979.…”
    I haven’t been able to find any evidence for this assertion. Perhaps you could throw some light on the matter

    It is from a paper by Richard Courtney: Global Warming:
    How It All Began

    There are no references given, unfortunately. I have just emailed him, though, so hopefully he’ll send me something. There certainly was motive both for her and her UK party to push AGW.
    His statement that “a coincidence of interests usually has a more powerful effect than a group of conspirators. The origins of the scare are political and have resulted in political policies that now threaten serious economic damage for the entire world” seems an excellent description.

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  171. Brendan H, if you Google Margaret Thatcher AND global warming, you’ll get a whole heap of hits, including the one that Bruce referred to.

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  173. Bruce Cobb: “It is from a paper by Richard Courtney…There certainly was motive both for her and her UK party to push AGW.”

    The Courtney essay makes many comments about Margaret Thatcher and global warming, but the most pointed would be:

    “Then, in 1979, Mrs Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK, and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue.”

    Courtney does not explicitly claim that Thatcher campaigned in 1979 on global warming. Instead, he associates the terms “1979” with “Prime Minister” and “hypothesis”. This word association gives the impression that Thatcher began to push AGW in 1979. Courtney uses this technique throughout the essay to further claim that she pushed AGW for both domestic political purposes – to defeat the miners – and to enhance her reputation as an international politician.

    However, the evidence is that she only began to make major public statements on AGW in the late 1980s, long after her first election victory and after the defeat of the minors in her second term, 1983-87.

    Conservapedia: “In the late 1980’s Thatcher began to be concerned by environmental policy and in 1988 she made a major speech accepting the problems of global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain.”

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Margaret_Thatcher

    This also suggests she only became convinced of global warming — or at least that she was prepared to publicly back AGW — by the late 1980s.

    However, there is a germ of truth in Courtney’s implication that Sir Crispin Tickell, British representative to the UN from 1987, helped place climate and other environmental issued on G7 summit agendas from 1979, and that he was a confidant of Margaret Thatcher from the early 1980s and probably helped persuade her on AGW.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13318134.700-the-green-diplomat-sir-crispin-tickell-has-had-adistinguished-diplomatic-career-he-has-also-helped-to-put-climate-changeatthe-top-of-the-worlds-political-agenda-.html

    However, Courtney places a wholly cynical explanation on this relationship:

    “But she had yet to gain that reputation [as a great UK politician] when she came to power in 1979…Sir Crispin Tickell, UK Ambassador to the UN, suggested a solution to the problem. He pointed out that almost all international statesmen are scientifically illiterate…”

    Beyond that, the evidence fails to support the impression given by Courtney that AGW is a politically motivated movement driven by cynical calculation (and of course political considerations do not negate the theory, any more than the space race of the 1960s negates space science).

    Nor does it support your explicit claim that: “…Thatcher used the [AGW] issue to gain political power, beginning in 1979…”

  174. Brendan, I received a nice reply to my email to Richard Courtney regarding his paper on the history of AGW, which I’ll paste below:

    ” The article is a summary of the analysis I did at the time (early 1980s) for the British Association of Colliery Management (BACM). It also has a few updates I made in the late 1990s.

    BACM was concerned at the potential for AGW to become as serious an environmental issue for the coal industry as ‘acid rain’ then was. Subsequently it became a more serious issue than that. My research consisted of interviews with interested parties (including Sir Crispin whom you mention) followed by evaluation of the interacting influences that I summarised as the influence diagrams that are in the article.

    Three pertinent points are worth mention.

    1.
    The diagrams do not include environmental organisations. This is because environmentalists had not yet taken up AGW at the time I did the original analysis. Indeed, Greenpeace was then opposing AGW as being a distraction from true environmental issues.

    2.
    The science was (and I think still is) an adjunct to the political issue. Remove all reference to science and all the significant feedback loops remain in the influence diagrams. I concluded from this that AGW would displace ‘acid rain’ as the major environmental constraint on coal usage, and it would continue as such a constraint whether or not it was justified by any empirical scientific data. This conclusion was rejected by BACM as being so extreme as to be absurd (but it later proved correct).

    3.
    I have had no direct contact with Lord Monckton. He was an advisor to Mrs Thatcher at the time when she was starting the AGW scare and I did not interview any official government advisors (any answers they gave me would be restricted to stated government policy). Last year (i.e. 2007) persons other than me interogated Lord Monckton on his view of my article and he was surprisingly forthcoming. He could not breach any confidences from that period of his office, but he did not dispute anything in my article and in writing he confirmed some significant points (e.g. the role of Sir Crispin). I am surprised by the degree of his agreement with my article: people have different observations, perceptions, interpretations and memories of the same events so I would have expected some difference of opinion between us and none seems to exist.

    I hope the above is what you wanted. I will not return to my base for at least a week so I am not able to access old files until then. Please let me know if you want more or different.”

    He is very aware of Anthony’s excellent blog. I said a guest post on the history would be nice (hint hint).

  175. May God bless us. Go Veg and Go Green.
    Peace.
    Yes indeed, thank God (speaking figuratively, but if you believe that’s fine too) for C02, which helps keep our planet warm, and provides the food required for vegetation to grow and thus making our planet Green. C02 is both wonderous and wonderful. May it continue rising in abundance in the atmosphere.
    Amen.

  176. Bruce: “Brendan, I received a nice reply to my email to Richard Courtney regarding his paper on the history of AGW, which I’ll paste below…”

    Thanks for the information, Bruce. However, I can’t see where Richard Courtney’s points make any difference to my comments about his paper. In essence, he is claiming that AGW was a whole-cloth creation by a claque of politicians.

    A brief comment on Courtney’s second point: “Remove all reference to science and all the significant feedback loops remain in the influence diagrams.”

    Well, yes. After all, Courtney created the original diagram, which contains exactly two linkages out of twenty-two on the actual science, the remaining twenty for political, economic and social factors. It’s hardly surprising that subtracting two linkages would leave the rest largely intact.

    And the linkages themselves are Courtney’s own interpretation of the factors that led to AGW. Some of those linkages are strained. For example, Courtney has decided that Margaret Thatcher’s desire for international credibility should share equal billing with the growth of global warming information. The two are hardly of equal import.

    As I say, Courtney’s claim ignores the substantial scientific work that was going on into global warming right through this period, as I listed on the “Alleviate world hunger” thread.

    And after all, Tickell spent some months researching the subject back in the 1970s. Unless Courtney is claiming that Tickell gleaned his knowledge from political tracts, there must have been some scientific literature in existence at the time for Tickell to have read.

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  179. At least I didn’t get sucked into all the bullcrap flying around about Global Warming. I am too young to remember the whole “Ice Age” discussion in the 70’s, but I know history well enough to know We The People are easily manipulated into believing some pretty absurd things. Global Warming = Duped Again! Bush’s No Nation Building in 2000 = Duped Again! Obama’s Change for America will = Duped Again by 2010!

  180. Great googly moogly!!!!!! Im going to strip down to my undies and run out side durring the next thunderstorm, and stand in a puddle of water and hold up a six foot pole in my hand in hopes that a bolt of lightning will burn the garbage out of my head that im reading about all this global warming mess! Boy I bett thats the most imature response you have ever heard of! Anyway I support the facts that our planet is cooling down and I cant wait till its in full swing so that I can point and laught out loud at the people that thought they had it all figured out! But I guess everyone is entitled to thier own opinions. Thank you and have a very nice day!

  181. What a crock! The earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years without help from us.

    When are people going to recognize that their would-be controllers will use ANYTHING to tax us into submission.

  182. Don’t you just love how all the ads by google are for helping to stop global warming? I think google needs to figure out that people who go on this site realize that global warming is a pile of garbage.

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